Category Archive 'Donald Trump'
12 Mar 2018

SNL Mocks Robert Mueller

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09 Mar 2018

Tariffs in Perspective

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1910 Republican campaign poster.

Charles G. Mills does a good, and succinct, job of explaining tariffs, historically and politically.

President Trump has proposed significant tariffs on the importation of steel and aluminum. Should we support or oppose these measures? The answer is not simple; it lies in the details of the tariff law, rather than in a single principle about all tariffs. On balance, a significant tariff on steel and aluminum is worthy of support, despite its harmful effects.


07 Mar 2018

Bring Back the Gold Standard!

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1927 $2.50 gold piece.

When my Lithuanian great grandparents arrived in the United States of the late 19th Century, we had beautiful gold money with images of Indians and Big Game Animals, there were no gun laws and there were no drug laws, and there was no Income Tax. No wonder they came here!

Ralph Benko, in Forbes, argues that if Trump really means to make America great again, restoring a gold standard would be a great first step.

In 1971 President Nixon, under the influence of his Svengali-like Treasury Secretary John Connally, “suspend[ed] temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold.” That closure proved durable instead of temporary. The dollar became, and remains, the world’s global currency.

What had been an “exorbitant privilege” devolved into an exorbitant liability. As my former professional colleague John D. Mueller, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, formerly Rep. Jack Kemp’s chief economist, writing in the Wall Street Journal in Trump’s Real Trade Problem Is Money recently and astutely observed:

    a monetary system based on a reserve currency is unsustainable, since foreign official dollar reserves (for example) are acquired and must be repaid in goods. In other words, the increase in official dollar reserves equals the net exports of the rest of the world, which means it must also equal U.S. international payments deficits—an unsustainable situation.

In other words, if President Trump wishes to address America’s merchandise trade deficit (balanced to perfection, of course, by a capital accounts surplus) he will find that allowing the dollar to be used as the global currency is the real snake in the economic woodpile. The dollar’s burden as the international reserve currency, not currency manipulation by our trading partners or bad treaties, is the true villain in the ongoing melodrama of crummy job creation.

Mueller’s Wall Street Journal column enumerates the three options open to President Trump:

    First, muddle along under the current “dollar standard,” a position supported by resigned foreigners and some nostalgic Americans—among them Bryan Riley and William Wilson at the Heritage Foundation, and James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute.

    Second, turn the International Monetary Fund into a world central bank issuing paper (e.g., special drawing rights) reserves—as proposed in 1943 by Keynes, since the 1960s by Robert A. Mundell, and in 2009 by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China. Drawbacks: This kind of standard is highly political and the allocation of special drawing rights essentially arbitrary, since the IMF produces no goods.

    Third, adopt a modernized international gold standard, as proposed in the 1960s by Rueff and in 1984 by his protégé Lewis E. Lehrman …and then-Rep. Jack Kemp.

To “muddle along” would, of course, be entirely antithetical to Trump’s promise to Make America Great Again. It would destroy his crucial commitment to get the economy growing at 3%+ — vastly faster than it has for the past 17 years — which also happens to be the recipe for robust job creation and upward income mobility for workers. It also is the essential ingredient for balancing the federal budget while rebuilding our infrastructure and military.

To turn the IMF into a world central bank would, of course, be anathema to Trump’s economic nationalism. To subordinate the dollar to the IMF’s SDR would be equivalent to lowering Old Glory and replacing the American flag with the flag of the United Nations on every flagpole in America. Unthinkable under a Trump administration.

That leaves the third option, to “adopt a modernized international gold standard, as proposed in the 1960s by Rueff and in 1984 by his protégé Lewis E. Lehrman … and then-Rep. Jack Kemp” (whose eponymous foundation I advise). To this one should add, as contributor Nathan Lewis has shrewdly observed, the removal of tax and regulatory barriers to the use of gold as currency.


President McKinley would be proud.

23 Feb 2018

Trump Against Fake News

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HT: Dave Roth.

05 Feb 2018

Another Good Summary

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From Gary Gindler, at American Thinker:

[W]e know that the chain of events associated with the case of Trump’s “criminal collusion with Putin” looks like this:

Trump’s political opponents during the primaries hired the firm Fusion GPS, which specializes in opposition research, to dig up some dirt on Trump

After Trump won the primaries, Fusion GPS lost the customer, but just for a short while

The new customers of the dirt on Trump become the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC

The new customers requested dirt on Trump from Fusion GPS, not only in the American domain but also in the international arena

To add international dimension, Fusion GPS hired a subcontractor – former resident of British intelligence in Moscow Christopher Steele, known for his open anti-Trump beliefs

Christopher Steele hired some former agents of the Russian intelligence services (against whom he once fought during the Cold War)

The agents of Russian intelligence services concoct a dirty file on Trump (linguistic analysis confirmed that this dossier was written in “Russian English” with minimal editing by native English speakers)

It is still unclear as to what extent these Russian agents were the “former” agents of the Russian intelligence services (that is, to what extent this dossier is fiction, and to what extent is it the deliberate work of the KGB/FSB disinformation effort)

Trump’s dossier, compiled by the Russians, gets to the FBI through the Assistant Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who received it from his wife. At that time, she was working for Fusion GPS and was a part of the anti-Trump research team

The FBI used this dossier as one of the key arguments in the secret intelligence court FISC to obtain a warrant to wiretap the Trump campaign

In other words, the Obama administration used a dossier concocted by Russian agents to legitimize its surveillance of their political opposition.

According to the memo, FBI leaders knew precisely where the dossier came from, but in the application to the FISC, they presented the dossier as a proven fact, and not as opposition research. It was not just a mere bureaucratic mistake — the FBI used the dossier in such a way not once, but at least four times.

As a result, the Trump campaign was under surveillance by the FBI before the elections, after the elections, and even after the inauguration of President Trump.

Read more.

28 Jan 2018

Name Correction

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26 Jan 2018

To The Guggenheim Museum: Who Actually Bought a Gold-Plated Toilet? You Did, Not Trump

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We live in an appalling age. When the White House requested a (conventionally granted) loan of a painting by Van Gogh from New York’s Guggenheim Museum, the kind of request that constitutes an honor and an opportunity for institutional service to the nation, the museum’s chief curator proved incapable of rising above the most vicious kind of political partisanship and responded with a crude gesture of vulgarity designed to express the highest degree of contempt while supposedly flourishing that establishmentarian curator’s skill at drawing upon the canon of the Arts.

The Washington Post gloatingly reported:

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: The museum could not accommodate a request to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters.

Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the 1888 van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog.

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.

For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.

But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.

The artist “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” wrote Spector, who has been critical of Trump. “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”


Vincent van Gogh, Landscape with Snow, 1888, Guggenheim Museum.

Proving that the big brains at the Guggenheim, who so look down on Trump, are actually the kind of idiots willing to accept a gold-plated toilet, created as a slur on the same free enterprise system that funded the Guggenheim’s creation, as “art” worthy of presentation by a major museum. I’ve seen Donald Trump’s interior design choices, and I could picture Donald Trump having gold-plated thunderboxes in his penthouse, but he’d be sensible enough to use them practically. Trump wouldn’t take a gold-plated crapper as some kind of artistic statement unlike the dodos sitting atop our arts establishment.

Can anyone picture the head of a prominent museum, just a few decades ago, indulging in such a spiteful, vulgar, and scatological expression of partisanship? People simply did not behave like that. They had enough good sense to recognize that no political party possessed a monopoly of good intentions or virtue and that one’s preferred side inevitably sometimes lost. If someone in a responsible position did not happen to like the current occupant of the White House, he simply did his job and kept his feelings and political opinions to himself. Today’s establishment is made up of self-righteous simpletons, eaten up with self-entitlement, lacking common sense, decency, and good manners.

25 Jan 2018

Advice for Trump: Call in a Ratcatcher

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Billy, the celebrated Rat Killing Dog, London, circa 1823

Peter Ferrara, at the America Spectator, says don’t fire Robert Mueller. Instead, fire and replace his boss with just the right personality.

Now there is one master stroke left for Trump to play to drive the stake through the heart of this attempted fascist coup against America, led today by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the only barely still functioning corporal in the fascist army.

Mueller’s boss, who originally recommended him for appointment, is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who seems to be at the center of the fascist coup today. Trump’s essential master stroke would be to fire Rosenstein and appoint Rudy Giuliani as Deputy Attorney General in his place.

Giuliani would then be Mueller’s boss, with first-hand knowledge of whatever Mueller is doing, right or wrong. Giuliani would effectively be a Super Special Counsel, but operating within the Justice Department, in accordance with America’s Constitutional framework.

Giuliani knows what laws apply to professionals at the FBI and at Justice. After many years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan, Wall Street, and New York City, he knows how to proceed with preservation and collection of evidence, and prosecution of crimes. Expect an immediate exodus of all the Fascist coup co-conspirators, like cockroaches all scurrying about when the light is turned on in the dark basement downstairs.

Giuliani could also fire and replace Obama/Hillary co-conspirator Christopher Wray, current head of the FBI. Bring in former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom to replace him, a true patriot committed to restoring the integrity of the FBI.

Giuliani would know how to cooperate professionally with Trump’s appointed AG Jeff Sessions. He would actually be a great aid to AG Sessions, helping him to keep on top of the entire Department. Giuliani would know what materials can and should be released to the public, and how to do it legally.

History would record this one move as the beginning of the end of the fascist coup against America, and of the Trump resistance. The only question left would be what did Obama know, and when did he know it. Giuliani has the background to know how to uncover that as well.


21 Jan 2018

SNL Lost It Last Night

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Trump is really getting to them. Isn’t the frustration delicious?

18 Jan 2018

Donald Trump and the National Political War

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Joe Katzman explains why Trump’s inartful and commonly inaccurate debating technique seems to be working so well.

The right attempts political persuasion. The left, on the other hand, attempts social persuasion — basically seizing the commanding heights of culture-making institutions and then deciding that espousing some political claims (being pro-gay-marriage) increase social status and that espousing other political claims (being against gay marriage) decrease social status and, indeed, make one a social pariah, fit for ostracism, mass mockery, and internal exile.

The left’s method works much better than the right’s. It always has and it always will. Because most people don’t care about politics all that much — but nearly everyone (except for the crankiest of contrarians, including some of the current assembled company) cares about their social status.

Having higher social status gets you invites to the Cocktail Party Circuit, which is a real thing, defined broadly (and metaphorically) enough. It makes you datable, it makes you “clubbable,” as the old term went.

It can get you promoted at work, particularly if the sort of job you do is a bit vague as far as definite, tangible outputs and thus advancement depends more on how upper management feels about you.

While the left wing continues winning arguments by not even having arguments at all, instead simply demonizing those who espouse any contrary position, the #SmartSet (citation required) of the establishment right continues believing, apparently earnestly and definitely ridiculously, that if they just out argue their political competitors, they’ll change minds.

They won’t. Or not enough to actually matter. Because most people don’t really care enough about these issues to really engage with them on an intellectual level; they just want to know what to claim to believe so that other people won’t think they’re weird, and deem them unfriendable, undatable, and poor candidates for promotion inside The Corporation.

Trump’s manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as “gatekeepers” of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters.

This is often ugly — but that’s how the sausage gets made.


HT: Glenn Reynolds.

14 Jan 2018

This Dude Says Trump Is Right About Nigeria

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14 Jan 2018

Share With Your Liberal Friends the Next Time They Start Ranting about Trump

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12 Jan 2018

Tweet of the Day

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04 Jan 2018

Problem Solved

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