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Tuesday 20 December 2016
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: Larry Kudlow, CNBC senior advisor; & Cumulus Media radio
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Whalen, Hoover, in re: [market conditions; almost 20,000; commodities cheaper, etc.] Pres Obama has waged a war on business: attacked, criticized, insulted, made jokes. Worst sector of our economy is business investment. New incoming idea: business helps, not harms, society. Scott Pruitt for EPA? Dems: s0me want to wage war on the Trump Adm – Warren, Sanders; others, think Trump isn’t ideologically rooted so will play ball; a third crew who . . . A Dem who’ll be civil? Yes: Joe Manchin and Claire _____. Note that in the Serengeti, lions pursue the slowest prey.
Mnuchin rescued a big S&L, bad condition, had to operate on it: some people saved their jobs and many mortgages continued, instead of total wipe-out. . . . Watch Corey Booker.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block B: Bill Whalen, Hoover, in re: Trump wants to establish a bee-yoo-tiful environment for entrepreneurial development, infrastructure repair, et al. Roads, bridges, urban mass transit: make sure local taxpayers have a say! Also, highest union wage needn’t be the prevailing wage. Refineries, LNG, electric grids – all will be paid for 100% by private companies; need to lift certain regulatory positions to let these develop. Trump wants private capital to develop the economy, not to [vampirize] the federal kitty.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block C: Dennis Berman, WSJ financial editor, in re: MARKETS: Dollar Sets Fresh 14-Year-High, by Chelsey Dulaney. Strong dollar is good, but not entirely. Imports happy – I’m sure you have a collection of Mercedeses and eat a lot of Swiss chocolate. One point: speed of adjustment – king dollar holds inflation rate down and attracts overseas investment. But: Volcker – need rules-based monetary policy and currency coordination.. Avoid beggar-thy-neighbor. Haven’t tried this since Bretton Woods, seventy years on. China spending tens of billions monthly to keep the yuan stable (selling a trillion of their forex reserves) – it's at a multiyear low now. Trouble there cd create second-order effects across Asia and domestic instability. Bretton Woods has lasted from ’45 till Nixon broke it in ’76. Can set markers, guidelines, zones. At least we know what the playing field is and where the goal posts are – which we don't right now.
Can we truly have a free trading relationship with partners around the world? Or Tariffs? . . . I’m not speaking for Mr Trump; I believe his rhetoric is tough, he’d like to make a deal. He holds that trade has to be fair was well as free. They endlessly steal IP and put taxes/fees/tariffs every which way. Why do US mfrs have to enter into abusive trade relations? Certainly not fair to Americans. China has recently regressed anent free trade. The regions/localities have been given free rein to [suck up money] from Americans. They have a [goods] overhang. Propping up their bond mkt, currency, shuffling bank debt around to keep the ball in the air. How long can they hang on as the dollar strengthens? They’re faking it to make it. SOEs (state-owned enterprises ) are political patronage and other undesirables.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block D: Larry Kudlow, CNBC, et al., in re: Dodd-Frank – repeal or amend. CFPB is a rogue regulator, run by one solitary person, Cordray; not evn funded by Congress, but by the Federal Reserve System!
Overhaul CFPB (censorious); ability-to-repay rule: pushes small banks out of mortgages; reform Basel III; punishes banks for businesses they serve. Paperwork alone . . . I'd lie tto see higher capital ratios, in exchange reduce regulatory burdens. 1971 banks have just disappeared: shrinkage pf total volume of banks – at the top and middle, and esp at the bottom. Capital adequacy is essential. Btw, Dodd-Frank does not solve too-bg-to-fail.
Early next year lawmakers can rectify that with a few steps:
• Overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Have its director, Richard Cordray, share his authority with a board (as is the case of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Humility and common sense might soon return.
• Reform the Ability to Repay Rule, which puts banks in a straitjacket on home loans. The rule requires that in a “qualified mortgage” the monthly payment may not exceed 43% of the borrower’s monthly income. This makes buying a home more difficult for low-income families, as well as the snow birds of Florida who have assets but pinched retirement incomes. The rule also bans helpful assists to home purchasers. Buyers are no longer allowed to have a cosigner or pledge collateral to assure the loan’s closing, as I was able to do when I bought my first house decades ago.
• Reform the Basel III requirements. These international rules, for the last eight years, have mandated higher capital requirements—two and one half the capital—to permit banks to service their customers’ mortgages. Few banks do it any more. But rules set for European banks should not block American ones from serving their customers. Many community banks have fled mortgage servicing because of these onerous rules.
• Stop the Justice Department from targeting banks based on the businesses they serve. The department’s “Operation Choke Point” encourages banks to dump non-favored customers (i.e., firearms dealers, ammunition sellers, Payday lenders, fireworks sellers).
When I went to the Justice Department once to confront them on behalf of the industry—I am an alum and I wanted them to know that what they were doing was outrageous—no one in the room was a legislator or a judge. I asked by what authority they could crack down on banks that provide services to these legal businesses. Everyone looked at his feet. Banks should not be bullied by out-of-control prosecutors simply for serving lawful customers.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block A: Stephen F. Cohen, Prof. Emeritus of Russian Studies/History/Politics at NYU and Princeton; also Board of American Committee for East-West Accord (eastwestaccord.com); in re: [Tricky historical moment.]Do d has said for years that Russia is the No 1 existential threat to the US. Ergo, DoD thinks not terrorism but Putin is what we have to fear the most. Political pornography. DoD holds that Putin is a war criminal and despoiled US elections. Both are either false or lacking evidentiary basis. I find this is more dangerous than what happened to the poor ambassador in Ankara. John McCain and Lindsay Graham. DoD will try to make Trump’s detente with Putin impossible; also aver that Putin is committing war crimes, and thus improper for us to work with, Wolens nolens, under today’s geopolitical situation, the road to genuine US national security runs through Moscow.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block B: Stephen F. Cohen, Prof. Emeritus of Russian Studies/History/Politics at NYU and Princeton; also Board of American Committee for East-West Accord (eastwestaccord.com); in re: Tales of the New Cold War: War-Criminalizing Putin & Final Smearing by the Obama Administration.
“…Dennis Ross, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who was an adviser on Iran and the Middle East to both Democratic and Republican administrations, said the United States had made itself "irrelevant" in Syria.
"The opposition finds little reason to be responsive to us and Assad. The Russians and Iran know that there is nothing we will do to raise the costs to them of their onslaught against Aleppo and other Syrian cities," Ross said.
"Russia, having changed the balance of power on the ground, without regard to civilian consequences, has moved to make itself an arbiter."
A spokesman for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed suggestions that America's absence from the meeting indicated a change in influence.
"The secretary doesn't see this as a snub at all. He sees it as another multilateral effort to try to get a lasting peace in Syria and he welcomes any progress towards that," State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday.
"We would obviously refute any notion that ... the fact that we weren't at this one meeting is somehow a harbinger or a litmus test for U.S. influence and leadership there or anywhere else around the world," Kirby said, adding that Washington was still engaged in the region on many other issues….” http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUKKBN1492RZ?il=0 ; http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/don-cry-russia-slain-envoy-putin-lackey-article-1.2917281
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block C: Stephen F. Cohen, Prof. Emeritus of Russian Studies/History/Politics at NYU and Princeton; also Board of American Committee for East-West Accord (eastwestaccord.com); in re: WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting bipartisan calls for a special committee to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election, which American intelligence says was aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The likely meddling by Russia “is a serious issue, but it doesn’t require a select committee,” said McConnell, R-Ky. The Senate intelligence committee is able to investigate the matter, he added.
CIA Director John Brennan has said the intelligence community is in agreement that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, although there’s no evidence Moscow succeeded in helping Trump win.
“There’s no question that the Russians were messing around in our election,” McConnell told Kentucky Educational Television on Monday night. “It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated.”
Still, McConnell said the issue should be investigated in “regular order” by the Senate intelligence panel, which is “fully capable of handling this.”
McConnell’s comments put him at odds with Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans who have joined with incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in calling for a special committee to investigate efforts by Russia, China and Iran to interfere in U.S. elections.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/dec/20/berlin-christmas-market-attack-suspect-pakistan-live-cove ; rage?page=with:block-585943b4e4b06265ff0d50e5#block-585943b4e4b06265ff0d50e5
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block D: Stephen F. Cohen, Prof. Emeritus of Russian Studies/History/Politics at NYU and Princeton; also Board of American Committee for East-West Accord (eastwestaccord.com) (4 of 4)
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block A: Dr Lara M Brown, Georgeown, in re: Democrats Need to Reach Out to the Heartland In the aftermath of their sorry performance on Election Day, they are blaming everyone but themselves. by: Charlie Cook
If Democrats want to keep blaming others for their sorry performance on Election Day, they’re obviously free to do so. Yes, they were hurt by the disclosure of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, claims that the Clinton Foundation was a “pay-to-play” operation, and even fake news. Yes, if FBI Director James Comey hadn’t reopened the Clinton email investigation, the voting needle might have moved in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and possibly Pennsylvania. Yes, Russia’s email hacks might have dented Democrats’ support.
But to simply blame these things is a form of denial. Democrats may see Donald Trump as a horrific freak of nature, but the fact remains that he received 63 million votes—2 million more than Mitt Romney in 2012 and 3 million more than John McCain in 2008. While Democrats can blame gerrymandering for their failure to win a House majority, figures compiled by Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman show that Republicans beat Democrats in the national House popular vote, 63,153,387 (49.1 percent) to 61,776,218 (48.0 percent), with independent or other-party candidates pulling another 3,682,600.
Increasingly Democrats are becoming a party of urban areas, college towns, minority voters, and the East and West Coasts. The heartland, often derided by Democrats as “flyover country,” is now becoming a no-fly zone for the party. Wasserman figures that while President Obama won 690 (22 percent) of the nation’s 3,113 counties, Clinton carried just 487 (16 percent). Every single Senate election in 2016 was won by the same party that prevailed in the presidential race in that state. The adage that “I vote for the person, not the party” has never been less true than today.
Simply put, Democrats need to expand their sensitivity-training courses to include people who live in small-town and rural America—middle-class white voters, people who live paycheck to paycheck, and whites who attend church at least once a week. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition of voters is now officially dead. Democrats were losing these voters before Donald Trump came along and will continue to do so beyond his presidency unless they show genuine concern for these constituencies. To be sure, the country is changing and becoming more diverse, but it is not doing so at the same pace everywhere. Democrats are running up the score in places that do not help them win majorities in the House, Senate, and Electoral College.
An analysis by Tyler Fisher and Alyson Hurt for NPR found that Trump won 70.6 percent of the vote from rural counties and places with populations under 2,500 that were not near metro areas, compared to 25.1 percent for Clinton. Trump won 66.1 percent of the vote in small counties that were near metro areas (Clinton 30.1 percent), 65.8 percent in counties with populations between 2,500 and 19,999 not near metro areas (Clinton 29.4 percent), and 66.3 percent in similarly-sized counties near metro areas (Clinton 29.5 percent).
While many Democrats and journalists are busy reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (I personally find the title offensive), far more can be learned from The Politics of Resentment by University of Wisconsin political science professor Katherine Cramer. It is the product of nine years of interviewing rural Wisconsin voters to learn about their anxiety, fears, and resentment of urban America and its elites.
If any Republican candidate in modern history should have done badly with white churchgoers, it was Donald Trump. And yet, exit polls show that Trump carried the 26 percent of the white electorate who consider themselves evangelical or born-again voters by a 65-point margin, 81 to 16 percent. Among the 33 percent of voters of all races who attend church at least once a week, Trump won by 16 points, 56 to 40 percent, and among those who go at least monthly, Trump won by 12 points, 54 to 42 percent. Democrats can take solace in winning people who say they never go to church by 31 points, 62 to 31 percent, but they will be distressed to learn that this group makes up just 22 percent of the electorate.
Democrats worried about their poor showing among churchgoers would be well-advised to read God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It by Sojourners president Jim Wallis, whom I would describe as a liberal evangelical. Wallis argues that conservatives have no corner on religion in general or Christianity in particular, but that Democrats are increasingly becoming a secular party while Republicans are becoming the party of people of faith.
In short, Democrats need to get over Donald Trump and the specifics of what happened in 2016 and begin to think about how, in their rush into America’s future, they left behind a large number of voters who are still very much here, right now. To malign these people as bigots, racists, and misogynists ignores the fact that some actually voted for President Obama at least once, have voted for women in previous elections, or have voted for Democrats in the not-so-distant past.
Ironically, in Clinton’s inartful but memorable “basket of deplorables” talk at an LGBT Gala for Hillary in September, she alienated many of these people in the first half of her speech while squarely addressing many others in the largely overlooked second part of her remarks. As reported by PolitiFact, she said:
“But the other basket—and I know this because I see friends from all over America here … people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different—they won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
The aftermaths of elections are filled with “what ifs.” What if Hillary Clinton had omitted the section of the speech on the basket of deplorables? What if Democrats take to heart the paragraph quoted above? It would certainly be a good way to get back in touch with the heartland.
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block B: Simon Constable, author; in re: Forbes: 6 Reasons Trump Should Abolish Corporate Income Tax http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonconstable/2016/12/19/6-reasons-trump-should-abolish-corporate-income-tax/#5f2bcac02bc4
TheStreet: Who Picked Trump? Mrs. White, in the Kitchen, Sorting Bills: The Economy, Stupid https://www.thestreet.com/story/13923609/1/who-picked-trump-mrs-white-in-the-kitchen-sorting-bills-the-economy-stupid.html
Forbes: Theme for 2016 -- Hypocrisy in Economics http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonconstable/2016/12/15/theme-for-2016-hypocrisy-in-economics/#341d0b625387
Forbes: Unskilled Manufacturing Jobs Aren't Coming Back -- They Never Existed http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonconstable/2016/12/05/unskilled-manufacturing-jobs-arent-coming-back-they-never-existed/#68f0198a563b
U.S. News: What Italy's Big Vote Means for Investors http://money.usnews.com/investing/articles/2016-12-13/what-italys-big-vote-means-for-investors
AND in glorious monochrome -- Outside on the Street / Video: America's Forgotten Workers http://simonjconstable.blogspot.com/2016/12/video-americas-forgotten-workers.html
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block C: Franz Bairlein, Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven; in re: Summary: The populations of migratory bird species that breed in Europe and overwinter in sub-Saharan Africa are declining considerably faster than those of nonmigratory resident species or of migratory species that overwinter in Europe (1). Likely factors are habitat changes due to changes in land use, illegal killing and taking along the northern African coasts, and climate-induced changes in timing of migration and breeding. However, not only European trans-Saharan migrants are declining fast. This holds also for North American long-distance migrants wintering in Central and South America. To halt these declines, preservation of remaining habitats and restoration of habitats both at breeding and nonbreeding grounds is essential, as well as stopping illegal killing and taking of birds along their migration routes. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6312/547
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block D: Franz Bairlein, Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven; in re: Summary: The populations of migratory bird species that breed in Europe and overwinter in sub-Saharan Africa are declining considerably faster than those of nonmigratory resident species (2 of 2)
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block A: Somini Sengupta, New York Times UN correspondent; in re: Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans on to a ‘Road on Fire’ The men and boys on the migrant trail out of countries like Niger and Mali say fickle rains and hotter days leave them no option but to risk their lives to gain a livelihood . . . (1 of 2)
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block B: Somini Sengupta, New York Times UN correspondent; in re: Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans on to a ‘Road on Fire’ (2 of 2)
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block C: Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack.com, in re: Pressure on Trump to shift NASA transistion team towards private space The competition heats up: Several of Trump’s most listened-to advisers are trying to convince him to put more commercial space advocates on his NASA transition team. The appointments, which are expected to be announced shortly, partly reflect Mr. Thiel’s influence, the people said. The billionaire investor, who is Mr. Trump’s most prominent Silicon Valley supporter, is among more than two dozen people on the executive council overseeing the government-wide transition.
Along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Republican Congressman Robert Walker—two other champions of commercial space endeavors—Mr. Thiel has argued forcefully inside the transition that the original team sent to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was skewed toward appointees closely identified with legacy space projects run by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the people said. This is good news. While my previous post, The squealing of pigs, focused on Trump’s environmental policy at NASA and elsewhere, his approach to commercial space remains unclear. These changes will help move his administration away from the pork of SLS and toward the competitive commercial space sector.
Let me add that this story reaffirms my belief that the best way to get Trump to shift to the right is to surround him with conservatives. Interestingly, it appears that Trump himself has chosen to do this. His first instincts might not be conservative, but he apparently is quite willing to take the advice of those who instincts are. (1 of 2)
Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block D: Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack.com, in re: Pressure on Trump to shift NASA transistion team towards private space (2 of 2)
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