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Jazz Shaw

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Over at the Washington Post, Dan Balz takes a look at one of the less frequently reported items from Thursday’s debate. While most analysts were focused on Warren and Buttigieg scrapping over crystal wine caves, many ignored one question from the PBS moderator that seemed to catch all of the candidates flat-footed. Judy Woodruff asked the candidates about the possibility that some voters who might not care for President Trump’s rhetoric or tweetstorms could still be nervous about changing presidents when the economy was doing so well.

Joe Biden, for some reason, chose to say, “I don’t think they really do like the economy.” Mayor Pete concurred, saying that people weren’t making enough money. Warren and Sanders also ignored the premise of the question, claiming that the economy was only working for the top 1%.

Those are odd positions to take, particularly when you consider that CNN’s most recent polling showed that more than three-quarters of Americans feel that the economy is in good or great shape. Balz later gets around to specifically identifying the 800-pound gorilla in the room that none of the Democrats want to talk about.

Trump may have inherited a growing economy from Barack Obama, but the economy has continued to grow during his tenure: Unemployment is at a half-century low; joblessness among minorities has continued to decline. The expansion that began in 2009 is now the longest in U.S. history. That is a record the Trump campaign will sell hard between now and November.

A few months ago, there were signs of trouble ahead for the economy. Today, those threats have lessened, though who can say with certainty where things will be a year or 18 months from now. Nonetheless, a new poll for CNN found that 76 percent of Americans rate the economy as very or somewhat good, up from a year ago and the highest recorded since February 2001.

One solution offered by the Democrats is higher taxes on the wealthy to produce revenue for investment elsewhere. Depending on the policies advocated, not just those in the top 1 percent, or even 10 percent, could see their taxes increase.

To demonstrate how lost the primary candidates are on this subject, look no further than a followup question tossed to Elizabeth Warren. It was pointed out to her that even some Democratic economists are warning that her radical policies could stifle economic growth. Her answer was to simply say, “Oh, they’re just wrong.”

I’ll grant you that it’s not hard to find voters across the country who are put off by Donald Trump’s style of leadership, language and tactics. That’s why the same group of poll respondents that gave him glowing marks on handling the economy still turned around and gave him an overall job approval rating in the mid-forties. The President remains a disruptive force in American politics (as he promised while running) while primarily playing to his base.

But will the public risk the current economic boom times for one of these candidates who not only don’t have a plan but can’t even bring themselves to admit that we’re doing pretty well right now? (At least if you ignore the fact that we’re running up the debt and deficit even faster than the Democrats did, anyway.) Some will, to be sure. But it’s going to take a lot of them, particularly in the swing states. (And as of the last surveys, Trump is beating all of the Democrats, including Biden, in the key swing states.)

If the economy takes a serious nose dive in the spring or summer all of this could change in a single week. But fewer economists are predicting such a downturn these days. If things keep chugging along the way they are currently, the Democrats are going to need to come up with some sort of answer as to why voters should switch horses midstream. And at least thus far, none of them has offered one.

Author: Jazz Shaw

Source: Hot Air: Democrats Have To Ignore Or Deride A Booming Economy

The President announced some time ago that he planned to start winding down and eventually ending DACA (the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program created by President Obama) if Congress failed to enact any sort of comprehensive immigration reform. As with virtually all of his executive orders, this one was immediately challenged and remains tied up in court to this day. Now, however, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and put it to rest once and for all. But as the Associated Press explains, the outcome is far from certain.

The Supreme Court is taking up the Trump administration’s plan to end legal protections that shield 660,000 immigrants from deportation, a case with strong political overtones amid the 2020 presidential election campaign.

All eyes will be on Chief Justice John Roberts when the court hears arguments Tuesday. Roberts is the conservative justice closest to the court’s center who also is keenly aware of public perceptions of an ideologically divided court.

It’s the third time in three years that the administration is asking the justices to rescue a controversial policy that has been blocked by several lower courts.

The linked analysis correctly focuses on Chief Justice John Roberts. Despite being a Bush 43 appointee, Roberts has slowly evolved into being the new swing vote on the court, much like Kennedy was until his retirement. He’s expressed concerns over the appearance of an ideologically divided 5-4 court and sometimes sides with the liberal justices, apparently in an effort to deflate that perception.

Author: Jazz Shaw

Source: Hot Air: SCOTUS To Take Up DACA Termination, With A Big Question To Answer

Back in 2016, California passed a new law (Assembly Bill 1887) establishing a naughty list of states that don’t conform to their high moral standards. The bill created a travel ban, forbidding state-funded or endorsed travel to states that failed to provide “protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” They quickly began adding states to the list, including Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kentucky. (Clever readers are probably noticing a pattern already.)

This week, California’s woke Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, broke out his sharpie and added another name to the list. This time it was Iowa, selected for failing to have Medicaid pay for transgender surgical procedures. (Sacramento Bee)

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to an 11th state, adding Iowa to the list based on the Midwestern state’s passage of a law that removed gender protections under Medicaid.

Becerra’s order means public employees and college students may not travel to Iowa under provisions of a 2016 California law.

Twelve years ago, Iowa’s Legislature made gender identity a protected characteristic under its Civil Rights Act, which prohibited refusing service to or discriminating against people based on their gender identity preferences.

Iowa had previously passed muster in California’s eyes because of their state Civil Rights Act. But this spring, the state Supreme Court ruled that the law had to be applied to transgender surgery paid for by Medicaid. That didn’t sit well with the locals and Iowa’s governor quickly signed a bill barring the use of Medicaid funds for such procedures. That led to California’s decision this week.

Obviously this is a state-level matter and both Iowa and California can do as they wish. But the question of taxpayer-funded medical procedures is a valid one to consider. What was Iowa really doing when they modified that law?

One way to look at this is to consider what was supposed to be one of the foundational, guiding principles in the medical field. Primum non nocere, or “first, do no harm.” California obviously feels that Iowa’s decision was discriminatory, but that requires you to accept the belief men can actually be women and vice versa. If you hold to the scientifically established fact that there are only two genders, each required for the propagation of the species, then so-called “transition” surgery is nothing more than the permanent mutilation of an otherwise perfectly healthy body.

Is that something the taxpayers should be on the hook for? Clearly, their elected officials didn’t think so. And now California is sitting in judgment over them and banning official travel to that state, along with quite a few others.

Of course, that California law is something of a joke to start with. It’s only enforced when politically convenient to show how woke they are. They still allow the college athletic teams to travel to “banned” states when there are major bowl games and tournaments to attend. It’s all brushed aside as a sort of prosecutorial discretion. We’ll enforce the law when we feel like it, suckers.

Author: Jazz Shaw

Source: Hot Air: California Adds Another State To Its “No Travel” List

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