Big Opening For Trump 2020.

Art of the Deal: 2020

No matter who becomes Speaker of the House next year, the President enjoys a remarkable political opportunity.

By James Freeman of WSJ

Nov. 16, 2018

Last week Democrats took the U.S. House and thereby captured the subpoena power they’ve been craving to torment President Donald Trump for at least the next two years. But voters declined to deliver a full-throated repudiation of Mr. Trump and appear to have expanded the Republican majority in the Senate. Voters have also shown Mr. Trump the path to a 2020 re-election. And he’s about to gain a nearly perfect adversary.

Amid the celebrations surrounding dozens of new House seats, Democrats have also been expressing their ongoing concern that the people who have been instructed by the media to hate Mr. Trump and his party aren’t falling into leftist line.

“One Lesson From The Midterms: The ‘Latino Vote’ Is Up For Grabs,” says the headline on a commentary published by Boston public broadcaster WBUR. The author is Josiane Martinez, a political consultant who this year helped progressive leftist Ayanna Pressley win a House seat which used to belong to a more centrist Democrat.

Ms. Martinez discusses Florida, “where 44 percent of Latinos voted for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, who famously appeared in a campaign ad helping his young child build President Trump’s border wall out of play bricks.” She adds:

In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker won re-election in a 34-point landslide, winning diverse voters who usually turn out for Democrats in our blue state. Baker tied Democratic opponent Jay Gonzalez with 48 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit polls.
Nearby at the Boston Globe, Renee Graham recently drafted a “Memo to black men: Stop voting Republican.” Ms. Graham writes:

Brothers, we need to talk.

In the midterm elections, about 17 percent of black men voted to give Texas Republican Ted Cruz another term in the Senate. Around 11 percent supported Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp…

These aren’t huge percentages, but enough to disrupt Democratic strategies that have been premised for years on overwhelming support among African-Americans. Ms. Graham is particularly concerned that younger black men are more open to voting Republican than their elders.

The point is that Mr. Trump has room to grow his support among minority voters. And regardless of color, there are plenty of voters who already like his program but aren’t sold on him. This column noted last month that Mr. Trump appears to be setting a modern record in the share of the electorate saying that they don’t like the President personally, but approve of most of his policies. This category of voters currently stands at 20% of the electorate, according to a recent WSJ/NBC survey. For most recent Presidents such readings were generally in the low-to-mid single digits, though Bill Clinton’s share did climb into the teens.

Whether or not voters like Mr. Trump personally, the big policy area where Democrats enjoyed a huge edge last week was health care.

To summarize, Mr. Trump is not doomed to a shrinking demographic and his policies are generally popular, but he has what might be called a likability gap and his party needs to give voters better answers on health care. Fortunately for the President, he now has an outstanding opportunity to address his key weaknesses.

Congressional investigations will no doubt be taxing, but Mr. Trump will now have a political foil virtually guaranteed to present policies that are anathema to large swaths of the electorate. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is a San Francisco liberal who helps elect Republicans all over Middle America. Her emerging rival for the Speaker’s gavel, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio) stands even further to the left. The 2018 Almanac of American Politics rates the Fudge record on social issues in the last Congress as 100% liberal. On economics she scored 98% liberal and just 2% conservative.

Joshua Jamerson and Natalie Andrews note in the Journal that Ms. Fudge is “a member of the progressive caucus, which represents the Democratic Party’s left wing.” More moderate rivals may emerge. But given that most Democrats in the current Congress have already endorsed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ government-run health care plan that ends private insurance, what are the odds that a centrist can collect 218 votes and claim the gavel?

A Democratic majority means that the party cannot simply accuse Republicans of wanting to take away benefits. Democrats must now put their plans on the floor and vote on them. This creates new opportunities for Republicans to point out the flaws in Democratic plans to enlarge the bureaucracies already stifling American medicine.

For example, ObamaCare requires that insurance plans include various benefits that consumers may not want, driving up costs. And consumers would welcome the chance to customize their coverage. Pollster Scott Rasmussen writes today:

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters favor letting each worker choose how much health insurance they are willing to pay for. They could have less expensive insurance and more take home pay or more expensive insurance and less take-home pay. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that just 21% oppose giving workers that choice.

If they had the choice, two-thirds of workers (65%) would opt for less-expensive insurance and more take home pay. Black and Hispanic voters who receive insurance from their employer are even more likely to prefer a higher paycheck. So are workers earning less than $75,000 a year.

President Trump can now present himself as the architect of successful economic policies protecting consumers against a Democratic House bent on raising their costs and limiting their choices. Voters may decide that’s a very good reason to like him.

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Michael Avenatti—-His Ego Crushed

Michael Avenatti —Zero Chance——How Quick His Star Has Fallen

You know this loudmouth that has dominated the American news lately?

Well, he has a few problems.

After gaining prominence in acting on behalf of one Stormy Daniels , President Trump’s accuser, he has since fallen on ‘stormy’ times. From rumours about a possible Presidential run to nasty comments about the President , the man’s star has faded.

He no sooner got accused of domestic violence than a judge in California has confirmed the eviction notice of his law firm from an office complex. Apparently the firm owes rent of $213,000.

And to top it off a Morning Consult poll has indicated that he has zero chance to win the Democratic Nomination as President.

Methinks he has a credibility problem.

China Gets Caught Out AT APEC

At the Asia Pacific Economic Co-Operation summit a communique to end it was squashed when China disagreed with the following statement to be a part of the communique:

“We agreed to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices.”

‘China wouldn’t agree to that language, believing it amounted to a “singling out” of Chinese trade practices, a U.S. official said. All other 20 APEC nations favored including the language in the final communiqué, the official said.’

It wasn’t “China vs. the U.S. that torpedoed the leaders’ statement,” so much as it was “China versus all the other members of APEC,” the official said.

So China’s agressive actions through money and coercion could not in the end get Asia nations on side. Some so called middle status Chinese officials even tried to intimidate Papua New Guiana , the host nation, into manipulating te wording of the communique. Thankfully, it did not work.

Notwithstanding China’s growing power , bullying and bribes will never win in the end.

The UN’s Annual Hypocrisy

From the website powerline

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 17, 2018 BY PAUL MIRENGOFF IN ISRAEL, SYRIA, UNITED NATIONS

THE HORROR! U.S. SIDES WITH ISRAEL OVER SYRIA

Every year the joke that is the United Nations passes a resolution condemning Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights. Every year, the U.S. abstains from voting on the resolution. Every year, it passes with only Israel voting against it.

But not this year. This year, the Trump administration decided to oppose the resolution. It passed by a vote of 151-2.

Bravo, President Trump.

The Golan Heights tower over Northern Israel. The Israelis need to occupy this territory to safeguard their national security. That need is all the more compelling now that the Assad regime has invited Iranian forces into Syria and these forces have taken up positions near Israel.

The U.S. was careful to say it was not, by virtue of this vote, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Instead, Ambassador Haley explained that the Syrian regime’s “atrocities prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone.” She also cited the the U.N.’s obvious bias against Israel.

Even with this explanation, the Washington Post seems unhappy about the U.S. vote. A headline in the paper edition sniffs, “U.S. takes a side as Israeli and Syrian diplomats clash over Golan Heights.”

Hell yeah, we’ve taken a side. The side of our close ally, not the side of a monstrous regime closely allied with our arch-enemy, Iran. Is there something wrong with this?

Syria was even less amused than the Post. Its ambassador to the U.N. declared that the Trump administration’s decision on the vote shows that the U.S. has relinquished its role as a sponsor of peace efforts in the Middle East.

If true, that’s great. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s true.

The Syrian ambassador, hoping to downplay the commanding nature of the Heights, objected to referring to the territory in question as the Golan Heights. But anyone who has been in Northern Israel knows that “heights” is a perfect description of the territory. If it weren’t so high, it wouldn’t be as important for Israel to occupy it.

The fact that Syria feels the need to buttress its argument by using a more euphemistic, less imposing name for the territory reinforces the case against returning it to the butcher Assad.

The ambassador said Syrian would retake the territory by war, if necessary. The threat is laughable. Syria is fortunate that Israel hasn’t taken sides in its nasty neighbor’s civil war. Syria can ill-afford a war with Israel, and that will continue to be true once the civil war is over.

Even then, the Assad regime will be sitting on a powder keg. A war with Israel would explode that keg.

Meanwhile, Syria has its annual U.N. resolution. It is no value to Syria, except that it slightly diverts the world’s attention from the hundreds of deaths Assad, with the essential help of Russia and Iran, is inflicting on Syrians every day.

Where’s the U.N. resolution condemning Syria for that?

Five Questions On Climate Change

Five questions from students about climate change

Ross McKitrick January 2018

DR. McKitrick is professor of economics at University of Guelph and was one of those with Stev McIntyre , two Canadians, who exposed the flaw in the so called hockey stick graph that was suppose to show extreme global warming.

Here he is answering some basic question:

In late 2017 I was contacted by a group of students at a high school in Europe asking if I would answer some questions on climate change for a project they were working on.

Here are the questions they asked, and the answers I gave them.

1. What is behind global warming?

Over the last 150 years there have been influences due to strengthening solar output, land-use changes, increased greenhouse gases and natural variability, among other things. The dominant school of thought in climatology is that rising greenhouse gas levels explain most of the overall warming trend since the 1950s. There are good reasons to support this, although the climate system is too complex to assume the matter is settled. The mechanisms by which the sun affects the climate are not well understood, nor are the mechanisms behind clouds, ocean- atmosphere interactions and other basic processes. The relative lack of warming in the tropical troposphere and over the South Pole are not easily explained under the theory that greenhouse gas levels dominate the climate system.

2. What can we do to prevent global warming?

If it is a natural process, nothing. If it is mainly due to rising greenhouse gas levels we need to ask instead whether we would want to prevent it. It would require complete cessation of fossil fuel use, which would cause intolerable economic and social costs and would only yield small changes in the time path of global warming for the next century or more. Even large-scale emission reductions (such as under the Paris and Kyoto treaties) would only cause a small slowdown in the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100, so any benefits from such policies are likewise tiny, yet the costs would be enormous. The small warming that took place since the early 20th century was largely beneficial, and the astonishing social and economic benefits associated with cheap fossil energy far outweighed any problems it might have created. It is likely that this will be true over the next century as well.

3. If we don’t do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants?

Humans flourish in every climate on earth from the tropics to the polar regions. We are very adaptable. The only issue is whether changes take place so quickly that we cannot adapt, but history shows this to be a rare situation. Climate processes are slow, and if the climate models are
correct, the changes are gradual and predictable. People can adapt to warming conditions more easily than to cooling conditions. The IPCC predicted that over the next hundred years, changes in economies and technology will have a much larger effect on peoples’ lives than changes in climate.

4. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable?

There is no chance that greenhouse gases will make the Earth unlivable. If an asteroid hits, or another ice age begins, or something like that, then we face catastrophe. But the question essentially asks, what happens if we all die? The answer is, we all die.

5. How can we save Earth if it isn’t too late?

To ask the question is to reveal that you greatly overestimate your size in relation to the Earth. We could not ruin the Earth even if we tried, nor could we save it if it faced ruin. Our planet is a remarkably adaptable and robust home. We don’t live in a giant china shop where everything is fragile and breakable, it’s more like a playground where everything is made to withstand considerable wear and tear.

Over the Earth’s history the amount of CO2 in the air has typically been 2-10 times higher than at present yet the plants, animals and oceans flourished. Much of the past half million years have been ice age conditions which wiped out life on the northern continents, yet it always came back as soon as the ice retreated. If you take the view that the ordinary human pursuit of prosperity and happiness will somehow destroy the planet you will end up adopting an anti-human outlook. This is both a scientific and an ethical error. Set your sights on a more modest scale, by trying to be a good citizen and be helpful to the people around you, and you will make much better decisions than if you are thinking in terms of faraway abstract categories like saving the Earth.

Good luck with your studies.

Big Essay 37 —Sustainability? What’s That?

The Sense of Sustainability: A Perversion of Meaning

November 16, 2018

By Dr. Tilak K Doshi

Sustainable development is mom’s apple pie and the central organizing principle of all things environmental. Governments and companies are all for it. Sustainability occupies pride of place in public policy and social discourse across multilateral agencies, governments and societies. However the concept lacks definition and its ambiguity allows its proponents to make extravagant claims that cannot be tested.

In the private sector, most companies extol their commitment to sustainability in advertisements, annual reports, CEO speeches and PR communications. These serve to promote a favourable corporate image, burnish credentials in corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and, not least, to appease their NGO and social activist critics. Originating in the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development includes leading multinational corporations such as AT&T, BP, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, Shell, Sony and Toyota.
While the sustainability concept has been defined in many ways, it was first made popular in a report published by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 (Gro Brundtland was the former Prime Minister of Norway and was appointed by the UN to head its sustainability programme in 1983). It was defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This definition appeals quite naturally to the broad intuition of people who are concerned about ensuring a better life for future generations. Yet it is difficult to pin down when practical questions of policy or private sector behaviour are posed.

Some examples serve to make this apparent. The first derives from the experience in the US. Among the most expensive energy policies imposed in that country is the program to substitute a portion of the gasoline used for transport by blending it with ethanol derived primarily from corn. Current U.S. ethanol production uses 30 percent of the nation’s corn crop, billions of gallons of water, and vast quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, and diesel for tractors to produce a blended fuel that drives up food prices and gets one-third less mileage per gallon than ordinary gasoline. Vast tracts of precious farmland are being devoted to make ethanol with little discernible benefit to energy security or reducing CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile the country – with private capital and dynamic entrepreneurship — is producing prodigious amounts of additional oil from what was once useless shale rock by the remarkable “fracking revolution” in the past decade. For most observers, calling the blending of ethanol for gasoline supply in the US a “sustainable” practice is a gross misuse of the term.

Perhaps the most direct sense of sustainability that relates to the man on the street has to do with the fear of “running out of resources”. This Malthusian scare was propagated by the Club of Rome which came out with the highly publicized study entitled “Limits to Growth” in 1972. Utilizing a (then) state-of-the-art computer model, it forecast that the world would have run out of aluminium, copper, gold, lead, mercury, natural gas, oil, silver, tin and zinc by 2013. Of course none of this has happened, and the study’s predictions are now duly noted as examples of doom-mongering that gained global attention.

The example of oil resources is illustrative. In 1980, world oil reserves stood at 684 billion barrels according to the BP’s 2018 statistical bulletin. Annual use amounted to 22 billion barrels, yielding a reserves/production ratio (time before the resources “ran out”) of 30 years. In 2017, reserves stood at 1.7 trillion barrels, and at a consumption rate of 36 billion barrels a year, life expectancy increased to 47 years despite billions of barrels of oil being used up in the interim. How was this so?

A basic appreciation of economics and technological progress suggests that as demand increases and the price of oil rises, consumers would economize, and suppliers would search for newer sources of oil, improve techniques of extraction and exploit opportunities to use substitutes wherever possible. This applies to all natural resources. Indeed, the conventional wisdom that resources are finite is false: as the late economist Julian Simon remarked presciently that the only true resource in the world was human ingenuity.

Another example of what sustainability really means relates to organic farming which forsakes the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as well as genetically modified seeds. This is quite a turn from the situation five decades ago when countries such as China, India, and Mexico among many other countries were facing widespread food shortages and endemic hunger. Famines were a common occurrence in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

In the 1960s, Dr. Norman Borlaug introduced high yielding varieties of the wheat crop and later other staples such as rice. These yielded a dramatic improvement in agricultural productivity. The Green Revolution that subsequently took off in Asia and elsewhere has been credited with saving hundreds of millions of people. When the Nobel Laureate was asked about his views of organic farming, he said: “There are 6.6 billion on the planet today. With organic farming, we can only feed 4 billion of them. I don’t see two billion volunteers [willing]to disappear.”

It is clear that while organic farming can be a thriving small sub-sector of global agriculture serving affluent consumers with particular preferences – despite the lack of any scientific evidence that organic crops are “healthier” than those normally-grown — it is not sustainable for the world at large.

What is most striking, if not perverse, about any discussion of this ambiguous concept – and its subtext of how modern lifestyles are unsustainable — is the fact that humanity as a whole is doing better than it ever has. With entrepreneurship, free markets and technological progress, the world is richer, more peaceful and healthier than at any previous time in history. Yet, in reading any number of “sustainable development” tracts, you would never have guessed it.

The writer is a consultant in the energy sector, and is the author of “Singapore in a Post-Kyoto World: Energy, Environment and the Economy” published by the Institute of South-east Asian Studies (Singapore, 2015).

Oh, Sorry, Made A Mistake On That Global Warming Paper

By James Delingpole

The co-author of a much-hyped, peer-reviewed, alarmist paper claiming to have found a huge, unexpected build-up of global warming heat in the oceans has admitted: “We really muffed” the calculations.

According to the paper by Laure Resplandy et al, published this month in the prestigious journal Nature, a lot of the missing heat from global warming — 60 percent more than hitherto thought — has been absorbed by the oceans.

Naturally, this shocking discovery caused much excitement across mainstream media and was widely reported by environmental correspondents as proof that the global warming crisis was more serious than evar

However, their exultant doom-mongering has been shortlived. An independent analyst, Nic Lewis, examined the paper and quickly spotted it was based on flawed math.

As the Global Warming Policy Forum reported:

Independent climate scientist Nicholas Lewis has uncovered a major error in a recent scientific paper that was given blanket coverage in the English-speaking media. The paper, written by a team led by Princeton oceanographer Laure Resplandy, claimed that the oceans have been warming faster than previously thought. It was announced, in news outlets including the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Scientific American that this meant that the Earth may warm even faster than currently estimated.

However Lewis, who has authored several peer-reviewed papers on the question of climate sensitivity and has worked with some of the world’s leading climate scientists, has found that the warming trend in the Resplandy paper differs from that calculated from the underlying data included with the paper.

“If you calculate the trend correctly, the warming rate is not worse than we thought – it’s very much in line with previous estimates,” says Lewis.

In fact, says Lewis, some of the other claims made in the paper and reported by the media, are wrong too.

“Their claims about the effect of faster ocean warming on estimates of climate sensitivity (and hence future global warming) and carbon budgets are just incorrect anyway, but that’s a moot point now we know that about their calculation error”.

Now, one of the paper’s co-authors, Ralph Keeling has gamely fessed up to the error — and hinted that this effectively invalidates the paper:

“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”

The central problem, according to Keeling, came in how the researchers dealt with the uncertainty in their measurements. As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about just how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.

The central conclusion of the study — that oceans are retaining ever more energy as more heat is being trapped within Earth’s climate system each year — is in line with other studies that have drawn similar conclusions. And it hasn’t changed much despite the errors. But Keeling said the authors’ miscalculations mean there is actually a much larger margin of error in the findings, which means researchers can weigh in with less certainty than they thought.

“I accept responsibility for what happened because it’s my role to make sure that those kind of details got conveyed,” Keeling said.

There are broader lessons here which — as so often before — are likely to be completely lost on the climate alarmist establishment.

One lesson is that climate skeptics are not scientific ignoramuses. They boast a huge range of independent experts like Nic Lewis who on many occasions have proved themselves more intellectually agile and better informed on climate science than the alarmist “consensus” gatekeepers in academe and at institutions like NASA and NOAA.

Another lesson is — as has been clear since Climategate — the peer-review system for scientific papers, especially if they have anything to do with climate change, is bust. Too often it is just a pal-review system in which chums on the climate change gravy train pass their colleagues’ work for publication nem con. Such is the appetite among alarmists for “evidence” that supports their doomsday thesis that the scarier it is, the more likely it is to get published.

Another lesson is that the mainstream media simply cannot be trusted to apply any kind of professional scrutiny to alarmist papers. No environmental correspondent, it’s true, would have had the advanced math skills that Nic Lewis used to find the paper false.

But the fact remains that there is not one science or environment correspondent attached to any mainstream media publication prepared to do their due diligence on global warming scare stories. They are all so wedded to the alarmist consensus that they scarcely even bother to alter the press release.

Finally, do not expect this humiliating retraction to be given anywhere near the prominence afforded the original story. This is how the climate scare machine works: the hysteria is only ever ratcheted upwards, never dialed down.