They said it would never happen – that the steel industry was over and done with, finished, kaput. Guess they didn’t count on Donald Trump, because steel is making a comeback in America. And that means the folks from Pittsburgh to Ohio to Indiana can stop singing the blues, stop the ridiculous re-training programs that never succeeded, and get back to work.
It’s not over yet. We are nowhere near getting all those steel mills fired up again, but we are at the beginning, the start-up phase, of getting the steel industry back on its feet. And it’s about damn time.
U.S. Steel Ready to Rock
Pittsburgh based U.S. Steel Corporation has announced a $2B revitalization program that will breathe new life into an industry that has all but been decimated by an unfair trade policy that began in the last decades of the 20th century and lingered well into the 21st. To say that it has devastated parts of America is an understatement.
As part of this revival, U.S. Steel recently announced a $750M investment in its Gary, Indiana, plant which employs almost four thousand people. They are expanding and installing new equipment to make their operation more efficient and technologically up to date. Indeed, it’s time to take plants like those in Gary and get them ready to rock and roll.
This steel renaissance appears to be reaching other companies as well. BlueScope Steel LLC put the word out that they will be investing $700M to expand their steel mill in Ohio. In fact, all tides are rising across the once-choppy seas for the beleaguered steel industry.
According to RealCLearMarkets, approximately 150,000 Americans earn “a living full-time in the steel industry.” An analysis by the Coalition for a Prosperous America confirms that 11,100 manufacturing jobs have been created recently in the steel and aluminum industries.
Why does this matter? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board recognized the significance of this when they wrote, “… steelmaking is a backbone and bedrock industry for our economy, and for any nation that wants to be, or remain, a world power in the 21st century. It is a matter of national security as well as economic strength.” It remains a mystery as to why this was lost on the political class for so long.
Could this resurgence perchance have anything to do with President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel? Considering that China currently rules and reigns the steel market, it would seem so. Their cheap steel had all but put the American industry out to pasture.
Indeed, there is an escalating global battle underway as the president tries to even the trade imbalance that had gotten entirely lop-sided and forced companies like U.S. Steel and BlueScope to all but shut down. Trump’s tough actions and talk have forced China to the bargaining table, and officials on both sides say trade talks will get underway this autumn.
Of course, the European Union isn’t all too happy about the president’s trade maneuvers, but that’s their problem. It’s likely they know they are up against an immovable force and that Mr. Trump does have a track record of getting things done. Even if the EU and China only move a little bit, it will have an enormous impact on industries like steel and aluminum.
So, fire up those blast furnaces folks, blow the plant whistles from Homestead, Pennsylvania to Gary, Indiana, and get the U.S. steel industry off the mat and into the ring, because stoking our mills to capacity is one sure fire way to make America great – again.
Have you ever noticed that some people have a unique ability to self-destruct? They may be brilliant and dazzling at their jobs, but somehow, someway they manage to fall from great heights into the abyss. Such is the case with former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
Still, it’s never wise to count these folks out. Maybe it’s their lack of self-awareness or the underlying insecurities that get the better of them, but sooner or later people like Bannon manage to climb to the top again. And there is every reason to believe that Steve Bannon has donned his hiking boots and is trekking to the mountaintop one more time.
Grab your bag of popcorn and settle in to watch the latest Bannon media extravaganza, called Trump @ War – coming to a theatre near you on September 9th. The release date is no accident. It is the second anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s famed “basket of deplorables” remark. Bannon was recently quoted as saying, “If you’re a deplorable, you’ll literally be standing on your chair with your pitchfork saying: ‘I’ve got to get people out to vote.'” Then he humbly added, “How jacked do we think Trump will be when he sees this?”
Indeed, when Mr. Bannon left his administration post, he promised his fans that while he was down, he would not be out. So, is Bannon still a player?
Citizens of the American Republic is a Bannon entity that is hitting up Wall Street for big bucks to fund a political midterm initiative. The goal is to get voters to realize that a vote for the Democrats is a vote to roll back President Trump’s economic gains. There are no two ways about it, the folks from Wall Street to Main Street have substantially profited from a roaring stock market, lower unemployment, and a cut in tax rates that have stoked the business community in the United States. Bannon wants to bring these issues to the forefront in the upcoming elections, and this will undoubtedly energize the Trump voting bloc.
The problem with midterms is that they never seem to work out well for the party or president in power. If you want to get right down to the nitty-gritty: Midterms can get out-and-out ugly for the incumbent. Voter apathy is thought to be the culprit. “The stronger the presidential victory margin or, the more seats won in the presidential year and therefore “at risk,” the greater will be the subsequent midterm seat loss,” explains the University of Houston’s Robert S. Erikson, writing in the Journal of Politics.
If apathy is an obstacle, then Bannon’s movie to fire up the base could be a significant voting factor in the midterms. As well, his Citizens of the American Republic group plans to target an estimated 40 congressional districts around the country. This pits him against democratic money-man George Soros who has already ponied up $15M to energize the progressives to oust Trump and his minions in November as previously reported by Liberty Nation here. Bannon’s new political entity “intends to advise surrogates, generate talking points, and flood the TV and radio airwaves,” according to POLITICO.
One of the fascinating things about people like Bannon is that they often refuse to accept defeat and, when rebuilding, go large. Thus, Bannon is not limiting himself to just the political battle in the U.S. He has plans to take on the European Union in various and sundry ways to spread the message of nationalism across the pond. Mr. Bannon has initiated a foundation called The Movement in Europe which “will offer polling, advice on messaging and data targeting and research to a network of rightwing parties across Europe that are enjoying a significant surge in support,” according to The Guardian.
For some, the wilderness is a place to lick one’s wounds and go quietly into the night. For others, it is a place to gather steam for their next big move. Bannon appears to be the latter and as such his political resurrection may be something we all may want to sit back and watch.
It’s showtime, folks.
One of the most celebrated features of the United States has always been its free press. By this, we do not mean freedom of the press. That critical preposition implies the government does not control the media. But a free press is a different animal altogether. A genuinely open Fourth Estate is one in which its members do not march in lock-step, do not coordinate messages, and generally do not consult one another about what to write and when.
That’s what makes the recent synchronized effort by more than 200 newspapers to publish editorials about whether the media is “the enemy of the people” such a poor idea. Papers from coast to coast should have eschewed this harmonized response to the president’s remark about the news industry.
But many of them caved in and drank the Kool-Aid.
In an effort to look unified, editorial boards have deliberately handed over their individuality as independent media outlets. This non-conformity is a crucial aspect of their liberty and by giving in to “groupthink,” they have allowed themselves to be perceived just as the president has charged – an enemy of the people.
Other than acting as mouthpieces for their publications, there is little that editorial boards across the U.S. have in common. Some write from a progressive perspective, others conservative, and occasionally one gets a libertarian point of view. To publish an independent picture of the body politic is the raison d’être of a free press. And it should not so easily be given to the tyranny of the majority.
Perhaps this is why the American public seeks alternative news outlets more and more with each passing year. Even if we stipulate that President Trump’s “enemy of the people” phrase was unproductive and perhaps even self-destructive, a collective response from the establishment media is not the answer. In fact, it only gives the president’s assertion more validity.
Is It True?
All this may be well and good, but let’s take a moment to evaluate the president’s statement for its veracity. Has the media become the enemy of the people? The simple answer is yes and no.
Certainly, there are news organizations who make it their mission to propagate their own political agenda rather than offering up information without all the vitriol. When they do this, however, they are only shooting themselves in the foot. Serving up a daily diet of propaganda instead of unbiased information has only spawned a fresh swathe of free-thinking news outlets. Indeed, as the so-called mainstream media ratchets up its leftist narrative, other, more honest sites are created to fill the void. As such, we are long past the point of a finger in the dike to hold back the flood.
Of course, the information platform monopolies can try their damnedest to shut these alternative news outlets down, but their censorship only serves to make those who are liberty-minded more determined to get their messages into the public arena. One significant difference between the old guard and new in the world of journalism is that the modern media entities are more independent and less likely to want to jump on the bus with the good old boys.
This coordinated editorial board effort by newspapers across the country only serves to highlight why establishment news business are losing viewers and readership by the droves and boutique news outlets like Liberty Nation are growing exponentially.
Ultimately, we should be thanking the group-thinkers for their collective editorials about “the enemy of the people.” Keep up the good work guys, because the more you engage in this type of behavior, the more you turn off the average American.
It’s been coming down the tracks for a while now, this business of Fox News trying to become just one of the big boys. Conscientious observers have noticed this desperate need for acceptance in large and small ways by Fox. But yesterday in the White House Briefing Room, a clear picture emerged of Fox kissing up to its competitors when correspondent Kevin Corke yielded his time to an NBC reporter.
Having an opportunity to question the Press Secretary is coveted and highly sought after by White House Correspondents. But when Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the Fox newsman he yielded to Kristen Welker of NBC, who had already asked her question.
Of course, Welker wasn’t interested in the latest unemployment numbers – no, no – she wanted to nail Sanders to the wall with the latest leftist narrative about the president using a racial slur:
“Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they’ll never hear Donald Trump utter the “n-word” on a recording in any context?” Welker said.
After Sanders answered Welker’s question, she called on Corke from Fox – but he ceded his time to NBC for a follow-up question. This is a highly unusual move by a reporter and can only be construed as either one – an attempt to try and ambush Sanders, or two – a way to ingratiate himself with either Welker, her network, or both.
Kevin Corke’s obsequious behavior is not new for some on the Fox News team, but his actions this week do stand out and are noteworthy. Fox still has some stalwart conservatives on their network in high profile time slots. However, it’s clear that Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity aren’t journalists as much as they are part of the analysis and commentary class.
The news division, on the other hand, has been desperately seeking acceptance among its peers – especially since the advent of Donald Trump. We saw it early in the 2016 election with Megyn Kelly’s atrocious question and then with Chris Wallace, who made it his job to interrupt Trump at every turn during the presidential primary debates.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier has his moments as well, like when he took on Kellyanne Conway last evening. It would be nice to say Baier was simply a tough anchor-guy, but considering Corke, former Fox news-babe Kelly, and Wallace, there is enough reason to believe Baier is a bit insecure as well.
Brit Hume, he’s not.
Even though Fox News has outstanding ratings, there remains underlying insecurity within its ranks. There is a fear that if they don’t cozy up to the other networks, they’ll be seen as Trump’s toadies. As any psychologist can tell you, insecurity can metastasize into self-destructive behavior. Thus, Corke yielding his time to NBC is akin to taking out a .357 and pointing it directly at his foot.
But he and his compatriots over at Fox News better be careful. First, they only have two feet to shoot and second, trying to become “one of the boys” may just mean giving up their premier position with conservatives.
And that would be more than self-destructive to Fox News; it just may signal the beginning of the end for them.
Christian philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo once said that punishment is justice for the unjust. But there are times when the guilty are not held accountable, and when it concerns a tyrannical government agency abusing its people – that’s a damn shame.
This lack of justice becomes more than evident as the final touches on a $3.5 M settlement between the government and the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the IRS were announced this week. The agreement means that the taxpayer will foot the bill for Lois Lerner’s heinous acts of using her position at the IRS to punish hundreds of American organizations for their political beliefs. To date, Ms. Lerner has not only escaped any and all penalties for her egregious actions that put mostly conservative organizations through hell, but thus far hasn’t received so much as a reprimand.
Indeed, there are times in life when money cannot right a wrong, and this is one of them. How do I know this? Liberty Nation’s parent organization was part of this whole ugly saga after being persecuted by Ms. Lerner’s minions for years.
It doesn’t matter that the settlement money won’t cover even half the cost that many of us had to shell out to defend ourselves from a government agency with as much muscle as the IRS. This is because it was never about money – it was about being abused, toyed with and having to endure months – nay, years – of sleepless nights over a tax-exempt status that should have taken three months and ended with a rubber stamp.
Thus far, Ms. Lerner’s deposition regarding her directives at the IRS at the time of the scandal have been shielded from the public. To make matters worse, the settlement doesn’t even include an admission of guilt by good old Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, nothing has been put in place to assure that this type of government tyranny won’t happen again.
Just Take the Money and Run
It seems that all parties involved in this revolting case want those who were illegally targeted for their political philosophy to take the money and run. Oh, the IRS did issue a sincere apology. Thanks be to God for that.
Why has this festering wound not healed? The guilty are getting off scot-free and the innocent taxpayer is having to pick up the tab.
The lawyer who led the charge for the plaintiffs in this case, Edward Greim said, “… emails clearly showed Ms. Lerner being aware of the targeting in 2011 and, rather than stopping it, relabeling it and telling the auditors to keep at it,” according to The Washington Times. Then she doubled-down and put “new processes that guaranteed even more delay,” for those seeking lawful tax-exempt status for their organizations.
Lois G. Lerner, as some may know, took the Fifth during her deposition in front of Congress along with her pal Holly Paz. When both women did open their mouths, some brilliant lawyer convinced a judge that the two would suffer “death threats” if the public got wind of their testimony.
Now, why ever would that be the case?
Let’s remember that the Obama administration cleared Lerner of any wrongdoing and actually asserted that she tried to put an end to it. They even went so far as to indicate Ms. Lerner played the role of heroine in the scandal.
These people apparently think Americans are insipid hillbillies who swallow whatever nonsense that spills out of their lying lips.
Nevertheless, there are those who are still pushing for the truth to come out. Judicial Watch and the Cincinnati Enquirer have continued to request that Judge Michael R. Barrett unseal Lerner’s testimony. One can only hope their plea will prevail, for as British Prime Minister William Gladstone once said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
And this is one of those times when justice – not money or apologies – is the only way to right a vile and shameful wrong committed by a woman who abused her power and has yet had to suffer the consequences for her despotic behavior.
Playing hostess can be fun, but not when your guests don’t know when it’s time to say good-bye. Such is the case for millions of people who arrived legally on American shores and have overstayed their welcome.
While the body politic has been endlessly riding the illegal immigrant carousel, they’ve taken their eye off a horde of people who gain entry through visas but then refuse to leave. And there are quite a few of them – 606,926 in just the last year to be exact.
A recent Department of Homeland Security report shows that departures are not nearly as popular as arrivals. “Stop by and say hi” has turned into “I’m here, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”
DHS reports that it uses “a multifaceted approach to enforce overstay violations, including improving entry and exit data collection and reporting, notifying visitors of an impending expiration of their authorized period of admission” and a heap of bureaucratic-speak that indicates that not much is being done about the problem.
Reports but Little Regarding Answers
If the U.S. is serious about immigration, this type of legal-to-illegal activity must be stopped. Currently, government officials email foreigners to let them know their time is just about up. They also notify Immigration and Customs agents. But even a bevy of ICE agents can’t track down this many people. These paltry procedures are about as useful as telling little Timmy that he’s a bad boy without ever allowing him to experience any punishment.
DHS has toyed with a biometric screening of those who enter the country on a visa with iris scanning. But they have yet to implement a workable system for the estimated 52 million people who come into this country each year. The fact is we already have a thorough entry system into the U.S. It’s the exit part of the equation we haven’t quite figured out yet. But it’s not for lack of spending. As of 2016, the U.S. coughed up $600 million on entry/exit systems that have yet to provide a practical solution.
Earlier this year the Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General reported that the IT operation for ICE is so screwed up that it sometimes takes 27 separate databases to identify people who have overstayed their visas. “Currently, Customs and Border Protection has four such exit systems in the pilot stage, including mobile fingerprint readers and facial scanners, but it still encounters significant infrastructure and staffing problems. DHS’ goal is to set up a full-fledged system at one airport by 2018,” according to the OIG.
In the report’s conclusion, DHS does promise to issue another to Congress next year. This all adds up to nothing unless 52 million people plan to enter this country from one airport.
Meanwhile, President Trump has signed an executive order, directing DHS to get a biometric exit system in place. But turning the helm of the Titanic – especially when it’s run aground in the swamp – is no easy task.
Still, this is not an insurmountable feat, and the IT geniuses need to put their shoulder to the wheel on this because allowing people to stay indefinitely carries with it public safety and national security concerns. Think that’s an exaggeration? Of the nineteen September 11 hijackers, two of them were overstays, two others had previously overstayed – and had been granted the wrong visas to begin with – but held current visas on the day of the attack, and another had entered as a tourist and didn’t change his status to student. All in all, the 9/11 Commission estimated that at least six had violated immigration laws before the strike.
We have been waiting patiently to see what the big boys in journalism have to say about the recently reported 4.1% growth in the U.S. economy.
The answer is not much. In fact, the illustrious media has all but ignored this salient economic news.
It seems the Fourth Estate’s finest are busy with more important stories that affect Americans. Indeed, they are headlining such things as “Trump team’s new ‘alternative facts’ to explain its falsehoods,” “Why Russian Money Ends Up in U.S. Elections,” and my personal favorite:
“The Gift of Menopause.”
Meanwhile, Rome is on fire — not regarding destruction but in terms of a stoked U.S. economy. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Affairs just revealed a 4.1 percent growth for the second quarter of this year. And the reaction from the media elite is – silence.
So, here’s the good news. In addition to the 4.1% GDP, the unemployment rate stands at 3.9% and inflation at 2%.
And the Winners Are…
Just who is benefitting from these latest numbers? Remember when candidate Trump said, “I love the poorly educated.” It seems he does.
Those without so much as a high school diploma are getting jobs. Even the New York Times had to admit, “The unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma fell to 5.1 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday, the lowest since the government began collecting data on such workers in 1992.”
Back in the salad days of President Obama, this demographic posted a 15.6% unemployment rate. One might surmise from that whopping number that the poorly educated were not on Mr. Obama’s “A-list.”
Recently, Liberty Nation reported the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has fallen. Previously we noted that unemployment dropped for blacks and Hispanics. These are the very target groups that the left claims Mr. Trump despises. Perhaps they believe the president to be despondent over the uptick in the economy because it benefits those he loathes and derides.
Could it be that he doesn’t feel contempt for these people after all? Why that would undoubtedly ruin the leftist narrative, now wouldn’t it?
Trump v. Obama
So how does the Trump economy measure up to Obama-the-great? The average growth during the Obama years hovered around 2%. The graph below reveals the leader in GDP per capita was FDR. We can also ascertain that Mr. Obama’s numbers were down in the gutter with Herbert Hoover.
The American public has repeatedly been told by those on the left that President Trump’s tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthy. But if this were true, those with little education and those with disabilities as well as minorities would not be getting jobs. Today’s economic expansion is being fueled by a cut in tax rates for American business because they have more money to invest. Thus, job creation is the natural outcome. As Mike Solon opined in the Wall Street Journal recently, “Are low taxes key to a booming economy? Their success is harder than ever to deny…”
Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed Armageddon expected from a trade war with China has yet to materialize. Case in point — the heavily trade-dependent manufacturing sector added 37,000 new jobs in July. As well, the hospitality industry added another 40,000 jobs, and business and professional services just over 51,000.
So, there you have it, folks – all there is that appears not to be “fit to print” by the leftist media. As for the “The Gift of Menopause,” we’ve got nothing for you on that. But you can always check out the front page of the New York Times, August 6th edition if you are so inclined.
Is there anyone out there who remembers the Democrat mantra that candidate Donald Trump despised disabled people? Well, here’s something not widely reported: “President Donald Trump’s increasingly tight labor market, through strict immigration enforcement, is delivering jobs for Americans with disabilities in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.” And that’s not from some right-wing blog but the very keyboard of The Chicago Tribune. They are hardly a news entity that often sides with the president.
Self-disclosure: I have two kids with disabilities and both work. We always felt they were not just up to the challenge but that both of our boys would benefit from the pride and personal accomplishment that comes with having a job. My youngest son even beat out two “typical people” for the position he now holds. So, hiring the disabled is near and dear to my heart.
Having said that, employers are increasingly finding out that it makes sense to hire people with disabilities. They are remarkably reliable, hard workers and – as a whole – grateful for the opportunity. Now it seems that more and more of this unique labor pool – young and old – are getting hired.
How Has This Happened?
Those with disabilities are benefiting from a perfect economic storm. As the Trump administration continues to crack down on illegal aliens and tax cuts infuse more money into the economy, the unemployment rate has dropped like a lead balloon. This means employers have jobs to fill and are increasingly seeking to hire American citizens. The disabled American job market is natural for them.
But you won’t find much in the leftist media willing to give the devil his due: “Over the past year, the jobless rate for workers with disabilities has fallen at a faster rate than among the general population, dropping 2.7 percentage points, from 9.5 percent to 7 percent,” wrote Neil Munro in a June WaPo article. Then they add a giant “but” by reporting that the number of unemployed, disabled workers were up from last year.
So, what’s the real story?
“The unemployment rate among people with disabilities dropped to an annual average of 9.2 percent in 2017, the lowest it has been since the government started tracking it a decade ago and down from a high of 15 percent in 2011,” according to the Tribune. So now we have the media lefties arguing amongst themselves. The Post can try to spin it, but anyway you cut the numbers, people with disabilities are being sought after and getting hired in the increasingly tight U.S. labor market.
There remain a number of obstacles for the disabled when it comes to jobs – transportation is a big one. The fact that my younger son can drive opened up a lot of employment opportunities for him. But for his many friends who don’t carry a license, this can be a real barrier. The common misconception that people with disabilities aren’t capable of holding down a J-O-B doesn’t help either. And finally, those with disabilities often need an extra bit of training at the outset.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Organizations that work with the disabled population often provide job coaches to help launch these workers into new positions. In fact, these organizations are getting swamped with requests for job coaches these days. And between UBER and driverless cars entering the market, there are more transportation options for this workforce outside the standard bus and metro choices.
Still, there is a dirty little secret that those who don’t understand the disabled workforce won’t tell you. As a disabled person makes more money, his or her government benefits are reduced. This is as it should be, but often it becomes a disincentive for those on disability to work. Parents of disabled kids often can’t see the big picture – that keeping their kids’ home and collecting that government check destroys their children’s sense of self-worth and dignity.
But perhaps, that’s an issue for another day. For now, those with disabilities and those charged with their care are celebrating the growing Trump economy that as least offers a fighting chance.