Thursday, July 2, 2015

Donald Trump: The Cliff Clavin Of Politics

     Some of you may remember the NBC situation comedy from the 1980s called "Cheers." The show centered around a bar owned by a former Major League pitcher name Same Malone, who also was a recovering alcoholic. Sam held court nightly and  engendered the respect and idol worship of the losers who drank at his bar for as many hours as they worked or spent time with their families, and sometimes more. One of the regular patrons of Cheers was a talkative mailman named Cliff Clavin. Cliff was never one to be at a loss for words on any subject, unfortunately he usually knew less about the subjects on which he claimed to be an expert than the poor victims of his bloviating.
     Presidential candidate Donald Trump reminds me of Cliff Clavin. Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Clavin are so starved for attention they are willing to make complete fools of themselves just to be noticed. And just like Cliff Clavin, Donald Trump sometimes allows his mouth to get a generous head start over his brain when he speaks publicly. And just like Mr. Clavin, Mr. Trump's lack of self awareness prevents him from understanding that most people view him as a circus clown rather than a serious intellectual.
     Cliff Clavin did have a certain quality to him that sometimes made one almost feel sorry for him when acid-tongued waitress Carla would zing him with one of her toxic insults. Donald Trump also has a quality that almost makes serious people feel sorry for him when he embarrasses himself in public and draws the ire of friend and foe alike. Of course Cliff Clavin did not have the money that Donald Trump has, so he was unable to buy friends and the support of people who would laugh and walk on by him if he was poor and said the same things.
     Donald Trump is similar to Cliff Clavin in one more way, you never quite knew what Cliff actually thought about a subject or where he stood, just like Trump. For all of Cliff's bluster and bloviating, his listener never really came away with any more of a deeper understanding of who Cliff was or what he really thought, just like Donald Trump. But then Donald Trump does not look at running for president as an educative process but a entertaining one, just as Cliff's role in the bar, even if he did not see it that way.
     So I would implore my fellow conservatives to enjoy the Trump show for its entertainment value, but do not expect that he will be around very long after the primaries start the beginning of next year. Sooner or later the Republican primary voters and common sense will cancel the Trump show and he will only be available in reruns.

The Emperor's Naked Economy

     Two economic data bits were released this week which illuminates a malaise in our economy that has not been seen since maybe the Great Depression of the 1930s. Earlier this week the number of layoffs for the month of June came in at some 46, 000, a full 40% higher than June of 2014. And today it was announced that this pathetic economy, supposedly in recovery, created only 223,000 new jobs. But what is worse, the Workforce Participation Rate (which measures the percentage of working aged adults working or looking for work, i.e. people in the workforce) has dropped to 62.6%.
     When Barack Obama became president in January 2009, the Workforce Participation Rate stood at 65.7%, a full three percentage points higher than the current rate. This is an unprecedented drop in so short a time, and the current level is the lowest it has been since the Carter years of the late 1970s. As the Workforce Participation Rate shrinks, the headline unemployment number (which does not count those who have stopped looking for work because the job market is so bad) also decreases because their are fewer people in the job market in total.
     Not only are there fewer people looking for work and actually working, but the number of new jobs created six years into this supposed recovery has barely kept pace with historical averages since the end of WWII. During economic recoveries job growth spikes, the worst the recession, the more jobs are created in the recovery. During the Reagan recovery of the 1980s the economy saw months in which almost a million jobs were created. During the past six years job growth has not even averaged 200,000 jobs a month.
     And if all of the previous data is not illustrative of a severely enervated job market, the number of unemployed adults in the U.S. now stands north of 92 million, an all time record high. The reason for the pathetically weak job market is the pathetically weak economy. The Gross Domestic Product of the United States actually shrank in the first quarter by 2 tenths of one percent. This shrinkage comes on the heels of six years of below the post WWII average of 3.2% per quarter. Again, the GDP should grow at 4-5% a quarter during a recovery, and at a greater rate during a recovery from a severe recession. During the Reagan recovery the economy saw some quarters growing at 6-7%.
      So while the Obama administration crows about how well they have stewarded the "worst economy in 70 years," ask the 92 million unemployed or the 50 million on food stamps how that stewardship has improved their lives. Unless one thinks fewer jobs, more illegal immigrants, higher health care costs, higher fuel costs (remember gas was $1.75 gallon in 2009), and less growth in the economy is somehow an improvement. But then there were all those people who thought a naked emperor was wearing clothes. 
    

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Weakest Link Society Of The Left

     There is an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so it is with societies when they are directed by big government. When one examines the policies proffered and sometimes imposed by the Democrat Party at the behest of their Leftist values, they are almost always based in not only keeping the weak links of society weak, but causing the strong links to also become weak. In this way the Left creates by force their Utopia of equality.
     The recent Supreme Court decisions have been based on the weakest link theory. Whether it was its ruling on ObamaCare that seeks to limit Americans' ability to afford health care insurance without government support, or the Court's gay marriage ruling which forces the inferior status of same sex unions on the millennia-old cornerstone of civilization of marriage, the goal is to appeal to the weakest link. The weakest link methodology is the driving force behind affirmative action, allowing meritocracy to take a back seat to certain physical attributes that are deemed by the government to be more important.
     There is no greater opprobrium to the founding values of this great nation than the Lefts insistence that more and bigger government is necessary to create a "fair" society, whatever that means. And in selecting the very arbiter of unfairness, i.e. the imposition of an oppressive government, the Left has guaranteed the weakness of the entire chain of society, instead of the strengthening of just its weakest links. In this way they ensure the continuation and strength of government at the expense of the citizen.
     An outgrowth of the weakest link model is the phase of operations we are currently experiencing, the desire by a greater percentage of the population to be a weak link. Like lambs being lead to the slaughter, too many of our countrymen have accepted the myth that no success, or even existence, is possible without government. So the rush to apply oneself to one of the "victim groups" has been growing and expanding from the lower classes into the middle class. Gone are the days when the strongest links are held up as exemplary, now the weakest links are endowed by those in the ruling class with a twisted version of reverence for their weak link status.
     The propagation of the weak link society by the Left has been accomplished with the dumbing down of Americans by an education system run by the Left, an entertainment industry infested with intellectually void products, and a news and media business that suffers from the cancerous growth of value-less and intellectually dishonest information. We can not easily survive as a society when the least of us are honored and the best of us are vilified simply for being the best.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Supreme Court's Overlooked Decision

     Lost in the ruckus over the Supreme Court's two major decisions last week, first on continuing ObamaCare subsidies for those who reside in states that did not setup state exchanges, and then changing the millennia-old definition of marriage, a smaller but still relevant decision has been overlooked. The case to which I allude is The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v The Inclusive Communities Project. This case was a blip in some of the Right-Wing media, and you may have heard something about it.
     The case stems from tax credits given to developers by the federal government for building low income housing. In Texas these credits are distributed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The suit brought against the department by the non-profit, Inclusive Communities Project, alleged that a disproportionate number of the tax credits in question were being given to developers to build low income housing in predominantly black neighborhoods. This, according to the "non-profit," is a form of racism called disparate impact. 
     Disparate impact, according to Justice Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion in this case, is a form of unconscious prejudice because low-income people (read:minorities) are being kept out of certain neighborhoods by the practice of issuing credits for low income housing only in poor neighborhoods. This of course, in the new twisted world of the Lefts social justice Utopia, is unacceptable. Why should some Americans have access to better neighborhoods simply based on the status of wealth?
     This decision by the Supreme Court is another step in the Lefts equality staircase onto which they intend to herd all Americans as a means of transporting them into the cellar of despair and poverty that these kinds of policies produce. Individual Liberty is an enemy to the Left because in their opinion it produces unfair outcomes. Why should some live in better neighborhoods than others, or have more material wealth than others, simply because, in the Lefts opinion, some have won the great lottery of life based on where and to whom they were born?
    As a result of this decision by an activist and out-of-control Supreme Court, those who have worked and made good decisions in their lives will be forced to live next door to those who have not. And of course if they move because the value of their property has plummeted and the crime rate has sky rocketed, they will be labeled as racists and bigots. This is the new America of the Left, where the citizenry is equally poor and miserable and ruled by an elite class who spend their days manufacturing rights for disparate groups of "victims" and extracting retribution from hard working Americans, of which the ruling class takes their cut by creating ever bigger government programs.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Downward Slope Of The Gay Marriage Decision

     I suppose that somewhere in the hereafter Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Louis Brandies, et al, are smiling at the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage across the country. Not because any of those men were necessarily supporters of two men or two women (or one now supposes any combination of humans) marrying each other, but because they were champions of the progressive agenda. And the progressive agenda informs all its votaries that it is a centralized government that is best endowed to make these decisions for everyone.
     The majority opinion of the Supreme Court on the gay marriage decision, written by Justice Kennedy, is long in soaring rhetoric about Liberties and freedom of expressions that are ostensibly guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States constitution, and short on any real legal reasoning. As Justice Scalia said in his dissenting opinion, "The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie."
     With all due respect to the fortune cookie writers, the pithy and sometimes insightful statements written on thin pieces of paper and crammed into funny looking cookies eaten at the end of a Chinese meal, are a pathetic substitute for the brilliance of the U.S. constitution. And as Justice Scalia rightly pointed out, the 5 justices that ruled in favor of gay marriage being a constitutional right using their twisted and bastardized interpretation of the 14th Amendment assumes that they are wiser and more insightful than all the great legal minds that have existed in this country since that amendment was ratified just after the Civil War.
      If we could speak to the dead and poll them, those who wrote the 14th Amendment, and those who supported it, and those who voted to make it a part of this country's great repository of freedom set forth in the constitution, would to a man, woman, and child, without hesitation, say it gave equal protection under the law for blacks in this country. One would be hard pressed to find a single person alive during that period that would agree with these 5 lawyers in black robes who changed the definition of marriage at the behest of a mere 1% of the population.
     The forces of tyranny and oppression aligned against this great republic have existed from the beginning. And Abraham Lincoln rightly said that the United States of America could only be destroyed from within. The legalizing of gay marriage, and the slippery slope it greases (a slope that could lead to legalized polygamy, incest, and pedophilia) is just one more thread ripped from the fabric of our greatness. A fabric stitched together with the traditional values of virtue, which is currently being torn asunder by the soulless, moral-less, and vice-ridden beast of modernity.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Makes Possible A Tyranny Of The Minority

     Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States placed themselves above the law of man by ignoring words in the Affordable Care Act and deciding they did not mean what they clearly stated. Today the Supreme Court of the United States placed themselves above the law of God by finding the non-existent right to gay marriage in the United States constitution in opposition to millennia of culture and civilization, not to mention the laws of nature and God.
     It is more than a little coincidental that yesterdays decision was arrived at in part because of the 6 million Americans getting federal subsidies under ObamaCare that may have been removed if the Justices ruled according to the law. In the gay marriage decision today 5 justices decided on their own to change the definition of marriage for everyone based on a potential pool of gay marriage participants that is at most 6 million. This considers that only 2% of the population is gay and that not all of them want to marry anyway.
     When Justice Scalia wrote in his dissenting opinion that this decision is a blow to democracy, he was not in any way engaging in hyperbole. I have read the constitution many times and have never seen marriage mentioned within its text, let alone gay marriage. The reason is simple; the Founders left those kinds of decisions to the purview of the states. But just like Roe v Wade, the Left could not accomplish its tyranny through legislative means and therefor did so through the court.
     Not only has the Tenth Amendment been the casualty of the Supreme Court's decision today (the amendment that clearly states that any powers not specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states, is to be considered within the authority of the states and the people) but the self-governance of the American people has been as well. When 5 lawyers in black robes can simply overturn the will of the people in one or more states, then our entire system is a fraud and the guiding principle of the American Revolution has been abandoned.
     The very basis of our American values and principles being held hostage by a very slim minority is a tyranny just as evil as a tyranny committed by any misguided majority. The Founders of this great nation created the system they did so that the minority would not be oppressed and downtrodden by the majority. Never did they envision a time when less than 2% of the American population could not only put asunder the sacred principles outlined in our founding documents, but reverse the will and sanction of God. 

Coolidge/Obama: A Study In Opposites

     In response to a recent heckler at the White House President Obama said, "You're in my house." While walking one morning in Washington President Coolidge's secret service man pointed at the White House and jokingly said, "Who lives there?" President Coolidge responded, "No one. They all just come and go." And so the cornerstone is laid upon which great presidents are erected and construction of much lesser ones is never begun. Humility. The humility of Calvin Coolidge that informed him that he only occupied an office that was greater than any man who was graced by the honor of serving in it.
     President Obama has presided over a federal government that has had record deficits, record budgets, and will, by the time he leaves office on January 20,2017, double the national debt. President Coolidge not only cut the budget, eliminated any deficit, but also paid off a third of the national debt at the time with the surplus he created by cutting taxes. An amazing feat after just 5 1/2 years in office. He accomplished this shrinking of government all the while giving breathing room for private commerce to create one of the most prosperous economies in this country's history.
     President Obama siphons over a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money to run the White House and keep him and his family on never-ending, lavish vacations. President Coolidge paid for his White House staff and even the food for State dinners out of his $75,000 a year salary. The economy that President Coolidge enforced on the federal government he lived in his personal life. President Obama gives new meaning to the term profligate spending, both in government spending and spending on himself and his family.
     President Coolidge use to say that legislation must give administration time to catch up. He would be appalled at the tens of thousands of regulations imposed on the country by President Obama, and the multi-thousand page legislative bills. President Coolidge knew that a too robust federal government could only hinder commerce and be a drag on free enterprise. President Obama thinks the grease that lubricates the wheels of commerce is government interference through a regulatory structure that oversees every aspect of the economy's interactions between buyer and seller.
     When President Obama leaves office he will retire to a multi-million dollar estate with a generous pension package worth millions of dollars paid for by hard working taxpayers. President Coolidge upon leaving office moved with his wife Grace back to the same rented house they had lived in since the early days of their marriage. It was only after the crowds who "stopped by" to see the former president got out of hand that he purchased a modest home with a little more room. The former president lived on money he had saved all his life and on fees garnered from writing magazine articles.
     The stark difference between Barack Obama and Calvin Coolidge is not just a matter of differing management styles. It is the difference between a government that works for the people by allowing the people to work for themselves, and one in which the people work to sustain a government that no longer works for anyone but those who occupy its seats of power.