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Just a quick rundown of top economic stories on this first business day of the new year:

Manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in 20 years (since the Reagan administration) in December.
Hiring will pick up in 2004 according to economists, with unemployment dropping .5% to 5.5% by November (as per my 2004 Predictions).
Stock markets are up across the board, with Dow and NASDAQ safely above 10000 and 2000, respectively.

Stay tuned for more good news on the recovery. And to think it’s all happening without nearly doubling our taxes, as Dr. Dean wants to do.

Dr. Dean wants to “Education White Folks”

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Slate, quickly becoming the prickliest liberal thorn in Howard Dean’s side, has an excellent commentary, today, by Mickey Kaus

I would add my own rebuttal to Dean’s comments, but between Kaus’s analysis and Dean’s own political stupidity and pathological carelessness, I really can’t make this any more damaging to the good doctor’s faultering reputation.

Excellent Analysis of Dean Tax Hikes

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Steve Moore of the Club for Growth has an excellent analysis of Howard Dean’s proposed tax increases. An excellent summary:

The Dean plan, our ad notes, would raise taxes by $2,472 a year on a typical middle-income family of four. Mr. Dean would also raise the death tax rate, the capital gains tax rate, the dividend tax rate and the payroll tax, and he would bring back the hated marriage tax penalty that President Bush abolished this year. There is hardly a tax levied at the federal level that Howard Dean would not raise.

Read the article. If you think Dean might win, get your assets into off-shore accounts as soon as possible.

North Korea Allows US Inspectors

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When Town Hall was in its infancy on CompuServe, and I was writing three columns a week, Jimmy Carter’s illegal negotiations with North Korea that resulted in US assistance in building nuclear weapons to be aimed at Los Angeles and Chicago inspired my most vitriolic pieces. What bothered me, perhaps, more than anything was the fact that Carter’s meddling had me siding with Clinton. That was 1994.

Ten years later, we are still digging out from that mess. There were some in the Clinton administration, as there are in any new administration, spoiling for a fight with the communists to prove Clinton’s manhood. Clinton himself was not averse to a high-stakes standoff with the K-combs. Carter’s capitulation before CNN cameras left Clinton with no choice to build nuclear reactors for North Korea while fueling its cruel communist dictatorship with American gasoline and oil.

Today, after three years of Bush administration snubbing of the North Koreans, our screw-you policy is paying off. North Korea will permit US, not UN, nuclear inspectors into its facilities. While Pyongyang’s new semi-permeability may be a ploy to prove to the US that they have an advanced nuclear weapons program, it will give US inspectors a chance to more fully understand what the communists are up to. Moreover, coming on the heels of Libya’s capitulation and a potential new opening in Iran, it could signal that the last and most recalcitrant of the Axis of Evils nations, having witnessed the Saddam medical exam videos, is ready to play by the rules. If so, my 2004 predictions are already shot, and the Bush doctrine is on its way to becoming the most successful Western foreign policy position since the American Revolution.

Will Deaniacs Vote?

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It is easy to get young people riled up, as William F. Buckely points out. The Dean house parties, rallies, $2 donations, etc., are the kinds of things young people like to do. And there is no doubt that Dean has energized a particular demographic group, namely, the 18- to 24-year-old folk.

Last week, Dr. Dean warned the DNC chairman that, if the other Democrat candidates don’t stop attacking Dean, Dean’s supporters might not vote at all come November 2004. During his season of being wrong about everything, Dean may have accidentally stumbled onto some correct thinking regarding his supporters’ propensity to vote.

According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Dean’s strongest support group, 18 to 24, is the least likely to actually show up at the polls and vote. In the latest available figures, we find that 40% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 are registered to vote, but only about 16% go to the polls. (Perhaps if they served beer.) Worse for Dean, who polls better among women than among men, is the absence of a gender gap in these stats. Only 17% of women 18 to 24 show up, while 15% of men vote. Overall, 62% of people over 18 are registered voters, and 42% vote. The most consistent age group for voting is 65 to 74 years at 63%. Moreover, as the population ages, men become more likely to vote than women.

While Dean is probably correct that his supporters won’t vote if Dean is not the candidate, his supporters probably won’t vote even if he is.


Election Year Begins

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The New Year begins with–guess what– Howard Dean saying something stupid. Thankfully, John F**ing Kerry has called him on it.

Dean’s inability to research his statements before making them–like finding out how Kerry voted–makes you wonder what kind of a doctor he was. Did he prescribe medication before checking the patient’s allergies? Did he prescribe procedures without determining if that procedure remained the recommended treatment? In other words, was he as intellectually lazy as a physician as he is as a politician?

Again, his followers don’t care, since they are motivated by anti-intellectual emotionalism and sentimentality, but his potential voters should. Claiming that Missouri is not a farm state when it has 17 farms for each one in Vermont, claiming that Kerry voted Nay when Kerry, in fact, voted Yea, and claiming that all government meetings must be open to the public when Dean, himself, insisted on conducting Vermont’s business in secrecy all point to a man who doesn’t take the office of president of the United States very seriously.

Intelligent people don’t take Dr. Dean very seriously.