My observations on the news of the day.
THE LEFT-LEANING USA TODAY newspaper, long supporters of the Obama Administration’s obsession over green energy and café standards for automobiles and trucks, begrudgingly reported a change in interest in larger, “and thirstier” cars at the New York Auto Show this week. The paper referred to Trump’s easing of gas mileage targets under the headline, “How President Trump Will Change What You Drive.” It should have read, “Government No Longer Directing Auto Manufacturers What to Build; Free Enterprise Resurrected.”
THERE’S MORE – USA Today columnist Michael Wolff, acting as the moderator for the “Press and the President” forum at the Newseum in Washington DC this week, openly insulted Trump aide Kellyane Conway in a face-to-face discussion. Referring to The Washington Post’s new slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” Wolff said, “I’m going to tell you, when they say ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness,’ you’re the darkness.” Conway handled the insult with aplomb as usual.
SURPRISE! – The Washington Post, dished out four out of four Pinocchio’s to Susan Rice this week. The Washington Examiner noted that four Pinocchio’s is usually reserved for “Whoppers.” You will recall from an earlier post her quote, “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”
IT WAS GRATIFYING TO SEE The Wall Street Journal editorial staff pay tribute to Arizona’s school choice program this week. The state deposits 90 percent of a student’s per-pupil allowance into education savings accounts (ESAs) that parents who withdraw their children from public schools can tap for private-school tuition, tutoring, home schooling, curriculum, materials and other approved education expenses. Some 3,000 kids currently participate in the program that will soon be capped at 5,000. The Arizona legislature devised ESAs as a workaround to state a Supreme Court ruling that struck down vouchers.
COINCIDENTALLY, there’s a large number of Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate who are pushing health savings accounts (HSAs) for Medicaid patients in which $7,000 would be put in every year. Recipients could use the account to buy health insurance and cover the cost of prescriptions, copays, deductibles and other related expenses. And, unspent funds could be carried over to the following year. One benefit under consideration is the ability of an enrollee to share that $7,000 with a sick child, spouse, sibling or parent.
TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN REMARKS reflecting his anti-globalization position, America first, and his desire to overhaul Dodd-Frank was all that was needed for Daniel Tarullo to step down as a governor with the Federal Reserve, despite a term that would have run until 2022. Tarullo was the point man on banking regulation and played a key role as the Obama administration attempted to create an international system of financial oversight. A proposal at a 2009 meeting of 20 countries (the G-20), would have been quite intrusive. “The goal,” according to Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, “was to create a common set of financial regulations governing the activities of financial firms in all 20 countries to be carried out by a newly deputized international body called the Financial Stability Board, made up of regulators from around the world.” Just what we needed; another international body. Farewell Mr.Tarullo.
IN RECENT POSTS, I have told you about the climate change people who are suffering from depression with President Trump’s reversal of Obama era regulations. I’ve since learned that there’s a 9-step program for those people now. “Good Grief” groups, where individuals can open up about their climate change induced anxiety, sadness and bad dreams, have been formed. Founder Laura Schmidt sought out dozens of social justice activists and environmentalists to ask how they were personally affected by climate change. Their responses were used in the development of the 9-step program to address climate change stress.
STUNNING NEWS FROM CNBC – In announcing that 40 percent of respondents said, “the economy is good or excellent right now,” Squawk Box reporter Steve Liesman said that it was “the highest in our survey history. But the amazing part about this, and I mean truly amazing, is the optimism inspired by President Trump.” He added that the poll showed “some of the highest numbers we have seen in the ten years of his poll’s existence, and 67 percent of those who say the economy will get better say it’s because of the coming policies of the president.” Not sure if that good news made it on-air at NBC or MSNBC. Probably not.