Monthly Archives: May 2017

“The political and media hysteria surrounding the Trump administration lies somewhere on the repulsiveness scale between the Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution and the McCarthy era. Thus far the public knows of no presidential action that would justify impeachment. Never mind, the crowd cries, let us have the verdict now…

…We can do the trial later.”, Ted Van Dyk, VP Humphrey’s assistant in the White House and 40+ years serving Democrat administrations and campaigns, The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2017

“This is exactly how the Democrats attacked bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, except those bankers didn’t have the ability to fight back. In fact, nearly all were silenced by actual or threatened government investigations and/or lawsuits. To this day, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress did not prove a single crisis era allegation it made.”, Mike Perry, former Chairman and CEO, IndyMac Bank


Anti-Trump Democrats Invite Chaos

If they succeed in bouncing the president from office, they may find that what comes next is even worse.

By Ted Van Dyk

 ‘A jackass can kick down a barn,” said the legendary Speaker Sam Rayburn. “But it takes a carpenter to build one.”

Democrats should reflect on that wisdom as they consider the special counsel now appointed to investigate President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. In the short term, the inquiry will probably hurt Mr. Trump and feed attempts to drive him from office. But in the end the president’s attackers will pay a price.

The political and media hysteria surrounding the Trump administration lies somewhere on the repulsiveness scale between the Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution and the McCarthy era. Thus far the public knows of no presidential action that would justify impeachment. Never mind, the crowd cries, let us have the verdict now. We can do the trial later.

What about discussions between Trump campaign advisers and Russian or other foreign leaders? Don’t they count as high crimes and misdemeanors? No, such conversations take place all the time in national campaigns.

What about the firing of FBI Director James Comey ? Wasn’t that suspicious? No, Mr. Comey disregarded the Justice Department chain of command and the normal proprieties of his office. He made public statements about ongoing investigations. He allowed it to leak that the president had suggested leniency for Mike Flynn, the former White House adviser now under investigation. A presidential suggestion of that nature would be neither illegal nor unprecedented.

What about Mr. Trump’s disclosure of classified information during a meeting with Russian leaders? It’s a tempest in a teapot. The president has the authority to classify or declassify information as he wishes. I have witnessed other presidents doing it.

What about Mr. Trump’s executive order declaring a short-term pause on immigration from countries with active terrorist movements? It may have been poorly handled, but other presidents have done similar things.

What about all Mr. Trump’s flip-flopping? Shouldn’t a president be trustworthy and reliable? Yes, but when Mr. Trump has reversed his campaign pledges it has been mostly for the good.

If Mr. Trump were a conventional president, these missteps would be shrugged off as growing pains or considered worthy of only mild reproof. President Trump, it is true, lacks the knowledge, experience and temperament for the office. His crude narcissism is grating. He has carelessly contributed to his problems with heedless public statements. He nonetheless was duly elected and should be given the leeway that new presidents are traditionally afforded.

Critics, moreover, misread the temper of the American people. Most voters don’t much like Mr. Trump. But they like chaos less.

I spoke recently to a Democratic group consisting mainly of Bernie Sanders supporters. Many were searching for a constructive response to the Trump presidency. They were people, as the saying goes, seeking to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

I suggested that they concentrate on developing alternatives to Mr. Trump’s proposals—on health care, taxes, the budget. “You mean we should help Trump?” someone asked. “No,” I answered, “you should help your country.” I was surprised by the outburst of applause that followed.

Democrats, in their all-out opposition to Mr. Trump, are missing real opportunities to influence policy. The tax-reform debate is a prime example. If Democrats were shrewd, they would try to negotiate a grand compromise, in which loopholes are scrubbed from the code and Social Security and Medicare put on sounder long-term footing. But to get there, purposeful polarization must give way to constructive engagement.

Trump haters disregard an old rule of politics and history: In the end, voters always choose order over disorder. Kicking Mr. Trump to the curb wouldn’t return the country to the pre-Trump status quo. It would likely bring forth new law-and-order leadership more disciplined and conservative than Mr. Trump’s.

Mr. Van Dyk was active for more than 40 years in Democratic administrations and campaigns, including as Vice President Humphrey’s assistant in the White House.

“If you read this, I know it sounds like very boring, very detailed “political stuff”, but if you have ever had to deal with these federal agencies, like I have, and find out that they “hold (almost) all the cards” over individual American citizens, in violation of our Constitution, you would understand how important and powerful these Bills are for America…

…Glad also to see fabulous Senator Mike Lee say “it’s our fault” (Congress) this happened, we inappropriately abdicated our duties to the Executive Branch”. If you control corporate legal counsel decisions, ask your law firm where they stand on these Bills. I bet most won’t tell you, because the way it is today creates more legal work for them and also a revolving door career between their law firms and these unaccountable federal bureaucracies.”, Mike Perry, former Chairman and CEO, IndyMac Bank

May 17, 2017, Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

3 Bills Sen. Mike Lee Thinks Could Shift Power ‘Back to the People’


Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, says Congress must reassert its lawmaking role. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom )

Over the past eight decades, Congress has gradually relinquished its lawmaking role and left it to the administrative state, said a conservative senator at a Capitol Hill event on Wednesday.

“Many Americans now feel that they are not in control of their own government,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said during an event hosted at the Federalist Society’s fifth annual Executive Branch Review Conference. “The administrative state is designed to be insulated from the will of the people.”

The Utah senator said that one way he is working to combat this phenomenon is through an initiative he has started called Article One Project.

“Our goal is to develop and advance and hopefully enact an agenda of structural reforms that will strengthen Congress by reclaiming the legislative powers that have been ceded to the executive branch,” Lee said.

Lee said that lawmakers are to blame for the shift in power.

“We are not, in fact, the victims, we are the perpetrators,” Lee said, adding:

We have done this willfully because it makes our job easier. It is a whole lot easier and less politically risky to have somebody else do the lawmaking than it is to do the lawmaking yourself.

There are several pieces of legislation, Lee said, that could help address executive overreach.

1.) REINS Act

The REINS Act, which has passed the House but has yet to pass the Senate, would make progress in regaining ground Congress has lost, Lee said.

This proposed law would require both congressional and presidential approval of major rules, which “have an economic impact of $100 million or more,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., wrote in a recent op-ed.

“Under this law, the specialized know-how within each agency would still be allowed to contribute to the regulatory process,” Lee said.

“But ultimately, Congress would be responsible for every major regulation that went into effect. This would make it easier for American voters to know who to blame for bad policies. As things currently stand, lawmakers can have it both ways.

2.) Separation of Powers Restoration Act

The second piece of legislation Lee suggested to help restore congressional authority is the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, which has passed the House in 2016.

In a 2016 op-ed in The Hill, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, warned that “The practice of administrative agencies engaging in de facto ‘lawmaking’ was exacerbated by a 1984 Supreme Court decision, [Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council], which determined that courts must defer to agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous laws as long as their interpretation is deemed ‘reasonable.’”

The Separation of Powers Restoration Act, which Ratcliffe has introduced in the House again this year, would “[reverse] the 1984 Supreme Court decision that established the ‘Chevron doctrine,’ placing the power to determine ambiguous laws back into the hands of the judiciary.”

“The bill would end the dysfunctional status quo that tilts the legal playing field in favor of bureaucrats who pass the legislation to [place] federal law in the hands of legislators and the power to write and judges power to interpret just as the Constitution,” Lee said.

3.) Agency Accountability Act

The third piece of legislation, the Agency Accountability Act, will do exactly what its name implies, Lee said, and will hold agencies accountable.

The act, which has been introduced in the House, would “make federal agencies accountable … by directing most fines, fees, and unappropriated proceeds to the Treasury instead of letting federal agencies keep the money and then spend it as they see fit,” the Utah senator said.

Right now “agencies have the ability to use funds received through fines, fees, and proceeds from legal settlements without going through the formal appropriations process, thus avoiding congressional oversight,” according to a report from The Heritage Foundation’s Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs.

If signed into law, this legislation would help restore Congress’ role in overseeing how money is spent, Lee said.

“You see the Constitution has this pesky little provision that … Congress has the power and the responsibility to direct spending of federal dollars. The power of the purse is one of Congress’ most potent tools for controlling bureaucracies,” Lee said.

While Lee said that many Americans feel like they have lost control of their government, legislation like the Agency Accountability Act would be a remedy.

“Passing the Agency Accountability Act will go a long way in putting Congress, and by extension, the American people, back in charge of the federal bureaucracies and specifically, the way they spend money,” Lee said.

Lee urged Congress to act.

“If we are able to pass even one of these legislative proposals … then we will have made real progress toward listening to the people and making sure that our government itself has to listen to the people,” Lee said, adding:

If we can pass all three bills, it would constitute a fundamental, generational shift of power in the country, a shift of power back to the people.

“The liberal mainstream media lied about the root-causes of the 2008 financial crisis, and time/historical evidence has either disproved their claims or not proved them…

…One positive for me personally, from what President Trump is experiencing with them, at least half of America (maybe much more) now understand the media in America is massively-biased towards liberal positions and will say anything (with little regard for the facts and the truth) to further their side’s agenda.”, Mike Perry, former Chairman and CEO, IndyMac Bank

May 18, 2017, Adriana Cohen, The Boston Herald

Adriana Cohen: The media has lost its marbles

Adriana Cohen Thursday, May 18, 2017

Credit: AP photo

‘TREATED WORSE’: President Trump gives the commencement address yesterday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Just five months in, 2017 is going down in history as the year that gave us the worst media bias America has ever witnessed.

It’s worse than slanted, it’s flat-out rigged against our president and he knows it. Yesterday at the Coast Guard Academy commencement ceremony, President Trump said, “Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

The days of honest, ethical journalism guided by facts, not political motives, have been replaced by agenda-driven activism by political operatives masquerading as mainstream media journalists.

Each and every week, they have manufactured a continual cycle of “fake news” crises about the Trump administration for the sole purpose of smearing the Republican leader so that Democrats can take back power in the midterms and 2020.

Hopefully voters are savvy enough to see through the daily smear campaign against our president by The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, the AP and scores of other left-leaning media outlets whose reporters wake up every morning with one goal: take down Trump.

Democratic leaders, CNN and other outlets have been pushing the false narrative that the Trump administration may have colluded with the Kremlin to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. If there was any evidence to support that, rest assured it would have been leaked by now. There’s no there there. No evidence has been produced to suggest anyone committed a crime, let alone colluded with anyone.

Just this week the media lost its marbles over the notion Trump may have shared intelligence with Russian officials in a recent White House visit. Never mind that there is no proof Trump divulged anything inappropriate, or that the media didn’t give a hoot when Obama did it last summer. Democrats get a pass.

Four dead Americans in Benghazi? The media yawned. Targeting of conservatives by the IRS during the Obama administration? The media snored. Colluding with the Iranians in secret deals, with massive money transfers and releasing dangerous actors? That they considered a triumph of diplomacy. But if Trump orders two scoops of ice cream, he’s Dr. Evil and CNN devotes multiple segments to it.

Each and every day the words “impeachment” and “Watergate” are floated by Democrats and anti-Trump media based on trumped-up, distorted information. Every week, they declare a new constitutional crisis.

But Trump won the election despite that toxic media environment. Voters aren’t buying it anymore.

Adriana Cohen is host of “The Adriana Cohen Show,” heard at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.

“JPM Chairman and CEO Dimon says President Trump’s economic and national security people and policies (even some of the tough trade talk) are pretty fabulous. He also says that inappropriate government mortgage regulations have cost the economy 2 million jobs. Don’t believe me? Read this article. Who is responsible for those lost 2 million jobs? Clearly, #1 on that list would be US Senator Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the CFPB…

…(which banned mortgages people want and institutions want to make) and dramatically increased regulation and compliance. It now costs roughly double to make a mortgage in America. It went from like $4,000 to $7,000/$8,000, according to the MBA’s economists, with nothing to show for it….other than the 2 million lost jobs! Dimon is a Democrat, and because he is still running a big Too Big to Fail Bank…he doesn’t take on the Democrats or blame Warren directly….read it and see for yourself. ”, Mike Perry, former Chairman and CEO, IndyMac Bank

May 8, 2017, Matt Turner, Business Insider

JAMIE DIMON: There is a ‘national catastrophe’ and ‘we should be ringing the alarm bells’

Matt Turner
Business InsiderMay 8, 2017
Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon

(Business Insider)

Jamie Dimon is sounding the alarm.

The chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase has taken the opportunity on a number of occasions in recent weeks to highlight problems in America, including its failing education system, stifling bureaucracy, and high levels of incarceration and opioid deaths. He has set out some solutions along the way.

Dimon’s influence beyond Wall Street seems to be at a peak. He’s the chairman of the Business Roundtable at a critical time, with a pro-business White House opening its doors to business CEOs. He crosses the political divide: a registered Democrat, he said recently he no longer cares for party politics. The bank he heads last month reported a strong set of first-quarter profits, with $6.4 billion in net income.

Business Insider travelled on May 5 to speak with Dimon at the Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School in the South Bronx, New York. We talked about education, the economy, and the Trump administration. JPMorgan Chase had just announced a $6 million investment in the Bronx as part of its $75 million New Skills for Youth initiative.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Matt Turner: Why are initiatives like this one in the South Bronx so necessary right now?

Jamie Dimon: We’ve made a huge effort globally and in the US, in getting kids jobs. This is one piece. The South Bronx and inner-city schools need it more than most. It’s our hometown; JPMorgan Chase banks a lot of people here. My wife [Judy Dimon] does a lot here, and so they’ve been pounding it: “We need to do more in the South Bronx.” We need to get kids getting out of high school, who go on with a job, or go on to college and that leads to a job.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces a $1.8 billion project to transform the South Bronx by reconstruction of the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange in New York City, United States in this March 19, 2017 handout photo. Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Handout via REUTERS
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces a $1.8 billion project to transform the South Bronx by reconstruction of the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange in New York City, United States in this March 19, 2017 handout photo. Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Handout via REUTERS

(New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces a $1.8 billion project to transform the South Bronx.Thomson Reuters)

We’re making an effort. We have some great partners here. If you see the school, it works. You saw the kids today. They’re all getting jobs, they’re smiling, they’re proud of themselves. That’s what we need to do in inner-city schools.

Turner: You’ve said that “the lack of economic opportunity for young people in the South Bronx is a moral and economic crisis.” How did this happen?

Dimon: It’s not just this area. You have unemployment now going below 4.4% this morning, but if you go to a lot of inner cities, unemployment among youth — think ages 17 to 25 — is 20% or 25%. The fact that parts of the country are doing well doesn’t mean we shouldn’t focus on the part that isn’t.

Part of the problem is that jobs haven’t been done locally. These kids can get jobs with the MTA. There’s a distribution company down here, they know what these kids have been trained in, they were part of the training effort. Locally, if you go to Texas, they need welders. If you go to other areas, they need people who can do construction, plumbing, electrical work. Business has to be involved locally with civic society, in this case schools, to get the kids trained to have a job.

There are plenty of jobs out there. When people talk about the problems, I would say, “What’s the solution? What’s the outcome you want? How are you going to get there?” Civic society has to do it together with business. It’s not going to work with one without the other.

Turner: You talked recently about a lost generation, of people being left behind. What has the effect of that been?

Dimon: When people talk about people being left behind — middle wages have not gone up for years, and we should recognize that, and there I think we need growth and skills — but there are these other people who have been left behind. When I say out loud, “Fifty percent of inner-city schoolkids do not graduate from high school,” that is a national catastrophe. We should be ringing the alarm bells. It’s not fair.

Colin Powell
Colin Powell

(Colin Powell.Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

We were a land of opportunity. You can never have equal outcomes, but you can have equal opportunity. Among those kids, we might have had a Colin Powell, an Albert Einstein, we’ll never know. I just think it is part of running a good society. People should get involved in fixing that particular problem.

Turner: The idea of going to school, getting a job, working your way up, buying a house, that’s a part of the American dream, and yet all those things seem harder to do. Is the American dream still available to as many people now as it used to be?

Dimon: We have the best country on the planet. We have schools, universities, food, water, energy, peaceful neighbors, low corruption, you name it, deepest and widest capital markets. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t identify problems. We don’t have a divine right to success. If you look at it, what are the problems?

One is, middle-class wages haven’t gone up. One is, lower-class wages haven’t gone up enough to create a living wage. One is, people losing jobs, more to automation than anything else. The solution? It’s retraining, relocation — it’s income assistance. We’re just trying to recognize those things, that we’ve left some people behind. And we haven’t done a particularly good job of fixing it, Democrat or Republican. My own view, this is not a political issue. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction from either side. It’s training, schools, getting growth going again.

Detroit would be a great example. If you look at Detroit, that mayor, it’s been a train wreck for 40 years, the population has gone from 2 million to 700,000. This Mayor comes in, and he talked about streetlights, sanitation, jobs, policing, schools, affordable housing. He’s doing it all, and it’s growing for the first time in 30 years. Literally, one man. But that one man couldn’t do it without business. You’ve got wonderful people in Detroit, like Dan Gilbert, JPMorgan Chase. And business couldn’t have done it without a political environment where they wanted to improve things. If you had an antibusiness environment there, it would still be down there.

Construction is seen on a new housing development along the riverfront in Detroit, Michigan, December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Construction is seen on a new housing development along the riverfront in Detroit, Michigan, December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

(Construction on a new housing development along the riverfront in Detroit.Thomson Reuters)

Turner: For that lost generation, there’s some anger at the global elite.

Dimon: I kind of agree with it, when you leave people behind, and those people who are left behind, it’s not their fault, it’s the leaders of the institutions. There’s always going to be an elite. You can have an elite in a communist society. It is the leaders, something went wrong, and the leaders collectively are responsible.

There’s some more terrible numbers — men, age 25 to 55, the labor-force participation rate is down 10%. That’s unbelievable. There are 35,000 dying of opioids every year. Seventy percent of kids age 17 to 24 can’t get into the US military because of health or education. Obesity, diabetes, reading and writing. Is that the society we wanted? No. We should be working on these things, acknowledge the flaws we have, and come up with solutions. Not Democrat. Not Republican. Not knee-jerk.

Any good job is a good job. This whole concept of a dead-end job? It’s not true. I’ve heard it my whole life. Jobs lead to dignity. If you’re good at the first, then you can get the second. Jobs lead to household formation. Jobs are a better solution for society. The other part, the expanded earned-income tax credit, which can help the lower paid have more a living wage, which will lead them to do more. It will help small business. It won’t help big business.

Turner: What impact has what you’re describing had on the economy? Can the US get back to 3% or 4% growth?

Dimon: I’ve been clear. I think the reason we’re at 2% and not 3% is money spent on wars, the education system leaving people behind, technology has left some people behind. It’s a lot of things we did. Government shutdowns. I don’t think it had to be that way. I don’t think it was embedded in something. It was the decisions we made. We should do something about fixing it. I’m comfortable we’ll fix it. People always say to me, “What if it doesn’t work?” If it doesn’t work, we redouble our effort. We’re not going to cry like a bunch of babies. We’re going to redouble our effort.

Detroit is a great example. It is working. The population is going up, unemployment is going down, people are moving back in. You can go to downtown Detroit today, an area I’m familiar with because I’ve been going to Detroit for 30 years or so. You wouldn’t have walked around downtown Detroit. Now, it is vibrant, music, restaurants, it’s unbelievable. It actually works at the local level if you do it right.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Jamie Dimon.Thomson Reuters)

Turner: Why isn’t that happening in more places?

Dimon: I wouldn’t say it isn’t happening elsewhere. Good reporters have written about little towns where it is happening. And then there are towns where it’s not.

Turner: JPMorgan Chase’s investment in the South Bronx is from a $75 million fund, and the bank has a $250 million fund focused on similar issues. Does corporate America need to do more?

Dimon: I’m the chairman of the Business Roundtable, which is 200 of the largest companies in America, and one of our initiatives is around work skills, things exactly like this. Think of disseminating best practices among government, among business. A lot of businesses do it. If you went to any major company, they’ll give you a good list of the stuff they’re doing. We just need to do more.

Turner: And when you talk to those CEOs about the need for that kind of an effort, what’s their response?

Dimon: They’re totally on board. Most CEOs are patriotic and most CEOs can see the problems in front of them, and they want to do something about it. We don’t always agree about the ways and means, but the objective? We’re totally together.

Turner: You’ve talked about the pro-business approach this administration is taking, and that being a welcome change. How does that fit in to what we’re discussing?

Dimon: People get boxed up in personalities and stuff like that. The Trump administration’s [economic] agenda is the right agenda. Corporate taxes have been driving capital and brains and companies overseas for a decade. It has caused huge damage in investment and jobs and productivity. It was a mistake. We have to fix it. Counterintuitively, that usually helps middle-class wages, and lower-class wages, and job formation.

The second issue is regulation. If you talk to anyone involved in business — forget banks and big business — talk to small businesses — do it yourself, don’t ask me — they’ll tell you it’s crippling. Small-business formation is the lowest it has ever been in a recovery, and it’s really for two reasons. One is regulations and the second is access to capital for people starting new businesses.

Then there is infrastructure. You might be shocked to find out, we haven’t built a major airport for 20 years. China built 75 in the past 10 years. It takes 10 years to get all the permits to build a bridge today. Ten years? What happened to the good old can-do America? Where is “We get it done, we work together”? We’ve become this bureaucratic, stifling environment. I’m not talking about violating environmental things — I’m talking about building a bridge, getting things going, getting people to work together. Even some of my friends noticed there was a bridge in Cambridge being built across the Charles River. It was a teeny little bridge. It took six years. Don’t tell me that’s not corruption. I don’t care what you say — that’s corruption.

Trump Jamie Dimon
Trump Jamie Dimon

(Dimon with President Trump.Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Turner: How confident are you that with the current administration there will be change?

Dimon: The first thing you do is acknowledge where some of the problems are. They’ve got real professionals on the ground, deeply respected, both on the national-security and state side, and the economic side, and they’re just staffing up. Let them go at it.

Remember, it won’t be up to them. They’ve got to work with Congress, with Democrats and Republicans. I think a lot of these things that are good for all of America, we should get the Congress, whether it’s Democrat or Republican, to say, “Let’s get those things done.” Those things are good for all Americans. A lot of these things have hurt the average American. When they look at the banks and they say, “Well, the bank’s talking its own game,” I am telling you, what we’ve done in mortgage lending, our inability to have proper regulations around mortgages, has hurt average Americans. First-time buyers, immigrant buyers, prior defaults, self-employed, because they can’t get a mortgage. Will it make a big difference to JPMorgan Chase? No, but you’re hurting my fellow citizens. Let’s go at it, and let’s fix it.

That mortgage example — our economists think that one example would have improved GDP growth by 0.3% a year. Over five years, that’s 1.5% — 1.5% would be 2 million jobs. If that’s true, let’s do something about it. Let’s not sit here and twiddle our thumbs and have Democrats and Republicans yelling and screaming at each other. We’re hurting average Americans.

Trump Air Force One
Trump Air Force One

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Turner: Do you think your voice and the voices of other CEOs carry more weight now with the present administration?

Dimon: I think the administration is talking to everybody. They are talking to CEOs, they’re talking to unions, I’m told the president has Democrats and Republicans over for lunch and dinner and on Air Force One. As the head of the BRT, the CEO, who is Josh Bolten, who we recently hired, and I recently met with a whole bunch of unions about what we could do that would be better for everybody. It was a great meeting. We’re going to try to get people to work together to fix these problems. It takes collaboration. It’s not going to work if we all hate each other.

Turner: You say the Trump administration’s economic agenda is the right one. Is there a risk that some of the benefits from that economic agenda could be undone by other policies like trade and immigration?

Dimon: It is possible. If you’re talking about immigration and trade, people have made some pretty strong statements on that, but my own view is that they have laid out some real trade issues that are accurate for both China and Mexico, where we can improve upon the trade agreements, and I think we’ll improve on the trade agreements. I may be wrong, but I think that is their objective, and they’re using tough words.

I think immigration has been one of the vital things about the growth of America. I’m the product of grandparents who all immigrated from Greece. I hope eventually we have proper immigration. Good people who have paid their taxes and haven’t broken the law, get them into citizenship at the back of the line. I think that can be worked out. If people get educated here, and they’re foreign nationals, get them a green card. I’ve even heard the president speak about that. There are things to do to make immigration work for all of America.

“Long, but excellent National Review article and right on point. I became interested in this issue, when I (shockingly) saw how our liberal government and the media who support it, lied about me, IndyMac Bank, and the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. It woke me up to the Left’s lies about much of what is really important,…

…….as compared to Trump’s ridiculous and really trivial lies. That’s why I have spent so much time and energy on this blog, documenting the facts and truth about me, IndyMac Bank, and the financial crisis.”, Mike Perry, former Chairman and CEO, IndyMac Bank

Victor Davis Hanson, May 2, 2017, National Review

You Gotta Lie


by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON May 2, 2017 4:00 AM

Oh! What a tangled progressive web we weave…

Red/blue, conservative/liberal, and Republican/Democrat mark traditional American divides. But one fault line is not so 50/50 — that of the contemporary hard progressive movement versus traditional politics, values, and customs.

The entire menu of race, class, and gender identity politics, lead-from-behind foreign policy, political correctness, and radical environmentalism so far have not won over most Americans.

Proof of that fact are the serial reliance of their supporters on deception, and the erosion of language on campus and in politics and the media. The progressive movement requires both deceit and euphemism to mask its apparently unpopular agenda.

What the Benghazi scandal, the Bowe Bergdahl swap, and the Iran Deal all had in common was their reliance on ruse. If the White House and its allies had told the whole truth about all these incidents, Americans probably would have widely rejected the ideological premises that framed them.

In the case of Benghazi, most Americans would not fault an obscure video for causing scripted rioting and death at an American consulate and CIA annex. They would hardly believe that a policy of maintaining deliberately thin security at U.S. facilities would encourage reciprocal local good will in the Middle East. They would not agree that holding back American rescue forces was a wise move likely to forestall an international confrontation or escalation.

In other words, Americans wanted their consulate in Benghazi well fortified and protected from seasoned terrorists, and they favored rapid deployment of maximum relief forces in times of crises — but, unfortunately, these were not the agendas of the Obama administration. So, to disguise that unpleasant reality, Americans were treated to Susan Rice’s yarns about a spontaneous, unexpected riot that was prompted by a right-wing video, and endangered Americans far beyond the reach of U.S. military help.

Ditto the Bowe Bergdahl caper, the American deserter on the Afghan front. Aside from the useful publicity of “bringing home” an American hostage, there was an implicit progressive subtext to both his earlier flight and eventual return: Young introspective soldiers are often troubled about their nation’s ambiguous role in the Middle East and so, understandably, sometimes err in their search for meaning. When they do, and when they perhaps “wander off,” the government has win-win resources to address their temporary lapse — in this case, killing two birds with one stone by downsizing the apparently repulsive Guantanamo Bay detention facility and returning punished-enough Taliban combatants to their families.

What Susan Rice (ostensibly the go-to consigliere in such deals) could not say is that the Obama administration released five dangerous terrorists in order to bring home one likely deserter, whose selfish AWOL behavior may have contributed over the years to the injury or even deaths of several American soldiers tasked with finding him. Instead, we got the lie that Bergdahl was a brave solider who served with honor and distinction and was captured in mediis rebus on the battlefield, with the implication that his personal odyssey inadvertently led to the bonus of returning in-limbo foreign detainees and reducing the population of an embarrassing gulag.

We keep learning about all sorts of disturbing and leaked secret side agreements to the Iran Deal. Without them, the progressive agenda underlying the concessions was bound to be unpalatable to the American people: secret nocturnal cash ransoms to obtain American hostages (hostage-taking is an Iranian theocratic specialty), secret side deals with international agencies to define down on-site inspections, and secret “flexibility” on Iran ballistic-missile development.

But on a deeper level, the Obama administration apparently either did not believe that Iran was a truly belligerent, anti-American theocracy bent on a baleful Middle East hegemony through acquiring nuclear weapons, or else assumed that Iran’s regional ambitions were understandable and morally equivalent to any large nation’s desire for such strategic influence. Either way, the results were deception and lies rather than honesty about these assumptions.

The foundations for the unspoken, progressive faith in catastrophic man-caused global warming are self-evident. Many Western elites believe that modern, free-market industrial growth and consumer capitalism endanger the planet. They bring out the worst in both the bourgeoisie and the undereducated, victimized poor: greed, acquisitiveness, and shallow material values. The remedy and indeed duty for reflective and enlightened elites (who alone have transcended the rat race and by their very success have grown immune from, and wise to, the contradictions of capitalism) is to change the economic foundations of modern Western life — in a radical fashion akin to the 19th-century romantic yearning for a pre-industrial, less environmentally exploitive past.

The catch, however, is that most Americans believe that oil wells, mines, freeways, dams, cars, reservoirs, and factories — and the granite counters, stainless-steel fridges, and big-screen TVs that derive from them — are largely godsends, ensuring a good life undreamed of by their grandparents. Or they believe that most accompanying deleterious effects on the environment, such as slight and periodic changes in temperatures, are outweighed by the benefits of industry and can be soon ameliorated by rapidly advancing scientific and technological remedies.

The result is an impasse. To square the circle, progressive vocabulary adjusted. Global warming became “climate change,” on the theory that when droughts naturally were followed by snow and rain, snow and rain were only further proof of man-caused rising temperatures that needed immediate redress through larger government intervention. It was not enough to warn that the industrial age might have contributed to an acceleration of natural and episodic warming of the planet (a documented cyclical pattern of the past); instead end-of-world, apocalyptic scenarios were necessary to reconfigure the very industrial base of modern life.

The result is that today, any natural climatic extremity — ice to searing heat, snow or drought, both mud and dust, receding or advancing waters, normal or abnormal temperatures — becomes media fodder for the narrative of man-caused, excessive carbon releases that can be remedied only by costly reduction of the West’s modern commerce and industry that fuels extravagant, self-indulgent consumerism.

Yet imply that, and the public would revolt. Instead, it is wiser to suggest that the climate is being altered by human shortsightedness and extravagance and that the change can be stopped by altruism and moral sacrifice. Inefficient and subsidized solar and wind power therefore become ethically and culturally preferable to more practicable but retrograde nuclear power, hydroelectric, and natural-gas generation. As for a publicly green Bono, John Kerry, or Al Gore, who in his private life might gulp down an inordinate amount of aviation fuel or hoard too many square feet of living space, we appropriate the implied Soviet argument of the apparat and the dacha: Only by revolutionaries faring well can the revolution itself fare well.

No one wishes to discuss candidly that universities are no longer free bastions of inquiry but are descending into would-be boot camps to train progressive shock troops. Careers, reputations, and lots of money are invested in stifling free expression, a project predicated on changing the nature of students, the curricula, and the very atmosphere of the traditional university.

The predicable result is again linguistic subterfuge.

If unprepared students are frustrated that special admittance does not de facto equate to college success or graduation, the university must make the necessary Animal Farm–like adjustments. Segregation by race and gender becomes “safe spaces.” Ancient stress, the stuff of cramming for finals and paper deadlines, gets embedded into politics, as snowflakes are “traumatized” by a culturally appropriated earring or a gendered pronoun. Free speech that can be challenging and liberate young minds becomes “hate speech” and is banned. Odious censorship is redefined as mere “trigger warnings.”

Confederate nullification that reminds us of the chaotic consequence of states’ defying federal law becomes “sanctuary cities,” as if illegal-alien lawbreakers were 21st-century versions of fugitive slaves seeking sanctuary from plantation bounty hunters.

When “sexual liberation” of the 1960s eventually led to a crass and crude dating atmosphere that disadvantaged young women (the male was assured that mutually consenting sexual congress demanded not even momentary commitment or even postcoital gentlemanly behavior and deference), it was recalibrated as “sexual assault” — as if occasional female naïveté and frequent male boorishness and selfishness in matters of sex were now criminal matters (though exempt from the bother of the Bill of Rights).

Nowhere was the progressive project more in need of stealth than the proverbial War on Terror that followed the mass murdering on 9/11. Apparently, it was impossible for the Obama administration to concede that terrorism and indeed global conflict in the 21st century were largely dividends of the radicalization of Islam, and fueled often by the inability of traditional Muslim societies to adjust to the radical globalization — and indeed Westernization — of the planet.

Conceding that would imply the culpability of autocratic and theocratic Muslim leaders (along with traditional and endemic gender apartheid, tribalism, anti-Semitism, religious fundamentalism and intolerance, and statism). It’s far easier to fault the pernicious legacy of 19th-century European colonialism.

Empiricism would have allowed discussions of inherent differences between a post-Reformation Western Christianity and a pre-reformation Islam; instead, progressives adhered to boilerplate multicultural moral equivalencies. Identification of widespread abhorrent practices in Middle Eastern societies — female genital mutilation, honor killings, state violence against gays, and racism – would lead to difficult intellectual and political truths. But keeping the focus on the ’Wests supposed post-colonialism, imperialism, and exploitation provides easy fodder for the race, class, and gender appetites of careerist Western elites.

To square that circle, terrorism then became “man-caused disasters” (as if Buddhist and Christians were on a rampage in Europe). Anti-terrorism was “an overseas contingency operation” (as if hunger in Haiti was morally equivalent to the battle in Anbar Province), while jihadism became a mere personal odyssey or journey (who is to say that bin Laden was not misunderstood by followers seeking spiritual growth?). The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was rendered “largely secular,” as if Mohamed Morsi sought to bring what he learned at USC to good governance in Cairo. “Workplace violence” was murdering 13 soldiers in cold blood at Fort Hood while shouting “Allahu akbar,” on the theory that deranged employees sometimes have shot many on the job, though without the loud religious proclamations.

History got into the act as well. President Obama assured us on no evidence that a Cordoba without Muslims in the late 15th century, at the time of the Christian Inquisition, was a bastion of Islamic tolerance (and later added that we “high-horse” Christians should remember the Crusades of a millennium ago). For the progressive project, history is not tragic. It’s a melodrama to be used for contemporary political agendas, through separating bad people from good people of the past, as ascertained through contemporary progressive standards retroactively applied to earlier centuries.

In fairness, what is the anti-multicultural, anti–morally equivalent, anti-utopian pacifist alternative? To tragically confess that religions are not mostly alike? That blowing up somebody on the pretext of ending oppression does not mean there is real oppression rather than inherent selfishness and evil? To assume that those who most damn the West are themselves the most eager to flee to the West? To accept that deterrence sways behavior more than does concession, given the unchanging nature of man?

Without ruse, there can be no progressive project — as was true in the past of any illogical and unappealing ideology.

In short, you gotta lie.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, to appear in October from Basic Books.