Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Democrats Anti-Trump Circus over Gorsuch

When I listened to the Senate Gorsuch hearings for his nomination to the Supreme Court, the Democrats had very little to condemn this man for.  His answers to their concerns sounded both logical and sincere and he remained unflustered.  Yet, the Dems kept coming back to one ruling that they think paints him as a heartless S.O.B. who would leave a truck driver to die in 14 below weather.  In this supposed "Frozen Trucker" case, Gorsuch ruled against the majority and sided with the company who fired the trucker for leaving his rig behind on the side of the road to find gasoline. Gorsuch ruled against the trucker because of Federal law and simply told the Democrats that if they didn't like his ruling, then change the law.

So, out of 2700+ rulings, the Democrats believe that just this one ruling should disqualify him.  The Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer also claims that Gorsuch is a "conservative" ideologue and unfit to be on the Supreme Court.  A fact that I find interesting since the website FiveThirtyEight researched his rulings on the 10th Circuit and actually found him to be more liberal than many of the other justices on that court.

But, still, the Democrats don't want him on the Supreme Court.  In another effort to block him, they are now claiming that as long as Trump is under investigation by the FBI, he has no right to appoint anyone to the "court".  Where were these people when Hillary was running for President and under an FBI investigation for her private email server?

Just how long are Democrats going to carry on this circus of blocking Trump at every turn?  Can we please get on with the business of running the government?

References:

Dems Pounce on Gorsuch's 'Frozen Trucker' Ruling: http://www.newser.com/story/240189/frozen-trucker-case-looms-in-gorsuch-hearing.html

Schumer Says Gorsuch’s ‘Conservative Ideology’ Makes Him Unfit for the Supreme Court: http://observer.com/2017/03/charles-schumer-neil-gorsuch-conservative-ideology-trump-supreme-court-nominee/

For A Trump Nominee, Neil Gorsuch’s Record Is Surprisingly Moderate On Immigration And employment discrimination: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/for-a-trump-nominee-neil-gorsuchs-record-is-surprisingly-moderate-on-immigration/

In Move to Slow Gorsuch Confirmation, Dems Cite FBI Probe: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/03/23/in_move_to_slow_gorsuch_confirmation_dems_cite_fbi_probe_133419.html

Hillary Clinton's FBI investigation: What you need to know ... - CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/politics/clinton-fbi-investigation-comey/

pb

Monday, March 27, 2017

History and Why TrumpCare Failed

I hope Donald Trump learned a valuable lesson about Washington politics with his failure to pass the American Health Care Act (now forevermore known as TrumpCare).

One of the hardest things to do in Washington D.C. is to build a consensus; even among your own party members. This is one of the reasons why, in 1993, HillaryCare failed.  Too many Democrats had conflictingideas on how it should be done. Just like today. But, it was that lesson learned from the 1993 failure that allowed a consensus to form among Democrats leading to ObamaCare pasing into law in 2010.  Of course, some of that consensus was bought with things like the "Louisiana Purchase" and the "Corn-husker Kickback".

Everyone in the media knew there were too many defections from the GOP plan.  Yet, Trump and Ryan pushed it anyway.  I guess they were thinking it would happen simply because Trump promised it would.  Trump just may want to do a rewrite of his bestseller and rename it the "Art of the No Deal".

References:

Uh Oh: At Least 36 Republicans Plan To Vote Against GOP Health Care Bill: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/03/24/uh-oh-at-least-36-republicans-plan-to-vote-against-gop-health-care-bill-n2303816

GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is the biggest broken promise in political history: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gop-cave-on-obamacare-repeal-is-the-biggest-broken-promise-in-political-history/article/2618413

Clinton Health Care Plan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act#Healthcare_debate.2C_2008.E2.80.9310

EDITORIAL: The $300 million Louisiana purchase - Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/30/the-300-million-louisiana-purchase/


Friday, March 24, 2017

Will Carbonated Water Save the Planet from Climate Change?

The world has enjoyed "fizzy" water and beverages for more than 200 years.  Now, there is a chance that it will be the savior of the planet by converting carbonated water into ethanol.

Three scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have accidentally found that a nano tech wafer of one centimeter square applied to water being infused with CO2 will actually achieve the production of ethanol.  While some of the CO2 will escape back into the air, they have been able to convert 63% of the gas in the process.  More importantly, the voltage needed is as little as 1.2 volts.  Thus, a power plant producing carbon dioxide may have that output captured and turned into a usable fuel by simply applying a small fraction of the energy it produces.  Also, the wafer that is used in the process is inexpensive.  Its made from copper, nitrogen, and carbon.

I guess, this invention by these "Oak Ridge Boys" will go down in history with all the other accidental scientific discoveries such as penicillin and microwave ovens.

References:

Carbonated Water: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonated_water

Nanotech Wafer Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol: http://www.popsci.com/grain-alcohol-created-from-carbon-dioxide-and-water

Reversing the combustion process to convert CO2 into ethanol: http://newatlas.com/co2-ethanol-nanoparticle-conversion-ornl/45920/

10 Awesome Accidental Discoveries: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/g1216/10-awesome-accidental-discoveries/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It Took Just Over a Year for the Paris Climate Accord to Start Falling Apart

In December 2015, the Paris Climate Accord was hailed a "landmark" agreement by the New York Times.  Rich countries, like the U.S. and those in the European Union, agreed to make significant cuts in their climate changing emissions.  At the same time, those rich nations would contribute billions of dollars to aid the poorer countries of the world to fight  their war against climate change.  Barack Obama made a big thing out of it.  Others, apparently wiser, said the agreement would fail.

Thus, we come to early March 2017.  Bloomberg News is now reporting that the world's wealthiest countries are backing off from their financial commitments to the Paris Accord.  Some will try and blame Trump for this lack of commitment; giving these countries the cover they need to claim that the "Accord" is useless without the United States; the world's largest polluter.  Maybe so.  But, the reality is that the world is in a serious economic slowdown.  Without more money to do both the normal work of providing for their citizens, and at the same time, take on the additional burden of fighting climate change both at home and in other poorer countries, the Paris Accord was destined to fail.

In essence, the Paris Accord, like every climate agreement before it, again wind up on the trash heap of attempts by nations, not being able to work together to, you guessed it, save the world from climate change.  Do you see more than a little sense of climate denial in this story?  It appears that another Obama legacy is about to fall right along with ObamaCare.

References:

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

Why the Paris Climate Change Agreement Will Fail: http://reason.com/archives/2015/12/14/a-happy-agreement-in-paris-wont-fix-glob

G-20 Poised to Signal Retreat From Climate-Change Funding Pledge: https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2017/03/09/g-20-document-shows-governments-retreating-from-climate-funding

IMF Sees Subdued Global Growth, Warns Economic Stagnation Could Fuel Protectionist Calls: http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2016/10/03/AM2016-NA100416-WEO

Obama Caps Environmental Legacy With Paris Climate Change Deal: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/obama-caps-environmental-legacy-paris-climate-change-deal-n642266

pb


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ISIS in Iraq: Close to Defeat?

Is one of the "I's" (Iraq) in ISIS' name on its way out?  Two reports from two U.K. online newspapers seems to say yes. The U.K. DailyMail recently reported that the "leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has admitted defeat in Iraq and ordered militants to either flee or kill themselves in suicide attacks, it has been claimed." In that same article it was reported "UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon said he expected to see ISIS expelled from Iraq's major towns by the end of 2017."

Then, there was this recent quote from the Guardian:
"Firas Abi Ali, a senior analyst of terrorism in the Middle East, said the jihadist group - also known as Islamic State - was being weakened by American air power and was unlikely to survive as a military force beyond the next 12 months."
In my opinion, this is big news that I have not seen reported by the media in the U.S..  Yet, the U.K. news outlets seem to have a handle on the story.  Is the news being ignored so as to not give Trump any credit for what to be happening in his first year in office?

References:

ISIS leader 'admits DEFEAT in Iraq and orders militants to flee or kill themselves in suicide attacks': http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-when-will-they-be-defeated-prediction-2017-islamic-state-us-air-strikes-a7337591.html

Isis will be defeated 'by the end of 2017' 'Islamic State don’t stand a chance against a ground assault that is backed by air power,' says senior analyst: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-when-will-they-be-defeated-prediction-2017-islamic-state-us-air-strikes-a7337591.html


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Record Low Birth Rate, A Crisis For Older Americans

Last August, amid all the coverage of the presidential election, a significant news item was overlooked.  That was the fact that, last year, America's birth rate reached a record low of 59.8 births per 1000 women.  By comparison, at the peak of the baby-boom years, the average was 122.9.

In a country that is getting older with a projected percentage of the over-65 population rising from 15% today to 24% by 2060, this is a problem.  The problem lies in the fact that social programs rely heavily on younger Americans paying into programs like Medicare and Social Security to keep them buoyed into the future.  If there are fewer young people and more older people, the young are going to have to carry a bigger burden to support the seniors of the future. Plus, who will take care of an aging population?  Is senior-care the big job sector of the future?

Facing the same outlook, Japan is desperately trying to "develop" robots to take care of its sick and older population.  But, what about the cost of caring for an aging population in the U.S.?  Has anyone heard of a single politician that seems concerned about this?  Democrats seem to think that Medicare and Social Security are solvent programs as far as the eye can see!

References:

US fertility rate falls to lowest on record: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/11/health/us-lowest-fertility-rate/

Fact Sheet: Aging in the United States: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Media-Guides/2016/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet.aspx

Development of care robots growing in aging Japan: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/27/national/social-issues/development-care-robots-growing-aging-japan/#.WM7adWclTb1






Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump's Tax Return: Who Is Mailbox-Man?

Rachel Maddow has deservedly taken a lot of heat since over-hyping the release of two summary pages from Donald Trump's 2005 tax return.  Some say the release actually benefited Trump by showing that he paid $38 million in taxes that year.  Because of this, some have even concluded that Trump himself, released the information.

What I find more interesting however, is why a relatively unknown economics/business writer by the name of David Cay Johnston would wind up with these copies that were supposedly and conveniently, slipped into his "mailbox".  Thus, the unknown delivery man can't be prosecuted for illegally obtaining and distributing Trump's tax return. Still, why Johnston; when there are so many other better-known media types, better able to make the contents of Trump's return known publicly?  Well, the answer to that question is that Johnston is essentially a Trump and rich people hater.

In 2016, Johnston published a book titled "The Making of Donald Trump".  A book reviewer at the Boston Globe said it was: "a chronicle of mobsters and mistresses, shady construction deals and financial shenanigans, monumental projects and miserable (and possibly illegal) business practices".   In fact, when Johnston first met Trump in 1988, he negatively referred to him as "P.T. Barnum"; the man most associated with the phrase: "There is a sucker is born every minute."  However, a better insight as to why Trump's return would be so relevant to Johnston comes from two other books he authored:
  • "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With The Bill"
  • "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich—and Cheat Everybody Else"
So, when you look at the numbers in that return, they perfectly fit the type of individual that Johnston portrays in those two books.  Trump actually made a quarter of a billion dollars in 2005, but only paid taxes on $153 million of it because of deductions that favored himself and his business. Deductions that, in Johnston's eyes, are only available to a very rich person.  That's the real story behind the release of Trump's tax return and why Johnston had access to it.  But, understand, those deductions were all legal.  Things that the political left constantly and falsely claims as being loopholes.

Johnston's "paper trail" of writings convinces me that, perhaps he had something to do with the illegal acquisition of those two-pages.  I have no proof of that, and conveniently, Johnston's claim that he found them in his mailbox lets him off the hook legally.  Still, something doesn't smell right about it.

References:

Trump DID pay tax: White House fury as Donald Trump's tax returns are leaked showing that President made $150million and paid $38million to the government in 2005: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4314620/Maddow-reveals-Trump-s-tax-returns-White-House-furious.html

Rachel Maddow’s Trump ‘bombshell’ completely backfired: http://nypost.com/2017/03/16/rachel-maddows-trump-bombshell-completely-backfired/

Trump: It's 'fake news' that a reporter just opened his mailbox and found my tax returns: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/03/15/trump-its-fake-news-that-a-reporter-just-opened-his-mailbox/21894402/

David Cay Johnston: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cay_Johnston

The Making of Donald Trump: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Making_of_Donald_Trump

A sucker is born every minute: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_a_sucker_born_every_minute

Here's one curious thing about the Donald Trump tax leak: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/14/trump-may-have-leaked-his-own-tax-return-award-winning-journalist-says.html

Is it illegal for the media to publish Donald Trump’s leaked tax return? http://www.today.com/video/is-it-illegal-for-the-media-to-publish-donald-trump-s-leaked-tax-return-898310723900