Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tweeting for President Trump?

No tweeting for President Trump
Hot Air » Top Picks by Larry O'Connor  

Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would no longer delight and enrage the universe with his nuggets of wit and wisdom via Twitter once he is elected President.

Politico reports that he made the proclamation at a rally in Rhode Island:

"You know, I tweeted today, @realDonaldTrump. I tweet," Trump said.  He added, "Don't worry, I'll give it up after I'm president. We won't tweet anymore. I don't know. Not presidential."

The remark comes days after wife Melania remarked that she wished her husband would tone down his Twitter habit.

Say it ain't so!

For those who have spent way too much time on Twitter for the past several years, Trump's finest Twitter moments pre-date his announcement for the White House. The world needs Trump on Twitter.  Being Commander-in-Chief should deprive us of these unforgettable gems as compiled by The Mirror:

I never fall for scams. I am the only person who immediately walked out of my 'Ali G' interview

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012

My twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012

As everybody knows, but the haters & losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a "wig." My hair may not be perfect but it's mine.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2013

This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2014

While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2012

And then there are a few of my all-time favorites:

I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2012

I would like to wish everyone, including all haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) a truly happy and enjoyable Memorial Day!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2015

Thanks- many are saying I'm the best 140 character writer in the world. It's easy when it's fun.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2012

It's hard to imagine life without @realDonaldTrump. Maybe cooler heads will prevail and Trump will be given some limited opportunities to spin his 140-character magic. Let's hope so. After all, I think we can all agree that tweeting is not, by definition, "un-presidential."

After all, whatever Trump tweets as president, it will hard to be as embarrassing and divisive as this:

It takes courage to share your story. https://t.co/Q7wWjV9Rxx

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 1, 2015


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Re: Markets vs. Economy

"@agentvf: New Jersey Man Joseph Hornick Willing to Go to Jail for Flying Trump Flag - Breitbart http://bit.ly/23iu6BT  @Q102Philly"

3,531 retweets 8,652 likes
Joseph Hornick / Facebook

by Breitbart News8 Apr 20163,405

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man is facing a fine for flying flags supporting Donald Trump.

Joseph Hornick thought police on March 25 were responding to his reports that the flags proclaiming "Trump Make America Great Again" flying outside his West Long Branch home had been vandalized. Instead, he was ticketed for violating an ordinance that restricts the display of political signs.

According to the police report, a resident who is a former Democratic councilman questioned why the municipal code enforcement officer had not cited Hornick.

"I'm not a football fan. I'm not a sports fan, but I'm surely a Donald Trump fan," Hornick told New York's WNBC-TV. The Republican said he has a right to express himself.

The town considers the flags supporting the Republican presidential candidate the same as political lawn signs, acting borough administrator Lori Cole said. "The ordinance states no political sign shall be displayed sooner than 30 days prior to the date of the election or the decision of the issue is scheduled," she said.

New Jersey's primary is June 7.

Violators face a minimum fine of $100. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000, 90 days in jail or both.

"I'm not taking the flag down, and if I do 90 days in jail, I'll do 90 days in jail," Hornick said.

His court date is April 20.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Markets vs. Economy


Monday, April 11, 2016

Before Predicting the Future, Take a Closer Look at the Present

Courtesy of ThePeople'sCube, here is the Boston Globe front page that would have been far more appropriate.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Newt Gingrich Nails the Washington Insider Problem

Newt Gingrich Nails the Washington Insider ProblemJeffrey Lord

You can't make it up.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave an interview to reporter Isaac Chotiner of Slate the other day. 

For a vivid illustration of the difference between the elitist, haughty thinking of the American Ruling Class (as unerringly described in Angelo Codevilla's The Ruling Class)and those who, like Newt, have not lost their ability to connect with (Codevilla again) the "Country Class" — i.e., the American people — the interview is priceless. Bravo to Newt!

The interview should be read in totality, but here are a few excerpts to give a flavor:

Isaac Chotiner: You were at a meeting on Monday with other Washington figures and Trump. What did you make of him?

Newt Gingrich: Well, Callista and I were both very impressed. In that kind of a setting he talks in a relatively low tone. He is very much somebody who has been good at business. And he listens well. He outlined the campaign as he saw it. I think he did a good job listening. He occasionally asked clarifying questions. He was very open to critical advice. I am not going to get into details, but I will say my overall impression was that in that setting he was totally under control as a guy who has done a ton of business and knows exactly how to operate in that kind of room.

You seem more sanguine than other people in Washington about Trump's rise. Is that fair to say?

Sure. Remember, I came in as a Reaganite, Kempite when I helped lead the effort in 1994. And I have consistently been in favor of a more aggressive, more active Republican Party that reaches out and expands its base and that is very, very idea-oriented. I think Washington is a city with enormous problems. I think we need somebody — and both Cruz and Trump fit this — who is going to break up the old order and insist on real change. It's not that I am sanguine. This will lead to a period of very real challenges, but I think we need it.

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a possible president here.

You are talking about a guy who was smart enough to build Trump Towers, build lots of hotels, build lots of casinos, and own the Miss Universe contest.

He is not stupid. For many people, that seems to be inconceivable because they have a university Ph.D. theory of being smart.

Didn't you write your Ph.D. thesis on the Belgian Congo?

I did, and I wrote my master's thesis on Japanese and Russian railroad construction in the 19th century.

So why are you bashing people with Ph.D.s?

Because I have been in the real world, doing real things, and I understand the limitations of academic knowledge. I think it's greatly overrated.

Look, you read a lot of books about how the world works, you are an educated person, you care about policy. When you hear Trump address subjects like NATO, it doesn't worry you —

No. I read what he said about NATO, and I think it has been grossly taken out of context. What he said about NATO was the Bush — Rumsfeld position, which is that the Europeans ought to pick up more of the slack.

… I want to get back to what Trump is doing, and we both know he is playing on impulses —

No, no we don't.

We don't?

What we know is that Trump has had the nerve to raise questions in a clear language because he represents the millions of Americans who are sick and tired of being told that they have to be guilt-ridden and keep their mouth shut.

… You must know a lot of people in Washington like Kristol and Krauthammer and George Will who are horrified by Trump. This isn't just liberal angst.

I think a number of them need to go on vacation.

You think that is all it is?

I think the tension is getting to them.

The tension of what?

Of having to deal with something that they don't understand and don't believe in. It horrifies them. It represents an alternative world they never dreamed of.

… You must notice that Trump has no serious foreign or domestic policy, and that these "intellectuals" who are horrified by this are not just dreaming it up out of nowhere.

They are queueing off something different than the American people are.

Is your job, as a politician, to merely follow the American people?

I am applying the Buckley principle to the Washington intellectuals. They are inbred, they talk to each other, they are treating the American people with contempt. Forget Trump. Seventy percent of Republicans between Trump, Carson, and Cruz have repudiated their world. And they are saying, "Boy, these people are really hicks. They are so stupid they have been taken in." Well maybe, just maybe, those American people know something the guys in Washington don't, and frankly, I am on the side of the American people, not the Washington intellectuals.

Now. What do you see here in this Newt interview with Chotiner? What is on display is a sterling example of exactly what has gone wrong inside the Washington Beltway — and just why so many millions are responding to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. (Ahem: again, ticket material?) 

When, for example, Chotiner says, bold print supplied by me, "…I want to get back to what Trump is doing, and we both know he is playing on impulses," the underlying moral superiority of the Ruling Class is surfaced. What Chotiner is really saying is that Americans are nothing more than… sniff, sniff… a bunch of bigoted rubes. And make no mistake, Chotiner is far from alone here in this all-too typical belief underlying the Ruling Class views of Americans. 

Note as well the belief that to have an academic Ph.D. is a sign of impeccable brilliance. Real word experience is, if considered at all, as the sign of a second or possibly third or fourth-rate mind. Translation in this situation? Donald Trump is not a smart guy. No wonder all those millions of stupid people are voting for him.

Underneath the thin veneer of the ordinary politics involved in choosing candidate A over candidate B this year lies the dark mass of contempt and insiderdom that permeates the culture of Washington. It is this contempt that explains what can only be called the wild hysteria that is coursing so palpably through wild-eyed D.C. elites.

Here is the Washington Post comparing — not for the first time — Trump to Hitler:

First, you don't have to go back to history's most famous example, Adolf Hitler, to understand that authoritarian rulers can achieve power through the ballot box. In the world today, it has become almost commonplace for elected leaders to lock the door behind them once they achieve power. Vladimir Putin in Russia, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey — all found ways once in power to restrict opposition, muzzle the media and erode checks and balances.

Hitler? Hitler? Really? The man who launched a World War II that killed six million Jews and by historical estimates some 11 million human beings roughly estimated? Well, yes. As in this column yesterday from the Post's "conservative" columnist Kathleen Parker who wrote — amazingly? stunningly? like a certifiable wacko bird? — a column which said this after calling Trump a fascist:

The conundrum for Republicans is that though Trump may be the devil, he's their devil. How can they condemn the guy that a near-majority of their own party prefers? If you're, say, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), how do you say you won't support your party's nominee? Then again, if you're a good man like Ryan, how do you support him?

That is the question of the moment, isn't it? This is what we ask ourselves about the industrialists and "good Germans" who supported Hitler. This is what we ask our Southern grandparents about the time when blacks were being lynched. What we ask the World War II generation about rounding up Japanese Americans. And while we're at it, what was your vote on Vietnam, Iraq? There's a price to pay for silence.

That so few have shown the courage to deny Trump tells us how difficult it is to be brave — and how rare character is. But one can only pretend for so long not to hear the dog whistles of history, a skill at which Republicans have become too well practiced over the decades. Perhaps they're no longer listening. Or they're deluding themselves that Trump's words don't really mean what, you know, they mean.

Wow. Living Outside the Washington Insider Culture of Washington Insider Reich Enthusiasts, one is forced to ask. Who is really the "Good German" here? Paul Ryan — or Kathleen Parker? What disapprobation will Parker face if she supports Trump? Loss of TV and cocktail party invites? What love will come her way by spewing the anti-Semitic spittle that Donald Trump, father of the Judaism-convert Ivanka, father-in-law, in-law. and grandfather to Jews — is really a Hitler wannabe? Does this not serve as just a tiny indicator of how truly disturbing and morally rotted the Washington Insider culture has become? One is compelled to ask of Ms. Parker a gender-revised Joseph Welch question from the Army-McCarthy hearings: "Have you no sense of decency, m'am? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" Never mind. Clearly the answer is "no."

Columnist George Will assures darkly that Trump is "appealing entirely to white people." It makes no difference that this is utterly untrue. As Fox News Latinoreported after the Nevada caucuses:

Donald Trump's hardline stance on immigration didn't seem to hurt him with Latinos in Nevada, as the Republican presidential front-runner claimed 45 percent of the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's caucus, according to an entrance poll conducted by Fox News.

All of which translates to Washington Insiders as saying that if Nevada Latinos aren't racist for supporting Trump they are at the very least stupid. And of course, how many Ph.D.s do they have? And when was the last time they dined in Georgetown or thought deeply on foreign policy with the guys and gals over at the AEI? 

Newt Gingrich wasn't kidding when he said, "I think the tension is getting to them…. Of having to deal with something that they don't understand and don't believe in. It horrifies them. It represents an alternative world they never dreamed of."


Let's suppose for a moment that Donald Trump is now President-elect Trump as of yesterday's election. Now what? What happens in "ordinary" circumstances when a new president arrives in town? The Old Guard braces. There's a new team sweeping in and the old team is on it's way out. All those relationships carefully built over the years with Team Obama — as with Team Bush 43, Team Clinton, Team Bush 41, and Team Reagan before it — is gonzo. Time to get on the Inside with the new people. Problem? Who the hell are the new people? Who is the new chief of staff? Who knows the new guy or at who at least knows somebody who knows the new guy? Who is handling that proposal to handle the President-elect's crazy idea about making insurance companies more competitive? God, you don't think he was serious about that, do you? Has he read the paper from the think tank on the nuclear triad? Who should I invite to lunch? To dinner? 

And on and on the circus goes as the Washington Cartel — to borrow from Senator Cruz — sets to work to grind down the sensibilities of the new Team Trump. And if they don't succeed? Panic. Phone calls aren't being returned. President Trump and his team not only have no idea who Mr. Insider is — and worse they may know exactly — but they don't care. They don't care.

Washington is the Big City that is really a village. Instead of six degrees of separation there are about three. One's neighbors are lobbyists, journalists, congressmen, and senators and Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officials. And don't forget the bureaucrats — the unassuming man or woman down the block who has spent the last thirty years in the concrete box that is the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education. The idea of abolishing the Education Department outright and shipping its functions back to states means a comfy career for your neighbor is now about to come to a screeching halt. This brings, shall we say, concern in concentrated form. 

This doesn't even touch the more delicate areas of foreign policy, where a whole priesthood of think tankers, ex-office holders, and wanna-be office holders labor. How can these people and the world view they are so certain the new president is totally ignorant of ever get their foot in the door at the White House or State or the Pentagon?

Not to be forgotten? How can you actually report a story if you can't develop good sources — because the new President has different ways of operating with his communications team? You can pound away at the new president's image — and that of his staffers — but what if it doesn't work in this instance? What if readers or viewers think you are the problem.

All of this and more is what creates the "tension" of which Newt Gingrich speaks in that Slate article. It is what underlies the hysterical reaction to Trump — that he is Hitler, a bigot, an idiot. That his voters are wannabe Nazis and white supremacists and generally speaking all around uneducated and unsophisticated rubes who think the Four Seasons are times of the year instead of a decent place to talk the intricacies of devaluing the yen while choosing between the A3 Wagyu Beef Tartare and the Siberian Caviar.

In sum? This is the real reason why the Washington Establishment fights. Once upon a time, when they were young, they came, they conquered — and then they stayed. And stayed. Growing fat and prosperous and ever so much more separated from the actual people they once upon a time were so passionate about representing.

It's too bad. But the American people at this point in time have, safe to say, no sympathy with all of this. They are trying to get a job — and keep it. They have a mortgage, kids to educate — and in the case of the aging Baby Boomer generation, senior parents to care for.

Suffice to say, at this point after eight years of the Obama era that was supposedly about "hope and change" there are millions of Americans who have been left with little or no hope — and they damn well are determined to bring change. Big change.

Bravo to Speaker Gingrich for speaking truth to Washington Insider power.

And to hell with the Siberian Caviar.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

GOOGLE Engineer Rips Toxic Working Environment...

GOOGLE Engineer Rips Toxic Working Environment...

'Tony and his goons demand crazy timelines so much that 'crunch time' has basically lost meaning. Just when your labor bears fruit, they swoop in, 180 the specs you just delivered on, then have the gall to call your team 'incompetent' for not reading their mind and delivering on these brand-new specs. I waste most of my time in pointless meetings, or defending my teams so they don't flip their desks and walk out,' he wrote of the supposed Nest office culture.

He went on to say that disheveled employees' lives and marriages are being destroyed and that they are forced to take naps in bathrooms because they are so overworked.

'People fall asleep in corners and cry in the bathrooms, health and marriages are suffering. Already the churn is insane, close to half the company if not more. Skilled engineers can tell the environment is toxic, so we're filling vacancies with mostly sub-par talent,' continued the post.

The anonymous man continued his rant and warned the CEO that he can't hide anything from engineers.

'Tony, you can't hide anything from engineers. We know how many units are actually being sold, how many subscriptions lapse, how many fail or get returned. We know about that time-bomb flaw you ignored so people will have to upgrade. We can see the data in those executive dashboards you think we don't know about,' he said.

'But go ahead, keep trashing us in public. We dare you to tell everyone just how much of that $340M was due to a simple Dropcam rebrand, and not the thermostats and smoke alarms. Good luck shipping that critical new project after restarting it for the umpteenth time. Ah, that feels better. Now off to the other 4 meetings I have today,' he concluded.


Full post: After garnering attention from his post he added that despite having issues with the CEO, he is supportive of his fellow employees of the company

Full post: After garnering attention from his post he added that despite having issues with the CEO, he is supportive of his fellow employees of the company

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


From space

Prosecutors have too much power. Juries should rein them in. Jury Nullification - The Washington Post


Prosecutors have too much power. Juries should rein them in.

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds April 6 at 9:00 AM

Each week, In Theory takes on a big idea in the news and explores it from a range of perspectives. This week, we're talking about jury nullification. Need a primer? Catch up here.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at InstaPundit.com.

If there's strong evidence that you've committed a crime, there's still hope. Despite the evidence, those responsible for convicting you may choose to let you go, if they think that sending you to jail would result in an injustice.

That can happen through what's called "prosecutorial discretion," where a prosecutor decides not to bring or pursue charges against you because doing so would be unfair, even though the evidence is strong. Or it can happen through "jury nullification," where a jury thinks that the evidence supports conviction but then decides to issue a "not guilty" verdict because it feels that a conviction would be unjust.

[Jurors need to take the law into their own hands]

Strangely, the former is much less controversial than the latter. Prosecutorial discretion is regularly applied and generally regarded as a standard part of criminal justice. Its application may, on rare occasions, create controversy — such as when TV host David Gregory got a pass for what even the prosecutor called a "clear violation" of D.C. gun law when he displayed a high-capacity ammunition magazine on "Meet the Press" or when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch invoked prosecutorial discretion as a reason for not pursuing charges against disgraced IRS employee Lois Lerner. But the concept of prosecutorial discretion is generally regarded as sound.

So-called jury nullification, on the other hand, gets far less respect. Though it is clearly within the power of juries to refuse to convict whenever they choose, judges and prosecutors tend to view this practice with hostility. They may not be able to stop juries from exercising their power, but they do their best to keep people from telling them that they have this option: Periodically, we see stories of people prosecuted for handing out jury nullification leaflets outside courthouses. Prosecutors in the District have even complained about billboards telling potential jurors about jury nullification.

That may change, however, with New Hampshire's new legislation requiring that juries be informed by the court that they may refuse to convict if they feel a conviction would yield an "unjust result." The New Hampshire legislation is good, but in my opinion it doesn't go far enough. Juries should be empowered to punish the prosecution when they feel the prosecution is abusive or malicious.

[Why do prosecutors go after innocent people?]

In today's system, prosecutors hold almost all the cards. The prosecutor's unreviewable decision whether to charge someone with a crime is, for all practical purposes, the most important part of the criminal justice system, yet it is a decision to which no due process attaches.

In a recent Columbia Law Review essay, titled "Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is A Crime," I noted that "prosecutors count on the fact that when a defendant faces a hundred felony charges, the prospect that a jury might go along with even one of them will be enough to make a plea deal look attractive. Then, of course, there are the reputational damages involved, which may be of greatest importance precisely in cases where political motivations might be in play. Worse, prosecutors have no countervailing incentives not to overcharge. A defendant who makes the wrong choice will wind up in jail; a prosecutor who charges improperly will suffer little, if any, adverse consequence beyond a poor win/loss record. Prosecutors are even absolutely immune from lawsuits over misconduct in their prosecutorial capacity."

So I think we should give prosecutors some skin in the game. Let juries be informed that they may refuse to convict if they think a conviction is unjust — and, if that happens, let the defendants' attorney fees and other costs be billed to the government. Also, let juries be informed that, if they believe the prosecution itself was malicious or unfair, they can make that finding — in which case the defendants' costs should come out of the prosecutor's budget. (If you want to get even tougher, you could provide that the prosecutors involved should be disqualified from law practice for a year or stripped of their immunity from civil suit. But I'm not sure we need to go that far).

Over the past several decades there has been a massive shift of power toward prosecutors, the result of politics, over-criminalization, institutional leverage and judges' failure to provide supervision. It's time to redress the balance. Although it doesn't go far enough, New Hampshire's proposed legislation is an excellent start.

Explore these other perspectives:

Paul Butler: Jurors need to take the law into their own hands


Friday, April 01, 2016

Waiters And Bartenders Rise To Record, As Manufacturing Workers Drop Most Since 2009

Waiters And Bartenders Rise To Record, As Manufacturing Workers Drop Most Since 2009

But not all is lost: as has been the case for virtually every month during the "recovery", virtually every laid off manufacturing worker could find a job as a waiter: in March, the workers in the "Food services and drinking places" category, aka waiters, bartenders and minimum wage line cooks, rose again to a new record high of 11,307,000 workers, an increase of 25K in the month, offsetting virtually all lost manufacturing jobs.

This is how the two job series have looked since the start of 2015: 24k manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past 14 months compared to an increase of 365K food service workers.



And here is the longer-term, going back to the start of the crisis in December 2007.