Yes, you got to show us your steenking batches

In foreign affairs, American Presidents have a free hand.  The Constitution is short and sweet on the subject.  “The President shall be Commander in Chief. . .” is all it really says.  Congress has to declare war, but it has declined to effectively exercise this power, deferring to the President.   The Courts are extremely deferential to the President in foreign affairs.  Divided counsels are dangerous, and this country has but one voice when it speaks to the world:  that of the President.

Right now our President is beyond pissed off.  He, and his country are being disrespected by the Mexican government.  They are turning a blind eye to the invasion from Central America.  While they’re laughing at us from behind our back.

Trump won’t put up with it. He can’t.  His credibility is on the line.  If the Mexicans can make a fool of him,  he loses respect.  Trump can not allow that to happen.

He won’t shut the border, but don’t underestimate the power of an American President to have his way in a dispute with a foreign country.  We have Mexico by the throat, economically, and there are many ways to start squeezing.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong about Trump.  Maybe he’s all talk.

[An edited version appears in today’s American Thinker.]

Don’t commit parental malpractice

Chances are, your kids and grandkids are going to go to public schools, which are controlled by school boards.  Those board members are responsible for policy, and every parent and grandparent needs to be an informed voter, and not let the radical left teacher’s union elect the board members, and control the policy.  If you don’t take control of your school board, you’re not being a responsible parent or grandparent.

The loss of Kai Binkley Sims in the Anchorage School Board race yesterday is a case in point.  The woman who beat her will be a loyal ally of the teacher’s union on the board.  The teacher’s union elected her, and they will control her.  The parents and grandparents of Anchorage, Alaska aren’t doing their jobs.

Babbie and I spent 27 years of our lives in Anchorage, and all three of our sons went through the public schools system.  Since we left in 2001, Anchorage has changed, and not for the better.  In the Anchorage that I knew, there’s no way Kai Binkley Sims could have lost.

All of Alaska has changed, for the worse, over the last 20 years.  Governmental dependency is pervasive.  The whole state’s on the tit.

The Permanent Fund Dividend program may be part of the problem.  It apparently has attracted the wrong kind of immigrant.  Not the kind that wants a big job, but the kind that wants a handout.

When I became an Alaska State Senator in 1983, the Permanent Fund was just coming into its own, and I was against any dividends.  I didn’t want to foster dependency.  Large capital projects would be a better use of the money.

But my first few weeks in office I saw how these capital projects were being funded.  It was frivoulous, it was corupt, it was, in fact, criminal the way the state legislature was funding these projects.  Everybody and his brother was ripping off the State of Alaska, and half of all that Prudhoe Bay oil money was pissed away.

So I became a supporter of the Permanent Fund Dividend.  And it was only by the political use of the dividend that the fund itself hasn’t been frittered away.

But at what cost?

 

It’s not just the economy, stupid

We are in the midst of a great political transition, from one era to another.  Such transitions are rare in this country.  “The End of the New Deal Era, and the Coming Realignment” in the American Interest, by Frank J. DiStefano,  says there have been five such eras in our history.  At the end of each era, in response to the failure of the old party system, the parties reinvent themselves, making new coalitions in attempting to form a majority.  DiStefano says the Democrat and Republican coalitions of the New Deal era which is just ending are both inadequate, and need a do-over.

What DiStefano doesn’t appreciate is that the reinvention of the Republican Party has already taken place.  It happened in the 2016 election.  Today’s Republicans are nationalists and populists, and constitutional conservatives.   Out goes the Chamber of Commerce.  In come the working men and women of America.

So, DiStefano is right, except only one party is in disarray, and it’s the Democrats.  The cascade of Presidential candidates is a sign of incoherence.  The party is fragmenting.  The only traditional Democrat, with proven appeal to working class whites, is the besieged Joe Biden.  The man’s ego is so enflamed, and he’s such a drama queen, that it may take him a while to accept reality.  He’s toast.

Bernie Sanders is head and shoulders above the rest, a man who is intent on transforming the Democratic Party into a vehicle to advance socialism.  He’s a lunatic, a true believer in a totally discredited, crackpot ideology.  As long as he’s in the race, he’ll pull the party further to the loony left.  The mix of abortion extremism, gun control, climate hysteria, open borders and warmed over socialism is not a winning set of issues.

So when you think about the cards being dealt Donald Trump, it’s not just the economy.  He has a full hand.  And he plays the game well.

(This appears in today’s American Thinker)

The wisdom of our fathers

In France, before their Revolution, the year began on April 1st.  It made sense.  It was near the spring equinox, and the end of the winter season.  A time to plant, and begin the year anew.

Then the fanatics took power in Paris, and decreed the year would now begin on January 1st, near the winter solstice, when the sun begins to shine longer in the northern winter.  It made more sense, from a scientific point of view.

But in the countryside of France, old traditions died hard, and the people still began their year on the first of April.  Because they were old fashioned, they were mocked as April Fools.

But in some sense, they weren’t fools at all, and today really is the beginning of a new year.  It has promise.  Throughout its history, Providence has been kind to this country.  May it continue.

Let’s have another Roaring 20’s

Before electricity, factories ran their machinery using  a central steam boiler, which powered everything through elaborate sets of belts.  If you ran a lathe, its motive power came from a belt, or cable, which wound back to the power source.  It was dangerous and  inefficient.

Then, from 1900 to 1940, electric motors replaced steam.  Each power tool had its own small, efficient, pollution-free motor.  Needless to say, the adoption of electricity as the power source in manufacture led to an explosion of productivity, a vast creation of wealth that we still enjoy today.

Thus, we had one of the most prosperous decades in all of history, the American Roaring 20’s.  Like all business cycles it ended, and became the Great Depression largely as a result of governmental stupidity.  The reaction to the depression was the New Deal political consensus, which lasted until 2016.

Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge were partly responsible for the Roaring 20’s.  Their low tax, pro-business policies were helpful.  They also severely limited immigration.  By 1924 very few immigrants were being allowed into the country.  This had the effect then, as it would have today, of increasing the bargaining power of the American worker, and of a more widely shared prosperity.

All the stars have aligned for another decade of powerful economic growth, another, 21st century, Roaring 20’s.  Trump, like Harding/Coolidge, is ferociously pro-business.  He wants jobs, and for that he needs business to expand, and hire.  He wants the benefits of all this wealth creation to be shared with the working men and women of America.

Trump’s efforts have a mighty wind at their back, as the wizardry of Silicon Valley permeates every business in America, large or small.  This productivity explosion may well prove to be greater than steam to electricity.  It could last for decades.

If we let it.  The government, under the wrong Democratic President, could screw this all up.  The Democratic nominee will have pledged to enact a program that would end all this magnificent progress.

So if you care about the future of this country, you shouldn’t just vote for Trump.  You should work for him.