Cory Booker Does Some ‘Splaining

We admit it: we’re fascinated by the hypocrisy of the left.  It’s at the same time stomach-turning and riveting, like not being able to avert one’s eyes from a deadly automobile accident that is unfolding.

booker-angry.jpg
Booker Lambasts Kavanaugh

Enter Cory Booker, the uber-liberal Democrat who led the charge against poor, defenseless Bret Kavanaugh.  You remember, Kavanaugh was the Supreme Court nominee (now an Associate Justice, thank the Lord) who was accused of sexual assault over thirty years ago when he was still a high school teen.  The charges were leveled without corroboration, even by the accuser’s best friend who was supposedly a witness but who then denied it (actually, nobody remembered it).  Kavanaugh was confirmed, but not until the left went ballistic, screaming and protesting (still) that an accuser must be believed without evidence of any kind.  Cory “I’m Spartacus” Booker led the merciless onslaught.

 

Now, ironically, Booker himself is being accused of recently sexually assaulting another man in a restroom.

He then put his left hand on my groin, over my jeans, and began to rub…He then used his other hand to grab my left hand with his right and pulled it over to touch him. At the same time, he disengaged from rubbing me and used his left hand to push me to my knees from my shoulder for what was clearly a move to have me perform oral sex on him. At that point, I pulled away quite violently…

…anonymous Booker accuser

Booker guilty
Booker ‘splaining

But the reaction from the left is a little—shall we say—different this time.  The national broadcast media—we all know how they roll—are not pushing the story like they immediately did with Kavanaugh.  Nor are the Dems angrily and self righteously demanding Booker’s removal from office.  No, now that it’s one of them, they are painting it as a smear without merit of any sort.  And if this isn’t paradox enough for you, CNN actually defended him regarding a separate incident of sexual assault perpetrated by Booker when he was fifteen.  Of course, when those excuses were (rightly, in our view) made by Kavanaugh supporters they were vilified.  Now they are righteous when used to defend crazy Cory Booker.

For our part, we give no greater credence at this point to Booker’s uncorroborated bathroom accuser as we did to Kavanaugh’s.  The irony is in the left’s hypocrisy in outrage over the accusations against Kavanaugh, and then defending their own when basically the same type of accusations are leveled.

 

The most amazing thing is, in the face of this continuing hypocrisy and dishonesty on the left, everyone is expecting a blue wave on election day in two weeks.  Go figure!

God save us.

President Trump Takes the 25th—Or NOT

It’s complicated.

ConstitutionThe 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution addresses what happens if a president of the United States of America is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”  It was ratified in 1967 following the assassination of President Kennedy.  It seems our original Constitution was somewhat vague, confusing and contradictory concerning how a president should be replaced when necessary.  The amendment was passed to provide certainty and clarity.

It has come up recently because some pundits have speculated that President Trump, due to his unconventional behavior, could be removed from office without the necessity of impeachment.  A Vanity Fair article explained…

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has privately confided that he believes President Donald Trump only has a 30% chance of completing his full term a source told Vanity Fair

 

Trump ScowlingThe only problems are, the 25th Amendment is itself vague and in any event makes it especially difficult such that the removal of a president against his wishes is extraordinarily difficult and unlikely.

The death of a president is straightforward enough; the vice president succeeds him or pence.jpgher with a line of further succession should the veep be unable to serve, such as in the aftermath of a nuclear attack or some other deadly mass disaster.  And most of us know how impeachment works: the House and Senate must authorize and conduct a trial finding the prez guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  It is not simply a recall process due to the president’s unpopularity.

But what if the president is, say, in a coma, or has advanced Alzheimer’s?  He would be unable to act as Commander in Chief, unable to be trusted with the nuclear button.  That’s where the 25th Amendment kicks in.  And as we said in the opening statement, it’s complicated!

In all cases, if the president cannot serve, the VP takes over or the next in the long line of legal succession.  If the president willingly declares in writing he is unable (perhaps dying of cancer, God forbid), he notifies Congress in writing and the vice president steps in.  But if the president is unwilling to go, it gets interesting.

Trump CabinetIn that case, a majority of the president’s own cabinet plus the sitting vice president must notify both chambers of Congress in writing of the chief executive’s unfitness to serve (bearing in mind a president has the right to fire a cabinet member at will).  The vice president then takes over.  But the president can at any time notify Congress he IS able to serve and it’s all reversed.  The president is in charge again (including his ability to fire people).  His notification can only be overruled by a 2/3 vote of BOTH houses of Congress, an unimaginably difficult thing to achieve in today’s political environment.

Did I mention—it’s complicated?  Even then, there could and would be court challenges all the way up to the Supreme Court, disputing the meaning and validity of the accusation “unable to discharge.”  Remember, it’s not designed as a recall process for unpopularity.

In short, for President Donald Trump to be removed unwillingly due to his eccentricity or unpopularity, a majority of his own cabinet plus the vice president plus two-thirds of both houses of Congress plus the courts would have to agree.  Unlikely to the point of impossibility in our view.

Hat MAGA

Love him or loathe him, it looks like we’re stuck with the Tweeter-in-Chief for the duration, barring some physical calamity.  Keep America Great Again, baby; full steam ahead!

Economics 101: The Dismal Science & the Trump Tax Cuts

Everything You NEVER Wanted to Know About Economics

(but were afraid to ask)

Economics 2GNP, GDP, National Income, the trade deficit, inflation rate, strength of the dollar, unemployment, growth, productivity, recession.  Economics is a buzz-kill.  That’s why 18th-century economist Thomas Malthus coined it “the dismal science,” the analysis of conditions connected with unemployment, shortages and plain old human misery.

But economics is fundamental to each human’s wellbeing.  Will I have a job?  Will my income keep up with inflation?  Can I afford a new mortgage, and will the equity in my house grow enough to help me retire successfully?  That’s why politicians sprinkle their rhetoric with economic promises, and sometimes sleight of hand.

Donald Trump ran and won on a straightforward economic platform: more high-paying jobs.  Basically, everything else (except perhaps national security) supports that; immigration control, infrastructure reinvestment, smarter trade deals.  And so far the news is pretty good.

Economic bellwethers have looked strong during the opening months of the Trump administration.  Overall economic growth exceeds 3%, the best in over two years.  Unemployment is about 4 ½% and has been declining throughout the year (many economists consider 5% to be “full employment”).  Inflation is tame at less than 2% (keeping in mind it was 11-13% in the Carter era) and holding, resulting in low interest rates that make home mortgages and financing new business investments affordable.  And the index of leading economic indicators—used by economists and the government to forecast future economic performance—is positive and improving.

Now we’re not out of the woods yet.  We still need more “good” jobs, paying enough to provide workers the standard of living that has become customary in America.  And there are still too many people under-employed—working in low-paying jobs beneath their level of skill and training—or simply discouraged and out of the workforce.

With this as a backdrop, the administration has announced it’s tax reform initiative, to be taken up quickly by Congress.  There are two main features: simplification and rate reductions.

Just about everyone agrees with the need for simplification.  The average person who itemizes is incapable (like me) of navigating the American tax code.  Here is an actual example of a paragraph from an IRS tax publication:

For purposes of paragraph (3), an organization described in paragraph (2) shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) which would be described in paragraph (2) if it were an organization described in section 501(c)(3).

It gets worse from there.

The second feature is an across the board reduction of taxes and tax rates for businesses and individuals.  It is designed to put more money back into the hands of individuals and businesses, both in the interest of fairness and under the well-founded assumption it will be largely re-spent, thereby spurring the creation of new and better jobs.

The risk is that, at least initially, tax revenues will go down, increasing the deficit and potentially leading to other serious problems down the road.  The hope and expectations are that the cuts will stimulate enough new jobs and income to replace those revenues, not through higher tax rates, but simply through greater incomes for everyone.  It’s definitely a risky move by the president.

The Democrats, as only they can, are trying to paint an ugly face on what should be seen as good for everyone.  They are characterizing the president’s plan as a cut for the wealthy (it isn’t), pro-business and anti-middle class (it isn’t).  They are simply livid that the Republicans are doing something to help average Americans.  We shouldn’t believe them.

Will Trump’s strategy work?  It’s clearly a risk that could lead to higher inflation, interesteconomics 5 rates and the resumption of the boom-bust-boom cycle that has plagued the American economy in the past.  For my money, it’s worth the risk and, like Presidents Reagan’s and Kennedy’s famous tax cuts, could launch us on a better path to ongoing prosperity.  Let’s give it a try.

 

Our Anthem, the Flag & Black Lives

The HardWired News staff is back from a two-week vacation in Ireland just in time for the NFL “taking a knee” histrionics.

1st amendmentTo set the record, we have no problem with First Amendment free speech, as long as it is legal and does not physically harm others (it doesn’t mean we agree with all protesters).  Riots such as seen in Missouri or Baltimore or North Carolina (to name a few) involving beatings, firebombing, looting, other personal property destruction and the like are another thing altogether.  Assaults on police or other public officials are sickening.  There is no constitutional right to harm others to make a point.

flag burnerBut like it or loathe it, disrespect for symbols has a long tradition in America.  Remember flag burning during the Vietnam era?  How about flying the flag upside down, defacing historic statues or monuments, or simple graffiti on public buildings?  Or burning your draft card.  You can name others.  We at HardWired News have no training in psychology or sociology.  But we have plenty of good old-fashioned experience with people and situations.  And it seems to us the knee-takers are trying to do something so offensive to the public that their message is noticed, whether the action makes sense or not.  After all, if they were distributing handbills, marching around with signs or posting on Facebook, there wouldn’t be much if any national media hysteria.  This way their message is heard.  Still, and ironically, this type of offensive behavior, while attracting attention, undermines public support for their cause.

Don’t get us wrong.  We are deeply offended by the affront to America, her flag and anthem.  And protesting police behavior, which is controlled by states and communities—not the federal government, by denigrating our nation is preposterous.  The knee-takers are, in our view, disloyal and their animosity toward our country misplaced.  But their protests are still peaceable and legal.

The concerns of black people in general with the issue of disproportionate severe enforcement by police is understandable.  We doubt that there is any generalized behavior by police as an institution that is hostile to African-Americans, although individual malfeasance is always a possibility.  But if it is your son or cousin or nephew, father or brother, or you that is roughed up or worse, it naturally assumes gigantic proportions.  Doubtless many if not most African-Americans know someone personally who has had these experiences with police, justified or otherwise.  And the legacy of slavery, segregation and blatant discrimination that is part of their history must be difficult to shrug off.  Clearly, there is a problem in the black community itself that makes that population statistically more likely to be convicted of serious crimes, drop out of school, or have children out of wedlock, all things that can lead to misery.  And in our view, the long-term solutions need to come in large part from changes within that community.  Nonetheless, we can understand their concerns about the treatment of blacks at the hands of police, even if we don’t always agree with their conclusions as to the causes and remedies.

In short, taking a knee appears to us as a legal if offensive way to protest.  In our view, itKnee takers should simply be ignored as rude and inappropriate.  Elevating the behavior in the media as tantamount to a national crisis (not to mention blaming it on Trump) is silly and unnecessary, and our outrage at the disrespect shown our flag and country plays right into the hands of the protesters’ need for a platform.  For those of us who are offended, the best thing would be to ignore it.  And if you’re like me, move on to patronizing something other than professional football, at least until this stuff blows over (which it surely will, as all the theatrics before have done).