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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, Moore, Bannon on: December 13, 2017, 08:38:48 AM
Losing the Senate to one or two man's ego.  The loss of Sessions seat was not necessary, advances the causes of abortion, high taxes and government healthcare to name a few.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: One concidence too many on: December 13, 2017, 08:33:54 AM

Nine bias coincidences documented too many to serve justice with any level of confidence, and more coming every day it seems.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russian conspiracy, Comey, Mills and Abedine Going to Jail with Gen. Flynn on: December 08, 2017, 02:35:34 PM
Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedine told the FBI (Strzok and Laufman) that they were not aware of Clinton’s server until after she left the State Department.

4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, The women should be believed. (?) on: December 08, 2017, 02:24:49 PM
313 million google results on the women should be believed, including Hillary Clinton:

(Roy Moore supporter?) Al Franken put it just a little buit differently:  "The women deserve to be "heard".

Sounds about the same, right?  Not exactly news or cutting edge post-1913 that women deserve to be heard...
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude on: December 08, 2017, 02:17:33 PM
That particular behavior (sh*tting in the showers) does not constitute assimilating into civilized society?

When the Republican convention goes into a Democratic city, when a college team goes into a rival college's facility, don't they tell you that bad behavior of one or a few will reflect badly on all of us?
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; But What About Bob? (Menendez) on: December 08, 2017, 02:04:51 PM
Yes, the Franken (non) resignation is about strategy, not principles.

While allegedly cleaning house for the Moore, Trump attacks, the Senate Democrats missed one!

... in all the discussion of Senator Franken and related issues, it is curious that none of the Democratic senators — not Senator Gillibrand, not Senator Harris, not Senator Klobuchar, not any of the rest — has suggested that Senator Menendez take early retirement.

The bribery charges against Senator Melendez resulted in a hung jury. It is nevertheless unclear how the Democrats can now overlook allegations of Senator Menedez’s paid dalliances with young women in the Dominican Republic. They seem as credible as the 40-plus year-old allegations against Roy Moore and far more recent. Following the mistrial in the Menendez case, Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine took up the possible double standard.

7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, fraud, etc: Wisconsin Fraud more sinister than first reported on: December 08, 2017, 01:57:17 PM
Along with the FBI scandals and everything else, this is REALLY BAD STUFF.

Read it all.

8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Corruption, Sleaze, Skullduggery and Treason, Lois Lerner's Secrets on: December 08, 2017, 01:49:07 PM
"Yes, indeed. Let the sun shine in."

American taxpayers who will fork out $3.5 million for Ms. Lerner’s actions have a right to hear how she justified what she did at the IRS.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Germany, refugee assimilated or unemployed? on: December 08, 2017, 01:31:06 PM
In the Pam Geller, No go zones video, the unemployment rate was 10 times higher for refugees than "Swedish-born" residents.

In this article, 4% of refugees in this German town are employed:

Google translate:
Refugees Nearly four percent: Only 56 out of 1,530 have a job

Aschersleben -
The job search for refugees continues to be difficult. Of the currently more than 1,530 refugees registered with the responsible job center, only 56 (equivalent to 3.66 percent) have taken up a job subject to social security contributions in the current year.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Foreign Policy: 1) Grow the economy on: December 08, 2017, 01:17:17 PM
Just saying aloud what is so obvious that no one ever says it.  The first and biggest thing (not the only thing!) we can do to strengthen our security and our foreign policy is to step out of stagnation and grow the economy. Let's make sure the table is set to do that.

We have had a good year of repealing over-regulation.  The tax bill, if it ever gets passed, does a lot to reverse the environment where 4700 US companies moved out of the US while we had a historic dearth of real, new startups.  The tax bill as it passed the Senate includes a provision for drilling in ANWR, about 20 years late, and repeals the Obamacare individual tax penalty.

If this tax reform bill succeeds in delivering growth, more bills can follow to accelerate that and lock it in.

Building a wall takes money, as does shipbuilding, modernization, keeping ahead of the Russians, Chinese, rogue states and sending military assets to the Middle East and Pacific Rim.  We need new technologies to keep up with new enemies in cyber-warfare, EMP and more.

In the coming years there will be great debates about allocating sufficient resources for defense.  That debate goes much better when incomes, wages, revenues and jobs are growing, as compared to the recent past environment where all the growth was in food stamps, SSI and public debt.  Bargain from a position of strength!
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: GPF: The Coming Conflict Between China & Japan on: December 08, 2017, 12:50:04 PM
From the article:  [China v. Japan]  "It’s hard to say which is stronger today. China has a greater population, but Japan is more stable and boasts better military and technical capabilities. This has the makings of a balanced rivalry."

Walter Russel Mead previously on the 8 great powers of the world listed China ahead of Japan and called it a tie.  While I don't agree, it draws attention to the balance BEFORE Japan starts re-militarizing.

China and Japan are the world's second and third largest economies, an indicator of the ability to develop, acquire and deploy ships, submarines, missiles, anti-missile technology etc.  But that is before considering the possibility of Japan allying with the US, S.Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, India, etc.  How does Japan's economy compare with China when considered in alliance with just the US?

China is the big bully in the region right now wanting to take control of the Taiwan to Singapore (South China) Sea.  And they will succeed - assuming no one steps up to counter them.

12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Japan to acquire capability of hitting North Korea on: December 08, 2017, 12:25:42 PM
This also means Japan will acquire missiles capable of hitting Beijing.  And capable of hitting eastern Russia.
For the umpteenth time, Mr Xi Jinping, why is this necessity in the best interest of the Chinese politburo?

When South Korea and Taiwan deploys missiles and missile defense, go nuclear, will they then get it?

The NK issue and Trump's dealing with it, telling allies they need to share in the burden of their own defense, has been turned on its ear - against China.

This threat was made possible over these decades by China.  China enjoyed a good laugh over the American agony of the situation.  Now it has spun out of their control, assuming they are still unwilling to resolve it -
 forcefully in Pyongyang.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Icon Retires on: December 05, 2017, 12:56:37 PM
Or is it, Alleged Sex Offender Resigns in Disgrace?

Or, Team Player Takes One for the Team to Facilitate the Continuing Attack on Trump and Moore

Democratic split, Conyers is not a big believer in #believe the women.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trade Deficit, Wesbury on: December 05, 2017, 12:43:46 PM
It will be interesting to watch how exports are affected by business tax reform.

Wesbury admits both exports and imports are good for the economy but still reports the difference between the two as a "deficit".  Maybe we can get back to a "surplus" like we had in the depths of the Great Depression. *  I would add them together and track total trade or just report exports and imports separately.

15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: December 05, 2017, 12:31:50 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know , , ,


States have political differences by design but you shouldn't have to leave your home anywhere in America to live in Freedom.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Michael Barone on: December 05, 2017, 09:25:22 AM
Michael Barone is a voice of sanity in this case.  It looks like he has been reading the forum.

Michael Barone: 'Hurtling' GOP tax bills are actually serious
by Michael Barone | Nov 30, 2017

The Republican tax bills are something more serious and responsible than "hurtling" missiles "tilting" the tax code toward the "wealthy." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“The Republican tax bill hurtling through Congress is increasingly tilting the United States tax code to benefit wealthy Americans.” That’s the beginning of the 37-word first sentence in the New York Times’s stage-setting front page story on the tax bill under consideration in the Senate this week.

It’s a nice illustration of creatively phrased advocacy journalism. “Hurtling” suggests irrational, uncontrolled, threatening movement; “tilting” suggests abandoning upstanding fairness; spelling out “the United States tax code” suggests an ominous attack on a respected national institution. And all this “to benefit wealthy Americans.”

This is less reportage than advocacy journalism, written to advance the argument, with which many people agree, that Republican tax bills are harmful because they make federal taxation less progressive. But it’s also an argument against any tax cut at any time. After all, if you start off with a progressive system that imposes higher rates on high earners and doesn’t tax low earners at all — as the current federal income tax does -- then every tax cut takes that shape.

Missing from the arguments of Republicans’ critics is acknowledgement that we already have what is, by most measures, the most progressive national tax system in the world. Other advanced countries tend to rely more heavily on regressive sales (value-added) taxes and many have less steeply graduated income taxes.

Currently, the top one percent of U.S. earners pays about 40 percent of federal income tax revenue; the next 9 percent about 30 percent more. You could make the system even more progressive with more progressive income tax rates or by raising the amount of income subject to the payroll tax, but only at the risk of redirecting high earners’ attention from productivity to tax avoidance. Such changes tend to reduce economic growth, just as tax cuts tend to increase it.

In fact, this year, Republican tax writers have devoted much less attention to cutting income tax rates for high earners than their predecessors did in 1981 or 2003 or their presidential nominees in 2008 or 2012. Instead, they increase the child tax credit and double the standard deduction. That reduces taxes for many modest earners and gets the government—and Congress—out of the business of encouraging some behaviors and therefore discouraging others. This could reduce the scope for lobbyists to lard up the tax code with special exemptions and favors.

The Republican bills attack two of the three largest “tax expenditures,” by limiting or eliminating the deductions for home mortgage interest and state and local taxes. The dollar benefits of those deductions are hugely concentrated on “wealthy Americans,” especially in high-tax, high-housing-cost states where people vote heavily Democratic. These progressive changes could only be made by Republicans, who have few House members and zero senators from such constituencies.

Sophisticated critics of the Republicans’ bills, like former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, avoid arguing against any tax cut ever, but instead say that, with low unemployment and increasing growth, this is the wrong time. Economic policy should depend on the economic not the political calendar.

The problem with this argument is that the biggest cuts in the Republican bills are to the corporate income tax—from 35 to 20 percent. Today’s corporate rate is the highest of any advanced nation. It encourages multinational firms to park billions of dollars abroad rather than invest them here, or to be merged into a foreign-based rival.

Moreover, economists of just about every stripe agree that the economic burden of the corporate tax falls not just on stockholders, but also and perhaps largely on employees and consumers. The only disagreement is on who bears how much.

So there’s a widespread consensus for a corporate rate cut. Former President Barack Obama proposed one in February 2012, but never got around to negotiating seriously with congressional Republicans. Republicans today are only acting responsibly, at the political risk of demagogic charges that rate cuts for corporations and unincorporated businesses paying as individuals are aiding “wealthy Americans.”

Some critics focus on provisions fashioned to take advantage of budget procedures and Congressional Budget Office scoring rules mostly set in the 1970s. Both parties are guilty of gaming this increasingly dysfunctional system, especially CBO’s wildly oscillating cost estimates of the Obamacare mandate.

...the Republican tax bills are something more serious and responsible than “hurtling” missiles “tilting” the tax code toward the “wealthy.”
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: December 04, 2017, 04:52:48 PM
40 minutes with Marco Rubio on the whole realm of today's issues:

I don't agree 100% with him on everything but he probably makes more sense than anyone else in elected position that you're hearing right now.

Cuba, North Korea, taxes, blue collar workers, families, the wall, working with Trump, running for higher office, etc.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: December 04, 2017, 02:14:51 PM
"Clinton, the schmooze king thought he could charm the tyrant family, and he and we got taken for a ride.  W. kept putting it off while dealing with Iraq which we all know what happened with that .  And up next was the worse one of all O.  Who quietly decided behind all our backs Korea  was a fait accompli and just jived us all along that he actually  serious about it.
Now we have the first man who is serious about it.  After, just as he predicted, the damage is done and the problem is 10 times as bad."

Worse than not doing anything about the threats, our Dem Presidents made threats worse while calling bad agreements accomplishments, Clinton and Madam Halfbright on NK and Obama with Iran.  If you believed them, these threats were dealt with.  George W and Cheney didn't strike NK nuclear facilities, but at least we knew these terrible threats were left behind, growing to haunt us later.

Our form of government (4 year Presidential terms) is great but not well-suited for dealing with long term threats these multi-generational, dictatorial enemies who can fight longer wars.  Harry Truman, a Democrat, didn't use his 4 year term as an excuse for inaction.  He ordered the use of atomic weapons less than 4 months after learning of that capability. but that situation was different - we were already at war with Japan.

Pre-emptive action is difficult to take in our system, but leaving threats in place to grow is far worse.

North Korea is not an isolated threat.  They are proliferators.  They aren't going to sit still during another 4, 8, 16, 32 years of inaction. 

We took no action against the Iranian regime after recovering our hostages and then thousands of Americans were killed in Iraq with Made in Iran IEDs.

Trump said to China what I have been asking him to say.  It is in their own best interest to put down the nuclear threat of North Korea.  Why does the Chinese inner circle want Japan, S.K, Taiwan and others, Vietnam, Australia, all nations to be nuclear armed?  If an NK missile can now reach halfway around the world to Washington DC, it can reach anywhere on earth.

Does Russia want Japan and the whole region to be nuclear armed?

I am so old that I remember when even Democrats were anti-proliferation, and the Chinese and Russians too.

We stopped Saddam.  Isn't it someone else's turn?  If not, Mr. Trump, do something, and do it now - while we have resources in the area and before their capabilities grow further.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump on North Korea in 1999, Meet the Press on: December 04, 2017, 12:42:51 PM
2 minute video

DONALD TRUMP on North Korea, in a 1999 interview with the great Tim Russert on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: RUSSERT: “You say … as president, you would be willing to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear capability.” TRUMP: “First I’d negotiate. I would negotiate like crazy. And I’d make sure that we tried to get the best deal possible. Look, Tim. If a man walks up to you on a street in Washington, because this doesn’t happen, of course, in New York … and puts a gun to your head and says give me your money, wouldn’t you rather know where he’s coming from before he had the gun in his hand?

“And these people, within three or four years, are going to be having nuclear weapons, they’re going to have those weapons pointed all over the world, and specifically at the United States, and wouldn’t you be better off solving this really … the biggest problem the world has is nuclear proliferation … If that negotiation doesn’t work, you better solve the problem now than solve it later, Tim … Jimmy Carter, who I really like, he went over there, so soft, these people are laughing at us.” …

RUSSERT: “Taking out their nuclear potential would create a fallout.” TRUMP: “Tim, do you know that this country gave them nuclear reactors, free fuel for 10 years. We virtually tried to bribe them into stopping and they’re continuing to what they’re doing. And they’re laughing at us, they think we’re a bunch of dummies. I’m saying that we have to do something to stop.” RUSSERT: “If the military told you, ‘Mr. Trump, you can’t do this’”. TRUMP: “You’re giving me two names. I don’t know. You want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place, every one of them pointing to New York City, to Washington and every one of our -- is that when you want to do it? Or do you want to do something now?
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues, A Veneer of Certainty Stoking Climate Alarm on: December 04, 2017, 11:57:08 AM
A Veneer of Certainty Stoking Climate Alarm

A (balanced) must read if you would like to keep up on this issue.

From the article:  Climate scientist, Dr. William Collins of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Speaking in 2014 at an American Physical Society climate workshop, Collins, who was a lead author of the chapter evaluating climate models in the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, talked of the challenges of dealing with several sources of uncertainty. “One of them is the huge uncertainties even in the historical forcings,” he said, referring to the natural and anthropogenic factors that affect the climate.2 Commenting on the “structural certainty” of climate models, he observed that there were “a number of processes in the climate system we just do not understand from basic physical principles. ... We understand a lot of the physics in its basic form. We don’t understand the emergent behavior that results from it.”
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Middle East: Israel Strikes Iran Military Site in Syria on: December 04, 2017, 11:50:11 AM
“Let me reiterate Israel’s policy: We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state,” said Netanyahu.
[I was hoping to see news of a strike like that with Bush-Cheney hitting Iran's nuclear sites and with Trump striking NK sites.]

This helps to answer the geopolitical questions posed here in the last couple weeks about who will stop Iran's advances.  The more Iran advances, the more resolve there should be to stop them on the part of ... Saudi, US, Israel, Gulf States, Egypt, and others?  Does Russia want Iran to dominate the region?
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy, House and Senate Passed Separate but Similar Bills on: December 04, 2017, 09:18:15 AM
They all say it goes to conference now, but why not instead have the House just pass the Senate bill and take away the opportunity for some of those Flakes to screw it up.  Lock this in and then bring up anew bill to improve it.

Heritage shows details and differences in a chart:

23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: I can do just fine without football on: December 04, 2017, 08:44:19 AM
As is Rush , I am done with football.  never cared for college ball but now pro ball is out of my life:

Sure, you wait until the Giants are 2-10 and the Vikings are 10-2 with a home game in the Super Bowl to quit watching.  )

My understanding is that the Vikings all stand for the national anthem, America's Team!
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Trump Administration - Tillerson on: December 01, 2017, 11:23:17 AM
I don't know enough about Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's views to have an opinion of him in his job.  The Sec State is supposed to have more of a diplomatic lean than the Sec of Defense and that contention can be healthy.  But from (fake?) news reports, his relationship with the President is lousy.

The president deserves someone in that role that can bring the President's view to allies and foes, not fight the President's views in those venues.  For example, look at the great job Nikki Haley is doing at the UN.

Reports (fake?) are saying Tillerson will be out in January and Mike Pompeo will be in.  According to NYT that trades a moderate out for a hawk in.

Sounds good to me.

But putting the CIA Director in at State and making Tom Cotton CIA Director leaves another opening in the Senate.  At least it's in a now-red state (and hopefully no Roy Moore there).  Appoint Arkansan Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the Senate?  Or elevate Nikki Haley to the chain of succession and put Sanders over there, and Ivanka Trump to be the President's spokes(man).
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Tax Reform 2017 on: December 01, 2017, 11:04:03 AM
Exhibit A, The Grannis GDP Gap.  Something, namely over-taxation and over-regulation, is keeping the US economy from growing at historic rates, and it has cost us $12-15 trillion dollars over the last decade.

B.  Panic over deficits:  According to the CBO, every 0.1 percent increase in the gross domestic product adds over $250 billion in revenue over 10 years.

C. Deficits if we don't pass this:  Economic stagnation will make permanent the epidemic of working age people living outside of the workforce.  The demand of these people on spending services like food, clothing, shelter and healthcare is boundless.  Capped revenues and exploding expenditures is not how you close the deficit.
A U.S. growth rate of 1.9% will never balance the federal budget.

D.  Nine prominent economists write to support the package writing that the corporate reform alone will grow the economy by at least 2% annually, economics professors from Harvard, Stanford and former chairs of the council of economic advisers:

E.  100 Economists (including our own Brian Wesbury) signed a letter urging congress to pass the bill and watch the economy roar.

F.  Other economists, deniers of science and history who sound the deficit alarm, say that repairing all these disincentives will only will only grow the economy by 0.8% over 10 years.

G. If we had reformed the corporate tax code sooner we could have prevented 4600 companies and hundreds of billions of dollars from leaving the US.

More so than the wall or Hillary's emails, economic stagnation of the Democrats is what brought Republican control of the House, Senate and Presidency.  There is only one way to determine who is right and who is wrong on this important economic debate.  Pass the bill!
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump's accomplishments: Draining the Swamp, Appointing great Judges on: December 01, 2017, 09:24:10 AM
Draining the DC swamp is a process underway that can't ever be fully achieved but we should celebrate every move in the right direction.  Two points here,

1) All the ruckus over state department departures underway is a big sign of progress:  The career state department people especially toward the top are the ones who acquiesced to HRC's private server scandal and helped her to hide her emails and cover up the scandal.  They all tend to be liberals and globalists in the negative sense of those terms and they have been putting their agenda ahead of our security.

2) Breaking the Senate Blue Slip Rule:  The timing was amazing here.  Sen Franken was holding up hearing on Minnesota's Justice David Stras just for swamp-like political reasons, because he could and because he wanted to extract something political in return for supporting a home state nominee who is abundantly qualified.  I attribute this to Trump and Trump's watch because he made this great appointment that divided Minnesota's two Dem Senators and because Trump derangement syndrome is what was empowering Franken to be derelict in his duties as Senator to return his 'blue slip' for a perfectly qualified nominee.

It was one day before the Franken scandal broke that the Senate Judiciary committee decided to step over swamp creature Franken and hold hearings on Justice Stras.  Observers are comparing Stras in his confirmation hearing to Gorsuch.  Good thing because he might soon move from the 8th Circuit appellate court to sitting next to Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.  Scott Johnson of Powerline (who brought down Dan Rather) was the light behind the force that made this happen.  He wrote a long series of articles challenging the Minneapolis Startribune and other media to expose the travesty that this excellent Trump nomination was being held up by a Senator refusing to faithfully do his job. This week they held hearings; video at this link:

Stras, with great support from both sides of the aisle, is not the liberal activist judge that HRC would have appointed.  His nomination and certain confirmation to follow is a tremendous, nation-saving Trump accomplishment, IMHO.  Trump killed more than one bird with this stone.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Corker et al and deficits, "triggers" on: December 01, 2017, 08:25:43 AM
Maybe it will pass without this idiot's support.  Corker 'refuses' to support an increase in the deficit, so he wants to "trigger" tax rate increases if the revenues they hope for do not materialize.

Hugh Hewitt is calling the market reaction to no bill passed, the "Corker Christmas Crash".  Meanwhile, Ron Johnson is reportedly back on board.  This is a developing story, but the bill SHOULD pass today.  Getting a conference bill that can satisfy both chambers will be harder.

A 'trillion dollar' static deficit increase (over 10 years) is equal to something like 0.4% of economic growth.  If you don't believe our existing humongous tax code is inhibiting at least 0.4% of growth (it is inhibiting at least 4% of growth, ten times the Corker concern) and you don't believe a "Republican tax cut" will fix it and you believe a tax rate increase might be a better path to greater revenues, then maybe your party affiliation is really Democrat.  And if so, why didn't you tell the voters of Tennessee that when THEY had a say in it?  If your tax reform package cannot generate 0.4% of economic growth, there is something wrong with the reform bill, not a need for a tax increase trigger!

In what foreseeable circumstance is a tax rate increase the best policy for America??  Deficits, FYI, are caused by spending and lack of economic growth when your tax rates are already so high they are constraining revenues.

This bill already has a mechanism for a trigger - called the constitution and the legislative process.  Future congresses with more up to date information could conceivably be just as smart in years to follow as Bob Corker is now (a depressing thought) and can set future tax rates up, down or sideways as needed in the future, kind of like the Founders envisioned (minus the 16th amendment).
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Senate Tax vote tomorrow - Friday on: November 30, 2017, 04:55:55 PM
WSJ rips Marco Rubio and Mike Lee today for trying to kill the bill with a child tax credit amendment.

Nonetheless, expectations are for a vote tomorrow.  Like healthcare, they will probably cancel vote if they don't have the numbers.

We still won't know what is in the final legislation because of differences with the House to be decided in conference.

This will not be a perfect bill, but it must be good enough to do two things, pass and grow the economy.  If it is successful, really successful, it will be easy or at least possible to re-open the issue with further reforms and rate cuts.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Testimony in NY: Turkey laundering Iranian money around sanctions on: November 30, 2017, 04:44:07 PM
Nothing surprising here, it's not like Islamist-run Turkey is a member of NATO or (former) ally of the US...

The crux of United States v. Zarrab, as the case was formerly known, is ultimately about U.S. sanctions, and how a group of high-ranking and well-connected Turkish actors, including Zarrab, may have conspired to assist Iran in skirting them through fraud and elaborate money-laundering schemes.

NY Magazine ponders Michael Flynn's involvement in this.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 30, 2017, 02:14:32 PM
Thanks ccp.  I will not bet on dead man walking Al Franken.  Just enjoying his troubles.  Who knew you couldn't touch women there - if you're a Democrat?  Franken was not looking good yesterday in committee:

For the record, Roy Moore was a Democrat during all the alleged misconduct.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Pelosi couldn't take the heat on defending Conyers on: November 30, 2017, 01:18:20 PM

They turned on Conyers (black) but not Franken (white).  I wonder what the media and opponents would say if Republicans did that.

32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education, Colleges ban debate on issues like gender pronouns on: November 30, 2017, 12:36:05 PM
Odd that I can't find education on the politics forum.  Do we still believe they do something more than political indoctrination?   (

This is about an incident at a Canadian college.  A TA allowed debate on gender pronouns in class and is getting fired for it.  Hat tip Steve Hayward.  40 minutes of your life you will never get back but a direct eavesdrop into the voice of leftism behind the scenes in education.

These [18 year old adults] are children and can't trusted to hear another side to our indoctrination until we develop their skills to a higher level.

33  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Jocko and friend discuss the Dog Brothers!!! on: November 30, 2017, 11:46:37 AM
I am having a major fan boy moment!

At 1:01:30 et seq.

PS:  The Stinky Stick technique was me!

I will not be fighting Crafty at the next Gathering!
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues on: November 30, 2017, 11:43:20 AM
They won't have Trump circled until they get Franken out first. It seems like what Trump said and what Franken did are roughly the same thing.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea, Haley calls on China to cut off all oil to NK on: November 30, 2017, 11:36:30 AM

I will put this in the Nikki Haley thread as well.   wink
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, MSNBC: 3% growth is not possible on: November 30, 2017, 10:53:41 AM
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues, biggest story? on: November 30, 2017, 10:09:43 AM
Waiting for the results, which was the biggest story in 'professional journalism', North Korea now able to reach Washington DC with nuclear warhead missiles or Matt Lauer out?
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump's accomplisments and promises kept, China slashes tariffs on: November 30, 2017, 09:56:26 AM
As touted endlessly all over cable and network news, China is slashing tariff rates on 187 product categories from an average of 17.3% down to 7.7%.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: GPF: George Friedman: Iran reshapes the Middle East on: November 29, 2017, 11:35:25 AM
"the Iranian surge must be placed in context. It has changed the dynamic of the Middle East, but it remains vulnerable."

One vulnerability of Iran is dissent from within.  Is there a way we could unleash that if they extend themselves beyond proxy wars to invading Saudi or Israel? 

Another vulnerability of Iran, same as Saudi, is the low price of oil.  What else do they produce, rugs?

"Attrition" in war refers to the willingness of leaders to let their soldiers die.  What the US and Israel lack is inability to supply ground troops in the region.

It looks to me like more of the same in the Middle East until someone realizes that peace, self determination and a free economy is a better route.  GDP per capita is 8 times higher in Israel than in Iran.  That is not interesting to others in the region, but conquering destroyed lands and people is.

40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: Its over, the Norks are nuclear now. on: November 29, 2017, 11:05:43 AM
What do folks here think of this?  I don't quite get what changed with one test, greater range?  As it flies higher and further, aren't we better able to shoot it down?

A merger with South Korea is absurd.  Un would have to conquer S.K. to rule them or give up power to be part of an economically advanced democracy.  Peaceful reunification is what our side wants, I thought.

Should Japan, S.K., Taiwan, others now go nuclear?  Should the US support that?

Does anyone remember when non-proliferation was our policy?

This could lead to talks?  What is there to talk about?  How about unilaterally assured destruction.

If I believe the NYT article, does this now free us to just contain them and ignore them, except for the military team in charge of shooting down whatever they launch and destroying them in a second strike situation.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WaPo busts O'Keefe sting effort on: November 28, 2017, 06:03:56 PM
My view:  Good for O'Keefe for going after the originator of the story against Roy Moore, and give credit where due, good for the Washington Post in this case for smelling a rat and putting truth ahead of agenda.

O'Keefe doesn't try very hard to fool his targets.  He tries to leave all kinds of obvious clues for them to overlook so that the viewer will easily judge that they should have known.  He is a risk-taker and this one didn't pan out.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Factcheckers; "Fact Check" is just more left-biased opinion on: November 28, 2017, 05:34:05 PM
Everyone here already knows that but this thread continues to document it.

This Is Why We Can’t Trust Factcheckers, Part Infinity
It's another op-ed column masquerading as a fact check.
NOVEMBER 28, 2017 By David Harsanyi

During a speech at the Tax Foundation last week, Vice President Mike Pence dropped a meaningless but innocuous political talking point about the U.S. economy. “There are more Americans working today than ever before in American history,” he reportedly said.
There all kinds of context issues one could point to minimize the importance of that fact.  All of a f'ing sudden, the Washington Post is concerned about Workforce Participation Rate, and to show the falloff they post and chart only figures prior to Trump Pence taking office.  

"the numbers are technically correct" they admit, so they give him 3 out of 4 Pinocchios.

He made a perfectly true statement and they called it a three alarm lie.  Where were they the last 8 years?
[Don't click on this drivel.]

43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: MEF: Iran winning war for Control of the Middle East (Serious Read) on: November 28, 2017, 02:26:54 PM
Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East
by Jonathan Spyer
Foreign Policy
November 21, 2017

They are right; at this moment Iran is winning.  But Syria is not much of a win as a failed state, the Kurds will never stop fighting back, Russia has its own motives, Saudi survival depends on stopping Iran, Israel has become a major power, and Iran lost its Obama-Kerry ally.  No more plane loads of free cash are coming.

"Tehran has proved to have severe difficulties in developing lasting alliances outside of Shiite..."

That takes us back to the Sunni-Shia majority map:

Assuming some forces fight back, Iran's longer term success will be limited to controlling the Shia portion of Iraq, which is what we feared in the Iraq war.  They will stir up trouble elsewhere, but not control the region.

That the Saudis and Sunni areas including Egypt and Jordan (and the Kurds) need to partner with the US and Israel is a good thing.  

The region is less strategic to the rest of the world than previous decades due to other sources of oil and the collapsed price of oil.  Their biggest export is terror.  Reaching some elusive peace or power equilibrium would slow the flow of refugees out of the region.

I don't know the strategic value of Syria and Lebanon anymore if they are failed states.  That area potentially gives Iran, Russia or China a port to the Mediterranean.  Why don't we have our dealmaker President negotiate travel passageways and commerce lanes through the region for all the parties at some point in exchange for an end to the fighting?  

"Mohammed bin Salman, at least, appears to have signaled his intent to oppose Iran and its proxies across the Arab world. The game, therefore, is on. ..."

By 'game' they mean war which is mostly proxy war.  The forecast for the region is (continuing) war and it will not end with one unified Caliphate.  It will end up divided, with new borders I assume.

The US should approach this region as a permanent war.  Not go all in and minimize our ground presence but not leave the region to its own demise either.  We can keep showing them ways they could stop fighting, like having self determination in Iraq, but we may wait hundreds of years for them to see the benefit.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Walter Russell Mead: Trump brings foreign policy back to earth on: November 28, 2017, 11:39:32 AM

"Mr. Trump’s mix of ideas, instincts and impulses is not as ill-suited to the country’s needs as his most fervid detractors believe.

What gives Mr. Trump his opening is something many foreign-policy experts have yet to grasp... "[What his predecessors were doing wasn't working.]

Mead isn't predicting foreign policy success for Trump but he breaks from other 'experts' in that he isn't ruling it out.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, Franken, Conyers, Pelosi, Moore on: November 28, 2017, 11:30:18 AM
Stop the presses, Franken is issuing a big non-denial denial, non-apology apology.  Except for where there is indisputable photographic evidence, Al Franken doesn't remember doing anything wrong but promises to stop doing it.  He is deeply sorry for what he doesn't admit doing.  Colleagues dispose of his money and bill sponsors want his name off of a bill because his name is poison.  For whatever he did or did not do wrong, he is now a less effective Senator in a somewhat divided state.  Democrats have a unique opportunity to replace him right now with another Democrat.  He declines to resign, meaning this is all about personal power, not party, policy or direction of the country.  

Sen. Franken had a chance of being a future Democrat nominee and President just before this broke, and still does - when you consider who the other possibilities are, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Hillary again, running against Trump with his warts or a fractured Republican party that tosses Trump out.

Rep. Conyers is an "icon", therefore Pelosi disbelieves, disregards the victims and trivializes the offenses and the effort to stop this in America.  That puts her somewhere in between co-conspirator and being on 'the wrong side of history'.  Detroit would also predictably replace him with another Democrat, one who could become part of a new class of future Democrat leaders.

Senate candidate Roy Moore is poison for Republicans and they, for the most part, turned against him instantly.  Some of his accusers are discredited but the whole thing looks creepy.  Moore stays in for personal reasons, not to help his party or his cause.  He will probably win anyway because Democrats are so far removed from the views of the voters.

Pelosi cheapens herself, the crime and the accusers against Conyers and all others by letting politics AGAIN decide who to turn against and who to defend.

Accusations about Republicans only come out exactly when there can be political gain.  Accusations against Democrats only come out when media do their job and report what is in front of them in plain view.

Sen. Rubio is putting the size of the Child Tax Credit, a worthy cause, ahead of growth economics that could save the economy and the nation.  Ironically, he represents a retirement state.

Sen. Tim Scott who is right on the issues could not explain why tax reform helps the poor and lower income working people other than to mention specific goodies in the bill.  

Republicans hate McConnell and now Ryan who support the agenda but can't lead.  Democrats stick with Pelosi and Schumer who are mostly old, obnoxious and clueless.  All 4 are bringing no one new into either of their respective parties.  Ryan is the only one who had potential but angers the right by being soft on illegal immigration.  (We had that election; build the damn wall.)

Both sides should desperately be asking, who will be our future leaders and bring them forward now.
Update:  A similar view on Franken: "a disingenuous denial, a disingenuous apology"

He didn't admit or deny, he is trying to survive this politically.
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues, All 'Climate Change' risks in one graph on: November 27, 2017, 02:11:32 PM
Not a whisker of truth in this but I post it to our thread for balance.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Slave auctions in Libya, thanks to Hillary, Obama. on: November 27, 2017, 02:05:07 PM
Her failure in Libya is affecting our options elsewhere.

'We came, we saw, he died,' she joked. But overthrowing Gadhafi was a humanitarian and strategic debacle that now limits our options on North Korea.

Footage from Libya, released recently by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011.”

Glenn Reynolds

48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul will vote for the tax bill, asks colleagues to step up on: November 27, 2017, 01:48:16 PM
He makes the point that this is a step forward.  If it is successful in growing the economy, more tax rate cut bills can follow in future years.

The bill could pass as early as this Thurs and as late as never.  If they fail to pass anything this year, they will lose their majorities and their ability to do anything helpful for pretty much the rest of our lives.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dail Signal: How 7 Taxpayers would fare with GOP bills on: November 27, 2017, 11:01:31 AM

They need this type of analysis to come out okay in order to pass it but success in the longer term will be measured in economic growth, not just how static income is taxed.

There is a little bit of Nancy Pelosi-itis going on here too, we will need to pass the (final) bill to know what is in it.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: LA Times: Mexico's housing debacle on: November 27, 2017, 10:55:07 AM

Another great lesson never learned.

Mexico promised affordable housing for all. Instead it created many rapidly decaying slums

I can't remember, did President John F Kennedy tell the Economics Club that a great big government cronying up with the most powerful corporate interests will lift all boats?

I can tell you from the inside that the housing business is a people business.  People respond to incentives and a sense of ownership, not entitlement.  You can give people free houses and free housing all day long but they will treat as their own if it is earned.

Liberals always want more government housing money and projects, without questioning the results.  Why don't we look at areas where housing and communities succeed and copy those strategies instead?
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