About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Biden & Trump Bring Different Dangers To America

Special counsel Robert Hur's 388 page report entitled " Report on the Investigation Into Unauthorized Removal, Retention, & Disclosure of Classified Documents Discovered @ Locations Including the Penn Biden Center & the Delaware Private Residence of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.," documented the findings of his investigation of Biden's mishandling of classified documents over decades.  The first sentence of the Executive Summary stated "that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter."  

But instead of feeling joy & relief @ this conclusion Biden was furious @ the reference found twice in the report that he was an "elderly man with a poor memory" who could not remember the starting & ending dates of his vice presidency or even within several years the date his son Beau died.

Around 7 PM Thursday, February 8 the enraged Biden called a press conference for 7:45 PM in which he intended to prove to the world "I know what the hell I'm doing."

Biden looked unusually feeble going to the podium in his usual old-man shuffling gait & after giving an angry speech took questions in which his answers 1) mistakenly referred to the President of Mexico when he meant Egypt regarding human aid in Gaza,  2) absentmindedly referred to his late son Beau - "Let me tell you something.  Some of you have commented.  I wear, since the day he died every single day, the rosary he got from our Lady of …" & then was not able to finish the sentence, 3) emphatically stated that "I said I'm gonna be a president for everybody, whether you live in a red state or a green state," & 4) finally turned to the Democrat safe issue of abortion & promptly misnamed the "Roe v. Wade" case as "Roe v. Ward" as in Montgomery Ward & Co.

Not a performance that portrayed the desired image of a strong energetic man in control but rather one of a confused "elderly man with a poor memory" who exhibited "diminished faculties" & "significant limitations" - exactly how the report he was trying to undo had described him.

Hur's accurate report had struck a nerve & forced Biden out of hiding into center stage of public view - a place his wife & handlers have successfully avoided for him for four years for obvious reasons to us all.  Witness: no formal news conference in 4 months, no news conference in three months (in which he took 4 questions), no pre Super Bowl interview, & no addresses after winning the South Carolina primary or ordering attacks on Houthis & Iranian proxies, or showing any public leadership regarding the southwest border, Ukraine, Israel, or Taiwan.  List compiled by Karl Rove except for reference to Taiwan.

Biden also recently claimed to have talked twice to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died in 2017 & former French President Francois Mitterrand who died in 1996.

On Sunday, three days after the Biden press conference an ABC/Ipsos poll conducted February 9 & 10 found 86% of voters think Biden is "too old" to serve another term.  I think the quickly called press conference proved that Biden is not up to finishing this current term.

But Trump is not off the hook either - the same ABC/Ipsos poll found that 62% of the voters think Trump (3.5 years younger than Biden) is "too old" to serve another term as president & an NBC News poll conducted January 26 -30 found 48% had concerns that Trump does not have the mental & physical health to be president for a second term.  

At a rally in Concord, NH on January 19 Trump confused Pelosi & Nikki when he told the crowd, speaking incorrectly about the Speaker being in charge of security during the riots @ the Capitol on January 6, 2021 that “Because of lots of things … like Nikki Haley is in charge of security — we offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guards, whatever they want. They turned it down."  I always maintained that if it was thought that 10,000 National Guardsmen were required to ensure security @ the Capitol on January 6 that the entire protest rally should have been called off just because it was thought to be that unsafe.

During a campaign speech in Derry, NH on October 23, 2023 Trump confused the leaders of Hungary & Turkey when he said “- there’s a man, Viktor Orb├ín, anybody ever hear of him?  He’s probably like, one of the strongest leaders anywhere in the world. He’s the leader of Turkey.”  Of course Orban is the Prime Minister of Hungary.  This Trump snafu is similar to Biden mixing up the presidents of Mexico & Egypt @ the press conference above.  But Trump went on to say that Orban's country shared a border with Russia - which neither Hungary or Turkey do.

Trump & Biden also have in common that they have not participated in any debates.  This only obscures their platforms so that voters really do not know the substance of their positions.  Without the discipline of participating in a debate with Pence, Christie, or Nikki - three people who worked for him & could rebut his answers - Trump has instead roamed the country speaking to adoring audiences @ rallies making all kinds of claims like 1) saying Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he was president (although he misstated this @ the February 10 rally @ Coastal Carolina University saying the Russian invasion "would've never happened with Putin" when he meant to say "with me"), 2) being able to end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours if he becomes president, 3) saying there would not have been an attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7 if he had been president, & 4) saying that Iran proxies would not have killed three of our military personnel in Jordan if he was president hoping that everyone would forget that in June, 2019 Iran shot down a U.S. military asset (RQ-4A Global Hawk drone) flying over the Straits of Hormuz saying @ the time it "may not have been intentional" but a "mistake" by someone "loose & stupid."  And all this from a man who campaigned primarily in 2016 on building a southwest border wall with Mexico paying for it, yet he couldn't get it done.  If there really is a plan for ending the war in 24 hours wouldn't it be best to share it now?

In line with not presenting the plan to end the misery of the Ukraine war in 24 hours Trump also discourages Republicans working on a southwest border security measure, preferring to wait for him to campaign on Biden's impeachable immigration record while the country continues to be overrun by illegal aliens.

Trump's image as a fighter took a hit when he called for giving Bud Light a second chance after they showed their new WOKE colors & never apologized to consumers for abandoning their apolitical sports emphasis in favor of a transgender influencer spokesman that changed the company image @ a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.  Why would you want to help these types of companies, by giving them the lifeblood of a second chance, when we are finally seeing a little glimmer of ridding ourselves of all the critical theories meant to destroy America?

And last & maybe the worst is Trump saying, regarding NATO members not meeting their financial commitments, that he would "in fact . . . encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want" to such NATO members because "No, I would not protect  you."  Is a campaign rally 8 months before the election the way to handle NATO finances in a tinderbox world with an inept U.S. president who does not have the mental wherewithal to face a court in a documents case?

It is this coarseness & terribly poor judgement that I am afraid will permeate Trump's second term even more than the first term if he wins - a condition that makes Trump's potential victory more dangerous to America than Biden's.

Consider two leading candidates vying to be Trump's VP - NY Congresswoman Elise Stefanik & Ohio Senator J.D. Vance.   Both have not only supported the stolen election lie but have indicated they would not have done what Pence did on January 6 & presumably as vice president would have found a way for Trump to have won the 2020 presidential election.  Vance outrageously said that "I would have told the states . . . that we needed to have multiple slates of electors, & I think the U.S. Congress should have fought over it from there."  

You don't want these people anywhere near positions of power in our government & our glorious Constitution. 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Argentina's Milei & Heritage's Roberts @ The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting - 2024

The 54th annual, invitation only, meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was held in Davos, Switzerland from January 15 to 19, 2024.  The theme this year was "Rebuilding Trust."  

Click here to hear WEF Founder Klaus Schwab's opening remarks that address what he calls the "deeply transformative challenges" of "inequalities and uncertainties that threaten the very fabric of our societies" & "the relentless challenges of climate change, a threat to our planet's delicate balance."  The uncertainty, fear, &  pessimism of remedying these challenges, & others, as the WEF sees fit, "erodes the trust we place in our ability to shape a better world" that leads to the "need(ed) paradigm shift" that "rebuilds trust" & the "fundamental need to embody trusteeship, which means to care for the greater good" & "exercising our trusteeship individually and collectively for safeguarding the future of humanity & nature."

In other words, twelve minutes into the annual WEF meeting, we see that the agenda of these global elite busy bodies is to influence & control the lives of people all over a world that "compels us to think beyond borders."

The WEF is a self proclaimed independent international organization that is committed to improving the state of the world & promoting true global leadership through its progressive ideas highlighted @ the Davos meeting & operating the other 51 weeks of the year from its headquarters in Cologny, Switzerland.  Its mission statement says that the WEF "engages business, political, academic & other leaders of society to shape global, regional, & industry agendas."

Attendees totaled over 2,700 people made up of the heads of WEF's 1,000 partner companies, public figures, chiefs of international organizations, society leaders, academics, & highly acclaimed "top thinkers."  The list included Li Qiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; & Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation for 2024, also offered welcoming remarks that are included in the link above.

Now the only reason I was not surprised when I learned that Argentina's President Javier Milei was invited to speak @ the meeting was because I had learned from Glenn Beck that Kevin Roberts, President of the Heritage Foundation, had been scheduled to appear a week before I knew Milei was coming.  Both men are authentic principled champions of the Blessings of Liberty from which economic freedom & its resultant prosperity naturally flow from unrestricted human endeavor - so @ least the attendees heard two points of view 180 degrees from the usual progressive dribble they hear at every other WEF annual meeting.

The question is how much of what the attendees heard from Dr. Roberts & President Milei sticks with them & for that matter how much of what you read in this post you are able to do something with.

Kevin Roberts believes that he was invited to the WEF meeting to add credibility to the "Rebuilding Trust" theme - i.e., the WEF thought Roberts would courteously agree with the majority of their platform & maybe offer a few tweaks thereby showing the world that a major American think tank supported & trusted the WEF.  If the same thinking was used to invite Javier Milei it shows how little the WEF knows these men.

Roberts' remarks focused on "taking away the power of the unelected bureaucrats and giving it back to the American people."  He said "The administrative state is the greatest threat to democracy in the United States, and we need to end it. " 

Milei's message is that too many world leaders, including those in attendance, are rejecting the empirical evidence that since 1800 the world has been ridden of 90% of its poverty thanks to free enterprise capitalism - an economic system that has given us the greatest expansion of wealth & prosperity in human history.  The continuing advocacy of socialism will eventually impoverish the world again - poverty being the economic condition of the world for all but the past 225 years.

Click here to hear Kevin Roberts go scorched earth on globalist elites in a compelling candid presentation.  First, Dr. Roberts called it "laughable that anyone would describe Davos as protecting liberal democracy" after his elite moderator stated that the people who come to the WEF in Davos stand up for liberal democracy.  Second, after listing five points covering 1) open borders & illegal immigrants robbing Americans of their way of life, 2) crime & public safety not only endangering Americans' way of life, but their lives, 3) the solutions to the supposed existential crisis called climate change costing more human lives than the problem themselves, 4) the WEF @ Davos not only doesn't call out China as the number 1 adversary to free people on Earth but actually gives the Chinese Communist Party a platform, & 5) the World Health Organization is discussing foisting gender ideology on the global self -- Dr. Roberts stated that "Joe Biden has done a God awful job of articulating what is best for the American citizen."  Then most pointedly he concluded that "every single member of a new administration needs to have a list of everything that has ever been proposed @ the WEF & object to all of them - wholesale." 

But Javier Milei was the headliner of the Davos WEF meeting - first by flying economy class on a scheduled commercial flight (Lufthansa from Buenos Aires to Zurich via Frankfurt) that Milei calculates saved the Argentine government $392,000 in travel costs.  See photo below.




Milei's speech @ Davos was delivered on January 17, 2024 to polite applause that showed the audience heard his refreshing message that emphasized America's founding principles of limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.  

The theme of the speech was that the Western World is in danger of abandoning freedom for socialism, & thereby descending into poverty,  saying "The state is not the solution. The state is the problem itself," & that a return to excellence of libertarianism where "economic freedom, limited government and unlimited respect for private property are essential elements for economic growth" that will cast off "the political caste or the parasites that live off the state."

Below are key excerpts from the English transcript of Milei's speech.  Also, WSJ Editor in Chief, Emma Tucker flew to Argentina to interview Milei on January 27 - click here to watch a video of this interview where Milei dismissed any idea of failure of his plan to restore Argentina to economic health & prosperity by saying "there is no Plan B."

1)  Socialism versus capitalism:  We’re here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause. Do believe me: no one is in a better place than us, Argentines, to testify to these two points.

Thirty five years after we adopted the model of freedom, back in 1860, we became a leading world power. And when we embraced collectivism over the course of the last 100 years, we saw how our citizens started to become systematically impoverished, and we dropped to spot number 140 globally.

It should never be forgotten that socialism is always and everywhere an impoverishing phenomenon that has failed in all countries where it's been tried out. It's been a failure economically, socially, culturally and it also murdered over 100 million human beings.

2)  Free enterprise capitalism is the cure for poverty:  But before having the discussion, it would first be important for us to take a look at the data that demonstrates why free enterprise capitalism is not just the only possible system to end world poverty, but also that it's the only morally desirable system to achieve this.
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If we look at the history of economic progress, we can see how between the year zero and the year 1800 approximately, world per capita GDP practically remained constant throughout the whole reference period.

If you look at a graph of the evolution of economic growth throughout the history of humanity, you would see a hockey stick graph, an exponential function that remained constant for 90 per cent of the time and which was exponentially triggered starting in the 19th century.

Now, it's not just that capitalism brought about an explosion in wealth from the moment it was adopted as an economic system, but also, if you look at the data, what you will see is that growth continues to accelerate throughout the whole period.

This trend, far from stopping, remains well alive today. If we take the period between the years 2000 and 2023, the growth rate again accelerated to three per cent a year, which means that we could double world per capita GDP in just 23 years.

That said, when you look at per capita GDP since the year 1800 until today, what you will see is that after the Industrial Revolution, global per capita GDP multiplied by over 15 times, which meant a boom in growth that lifted 90 per cent of the global population out of poverty.

We should remember that by the year 1800, about 95 per cent of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. And that figure dropped to five per cent by the year 2020, prior to the pandemic. The conclusion is obvious.

3)  Individualism versus collectivism:  Far from being the cause of our problems, free trade capitalism as an economic system is the only instrument we have to end hunger, poverty and extreme poverty across our planet. The empirical evidence is unquestionable.

Therefore, since there is no doubt that free enterprise capitalism is superior in productive terms, the left-wing doxa (public opinion) has attacked capitalism, alleging matters of morality, saying — that's what the detractors claim — that it's unjust. They say that capitalism is evil because it's individualistic and that collectivism is good because it's altruistic. Of course, with the money of others.

So they therefore advocate for social justice. But this concept, which in the developed world became fashionable in recent times, in my country has been a constant in political discourse for over 80 years. The problem is that social justice is not just, and it doesn't contribute to general well-being.

Quite on the contrary, it's an intrinsically unfair idea because it's violent. It's unjust because the state is financed through tax and taxes are collected coercively. Or can any one of us say that we voluntarily pay taxes? This means that the state is financed through coercion and that the higher the tax burden, the higher the coercion and the lower the freedom.

4)  Universities & media promote poverty:  So how come academia, international organizations, economic theorists and politicians demonize an economic system that has not only lifted 90 per cent of the world's population out of extreme poverty but has continued to do this faster and faster?

Thanks to free trade capitalism, the world is now living its best moment. Never in all of mankind or humanity’s history has there been a time of more prosperity than today. This is true for all. The world of today has more freedom, is rich, more peaceful and prosperous. This is particularly true for countries that have more economic freedom and respect the property rights of individuals.

Countries that have more freedom are 12 times richer than those that are repressed. The lowest percentile in free countries is better off than 90 per cent of the population in repressed countries. Poverty is 25 times lower and extreme poverty is 50 times lower. And citizens in free countries live 25 percent longer than citizens in repressed countries.

5)  Libertarianism:  Now what is it that we mean when we talk about libertarianism? And let me quote the words of the greatest authority on freedom in Argentina, Professor Alberto Benegas Lynch Jr, who says that libertarianism is the unrestricted respect for the life project of others based on the principle of non-aggression, in defence of the right to life, liberty and property.

Its fundamental institutions are private property, markets free from state intervention, free competition, and the division of labour and social cooperation, in which success is achieved only by serving others with goods of better quality or at a better price.

In other words, capitalist successful business people are social benefactors who, far from appropriating (seizing or taking) the wealth of others, contribute to the general well-being. Ultimately, a successful entrepreneur is a hero.

And this is the model that we are advocating for the Argentina of the future. A model based on the fundamental principle of libertarianism. The defence of life, of freedom and of property.

6)  Radical feminist agenda:  The first of these new battles was the ridiculous and unnatural fight between man and woman. Libertarianism already provides for equality of the sexes. The cornerstone of our creed is that all humans are created equal and that we all have the same inalienable rights granted by the Creator, including life, freedom and ownership.

All that the radical feminist agenda has led to is greater state intervention to hinder economic progress, giving jobs to bureaucrats who have not contributed anything to society. Examples are ministries of women or international organizations devoted to promoting this agenda.

7)  Humans against nature - climate change:  Another conflict presented by socialists is that of humans against nature, claiming that we human beings damage a planet which should be protected at all costs, even going as far as advocating for population control mechanisms or the abortion agenda.

Unfortunately, these harmful ideas have taken a stronghold in our society. Neo-Marxists have managed to co-opt the common sense of the Western world, and this they have achieved by appropriating the media, culture, universities and also international organizations.

The latter case is the most serious one, probably because these are institutions that have enormous influence on the political and economic decisions of their member states.

Fortunately there's more and more of us who are daring to make our voices heard, because we see that if we don't truly and decisively fight against these ideas, the only possible fate is for us to have increasing levels of state regulation, socialism, poverty and less freedom, and therefore, worse standards of living.

8)  The market value:  The problem with Neoclassicals is that the model they fell in love with does not map reality, so they put down their mistakes to supposed market failures rather than reviewing the premises of the model.

Under the pretext of a supposed market failure, regulations are introduced. These regulations create distortions in the price system, prevent economic calculus, and therefore also prevent saving, investment and growth.

This problem lies mainly in the fact that not even supposed libertarian economists understand what the market is because if they did understand, it would quickly be seen that it's impossible for there to be market failures.

The market is not a mere graph describing a curve of supply and demand. The market is a mechanism for social cooperation, where you voluntarily exchange ownership rights. Therefore based on this definition, talking about a market failure is an oxymoron. There are no market failures.

If transactions are voluntary, the only context in which there can be market failure is if there is coercion and the only one that is able to coerce generally is the state, which holds a monopoly on violence.

Consequently, if someone considers that there is a market failure, I would suggest that they check to see if there is state intervention involved. And if they find that that's not the case, I would suggest that they check again, because obviously there's a mistake. Market failures do not exist.

9)  Conclusion:  . . . long live freedom, damn it! 

A

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Both Trump & Biden Have Disqualified Themselves From The Presidency

"Instead of cost of living increases (based on the wage index) we do increases based on inflation." - Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley answering a question of how to preserve Social Security during the one on one Republican primary debate with Ron DeSantis on January 10, 2024.

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Federal government spending is powered by Social Security & Medicare & unless the new president is willing to tackle these gargantuan entitlements our financial miseries will only get worse due to increased longevity of older American beneficiaries & the smaller payroll contributions of people unconcerned about working.  Since both Trump & Biden offer no help saying they have no intention to address Social Security & Medicare entitlement funding @ all I was delighted when Nikki Haley offered the solution above to Social Security's funding shortfalls (namely, indexing the initial Social Security benefit formula to inflation instead of the wage index) that I have presented for years, most recently in a letter published in the WSJ on November 16. 

During the December 9 WSJ weekend interview feature in NY, Editorial Board Member Kate Bachelder Odell presented the idea to Nikki of "basing adjustments on rising prices instead of rising wages—that could help address the shortfall with less political pain,"  Nikki admitted to being unfamiliar with the idea saying to an aide “That’s interesting.  Remind me to look at that.”

And look @ it she did - Nikki now supports the idea as indicated in her response above in the debate with DeSantis, who took a hands off approach, similar to Trump & Biden, to not touching Social Security.  Very disappointing - DeSantis (no longer in the race) preferred to talk about not raising the age to receive benefits.

Nikki has come a long way from December 9 to January 10 on understanding the real solution to the Social Security funding issue that is one of the four top financial issues threatening to drag the country down.  It is important for voters to understand it themselves.

The finances of Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid have been on a glide path to trouble & difficulty for seniors & the disabled for a long time.  Combined entitlement spending on these three programs increased from 10.2% of GDP in 2000 to 23.1% in early 2021 - they, along with ObamaCare & CHIP comprise 46% of the federal budget.  Nikki said during the debate "Knowing Social Security goes bankrupt in 10 years, Medicare goes bankrupt in eight—does that mean you’re going to go be president for eight years and leave it bankrupt? You can’t do that. You have to acknowledge we have a problem.”  And of course Trump & Biden will not acknowledge the problem, preferring to play musical chairs hoping they are not the one standing (i.e., in office) when the music stops.

Nikki (& DeSantis) previously supported Paul Ryan's plan of replacing Medicare with a premium support system that bends the Medicare cost curve down over the years until the threat of this medical entitlement has disappeared as people come to not rely on the government @ all for their healthcare insurance coverage.  Trump has disparaged the plan & Nikki (& DeSantis when he was in the race) for supporting it.  The premium support plan replacing Medicare is the only real solution to the Medicare funding problem.

Since Trump would not sign the unity pledge required by the RNC he did not participate in any of the four primary candidate debates held in 2023 that were organized by the RNC.  He was invited to the debate on January 10 organized by CNN but declined to attend - opting in all five cases to instead hold competing events like friendly rallies or a town hall on FNC in one case.  Just imagine the information that voters could have learned if Trump would have participated in a debate with Christie, Pence, & Nikki - three people who worked for Trump & could have scrutinized & challenged his answers.  So far Trump's no-show debate practice is tantamount to Biden hiding in his basement in 2020.  Voters only know what he says he will do under the friendly environment of a fawning rally, including claiming to be able to end the Ukraine war in 24 hours.

Since Trump never participated in any of the first five primary candidate debates we have to determine his policies by bits & pieces like I did above for Social Security & Medicare - mostly using attacks he has made on the other candidates to flush out where he stands on some issues.

For instance, Trump has pointed out that Nikki (& DeSantis) supported a 23% national sales tax - calling that such a terrible idea that it alone should disqualify her from holding office.  Now if that doesn't make the blood boil of every member of this readership who worked their fingers to the bone for the FairTax, HR-25 legislation, for several years when I was District Director & State Director I don't know what would.  Trump knows so little about what he is talking about that he doesn't seem to realize that his Vice Presidential selection, Mike Pence, had been a FairTax congressional co-sponsor for several years before Trump selected him for VP.  Implementation of the FairTax plan is the third real solution that America's economy is screaming for.

And of course there is the almost gratuitous issue of all politicians saying they support a balanced budget amendment as a way to end deficit spending of which Trump & Biden are the two biggest one-term deficit spenders in the country's history.  The problem is that people like Biden, Schumer, Bernie, & Warren support a balanced budget of tremendous increases in spending coupled with tremendous increases in taxes that brings the budget into balance without any need for deficit spending.  You will know you have a candidate who understands this issue when they say they want to "cut, cap, & balance" the budget - the fourth real solution proposed by Ken Blackwell & presented on RTE numerous times over the years.  Other than Larry Elder, none of the candidates of any party has caught on to this principle.

Prior to the first Trump-Biden debate on September 29, 2020 I posted 14 questions (such as What is the significance of the national debt? & What is the maximum amount of a person's income anyone should ever have to pay to the federal government in income taxes?) that every American should know the answers to & that I had hoped would be asked to Trump & Biden.  Although none of the specific questions were asked during the debate we have been able to determine by their records in office as well as their 2024 campaigning & attacks that both Trump & Biden have unsatisfactory answers.

Biden's entire presidency has been a deliberate violation of his oath to preserve, protect, & defend the Constitution.  Since the early morning hours of November 4, following the election, Trump also forsook his oath to the Constitution - the low point of which was asking Pence to return, reject, overrule, or otherwise not accept electoral college votes from any or all states, even when no state had asked for their electoral ballots to be returned so they could be recertified to show Trump the winner.

Accordingly, both Trump & Biden have disqualified themselves from the presidency so we should look for others trying to earn our votes to do the job.  

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Americans Don't Deserve Better Than A Trump-Biden Rematch

“Don’t believe anything you read on this web page or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your own satisfaction.” – a cautionary piece of advice that Neal Boortz regularly made on his live radio program & posted on his blog as he expressed his opinion on every controversial topic under the sun.  It is this same common sense lesson I learned from Neal that I regularly encourage readers of RTE to use in reading this web log & everything else in life.  I thought repeating Neal's advice was a good way to start 2024 before reading the first post of the new year below.

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"If we can't beat this guy we can't beat anybody." - Mark Levin @ the Reagan Library in California on October 21, 2023 speaking about the Republican Party & Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.  The comment is based on Americans recognizing & wanting to do something about Biden's pitiful anti-American record & his progressive policies purposely inflicted on America to transform the country during his presidency.

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And of course Mark has reason to be concerned because two seemingly slam dunk elections in recent memory are still vivid GOP losses. 

First in 2022, Democrat John Fetterman beat Mehmet Oz in a flip of Republican Pat Toomey's Senate seat in Pennsylvania 2,747,601 votes (51.2%) to 2,484,096 votes (46.3%) for a difference of 263,505 votes.  Fetterman had serious health issues before the election - a stroke & clinical depression that affects the ability to think clearly (Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed hospital for treatment of the depression after the election) - & magnified his personal problems with a normally disqualifying performance in a televised debate due to his obvious inability to function under the daily strains a senator would face.  Nevertheless Fetterman won Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia by 117,130 votes & Allegheny County which includes Pittsburgh by 163,241 votes meaning these two reliable Democrat strongholds' combined 280,371 vote difference was more than Fetterman's final margin of victory for the entire state.  If Oz couldn't beat Fetterman, who could he beat?

Second in 2012, BO won re-election over a hapless Romney.  In September, 2012 Laura Ingraham said "If you can't beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down. Start new, with new people."  Laura referred to the 2012 presidential election as a "gimmee election" for the GOP because BO's first term had been a failed presidency by any historical measure - like the unemployment rate that was always higher than the rate when he took office.  BO went on to win the presidency 335 electoral votes (65,915,795 popular votes) to 206 electoral votes (60,933,504 popular votes) for Romney.  In addition to unemployment, other issues of the day included BO seeing no limit to the role of government in people's lives, the national debt that was growing @ twice the rate of GW Bushes', raising tax rates, the murders of four Americans in the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, & of course global warming & Iran's nuclear capabilities.  If Romney couldn't beat BO, who could he beat?

And now Biden's deliberate anti-American assault on the country is even worse, although BO was brazen enough to carry it as far as Biden has if time hadn't run out on him - BO could only fundamentally transform the country so much in eight years.  

Within two hours of taking office Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline permit thereby signaling his support for the Green New Deal & his war on fossil fuels.  Biden issued 29 executive orders & actions in his first 48 hours in office further signaling the socialist far left turn of the Democrat party that had supported defunding the police, established sanctuary cities & states to protect illegal immigrants from federal law enforcement, & had turned a blind eye to the night after night burning, looting, & destruction of innocent residencies & businesses in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, & Kenosha by Antifa & Black Lives Matter thugs.  Those 29 initial executive orders & actions (increased to 52 in the first 20 days) revealed Biden's real agenda - a tremendous lurch to the progressive socialist left steeped in Green New Deal incentives & policies aimed @ making America weak by encouraging government dependence on its citizenry instead of the liberty that produces wealth & value.  

Biden's Executive Order on Preventing & Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation required that biological boys (i.e., transgender females) who self identify as girls be allowed to compete on girls' sports teams whether they had sex reassignment surgery or not, thereby ending the dreams of many young women with no comment from feminists as usual.  Democrat womens' organizations have way more than womens' rights on their agenda.

Biden placed a 100 day halt on deporting illegal aliens including felons with final orders of removal in a direct violation of his oath to enforce the immigration laws of the U.S.  This mindset resulted in 7,078,253 (including a record 302,000 in December not shown in the table below) southwest land border encounters by the CBP (U.S. Customs & Border Protection) from February, 2021 through December, 2023 - see table below.  Click on table to enlarge.








Note the tremendous immediate increase in these encounters under Biden who had incentivized tens of thousands of the poorest, lowest skilled, least educated people from Central America, all originally wearing Biden T-shirts (with virtually none of them even knowing who he was), to come to our southwest border to pursue admission to the U.S. to take advantage of the 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute - & to vote Democrat out of appreciation for being allowed entry into the country.

On the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic coming to America, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law providing a $1.9 trillion Covid induced stimulus right on top of Trump's even larger $3.6 trillion stimulus during the first Covid year.  Both Trump & Biden's spending included direct payments to individuals (e.g., $8,400 for a family of two adults & four small children) & many other giveaways like 14 weeks of paid sick, family, & medical leave.  Due to the lockdowns people had limited places to spend that money & a so called excess savings of over $2.5 trillion had been built up (the amount above what would have been saved if there was no pandemic) that resulted in pent up demand, that the consumer is still spending today, that coincided with inflation starting to rise the first full month after Biden took office.  The inflation rate outpaced wage growth from April, 2021 to February, 2023 - virtually the entire first two years of Biden's administration.  See graphic below.  Click on graphic to enlarge.















It is this loss of purchasing power of wages to inflation coupled with the rapidity of an 18% increase in the general price level since Biden took office that has Americans down despite the stock indexes hitting record levels in 2023 - this will make seniors' RMDs larger than last year adding more discontent because 2024 RMDs are based on an IRA's fair market value on December 31, 2023.  Gasoline prices being anywhere between $3 to $5 per gallon have also been a large negative but are the result of Biden's war on fossil fuels as envisioned by the oil futures market.

Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes spending of $80 billion to hire new IRS agents whose main function will be to audit taxpayers or enforce the new corporate Alternative Minimum Tax, where corporations pay 21% of taxable income or 15% of the income reported on financial documents, whichever is more.

And of course there is Biden's despicable $430 billion student loan forgiveness program that would have completely erased the debts of 20 million borrowers and lowered the median amount owed by another 23 million from $29,400 to $13,600 that was only stopped @  the last minute by the Supreme Court last summer.

Now the above examples (there are a ton more on RTE) are just part of the egregious onslaught Biden has purposely imposed on America.  And this from a slightly senile man who can shuffle around a studio after an interview without a clue as to where he is going.  See photo below that shows the empty chair Biden sat in before finishing an interview @ which time he shook hands with the interviewer & aimlessly walked off the set behind the interviewer as she said "Don't go anywhere" - it is unknown whether she meant Biden or the TV audience & whether the bumper music was Dion singing The Wanderer.











Is it any wonder that three quarters of the electorate does not want a Trump-Biden rematch? - a real lose-lose situation that will come down to voters' utter disgust with Biden's performance as partially described above versus a visceral hatred for both Trump & the GOP's position on abortion.

Gallup's final poll for Trump in January, 2021 showed 34% job approval & 62% disapproval.  It was 46% approval to 52% disapproval just days before the 2020 presidential election & he lost the election with these better ratings.  With this 12% point loss in approval since leaving office I don't know one group Trump has picked up (Biden's falling support of Blacks & Hispanics does not necessarily mean a pick up of support for Trump of these groups) except for people who sympathize with his court cases - & they will disappear during the campaign if previous supporters like Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (who has an immunity deal) & Attorney Jenna Ellis (who made a plea bargain) testify as to what really went on regarding the false stolen election claims.  To say nothing of Rudy Giuliani, who has filed for bankruptcy & is in danger of losing his law license, turning on Trump to testify against him.  The Democrats are playing this hand as deftly as al Qaeda planned & executed the 9/11 attacks, just waiting for Trump to become the Republican nominee before springing this surprise attack.  Only 82% of Republicans & a lowly 30% of Independents approved of Trump's job in January, 2021 - not enough to win the 2024 presidential election.

Biden's pitiful Gallup ratings are not much better than Trump's ratings after the 2020 presidential election & certainly are not as good as Trump's ratings right before the 2020 presidential election.  Biden's job approval went up 2 points in December to 39% & his disapproval remained 59%.  Biden's base is larger than Trump's because there are more Americans who look to government to solve their problems than want to tackle them themselves.  Democrats have a way of always coming together & this includes people who are currently angry @ Biden's positions on the economy & Biden's support for Israel.  This is not true of many of the 40% to 50% of Republicans who are currently considering Trump's primary opponents.

The 2016 presidential election was won by Trump by a small handful of voters in three states.  The 2020 presidential election was won by Biden by about half that small handful in another three states (Wisconsin both times).  The outcome in 2024 is even more uncertain to predict because in addition to the usual Libertarian & Green party candidates you also have RFK Jr., Cornel West, & the possibility of No Labels running a ticket.  Who these people take votes from is guesswork but with such a small margin to victory either Trump or Biden could win by the roll of this political dice - not by their policies their voters support.  People just not voting also has to be factored into a larger degree than usual.

Trump has recently been polling beating Biden by 4% (47% to 43%), while DeSantis ties Biden @ 45% each, & Nikki Haley beats Biden by 17% (51% to 34%).  In a terrible sign for Biden, an unnamed "Democrat candidate" (aka a generic candidate) beats Trump by 8% (48% to 40%).  Karl Rove points out that Trump's insults to his primary opponents & their donors accounts for Nikki's bigger lead which also gets back to my earlier question of who has Trump added as supporters the last three years.  This group of polls reveals why Democrats want Biden to run against Trump - they believe Trump is the only Republican that Biden, with his terrible record, can beat & are doing everything they can to help him become the Republican nominee before turning on him in earnest with nonstop negative January 6 & abortion coverage that produces something closer to the generic candidate's 8% margin of victory for Biden.

So if voters don't want the Trump-Biden rematch what can they do?  The answer is they can vote in the primaries.

I know people whose logic is so backward that they never vote in primaries because they want to "save their vote" for the general election.  The only reason I am registered with a political party is because I want to be able to vote in the party's primary. 

Now primaries have notoriously low turnouts & this blog has reported with disgust some of the most egregious like AOC bursting on the scene from her bartending job winning her 2016 primary in a 12.9% turnout election 57.1% (15,897 votes) to Jim Crowley's 42.5% (11,761) meaning that AOC has come to power tormenting America with her Squad by initially receiving a meager 7.4% of the registered vote in her NYC district that includes the eastern Bronx & part of north-central Queens.

The following graph shows the voting-eligible population (VEP) % turnout for the Democrat & Republican parties in primaries from 1980 to 2016 & the totals for both parties ranging from 14.5% to 30.4%.  This means that about 80% of people who are eligible to vote in primaries don't vote, thereby letting a small percentage of involved people determine the nominees, as in AOC's case as detailed above.

















The primary voting process starts next week with the Iowa caucuses & is quickly followed on January 23 with the NH primary & then primaries or caucuses in the rest of the states.  If selecting the Democrat or Republican nominee for president is important to you please register to vote, study the candidates, & vote. 

If the turnouts from previous primaries don't vastly improve in 2024, Americans don't deserve better than a Trump-Biden rematch.