Sunday, April 30, 2017

The irrational arrogance of the intellectual cultural Left.

The Arrogance of Blue America

If you want to see the worst impacts of blue policies, go to those red regions—like upstate New York or inland California—in states they control.

04.29.17 10:00 PM ET

In the wake of the Trumpocalypse, many in the deepest blue cores have turned on those parts of America that supported the president’s election, developing oikophobia—an irrational fear of their fellow citizens.
The rage against red America is so strong that The New York Time’s predictably progressive Nick Kristoff says his calls to understand red voters were “my most unpopular idea.” The essential logic—as laid out in a particularly acerbic piece in The New Republic—is that Trump’s America is not only socially deplorable, but economically moronic as well. The kind-hearted blue staters have sent their industries to the abodes of the unwashed, and taken in their poor, only to see them end up “more bitter, white, and alt-right than ever.”
The red states, by electing Trump, seem to have lost any claim on usually wide-ranging progressive empathy. Frank Rich, theater critic turned pundit, turns up his nose at what he calls “hillbilly chic.” Another leftist authorsuggests that working-class support for Brexit and Trump means it is time “to dissolve” the “more than 150-year-old alliance between the industrial working class and what one might call the intellectual-cultural Left.”
The fondest hope among the blue bourgeoise lies with the demographic eclipse of their red-state foes. Some clearly hope that the less-educated “dying white America,“ already suffering shorter lifespans, in part due to alcoholism and opioid abuse, is destined to fade from the scene. Then the blue lords can take over a country with which they can identify without embarrassment.
Marie Antoinette Economics
In seeking to tame their political inferiors, the blue bourgeoisie are closer to the Marie Antoinette school of political economy than any traditional notion of progressivism. They might seek to give the unwashed red masses “cake” in the form of free health care and welfare, but they don’t offer more than a future status as serfs of the cognitive aristocracy. The blue bourgeoisie, notes urban analyst Aaron Renn, are primary beneficiaries of “the decoupling of success in America.” In blue America, he notes, the top tiers “no longer need the overall prosperity of the country to personally do well. They can become enriched as a small, albeit sizable, minority.”
Some on the left recognize the hypocrisy of progressives’ abandoning the toiling masses. “Blue state secession is no better an idea than Confederate secession was,” observes one progressive journalist. “The Confederates wanted to draw themselves into a cocoon so they could enslave and exploit people. The blue state secessionists want to draw themselves into a cocoon so they can ignore the exploited people of America.”
Ironically, many of the most exploited people reside in blue states and cities. Both segregation and impoverishment has worsened during the decades-long urban “comeback,” as even longtime urban enthusiast Richard Florida now notes. Chicago, with its soaring crime rates and middle class out-migration, amidst a wave of elite corporate relocations, epitomizes the increasingly unequal tenor of blue societies.
In contrast the most egalitarian places, like Utah, tend to be largely Trump-friendly. Among the 10 states (and D.C.) with the most income inequality, seven supported Clinton in 2016, while seven of the 10 most equal states supported Trump.
If you want to see worst impacts of blue policies, go to those red regions—like upstate New York—controlled by the blue bourgeoise. Backwaters like these tend to be treated at best as a recreational colony that otherwise can depopulate, deindustrialize, and in general fall apart. In California, much of the poorer interior is being left to rot by policies imposed by a Bay Area regime hostile to suburban development, industrial growth, and large scale agriculture. Policies that boost energy prices 50 percent above neighboring states are more deeply felt in regions that compete with Texas or Arizona and are also far more dependent on air conditioning than affluent, temperate San Francisco or Malibu. Six of the 10 highest unemployment rates among the country’s metropolitan areas are in the state’s interior.
Basic Errors in Geography
The blue bourgeoisie’s self-celebration rests on multiple misunderstandings of geography, demography, and economics. To be sure, the deep blue cites are vitally important but it’s increasingly red states, and regions, that provide critical opportunities for upward mobility for middle- and working-class families.
The dominant blue narrative rests on the idea that the 10 largest metropolitan economies represents over one-third of the national GDP. Yet this hardly proves the superiority of Manhattan-like density; the other nine largest metropolitan economies are, notes demographer Wendell Cox, slightly more suburban than the national major metropolitan area average, with 86 percent of their residents inhabiting suburban and exurban areas.
In some of our most dynamic urban regions, such as Phoenix, virtually no part of the region can be made to fit into a Manhattan-, Brooklyn-, or even San Francisco-style definition of urbanity. Since 2010 more than 80 percent of all new jobs in our 53 leading metropolitan regions have been in suburban locations. The San Jose area, the epicenter of the “new economy,” may be congested but it is not traditionally urban—most people there live in single-family houses, and barely 5 percent of commuters take transit. Want to find dense urbanity in San Jose? You’ll miss it if you drive for more than 10 minutes.
Urban Innovation
The argument made by the blue bourgeoisie is simple: Dense core cities, and what goes on there, is infinitely more important, and consequential, than the activities centered in the dumber suburbs and small towns. Yet even in the ultra-blue Bay Area, the suburban Valley’s tech and STEM worker population per capita is twice that of San Francisco. In southern California, suburban Orange County has over 30 percent more STEM workers per capita than far more urban Los Angeles.
And it’s not just California. Seattle’s suburban Bellevue and Redmond are home to substantial IT operations, including the large Microsoft headquarters facility. Much of Portland’s Silicon Forest is located in suburban Washington County. Indeed a recent Forbes study found that the fastest-growing areas for technology jobs outside the Bay Area are all cities without much of an urban core: Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Detroit. In contrast most traditionally urban cities such as New York and Chicago have middling tech scenes, with far fewer STEM and tech workers per capita thanthe national average.
The blue bourgeois tend to see the activities that take place largely in the red states—for example manufacturing and energy—as backward sectors. Yet manufacturers employ most of the nation’s scientists and engineers. Regions in Trump states associated with manufacturing as well as fossil fuels—Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Salt Lake—enjoy among the heaviest concentrations of STEM workers and engineers in the country, far above New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
Besides supplying the bulk of the food, energy, and manufactured goods consumed in blue America, these industries are among the country’s most productive, and still offer better paying options for blue-collar workers. Unlike a monopoly like Microsoft or Google, which can mint money by commanding market share, these sectors face strong domestic and foreign competition. From 1997-2012, labor productivity growth in manufacturing—3.3 percent per year—was a third higher than productivity growth in the private economy overall.
For its part, the innovative American energy sector has essentially changed the balance of power globally, overcoming decades of dependence on such countries as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela. Agriculture—almost all food, including in California, is grown in red-oriented areas—continues to outperform competitors around the world.
Exports? In 2015, the U.S. exported $2.23 trillion worth of goods and services combined. Of the total, only $716.4 billion, or about a third, consisted of services. In contrast, manufactured goods accounted for 50 percent of all exports. Intellectual property payments, like royalties to Silicon Valley tech companies and entrepreneurs, amounted to $126.5 billion—just 18 percent of service exports and less than 6 percent of total exports of goods and services combined, barely even with agriculture.
Migration and the American Future
The blue bourgeoisie love to say “everyone” is moving back to the city; a meme amplified by the concentration of media in fewer places and the related collapse of local journalism. Yet in reality, except for a brief period right after the 2008 housing crash, people have continued to move away from dense areas.
Indeed the most recent estimates suggest that last year was the best for suburban areas since the Great Recession. In 2012, the suburbs attracted barely 150,000 more people than core cities but in 2016 the suburban advantage was 556,000. Just 10 of the nation’s 53 largest metropolitan regions (including San Francisco, Boston, and Washington) saw their core counties gain more people than their suburbs and exurbs.
Overall, people are definitively not moving to the most preferred places for cosmopolitan scribblers. Last year, all 10 of the top gainers in domestic migration were Sun Belt cities. The list was topped by Austin, a blue dot in its core county, surrounded by a rapidly growing, largely red Texas sea, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Jacksonville in Florida, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Antonio.
Overall, domestic migration trends affirm Trump-friendly locales. In 2016, states that supported Trump gained a net of 400,000 domestic migrants from states that supported Clinton. This includes a somewhat unnoticed resurgence of migration to smaller cities, areas often friendly to Trump and the GOP. Domestic migration has accelerated to cities between with populations between half a million and a million people, while it’s been negative among those with populations over a million. The biggest out-migration now takes place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
Of course, for the blue cognoscenti, there’s only one explanation for such moves: Those people are losers and idiots. This is part of the new blue snobbery: Bad people, including the poor, are moving out to benighted places like Texas but the talented are flocking in. Yet, like so many comfortable assertions, this one does not stand scrutiny. It’s the middle class, particularly in their childbearing years, who, according to IRS data, are moving out of states like California and into ones like Texas. Since 2000, the Golden State has seen a net outflow of $36 billion dollars from migrants.
Millennials are widely hailed as the generation that will never abandon the deep blue city, but as they reach their thirties, they appear to be following their parents to the suburbs and exurbs, smaller cities, and the Sun Belt. This assures us that the next generation of Americans are far more likely to be raised in Salt Lake City, Atlanta, the four large Texas metropolitan areas, or in suburbs, than in the bluest metropolitan areas like New York, Seattle, or San Francisco—where the number of school-age children trends well below the national average.
This shift is being driven in large part by unsustainable housing costs. In the Bay Area, techies are increasingly looking for jobs outside the tech hub and some companies are even offering cash bonuses to those willing to leave. A recent poll indicated that 46 percent of millennials in the San Francisco Bay Area want to leave. The numbers of the “best and brightest” have been growing mostly in lower-cost regions such as Austin, Orlando, Houston, Nashville, and Charlotte.
Quality of Life: The Eye of the Beholder
Ultimately, in life as well as politics, people make choices of where to live based on economic realities. This may not apply entirely to the blue bourgeoisie, living at the top of the economic food chain or by dint of being the spawn of the wealthy. But for most Americans aspiring to a decent standard of living—most critically, the acquisition of decent living space—the expensive blue city simply is not practicable.
Indeed, when the cost of living is taken into consideration, most blue areas, except for San Jose/Silicon Valley, where high salaries track the prohibitive cost of living, provide a lower standard of living. People in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, and Detroit actually made more on their paychecks than those in New York, San Francisco, or Boston. Deep-blue Los Angeles ranked near the bottom among the largest metropolitan areas.
These mundanities suggest that the battlegrounds for the future will not be of the blue bourgeoisie’s choosing but in suburbs, particularly around the booming periphery of major cities in red states. Many are politically contestable, often the last big “purple” areas in an increasingly polarized country. In few of these kinds of areas do you see 80 to 90 percent progressive or conservative electorates; many split their votes and a respectable number went for Trump and the GOP. If the blue bourgeoisie want to wage war in these places, they need to not attack the suburban lifestyles clearly preferred by the clear majority.
Blue America can certainly win the day if this administration continues to falter, proving all the relentless aspersions of its omnipresent critics. But even if Trump fails to bring home the bacon to his supporters, the progressives cannot succeed until they recognize that most Americans cannot, and often do not want to, live the blue bourgeoisie’s preferred lifestyle.
It’s time for progressives to leave their bastions and bubbles, and understand the country that they are determined to rule.

The Obama's Justice Department did more to interfere with the 2016 election then the Russian hacking fantasy.

Revealed: Eleventh-hour Subpoenas in the Clinton E-mails Investigation
Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice
By Andrew C. McCarthy — April 29, 2017

School children free at last...from Michelle's odious food mandates.

USDA to make school lunches edible again. Michelle Obama hardest hit.


With Sonny Perdue in at Agriculture you might expect him to kick things off with some changes to ethanol subsidies or President Trump’s new executive order designed to help out farmers. But he’s got something else on the menu (pardon the pun) which is long overdue and should be considerably easier to accomplish. While Barack Obama was in office there were some big changes to school lunches which were ostensibly intended to make them more nutritious, but actually wound up making them mostly inedible. (A project championed by Michelle Obama as her signature issue.) On Monday, those rules may be changing, much to the relief of students around the nation. (The Hill)
Newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to unveil a new rule Monday aimed at giving schools more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will make the announcement at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va., where they are expected to eat lunch with the students.
Republicans have long been trying to dial back the standards that became a pillar of former first lady Michelle Obama ’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the U.S.
I’m sure they’ll find better ways to describe it for PR reasons, but what we’re mostly expecting is a revamp of the program to “Make Lunches Edible Again.” Taking virtually all the salt out of the menu items and pushing raw veggies while scaling back on meat or anything with any fat in it was a disaster in the making from the beginning. This was something I first started writing about nearly three years ago in terms of Michelle Obama’s War on Edible Food
But it wasn’t just students and conservative pundits who were bucking this trend. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) was lobbying the Trump administration to roll back the Obama era rules almost as soon as he was sworn in. And that wasn’t the first time the SNA had weighed in on the subject. In the first years of the new lunch program they were talking about the “food waste” issue.
“I’m seeing more food waste than is acceptable,” said Lynn Harvey, SNA’s incoming vice president and chief of School Nutrition Services for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
“What we need are modest modifications to the rules that would enable us to provide foods that children like and will accept,” she said during a hearing of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education last month.
Not only, critics contend, have the strict standards caused participation in the school lunch program to decline, they’ve created black markets for salt packets in cafeterias and more work for security guards, who now have to stop pizza deliveries from coming onto campuses.
That’s just a nicer way of saying that too many lunches were winding up in the garbage rather than in the students’ stomachs. And food which is thrown away isn’t improving anyone’s health or dietary habits. What the changes too often did, as SNA noted, was to drive students off campus at lunch time to seek out something they could actually stomach. (Assuming they could come up with the cash to buy something at the local fast food outlet.) And when that happens, the schools and the parents have lost all control over what the kids are eating. Rather than ingesting some options which might not be the vegan ideal but still had some nutritional value, the students who wound up wolfing down a Big Mac and large fries before rushing back to class were actually doing more to defeat the original objectives of the program than supporting it.
So rejoice, kids. In fairly short order you might be back to visiting with the Lunch Lady every day again. You’re to be forgiven if that’s not the most exciting news you’ve heard all year, but it’s at least better than nothing.

Climate change alarmists’ prediction about Pacific Northwest now looks embarrassingly bad

Climate change alarmists’ prediction about Pacific Northwest now looks embarrassingly bad

Climate change alarmists’ prediction about Pacific Northwest now looks embarrassingly bad
After a decade or more of warnings from climate change alarmists about reductions in snowfall in California, Oregon and Washington state, data show those regions are experiencing significant or average levels of snowpack. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images) 

During the past decade, a common theme in the research findings of climate alarmists studying California, Oregon, and Washington state has been reduced snowfall. Some alarmists even lamented it could be “the end of snow,” as Porter Fox did for the New York Times in 2014. Yet, despite these extreme predictions, which also blamed humans for burning the fossil fuels that caused the warmer temperatures, the 2017 winter has provided the region with greater snowfall, leaving climate change advocates looking more than just a little foolish.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is the seventh-deepest it’s been since 1950 and the biggest since 2011.
“As of Thursday, the snowpack across the entire Sierra was at 164% of average for this time of year,” reported the Times. “The northern region was at 147%, the central was at 175% and the southern was 164% of average, respectively, state data showed.”
Writing for the Washington Policy Center, Todd Myers, the organization’s director of the Center for the Environment, reported on Wednesday there is “no sign of warming” in Washington state. Among Myers’ “key findings” is that despite the fact “academics, like U.W. Professor Paul Johnson, say that declining snowpack levels in the Northwest is a sign of global warming,” “They’re wrong. Snowpack levels have been above average in eight of the last ten years.”
Myers also wrote, “In the winter of 2015-16 snowpack was 112% of normal. In 2016-17 it was 115% of normal.”
The Bend, a newspaper in central Oregon, reported in January the central Oregon region had received “historic snow depths” that smashed records going back at least 20 years.
These findings are in total contradiction to the claims made by climate change alarmists over the past decade. For instance, in 2015, climate change researchers at the University of Arizona claimed their findings revealed the “extreme character” of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and the changing nature of California winters.
“Our study really points to the extreme character of the 2014-15 winter,” said Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. “This is not just unprecedented over 80 years—it’s unprecedented over 500 years.”
“We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” Trouet said. “Anthropogenic warming is making the drought more severe.”
Summarizing research conducted on the Pacific Northwest and climate change, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote on its website in October 2011, “Increases in extreme high precipitation (falling as rain) in the western Cascades and reductions in snowpack are key projections from high-resolution regional climate models.”
As recent data clearly show, nothing could be further from the truth.

Flashback: See the moment in Jan. when Obama said he wouldn’t go to Wall Street post-WH to make money

Flashback: See the moment in Jan. when Obama said he wouldn’t go to Wall Street post-WH to make money

Flashback: See the moment in Jan. when Obama said he wouldn’t go to Wall Street post-WH to make money
Former President Barack Obama is slated to give a speech to Wall Street later this year for $400,000, despite saying days before leaving office that he wouldn't go to Wall Street to make a lot of money. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 

News broke last week that former President Barack Obama will give a speech at a health care conference hosted by a mid-sized Manhattan Wall Street investment firm later this year.
The announcement seemingly broke with a decade of criticism Obama launched at Wall Street. During his eight year presidency, Obama maintained that Wall Street was responsible for the 2008 financial crisis and demanded increased reforms, regulation and accountability of the “big banks.”
In a 60 “Minutes” interview in 2009, Obama famously said: “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”
But come September, Obama will accept a $400,000 check from Cantor Fitzgerald for a one hour keynote speech.
And while the decision breaks with years of rhetoric from the former Democratic president, it also breaks with what Obama said just prior to leaving the White House.
In a “60 Minutes” interview just days prior to leaving office in January, “60 Minutes” host Steve Kroft asked Obama: “You’re not going to go to Wall Street, make a lot of money?”
“I am not going to Wall Street,” Obama replied. “The amount of time that I’ll be investing in issues is going to be high. But it’ll be necessarily in a different capacity.”
Despite Obama’s rhetoric against Wall Street during his presidency and his pledge to not “make a lot of money” from Wall Street post-presidency, Obama’s spokesman defended his decision to speak at the event.
“As we announced months ago, President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record,” spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.
Obama is already making millions in his short post-White House career. In addition to the $400,000 he will receive for his speech this September, Obama received $400,000 for a 90-minute interview with a presidential historian last week, according to Newsweek.
Obama, along with wife Michelle, also received a reported $65 million from book publisher Penguin Random House for their post-White House memoirs. 
And while he’s making millions, Obama is still collecting a federal presidential pension to the tune of $205,700 annually, in addition to federal money to pay for his staff and office space, according to Time Magazine.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Liberal college students lambaste ‘Trump’ accomplishments — then learn they actually were Obama’s

Liberal college students lambaste ‘Trump’ accomplishments — then learn they actually were Obama’s

Liberal college students lambaste ‘Trump’ accomplishments — then learn they actually were Obama’s
When liberal college students were questioned on camera about Republican President Donald Trump's recent "accomplishments," they hated what he had done — except that the accomplishments were actually the work of former President Barack Obama. (Image source: YouTube screen cap) 

Students at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia, were recently interviewed on camera about Republican President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.
As you might expect, given the liberal bent of many college students, they used a few negatives to describe Trump and the job he’s doing so far.
“Horrible,” one student said.
Image source: YouTube screen cap
Image source: YouTube screen cap
“Really, just a liar,” another student noted. “Like, pathologically. It’s kind of insane.”
“It’s kind of scary,” yet another student noted. “You wake up every morning, and you see something ridiculous.”
Not so surprising.
But then the Campus Reform interviewers began their experiment: Rattling off accomplishments they attributed to Trump — except the accomplishments were actually the work of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
Remember Obama’s “apology tour”? Going around to Middle Eastern nations and telling audiences how poorly the United States had been behaving?
Well, the liberal college students apparently didn’t. Because when the apology tour was couched as something Trump did, they had nothing good to say.
“You have to carry the image of the U.S., and he hasn’t done that so well,” one student said of Trump, shaking his head at the measure, apparently clueless that it was Obama’s doing.
Image source: YouTube screen cap
Image source: YouTube screen cap
Another student had an even more comical answer: “The people he’s apologizing to are not people he should not be apologizing to. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies — dictatorships everywhere.”
When students were asked about Trump’s stimulus package — another Obama feat — the answers were just as funny.
“Knowing that Donald Trump is the one proposing it probably means there’s, like, some turd in the punch bowl somewhere,” one student said.
Another compared it to “Weimar Germany when there was a lot of hatred of foreigners taking jobs …”
The best answer of all — when students were asked about Trump relaxing lawsuit regulations, another Obama deal — was from one guy who actually said, “Being in a law class right now, I don’t like it at all.”
And when the truth was revealed to the students?
“Oh, wow,” a couple of them said.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Campus Reform linked to the full video if you want to see more academic devastation.
(H/T: Truth Revolt)