Paul Krugman: Evangelist of Political Salvation

Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics. He is also the resident economist for The New York Times.
In his latest article, he laments the power of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. He tries to offer eschatological hope. He assures his readers that there is hope politically because the Democrats may eventually come back into power. But this is only hope, he says. The United States of America is on the path to becoming a Third World tyranny. He actually believes this.
I want to stress this fact: he is as sound a political analyst as he is a sound economist.
The obvious silliness of all this should be apparent to anybody who knows about bipartisan American politics since approximately 1953. There has been a bipartisan American foreign policy. There has certainly been a bipartisan policy with respect to Social Security and Medicare. There has been a bipartisan policy with respect to the federal deficit. On anything that has mattered, bipartisan politics has been dominant. On peripheral issues, such as ObamaCare, Congress has voted along party lines, but even that division was short-lived. There were sufficient numbers of Republicans in the Senate who voted with the Democrats this year to save ObamaCare. The Republicans’ 100% opposition was political posturing in 2010.
Any liberal who looks at what Obama accomplished ought to abandon his faith in politics. Obama had a majority in both houses of Congress, early 2009 to early 2011, yet all he had to show for it was ObamaCare. I predicted this from the day he was elected. I said that Nancy Pelosi would be the ramrod for his policies. On the day he was elected, I predicted that he would be cautious, and would do his best to avoid political confrontation. This is exactly what he did for eight years. He did not create a national health plan. ObamaCare is a gigantic boondoggle for the health-insurance industry. Yet even that has backfired, as critics predicted. Healthcare insurers are bailing out every year. In 2019, when the new tax law goes into effect, individuals will not be forced to pay a fine to the federal government for failing to purchase healthcare insurance. With respect to individual purchases, this is going to undermine the whole program. But there wasn’t much of a program to undermine.

This post was published at Gary North on December 28, 2017.

Shutdown Averted For Now: House Approves 2-Week Extension Of Government Funding

Update (5 pm ET):
And so the can has been kicked again, if only for only 2 weeks. Despite a laundry list of demands from Democrats and Republicans who appeared ready to cut off government funds, a majority of the House has voted to approve a two-week extension of government spending, a modest legislative achievement that will allow Republicans to focus on their top priority: Passing comprehensive tax reform.
House Republicans managed to pass the legislation on their own in the 235-193 vote, despite often coming short of securing a majority of the majority on measures to keep the government open in recent years, the Hill reorted.
The spending patch through Dec. 22 gives lawmakers time to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal, although it is unclear just how another 14 days will help when the two parties are unwilling to negotiate and compromise. At that time, Which is why, Congress is expected to pass another short-term patch so that appropriators can craft a spending package to keep federal agencies funded through the rest of the 2018 fiscal year.
‘I think it’s kind of just basic governing is keeping government going while we negotiate the final details,’ said Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Ahead of Thursday’s vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made clear that Democrats wouldn’t support the two-week stopgap. Pelosi emphasized that Democrats don’t want to see a government shutdown, but couldn’t support Thursday’s bill because it doesn’t include their priorities like protections for young undocumented immigrants, funding for the opioid crisis and relief for communities affected by recent natural disasters.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

An Angry Senator Grassley Lashes Out At FBI, DOJ In Fiery Senate Floor Speech

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blasted the FBI and Senate Democrats on Wednesday for their unwillingness to fairly investigate Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration, stating that the Democrats on the committee he oversees “only want to talk about [President] Trump.”
In a fiery speech to the Senate, Grassley lambasted Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats for “a double standard here in the way that they desperately want to go after the president but ignore all other potential wrongdoing in the previous administration.”
He then tore into the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI, pointing out that the veteran FBI agent placed in charge of both the Clinton investigation and the Trump-Russia, Peter Strzok, is wildly anti-Trump. Grassley insisted that both the Trump-Russia investigation and the Clinton email investigation are intricately connected to the firing of the former FBI Director James Comey, so they must be investigated together. From his speech:
There are two major controversies plaguing the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI right now. On the one hand the Trump Russia investigation, and then on the other hand the handling of the Clinton investigation. Any congressional oversight related to either one of these topics is not credible without also examining the other. Both cases were active during last year’s campaign. Both cases have been linked to the firing of the FBI Director.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

Democratic Congressman Conyers “Retires, Not Resigns” As Sexual Misconduct Allegations Build

Careful to explain to those that care, Michigan Democrat Congressman John Conyers says he will “retire” from Congress today, and is “not resigning,” following a growing list of sexual misconduct allegations. Conyers is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress.
‘He is not resigning. He is going to retire,’ Ian Conyers told the newspaper. ‘His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.’
Conyers, 88, is the longest serving House member and was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both said Conyers should step aside in light of the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S. C.), the assistant Democratic leader who is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) with Conyers, has also said the Michigan lawmaker should resign.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.