Stupidity and the economy

By Christopher Harper

As the Ragin’ Cajun James Carville put it: It’s the economy, stupid!

Despite the whack-a-mole strategies put forward by Biden and his team, voters in crucial swing states say the economy is their top issue for this election.

Keep in mind, 2019 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. economy. Median income hit its highest level ever, and the poverty rate dropped to a 60-year low. The pre-coronavirus economy under President Trump was the strongest in decades. Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and women all saw their incomes rise faster than the national average.

As a result, it’s also clear that Trump is the best choice to lead the post-pandemic comeback for the economy.

On the other hand, Biden has promised higher taxes and a massive amount in federal spending—a combination that’s likely to turn the economy into an absolute mess.

DaPost’s Henry Olsen is one of the few media types to call attention to the bad medicine for the economy that Biden has proposed. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/16/joe-bidens-agenda-is-frighteningly-expensive/

As Olsen noted, the Manhattan Institute estimated that Biden’s plans would cost more than $8 trillion over the next 10 years. Analysts from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School put the increase in federal spending a bit lower at $5.4 trillion over the next decade.  

Either figure means the federal government’s share of the economy would expand dangerously. Penn’s model implies that Biden’s plans would make federal spending roughly a quarter of gross domestic product by 2030, the highest figure outside of the post-recession budgets in 2009 and 2020 in more than 50 years. With local and state governments adding 15 percent to that slice of GDP, the public sector would account for 40 percent of the U.S. economy.

That’s as close to socialism as the nation has ever been.

Biden’s plan also doesn’t pay for itself even though it would significantly increase taxes. The competing analyses agree that Biden’s tax proposals would raise about $3.5 trillion in new revenue.

That’s a shortfall of somewhere between $2 to $4.5 trillion. Federal budget deficits are dangerously high and unsustainable, particularly after the outlays for the pandemic, and Biden would make the situation much worse. 

As Olsen notes, Biden’s proposals would be among the largest in decades—more than former Democratic nominees John F. Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton combined.

Not surprisingly, few Democrats and media types have pointed out the obvious: Biden’s plans would be an economic disaster.

Maybe it’s time to roll out Carville to preach to the choir.

Shot Chaser Hangover Pournelle and Niven, McConnell and Trump

Shot: circa 1976

“First we must cross the river,” Benito was saying.  “Do you believe me now when I tell you that you must not attempt to swim it, or even get wet from it, or must you try that too?”

“What happens if I just dive in?”

“Then you will be as you were in the bottle.  Aware and unable to move.  but it will be very cold, and very uncomfortable, and you will be there for all eternity knowing that you put yourself there.”

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno 1976

Chaser: circa 2013

Hangover: Sept 19th 2020

Report from Louisiana: Rescuing a Shrine

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – We are now in the Greek alphabet for naming hurricanes, with Beta headed toward the Louisiana/Texas Gulf coast this evening. This is only the second time we have gone to the Greek alphabet for this, the last time in 2005.

Beta will be primarily a rainmaker for us, which isn’t so bad, except the Lake Charles area really doesn’t need any more rain.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy worries that the nation has forgotten about Hurricane Laura and that relief efforts have stalled:

“The sentiment by many at home is that the nation has already forgotten about Hurricane Laura,” said Cassidy. “The fear is that the recovery efforts will be stall and we’ll be ignored while other news…takes over. I’m here to be the voice for the people of Louisiana and share our story with you so that you may know what we are facing.”

Many feel that if not for the Cajun Navy, progress in this area would be nowhere near where it is now. The Cajun Navy has been providing and organizing meals, relief drives, rescues, distributing water, among other things.

The Cajun Navy is not the only group providing relief and volunteering time, however.  In an uplifting story in The Advocate, we learn that a group of volunteers from Lafayette, primarily high school boys from St. Thomas More High School and their fathers, traveled to Cameron Parish “to work in eastern Cameron Parish, mostly at Catholic churches badly damaged by the Category 4 storm but also at private homes.”

While there, they rescued a treasured crucifix from Our Lady of the Star in Cameron, Louisiana. The crucifix reportedly weighs between 300 and 400 pounds and was made in Italy. The video of the rescue has gone viral around social media sites. They took the crucifix back to St. Thomas More for safekeeping.

The church also holds a seven-foot marble statue of Mary and child which was commissioned and made in Italy and dedicated in 1963.  Every year a mass is said at the shrine on June 1: The Mass to Avert Storms.

The boys from Lafayette were able to see this shrine which is still standing, when they rescued the cross.

It’s a nice reminder that as many feel forgotten in the wake of Hurricane Sally and now Beta, there are still people working to rebuild and restore the Cameron and Caldwell parish areas.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Ginsberg’s Replacement The Was The Big Chance for #NeverTrump “True Conservatives” to Prove Their “Conservative” Credentials

For four + years those of us who have supported Donald Trump have been told by our Never Trump “true conservative” betters that whatever the advantages to various legislation and even SOCTUS judges picked by Trump. Donald Trump is so vile that to vote for his is to sell your conservative soul.

These folks should have been very happy now because their moment had come!

With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the guarantee that President Trump will nominate a replacement quickly and McConnell scheduling a vote before the election one of the supposedly primary drivers for us poor deluded souls who have supported Trump is about to disappear.

Consider: if Donald Trump gets a nominee though before the election the Supreme Court will sit at six conservatives and three liberals and the primary driver for anti-abortion religious voters to hold their nose and vote Trump is gone!

Suddenly NEVERTRUMP could make the case they don’t NEED Donald Trump to be president to have an anti abortion supreme court. Even with Chief Justice John “old yellowstain” Roberts occasionally voting with the left the conservative majority will still hold.

And even if a President Biden or Harris gets elected they would need not one but TWO vacancies among Alito, Thomas and Roberts to swing the court back their way. Replacing one of the three solid liberals won’t count toward giving them a majority.

So if you are a Charlie Sykes or a Rick Wilson or an Amanda Carpenter or Joe Scarborough or any writer for National Review or the Lincoln project all you had to do is put all your weight behind the President’s nominee and all you’ve desired will be possible.

You’ll not only be proving that you meant it when you said you were pro-life conservatives who care about issues like abortion but can’t vote for Trump, but you’ll be able to strip the re-election of Donald Trump of their argument that without him there is no conservative majority. After all the battle for the courts will be already won! They’ll never be a better chance to pry those who don’t say they don’t like President Trump but want a conservative court away from him.

What will it be?

Here’s their answer:

Or put simply they’re not NeverTrump or “true conservatives” or “prolife” they’re just on the other side as long as that side is the one that pays.

Unexpectedly of course.

Questions the mainstream media needs to be asking Biden

By John Ruberry

Last week CNN hosted a town hall for Joe Biden where he was given softball questions. No, on second thought they were T-ball questions. 

The demands on whoever is president are brutal. If CNN believes that Biden can’t handle challenging queries then that in my opinion disqualifies him to be leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. And if CNN is just shilling for the Democrats, then no one should take them seriously as a news outlet. Based on their poor ratings, most people already do not. 

Here are some questions that responsible reporters should be asking Biden. The wonderful thing about the questions I’ve devised is that most of them can be posed to President Trump. Yes, a few of these queries have been given to Biden, but generally only once and with dismissive answers from the Democratic nominee.

Here we go:

  • Will you be releasing the names of your potential Supreme Court nominees, as President Trump did as a candidate in 2016 and did earlier this month?
  • Do you support “packing the Supreme Court,” that is, nominating additional justices to the court to go beyond nine members?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • Do you unconditionally oppose Antifa?
  • Will a Biden administration investigate plots by Antifa and other groups to incite riots in cities such as Portland?
  • You favor a nationwide mask mandate to fight COVID-19. What is your legal basis for instituting one?
  • Do you support statehood for the District of Columbia? And for Puerto Rico?
  • Many states, such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, have public-sector worker pension plans that are essentially bankrupt. Do you support a federal bailout of these and other state worker pension plans?
  • Numerous cities also have similarly under-funded pension plans. Will you back a bailout of those plans?
  • What is your position on bailing out states whose tax revenues have plummeted because of COVID-19 lockdowns?
  • Do you favor allowing states to declare bankruptcy?
  • Speaking of Illinois, in 2008 the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, was in the midst of a corruption investigation of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of the state, and Tony Rezko, a member of Blago’s inner circle who donated large sums to the campaigns of Barack Obama. Your ticket mate kept Fitzgerald in his post after becoming president. This year John Lausch, the current US Attorney in Chicago, is in the thick of investigating more public corruption. The center of this scandal appears to be longtime Illinois state House speaker Michael Madigan who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. If elected will you keep Lausch in his post?
  • Where’s Hunter?
  • If elected you will be older than Ronald Reagan, the oldest person to serve as president, was when he left office after two terms. Are you physically and mentally up to the office? If you are now what will happen if you one day are not?
  • Do you support the Green New Deal?
  • Do you support fracking?
  • Do you support nuclear power?
  • Do you support coal power?
  • Do you back amnesty for illegal immigrants?
  • Do you utilize teleprompters during interviews and question-and-answer sessions?
  • Where’s Hunter?

I’m sure there are many more questions readers can come up with.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Fatama MovieReview

If you’re looking for the movie that is the “Anti-Cutie” Fatima is it.

Fatima tells of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima Portugal during mid 1917 to three children. The disbelief of both the church and local officials of this story and the final conclusion of the “Miracle of the Sun” witnessed by the thousands who came to see the promised miracle.

The story of three children Lucia (Stephanie Gill) Jacinta (Alejanda Howard and her brother Francisco (Francisco) is told through a series of flashbacks as an author and skeptic Professor Nichols (Harvey Keitel) visits the adult Sr. Lucia (Sonia Braga) at her cloistered convent as part of a book he is writing.

There are solid performances here. All the child actors are excellent. Joaquim de Almeida (Father Ferreira) is excellent as the parish priest, Lucia Moniz as Lucia’s mother the faithful catholic who doubts her daughter is particularly good and the interplay between the Mayor(a staunch atheist trying to defend his position and his wife the faithful catholic is extremely interesting and well done.

For myself it’s the little dramatic things that resonated with me. Lucia recognizing the temptation and presence of the Devil when she is feeling pride the crowds wanting “the seers”. The anger of a mother who had lost a son (the movie takes place during World War 1) demanding answers as to why HER faithful prayers are not answered. The realization of what happens to your fields of crops when hundreds tramp on them to get to a site and the child and man hawking Rosaries at the site of the apparition illustrate human nature in action.

The story is pretty faithful to historical events from the appearance of the Angel of Peace and Portugal (Ivone Fernandes-Jesus) to the pushback and persecution that the children get to the point where they are held by the civil government to prevent visiting “the lady of the Rosary” (Joana Ribeiro) as they are considered a threat to the atheistic government of Portugal at the time. The irony is what is left out, [Minor Spoiler] particularly in the finale where my wife and I both noted that the single tangible physical miracle of that final day is completely skipped [/spoiler] as is at least one of the visits and parts of the message of our lady.

That is the only nitpik for the faithful and the only reason for the secular woke left to cheer. That a movie like this which promotes the promises of our Lady and the hope they can bring is coming out at a time of an international pandemic, civil unrest in the US is huge.

That a movie that promote three pious children and how they suffer for their obedience and piety it comes out at the same time as Netflix and critics are pushing “Cuties” a movie that exploits young girls sexuality to the delight of the critics and the establishment left as legitimate entertainment is, in my opinion, the hand of God.

4 1/2 out of five

Who is my neighbor on social media?

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:18
Too easy to share, and so bland!

The COVID-19 posturing, protests and constant craziness on social media is grinding away at plenty of nerves. Reason’s recent article about leaving people alone summarizes the current grandstanding, on all sides, in its last paragraph:

These with-us-or-against-us performances are a symptom of a larger climate in which every element of our lives has become an opportunity for tribal signaling and cultural warfare, and in which our ruling political tribes are growing increasingly illiberal in their approaches to free speech, free trade, free thought, private property, and so much more.

Reason

Right now, most people are caught in the 24 hour news cycle, which rewards getting angry over something every day. But what happens when people get fed up and start quitting? As far back as 2017 people began noting that Millenials weren’t sharing nearly as much original content on social media. As social media becomes increasingly hostile to contradictory views, its far easier to share bland, feel good articles or memes. Many people get no joy or energy from arguing with people online. People that do love the sport of online argument are likely to find an increasingly smaller number of engagement opportunities. In Top Gun terms, it won’t be so “target rich” anymore.

As people pull back, you’ll see much more use of social media to connect directly with people, but a lot less sharing of opinions. This makes tracking social media sharing as a flawed data set for gauging popular opinion. For any future election, how Twitter, Facebook and other things trend isn’t going to be a reliable indicator for polling, yet people are going to swear by it. This very different sharing is also making the social media advertising model more difficult to execute.

People will always self-select friends. We are called to love our neighbors, and if social media makes that hard, people will naturally pull back. Social media put us in a weird place of often knowing many people online, but not knowing our next door neighbor. Ironically, it might now turn us to cut out the online “friends” in order to talk more with our neighbor.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Five Post Ginsberg Thoughts Under My Fedora Bottom Line Trump Wins This Fight

For those who missed last night’s bonus podcast on the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg here are five thoughts about the political effect of Ginsberg’s Departure from the court.

1. The Help this will Provide for Democrats will be Minimal at Best.

While some younger voters and Bernie Bros will turn out over this and a bunch of money will be raised over this none of it will be enough to counteract the effect of riots, murder and looting particularly in swing states.

It’s one thing to care about a SCOTUS opening but that pain is in theory, riots looting and burning out people in your state or city affects YOU.

Furthermore for those conservative who still find Trump icky the prospect of finally securing a John Roberts Proof majority will be enough to secure all but the most bought NeverTrump consultant.


2. Democrat threats of riots and violence (and any actual violence) are going to make things worse for them

Resa Aslin’s offers threats of violence if the President nominates a replacement for the late Justice Ginsberg

The BLM riots and violence are already costing the left nationwide. The same coming over a GOP nomination If there is a stupider move than this I can’t think of it:

Of course I’d just as soon do without riots and violence and not have the political advantage that will come of it just as would have just as soon not had the riots and looting and violence nationwide as I don’t believe in such things no matter what the advantage. However I don’t have a veto over this, the left does and I predict they will not exercise it.


3. Trump will nominate a replacement soon, perhaps as soon as Monday.

The Ruth Bader Ginsberg death watch has been on for a long time and President Trump has been ready with a candidate to replace her for a year. or more, most likely Barrett but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a nominee that the left isn’t prepared for to throw off their plans of character assassination.

Additionally President Trump understands political power better than any president since Lyndon Johnson and he understands that delay helps the Democrats while a quick nomination and a vote before the election will force the GOP to choose sides in an election where the GOP base will definitely hold any member accountable for giving in.

He knows the left was down before this nomination. He is going to stop on them and finish them off by nominating a candidate and winning a vote on it BEFORE the election and he’ll succeed because….


…4. Democrats threats to GOP Candidates over this are empty

Any GOP member up for re-election from Thom Tillis to Susan Collins who thinks they MUST oppose a vote now because of a Democrat backlash is assuming that the left wasn’t already going all out to destroy and defeat them anyways. As I said in a twitter exchange last night:

While it’s not inconceivable that a Mitt Romney or a Lisa Murkowski who has a few years before facing voters again might betray the voters who elected them for gain or spite any GOP candidate who hopes to be elected this time around who falls for these empty threats of retaliation if they vote with POTUS and the even more empty promises of mercy from the left. When it comes down to it Trump will have his fifty votes with Pence for this reason and also because…

5. …The media/left can’t significantly affect this fight because they threw away their credibility over the last four plus years

If the Democrat / Media / Academic / Hollywood left had treated Donald Trump as a normal regular president they might have been in a position to stop a vote on a Trump nomination to SCOTUS before the election or perhaps even the nomination itself.

Instead they spent all their credibility on the Russia business, impeachment, the Steele Dossier, Mueller and a million other phony stories to try and bring him down to the point where their latest pre-October surprise only ended up causing Tara Reade to trend again (oh and btw any other October surprise they had in mind is now toast).

Chuck Todd recently hit the nail on the head when he said

As I’ve said, the only way to understand this is to realize he doesn’t have shame about it. And when we lose our ability to shame a politician we lose a lot of our power. That’s for sure,”

As Glenn Reynolds has put it for years: “All they had to do is not be crazy” If they had followed that advice then we would be waiting till the election to fill that seat, instead Trump will fill that seat before the election and that conservative majority in the court will be in no matter what happens on election day.

That will be the final stake in the heart for Democrat on election day in terms of demoralizing their voters and it will be the end of John Roberts as a useful idiot for the left.

Power Trip

I was driving past the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles this morning, which remains closed due on orders of the local government. The New Beverly is a revival house, owned by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, and, with no movies on offer, its marquee now features a tribute to the recently deceased actor, Chadwick Boseman, who played, most famously, the Marvel comic book hero Black Panther, in the eponymous 2018 movie. The marquee reads “Rest in Power,” a trendy twist on the familiar Rest in Peace wish for the recently departed.

You see that phrase more and more among the trendiscencti: “Rest in Power.” The Paramount Network titled a series about Trayvon Martin, the black teenager killed by a security guard in 2012, “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.” In July, the radical left-wing rag The Jacobin titled an essay about the recently deceased politician, “Rest in Power, John Lewis.” It says something, it seems to me, about the state of our culture.

“Rest in Peace” comes from the Latin “Requiescat in pace,” which has been found on Christian tombstones dating to the time of the Roman Empire. It reflects the hope that upon death, the Christian will find peace in the next life. It also reflects the Christian belief in life as toil and struggle, and that peace is best found in the afterlife.

“Rest in Power” twists this, wishing not for peace but for power. What a revealing twist this is, and reflects an adoration of power over peace. When the culture used to speak of power, it was often in reference to Lord Acton’s observation that “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Power was something to regard skeptically, and those with totalitarian power were abhorred.

But the Left – home of such totalitarians as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Castro – worships power above all else. And now that love of power is taking hold in the U.S.

It’s not clear to me how much power the atheistic Left thinks the dead can wield. Hopefully, their dead, like all the rest, have found peace, in which case, no power is needed.

And I’ll just add: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, rest in peace, not power.