What is Iran hoping to accomplish with the attack on Saudi oil facilities? And what should be the response? — by Wolf Howling
The “mad mullahs” of Iran are the single most destabilizing influence in the Middle East and Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. But while the mad mullahs have, since the 1979 Revolution, always been hyper-aggressive, pushing murder, mayhem and kidnapping to the very limit of what they can get away with on the international stage, what the mad mullahs haven’t been, until now at least, is suicidal. Did that just change with an attack on one of the world’s largest oil refineries?
In brief, Saudi Arabia runs the world’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq, which is responsible for 5% of the world’s oil and gas supplies. On Saturday, either Iran or an Iranian proxy attached it, using either drones or missiles. The fires have since been put out but the damage remains to be fully assessed. This is, any way you look at it, a profound escalation of the war in the Middle East, one that directly threatens the global economy.
“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Minister Mohammad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy,” Pompeo tweeted, referring to the nation’s president and foreign affairs minister. ” … There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack hours before Pompeo’s tweet. The world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field were impacted, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies. . . .
According to multiple news reports that cited unidentified sources, the drone attacks affected up to half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil, though the output should be restored within days. It remained unclear if anyone was injured at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field.
The WSJ characterizes the attack on the oil facilities as “the big one“:
Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications.
Ever since the dual 1970s oil crises, energy security officials have fretted about a deliberate strike on one of the critical choke points of energy production and transport. Sea lanes such as the Strait of Hormuz usually feature in such speculation. The facility in question at Abqaiq is perhaps more critical and vulnerable. The Wall Street Journal reported that 5.7 million barrels a day of output, or some 5% of world supply, had been taken offline as a result. . . .
Several projectiles struck the Abqaiq plant, starting a series of fires that quickly took out nearly half Saudi’s oil production — 5% of the global daily output — and sparking fears about the security of the world’s oil supplies. . . .
But where did this attack originate and who was behind it?
The Houthis have sent dozens of drones and short-range ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia in the past two years. Many have been intercepted by Saudi air defenses; others have fallen harmlessly. A very few have caused limited damage and casualties.
Houthi drones are based on Iranian models, . . .
A source with knowledge of the incident told CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen late Saturday that preliminary indications were the drones/missiles “did not originate from Yemen and likely originated from Iraq.” A second source in the Gulf region told CNN that while there was no proof yet, the indications were that the attack originated in southern Iraq.
Pro-Iranian militia are well-entrenched in southern Iraq, and the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards unit in charge of foreign operations, has a presence there. Earlier this year, some regional analysts assessed that a drone attack on a pumping station at Afif in northern Saudi Arabia originated in Iraq. But no hard evidence was produced.
The Iraqi government Sunday issued a statement rejecting reports “about its land being used to attack Saudi oil facilities.” . . .
. . . The bad news for Iran is that, just a few months after U.S. sanctions on oil exports kicked back in, the economy is in miserable shape. The currency has depreciated, inflation is rampant, and unemployment is high, while GDP contracted last year and looks set to shrink even further this year. Dwindling oil exports have cut into government revenues, and U.S. sanctions on financial transactions have chilled economic activity in a number of other sectors, including autos and humanitarian goods like food and medicine.“The economy is even worse than they let on,” said Alireza Nader, the CEO of New Iran, a research and advocacy organization in Washington. Iran’s once proud auto industry is on the verge of collapse, and while Iranian Central Bank officials have managed to stabilize the exchange rate, it came at the cost of draining foreign reserves. Meanwhile, shortages of meat and basic medicines are fueling popular frustration. “This idea of the resistance economy is totally false,” Nader said.
The really scary news for Iran is that the full brunt of U.S. sanctions has really just begun to be felt, with limits on Iranian oil exports becoming effective only last November. The U.S. economic pressure is simply adding to years of corruption and economic mismanagement by Iran’s leadership, which has led to chronic inflation, unemployment, and failed efforts to turn Iran into a welcoming place for foreign investment. Coupled with lower average oil prices now than during the Obama administration, when the United States sharply limited Iran’s crude exports, that means Tehran has less ability to absorb U.S. sanctions than in the past. . . .
So the mad mullahs are becoming desperate — and Iran’s method of seeking rapprochement with the global community is to act out and demand that it be accepted on the mullah’s terms. Tehran — pretending that it wasn’t before — is now open about its development of nuclear weapons. Moreover, with its tanker attacks, Tehran has been trying for the past few months to spark a very limited war with the U.S. that they could play to their international advantage as their situation has steadily worsened. When that failed, Iran has now seemingly upped the ante.
True, the mad mullahs are disclaiming any responsibility for the attack (and, in no surprise at all, Democrats such as Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are already lining up in Iran’s defense.) But the Houthi rebels — or the Iranian backed militias in Iraq — are funded, trained and armed by Iran, regardless of whether their daily operational control comes from the mad mullahs. And thus, if you cut off their funding by taking away Iran’s ability to continue funding these proxy groups, the proxy groups will shrivel and die as well.
The one sure way to end this is to respond forcefully against Iran’s oil, the source of over a third of their government funding. Lindsey Graham 2.0 has it right:
“It is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment,” Graham tweeted.
“Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime’s back,” he added.
I wish that Operation Encore, a group that helps veterans make music, had been around in my Dad’s time, for I think it would have made him happy.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to a very creative – and I mean that word literally – a very creative outreach program for veterans. It’s called Operation Encore. I could make a total hash trying to explain the concept to you, but why would I do that when Operation Encore has a perfectly good description of its purpose?
Operation Encore is a non-profit veterans organization that provides opportunities for veteran and active duty singer-songwriters and musicians to take their music to the next level through artist development, professional recording, and industry-focused educational services. We seek out talent from across the military and veteran communities to produce and highlight their original music and provide opportunities to showcase their talents and advance their careers. OE has been featured on numerous print, television, and radio media outlets and has played live shows across the country and overseas. As we advance the careers of our artists, we also help bridge the gap between the public perception of veterans and reality by using the powerful medium of their original music.
I must admit that this mission statement resonated very powerfully with me. I’ve always loved to sing, although (sadly) very few people have loved listening to me sing. Still, that’s what car radios once were for and what Apple Radio is all about today — singing to yourself.
My kids were lucky in that they inherited actual musical talent. My son spent five years in the San Francisco Boys Chorus. My daughter went from the San Francisco Girls Chorus, to a more friendly Marin-based choral group, to a formal choral group at her college (and an informal a cappella group too).
My kids’ choral affiliations meant that I had the pleasure of hearing truly lovely choral music over the years. Being in those choral groups also meant that I was inundated with information about the emotional benefits that come from singing, especially when people make that music together:
A study published in Australia in 2008 revealed that on average, choral singers rated their satisfaction with life higher than the public — even when the actual problems faced by those singers were more substantial than those faced by the general public [source: MacLean]. A 1998 study found that after nursing-home residents took part in a singing program for a month, there were significant decreases in both anxiety and depression levels [source: ISPS]. Another study surveying more than 600 British choral singers found that singing plays a central role in their psychological health [source: ISPS].
Even sad music brings most listeners pleasure and comfort, according to recent research from Durham University in the United Kingdom and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, published in PLOS ONETrusted Source.
“The results help us to pinpoint the ways people regulate their mood with the help of music, as well as how music rehabilitation and music therapy might tap into these processes of comfort, relief, and enjoyment,” said lead author, Tuomas Eerola, Ph.D., a professor of music cognition at Durham University, in a press release.
Other research has focused on the joy upbeat music can bring.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks.
In the study, participants were instructed to try to improve their mood, but they only succeeded when they listened to the upbeat music of Copland as opposed to the sadder tunes of Stravinsky.
It might seem surprising that music can help people cope with physical pain, but research has shown a clear link.
A 2015 review in The LancetTrusted Source found that people who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety, compared to patients who did not listen to music.
There’s more in that vein if you follow this link.
The U.S. has been at war now for 18 years. Even those fortunate service members who have not seen battle have had to deal with the stress of constant warfare: training, call-ups, deeply unpleasant locations, conflicted feelings about a war without end, the loss of comrades, physical and mental injuries, and more.
Most veterans return to civilian life with completely normal functioning. After all, like it or not, at the DNA level we are hard-wired for warfare. But normal functioning does not mean happy functioning. My Dad, a vet of both WWII and the Israeli War of Independence, was a perfect example of that. He was an extremely high-functioning man. He worked extremely hard, maintained the military habit of being personally immaculate even to the last days of his life, was highly educated, had many good friends, and had a wonderful sense of humor.
My Dad was also a deeply depressed man. Some of that depression came from a miserable childhood. But there is no doubt that part of the depression and anger that powered him were war related. I know this for a very specific reason. In the years before he died, he had several surgeries for cancer and, shortly before he finally died, he lapsed into dementia. Without fail, after the surgeries, when he was under the thrall of powerful drugs, and when dementia finally seized him, he returned to battle.
When Dad was conscious, his stories about war were told dispassionately, even if they were sad or scary. He didn’t weep about the time he was eating dinner in the mess next to one of his best friends, dropped a fork, bent over to pick it up, and sat up to discover that an errant mortar shell had whizzed through the tent, decapitating his friend – and missing Dad only because of that dropped fork.
Nor did he weep telling us about the time he was with a team of men reconnoitering in the Libyan desert when Nazis planes spotted them and started strafing. The men though found shelter in a stone hut, only to have the Nazis turn the hut into their target for bomb practice. One of the shells caused part of the wall to collapse, wedging my father in place. The others were not so . . . lucky. Eventually they couldn’t stand being in a targeted building and, in blind panic, rushed out, only to be shot down like turkeys. Only my Dad, trapped with the bombs dropping around him, survived.
But when Dad was hallucinating, he dropped right into battle again and he was afraid, terribly, terribly afraid. He yelled for help, hunkered down behind couches, and tried to rip out tubes and wires to run away. That was always there, and that was what left my Dad, behind the bonhomie and charm, an angry, depressed man.
He was also a musical man. He could play the harmonica by ear and had a lovely singing voice. I believe with absolute certainty that if organizations such as Operation Encore had existed after my Dad’s generation came home from the war, he would have been a much happier person – and, possibly, a person who found the professional success in life that his talents, charm, and decency so richly deserved.
If Operation Encore had been there for him, my Dad would have benefitted from services such as Networking, Training, and even the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Indeed, I especially like this service:
We provide numerous opportunities for veteran artists to showcase their talents. From compilation albums for those just getting noticed to full EPs for established artists looking for their big break. We work with numerous corporate sponsors, concert promoters, and other veteran agencies to book individual and group concerts to highlight our talent.
If you’re a veteran with musical talent, you might get the chance to make a go of it beyond it being merely an uplifting hobby. For an example of an artist whom Operation Encore is working with, take a gander at Andrew Wiscombe’s web page or listen to a podcast interview with him. (He’s the first and, currently, the only person whose been interviewed for Operation Encore’s new podcast program.) It’s an excellent interview for its very uplifting and comes with lovely music.
If, as I do, you read about the organization and listen to the music and to Wiscombe’s interview, and you come away believing, as I do, that Operation Encore is a worthwhile enterprise, consider making a donation to help it out. Here’s the donation page.
I’ll wrap this up with a theatrical performance that Operation Encore made possible in my old stomping ground of Marin County, California:
(By the way, the Throckmorton, the venue for the above performance, while small, is quite prestigious. Robin Williams, may he rest in peace, used to practice his acts there.)
Image credit: Screen grab from Operation Encore donor page
When you hear a Democrat presidential candidate say “Let me make this perfectly clear” . . . you are about to hear a lie at worst, a non-answer at best.
Elizabeth Warren in particular, but several of the proggies on stage last night, all exhibited the same verbal tic. When they were about to lie by omission or refuse to answer a question, they began their response with some variant of “Let me make this perfectly clear . . .” What followed was clearly NOT an answer to whatever question was asked. The formula was to follow “Let me make this perfectly clear” with some sort of re-direction — often several meaningless personal anecdotes — then the big, flourishing, holier-than-evil-conservatives and bad-orange-man finish.
Exhibit one: Sitting Bull, when asked whether she will admit her health care plan will drive up middle class taxes:
WARREN: So, let’s be clear about health care. And let’s actually start where [the] vice president did. We all owe a huge debt to President Obama, who fundamentally transformed health care in America and committed this country to health care for every human being.
And now the question is, how best can we improve on it? And I believe the best way we can do that is we make sure that everybody gets covered by health care at the lowest possible cost. How do we pay for it? We pay for it, those at the very top, the richest individuals and the biggest corporations, are going to pay more. And middle-class families are going to pay less. That’s how this is going to work.
So are taxes going up for the middle class under a Lieawatha plan? It’s not hard to read the smoke signals on this one. An honest answer would, of course, have been a simple “yes.” Or if she actually believed that cost savings on health care would be greater than any tax increase, she could simply say that. Clearly, Fauxcohauntus says neither. Stephanopoulos, to his credit, pointed that out and gave her a second bite at the apple, but the only thing she made “clear” in her second opportunity to answer the question was that she was using unique mathematical equations to imply middle class savings:
WARREN: Look, what families have to deal with is cost, total cost. That’s what they have to deal with. And understand, families are paying for their health care today. Families pay every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, you can’t see that specialist.” Every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, that doctor is out of network. Sorry, we are not covering that prescription.
Families are paying every time they don’t get a prescription filled because they can’t pay for it. They don’t have a lump checked out because they can’t afford the co-pay. What we’re talking about here is what’s going to happen in families’ pockets, what’s going to happen in their budgets.
And the answer is on Medicare-for-all, costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals and costs are going to go up for giant corporations. But for hard-working families across this country, costs are going to go down and that’s how it should work under Medicare-for-all in our health care system.
Exhibit 2: Still on the same issue. Biden points out the reality of Warren’s plan yet again, and again Stephanopoulos asks her about the numbers.
BIDEN: . . . The senator said before, it’s going to cost you in your pay — there will be a deductible, in your paycheck. You’re going to — the middle class person, someone making 60 grand with three kids, they’re going to end up paying $5,000 more. They’re going to end up paying 4 percent more on their income tax. That’s a reality. Now, it’s not a bad idea if you like it. I don’t like it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, now I want everybody to keep to the time, but you did invoke both senators. I have to get responses from them . . . and then we will broaden it out. Senator Warren, you go first.
WARREN: So, let’s be clear, I’ve actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company. . . . I’ve met people who like their doctors. I’ve met people who like their nurses. I’ve met people who like their pharmacists. I’ve met people who like their physical therapists. What they want is access to health care. And we just need to be clear about what Medicare-for-all is all about.
Instead of paying premiums into insurance companies and then having insurance companies build their profits by saying no to coverage, we’re going to do this by saying, everyone is covered by Medicare-for-all, every health care provider is covered. And the only question here in terms of difference is where to send the bill? . . .
Exhibit 3: Paleface Who Speaks With Forked Tongue was clearly the worst of the bunch. But Bernie the Red’s “clear” answers weren’t that far behind, as he demonstrates when given the chance to admit to those numbers Biden had just raised:
SANDERS: Let us be clear, Joe, in the United States of America, we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as the Canadians or any other major country on earth.
BIDEN: This is America.
SANDERS: Yes, but Americans don’t want to pay twice as much as other countries. And they guarantee health care to all people. Under my Medicare-for-all proposal, when you don’t pay out-of-pocket and you don’t pay premiums, maybe you’ve run into people who love their premiums, I haven’t.
What people want is cost-effective health care, Medicare-for-all will save the average American substantial sums of money on his or her health care bill.
Exhibit 4 is Bernie again, this time trying clearly not to admit that Venezuela is socialist, and that any government with enough power to impose socialism is one with enough power to become dictatorial and tyrannical.
RAMOS [addressing Bernie the Red]: You haven’t been asked about Latin America in the previous debates, so let’s begin. Senator Sanders, one country where many immigrants are arriving from is Venezuela. A recent U.N. fact-finding mission found that thousands have been disappeared, tortured and killed by government forces in Venezuela. You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictator — a dictator. Can you explain why? . . .
SANDERS: Well, first of all, let me be very clear. Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make — can create their own future. . . .
Then it was the turn of the only true brown-noser on stage, Kamala Harris, to be clear:
DAVIS: Also a concern for people of color is criminal justice reform. Senator Harris, you released your plan for that just this week. And it does contradict some of your prior positions. Among them, you used to oppose the legalization of marijuana; now you don’t. You used to oppose outside investigations of police shootings; now you don’t. You’ve said that you changed on these and other things because you were, quote, “swimming against the current, and thankfully the currents have changed.” But when you had the power, why didn’t you try to effect change then?
HARRIS: So, there have been — there have been — I’m glad you asked me this question, and there have been many distortions of my record.
Let me be very clear. I made a decision to become a prosecutor for two reasons. One, I’ve always wanted to protect people and keep them safe. And second, I was born knowing about how this criminal justice system in America has worked in a way that has been informed by racial bias. And I could tell you extensively about the experiences I and my family members have personally had. But I made a decision that, if I was going to have the ability to reform the system, I would try to do it from the inside. . . .
At any rate, this is far from the only progressive verbal jiujitsu you will see from our modern left. The other you will inevitably see is when you hear a progressive claim that someone is “weaponizing” something against them. What that means is that a conservative has raised a completely valid issue and the proggie can only defend by saying the conservative is evil for even raising the issue, thus making of the proggie the morally superior victim. It is clearly as intellectually a dishonest argument as you will ever hear raised.
If listening to Trump irks you, stop listening and start focusing on his accomplishments. Then do the same for the Dem candidates. Then vote for Trump.
(If you prefer listening over reading, the companion podcast to this post is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcasting so, if you like the podcasts, please share them with your friends and on social media. Giving my podcast good ratings helps too.)
When I’m bored, I watch video compilations showing how to do things better. Each video has 20-30 clips showing clever tricks for doing anything better (cleaning, packing, cooking, etc.). The videos are “show and tell,” without narration, but with a music soundtrack. These soundtracks are always horrible.
This video, viewed over 270,000,000 times, shows both the useful information and the horrible music:
The bad music doesn’t make me avoid the content. Instead, I mute the music.
There’s a point to his seemingly irrelevant anecdote: When NeverTrumpers start wittering on about about Trump’s latest bombastic tweet or speech, or another act of boastful puffery, I want to tell them to do as I do with my life-hacking videos: Turn off the sound and just focus on the content — the content, in this case, being his achievements in office.
It occurred to me that this would be an interesting test to apply as well to the top Democrat candidates, each of whom functions at three different levels: (1) Promises to the base; (2) personal style; and (3) actual accomplishments.
When it comes to promises to the base, the Dems are almost indistinguishable:
Free health care for everyone, including illegal aliens who will be let into the country without barrier and allowed to stay without limits;
Seizing all privately held guns;
Creating policies that ignore that human biology, absent statistically insignificant aberrations, divides humans into two sexes, male and female;
Ceding control over foreign policy, national security, and trade to international organizations (i.e., NATO and the UN);
Allowing China to continue using unfair, illegal trade practices to drain the world’s wealth into its coffers;
Bowing before the Iranian mullahs;
Treating totalitarian, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, blood-thirsty Palestinians as equal negotiating partners with the Israelis who have a full and free democracy; and
Using energy policy to roll us back to a pre-modern time without planes, trains, and automobiles, as well as without lights, heat, air-conditioning, computers, stable food supplies, clean water, and anything else that relies on a stable, abundant supply of energy.
(Andrew Yang’s proposed universal income and Tulsi’s slight differences on the border and abortion do not detract from the core Leftism of their policies. Also, on Israel, the candidates have been all over the board, but they seem to have coalesced around the realization that the base is hostile to Israel.)
On style points, what can I say? It’s always personal.
I personally find unappealing Kamala’s nasal, bored affect; Warren’s scolding schoolmarm; Bernie’s spit-flecked New York-accented hectoring; Booker’s Spartawuss self-righteousness; Tulsi’s flat, loud drone; Buttigieg’s precocious little boy; Klobuchar’s “Mother knows best ” vibe; Robert Francis O’Rourke’s shrill adolescent hipster act; Yang’s tech-savvy, hip Asian dude cutesiness; Williamson’s New Age, crystal-clutching love bombing; and, of course, Biden’s “confused old man yelling at the clouds” dementia.
Here’s the thing, though, about both personality and campaign promises: What we hear is unrelated to what is. As with those life hack videos, the auditory input is noise that disrupts our brain, obscuring our ability to see what’s going on. With this post, I’m asking you to try to look at the Democrat candidates and Donald Trump with the noise turned off. Look, instead, at the high (and low) points of who they are and what they’ve actually done or tried to do.
At the end of this post, you can see the full bullet-point lists I made giving bios for each candidate, followed by their significant accomplishments and failures. I made the lists the lazy way, relying almost entirely on information culled from Wikipedia, which tends to be Democrat friendly. For purposes of the body of this post, here’s a super-brief summary of the candidates’ highs and lows, again without the background noise of promises and personas:
Joe Biden was a marginal student, haunted by a plagiarism charge in law school; he had minimal private sector legal experience; he spent 44 years in D.C. (36 in the Senate and 8 as Veep); he ran twice for president, with plagiarism again a problem. While in D.C., he opposed federal busing; helped pass a crime law that stripped men from black communities; borked Robert Bork and hi-tech lynched Clarence Thomas; banned “assault weapons”; flipped and flopped on war; and opposed the Surge but supported the total withdrawal from Iraq that led to ISIS. He’s also way too handsy and sniffy with little girls and grown women.
Elizabeth Warren was a decent student who ended up as a career legal academic, first in Houston, then in Austin, then Pennsylvania, and finally at Harvard. It’s believed she achieved her last two gigs because she claimed, falsely, to be Native American. I had her for banking law during her Austin years and hated her, finding her confusing and dishonest.
Warren gained fame for two studies, the first pointing out the obvious, which is that good schools raise housing prices, causing people to incur high debt loads, and the second, using shoddy research methods, making inflated claims about medical bankruptcies.
In addition to a high Harvard lecturer salary (combined with a low workload), she made many millions flipping foreclosed houses and advising corporations on legal matters that might not be too popular with her base, such as working for Dow Chemical on breast implant cases to limit its liability to women. Overnight, though, she turned into a fiery Leftists SJW. In addition to becoming famous for her pronouncements, her single concrete accomplishment in politics was to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency given the task of overseeing the American financial sector without itself being overseen or answerable to any of the three constitutional branches of government.
Bernie Sanders is now and always has been a professional communist. He lives and breathes communism. Unlike today’s millennials, who don’t remember the Cold War and who learn nothing in college, he has no excuse for celebrating communism, for he saw played out in real time how communism killed approximately 100 million people around the world, and brought hunger and terror to countless others. He’s held political office since 1981. During that time, he putzed around in a small Vermont town and then made speeches in the House and Senate. He was once pro-gun but is no longer. He is technically Jewish, but is hostile to Israel and recently accepted an endorsement from Linda Sarsour, an open anti-Semite. He dreams of bringing every aspect of American lives under the government’s — that is, Bernie’s — total control.
Kamala Harris was raised in an extremely affluent household (and, like Obama, raised for many years outside of the U.S.). A lawyer, she got her political start in the bed of California House Speaker Willie Brown, effectively sleeping her way to the middle. She was elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney and then as California’s Attorney General. She was often hard on crime, which ought to be an honorable thing but, in today’s world, is a record that she’s trying to bury. She also was involved in several ethics scandals and Tulsi rightly accused her of violating prisoners’ rights and condoning unconstitutional prosecutorial misconduct. As Senator, she’s done nothing but oppose Trump.
Cory Booker has born the burden of being a light-skinned black(ish) man, from an affluent background, when all he’s always wanted was to be is a dark-skinned black man from the mean streets. He’s hyper-educated, having attended Stanford (a B.A. and an M.A.), Oxford (on a Rhodes scholarship), and Yale (J.D.). He got off to a good start as mayor of Newark, slightly lowering crime in his first two years, but that didn’t last. Corruption dogged his administration, especially with the $100 million Mark Zuckerberg gave the city for education reform. The money benefited everyone but Newark kids. Once in the Senate, Booker worked on gay rights initiatives, was pro-Israel, wanted tougher sanctions against Iran, and, during the Kavanaugh hearings, called himself Spartacus for publishing documents that the Republicans had already produced. He also thinks we should all be vegans.
Pete Buttigieg is gay, married, hyper-educated, and portrays himself as an expert on “woke” Christianity (not to be confused with textual Christianity). He attended Harvard and Oxford. He joined the Naval Reserves (good for him) and spent 7 months in Afghanistan, mostly working as a driver in a dangerous region. (Since he’s multilingual and was in naval intelligence, I assume the driving gig utilized his language skills.) He’s in his second term as mayor of South Bend, one of America’s most crime-ridden mid-sized cities. In that role, he incurred $800,000 in settlement costs connected with firing the city’s first black police chief; repaired or demolished 1,000 blighted properties; and started a nightly laser light display.
Julian Castro comes from a radical household, for his mother co-founded La Raza. He attended Stanford, admitting that he was an affirmative action admission. He then got a degree from Harvard law. He spent the next few years alternating between local San Antonio politics and running a small private law practice. He eventually became San Antonio’s mayor, which was a springboard to becoming Obama’s HUD secretary. In San Antonio, he created “a community wide visioning effort” and used increased sales taxes to expand pre-K education. As HUD secretary, he claims to have stabilized the housing market, helped after community disasters, and worked on lead safety in government housing.
Amy Klobuchar got a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Chicago, after which she worked as a corporate lawyer before going into local politics. She’s been in the U.S. Senate since 2006. She has her name on lots of successful bills, primarily (it seems) because she attaches herself like a leech to anodyne causes that offend no one. She was recently outed as an exceptionally abusive boss. Her public vibe is “Mother knows best.” Her private behavior is “Mommie Dearest.”
Robert Francis O’Rourke is a rich, college-educated slacker who bummed around for years, married a billionaire’s daughter, and used a stint on the El Paso City Council to get elected to the House of Representatives. He made his name nationally by running unsuccessfully for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat. While in the House, he focused on making the southern border more efficient (better trained officers, lower waiting times). When Israel was under attack by Hamas, he refused to support funding for the Iron Dome defense system, saying that American had been cruel to Israel by being kind, so he was going to be kind by being cruel . . . or something.
Andrew Yang is the child of a wealthy Taiwanese immigrant household who went to a very chi-chi boarding school and then got a B.A. from Brown and a J.D. from Columbia. He worked as a lawyer and test prep instructor being founding a start up aimed at funding entrepreneurs whom his company located by trolling colleges for top graduates. He claims to be good at math.
Tulsi Gabbard has a B.S. in Business. She got elected to Hawaii’s legislature and, while there, joined the Army National Guard. She was called up and spent a year in Iraq as a specialist for a medical company. Apparently it agreed with her, because she attended Officer Candidate School, graduating with honors. As a second lieutenant, she became a military police officer. She served in Kuwait, training the Kuwait National Guard, and currently holds the rank of major. On the home front, after rising through Hawaii politics, she was elected to the U.S. House. She has worked on successful bills to improve airport screenings for handicapped vets and to give Congressional medals of honor to Filipino and Filipino-American WWII vets. She’s tried to return elections to paper ballots. She shows occasional strong common sense (paper ballots, no third trimester elections, better border security), but is mostly a toe-the-line Leftist.
Marianne Williamson is a college drop-out who made her name as a New Age guru, writing books, lecturing, and ministering. She created an organization, with which she is no longer associated, that brought food to HIV/AIDS patients in L.A. She also created the Global Renaissance Alliance, an initiative to organize worldwide “citizen salons” to pray for peace and Leftist causes. She recently made news for her insight that conservatives are nice people compared to Leftists.
Donald Trump . . . where to begin? He was a phenomenally popular businessman who took the golden spoon he was born with and turned it into a diamond-encrusted platinum spoon. He made himself and his persona one of his best and most popular products; built high-end properties all over the world; created a reputation for getting projects done on time and under budget; was famous in the New York construction world for giving women and minorities prominent positions on projects; has always fought to win; used bankruptcy strategically, in a way that harmed creditors, but greatly increased his wealth; and created the most popular reality show in TV history – to name just a few things.
Without any political experience, he left every politically experienced Republican competitor in the dust and mowed over the woman that America’s powerful Leftist institutions had anointed as president. Once in office, he set about keeping his promises, from super-charging the economy, to trying to control illegal immigration, to wiping out ISIS on the battlefield, to criminal justice reform, to supporting Israel, to reining in China, supporting the Second Amendment, and more. You really need to check out the Trump laundry lists at the bottom of this post.
Seen this way, have turned off the noise, and promises, and personality quirks, none of the Democrats can hold a candle to Trump. Except for Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson, neither of whom has ever held office, all that most of the Democrats have done is to run for and hold office. Their job histories are pathetic, their military service limited (although still respectable), and their records of accomplishments as politicians are scanty.
The only two who actually did accomplish some things over the years are Biden and Harris, and they’re either running from those records (e.g., Biden for supporting the Iraq War; Harris for being tough on crime) or they would be running from the records if they had any decency (e.g., Biden who invented “borking” and the politicization of the Supreme Court; Harris presiding over grossly unconstitutional prosecutorial misconduct).
Trump, for all his boasting and bombast, his wheeling and dealing as a developer, his bankruptcies and phoenix-like recoveries, is a man of tremendous accomplishments. Before he was president, he did things: he managed budgets, met deadlines, negotiated deals, entertained people, and created vast amounts of wealth for himself and others. Since he’s been president, as I noted in brief above and spelled out at greater length below, he’s supercharged the economy; worked to secure our borders; bolstered our allies; worked to undercut China’s economic, national security, and technological attacks on America; supported the Second Amendment, and generally been the most successful conservative president in American history.
If you’re an ostensibly conservative but allow his personality to blind you to his accomplishments, please admit that you’re not really a conservative. And if your hatred of Trump leads you to throw your weight to that bunch of nonentities cluttering Democrat primary ballots, just own up to the fact that you’re a Leftist.
As for those people who are not very politically engaged, I suggest you go with a proven winner. Looked at objectively, without the noise and the personality parade, the Dem candidates are, as I said nonentities, as well as being hypocrites and largely ineffectual politicians. Moreover, I would argue that, in Bernie’s case, he is a genuinely evil man who managed to live through the Cold War without ever acknowledging the 100 million or so deaths communism caused in his lifetime. That’s evil. The others are just various shades of Red with the front-runners – Biden, Harris, and Warren – invariably behaving in ways inconsistent with the policies they wish to foist on the rest of us.
ADDENDUM: CANDIDATE INFORMATION
Joe Biden’s quickie bio:
Graduated from college with a BA in history and poly sci.
Was accused of plagiarism at Syracuse University Law School.
Practiced law briefly as a public defender and then went into private practice.
Won his first local political office, for county councilor, one year after graduating from law school, while continuing his private practice.
Four years after graduating from law school, through a series of flukes, he become a U.S. Senator for Delaware. He spent the next 36 years in the Senate, leaving only when Obama needed a Veep who wouldn’t threaten him.
Ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 and 2008. His 1988 campaign was damaged when he plagiarized a British politician’s speech.
What Joe Biden has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Opposed federal busing legislation.
Helped pass the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which saw large numbers of black men imprisoned.
Sought arms control during the Cold War.
Took the lead in borking Robert Bork and hi-tech lynching Clarence Thomas.
Spearheaded the 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban”.
While on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took the lead in ceding American power to international organizations such as NATO and the UN.
Supporter bombing the Balkans.
Opposed the first Gulf War.
Supported initiating both the Second Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan before turning against the former, to the point at which he opposed the successful Surge, after which he supported the devastating total withdrawal that paved the way for ISIS.
Took the lead on the Violence Against Women Act, giving federal civil remedies to women on the receiving end of gender-motivated crime. Biden considers it “the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate.” Fortunately for Biden, the act did not cover pawing or nuzzling women and little girls.
Elizabeth Warren’s quickie bio:
Grew up as a financially insecure middle-class white girl in Oklahoma.
Got a B.S. degree from the University of Houston in speech pathology and audiology.
Attended Rutgers Law School, and did it while raising one child and pregnant with another, something that deserves kudos.
Lecturer at Rutgers Law School.
Associate Dean at the University of Houston Law Center.
Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, which is where I admit to my bias against her: I took Warren for banking law. While I’d admit that I was a slightly clueless student, she was a horrible teacher. She never finished one thought before going on to the next one. She also did something I’ve always found unforgivable, which was lying about what would be on the test. I earned a decent grade in the class, so this is not sour grapes on my part. I just genuinely dislike her.
Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Professor at Harvard Law School, which was under the mistaken impression that it was hiring a Native American woman — something it did because she formally identified as a native American woman.
What Warren has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Irked Native Americans by stealing their identity for professional advancement.
Made her fame with the insight that middle-class people bought expensive houses to be in good school districts, overextending their finances and driving up housing prices. This was the same type of brilliant scholarship that, back in the 1970s, saw impressive academic articles saying mother’s milk is good for children or the sun rises in the east.
Despite her anti-rich rhetoric is a mult-millionaire, having made much of her money teaching minimal classes, flipping foreclosed houses, and giving expensive advice to corporations.
Took the lead on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency intended to govern the entire American financial sector without any oversight from any of the constitutional branches of government.
Became both famous and infamous for assuring Americans that anyone who made it did so only because of socialist government programs and had a duty to yield to government demands that it return a chunk of that money to the system.
Introduced an unsuccessful bill that would have forced banks to give students the same lending rate that the banks paid to the federal government for use of those funds.
On a lot of committees, makes a lot of speeches, raised a lot of money, but other than the CFPB, has not accomplished anything while in government.
Bernie Sanders’s quickie bio:
Graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in poly sci.
Went straight to communism while in college and never left it.
Had short stints in the late 1960s as a Head Start teacher, psychiatric aide, and carpenter.
Entered politics in the early 1970s, trying to become a Vermont governor or U.S. Senator on behalf of the “Liberty Union” anti-war party.
Honeymooned in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.
Became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1981 to 1989.
Served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007.
Served in the Senate from 2007 through to the present.
Is a millionaire, thanks to book sales, and he and his wife own three houses.
What Bernie has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Used his platform as the mayor of a small town in Vermont to opine on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.
Hosted a Noam Chomskey speech in Burlington.
Reduced cable TV rates.
Improved Burlington’s Lake Champlain waterfront.
Collaborated with 30 Vermont musicians to record a folk album.
In 1987, U.S. News and World Report ranked him as one of America’s best mayors. The potted Wikipedia bio makes it unclear if Burlington did well because of or in spite of Bernie.
Opposed the Brady Bill and, indeed, was generally against gun control until he recently became for gun control.
Voted for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that removed so many men from America’s black communities.
Opposed the Patriot Act.
Voted against both the first and second Iraq Wars.
The he sponsored two successful bills while in the House: one to designate a postal building and other for a veterans’ compensation cost adjustment.
He is hostile to Israel, although many of his relatives died in the Holocaust, and just accepted the endorsement of Linda Sarsour, an open anti-Semite.
Kamala Harris’s quickie bio:
Born into an upper-middle-class family. Like Barack Obama, while she is partially black, hers is not the American black experience.
Lived and was educated in Quebec during her middle and high school years.
Attended Howard University, receiving a BA in poly sci and econ.
Got her J.D. from UC Hastings in San Francisco.
Worked as a deputy DA in Alameda County, specializing in child abuse cases.
Started in politics when her boyfriend Willie Brown, then the California Assembly Speaker, threw two political sinecures her way, netting her large salaries for little work. I like to say that she’s the politician who slept her way to the middle.
Became an Assistant DA in San Francisco, quitting eight months later because of personnel problems in the office.
Returned to City Hall, this time running the Family and Children’s Services Division in the City Attorney’s Office.
Successfully ran for City Attorney, although she was found guilty of violating an agreed-upon campaign spending limit of $211,000 by nearly $100,000. Kamala eventually spent almost $625,000 to win the election.
Re-elected when she ran unopposed.
Elected as California State Attorney General.
Elected as a US Senator.
What Kamala has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Refused to seek the death penalty when a police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty, infuriating the entire police department and (of all people) Dianne Feinstein.
During her tenure as San Francisco’s District Attorney, the felony conviction rate rose significantly. She’s trying now to run from this record, especially because, as Tulsi Gabbard pointed out, her office engaged in criminally unconstitutional prosecutorial conduct.
Worked to prevent hate crimes against LGBT children in San Francisco and supported same-sex marriage.
Successfully introduced a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights in the California legislature.
At Loretta Lynch’s urging, brought criminal charges against pro-Life activists who used secret recordings exposing the fact that Planned Parenthood outlets were illegally selling fetal body parts.
Argued against changes to address overcrowding in the California prison system, overcrowding so severe that the US Supreme Court called it cruel and unusual punishment. Was accused of using prisoners as slave labor, especially for fighting wildfires.
Opposed sex reassignment surgery for a mentally ill man in prison, a sensible stand but one that has offended many in the LGBT community.
Since entering the Senate, she’s opposed Trump and run for president.
Cory Booker’s quickie bio:
Born into an upper-middle-class Newark family.
Attended Stanford, receiving a BA in poly sci and an MA in sociology.
Awarded a Rhodes Scholar and studied U.S. history at Oxford, earning an honors degree.
Obtained a J.D. from Yale Law.
After graduating from law school, worked for less than a year in two left-leaning pro bona legal organizations.
Within a year of graduating from law school, won a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark.
After four years on the Municipal Council ran for mayor of Newark.
Four years later, in 2010, ran for reelection as mayor of Newark and won again.
Cut short his mayoral career to enter the U.S. Senate, via a victory he won in a special election in 2013, after incumbent Frank Lautenberg died unexpectedly.
In 2014, won the senatorial seat in the regular election.
Is now running for president.
What Booker has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Crime dropped during his first two years as mayor, but rose significantly thereafter.
Trimmed the city budget a little.
Talked Mark Zuckerberg into giving $100 million to the Newark public school system. A Leftist authoried book, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, revealed that graft and waste ate through the money with minimal benefits for students.
During his second term, Booker helped get a woman out of a burning house.
During his mayoralty, the Newark Watershed, which supplies water to municipalities in northern New Jersey was found to be corrupt.
In Congress, co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would primarily have benefited the LGBT community.
Co-sponsored Bob Menendez’s failed Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, calling for tougher sanctions against Iran.
Co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act, a failed initiative to recognize same-sex marriage.
Pledged to oppose all of Donald Trump’s nominees for administrative jobs, without regard to their qualifications, just because…
Co-sponsored an unsuccessful act making it a federal crime to boycott Israel if protesting actions by the Israeli government.
Sought to legalize marijuana at the federal level.
Called himself Spartacus for publishing documents that had already been produced to the public.
Pete Buttigieg’s quickie bio:
Gay and married.
Considers himself a scholar of woke Christianity.
Attended Harvard and received a BA in history and literature.
Got a Rhodes scholarship, which led him to a First Class BA degree from Oxford in philosophy, politics, and economics.
Worked as an intern at a local TV news station.
Before heading to Oxford, worked as a “conference director” for former Defense Secretary William Cohen.
Became an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Spent 7 months in Afghanistan as a naval intelligence officer, although a lot of his work was driving people around (albeit in neighborhoods as dangerous as inner city South Bend or Chicago).
Became mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and is now in his second term.
What Buttigieg has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Demoted South Bend’s first black police chief and then reappointed him. These and other personnel decision cost the already cash-strapped city $800,000 in out-of-court settlements.
Successfully repaired or demolished 1,000 blighted properties in South Bend.
Led the initiative to fix traffic in South Bend.
Led the initiative to have a nightly laser light display in South Bend.
Attended Stanford, receiving a BA in poly sci and communications. Admitted that he got in due to affirmative action.
Attended Harvard Law.
Worked for a major Democrat donor law firm after graduation.
Within one year of graduation from law school, elected to the San Antonio City Council.
Ran for mayor four years later and, when he lost, set up his own law practice.
Ran for mayor again four years later and won the election.
During the Obama administration, became Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
What Castro has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Created SA 2020, “a community-wide visioning effort.”.
Expanded San Antonio pre-K education through a sales tax increase.
Delivered a keynote address at the DNC convention in 2012.
In a memo he wrote when he left HUD, he identified his own accomplishments as stabilizing the housing market, rebuilding communities hurt by national disasters (helped with $1 billion in taxpayer funds), and helping to further lead safety protections in government housing.
Amy Klobuchar’s quickie bio:
Received a BA in poly sci from Yale.
Attended the University of Chicago Law School, and was on the Law Review.
Worked as a corporate lawyer in Minnesota for thirteen years before getting elected as Hennepin County attorney, a position to which she was reelected.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and reelected in 2012 and 2018.
What Klobuchar has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
According to a 2016 “Medill on the Hill” article, in the previous two years, Klobuchar passed the most bills that became laws. None of them seem to have been important laws. Without reading more, I get the feeling that she attached herself to easy issues.
Fully supported Russiagate.
Was exposed as the boss from Hell who abused and humiliated her employees, resulting in the highest staff turnover in Congress.
Robert Francis O’Rourke’s quickie bio:
Comes from a rich, connected El Paso, Texas, family.
As a teenager, belonged to a computer hacker group called Cult of the Dead Cow, which resulted in his engaging in felonious conduct. He also wrote creepy things for the group about sex and violence.
Attended Columbia University, earning a BA in English lit.
Was arrested when he was 23 for trespassing at a University of Texas El Paso physical plant.
Was arrested when he was 26 for drunk driving. The arrest occurred after he hit another car and then tried to flee the scene.
Tried to be a rock musician.
Worked as a live-in caretaker and art mover, before his uncle hired him to work as the uncle’s internet service provider.
Worked as a proofreader.
Worked at his mom’s furniture store while living in an apartment building his father owned.
Opened an internet services and software company using a loan his father took out for him. His mom was his first client.
In 2005, married a billionaire’s daughter.
Served on the El Paso City Council.
In 2012, was elected to the House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 2014 and 2016.
Resigned from the House to run unsuccessfully for the Texas Senate in 2018.
What O’Rourke has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Supported redevelopment of a depressed area in El Paso, which never came to fruition.
Opposed the War on Drugs while on the El Paso Council.
Co-sponsored a bill to improve training for customs officers and agents and require special reports on use of force.
Helped pass a bill that, in relevant part, created public-private partnerships to lower wait times at ports of entry on America’s southern border.
Refused to support funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, saying in part that the U.S. has just been too good to Israel, which was actually bad for Israel.
Andrew Yang’s quickie bio:
Born to highly educated, well-paid immigrants from Taiwan.
Got bullied at public schools (who hasn’t?).
Attended Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the most elite boarding schools in America.
Attended Brown University, graduating with a BA in economics.
Attended Columbia Law School.
Worked as a lawyer and a test prep instructor.
What Yang has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Created a start-up aimed at funding entrepreneurs by trolling college graduates for future stars.
Tulsi Gabbard’s quickie bio:
Born in American Samoa and raised in Hawaii.
Home schooled through high school, except for two years at a Christian Missionary Academy.
Graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a BS in Business Administration.
In 2003, while already a member of Hawaii’s legislature, joined the Hawaii Army National Guard.
Spent one year serving in Iraq as a specialist for a medical company.
Attended Officer Candidate School, graduating as her classes “distinguished honors graduate,” becoming a second lieutenant and assigned to be a military police officer.
Served in Kuwait for a year helping to train the Kuwait National Guard, receiving an honor for her outstanding work. Currently holds that rank of major.
Elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives.
Elected to the Honolulu City Council.
Elected to the House of Representatives, in which she still serves.
What Gabbard has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
As noted above, served in the military.
While on the Honolulu city council, worked to help loosen parking restrictions for food truck vendors and authored and passed a bill allowing city workers to seize personal belongings stored on city property (after 24 hours’ notice).
While in the House, introduced and got passed a law improving airport security screenings for severely wounded veterans.
Introduced and got passed a law to give the Congressional Medal of Honor to Filipino and Filipino-American veterans of WWII.
Introduced and got passed a law to help prevent child abuse and neglect on military bases.
Introduced a bill to return American elections to paper ballots to prevent fraud and foreign election interference.
Marianne Williamson’s quickie bio:
Upper middle class Jewish girl from Houston.
Studied theater and philosophy at Pomona College for two years before dropping out of college, burned out by anti-war protests during the Vietnam era and by general existential despair.
Read Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles, a book all about spiritual transformation. Schucman claimed that Jesus’s voice dictated the book to her.
Inspired by Schucman’s book, Williamson became a professional New Age guru, teaching classes, writing books, and ministering to New Age congregations.
What Williamson has accomplished or failed to accomplish:
Oprah likes her.
Net worth of is estimated at being between $957,000 and $4.5 million.
Created Project Angel Food to support people with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.
Co-founded the non-profit Global Renaissance Alliance, set up to create a network of “citizen salons” around the world that would pray for national growth, peace, and Leftist causes.
Pre-White House Trump bio (gleaned from a very hostile Wikipedia article):
Born into an affluent family to a real-estate developer father.
Graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics.
Avoided serving in the Vietnam War, whether by legitimate or illegitimate means.
Avoids all alcohol and recreational drugs, loves fast food, and need only 3-4 hours of sleep per night.
After working for his family business, Trump launched his Manhattan real estate business with a $70,000,000 loan that his father and the Hyatt hotel chain jointly guaranteed.
Was the first major developer to hire a woman to manage a large commercial development project.
Developed vast, high-end commercial properties across Manhattan which, along with his flamboyant personality, made him one of the world’s most famous people.
Began developing properties all over the Eastern Seaboard and around the world.
Famous for being aggressive about land grabs, pushing regulations, and bullying people.
Famous for dumping bad projects, while usually managing to retain some profit as well as his name on the project.
Strategically used bankruptcy to regroup and recoup his wealth.
Respected for bringing projects in on time and, often, under budget.
Wrote (or co-wrote or didn’t write) a best-selling book called Trump : The Art of the Deal.
Furthered his brand working with World Wrestling Entertainment.
With The Apprentice, created and worked on the most popular reality show in television history.
Without ever having run for office before, won the presidency on his first try, against a crowded, experienced field, against the woman whom the establishment had anointed as the next president, and despite an attempted Obama / Deep State coup to destroy his candidacy or wipe out his presidency.
• Almost 4 million jobs created since election.
• More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
• We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
• Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
• Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
• New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
• Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
• African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
• Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
• Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
• Under my Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
• Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
• Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.
• Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
• Record number of regulations eliminated.
• Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
• Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.
• Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to our efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
• We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
• Signed Right-To-Try legislation.
• Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
• Increased our coal exports by 60 percent; U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high.
• United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
• Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
• Cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
• Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
• NATO allies are spending $69 billion more on defense since 2016.
• Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
• Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
• Withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran Deal.
• Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
• Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
• Concluded a historic U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal to replace NAFTA. And negotiations with Canada are underway as we speak.
• Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
• Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
• Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
• Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.
• Improved vetting and screening for refugees, and switched focus to overseas resettlement.
• We have begun BUILDING THE WALL. Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.
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