Wednesday, January 31, 2018
If the Democrats are expecting a wave election in which they sweep the House and Senate, then they did nothing to advance that vision last night. President Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address. The Democrats sat frozen in their seats throughout the 81-minute oration, looking like they were sucking a prune. Their strategy this past year is to vilify the President to gin up their base to reject the President in November. Their base is energized. “Trump” is a four letter word to the Democratic Never Trumpers. The Democrats are salivating; the future is theirs. Or not! They do not understand the Trump phenomenon. They never understood the Reagan phenomenon. California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown thought the former actor would be a patsy in Pat Brown’s reelection. Governor Brown never had a chance. President Carter and the Democrats thought the former California Governor would be a sitting duck Reagan won in a landslide bringing a Republican Senate in with him. The Democrats and the media all thought Trump would be toast in the 2016 election. It was to be a Democratic landslide, led by Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump and the Republicans won big. President Trump has four major themes that appeal to the American people: church, family, military, and police. The coastal elites don’t understand these fundamental American values. The Democrats’ problem is that they have forsaken the American people in the Heartland of America. Hillary Clinton called then “Deplorables.” The Midwest to the coastal elites became Flyover Country with Chicago being an oasis. They ignored the warning signs of the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. They don’t understand the patriotism and optimism of the American people. President Reagan was an optimist and cheerleader for the Americans. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the son of privilege, was an optimist and cheerleader for America. President Trump, the son of privilege, is an optimist and cheerleader for the Americans. The American people saw that in 2016. Nothing the Democrats threw at Donald Trump stuck. They called President Reagan the “Teflon President.” So too with President Trump. The fact-checkers should check out. President Trump is the successor to President Reagan with the State of the Union Address. President Reagan was, to the best of my memory, the first President to highlight ordinary Americans in the SOTU. President Trump’s speech is a classic. He showcased Ji Seong-Ho, the North Korean refugee with his crutches, and the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was brutalized by North Korea. The President the Capitol Police and Alexandria Police who saved the Congressional Republicans attacked by a Mernie Sanders supporter at a baseball field. He presented the heroic Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, Coast Guard helicopter pilot Ashlee Leppert, who saved over 40 lives in 18 hours of Hurricane Harvey’s fury, and the couple that adopted a child. He presented the Ohio family that can expand their business because of the Trump tax cuts, and the list goes on. The piece de resistance was Preston Sharp, the 12-year old boy from Redlands, California who placed American flags on Veterans Day on the veterans’ graves. The Democrats looked like frozen unpatriotic Grinches as they remained seated. The Republicans started yelling: “USA! USA! USA!” while the Democrats sat in place, except for Representative Luis Gutierrez, who stormed out in a huff. Videos of the sitting democrats will be shown during the election season. The President mentioned the lowest recorded African American employment rate in history. The Democratic African American members of Congress sat with pain painted on their faces. They knew President Trump struck a chord with their constituency. The Democrats stayed quiet as President Trump quoted the motto “In God We Trust.” The Democrats are obsessed with President Trump’s low polling numbers. The ignore the reality that the President’s approval numbers exceed those of Congress and the media combined. President Trump reminded Americans that he had unleashed the military to defeat ISIS. The new Rules of Engagement are simply defeat the enemy. He said that Guantanamo will not only remain open, but will accept new captured terrorists. He embraced a path to citizenship for 1.8million Dreamers, but coupled it with border security and the end of chain migration. The Democrats sat on their hands as he painted them into a political corner. Family God Military Police He coupled “Americans love their country” with they “deserve a country that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.” Not a peep from the Democrats. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream” unless you suffer from the Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Governor Cuomo is enlisting New Jersey and Connecticut in his crusade to keep New York taxes high by suing the federal government to enjoin the Trump Tax Reform Act, which cuts taxes to the vast majority of Americans. They object to the 10% limit on state income and property tax deductions in itemized deductions. Of course, they want to sue. Liberals have resorted to litigation in recent decades when they lose politically. Trial lawyers are one of the core constituencies of the modern Democratic Party. Harry Reid and Barack Obama stacked the lower courts in the federal judiciary by eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees to the federal district and appellate courts, The Democrats can usually find a liberal judge in blue states to enjoin the Trump Administration. Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General, has already filed 25 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. Ninth Circuit judges have taken it upon themselves to stop the Trump Agenda. New York has every right to tax its citizens as high as it wants, and does. New York residents have every right to pay the high taxes, or move. Hello Texas Hello Florida Hello Nevada A tipping point exists where high earners and entrepreneurs will leave a state or country because of high taxes as well as regulatory burdens. Connecticut has reached that point after 8 years of incessant tax increases under Governor Malloy. GE fled Connecticut for the state once known as Taxachusetts. Aetna is threatening to leave Connecticut. Ironically, Democrats like Governor Cuomo, who demonize the 1%ers, are now claiming to be fighting on their behalf. High income tax payers in New York City will now face a marginal tax rate approaching 50% of their income with federal, state, and city income taxes, The top marginal federal tax rate will be 37%. The New York City marginal tax rate is 12.7%. The combined marginal rate is 49.7% before adding social security, Medicare taxes, property taxes, and a plethora of fees. New York gets 57.2% of its tax revenue from the income tax. The Top 1% in New York pay 40% and the top 0.1% ¼ of the state’s income tax revenues. Governor Cuomo is scared the top 1% will flee. They would have gone to Connecticut or New Jersey in the past, but those states have become tax hells. Hello Florida. Mett Rush Limbaugh who left New York decades ago. Meet the wealthy retirees in Florida. Check out Texas while you’re at it. Roughly 80% of Americans are expected to see lower taxes, but not high earners in some high tax states. Governor Cuomo has found a new love for high income residents upon who both he and Governor Brown of California have bestowed “millionaire” taxes. He simply wants to tax tem as high as he can, knowing that many won’t leave the state as long as they can deduct the state income and property taxes from their federal income tax. Taxation is a political issue given to Congress by the Constitution. Governor Cuomo may not have noticed but the Democrats in Congress not only unanimously voted against the tax act, but they refused to negotiate with the Republicans. The Democrats’ blind opposition to the Republican majority leaves the Republicans only negotiating with themselves. New York could lower its taxes, but the public employee unions would object. New York is running a $4 billion deficit, setting it up for a budget disaster in the next economic downturn. What Governor Cuomo will not do is cut spending.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
President Trump has had a very productive, successful first year in office. We know because of the virulence of the Democrats and mainstream media. They would be hailing President Trump as a successful President if he were a weak-kneed Milquetoast. President Trump will not be toast or putty in their hands. Opprobrium certainly exists against him because some of his outlandish tweets during the 2016 election. Some have never forgiven him for upsetting their favored Hillary Clinton for the Presidency. Others still can’t understand how he could be elected President. Opponents do not view President Trump not as a progressive or conservative. Instead his “Drain the Swamp” pledge represents an insurrection. He is a flame throwing rebel striking at the status quo in Washington. President Trump is not a politician; he actually intents to fulfill his campaign promises. He is representing the working class of America, the “Deplorables” in Flyover Country. The President is mounting a direct attack on the basic tenets of modern liberalism: open borders, climate change, diversity, abortion and Planned Parenthood, and free trade. One of his first acts was to impose immigration controls. President Trump is rejuvenating the fossil fuels market. Fracking and offshore drilling are no longer “four-letter” words in the Trump Administration. ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge) is being opened up for drilling under the Trump Tax cuts, which will cut the taxes for most Americans.. He approved the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipeline. The Trump Administration most significantly is attacking head-on the Regulatory State. He is relentlessly attacking the orthodoxy of the left His appointees are repealing piece by piece eight years of the Obama Administration. Much of the Obama Legacy is in tatters after only one year of the Trump Administration. Congress rescinded 15 Obama agency regulations pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. His foreign policy is not one of appeasement, but of projecting American might, strength, and will. The blatant anti-Israel animus of the Obama Administration has been replaced by a friend of Israel, who announced the movement of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. His State Department will not be a party to the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) Movement. The agreements with Cuba and Iran will not stand as signed. His Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney is slicing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to pieces. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, is dismantling the many of the Obama Administration’s environmental measures. The days of the contentious Obama EPA Clean Water Rule are numbered. Secretary of the Interior Zinke and the President have reduced the size of some of the country’s national monuments. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has rescinded her predecessor’s “Dear Colleague” letter on campus sexual assaults. The letter eviscerated the due process rights of the accused in these cases. Universities have had trouble resolving campus sexual assaults, but the letter was not the right solution to a major problem. ObamaCare is being chipped away at, piece by piece. Religious institutions will now be protected against the Obama contraception mandates. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “healthy” school lunch program is no longer mandated by the federal government. The FCC has trashed the “net neutrality” rule while the NLRB has reversed the questionable pro-labor decisions of the Obama NLRB. The Obama Administration Rules of Engagement for fighting ISIS have been rescinded. The Military can now do its job. The nation’s police forces will again receive surplus military equipment. He has persevered, but really triumphed, because of the relentless, incessant attacks. His critics have spent so much time and ink vilifying and demonizing him, they don’t deeply cover what’s he’s achieving. He may not tune out his critics, but he doesn’t let them deter him. He is also not deterred by the judicial roadblocks thrown up by activist federal judges. President Trump has a vision for America, Make American Great Again. Cut through the static, and you see an amazing year of success.
Monday, January 15, 2018
We celebrate today the birthday and life of the foremost African American civil rights leader, but above all a great American, whose life was cut short at age 39 by an assassin. The young Reverend King went to Montgomery, Alabama in 1954 to be the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, an African American church one block below the Alabama State Capitol. He did not know it at the time, but his future was set on December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5. An organizing committee, the Montgomery Improvement Association, was formed. Dr. King was chosen to head the MIA. The other civil rights leaders in Montgomery recognized that Dr. King was the natural leader of the Movement. He was now the public face of the Civil Rights Movement. His speeches and writings resonated throughout America. Others, the Reverends Ralph David Abernathy, Joseph Lowery, and Fred Shuttlesworth, and Baltimore’s A. Philip Randolph, were great leaders in their own right, but they knew Martin Luther King, Jr. was the one. A student, John Lewis, was severely injured during the attacks on the Freedom Riders at the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery, Alabama. He is now a revered Congressman from Atlanta. Thurgood Marshall, a leading African American lawyer in the civil rights cases, was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Johnson. Many more civil rights leaders, local, regional, and national, are lost to modern history. MLK has remained the leader amongst leaders in the struggles. He is the symbol of the African American Civil Rights Movement, but they all should be remembered. The southern leaders of the movement. faced arrests, beatings, bombings, lynching, murder, and shootings. The houses of Dr. King and the Reverend Ralph David Abernathy were bombed as were four African American churches during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. More known today is the tragic bombing of the 16 Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on September 15, 1963. Dr. King was arrested over two dozen times. His Letter from a Birmingham City Jail is a classic. The leaders knew that they were not only risking their lives, but the lives of their family members, colleagues, and friends. They shower real courage. They knew they could not depend upon law enforcement to protect them. Too many officers led, assisted or tolerated the rabid segregationists, including Commissioner Bull Conner of Birmingham, Dallas County (Selma) Sheriff Jim Clark, and Sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey and Deputy Sheriff Ray Price of Neshoba County, Mississippi. Unbeknownst to Dr. King, J. Edgar Hoover put him under FBI surveillance and wiretapping. As law enforcement, especially federal, and with the supportive judicial decisions, especially at the Supreme Court, the Civil rights protestors could increasingly rely on the Rule of Law. As Dr. King said: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the three great apostles of non-violence in seeking freedom and equality for their people: Dr. King, Gandhi, and Cesar Chavez. They practiced non-violence, even when violence was used against them. What would Dr. King see if he were alive today? Tremendous progress, but … He would have witnessed the election of an African American as President, as well as African Americans as Governors of Massachusetts and Virginia. He will see three African American Senators, including an African American Republican Senator in South Carolina. He will see several African Americans as Representatives in Congress, as well as scores through statehouses. He will see African Americans rising to the top of several corporations, including American Express. He will see scores of actors succeeding in Hollywood. He will see hundreds of African American serving as Mayors, Police Chiefs and Sheriffs. He will see African Americans succeeding in the professions as well as a rising African American middle class. He might think the most famous part of his great I Have a Dream Speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 has been realized: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream.” Yes, he might think that, but he would also be concerned. He will still see signs of inequality in our cities: shabby housing, large scale poverty, high unemployment, high crime rates, drugs and alcohol, too many single mothers, gangs, and black on black crime. He will see a backsliding in race relations. He will see increasing violence by supporters of African American civil rights. Today’s kneeing NFL players are risking nothing but opprobrium by their acts. It doesn’t take courage to kneel. Today’s leaders are preaching divisiveness. Affirmative Action, Black Lives Matter. He will see attacks on “White Privilege” and witness increasing violence by civil right supporters. He sees a war on police. He knows that is not the way to equality.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
California State Senate President is proposing legislation for California to create a government owned charity, the California Excellence Fund. The idea is that you could make charitable contributions to the state in lieu of paying taxes. Is it possible California, the Golden State, will now become the Giving State? Not likely! California is one of several high tax, blue states apoplectic over the new Tax Reform Act. Their solution to every fiscal problem is simple: raise whatever taxes you can. They don’t worry about taxing the middle class and the rich by telling them not to worry. They can always deduct the state and local taxes by itemizing on their federal tax returns. The new tax law puts an end to that ploy. It limits the state and local tax deduction to $10,000 for those who itemize. Senate Majority Leader Kevin de Leon and others are expressing solitude for the high income earners in their state. They aren’t offering any relief to the 80+% of California taxpayers who will itemize. After excoriating the 1%ers, they now realize they need them, especially for the extra 3% tax on millionaires. The top 1% in California pay about 50% of the state’s income taxes. They are the golden goose that is being plucked in the Golden State. Roughly 91,000 Californians pay the 13.3% rate. Many of these could join the exodus out of high tax states, such as California, New York and Connecticut, to Florida, Nevada, and Texas. They could lower taxes, but the public employee unions oppose lowering taxes. They want to increase them to keep the funds going to public employees, their pension plans and health coverage, even for retirees. California has the highest marginal income tax rate in the nation, 13.3% for millionaires. The basic state sales tax is 7.25%, but local taxes can raise it a few points. Thus, they fight to maintain current benefits and raise taxes to cover shortages. Income taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, tobacco taxes, marijuana taxes – they keep rising in the legislature’s insatiable appetite for money to spend on favored constituencies, especially the public employees. California’s problem is an addiction to spending. Governor Jerry Brown has just proposed a 2018-19 general Fund budget of $131.7 billion, an increase of $.6 billion over last, He projects a $6.1 billion surplus, of which he wishes to allocate $5 billion to the state’s rainy day fund. The profligate legislature is unlikely to go along. They like to spend, spend, spend – not save. California’s general fund has risen $40 billion in Governor Brown’s eight years as governor. California would remain a redistributionist state rather than a giving state. The Democrats just don’t want the federal government mucking up their tax scheme. The beneficiaries of the California Excellence Charity will be the state’s legislators, who will be given the power to spend the receipts. Call it a tax of charitable contribution, it will still be spent the same way by the legislature. California has $464.4 billion in unfunded obligations. State and local pension plans are underfunded by about $200 billion. California is not a charity case. It is a basket choice. New York is thinking of replacing the state income tax with a deductible payroll tax. Such a payroll tax would truly be a job killer. The “charitable” loophole has one major problem. One of the conditions on charitable contributions is you cannot deduct any part f it that was a benefit. For example, you donate $500 and get something of value, perhaps a $50 ticket, then you can only deduct $450.00. The charitable contribution in the California plan would be matched by an equal tax credit; in short a 1:1 benefit. None of the “charitable” contribution to the state of California would be deductible! The new, semantical charitable contribution fails the duck test: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it’s a duck. A tax by any other name is still a tax.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
We keep being told President Trump is crazy, calling for a 25th Amendment removal. Several psychotherapists want to psychoanalyze him without ever analyzing him, and then proclaim him crazy as several of their predecessors did with Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964. Fact Magazine in 1964 published an issue entitled “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of a Conservative.” That was the title, but the cover had boldly printed across it: “1,189 PSYCHIATRISTS SAY GOLDWATER IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT. The whole issue consisted of pages of comments from psychiatrists on the Senator’s mental conditions. Most said he was insane. The American Psychiatrist Association recanted that approach after the election. It’s called the Goldwater Rule. Psychiatrists should not comment on the mental state of one they have not examined. That has not topped Dr. Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist at Yale, from editing a book, “The Dangerous Case of president Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” The book consists of essays proclaiming President Trump to be a serious danger to the country and world. Dr. Lee has stated President Trump’s mental health could destroy the entire human species. She proclaims the destruction of the human race is not a fantasy, but a reality. She has conveyed her fears to Democratic members of Congress. These people are delusional. If President Trump is crazy, he is crazy like a fox. They should read his book, The Art of the Deal. He will negotiate from a position of strength. When one, such as President Obama, negotiates from a position of weakness, and must make concessions to obtain an agreement, the result will be the badly flawed Iran Nuclear Agreement, which looks like appeasement. The crazy one in 1964 who put American lives at risk, was not Senator Goldwater, but President Johnson, who was secretly plotting an escalation in Vietnam. We’re told President Trump is lazy, spending more time golfing and vacationing than President Obama. He’s also apparently stupid, or so we’re told. Crazy, lazy, and stupid President Trump. He is of course neither lazy nor stupid. One does not, cannot, succeed in New York City real estate by being lazy or stupid. Of course, they kept telling Americans that President Reagan was stupid and a reckless cowboy, that President Ford, with a Yale law degree, was a dumb klutz, that President George H. W. Bush was an out of touch elitist while his son, President George W. Bush, with degrees from Harvard and Yale, is stupid. President Eisenhower was also not very bright and essentially spent his presidency playing golf between heart attacks. President Nixon was in a league of his own by being crooked and paranoid, although President Nixon was proof that just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean that they are not out to get you. What psychoanalysis should tell us is that these vicious defamers are cutting the Republicans down to build themselves up with arrogant superiority. Keep thinking and saying President Trump is crazy, lazy and stupid. You will miss the real picture – everything the President and Congress are accomplishing. All President Trump has done in the meantime is to advance his and the Republican agenda, improve America’s economy, start rebuilding the military, and restoring America’s presence in the world. Once again, we hear the White House staff is in disarray. He colluded with the Russians. He’s a womanizer, sexual harasser, and rapist. President Trump is a narcissist. He lies, he lies all the time; he never stops lying, even when he isn’t lying. If it makes them feel better, all the better for President Trump. Spend more time on that wild goose chase! The President is still standing His agenda is moving forward. The naysayers went through a phrase of scare mongering about his finger on the trigger. They went ballistic with his tweet about having a bigger button than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. They keep throwing scurrilous charge after scurrilous charge against him. None stick with the public, but they keep trying. About the only charge they haven’t attacked him with is corruption, but to do that would implicate the Democratic hierarchy in New York City and New York State.
Friday, January 5, 2018
Remember those high school assignments: “Compare and Contrast?” President Obama’s reaction to Iran’s Green Revolution in 2009 and President Trump’s reaction to the current riots in Iran are a perfect case for compare and contrast. The Iranians, mostly middle class, in 2009 erupted with the Green Revolution after the presidential election was stolen by the mullahs, giving it to their stooge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. President Obama responded with comments which sounded erudite with his cadence speaking, but were essentially the sounds of silence. He basically hoped the Iranians could work it out. The mullahs used brute, bloody force to suppress the people, reinforcing the corrupt dictatorship of the theocracy. President Obama’s attitude towards Iran are shown by his later acts. He was reported to have threatened Israel with shooting down their jets if they attempted to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities. President Trump has been accused of liking dictators. Ironically, it was President Obama who sidled up to dictators, especially the mullahs, Vladimir Putin and the Castro brothers, and used the Arab Spring to force out Egypt’s Hossain Mubarak, a supporter of the United States. He cheered when Mubarak was replaced by the radical Muslim Brotherhood. He also forced out Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan dictator, who had voluntarily given up his weapons of mass destruction. Then came the Iran Nuclear Agreement. President Obama and his enablers Sally Rice and Ben Rhodes got an accommodating media to accept the naïve argument that the freed money would be used to improve the lives of the Iranian people rather than to support terrorists. Iran was, and remains, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. The Obama people were either incredibly naïve or duplicitous. The Politico also reports that the Obama administration shut down an operation against Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, for smuggling drugs into the United States for fear that a prosecution could upset the ratification of the agreement President Obama further shipped billions of dollars and foreign currency in hard cash in midnight flights by unmarked planes to Teheran; the total amount of payments to Iran has not yet been publicized. The Iranian people, the original supporters of the revolt against the Shah of Iran, have now turned against the current government. The demonstrations that have spread throughout Iran are of the nation’s young and workers. Unemployment is high, especially among the young adults. The people were hit by high unemployment, high inflation, and reduced subsidies. A leaked draft (apparently they leak in Iran as well as the United States) of President Hasan Rouhini’s new budget. He is cutting spending on the people and increasing it on the Revolutionary Guards and religious organizations. The billions of Obama’s largess are continuing to fund Iran’s foreign adventures and loss of life in Syria, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Billions have propped up Bashad Assad’s regime in Lebanon. The condition of the Iranian people worsened during the 8 Obama years. He cared about the mullahs and not the people. President Trump’s response to Iran is the polar opposite of President Obama’s. He has refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement and is likely to rescind the agreement. He can’t get the money back, but he can re-impose sanctions on Iran, several organizations and individuals. He can clearly terminate the Airbus and Boeing contracts with Iran. Europe will not be happy, but that won’t deter him. The aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom should be supported. Even if the mullahs suppress this outburst of the people, Iran will remain a pressure cooker, which will blow up in the future. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.” The Iranian government may look into itself, but the Persian people will look to America, the America of Trump and not Obama.