Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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Three Years In, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Epitomizes Trump Appointment Successes Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 30 2020
Perhaps no appointee, however, better epitomizes Trump’s stellar appointment record than Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, not only for his substantive policy successes, but also for his fortitude in resisting the onslaught of demonization, defamation and even personal threats made against him over the past three years.

On November 6, 1988, two days before that year’s presidential election pitting George H. W. Bush against Michael Dukakis, George Will penned a commentary entitled “The 5,000 Reasons for Voting for Bush.” 

In that piece, Will cogently explained how – whatever one’s ambivalence or even distaste toward the candidate himself - the presidential appointment power was of such paramount importance that it justified a vote for Bush, whom he labeled “at once vaguely admirable and ominously empty”: 

What matters is who will fill him up.  That brings us to 5,000 reasons for electing Bush.  They are the appointments, from senior White House and Cabinet officers on down, that a president makes or are made in his name.  An important question in any election, and the crucial question when both candidates are so inadequate is:  Which party has the better pool of talent from which to draw? 

In the three decades since that election, the federal administrative state’s expansion into almost every realm of our lives has only reinforced Will’s logic. 

Accordingly, on that same basis, The Wall Street Journal’s patrician William McGurn, made the same case in 2016 for Donald Trump, a candidate who generated much more ambivalence and skepticism among conservatives and libertarians than Bush had thirty years earlier: 

When presidents enter office, they bring with them about 6,000 people.  From the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and White House assistants down to the lowliest Justice Department lawyer, Mrs. Clinton would fill her government with people who get up each day looking to tax, spend, regulate – and use the federal government to stomp on anyone in their way.  At a time when so much of American “law” – from the Health and Human Service’s contraceptive mandate, to the Education Department’s “Dear Colleague” letters on transgender policy, to the National Labor Relations Board’s prosecution of Boeing for opening a new plant in South Carolina instead of Washington state – is decided by faceless federal bureaucrats, Mrs. Clinton would stuff these federal agencies from top to bottom with Lois Lerners and Elizabeth Warrens. 

At that time, conservatives and libertarians hotly debated whether Trump could be trusted to appoint the types of judges, cabinet officials and administrative chiefs that McGurn suggested, and that Trump himself solemnly promised as a candidate. 

Nearly four years later, however, Trump has almost flawlessly put that skepticism to rest, vindicating McGurn’s argument. 

In addition to two Supreme Court justices, Trump appointees now constitute 1 in 4 circuit court judges, leading The San Francisco Gate to lament, “Trump Is Remaking the Federal Judiciary.” 

Perhaps no appointee, however, better epitomizes Trump’s stellar appointment record than Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, not only for his substantive policy successes, but also for his fortitude in resisting the onslaught of demonization, defamation and even personal threats made against him over the past three years. 

Upon taking office, Chairman Pai immediately began reversing one of the Obama Administration’s most destructive regulatory shenanigans, the so-called “Net Neutrality” Title II initiative to regulate internet service as a public utility. 

There’s nothing “neutral,” of course, about the federal government reversing twenty years of light-touch regulation from Presidents Clinton to Obama that allowed the internet to flourish like no other innovation in human history between 1996 and 2015, but that’s what the Obama FCC under previous Chairman Tom Wheeler did.  And as a result, private investment fell for the first time ever outside of an economic recession in the immediate aftermath. 

Chairman Pai reversed that misguided effort with the Restoring Internet Freedom framework, and the positive results were immediate.  As Recode reported, U.S. internet download speeds rose nearly 36% in just the first year, and upload speeds increased by 22%. 

Elsewhere, in three years under Chairman Pai’s leadership the FCC has been bridging the digital divide by providing billions of dollars for broadband buildout, reducing bureaucratic roadblocks, fostering tele-health and facilitating precision agricultural innovations.  It has also accelerated innovation and investment in 5G deployment and freed up new spectrum, it is moving to protect American consumers from illegal robocalls, it has boosted public safety by improving 911 connections and improved emergency alerts. 

But Chairman Pai’s effort demanded immense fortitude.  In addition to death threats, daily protests outside of his family home and people literally trespassing to photograph his home’s interior, a chorus of latenight comics and histrionic leftists viciously maligned him and predicted doom.  But like much else in the Trump Administration, the real-world results proved 180 degrees opposite their jeremiads. 

Due in large part to Trump’s phenomenal record of appointments, we now enjoy the strongest economy in history, our military preeminence and newfound global respect have increased and our judicial branch is increasingly populated by strict constructionists.  But in terms of substantive impact and admirable fortitude, no appointee vindicates the logic of Mr. Will and Mr. McGurn better than Chairman Pai at the FCC. 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The Justice Department's chief watchdog issued an extraordinary warning Tuesday that the FBI is failing to follow its own rules when pursuing surveillance warrants in sensitive intelligence and terrorism cases, confirming that problems first exposed in the Russia collusion probe extend to other cases.DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote FBI Director Chris Wray in a management alert memo that…[more]
 
 
—John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
— John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
 
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?