While life has been busy for me the rest of the world has gone on:
The biggest news being in Egypt as an actual people’s revolution is taking on the Muslim Brotherhood while the MSM and Americans ignore it:
Fast forward a bit and we are more than two weeks into a second uprising in Egypt after the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi took dictatorial powers for himself less than 24 hours after he won praise for taking the heat off the Muslim Brotherhood for not fighting Israel brokering a cease-fire between Israel & Hamas.
There are not only no cheers this time but it seems the western media in general and the US media in particular find this revolution unimportant and those fighting it not worth the trouble to cover.
While the media is keen on protecting Obama the press is missing something huge first the very fact of the revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood:
If with the protections that the laws of United States and Western Nations provide, follows of Islam feel intimidated, how must worse must it be is when you live in a nation where a person can disappear without effort, where the authorities are used to being obeyed, where the press isn’t free, where you find yourself monitored and where the religious, social and cultural norms are against you to the point where even if people don’t take part in acts against you, they either approve or understand?
Given that situation the revolt is huge as would the results:
If this revolution succeeds even slightly, say with the meaningless replacement of Morsi with another Muslim Brotherhood hack, that success will be an earthquake equivalent to Lech Walesa first day in the shipyard in Poland standing up and fighting.
It took a decade for Walesa’s activism to bear fruit and another decade for the freedom of Poland and the nations behind the Iron curtain to follow. It might take ten times that in a culture that doesn’t have the same history for this to bear fruit.
I can’t overstate the importance of this, if this happens it could be radical Islam’s doom.
While our government hasn’t been willing to endorse these peaceful rebels they are starting to get on board in Syria:
A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition
A few days later, we returned to the issue of victims, of whether or not they are all shabiha, and his friend Mohammad. At the end of the day, I told him, he was a Syrian killing other Syrians. “I used to think about the people I’d killed, I’d think about their parents,” he says. “Yes, we are all Syrian, but we didn’t create these differences, they did. It is because I am Syrian, because these people, these civilians who are dying are Syrian, that I am doing this, that I am standing with and for my people. Those who are not standing with their people are not Syrian, they are traitors, and traitors must die.”:
This is real trouble:
ask yourself, if he was willing to kill his fellow Syrians, his fellow Muslims and his childhood friend, how much easier will it be for him to kill or blow up an infidel westerner if his religion calls upon him to do so?
When the fighting in Syria and elsewhere is done, hundreds to thousands of men like this will be unleashed on the world following a religious doctrine that tells them if they slaughter us they get paradise.
This is a preview of coming attractions, you can deny it or ignore it but that won’t stop it from happening.
I give credit to Canada they are taking a harder line with the rebels
“Canada told the Syrian opposition Tuesday it must reject extremism and embrace minorities before Ottawa will recognize its legitimacy as a successor to President Bashar Al-Assad, according to a federal official.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird explained Canada’s preconditions for official recognition at a meeting with representatives of the opposition Syrian National Coalition in Morocco on Tuesday, the official said.
Thank God somebody is
Incidentally there is also a cyber war going on in Syria, Stephan Faris writes about it here.
Speaking of rewarding bad behavior Brett Kimberlin who we have written about in these pages before had cases on both the federal & state level against him thrown out last week.
It’s actually worse than that: It’s not just bad characters, but bad behavior that have been emboldened. Why shouldn’t everyone with a grudge resort to the methods Kimberlin & Co. employed against Walker?
The targeting of political bloggers, the cyberstalking and harassment, are now all now acceptable tactics for which there is evidently no legal discourse. Thanks, Judge Potter.
And Attorney Dan Backer notes it’s even worse
“The precedent set here is just terrible,” Backer said, talking about how Judge Potter ignored Kimberlin’s violation of court orders to seal the discovery materials. “Why should anyone comply with discovery?”
Walker is penalized for obeying the Judges rulings while Kimberlin is rewarded for flouting them, sounds like the left on gun control.
As Glenn Reynolds says you get more of behavior you reward, more is coming.
If you want to know why Union thugs feel safe punching out Steven Crowder on camera this is why they know their faces won’t be on ABC, CBS or NBC.
I still want to know who writes the checks?
Speaking of villainy that is not being exposed Jay Nordlinger writes about the women in White in Cuba:
almost 100 members of the Ladies in White were arrested and beaten on Sunday. The Ladies are a Cuban democracy and human-rights group. For a story on the latest, go here.
I wish to name some of the women arrested and beaten. I will name, arbitrarily, three from the first half of the alphabet, three from the second. Marlene Abreu, Lisandra Farray, Tatiana López. Bárbara Pausa, Berta Soler, Olga Torres.
You want to know something cute? The dictatorship accused the Ladies of not respecting the “grief of the Cuban people” over the ill health of Comrade Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan strongman.
If you haven’t heard about the Ladies in White and their fight for justice in Cuba, you are likely an Obama voter.
Some sports, the New England Patriots absolutely destroyed the Houston Texans 42-14. This makes the third time in four weeks they have scored 42 or more points in their last 4 games (49 vs Jets 59 vs Colts). The difference in the teams is best illustrated by the patriots indifference to the result. The Texans called it the most important game in their franchise history while the patriots considered it an afterthought.
In the 21st century The Patriots have won their division 83% of the time, appeared in the Superbowl 45% of the Superbowls winning 3 times out of 5 ( 27% of the total superbowls of the 21st century).
To the players on the Patriots, the season will not be considered successful unless that 45% number becomes 50%, and that 27% number becomes 33%.
That must be how the Yankees of the 40’s & 50’s and the Celtics of the 50’s and 60’s felt. Fans should enjoy it, very frew teams ever reach that level.
A little cinema? The first of the Hobbit trilogy comes out this week, It’s one of the few movies I’m excited to see. That one of the shortest books Tolkien wrote on middle earth has been stretched to three movies is odd but if they are anything near as good as the Lord of the Ring’s series then Peter Jackson will be responsible for the two best trilogies of all time just ahead of the Godfather movies.
And yeah Godfather 3 was a good movie. It’s underrated because it is compared to the first two which were two of the greatest movies of all time.
Some religion, the Pope tweeted out his first ever messages Wednesday some thoughts on it here.
Finally this is the first Under the Fedora in three weeks, this is because in the space of 16 days my mother went from getting her license renewed at 88 to being on her deathbed unable to rise, eat, drink or speak.
The path from Doctor’s visit to Hospital to Intensive Care to Hospital Room to Home to die was very quick and reminds one that no matter what the Mayans say, you and I are all going to have our end of the world moment and need to be sure we are right with God.
I’m sure my mother is ready, it’s up to all of us to make sure we are.
Help us bring an all new, scratch-made, locally grown, wood fired pizzeria to Orange County California.
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ALEXANDRIA, VA –ABC, CBS, and NBC have suppressed news coverage of violent assaults perpetrated by union thugs in Michigan on Tuesday. The networks deliberately ignored widely available footage of Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder being punched in the face by a union member and union protesters tearing down a tent erected by Americans for Prosperity while people were still inside.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:
“The pro-union broadcast networks are deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives. If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop. ABC, CBS, and NBC have a responsibility to the American people to expose what’s really happening in Michigan. Their double standard is absolutely outrageous.
Both Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity should press charges on the parties responsible for these assaults, and they should be prosecuted. ABC, CBS, and NBC may be willing to turn a blind eye to union violence, but the unions are not above the law.
President Obama had every right to support the unions during the onset of these protests, but now that they’ve been caught on tape perpetrating vicious physical assaults, he has an even greater responsibility to denounce them swiftly, publicly, and severely.”
There’s a new tax in town, and many Democratic Senators are not happy about it. They want to postpone implementation of the 2.3% tax on medical devices or eliminate it totally. Naturally, all voted for the tax when they approved Obamacare in the highly partisan maneuvering that pushed the legislation out of the Senate on Christmas Eve.
The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million skilled manufacturing jobs,” the senators wrote in a December 4 letter to Reid. “We must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home.”
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is particularly vocal on this subject, as industry heavyweight Medtronics is located in his state:
I want to repeal the medical device tax altogether,” the senator and former comedian said in a statement. “But I am concerned that we are running out of time before this job-killing tax goes into effect. So, for now, the best thing to do to ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and producing life-saving devices is to delay this unwise tax.” Franken and other want Reid to include a provision to delay the tax in the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.
Ah, the irony! Franken’s hotly contested 2008 victory over Norm Coleman delivered the critical 60th vote to the Senate Democrats, which made the Obamacare legislation impervious to the filibuster. Perhaps the Senator, a comedian in his prior incarnation, is enjoying the often humorous operations of karma.
Photo Credit: CDC, Debora Cartagena
North Korea successfully launched a missile early Wednesday—a big step toward achieving the capability to hit targets in the United States.
Under the transparent public cover story of a satellite launch, North Korea tested a missile that is the same as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Even though the missile was not armed, the launch violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.
And the country has been claiming that it is close to arming this type of missile with a nuclear warhead that could reach U.S. territory.
Bruce Klingner, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia, wrote this morning that “The international community must take firm action against North Korea’s provocative act.”
The U.N. Security Council will consult on the launch today, and Klingner says the U.S. should submit a new resolution that “allows for enforcement by military means. This would enable naval ships to intercept and board North Korean ships suspected of transporting precluded nuclear, missile, and conventional arms, components, or technology.” This would be in addition to other sanctions:
Washington should lead the charge for more comprehensive international sanctions against Pyongyang as well as the banks, businesses, and countries that facilitate North Korean nuclear and missile proliferation. The U.S. should also work with its allies toward a comprehensive integrated missile defense network in Asia.
As Klingner notes, coordinating the response with the United Nations will be a challenge for Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who has been in the hot seat since her media appearances on the Benghazi terrorist attack. She has been rumored a favorite of President Obama’s for Secretary of State in his second term. One of Rice’s main problems will be the Administration’s China policy, Klingner explains, because “Beijing has been the principal roadblock to meaningful action. China blocked any meaningful U.N. action in 2010 in response to North Korea’s two acts of war against South Korea and Pyongyang’s unveiling of a uranium enrichment facility.”
North Korea’s aggression should drive home the necessity of robust missile defense systems for the U.S. and South Korea. Klingner says:
The United States should encourage South Korea to deploy a multilayered missile defense system. This system should be interoperable with a U.S. regional missile network to provide for a more coherent and effective defense of allied military facilities and the South Korean populace. The U.S. should also encourage Seoul to engage in trilateral missile defense cooperation and exercises with the U.S. and Japan.
The international community will be watching closely. While the missile launch was timed to mark important dates in North Korea—the December 17 anniversary of the death of previous leader Kim Jong-il and the ascension to power of new leader Kim Jong-un—it will also have broad effects in the region, as both Japan and South Korea have national elections in just a few days.
It is clear that the young leader Kim Jong-un is taking an aggressive stance toward the rest of the world. The international response should be just as clear.
North Korean Missile Launch Challenges U.S. Foreign Policy by Bruce Klingner.
Spending Daily | December 12, 2012
“75 Percent of Obama’s Proposed Tax Hikes to Go Toward New Spending”
According to The Weekly Standard, “Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama’s ‘fiscal cliff’ plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. … According to the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, $1.2 trillion of the proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes would go toward new spending, while only $400 billion would go toward deficit reduction. Click here to see a chart showing the breakdown.”
“Cliff chaos: Hundreds of billions apart”
Politico reports, “The bellowing on Capitol Hill about which side has offered more ‘specifics’ to resolve the fiscal cliff showdown masks a larger problem for Washington: The two sides are still hundreds of billions of dollars apart on revenue and entitlement cuts. Not to mention, Republicans and Democrats are also light-years apart on policy details that back up those budget targets. … The reality is the two sides are swapping proposals that do little but reaffirm the positions they’ve long held. And despite hopes for progress, the two sides seem to be diverging further, according to people involved in and familiar with the talks.”
Obama ‘confident’ on Budget Deal, Prepared to Do ‘tough things on the spending side’
According to The Hill, “President Obama said Tuesday he was ‘confident’ that Republicans would ultimately back legislation that would extend tax cuts to the middle class and raise taxes on the top earners as part of a deal on the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ ‘I’m pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle-class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals,’ Obama said in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News.” In the same interview, he also said ’If the Republicans can move on that [taxes] then we are prepared to do some tough things on the spending side,” according to the Washington Post.
Reid Doesn’t Remember Blocking Vote On Obama Deficit Plan
The Daily Caller reports, “Responding to a question from The Daily Caller during a Tuesday press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid avoided discussing why he won’t allow a vote on President Barack Obama’s fiscal cliff plan, claiming in jest not to be aware of the proposal at all. Amid some laughter from reporters, Reid then asked TheDC to detail what is in the White House plan. TheDC: How about the president’s fiscal cliff plan, the White House plan. Why hasn’t that been put up for a vote yet in the Senate, and are you planning on putting it up for a vote? Reid: ‘I’m sorry –‘ TheDC: ‘The White House proposal that they floated around last week on Capitol Hill. Will you be putting that up for a vote?’ Reid: ‘I don’t know — I have no idea what you’re talking about, OK?’”
Both Sides Agree: Time To Get Specific On Spending Cuts
Bloomberg reports, “House Speaker John Boehner says he’s still waiting for the White House to get ‘serious’ about spending cuts. ‘Where are the president’s spending cuts?’ Boehner, an Ohio Republican, asked on the House floor today, adding that he is still ‘hopeful’ the two can reach a budget agreement before the end of the year. … On Twitter, the White House was ready with a response. ‘The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counter-offer had almost none,’ Dan Pfeiffer, communications director for President Barack Obama, said in his Twitter message.”
Some Republicans Saying Sequester Cuts Better Than No Cuts
Politico reports, “It’s been an article of faith for the GOP: Thou shalt not cut defense spending. But with the sequester threatening to slash hundreds of billions from the Pentagon budget, a surprising number of Republicans are ready to violate that commandment. The sequester cuts, they say, are better than no cuts at all. … ‘The problem with the sequester is not the cuts, but how the cuts are made. It cuts things that are not necessary at the same level it cuts things that quite honestly are necessary,’ said Georgia’s [Rep. Austin] Scott. ‘We’ve been operating under continuing resolutions for years now in this country and that means that we’ve maintained things that we probably should have gotten rid of a long time ago; that you simply can’t get rid of in a continuing resolution.’”
Gimmick It Up: White House Wants $1 Trillion In Last Year’s Cuts To Count This Year
Politico reports, “President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are fighting over the fiscal cliff endgame, but that doesn’t mean they’ve agreed on where to start. The White House wants more than $1 trillion in spending cuts that were approved last year counted toward the goal of a $4 trillion deficit-reduction package, since the cuts were part of a deal that set the stage for the fiscal cliff debate in the first place. But Republicans say that’s double counting. Obama approved those cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and shouldn’t get to apply them here. ‘We have a debt crisis because of spending, not because of a lack of tax revenue,’ said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who along with Sen. Murray co-chaired the supercommittee that failed last year to reach agreement on a debt-reduction package. ‘Until the president gets serious about spending, I don’t know what we have to talk about.’”
Pelosi at Odds with Obama on Medicare?
The Hill reports, “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the idea of raising Medicare’s eligibility age as part of a year-end deal to reduce the deficit. In an op-ed published Tuesday, the California Democrat criticized the proposal as ineffective and unfair to seniors. … Pelosi’s line in the sand is sure to please the Democratic base and AARP, both of which oppose raising the Medicare age. But it could put her at odds with President Obama, who was reportedly open to the idea last summer.”
Dems Fear Obama Will Cut Entitlements
USA Today reports, “Democrats are united behind President Obama’s proposal to raise tax rates on the wealthiest of Americans, but some Democrats worry the president could be willing to make further concessions on entitlement programs to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ than many Democrats can support. Any final deal has to include Democratic concessions on entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday on the House floor. … Obama has offered $400 billion in entitlement savings in his initial proposal that includes changes to beneficiaries, but Republicans and outside deficit hawks, including Obama’s debt commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles, have said more concessions are required to cut the deficit and rein in long-term health care spending. Fueling Democrats’ concerns is Obama’s previous willingness to negotiate with Republicans on these proposals.”
Debt Ceiling Dilemma On the Way?
The Associated Press reports, “We now know what’s on the other side of that menacing year-end ‘fiscal cliff.’ Another cliff. While White House and Republican congressional leaders labor behind closed doors to cut a deal to steer clear of the first cliff – mandatory tax increases and spending cuts due to hit in early January – another treacherous economic precipice looms. It’s when the government will again bump up against the congressionally-set debt ceiling. … The last debt-limit standoff came in August 2011 and the drawn-out gamesmanship cost the U.S. a first-ever credit downgrade. The current statutory limit on the government’s borrowing authority of $16.4 trillion will technically be reached in late December, but likely can be put off until mid-February through accounting maneuvers.”
Usually Silent Bernanke To Make Fiscal Cliff Plea
The Hill reports, “Capping a yearlong campaign, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will get one last chance on Wednesday to talk Washington down from the ‘fiscal cliff.’ The Fed chairman was one of the first to identify the scheduled mix of tax increases and automatic spending cuts as a fiscal contraction that could wreak havoc on the economy, coining the term ‘fiscal cliff’ at a February hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. Now, with just weeks to go before the damaging policies kick in, the Fed chief will have the chance at a press conference following a regular policy-setting meeting to drive home what’s at stake in the negotiations between President Obama and congressional leaders. … While the Fed does not typically delve into politics, chairmen have in the past dipped their toe into policy debates. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan threw his support behind the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush — the same tax policies that have become central to the debate over the fiscal cliff.”
Treasury Braces For ‘Extraordinary Measures’ As Debt Limit Approaches
The Wall Street Journal reports, “As the federal government closes in on its legal debt limit, the U.S. Treasury is dusting off its book of so-called extraordinary measures — moves that will buy it a few extra months to finance Social Security, military salaries and other payments. The U.S. was about $67 billion under the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling as of Friday. That’s small change in a world of trillion-dollar deficits and billions in monthly borrowing. … Treasury expects to bump up against the cap, which is set by Congress, very near the end of this month. … As a last resort, Treasury officials concluded that delaying payments would be the least harmful option, the report said.”
WASHINGTON D.C. – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) today released “Is the President Listening? Linda’s Story,” a new video in which Linda Lizanich, an accountant at Willoughby, OH based Kennedy Group, breaks down how President Obama’s small businesses tax hike will hurt middle class employees working at small businesses.
“A small business that makes slightly over $250,000 is going to be taxed at 39.6%,” said Linda Lizanich about the President’s proposed tax hike. “I don’t think he realizes how much it’s going to cut back on employment, how much it’s going to cut back on investment. If you’re going to raise taxes you also need to cut costs, and I don’t know what they’ve decided to do about cutting costs yet if anything.”
Linda Lizanich is an accountant at the Kennedy Group, a sub chapter S corporation labeling and packing company established in 1974 and responsible for about 140 jobs. Linda understands first-hand the effects of economic malaise after she spent a year and a half unemployed because her small accounting firm was forced to make the tough choices of cutting costs and jobs.
“In the first two months alone, we’ve already seen the President increase spending by $87 billion,” Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said. “While Republicans have put new revenues on the table, the President remains silent about which costs he would cut. The only way to solve our fiscal and economic problems is through a balanced, cut and growth solution, slowing the rate of spending and closing tax loopholes in a small businesses and economic friendly way.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its monthly budget review last week, reporting that the federal deficit in just the first two months of fiscal year 2013 reached $292 billion. The federal government has borrowed 46 cents of every dollar it has spent so far this fiscal year and has increased spending by $87 billion as compared to the same time last year.
Small Business Facts:
- President Obama’s tax hike on small businesses would destroy more than 700,000 jobs and lead to lower wages, according to analysis by independent accounting firm Ernst & Young.
- According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a tax rate hike will hurt nearly one million small businesses across the country.
- Most small businesses file their taxes on an individual return. According to NFIB, nearly 75% of small firms are organized as “pass through” entities, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships or LLCs, where business income is passed through and taxed at the individual rate.
- Pass-through businesses are highly sensitive to individual rates. Ernst & Young’s analysis showed that a 5% increase in the individual tax rate reduced by 10% the number of owners making capital investments.
President Obama’s Tax Hike Would Leave Businesses ‘With Less Money To Hire New Workers Or Keep The Ones They Have’
GOV STUDY: Tax Hike ‘Would Hit About 940,000’
“Obama’s proposal would hit about 940,000 people who report business income on their individual or household returns, says the Joint Committee on Taxation, the official scorekeeper for Congress.” (“Obama Tax Plan No Small Deal To Small Businessmen,” AP, 12/10/12)
· GOVERNMENT STUDY: “The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2013 approximately 940,000 taxpayers with net positive business income … will have marginal rates of 36 or 39.6 percent under the President’s proposal…” (Joint Committee On Taxation, Letter To Congressional Office, 6/18/12)
“…those business owners are projected to earn 53 percent of the $1.3 trillion in business income that will be reported on individual returns next year. That, Republicans in Congress argue, makes those business owners an important engine for economic growth and job creation.” (“Obama Tax Plan No Small Deal To Small Businessmen,” AP, 12/10/12)
“…some business owners complain, would leave them with less money to hire new workers or keep the ones they have.” (“Obama Tax Plan No Small Deal To Small Businessmen,” AP, 12/10/12)
· “…Mr. Obama is demanding tax increases, not tax cuts, and large increases at that. … that includes tens of thousands of the most productive, fastest-growing small businesses—those most likely to hire workers amid a national jobless rate of 8.2%.” (“Off The Tax Cliff He Goes,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/12)
· “Dan McGregor, chairman of McGregor Metalworking Companies in Springfield, Ohio, said he and the other six shareholders in the business are looking at a tax increase of $250,000 to $300,000 next year under Obama’s plan. The company, which has 365 employees at five locations, does about $80 million a year in sales, McGregor said. … ‘I feel a $40,000 reduction is the loss of one job, so if it’s a $200,000 tax increase, that’s five jobs,’ McGregor said.” (“Obama Tax Plan No Small Deal To Small Businessmen,” AP, 12/10/12)
Zero Hedge – The US dollar and yen remain soft. The news stream has encouraged the so-called risk-on trade. The Greek debt buyback appears to have gone well enough that it will get dollop of aid. Spain reportedly received 40 bln euros of bank aid. There seems to be a potential compromise banking supervision in Europe. On top of that, of course, the market expects the Federal Reserve to announce an expansion of its quantitative easing later today and keep the door open to further steps if necessary.
The dollar made new eight month highs against the yen, just shy of the JPY83 level. These dollar gains ahead of the FOMC meeting underscores one of our interpretative points that the old drivers of dollar-yen, like interest rate differentials and general risk appetite, have broken down, trumped by Mr Abe and his aggressive monetary and fiscal rhetoric.