Chefs On The Battlefield, Generals In The Kitchen

[SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at his county elections office getting an early primary voting packet.  He looks around and notices Avery LIBRELLE walking in.  He briefly considers fleeing out the fire exit, but just tries to make himself look small and inconspicuous.  It doesn’t work.]

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Donald Trump is a traitor!

BERG:  No he’s not.   We’re not at war with Russia.

LIBRELLE:  Yes we are!

BERG:  How do you figure?  Be specific.

LIBRELLE:  They’ve been attacking our society and election system.

BERG:  They’ve been attacking our society and election system since the 1930’s – ours and every one in Western Europe, with a brief break during the early nineties, maybe.

LIBRELLE:  Espionage is a form of war.

BERG:   Then we’re “at war” with every nation on earth, including all of our putative allies.

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Merg!  Trump’s performance in Helsinki was a threat to national security!

BERG:  His press conference was a fairly awkward display of ego over common sense.  But since you brought up national security, if you favor open borders…

LIBRELLE:  STOP BREAKING UP FAMILIES!  ABOLISH ICE!

BERG:  …or ignoring the perils of untrammeled migration from Wahhabi-dominated regions…

LIBRELLE:  RACIST XENOPHOBE!

BERG:  …or getting real about China’s ambitions…

LIBRELLE:  MCCARTHYITE!

BERG:  …while obsessing about the Russians…

LIBRELLE:  Dire threat to our security!!!!!

BERG:  …but only in re Trump, and not Obama’s fairly shameful upsucking to the Russians

LIBRELLE:  RACIST!

BERG:  Naturally.  But when it comes to Trump…

LIBRELLE:  LITERALLY HITLER!

BERG:  …you all turn into George Patton?

LIBRELLE:  Who?

BERG:  [theatrically snaps fingers] Wait – this is Ramsey county?  I’ve got the wrong election.  Gotta go!

BERG leaves. 

And SCENE.  

Silence Is Golden

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Strzok testified that he can’t testify because FBI lawyer told him not to.

I’ve looked everywhere but can’t find the name of the FBI lawyer who told him not to answer questions.

Was it his mistress, the FBI lawyer he was having an affair with, the one who refused to appear to answer questions?

The name of a lawyer’s client is privileged, but the name of a client’s lawyer is not.   Who told him to clam up?

Joe Doakes

The Russians.

(Blaming the Russians is de regeur these days, isn’t it?)

 

 

The Headline…

…that is being reported is “A Record Percentage Are Proud To Be American”.   That’s the headline that you’re seeing everywhere.

Buried deep in the story:

Currently, 32% of Democrats — down from 43% in 2017 and 56% in 2013 — are extremely proud. The decline preceded the election of Donald Trump but has accelerated in the past year.

Less than half of independents, 42%, are also extremely proud. That is down slightly from 48% a year ago, and 50% in 2013.

As has typically been the case, Republicans are more inclined to say they are extremely proud to be Americans than are Democrats and independents. Seventy-four percent of Republicans are extremely proud, which is numerically the highest over the last five years.

The actual title of the piece should have been “Democrats Continue Pouting About The 2016 Election”.

Uncharted Mental Territory

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who don’t understand Trump, don’t understand what he’s doing with Korea. There’s no written agreement. There’s no procedure for verification. We gave away too much and received too little. It’s a disaster!

Calm down. Trump is a real estate developer. This is standard operating procedure. Say anything, promise anything, to get the customer committed to the deal. After that, we hammer out the details. The final agreement may look nothing at all like the initial offer, but it’ll fly because we’re all committed to the deal.

Same technique as selling a used car. Go ahead, sit in it. Drive it around the block. Look at the great tread left on the tires. Feel the cushy seats. You look good in that car. You want it, don’t you? Why not, you deserve it. And the payments, so affordable. Can we do this? Sure, we can.

Trump took the first step at getting North and South committed to a deal, some deal, any deal, something to break the stalemate, something to take to their own people and claim as a victory. Hey Kim, maybe you’d like to own a hotel on the beach? Put your name up in lights? Sure, we can do that, as part of the deal. Ever eaten at McDonalds? Come on, every major city has a McDonalds. We’ve got to get your city into World Class, we’ve got to get you a McDonalds. Can we do this? Sure we can. All part of the deal . . . .

Give the man time to do his thing.

Joe Doakes

The left calls Trump “not presidential”.  And they’re not wrong.

But the big problem seems to be that he’s “not like a politician”.

Which can be both a feature and a bug, of course.

Square Pegs

I’ve been pondering how to address this for a while – what it’s liek to be an actual conservative in the Trump era.

John Hawkins takes a run at it with the five werdest things about being a conservative Trump non-fan.

Here’s one that some of my liberal friends have a hard time wrapping their brains around:

I can understand Democrats writing off a conservative like me because even if Alex Jones is duking it out with Todd Akin one day, I still won’t vote for whoever the latest socialist is that they run. That being said, there are roughly 8 million Americans who voted for Obama AND Trump and the general attitude Democrats have toward them seems to be, “Rot in Hell with your orange god.” No political party can appeal to everyone, but it’s so strange to see a political party that treats millions of voters they are going to want support from in the next election like pariahs simply because they voted for the other side. This would be like an NBA team saying, “If you didn’t show up to support us at yesterday’s game, then we better never see you again! Oh, and if we catch you wearing our merch, we will MURDER YOU.”

It’s part and parcel of the Democrats becoming an extremist cult.

The Part Big Left Missed…

While I’ve  been a Trump skeptic and non-fan for, literally, 60% of my life, and am lukewarm on many aspects of his presidency (and especially of the personality cult that’s built up around him), I’ll give him points for a bunch of things:  Gorsuch, rattling the Norks, his cabinet, his deregulatory frenzy, his initiatives in the Middle East…

…and the big kahuna of ’em all, his appeal to the sense that America is a good, not bad, thing.

To Big Left, that’s a bug, not a feature.

Robert “Not the Population Bomb Guy” Ehrlich writes:

Recall a lifetime ago (actually it was 2008), when a certified dove won the presidency in a landslide. One of his first official acts was to undertake a trip to a number of Muslim countries, wherein apologies were offered for America’s “imperialist” past. Assurances were also made: The cowboy Bush and his warmongering neocons were gone. Mr. Obama would now inform the world that America had learned its lesson. The U.S. would no longer manifest its arrogance on the world stage. We would henceforth strive to have the world like us — especially our charismatic but unthreatening young president, who was counterintuitive himself, seeming to act on the premise that if the United States was ostentatiously embarrassed about its dominance and power, we would be better liked. And we were better liked, but much more endangered and much less intimidating…And then one day the unlikeliest of political leaders appeared. Many voters (including some who ended up voting for him) saw Mr. Trump as unprepared to tackle the world’s most intractable problems…But there was one aspect to the Trump phenomena that all of his supporters firmly believed: that the “kick me” sign that had hung around America’s neck for eight years would be gone. Good riddance.

I’ve found Progs’ antipathy toward the US – one of few countries in the world that’d indulge their fripperies, legally or economically – curious and, at one point in my life, off-putting enough to give me one of the many little shoves it took to move me from left to right.

In my mind, it’s yet another reason to think about an amicable national divorce, splitting the nation into a country that doesn’t care about itself very miuch, and one that does.

It Must Be Summer

One of the most evergreen topics for any out-of-power party is the gas prices this time of year.

Here’s a hint – the sitting president has almost nothing to do with fluctuations in spot gas prices (and no, I said pretty much the same thing when gas prices rose to $4, twice, during the Obama years; long-term prices are another matter, but the fracking boom blunted Obama’s efforts there).

Anyway – it‘s a new administration, and a new minority party,  and it’s baaaack:

Now it’s evidently Democrats’ turn again. The Daily Beast reports Monday that they plan to make rising gas prices the centerpiece of their summer election-year attacks against President Donald Trump. Already Chuck Schumer has taken to the Senate floor to attack Trump on the issue, blaming the price increases on his decision to pull out of the Iran deal (an Iran deal Schumer supposedly opposes, but good luck figuring that one out).

But as with the attacks against Bush and Obama, the attack on Trump lacks teeth. Economists widely accept that presidents have only minimal control over gas prices. As University of Chicago economist and Obama advisor Richard H. Thaler noted in 2012, while most Americans think presidents can control gas prices, “any respectable economist” will tell you they cannot.

It’s not like there’s no real news out there, I mean…

Squirrel!

I caught a few seconds of the Today show for the first time in five years this morning (I don’t spend a lot of time in front of the TV – I literally haven’t watched a network prime-time show since the finale of The Office in July of 2013).  The “Top Story” on “Today” was the President’s statements on NFL players kneeling during the anthem.

Trump’s greatest genius may be his flair for distracting our idiot media, and people who take it seriously. 

The Delicious Irony…

…with which I love to beat my liberal friends over the head, is that without Barack Obama, there’d have likely been no Donald Trump.

Not just in social terms – blue-state coastal elitism has been brewing a backlash since I was a kid (Lori Sturdevant’s mewling notwithstanding).

But in terms of presidents acting like kings?   For all the Democrat whining about Trump, he’s merely working within Obama’s precedents.

David Harsanyi:

Even if you substantively supported Obama’s actions — as I do on legalizing the children of immigrants who are in the country illegally, for instance — the reasoning that girded these supposedly temporary executive decisions was soon revealed to be abusive. In 2012, Obama told the nation that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which by any standard was a stand-in for legislation, was merely a “temporary stopgap measure.” By the time Trump overturned it, the measure represented “who we are as a people.” That’s because by “temporary,” Obama always meant “until Democrats can make it permanent through the courts or electoral victories.”

Even when implementing laws Congress had passed, Obama and his allies relied on coercing participation through mandates. And when it became inconvenient, they began arbitrarily implementing parts of laws. Administrative discretion became administrative abuse. When the president decided the Obamacare’s employer mandate was politically inconvenient, for example, he simply skipped it for expediency.

Democrats:  If you don’t like the way Trump is doing the presidency, you have only Obama to blame.

Oath

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Congress passed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law.  It directed the Executive Branch to designate nations which were unable to perform adequate background checks on its own citizens to identify terrorists.  Travel from those nations was banned to prevent terrorists from slipping into the country.  Obama’s Department of Homeland Security identified seven nations but took no action to block inadequately vetted immigrants.  President Trump adopted an Executive Order to implement the existing law.  Liberals exploded in outrage over implementation of their own law and dubbed it the “Muslim Travel Ban.”

Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which became law when Bill Clinton failed to veto it.  The law requires the United States embassy to be located in Jerusalem unless the President signs a waiver on national security grounds, every six months.  President Trump declined to certify that moving our embassy posed a threat to the nation’s security so the embassy is moving.  Liberals are exploding in outrage over implementation of their own law.

I suspect Liberals’ real grievance is they never intended those laws to be implemented – they were simply virtue signaling theatre intended to hoax the yokels.  Who could imagine a President would faithfully execute the law?

Joe Doakes

Pretty radical concept.

The Road To Stockholm. Or Oslo. Or Is It Helsinki?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If the Palestinians heed Saudi Arabian advice to cut a deal with Israel, President Obama should get another Nobel Peace Prize.

You will recall that Obama and his Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, proclaimed their intention to raise gas prices to European levels to compel Americans to drive less and thereby emit less carbon dioxide, which would save the planet from global warming.  To force gas prices higher, the President refused to issue permits for oil companies to extract oil from federal lands using conventional drilling methods.

In response, oil companies were forced to develop a new technology – fracking – to extract oil from lands where they already had permits.  Extracting that oil caused a glut in the oil market, which brought down oil prices worldwide, which has cut into the profits of Middle East oil-producing nations, who no longer can afford to subsidize Palestinians to terrorize Israel.  Thus, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently told Palestinians to accept the United States’ peace proposal because Palestine is not a top priority for Saudi Arabia: it’s focused on Iran.

Yes, yes, the Trump Administration will try to tell you that Jared Kushner made it happen and Trump will try to claim credit for himself, but it’s immediately obvious that Barak Obama did not accidentally bring about the exact opposite result he intended; rather, he achieved his secretly intended outcome by implementing the wise policies he carefully crafted a decade ago.

It’s high time President Obama got an award for the content of his character rather than the color of his skin.

Just remember – today’s conservative parody is tomorrow’s CNN/New Yorker headline.

 

The Eighteen Month Tantrum

A year and a half of Donald Trump is bringing out “Progressivism’s” innate tendency toward violence:

Insidiously and incrementally, we are in the process of normalizing violence against the elected president of the United States. If all this fails to delegitimize Trump, fails to destroy his health, or fails to lead to a 2018 midterm Democratic sweep and subsequent impeachment, expect even greater threats of violence. The Resistance and rabid anti-Trumpers have lost confidence in the constitutional framework of elections, and they’ve flouted the tradition by which the opposition allows the in-power party to present its case to the court of public opinion.

Instead, like the French revolutionaries’ Committee on Public Safety, the unhinged anti-Trumpists assume that they have lost public opinion, given their venom and crudity, and are growing desperate as every legal and paralegal means of removing Trump is nearing exhaustion. Robert Mueller is the last chance, a sort of Watergate or Abu Ghraib that could gin up enough furor to drive down Trump’s poll favorability to the twenties and thereby reduce his person to a demonic force deserving of whatever it gets.

And while the genie was never really in the bottle, it’s going to be much harder to get control of “them” when we finally have to.

If we ever do.

Grandfathered

Now, I’ll cop to two facts: First, I’ve gone back and forth about Kanye West – he’s a talented rapper (yes, there is such a thing, and if you haven’t tried to do it, by all means do before you let your aesthetics and subjective preferences drive you to write a rhetorical check facts can’t cash) and a gargantuan ego; an open Christian (in a way similar to Prince, in some ways) and a deeply profane person; he interests and repels me in equal measure, depending on when you catch me.

Second:  I’ll profess some bemusement at all the conservative figures who’ve adopted him as a hero in the past week, since he came to the defense of Candace Owens, a black conservative woman who’s been mixing it up with Back Lives Matter.

As we’ve noted in the past – if there’s one thing Big Left hates more than its enemies, its apostates.  Lenin killed the Mensheviks before he got to the White Russians; Hitler had to deal with Ernst Röhm before he went after the dissident clergy, gays and Jews.  ISIS kills “apostate” Muslims before they bother with Christians and Jews.

And American “Progressives” have to slime women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays or any other of “Their” groups who leave the One True Political Faith.

Which, it would seem, Kanye West did in defending a Trump-supporting black woman; Big Left is fully engaged in tearing down what they think they built.  (Yes, West is a provocateur, and it’s entirely likely his “conversation” to “supporting” a conservative will last just as long as Charles Barkley’s did.  But that’s not the point, here).

It’s true for little left, too.

Jamar Nelson – who is a talk show host on the lesser talk station – had this to say about Kanye West yesterday:

I tried to ask Mr. Nelson – who is one of the MNDFL’s leading public intellectuals, and I mean that sincerely – who determined what was “at the expense of the black community”?  And if perhaps unthinking loyalty to a party that’s earnestly worked to keep that community in poverty for two generations now might not be an “expense” to that community as well.

I got nothing, nor will I, but as the great journalist Gretzky said, you get no answers to 100% of the questions you don’t ask.

I’m just trying to find a unit if time short enough to measure how long it’d take to get a Salem host off the air who wrote something like that.

Perspective

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Fiscal conservatives are furious that Trump didn’t veto the budget.  Some points to remember:

Trump is not a fiscal conservative.  The fiscal conservatives in the Republican primary were soundly defeated.

The party establishment – people like McConnell and Ryan and the Never-Trumpers – wanted Jeb!   The party establishment are not fiscal conservatives.

Heritage Foundation lists the ways Trump has accomplished more conservative goals in his first year than Ronaldus Magnus himself.  There is more to conservative government than budget.

Maybe that’s the problem?  Maybe we got used to the winning?  Maybe we were expecting Trump to defeat Democrats, Rockefeller Republicans, the Deep State, Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia; end trade deficits; balance the budget; put a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage and make sure every kid has 98% fewer cavities.

Remember the last near shut-down, six weeks ago?  Trump blamed Congress for failing to get its work done.  If Trump had vetoed this bill, the media would have blamed him for the government shut-down and Establishment Republicans in Congress would have washed their hands, saying “We sent him a budget, it’s his fault.”  If Trump signed the bill, the media would have blamed him for increasing the national debt and his fiscal conservative base would wash their hands of him, saying “He betrayed our principles.”

It’s not a betrayal.  He was never one of us.  An extra trillion or two of debt isn’t going to matter in the long run because the debt is unpayable and everybody knows it.  As long as Congress remains unwilling to embrace fiscal conservatism, it’s pointless for the President to waste political capital trying to save them from themselves.

Joe Doakes

My problem isn’t so much with Trump – well, not this problem – as it is with the horde of fair-weather conservatives who’ve tried to portray Trump as something other than he is.  And that’s after allowing for the fact that, as Heritage notes he’s accomplished a lot of conservative goals.

Gipperish

I’ve been pretty up front about the fact that I’ve always been deeply ambivalent about The Donald.

But this line was almost Reaganesque:

And for all the lace undies’ set’s caterwauling about The Donald’s style, it’d be hard to miss the impact he’s had.  Glenn Reynolds notices:

FOR ALL THE TALK ABOUT TRUMP BEING AN INCOMPETENT TODDLER, I notice that Saudi Arabia is liberalizing at a previously unimaginable pace, other Asian countries are siding with us against China, and now Trump’s going to meet with Kim Jong Un, which if he were a Democrat would be celebrated as a masterstroke no matter what the results.

The idea that after a year of saber rattling, Kim Jong Un is suddenly making nice with the ROK is completely novel…

…for whose utterly ignorant of history and in dealing with tyrants and bullies.

 

Misunderestimated

As one who underestimated Donald Trump’s campaign until the moment Wisconsin got called, I’m doing a lot of retroactive learning.

And there are sources to a lot of that in this piece.

Long pullquote:

Some have argued that President Trump’s recent State of the Union speech was designed primarily to troll Democrats. I disagree. The trolling effect (e.g., a steady stream of bad optics televised in prime time—and subsequently easily turned around into an RNC ad—showing Democrats behaving disrespectfully, rolling their eyes, shaking their heads, groaning, looking down at their cell phones, and even walking out in a huff) is real, but was a fully expected side-benefit of the address. No, the President is on something of a John Boyd “Destruction and Creation” mission.

Operating like a general giving the command for his massive political army to advance on the adversary, the State of the Union speech was the best political oration of my lifetime. I’ll try to quickly detail why  by quoting a personal favorite, Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club. In a piece he wrote in December 2016, just prior to Trump’s inauguration as our 45th President and in the context of Trump’s signaling with respect to what should be our posture with China, Fernandez wrote that:

The Democratic Party should stop underestimating Donald Trump. The good news is that he moves at nongovernment speed. The bad news is that, due to his outsider status, nobody knows exactly where he is going.

Fernandez, like McLaughlin the year before, was noting the uptempo speed of Trump. McLaughlin’s discussion of Trump’s use of the OODA Loop, correctly noted that speed lies at the core of Boyd’s theory of conflict, and has been the most influential element of Boyd’s strategic thinking. Further, “Boyd’s core insight was about the interactive and disruptive nature of speed on human decision-making: success in conflict can be rapid and dramatic if one can “operate inside the OODA Loop” of the opponent.”

When you begin to understand this, you’re well on your way to understanding our 45th president.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Proportion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Dow dropped the most points ever!  Trump should stay away!
Rubbish. The Dow dropped 666 points to close at 25,520.   An article from Obama’s time, 2015, shows the 10 worst drops in history.  His was number 10.
The analysts are using points instead of percentages which makes it sound scary but is it really?  If the Dow was at 10,000 points and dropped 1,000, that’s a 10% drop but if it’s at 20,000 points and drops 1,000, that’s a 5% drop, only half as bad.  Trump’s drop of 666 on 26,000 is 2.5%, not the worst in history, doesn’t even make in the top 10.   It’s a blip.
Why do you suppose an English major can figure that out, but all the sophisticated market analysts in the media cannot?
Joe Doakes

Make no mistake – they can figure it out.

But the Demorat messaging plan is “Say whatever we need to; our audience is either in on the line, or isn’t smart enough to bother”.

Cognitive Assonance

When Donald Trump was elected, Big Thinkers with Bylines predicted that he – and the BREXIT movement often associated with him and his rise – would gut US markets.

Apparently not.

They also said that his intransigence would make American foreign policy even more fraught than it had been.

I’n not exactly “tired of winning” yet, but it’s interesting how turning foreign policy and defense over to grownups – people who’ve read enough non-intersectional history to know that coddling bullies just gives you more bullies – is slowly moving some of the world’s needles in the right direction.

 

 

Much Ado About S______es.

News flash: President Trump said something offensive.

Maybe.

The is sure, but can’t confirm it beyond Dick Durbin – a man with a long record of practicing the ethics of convenience – and repeated by the Dems’ stenographers in the media, which only stops them when the subject is a Democrat, but whatever, but whatever; it’s one of the reasons I trust a used car salesman with an untreated gambling addiction more than the institution of the media.

Anyhoo, the President ostensibly referred to certain nations – as distinct from people – as “S***h**es”.

My dislike of Trump goes back, uninterrupted, to the mid-eighties – but let me break this down for you:

If you are referring to a society where the vast majority of the people are short of basic necessities like food, water and jobs because the “government” runs things for the benefit of a kleptocratic ruling “elite” (in the same sense that the Crips, MS13 or the Mafia are “ruled by an elite”) – as in much of subsaharan Africa, and a fair part of Asia and Central and South America – the President may have had a point.

If you are talking about a society that brags about having a culture hundreds or thousands of years old – but all of that cultural history is marked by feudal warlordism, systematic devaluation of the individual, mass murder, indentured servitude and serfdom, systematic ignorance of human rights and endless cycles of variations on single-person or single-party rule, the President isn’t that far off.

If you’re talking about a culture that we’ve had to teach how to stop herding people into death camps at bayonet-point in living memory, or a country where very significant numbers of people were perfectly happy to send their neighbors of an inconvenient ethnicity to their deaths for 13 pieces of silver, or one where millions of people long for the return of the most bloodthirsty tyrant of all time? The President may have been wrong in the literal sense, but not moral or metaphorical ones. `

And if you live in an American city where the achievement gap and the gap between the gentrified “haves” and the ghettoized “have nots” is approaching third-world levels, crime is rising even as the national crime rate is plummeting, and the public debt bubble is growing to catastrophic levels, and the leadership’s response is to virtue-signal about minimum wages and police shootings?

The President wasn’t referring to you, but to foreign countries. So far. But he’s not far off.

I didn’t vote for Trump. But some of the people howling about his (alleged) remarks really need to broaden their focus. All humans are created equal before God and the Law (whether their rulers acknowledge it or not), but all governments and nations are not.

Anyone who disagrees is invited to live in Venezuela until further notice. Which isn’t saying “America – love it or leave it”; it’s saying “History: learn it or end up on the wrong side of it”.

The Art Of The Possible

I’ve been saying it on my blog for a couple of years now; I’m not a Donald Trump fan.  Never have been.

Like a lot of mainstream conservatives, I’ve found bits and pieces of peace to make with Trump’s presidency; his SCOTUS nomination, the most conservative cabinet of my adult lifetime, a belated but intense confrontation with mindless identity politics, among others.

But Scott Adams – who, two years ago, was the only pundit that actually got Trump and his phenomenon right – adds another, more-human-than-strictly-conservative reason to be happy after a year of Trump; he‘s pushing back the limits of what is ‘possible”:

Do you remember when it was common wisdom that if the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it would be a huge problem? President Trump did it anyway. So far, it looks like a minor problem at most.

Do you remember when experts said President Trump shouldn’t mess with the Iran nuclear deal because it could cause a huge problem for the United States and its allies? He did it anyway, and it is likely a supporting variable for the Iranian protestors who don’t like how their government is creating problems that don’t need to be problems.

Do you remember when experts said China will never help squeeze the economy of North Korea because China fears a refugee crisis? President Trump encouraged China to squeeze anyway. Then he helpfully provided satellite photos of tankers cheating on the high seas. After South Korea grabbed and held a second cheating tanker, the economics of smuggling oil have turned negative, or will soon. And North Korea is sounding — at least to my ears — more flexible than ever.

Adams actually lists many more examples; feel free to read ’em.  Of course, the fat lady has yet to sing; will the tax reform gamble pay off with Reagan-era-level growth?  We don’t know.   Only politicians think policy = destiny.

But…:

The meta-impact of President Trump routinely doing the “impossible” is that it changes how all of us view our world. If Trump can keep doing the impossible, time and time again, why can’t we?

Sometimes things are literally impossible. But much of the time we are only limited by our imaginations. Many of us simply couldn’t imagine that a number of the things President Trump has done would work out well. These were not simple surprises; these were failures of our imagination.

And after the eight years of deadening, Carter-like malaise that Obama left (outside the activist class, anyway), that alone is a wonderful thing.

Kicking Out The Key Log

The Obama economy stayed sluggish, despite an avalanche of taxpayer and deficit cash, because businesses sat on their money; with cheap credit via “quantitative easing”, their cash on hand zoomed upward (leading to record high stock indices) – but job growth and productivity remained sluggish.   With regulations metastasizing and Obamacare lurking over everything like a that friend from high school who stopped by and you just know is going to hit you up for a loan, business played it very very safe.

No more, it seems – or at least that seems to be written between the lines of this curiously schizophrenic NYTimes piece that seems to make a little room for every possible angle in re Trump, economic or not:

Mr. Trump bragged in a news conference last month that he has rolled back 22 regulations for every new one — 67 deregulatory actions, versus three new regulations. Often in conjunction with the Republican Congress, his administration has canceled several rules approved at the end of the President Barack Obama’s term, including a regulation on limiting mining debris in streams, a requirement that broadband providers obtain permission from customers to collect and use online information, and a ban on plastic bottles in national parks.

Administration officials said last month that, since January 2017, federal agencies have delayed, withdrawn or made inactive nearly 1,600 planned regulatory actions. Further rollbacks will affect financial services as well as energy and labor rules, among others.

And Mr. Trump has appointed outspoken critics of regulation to lead several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All of which, to the Times, are troubling.