Throwing the Trump Card, Update: Evangelical Support?

Donald Trump has no intention of running for president.

Don’t get me wrong.  The Donald may hold a June press conference (his self-appointed decision time), where all the mainstream press will flock to hear the grand announcement that “after much consideration I’ve decided my country- and its economy- needs me.” 

Trump may throw his comb in the GOP primary ring (he’d never cover that famous mane with a hat!), but I believe he has ZERO, ZILCH, NADA intent on winning the nomination or running against Obama in the general election.

Then why would he do it, you ask? 

Well, first of all, the man LOVES the attention!  The recent media fawning has helped ratings for The Apprentice, and likely boosted interest in his other business ventures.  And it’s all about the dollar for The Donald.  Even if he has no serious interest (and my following theory is off-base), the tease has translated into cash for Trump. 

But I believe it’s about even more than money.  Let’s face it, the GOP primary crew is another mostly-anemic blend of has-beens, wanna-bes, and almost good enoughs.  It’s going to take some personality to spark voters’ enthusiasm (ala ’08’s Palin jolt to McCain’s campaign) if any of these fine folks have a chance in Kenya of beating Obama.  What?  What’d I say?  Kenya?

Well, I didn’t say it.  Trump did

“I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate,” Trump said on ABC’s “The View.” “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”    

The Birth Certificate.  The red meat of so-called Obama “conspiracy theorists.”   A topic few serious candidates have dared raise.  Contender and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has said that Obama ‘absolutely’ was born in the U.S., and former governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty was quick to distance himself from Trump’s questioning. 

TPaw told MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “I, for one, do not believe that we should be raising that issue. … I think President Obama was born in the United States.”

So why is Trump bringing this up, especially if he wants to win?   

“Fire in the hole!”   Donald Trump is the bomb-thrower. 

(Can I say bomb-thrower?  Is that acceptable in the “new tone?”  You know I don’t mean literal bombs, right?  Just wanted to make that clear.)

Trump can, and will, and is, saying things about Obama (and the Chinese) that the other candidates won’t.  And, just perhaps, there’s a mild orchestration to The Donald’s “madness,” or as some like to call it, truth. 

Could it be that Romney (or Pawlenty or Gingrich, but most likely Romney) is the silent partner in all this press?  Is is possible that Trump has been recruited to stir up doubts about Obama and the way he’s managing the country, in the blunt way only he can, and in order to keep others out of the mud.  (And if you’re thinking it’s just a waste of his time, Trump has MUCH personal financial interest wrapped up in getting rid of our current anti-business President.)

The strategy would have Trump moving hard and fast in the media against Obama for the next two months and then deciding against the Republican primary, or he could give it a go and pull in MUCH more public interest and media attention to the GOP primary debates and campaign appearances over the next 12 months, all the while taking it on the chin for the more “serious” Romney. 

Trump would be the Dennis Kucinich of the GOP’s 2012 field.  He’d say what no one else could. 

And he’d have no chance in Kenya of winning.

Update:  Could Evangelicals be taking an interest in Trump?   Check out David Brody’s report for CBN News here.

“HHS: ObamaCare Would Make Costs Go Up”

From Hot Air.com,

Does the official HHS website include their latest study of ObamaCare along with their propaganda linksNot so far, but the AP picked up on the new analysis, which shows that far from containing costs, the proposals for health-care reform on Capitol Hill will actually increase costs, thanks to an entirely predictable response from people with new health insurance:

The nation’s medical costs will keep spiraling upward even faster than they are now under Democratic legislation pending in the House, a report from government economic experts concluded Wednesday.

Republicans said the report is a warning sign that health care legislation is likely to fall short of President Barack Obama’s goal of “bending the cost curve” by slowing torrid rates of medical inflation. …

Unlike previous estimates that have focused mainly on the legislation’s impact on the federal deficit, the actuaries’ report looked at total costs, public and private, over the next 10 years. It found that the nation’s health care tab would increase somewhat more rapidly with the legislation than if nothing is done. The main reason: Newly insured people will seek medical care.

The nation’s health care tab, now at about $2.5 trillion annually, is projected to approach $4.7 trillion in 2019 without the legislation.

With the legislation, national health care spending would be nearly $4.8 trillion in 2019.

This should surprise no one who looks at the actual cost problem in American health care.  It comes from a lack of price transparency, thanks to an irrational system which has most of the costs paid through third parties. Consumers overuse the system and choose inefficient, expensive options for care because they have no idea of the costs, and providers locked into compensation schedules have little incentive to compete and to innovate.  As a result, costs go up as demand increases irrationally, and producers don’t get rewarded for efficiency and excellence.

The ObamaCare model would make this problem exponentially worse by locking everyone into this faulty model.  The HHS probably underestimates the increased demand that will result from imposing comprehensive plans on everyone in the country.  Those who forgo health insurance to pay retail actually help the industry and reduce their costs of care in the short term, although they leave themselves vulnerable for catastrophic events.

The proper route for reform would remove pricing opacity and rely on consumers to make rational choices on health care.  That would allow providers in clinics and hospitals to compete for consumers and get rewarded for excellence and efficiency.  Those efforts would not only drive costs downward, but would also encourage more providers to enter the market to meet the demand.  A combination of health-savings accounts with a move away from comprehensive insurance to catastrophic coverage would not only better serve Americans but would result in a massive boost to the health-care industry.

In the meantime, we should ask why the administration doesn’t pay attention to its own analysis.  Perhaps it’s because the ObamaCare push has always been about ideology over rational policy.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  

“Obama Pay Czar Driving Execs to Go Galt?”

From The Foundry blog at the Heritage Foundation,

At Marginal Revolution George Mason University economics professor Alex Tabarrok comments on Obama administration’s pay czar Kenneth Feinberg’s decision to cut bailed out firm executive pay by an average of about 90 percent from last year:

There is no way this will work as advertised. If the administration actually follows through, most of these executives will quit and get higher paying jobs elsewhere. Executives not directly affected by the pay cuts will also quit when they see their prospects for future salary gains have been cut. Chaos will be created at these firms as top people leave in droves. Will the administration then order people back to work?

End TARP. End the Obama Czar State.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:14 am  Leave a Comment  

White House vs. FoxNews Gets Uglier

From Hot Air.com,

Decide for yourself what the most disgraceful aspect of this is. Was it the fact that Gibbs told Jake Tapper explicitly on Monday that the White House wouldn’t try to dictate to the press pool who should and shouldn’t be included — before doing precisely that? Was it Anita Dunn going out of her way to say she respects Major Garrett as a fair reporter — before the administration decided he didn’t deserve a crack here at Feinberg? Or was it the repeated insistence by Dunn and Axelrod that of course the administration will make its officials available to Fox — before pulling the plug today?

The other networks deserve the praise they’re getting for standing up to the Baby-in-Chief, but if they had acquiesced in this freezeout, a precedent would have been set that would have been eagerly used by future Republican presidents to close them off too. And don’t think they weren’t all keenly aware of it.


Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:07 am  Leave a Comment  

“3.6 Million Jobs Lost is ‘Quite Positive'”

From the Foundry blog at the Heritage Foundation,

The Obama administration released the first hard numbers on how many jobs their $787 billion stimulus package has created or saved on Recovery.gov today. The number: 30,383 jobs from roughly $16 billion worth of stimulus contracts awarded directly by federal agencies.

Crunching the numbers, that comes to $533,000 per job “saved or created.” To put those 30,383 jobs in perspecitve, consider that the U.S. economy lost 263,000 net jobs just last month and has lost 3.6 million net jobs since President Barack Obama was sworn into office.

But the administration also claims that federal contractor spending is just one portion of the overall stimulus “buckshot.” Last month at the Brookings Institute, Vice President Joe Biden claimed that White House computer models showed their stimulus plan had already saved between 500,000 and 750,000. And just how accurate are these White House economic  models? Well, when the White House was pitching its plan to the American people, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein wrote a reportA a 26-year record high of 9.8% unemployment rate. claiming the stimulus would keep unemployment under a peak of 8%. And what have actual Bureau of Labor and Statistics shown?

So what does Bernstein have to say about the stimulus now? Associated Press reports:

Jared Bernstein, the chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, said it was too early to draw conclusions from the data “but the early indications are quite positive.”

Heritage fellow J.D. Foster explains where Bernstein’s fancy model went wrong:

The Keynesian stimulus theory fails for the simple reason that it is only half a theory. It correctly describes how deficit spending can raise the level of demand in part of the economy, and ignores how government borrowing to finance deficit spending automatically reduces demand elsewhere. Exculpatory allusions to idle saving simply do not wash in a modern economy supported by a modern financial system. Deficit spending does not create real purchasing power and so it cannot increase total demand in the economy. Deficit spending can only shift the pattern of demand toward government-centric preferences.

Exactly what the Obama administration is after.

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Czar Power

From HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey,

The White House has begun pushing back against the criticism over the explosion of czars in the Obama administration, with a blog entry yesterday that attempts to minimize the end run around Congress engineered by Barack Obama.  The argument from the Obama administration and its defenders seems to be that (a) no one complained about czars during the Bush administration, (b) some of the ones highlighted have required Senate approval, and (c) the White House doesn’t call them “czars”:

Last week, when the President addressed the Joint Session of Congress in a speech on health reform, he referred to some of the untruths – okay, lies – that have been spread about the plan and sent a clear message to those who seek to undermine his agenda and his presidency with these tactics: “We will call you out.” So consider this one of those calls.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen with increasing frequency and volume issues raised around the use of “czars” by this Administration. Although some Members have asked serious questions around the makeup of the White House staff, the bulk of the noise you hear began first with partisan commentators, suggesting that this is somehow a new and sinister development that threatens our democracy. This is, of course, ridiculous. Just to be clear, the job title “czar” doesn’t exist in the Obama Administration. Many of the officials cited by conservative commentators have been confirmed by the Senate. Many hold policy jobs that have existed in previous Administrations. And some hold jobs that involved coordinating the work of agencies on President Obama’s key policy priorities: health insurance reform, energy and green jobs, and building a new foundation for long-lasting economic growth

But of course, it’s really the hypocrisy here that is noteworthy. Just earlier today, Darrell Issa, a Republican from California and one of the leaders in calling for an investigation into the Obama Administration’s use of “czars”, had to admit to Fox News that he had never raised any objections to the Bush Administration’s use of “czars”. Many of these members who now decry the practice have called on Presidents in the past to appoint “czars” to coordinate activities within the government to address immediate challenges. What is clear is that all of this energy going into these attacks could be used to have a constructive conversation about bringing this country together to address our challenges moving forward – and it doesn’t take a “czar” to bring that about! Just some folks willing to act in good faith.

It’s true that some of the 32, 34, 35, or more positions critics have pointed out are not actually czars at all, and do require both Senate approval and Congressional oversight.  One example of this is Cass Sunstein, the so-called Regulatory Czar, who just got confirmed by the Senate.  Using those positions as examples of an Obama power grab undermine the argument and allow the White House to offer sophistry in response.

The Washington Post offers a handy guide that demonstrates the dishonesty in the White House response:

o-czarlist

What we can see here is that Bush created five non-confirmed positions in his administration — in eight years. Of those, three fall solidly within the executive branch’s authority for national security and diplomacy: WMD, terrorism, and Sudan.  Nevertheless, those positions should have had Senate confirmation if they enforced regulation, which would have been questionable for any of these five.

In contrast, the Obama administration has created 17 “czar” positions in seven months, all but one of which avoid Senate confirmation and Congressional oversight.  At least two of these positions will or have already enforced regulation: the Pay Czar and the Auto Recovery Czar, the latter of which unduly influenced the bankruptcies of Chrysler and GM. The Car Czar will likely enforce administration policy on manufacturing and car model selection.  Van Jones, who had been the Green Jobs Czar, isn’t listed in this chart, but he had authority to spend tens of billions of dollars on green initiatives, outside the overview of Congress.

It took Obama less than a year to triple the number of executive-branch commissars that avoid confirmation than Bush created in two terms. That’s a ridiculous level of bureaucratic expansion and Congressional avoidance, and none of the White House’s pushback even remotely addresses it.

Good news: Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) is calling for a review of the White House’s policy on czars and issued a letter reminding the President of the separation of powers called for in the Constitution.

“The Constitution gives the Senate the duty to oversee the appointment of Executive officers through the Appointments Clause in Article II, section 2. The Appointments Clause states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise proved for, and which shall be established by law.” This clause is an important part of the constitutional scheme of separation of powers, empowering the Senate to weigh in on the appropriateness of significant appointments and assisting in its oversight of the Executive Branch.”

Full letter and story here.

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Undercover at a Town Hall”

The side of the story you aren’t seeing, via Hot Air.

“He’s baaack! It’s been too long since our YAF/Hot Air TV special correspondent Jason Mattera’s last video production. But he teamed up with YAF intern and cameraman Adam Tragone to give us a special glimpse into the world of Obamacare supporters at Democrat Rep. Jim Moran’s recent town hall forum in Virginia.

Enjoy it, you “selfish people!:”

Did you make sure to watch it to the very end? Commune Dude is priceless.

“IT owns the clothes.”

Published in: on September 2, 2009 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  

A Lesson on Astroturfing…w/ Hidden Camera

The very funny Steven Crowder is at it again, this time revealing how the Left recruits their “volunteers” and “activists.”

From Hot Air’s ALLAHPUNDIT,

How much does a left-wing Astroturfer get paid , anyway?

Answer: There are no left-wing astroturfers, silly. They do it because they love the cause and the “fight” and the Unicorn King currently installed in the White House.

That $33,000 a year plus benefits is just their share of the wealth that belongs to all of us.

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 2:21 am  Comments (1)  

“Mad High Tax Rates”

From The Foundry blog at Heritage.org,

“On this week’s season premiere of the popular AMC show “Mad Men” viewers were reminded about the punitive high tax rates in the 1960s:

This episode of Mad Men takes place in 1963, when the top income tax rate was 91 percent on incomes over $200,000 ($400,000 for married couples). That translates to about $1.4 million in 2009 dollars. The top rate today is 35 percent on incomes over $372,950. In 1963, by comparison, incomes over $10,000 (about $70,000 in 2009 dollars) paid 38 percent. As the scene from Mad Men makes clear, high tax rates in the 1960s discouraged working harder to get ahead because a large portion of the worker’s additional income went to paying taxes.

Discouraging work lowers economic growth. When this happens we all suffer because lower economic growth means fewer jobs and lower wages across the economy.

Tax rates have fallen significantly from the 1960s. The top rate today is 56 percentage points lower than it was in 1963, so the incentive to work hard and get ahead is a lot bigger now.

But if President Obama’s plan to raise the top two marginal income tax rates to Clinton-era levels and the House’s plan to slap a 5.6 percent surtax on top of that to partially fund a nationalization of the health care system become law, the top average tax rate in the U.S. will climb to 52 percent- higher than in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Many workers faced with a marginal tax rate that takes over half of their additional income will decide the extra effort just is not worth it- just like workers in the 1960s did. This will impede economic growth at the worst possible time as the economy suffers through its most severe contraction since World War II.

Mad Men has brought retro-1960s clothing and decor back into style. Let’s not bring back the economically stifling tax policy with it.”

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cool Summer Reception for Reps.

Great report from Michelle Malkin, author of the new book Culture of Corruption, about the cool homecoming Reps are getting.

Worth reading and watching for inspiration as you attend forums, make office hours, write letters and make phone calls of your own!  Or, my personal favorite, parade protests.  Even in this off-year it’ll be fun.

Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett went home to Austin, Texas, and heard from his constituents about the planned government health care takeover.

Message: “Just say no!”

This taxpayer counterinsurgency is exactly what I talked about on the ABC This Week panel earlier today. The long, hot recess is underway. Make yourselves heard. Mark your calendars for the nationwide August 22 Recess Rally. Prepare to be demonized, of course.

And don’t let up until socialized medicine goes down:

In Philadelphia, Kathleen Sebelius and Arlen Specter get an earful (the YouTube user who posted the video calls the protesters “crazies.” You’re going to get a lot of that. Just carry on):

Better video and report from Andrew Monaghan here. Here’s one question from a woman who ticks off failed government program after failed government program and concludes, “How Can You Manage Health Care When You Can’t Manage Cash For Clunkers?”

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 2:05 am  Comments (1)