3 Things to Like About President Trump; 3 Things Not to Like

 

We’re six months into the Trump Era, and there’s no sign of the gay concentration camps Rachel Maddow said were forthcoming. But surely we must be developing some opinions on how he’s doing so far. So here’s my list(icle) of three things I like about PDT so far, and three things I really don’t care for. First, what I likes:

  1. I like that he doesn’t let himself be a punching bag for the Democrat Media Complex. The last two Republican presidents seemed to think that defending their administration’s policies from Democrat attacks was ungentlemanly. Trump has also identified the weak point of the media establishment — their egos. Most of the media operatives, especially on television, are dumb, vain, and egomaniacal. Trump knows that if he pokes them, they will go into paroxysms of “How Dare He Criticize Us” vituperation. He provokes the very media temper tantrums that discredit the media.
  2. I like that some of Obama’s executive overreach has been repealed, and that some of Obama’s worst policy decisions are being revoked. We’re out of the Paris “Redistribution of Wealth to the Third World” Accords. Criminal aliens are being deported once again. Israel isn’t being treated as a pariah state. More of this, please.
  3. Neil Gorsuch was an outstanding Supreme Court appointment. Good Lord, can you imagine the horrible people Hillary would be putting on the court? Sotomayor and Kagan were bad enough. Try Justice Kamala Harris on for size. (Not that it would be her, but it would be someone just as hard left, just as hyperpartisan, and just as corrupt). Democrat presidents never nominate swing votes.

Now, three things that I don’t like about Trump’s presidency so far:

In a Pickle Over Regulations

 

On my first trip to DC, an immigrant cabbie pointed out buildings to college-aged me. As he highlighted the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and every other building I already knew, we drove by an imposing monolith near the mall. “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh, that’s the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

As it turned out, it was just the south building of the USDA, the largest office building in the world until the Pentagon was built. Next door is the USDA’s massive Jamie L. Whitten Building, which covers four acres by itself. What on earth do they do in there? I wondered.

Well, now I know. Over the weekend, I read just one of their regulations — 23 pages dedicated to pickles. Your tax dollars paid bureaucrats to mandate that a “small gherkin” must be less than 2.4 cm in diameter, whereas a “large gherkin” can have a diameter of up to 2.7 cm.

Member Post

 

Happy Birthday America. Yes it is true that I would not have voted to ratify our Constitution, for I live with the gift of hindsight, but I can never find the proper words to thank those men who sat down and, with the certainty of death hanging above them, resolved to bequeath to me and […]

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http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/statue-liberty-was-originally-muslim-woman-180957377/ During lunch today, my colleague, a man of Pakistani decent expressed his dismay with the travel ban. He posed that since the Statue of Liberty was a Muslim woman, we we’re no longer the country we once were.  Preview Open

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Fourteen hundred years ago, Islam occupied the Holy Land, and in particular the Temple Mount, through violent Jihad. They knew exactly what and why they had conquered. They allowed neither Christians nor Jews access to Holy sites. In modern times to challenge the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount stands as one Islam’s greatest absurdities amongst […]

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Can’t We Just Leave It at Gwyneth Paltrow Really Is Evil?

 

Thursday’s “Daily Shot” made me happy about one thing — finally there is proof that Gwyneth Paltrow really is pure evil! Sure, the source of that information was a man who was hell-bent on destroying a monument of the Ten Commandments on public land, but still. It’s something, right?

Ok, maybe not, and if Paltrow finally was relegated to complete irrelevance, that would mean the death of a cottage industry that exists to debunk all the crazy things she tells her followers to do to themselves. I guess I will stick with siding with capitalism on this one.

But, the sad case of the man who actually did knock down that monument is the real reason for this writing, so on to the story from our own folks:

Uncommon Knowledge: The Deciding Vote with Senator Rob Portman

 

About 10 days ago at Dartmouth College, I sat down with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to talk about the threats and problems related to Russia’s meddling in democratic elections in the United States and around the world. Portman then discusses the complex process of health care reform, noting that the process has been difficult because health care is a complex issue that needs to be handled correctly. In the conversation about health care reform, Portman says that the number-one cause of death in Ohio is opioid overdose and that Medicaid plays an important role in getting addicts the help they need so they don’t end up in jail or in the emergency room. Along with health care, the Senate will take up tax reform;  Portman believes this is the most important reform that the Congress and the president can make to help the economy grow.

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Here’s an idea for the Senate health care reform bill. We have talked for a long time about the value of allowing health insurance policies to be sold across state lines, but as I understand it, this sort of initiative could not be included within the Senate bill because of reconciliation rules. However, the proposal […]

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While debuting the new custom-built piano for the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin, Nils Frahm encouraged audience members to give it a try.  Skateboard tourist and aspiring musician Tom Adams hopped up, then asked if he could sing as well.  Two minutes into his solo, Frahm, who has been holding the mic, spontaneously joins in.   Three […]

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ACF #6 The Birds

 

The American Cinema Foundation movie podcast is back. @stsalieriericcook and I are talking about Hitchock’s follow-up to Psycho, The Birds. We answer the basic questions about the bird attacks and we hope to persuade you that Hitchcock plotted his story not merely with a view to thrills, but from a serious moral perspective that should be of interest especially, but not exclusively, to conservatives. At the same time, our claim is that the moral perspective is as obvious as the images on the screen once you pay attention to the sequence of events, as well as the setting.

So we’ve taken to explaining both the shockingly obscure and the apparently throwaway, to put them together and show that they really do belong together.

Iraqi Government Declares the End of the Caliphate

 

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The Battle of Mosul has been going on for eight months, but yesterday marked a turning point. Iraqi government troops captured the ruins of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque and shortly after the Iraqi government declared an end to the ISIS caliphate.

The 850-year-old mosque carries enormous symbolic significance as it was the site where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance as leader of the group and where the caliphate was declared three years ago this month. To be clear, the Battle of Mosul of not over, as there are still ISIS fighters in a few neighborhoods in the Old City, but this is still a big deal.

Member Post

 

I have been thinking about this for a while, and a National Review story today reminded me again today.  The story is about NYC’s mayor but included some details about spending by local transit authorities on palatial buildings while ignoring faults in basic services (link:  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449116/bill-de-blasio-nyc-mayor-dilettante). I see lots of evidence in San Antonio, the […]

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Big Government, Public Health, and E-Cigarettes, Part III

 

This is the last in a three-part series on e-cigarettes. Part I is available here. Part II is available here.

E-cigarettes or vapor products aren’t specifically mentioned in the Tobacco Control Act. The FDA had no expressed mandate to do anything. But that isn’t stopping them from trying. If the FDA actions are not significantly changed by the administration, the Congress, and potentially the courts, FDA regulations will certainly do more to harm public health than benefit it. The nexus used by the FDA to sweep vapor products into its regulatory regime was that nicotine in the products was “tobacco derived.” Most, or all of it, is, just like the nicotine used in gums and patches. Frankly it’s cheaper to acquire nicotine from tobacco than it is to acquire it from other plants (it’s in tomatoes, eggplant, and other nightshades) or to create it in a lab. But, as regulatory agencies often do, the FDA has indicated that they will broadly exercise authority to regulate devices (that contain no nicotine and are not tobacco-derived) or zero nicotine liquids.

Most significantly, the FDA deeming rule related to these products creates an effective ban on tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of existing products. The Tobacco Control Act and subsequent FDA regulations allowed all cigarette products sold before 2007 to remain on the market so long as they complied with existing rules. Rather than allow existing vapor products to remain on the market upon publication of the deeming rule, the FDA immediately banned any new products from entering the market and will require all existing products to complete a prohibitively expensive and largely arbitrary application process, with no clear guidance from the FDA and little or no likelihood of approval.

John McEnroe, 1 – PC Silliness, 0

 

I like it when people speak simple truths in the face of vapid political correctness. John McEnroe did that last weekend, and is experiencing the predictable pushback from an aggrieved press.

In his book But Seriously, McEnroe describes Serena Williams as the best female player in the world. When asked about that in an interview on NPR, McEnroe amplified the comment, saying that Williams is the “best female player ever. No question.”

High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”