07 Nov 2016

Trump’s Final Appeal to the Voters

Politics 33 Comments

This is a really good ad. I think this is what he had to work with, and he swung for the fences. I think future politics classes will look at this ad the same way they will study, say, the Goldwater campaign.

The only other commentary I will make is to note the points in the video where Trump identifies enemies, in order to get people to vote for him. I will identify people according to their official demographics, for a purpose that will be clear at the bottom.

0:05 Hillary Clinton (white Christian woman)
0:21 George Soros (Jewish man)
0:22 Janet Yellen (Jewish woman)
0:24 A whole group [20+ people] of financial ministers and central bankers, with all kinds of colors, men and women.
0:33 Obama walking with Prime Minister Abe (I think?) (black Christian man, Japanese man)
0:36 Bill Clinton (white Christian man)
0:44 Hillary Clinton shaking hands with Tony Blair (I think?) (white Christian woman, white Christian man)
0:48 Bill and Hillary Clinton representing “the political establishment” (white Christian man and woman)
0:59 – 1:04 More coverage of “global power structure” with 10+ foreign elites, both sexes and many colors
1:14 Lloyd Blankfein walking to podium at Clinton Global Initiative (Jewish man)
1:15 – 2:00 Video doesn’t show any more enemies, but instead shows the average Americans who will save the day.

So, naturally, in light of the above list, it makes sense that Paul Krugman tweets:

Not to be outdone, Scott Sumner wrote:

PPPPS: Trump finishes his campaign as classy as he staged it, with an alt-right ad targeting three people in an international conspiracy of financial-types, who all “just happen” to be Jewish:

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Sunday called a new advertisement for Donald Trump’s campaign “something of a German shepherd whistle” designed to appeal to his supporters in the so-called alt-right.

The TV spot warns of the influence of “those who control the levers of power in Washington” and “global special interests,” and it raised eyebrows among observers who said it contains anti-Semitic overtones. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted to Franken on Sunday morning on “State of the Union,” commentators have pointed out that it targets three public figures who are Jewish — billionaire George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Maybe St. Bernard whistle would be more accurate. Or Great Dane. Or whistle best heard by people with tinfoil hat receptors.

Krugman and Sumner are getting sloppy. Trump’s ad also targeted a black guy and a white (Christian) woman. So the ad is racist and sexist, too.

Last thing: For those trying to understand how in the world DONALD TRUMP got so many people on his bandwagon, Krugman and Sumner’s smug attitude is part of the reason. Believe it or not, there are a lot of non-racist people who are sick and tired of walking on eggshells. So yes, *actual* racists would like Trump more than Hillary too, but when you’re not allowed to criticize some of the most powerful financial people on Earth because they’re Jewish, well, don’t be surprised if people eventually flip out and support a “protest” candidate.

06 Nov 2016

Why You Can’t Really Keep Theological Views Confined to Sunday

Religious 28 Comments

Welp, in case you haven’t heard, one of the recent items to emerge from the rounds of WikiLeaks dumps is the claim that Hillary Clinton’s campaign people may be involved in Satanic rituals, such as “spirit cooking” and more sinister things involving children.

In the interest of objectivity, I’ll let a completely skeptical New York Mag writer explain the allegations, as he tries to contain his guffawing. This way you know I’m not leading the witness.

So the reaction to this particular subset of the WikiLeaks dumps doesn’t come down to “Hillary vs. Trump.” Rather, it’s closer to a division between “believer vs. agnostic.” Specifically, I have seen plenty of libertarians on social media–who can’t stand Hillary Clinton–nonetheless roll their eyes at the people claiming this is evidence of monstrosities within the Clinton circles.

Yet I think the problem here is that if you don’t actually believe the devil exists, then it’s going to be hard for you to get worked up about people doing really creepy, occultish things. After all, by stipulation (in your worldview), that’s the end of it. There is no more significance to some weird ritual, than the physical actions of the people involved.

On the other hand, if you think that there is a devil, and that there really are people who have sold their souls to achieve earthly power, then it very much might concern you to know that Clinton’s campaign chief was cordially invited to a “Spirit Cooking” dinner with this lady:

P.S. I will correct this if someone points me to a definitive refutation, but my understanding is that that gloppy red stuff is actual blood.

04 Nov 2016

Tom Woods, Boss

Tom Woods 1 Comment

If he didn’t believe in the NAP, Tom would be a made man at this point.

Details at WoodsContest.com.

02 Nov 2016

Video From the First Contra Cruise!!!

Contra Krugman 11 Comments

Yes, it deserves three exclamation points. For info on future Contra Cruises, go here.

31 Oct 2016


Potpourri 1 Comment

==> Reminder, I’m in DC to give a talk at American University at 8pm on Tuesday. Details here.

==> Tom and I tackle Krugman’s latest. Krugman argues that climate change is more urgent than the federal debt, but we use the CBO and IPCC against him. I love quoting from “the consensus.”

==> This was a great Tom Woods Show episode on Romans 13. His guest echoes a lot of the points I’ve made, but he did it all in one spot and more persuasively.

==> Scott Horton gives a good summary of why US federal government intervention in the Middle East, is kinda sorta like US federal government intervention in health care. (That’s my analogy. I’m saying look at the similarity in broad patterns.)

==> In my blog post looking at some of the debate claims from Trump and Clinton, I want you to be sure to see how abysmal the official “recovery” has been, compared to previous ones.

==> This is amusing; wait for the end. (I had nothing to do with it.)

==> If CNN were more openly in the tank for Hillary, there would be leaked emails showing how much they secretly hate her. Anyway, check out this example of how they misquoted Trump, then begrudgingly updated their story to reverse the initial headline.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT LIKE DONALD TRUMP ON EITHER A PERSONAL OR POLITICAL LEVEL. But the establishment is trying to take him out and I think the whole thing is hilarious.

30 Oct 2016

Moses Shall Be “Like God to Pharaoh”

Religious 5 Comments

During my Bible study session we came across this, in the book of Exodus:

Chapter 6…
28 Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.”
30 But Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”

Chapter 7
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

6 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

It never really occurred to me just how terrifying a figure Moses must have been to Pharaoh (and especially Pharaoh’s officials). Moses wasn’t actually saying these predictions (of impending plagues, and cutting deals for relief), instead he was presumably just standing there while Aaron relayed the messages.

28 Oct 2016

A New Front in My War Against Scott Sumner

Climate Change, Scott Sumner, Shameless Self-Promotion 1 Comment

BTW for newcomers: The reason I attack Scott so much is that he writes on issues I care about. E.g. I don’t think Bryan Caplan is winning in his debate with Michael Huemer on why we can kill bugs (if we can), but I have little to say on such matters.

On a carbon tax, on the other hand… here’s my summary:

I don’t think Sumner (let alone the average EconLog reader) realized just how tenuous his case was. Most people assume that if you are already vaguely worried about climate change, then a revenue-neutral carbon tax tied to, say, a combination of payroll and corporate income tax cuts, plus rebates for poor households to help them deal with higher energy prices, would be a no brainer. And yet the standard models in this literature show just the opposite. Writers urging libertarians and conservatives to consider a carbon tax should review the literature before picking up their keyboards.

P.S. I was not being sarcastic when I thanked Scott in the comments for his blogging on “monetary offset.” Once he pointed it out, a lot of commentary on Congress vs. the Fed seemed silly, but I probably wouldn’t have realized it had Scott not pointed it out.

27 Oct 2016

Obama: Health Insurance Premiums Could Fall By 3000 Percent

Health Legislation, Humor 7 Comments

This happened years ago, but I missed it. Now this video is making the rounds for obvious reasons:

So it’s funny that critics are calling this a “lie,” when it’s so much more than that.

(I googled and apparently the White House said afterwards that Obama had misspoken, and meant to claim a $3,000 reduction in premiums.)

I often defend people who say dumb things on camera, claiming that until you’re in front of a crowd, you don’t realize how sometimes your brain can freeze up. But on this one, I have to say–unless it was a mistake in a teleprompter and he was reading it–that this is D-U-M dumb. Even if someone absentmindedly says a price could drop 3,000% without catching himself or raising an eyebrow, that shows a gross ignorance of math and/or business.

For years I have not fully bought into the standard right-winger talking points that Obama was an empty suit, but I think I may have overestimated him.