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Last night, Juan Williams was on Fox News @ Night to talk about Friday’s GDP report. Something he hinted at, which isn’t a first, is that the Trump GDP numbers are a continuation of the Obama recovery. Let’s be clear about things. First, it’s indisputable that the recovery from the Great Recession started early in the Obama administration. People arguing otherwise just aren’t telling the truth. Second, anyone that thinks that the Trump economy’s growth is based on a continuation of Obama-era policies simply isn’t informed.

From Day One, President Trump and the GOP Congress have done their best to sweep aside the Obama administration’s policies. That’s why people elected President Trump. They wanted a Disruptor-in-Chief. They didn’t want a Stay-the-Course administration.

One of the first thing the Trump administration was to unleash the energy sector, starting with green-lighting the Keystone XL Pipeline and increasing fracking for oil and natural gas. They stopped in its tracks the war on coal, thanks in large part to the rolling back of regulations put in place late in the Obama administration through the unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act. Time and again, that was used to rid ourselves of the anti-mining regulations that the Obama administration put in place.

Those things alone would’ve helped the economy soar. But that’s only part of the story. The highest profile legislative victory of the Trump administration is the passage of the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Those tax cuts are working and everyone knows it. Are they enough to push growth into the stratosphere? I’ll say it this way: they’re opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurship. President Trump has unleashed the animal spirits of this economy. That term was first used by John Maynard Keynes. Here’s what he said about animal spirits:

Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits—a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities.

In other words, good things happen when people are optimistic. There’s no greater salesman of economic optimism than Larry Kudlow. Sandra Smith’s interview of Mr. Kudlow has me believing that robust long-term economic growth isn’t just possible. It’s likely. Watch this interview:

The only other guy who rivals Mr. Kudlow in terms of economic optimism is his old partner in crime in the Reagan administration, Art Laffer. One thing that I don’t want to overlook in the interview is what Kudlow said about the fundamentals in place. Regulations are reasonable. Taxes, which leads to capital formation, which leads to job creation, are low. The energy sector has been unleashed. Consumer confidence is high. Capital that spent its time on the sidelines during the Obama administration is rushing back into the United States in the hopes of increased return on investment. During periods in the Obama administration, investors were sometimes happy with a return of its investment.

Early in the interview, Mr. Kudlow summed things up beautifully by saying “My hunch is that it’s going to go on for quite awhile.” This of things contributing to this strong economy that Mr. listed was fairly lengthy. Anyone mistaking the Trump economy with the Obama economy isn’t paying attention. The differences are night and day differences.

While it’s still best to be cautiously optimistic about achieving a lasting peace between North Korea and South Korea, it’s indisputable that optimistic signals keep getting sent from the Korean Peninsula. This time, the signal comes in the form of “the South Korean government said on Sunday that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had told President Moon Jae-in that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country.”

It’s best not to get too giddy until this initiative gets fleshed out more. The devil is still in the details. Still, it’s another hopeful development in negotiations between North Korean President Kim Jung-Un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.

Further, “In Washington, Trump officials spoke cautiously about the chances of reaching a deal and laid out a plan for the dismantling of the North’s nuclear program, perhaps over a two-year period. That would be accompanied by a ‘full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear program with a full international verification,’ said John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser.”

Pundits have questioned whether President Trump would get hoodwinked by Kim Jung-Un, possibly because they still don’t think he’s capable of being president. If there’s anything I trust about President Trump, it’s negotiating abilities. If that’s what the left is worried about, they don’t have to worry. The thing that they’re forgetting is the fact that Trump studied the deals past presidents have made. That’s led to a different negotiating style this time. That’s what’s led to this:

This is still the best protocol when negotiating life-changing treaties:

I trust that President Trump and National Security Adviser Bolton will verify that North Korea is living up to its obligations.

UPDATE: Moon Jae-In, South Korea’s president, thinks that President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize “for his role in talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and end the decades-long war between the North and South.”

If that happened, journalists’ heads would explode. Here’s hoping it happens.

Oh, to be a government employee. Imagine a job that gives good benefits. Then imagine that job plus no accountability. Welcome to the life of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Try as we might to force the media to hold Sheriff Israel accountable, it hasn’t happened. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that the Agenda Media is intent on making David Hogg the poster child in their latest push for gun control. This fits into the category of ‘the best defense is a great offense’. Specifically, the gun grabbers don’t have to defend their policies because they’re never questioned.

I hope that changes when people read Glenn Reynolds’ latest column. It deals with how government employees aren’t held accountable for their mistakes. It starts by saying “Law enforcement keeps failing, and people keep dying. Where are the consequences? Where is the accountability? Despite receiving a warning directly from the Russian government, the FBI failed to stop the Tsarnaev brothers from staging the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite having plenty of resources, the Charlottesville police failed to stop a car attack that left a woman dead. The FBI interviewed Omar Mateen, the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter, and considered criminally investigating him. They didn’t, possibly because his father was an FBI informant.”

These reporting omissions aren’t mistakes. They’re part of a pattern:

The FBI also missed numerous “red flags” before the San Bernardino shooting. And despite having lots of warning, the FBI, the Broward County schools and the Broward Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Scott Israel all failed to stop Nikolas Cruz from shooting up a high school.

But I digress. Glenn Reynolds has a partner in demolishing the Democrats’ narrative. His name is Ben Shapiro:

Reynolds continued, saying:

And yet these repeated failures, among others, keep getting swept under the rug as we look for “solutions” to the problem of violence. No doubt Israel and the others whose incompetence made it possible for Cruz to kill his classmates were relieved to see our national discourse veer into questions of whether Laura Ingraham should lose sponsors for mocking David Hogg’s college-admissions failures, instead of their own failures to do their jobs. But now comes a hero to remind us what it’s really all about. Parkland student Anthony Borges, who used his body to shield 20 fellow students from the gunman, emerged from the hospital over the weekend to remind us that the shooting resulted from the failures of the sheriff and school superintendent to protect students.

Anthony Borges used his body to shield 20 students during Nikolas Cruz’s murder rampage. Borges did what Deputy Scot Peterson was paid to do. It isn’t lost that Peterson is a government worker who never will be held accountable.

It’s time for the US to realize that Ronald Reagan was right when he said this:

Andy Puzder’s WSJ op-ed questions whether President Obama should take credit for the Trump Bump. In his op-ed, Puzder wrote “In 2010 the Obama White House forecast gross domestic product growth would ‘accelerate in 2011 to 3.8%’ and ‘exceed 4% per year in 2012-2014,’ consistent with the 4.3% growth rate in the other 10 recoveries since World War II. That never happened. Actual post-recession growth averaged an anemic 2.1%. And Mr. Obama’s last year in office saw measly 1.5% GDP growth—hardly the springboard to our current expansion.”

While Mr. Puzder’s GDP figures tell the story that economic growth during the Obama administration was anemic, that’s only part of the story. Besides tepid economic growth during the Obama administration, another hallmark of the administration’s economic record was wage stagnation. It’s difficult to argue that the wage increases that we’re seeing now are because of President Obama’s policies. Simply put, wages didn’t start increasing until after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and long after the Trump administration cut regulations.

Further, the fact that the administration said that GDP “growth would ‘accelerate in 2011 to 3.8%’ and ‘exceed 4% per year in 2012-2014′” indicates that these figures were either made up or that the forecasters were utterly incompetent. At this point, I’m leaning towards the figures were made up.

Austan Goolsbee has called Mr. Trump’s growth goals unrealistic. In May Larry Summers declared that accepting the Trump administration’s forecast of 3% GDP growth was like believing “in tooth fairies.”

Call me foolish but I think that 3% GDP has nothing to do with tooth fairies. It just requires the right policies. This is what happens when the right policies are put in place:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working full time increased by 2.4 million in 2017, compared with only 1.6 million in 2016. In other words, the overall number of jobs added was lower in 2017, but only because hundreds of thousands of people left part-time for full-time jobs.

Wages are up, too. The CEOs that are announcing these wage increases are attributing them directly to the Trump tax cuts. How can the Obama administration take credit to wage increases that happened because of a tax bill that President Obama hates?

Finally, there’s this information:

Both 2016 and 2017 set some year-end records. In 2016, BLS recorded the highest number of people working part time at year’s end since it began recording the data in 1968. In 2017, it recorded the highest number of people working full time at year’s end since 1968 and the fewest working part-time since 2011.

The good news is that President Trump’s policies are working beautifully. He’s unleashed the economy’s animal spirits. Don’t take my word on that. Just ask Art Laffer:

Saying that Jeff Flake is a legislative lightweight is to demean lightweights. It’s insulting that Sen. Flake compared President Trump with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. What’s worse is that he made the comparison on the Senate floor.

Sen. Flake is a wimp and an airhead. Anyone that thinks that a combative president should be compared with a brutal dictator who killed millions of people isn’t intellectually qualified to be a U.S. senator. Further, Sen. Flake essentially capitulated to the Democrats on border enforcement. Thankfully, that’ll make it easier for Arizonans who worry about border security and preventing cartel-related human trafficking to elect a serious senator who won’t cave like Sen. Flake just did.

Sen. McCain wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post (naturally) that criticized President Trump. In that op-ed, “Mr. McCain joined his fellow Arizonan in calling for the president to stop attacking the news media.” In the op-ed, Sen. McCain said “We cannot afford to abdicate America’s longstanding role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world. Without strong leadership in the White House, Congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment, and defending the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Coming from the man who wanted to gut the First Amendment, that’s rich. Further, Sen. McCain should know that the U.S. form of government isn’t a democracy. The Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic that said our rights come from “Nature’s God”, not from government. The difference between the 2 types of government is gigantic.

As President Reagan said in his farewell address, “‘We the People’ tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. ‘We the People’ are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ‘We the People’ tell the government what it is allowed to do.”

When Sen. McCain collaborated with Russ Feingold to write their campaign finance law, they wrote a law that told citizens involved in the political process when they could criticize politicians and what times were off-limits. Anyone who didn’t hesitate in telling ‘We The People’ how they can react is someone who isn’t morally fit to instruct presidents about right and wrong.

When the ISD 742 promised to “repurpose” the Tech High School and turn it into the School District’s office, people didn’t imagine that the District would betray them. That’s what they did, though. Now, the District wants to transfer that property to the City of St. Cloud.

Matt Demczyk’s article states that “St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says he and St. Cloud Schools Superintendent Willie Jett have come up with a proposal to have the district transfer the school and grounds to the city once the district vacates the property to move into the new Tech High School.”

Demczyk continues by quoting Mayor Kleis as saying “We are proposing to both the school board and city council that District 742, when it vacates Tech in 2019, that all of that property is conveyed to the city, so the city can plan in conjunction with the neighborhood the redevelopment of that site. And we’ve gone through this process many times where we will set, with the neighborhood and community, a process envisioning the best possible use.”

Let’s be clear about something. I don’t trust Willie Jett at all and I don’t trust Dave Kleis that much, either. I agree that the City has more tools to use and that they’ve gone through this process before. This is prime real estate. It should be zoned commercial so we can start getting property tax revenue from it. Since the City Council has to vote on the Jett-Kleis negotiations, they have the right to put stipulations on how the property can be used.

There’s little question that the planning board won’t want restrictions put on it. That’s tough. Since the property belongs to the people, the people should have a say in the matter. If the property isn’t put back on the property tax rolls and if the property doesn’t meet with the people’s approval, the Jett-Kleis initiative should be rejected.

Kleis says the city doesn’t want to hurt the character of the neighborhood, and will work with community members as plans are drawn up to renovate the historic part of the building. The Mayor is hoping city council and the school board sign off on the proposal in the next month or so.

If the people get what they want, we’ll sign off on the initiative. If we don’t get what we want, the City and the District will have its hands full. It’s time the District, the Mayor and the Council got a taste of trust but verify.

Especially when it comes to health care, Democrats can’t help but wildly distort the truth. First, the basics: the CBO scoring of the House bill says that approximately 22,000,000-24,000,000 fewer people will have health care if the American Health Care Act is signed into law.

Simply put, that’s BS.

According to the Democrats, the people most affected by the AHCA will be people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. Again, that’s an outright lie. The elderly won’t lose coverage if the AHCA is signed into law because Medicare is still the law of the land. People with pre-existing conditions won’t lose coverage because of high risk pools.

Minnesota had a high risk pool prior to the ACA. In 2007, the Kaiser Health Foundation reported that 92.8% of Minnesotans were insured. With nearly everyone insured, it isn’t a stretch to think that the majority of seniors and the majority of people with pre-existing conditions were insured. In fact, it’s a pretty safe assumption that high percentages of those demographics were covered.

In short, whenever people hear Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton complain that millions of people will get thrown off of their health insurance, let’s remember that these are the same people that said that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Those of us who are old enough will remember this everlasting moment:

Whichever memory you choose, the results are the same. The Democrats’ primary tactic is to fabricate answers in the hopes of frightening people. It’s always been that way.

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Byron York’s article about media reaction to President Trump’s inauguration speech is telling in that it exposes the media’s groupthink. York notes that “Talking to people on the Mall was like entering a universe entirely apart from that of the political commentariat. In the pundits’ world, Trump delivered a pessimistic and foreboding address, one sure to further divide the nation. The adjective of choice was ‘dark.’ ‘Unusually dark,’ wrote The Atlantic. ‘Short, dark, and defiant,’ wrote USA Today. ‘A dark vision,’ wrote the Los Angeles Times. There were many, many more.”

One of the “many, many more” articles or segments that used the term dark was Rachel Maddow’s meltdown, where she said “It was militant and it was dark. The crime, the gangs, the drugs, this ‘American carnage,’ disrepair, decay. You can’t imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.'”

I agree with Maddow. I can’t “imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.” His style was to paper over things that were going terribly wrong rather than fixing things. President Trump is the opposite. President Trump isn’t into papering over things. He’s into fixing things. I’m betting that the American people will notice the difference between the last administration and President Trump within the first 100 days.

This paragraph from President Trump’s speech was magnificent and transcendent:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

This video provides a nice glimpse into how FNC’s pundits viewed the speech:

They didn’t gloss over things. They just presented things as they were. Finally, when I heard President Trump say that “we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to the other — we are transferring power from Washington, DC and giving it back to you, the American people”, I thought that was worthy of the best stuff that Peggy Noonan wrote for President Reagan. It was positively epic. I could picture President Reagan delivering that line with gusto, too.

President Trump (man, it feels good to finally say that), here’s wishing that you and, more importantly, the nation change directions to a more prosperous reality. That doesn’t mean I hoped President Obama would fail. It’s that I simply didn’t think he’d succeed. That isn’t dark. It’s just reality.

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President George H.W. Bush, aka Bush the Elder, wrote a letter to President-Elect Trump recently. Keeping with typical Bush family rules of dignity, President Bush’s letter was filled with patriotism and integrity.

The letter said “Dear Donald, Barbara and I are so sorry we can’t be there for your Inauguration on January 20th. My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same with Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas. But we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.”

It’s apparent that Bush the Elder is the opposite of President Obama. Right until the last minute of his presidency, Bush the Elder’s decisions were about protecting the United States. President Obama’s final decisions have disgraced his already disgraceful foreign policy and national security legacy.

President George H.W. Bush was a great foreign policy president, behind only President Reagan in my lifetime. By comparison, President Obama’s history on national security is second to everyone’s. Bin Laden was killed on his watch. That’s his only national security victory. On the opposite side of the ledger, he traded the Taliban 5 for Bo Bergdahl. He pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq, which led directly to the formation of ISIS. President Obama’s spineless policies towards Syria led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. That led directly to the importation of ISIS terrorists into western Europe and the United States.

But I digress.

Here’s a picture of President Bush’s letter to Donald Trump:

Thanks, Mr. President. You’re a class act.

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This article, written by E.J. Dionne and Joy-Ann Reid, is titled Obama, the orator. It’s a fitting title considering his reliance on speechifying. During his political career, President Obama always could deliver a great speech. It’s what got him elected twice.

What’s amazing, though, was that his oratory didn’t change people’s minds. Obamacare is still just as unpopular as it was the day it was written or the day it was signed. President Obama couldn’t convince a Democratic congress with supermajorities in both houses to pass Cap and Trade.

Dionne and Reid said something that’s worth studying when they wrote “Barack Obama resolutely makes the case for moving forward by referring again and again to the lessons of American history.” Then they mentioned other great orators when they wrote “Over the past century, the list of presidents we lift up as especially gifted speakers is short — Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Obama.”

It’s appropriate that we understand the difference in the wimpy list of accomplishments of President Obama and the lengthy list of accomplishments of President Reagan, then compare their oratory skills. President Obama delivered great speeches but he didn’t change opinions on policies. Here’s something from President Reagan’s farewell speech to the nation:

And in all of that time I won a nickname, “The Great Communicator.” But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation—from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

President Obama’s failed presidency didn’t happen because he wasn’t a good orator. President Obama’s failed presidency happened because he communicated controversial things that the people didn’t want.

President Reagan’s historic presidency happened because he reminded the American people of the foundational principles and priorities first printed in this nation’s founding documents and reaffirmed in speeches throughout the USA’s history. Liberals ridiculed President Reagan for his use of 3″ X 5″ cards during speeches. What they didn’t mention was what was on those cards. President Reagan often wrote a few bullet points on those cards, then emphasized the most important points on the subject of those cards.

President-Elect Trump has a different communication style. Still, he’ll likely be successful because he understands that the U.S. doesn’t need radical transformation, like President Obama talked about. It’s that we just need to apply time-tested capitalist principles again.

Here’s the video of President Reagan’s speech: