Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Signed to Little Fanfare. Here’s Why

Featured image The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement was signed yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand. The administration claims it will boost America’s economy, but many are skeptical. Senator Jeff Sessions released a statement that said, in part: 7,000 miles away, the President’s trade representative just quietly signed a massive, 5,544 page trade deal, with little fanfare from its supporters. Only months ago Congress voted to “fast-track” this deal, despite not knowing its contents. »

Obama at prayer

Featured imagePresident Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. this morning. The White House has posted the text of Obama’s remarks here. I’ve embedded the White House video below; Obama’s speech begins at about 01:49:00 and runs to 02:17:00. C-SPAN has posted the video here. I transcribed quotes from the video before the White House posted the text; they may not be perfectly accurate. Those who say that »

More Comedy from the Times

Featured imageAs I mentioned the other day, standup comedians employ what they call “runners,” which are themes and punch lines they set up for recurrent laughs. Think of Jerry Seinfeld’s “did you ever notice. . .” or “not that there’s anything wrong with that” schtick. Only days after the New York Times pranked us with their endorsement of John Kasich for the GOP nomination, they have returned with another of their »

Rubio takes lead in the endorsement sweepstakes

Featured imageI wrote here about the endorsement sweepstakes in the GOP nomination battle. I relied on FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement scorecard, which awards 10 points for endorsements by governors, 5 points for endorsements by U.S. senators, and 1 point for endorsements by U.S. representatives. At the time of my post, January 25, Jeb Bush was in the lead with 51 points. He was followed by Marco Rubio (43), Chris Christie (26), Mike Huckabee »

Hillary, “to be honest”

Featured imageHillary Clinton is false in everything, a gold-plated phony seemingly incapable of uttering a true word. She lies with abandon. She displays the skills of a pathological liar. At CNN’s town hall in Derry, New Hampshire last night, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary Clinton about her paid Wall Street speeches. It’s a point that Bernie Sanders has raised; it must be a thorn in her side at this point. Unlike the »

How secret is it? (9)

Featured imageOn FOX News yesterday, Martha MacCallum asked Utah Rep. Chris Stewart about the sensitivity of the Top Secret Clinton emails accessible on her unsecured private server and withheld from production by the State Department (video below). Stewart is a former Air Force pilot and current member of the House Intelligence Committee; he knows what he is talking about. “I have never read anything that’s more sensitive than what these emails »

The social science behind Ted Cruz’s notice of “voter violation”

Featured imageI wrote here about the use by Ted Cruz’s campaign in Iowa of a mailer to potential caucus-goers that was labeled: “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” It told recipients: You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them »

For Venezuela, the End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!

Featured imageVenezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers: The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press. In the free market, the »

The Cruz Campaign’s Dirty Tricks

Featured imageNo doubt you are aware of the controversy over the Cruz campaign’s sneak attack on Ben Carson on the evening of the Iowa caucuses. The Carson campaign said that when he left Iowa, he would return home for a few days rather than flying directly to New Hampshire or South Carolina. CNN broke the news in a tweet in an on-air report, making Carson’s plan sound odd and potentially significant: »

About Rubio [with comment by Paul]

Featured imageUp to this point I’ve left the Rubio beat to John, who has endorsed him, and Paul, who I think remains skeptical or opposed because of his dubious dealings with Democrats on immigration and the egregiously bad “Gang of Eight” bill. [Paul is welcome to confirm or refine this here if he wants.] My own sense of things is that Rubio knows he screwed up big time on immigration, and »

Hillary annotated

Featured imageHillary Clinton is a liar of the Lillian Hellman variety as described by Mary McCarthy: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” Perfect. Nobody has ever said it better. The Clintons have turned lying into performance art. Most recently, in her appearance on ABC’s This Week with former (Bill) Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos on Sunday (video below), Hillary did it again. As for Stephanopoulos, kid gloves »

Obama defends the faith (2)

Featured imageYesterday President Obama visited the mosque of the Islamic Society of Baltimore to give a speech defending Islam and Muslims against their unnamed opponents. The White House has posted the text of Obama’s speech. I have embedded the video below (actual time, about 45 minutes, feels like about 4 hours). Obama acknowledged the presence of Minnesota’s own Rep. Keith Ellison, formerly of the Nation of Islam, and of Indiana Rep. »

Jimmy Carter Endorses Ted Cruz!

Featured imageWell not really, but as with Damon Linker’s article attacking Marco Rubio, it reads like high praise of Cruz indeed. Speaking earlier today in London, old peanut brain said that if he had to choose, he preferred Donald Trump because Trump is more “malleable.” Here’s the report from The Mirror: “If I had a choice of Republican nominees, between Cruz and Trump, I think I would choose. Trump – which »

Clinton’s unpopularity with young voters offers GOP an opening [With Comment by John]

Featured imageHillary Clinton has a major problem with young voters. According to the Washington Post, Sanders won handily over Clinton in Iowa with voters under the age of 45. And voters under the age of 30 supported Sanders to the tune of 84 percent. We can’t assume that young Sanders voters will support the Republican nominee over Clinton, but some of them might stay home. Moreover, it’s fair to suppose that »

About Rubio, my take

Featured imageIn his “About Rubio” post, Steve correctly says that I’m skeptical about Marco Rubio because of his dubious dealings with Democrats on immigration and the egregiously bad “Gang of Eight” bill. I’m also not convinced that Rubio is fully ready to be president, but the same reservation applies to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump (who I don’t think will ever be ready). In defense of Rubio, Steve states that Rubio »

Bernie Sanders, Movie Star!

Featured imageDid you know that Bernie Sanders once played a rabbi in a low-budget “comedy” (as Rabbi Manny Shevitz—no, really, that’s his character’s name), My X-Girlfriend’s Wedding Reception (1999). I like some of the comments on IMDB about it: “This is downright painful. . . This is a cute movie but really only for Deborah Gibson fans.” Painful indeed, though I have to say, Sanders’s cameo sounds just like one of his campaign »

Obama defends the faith

Featured imagePresident Obama seems to believe in nothing more than he does the defense of Islam. He specializes in pronouncements on what is truly Islamic and what is not. Such pronouncements are always intended to preserve the good name of Islam. Al Qaeda, of course, not Islamic. The Islamic State, not Islamic. San Bernardino murderers Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, not Islamic. The Islamic Republic of Iran, well, they must be »