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James P. Pinkerton

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Pinkerton: Democrats Should Beware the Ides of Midterms 

The embattled Republican president is besieged by hostile Democrats and an even more hostile media, who regard him as politically dubious (he was, after all, elected with less than a majority of the popular vote), ideologically out of step (he is deemed “wrong” on the big issues of the day), and personally gauche, even repulsive (the mocking of his physical appearance is perhaps the most savage in American history).

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Economist Nouriel Roubini, anchorwoman Trish Regan, and Bill Shine attend the book party for Bremmer's book, 'Superpower: Three Choices For America's Role In The World' on May 12, 2015 at DBGB Kitchen in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TIME)

Pinkerton: The Bill Shine I Know

News stories report that President Trump has asked Bill Shine, the former Fox News co-president, to come aboard the White House staff.  Shine’s new job, at least in part, would be to direct communications. This news might not strike some observers as a very big deal. 

California Republican Party (Neon Tommy / Flickr / CC / Cropped)

Pinkerton: Making California Great Again — and Republican Again 

From the perspective of this year, 2038, we can see that three very different events from 20 years ago set in motion the profound partisan realignment in California. It was, indeed, an epic reversal, as the Golden State switched from being overwhelmingly Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican.

FILE - This Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 false-color image from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2 satellite via NASA, shows a brown burn scar from the Thomas fire north of the city of Ventura, Calif., at bottom center. The flames stand out starkly as smoke billows toward the Pacific Ocean and …

Pinkerton: Fixing California’s Wildfire Problem

As the 2017 wildfire season in California recedes in time, if not in memory, the 2018 wildfire season is looming into view. And so if you live in the Golden State—now the Scorched State, as more than 500,000 acres were burned in 2017—you should be worried about a fire-haunted future.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) shows a thumbs up to President Donald Trump during an executive order signing as Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta look on during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White …

Pinkerton: Back to the Future — Generous 1990s Block Grants Show GOP Path to Obamacare Repeal and Replace

The future of Obamacare repeal and replace lies with the GOP’s past success in converting federal welfare funds into block grants that allow governors to tailor the funds to their own local needs. However, like welfare reform in the 1990s, healthcare reform today will only succeed if it demonstrates that it can improve lives and not just reduce spending. The flesh-and-blood well-being of folks is more meaningful to people than abstract budget numbers showing a deficit reduction.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: A protester wears a Repeal Obamacare button on his jacket during a Freedom Works rally against the proposed GOP health care plan at Upper Senate Park across from the U.S. Capitol on March 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of protesters with the conservative group …

Pinkerton: The Way Forward on Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

It’s sort of poetic, in a sad way, that the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on September 29 coincided so closely with the expiration of the 2017 budget resolution on September 30. Those two events signaled the end, at least for now, of Congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare through reconciliation; thus closing the 2017 chapter of the ongoing healthcare fight. However, the fight will likely continue next year. And so, we might consider ways to shift an approach that failed in 2017 to a strategy that could win in 2018.

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Pinkerton — From Politics to Passchendaele: Case Studies in Frustration and Victory

If we look beyond politics to a most extreme example of massed persistence—World War One’s Battle of Passchendaele, a century ago—we might gain insight into the value of adjusting one’s strategy in the face of heavy fire. And in fact, as we shall see, disaster in the short run can sometimes sow the seeds of long-run success.

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Pinkerton: The ‘Hard Pivot’ from Health Care to Tax Reform and a Stronger Trump Agenda

With the failure of the healthcare repeal-and-replace effort behind them and mindful of that survive-so-as-to-fight-again-and-win ethos, GOP leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have been making what’s been described by one insider as “a hard pivot to tax reform” and other Trump agenda items with a better chance of #winning.

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Pinkerton — Lessons from the GOP’s Obamacare Fail: Republicans Were Long on ‘Repeal’ and Short on ‘Replace’

Republicans have long been united in opposition to Obamacare, but opposition is a sentiment—it’s not a strategy. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Republicans were never together—were never operating as a team—to pursue an effective anti-Obamacare vision. Most glaringly, the GOP was long on “repeal” and short on “replace,” even as the country clearly expected both repeal and replace.

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Pinkerton — The Presidential Comeback: How Reagan’s First Term Recovery Offers Hope for Trump

What they say about the weather is also true of politics: If you don’t like what’s happening now, wait a bit—because things will change. The same point holds true for presidential politics. What happens to a president early on is not automatically dispositive to what happens to that president later on. History is full of examples of presidential comebacks, and President Reagan’s first term is a case in point.

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Pinkerton – Climate Doomsday: Coming to an Election Near You!

A doomsday climate change cover story in New York magazine is getting lots of buzz among the Beltway elites. The headline is indeed a grabber: “The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak—sooner than you think.”

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Pinkerton — Ronald Reagan, Working Class Hero: New Book Speaks Loudly to Donald Trump’s America

In his new book, “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism,” author Henry Olsen argues that Republicans today are getting the Reagan record wrong. In misremembering Reagan’s life, they misapprehend Reagan’s legacy. Olsen’s book proves that Reagan was an enemy of LBJ’s Great Society, but not of FDR’s New Deal.

A group of coal miners hold Trump signs as they wait for a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Pinkerton: The Plutocrats vs. the People: Trump’s Climate Decision Exposes the Latest Battle in the Class War

While the red states of Trump Nation applauded the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the opposition in the culture-crafting blue cities along the two coasts flowed fast and furious. Just about every headline and press report in the establishment Media has been critical, with some going out of their way to neon-sign their negativity. Yet in their untiring enthusiasm to hammer Trump with everything available, the elites in the toniest zip codes have made some curious choices, as they seek to make choices for the rest of us.

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Pinkerton: The Final Frontiers: Cyber Space, Outer Space, and the Permanent Lure of Exploration

While profit and national security are key factors in our pursuit of outer space, there is also the innate human desire to strive, to seek, and to find. We are going to outer space because we are curious—and organized curiosity is about as powerful a force as there is in human nature. We are going for the reasons that inspired President Kennedy: because space is there, and because it’s cool. Indeed, those of us who will never go to space should count ourselves as lucky to be alive at a time of renewed exploratory curiosity. We are fortunate to be blessed with sturdy souls—in the public and private sectors—who are willing to take up the challenge of space-questing.

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Pinkerton: The U.S.-China Competition: Cyberspace and Outer Space

In our first installment, we noted that in the distant past, China had invented key technologies—for war-fighting and ocean-voyaging—and yet had failed effectively to develop them. So now let’s consider the possible fate of another country, the United States. In the 20th century, America broke ground in two technological frontiers: cyberspace and outer space. Both now face serious competition from China. As we shall see, the U.S. chose to develop effectively one of these technologies, but not the other. So could the U.S. today be making the same sort of mistake that China made in the past? We’ll likely know the answer to that question sometime in this century, but even now, the early warning signs are ominous.

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Pinkerton: The Clash of Civilizations — the Fierce Competition Between the U.S., China, and Every Other Country

As a people, the Chinese obviously know something about building, and maintaining, a strong civilization. And one of the keys to civilization-maintenance is strategic power, both military and industrial. The verdict of history is that sluggishness and ineptitude is catastrophic; the world is always in motion, and so the only hope for a people is to stay atop of the change, lest they be swept under. So now, here’s a pointed question for Americans: Who’s lethargic, and incompetent, today? If not its people as a whole, then at least its ruling elite? Who’s fiddling while the country burns—or falls apart?

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Pinkerton: President Trump Remembers the Battle of the Coral Sea and Its Lessons

On Thursday night, President Trump commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Speaking from the deck of the World War II aircraft carrier Intrepid, permanently berthed in the waters of New York Harbor, Trump paid tribute to the sailors and airmen who fought in that long-ago combat; indeed, seven of the old salts, now in their nineties, were in the audience, and Trump respectfully named each one.

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Pinkerton: Reagan Rising, Carter Falling: a New Book Offers Lessons for Trump from Two Presidents

“For conservatives, it was their Camelot.” Those words appear as the epigraph to Craig Shirley’s new book, Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980. In his new volume, Shirley chronicles the years 1976 to 1980, when Reagan, having lost his bid to grab the Republican presidential nomination away from Gerald Ford, was pondering his next political move—if there was to be one. Along the way, we learn much about America in the late 70s—lessons that echo even to this day, as Americans once again see populist insurgency pitted against establishment power.

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Pinkerton: Before Trump Nation, There Was Fox Nation: Fox News After Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly

An era has come to an end at Fox News. The departure, last year, of Roger Ailes, its founder and CEO for two decades, and the departure, this year, of Bill O’Reilly, its biggest star for two decades, means that Fox will be changing. What’s said of politics is also true of TV: Personnel is policy. Tell me the names of those who are making the decisions about programming, and the names of those who are actually doing the shows, and I’ll tell you, in turn, about the network. But first, let’s take a closer look at the country—at least its presidential voting patterns—pre-Fox and post-Fox.