Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
In this article, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin says that “Democrats will focus more on policy as they try to hold Lewis to just one term. ‘It certainly will be a huge target for national Democrats and, of course, for us here at the DFL. It’s still on paper a 50-50 district.'”
That’s a point of contention. Technically speaking, CD-2 should be a 50-50 district in normal times, it isn’t a 50-50 district operationally because the Democratic Party has gone nuts. The DFL isn’t a centrist party anymore. They’ve abandoned blue collar workers and farmers. They’ve gravitated toward top-down-government-knows-best policies like Obamacare. They’re trying to kill the fossil fuel industry. Angie Craig raised lots of money. She ran an aggressive campaign. What happened is that she wasn’t a good fit for the district.
In CD-2, the DFL’s standard-bearer, Angie Craig, promised to expand Obamacare. As a result, she lost after leading going into the final month.
Once Rep. Lewis starts voting for welcome reforms and the results start coming in, he’ll be in a stronger position for re-election. Now that Lewis has gotten sworn in, he’s rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. There’s no reason to think he won’t represent the district well.
That should make Ken Martin plenty sad.
Salena Zito’s article turns the spotlight on the MSM, aka the Agenda Media, to highlight why the media got this election badly wrong. Early in the article, Salena wrote about the NY Times, saying “Take The New York Times’ public editor’s laudable call for more diversity in the newsroom. ‘The executive editor, Dean Baquet, is African-American,’ Liz Spayd wrote. ‘The other editors on his masthead are white. The staff with the most diversity? The news assistants, who mostly do administrative jobs and get paid the least.'”
Then she made the important recommendation (I’d argue it’s essential) that reporters “need more people who come from a blue-collar background, who perhaps didn’t go to Brown and can be found in a pew on Sunday on a fairly regular basis.”
Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight the absurdity of E.J. Dionne’s column. He’s totally certain that a Trump administration will be a disaster with a silver lining for Democrats. Last night, on the Kelly File, Nomiki Konst ‘debated’ Marc Thiessen and Guy Benson about whether Democrats were learning the lesson of this election. Konst insisted that it was all drive about the economy.
While there’s no doubt lots of people voted for Donald Trump because they think a billionaire might know a thing or 2 about reviving this pathetic recovery, it’s more than that. Mr. Trump promises to clean up the VA scandal, build a wall on the US-Mexican border, simplify the federal tax system and rein in the out-of-control EPA. In other words, he promised to make their lives better.
Voters didn’t just reject Mrs. Clinton’s message. In battleground state after battleground state, they essentially said ‘are you out of your flipping mind? We’ve suffered through 8 years of this crap and we’re tired of it.’ But I digress.
Benson and Thiessen both talked about how the Democratic Party is incapable of talking to people of faith or blue collar workers. It’s clear that they haven’t learned their lesson because the people who are the 2 ‘finalists’ for DNC chair, Keith Ellison and Thomas Perez, are incapable of connecting with those voters.
Paul Krugman thinks the Trump economic policies will tank. Thomas Friedman thinks that the Obama administration is the best friend Israel has ever had. Other inside-the-Beltway columnists missed the fact that miners and farmers are fed up with the EPA’s regulatory overreach.
It isn’t surprising why some of the biggest punchlines in Mr. Trump’s stump speeches were criticisms of the corrupt media. That was a galvanizing message. It’s what tied the blue collar workers together with the millionaires who built their companies from the ground up.
The journalist who didn’t miss what was happening this election was Salena Zito. This video illustrates why Salena got it right:
This weekend, I spoke with Ed Morrissey. Admittedly, neither of us predicted Trump winning. We both, however, gave Trump a shot at winning going into Election Night. When I told Ed that the common denominator for both of us is that we both listened to Salena Zito, he quickly agreed. We didn’t know that he’d win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin but we knew that Trump’s message resonated with those economically disenfranchised voters.
If newsrooms don’t start sending their reporters out into the real world, if they don’t put a high priority on building a newsroom with cultural diversity, they’ll continue missing the big stories.
Finally, it’s time to thank Salena for her fantastic reporting. If she doesn’t win a slew of awards for her political reporting, it’ll prove that political editors are clueless.
Technorati: Mainstream Media, Agenda Media, Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, New York Times, E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, Elitists, Salena Zito, Guy Benson, Marc Thiessen, Cultural Diversity, Donald Trump, Republicans, Keith Ellison, Thomas Perez, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2016
Now that Resolution 54 has been defeated and labor leaders are experiencing a mini-Kumbaya moment, it’s time to examine what the Iron Range won yesterday. I’ll return to that in a bit but it’s important to set this up properly.
Rick Nolan apparently gave a speech that set the mood for the vote, saying “Nobody loves the environment more than the Rangers. I don’t want to see the party take a stance against mining or agriculture or manufacturing.”
What’s important to notice about Saturday, though, is that that was a show vote. In yesterday’s setting, Democrats from rural Minnesota had a voice. All parts of the state had a voice. That dynamic changes dramatically in January. Does anyone seriously think that the Sierra Club will suddenly stop demagoguing “sulfide mining”? Will the MCEA stop filing lawsuits aimed at killing PolyMet? Will Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission stop meddling in pipeline construction projects?
The answer to each of those questions is an emphatic ‘NO!’
Most importantly, it isn’t likely that Gov. Dayton’s administration will grant PolyMet the permits it needs so PolyMet can start growing the Iron Range’s economy. The final analysis of Saturday’s vote is this: while Environmental Caucus Chair Veda Kanitz and her supporters claim to have extended an olive branch to the Iron Range yesterday, it isn’t likely that environmental activist organizations like the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, MCEA and Conservation Minnesota will suddenly start fighting fair.
These organizations aren’t mainstream organizations. They’ve got an anti-mining, anti-fossil fuel agenda. It’s worth noting that the DFL, as a political party, still supports shifting to renewable energy. Renewable energy won’t sustain mining operations.
Notice whose names are missing in this paragraph:
While tabling the resolution gained momentum, an impassioned Congressman Rick Nolan, DFL-Crosby, roused the crowd in the auditorium with a plea to truly unite by not taking a stance against the issue. Nolan was speaking on behalf of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken and Congressman Tim Walz.
Missing from that paragraph are Mark Dayton and Tina Flint-Smith. Their silence is deafening.
The Iron Range won a minor skirmish yesterday. The thrill of that victory will soon fade. Organizations like the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, MCEA and Conservation Minnesota are in this for the long haul. Celebrate now because the battle is just starting.
Minutes ago, President-Elect Donald Trump announced that he’s nominating Dr. Ben Carson to be his HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Secretary.
In his statement, President-Elect Trump said “I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
Dr. Carson’s story is an inspirational story. In this article, Carson talked about growing up in Detroit, saying “Both of my older cousins died on the streets where I lived. I thought that was my destiny. But my mother didn’t. She changed all of that. She saved my brother and me from being killed on those streets with nothing but a library card.”
Dr. Carson will be an important part of President-Elect Trump’s outreach to African-American communities. I expect he’ll play an important part in revitalizing major urban centers economically. In the past, HUD secretaries have been bit players, with Jack Kemp being the exception. Further, I expect Democratic special interest groups to criticize him because he represents a different type of thinking. In the end, though, I expect him to win confirmation with overwhelming bipartisan support.
It’s indisputable that 2 of the 3 biggest losers this election were Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. The DNC picked Mrs. Clinton essentially before their primaries or debates, mostly because they fell in love with her name ID and her fundraising ability. They also picked her out of fear of the Clintons’ retribution.
After another stinging defeat, House Democrats picked Nancy Pelosi to be their leader. Einstein’s cliché said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results. Based on that definition, 134 House Democrats are insane. Salena Zito didn’t mince words in her latest column, saying “One-hundred and thirty-four House Democrats collectively lost their minds last week. That is how many of Nancy Pelosi’s colleagues it took to vote her back into power despite having lost her third consecutive chance at winning back the majority from the Republicans.”
Mrs. Pelosi is referred to as “a prodigious fundraiser.” Apparently, Democrats think that fundraising still win elections. Apparently, Democrats haven’t figured it out that fundraising isn’t the only thing that’s important to campaigns. Mrs. Clinton outspent Donald Trump in Florida by an obscene amount of money. She lost the state by 125,000 votes.
There’s a connection between Mrs. Clinton’s and Mrs. Pelosi’s fundraising abilities and their unflinching support for the environmental activists’ agenda. While it doesn’t make that connection, Holman Jenkins’ article highlights the futility of President Obama’s agenda:
Mr. Obama came in saying fossil fuels were running out and prices were destined to rise, and instead got the fracking revolution, whose related employment boost was arguably a factor in his re-election victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yet he couldn’t stop looking this gift horse in the mouth.
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.
Then-candidate Obama insisted that he’d push a cap and trade plan that would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket”:
Eight years later, Mrs. Clinton openly said that she was going to put lots of coal companies out of business:
At this point, I’m not certain that Democrats displayed insanity in being loyal to the environmental activists in their party. It’s possible they just displayed stupidity. Either way, Democrats won’t connect with the Heartland anytime soon if they don’t disappoint the environmental activists from time to time.
Democrats might lose some of their fundraising ability. Then again, it’s also possible that they might gain an appealing message to campaign on.
This article should get everyone’s blood boiling. In it, Mother Jones activists highlight how the Sierra Club is sabotaging families and businesses.
Specifically, Debbie Sease, the senior lobbying and advocacy director at the Sierra Club, told Mother Jones that “her organization’s strategy lies in playing defense by filing legal challenges, galvanizing the public, and using the marketplace. If a coal field is going to be developed, for example, activists can make it as expensive as possible to comply with existing regulations and force the developer to deal with a public backlash, she says. Additional tools environmentalists can use include citizen lawsuits, grassroots organizing, and ballot measures at the state and local level focusing on everything from renewable energy standards to green transportation initiatives.”
First, it’s worth questioning the Sierra Club’s belief that there will be a backlash after President-Elect Trump’s decisive victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. While there’s no doubt that the rent-a-protesters will protest coal mining projects, that doesn’t qualify as a grassroots anti-coal movement. That’s just the left’s predictable astroturf paid protest agenda.
Next, notice that the Sierra Club’s tactics include destroying good-paying middle class jobs. The Sierra Club was once thought of as a mainstream environmental organization. They clearly aren’t mainstream anymore. They’ve become radicalized.
Then there’s this:
Still, there are some things Trump can do to help kick-start coal production. Earlier this year, Obama put a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. Trump could easily reverse this rule through executive action, said Goldston at the NRDC press conference.
Even if environmentalists are ultimately able to block some of Trump’s plans, they will still be faced with a larger problem. Obama’s climate policies were only a good start—they didn’t get us anywhere close to averting catastrophic warming. As Sease pointed out, the accelerating pace of climate change means that the planet can’t afford four years of inaction. “Time is not our friend here,” she said.
I’m perfectly willing to let free markets determine whether coal makes a comeback, though I’m hoping it does. It’s worth highlighting the fact that the Sierra Club opposes natural gas because of fracking.
The point is that environmental activists have an anti-middle class agenda. The Sierra Club and other radical environmental organizations won’t hesitate to use litigation to kill the mining industry. It’s time conservatives wake up to the fact that these environmental activists are waging war against the middle class.
Ed Morrissey’s latest column about the “fake news” phenomena offers 2 points worthy of further exploration. In the final paragraph of Morrissey’s column, he writes “That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally.”
Predictably, Democrat elitists are in denial. In this instance, the simplest explanation for why so many blue collar voters chose Trump is because the Democratic Party has abandoned them for years. This administration has sided with environmental activists rather than the miners, pipefitters and heavy equipment operators on major projects every time. The Keystone XL Pipeline is just one example of that. The Dakota Access Pipeline is another.
This is a classic case of ‘what have you done for me lately Syndrome’. If Democrats don’t figure out a way to satisfy both environmental activists and miners, they’ll lose miners and construction workers for a generation. It’s that simple.
In his opening paragraph, Morrissey wrote “Rather than acknowledge the obvious and prosaic answer — that voters in swing states chose change rather than the status quo — analysts have sought a Unified Theory of Donald Trump’s Success. Trump couldn’t possibly have won fair and square, the assumption goes, so all that’s left is to identify whatever went wrong and banish it so this never happens again.”
Other explanations are equally valid. First, Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate who ignored the most animated group of swing voters in this election. Mrs. Clinton didn’t just ignore Michigan and Wisconsin. She ignored voters in rural areas who demanded that they be heard. The other legitimate explanation for her defeat is simple: explosive ACA health insurance premiums caused people to demand a change from the status quo.
The Democratic Party is at a crossroads. They can continue to ignore blue collar workers and drive them into the GOP. If they don’t want that, then they’ll have to show that they aren’t anti-mining. Democrats can pretend that the ACA is a fine piece of legislation. That’s what Chuck Schumer did last Sunday. If that’s their strategy, they should prepare to not be taken seriously.
Democrats should follow Robert Reich’s blueprint to revitalize the Democratic Party. One of the parts of the article that’s interesting reading the part when Reich starts talking about insiders. Specifically, he said “the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren’t going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.”
The Democratic Party has always been the party of party insiders. That’s their identity. It’s their DNA. That being said, Reich has a point in saying “It must harness the energies and idealism of young people across the nation who were drawn to Bernie Sanders’s campaign because of its promise to get big money out of politics; reverse widening inequality; turn the nation’s wildly expensive and baroque healthcare complex into a single-payer system; reverse climate change; end the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people and stop interminable and open-ended warfare.”
If that’s what you think the Democratic Party needs to return to political relevance, then Keith Ellison is the perfect fit for DNC chairman. Part of the Democrats’ problem is that they all sound alike. Here’s what Rep. Tim Ryan, the man who’s opposing Nancy Pelosi, said:
If Donald Trump’s going to defund Planned Parenthood, privatize Medicare, just simply cut taxes for the top 1 percent and throw people off their health care, he’s going to be in a street fight with a kid from the Youngstown area, and that’s how that’s going to work.
Considering the fact that Democrats have presided over the most pathetic economic growth since the Great Depression, it probably isn’t wise to sound like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
Back to Reich’s plan. This video is a lengthy pep talk to the troops:
Reich spend most of his time talking about climate change, bragging about the (supposedly) positive accomplishments of the EPA and advocating a Medicare for all health care plan. How will that connect with the pipefitter working on a pipeline infrastructure project? How will those things tell the electrician that you understand them? This won’t connect with voters. At this point, people don’t trust Washington, DC. They think DC doesn’t understand them, probably because Washington, DC hasn’t understood them for years.
What’s especially delicious is listening to Reich saying that Democrats have to do a better job of listening to the people, then saying “particularly sensitive to widening inequality, particularly sensitive to the corruption that widening inequality generates. When you have huge wealth at the top that is being channeled and used in order to gain influence to get even more wealth.” That isn’t in touch with America.
People don’t think in terms of income inequality. People just wish they had a secure job in a growing economy. Income inequality is an abstract concept. A secure job in a vibrant economy is something people can relate to.
It’s more than a little disheartening to find out that the US Army Corps of Engineers is getting politicized. This statement is proof that that’s what’s happening.
The opening paragraph reads “Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”
Predictably, the Great Sioux Nation is delighted, saying “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country. Millions of people have literally and spiritually stood with us at Standing Rock. And for this, you have our deepest thanks and gratitude.”
This sham protest will come to a screeching halt the minute President Obama leaves office:
The companies behind the pipeline — Partners of Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics — called the Army’s announcement “unjust,” saying it reinforced the idea that the Obama administration has been acting outside the law. “This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given,” said Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, in a statement to NewsHour. “To propose, as the Corps now does, to further delay this pipeline and to engage in what can only be described as a sham process sends a frightening message about the rule of law.”
Legal action is being taken:
Energy Transfer and its subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics Partners, filed papers in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., seeking to “end the Administration’s political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process.” Energy Transfer asked the court to declare that the project had the legal right to proceed and needed no further government approvals.
They have the right because they’ve applied for and received all the required permits. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can protest all they want but they’re standing on shaking ground politically. President Trump’s first Monday in office (he’s sworn in on Friday) is the day that the protests are shut down. The Trump administration is putting a high priority on building America’s infrastructure. That includes pipelines. They’re putting a high priority on energy independence, too. One of the first things that Trump’s Secretary of State will do is approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
The only question left is how much Tom Steyer and George Soros are paying these protesters.
Technorati: US Army Corps of Engineers, Infrastructure, Weaponized Government, Environmental Activists, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dakota Access Pipeline, Professional Protesters, Tom Steyer, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Infrastructure, Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy Independence, Jobs
This NY Times article highlights the fact that liberals haven’t come to grips with the fact that the nation rejected President Obama’s agenda this past Tuesday night.
Dan Pfeiffer, a senior advisor to President Obama, said “It was not a rejection of Obama or Obama-ism. It was probably more about the two candidates running in this election.” It’s indisputable that Hillary wasn’t a good candidate. Still, this isn’t an either-or situation. Just like FBI Director Jim Comey didn’t lose this election for Hillary, it’s equally true that President Obama’s policies tied a millstone around Hillary’s neck, too.
Obamacare was something that Mrs. Clinton couldn’t avoid. With premiums skyrocketing right before the election, Hillary was essentially silent. Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, Bill Clinton and Gov. Dayton criticized the ACA right before the election. From that point forward, Mrs. Clinton was trapped in an impossible situation. From that point forward, President Obama’s signature achievement was attacked. It will be largely dismantled, which is good news for families because it’s hurt more people than it’s helped.
President Obama’s aides are citing President Obama’s accomplishments:
Moreover, although Mr. Obama said that all of his progress would go “out the window,” advisers now argue the opposite: that many accomplishments cannot be overturned. He will be remembered, they said, for pulling the country out of the Great Recession, saving the auto industry, bringing home most troops fighting overseas, killing Osama bin Laden, enacting higher fuel efficiency standards and restoring relations with Cuba.
Killing bin Laden was something big that he’ll deservedly get credit for. I don’t think he’ll get credit for pulling the nation out of the Great Recession, though. TARP was enacted before the 2008 election. That pulled us out of the Great Recession. Further, Obamanomics never worked that well. Economic growth has been anemic for 8 years. (It’s difficult to claim that President Obama pulled us out of the Great Recession when economic growth was virtually nonexistent for 8 years.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to say that President Obama pulled us out of the Great Recession when voters elected Donald Trump. Trump specifically ran on a program that’s intent on reversing most of President Obama’s economic agenda. Trump plans on enacting tax reform, including the lowering of marginal tax rates, regulatory reform that’s killing the energy industry and repealing the ACA. I’m betting that this talking point will disappear once those things are enacted and the economy starts growing at a robust clip.
Bringing the troops home is something President Obama’s political base will appreciate but I don’t think the nation at-large agrees. They won’t agree because the price of bringing the troops home was the rise of ISIS.
This is President Obama from Fantasyland sounds like:
“When I think about the polarization that occurred in 2009 and 2010, I’ve gone back and I’ve looked at my proposals and my speeches and the steps we took to reach out to Congress,” he told the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in a pre-election conversation published by Vanity Fair. “And the notion that we weren’t engaging Congress or that we were overly partisan or we didn’t schmooze enough, or we didn’t reach out enough to Republicans — that whole narrative just isn’t true.”
First, Speaker Boehner didn’t reject President Obama’s stimulus plan out of hand. Second, it was President Obama that rejected the Republicans’ ideas without giving them serious consideration. He told Eric Cantor that “elections have consequences. You lost.”
When his policies get dismantled, which is inevitable, he’ll have nobody but himself, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to blame.