And No Hillary!

From New Chum on a previous post: Big List of 170 Trump accomplishments in 340 days with the sub-head: “Most comprehensive compilation of 1st-year achievements”. There are 170 but will list only the first and last. You can read the rest yourself to become the most popular person at your New Year’s party tonight.

170. EPA reform: More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since Trump took office, nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to Reagan-administration levels. . . .

1. Technology: After his election, Trump met with top tech leaders, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. According to Gates, it was “a good conversation about innovation, how it can help in health, education, the impact of foreign aid and energy, and a wide-ranging conversation about power of innovation.”

And while we’re at it, my best wishes to you all for the coming year.

Making Iran Great Again


That’s from Drudge. This is from Instapundit.

CNN’S IRAN CORRESPONDENT: World Thinks That America Doesn’t Have A ‘Moral Leg To Stand On’ [VIDEO].

And as Ace notes, “This Is CNN: Oh, they did cover the Iran rallies. The pro-government Iran rallies, I mean.”

Meanwhile, as Stephen Miller writes at Fox News, “The New York Times simply described the protests as economic grievances, the same way Iranian state-run television described them,” adding:

How will the Obama Presidential Library wing look celebrating a nuclear deal with an oppressive Iranian regime that could possibly be deposed by security forces and the military joining with protesters, thirsty for democracy and a return to an Iran before the 1979 revolution?

More to the point, how will it look if the Trump administration, of all things, facilitates and encourages such change in Iran?

The prospect of this is not lost on the self-styled resistance and anti-Trump media, all too anxious to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Obama Library or hand a Nobel Prize to former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Overseeing the fall of an oppressive, hardline Iranian regime that sponsors terror all around the globe – followed by the rise of a democratic Iran not interested in aggression against its neighbors – would be a foreign policy victory for President Trump, one of the biggest for a president since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Take a bow, Valerie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes: In order to buy an extra 15 minutes for the charade of Obama’s Iran deal, you’ve reduced the DNC-MSM to shilling for the Iranian mullahs. I’ve heard vague reports they’re not entirely woke when it comes to LGBT issues and intersectional feminism, but I’m sure that’s all just rumors and hearsay.

What a difference a president makes!

Compare and contrast the response of the American president to protests in Iran, with PDT’s response first.

US President Donald Trump has warned Iran that the “world is watching” after two days of protests against the country’s religious rulers.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city and one of the holiest places in Shia Islam, on Thursday.

The protests spread to Tehran and other cities on Friday, with police using water cannons in some cases to disperse the crowds.

Initially aimed against high prices, the anti-government protests quickly turned against the Islamic regime as a whole.

Police arrested 52 people. On Saturday, tens of thousands of government supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime.

Many of the marchers carried banners in support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! 

Mr Trump tweeted in support of the anti-government protests.

“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad,” he wrote.

“Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!”

And the US State Department condemned the arrest of peaceful protesters and urged “all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption”.

Mr Trump has refused to re-certify a 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed Iran’s disputed nuclear programme in return for a lifting of most international sanctions.

The deal was one of the biggest achievements by President Hassan Rouhani, but has yet to bring the broad economic benefits.

State television said pro-government rallies were scheduled to be held in more than 1,200 cities and towns on Saturday.

This was Obama’s: Obama Stands Firm on Restrained Response to Iran Protests.

Obama said nothing about the crisis in public on Sunday, although a spokesman said he discussed Iran with foreign policy advisers in the Oval Office for more than 30 minutes. He later went golfing in Virginia. On Monday, the president had two public events, but was not expected to comment on Iran during at least one of them.

Restrained as in do absolutely nothing in any way to assist those who are trying to free themselves from an Islamist theocracy.


Senator Tom Cotton urged support for the protesters:

Referring to the “billions in sanctions relief the Islamic republic secured through the nuclear deal”, Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton wrote on his Twitter account, the ayatollahs still can’t provide for the basic needs of their own people-perhaps because they’ve funneled so much of that money into their campaign of regional aggression in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen”.

Senator Cotton has also insisted, “The protests in Mashhad show that a regime driven by such a hateful ideology cannot maintain broad popular support forever, and we should support the Iranian people who are willing to risk their lives to speak out against it.”

We certainly should, and the Trump administration has. Via InstaPundit, this is the strong statement released by the State Department’s spokeswoman:

We remember 2009, when Barack Obama, hell-bent on a fanciful alliance with the mullahs, shamefully betrayed the Iranians who rose up, expecting to be supported by us. The Trump administration’s response is of course a welcome contrast. But one wonders: why are Iranians rebelling now? Certainly they have economic grievances, but are these really new? What has happened, recently, to explain the current uprising?

I wonder whether the Iranian rebellion has been incited, at least in part, by a conviction that there finally is an administration in Washington prepared to support them, at least morally and perhaps materially. Why would Iranians think that? No doubt they have paid close attention to President Trump’s willingness to stand up to their oppressors. And perhaps Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital sent a signal that there has been a changing of the guard in Washington.

This is pure speculation, but maybe the fact that we now have a president who is pro-United States and pro-freedom, instead of anti-United States and pro-mullahs/Muslim Brotherhood, etc., has inspired Iranians to march for liberation. It will be interesting to see how events play out in the days to come.

Maybe weather really is climate after all

Now updated with the above video from 1977.

I fear we are looking at a breath of sanity in the midst of madness, but enjoy it while you can.

Trump mocks global warming in tweet

President Trump mocked the idea of global warming in a tweet Thursday, making one of his first (if not the first) such public comments on the topic since entering the White House almost a year ago.

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

Why it matters: Trump has tweeted in the past that he thinks global warming is a hoax, but that was in 2012 and he has not focused on the topic much at all in his Twitter activity as president. This tweet shows he’s still openly mocking mainstream climate change science, even without directly questioning it.

Fast facts: Most scientists agree human activity, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels, has been the primary contributor to Earth’s aggregate temperature going up this past century. That does not mean, though, that freezing cold weather, like the East Coast is experiencing right now, won’t happen in the future in many parts of the world. Climate change science is much more complicated than that, but citing cold weather is still a favorite line of politicians and others who doubt climate change is happening. Sen. James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, threw a snowball on the Senate floor in February 2015 to mock global warming.

One level deeper: Trump’s tweet was also mocking the Paris climate deal, a global accord virtually every country in the world except the United States supports. It calls on countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but as it stands the commitments wouldn’t cut emissions to the levels most scientists say is needed. America’s commitment under President Obama was actually relatively moderate — up to 28% cut in such emissions by 2025 based on 2005 levels, but the Trump administration pointed to conservative groups’ studies showing it could cripple the U.S. industrial economy while other countries, notably China, were called on to do less.

Between the lines: The Trump administration released without political influence a statutorily required reportearlier this year confirming in great depth that human activity is driving climate change. Trump’s tweets get a lot of attention, but make sure to also watch what the administration does or doesn’t do on this issue.

The bottom line: Words matter, and so do the president’s tweets. His perspective on this issue is influencing his most ardent followers, a new poll suggests. A survey released in October from George Mason University found that just 21% of conservative Republicans think global warming is mostly human-caused, a decrease of nine points since earlier this year.

One more thing: The semantics around climate change, or global warming, are almost as divisive as the science itself. Global warming was the default term up until the last decade or so, when climate change became more popular among those urging action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That shift was partly to respond to comments like Trump made Thursday by clarifying that a higher global aggregate temperature does not mean the entire planet would be getting universally warmer.

And for interest, you can follow the entire twitter conversation here. It’s an astonishing thread.


We visited the Jewish district of Shanghai when we were in China last year. My most indelible memory was of the refugee who arrived penniless, had to sell his shoes to earn enough to eat and then sat at home until spring when he could go out to work so that he could buy a new pair of shoes. But he lived to tell the tale, unlike millions of others. A tour of the Shanghai Old Jewish Quarter is worth a visit although almost certainly of most interest to Jewish people:

Old Jewish Quarter in Shanghai is often called the Noah’s Ark of Orient since it had once been the refuge for the Jewish. 30,000 Jews had fled during the Second World War and had come to Shanghai. The locals helped the displaced people and they soon create a distinct community of their own with sports leagues, cemeteries, synagogues, stores, cafes, bakeries and theaters. Some of these older Jewish sites are kept in good condition even today.

As for the picture above, it comes from this: Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem: The View from Beijing. Here’s the wash up:

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will have little impact on Israeli-Chinese relations. The official Chinese view is that Israel is not, after all, at fault for what happened – Trump is. In addition, the Chinese president, who stated during the last conference of the ruling party as well as on other occasions that China must focus on development and modernization, sees Israel as a primary source of innovation that could aid his country. The large Chinese investments in the Israeli high-tech industry indicate that Xi and the rest of the Chinese leadership will not abandon their relations with Israel so easily.

The bit in black is translated above, I hope accurately, by Google Translator.

Productive and unproductive spending

A very classical distinction that is lost on most economists today.

There is this grand distinction between an individual borrower and a borrowing government, that, in general, the former borrows capital for the purpose of beneficial employment, the latter for the purpose of barren consumption and expenditure.

— J. B. Say

From his Treatise on Political Economy dealing with “Of the Consumption of Wealth”.

Liars writing for the wilfully deluded

From Steve Hayward at Powerline.


There is something ironic about the fact that a grand White House Magnolia tree planted during Andrew Jackson’s administration is going to come down during the administration of the most Jacksonian president since Old Hickory. (By the way, if Jackson was “Old Hickory,” maybe we should call Trump “Old Spice”? It fits in some ways, if you think about it. . .) Rim-shot!

Anyway, what isn’t ironic at all is the many news headlines what convey the impression that Cruella de Ville Melania Trump has ordered the felling of the mighty Magnolia in a fit of forrecidal rage, when in fact arborists have concluded that the tree is fatally weakened and in danger of falling at any moment. But here’s now Newsweek represented it:

Not to be left behind, for some reason CNN thinks they have an “exclusive” on this totally non-exclusive story:

The Hill jumped on the Mean-Melania bandwagon, too:

What—is Melania herself going to wield the ax? Please put that on pay-per-view.

Even the usually reliable Daily Mail goes with demagoguery:

You have to read way down in the (often corrected or amended) stories to learn that this has been on the minds of White House arborists for some time, such that they have been cultivating cuttings from the tree—some of them already 10 feet tall—that will replace the old one.

And people wonder why Trump repairs to “fake news” so often.

Memo to Newsweek—take your own advice:

Yeah, after all it’s not like Melania or Donald Trump are William Gladstone or something.

Australian energy policy [!] viewed from Canada

From the great Canadian blog Small Dead Animals: Y2Kyoto: Blunder Down Under

Let’s take a visit to clean, green Australia where they gave up coal

In Australia, peak summer is about to hit in a post-Hazelwood-electricity-grid. There’s a suite of committee reports as summer ramps up. Everyday there’s another Grid story in the press, and a major effort going on to avoid a meltdown. Minister Josh Frydenberg announced today that “we’ve done everything possible to prevent mass blackouts”. Or as he calls it, a repeat of the South Australian Horror Show. Politicians are so afraid of another SA-style-system-black that they are throwing money: The “Snowy Hydro Battery” will be another $2 billion. Whatever. It’s other people’s money.

… to move to diesel.

Homes and businesses are so afraid of blackouts in Australia that some retailers are selling four times as many generators as normal. reports a 425% increase year on year. The strongest growth has been in South Australia, Victoria and western Sydney.

It’s probably nothing.