Tag Archives: Conservatives

Summary, MP3 audio, video clips, and Democrat responses for Trump’s 2020 State of the Union

Trump State of the Union SOTU 2020
Trump State of the Union SOTU 2020

The speech is posted at the White House web site, along with a transcript. In this post, I’ll try to mention the main topics and the Democrat reactions. Summary: Trump didn’t appeal to feelings. He cited objective facts and figures to support his achievements, and he illustrated the benefits of his policies by pointing out the stories of specific people in the audience. Best! SOTU! Ever!

You can watch the video here: (transcript)

The MP3 file is here.

Main topics:

  • call for unity
  • tax cuts
  • de-regulation
  • job creation, especially in manufacturing
  • rising wages
  • millions of people lifted out of welfare programs
  • fair trade
  • new free trade agreements, e.g. USMCA
  • infrastructure improvement
  • immigration reform
  • border security
  • cracking down on human trafficking and sex trafficking
  • preventing crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens
  • rolling back Obamacare mandates
  • allow critically ill patients “right to try” lifesaving drugs
  • cutting healthcare costs
  • cutting prescription drug costs
  • reform VA healthcare
  • more spending on medical research
  • energy production boom
  • for the first time, USA is net exporter of energy
  • criminal justice reform to help non-violent offenders
  • school choice to put poor children in better schools
  • asks Congress to pass late-term abortion ban
  • America first foreign policy
  • more military spending
  • getting NATO allies to spend more on their military
  • making peace with North Korea
  • promoting democracy and prosperity in Venezuela
  • destroying Islamic State (ISIS) in the Middle East
  • focus on counterterrorism (not nation building) in Afghanistan
  • America’s greatness

Clips:

Celebrating child born at 21 weeks, calling for late term abortion ban:

Rush Limbaugh Presidential Medal of Freedom:

School choice scholarships for poor children:

Religious liberty and second amendment:

Surprise military homecoming for family:

Democrat reponses

Democrat sat on their hands for school choice:

Numerous Democrats appeared to not celebrate a fourth-grade black girl who received a scholarship on Tuesday night from President Donald Trump during the State of the Union Address.

[…]“The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” Trump said. “Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships.”

“The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists,” Trump continued. “One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s [Democrat] Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children.”

[…]“Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening,” Trump continued. “But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!”

“Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received,” Trump continued. “Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.”

Democrats sat on their hands for record low unemployment, high wages, and a booming stock market:

Democrat members of the House and Senate largely refused to celebrate the Trump administration’s economic successes for minority communities and women on Tuesday night during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.

[…]From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.

[…]Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs — 5 million more than Government experts projected during the previous administration.

[…]The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.

African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.

The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.

The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.

The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.

Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.

A record number of young Americans are now employed.

Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.

In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.

Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.

Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded!

Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights.

All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.

Democrats sat on their hands for tax cuts for investments in poorer neighborhoods:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona broke from her Democratic colleagues by giving a standing ovation for “opportunity zones” during President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday. While the majority of Democrats sat as Trump commended Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for his work on opportunity zones, Sinema stood and applauded her colleague.

Opportunity zones were created in tandem with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They provide tax advantages for certain investments in lower income areas.

“Jobs and investments are pouring into nine thousand previously neglected neighborhoods, thanks to opportunity zones. A plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts,” Trump said as Sinema stood to clap.

Trump’s approval rating is now at 49%, the highest it’s ever been. Higher than Obama’s was at this time in his presidency, and Obama won re-election.

Mulcair and Trudeau want convicted Canadian terrorists to retain citizenship

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

This is from the National Post, one of Canada’s two national newspapers.

Excerpt:

The government used its new power to revoke the citizenship of convicted terrorists for the first time on Friday against the imprisoned ringleader of the 2006 al-Qaida-inspired plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto.

Zakaria Amara was notified in a letter sent to the Quebec penitentiary where is he serving a life sentence that he is no longer a Canadian. He still holds citizenship in Jordan and could be deported there following his release from prison.

[…]Legislation that came into force in May, over the opposition of the NDP and Liberals, allows the government to revoke the citizenship of Canadians who have been convicted of terrorism offences — provided they hold citizenship in a second country.

The law also applies to dual citizens convicted of treason and spying for foreign governments, as well as members of armed groups at war against Canada. A little more than half-a-dozen Canadians have been notified so far that the government was considering revoking their citizenship.

Now, you would think that a law like this would be common sense, but in Canada, you’d be wrong. Two-thirds of the electorate are pro-terrorism in Canada, owing largely to mass immigration from Muslim countries, and and an education system that is anti-Western civilization in a suicidal way. And the leaders of the two socialist opposition parties reflect that suicidal view.

More:

NDP leader Tom Mulcair has said he would scrap the citizenship revocation law, and on Friday Liberal leader Justin Trudeau repeated his pledge to repeal it. “The bill creates second-class citizens,” he said. “No elected official should ever have the exclusive power to revoke Canadian citizenship. Under a Liberal government there will be no two-tiered citizenship. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Let’s find out exactly who we are talking about here:

Amara emerged in 2005 as one of two leaders of a terrorist group that trained on a rural property north of the city and, inspired by al-Qaida, began planning attacks they thought would convince Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

Amara led a faction that was acquiring the components for large truck bombs that were to be detonated during the morning rush hour outside the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service office beside the CN Tower. An Ontario military base was also to be attacked.

Justice Bruce Durno called the plot “spine chilling” and said “the potential for loss of life existed on a scale never before seen in Canada. It was almost unthinkable without the suggestion that metal chips would be put in the bombs. Had the plan been implemented it would have changed the lives of many, if not all Canadians forever.”

Under the liberal governments of the 1980s and 1990s, Canada experienced mass immigration from countries that had no understanding of nor allegiance to Western democratic ideals. This was desired in order to build a majority that would support bigger government, higher taxes, and more dependency. No effort was made to teach incoming immigrants to value democracy and Judeo-Christian values as the source of Canadian success. There were several terrorist attack in Canada during Harper’s 8 year run. If Canada elects leftists, these will continue. Only now, government will not have the tools they need to protect the public from their past immigration laxity. Be warned, Canadians.

Why do the most educated conservatives sometimes doubt scientific consensus?

On some issues, I do doubt the scientific establishment: 1) Darwinism and 2) global warming. Why? Because I think that in those two areas, science takes a back seat to ideology. Specifically, the ideologies of naturalism and socialism. And I’m not alone. Many the most informed conservatives also doubt the pontifications of the scientific establishment.

Reason magazine explains:

The link in the [Instapundit] gloss above goes to a story in the excellent Inside Higher Ed (a must-read for anyone interested in post-secondary education issues, IMO). Here’s the lede of the piece:

Just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974, according to a paper being published today in American Sociological Review.

The paper in ASR draws on attitudes as reflected in the General Social Survey, a “long-term study asking people various demographic and self-identification questions (including political identity) and for their attitudes on certain groups, including confidence in certain institutions.” The author of the paper, a post-doc at University of North Carolina, says:

Less-educated conservatives didn’t change their attitudes about science in recent decades. It is better-educated conservatives who have done so, the paper says.

In the paper, Gauchat calls this a “key finding,” in part because it challenges “the deficit model, which predicts that individuals with higher levels of education will possess greater trust in science, by showing that educated conservatives uniquely experienced the decline in trust.”

[The wording of the key question in the survey]…stresses attitudes toward “the people running these institutions.” It doesn’t ask whether you think science has changed. It’s specifically asking about the folks wearing literal and figurative lab coats who are running joints like the National Science Foundation, testifying before Congress, appearing on The Tonight Show while forecasting famine up the ying-yang and praising coercive population control measures, and who often end up being totally wrong about everything.

If it’s “educated conservatives” who have lost faith in scientists, a fully plausible possible explanation is simply that they recognize what libertarians and crypto-libertarians ranging from Thomas Szasz to Michel Foucault have been pointing out since the early 1960s in works starting with The Myth of Mental Illness and The Birth of the Clinic: That much if not all of what passes for dispassionate scientific discourse is hugely implicated in power struggles that have little or nothing to do with disinterested, true-for-all-times-and-all-places Truths with capital Ts.

So what the most educated conservatives are disagreeing about is not testable, repeatable, observable science.  It’s the politicization of science by the scientific establishment that conservatives are skeptical about. For example, in cases of outright fraud like “archaeoraptor” and “Climategate“, where fake research is used to prop up a philosophy, i.e. – naturalism and socialism respectively.

It doesn’t help when the scientific establishment responds to skepticism with stuff like this: (links removed)

A whole slew of new “research” on conservatives’ and global warming skeptics’ “brains” has hit the academic circuit.

First off, environment and sociology Prof. Kari Norgaard’s new study claims skeptics of man-made global warming fears should be “treated” for their skepticism. The study compares skepticism to man-made climate fears to the struggle against racism and slavery.

Prof. Norgaard’s concept of “treating” those who do not follow the current day’s political or social orthodoxy is, frighteningly, not new. A quick look at the 20th century totalitarian super states reveals many similar impulses.

It’s even more chilling that there is a whole new movement afoot by the promoters of man-made global warming theory to intimidate climate skepticsby using new brain “research.”

Other researchers have attempted to tie conservatism (which is identified with the highest number of climate skeptics) to “low brainpower.”

Some global warming promoters claim it is essentially “unethical” to be a skeptic.

That’s not the evidence we are looking for.

Why social conservatives should support free market capitalism

The free enterprise system should not be adopted simply because it is the best system for creating wealth. The best reason to support free market capitalism is a moral reason. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, and a Christian, describes the moral argument for free market capitalism.

Excerpt:

It might seem that the best case for free enterprise is the material one. Free enterprise lets people make more money, buy more and nicer stuff, and have a greater degree of comfort. The freer our economy is, the more competitive the US economy is vis-à-vis the rest of the world. And so on.

But these aren’t our best arguments. There is another reason, a transcendent reason, for which free enterprise matters most—and this is the case we all must be able to make today.

We all learned early on in school that the Declaration of Independence claimed for each of us the unalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Note that the founders didn’t assert a right to be happy; such is the domain of tinpots and crackpots, of 1984’s “Ministry of Plenty” and Josef Stalin’s aggrandizing self-description as the Soviet Union’s “Constructor of Happiness.” So what, in practice, does this right to pursue happiness mean?

It means the right to define and earn our happiness through our ideas, hard work, and gumption, to earn our success by creating value honestly, in our own lives and in the lives of others. It doesn’t mean the pursuit of a big lottery win or an inheritance. Those bring money, but not happiness. And a mountain of evidence shows that after a fairly low threshold, more money doesn’t make us happier. The best case for free enterprise has nothing at all to do with money or material goods or wealth. Those are just icing on the cake. We must stop talking about free enterprise as just an engine of wealth creation. It’s much more than that.

In short, the secret to the pursuit of happiness is earning our own success; creating value with our lives and in the lives of others. This earned success is the fruit of hard work and just rewards in a system built on merit. Only in a free enterprise system is effort and innovation rewarded over connections and predation. (And this means that we have to draw a distinction between free enterprise, which is based on opportunity and competition between ideas, and corporate cronyism, which is just another form of statism masquerading as free enterprise.)

Here are 3 reasons why I think that social conservatives should support free market capitalism.

1) Right to work

It’s very important for Christians to have an economic system in place that allows them to work without having to promote anti-Christians ideas. But when government gets too big, what happens is that Christians are no longer free to take any job they want, and still keep a clear conscience. In some states, you have to join a union which uses your union dues to elect Democrats, who very often are liberal on social issues. Or, you have big government forcing Christians to perform abortions against their consciences. Or, you have big government forcing Christian organizations to provide health insurance plans that cover abortions and contraceptives. That’s why Christians need to vote against big government regulations on employment – we need the freedom to work at a job that does not violate our consciences.

2) Right to earn

It’s very important for Christians to keep what they earn so that they have the maximum amount of money to make decisions that make sense for them, according to their consciences. Take the example of day care and education. The big government statist is constantly trying to to create more and more government-run day care and public schools. Why? They want to take money away from families so that they cannot afford individualized private and parochial schools, and lump them all into government run schools that are more “equal”. The problem is that this is bad for Christians who want more oversight into what their children learn. For example, what sense does it make for a Christian man to pay for day care and public schools when he marries a teacher who becomes a stay at home homeschooling mother for his children? He has to pay for day care and public schools he will never use, and it eats into the money he has to afford a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. Christians should oppose a day care and education system run by a secular leftist government. They will never reflect the values of Christian parents.

3) Right to spend

It’s very important for Christians to have the freedom to purchase products and services that make sense in their worldview. Take the example of health care. Secular leftists would love to force private medical insurance companies to cover things like abortion and contraception as health care. In some states, these things are specified as mandatory for every health care plan. That means that Christians who purchase health care are being forced to pay for services like abortion which they will never use themselves. This is nothing more than the redistribution of wealth in order to lower the cost of abortions for people, in order to encourage them to be sexually active before they are able to accommodate children. Christians need to oppose this – we do not want to have to pay for things that go against our consciences.

So, in addition to the reasons that Brooks mentioned (the happiness of earning your own way and serving others), it’s important for Christians to understand how free market capitalism fits into their plans. We do not want to support big government, especially when big government so often is not compatible with Judeo-Christian values. In the free market, it is much harder for ALL the businesses to conspire together to block Christians from working, earning and spending according to their consciences. We must resist top-down control of the free market so that we have the liberty to do what we ought to do in order to be virtuous.

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper wins a majority

Stephen Harper Wins Majority
Stephen Harper Wins Majority

You can see the latest Canadian election results here on the Sun News Network.

The Conservatives won 167 seats in the House of Commons. They needed 155 for a majority of the 308 seats.

From the Vancouver Sun.

Excerpt:

Conservative leader Stephen Harper has emerged from the election campaign as a much more powerful prime minister and will lead a majority government with four years to change the country.

At a rally of his supporters here, Conservatives cheered and celebrated Monday as the results rolled in from throughout the country, confirming that Canadians, in large numbers, had given Harper the trust he had sought in the five-week campaign.

As the evening wore on, Harper’s party was coming within striking distance of reaching the benchmark threshold — 155 seats — they needed for a majority. When the Tories crossed that threshold, a great cheer erupted in the hall here in Calgary where supporters had gathered to celebrate and listen to Harper’s speech.

The Conservatives success came as the NDP made historic gains at the expense of the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois, which saw their popular vote drop as they lost seats.

In recent days on the hustings, Harper had portrayed the election as having historic consequences for the country. In addition, his own personal future was at stake.

It was clear that with a majority victory, Harper will be regarded by historians as a political success story who united the political right in Canada.

He will have a four-year mandate to implement significant change in areas ranging from tax policy, to the criminal justice system, to foreign affairs.

Here’s the reaction to the Harper victory from businesses and investors.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won for a third time the leadership of Canada, in a stunning vote which changed the country’s political landscape.

As the ballot counting wore on over six times zones and more than 5,000 miles from Atlantic to Pacific, Harper won his great aim, a majority government after two minorities in 2006 and 2008. The television networks declared his majority victory well before 11 p.m. ET. The Conservatives may have won 160 to 165 seats when 155 are needed for a majority in the 308-seat House of Commons.

While a Conservative victory again was always considered quite possible, the countrys political landscape was altered in three stunning ways:

The New Democratic Party, a rump group of social democrats in the 41st Parliament with 36 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons, surged into becoming the chief opposition party in the 42nd Parliament with about 105 to 108 seats.

The former chief opposition party, the historically great Liberal Party of Canada, the government of the country for more than 100 years of Canada’s 144 years since Confederation of separate British colonies into one nation, sunk to a very poor third with perhaps 30 seats. Michael Ignatieff, who became Liberal leader exactly two years earlier to the date, was looking to lose his Toronto-area seat.

The Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party from the French-speaking province of Quebec, was wiped out by the surging NDP, from 47 of Quebec’s 75 seats to perhaps two seats.

While the social democrats in the new Democratic party hold a powerful position in the House of Commons, the Conservatives with their majority will enforce a program which by and large is what foreign and domestic business and investors prefer.

The Conservatives will bring back a budget which was lost in the last Parliament when the election intervened 36 days ago, and will continue with a further tax cut for corporations, but a reduction in spending it said would bring back balance during 2014, erasing the federal budget deficit the Conservatives created after 11 years of Liberal government-created surpluses.

Prime Minister Harper campaigned for a majority saying his Conservatives were the prudent economic managers while the others were “tax and spend” parties. He will keep the same course. Economists have said that they see no significant changes in deficit reduction or in monetary policy under the Conservatives.

Well done, Canada! Congratulations!