Nancy Pelosi and the Big Lie

Pelosi blames Bush for $9 trillion in debt added under Obama

By Al Weaver • 1/13/17 12:07 PM

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blamed former President George W. Bush and the Republicans on Friday for the more than $9 trillion that has been added to the national debt under President Obama’s watch.

Pelosi argued that under Obama, the annual budget deficit, which contributes to the national debt, has been reduced dramatically, and said that without Obama’s work, the national debt would be even higher. She also mostly blamed Bush for not paying for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“When President Obama stood on the steps on the Capitol eight years from next week, the [budget] deficit was $1.4 trillion — one year deficit,” she said. “It’s reduced by 70 percent in his administration. Much of the increase in the national debt that has occurred from this time still springs from two unpaid-for wars, cost that we owe our veterans following that, giveaways that they gave to the pharmaceutical industry, and the high-end tax cuts that have carried forward without any job production. Absent the work of President Obama, this national debt would be even higher.”

I am reminded of Mary McCarthy’s famous quote, regarding Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” Every word Nancy Pelosi utters is a lie, all conjunctions and articles included. President Bush submitted a budget for fiscal year 2009, which included a projected deficit of a way-too-high $407.4 billion.1 However, the Congress, then under control of the Democrats, with Mrs Pelosi serving as the Speaker of the House, declined to pass President Bush’s budget. Rather, after the end of FY2008 on September 30, 2008, Congress funded the federal government through the mechanisms of continuing resolutions, rather than normal budgeting and appropriations. Why? The Democrats believed, and rightly so, that Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) would win the 2008 presidential election, and they wanted to have appropriations made under a Democratic president, rather than having to bargain with a Republican. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law,2 and on March 11, 2009, he signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 into law.3

Simply put, President Bush’s largest deficit was a far-too-large $458.55 billion in FY2008. Had the Democrats followed standard procedure, and passed the budget and appropriations when they should have, he would have been responsible for the FY2009 budget, and deficit, but they refused. President Obama’s first four budget deficits were $1,412.69 billion, $1,294.37 billion, $1,299.59 billion and $1,086.96 billion.

The table to the right shows just what has happened to budget deficits since then. Yes, they have come down, but they haven’t come down far enough; only zero would be far enough. Only the FY2015 deficit under President Obama was smaller than President Bush’s largest. The final FY2016 budget deficit, which was not reflected on the chart, came in at $587 billion.

The national debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08 on President Bush’s last day in office; having entered office with a national debt of $5,727,776,738,304.64, that means that $4,899,100,210,628.34 was added to the national debt under the younger President Bush. Trouble is, the national debt stands at $19,941,807,383,847.05 right now, meaning that $9,314,930,334,915.97 has been added to the debt since President Obama took office, and he still has a week left to go! The increase in the national debt under President Obama is just a shade under twice that added under his predecessor.

Nancy Pelosi lies, which is no surprise; we’ve known that for decades. What conservatives have to do is challenge those lies, always challenge them, never allow them to go unanswered, because to do so is to allow the left to control the conversation. We already know that, according to the Democrats:

They will only get away with that if we let them!
_____________________________
Cross-posted on RedState.
_____________________________

  1. President Bush’s FY2009 Budget Submittal to Congress, Historical Tables, Table 1.1, found on page 22. Projected receipts: $2,699.947 billion; projected expenditures: $3,107.355 billion; projected deficit: $407.408 billion. This is a .pdf file.
  2. The bill was introduced on January 26, 2009, after President Bush had left office; President Bush had nothing at all to do with it.
  3. The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on February 23, 2009, after President Bush had left office; President Bush had nothing at all to do with it.

18 House Democrats to boycott inauguration

Eighteen petulant spoiled brats:

18 House Democrats to skip Trump’s inauguration

By Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan | 01/13/17 05:57 PM EST | Updated 01/13/17 08:28 PM EST

Despite raging against President-elect Donald Trump for months, so far there’s no widespread push from Democrats to abandon the controversial Republican’s inauguration. But that could change.

As of Saturday afternoon, 18 House Democrats have announced they’re skipping Trump’s Jan. 20 swearing-in, according to the latest count.

California Rep. Barbara Lee said she wouldn’t endorse a president defined by “racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry.” And civil rights era icon and veteran Democratic Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) blasted Trump in an interview set to air on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, saying the president-elect is not “legitimate” and he’ll be skipping the inauguration for the first time since he arrived in Congress in 1987. Lewis was one of three black lawmakers to testify against Trump’s attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), earlier this week.

In addition to Lee and Lewis, Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, José Serrano, Nydia Velazquez, Adriano Espaillat and Jerrold Nadler of New York, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Lacy Clay of Missouri, and Mark Takano, Mark DeSaulnier, Jared Huffman, Ted Lieu and Judy Chu of California have all said they’ll skip the ceremony because they can’t stomach Trump.

However, House Democratic leaders say they will be in attendance at the inauguration, if mostly to support the office, not the man.

I tried several different Google searches to find information on Republicans who boycotted the two inaugurations of Barack Hussein Obama, and found nothing relevant. It’s possible that some Republican congressmen chose not to attend for personal reasons, but didn’t make any particular news stories about it. How many would have boycotted the inauguration had Hillary Clinton won the election?

There are stories about Republicans organizing to resist President Obama’s agenda, but that’s politics, and representatives organizing for the good of the country; it’s not a show of disrespect.

Naturally, the Democrats are already using Mr Lewis claim that Mr Trump is not a “legitimate President,” and Mr Trump’s response, in a fundraising effort.

Well, the incoming President has a tendency to return disrespect for disrespect, and I would hope that the districts of Representative John Lewis (D-GA) and his fellow travelers see their disrespect returned in the form of less federal assistance and fewer federal dollars going to them.

Repeating a mistake? Michelle Obama held up as leading force in the Democratic Party

I was watching CNN’s New Day morning program at around 7:40 AM today, when host Victor Blackwell gave viewers a lead off line to an upcoming story about First Lady Michelle Obama, noting her transformation into one of the leading forces in the Democratic Party today.

Why, I asked myself, as I got up and headed to the kitchen to make myself a big glass of Quik and head to the computer room to type this, is a First Lady, one about to leave ‘office,’ a leading force in the Democratic Party? Mrs Obama has held no official public office, has never been elected to anything, and never held any official position of power.

I thought back to the last Democratic First Lady, who at least managed to carpetbag herself a Senate seat win election to become a senator for New York.1 Then, after a failed campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, a campaign she entered very heavily favored to win, President Barack Obama appointed her to become Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton became a personality for the Democrats. I suppose that it started with her husband’s “you get two for the price of one” meme during his 1992 presidential campaign. As a senator, she was frequently sent out to be the Democratic voice on the Sunday interview shows during the Bush Administration, but she didn’t build any significant record during her eight years in the Senate. Again, she was a significant personality when she became Secretary of State but, again, she built no strong record in that office: foreign policy was set in the White House, not the State Department, and her performance as an administrator was mediocre, at best. Walter Russell Mead tried to write a positive appraisal of her tenure as Secretary, but reading it reminded me of an attempt to puff up a lackluster record, an unintentionally damning with faint praise effort. Michael Hirsh, a liberal journalist (JournoList would be a better description), wrote an article for Foreign Affairs in which he attempted to praise Mrs Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, but even he began with:

By any standard measure of diplomacy, Clinton will be remembered as a highly competent secretary of state, but not a great one. Despite her considerable star power around the world, her popularity at home, and her reputation for being on the right side of most issues, she left office without a signature doctrine, strategy, or diplomatic triumph. It is a stretch to include Clinton in the company of John Quincy Adams, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and Henry Kissinger—some of the great secretaries of state who profoundly changed U.S. foreign policy.

The liberal Huffington Post was less charitable.

Nevertheless, Mrs Clinton entered the 2016 primary campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination the overwhelming favorite, as she had in 2008, and this time, facing no opposition from a candidate with real star-power, she won, and was heavily favored to win the general election in November. All of the polls projected her winning, all of the experts said that she would cruise to an easy victory, against a Republican candidate who had a ton of charisma but a deeply flawed past, and was seen as a clown candidate by a not-insignificant portion of the electorate, and she lost again. Pennsylvania had not been carried by a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, and was supposedly a lock for Mrs Clinton; Donald Trump carried the Keystone State. Wisconsin and Michigan were Democratic strongholds, states which were considered so solidly blue, part of the ‘blue wall,’ that the campaign put little effort there; both were carried by Mr Trump.

What Mrs Clinton proved is that her husband’s claim that we’d “get two for the price of one” wasn’t true. The left, seeing Bill Clinton’s praise of Mrs Clinton, holding her up as his equal, saw Mrs Clinton as actually his equal, another Clinton who would lead the Democratic Party to the Promised Land of electoral victory, after President Obama’s disastrous record of losing 1,030 Democrat-held seats to the GOP during his eight years in office. Not only would Mrs Clinton retain the White House for the Democrats, but the Democrats were poised to recapture control of the Senate. Robert H. Frank, an economist at Cornell — another one of the Ivy League elitists positioned to tell the commoners what they should do — even thought that Mrs Clinton’s leadership might enable the Democrats to recapture the House of Representatives if she’d put more effort into it.

Thud! It turned out that Hillary Clinton was not the equal of Bill Clinton, at least not as a politician and a leader. While the Democrats have been trying to blame Mrs Clinton’s unexpected loss on Russian hacking2 and James Comey, Mr Comey coming into play only because Mrs Clinton had been so fornicating stupid as to set up a private e-mail server for her tenure as Secretary of State.3 Representative John Lewis (D-GA) fired the first salvo in an attempt by the Democrats to claim that Mr Trump will not be a “legitimate” president.

And now, the Democrats are about to make the same mistake with Michelle Obama. If she is, as Mr Blackwell characterized her, a leading force in the Democratic Party, one has to ask why she is. She has, on her own, done even less than Mrs Clinton. President Obama has proven to be a dynamic speaker and an amazing politician, managing to win re-election when the ‘official’ U-3 unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, but that does not mean that his wife is.4

The Democrats made what is usually a Republican mistake, choosing the candidate whose ‘turn’ it was to be the nominee,5 and she turned out to be a disaster, a candidate with support a mile wide and an inch deep. When election day came, Mrs Clinton was both so obviously the winner and so uninspiring a candidate that a lot of Democrats just didn’t bother to get out and vote, despite increased ‘early voting’ opportunities which made casting a ballot much more convenient in some states. The Democrats need new blood, not promoting the old blood of the Obamas.
__________________________

  1. I initially typed “a senator from New York,” but changed it, because Hillary Clinton wasn’t actually from New York.
  2. If the Russians were truly the ones who hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s and John Podesta’s e-mails, they still did nothing but turn over those e-mails to WikiLeaks, which published them. The problem for Mrs Clinton was the content of those e-mails, and nobody fabricated that.
  3. The White House knew about this, but did not object; President Obama knew about this personally, and thus used a pseudonym to e-mail Mrs Clinton. If the President ever told his Secretary of State that this was a poor idea, it has not been made public.
  4. Mrs Obama could have won the Senate seat then held by Mark Kirk (R-IL) had she chosen to run for it, following the Clinton pattern. The Obamas have long quashed any rumors that Mrs Obama will run for office.
  5. There were a couple of times it wasn’t a mistake: Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the elder George Bush in 1988.

If anyone ever thought that the Democrats believed in freedom, President Obama has just proved that they don’t He favors criminals, traitors, terrorists and tyrants over decent, law-abiding American citizens

We knew that no good would come from President Obama ‘normalizing’ relations with Cuba. From The Miami Herald:

Obama making changes to Cuban immigration policy

By Alicia A Caldwell and Julie Pace | Associated Press | January 12, 2017 | 5:24 PM EST

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately, according the official. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S.

The U.S. and Cuba planned to issue a joint statement later Thursday. The official insisted on anonymity in order to detail the change ahead of the announcement.

The official said the Cubans gave no assurances about treatment of those sent back to the country, but said political asylum remains an option for those concerned about persecution if they return.

Read more here.

I guess that I really shouldn’t be surprised, but this one has me shaking my head. The decision “follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S.” Think about that: our outgoing President, who has been taking steps to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico from being deported, now wants to make it illegal to immigrate from Cuba without a visa — and what Cuban can safely apply for one with the Dirección de Inteligencia and the Comités de Defensa de la Revolución watching everything and everybody? — so that Cubans are forced to remain under the Communist dictatorship, and those who do flee successfully will be sent right back to Cuba.

One difference? The Democrats believe that they will receive most of the votes of Mexican immigrants, while Cuban-Americans are strongly Republican. But, of course, we know that President Obama would never take that into consideration.

So, what do we have? Since the election:

  1. President Obama ordered Samantha Power, our Ambassador to the United Nations, to abstain on Security Council Resolution 2334, a censure of Israel, the one democracy in the Middle East, in favor of the thug Fatah and terrorist Hamas organizations among the Palestinians;
  2. President Obama is now trying to send people fleeing tyranny back to Cuba;
  3. President Obama has put traitor Bradley Manning on the ‘short list’ for sentence commutation; and
  4. President Obama continues to release the remaining hard-core prisoners from detention at Guantanamo, sending them back to the Middle East, where a significant number have returned to the battlefield to shoot at American soldiers.

In every one of those actions — and the commutation of Mr Manning’s 35 year sentence hasn’t happened yet — our 44th President has been favoring the forces of oppression and tyranny, and opposing freedom, democracy and the defense of the United States. He is trying to do everything he can to tie the hands of his successor, and weaken the defenses of law-abiding American citizens. January 20th cannot get here too soon!

Why Donald Trump won, why the economists have been baffled

6 in 10 Americans don’t have $500 in savings

by Kathryn Vasel | @KathrynVasel | January 12, 2017: 8:21 AM ET

If you were suddenly hit with a $500 unexpected bill, would you be able to cover it?

If the answer is no, you’re not alone.

Nearly six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense, according to a new report from Bankrate.

Only 41% of adults reported having enough in their savings account to cover a surprise bill of this magnitude. A little more than 20% said they would put it on a credit card, the report said, while 20% would cut their spending and 11% would turn to friends and family for financial assistance.

“This is a persistent American problem of how you should handle your finances and spending,” said Jill Cornfield, retirement analyst for Bankrate.

There’s a lot more at the link, but when I saw this story, my mind immediately went back to Heather Long’s story from last September, Most Americans don’t believe the unemployment rate is 5%. I wrote about Miss Long’s story then, and everything since than has only reinforced my position. I wrote:

What this tells me is that “regular people” just might have a better understanding of the economy than the highly-educated economists working for the federal government and august publications like The Wall Street Journal. So, “(n)early a third of those survey(ed) by Rutgers believe unemployment is actually at 9%, or higher?” Well, for August of 2016, the U-6 unemployment rate, defined as “Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force,1 plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force,” stood at 9.7%. To me, it sure looks like those “regular people” are the ones who have it right: without the vast majority of them actually looking at the U-6 numbers — you do have to know where to look — they still guesstimated that unemployment was 9% or higher, right in line with the official numbers.

The official numbers have improved very slightly, with U-3 for December at 4.7%, and U-6 at 9.2%.2 Trouble is, the professionals tell us how great it is that the “unemployment rate,” which is how they always characterize U-3, is down to 4.7%, but the public don’t feel it is that low.

Gasoline prices were down from the previous November on election day, U-3 was down, and the deficit never made the news anymore — something I would bet changes after January 20th — and every economic indicator save one3 pointed to Hillary Clinton winning the election. Moody’s Analytics told us that Hillary Clinton was going to defeat Donald Trump easily, 332 to 206 in the Electoral College, and “The Reuters-Ipsos States of the Nation project also predicts a Clinton win, with a 95 percent probability of her winning at least 278 electoral votes.” An e*Trade survey of active investors4 indicated a 60% to 40% preference for Hillary Clinton.

And that is the thing that jumps out at me. All of the ‘economic metrics’ favored Mrs Clinton, but they were measures of the elites, measures of the coasts, measures which failed to take into account the people who have been left behind. Miss Vasel’s story noted that only 41% of adults reported savings of $500 to $1,000 available to cover an emergency, and I know plenty of people in that situation.  These are the people who defied the experts, these are the people who did not do what their betters told them to do, which was to vote for Mrs Clinton.  For the professional economists, for Paul Krugman and the rest who believe that Democratic Party policies are better for the poor than those of the GOP, it was all of those people who dread the next financial emergency that confounded them. For all of those people who looked at the statistics, there was a failure to see that while the statistics said things were getting better, the real people those statistics were supposed to measure didn’t, and don’t, believe that they were better off.

____________________

  1. Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.
  2. Was I the only person in the country to notice that, for 8 out of the last 25 months, U-6 was at least double U-3, and the rest of the time it was close to double? This has been very much out of the ordinary, and had not happened at all prior to October of 2015.
  3. Stock prices had declined between August 1 and Hallowe’en, which pointed to a Republican victory.
  4. Active investors defined as those who have at least $10,000 in the market.

Horrors! Most economists are just terribly, terribly worried about Donald Trump I'd have more faith in the economists if they'd actually get things right once in a while

I saw the tweet:

Which led me to the article:

Why Most Economists Are So Worried About Trump

Justin Wolfers1 | @JustinWolfers | January 11, 2017

If the November election was intended as a rejection of elites, of expertise and of the sort of technocratic advice that economists often give, it’s a punch that has landed.

In somber analyses, huddled hallway conversations and pointed asides during endless panel sessions at the annual conference of economists last weekend in Chicago, the major theme was a sense of anxiety about the incoming Trump administration. This foreboding was evident in roughly equal measure among conservative and liberal economists. But it is in direct contrast with the feelings of small-business owners and Wall Street traders.

Most of my fellow economists remain convinced that university-trained economists can offer useful insight to the new administration. Few believe it will matter. The life force that animates the econ tribe — that what they’re doing matters — has been drained away.

Few see useful channels for influence. Partly this reflects President-elect Donald J. Trump’s legislative plans. On issues like restricting trade, directly intervening to assist specific industries or corporations, targeting tax cuts to the wealthy, his agenda stands as a rejection of the advice that mainstream economist have typically offered.

And partly this reflects Mr. Trump’s appointments. Few of his key economic advisers have any economics training, and the only official who identifies as an economist — Peter Navarro, who earned a Harvard Ph.D. in economics and will head up the newly formed National Trade Council — stands so far outside the mainstream that he endorses few of the key tenets of the profession.

There’s a lot more whining at the original, in which Dr Wolfers tells us just how appalled the professional economists are, with the only three dissenters, out of 31 surveyed in the University of Chicago’s IGM Economic Experts Panel, the vast majority of whom disagreed that Donald Trump’s “seven actions to protect American workers” would help American workers, and of those three, two were uncertain, and the third had no expressed opinion at all.2

But at least Dr Wolfers does note some dissent:

The pervasive pessimism among professional economists stands in stark contrast with the judgment of financial markets, which rose strongly in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election, and have remained buoyant since.

It also puts economists at odds with the judgments of small-business owners. According to the latest survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the balance of members who expect general business conditions to improve has moved drastically. In October, the pessimists who saw business conditions as likely to worsen outnumbered the optimists by seven percentage points; the latest survey from December shows that the optimists now outnumber the pessimists by 50 percentage points. It’s an extraordinary shift — one the association described as “stratospheric.”

Let me be blunt here: economists are those people who study trends and take sophisticated measurements and tell us what they believe is likely to happen if a given policy or set of policies are followed but suffer no consequences if they guess wrong, while businessmen and investors are those people who put their money, and their livelihoods, on the line with their judgements as to how the economy will perform.

We have noted previously that the professional economists’ projections haven’t been borne out in reality, frequently getting wrong not only projections of the future but measurements of what has already happened.

stimulus projectionsRemember this graph? The brilliant economist who designed President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus plan told us what the effects of the plan would be on unemployment, and he got it remarkably wrong.3 If we are to believe his projections of what would have happened had the plan not been passed, then we’d have to conclude that the plan made things worse, not better. And now he’s telling us that the incoming President’s economic plans are going to fail.

Of course the professional economists are going to take a dim view of the incoming President’s economic plans, because they didn’t craft them, and Mr Trump doesn’t seem to listen to them. Of course, given their actual record of accomplishment, it would seem that there is little reason to listen to them. And we haven’t even touched on just how badly the economists’ predictions for the performance of the laughably-named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act failed.

Larry Summers falls asleep during President Obama's meeting with credit card officials. Would it be wrong of me to suggest that economists need to sleep more often?

Larry Summers falls asleep during President Obama’s meeting with credit card officials.

The professional economists are just terribly, terribly worried about Mr Trump’s economic plans. I suppose that, had the voters away from the coasts listened to the economists, Hillary Clinton would be awaiting her inauguration as President eight days from now. But, like the oh-so-terribly-informed Englishmen who disobeyed their betters and voted for the Brexit, Americans in flyover country also chose not to listen to the economists. Perhaps Americans feel that the professional economists do better when they are asleep! :)
______________________________________________________

  1. Justin Wolfers is a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. Follow him on Twitter at @justinwolfers.
  2. For some gallows humor, you can read Paul Krugman’s twitter feed; the esteemed Dr Krugman has full-blown #TrumpDerangementSyndrome.
  3. Those are the ‘official’ U-3 unemployment numbers; it has been my position that the U-6 unemployment figures more accurately reflect the employment situation. U-6 is defined as “Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

The left rediscover federalism

From The Boston Globe:

Liberals are reconsidering federalism in the wake of Trump

By Renée Loth | Boston Globe Columnist | January 09, 2017

With all of official Washington in the grip of Republicans, and an autocratic — not to say imperial — figure in the White House, many liberals are taking a second look at the 10th Amendment. That’s the one where all power not explicitly granted to the federal government by the US Constitution devolves to the states. “Progressive federalism,” a term that once might have been considered an oxymoron, is coming into vogue as worried Americans look to the states to protect their rights or to resist President-elect Donald Trump’s more despotic policy proposals.

Already, states are preparing rearguard actions against executive overreach. California has declared that it will remain committed to the Paris climate accords even if Trump, as threatened, pulls the United States out of the global agreement. Just last week the California state legislature hired former attorney general Eric Holder to help craft legal strategies to thwart the Trump agenda. A number of cities have pledged to continue protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation roundups despite Trump’s threats to cut off their federal funding. “The states are where it’s at,” says Carol Rose, director of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union. “We are the safe havens of democracy.”

It’s ironic that progressives find themselves looking for decentralized solutions to overweening power in Washington. Federalism, and its coarser cousin “states’ rights,” have long carried a noxious whiff of bigotry because of Southern-state resistance to civil rights and the abolition of slavery. And, since at least the 1960s and President Johnson’s Great Society, liberals have looked to Washington for broad safety-net protections, and to the Supreme Court to confer an ever-widening circle of liberties. Small-government federalists, by contrast, have often pushed local control as a cover for retrograde policies on civil rights and social welfare, including deep budget cuts masquerading as “block grants.”

Conservatives are calling out the new fair-weather federalists as hypocrites, with snarky comments about liberals finding their inner Jeffersonian now that big government has gotten scary. But Massachusetts, at least, has walked the federalist walk, with pioneering “laboratory of democracy” experiments in same-sex marriage and universal health care that eventually became national law, just as the Jeffersonians intended.

There’s more at the original, but if the left are becoming inclement-weather federalists, a term I find more reasonable given what they see as ominous storm clouds over Washington, I am happy to see them as federalists, regardless of how they got here. We just need to make sure federalism stays in vogue after the 45th President leaves office.1

Naturally, the very liberal Mrs Loth has to get in some shots at conservatives, both in the quoted section above and the remainder of the column, but I care little for her scorn, as long as it leads the left to a more federalist stance. She can despise those of us in flyover country all she wishes, an attitude which helped elect Donald Trump, as long as the left cannot impose liberal policies on those of us who do not share their views.

Will the Pyrite State stick with the Paris climate accords even if the incoming President withdraws the outgoing President’s signature? Businesses have been fleeing over-taxed and over-regulated California for greener pastures for some time now, and if the Democrats governing the state of my birth don’t care if the people remaining have jobs, why should I? If the Bay State’s taxpayers want to pony up more and more money to support Syrian refugees and illegal immigrants, as long as they aren’t sticking their hands in my pockets, that’s fine with me.
____________________________
Cross-posted on RedState.
____________________________

  1. As it happens, I’ve been rereading William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and I just finished Chapter 7, “The Nazification of Germany,” describing how the Nazis eliminated the power of the various German states, concentrating all decision-taking in Berlin. The policies of the American left might be different, but the tactic of concentrating more and more power in the federal government has been the same.

Marissa Mayer: on her way out the door at Yahoo

We have paid some attention to the career of Marissa Mayer, the former Google executive who was hired to be the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo in 2012. Now it looks as though her tenure at Yahoo is coming to an end:

Marissa Mayer to resign from Yahoo board after sale

by Seth Fiegerman | January 9, 2017: 6:40 PM ET

Marissa Mayer will step down from Yahoo’s board of directors if its sale to Verizon goes through, according to a company filing on Monday.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer

The Yahoo CEO’s pending resignation from the board is part of a broader restructuring. After completing the $4.8 billion sale of its core Internet assets to Verizon (VZ, Tech30), what remains of Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30) will effectively be converted into an investment company for its Alibaba (BABA, Tech30) holdings.

Fittingly, that company will be renamed Altaba, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yahoo, wait sorry, we mean Altaba (this takes some getting used to), will then shrink its board to five directors. Yahoo cofounder David Filo and chairman Maynard Webb also intend to step down from the board.

Yahoo says in the filing that none of the board members are resigning “due to any disagreement with the Company” over “operations, policies or practices.”

There’s more at the original, but after Yahoo suffered two serious data breaches, “Verizon is rumored to be rethinking the price of the deal and possibly scrapping it altogether.” After failing to rescue Yahoo from its failing status — Yahoo had been on the decline for years prior to Mrs Mayer’s hiring — the CEO negotiated a $4.8 billion sale to Verizon. If after her other expensive but nevertheless unsuccessful attempts to rescue Yahoo, by buying Tumblr among other things, the sale falls through, Mrs Mayer will be done anyway. Mrs Mayer did not invest enough into cybersecurity, which led to the data breaches, and that would place the failure of the sale, if Verizon bails out, directly on her desk.

Mrs Mayer once said:

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

I give her credit: she attempted to rescue a company where several others tried and failed. The Economist noted that outside CEO hires were more likely to fail and be fired than in-house hires — this happened to Carly Fiorina — and research has shown that when companies are in trouble, they are more likely to hire women to become their CEOs than healthy corporations. General Motors hired Mary Barra as their new CEO just two weeks prior to a major recall involving 1.6 million units over faulty ignition switches linked to 13 fatalities. Mrs Barra was an outsider, and the recall issue was not her fault, but, as CEO, it was certainly her responsibility; she has survived that, and remains at the head of GM.

To me, Mrs Mayer’s quote is an important one. She was offered a chance to do something she really wasn’t sure she could do, but she had the courage to go ahead and try anyway. Not everyone who tries something will succeed, but many will.

The loss of librarians indicates that libraries may be a thing of the past

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Philadelphia School District librarians: a species nearly extinct?

by Kristen A. Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer | @newskag | Updated: January 9, 2017 — 1:07 AM EST

How many full-time, certified librarians would you guess one of the nation’s largest school systems – a district with 220 schools and 134,000 students – employs?

One hundred? Two hundred?

Not even close. Eight certified, full-time school librarians staff Philadelphia School District buildings. A handful of others juggle library responsibilities with teaching classes. Many school libraries are closed entirely.

School libraries have been disappearing in Philadelphia and elsewhere for years, but that the number of full-time, certified librarians is now in the single digits is astonishing, even to those who study library trends.

There’s a lot more at the original, including facts about how students in schools with full-time librarians have higher aggregate test scores and grades. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia school district simply cannot afford everything; other than Donald Trump, who can?

My library: it's in the iPad to the left of the keyboard, and in the hard drive of my desktop.

My library: it’s in the iPad to the left of the keyboard, and in the hard drive of my desktop.

However, it occurs to me that the emphasis being placed on librarians may be a vestige of 18th century technology. I’m a pretty well-read fellow, and to the left of the keyboard on my computer desk is my library: it’s a Kindle library, on my iPad. Naturally, there’s more in the hard drive of the desktop, and there are a lot of Kindle books not in the iPad memory, but in the ‘cloud.’

Now, I have had a lot of books, and still have a lot of books. We had well over a thousand at one time, but we’ve gotten rid of most of them, both to get rid of some of the clutter and to downsize for our retirement move back to the Bluegrass State. Being something of a traditionalist, most of our hardback books are still here, and they’ll (probably) be displayed in a couple of nice bookcases in our retirement home, but the fact is that they are for show; they don’t get read anymore. I have a nice, cased hardback set of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, books which get read and reread, over and over again . . . but they get reread on our Kindles!1 I happen to have a hardback copy of the book I’m currently reading, William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but I’m reading it on my Kindle.

I do not claim to be either a librarian or a professional educator, but it seems to me that the need isn’t for more librarians, but for specialists in helping students find and read good books online, via Kindles or their laptops or whatever devices are available. That is the wave of the future, while print books are, to be brutally honest, being left in the dust of the past. Barnes & Noble,2 the nation’s largest bookseller, has been in financial trouble for a while now, though store closings have slowed in 2016.3 Borders Books went out of business several years ago.

A lot of people like the feel of a real book in their hands when they read, but the same is true of newspapers, and newspapers have lost a great deal of their circulation. The article cited from The Philadelphia Inquirer? I found it thanks to twitter, read it online, and it didn’t cost me a penny. The future is coming, and while it certainly includes the exchange of information and ideas and stories and literature, that doesn’t mean it includes printed books and newspapers.
_______________________

  1. Everyone in the family has his own Kindle; all of the Kindle books purchased are bought under my account, and then become available on all of our readers.
  2. BKS opened at $10.65 today; it had a high of $28.66 on July 17, 2015. It’s P/E ration was a terrible 77.17, but it’s dividend yield is 5.63%.
  3. Barnes & Noble tried to compete with Amazon’s Kindle through their Nook reader, but it has been a miserable failure. They’ve actually done better with print books.

Disgraceful

Watching Chris Cuomo ‘interviewing’ KellyAnne Conway on CNN’s New Day this morning, I came to one inescapable conclusion: in trying to get Mrs Conway to ‘admit’ that Donald Trump wanted voters to read the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee e-mails released by WikiLeaks, in order to influence the election, the esteemed Mr Cuomo, a partisan Democrat who is the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo (D-NY) and brother of current Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), was attempting to get Mrs Conway to ‘admit’ what the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said was impossible to know, that the released e-mails led to the election of Mr Trump to be the next President of the United States.

That is the underlying — with the emphasis on the ‘lying’ part — meme of the whole issue: the professional media, with the notable exception of Fox News, wish to create the impression that were it not for the successful hacking into John Podesta’s and the DNC’s e-mails, Hillary Clinton would have won the election. Mr Cuomo is attempting what so many other Democrats have been trying to do, which is to undermine the legitimacy of Mr Trump’s upcoming presidency.

That may be why only 33% of viewers who turn primarily to CNN for news “trust the political news they are getting” from CNN. Even MSNBC has a higher trustworthiness rating, 43%. I would guess that is because MSNBC does not claim to be anything other than liberal; even if I disagree with their points of view, I can at least appreciate that MSNBC is honest about its political orientation.