One more reason the shutdown may be unlikely to end anytime soon

The article is about Trump’s shutdown trap? – how after 30 days of “furlough” Federal employees can be reassigned or even sacked. We shall see, but what I found more interesting is the depiction of the way the public “service” operates. These are depictions from someone who has been frustrated by the actions of the public service in frustrating Trump’s agenda. The quotes are taken from this: I’M A SENIOR TRUMP OFFICIAL, AND I HOPE A LONG SHUTDOWN SMOKES OUT THE RESISTANCE.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores….

Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown….

Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks. (snip)

President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them.

You should read the entire article at the second link above.

Ten reasons Trump is very likely to win re-election

The article at the link is more forthright than I would be – 10 Reasons Trump Will Win Reelection – but everyone knows anything can happen. But the odds look good and this is pleasant to read since I agree with all the points.

Following up on the 2016 classic 10 Reasons Trump Will Win, here are the 10 Reasons Trump Will Win Reelection:

1. First time’s the hardest

Parties running for a second term have won eleven times and lost just once (Carter / Reagan) since 1900. Getting elected is hard. Getting reelected is much easier. Especially when…

2. Morning in America (and the world?) again

Things have improved for the majority of the country not obsessed with politics. Especially when compared with the fear-mongering predictions.

Dow will never cross 18,000 again? It’s crossed 24.

Trump has no magic wand to get the growth rate up or bring jobs back? He did.

Net neutrality will kill everybody who didn’t die from the tax cut apocalypse. So will pulling out of the Paris Accords and moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

Handmaid’s Tale, putting people in camps, blundering us into nuclear war.

In reality, far fewer people are dying in Syria and elsewhere than under prior administrations. By election day we’re likely to see further steps towards North Korean denuclearizing and partially reunifying with the South. We may also see further progress in Iranians liberating themselves, and continued improvements in relations between Israel and her neighbors. The Islamic State caliphate has been almost entirely taken down. Things will likely look better on election day.

Other than the deranged Trump hatred, the country and the world are better off than they were two years ago, quite the opposite of the insane predictions.

3. Reagan Dems have no home to return to

This election will largely be decided by the working class Rust Belt voters whose families gave us JFK, Reagan, Bill Clinton, Obama, and Trump.

The Democrats hate them. They really hate them.

Chuck and Nancy established that walls are immoral. And they’re the moderates. Open borders are more important than open government.

Gramps’ wing that Kevin Williamson trollingly (but accurately) described as National Socialists has gone full Socialist International. Open borders and socialism.

They want to replace the deplorables with better people from elsewhere.

This is the “the future is female and intersectional” party now.

They hate Catholics, coal, Trump voters, and (strangely) bringing American troops back from the Middle East. And they want to pack the court.

Despite all the misleading talk about Repubs being extremists, in more ways the realignment saw Trump take the middle and the popular positions and leave the extremes to the Dems.

4. Hillary wasn’t the problem

Ask Hillary supporters why Trump won and they’ll say “Russia.”

Ask Trump-hating Repubs and they’ll say “Hillary.”


Hillary had many flaws, but also strengths.

The first woman. She was secretary of state, senator, and first lady. Her husband loved and was loved by the voters Hillary needed. She would take us back to the better and less bitter 90s, while also taking us forward.

Her successor will have her own flaws, and none of these strengths. And by election day, will have likability numbers in the Hillary / Trump range. 2016 was a choice between two historically unpopular candidates more because of bitter partisanship than because of the particular candidates.

5. Trump’s opponents go down

Avenatti, Stormy, The Weekly Standard, Liz Warren, Hillary, Corker, Flake, Comey, Michael Wolff, Michelle Wolf, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Merkel, Macron, Zuckerberg, Colin Kaepernick, the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, and Jeb!, to name a few.

Some of these went down when Trump found a vulnerability and kept hitting it.

But mostly, Trump opponents self-destruct.

Some went down in their misguided responses to Trump. Rubio was the first to learn, too late for him, that Trump didn’t change the rules, he’s just exempt from them. The old rules still apply to everyone else.

Unless you’re Trump, if you go Trump, you lose.

Some went down because the forces they unleashed to fight Trump turned on them. Often with good reason. Eventually, they came for Robespierre too. Or as Derek Hunter likes saying, Frankenstein always comes back to the castle.

Others went down because they never should have been elevated. Deranged media had beer goggles for anyone who attacked Trump, and eventually had to cut bait after further embarrassing themselves with clowns like Avenatti and Wolff. I suspect those who elevated AOC will suffer for it.

All of them misread the terrain, playing to the clapping seals of Trump-haters, oblivious to their vulnerabilities and to how their shtick plays outside their bubble.

Trump’s opponents may start with decent numbers. They won’t stay decent.

While on the other side…

6. Trump has already been hit with everything

Let’s call Trump a Putin-puppet racist rapist, compulsive liar, narcissistic conman who sexually desires his daughter, and is literally Hitler.

Done. What else you got?

There’s a saturation point after which more attacks just show decent folks that you’re the bully.

This will be especially true when more Americans fully understand things like the Steele Dossier scandal. About which…

7. Dems lost their key corrupt allies

Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Powers, Rice, Ohr, Strzok, Page, Lois Lerner, and others are out. I’m sure Dems still have some dirty tricks up their sleeves. But it’s going to be much harder for them in 2020 when their corrupt friends hold less power.

8. The media has been exposed

Media didn’t have much credibility in 2016, but they still had some. They always had some token Repubs to give them the facade of non-partisanship.

But they spent the past few years all-in against Trump. They don’t even have Trump agnostics at most major outlets. Just a combination of Trump-hating Democrats and Ana Navarros. Fewer people who can be influenced will believe a word they say.

9. Timing

When George HW seemed to be soaring to reelection, George Will warned that Bush got the timing wrong.

The idea was to have the big divisive fights early (Trump went overboard here) and to unify before the reelection.

Trump will time his crises so that most resolve before his reelection. Even limited victories will move important numbers in the right directions.

Stay on point, Donald” will be gracious at the end of the campaign, winning back some people who want to vote for him if he’ll just stop being mean for a bit.

The House elections were a disaster but Trump correctly focused on the Senate in the midterms, helping to knock off four of the Trump-state ten. He can close well in most of the swing states.

On the other side, the normal opposition playbook is to accept the election results, appear to work with the president, and then say “we tried but he’s just impossible.” Four years of “the Russians tricked the racists into voting for the monster so we should eliminate the electoral college to take away those voters’ power” is an approach that’s never been tried before. For good reason.

10. Repubs are more unified

Repubs were a hot mess on election day in 2016, and in the year following. Most were positioning themselves for the post-Trump era. It took long enough, but they’ve now accepted that their only path to success lies through Trump’s. Trump in turn accepted that his only path to success lies through Cocaine Mitch.

Corker and Flake (and Bannon and Omarosa) are gone. Romney attacked once; he likely won’t do it again.

Lindsey 2.0 has become Trump’s leading wingman. Trump can stop being his own bad cop as allies finally have his back, as most Repub voters want.

Ninety percent of Repub voters support Trump. Many Late-Trump Republicans, who hated Trump during the primaries, are now more solidly pro-Trump than even the MAGAs and Reagan Dems. Trump won their loyalty with judges, Jerusalem (and Israel in general), deregulation, energy development, and generally standing up for “us” (Christian baker, America, deplorables, Kavanaugh…) against those who oppose us.

On the other side, Dems will destroy each other.

Do they work with Trump, or not? Once you’ve established that Trump, Repubs, and everything they stand for are wrong and evil, how do you move forward?

If Repubs have a primary, it will just further prove how solidly they support Trump.

Dem primaries are going to be brutal, and may even go to a contested convention where the candidates will vie for the title of biggest lunatic.

The DNC may be corrupt and evil but they were only mostly clueless. They won’t be able to control the process or the results this time. They won’t be able to make the top challenger say things like “nobody cares about your emails,” or pretend that the delegates didn’t vote against God and Jerusalem. They won’t be able to stop their party from following the Israeli left into long-term opposition.

Summary: A very short story

Once upon a time, there was a large group of swing voters in swing states who were not just underrepresented but despised by many of the most powerful and influential people on all sides.

An unlikely hero or grifter or conman, maybe all of the above, took up their cause. The respectable rich and powerful people hit him with everything they had. But they failed to stop him.

People and groups that hated this man decided to try to work with him, making those who still hated him even angrier. Those who worked with him were happy and successful. Those who opposed him were not, and they kept getting uglier, angrier and crazier, until they had no hope of ever winning back the people they so hated.

Halfway through his first term, he was in the middle of many battles. But he ended them before reelection day, with considerable success.

He went into reelection day with a lot more support than he had four years earlier, especially among the swing voters from swing states whom he first championed. His opponents double down on screaming at the sky.

The end.

Two years is, however, a long, long time in politics. And you have to hope.

Environmental Venezuelanisation of the economies of the West

This is Steve Hayward at Powerline discussing THE GREEN NEW DEAL. He thinks it’s funny, and I suppose in its own way it is, but I find it both tragic and frightening. How does this ever end other than going through the Venezuelanisation of our economies first?

Environmentalists are making clear what they don’t want, and it turns out to be just about anything that might actually work as scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. From Grist:

Congress is currently preoccupied with a fight over Trump’s plan for a $5.7 billion border wall, but hundreds of environmental organizations are laser-focused on defining the Green New Deal. And they think it’s time Capitol Hill got on board with their plan.

On Thursday, 600-plus groups including, Greenpeace, and the Sunrise Movement sent members of the U.S. House a letter with a list of carbon-cutting steps. . .

Wait—stop the tape! Did you say “600-plus [environmental] groups”? (Actually the letter lists 626 in all.) I didn’t even know there were that many environmental groups. Isn’t that a hugely wasteful and duplicative use of scarce resources? (Swap out “recycled” for “duplicative” and problem solved—ed.)

But that’s not the most amazing part. This is, from the actual letter itself:

We will vigorously oppose any legislation that: (1) rolls back existing environmental, health, and other protections, (2) protects fossil fuel and other dirty energy polluters from liability, or (3) promotes corporate schemes that place profits over community burdens and benefits, including market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy.

As Roger Pielke Jr. comments, this is like wanting action on disease but opposing vaccines.

In fact, this and other features of the letter went too far for the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which did not sign it.  So make that 628 environmental groups, if you’re keeping count.

By the way, if you want to get a good laugh, read the whole letter. It’s bonkers. And savor the complete list of the 626 environmental groups at the end. They’d fit in well at the Mos Eisley cantina.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect and the ignorance of experts

Sent to me from an old friend. That I can still have friends who find this video appealing says more about them than about myself. The intent is to prove what a self-confident dunce the American president is. For myself, listening to the text leaves me colder than cold. Not to distinguish between immigrants and illegal immigrants is one of those slither-past issues that the video makes hay with. Or to think the issue over the EPA is anything other than the utter idiocy of global warming, and even quotes the 97% statistic! Having been put together in 2017, it was made before the overwhelming evidence that the American economy is booming and manufacturing jobs are returning, so on yet another score it misses the point. And what’s the latest opinion on bringing home troops from Syria? My friend writes in his accompanying email:

‘The tag line is “The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”‘

which is the essence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, adding:

‘which may have direct implications for your continuing battles with orthodox academia.’

And so it might. But if I find any particular statement fits my mood in dealing with economic theory, it is from Richard Feynman:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

Which applies as much to modern macro as it does to the modern Administrative State. As for the illusion of knowledge, what I find more incredible is the absence of knowledge. The media’s main role has been to ensure that only one side of the case is ever freely available. If news reporting were ever to become unbiased and honest – which it won’t – the parties of the left would never win another election until they too became parties of the right.

The latest in not-the-news

The top two stories at at the moment. Not likely to be on the ABC in the morning, but just thought you might be interested.

Peace is breaking out.
Media won´t cover it, by Don Surber    Original Article
Kim Jong Un was in Beijing this week as U.S. trade officials met with their Red Chinese counterparts. Behind the talk of tariffs and trade deficits, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula loomed. A war that began 68 years ago nears its end. The American press is ignoring it, instead nattering on about nonsense. The big headline in the Washington Post today was, “Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration.” So what? President Trump does not report to them — they report to President Trump. Basic civics are beyond the

Border Wall Construction Continues…

Conservative Treehouse, by Sundance    Original Article
With massive amounts of misinformation surrounding the southern border and the need for a border security wall, the following video has been produced. Pushing back against intentional media disinformation is something critical to supporting President Trump. Feel free to share this video with family or friends on various social media platforms: (Video: Build the Wall: Construction Progress)

Sanctimonious, gullible, ignorant, vicious and cruel

Suppose there are two ways to generate electricity, one cheap and the other expensive. Which is better? All other things being equal, you go for the cheaper.

But suppose things are not equal. Suppose if you choose the cheaper form of energy, that in fifty years there might be a rise in atmospheric temperatures that might lead to a rise in sea levels that might cause harm in some kind of way. Being the socially conscious nitwits so many amongst us apparently are, we decide to do what’s right for those folk who will inherit the planet after most of us have departed.

But the other question is, what price do we pay in the present for opting for the more expensive electricity? The answer is that we end up with a lower standard of living. Everything costs more, prices are higher, we cannot buy as much and our incomes are less than they would otherwise have been. There are also brownouts and blackouts as energy supply becomes less secure while the price of energy rises ensuring that we buy less than we might otherwise have done. But we are acting with a noble purpose. We make ourselves less well off to perhaps help out those who will be living on the planet earth around the year 2070. In the meantime we in the present struggle to pay for what we buy, and the poor in particular have a much harder time making ends meet. Rather than finding their incomes rising by 3-4% a year, they fall in real terms by around 1-2% a year relative to the levels that might otherwise have been reached.

And that is in our currently developed economies. Over there in the less prosperous parts of the planet, incomes remain static if they do not actually fall. And if they rise, they might go from $2 a day to $3 a day, a 50% increase but trivial relative to the living standards of the first world. So for you sanctimonious fools, this is what you are doing. This is what you deprive others of.

And that is only one small part of the story. Greens are not just gullible fools and deeply ignorant but viciously cruel as well.

Poll position

Rush Limbaugh discussed the dog that didn’t bark in the night: Rush Limbaugh notices something glaringly missing from border wall discussion.

He specifically noted that no meaningful polls were published after President Donald Trump delivered an Oval Office address Tuesday in which he explained the ongoing battles to the public and implored Democrat to end them by agreeing to secure the southern U.S. border.

“There has been no polling data that we could find anywhere following Trump’s speech,” Limbaugh said Friday. “There weren’t any Frank Luntz focus groups with any undecideds out there.”

“They didn’t gather any Trump voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and ask them if they’re still behind Trump. The media didn’t do any of the stuff they usually do. We have no idea what the valued and very wise independents thought of Trump’s speech.”

But polling has been done and the data are as you would expect: Polling Data Shows Nearly 80% Of Americans Consider Illegal Immigration A Serious Problem/Crisis

As it says at the link:

It’s the data most responsible for the sudden shift in Democrats’ tone this week as more and more in Congress give the media hints that they are willing to allocate funding for at least some of the border protection measures being pushed by President Trump. You see, it’s not that these Democrats in Congress think it’s the right thing to do but rather that the vast majority of Americans (nearly 80%) think it’s the right thing to do and so the hands of Democrats are now being forced to do something or face a serious political backlash heading into 2020.

And you know what? You’d get the same results in Australia if we did the same polling here.

The most serious problem of our time

Polling Data Shows Nearly 80% Of Americans Consider Illegal Immigration A Serious Problem/Crisis

As it says at the link:

It’s the data most responsible for the sudden shift in Democrats’ tone this week as more and more in Congress give the media hints that they are willing to allocate funding for at least some of the border protection measures being pushed by President Trump. You see, it’s not that these Democrats in Congress think it’s the right thing to do but rather that the vast majority of Americans (nearly 80%) think it’s the right thing to do and so the hands of Democrats are now being forced to do something or face a serious political backlash heading into 2020.