The Democrats Won This Round, And It Wasn’t Even Close…

We have just witnessed one of the greatest routs in modern American political history.  We are still waiting to see if a spending agreement can be reached so that a government shutdown at midnight on Friday can be averted, but whether a shutdown actually happens or not, the Democrats have won this round by a landslide.  Even though the Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, during these budget negotiations the Republicans have backed down on major issue after major issue.  The Democrats are acting like they own Washington D.C., and the Republicans are letting them get away with it.  For years Republican politicians have had a reputation for being gutless and spineless, but in 2017 they are taking their lack of courage to a whole new level.

‘Information warfare’ is a scare term sent to kill free speech

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week heard testimony about the U.S.’s failed efforts to defend democracy against “information warfare” the government alleges is being waged against the nation by countries like Russia.

On Thursday, lawmakers in the Senate hear testimony from cyber-security experts who lamented that the U.S. has failed to keep up with the pace of technology in keeping outside propagandists from leveraging the power of social media to manipulate American opinions.

“Today, cyber and other disinformation-related tools have enabled Russia to achieve operational capabilities unimaginable to its Soviet forbear,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

Rounds serves as the chair of a brand new Senate subcommittee overseeing Pentagon cyber-security efforts.

The lawmaker added: “Ultimately, we will continue to struggle with cyber-enhanced information operation campaigns until we address the policy and strategy deficiencies that undermine our overall cyber posture.”

Liberals hate her…

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The American left has a nasty habit of pretending that conservatism is somehow inherently anti-woman, anti-immigrant and anti-youth. And when a candidate like the latest potential GOP entrant into the New York mayoral race comes along, they lose all credibility.

Super liberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a middle aged white guy. has endeared himself to the social justice crowd with an anti-corporatism facade and attempts to restructure the city’s government to make the Big Apple a friendlier place to people committing “quality of life” offenses, such as living in the country illegally or taking a dump on the sidewalk.

While not encouraging New York cops to take so-called broken window policing to insane extremes certainly isn’t a bad thing, de Blasio’s New York certainly has its critics.

And rightly so.

Are we nearing the next financial danger point?

Could recent economic data be showing that subprime auto loans may be the next danger zone in the economy?

I have noticed that auto loans have been getting a lot of attention lately. In a recent issue of Barron’s, two unrelated articles discussed auto loans as a potential source of worry for the economy and regulators.

Since the financial crisis, auto loans have been one of the major sources of credit. Indeed, the volume of auto loans grew steadily, until just recently.

One concern is that the standards used to make the loans were gradually relaxed in recent years. The practices helped to cause consistently strong auto sales since the financial crisis ended but also could have added credit risk.

Completely Alone And Utterly Depressed

Do you ever feel like you have been completely abandoned by the world?  Do you struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression?  If so, you are far from alone.  Thanks to technology Americans are more isolated than they have ever been before, and as you will see below, this is really starting to cause a major national crisis.  Humans were designed to be social creatures, and researchers have found that a lack of interaction with others can cause major mental, emotional and social problems.  Not only that, it can also lead to premature death.  We actually have a need to love others and to be loved by them, and if those needs are not met the consequences can be quite dramatic.

Unfortunately, our society has evolved to the point where we hardly interact with one another anymore.  First of all, the size of the average household has declined from about 4.5 people to about 2.5 people over the past 100 years, and we lead the world in the number of one person households.

If Trump bungles the wall, will he kill the GOP?

The construction of a massive border wall was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest and most contentious campaign promises. And its materialization, or lack thereof, could make or break the Republican Party’s future, according to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.

Trump, early in his campaign for president, suggested that the construction project would begin on “day one.” The president also famously promised that he would somehow orchestrate a plan to have Mexico pay for the massive project.

The president said during a rally last February: “We are going to have borders nice and strong. We are going to build a wall. You know that. Going to build the wall…. Mexico is going to pay for the wall. Right? It’s going to happen. Going to happen. They know it. I know it. We all know it.”

Modern marriage of trade wars and terror wars

A couple recent stories I read, both seemingly unrelated, got me thinking.

Is it possible nowadays that a trade war could turn into something even nastier than it has in the past? Something closer to real war, like cyberwar?

Here’s what I saw.

First, recently New York City was hit with outages at 6 a.m. followed by outages in Los Angeles and San Francisco later in the morning. The San Fran outage was blamed on a “substation fire.” They were widespread outages that affected transit systems.

Second, the Trump administration announced that it is exploring whether steel imports represent a threat to national security. A conclusion of “yes” would mean steel tariffs or even embargoes on foreign steel. Trump’s administration has already said it will impose an anti-subsidy 20 percent tariff on Canadian soft wood lumber.