Too soft on Russia?

It looks like that the Left will be requiring your voter registration card before they will serve you anymore. Before, it was the Red Hen restaurant, today it’s Uber.

What do you think about the idea of Universal Basic Income? I’ll give you my initial impressions, and 2 examples of cities that are going to try it out.

And Trump’s press conference with Putin in Helsinki was an embarrassment. But was it as bad as treason, as the Left has been saying? Or is this yet more over-the-top reaction? Let’s do some comparisons.

Mentioned links:



Trump backs down, says he misspoke on Russia meddling

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Show transcript

In the Can’t We All Just Get Along department comes this story of Trump campaign workers in an Uber. If you think you know what’s coming, you’re probably right.

An Uber driver in Raleigh, North Carolina unceremoniously dumped his passengers at the nearest gas station when they started talking about politics among themselves. At one point, this “tolerant” liberal kicked them out and allegedly said, “Welcome to the resistance.”

If they had been Democrats, this would be “proof” of rampant intolerant conservatives. Instead, Democrats discount kicking Republicans out of, or harassing them in, restaurants, or out in public. It’s merely “resistance”.

We continue to see examples of Democrats doing what they always say Republicans will do. I’m old enough to remember when Hillary Clinton was appalled that Donald Trump suggested he might not accept the results of the election. But now we have Uber drivers and restaurant owners that don’t accept Trump’s win, and are mad enough to do things that they would otherwise claim only evil, sore loser Republicans would do.

Remember, their rules don’t apply to them because the rules are really, not about principle, but instead all about politics.


Universal Basic Income, or UBI, is the idea that the government provides a minimal amount of money to people to live on, with no strings attached and no questions asked. It sounds like just another entitlement with a shiny, new name, and I am skeptical about it, but I’ve also heard how this idea might actually be a bit different.

I’m not going to get into the pros and cons here – you can Google that – but I wanted to highlight some pilot projects that are in the works to test the waters. In Stockton, California, they are going to be giving $500 a month to a test group of 100 families starting in 2019. And lawmakers in Chicago seem to be on track to do a test themselves with 1,000 families. The bill has a majority of legislators as co-sponsors, and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel supports it, so it looks like it could happen in the future.

In Chicago, the effort is being spearheaded by Alderman Ameya Pawar. His thought is that, with the rise of so much automation in our lives, many jobs are going to disappear. One example is if autonomous vehicles become common, all those truck drivers will be out of their jobs. And so we need to be ready for that eventuality.

Just a few things I’m noting about these programs. First, I’ve covered Stockton before, when it filed for bankruptcy 5 years ago. But as fiscally irresponsible as they have been, this might be a good place to try something like this. I mean, it can’t get any worse for them. I’m less optimistic about Chicago trying something like this, what with all the high taxes and the near junk status of their bonds, I think it’s going to take more than a little UBI to really help the poor. But hey, if it can work there, maybe it can work anywhere. So as a conservative that believes that states and cities should be the laboratories of new ideas, have at it.

Secondly, I do want to point out to Alderman Pawar that we’ve had many jobs obsoleted by technology in the past without having to resort to some sort of payments. Somehow, those milkmen, those kids who used to set the bowling pins back up, those lamplighters, those switchboard operators, they all managed to move on as their jobs phased out in favor of automation. In fact, generally they were reduced by attrition as the need was reduced and, little by little, people just weren’t hired for those jobs anymore. But we didn’t have mass groups of laid-off milk delivery guys needing a universal basic income. So I listen to his reasoning and all I can think is “welfare with a shiny, new name”.

So there’s my pro and con. Let me know what you think.

In front of the world, President Donald Trump really appeared the fool this past week. Even members of his own party were embarrassed of what he did. And I have to agree; what he did was really bad for the US. Donald Trump allowed Vladamir Putin to make him look like his very own puppet when Trump…allowed Putin to annex Crimea without any pushback. And invade the country of Georgia, with the same lack of reaction!

Oh wait…that was Obama. What Trump did was take out our defense systems from Poland and the Czech Republic at the behest of Putin. Treason! Oh wait…Obama again. What is it that Trump did again? Oh yeah, he publicly said that he took Putin’s word that he didn’t interfere with our election, and cast doubt on our own intelligence agencies. He blamed bad relations between the two countries as much on past Presidents as on Russia’s belligerence.

Now I agree that what he said standing there next to Putin was the absolute wrong thing to do. He really did sound like he got taken to the woodshed and was under Putin’s thumb. That was embarrassing. But people calling it treason? That is just way over the top, considering that if Trump had done just one of the things that Obama’s flexibility allowed Putin to do, impeachment hearings would have started by now. Trump says Trump-y things, and sometimes they are the worst. But when Trump ordered an air strike that killed 200 Russian mercenaries, he got criticized for that, too. And that action, among others that he has taken against Russia, or for those being harmed by Russia, get thrown down the memory hole in favor of a press conference in Helsinki.

Words vs actions. The press conference was awful, but on balance, Trump’s doing better than his predecessor. I guess if he’d brought a reset button to the summit, all would’ve been forgiven, right?

Filed under: Economics & TaxesPartisanshipUniversal Basic Income