About this new Cabinet

quote-don-t-expect-to-build-up-the-weak-by-pulling-down-the-strong-calvin-coolidge-6-34-56A bit more about Trump’s cabinet, and why I too, think it very exceptional. From Stephen Hayward

I tweeted out a few days ago that so far, President-elect Donald Trump’s senior level and cabinet picks are to the right of Ronald Reagan in 1981, and would find the approval of Calvin Coolidge. Naturally I wasn’t disappointed in my expectation that it would provoke the usual liberal clichés in response, because Coolidge caused the Great Depression, dontchaknow. To which I always like to share the following observation of a once-eminent person:

“A whole generation of historians has assailed Coolidge for the superficial optimism which kept him from seeing that a great storm was brewing at home and also more distantly abroad.  This is grossly unfair.  There was much that was good about the world of which Coolidge spoke . . .  the twenties in America were a very good time.”

And who wrote this? It was uber-liberal John Kenneth Galbraith, in his book The Great Crash. As we say today, doesn’t fit the narrative.

But even more fun is Shaun King in the New York Daily News yesterday, who complains that “There’s a huge education level drop-off with the Trump cabinet picks.” King is appalled that Trump isn’t picking people with advanced degrees from Ivy League universities, and is instead appointing, you know, real people—almost as if Trump actually believes in government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and that the government can be run by someone other than self-certified elites. Just drink in the delicious presumption of the aptly-named King:

Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States in 25 years to not have a graduate degree of any kind. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and had a law degree from Yale University. Even George W. Bush had a Harvard MBA. Trump has B.S. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, but no advanced education.

“Even” George W. Bush. . . Nice touch that even, since everyone knows Bush was an idiot. Can you believe it? What was Harvard thinking? […]

But it gets better:

Secretary of State John Kerry has a law degree from Boston College. Rex Tillerson, who Trump nominated for the same role, didn’t go to grad school at all.

Let’s see: Tillerson has run one of the largest global enterprises in history, quite successfully it appears. Kerry has only run his mouth. And not very well at that. Boston College should recall that law degree perhaps.

via Revenge of the Nerds | Power Line

Indeed, how will we survive with people that have done something in the real world instead of the artificial worlds of government and academia?

And then there is this, from Paul Mirengoff also at PowerLine

The mainstream media seems upset with Donald Trump for picking very rich people and successful generals for key positions in his administration. Where are the lawyers, the college professors, the public administrators, and the activists?

In a more rational world, it would be hard to argue with Trump’s preference for people who have been extremely successful in the business world and the military. These backgrounds are no guarantee of success in public life, but they seem like a better indicator than backgrounds in most, if not all, of the professions listed in the paragraph above.

Some readers may be surprised to learn that historians generally view Warren Harding’s Cabinet as one of the best ever. Harding, who intended to rely very heavily on his Cabinet, put a high premium on success. Herbert Hoover, his choice for Commerce Secretary and the man who became his go-to adviser, was arguably the most successful man in America at the time.

For Secretary of State, Harding selected Charles Evan Hughes. Though Hughes lacked substantial foreign policy experience, he was one of the most able men in America, having served as Governor of New York and Supreme Court Justice.

Harding is, of course, remembered for his two bad picks, Henry Fall at Interior, and Henry Daugherty as the Attorney General. Paul says this, and I agree.

Henry Fall, the Interior Secretary, gave us the Teapot Dome scandal. Fall was a well-regarded Senator. Harding had no reason to believe he would use his Cabinet post to enrich himself. Had Fall been extremely wealthy, it’s unlikely he would have.

Henry Daugherty, Harding’s attorney general, was a crony. Nearly everyone understood that Daugherty was bad news. In selecting this corrupt man, Harding put loyalty ahead of the good advice he received. Harding has only himself to blame for the damage Daugherty inflicted on his legacy.

via TRUMP CAN’T HELP IT; HE PREFERS EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

That pretty well covers what I see in this cabinet. They may or may not be the best people ever for these jobs, but they are the best that Trump has found, and they are far beyond what we have dealt with for the last eight years, in my estimation.

Steve ends with this: “Or we could just return to the idea of self-government. Whatever will we do without the cool kids in charge?”

My answer is, “Probably a hell of a lot better.” Experience says the real world is reality, government and academia is something else entirely, and the United States needs to succeed in the real world.

 

The hidden costs of our bloated tax code

Is there anybody in the real world who doesn’t know this?

President-elect Donald Trump could save U.S. taxpayers and business billions of dollars in hidden compliance costs by simplifying the nation’s bloated and incomprehensible tax code.

That’s according to information presented in a recent report from the Tax Revolution Institute.

From the report:

74,608 pages, 2.4 million words.

That is the present size of Title 26 of the U.S. Code, i.e. the “Internal Revenue Code.” One would think this would be nearly impossible for an enterprise wielding an army of tax experts to absorb, let alone the average taxpayer. However, it doesn’t stop there.

The IRS has added an additional 7.7 million words of tax regulations designed to clarify what the original 2.4 million words mean. You can’t make this stuff up. Add 60,000 pages of tax-related case law essential to accountants and tax lawyers, and the burden is revealed.

More than 10 million words with a hidden annual compliance cost of up to $1 trillion. This is what Title 26 of the U.S. code and the Federal Register is estimated to cost the United States economy each year.

The costs and confusion associated with trying to understand the increasingly complex tax law system are routinely cited in public polling data pointing to overwhelming majority support for giving the tax system a total overhaul.

This presents a massive opportunity for Trump, who has already promised a number of tax reforms and cuts. And Republicans who’ve called for tax law simplification are banking on Trump helping to make the plan a success.

Rep. Kevin Brady recently told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump’s election provides the best opportunity Americans have seen in more than three decades for a comprehensive tax overhaul.

“We want a tax code built for growth, literally designed to grow jobs and salaries in the U.S. economy, and we want to leap-frog America back into the lead pack and keep us there, the most pro-growth places on the planet,” Brady said.

via The hidden costs of our bloated tax code – Personal Liberty®

Or flat tax, or fair tax, or repeal the income tax amendment. I don’t care all that much, Congress and Trump could hardly do worse than the current monstrosity which has grown over the last century catering to every possible special interest, except one: the people of the United States. And therein lies the problem of meaningful reform, all the special interests really like being special, often because they can find convoluted ways to get ahead of their competitors, or at least make sure no more competition appears.

The linked article is right, the cost of compliance is quite incredible: $1 T may well be low, add to that the cost of the IRS, and add to that the cost of each of us preparing our own returns, even for a pretty simple household. Every dollar spent here could instead be spent creating jobs, new products, and wealth; instead of wasting lives.

Time for all of those involved to get out of the government cradle and get productive jobs.

The Wrap Up

We haven’t done this for a while

 

 

A whole bunch of common sense, right here

 

 

 

And do remember to keep an eye on the staff. From Oyia Brown

A wealthy couple had planned to go out for the evening. The woman of the house decided to give their butler, Jeeves, the rest of the night off. She said they would be home very late, and that he should just enjoy his evening. 

As it turned out, however, the wife wasn’t having a good time at the party, so she came home early, alone. Her husband had to stay there, as several of his important clients were there. 

As the woman walked into her house, she saw Jeeves sitting by himself in the dining room. She called for him to follow her, and led him into the master bedroom. She looked at him and smiled.

“Jeeves,” she said. “Take off my dress. ” 

He did this carefully. 

“Jeeves,” she continued. “Take off my stockings and garter.” 

He silently obeyed her. 

“Jeeves,” she then said. “Remove my bra and panties. ” 

As he did this, the tension continued to mount. 

She then said, “Jeeves, if I ever catch you wearing my clothes again, you’re fired!”

And, of course

 

 

Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

2094I’ve been seeing stuff like this off and on most of the year and I see no reason to believe it isn’t true. After all, America got its big surge of German immigrants when the King of Prussia decided to force a merger of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany. From Gatestone Institute …

  • More than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade. — Die Welt.

  • Germany is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.
  • “We refugees… do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you…. Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!” — Aras Bacho an 18-year-old Syrian migrant, in Der Freitag, October 2016.
  • A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave Germany.
  • “I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens. … I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”
  • “My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.” — “Anna,” in a letter to the Mayor of Munich about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible.

A growing number of Germans are abandoning neighborhoods in which they have lived all their lives, and others are leaving Germany for good, as mass immigration transforms parts of the country beyond recognition.

Data from the German statistics agency, Destatis, shows that 138,000 Germans left Germany in 2015. More are expected to emigrate in 2016. In a story on brain drain titled, “German talent is leaving the country in droves,” Die Welt reported that more than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade.

The statistics do not give a reason why Germans are emigrating, but anecdotal evidence indicates that many are waking up to the true cost — financial, social and cultural — of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million mostly Muslim migrants to enter the country in 2015. At least 300,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Germany in 2016, according to Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of the country’s migration office, BAMF.

Mass migration has — among many other problems — contributed to a growing sense of insecurity in Germany, which is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

via Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

Who gains from this? For now, likely Hungary, eventually the US as we are increasing seen to reject Multi-Kulti BS.

Also from Gatestone, there is this, although this is getting overlong.

  • With his initiative for tighter gun laws, to prevent weapons getting into “the wrong hands,” Justice Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

  • As the German newspaper Bild describes the law proposed by Maas, “a 13-year-old child bride would have to testify against her husband, saying that her well-being as a child is under threat. If neither the child nor the Child Welfare Service lodges a complaint, for all practical purposes the marriage would be declared legitimate.” This law clearly does not take into account the possibility of private coercion against a child, let alone the blinding likelihood of outright threats.
  • Justice Minister Maas evidently cares more about “gender image” than he cares about truly oppressed women and vulnerable children. In a recently drafted new law by his ministry, Mass refused to ban child marriage.
  • With both France and Germany going to polls next year, there is the possibility of a democratic, peaceful “European Spring.”

In her first message to President-elect Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lectured him on gender, racial and religious equality. As the New York Times put it, Merkel “named a price” for Germany’s cooperation with the Trump-led administration, namely the “respect for human dignity and for minorities from a man who has mocked both.”

If this was anything more than political posturing, and Chancellor Merkel truly cared about “human dignity” or the rights of those most vulnerable, she might have started closer at home.

After a year-long investigation into the mass-sexual attacks in Cologne, where an estimated 2,000 migrant men — mostly from Arab and Muslim countries — molested at least 1200 women, almost all the men have managed to walk free.

Last week, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jäger, confirmed this outcome when he said that “most of the cases [of rape and sexual assault in Cologne] will remain unsolved.” Similar coordinated sexual assaults by migrants also took place in other German cities, including Hamburg, where over 500 such cases were reported. They are expected to remain “unsolved” too.

Merkel, who lectured Trump on gender, did not even bother to visit the women who were raped and assaulted in Cologne or other German cities — even though these women were victims of her own failed open-border policy.

As New Year’s Eve approaches again, Merkel’s “Multikulti” paradise looks more and more like a police state. According to leaked, confidential police reports published by Germany’s Expressnewspaper, Cologne will be turned into a fortified city to avoid a repeat of last year’s mass sexual assaults. Security forces will monitor the streets with helicopters, surveillance cameras, observation posts and mounted units. The city of Hamburg has also reportedly taken similar steps.

While the Merkel government arms the police, efforts are underway to tighten gun laws for the citizenry. As the German state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on November 28: “Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for tighter weapons laws to prevent guns from falling in to the wrong hands.” With this latest initiative, Minister Maas does not mean to target the Islamists who pose an existential threat to Germany and the rest of the Western World, but an obscure German group called the “Reichsbürger.”

via Angela Merkel: False Prophet of Europe

Look, you don’t need me to analyze this stuff for you, it’s about as clear as who was going to win World War II in Europe on 01 April 1945. Hint: It wasn’t Germany, it isn’t now either. There likely is a reason why NATO is increasingly seen as weak, and that reason isn’t Donald Trump. If NATO is to defend Eastern Europe, Germany which sits dead middle, is essential for communications and logistics. So a lot depends for all of us on the French and German elections happening next year. I’m not very hopeful, but I’ve been wrong a lot, maybe I’ll be again.

Engineering Club Sensible

electoral-smallBy outlook, if not degree, I’m an engineer. My basic question is always, “Will it work, as designed, and can we build and run it on budget (or below)?” As far as I’m concerned, it’s what built the world we live in. It has nothing whatsoever to do with good intentions, it has much indeed to do with elegance. Maybe this is our year because it’s overwhelmingly a real world philosophy. It’s also overtly American, because America epitomizes the practical, yes, Americans are a very idealistic people, but down at bedrock, almost every American asks, “Does it work?”

Catherine Priestley wrote something about this the other day in The Spectator. Here’s some of it.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that the times are changing. When news of the Trump victory unfolded across the world, we watched from Sydney University’s Manning Bar. Never had it been so packed. Students piled in to watch history, all-consumed by the bright red map of America flashing on the screen.

My engineering friends bought me a beer and together we observed the room. On one side were slumped shoulders, ashen faces and tears from tragic left-wing students, whose world-view had suffered the rejection of the ballot box. The other side was a sea of red caps and raucous applause with each Trump gain; the unmistakable ecstasy of a formerly ostracised group, finally on the ascent.

The engineers are sensible people and don’t really belong to either extreme. Instead, they drink to democracy and are glad that a blow has at last been struck against political correctness. They talk excitedly of how they’d improve the data analysis of flawed polling and have a purely factual discussion about how the construction of the wall might be done. The upending of the status quo means the engineers, typically outsiders who stick to an isolated building on campus far away from frenzied student politics, are now invigorated to participate.

Leading up to Trump’s victory, one could sense change in the air. Doomsday articles threatening stock market crashes, polls that placed Trump firmly behind; all had a Brexit parallel about them. When Joe Hockey addressed the US Studies Centre the week before Trump’s election, he said that 70 per cent of Americans felt the country was heading in the wrong direction. ‘This is normally a game changer in politics,’ he remarked. […]

Although uncertainty is trending, one thing we can be sure of is that Outsiders everywhere are on the rise. In general, they are a broad alignment of people across all parties and factions who share a love of common sense and find themselves more consequential to politics now than they have been for some time. Perhaps they find themselves on the Left, but feel isolated due to the dogma of political correctness and identity politics. Or they are of the Right and have become angry with the authoritarian Insiders who appear to restrict personal freedoms. Either way, they are all members of what the late Christopher Pearson might have termed ‘Club Sensible’. While major parties appear to fragment and shrink in these changing times, Club Sensible’s membership base steadily grows.

via Engineering Club Sensible | The Spectator

I think she’s on to something here. That map at the top of the page, is about as red as I’ve ever seen, and overwhelmingly, the red parts are where people deal with the real world, you know the one where reality rules and good intentions don’t cut it.

Will Trump fix the world? No. But he may well drain at least some of the swamp, although that might anger some of the alligators that are up to our ass. We all know it out here, “No good deed goes unpunished,” we say. That’s all right, we also say, “What must be done, will be done.”

And so far, from the quality of the people he is picking, well, I’m very encouraged. It looks to me like he is picking some of the best of America, and that is the mark of the first-rate leader. That’s something that every grunt on a job site or enlisted soldier knows, but a whole lot of officers forget when they get stars in their eyes. But not all of them.

There’s a reason why 3d US Army had the fewest casualties while conquering the most ground back there in 1944. It was called “Lucky”. If I was an opponent of America’s, I would be praying very hard, because I think its new name may well be ‘Chaos’.

We’ve also been known to say with Jim Lovell, “There are people who make things happen, there are people who
watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

bad-decisions

Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins |

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

Well, well, well, look at that, Carrier with all the noise about domestic manufacturing jobs decided it would be a good idea to stay in Indianapolis. Undoubtedly they are correct. From the NY Times

From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump and Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and the vice president-elect, plan to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis factory to announce a deal with the company to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state, according to officials with the transition team as well as Carrier.

Mr. Trump will be hard-pressed to alter the economic forces that have hammered the Rust Belt for decades, but forcing Carrier and its parent company, United Technologies, to reverse course is a powerful tactical strike that will hearten his followers even before he takes office.

“I’m ready for him to come,” said Robin Maynard, a 24-year veteran of Carrier who builds high-efficiency furnaces and earns almost $24 an hour as a team leader. “Now I can put my daughter through college without having to look for another job.”

It also signals that Mr. Trump is a different kind of Republican, willing to take on Big Business, at least in individual cases.

And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. If Barack Obama had tried the same maneuver, he’d probably have drawn criticism for intervening in the free market.

via Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins |

The Times goes on with comments from Robert Reich and such. I don’t disagree, part of the reason it worked this time for Trump/Pence is that pence is Indiana’s Governor, and Trump speaks business. I suspect part of it is also that Carrier is owned by United Technologies, one of the big defense contractors, who undoubtedly don’t want any troubles with the administration, if they can help it.

All that said, it’s good news, and it goes to the point that relocating to Mexico is a rather marginal cost-savings, usually. I can remember when we had a Monroe shock absorber plant here, it was the old Rancho suspension plant, built in the 50s or 60s, a few years ago it moved to Mexico, now it’s off in Asia somewhere. Apparently, the Mexicans didn’t work cheap enough either. By the way, they couldn’t get the plant sold, so a few weeks ago they bulldozed it, it ain’t coming back. The tax breaks weren’t good enough, likely.

He won’t win them all, but it’s a good start: when you can save 1000 jobs in December before you are even inaugurated. That’s a thousand jobs that Obama couldn’t have saved.

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