President Trump’s game-changing SOTU speech

President Trump delivered an inspired speech last night that even brought the white-clad suffragettes to their feet to applaud his reaching across the aisle.

This speech was a game changer from the partisan politics parlay that has been the present condition in Washington.

Yes he tweaked them on “America will never be a socialist country,” but he celebrated their ability to serve in Congress as showing how great America is.

He spoke of the wall in humanitarian terms. He personalized the horrors that invade our countries across the southern border. Trump told Americans that children were enduring unspeakable hardship through sex trafficking.A topic most Americans probably know little about, but he put a face to the heroes that combat this on a daily basis.

Trump clearly laid out the national emergency on the southern border without using the explosive term. On Feb. 15 he can now make the case for a declaration far more convincingly than prior.

He spoke for many Americans when he said it’s not OK for babies to be aborted hours before birth like New York and Virginia approved recently.

The president laid out his economic successes over the last two years, such as the job booms where more Black, Hispanic, Women and Disabled Americans are working now than ever before. How tax cuts put more money in the hands of the people and not in Washington’s pockets.

Of course this speech will not move the needle in New York, California or Illinois, but it certainly had to make the fence-sitters and marginal RINOs take notice that this State Of The Union was a powerful message that America is Great Again and we should not stop moving forward in that greatness.

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SOTU situation tells you everything about the state of the union

President Donald Trump despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s protestations that he delay the State of the Union address until the government shutdown is resolved appears to be going forward.

The speech is scheduled for next Tuesday Jan. 29 to be given at The Capitol.

Now according to my reading of the House rules, Pelosi must convene a joint session of Congress in order for the President to come into the chamber to deliver the speech.

What would stop Pelosi from calling for a joint session is the main question.

I do not think politically she can bar the President from entering the chamber. That would be too damaging for the Democrats and give the White House the high road by telling the American people that the Dems locked me out of the Capitol.

But we could see some type of national emergency tied to the shutdown as some have posited for canceling the speech.

The cause for a delay in the speech could range from a nationwide food poisoning due to FDA inspectors not being on the job to a state funeral for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and everything in between.

It’s reported that the Trump administration is working on two speeches. One to be given in front of Congress and the other to be held at a rally somewhere outside of Washington.

Will this resolve itself this week with Congress voting on bills to reopen government, I don’t believe that will happen. I think the Senate will stand with the President, just as the House stood with Pelosi in nixing a continuing resolution vote last week where only six House Democrats voted to fund government employee checks through Feb. 26.

The tweet below by Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw has all the details in the House link.

So the drama will play out through the week, but rest assured the Trump administration will not go quietly into the night on Tuesday Jan. 29.

Adding the letter President Trump sent to Speaker Pelosi on Wednesday afternoon calling her bluff on security concerns.

And just as soon as  Speaker Pelosi received President Trump’s letter on Wednesday afternoon she fired off this missive:

“I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House chamber until government has opened.”

I believe the President should give this speech to supporters in front of the wall in Arizona to demonstrate to the American people what he wants to accomplish.

Feel free to invite the Democratic leadership.

Trump's Congressional speech impediment

Global markets are holding their collective breath on Tuesday as institutional investors await President Trump’s joint address to Congress.

The markets need to hear concrete actions for Trump’s economic plan from tax policy and infrastructure spending to speak of two large objectives. Paying for these initiatives is less important than specifics of the plans.

I know what markets don’t want to hear: “ObamaCare is a disaster, a disaster.” “Highways are a disaster.” or other campaign rhetoric employing the word “tremendous”.

Specifics are key to the markets. They have heard all the woes the administration is facing.

However that said, I believe the markets will be greatly disappointment with the address. Trump is not capable of giving specifics. He is not a detail person. He gives sweeping ideas for others to hash out nuts and bolts.

Unfortunately the people charged with getting to the details are novices as to how Washington works. This stonewalling by the entrenched bureaucrats will ultimately look as if the administration is ineffectual in putting out a plan.

In his speech tonight, Trump will say some things that will be flatly wrong and within minutes the permanent government will be texting the media to sabotage the statements before the echo subsides within the chamber. The questionable statements will sound right to most of the country, but insiders will know the minute, specific detail that makes it wrong.

And so the next four days Trump will be defending the spirit of the statements versus the specifics. The administration will take one step forward and two steps back after the speech.

I’m not clairvoyant, I just see the institutional Capitol forces uniting against his initiatives.

State of the Disunion

Knowing of course that President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night was constructed to be more pep rally than a true accounting, I am still scratching my head over his assertion that 2015 turns a page economically for the US.

The president spoke in broad terms of how the US has come back after 6 years of malaise and that job growth and higher incomes were here for the middle class family.

Neither is true based on government data. Household income is flat and unemployment is flat to slightly higher than a year or two ago. The number of people in the workforce — or the denominator in the unemployment rate equation is far lower than 4 or 5 years ago, so the rate falls.

The labor force participation rate is now 62.7 percent, which is down from 65.8 percent six years ago.

The president even pointed to the Dow Jones industrial average as an economic barometer of how well America is doing.

Surely his economic advisers know a doubling of the DJIA has zero to do with anything coming from the White House and everything to do with Fed chiefs, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, and QE programs that bought toxic debt from the banks, which freed up capital to be deployed in the markets.

This capital was ring fenced into the markets, so the Fed could contain inflation and the velocity of the $4 trillion hand out.

So when the Fed complains or worries about stag or disinflation, it’s a bit disingenuous, because Yellen could simply allow the banks to deploy the capital as loans to both business and personal to get the economy moving. That is how to get velocity up.

Anyway back to the SOTU,  if it is “morning” in America — to borrow a phrase — why are so many families “mourning”?

The president asserted 3 million new jobs were created in 2014. He didn’t say full-time jobs, he said jobs, which is supported by the data.

More Americans are working at part-time jobs than they were 6 years ago. Many of these jobs require the worker to say, “You want fries with that?” or “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”

If you look at the U6 jobless rate, which includes “marginally attached workers,” discouraged and part-time workers who want full-time work, that rate is nearly 11 percent

There are no benefits with these jobs and generally no future. That the President is touting as an accomplishment.

Quickly, two other real economic milestones that were not mentioned, but can be used as indicators of where the US is going.

  • The yield on the 10-year note is 1.7 percent. Using that yield as an indication of growth in the economy America has that a sub 2 percent gross domestic product. Not an indication of a robust economy, and far from the 5 percent blip printed in Q4 2014.
  • Gold prices have moved to record highs in yen and approaching all-time highs in euros. Gold moved past $1,300 this morning. another sign that its more “mourning” in America than not.

SOTU be damned.