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“How is this not front page news at every news organization across the United States?”

This is exactly what the video show: Obama’s Former Asst. Defense Secretary ADMITS Obama Spied on Trump (VIDEO). As the article asks:

How is this not front page news at every news organization across the United States?

Once again President Trump has been proven right when he said that his wires were tapped by President Obama.

We know why it’s not in the news but it’s still a scandal. In fact, the absence of reporting may be a scandal almost as large.

Did people always seem this crazy?

There is always much to read on Quadrant Online and of course in the magazine as well, but the one regular contributor I will always read, and almost always immediately, is Peter Smith. Today he has written something even more remarkable than usual: Delusional, Malevolent or Both? I will give you his first para and the last. Now go the link to read what comes between.

Backwards we go to windmills, then to cultural oblivion, and onwards to terrorising the enemy on the battlefield with our gender-nuanced battalions. Insanity is abroad. Fancy is replacing reality. Subversion and sedition are in the air. . . .

Often, though not always, you find that those who favour windmills, who despise our culture, and who see the military as suitable terrain for social experiments in gender fluidity and feminism, are one and the same. They are of the modern left; the alt-left. They are delusional. Or, are they malevolent; or are they a bit of both? Can you imagine what George Orwell or any self-respecting socialist of not so long ago would have said of them?

Mad as a meat axe the lot of them. Malevolence is in their hearts but irrationality is what drives them on.

Suppose you wanted to understand Donald Trump’s supply-side economic reforms where would you go?

There was this story on the front page of the Financial Review yesterday morning with the heading: Trump reforms ‘not understood’. It begins:

The United States economy is poised to enter a period of sustained higher economic growth on the back of President Donald Trump’s supply side economic reforms, according to two leading US economists who have been tipped to join the US Federal Reserve board.

Should you wish to have some idea of what Trump is trying to do, you might therefore find of interest the endorsement by Professor Art Laffer – the Art Laffer of the Laffer Curve – that he has provided for the third edition of my Free Market Economics.

“This book presents the very embodiment of supply-side economics. At its very core is the entrepreneur trying to work out what to do in a world of deep uncertainty in which the future cannot be known. Crucially, the book is entirely un-Keynesian, restoring Say’s Law to the centre of economic theory, with its focus on value-adding production as the source of demand. If you would like to understand how an economy actually works, this is one of the few places I know of where you can find out.”

Art Laffer is the original supply-side economist. Free Market Economics is indeed one of the few places you can go to find out what supply-side economic theory means in practice and in detail.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: Supply-side economics as an approach to understanding how an economy works is different from the how these principles might be applied in any given circumstance. It is not a theory of tax, although, as in Reagan’s time, these principles were part of the effort to get taxes down, where the real point was to transfer spending from the public sector to the private. If all you know about supply-side economics is the Laffer Curve, I’m afraid you actually know very little about the base principles. The central issue is Say’s Law. Unless you understand what the classics meant by Say’s Law, I’m afraid the underlying principles are unknown to you. Art Laffer, however, made Say’s Law the touchstone of his own understanding of supply-side theory. If you are truly interested in understanding these principles, you can either read Mill, or Clay or my own Free Market Economics. If you have another you would like to add to the list, by all means let me know. They hardly exist although there are others, but that is what you need to know.

[My thanks to TMc for directing me to the AFR article.]

Art of the Impossible now in print!

Before I get to the rest, I have had two lovely emails from Catallaxians who have received their copies of The Art of the Impossible, which is more than I can say myself. Now that the books have actually been printed and are being distributed, we are preparing to have the book properly launched into the universe, which will take place in Sydney and Melbourne and perhaps elsewhere. Until then, you can order books from Connor Court here in Australia or from anywhere at all at Amazon and for those who have asked, I will happily sign the books when we meet up next. As a reminder, this was my own take on the nature of the book.

As for the perils of being president, let me begin with something I wrote on Friday about what ought to be the greatest political scandal of our times, the bugging of Trump and his associates by the Obama administration during the election campaign and in the period leading up to the inauguration:

So we shall see if it is still news come Monday, whether the don’t-want-to-know crowd will get their wish and end up not knowing.

Well Monday has come and Monday has gone and so too has the story. It has almost completely vanished, demonstrating as nothing else could, that Trump was almost certainly right about everything he said. If the media and the democrats have backed off and dropped the story, it is only because there is absolutely nothing in it for them.

And also, strangely, mention of the pulling of the anti-Obamacare bill has nearly itself completely disappeared, again because it may not work out all that well for the Democrats. See below:

As Trump says, Obamacare is once again fully owned by the Democrats. He also says he has learned a lot by the process, including, no doubt, whose judgement he can rely on and whose he cannot. As for Obamacare, when the rotting has gone to the fullest extent, there will be another attempt to fix things up. Meanwhile onwards to other issues, of which there are no end. The best thing about Trump may yet be his temperament.

Trump’s winning streak continues

Let me begin with something I wrote on Friday about what ought to be the greatest political scandal of our times, the bugging of Trump and his associates by the Obama administration during the election campaign and in the period leading up to the inauguration:

So we shall see if it is still news come Monday, whether the don’t-want-to-know crowd will get their wish and end up not knowing.

Well Monday has come and gone and so too has the story, demonstrating as nothing else could better show, that Trump was almost certainly dead on about everything he said. If the media and the democrats have backed off and dropped the story, it is only because there is absolutely nothing in it for them.

And also, strangely, mention of the pulling of the anti-Obamacare bill has nearly itself completely disappeared, again because it does not work for the Democrats. See below:

As Trump says, Obamacare is once again owned by the Democrats. He also says he has learned a lot by the process. When the rotting has gone to the fullest extent, there will be another attempt to fix things up. Meanwhile onwards to other issues, of which there are no end. The best thing about Trump may yet be his temperament.

Looking a the political terrain post Ryancare

There are many issues that have from the start surrounded the attempts to unwind Obamacare, with the actual attempt to get rid of this obnoxious piece of legislation only one strand, however important it might be. More important has been the imperative that Trump comes to understand the lay of the land. The one thing that is certain is that Trump has been around the street himself a few times, and while he is new to being an elected official, he is not new to politics. He does not and has always known that cannot trust Ryan but he also knows this is someone with whom he has to work. He knows there are endless agendas running even on the Republican side of the aisle, and in among all if it is the certainty that most of those he is dealing with are owned by others whose bidding they must do if they are to continue to fund their re-election campaigns. That among the Republicans there are 52 who would like to see the present arrangements sent packing is far from certain. The same interests that have backed the Democrats on the present system also back many of the Republicans. If it comes down to whom I trust, Trump remains near enough the only one since he is among the few for whom the kinds of policies I would like to see closely line up with what he himself most assuredly wants to do.

So this is where I think we are. First, however the Democrats may see some kind of victory in keeping Obamacare intact, they will continue to own its failures. It is true the Republicans have not been able to remove it as yet, but no one who wishes to see it go will see any reason on this account to vote for the Democrats instead. They are more than ever associated with this rotting system, and the worse things become, the more they will have it hung round their necks.

Second, Ryan has demonstrated that he may well not have whatever it takes to shepherd important parts of the Republican agenda through Congress, and the House in particular. Trump basically gave Ryan his head on the mechanics and Ryan has failed. Personally, I cannot tell whether the process that was put in place was the right way to do things – and many others who I do trust say that it was not – but the tactics were as much Ryan’s as anyone else’s.

Third, there are many other things that Trump will now do to continue his agenda, with tax and spending cuts apparently the most important. And there is no doubting that Trump means to get taxes down and is certainly doing what he can to cut spending at every turn. This will be the next test set before Ryan. We shall see whether he can deliver. It’s one thing to be in opposition where nothing depends on you if things are to get done; it is quite another to be expected to deliver in government. Trump – political neophyte though he may be – really means what he says and knows how to get things done. Ryan does not repreresent the Trump agenda, but if he cannot deliver, will be gone and never missed.

I have been reading the American press that I can find on the web and this seems the closest to what I think myself although nowhere near everything I personally believe: Ryan unmasks himself as biggest threat to GOP, Trump presidency. This is what he says:

House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t just step in it again, big time, on the Ryancare bill this week. The Wisconsin Republican unmasked himself as the man most capable of demolishing his own party and the Trump presidency.

The Ryan American Healthcare Bill is a piece of moderate GOP trash that Mr. Ryan owns and has been trying and failing miserably to sell as the long-promised Republican repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

By telling conservatives in the House and across America to go have intimate relations with themselves and not meddle in the medical-care matters of him and the rest of what passes as House GOP leadership, he has done American politics a favor.

Specifically, he has convinced many conservatives that his time as maximum leader of House Republicans might best end before even more damage is done to the other lawmakers in his party, to President Trump and to the brand of the party and the president.

Politicians in both parties and the press call the bill “Ryancare.” If it passes — and it won’t — Democrats and eventually angry Republicans will be calling it Trumpcare. Talk about brand destruction.

Mr. Trump is not a policy guy. He doesn’t know the ins and outs of healthcare legislation, let alone of a bill that the tight little Ryan crew guided through the House this far, with no conservative consultation or approval.

Mr. Ryan, with the historically august title of House speaker, sold Mr. Trump a bill of goods, namely that the bill will appease conservatives and moderates in the GOP Congress and in the hinterland, get everyone re-elected in 2018 and 2020 and everyone could go to the seashore on Sunday.

This is March 2017. The election is in November 2020. This is the time for Trump to test the waters and to find out who he can trust and where he can find a realistic guide to policy. He is also saying to the Republicans in Congress that they must get their house in order, and the Senate as well, if he and they are to prosper together.

Nonfunctional Broken Network

What happens when someone who writes with great charm about the funny stuff in life instead gets really angry about something that is not funny at all. Here we find out. Danny Katz has just been hooked up to the NBN and it is definitely no joke. He titles his column The NBN is coming! but it’s actually about what happened after the NBN arrived. For me, the waste and incompetence associated with government services like this are just one of life’s impractical jokes. This is part of the joint efforts of the Liberal-Labor Coalition to turn Australia into another Venezuela. Read the column through, but this will help you see what’s there at the link.

I sat down and stared at the green lights, waiting for them to stop flashing, waiting for my better life, thinking “NBN (Nearly, Be-patient, Not-long)”. The NBN connection box flashed for another 20 minutes, then another 20 minutes, then another hour and a hour, and I thought, “N… B… N (Nope… Bugger… Nothing).”

I was reminded of the wise ancient proverb, “A watched NBN™ Connection Box will never connect to a high-speed network (via a hybrid fibre coaxial lead-in cable)”.

So I got up and had a little snack in the kitchen: NBN (Nachos, Bowl, Noshing). When I came back the lights were still flashing. Getting a bit stressed now, a bit anxious, NBN (Nails Bitten Nervously).

The NBN instruction booklet told me to contact my internet service provider if there was any trouble, so I rang up Technical Support and was put on hold for another 40 minutes, an occasional recorded voice saying, “Did you know that you can resolve many of your technical problems online?” and I thought, “Well I would, if I could get online, you NBN (Numbskull Boofhead Neanderthal!)”

This is the full flowering of the Kevin-Julia-Malcolm alliance, peak political and economic stupidity at its highest intensity.