Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
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.
Tuesday night isn’t just about Trump unexpectedly defeating Mrs. Clinton, though that’s certainly part of the story. The story behind the headlines is that Trump took a bulldozer to the Democrats’ firewall while stealing part of the Democrats’ base. Because of that, the Democrats are left with the question of how to gain political relevance again.
Democrats have already started asking what’s next for their former juggernaut. According to this LA Times article, some Democrats “argued for a more aggressive effort to move the party to the left, hoping to drive up turnout among younger and minority voters. Others stressed a need to reach out to the disaffected working-class white voters who so conspicuously deserted the party this year.”
The Democratic Party needs to remake itself. A major component of Trump’s stump speech focused on energy development. The Democrats’ counter to that was (and still is) green energy. Let’s set aside the policy momentarily. That’s a losing argument for Democrats because these blue collar voters long for jobs that let them live in the cities they grew up in. They love the lifestyle their small towns give them.
Simply put, unless and until the Democrats stop treating environmental activists like they walk on water, they should be prepared to consistently lose those blue collar voters to the Republicans each cycle. Trump won the Great Lakes states because he understood people’s frustrations. Further, it’s clear that the ACA has people worried about their family budget. While Democrats see the ACA as their signature accomplishment, voters see it as a millstone around their neck.
If the Democratic Party doesn’t start listening to the American people on this issue, they’ll find themselves with smaller delegations in DC and in state legislatures and governorships for the near future. During the final 3 weeks of the campaign, part of Trump’s message focused on the ACA. By doing that, it became clear that Trump would be the forgotten voters’ voice in DC.
The big story from Tuesday night was that Republicans pretty much had their way with Democrats once the urban votes were counted. Donald Trump was on the verge of victory seemingly for hours. Minutes ago, he won Pennsylvania, officially giving him 278 electoral votes. That’s without adding Arizona’s 11 electoral votes (Trump leads there 49.7%-45.4%) and Michigan’s 16 electoral votes (Trump leads there 48.1%-46.8%). If Trump wins those states, that puts him at 305 electoral votes.
Though Trump’s victory was the night’s biggest news, it wasn’t the only good news for Republicans. At this point, Republicans have lost a net of 1 seat in the US Senate with 2 races heading for runoffs. That gives Republicans a minimum of 51 seats in the Senate. Add to that the fact that Republicans easily held onto their majority in the House and you’ve got a banner night for the RNC and America’s blue collar workers.
This means that Merrick Garland won’t be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice. In fact, the next question will be whether President Obama pulls the nomination or whether Garland withdraws his name from consideration.
Throughout the night, commentators kept saying that Trump had a path to victory but that it was a narrow, uphill path. After Trump won the must-win states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, those commentators said that Trump had done what he had to do before mentioning the fact that Mr. Trump hadn’t yet penetrated the Democrats’ Blue Wall. That commentary disappeared when Wisconsin fell. Suddenly, those commentators realized that Mrs. Clinton was on the defensive. They realized that she was suddenly in the position of needing to run the table to win the White House.
By the time they called Pennsylvania, the writing was on the wall. Reality had started sinking in. Most commentators in the network studios understood that Donald Trump was all but officially the president-elect of the United States. This is how Fox News called the race over:
The incoming Trump administration and the Republican House and Senate now have a mandate to get things done. The first 100 days of the Trump administration figure to be busy. They’ll have to nominate the man or woman who will replace Justice Scalia. They’ll want to work with Congress on building the wall. Hopefully, they’ll repeal and replace Obamacare. They’ll want to get started with reforming the tax code, too.
Those things wouldn’t have been possible if not for the Republicans’ big night on the nation’s biggest stage.
This is my first post since getting out of the hospital today but it isn’t the first chance I’ve had to talk about the Pence-Kaine. It’s indisputable that Hillary is leading in most of the polls. What’s disputable, though, is whether Mrs. Clinton’s lead is that solid.
I’m betting Mrs. Clinton’s lead is shakier than they’ll publicly admit. I’m betting that because Tim Kaine’s performance was the most pathetic debate performance I’ve ever watched. I’m betting that because Sen. Kaine came across as mean-spirited and phony. Sen. Kaine came across as a puppet with bad lines. Politically speaking, Sen. Kaine didn’t have the benefit of touting a positive case. 70% of the nation thinks that we’re heading in the wrong direction. Sen. Kaine’s job was to take that information, then tell people that life was positive and getting better. Check this exchange out:
PENCE: Well, first, let me say, I appreciated the “you’re hired,” “you’re fired” thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines.
Look, what — what you all just heard out there is more taxes, $2 trillion in more spending, more deficits, more debt, more government. And if you think that’s all working, then you look at the other side of the table. I mean, the truth of the matter is, the policies of this administration, which Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine want to continue, have run this economy into a ditch. We’re in the…
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
PENCE: … slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
QUIJANO: Governor… (CROSSTALK)
PENCE: There are millions more people living in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton at his side…
KAINE: And the poverty level and the median income…
PENCE: … stepped into the Oval Office.
KAINE: … improved dramatically between 2014 and 2015.
PENCE: You — honestly, Senator, you can roll out the numbers and the sunny side, but I got to tell you, people in Scranton know different. People in Fort Wayne, Indiana, know different. I mean, this economy is struggling. The answer to this economy is not more taxes.
That’s the problem that the Clinton-Kaine ticket can’t escape. Their spin can’t eliminate the truth that the Obama economy stinks. It stinks because it’s trying to bankrupt entire industries like coal-mining and fracking for oil and natural gas. It stinks because Obamacare is the craziest thing in the world:
If Donald Trump takes the fight to Hillary on the economy and how the Obama economy is built on how well-connected people are, he’ll win this election. Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine can’t point to the pathetic economic growth as proof that they’re on the right side of that issue.
Sen. Kaine’s first attempt to make a first impression fell flat. It’s long past time to worry about Mrs. Clinton’s first impression on the nation. Saying that she’s a polarizing figure is understatement.
Donald Trump wasted a valuable commodity this week — time. The week started right, with him winning the first third of the debate. Then he forgot his purpose and started chasing ghosts. The lesson that his advisors need to teach him is that he needs to focus on things that will help him connect with blue collar workers. The other thing that Mr. Trump must highlight is the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play scandal and the FBI’s faux investigation.
By highlighting the FBI’s faux investigation, Mr. Trump would connect with Bernie Sanders’ voters that think that the system is rigged. The FBI’s faux investigation would play well with suburban voters who think Mrs. Clinton isn’t trustworthy. It’d be great if he could flip those voters. At this point, Mr. Trump’s campaign would probably be satisfied if it drove Mrs. Clinton’s turnout with suburban voters down.
The Clintons are disgusting, immoral people who’ve lived in the mud their entire lives. Spending 5 more weeks there to win the presidency means nothing to them. Trump’s path to victory is to highlight the things that matter most to people. When in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump should highlight Mrs. Clinton’s statement that she’s going to put coal companies out of business. Wherever he goes, he needs to highlight his plan for energy independence, then contrast that with Mrs. Clinton’s green energy policies.
Part of Mr. Trump’s presentation on green energy should highlight the rigged game that Solyndra tapped into. Mostly, though, Trump should highlight the fact that coal-mining and fracking jobs are just waiting to be filled. Ask people if they want to subsidize Mrs. Clinton’s and President Obama’s special interest allies or whether they’d like to keep doing what’s worked for the last half-century.
If Trump gets back on message, he’ll put pressure on Mrs. Clinton because people want change. They don’t want Mrs. Clinton’s more-of-the-same policies.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Change Election, Energy Independence, Blue Collar Voters, Fracking, Republicans, Hillary Clinton, FBI Investigation, Clinton Foundation, Pay-to-Play Scandal, Solyndra, Crony Capitalism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2016
Let there be no mistake about what the DFL wants to do. Their goal is to run St. Paul … again. The last time the DFL held the majority in the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate and there was a DFL governor, taxes were raised on small businesses, then partially repealed and property taxes skyrocketed. We were told by Rep. Thissen that the DFL’s House Education Omnibus Finance bill “calls for historic investment in education.” The DFL made that boast before the Princeton School Board raised property taxes by 25.16%. The DFL made that boast before the St. Cloud School Board raised their levy by 14.75%.
Gone is any pretense about finding middle ground. The DFL wants to shove another item from their ideological wish list down Minnesotan’s throats. The DFL isn’t interested in serving the people. The DFL is interested in winning one ideological victory after another. TakeAction Minnesota, an arm of the DFL, stated things quite clearly how they anticipate passing their ideological checklist in this fundraising appeal:
Notice that TakeAction Minnesota named 4 politicians, essentially telling us that they are hard left ideologues, aka true believers. The names of those true believers include the ethically challenged Ilhan Omar, Alberder Gillespie (who wants to be “a powerful, progressive voice for her community on education funding, paid sick leave and other issues”, Zach Dorholt (who voted for forced unionization of in-home child care providers, the tax increases mentioned earlier and for the $90,000,000 Senate Office Building when he was part of the 2013 DFL legislature) and Lindsey Port. Mrs. Port thinks that government should tell businesses what they should do.
The candidates mentioned in TakeAction Minnesota’s fundraising appeal are as hard left and as anti-jobs as they get. They aren’t capitalists, either. This quartet thinks that the government solutions are the best solutions and that private citizens, acting in their own self-interests, are a danger to their social engineering plans.
Minnesotans need to ask themselves this question: do they want legislators that a) ignore the will of the people and b) think that people making their own decisions are a threat to the DFL’s social engineering agenda? If they’d rather make their own decisions, they need to vote for Republicans. It’s that simple.