Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton Simultaneously Blast Trump’s Syria Decision: ‘Sickening Betrayal of the Kurds’ Phi Beta Iota: Haley has been bribed by the Zionists, Clinton is being blackmailed by the Zionists. The Kurds are being used by the Zionists. Any questions?
What would it be like if a candidate didn’t accept the outcome of a presidential election? Witness Hillary Clinton. Last week, Clinton continued her “I Was Wronged in 2016” multi-year tour, this time in support of the book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, titled “The Book of Gutsy Women.” To prove she’s a gutsy...
The FBI’s “top press officer” reportedly resigned last year after he lied about accepting exclusive baseball tickets from a CNN reporter on at least two occasions. According to a report from the Daily Caller, which obtained relevant documents, the “FBI’s top press officer during the Hillary Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations accepted tickets to a Washington […]
The immediate impetus for the drive to impeach Trump, which began on election night 2016, is the fact that Democrats fully expected Hillary Clinton to win. The underlying impetus is that Democrats have long since abandoned more than token allegiance to the Constitution, which prescribes the rules by which Trump was elected. The Democrat candidate […]
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The Senate Intelligence Committee said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.
by Tyler Durden ZeroHedge.com Tue, 10/08/2019 The odds of Hillary Clinton entering the 2020 presidential race and winning the Democratic nomination jumped to third place per PredictIt, as rumors swirl that she’ll be back to take another bite at the apple. Notably, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon told Fox Business last week “She is […]
It would be very surprising if they did. They have been in use for about a century so one would think that any adverse effects would have been noticed long ago. Yet the article below says they do cause cancer -- in South Korea.
But the article is inconclusive. WHO were the people who had many X-rays? Probably the poor as the poor are always shown to have worse health. So the greater incidence of cancer among X-ray recipients was entirely as expected -- as a normal correlate of poverty.
There is so much crap in epidemiological research. Inconclusive articles like this are a big pain to me as I repeatedly feel obliged to point out the obvious flaws in them
Association of Exposure to Diagnostic Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation With Risk of Cancer Among Youths in South Korea
Jae-Young Hong et al.
Importance: Diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation has great medical benefits; however, its increasing use has raised concerns about possible cancer risks.
Objective: To examine the risk of cancer after diagnostic low-dose radiation exposure.
Design, Setting, and Participants This population-based cohort study included youths aged 0 to 19 years at baseline from South Korean National Health Insurance System claim records from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2015. Exposure to diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation was classified as any that occurred on or after the entry date, when the participant was aged 0 to 19 years, on or before the exit date, and at least 2 years before any cancer diagnosis. Cancer diagnoses were based on International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision codes. Data were analyzed from March 2018 to September 2018.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary analysis assessed the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for exposed vs nonexposed individuals using the number of person-years as an offset.
Results: The cohort included a total of 12 068 821 individuals (6 339 782 [52.5%] boys). There were 2 309 841 individuals (19.1%) aged 0 to 4 years, 2 951 679 individuals (24.5%) aged 5 to 9 years, 3 489 709 individuals (28.9%) aged 10 to 14 years, and 3 317 593 individuals (27.5%) aged 15 to 19 years. Of these, 1 275 829 individuals (10.6%) were exposed to diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation between 2006 and 2015, and 10 792 992 individuals (89.4%) were not exposed. By December 31, 2015, 21 912 cancers were recorded. Among individuals who had been exposed, 1444 individuals (0.1%) received a cancer diagnosis. The overall cancer incidence was greater among exposed individuals than among nonexposed individuals after adjusting for age and sex (IRR, 1.64 [95% CI, 1.56-1.73]; P < .001). Among individuals who had undergone computed tomography scans in particular, the overall cancer incidence was greater among exposed individuals than among nonexposed individuals after adjusting for age and sex (IRR, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.45-1.63]; P < .001). The incidence of cancer increased significantly for many types of lymphoid, hematopoietic, and solid cancers after exposure to diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation. Among lymphoid and hematopoietic cancers, incidence of cancer increased the most for other myeloid leukemias (IRR, 2.14 [95% CI, 1.86-2.46]) and myelodysplasia (IRR, 2.48 [95% CI, 1.77-3.47]). Among solid cancers, incidence of cancer increased the most for breast (IRR, 2.32 [95% CI, 1.35-3.99]) and thyroid (IRR, 2.19 [95% CI, 1.97-2.20]) cancers.
Conclusions and Relevance: This study found an association of increased incidence of cancer with exposure to diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation in a large cohort. Given this risk, diagnostic low-dose ionizing radiation should be limited to situations in which there is a definite clinical indication.
A new map by a Houston-based nonprofit shows clear disparities in life expectancy on either side of a line along Interstate 35 in Travis County, with those in the west living often more than a decade longer than in areas in the east.
In case anybody accuses me of unsubstantiated generalizations, I am reproducing here one of the thousands of articles that show the poor to have worse health. The discussion below is about Austin, Texas and some of the disparities reported are extreme
The map, released Monday by the Episcopal Health Foundation, relied on six years of mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics and drills down to the neighborhood-level by looking at census tracts. It found huge differences in life expectancy in neighborhoods sometimes only a few miles apart.
In the Rosewood area in East Austin, near East 12th Street and Pleasant Valley Road, for example, a person can expect to live to about 72, the map shows. About 5 miles away near Enfield Road in West Austin — on the other side of I-35 — life expectancy is 83, or 11 years longer.
Poverty levels and demographics also vary widely in the two areas.
Rosewood is largely black and Hispanic, with nearly 50% of residents living below the federal poverty line. The West Austin neighborhood is 88% white, with only 10% considered in poverty.
The area with the shortest life expectancy in Travis County is in Oak Hill near Sunset Valley, where people can expect to live to age 68. Just about a mile to the west is the area with the longest life expectancy, near Barton Creek Boulevard and Southwest Parkway, where a person can expect to live to age 88, or 20 years longer.
The median life expectancy in Texas is 77.8 years.
Austin Public Health has found similar disparities in health outcomes between eastern and western Travis County. The department said it regularly uses its own data to decide where to target its efforts, often on the east side. Cassandra DeLeon, assistant director for disease prevention, said this includes providing job training, education campaigns and access to healthy food.
This is typical psychopathic behavior. She tells lies to suit the moment with no thought of it coming back to bite her later on
U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is coming under scrutiny after resurfaced video from 2008 appears to contradict a claim she is now making on her campaign trail.
The Democratic hopeful, 70, told a town hall audience in Nevada on Wednesday that she lost her job teaching special needs students in the early 1970s because she was 'visibly pregnant'.
'By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days - wish me luck and hire someone else for the job,' she told the crowd in Carson City.
However, a YouTube clip posted in January 2008 shows Warren giving a different explanation as to why she left that school.
In the video, she tells interviewer Harry Kreisler that her undergraduate degree was in speech pathology and audiology, and, as such, she didn't have the necessary educational requirements to continue on at the school.
According to her Wikipedia page, Warren was teaching at the school on an 'emergency certificate' and was required to return to graduate school to take extra courses in education.
Several viewers of the 2008 clip have left comments beneath the video wondering why there are now apparent discrepancies between her two stories.
'She needs to explain why she is now saying "principal did what principals do" and they fired her. Beyond her other fabrications, is this really someone we want for president?' one asked.
Since the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream mass media went into apoplectic disbelief that Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, they have been in a deep state of denial and determination.
Their denial is because they still cannot believe that someone like Trump could have been elected president of the United States. And they have been determined to reverse the outcome of the election, since “really” he was not the winner; after all, Hillary Clinton had more of the popular vote, while Trump “only” had won the electoral college majority. Besides, if not for those hacking Russian meddlers, the minds of American voters would not have been twisted in the wrong direction. History has to be undone in the name of “social justice” and democracy.
Mueller’s Failure Overcome by a Whistleblower’s Claim The Mueller Report failed to provide the legal leverage to move forward with impeachment. There had not been demonstrable collusion between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s government to influence the 2016 presidential election; and the Russian hacking and attempted social media manipulation could not be shown to have affected the outcome of the election. The Democrats had pinned so much hope on Robert Mueller, and, damn it, he let them down.
But, now, a whistleblower’s accusations seemed to give them the smoking gun the Democrats had been hoping for in their political dreams. Oh no! An American president attempted to influence a foreign government to investigate possible political corruption connecting the son of Trump’s leading potential Democratic Party rival for the presidency in the 2020 election. Hunter Biden may have been earning $50,000 a month as a board member of a Ukrainian energy company due to the influence of his father, Joe, while his father was vice president of the United States.
Plus, Trump seemed to use congressionally funded military aid to Ukraine as a “carrot” to get the Ukrainian government to dig up and provide the dirt to bolster “The Donald’s” chances for re-election in November 2020. Oh, the horror! Donald Trump may have used the office of the presidency to influence a foreign government with taxpayers’ money to gain a political advantage for himself.
The Nature of Politics: Power, Plunder, and Privilege for Some Let us remember the nature of politics: it is the use of government power for plunder and privilege so some may gain at the expense of others in society through regulation or redistribution. It does not matter whether an absolute monarch, a totalitarian state, or a functioning democracy does this. It is the reason why those who are concerned with liberty and prosperity have insisted that governments always must be restrained and restricted to a limited and narrow set of functions and responsibilities for the protection of individual freedom, without becoming its destroyer.
If Donald Trump has one redeeming quality, it is his refreshing honesty. He rarely hides behind the rarified rhetoric of altruist promise-making typically heard in political discourse. He tells you who he is and what he wants. He knows where American businesses should invest to make what he considers “America great again,” and they better or there will be consequences. He knows which are the “bad” nations and trading partners, and he is going to teach them a lesson through either trade sanctions or import tariffs to get them to give Trump what he wants. And he will punish other countries that don’t go along with his executive ordering dictates and demands, because America comes first and he knows what America both needs and wants.
Like many other successful demagogues of the past, Donald Trump knows how to play to an audience. The words, the phrases, the short and repeated slogans and name callings that stick in the minds of those enticed by his assurances that all their problems will go away, if only he is in charge to set it all right. Anyone who does not agree with and fawn over his every word and deed is an enemy — an enemy of him and therefore to America. (See my article “The U.S. Revives the Personal State.”)
Modern Democratic Politics Is Trading Votes for Favors But what has Donald Trump done — even if it is found to be technically against the law — that has not been done by politicians of both major political parties over the decades in both domestic policy and foreign affairs? Which politician does not offer a quid pro quo to voters that if they will only cast their ballot for him come Election Day, he will use taxpayers’ money to give them an unending stream of government-funded programs, subsidies, protections, and privileges?
That is the nature of the political arena of exchange in modern democratic society. Government is not primarily a protector of people’s individual rights; it is a huge and intricate tax-funded pumping machine that transfers wealth and income from certain groups and sectors of the society to others through a complex and interconnected network of federal, state, and municipal bureaucracies. Any freedoms preserved or any freedoms extended are the secondary effects of a political system operating with purposes in mind having little or nothing to do, per se, with human liberty anymore.
In foreign affairs, every U.S. administration in modern times, from Franklin Roosevelt’s to Donald Trump’s, has used political, military, and financial promises and pressures to get foreign governments to do what the president of that time wanted and considered “good for America” and the world. Whether or not some previous occupant of the Oval Office was as transparent as President Trump in making plain how self-serving it is, it was always considered good for the political future of that earlier chief executive, either for winning reelection into the Oval Office or influencing what would be his hoped-for legacy and “place in history.” (See my article “A Call for ‘Do-Nothing’ Presidents Without Legacies.”)
U.S. tax dollars have been used to support or overthrow foreign governments; tax-funded dollars have been used to arm dictators considered “friendly” to America, who often used that military aid to brutalize their own people; those tax dollars have been applied to influence elections and public opinion in other lands considered to be part of America’s “national interest.”
Mafia Bosses and Politicians Both Try to Eliminate Opposition It often seems as if politicians think and act like a mafia boss. The godfather rarely says directly, “Get rid of ‘Vito the Knife’ tonight.” He says things more indirectly, like, “You know, life would be so much easier if only Vito stopped bothering me.” And his mafia lieutenants know exactly what he wants, just in case the FBI is bugging his office. Trump basically just says to the Ukrainian president, “Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, seem to have been part of Ukraine’s corruption problems. Why don’t you look into it and share any information you get with some representatives of mine? By the way, the U.S. has been a really good diplomatic and financial friend of the Ukraine compared to those misguided and financially stingy Europeans.”
Trump has simply personalized it more than most other former presidents before him, who tended to couch it in the rhetoric of the “common good,” the “general welfare,” and the “safety of the free world.” It is an inevitable part of any American foreign interventionist policy, just as its counterpart in domestic interventionist policies. Interventionism is the politics of regulation and redistribution. Virtually nothing that government touches in a world of interventionism fails to benefit some at others’ expense, given that all interventions inescapably divert the course of social and economic events from the patterns they would have followed if left free from government interference.
You want to eliminate Trump-like actions and policies? There is, ultimately, only one means and method to do so: End the interventionist-welfare state. Restore and relegate government to the limited and narrow protection of each individual’s right to his life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. Then there is nothing for government to sell and supply to Peter at Paul’s expense. But that is not the politics that either Democrats or Republicans want, as reflected in their campaign promises and policy deeds. Thus, the political circus will continue, regardless of who wins the White House or the congressional elections in 2020.
What Happens When Top Rival American Politicians Compete to Jail Each Other?
It's been more than two years since the Belmont Club article predicting a political showdown after the election of Donald Trump was written. Since then, its scenario of top rival American politicians trying to jail each other has become an actual possibility. "Will impeaching Trump lead to indictments of Obama and Biden over Ukraine?" says an article in the Spectator. Rudy Giuliani asks: 'Shouldn't Biden be investigated over Ukraine if Trump can be impeached over it?' Hillary's in the mix too:
As President Donald Trump's presidency is threatened by an impeachment inquiry, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate any ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
To use a World War II analogy there are torpedoes in the water going in opposite directions at each fleet's battlewagons. If all strike home, a lot of damage will ensue as the different parts of the bureaucracy act against rival leaders. Not surprisingly, the term "civil war" actually began trending on Twitter. CBS News reported: "'Civil War 2' trends on Twitter after Trump quotes speculation that impeachment would spark 'civil war.'"
The very mention of the term is itself an impeachable offense according to Harvard Law professor John Coates. "This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment - a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power." The fact that it was Pastor Robert Jeffress who said the offending words on a TV program -- Trump was merely quoting him -- is of no moment. The impeachment devil who no one professed to believe in has appeared at Nancy Pelosi's prayers.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that she is heartbroken and prayerful as House Democrats move forward with their impeachment inquiry and that President Donald Trump's actions left her no other choice.
There is frank hostility. "Joe Biden's campaign wrote to executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to 'demand' that Rudy Giuliani not be invited on the air to discuss Ukraine and President Trump because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family," according to the New York Times. Giuliani responded indignantly: "Think of the Biden arrogance and entitlement to protection. They believe they own the media and they are demanding that they silence me. They know I have incriminating facts, not hearsay, because they know what they did in selling Joe’s office to a Ukrainian crook."
Politicians could be psyching themselves into the very thing they purport to abhor. If they sincerely want to step back from the brink now's the time. Otherwise, their actions may at some point unleash a runaway train. As a Harvard symposium noted, World War I started by miscalculation.
With the whistleblower's complaint coming up short, Dems aim for "corrupt" officials.
In an effort to prop up their “whistleblower’s” false allegations, House Democrats have lashed out at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his refusal to submit to their subpoena demands. Following Pompeo’s statement that he would not let State Department staff be bullied by Democrats into testifying, three Democrat committee chairmen led by Rep. Adam “B Movie” Schiff cried foul, disingenuously claiming that this was evidence that Pompeo was the one who was “intimidat[ing] witnesses.” They warned, “Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”
Naturally, the mainstream media is taking cues from Democrats and is now framing the normal job-related actions of high-ranking White House officials like Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr as somehow being evidence of corruption. For example, Pompeo is alleged to have engaged in misconduct for simply listening to President Donald Trump’s infamous July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Why would this be wrong? As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Shouldn’t a Secretary of State be on a call to the new President of an important country? U.S. foreign policy is the secretary’s job.”
Why are Democrats playing this vilification game? Because their “smoking gun” whistleblower complaint failed to expose any impeachable offense. In all likelihood the Democrats knew that going in, but with a friendly press they calculated that it would serve to provide just enough of a cover story to justify acting on their long-running impeachment obsession. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and company know they don’t have any actual evidence of a crime, so they’re vilifying anyone near Trump to create the air of corruption around any action. Even innocuous job-related activities can be said to have been done with corrupt motivations to cover up Trump’s crimes. This is an effort to keep the narrative alive through the election.
Trump sees this, which is why he’s calling it what it is: “a coup.” On Tuesday, he asserted, “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their Vote, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” He’s right.
There may be another motive for the Democrats’ vilification of Pompeo and Barr — they don’t want them investigating the origins of the 2016 Russia-collusion hoax. In fact, The Washington Post suggests as much in an article titled, “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct.”
Trump Reshaping Ninth Circuit Will Be Felt for Decades
In May 2016, Donald Trump was close to securing the Republican presidential nomination but needed to shore up his support among skeptical conservatives to have even a remote chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in the general election. In an unexpected but brilliant move, candidate Trump released a list of judges that he promised to choose from in selecting a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, beloved by conservatives.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had infuriated Democrats by refusing to hold hearings on Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, so the next president would fill that vacancy. Trump’s list had been compiled with heavy input from the conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. Proving him right, conservatives rallied to Trump’s banner (even if cautiously), based on this promise.
The result has been far better that conservatives could have imagined. As president, Donald Trump has nominated two solid conservatives (an originalist/textualist in Neil Gorsuch, and a conservative institutionalist in Brett Kavanaugh) to the Supreme Court, and recently passed an impressive milestone — more than 150 nominees confirmed to the federal bench. The positive repercussions of this will be felt for decades to come.
Arguably, even more impactful than Trump’s Supreme Court appointments (replacing originalist Scalia with originalist Gorsuch, and moderate Kennedy with conservative Kavanaugh) has been his reshaping of the notorious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, nicknamed the “Ninth Circus” because of its penchant for ultra-leftist rulings.
A week and a half ago, President Trump nominated Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke to fill vacancies on the Ninth Circuit. This was the second time Bumatay has been nominated to that court. Trump nominated Bumatay — a Filipino-American federal prosecutor from San Diego and former counselor to the U.S. attorney general — in October 2018, but after strenuous objections by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, the nomination lapsed without action.
VanDyke is an attorney with the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division, having served previously as the solicitor general of both Nevada and Montana, where he incurred the wrath of Democrats and radical environmentalists for litigating against Obama’s abusive land- and water-use policies.
If these nominees are confirmed, it will make the ninth and tenth Trump-nominated judges confirmed to the Ninth Circuit, meaning Trump will have appointed more than a third (10 of 29) of the judges on that bench.
The long-term benefits are enormous.
First, the Ninth Circuit is the nation’s largest circuit court, with a jurisdiction covering nine states and two island territories (40% of U.S. land mass). Its rulings impact more than 60 million Americans (roughly 20% of the U.S. population).
The importance of placing Trump’s nominees on the Ninth Circuit — judges who understand their proper role is to interpret the law as written, not twist it into what they want it to be — cannot be overstated.
Of the 7,000-8,000 cases appealed to the Supreme Court each year, only about 80 receive plenary review and are heard by the nation’s highest court.
By contrast, the Ninth Circuit last year received nearly 11,000 filings and “terminated” (rendered final judgments on) nearly 12,000 cases. Meaning, no matter how obviously unfair, ludicrous, or unconstitutional a ruling of the Ninth Circuit may be, the ruling stands and applies to 20% of the American population unless it is one of the precious few taken up by the Supreme Court.
Of its cases reviewed by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit is reversed a staggering 82% of the time. Yet only a tiny fraction of those cases will ever be reviewed by the Supreme Court, so the lunatic rulings stand in the vast majority of cases.
And the Ninth Circuit judges are well aware of that, and take advantage of it.
Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Ninth Circuit in 1979, served until his death in 2018. Known as one of the most leftist judges in the nation, Reinhardt once said of his high reversal rate at the Supreme Court that he would keep issuing leftist rulings because the Supreme Court “can’t catch ‘em all.” It was Reinhardt’s Ninth Circuit Court that ruled in 2002 that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because of the words “under God,” a ridiculous ruling unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court.
There have been calls over the years to split the Ninth Circuit into two courts, a position supported by most of the members of the Supreme Court. Aside from its far-left rulings, the Ninth is simply too big and unmanageable.
Until then though, it is undeniable that President Trump’s efforts are significantly impacting the structure and leanings of the Ninth Circuit. With a third of its judges now Trump appointees, it greatly improves the odds that a panel of Ninth Circuit judges will include those with a more conservative, originalist philosophy.
Just this year, in what would have previously been unfathomable, the Ninth Circuit handed Trump major victories in a border-wall battle with environmentalists and in upholding his “remain in Mexico” policy of dealing with asylum seekers.
Decades from now we may very well look back and see that Trump’s influence on reshaping the federal judiciary, especially the Ninth Circuit, did more than anything else to save the Constitution and uphold the Rule of Law.
ANTI-NRA U-TURN: "Remember last month when San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization and ordered city employees to 'take every reasonable step to limit' business interactions with the NRA and its supporters?" asks Jim Geraghty of National Review. "... The NRA sued, and lo and behold, San Francisco is backing down, before the suit even went to court." The mayor in a new memo states, "No [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA." Meanwhile, says Geraghty, "The NRA is challenging a similar law passed by the Los Angeles city council that requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the gun-rights group."
DEATH AND TAXES: "Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey. ... The $14,758.11 that the average American consumer unit paid for food, clothing and health care was $3,859.82 less than the $18,617.93 it paid in federal, state and local income taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes and 'other taxes.'" (Terence Jeffrey)
NET-NEUTRALITY REPEAL UPHELD: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission was mostly lawful in its rollback of Obama-era 'net neutrality' guidelines, while offering a glimmer of hope to proponents of the guidelines. In a 2–1 ruling, the court said the FCC had acted lawfully in its decision to stop regulating broadband like a utility or a 'common carrier' such as a phone service. But it said the FCC had exceeded its authority in attempting to block states from passing their own rules in contradiction of the net-neutrality repeal, as California did in 2018." (National Review)
TANTAMOUNT TO A WARREN ENDORSEMENT: "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that an Elizabeth Warren presidency would pose an 'existential' threat to the company, according to over two hours of leaked audio published by The Verge." (National Review)
PRO-LIFE SETBACK: "A federal judge handed an early win to abortion rights activists Tuesday by blocking Georgia's restrictive law from going into effect — but it is only the first step as a lawsuit makes its way through the court system. District Judge Steve C. Jones' ruling stops House Bill 481 from taking effect Jan. 1 while the case plays out. Anti-abortion activists are hoping the case winds up in the U.S. Supreme Court." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
MURDERS DECLINE: "Murder is on the decline in America, according to a new FBI report. The nation's top federal law enforcement agency found that homicides fell by 6 percent in 2018. The decline in homicides is part of a 3 percent drop in the violent crime rate, according to the Uniform Crime Report, the FBI's annual tally of crimes reported to local police departments. The 2018 decline follows several years of slight increases in homicide and violent crime, driven largely by spikes in major cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C." (The Washington Free Beacon)
FAIRFAX FOLLY: The Daily Caller reports: "A county police department in Virginia announced Tuesday that one of their officers was suspended for turning an illegal alien over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after determining the individual had dodged a deportation hearing. Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said the officer in question had a 'lapse in judgment' when he called ICE about the illegal alien. ... Fairfax County has a policy that limits the police department's cooperation with ICE." The "lapse in judgment" here is being directed at the wrong person.
From the time of the campaign all the way until now, the president has been under repeated attacks from elements of America’s intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI. Many of the people, like Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, and Strzok, have been removed. But there are still many more who have not been identified and “weeded out.”
The president has appointed various people he was told would clean house. Former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, an old friend of mine, was named director of national intelligence. But he quickly became a mouthpiece for the agency he was running rather than a reformer of the agency. Thanks for nothing, Dan.
Early in his administration, a CIA official resigned and wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post lambasting the president. He was promptly hired to be a commentator for NBC News. More recently, an intelligence analyst at the State Department used his resignation to make a big splash in the news.
The current controversy reportedly originated with an employee at the CIA. The current head of the CIA is Gina Haspel, a career officer and the first woman to lead the CIA.
The president was told, and we were all told, that she was the ultimate professional who would not tolerate any nonsense. Clearly, she needs to call in all agency supervisors and review the rules regarding their involvement in partisan politics.
It is worth remembering that even before the inauguration, then President-elect Trump was expressing his frustration with the intelligence community. At the time, Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer bragged to Rachel Maddow, “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
If this abuse of our intelligence agencies cannot be ended, then the globalists have won and we have lost the country. I pray and still believe that is not true. But the jury is still out.
Once a year, I bring my ill-tempered three-legged tabby cat (named Hopper) to the veterinarian. No one ever has a good time or particularly enjoys the cacophony of hisses, growls, and whiny meows. All the same, I can’t help but feel an “Alice in Wonderland” sort of feeling while talking to my feline’s healthcare providers. Most procedures and medical tests for our furry friends are the same as ours. But unlike the human healthcare system, prices are transparent and upfront in pet care. While no one likes hearing that Fifi’s surgery will cost $600, having costs out in the open keeps prices tethered to reality and under control. Lawmakers can throw patients everywhere a (figurative) bone by opening healthcare markets to competition and encouraging price transparency.
When most owners bring their furry nincompoops to the veterinarian, insurance simply isn’t a part of the conversation because nearly 2 million cats and dogs are covered by insurance policies in the U.S., compared to more than 180 million cats and dogs owned in total.
Compare this less-than-2 percent coverage rate for our pets to the predominance of human health insurance. Around 90 percent of Americans have health insurance, with most plans covering at least some routine doctors’ visits and predictable expenses such as medications. Americans pay even less money out-of-pocket for medical care (as a percentage of expenditures) than most of their Canadian and European (i.e. Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden) counterparts.
When the government and/or insurers are footing the bill, providers have little reason to disclose prices. Patients asking a doctor’s office or hospital for the price of, say, a CAT scan or an appendectomy will probably be stonewalled. With no price transparency and other people paying the bills, costs skyrocket out of control and healthcare expenditures climb far in excess of the rate of inflation. From 2008 to 2018, healthcare prices in the U.S. climbed 21.6 percent while prices for goods and services overall grew by 17.3 percent (measured by GDP deflator).
But not so in the pet healthcare sector, where consumers are exposed to price and veterinarians have a real incentive to keep costs low. Because pet insurance accounts for such a tiny sliver of the veterinary healthcare market, the prices that they pay for claims reflects prices that consumers are willing to pay rather than the third-party driven “prices” of the human healthcare market. For the past several years, Nationwide’s pet health insurance division has partnered with Purdue University researchers to track trends in pet insurance payouts. The researchers track a “basket” of the most commonly-utilized procedures to see how the typical veterinary visit has changed in price over time. According to their research, these ordinary expenses declined by 6 percent from January 2009 to December 2017 after adjusting for inflation.
This decrease is corroborated by less reliable sources, such as the American Pet Products Association (APPA) annual consumer spending surveys. For virtually every year tracked (accessible via web archive), cat and dog owners reported spending less money on average routine and surgical visits. The data is jumpier than the Nationwide and Purdue rigorous analysis of 30 million insurance claims but confirms an interesting – and counterintuitive – trend. In a system where consumers and patients’ “representatives” have enough skin in the game, healthcare prices behave like they would in most other markets.
There are, of course, differences between pet and human healthcare. Owners are far less likely to spend money treating Fluffy for cancer than they would for their own chemotherapy treatments. All the same, prices continue to decline in real terms as a rapidly growing percentage of pet owners regard their companions as members of the family and worthy of medical care. As these numbers increase further, policymakers should take notice and keep tabs on price trends. Perhaps increasing consumer exposure to prices and empowering them to pay medical expenses directly via Health Savings Accounts would lead to the same declining prices seen in the veterinary world.
I’m not sure what medical surprises await Hopper in the next few years, but prices are all but guaranteed to come up for discussion in future vet visits. This norm may be unpleasant, but it sure seems to keep costs under control. Humans and their pets can benefit from a price structure that encourages competition and cost control.
I think we can trace most of modern American society's ills back to when men decided to start hugging. OK, a lot of it can go back to when women began watching football too, but I'll try to maintain some focus here.
I remember the first time I got a man hug and I wasn't at a funeral, which used to be the only events at which they were acceptable. I knew that some sort of testosterone-based Pandora's box had been opened.
The next thing I knew, everyone had feelings and the Super Bowl became less about football and more about making the womenfolk happy with seven-hour-long halftime concerts.
Now I hug a lot, but only because people don't expect it from me and I know it makes them uncomfortable.
Back in 2015 and 2016 when I was -- to put very mildly -- a Trump skeptic, I did keep telling people that I didn't think he posed an existential threat to the Republic. I'm a grown-up who has been through too many false apocalyptic political narratives to fall for them anymore.
In yesterday's Briefing, we looked at the first installment of a full-court press by the media to woo Republicans to getting behind impeachment. The plea was a predictable one: Trump must be removed from office or the country that survived a civil war, the Soviet Union, and the heresy of New Coke will cease to exist.
That press picked up speed on Monday, with various "save the country" pleas to Republicans -- specifically GOP senators -- to save the country.
When they're not making their prom pitches to Republicans with grandiose visions of saving the country, the MSM and Democrats are concern trolling for the future of the GOP.
Jeff Flake -- my least favorite former senator -- wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that worried about Republicans' "souls."
Nobody's soul is at stake, especially the GOP's.
The future of the United States is most certainly not in danger because of anything the president is doing. The hysteria is more boring than agitation-inducing at this point.
Look around you. The world isn't ending. The United States isn't in its death throes. The baseball season is ending and that is sad, but we can work through it.
I'm dismissive of my political opponents these days because they're more in need of diapers than careful consideration of their opinions.
My good friend, Ricochet Editor-In-Chief Jon Gabriel, summed it up rather nicely on Monday:
Impeachment has been the left’s goal since December 2016 — before Trump took office. Ukraine is just another bite of the apple after the Mueller report failed so spectacularly. The media hysteria over Ukraine feels a lot like the recent Greta hysteria. There’s no time to absorb facts, discuss options, or weigh pros and cons. We need to act now or else!
Hysteria is a poor strategy. It didn’t work for climate change or Kavanaugh or the many other panics we’ve been subjected to since Trump took office. How Trump’s detractors think this will end well is beyond me.
That's just it: they don't think. They feel. When that's all you do, everything is the end of the world.
And when everything is the apocalypse, nothing is the apocalypse.
Feds paid $1 billion in Social Security benefits to individuals without a SSN
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.
The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.
The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.
Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application."
“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.
The inspector general also found the agency paid $853.1 million in benefits since 2004 to individuals who had been terminated as representative payees by the agency.
Donald Trump shared a warning from Pastor Robert Jeffress about a "Civil War-like fracture" given that Democrats are, again, undertaking what has all the markings of a coup d'état to remove him from office. The point was to assert that using deep-state operatives to overthrow a presidency is tantamount to insurrection.
Jeffress said, "Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats can't put down the impeachment match. They know they couldn't beat [Trump] in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and they're increasingly aware of the fact that they won't win against him in 2020, and impeachment is the only tool they have to get rid of Donald Trump. And the Democrats don't care if they burn down and destroy this nation in the process."
In fact, he continued, "I don't pretend to speak for all Evangelicals, but this week I have been traveling the country and I've literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians. I have never seen them more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this president from office — overturn the 2016 election and negate the votes of millions of evangelicals in the process. And they know that the only impeachable offense President Trump has committed was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. That's the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him." Jeffress predicted, "If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I'm afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal."
Democrats have only two things to offer in 2020: socialist redistribution of wealth by way of an endless list of "free" stuff in return for votes, and impeachment to appeal for votes from those suffering severe Trump Derangement Syndrome. And, on top of that, they are openly proposing to confiscate guns. Unfortunately, these combined threats to Liberty make the reference to "civil war" relevant.
Australia Foreign Minister says helping White House probe in national interest
Australia’s offer to help U.S. President Donald Trump investigate a report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was in the national interest, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Wednesday.
The New York Times on Monday reported Trump had asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for help investigating the origins of what became Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to aid Trump in the 2016 national elections.
A spokesperson for Morrison on Tuesday said the prime minister had agreed to help, drawing criticism from Australia’s opposition Labor party.
But Payne said cooperating with Australia’s closest ally was prudent. “We are working in Australia’s interests and we are working with our closest and most important ally,” Payne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We should assist them as we can, we should ensure that assistance is appropriate and that’s what we’re doing.”
Trump is under mounting pressure amid an impeachment investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives into reports that he sought to influence foreign governments to go after his political adversaries.
The Democratic-led House began the inquiry last week after a whistleblower raised concerns that Trump tried to leverage nearly $400 million in proposed aid for Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Trump in the 2020 election.
The Mueller report was triggered in part by former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer.
Downer was allegedly told in 2016 by George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign aide, that Russia had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Downer reported the details of the conversation, which Papadopoulos denies, to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
GIULIANI SUBPOENAED: "Democrats on Monday subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer who was at the heart of Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden's family. ... With Congress out of session for observance of the Jewish holidays, Democrats moved aggressively against Giuliani, requesting by Oct. 15 'text messages, phone records and other communications' that they referred to as possible evidence. They also requested documents and depositions from three of his business associates." (Associated Press)
HONG KONG BATTLEFIELD: "Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at pro-democracy protesters throwing petrol bombs in the Asian financial hub on Tuesday as its Chinese rulers celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. ... The South China Morning Post and television reports said at least one person was wounded in the chest by police firing live rounds." (Reuters)
MANUFACTURING CONTRACTION CONTINUES: "A gauge of U.S. manufacturing slumped to the lowest level in more than 10 years in September as exports dived amid the escalated trade war. The U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index from the Institute for Supply Management plunged to 47.8% in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction." (CNBC)
BREAKING: Hillary Clinton ‘thinking about’ running for President in 2020, according to multiple sources — BNL NEWS (@BreakingNLive) October 7, 2019 All I want for Christmas is for Hillary to ... Read more
A just-released report from the Republican-majority Senate Intelligence Committee reveals the social media attacks on the 2016 U.S. election that placed Donald Trump in the White House were performed “at the direction of the Kremlin.” That report also finds that not only did the Kremlin work to ensure Hillary Clinton lost the election, but that […]
Minnesota, which went to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, is among the midwestern states that President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign would love to flip in 2020 — and a Trump rally was scheduled for this Thursday, October 10 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. But Trump’s reelection campaign, according to Minneapolis’ KTTC-TV, is threatening […]
“The View” co-host Abby Huntsman busted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for hypocrisy on congressional oversight, now that the shoe is on his foot. The State Department blocked EU ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying Tuesday before Congress, but the conservative Huntsman called out Pompeo — who led the charge against Hillary Clinton when she held […]
Trump Loses Fight To Keep Taxes Secret, Files Emergency Appeal This decision allows the Manhattan D.A.'s office to subpoena eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.#BreakingNews #Trump #USAhttps://t.co/RzNpdm8o53 — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) October 7, 2019 The Kurds have proven themselves to belong to the most effective fighters against ISIS. Erdogan & the ... Read more
Understanding American politics has become increasingly confusing as the old party labels have lost much of their meaning. A simplistic Left vs. Right worldview no longer captures the complexity of what’s going on. As the authors of the October 2017 “Pew Survey of American Political Typologies” write, “[I]n a political landscape increasingly fractured by partisanship, the divisions within the Republican and Democratic coalitions may be as important a factor in American politics as the divisions between them.”
To understand our politics, we need to understand the cultural values that drive it. The integral cultural map developed by philosopher Ken Wilber identifies nine global cultural value systems including the archaic (survival), tribal (shaman), warrior (warlords and gangs), traditional (fundamentalist faith in God), modern (democracy and capitalism), and postmodern (world-centric pluralism). When combined with Pew’s voter typologies, Wilber’s cultural levels offer a new map of America’s political landscape.
Of Wilber’s nine global value systems, the Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern categories are most useful to understanding our moment. Traditional culture values disciplined adherence to assigned gender and social roles: men are providers and heads of households, marriage is between one man and one woman, and the institutions of the military, law enforcement, and the clergy are all highly respected. Historically, traditional cultures were monarchies or states ruled by “strongmen.” Modern culture superseded traditional systems in the West during the Enlightenment, and values rationality, democracy, meritocracy, capitalism, and science. Individual rights, free speech, and free markets harness an entrepreneurial spirit to solve problems.
Postmodern culture offers a borderless, geocentric political view that values pluralism. It challenges a pro-American narrative by focusing on the horrors of American history, including the exploitation of Native Americans, slavery, and persistent inequality disproportionately affecting historically disadvantaged groups. Those left behind by modernity and progress now seek recognition, restoration, and retribution via a politics of protest, and show little interest in building political organizations or institutions. We are currently living in a postmodern political moment of disruption, best described by author Helen Pluckrose in her Areo essay “How French Intellectuals Ruined the West: Postmodernism and its Impact, Explained”:
If we see modernity as the tearing down of structures of power including feudalism, the Church, patriarchy, and Empire, postmodernists are attempting to continue it, but their targets are now science, reason, humanism and liberalism. Consequently, the roots of postmodernism are inherently political and revolutionary, albeit in a destructive or, as they would term it, deconstructive way.
When we overlay Pew’s data with Wilber’s Value levels, six cultural political categories emerge: Traditional Left and Right, Modern Left and Right, and Postmodern Left and Right.
Traditional Left: Devout and Diverse
If you live in an urban bubble, you may not even recognize the Traditional Left. Pew identifies these Democrats as “Devout and Diverse,” mainly comprised of minorities. Pew describes them as “…fac[ing] the most difficult financial challenges among all Democratic categories.” They are “the most religiously observant Democratic-leaning group, and the only one in which a majority (64 percent) says it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values… they have a strong support for the social safety net and further action on racial equality.” These Democrats don’t support gay rights or increasing immigration and, as Pew notes, “40 percent describe their own ideology as conservative.” They are the oldest of the Democratic voter groups and make up around six percent of all engaged voters.
Traditional Right: Country First
While the Devout and Diverse voters have almost no public profile in the media, the Traditional Right is perceived to be much larger than it is. Pew refers to them as “Country First” Republicans, who “fear America risks losing our identity as a nation.” They have largely negative views of scientists and artists, and are the most elderly of all typology groups. Primarily comprised of white men, they hold a generally favorable view of Trump and uniformly oppose same-sex marriage. They make up about six percent of all engaged voters.
While both Republicans and Democrats have socially conservative, anti-gay, anti-immigrant voters in roughly the same numbers, the social conservatives on the Right play a more prominent role in American politics, partly because they play a larger role in the GOP, and partly because the media like to highlight them to fit their own narrative. Based on their aging demographic, the traditional value level is unlikely to be as significant a force in future elections.
Modern Left: Opportunity Democrats
The Modern Left is best represented by Pew’s “Opportunity Democrats,” who are optimistic and pro-business. They believe “most people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard” to achieve the American Dream. Almost half of them say “most corporations make a fair and reasonable amount of profit.” They are primarily white, financially well off, and describe themselves as moderate. They are socially inclusive, liberal on immigration, and supportive of gay rights. They are also less likely to believe that blacks and women face structural barriers to advancement. Until recently, this group defined what it meant to be a Democrat, but they have lost their center of power. Today, they make up around 13 percent of all engaged voters.
Modern Right: Core Conservatives and New Era Enterprisers
Two different groups in Pew’s study represent Modern values among Republican voters. The larger and older of the two are called “Core Conservatives,” while the younger, smaller group Pew calls “New Era Enterprisers.” Both groups share modern values evidenced by their belief in the power of capitalism and democracy. Both believe in the power of the free market and the importance of America’s global leadership. Both remain optimistic about the possibilities afforded by the American Dream. They make up the 66 percent of Republicans who support the “Dreamers.” Their pro-immigration position is also confirmed in a Gallup report, which states that “… significantly more Republicans favor a path to citizenship than support building a border wall or deporting illegal immigrants.”
Core Conservatives are the largest Republican voter group. Made up of mostly white men, they enjoy the highest rates of home ownership of any voter group, and a majority believe that they’ve achieved the American Dream. They are the best educated of any Republican group, yet have the most negative attitudes toward the impact colleges have on our country. They are most likely to invest in the stock market and their most important issue is the economy. “Sixty-eight percent express a positive view of US involvement in the global economy ‘because it provides the US with new markets and opportunities for growth.’” In addition to their largely pro-free market and pro-immigration views, they have the most favorable view of Donald Trump among all voting groups. They represent 20 percent of all engaged voters.
New Era Enterprisers, meanwhile, are young, urban, and much more ethnically diverse. Pew points out that they are “strongly pro-business and generally think that immigrants strengthen, rather than burden, the country.” Innovation and entrepreneurship are most important to them. They are pro-immigration and pro-gay rights with the highest opinion of a role for government among any Republican group. Only a quarter of them self-identify as strong Republicans. They are the least supportive of Donald Trump among Republican groups, and the least likely to express negative attitudes toward the Democratic Party. They make up nine percent of all engaged voters.
Together these two modern Republican groups total 29 percent of engaged voters, and represent the center of power within the GOP.
Postmodern Left: Solid Liberals and Disaffected Democrats
The two Pew voting groups which make up the Postmodern Left are “Solid Liberals” and “Disaffected Democrats.” Both groups have negative views of capitalism and are concerned about America’s treatment of minority groups.
Solid Liberals is a bit of a misnomer as they tend to reject liberalism in its classical form. They are progressives who hold strongly negative views of businesses, question or reject the concept of the American Dream, and see the world through the lens of identity politics. They are mostly white, well-off, and well-educated, and they are the most secular voters found across voting groups. Ninety-seven percent strongly disapprove of Trump’s job performance. They are unlikely to have friends outside their political circle, and over half of this group would say “that a friendship would be strained if someone voted for Trump,” much higher than any other Democratic group. It isn’t just Trump they dislike. They are highly partisan in general and the least tolerant of Republicans among all Democrat groups. They are the largest engaged Democratic voting group and the largest of all voting groups in Pews voter typologies. They make up 25 percent of engaged voters.
Pew characterizes Disaffected Democrats as a “financially stressed, majority-minority group [that] supports activist government and the social safety net…” They are unhappy with America and their “disaffection stems from their cynicism about politics, government and the way things are going in the country. Disaffected Democrats would be the most likely to see the world through the lens of identity politics.”
A large majority of Disaffected Democrats say their side has been losing in politics, while fewer than half believe that voting gives them a say in how the government runs things, highlighting another hallmark of their beliefs: they have very little faith in the system.” They believe government has failed them and that, “poor people have hard lives because government benefits do not go far enough to help them live decently.” Unlike the white elite Postmodern Democrats, they often have lived in the same neighborhood their entire lives. They make up 11 percent of all engaged voters.
Together these two diverse progressive groups make up 36 percent of all engaged Democratic voters, which makes them the largest of any groups on the Left or Right. When pundits refer to the Democratic Party moving “leftwards” there are trying to capture this movement toward the postmodern level—the new center of gravity of cultural power on the American Left.
Postmodern Right: Market Skeptic Republicans
The group that is least understood in American politics is the Postmodern Right. While postmodernism on the Left focuses on the failure of modernity to address social justice in term of identity politics, the Postmodern Right questions the fundamental economic worldview of the Modern Right. In Pew’s survey, they show up as a new category named “Market Skeptic Republicans.”
Like those on the Postmodern Left, they share a strong skepticism of America exceptionalism, an overriding pessimism about the country, and they are critical of both political parties. They are the first ever “Republican-leaning group that is deeply skeptical of business and the fundamental fairness of the nation’s economic system.” They do not believe in lower taxes, which until recently defined the modern GOP, and they have an unfavorable view of banks and other financial institutions. Unlike other Republicans, Market Skeptic Republicans believe American capitalism is unfair, “an overwhelming share (94 percent) say the economic system unfairly favors powerful interests.”
The media often lumps them in as traditional conservatives because of their opposition to immigration. But that’s a mistake. They favor legal abortions in higher numbers than the Traditional Left Democrats, and they are the most secular of all Republican groups. They are also most interested in a white identity politics, mirroring those on the Left.
They are also the least loyal to the GOP. As Pew notes, “They stand out for their criticism of both political parties when it comes to caring about the middle class.” They hold a more favorable view of Donald Trump than most other Republican groups. Though not well known and ignored by the media, they are a larger voting group than the religious Right in the Republican Party, making up 10 percent of all engaged GOP voters.
Using Pew’s voter groups on an integral value map illuminates how polarization is causing divisions within, and well as between, America’s Left and Right. It also shows that the center of American politics has moved from a modern base which held the center of gravity for over a century to a new postmodern base. Today, the Democratic Party energy’s is centered at that postmodern level, while the center of the GOP remains modern.
What this Map Tells Us about the 2016 Election
In 2016, instead of hiring DC-based consultants, Donald Trump listened to conservative talk radio to plot his strategy. Just as a bat uses sonar, Trump bounces ideas off audiences and recalculates his path accordingly. He intuitively understood that the element unifying the different aspects of the Traditional and Modern Rights was their united opposition to the growing dominance of the urban elite, and the identity politics favored by the Postmodern Left. He exploited those tensions by aggravating them and antagonizing the mainstream media as a means of uniting the Right.
In addition, his post-truth worldview and ability to criticize establishment Republicans provided him with access to a new, postmodern Republican voting group—Market Skeptics. Writer David Ernst has argued in the Federalist that Trump is the first President to “turn postmodernism against itself,” because he grasped the postmodern idea of the anti-hero.
If politics flows downwards from culture, then it was only a matter of time before a politician mastered the role. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump cracked that code. Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood are just a few recent examples of the enormously popular characters who have, each in their own way, stood in for the role of the complicated bad guy who fascinates millions of Americans.
No one told Hillary Clinton that the political landscape in which she and her husband had learned politics had changed. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton successfully navigated the values divide between moderns and traditionalists by polling and then speaking successfully to both traditional and modern voters on the Left and center-Right. That’s not the political world Hillary inherited.
Neither she nor Bill are at home with the postmodern voters that are now the largest voting group in the Democrat coalition. Bill Clinton repeatedly proved to be a liability in the 2008 and 2016 races because he failed to understand the demands of the newly “woke” Democrat coalition. Hillary was a modern candidate in a postmodern party without the cultural translation skills she needed to communicate with progressives. Many of those progressives voted in unusually high numbers for Green party candidate Jill Stein or simply stayed home.
What to Expect in 2020
Trump will again seek to unite his coalition by goading the Postmodern Left. Though incumbents are usually judged by how they performed in office, Trump will try to make these opponents the focus of his 2020 campaign, just as he did in 2016. The more he’s scolded by the media, the better his chances will be of reuniting his coalition. However, this strategy risks losing New Era Entrepreneurs, and losing any voting group on the Right makes Trump’s re-election difficult.
Democratic primary voters, meanwhile, are becoming more postmodern. The pressure to move from the modern liberal to progressive postmodern worldview in the crowded primary field risks alienating modern Democrats. Worse, whoever wins the progressive primary will need to work hard to attract any modern voters in the center and on the Right. Though two aging straight white men lead the polls in the primary as of this writing, the reality of a postmodern base in the Democratic coalition doesn’t bode well for straight white male candidates, and offers new opportunities to candidates who are female, black, Latino, or gay.
The challenge for Republicans is that the Traditional Right voting block is aging out. The divisions around business and the role of government between Market Skeptic Republicans and Core Conservatives are as profound as—if not greater than—the divisions on the Left. Worse, their larger voting coalitions are demographically much older. Trump risks pushing the remaining younger entrepreneurial, ethnically diverse voters into the Democrat coalition.
There is, however, one bright spot in this chaos. According to Wilbur’s theory, a new “integral” value system is emerging that “transcends and includes” the best aspects of earlier value systems. Jordan Peterson’s popularity may be an early sign of this—while embracing aspects of tradition, science, and therapeutic culture, his message and best-selling book appear to be resonating.
If this marks an early shift towards integral values, such a move could put an end to our vicious culture wars as new leaders emerge with the ability to see multiple viewpoints and accommodate their contradictions. Understanding American politics will continue to be hard work. But only when we understand culture will we understand politics so that we can transform it for the better.
Hillary Clinton('s social media team) fired off a response to President Trump's Tuesday tweet that "Crooked Hillary Clinton should enter the race," adding "Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors including how & why she deleted 33,000 Emails AFTER getting “C” Subpoena!"
As we noted earlier Tuesday, speculation is rampant that Clinton is going to enter the 2020 presidential race for a third bite at the apple.
The jump in popularity comes as Joe Biden faces uncomfortable questions over whether he abused his position as Vice President to engage in profiteering with his son Hunter in Ukraine and China.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren was caught in yet another lie about her past - after video and documentary evidence disproved her claim that she was fired from a teaching job for being "visibly pregnant," when in truth she left voluntarily (a claim Warren has doubled down on).
On Monday, a Rasmussen poll had Hillary "neck-and-neck" with President Trump in a hypothetical rematch despite a majority (71%) responding that she shouldn't run.
If Hillary does (pant)suit up for a rematch Vs. Trump, it's sure to be an even more exciting than their 2016 match-up, as the Clinton campaign's funding of the infamous 'Steele Dossier' is well known, while the pro-Clinton Ukraine election meddling narrative is just starting to take off.