The death of #OttoWarmbier

It isn’t often that Salon gets something right, but this time, they did:

This might be America’s biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea

Coerced into an international crime, perhaps as a secret-society prank. Great move, Otto Frederick Warmbier

By Brendan Gauthier | Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:37 AM EDT

“Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore last night dissected the case of Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who’s been held in North Korea since January on charges of “acts of hostility against the state.”

Warmbier was arrested at the Pyongyang airport on January 2 for allegedly stealing a propaganda piece from his hotel with the intent to sell it as a “trophy” back in the states.

“What were you expecting? Some Spring Break spot with a bunch of strip clubs?” Wilmore said. “Because North Korea’s version of ‘Girls Gone Wild’ is just middle-age women eating full rations of oatmeal.”

“North Korea isn’t a playground for college pranks, Kim Jong-un isn’t a fictional character from a Seth Rogen movie, and Pyongyang isn’t some game you play with Coors Light and Solo cups,” Wilmore continued. “It’s just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears.”

Let me be clear about this: Brendan Gauthier and Salon are scum, and Mr Gauthier’s article is repugnant. He has taken the assumption that Mr Warmbier was somehow ‘coerced’ into his ‘prank’ as some sort of initiation test for the University of Virginia’s secretive Z Society. But in his laying Mr Warmbier’s fate at Mr Warmbier’s feet, he told the cold, hard truth.

The bigger problem wasn’t that Mr Warmbier may or may not have stolen a propaganda poster; the biggest problem was that he was stupid enough to go to North Korea in the first place.

Mr Warmbier was not the first American to be held as a hostage, and a bargaining chip, by North Korea; this has been something they’ve been doing for a lot longer than Kim Jong-un has been the ‘Supreme Leader.’ And every American ought to know that going to North Korea is not only risking himself as a potential hostage, but is putting the security of the United States at risk, by giving the Norks a weapon to use against the United States.

Nina Bookout of The Victory Girls wrote:

Many people are going to want to blame somebody…ANYBODY…for Otto’s death. But the plain truth of it is, the North Korean government is the one to blame. They didn’t have to make an example of that young man the way that they did. They could’ve and should’ve just made him leave the country. Instead they chose to thumb their noses at the United States and ‘make an example’ out of this young man.

What did the Obama Administration do? Nothing. And they ALSO told the Warmbier family to keep their mouths shut because doing otherwise would make the Norks mad.

Cameron Blount, ΠΚΑ at Indiana State University, tweeted:

Regular readers know that I am no fan of President Obama, but if the Obama Administration did nothing to get Mr Warmbier released, then they did the right thing. If the Obama Administration did not get Mr Warmbier released, then it means that they didn’t give up anything to North Korea to get him released, and that was wise, if nevertheless cold-hearted, policy.

The Trump Administration needs to announce that any American stupid enough to go to North Korea (or Iran, for that matter) is on his own! The North Koreans can use Americans as hostages and bargaining chips only if we are willing to bargain with them for those hostages. Americans who go willingly to North Korea are setting themselves us as possible weapons to be used against American policy.

Am I being hard-hearted with this? Yup, sure am! But I’m also telling you the truth.

I’ve seen this before

From The New York Times:

The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought

Thomas B. Edsall | Contributing Op-Ed Writer | June 8, 2017

Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

I have said it before: the Democrats cannot be both the party of the working person and the party of the non-working person.

Some of these post-mortem conclusions are based on polling and focus groups conducted by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA; others are drawn from a collection of 13 essays published by The American Prospect.

A consistent theme is that the focus on white defections from the Democratic Party masks an even more threatening trend: declining turnout among key elements of the so-called Rising American Electorate — minority, young and single voters. Turnout among African-Americans, for example, fell by 7 points, from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016.

I suppose that it’s wholly politically incorrect to say it, but is it any particular surprise that black voter turnout, which increased dramatically with Barack Obama on the ticket,1 decreased when neither the presidential nor vice-presidential nominee was black?

That Hillary Clinton was white may be only part of the reason black voter turnout decreased, to close to what it was in 2004; Mrs Clinton was both a duller-than-dishwater candidate, who actually inspired few people, but she was also projected, by virtually, everybody, to win handily. In 2016, well, Mrs Clinton just didn’t need people to go to the polls, right? And when they didn’t, she wound up somewhat disappointed with the election results.

Skipping much further down:

Democratic pessimism today stands in contrast to the optimism that followed the elections of 2006, 2008 and 2012.

At that time, the consensus was that Democrats had found the key to sustained victory. The party saw its future in ascendant constituencies: empowered minorities, singles, social liberals and the well-educated.

Democratic activists saw the Republican Party as doomed to defeat without a radical change of course because it was tied to overlapping constituencies that they viewed as of waning significance — for example, older, non-college, evangelical white Christians.

Today, in a world of angry, fearful voters, it is liberal optimism that is at a low ebb — buffeted by a drumroll of terrorist incidents, rising levels of hostility toward immigrants and a broad animus toward difference, the unknown and the other.

Yet it was the Republicans who were optimistic, not just after 2016, but 2010 and 2014.

I’ve seen this so many times in the past few election cycles: there are all sorts of stories about how the losing party is going to be stuck in permanently losing status. The Republicans were pronounced dead following the 2008 elections, yet came back to take the House of Representatives in 2010.  After 2012, it was conceded that the GOP wasn’t quite dead, but probably locked out of the White House for the foreseeable future.  Somehow, some way, the predictions of the ‘experts’ don’t seem to yield expert results.

There’s a lot more at the original, much of it concerning the statistics of 2016, and how the Democrats face doom-and-gloom.  As much as I’d like to see the Democrats truly facing political death, ’tis better to (mis)quote Samuel Clemens: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

__________________________

  1. In 2012, black voter turnout of 66.2% exceeded that of white voters, at 61.4%. In 2008, black voter turnout was 64.7%, up from 60.0% in 2004.

Is Bernie Sanders responsible for James Hodgkinson? Using his own, stated standards, he must be!

By my standards, no: James Hodgkinson was simply loony tunes, a man who had trouble controlling his temper, coupled with the sore loser attitude among today’s American left. He had some ‘encounters’ with law enforcement due to his temper, but was never convicted of any crimes over them.

But what about by Senator Sanders’ standards? Jason Hopkins, writing in The Resurgent, noted Mr Sanders’ response to the shooting of then-Representative Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ) in 2011, pointing out that the Distinguished Gentleman from Vermont actually sent out a find-raising letter over the shooting of Mrs Giffords:

Sen. Sanders Sends Out Fundraising Email Citing Arizona Tragedy

January 11, 2011 | By ABCNEWS.COM | Matthew Jaffe

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, today sent out a fundraising email to supporters in which he includes his analysis of the Arizona shootings that ties the tragedy to “right-wing reactionaries.”

“This horrendous act of violence is not some kind of strange aberration for this area where, it appears, threats and acts of violence are part of the political climate,” Sanders said in his letter. “Nobody can honestly express surprise that such a tragedy finally occurred.”

The Vermont senator, who caucuses with Democrats, cited past Arizona incidents such as vandalism at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district office after the health care reform vote and Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map, as well as other outbreaks of violence like when a bullet was shot into Rep. Raul Grijalva’s office.

“In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?” asks Sanders. “Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?”

“My colleague, Senator John McCain, issued a very strong statement after the shooting in which he condemned the perpetrator of the attack. I commend him for that. But I believe Senator McCain and other Arizona Republicans need to do more,” Sanders said. “As the elder statesman of Arizona politics McCain needs to stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing and exert his influence to create a civil political environment in his state.”

There’s a little more at the original.

Senator Sanders asked, in his fund-raising appeal, “Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?” It’s six years later, and that question ought to be reversed, as we consider how many conservatives have been shouted down or had their planned presentations canceled, primarily around university campuses, due to left-wing protests, objections and “fears for safety?” Have left-wing radicals, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?

Remember when neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was assaulted on Inauguration by a masked “J20” protester, and the left-wing magazine The Nation called it a thing of “kinetic beauty?”

Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer Got Punched—You Can Thank the Black Bloc

A dispatch from inside the J20 protests.

By Natasha Lennard | January 22, 2017

The transcendental experience of watching Roger Federer play tennis, David Foster Wallace wrote, was one of “kinetic beauty.” Federer’s balletic precision and mastering of time, on the very edge of what seems possible for a body to achieve, was a form of bodily genius. What Foster Wallace saw in a Federer Moment, I see in a video of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face.

You may have seen it, it’s a meme now, set to backing tracks of Bruce Springsteen, New Order, even a song from Hamilton. The punch, landed by a masked protester on Inauguration Day, lends itself perfectly to a beat. Spencer, who states that America belongs to white men, was in the midst of telling an Australian TV crew in DC that he was not a neo-Nazi, while pointing to his neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog lapel pin. A black-clad figure then jumps into frame, deus ex machina, with a perfectly placed right hook to Spencer’s face. The alt-right poster boy stumbles away, and his anonymous attacker bounds out of sight in an instant. I don’t know who threw the punch, but I know by his unofficial uniform that this was a member of our black bloc that day. And anyone enjoying the Nazi-bashing clip (and many are) should know that they’re watching anti-fascist bloc tactics par excellence—pure kinetic beauty. If you want to thank Spencer’s puncher, thank the black bloc.

The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tactic—marching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary object—the black bloc. On Friday, the bloc I joined in DC numbered well over 500, the largest of its kind since the antiwar protests over a decade prior. As I wrote in advance of the inauguration, if we recognize fascism in Trump’s ascendance, our response must be anti-fascist in nature. The history of anti-fascist action is not one of polite protest, nor failed appeals to reasoned debate with racists, but direct, aggressive confrontation. While perhaps best associated in the United States with the anti-globalization movement’s major summit protests nearly two decades ago, the black bloc is part of the longstanding visual language of international anti-fascism, or antifa. For example, bloc tactics have been used by European anti-fascists marching against neo-Nazis since the 1990s in Germany. The symbolic value of a large black-bloc presence at Trump’s inauguration resided in drawing a connection between anti-Trumpism and anti-fascism.

The “anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc,” Friday’s black-bloc march, was just one among a number of direct actions called by organizers of the Disrupt J20 Inauguration Day protests. Unlike Saturday’s vast Women’s March, Disrupt J20 aimed to directly impede, delay, and confront the inaugural proceedings. This message was delivered with human blockades, smashed corporate windows, trash-can fires, a burning limousine, “Make America Great Again” caps reduced to ashes, and a blow for Richard Spencer. The police responded with fountains of pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, and the mass arrest of over 200 people, most of whom now face felony riot charges. Along with the Women’s March’s joyful scenes of togetherness, the disruptions of J20 should be celebrated as an opening salvo of resistance in the era of Trump.

Emphases mine; there’s more at the original.

The Nation is an old, old political journal, one which has some respect — though not from me — which makes it somewhat surprising that they’d publish an article celebrating political violence from the left. The e-zine Salon is far newer, and generally more odious; cover editor Jeremy Binckes wrote, “Maybe the question shouldn’t be, ‘Is it OK to punch a Nazi?’ but, ‘If you don’t want to be punched in the face, maybe you shouldn’t preach Nazi values to the public?'” Salon writer Matthew Sheffield claimed that ‘neo-Nazis’ and the ‘alt-right’ are trying to bait ‘antifa’ activists into violence and thus radicalize ‘white people,’ to try to start a race war.

It’s simple: the left are celebrating violence, and still trying to make excuses to blame the right for left-wing violence.

The complete text of Senator Sanders fund-raising letter, along with a few more comments, are below the fold: Continue reading ‘Is Bernie Sanders responsible for James Hodgkinson? Using his own, stated standards, he must be!’ »

The New York Times is shocked that conservatives don’t react like liberals The left simply can't believe that conservative congressmen actually believe what they say they believe

From The New York Times:

Their Own Targeted, Republicans Want Looser Gun Laws, Not Stricter Ones

By Jonathan Martin | June 14, 2017

WASHINGTON — Shaken and angry, Republican members of Congress seized on the brazen daytime shooting of their colleagues on Wednesday to demand that existing restrictions on gun access be loosened so that people facing similar attacks are able to defend themselves.

Past shootings have brought calls for more gun control, especially for restrictions on the kind of rifle used in Wednesday’s attack. But the ardent supporters of gun rights who came under fire this time were not about to change their views.

As Representative Steve Scalise, the third-ranking House Republican, had surgery for a gunshot wound to the hip, his colleagues complained that Washington’s restrictive gun laws had barred him and other lawmakers who live in the capital from bringing weapons to the baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.

“Had there not been a member of House leadership present, there would have been no police present, and it would have become the largest act of political terrorism in years, if not ever,” Representative Tom Garrett of Virginia said, pointing to legislation he has introduced to make it easier for people to carry a gun in Washington. That bill “would allow the most law-abiding among us to defend themselves,” he said.

Further down:

The emboldened response on the right illustrated how much the center of gravity has shifted in the gun debate. As Republican lawmakers grow more uniformly conservative and centered outside urban areas, few prominent voices in the party are willing to support gun control measures.

This is a striking departure from recent political history, when clashes over gun rights often fell along regional rather than partisan lines. The Republican majorities on Capitol Hill have blocked every attempt to enact significant gun control legislation, most recently after the massacre of 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub last June. Measures to block people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying weapons and to close background-check loopholes failed in the Senate.

Here is where the Times writer, Jonathan Martin, fouled up: the divide is still regional, but the regions are between the heavily urbanized Democrats and the more suburban and rural Republicans. The attack against Mr Scalise and his colleagues, practicing for the annual congressional baseball game, might have been a deliberate attack on Republicans — and the ‘alleged’ perpetrator was a volunteer for socialist Bernie Sanders, who expressed hatred for Republicans in general and President Trump in particular on social media — but it was an attack in a densely populated area, a primarily Democratic area of government bureaucrats.

Reading Mr Martin’s article, I found an undercurrent of surprise, surprise that Republican congressmen are reacting as Republicans, and not Democrats. But, as you would expect, the author let us know that, why, it’s their National Rifle Association ratings that concern them, not what they actually believe:

(Representative Steve) Cohen (D-TN) said part of the difficulty was that many Republicans in right-leaning districts are more afraid of conservative primary challengers than of Democrats in general elections. And few interest groups have as much clout among Republican primary voters as the N.R.A.

The idea, expressed by a Democrat, that Republicans might react as conservatives rather than liberals just couldn’t have come from their own beliefs!

With no appetite in Congress or the White House for restrictions on gun access, Democrats have become all but resigned to inaction. And with one of their colleagues in critical condition, many were muted on Wednesday.

“The problem is that nobody looks for a middle ground,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee.1

Just where is the ‘middle ground’ in “(T)he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” To find some ‘middle ground’ between what the left would like, a complete ban on private ownership of firearms, and “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” has to mean that some of the rights of the people to keep and bear arms must be infringed.

That, of course, is just what the Democrats want, the foot in the door to infringe upon some of the rights of the people, after which the government, once Democrats regain control — and it will happen eventually — to steadily increase upon that infringement.

This is indicative of the real split between conservatives and the left: Republicans represent, primarily, more suburban and rural districts, districts in which the people are more conservative. The left appear to believe that the conservatives who represent those districts, the conservatives who come from those districts, really can’t believe the same things as their constituents, but are probably just faking it to win their elections. This is simply another manifestation of the last election, where the left simply could not believe that voters from conservative areas voted so heavily for Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton.2

The Democrats would never attempt to do something really radical, such as doing things the right way: if they believe that gun control is just so important, then they ought to try to repeal the Second Amendment. That process would be very difficult, requiring a 2/3 majority in both Houses of Congress, followed by ratification by 38 state legislatures, but it is the only honest way to do things.
_____________________________

  1. In the Times original, the two paragraphs quoted here immediately preceded the paragraph in the previous quotation.
  2. I have previously stated that I voted for neither Mr Trump nor Mrs Clinton; I cast my ballot for Gary Johnson.

Lying to ourselves: the debt limit

From CNNMoney:

Mnuchin cites September as possible debt ceiling crunch

by Jeanne Sahadi | June 12, 2017: 7:53 PM ET

For the first time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday offered a specific month for when the government might come dangerously close to breaching its legal debt limit.

“I am comfortable saying we can fund the government through the beginning of September. I would prefer not to give a range at this time,” Mnuchin said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Since mid-March, Treasury has been using special accounting measures to keep the government from defaulting on its obligations.

For the first time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday offered a specific month for when the government might come dangerously close to breaching its legal debt limit.

“I am comfortable saying we can fund the government through the beginning of September. I would prefer not to give a range at this time,” Mnuchin said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Since mid-March, Treasury has been using special accounting measures to keep the government from defaulting on its obligations.

There’s more at the original.

But the sad truth is that we are already over the debt limit. According to the Treasury, the national debt stood at $19,947,304,555,212.49 on January 20, 2017, the day President Trump was inaugurated; it has actually dropped a bit, to $19,846,130,655,338.92, as of June 9, 2017. The drop is, of course, the result of more accounting gimmicks, but even with those gimmicks being used, we are still above the statutory debt limit of $19.81 trillion. Why are we talking about raising a debt ceiling that has been honored in the breach?

If we have to use accounting gimmicks, to make it seem like we are obeying the law, then we are doing nothing more than lying to ourselves.

Eric Posner, writing in The New Republic in 2013, argued that President Obama could, and should, simply ignore the debt limit if a hostile Congress refused to raise the debt limit. In the end, just before resigning from Congress, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) hammered out a budget deal which suspended the debt ceiling until March of this year. It’s somewhat doubtful that the Democrats would be so blithe about the solidity of the debt ceiling to help President Trump, certainly not in the way Mr Boehner helped President Obama.

The best way to deal with the debt ceiling is not to exceed it. President Trump has called for some significant spending cuts; those cuts, and more, should be enacted. And while I believe we are taxed too highly, I would rather forego the proposed tax cut, and reduce, and finally eliminate deficit spending.

Democrisy! Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA) attends the opening of a coal mine after criticizing President Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate agreement Yet another reason Donald Trump is President

From Fox News:

First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania

June 10, 2017 | 1:09 PM EDT

President Trump lauded the opening of the nation’s first new coal mine in recent memory. Corsa Coal Company will operate the mine in Somerset County, Pa. – outside of Pittsburgh. Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen said the mine will be a boon to the struggling local economy. He praised Trump’s easing of regulations and encouragement for fossil fuel exploration.

Dethlefsen told Leland Vittert that for the 70 positions available in the mine, 400 people applied.

“It’s a hard day’s work every day, but it’s worth it,” one miner said.

Vittert said the news contrasts with Hillary Clinton’s message that she would “put a lot of coal miners out of work.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who endorsed Clinton, joined the mine company in watching a video message from Trump commemorating the occasion.

There’s more at the original. The video is below the fold, to keep the autoplay feature off of the main page.

Continue reading ‘Democrisy! Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA) attends the opening of a coal mine after criticizing President Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate agreement Yet another reason Donald Trump is President’ »

Things to Look for When Hiring an Attorney

Things to Look for When Hiring an Attorney

Choosing an attorney to give you legal counsel in a court of law is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in your life. There are many people who believe that all attorneys possess basically the same level of legal skill because they all graduated from law school. However, that is not correct. There are some attorneys who will give you a much better chance of winning in court than others. This can be a very difficult decision to make because there are an enormous amount of attorneys in every city. This is why you need to know what to look for. The following things should be the primary factors that determine which attorney you hire.

1. You should only hire an attorney who has at least eight years of full-time experience.

Experience is by far the most important factor that you need to search for when you are deciding on an attorney to represent you. This is because legal cases can be very complicated. Your attorney might need to do a lot of legal maneuvering in order to put you in a position to win your case. This is not something that you want to entrust to someone who has not been working as an attorney for very long. Always check the attorney’s website to verify his or her level of experience. Hiring an experienced family law attorney Denver CO will make your odds of winning your case much greater.

2. The negotiating skills of the attorney you high must be outstanding.

You should always try to reach a settlement instead of going to court. There are no guarantees that you will be able to get what you want if you allow your case to be decided by a judge or a jury. This is why you should always try to reach a settlement with the opposing party outside of the courtroom. This will ensure that you will walk away with something. Even the most experienced lawyer will not be able to promise you a specific outcome once you enter a courtroom. This is why you need to have an attorney who knows how to negotiate.

3. The lawyer should charge you rates that are easy for you to afford.

You will quickly discover that attorneys have vastly different rates. Compare their prices to see who is the lowest.

A (surprisingly) fair article from The New York Times It must've been a mistake!

I was shocked!

Small Businesses Cheer ‘New Sheriff in Town’ After Climate Pact Exit

By Landon Thomas Jr | June 2, 2017

As news that President Trump was pulling out of the Paris climate accord hit at a luncheon for small-business owners in Toledo, Ohio, on Thursday, an already happy crowd suddenly turned euphoric.

“It was like a major win at a football game,” said Rick Longenecker, a management consultant who had been among the 50 or so attendees who gathered to trade thoughts amid a rapidly improving local economy.

While multinational corporations such as Disney, Goldman Sachs and IBM have opposed the president’s decision to walk away from the international climate agreement, many small companies around the country were cheering him on, embracing the choice as a tough-minded business move that made good on Mr. Trump’s commitment to put America’s commercial interests first.

This full-throated support from the small-business community comes even as the Trump administration struggles to advance health care legislation and tax reform plans through Congress — and despite the swelling controversy over Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia.

Perhaps the writer, and the editors of the Times, might consider the possibility that the small-business community, and the great mass of ‘flyover country’ people who put Donald Trump in the White House, don’t care about “the swelling controversy over Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia,” and see that controversy “swelling” solely due to the credentialed media talking about it every second they can.

There’s much more at the original article, in which the writer notes the increasingly divergent views of small businessmen from those of the leadership of major corporations. The article noted several small businessmen, such as John Bagge, who runs a catering company in Kirkland WA with his wife and daughters, and Dave Griggs, owner of Dave Griggs Flooring America in Columbia MO, who employs a whopping 16 people. Small companies such as theirs make up 99% of businesses in America, and employ half of private sector workers in the United States. Those businessmen have their livelihoods nailed to their spines, and if Louis M. Soltis’ company in Toledo OH fails, he will (probably) go broke personally.

In the meantime, Mark Fields, the recently dismissed CEO of Ford, walks away with:

unvested stock awards valued at $29.4 million as of Wednesday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those will vest through 2020, with the majority tied to performance goals. Fields also is entitled to about $17.5 million in retirement benefits, plus stock options worth $8.1 million and an estimated prorated incentive bonus of about $2.1 million.

Mr Fields even gets to use company aircraft until August 1st!

Small businessmen have to worry about every penny being subtracted from the bottom line, and the now-canceled Paris climate agreement threatened to start subtracting more nickels and dimes and dollars from those bottom lines. If Mr Griggs’ flooring company has to pay more for fuel and electricity and all of the raw materials they use due to the climate agreement, and that additional cost causes him to lose money, Mr Griggs isn’t going to walk away from business failure with the $58 million Mr Fields will receive to soothe his hurt feelings. Chief executives Douglas McMillon (Walmart), Virginia M. Rometty (IBM), Elon Musk (Tesla)1 and Robert A. Iger (Disney), all members of the President’s economic advisory council — the latter two resigned following the President’s decision, as though they were wholly unaware that this was a promise he made on the campaign trail — opposed the decision, but, like Mr Fields, if they lose their jobs due to a decline in their companies’ bottom lines,2 they are still going to walk away with multiple millions of dollars.

There is an insularity among the credentialed media and major corporations, and CNN, CBS, and The New York Times are major corporations themselves, which self-reinforces liberal views.  The credentialed media were all surprised by the strength Mr Trump showed with the voters, and the urban elites probably shared Hillary Clinton’s amazement that she wasn’t fifty points ahead of Mr Trump, because they discuss things with the big CEOs, but their only interactions with small businessmen are buying their breakfast bagels.  They have demonstrated, time and again, that they just don’t get it; that’s why the Times’ decision to publish that article surprised me.
_________________________

  1. Mr Musk’s business happens to specialize in things which would be compliant with the Paris agreements, and that accord was a competitive advantage for him; I dismiss his statement as being self-serving.
  2. Ford enjoyed record profits during Mr Fields’ tenure, but Ford stock dropped by almost 40%.

As always, the left blame everyone but themselves

I must really be a big deal, ’cause I just got an e-mail from Jen Psaki:

From Jen Psaki info@ofa.us
Dana —

This administration just made it official: They’re withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. I don’t have to tell you how devastating that is.

For the eight years I worked at the White House and the State Department under President Obama, we had a simple rule: When we made a promise as a nation — one that nearly every other government in the world stood behind, one that was popular with both businesses and citizens, and one that safeguarded a prosperous future for our children — we kept it.

This administration is taking the opposite path.

Any way you slice it, pulling out of Paris is the wrong move. It’s bad for jobs, as clean energy jobs are growing 12 times faster than the overall economy. It’s bad for our relationship with the rest of the world. It’s bad for our health and safety, our national security, our air, and our water.

It’s bad for our kids and our grandkids.

But here’s the other thing I can promise you: This fight isn’t over yet.

Thanks to Paris, united worldwide progress on climate change isn’t theoretical anymore. Nearly every other country in the world is formally on board, with plans to make serious cuts in carbon pollution in the coming decades. So are businesses like Apple. Even oil companies like Exxon understand the importance of the Paris agreement and that climate change must be addressed.

So here’s our chance to join them — to make this a short, ugly bump on an otherwise long road of global cooperation and progress. To let the world know that, even if this administration doesn’t yet recognize it, we as citizens won’t go silent on climate change.

This is our moment. Stand with OFA today and join this team:

https://my.ofa.us/Defend-Our-Climate-Progress

Thank you,

Jen Psaki

Former White House Communications Director
Former Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State

This is kind of laughable, really. In 1977, President Carter signed the two Panama Canal Treaties, which, we were told, could never be ratified. Mr Carter believed in them, and cajoled and sweet-talked and lobbied, but most of all, he fought, for Senate ratification of those treaties, and he won, getting both treaties approved 68-32. This happened because President Carter believed in the agreements and was willing to fight for them against a hostile environment.

But President Obama, whom Miss Psaki tells us truly believed in the Paris climate change agreements, didn’t have the courage to fight for his convictions. He, too, faced a hostile Congress, and he knew that there was at least a chance that he would be succeeded by a man who had already promised to cancel the Paris Agreement if he became President. And now, the Paris Agreement is in tatters, because the President who signed it didn’t have the courage to fight for it.

The left always want to blame President Trump, but if they had gotten their act together during the previous eight years, the Paris Agreement would be a ratified treaty, which Mr Trump could not have just cancelled.

Remember when Donald Trump was going to withdraw from the Paris agreement on his first day in office?

Alas! What conservatives said, all along, is that Donald Trump is no conservative. He promised, during his campaign, that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He has been President for 132 days now, and just today he is going to ‘announc(e) (his) decision’ on the Paris Accords, something he told us, on the campaign trail, he had already decided.

What little of the news I could watch yesterday indicated that there was at least an attempt to find some middle ground position he could take, short of full withdrawal. If those reports were correct — and, who knows, they could have been simple speculation — then his campaign-time decision was not so final, was it?

I am hopeful that his ‘decision’ will be complete withdrawal, but the President has surprised us before.

At least I can find some amusement in the fact that President Obama has the agreement tailored so that it would not require submission to the Senate as a treaty, or the Congress as a whole, as an executive-legislative agreement, because he believed that the agreement would be rejected by Congress. Of course, had he done so, and the odious Hillary Clinton won the election, as the prevailing wisdom said she would, and the Democrats recaptured the Senate, as they believed they would, then the agreement might not be subject to the capricious decisions of the President alone.