Obama and Democrats are Utterly Clueless

December 19, 2016

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/19/politics/president-obama-npr-interview/index.html

Almost as amazing as Trump’s victory in the election is the inability of the entire Democratic Party, from the very bottom to the very top – President Obama himself – to grasp the reasons behind their loss.  In a recent interview, detailed in the above-linked CNN article, President Obama blamed the Democrats’ stunning loss on their failure to “show up” in the states that swung from Democrat in the previous two elections to Trump in this election.  The problem, claims the president, is not the message but the messenger.  Hillary should have campaigned harder in the midsection of the country.

Seemingly lost on the President is that West Virginia – a state where Hillary did campaign more than once – made the biggest swing  from Democrat to Republican of any state in history, losing by 69% for Trump vs. 27% for Clinton.

Why did she lose so badly there?  She came right out and said that she was going to put the miners there out of work.  In a subsequent attempt at damage control, she promised “retraining” for laid off mine workers.  Retraining to do what?  She had nothing.

The message she gave West Virginians, though more pointed and targeted to that particular demographic, was consistent with the globalist message that both the Democrats and Republicans have been selling for decades – that your manufacturing jobs are never coming back, that this is somehow in your best interest and if you’re just patient enough you’ll come to understand, and that we’ll retrain you to do some other job – a job that doesn’t exist.

The problem for Democrats is that nobody believes it any more.  Their message has been proven to be a load of crap.  Along comes Donald Trump and, in spite of his many flaws, immediately seizes the spotlight with a new and very simple message:  I’ll slap tariffs on those imports.  Your jobs are coming home. We’ll make America great again!  (Not to mention his message about putting a halt to the illegal immigration that both parties embraced in an effort to pander to the Hispanic vote.)

Republicans shouldn’t be smug.  They too fought Trump tooth and nail every step of the way, clinging to the same globalist message.  Only because Trump chose to identify himself in this race as a Republican do they now find themselves in control of so much of the political landscape.

The Democratic Party used to be the party of working-class Americans, but has morphed into a money-grubbing carnival barker for the New World Order.  But they don’t see it.  They still want to believe that if they had just polished that turd a little brighter and sold it a little harder they’d have won the election.


More Thoughts on Trump Victory

November 10, 2016

I’ll preface this by reminding readers that, in various posts in the past, I have described Donald Trump as a buffoon and as a “foul SOB.”  In spite of that, I encouraged you to vote for him as I did for one reason:  his stands on illegal immigration and trade align well with the conclusions of my book, Five Short Blasts.  To very briefly summarize, there is an unrecognized (by economists) inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption which has two major implications – that population growth beyond a certain level becomes a cancerous growth that eats away the economy, and that free trade with badly overpopulated nations accelerates this effect dramatically.  The effect of these on our economy is so over-riding that these issues dwarf all others.  I would vote for any candidate – Republican, Democrat or Independent – whose positions address these issues.

With that said, the following are some random thoughts on what happened in this election:

  1. Any party that focuses only on minorities and ignores the majority is doomed to fail.  The Democratic Party did exactly that, taking its historical support from working-class Americans for granted and ignoring them and polling data that consistently showed their deep concern about the direction of the country.
  2. The Republican Party has also blundered in its strategy of making itself indistinguishable from Democrats, particularly when it comes to the key issues of trade and immigration, contenting itself with splitting the vote while hoping to sway a small 0.5% toward their side.  Were it not for the fact that Trump – not a true Republican – chose to identify himself as one and to fight tooth and nail to prevail against their slate of traditional Republicans – the Republican party would have lost this election.
  3. This election was all about a rejection of the globalism and open borders that both parties embraced.  I don’t think either party, even now, fully understands this.  Whichever party embraces a new strategy and platform based on our nation’s right of self-determination will succeed going forward.
  4. Though it pains me to quote him, Bill Clinton said it best in the ’91 election:  “It’s the economy, stupid.”  Indeed it is, and not necessarily the macro-economy but each individual’s own share of the economy.  Only when the vast majority of Americans are enjoying the fruits of a healthy economy can other issues like the environment take center stage.  Both parties ignored the polling data that showed the country was headed in the wrong direction and that voters were fed up with their politicians.  The Obama administration chose to fool itself with gimmicked economic data.  Few voters were fooled.
  5. Clinton erred when she tried to portray Trump’s position on illegal immigration as racist and xenophobic.  Illegal immigration is a concern for all Americans and it’s a mistake to believe that Hispanic Americans would uniformly embrace it just because most illegal immigrants are Hispanic.  Many have been here a long time now and identify themselves as Americans first, just as I identify myself as American and not Irish.  As I said in Five Short Blasts, I wouldn’t care if it was Ireland that we shared a border with instead of Mexico.  Illegal immigration has to be stopped.  The Democrats were shocked to learn that nearly 30% of Hispanics voted for Trump.  Many were insulted by the assumption that they favor illegal immigration over the interests of their own country just because of their ancestry.  The Clinton campaign was no less guilty of stereotyping Hispanics than Trump was perceived to be.
  6. The Democrats are almost as guilty of taking the black vote for granted as they were of taking white working-class voters for granted.  Trump made a play for the black vote.  It was criticized as a clumsy attempt, but he made a very valid point, that the inner cities seem to be little better off and have little to show for their support for the Democratic party.  Trump correctly pointed out that his trade policies aimed at rebuilding the manufacturing sector of the economy would, if anything, benefit the black community even more than the white community.  Well, it didn’t seem to resonate that much, though Clinton got a little less of the black vote than Obama did.  But Trump has laid down a marker for the black community.  They may have been skeptical of what he said, but they’ll likely remember if, in fact, a manufacturing turn-around produces a renaissance in the inner cities.  Democrats, beware.
  7. The Clinton campaign’s mantra was that “when they go low, we go high!”  Yet, in the final days of the campaign, they did just the opposite.  They took the worst, most crude elements of the campaign and bundled them into commercials.  The commercials criticized Trump for things not fit for our children to hear, yet the Clinton campaign had no problem with bombarding our children with those things incessantly on prime time television – even during the World Series.  It came across as very two-faced and, if anything, made Clinton  seem more of a sleeze-bag than Trump.
  8. Meanwhile, the commercials aired by the Trump campaign in the last couple of weeks were very positive.  There was one commercial  that took on globalism and the globalist elites who profited at the expense of everyone else.  It was a dynamite, highly-effective commercial that should have begun airing sooner and should have aired far more often. But I saw it only once (and I watch a fair amount of television in the evenings).  What happened to it?
  9. Along those same lines, the Clinton campaign held a concert that head-lined Beyonce and Jay Z.  While some fawn over this couple, many people are offended by the lewd “twerking” of Beyonce and the filthy and racist (the “n” word) lyrics of Jay Z.  This isn’t a racist observation.  I personally find Miley Cyrus to be just as offensive.  Clinton’s condoning of these lyrics destroyed her credibility when criticizing Trump.  The concert was a dumb move.  What purpose did it serve?  Did she really think that Beyonce and Jay Z would swing undecided voters to their camp?
  10. The spending by the Clinton campaign dwarfed that of the Trump campaign, to no avail.  It’s not the first time we’ve seen such an outcome.  It demonstrates once again that it only takes a lot of money to sell lousy products, and good products sell themselves.  For all the concern about big money in politics, maybe it doesn’t really have that much of an effect.  So, hey big donors, if you want to waste your money, you’re perfectly welcome to plow it back into our economy through the ad agencies.  Either way, the money is now out of your accounts and into the hands of people who need it more.  Thanks!

Up next:  some thoughts about the challenges facing Trump and what it means for the world going forward.


A Referendum on Globalism

November 7, 2016

As Tuesday draws near, there seems to be a collective sigh of relief that it will all soon be over – the nastiness, pettiness, the attack ads – all of it.  Just make it go away.

But such sentiments trivialize what this election is really all about.  I wonder how many really grasp why it’s been such a bitter fight and what’s really at stake.  Tuesday isn’t just another election, where we pick from a pair of cookie-cutter candidates who aspire to be the next bench-warmer president, the next stuffed shirt to make nice around the punch bowl at scripted G20 summits.  The very soul of America is at stake.

For the first time in seven decades, since the signing of the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 that ushered in the New World Order and relegated the U.S. to the role of host in a global host-parasite relationship, and perhaps for the last time, we have a chance to put America on a new track.

It’s impossible to understate the damage that’s been done.  This year will mark the 40th consecutive year that the U.S. has suffered a trade deficit.  During that time, our trade deficit has drained over $13 trillion from our economy and accounts for every single dollar of our national debt since 1975.  To put that into perspective – what the loss of $13 trillion has done to us – here’s what it means in terms that we can all understand:

  • Globalism has been directly responsible for dismantling the manufacturing sector of our economy, wiping out approximately 10 million manufacturing jobs and another 10 million jobs in supporting industries.
  • It has transformed the United States from the world’s preeminent industrial power into an economic skid row bum that literally has to beg the world for the funds to keep our economy afloat.
  • Climb to the top of the highest building and take a look around.  Almost everything you see – as far as you can see – is now owned by foreign entities.  Every single mortgage, small business loan, new car loan, the financing of everything you can imagine, has been bundled into securities and sold to foreign investors desperate to find profitable ways to plow their trade dollars back into the American economy.
  • Globalism has been directly responsible for the elimination of benefits like pensions and health care.
  • It is directly responsible for the bleak job prospects faced by our college graduates.
  • It is directly responsible for the crushing student debt that our kids now face.
  • It is directly responsible for our crumbling infrastructure.
  • It is directly responsible for the Great Recession of 2008 and for the countless foreclosures, bankruptcies and destroyed lives in its wake.
  • It is directly responsible for turning China into an existential threat to our country.
  • It is heavily responsible for the lion’s share of global warming, exporting manufacturing from the U.S. where environmental laws were strict to nations who scoff at such laws and pollute with reckless abandon, not to mention the burning of five billion barrels of oil each year to power container ships carrying goods that could otherwise be made locally.
  • Globalism has become a corrupt scheme of the elite – the top 1% – to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
  • Instead of raising the living standards of all as the starry-eyed economists of the 1940s envisioned, globalism instead has become a poverty-sharing program, draining the resources of the United States and fattening the coffers of corrupt regimes.

Like practically every other American, I have never lived in an America that wasn’t under the thumb of the corrupt World Trade Organization or its predecessor – GATT.  I’ve spent my entire life watching it erode America’s economy.  At least I can remember what it was like before the bulk of the damage was done.  Most Americans don’t even have that.

On Tuesday we have a chance to put an end to this crap.  If you have been affected by any of the things I’ve listed above, this is your chance to dramatically change your situation.  The difference in candidates couldn’t possibly be more stark.  On the one hand, Hillary Clinton is an unabashed globalism and open borders advocate who will accelerate our demise under the New World Order.  On the other hand, Donald Trump has promised to completely dismantle it, tearing up these stupid trade agreements and using tariffs to drive manufacturing back to the United States, restoring America as an industial powerhouse.  Sure, you’d have to hold your nose as you mark your ballot and accept him with his numerous warts, but we’ll have another chance to swap him out in a few years for a more palatable version.  But this may be your last chance at the changes that he’s promised.  America’s future hangs in the balance.  It’s in your hands on Tuesday.


What Did Obama Really Say to S. Korean President?

February 3, 2009

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE5121TG20090203

My heart sank a little when I read the headline of this Reuters story:

Obama and S. Korea’s Lee Vow to Fight Protectionism

But upon reading the article, I could find no direct quote of anything said by Obama to Lee, Korea’s president, in this reported phone conversation.  Then I realized that the story, written by an Asian correspondent, emanated from Seoul and only reports on Lee’s spokesman’s “take” on the conversation, obviously intended for consumption by his S. Korean constituents. 

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed on Tuesday to fight against trade protectionism, as legislatures in both countries prepare to battle over a bilateral free trade deal.

South Korea and the United States reached the trade deal in 2007, which studies said is expected to boost their $78 billion annual trade by as much as $20 billion.

The bill has not been approved by legislatures in either country but is expected to come up for a vote in the coming weeks in South Korea.

Obama was quoted as telling Lee that trading states should fight the temptation to revert to protectionism, in the two leaders’ first telephone conversation since Obama took office, Lee’s spokesman said.

“A rise in protectionism can only delay the recovery of the global economy,” Lee was quoted as saying.

That’s a direct quote of Lee, but notice that there’s no direct quote of anything from Obama expressing agreement.  The only quote in the article attributed to an American source, Secretary of State Clinton, stands in stark contrast to Lee’s spokesman’s quotes:

Obama is opposed to the bilateral trade deal in its current form because it gives South Korean carmakers “untrammelled access to the U.S. market,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

I like the Reuters web site because its reporting seems to be more broad-based than what you get with a lot of the American media, but articles like this demonstrate that you have to take some of it with a grain of salt and keep in mind the writer and the intended audience.

It’s going to be fascinating to watch the economic collapse play out in Korea, one of the most heavily export-dependent economies on earth and a nation whose people are prone to violent demonstrations – no wonder in a country fifteen times as densely populated as the U.S.  It’s being reported that their exports have declined by a third in recent months, and 70% of Korea’s work force is employed in manuacturing for export.  That means that their unemployment has suddenly soared to at least 20%. 

We could be witnessing the early stages of the disintegration of the S. Korean society.  Just imagine their reaction when the U.S. not only rejects this new trade deal, but then goes further and imposes tariffs on their exports!  But, ultimately, S. Korea has zero power to do anything about our trade policy.  Any bluster and protest can be instantly thwarted by one simple statement from the U.S.:  “Maybe it’s time to rethink our troop deployments in S. Korea.”


Candidates’ Advisors Duck Question on Overpopulation

April 29, 2008

http://www.eenews.net/tv/transcript/775

The above is a link to a transcript of a forum conducted by the Society of Environmental Journalists.  Panel members included Jason Grumet, environmental adviser for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Todd Stern, adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), and James Woolsey, environmental adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

One of the journalists in attendance, Constance Holden of Science Magazine finally asked one of the most important questions of the political campaign thus far and, predictably, the candidates’ advisors ducked for cover!  Notice that each candidate’s advisor immediately turned the answer away from the original question and sought refuge in technological solutions.  If only the journalists had more time to probe deeper.

The critical exchange occurs about two thirds of the way through the transcript.  I’ve excerpted it below for your convenience:

Constance Holden: Constance Holden, Science magazine. As we all know, the driving force behind all these problems, environment, food, energy, is population growth. I know that’s not something anybody wants to directly address, but I thought it might help illuminate differences among the candidates if we could find out how your candidate thinks about this problem and whether they have any ideas about addressing it.

Jason Grumet: Sure and, as you point out rightly, I think that is fundamental when it comes to a question of global resources, the fundamental challenge. And it’s not just a question of population growth, but it’s also a question of the rest of the world beginning to aspire to the comforts that we have come to take for granted here.Sure and, as you point out rightly, I think that is fundamental when it comes to a question of global resources, the fundamental challenge. And it’s not just a question of population growth, but it’s also a question of the rest of the world beginning to aspire to the comforts that we have come to take for granted here.When people achieve an annual income of about $5,000 a year they start to buy cars and you are going to see somewhere between 3 and 500 million people in China find themselves in that position in the next decade. And so, I think, Senator Obama is very attentive to the fact that we’re not going to be able to fix this problem just around the edges, nor are we going to be able to go pat the rest of the world on the head and say, you know, we realize that refrigeration thing was really overrated. Why don’t you all just sweat it out?

 

So, fundamentally, it is going to be about profound changes in technology. The U.S. has not taken the kind of global leadership that I think we can in doing that.

One of the reasons why Senator Obama is committed to investing here in technologies which are controversial, like clean coal and like advanced nuclear, is based on the view that not only must we have those technologies here, but that it’s hard to imagine China deciding not to use their coal. And if we don’t play a role in developing what is truly zero carbon coal by making sequestration real, there’s not much we’re going to be able to do here. This isn’t American warming. It’s global warming.

And so I think I’m speaking somewhat maybe elliptically to your question, but fundamentally there is a recognition that we have to invent solutions that enable the rest of the world to prosper while not causing the whole place to cook.

Susan Feeney: Todd?Todd?Todd Stern: I don’t have an absolute direct answer on the population question, but let me make a point that’s perhaps relevant, which is that the controlling of CO2 and greenhouse gases in developing countries is going to be increasingly critical.I don’t have an absolute direct answer on the population question, but let me make a point that’s perhaps relevant, which is that the controlling of CO2 and greenhouse gases in developing countries is going to be increasingly critical.I think 75 percent of emissions growth in the next 25 years is expected to come from developing countries and China is, far and away, the lead among them. And 40 percent is coming from China and India and China together is 55 percent.

 

 

Now, what is going to be critical I think both from a political point of view and from a substantive point of view, and perhaps even in ways that relate to population, is that ways are going to need to be found in which developing countries can control the release of carbon in ways that do not require them to sacrifice their underlying development goals.

So, for example, if you think of China as an example, China is facing an environmental debacle right now. It’s not climate change, just ordinary pollution. The same kinds of policies that would help to control that would also greatly limit their greenhouse gases.

Now, again, the point is, as countries develop more, generally, I think it’s the case that population growth levels off to some degree. And so the nexus is we’ve got to find ways in which developing countries continue to develop, but develop in a way that leapfrogs in essence the high carbon base of the economy that developed countries rely upon.

Jim Woolsey: I’d like to pick up on that.I’d like to pick up on that.Susan Feeney: OK, one minute to follow please.OK, one minute to follow please.Jim Woolsey: I’m somewhat jaundiced on this because I drive two-thirds of the way to my office every day on sunlight. I have photovoltaics on the roof, batteries in the basement, and A-123 just converted my Prius to be a plug-in.I’m somewhat jaundiced on this because I drive two-thirds of the way to my office every day on sunlight. I have photovoltaics on the roof, batteries in the basement, and A-123 just converted my Prius to be a plug-in.It gets about 20 miles, essentially all electric. It’s not pie in the sky. These technologies are coming. The photovoltaics are radically improving in efficiency and dropping in cost. The batteries are getting better and better. And we shouldn’t assume that just because the Chinese young couple who have finally kind of made it into the middle class want to buy an automobile, that for the foreseeable future it’s always going to be an automobile propelled by carbon emitting sources of one kind or another.

 

 

 

The technology is changing. It’s changing partly because of things the U.S. government is doing, partially for market pressures, partly for a lot of reasons. But I think we should keep our eye on the possibility that with some of these technologies, particularly with respect to solar and particularly with respect to photovoltaics and batteries, we may be moving into an era in which we are going to be able to do to oil and to some extent to coal, what refrigeration did at the end of 19th-century to salt.

Salt was the only way to preserve meat at the end at the late 19th century. Countries fought wars over salt mines. It was a big deal. Within a relatively few years refrigeration destroyed salt’s monopoly. If you had some on the table today, where you use salt independent, where did it come from? You don’t care. I don’t care. It’s just a commodity. We need to do that to oil.”

Is it any wonder that we’re making no progress toward a national population policy?  None of the candidates’ advisors has the courage to address the issue or enough knowledge of the issue to discuss it intelligently.  Kudos to Constance Holden of Science Magazine for asking the most important question of our time. 

Pete