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Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:57:08 -0600

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Trump's Military-Heavy Picks for Top Posts Stir Debate391818

2016/12Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:56:57 -0600

President-elect Donald Trump has recruited a team of former generals to serve as Cabinet secretaries and advisers in his administration, with more such appointments and nominations potentially to come — raising the prospect of a White House subject to heavy military influence. Trump this week reportedly tapped retired Gen. John Kelly, a former Marine, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, which would mark his third pick of an ex-general for a key post. Trump also rolled out his selection this week of retired Gen. James Mattis, also once a Marine, for secretary of Defense....


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Why Not 100-Year U.S. Treasury Bonds?42151

2016/12Sat, 10 Dec 2016 05:30:51 -0600

If President-elect Donald Trump’s economic growth plan -- slashing business and personal marginal tax rates and rolling back costly business regulations -- is achieved next year, the economy could break out with 4 to 5 percent growth. And that means much higher interest rates. This rate rise will be growth-induced, a good thing. Higher real capital returns will drive up real interest rates. And inflation will likely remain minimal, around 2 percent, with more money chasing even more goods alongside a reliably stable dollar-exchange rate. We’re already seeing some of this with the...


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Two Patriots in the Crucible of December 1941392251

2016/12Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:55:13 -0600

Jay Dawley graduated from West Point in 1939, having entered the military academy four years earlier. It was prescient, as his family knew that war was coming. “My father was pretty certain of it and he said, ‘I’ll send you to any college in the country, but I think that West Point would be a good choice,’” Dawley reported to me three years ago. Of course, he noted, having an uncle in Congress -- Sen. Stephen Young -- helped give him a perspective on the greater world. Dawley excelled at the Point, graduating No. 2 in his class. Franklin Roosevelt addressed the...


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Global Alert: A 2016 Transition Recap for Readers Abroad392275

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:11:06 -0600

More generals and more Goldman Sachs. President-elect Donald Trump reportedly has settled on Gen. John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, which would make the retired Marine Corps officer the third member of the nation’s military brass tapped to serve at the highest levels of his administration. Even before the story leaked this week, concerns had been expressed on Capitol Hill that the Trump administration will be top-heavy with officials who cut their teeth in American politics as military commanders. “I’m concerned,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democratic member...


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Puzder: I Will Fiercely Defend American Workers as Secretary of Labor392260

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:07:11 -0600

President-Elect Donald Trump announced on Thursday he intends to nominate fast-food executive Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary. Today, Puzder released the following statement on American workers, immigration, and his plans for the Labor Department: "My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders. My job as the Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers – that is my moral and constitutional duty. The public spoke loud and clear in this election, and delivered a mandate to protect American workers. It makes no economic...


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Lies, Liars and the Press392127

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:48:54 -0600

On September 11, 2016, Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her campaign vigorously denied republican claims Clinton was ill. The press ridiculed republicans for suggesting it, calling them conspiracy theorists. Shortly thereafter, a video appeared showing Clinton collapsing. Secret Service agents caught her and helped her into a van. Republicans took it as confirmation Clinton had a health problem. Undaunted, Justin Miller of the Daily Beast tweeted, "Trump and the right have so traduced Clinton's health that coughing or getting too hot is made out to be signs of illness."...


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The Future of Racial Politics392061

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:59:32 -0600

Analysis From its inception, the American experiment has been dogged by racial issues. Sadly, this was even truer this year. Eight years after electing the first African-American president, not only are race relations getting worse, according to surveys, but the electorate remains as ethnically divided as in any time of recent history. Donald Trump has emerged in most media accounts as the candidate of Anglo voters, with a margin of 21 percentage points over Hillary Clinton among that segment of the electorate. Clinton’s embrace of “identity” politics may have played a role in...


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Reid's Farewell; Racial Politics; Trump Tax Plan; White House Wedding

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:47:06 -0600

Good morning. It’s Friday, December 9, 2016. John Glenn’s passing has prompted nostalgia for the 1960s, which evokes memories from the White House on this date in 1967. That day, a Saturday, President Lyndon Baines Johnson walked his daughter Lynda down the aisle in the East Room. Waiting for the president and his eldest daughter at the altar was a handsome 28-year-old U.S. Marine, who was scheduled for deployment to Vietnam in the spring. His name was Charles S. Robb. Luci Johnson, Lynda’s younger sister, had been married the previous year, and Lady Bird Johnson -- even...



Kellyanne Conway Plunges Into the Mommy Wars376366

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 04:22:18 -0600

WASHINGTON -- As if she didn't have enough on her hands with the president-elect, Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway has plunged full-force into a topic at least as emotionally charged: the Mommy Wars. Speaking at a Politico "Women Rule" event Wednesday, Conway cited her four young children as the reason for declining a White House job. "My children are 12, 12, 8 and 7, which is bad idea, bad idea, bad idea, bad idea for mom going inside," she said. "They have to come first and those are very fraught ages." When the possibility of an administration role came up in her talks with senior...


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Harry Reid, Dems' Dogged Senate Leader, Bids Farewell392095

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:21:11 -0600

For 77 minutes on Thursday morning, Sen. Harry Reid reflected on his life, family, hometown and career in Washington as he spoke for the final time on the Senate floor after 30 years in the chamber. Then, hours later, as his official Senate portrait was unveiled, Reid – the quiet but hard-nosed Democratic leader of the last decade – was honored with speeches from pre-eminent politicos from both sides of the aisle: Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reid’s successor, Sen. Chuck Schumer. Clinton,...


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Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?390831

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:51:13 -0600

The wailing and keening over the choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA appears to be a lead indicator of a coming revolution far beyond Reagan's. "Trump Taps Climate Skeptic For Top Environmental Post," said The Wall Street Journal. "Climate Change Denial," bawled a disbelieving New York Times, which urged the Senate to put Pruitt in a "dust bin." Clearly, though his victory was narrow, Donald Trump remains contemptuous of political correctness and defiant of liberal ideology. For environmentalism, as conservative scholar Robert Nisbet wrote in 1982, is more than...


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Obesity, Fatty Foods, Death and Science201019

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:41:44 -0600

Something is killing us -- beyond the fact that life itself is a terminal condition. This week brought news that the U.S. mortality rate overall has risen slightly since 2014. "It's a definite milestone in the wrong direction, and the concern a lot of us have is that it reflects largely the approximately three-decade-long epidemic of obesity," Stephen Sidney, a California research scientist, told The Wall Street Journal. Death rates rose for eight of the 10 leading causes, including heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory disease, injuries (including drug overdoses), diabetes, kidney...


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The Emerging Outlines of a Jekyll and Hyde Presidency388250

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:23:22 -0600

WASHINGTON -- What are we seeing in Donald Trump's presidential transition so far? The emerging outlines of a bipolar presidency. I'm not attempting a clinical diagnosis here. Maybe a better description is a Jekyll and Hyde administration. The president-elect is alternately making good choices (such as Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary) and horrible ones (Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development); sounding themes of national reconciliation and sounding crazed on Twitter; attempting magnanimity (opposing prosecution for his vanquished opponent, Hillary Clinton) and rubbing it in...


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Did Democrats Learn Anything From Their Attack on the Filibuster?369399

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:58:20 -0600

I won't lie. After reading the CNN piece titled "Senate Dems, powerless to stop Trump nominees, regret 'nuclear option' power play," I experienced some deeply satisfying schadenfreude. Feel free keep President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and those who implored Senate Democrats to blow up the filibuster a few years ago in your thoughts as President-elect Donald Trump names his Cabinet and judges. But be sure to remember how recklessness begets recklessness in Washington, D.C. "I do regret that," Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Democrat who voted to weaken the filibuster three years ago,...


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What Does It Take to Get a Police Officer Punished for Killing an Unarmed Black Man?369457

2016/12Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:35:59 -0600

WASHINGTON -- Watch the video. Walter Scott, unarmed and slow of foot, tries to run away. Police officer Michael Slager calmly fires five rounds into Scott's back. Later, Slager approaches Scott's body, not to give first aid but apparently to plant evidence of a struggle that never took place. Now tell me: How cheap is black life in these United States of America? A jury in North Charleston, South Carolina, could not agree that Slager committed a crime, forcing the judge in the case to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors quickly announced they will try Slager again. In the optimistic view, this...


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Union Gap; Nixon's Template; Fair-Minded Trade Debate; Honor in Defeat

2016/12Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:59:26 -0600

Good morning. It’s Thursday, December 8, 2016. With all due respect to Don McLean’s ode to his childhood and rock-and-roll’s own, the music never really dies. On this date in 1980, however, it certainly felt bleak when a musician and poet who dared to Imagine a better world -- and whose genius inspired us to believe it could really happen -- was felled on the streets of New York. As I wrote in this space five years ago, the idea that a deranged nobody with a cheap firearm can slay a giant is always a shock to the system, and it was one our nation had experienced before. It...



Democrats: From Temper Tantrum to Self-Delusion387281

2016/12Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:55:37 -0600

Hard to believe, but Hillary Clinton's campaign team thinks they lost because Donald Trump ignited America's inner bigot, which caused the KKK and Aryan Brotherhood members and sympathizers to show up in droves and vote Trump. Following Mitt Romney's 2012 defeat, Democrats and pundits predicted GOP defeats as far as the eye could see, because there aren't enough white voters for Republicans to win. But now the narrative is, "Trump won by appealing to white voters." Could they please pick one and stick to it? That's the takeaway from the Harvard quadrennial postmortem in which the two campaign...


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Hillary Clinton, Martyr of the Year385844

2016/12Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:12:46 -0600

Documentaries, plays and grand operas will be written about what was done to Hillary Clinton in the election of 2016. Some normal mistakes were mixed in with her many accomplishments, but there was nothing normal about her treatment by political foes and many of the respectable media alike. The gang-up on Clinton amounted to political torture, the likes of which will be remembered for generations. That makes Hillary Clinton the Martyr of the Year. Clinton entered the race having already endured decades of coordinated right-wing attacks -- though only when she got ambitious. She had left the...


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The Triumph of Falsehood379540

2016/12Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:22:02 -0600

In 1644, the English poet John Milton made an eloquent case against censorship. Freedom of thought and inquiry was not only a God-given prerogative but also the best protection against error: "Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?" Milton was fortunate enough to live before the internet. It has shown that among many people, truth doesn't have a chance in an encounter with manufactured falsehoods aimed at not only smearing enemies but obliterating the idea of objective reality. There is now a bustling industry of websites and Twitter...


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Assessing the Obama Legacy -- Against His Own Mileposts391779

2016/12Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:19:25 -0600

In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Obama summarized his achievements. That same night, the White House issued a press release touting Obama's accomplishments. Now that he will be leaving, how well did these initiatives listed in the press release actually work out? "Securing the historic Paris climate agreement." The accord was never submitted to Congress as a treaty. It will be ignored by President-elect Trump. "Achieving the Iran nuclear deal." That "deal" was another effort to circumvent the treaty-ratifying authority of Congress. It has green-lighted Iranian aggression, and...


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How Union Bosses Sold Out Their Workers362382

2016/12Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:31:34 -0600

The 2016 election exposed deep divisions in America, but none deeper than that between the leadership of organized labor and its membership. Union bosses spent some $100 million in member dues to try and elect Hillary Clinton and other Democrats across the country. It wasn’t money well-spent. This disconnect between Democratic elites, their union boss pals and rank-and-file union members has been a long time coming. Decades ago, organized labor made a pact with the Democratic Party. Democrats would support legislation approved by the union leadership and in return labor leaders would...


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Budget Process Fix; Executive Eraser; Repeal/Delay Pitfalls; POW No. 1

2016/12Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:42:36 -0600

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, December 7. Seventy-five years ago today, Pearl Harbor was devastated in a morning surprise attack from a Japanese fleet that had managed to cross the Pacific Ocean undetected. That Sunday morning attack was conducted by some 350 Japanese fighter planes and torpedo bombers, operating in two major waves off six aircraft carriers. For the unsuspecting U.S. sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen, the loss of life was frightful: 2,400 men killed, nearly half of them aboard a single battleship, the USS Arizona, and nearly 1,200 wounded. Casualties among the...



Senate Chairman Floats Fix for "Broken Budget Process"391766

2016/12Wed, 07 Dec 2016 05:20:22 -0600

Sen. Mike Enzi, chairman of the Budget Committee, will release a detailed proposal Wednesday to overhaul the congressional budget process and change the way the federal government is funded for the first time in four decades. The Wyoming lawmaker’s proposal, obtained exclusively by RealClearPolitics, would move Congress to a two-year appropriations process to prevent annual deadlines, create mandatory floor time to consider appropriations measures in both chambers, and eliminate the possibility of government shutdowns by automatically funding the government in the event appropriations...


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The Messy Truth About Van Jones350032

2016/12Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:44:00 -0600

They never learn. The grand journalism pooh-bahs at CNN were humiliated this election cycle when WikiLeaks revealed that former CNN contributor and interim DNC chair Donna Brazile had shared a question with the Hillary Clinton campaign in advance of a March Democratic primary town hall debate. According to CNN, "activist anchor" Roland Martin and his production team at CNN's debate partner and identity politics network TV One were responsible for the leak. CNN host Jake Tapper called the episode "very, very troubling" and condemned the breach: "Journalistically, it's horrifying," he told WMAL...


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A Strong Leader360012

2016/12Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:46:13 -0600

President-elect Donald Trump's first decisions were exciting. His new team seems to include good people like Betsy DeVos, Andy Puzder and Paul Atkins. It's refreshing to watch Trump mock the media and political correctness. How dreary the world would be today if we faced four more years of condescension from Hillary Clinton and her apparatchiks. But I worry. Many of Trump's supporters like him because they say he's a leader who will "get things done." That's not necessarily a good thing. Recently, my Twitter feed contained Trump saying: "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag --...


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