A Deranged or Dangerous Man

No, I’m not talking about the shooter in Virginia today, who obviously was both deranged and dangerous. I’m talking about Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who raced to the microphone to declare that tighter gun control is the saving answer, and blared two or three times, before staff choked him with a note, that America loses 93 million citizens a day to gun violence. Imagine that. In 4 days, America will have zero population.

93 million? What was his addled mind thinking? Terry McAuliffe is not a stupid man. He can’t have moved in the circles he has and prospered the way he has with a low horsepower brain. I propose that leaves two options. Either he had a neurological event so he didn’t hear or understand himself to say that we lose a over a quarter of the US population to gun violence every day, or he is sinister or evil and didn’t care at all about the accuracy of his comments; he just meant to go advance an agenda, regardless of the merits.

It is possible a staffer speechwriter just screwed up really badly and gave him a bad number, but then it still seems like question marks would go off in his head. Terry McAuliffe is mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2020. This disgrace should squelch that nonsense.

Cold Civil War

There has never been anything quite like an ex-president trotting the globe trying to undermine his successor. Or the national media or federal bureaucrats doing their best to spread myths to un-elect the rascal the people elected. This is absolutely cold civil war. Elite America hates what common America voted for and will not let this threat to its privileges go unchallenged. The New York Times and CNN couldn’t be bigger hussies for the cause if they stood out on Pennsylvania Avenue and flashed their privies.

John Kerry’s High Emissions of Smoke and Nonsense on the Paris Accords.

More in anger than in sorrow, former Secretary of State John Kerry last week donned his old Vietnam combat greens, climbed into a CBS News studio, sat down, and started machine gunning out fallacies and non sequiturs about the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. Secretary Kerry, (actually clad in his customary blue suit) called it perhaps the most self defeating move in American history.
Given time and space, I’d like to discuss a certain nuclear giveaway that an official of the previous administration negotiated with some friendly, reliable Iranians. But, back to the hot topic du jour (I’ll throw in some French to impress him) Kerry rattled off a string of fluffy talking points that went mostly unchallenged by his interviewer.
195 countries have been working “for decades,” with America in a leadership role, and Trump just unilaterally walked away from it! He is abdicating American leadership in the world and we will not have a seat at the table.
That takes a little unwinding. In 2001, George Bush withdrew America from Kyoto Protocols signed by Bill Clinton, but never submitted to the US Senate. There were howls of European outrage then too. Just 15 years later, the global jet setters put the ink on the Paris accords, with America supposedly leading the band. Apparently withdrawing from Kyoto didn’t end the discussion, or America’s important role in it. Contrary to characterizations, though, America was less in a leading role than in a sugar daddy role. The agenda was driven by green extremist and socialist globalist elites eager to sink a redistributive IV tube deep in Uncle Sam’s Arm.
Kerry disputes this was a bad deal for America. No country he insists “is required by this agreement to do anything except what that country already agreed to do for itself.”
More unwinding: The Accord assigns steep carbon reductions to America and wealthy Western powers, offers weaker, longer term targets from the major emitters like China and India, and sets up massive subsidies and transfers from the prosperous nations to the developing ones. It is a bad deal. If Kerry is saying no one tortured him or forced him to accept terrible terms, well, sure. He just got pantsed at the poker table. Because that’s what he and his boss wanted to happen.

Further, it is an inconvenient Constitutional truth for Kerry and Obama that “this country” did not agree to anything; they did. And, ce n’est pas l’état. (More French!) It turns out the Constitution assigns a certain role to the United States Senate in binding America to international obligations. In point of fact, the Obama administration “unilaterally” walked into signing the Accords just as unilaterally as they wail Trump elected to unsign them. Funny how that works.

Asked if higher energy costs would hurt jobs and the economy, Kerry launched fully out of reality’s gravitational pull. No! This is an opportunity to grow jobs and the economy. The fastest growing job category right now, Kerry asserts, is wind turbine technician, with millions of that and other green energy jobs created in recent years.
More unwinding. Kerry’s claim, even if accurate, is irrelevant and economically illiterate. He is stumbling in the fallacy of “the seen and the unseen” first described by French political philosopher Frederic Bastiat. (I probably should register as a French foreign agent). We can see where government stirs up economic activity by distorting the market and steering tax subsidies and ratepayer burdens into an industry that might otherwise not be viable. Companies start up. They hire people. They build products. Solyndra goes broke. Oops. Wrong narrative.

But we can’t see if those are really created jobs or inefficient jobs of crony plunder, because we can’t see where the costs and opportunities flow from to pour the money to create the illusion of jobs. We don’t know where else those dollars would have been spent. What other goods and services they would have supported.

This dynamic is also described in the Broken Windows fallacy. If doing an action, like breaking a window, puts a window maker and installer to work, then we should break every window in town and put more window makers to work. We’ll all get rich together.It should be obvious that’s a mistaken idea.

Bottom line: Kerry was fiery, full of certitude, and wrong and illogical on every point.

Watch for yourself.


President Trump’s Strange Medicine for Healthcare

The prospects are looking dimmer for the Senate to adopt a repeal of Obamacare. Lawmakers are returning from a two week recess under pressure to take up the House-passed ACHA. Congressional leaders have praised the bill but public response has been mixed. Conservatives complain the measure leaves too much of Obamacare’s structure in place, while liberals complain it removes critical safeguards for the poor and vulnerable.

President Trump waded into the controversy with a cryptic tweet: “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!” This is puzzling. America spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation. A study by the Commonwealth Fund reports:

The U.S. spent more per person on health care than 12 other high-income nations in 2013, while seeing the lowest life expectancy and some of the worst health outcomes among this group, according to a Commonwealth Fund report out today. The analysis shows that in the U.S., which spent an average of $9,086 per person annually, life expectancy was 78.8 years. Switzerland, the second-highest-spending country, spent $6,325 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.9 years. Mortality rates for cancer were among the lowest in the U.S., but rates of chronic conditions, obesity, and infant mortality were higher than those abroad.
Whichever direction healthcare policy goes, it is not a reasonable premise that the system needs more dollars. If conservatives win the day and push delivery of health more toward a market system, it is hoped that will create competitive forces and efficiency that reduce medical costs, not increase them. Conversely, if liberals gain power and increase government administration of health care, it should be with an intent to allocate efficiently and hold costs down. In either case, “lets spend more on healthcare” is not a reasonable starting point for the discussion of reform.

Condemnation Pours on the President’s Ruffian Head

Boy are the global cool kids mad at the president. In an excellent column for the American Enterprise Institute, Marc Thiessen rounds up some of the outrage:
The left-wing Guardian newspaper said the president’s decision to withdraw from the global climate treaty signed by his Democratic predecessor represents “a blunt rebuff to European hopes” and has turned America into “the ultimate rogue state.” Britain’s Independent declared: “It is not even isolationism, it is in-your-face truculence.” The president of France called the decision “disturbing and unacceptable.” The US National Environmental Trust declared: “This is no way to conduct policy. It looks like amateur hour at the White House.”
But wait, this is not commentary on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. Rather, it is abuse poured out on George Bush who withdrew the United States from the Kyoto Climate Treaty that Bill Clinton had signed but never submitted to the Senate.
The heated rhetoric probably added half a degree to average global temperature. But an interesting thing happened on the way to climate Armageddon. The US reduced its carbon emissions at a rate faster than the European stone throwers. New technologies, more efficient power generation, and particularly the rise of hydraulic fracturing to produce abundant, clean burning natural gas, made American industry greener than the economies in Europe.
It’s likely the same pattern will hold true again. But the outrage likely isn’t even based on environmental concerns. It is pride and anger that the United States under Republican presidents is disinclined to join global charades that sap our sovereignty and autonomy. There were similar howls of outrage when President Bush declined to submit the US to the International Criminal Court.
Democrat presidents like to shackle the US in global entanglements. Republican presidents are more skeptical and prefer to run government at home under our constitutional system. And that suits many of us just fine.

Europe’s Wonderful Schoolyard Snit

Amid the predictable rage of the elite global media at the US for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords, perhaps the most amusing and revealing tantrum comes from Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. Within an hour of President Trump announcing his decision, they put out a joint statement declaring that the Paris process was “irreversible,” it could not be reopened for negotiation, and if the US leaves, it would not be invited to reconsider and join the agreement.

“With President Trump pulling out of the Paris climate pact, European leaders on Thursday declared that such a move is final and that the U.S. will not be welcomed back into the deal” The Washington Times reported today.
What sense does that make? If the national leaders actually believe the earth is at risk as a habitable climate, and global agreement on reducing carbon dioxide emissions is critical to avoiding catastrophe, then they absolutely should want the US to reconsider and recommit to the Accords. It defies any explanation other than pride and pique for Merkel and Macron to declare the door is closed and the US isn’t welcome back.

That’s just fine Monsieur Macron and Frau Merkel. We Yankee yokels will stay in the briar patch enjoying our abundant, affordable fossil fuels.