Sally Quillian Yates, Leftist Heroine

From The Wall Street Journal:

White House Fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates After She Defies Immigration Ban

Virginia U.S. attorney Dana Boente tapped to replace holdover Obama appointee

By Devlin Barrett and Damian Paletta | Updated Jan. 31, 2017 10:52 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The White House on Monday fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for telling government lawyers not to defend an executive order signed by President Donald Trump suspending immigration from seven countries out of concerns that terrorists from those countries might enter the U.S.

Ms. Yates learned of her firing Monday evening, in a letter from the White House hand-delivered to her office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a statement, the White House said Ms. Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will be acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which could happen next week.

Mr. Boente was sworn in at 9 p.m. Monday, according to White House officials, and just before midnight he issued new instructions: “I hereby rescind former acting attorney general Sally. Q Yates’ January 30, 2017 guidance and direct the men and women of the Department of Justice to do our sworn duty and to defend the lawful orders of our president.”

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates.

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates.

There’s more at the original.

Normally, when a subordinate employee believes that he is unable to carry out the directives of his boss, the employee resigns. Given that Mrs Yates was in a very temporary position anyway,1 there was absolutely no reason for her not to resign.

But Mrs Yates knew how to play the game. She is a very attractive woman, and she knows it. By taking an action which she knew would get her fired, Mrs Yates built up her leftist creds, and can be expected to get a lot of air time on the ‘credentialed media.’ With her brains, training and looks, MSNBC is probably already mulling for what they can hire her.

Make no mistake about it: Mrs Yates knew exactly what she was doing. A Democratic political appointee, she would have been out of a job in a week or so anyway. The President signed his executive order on Friday, and Mrs Yates had the weekend to think about it, before issuing her directive on Monday; this was no spur of the moment, unconsidered decision. She also knew that while resigning in protest would get her some publicity, getting herself fired would generate a lot more.

CNN, MSNBC, it could be almost anywhere (other than Fox, of course), but we’ll be seeing a lot more of Sally Quillian Yates, Leftist Heroine.
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  1. Mrs Yates had been appointed as Deputy Attorney General by President Obama, and asked to stay on as acting Attorney General until President Trump’s Attorney General nominee, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AB) is confirmed; once Mr Sessions was confirmed, Mrs Yates would have been out of a job.

We have to provide a valid ID, complete with investigation, for lots of things

Fox News tweeted:

From Travel + Leisure:

Driver Licenses From Nine States Won’t Be Valid IDs for Domestic Flights in 2018

By Cailey Rizzo | December 17, 2016

Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, travelers from nine states will no longer be able to travel with only their driver’s licenses.

Residents of Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington will have to use alternate ID forms (passport, military ID, or permanent resident card) to pass TSA security checkpoints—even for domestic travel.

On Thursday, the TSA began placing signage around airport security checkpoints to inform travelers of the new TSA rules going into effect in 2018.

The IDs from these nine states do not meet the federal government’s minimum security standards. And, according to the REAL ID Act of 2005, federal agencies (like the TSA) are prohibited from “accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.”

In order for states to pass the government’s security standards, they must verify every ID applicant’s identity, put anti-counterfeit technology in the production of the card and conduct background checks on those who issue driver’s licenses.

There’s a bit more at the original, but perhaps the article has the date wrong: my younger daughter was not allowed to fly based on her Pennsylvania driver’s license on January 27th of this year, not 2018. Fortunately, she had both her passport and military ID on her, so she made her (domestic) flight.

Congress passed different legislation in response to the September 11th attacks:

In 2005, Congress repealed the negotiated rulemaking process established in P.L. 108-458, and adopted the “Emergency Supplemental Appropriation for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005” (H.R. 1268, P.L. 109-13), which included the Real ID Act (H.R. 418). The Real ID Act created additional driver’s license requirements over-and-above the requirements established under the P.L. 108-458.

Naturally, that was yet another unfunded mandate passed on to the states, with Department of Homeland Security guesstimating that the law would cost teh states no more than $3.9 billion, and a study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National Governors Association (NGA), and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) determining the act could cost states more than $11 billion over five years. That’s a hefty price tag for states already struggling with balancing their budgets. Some states, Kentucky for one, has had objections concerning the loss of privacy rights for Americans, and there are objections that the Real ID requirement is becoming a form of national identity card.

The obvious question: if we are going to require American citizens to have state driver’s licenses to be compliant with Real ID to be valid to board an airliner,1 how is the increased compliance contemplated for visas, green cards and refugees somehow overly invasive?

You must have a valid, current government issued ID to open a checking or savings account.

The federal government appears to have no problem whatsoever with requiring citizens to comply with ever-increasing identification requirements — except to vote, apparently — but it seems that the left are very upset with the idea that people who are not Americans must prove that they have no harmful intentions. I wonder why that is.
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  1. While the feds are requiring state driver’s licenses to have imprinted addresses for license holders, an American passport, which is sufficient ID to fly, does not have a printed address. My passport lists the state of my birth, which establishes my citizenship, but does not note the state in which I live. And, looking at mine, it seems that I wasn’t quite as grey in July of 2009, when my current passport was issued, than I am now.

President Trump’s first week: his supporters are happy, the left are not

From The New York Times:

Trump Backers Like His First Draft of a New America

By Jack Healy | January 27, 2017

MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio — The challenge Annette Cottrell pondered was how to grade President Trump’s stormy first full week on the job. A trade war bubbling up with Mexico. A divisive border wall. A ban on refugees from war-torn countries. Brawls with the news media and national parks.

“I’d give him an A-plus,” Ms. Cottrell, 38, said from her salon, Mane Attraction, on Main Street here in the seat of a conservative Ohio county of pastures and maple groves where Mr. Trump won 70 percent of the vote. “He’s doing what he said he was going to be doing.”

So, about that head-spinning week. Mr. Trump drew a torrent of criticism after pressing a series of falsehoods about voter fraud, the size of the crowd at his inauguration and his attacks on the intelligence community. His rapid-fire executive actions reversing years of policy on immigration, abortion and the environment left his critics seething and fearful and liberal opponents preparing a volley of legal challenges to blunt them.

But in more than two dozen interviews this week, voters who helped hand Mr. Trump the presidency — die-hards and reluctant supporters alike — were cheering from their living rooms, offices and diners across America as they saw the outlines of a new conservative era in government fast taking shape, even if they were still a little uneasy about the man doing the shaping.

CNNMoney reported (mostly) the same thing:

Trump supporters care about jobs, not voter fraud

by Heather Long | @byHeatherLong | January 28, 2017: 11:45 AM ET

Steve Mays is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump. So much so that it’s his dream to see Trump visit his hometown.

He told CNNMoney that he supports Trump “probably more than I’ve supported any candidate for president since I’ve been able to vote.”

Despite his passion for the president, even Mays is done with the president’s obsession over voter fraud. His message: “Just move on.”

Instead, Mays wants Trump to stay focused on jobs.

Mays is a Republican judge in Lee County, Kentucky, which went overwhelmingly (81%) for Trump.

Voter fraud is “the least thing I’m concerned about right now,” Mays said. “[I’m] more concerned about the economy, which I think he is going to live on up to as president.”

There’s more at both originals. Even the Times admitted (grudgingly?) that President Trump has been extremely ambitious and active, moreso than any modern president during his first week in office.

The left, however, are appalled:

Tech leaders condemn Trump’s immigrant ban

by Laurie Segall and Jackie Wattles | January 29, 2017: 7:32 AM ET

The ink was barely dry on President Trump’s sweeping immigration order Friday when the backlash from the tech industry began.

Four of America’s biggest tech companies warned their employees about the ban. And leaders throughout the industry, where foreign-born entrepreneurs are central to its success, condemned the decree.

The executive order bans about 134 million people from entering the U.S.

Google(GOOGL, Tech30) sent out a memo to its employees urging anyone with a visa or green card from one of the banned countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — to cancel any travel plans.

“Please do not travel outside of the U.S. until the ban is lifted. While the entry restriction is currently only in place for 90 days, it could be extended with little or no warning,” the memo, which was reviewed by CNN, reads.

The company issued a statement Saturday, saying it’s “concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US.” Google also vowed to “continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”

On Saturday night, Google cofounder Sergey Brin was at San Francisco International Airport with crowds of protesters. He declined to comment and told CNN that he was there in a personal capacity, but is himself an immigrant from Russia.

Apple(AAPL, Tech30) CEO Tim Cook issued a letter reacting to what he called “deep concerns” among employees. He assured them Apple does not support Trump’s policy. “Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” he wrote in an email obtained by CNN.

“There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them,” Cook’s email reads. “Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship.”

Microsoft(MSFT, Tech30) — which is run by Satya Nadella, who immigrated to the U.S. from India — told employees Saturday that the company is committed to providing “legal advice and assistance” to its 76 employees that are citizens of the affected countries.

What do I see in all of this? The same people who supported Hillary Clinton are outraged at President Trump’s action, while those who supported him, are encouraged by how he has conducted his presidency so far. There is no coming together in support of the President.

Personally, I believe that the President’s immigration order went too far: it failed to make exceptions for those who already held legitimate visas or permanent resident status (green cards), and the courts are already limiting the executive order along those lines. However, it does make sense to more fully check out those who are applying for visas or green cards, and the 90-day moratorium can be useful to get more thorough vetting procedures put in place.

As for the ban on the admission of refugees? I completely support that. I have previously noted that bringing in more refugees, few of whom have skills beyond manual labor which apply to the American labor market simply means lower wages for Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder, and an increase in the number of people on welfare. With U-6 unemployment at 9.2%, we have roughly 7,529,000 people ‘officially’ unemployed and another 7,158,000 Americans either too discouraged to look for work or stuck with part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work. Our economy is not taking care of our own people; why should we bring in more mostly unemployable people?

Let’s face the facts: the vast majority of the people the executive order bars from entering the country are not terrorists, and never will be terrorists, but even one immigrant who commits a terrorist act is too many. If Sergey Brin or Tim Cook or Satya Nadella believe that there are not enough Americans who possess the skills to work for Google or Apple or Microsoft, let them invest their companies’ money into Estill or Lee or Owsley Counties in Kentucky, to educate the students there to get them ready for those tech jobs. We need jobs for Americans first!

Thud! In 2016, GDP increased only 1.6%, slowest since 2011

From The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. GDP Grew 1.9% in Fourth Quarter

President Trump has set a goal of generating 4% annual growth by overhauling the tax code and rolling back regulations, among other measures

By Ben Leubsdorf and Eric Morath | Updated Jan. 27, 2017 8:50 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy decelerated in the final three months of 2016, returning to the familiar pace of growth that has marked the long but lackluster postrecession expansion.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was a slowdown from the third quarter’s 3.5% growth rate, which had been the strongest reading in two years.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2.2% growth rate in the final three months of 2016.

Oh, so the professional economists once again got wrong not their estimates on what is gong to happen, but on what has already happened. More, they got it wrong by a fairly large margin: the 0.3% they missed by equals 13.64% of the 2.2% they had misguesstimated.1

Don’t let the title of the Journal article fool you. It was based on the annualized growth rate of the fourth quarter, but the real GDP growth for all of 2016 was lower. CNNMoney reported:

Still slow: U.S. economy grew 1.6% in 2016

by Patrick Gillespie | January 27, 2017: 9:17 AM ET

America had another year of sluggish growth.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.6% in 2016, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

In the last three months of the year — between October and December — the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9%. It’s the slowest pace of growth since 2011.

It reflects how slow the recovery has been for many Americans since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009.

Weak economic growth was a key reason behind President Trump’s election. He promises to get growth up to 4% a year, something that hasn’t happened since the late 1990s.

As usual, there’s more at the original. Back to the Journal article:

FOMC projectionsThe nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week projected GDP would grow 2.3% in 2017 and 1.9% in 2018. The agency said structural trends, including baby-boomer retirements, are driving a slowdown in economic growth compared with past decades.

Will that 2.3% real growth be realized? Estimates by economists keep coming in higher than real results, and the CBO’s estimates ate higher than those of the Federal Reserve. Note, from the chart at the right, that the Fed raised its GDP estimates for 2016 from 1.8% in their September meeting, to 1.9% at the December conclave. Not noted on the chart is the fact that the September estimate was actually a downgrade from the June meeting, when the Federal reserve Board of Governors had forecast 2.0% real GDP growth for 2016.

The interesting part, to me, is that not only are they always getting it wrong, the errors all seem to be on the high side, the optimistic side. If you look at the FOMC’s own figures, released after their December meeting, you will see that the projections ranges, from all of FOMC members, was 1.7 to 2.0% for the September meeting, and 1.8 to 2.0% for the December meeting, meaning that every single one of them was off to the high side; not a single FOMC member erred to the low side.

There will, of course, be an update to the GDP figures, as the Commerce Department gathers and includes more data, and the 1.6% figure for 2016 could change. However, given that the complete figures for the first three quarters are already in, it would take a very large change in the fourth quarter figures to drag the entire year’s GDP up to the 1.9% the Fed projected for the full year.

It’s one thing for economists’ estimates to be off, when those estimates are meaningless. However, when the Federal Reserve comes up with its estimates, they set monetary policy based on those estimates. I have said before that the Fed ought to just leave things alone, but that’s not how government works: government — and not just the Fed! — think that they just have to ‘do something,’ that doing something is their raison d’être, and there is an inherent bias against leaving things alone.

Last September, the Fed forecast that it would raise interest rates one time in 2016, which it did in December, and that 2017 would see a 50 basis point interest rate rise, which would normally be thought of as two 25 basis point increases. After the December meeting, the Fed projected a 75 basis point increase for 2017, presumably three 25 point increases. If the 2016 figures hold up, I would think that the Fed would hold off on a rate increase in the March meeting; at least they certainly should leave interest rates alone. Whether they will or not, well, who knows?

There remains the obvious question: what will the Trump Administration do, and how will it effect the economy? I’m not smart enough to give you that answer, but it seems that the public expect better things: consumer spending was down a bit in the fourth quarter, but where it remained steady was in durable goods. Business investment increased at a 2.4% clip, up from 1.4% in the third quarter. And, of course, investors seem to believe that things will go great guns, as the stock markets have set new highs in the past couple of days.

I guess that we’ll see how things play out, but one thing I am certain of: I won’t listen to the professional economists projections!
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  1. Yes, I know: missguesstimated isn’t a real word, but somehow, it fits, kind of like President Bush’s famous misunderestimated.

A little less talk and a lot more action

From Toby Keith:

President Trump just told the Republicans in Congress that that is what the American people expect. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

In Philly, Trump tells Congressional leaders: ‘Now we have to deliver’

by Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau @JonathanTamari | Updated: January 26, 2017 — 6:03 PM EST

In his first visit outside Washington since taking office, President Donald Trump promised Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia on Thursday that his agenda would likely keep them busier than ever and pledged the “hour of justice” has arrived for the American worker.

Trump used the second day of the GOP congressional retreat at the Loews Hotel to outline his aggressively conservative priorities, describing his vision of a border wall, better trade deals, a revival for coal, massive infrastructure projects, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a newly empowered military.

“Now we have to deliver,” Trump said. “Enough ‘all talk, no action.’ This is our chance to achieve lasting change for our beloved nation.”

Protestors clogged the Center City streets before, during and after his roughly two-hour visit, but never really interfered. Inside the building, a friendly audience of House and Senate members, their spouses and aides gave the new president seven standing ovations during his roughly 24-minute speech.

The address was the highlight of a day that included remarks by Vice President Pence and British Prime Minster Theresa May, as well as behind-the-scenes strategizing by party leaders who for the first time in years control both Congress and the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) introduced the president by comparing him to another outsider president, Andrew Jackson, calling Trump “the next president who’s going to make history and turn America around.”

There’s a lot more at the link, but if President Trump winds up even remotely comparable to President Jackson, he’ll be a great one. President Jackson achieved something no other President has ever managed: in 1836, he paid off the national debt.

To me, there’s no doubt that the President is right: the voters elected him, despite his wholly unorthodox campaign and not particularly politically correct personality to get things done. The public are tired of politicians who promise and promise and promise, but never deliver. President Obama promised: he was going to make things better, but presided over an economy of poor growth, increasing income disparity — certainly a Democratic complaint, not a Republican one — and race relations worse now than when we elected the first (half) black President. He bailed out too early from the war in Iraq, and never really ramped up the action in Afghanistan enough to actually win there, leaving our foreign policy a disrespected disaster and our country weaker. The hoped-for change he wrought was for the worse, and his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, was defeated by a candidate many, including me, thought could never win.

But Republican voters have a short fuse, and if President Trump and the Republicans in Congress don’t deliver on most of their campaign promises — I doubt that they’ll be able to deliver on all of them — the 2020 elections could be very ugly for the GOP.

Lee County and poverty To the people of Beattyville, it's nice to hear that the Dow cracked 20,000, but it doesn't mean much for them personally

My favorite CNNMoney reporter is in the Bluegrass State!

And now the story:

54% of Americans aren’t benefiting from Dow 20,000

by Heather Long and Poppy Harlow | January 26, 2017: 10:10 AM ET

CNNMoney (Beattyville, Kentucky) – As Wall Street cheered the Dow hitting 20,000 for the first time in history this week, Donna Coomer just shrugged.

Coomer doesn’t have a cent in the stock market. Sure, she handles a lot of money every day as the manager of a busy Valero gas station in Beattyville, a small town in eastern Kentucky.

But she trusts the bank, not the stock market, with her hard-earned money.

“I have a little bit in my checking [account], little bit in my savings,” Coomer, a grandma of three who still works 55 hours a week at the gas station, told CNNMoney.

Coomer is part of the majority of America — specifically 54% — that has $0 invested in the stock market, as Bankrate found in a survey last year. They don’t have any money in pension funds, 401(k) retirement plans, IRAs, mutual funds or ETFs. And they certainly don’t own individual stocks like Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Ford (F) or Tesla (TSLA).

“For the majority of the people here, the stock market is something interesting to look at,” says Chuck Caudill, general manager of the local newspaper, The Beattyville Enterprise.

Still, even in this “homey” town, many people had heard about the stock market doing something the world had never seen before.

There’s a lot more at the original.

How many outhouses have glass doors? Photo by Editor. Click to Enlarge.

How many outhouses have glass doors? Photo by Editor. Click to Enlarge.

As it happens, I was in Beattyville on Tuesday, just missing Miss Long’s visit to Lee County, one of the poorest counties in America. I had taken my younger daughter to Kentucky, where she has some upcoming job interviews in the Lexington area, and we visited my nephew who lives in Lee County, and has built his own home, from scratch, on 22½ acres near Beattyville. Some of the material he bought, some he salvaged, and some he made himself; he has his own sawmill, and plenty of good wood on the land he owns. The “facilities” to the left, he built from scratch. His cabin is two stories tall, at least the back half is, and built solidly.

How does he live? He has a decent enough job for the area, but much of what he has is due to plain hard work. He networks with his friends for building materials, he will buy and fix up old trucks, he hunts and grows vegetables, and he lives completely off the grid, with electricity from a solar panel (with a backup generator), and water from a catchment tank; with as much rain as the area has gotten recently, his tank ought to be full!

His story — you’ll note that I haven’t given you his name, to protect his privacy — is typical of the area. He’s one of the luckier ones, in that he has a job, but he lives by his own hard work. Felling and hauling trees is hard work. The support trailer for his sawmill came from the bed of an old diesel truck he salvaged and rebuilt himself. You can finally get up his driveway with a front-wheel drive automobile — it used to require four-wheel drive — because he took and hauled waste material to fill it in and solidify it, a very much not-fun job.

When President Trump talks about reinvesting in America, when he urges business leaders to stop outsourcing and bring jobs back to the US, what he needs to stress is the available labor in America. When Ford announced that it was canceling plans to build a new plant in Mexico, and would instead invest $700 million in Michigan, that was great news, but in one way, Ford missed the boat: the place for new manufacturing to invest is in the Appalachians, in places like Lee County, where there are thousands upon thousands of people who would not only jump at the opportunity for a good job, but who would be less likely to quit. With fewer other opportunities, good employees would stay longer, reducing turnover and training costs.1

Miss Long’s article noted that one of the issues for the people she interviewed was better roads. Eastern Kentucky is mountainous, and most of the roads wind around the hills, leading to slow travel. There are a lot of potholes in eastern Kentucky2 that need to be repaired, but an influx of industry could help pay for the infrastructure that the area needs.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done in eastern Kentucky, and probably the biggest problem is opiate abuse; the drug problem is simply brutal in the Appalachians.  Industrial investment, really anything, which would make life in the mountains less poor, would help alleviate the depression which leads to drug use.  If President Trump really wants to make a good economic impact, it would be to encourage industry not only to invest in America, but invest in those areas which need it the most.
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  1. Kentucky recently passed right-to-work legislation, which should make it more attractive for industry.
  2. There are a lot of potholes in Pennsylvania, which has the highest gasoline tax in the nation at 58.3¢ per gallon, on top of the federal gasoline tax of 18.3¢ per gallon, meaning that we pay 76.6¢ per gallon for gasoline. I fueled up for $2.089 per gallon at the IGA Express in Clay City, Kentucky for my trip back; at the local Turkey Hill gas station, fuel is $2.599 per gallon. I wouldn’t object quite so much if the Keystone State didn’t have the worst roads in the country.

Paul Krugman and #TrumpDerangementSyndrome

Just think: this guy won a Nobel Prize in economics!

What the heck is the esteemed Dr Krugman trying to say here? Does he think that the 762 murders in the Windy City last year are simply to be ignored, because, well, heck, they don’t “represent a long-run trend?” Here’s Dr Krugman in a recent blog post entitled The Opposite of Carnage:

Crime is less clear, since we really don’t know why it fell. But big further declines don’t seem highly likely; certainly we won’t see an end to the prevalence of urban war zones, because, you know, they don’t exist in the first place.

Chicago MurdersDr Krugman included two graphs in that blog post, but, amazingly enough, they stop with 2015. In 2015, Chicago’s murder tare jumped from 423 to 496, which I suppose doesn’t look that bad in the graph, but that’s still a 17.26% increase. The jump from 496 to 762? That’s a 53.6% increase, but Dr Krugman, ever eager to challenge anything that President Trump says, tells us that that isn’t “carnage,” just a number which “doesn’t represent a long-run trend.”

We previously pointed out that Chicago has seen 8,212 people murdered from 2001 through 2016, compared to 6,904 Americans killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Dr Krugman thinks that 2016 somehow doesn’t count? Fine: if we subtract the 762 Windy City murders, Chicago still had 7,450 killings, which is still more than we lost in those two wars.

Dr Krugman was responding — or so I suppose — to President Trump’s tweet from the previous day:

CNN reported:

The Chicago Police Department tells CNN there have been 38 homicides and 182 shooting incidents in the city so far in 2017. Chicago Police only report homicides. They are not necessarily all shooting deaths.

Whatever the numbers, they are already matching 2016, though it’s obviously too early to tell if the whole year is going to go this way. There are the typical talking heads trying to tell us that the numbers don’t mean anything, at least not yet, or that “researchers aren’t convinced they understand the rise, or how to stop it,” but anyone who says that this isn’t “carnage” needs to have his head examined.

Lock ’em up! Convict them of felonies and jail them for as long as the law allows. Felony disenfranchement should take them off the voter rolls forever

From The Los Angeles Times:

Man shot before Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking event is in critical condition

By Rick Anderson | January 21, 2017 | 10:25 PM PST

Seattle — Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ divisive speaking tour, provoking shouting matches and fistfights among college-age fans and foes, has now degenerated to the level of gunfire. A man was in critical condition Saturday after being shot outside a University of Washington hall prior to the controversial far-right commentator’s speech there Friday night.

The 32-year-old victim was rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery after being shot in the stomach, police said. A person of interest in the shooting turned himself in to University of Washington police, and was held for questioning.

A police official told the Seattle Times late Saturday that the man who fired the gun said he had fired in self-defense and that the man he shot was “some type of white supremacist.” The suspect was released without charges pending further investigation.

On Friday, black-hooded protesters were shown in videos sparking assaults outside Kane Hall on campus. Police had blocked the entrance after scuffles broke out over the Breitbart editor’s sold-out appearance.

When a group of protesters arrived after a downtown rally — where police had seized wooden dowels, homemade shields, flares, hammers and other items from masked people in the crowd — tensions increased. Protesters “began throwing bricks and paint toward police and others in the crowd,” police said in a statement.

“Seattle has a long, proud tradition of speaking up and speaking out, but we will not tolerate violence of any kind, “ said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

There’s more at the link, but the fifth paragraph is the telling one: the left showed up to protest Mr Yiannopoulos’ speech, with several wearing masks and armed in ways that indicate they intended to assault people. We don’t know yet whether the man who shot the victim was or was not acting in self defense — that remains a possibility — but the masked men who came armed for rioting clearly were not.

As I have noted previously, I did not vote for Donald Trump, but the actions of the left increase my likelihood of supporting him. Conservatives don’t act like this; conservatives are actually civilized.

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

The First Amendment recognizes and guarantees the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances, and I absolutely support that. It is the cretins who come looking to start fights, looking to assault those with whom they disagree, who need to be arrested the moment they break the law, charged to the full extent of the law, convicted of felonies if at all possible, and incarcerated for as long as the law allows. The felony conviction is the important part: it will deprive them of the privilege of voting in future elections — and I am absolutely, unalterably opposed to ever ending felony disenfranchisement — and restrict them to lousy jobs once they get out.

The noble, environmentalist left

CBS News reported that the protesters at the #WomensMarch ” left their signs and posters on the barricade facing the west front of the Capitol building, where Mr. Trump’s inauguration ceremony took place.”

Women’s March on Washington leave their signs by the U.S. Capitol building, where Mr. Trump had his inauguration ceremony Friday. Nicole Sganga/CBS News

Women’s March on Washington leave their signs by the U.S. Capitol building, where Mr. Trump had his inauguration ceremony Friday. Nicole Sganga/CBS News

But it wasn’t just there, as some sort of political statement:

Piles of trash left behind following #WomensMarch in Washington, DC, January 21, 2017.

Piles of trash left behind following #WomensMarch in Washington, DC, January 21, 2017.

That is supposedly near the Trump hotel. He’re another one, from H St and Vermont Ave NW near the White House:

Trash left behind from #WomensMarch on Jaunary 21, 2017.

Trash left behind from #WomensMarch on Jaunary 21, 2017.

The First Amendment recognizes our rights to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and, as far as I have heard, the #WomensMarch was peaceable, something that wasn’t true of the inauguration day protests. But it seems that the good leftists of the feminist movement couldn’t do something decent like carry their own trash away. And they think that I’m going to be persuaded or respect them after that?

Aftermath of the #WomensMarch, Washington, DC, January 21, 2017

Aftermath of the #WomensMarch, Washington, DC, January 21, 2017

Aftermath of the #WomensMarch, Washington, DC, January 21, 2017

Aftermath of the #WomensMarch, Washington, DC, January 21, 2017

Remember: I didn’t vote for Donald Trump! But the more I see of the petulance and immaturity of the left, the more I am inclined to support him. And, one more picture:

Aftermath of the TEA Party rally in Washington, DC, 2010

Aftermath of the TEA Party rally in Washington, DC, 2010

Even after 73 days, The New York Times still doesn’t get it Rather than examine where they went wrong, they doubled down on their pre-election claims

Even with 73 days to ponder things since the election, The New York Times still doesn’t get it:

Trump’s Grim View of the Economy Ignores Most Americans’ Reality

By Binyamin Appelbaum | January 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — The dismal picture of the American economy President Donald J. Trump painted in his Inaugural Address on Friday is at odds with the economic reality of most Americans.

Mr. Trump described a nation depleted, despairing and in decline. “We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon,” he said, returning to that theme several times during his 16-minute address.

He spoke of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones,” and of a middle class whose wealth “has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.”

In fact, the United States is in the midst of one of the longest sustained economic expansions in the nation’s history. The stock market has climbed to record heights; middle-class incomes are increasing after years of stagnation; and corporations are recording enormous profits.

Some measures of consumer confidence show that optimism about the economic outlook, and job and income prospects have climbed to the highest levels in more than a decade.

The striking contrast between his speeches and reality partly reflected Mr. Trump’s focus on the decline of a particular part of the American economy: The Rust Belt cities that were once the beating heart of American industry, and whose residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin propelled Mr. Trump into the presidency.

Mr. Trump, both before and after his election, has often described the entirety of America as if it were Youngstown, Ohio, with its factories gone and its residents embittered. And on Friday, as so often in the past, he blamed foreign trade for that decline.

“One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that we left behind,” the new president said.

While at odds with most economic assessments, Mr. Trump’s words find an audience in places that have been left behind.

There’s more at the link.

I addressed this issue before the election, noting Heather Long’s article Most Americans think unemployment is a lot higher than 5%. Mr Appelbaum is absolutely correct . . . for his zip code in New York City. And, as expected, Hillary Clinton carried the city, and the state of New York. She carried the well-off areas in New England and New Jersey, and the federal-employee-havens of Maryland and Virginia.

But, like so many on the left, Mr Appelbaum got carried away with the statistics: unemployment is down, the left say, never realizing that people, real people, don’t feel that it is down. When General Motors lays off 2,000 workers on Inauguration Day, lying through their corporate teeth that no Chevrolet Cruze’s built in Mexico were being sold in the United States, just how much does Mr Appelbaum think that those workers in Lordstown, Ohio, are celebrating the fact that the ‘official’ U-3 unemployment rate is just 4.7%? For those workers, the unemployment rate is 100%! There are other jobs in the area, but they pay half as much, if not less. The higher wages — and prices — in the urban areas skew the numbers a bit, but Mrs Clinton carried 472 counties, which produced 64% of gross domestic product, while Donald Trump carries 2,584 counties, which produced only 36% of GDP. Mr Appelbaum, safely ensconced in New York County, sees all sorts of wealth and economic activity around him, and the Big Apple’s highly segregated geography might mean that he never even sees the poverty that’s close to him.

This is why Donald Trump won! The left, so smug and secure in their dense urban enclaves, were able to look at the raw statistics and say, “See? Unemployment is down! There are eleven million more jobs!” without ever looking deeper, and noting that 59% of Americans don’t have enough in savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 emergency, or that much of the growth of jobs was in bad jobs, in jobs that simply don’t pay enough, in jobs that aren’t as good as the ones so many Americans lost in the last recession.

Instead, it took Donald Trump, a billionaire who was the son of a self-made millionaire, to see the pain that so many Americans were suffering. The oh-so-educated elite in our major cities, the economists who studied and crunched all of the numbers, could never see the people behind those numbers, but Mr Trump could. I would have hoped that the esteemed Mr Appelbaum, with the luxury of those 73 days since the election to try to figure out what went so wrong for the Democrats, to have looked a bit deeper into the numbers, to read the stories, to try to see the people behind a populist election outcome. Instead, he turned inward, talked only to the like-minded pundits in The New York Times building, and made the same mistakes today that he, and they, were making before the election.