Who’s Next?


So Little Rocket Man may be giving up his nukes. We’ll see how that works out.

If it does, it will be an interesting precedent for other countries with weak economies that can’t carry the load of paying simultaneously for weapons development and economic development. Iran has a bigger economy than North Korea, but the mullahs have stunted their civil economies growth. Pakistan has lots of nukes and rampant poverty. The collapse of the Soviet Union was driven in large part by that country’s inability to pay for guns and butter. The Russians changed leaders, got a modestly improved economy, and kept their nukes. Will Kim preserve his hold on power by giving up his nukes for economic development? Will anyone else?

Stay tuned.

Running Against Ghosts


Specters haunt our political discourse. For decades, Republicans have tried to frame their Democrat opponents as the next Jimmy Carter. For a couple of generations, Democrats tried to paint every Republican as another Herbert Hoover. But as the voters who lived through those disastrous presidencies have died off, the tactic has lost its emotional connection to the electorate’s personal experiences and become less useful. My parents were in high school during the Hoover administration; I wasn’t born until after World War II. Their understanding of the early years of the Great Depression are personal; mine are second hand. Similarly, my son was born during the Reagan Administration, so he has no memories of Jimmy Carter as President.

Thus, it would seem that we should see the Republican’s running against Carter to peter out over the next few years just as the Democrats have given Hoover a rest.

Except that it appears that the Democrats are so desperate for something to run on that they’re bring  back comparing their opposition to Hoover. Bret Stephens has a piece over at the New York Times called Herbert Hoover’s Ghost comparing President Trump’s tariff policies with the Smoot-Hawley disaster of the early 1930’s. Of course, the world economy is very different today than it was in 1930, so even if Trump’s policies are mistaken (and I think some are), his tariffs won’t cause world trade to contract by over 60 percent as happened almost 90 years ago. Indeed, the weak recovery from 2009 to 2017 was quite similar to the weak recovery from 1933 to 1941. Yet, Stephens predicts:

The darker echoes of the 1930s are sounding louder. The shadow of Hoover grows longer. We know how this movie ends.

If the recent past is prolog, I expect the movie’s script to end with a plot twist the says the Trump’s policies were the result of collusion with the Russians and fully outlined in the emails that were missing from the server in Hillary Clinton’s bathroom. I also expect that movie’s script will not reflect what happens in the Real World.

Another Excuse


The Washington Examiner reports that Hillary Clinton has added one more item to the list of reasons she failed to win in 2016: Identifying as a capitalist probably hurt her in 2016. She’s quoted as saying,

“It’s hard to know, but if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists, and I’m asked are you a capitalist, and I say yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a capitalist,'”

Capitalist?

The Gentle Reader may remember that Mrs. Clinton’s husband once claimed he didn’t inhale. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton does.

Age Discrimination and Gun Control


Dick’s and Walmart recently announced that they would stop selling rifles and shotguns to buyers under the age of 21. That’s illegal under the age discrimination laws in many states, and The Hill reports that lawsuits seeking to enforce the Oregon anti-discrimination law have been filed against both companies.

I had figured that the first suit would come in California, but Oregon will do.

The Left really isn’t going to like having to live under the rules they have created.

Making a Federal Case Out of It


KPPC, an NPR station in the LA area, reports that they have interviewed the psychologist from the LA Department of Mental Heath who claims to have sent a package of horse manure to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Robert Strong said in an interview with KPCC that he sent the manure to Mnuchin because he believed the recently passed tax plan was corrupt and “brazenly ripping off the American people.”

“What I did, I would like to compare to what Jesus did when he went into the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers, who were exploiting the people financially in the name of religion. I feel like that’s what the GOP has done to the American people,” he told KPCC.

Sounds like it’s time for a med check.

The LAPD has handed what started out as a investigation of a suspicious package over to the Secret Service.