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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela news live on: May 01, 2017, 11:42:08 AM
A group of government supporters just went by my house (11 AM local time) and they were greeted by pot-banging. There were not enough of them to fill a city block!

I hope they don't know where you live.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will 2020 Be Another 1972 for Democrats? By Victor Davis Hanson on: May 01, 2017, 10:42:23 AM
"So far, the similarities are eerie."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/04/27/will_2020_be_another_1972_for_democrats_133718.html

"if in 2020 Democrats go hard left as they did in 1972, then they will likely lose just as big."
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NY Time editorial page rips Obama for cashing in on his Presidency on: May 01, 2017, 10:33:47 AM
Calling this the left rather than the media where no distinction exists, it is quite humorous to see how gentle they can be while daring to criticize the master.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/opinion/the-cost-of-barack-obamas-speech.html?ref=opinion

"we have the audacity to hope he’ll set a higher standard for past presidents"

What did he EVER do that set a higher standard for ANYTHING?  Keep your health plan, stopping Iran from going nuclear, the Madrid trip, flying the family dog on a separate plane to Martha's vineyard, Benghazi was the result of a video, Iraq was his greatest accomplishment, marriage is between a man and a woman, IRS targeting, and bugging his successor.  Set a 'higher' standard sounds like cannabis joke from the choomg gang.
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 01, 2017, 10:00:53 AM
Republicans won the the House, the Senate, and now the White House.  100 days in, we have a budget with Republican fingerprints all over it.  The government is funded.  Planned parenthood is funded.  The wall is not.  Obamacare is fully in place and the tax system is the one that Bill Ayers, Saul Alinski and Jeremiah Wright's protege put in place for us, working with Pelosi and Reid.

Elections have consequences?  Depends.
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Minneapolis on: May 01, 2017, 09:53:01 AM
A racist, an environmentalist, and a jihadist walk into a government building in Minneapolis.

The security guard says, "Good Morning, Madam Mayor".

https://www.spartareport.com/2017/04/is-it-time-for-minneapolis-to-go-full-tilt-boogie-crazy/#disqus_thread
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: National Geographic: now another liberal rag on: May 01, 2017, 08:59:06 AM
Strange to live in a world where the Scientific American, National Geographic and New England Journal of Medicine have all been destroyed by leftism.

Having control of all the networks and major newspapers, and Google and Facebook, is not enough; now they are taking over Fox news too.  You have to find conservative media by word of mouth.  Yet people still seem to know the left is wrong.  Dems and leftism has lost 10 points or more of support in many states since the last leftist takeover.
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Representative Keith Ellison; Invitation to the Heartland withdrawn on: April 28, 2017, 12:19:04 PM
One point I've made about Keith Ellison seeking national office is that I have never seen evidence he has set foot in a red state or even a red county.

At the risk of standing corrected, he was invited to speak to the Democrats in South Dakota (unicorn convention?), but that invitation has been rescinded so I stand by my accusation.


http://dakotawarcollege.com/democrat-event-with-radical-liberal-keith-ellison-closed-to-the-press-gop-horowitz-event-open-and-expanding/
I’m not sure if they want to hide the fact that their keynote speaker Keith Ellison has said that a 63 Percent Tax Rate is “Fair,” and they’re afraid that it could see print in the Argus Leader or Rapid City Journal.

Or that a KELOland reporter might note to the audience that Ellison gave a speech defending Sara Jane Olson, a Domestic Terrorist and attempted Cop Murderer.

Or it could be that Ellison stated that he believes the Democrat Party should come out against the Second Amendment, and Democrats are afraid how that’s going to look for their party in South Dakota when it appears in every weekly newspaper in the state?


More at the links: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/04/democrats-are-being-crushed-in-the-heartland.php
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 1Q slower growth on: April 28, 2017, 12:03:01 PM
"The deep state may well be trying to bring the crash on Trump's watch."

For sure, Yellen was not going to risk any damage on Obama's watch.
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 1Q slower growth on: April 28, 2017, 11:32:07 AM

"The economy barely grew, expanding at an annual rate of only 0.7 percent."

Let's see...  Keep Obamacare, the biggest tax and regulation takeover in history, in place.  Keep the Obama, Reid, Pelosi tax system fully in place.  Watch Democrat Fed Chair Yellen raise interest rates based on this 'robust recovery' she sees.  And see economic growth hit zero.

What's that?  Did I just hear Brian Wesbury say Doug was right?? 
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy. Dirksen. Kasich. 1980s US Budget History on: April 28, 2017, 10:48:16 AM
" Dirk Everetson (sp?)?"
Everet Dirkson?

Even backwards, that is a good memory!

“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.” This quote is attributed to the late Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois back in the ‘60s when tax issues were the topic in the U.S. Senate.
http://www.thedailyreview.com/news/2015-12-09/Letters_to_the_Editor/Dont_tax_me.html
-------------------------------

John Kasich from ccp's post:
"I don't think there's any way they can say 'okay we're gonna cut all these taxes and it's going to pay for itself,'" Kasich, told students at the Ivy League school's Institute of Politics

1. Must note that he is out on big salary talking to Ivy Leaguers, not delivering milk(?) like his Dad.  There goes the champion of the little guy - telling the big guys what they want to hear - for big money!

2.  Any chance he was alive or aware during the 1980s?  Reagan cut the top rate from 70% down to 28% and Revenues to the Treasury doubled over the decade. 

Revenues 1980:  $517,100,000,000    The last year before Reagan took office.
Revenues 1990   1,032,000,000,000   The first full year after Reagan left office, his tax policies still in place.
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/113th-congress-2013-2014/reports/45010-breakout-appendixh.pdf

Rising tide lifts all boats.

3.  Trump with all his warts won more votes and a higher percentage of the vote in the general election in Ohio than Kasich won in the primary with all his hometown advantage, FWIW.

Like McCain opposing tax cuts in 2000, the 'moderates' love to oppose Republican policy and avoid opposing Democrats.  'How can I get NYT and the Ivy Leaguers to like me?'  Note that after the nomination, the msm was nowhere to be seen in support of McCain or any of that ilk, and the left hated Mitt every but as much as they despise Trump.  They hated and mocked Reagan too.  He defeated them with policy wins and economic results, not appeasement.
161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Blue State Penalty, Doug's compromise on: April 28, 2017, 09:03:23 AM
"they should tax Democrats and all liberals only"

ccp:  You aren't going to like the 'blue state penalty'.  It doesn't follow your motto above. 
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1791.msg101397#msg101397

Of the big 3 deductions, mortgage interest, charitable giving and state/local taxes, only the first two survived the first draft.

The problem with this has to do with tyranny of the majority and consent of the governed.  The penalty doubly applies to people who live in the blue states but oppose the big government, blue state model.

Take my state for example, please, take it.  Hillary won MN by only 1.5%, down 10 points from Obama's 11.5% win in 2008.  Meanwhile, Republicans won the State House and Senate, while a lame duck sits in the governor's mansion with pen and phone - no new tax cuts.

In one sense, I agree with the proposal.  High income tax states should not get a break on federal taxes just because they tax themselves to death at the state level.  We still need a military, and to fund research on spotted frogs, or whatever the feds do with the $4 trillion we give them.

On the other hand, property taxes can be a very unfair form of taxation.  A homestead property doesn't have a stream of income or revenue to tax or pay a tax from.  The homeowner does, but that is already double taxed progressively on the income side.

Imagine a retired person or couple on a fixed income.  Property taxes go up and up over time; income does not.  The longer you live the more you are unable to live in the house you bought and paid for over your adult lifetimes.  We encourage home ownership for a reason, then we force people out with the other arm of the same big government - right at the point of their life where it is hardest to move.  Why would we value borrowing to buy a house over a person's 'contributions to their local schools and communities.  It makes no sense.

Therefore, Doug's compromise.  Remove the state income tax deduction, but retain the property tax deduction.

While appearing to care and be more fair and inclusive, this will capture vast majority of the revenue IF they really do double the standard deduction.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: April 28, 2017, 03:50:26 AM
http://www.thedailyreview.com/news/2015-12-09/Letters_to_the_Editor/Dont_tax_me.html

163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Murders Concentrated in Five Percent of Counties on: April 27, 2017, 07:03:38 PM
"Like anything that doesn't fit with their narrative, they ignore it."

John Lott also has a narrative, "More Guns, Less Crime",
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Guns,_Less_Crime,
but his data comes from good sources and the conclusions he draws are valid.

It's a burden on us that almost all important points conservative are counter-intuitive.

Guns don't cause murder.  Wealth doesn't cause it.  Poverty doesn't even cause it. 
Murder, at least when it happens as an epidemic, is a culture.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nature, can you see the venomous snake in this picture? on: April 27, 2017, 04:20:23 PM
https://twitter.com/SssnakeySci/status/856149745827491840/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fkfor.com%2F2017%2F04%2F26%2Fcan-you-see-the-venomous-snake-in-this-photo%2F

http://kfor.com/2017/04/26/can-you-see-the-venomous-snake-in-this-photo/
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Murders Concentrated in Five Percent of Counties on: April 27, 2017, 04:14:31 PM

"areas with the highest gun ownership rates have low murder rates"

"counties with zero murders are the counties with by far the highest gun ownership rates"

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/05/09/why-own-a-gun-protection-is-now-top-reason/

Guns don't cause murder?  What do leftist, science deniers say about that?
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Swedish opposition to immigration grows on: April 27, 2017, 04:09:24 PM
https://www.svd.se/arets-som-undersokning-presenteras-pa-tisdagen/om/sverige
Report: More Swedes want to receive fewer refugees
(translation)
The more negative attitude towards refugees is one of the major changes in the survey, made during the past autumn and winter. 52 percent supported the proposal to accept fewer refugees, while 24 percent were opposed. When questioned in 2015 "won" refugee opponents barely 40-37.
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Activist finds left's silence on genital mutilation case dismaying on: April 27, 2017, 02:53:24 PM
"Imagine what the American left would do if conservative Republican Christians engaged in a barbaric practice to mutilate little girls, to kill off their sexual desire while leaving them fertile when they come of age."

!!  It makes more sense in reverse if you believe what they would like everyone to believe.  Conservatives advance religious liberty to an extreme while liberals care about people, about women, about children.  But no, Muslims, gays, Jews, felons, illegals, SJWs, civil libertarians and general leftists all share a common political allegiance and will go to all lengths to maintain it.

Imagine next if the sides in the abortion debate were reversed, if conservatives liked the welfare reducing effect of persuading poor women to kill off their children under the guise of liberty and choice.  Imagine if liberals saw that these conservatives policies were killing off black unborn babies at 5 times the rate of whites.  The left would be ruthless with those facts and conservatives would be destroyed trying to make the flimsy arguments leftists put forward.

I was having a political argument with a liberal friend who was a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan US Attorney's office.  A very sharp guy with a sparkle and a smile, I can imagine him making devastatingly persuasive arguments to juries.  But on the political issue at hand he was reduced to making weak, worn out arguments that liberals fall back on to defend the indefensible.  With the facts on my side and me floundering, I generously offered that he switch sides with me.  It would have been a treat to see him make the case that should have been so easy to make.

Liberals have the skills in messaging; conservatives usually have the facts quietly on their side, but can't make their case.  The case against mutilating young girls, if you're going to have any limit on any behavior, should be an easy one.
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: April 27, 2017, 11:13:55 AM
Newt wrote above regarding the transition:  "If Trumpism succeeds in replacing the 80-year-old bureaucratic model of government...[he will get credit]"  Big deal.  If Trumpism succeeds, this nation will survive and prosper.

Trump has made many significant moves, but seems to be stuck on the largest ones.  One reason we can't move on the big items is that there doesn't seem to be an overriding theme.

He scaled back the scope of the EPA and things like that.  Nothing in the bureaucracy was lost that won't return if the other sides just takes charge again. He got what seems to be a good Justice into the seat that was Scalia's.  A similar victory for a Breyer or Ginsburg seat would be real change, but the conservative justices are aging at the same rate.  Believers in the American Creed won't hold the Court without holding the Presidency and the Senate too, and no side will hold all the seats of power for an extended period without giving the people a reason.  Meanwhile no lower court appointments or confirmations are happening.

The only things we have going for us is the proof of the failure of leftist overreach and current Democrat disarray.  Republicans have been quietly winning massive electoral gains and yet haven't succeeded in changing the thinking much across the country.  The Republican party seems hopelessly divided, the freedom seekers are in the minority, and the President is still chasing shiny objects.

We haven't moved much past the pinnacle of failure symbolized by the Republican Presidential debates with 17 candidates all attacking each other instead of painting a vision.  Rand Paul doesn't know he lost, nor does Lindsay Graham and others.  John Kasich is still running for President, planning to challenge Trump in 2020 no matter how the Presidency goes.  Same with almost all of the others.  Rubio has been choosing his battles carefully, mostly in line with the President, Cruz too, but neither conceding who will represent which faction in the next go round much less uniting on a single vision.  

Molly Ball, leftist at The Atlantic made a good point to Hugh Hewitt.  If Trump flipflops from wrong to right in the eyes of much of the conservative movement, it is still a flip flop.  Enforcing a redline in Syria, backing off of a currency fight with China, staying in NATO, NAFTA, no new tariffs etc.  Great, but at some point he loses his base without gaining anyone else.

Who else leads our movement if not Trump?  If Trump fails, the next President isn't going to be Republican, nor is the future Senate and House.

The only answer I can think of is  to go Reaganesque, which means Simplify.

1.  Peace through strength, as he seems to be doing, but articulate it, everyday.  Defense budgets can't have waste and they can't go up and down.  Defense needs funding and purpose, which is to build enough to deter war and loss of life.
2.  Grow the economy.  Like it says on the hard to find, not ready for prime time, tax proposal.  It needs to be spoken, shouted, explained repeated, argued and won.  Why do economies grow?  HOW do they grow?  Why do they stagnate?  How did our existing policies lead to this stagnation?  Where will it lead if we do nothing?  How do these pro-growth proposals Make America Great Again?  Win the argument and then do it.
3.  We saw a spending plan with cuts.  Then nothing.  EXPLAIN why we need to shrink the size and role of government and then do it.  Not pretend cuts, negotiating cuts, but structural cuts.
4.  In true Trump form, fight the media head on, starting with the static scoring of his health and tax plans is ANTI-SCIENCE.  Explain why the status quo is wrong, isn't working and has to be changed.Take them on and win.  Don't go on a listening tour of a divided country in disarray where the loudest voices are the worst ones.  Give us the right answer and LEAD!  Pass the best set of policies that can be passed and do it now.

Or live under leftists for the rest of our lives and our children's and grandchildren's lives because that is where we are heading if we fail to figure this out and do something about it RIGHT NOW.  [my humble opinion]
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs Trump Tax Plan 1.0 on: April 27, 2017, 10:00:12 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/us/politics/trump-tax-cut-plan.html
"Significantly Aiding Wealthy"
[Can't seem to get coverage of this without liberal spin.  Good example of why they say you don't have to turn to the opinion page to get the NYT opinion - they conveniently put it on the front page in every story.]

Have we found some way of cutting the tax burden on the half of the country that doesn't pay a federal income tax?  Have we found some way of improving the demand for and value of labor without easing the burden of businesses and employers?

As usual, I don't understand the strategy.  Cut corporate rates from 35% federal to 15%.  Great, except it won't happen. 

Also, I can barely find it - even searching WhiteHouse.gov.  Here is a Jpeg:


Cutting the top rate from 39.6 back to 35% (plus up to 10% state tax) is a giveaway to the rich?

Anyway, the current one page document merely brings the issue forward and is starting point for negotiations.

"Throughout the month of May the Trump Administration will be holding listening sessions with stakeholders..."

At the rate this is going, I don't see how it ever gets done.
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Administration, Coulter, Build the wall on: April 27, 2017, 09:34:10 AM
Coulter was out front on this.  The kickoff to his campaign and its main theme all the way through was based on her book Adios America and the painstaking research she put into it.

He negotiate down in a lot of different ways and control illegal immigration in other ways but he has to build some kind of physical barrier at the border.
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Macron vs. Le Pen on: April 27, 2017, 08:42:07 AM
Not wild about Marine's economics , , ,

Likewise. I find myself pulling for her to shake up the system but I don't agree with her economics.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Trump Administration, Coulter, Build the wall on: April 27, 2017, 08:38:06 AM
No one voted for Trump because of the “Access Hollywood” tape. They voted for him because of his issues; most prominently, his promise to build “a big beautiful wall.” And who’s going to pay for it? MEXICO!
You can’t say that at every campaign rally for 18 months and then not build a wall.
Do not imagine that a Trump double-cross on the wall will not destroy the Republican Party. Oh, we’ll get them back. No, you won’t. Trump wasn’t a distraction: He was the last chance to save the GOP.
Millions of Americans who hadn’t voted in 30 years came out in 2016 to vote for Trump. If he betrays them, they’ll say, “You see? I told you. They’re all crooks.”
No excuses will work. No fiery denunciations of the courts, the Democrats or La Raza will win them back, even if Trump comes up with demeaning Twitter names for them.
It would be an epic betrayal — worse than Bush betraying voters on “no new taxes.” Worse than LBJ escalating the Vietnam War. There would be nothing like it in the history of politics.
He’s the commander in chief! He said he’d build a wall. If he can’t do that, Trump is finished, the Republican Party is finished, and the country is finished.
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/26/ann-coulter-not-building-wall-government-shutdown/
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drones/UAV Circular Runways on: April 26, 2017, 11:00:03 AM
I had the chance this weekend to test drive the latest Tesla in 'self drive' mode.  I'm not for self drive cars but the technology is amazing.  Obviously, jumbo jets have this mode too.  Connecting precise navigation with precise instrumentation and precise controls makes all kinds of things possible, like landing a plane at the point along a circular runway where wind direction and other factors are optimized.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39643292
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: the legal part of the left's fifth column on: April 25, 2017, 05:22:17 PM
*Another* Brockster judge (the left fifth's column)  blocks Trump again:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orrick_III

I was just going to look up the same thing and see if this was Obama's legacy. 

The left's goal is to always continue governing long after they leave office.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders." on: April 25, 2017, 05:17:02 PM
"BART takeover robbery: 40 to 60 teens swarm train, rob weekend riders."
"because the people who are seen committing obvious crimes appear to be minors, the video cannot be put up on line."

I've heard of protecting the privacy of minors but never above trying to solve a crime.  If a "teenager" hasn't seen a parent in 2-3 years, are they really still minors?

I wonder if this is another case of white on black crime or Christian on Muslim crime that we so far too often see.  Lutherans out wilding??
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: April 25, 2017, 11:13:11 AM

Xi urges restraint.  Isn't restraint what got us to this point? 

Are we moving really expensive assets around the globe and briefing congress only to allow him to continue to build his arsenal and threaten the world?  I hope not.
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Holocaust in the Ukraine on: April 25, 2017, 10:59:06 AM

Amazingly powerful photos.  I wonder what the Holocaust deniers think of this.

I can't help but think of my father who never told me they were the first medical unit at the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany.  His buddy told me that everyone who was anywhere near it knew what was going on there based on the smell.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Infighting cools on: April 25, 2017, 10:35:43 AM

Feeling a little snarky, I was wondering who were the greatest staffers of all time were, maybe Erskine Bowles or Rahm Emmanuel wink, and which transformational President didn't have staff infighting...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_White_House_Chiefs_of_Staff

If the Kushner-Bannon feud overshadowed coverage of the Gorsuch confirmation, that is a sign of a failed media more than a failing Presidency IMHO.  
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, France, The trouble with Emmanuel Macron on: April 25, 2017, 09:59:13 AM
The globalist ideal has been tabled by events.  Neither Macron nor anyone on his ideological team has any idea how to solve France or Europe's problems.

"Macron's is a remarkable achievement, because he represents optimism." - Where have we heard this before?

The trouble with Emmanuel Macron
 
James Poulos
 Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images
April 23, 2017
Emmanuel Macron, a French technocrat running an independent presidential campaign to put political distance between himself and his fellow established elites, edged out insurgent nationalist Marine Le Pen in the most closely watched French election of many Americans' lifetime. Macron nabbed nearly one-fourth of the vote in an 11-candidate field, followed closely by Le Pen. Now he'll face her one on one in the May 7 runoff. But the partisans of the West's mushy middle — favoring more liberal globalization, more financial and economic regulation in lieu of political agency, and no social unrest in the bargain, thanks — are already popping champagne.

"It's a political earthquake in this country and in Europe," one respected journalist told CNN. "Macron's is a remarkable achievement, because he represents optimism."

Yes, fellow Americans, this is how bad it's gotten abroad: Squeaking out a first-round win by symbolizing a future of niceness now strikes the status-quo-ites as the beginning of a world made new.

The reality is considerably grimmer. How dire it was, throughout the French campaign, to watch centrists left and right insist that only they could beat back the forces of "extremism," that catchall term which has served the West so poorly in organizing its resources against foes foreign and domestic. The continued rise of populist, nationalist, and, yes, even communist parties in Europe has shown just how extreme a reaction established neoliberalism has provoked in its failings to date — inadequate, costly efforts, by turns ham-handed, shambolic, and impotent, to manage everything from the Eurozone crisis to the immigration debacle.


Yes, it's all been a tall order; yes, the ruling (or is it managing?) classes should have seen it coming. And yes: However well-intentioned and authentic the likes of Macron and Co., who probably grasp how truly bad it can get in Europe, their ilk are still locked into policies guaranteed to further aggravate political extremism left, right, and Islamic. They think their political stalemate with Le Pen and her fellow travelers is a victory. Really, it spells a fiercer culture war.

The real story of France and Europe laid bare by Macron's whisker of a win is that simply no consensus exists among today's adult generations about how to refashion a future for Europe. Right now, there is really no question that the globalist center's ideal "future" has been tabled indefinitely by events. There's not even any falling back on an "end of history." History is skipping like a bad record, glitching over the same travails. An open-ended financial and economic predicament with no rational solution and no mores deep enough to cauterize the wound and start fresh. A continuous low-grade panic attack of police action and surveillance, struggling undermanned and under cultural constraints to prevent just enough terror attacks and abuses, whatever that magic number may be. A complete forfeit of any plan to push EU regulatory unification toward the singularity point that the European project had always envisioned, however abstractly, as its justifying goal.

Neither Macron nor anyone on his ideological team has the first inkling of how to surmount or steer clear of these impasses.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, how best to tax business on: April 25, 2017, 09:07:35 AM

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/upshot/tax-code-business.html
How Best to Tax Business
APRIL 21, 2017
Economic View
By N. GREGORY MANKIW
The details of the tax code may not make your heart sing, but they are enormously important and, at long last, they may be changing. In fact, the next 12 months are shaping up to be a critically important time.

Despite an uneven start, tax reform is on the agenda in Congress. And the ideas being considered, especially regarding business taxation, are not mere tweaks to our ossified system. They would profoundly alter how the government raises money and upend the incentives for private decision makers. This is fascinating to tax policy nerds like me. But it is important for everyone to understand.

The motivating force behind business tax reform is that the statutory corporate tax rate in the United States is one of the highest in the world. The high rate encourages all kinds of perverse behavior, such as leaving money parked in overseas subsidiaries and inverting corporate structures to take advantage of lower rates abroad.

The current corporate tax finds no fan in Kevin A. Hassett, the economist recently nominated by President Trump to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. Some of Mr. Hassett’s research suggests that our high corporate taxes may be so distortional that a cut in the rate might increase tax revenue.


In another paper, Mr. Hassett finds that corporate taxes depress wages for manufacturing workers. In a world where capital is mobile and labor is not, capital escapes from high-tax nations, leaving workers behind to bear the burden of lower productivity and reduced incomes.

The debate in Congress, however, has gone beyond a simple discussion of tax rates. The Better Way plan, championed by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Representative Kevin Brady, the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, promises fundamental changes in the nature of business taxation, most of which would, in my view, be steps in the right direction. There are four key issues.

WORLDWIDE VS. TERRITORIAL Most nations aim to impose taxes on economic activity that takes place within their borders. Such a system is called territorial. By contrast, the United States has a worldwide corporate tax. If a company based in the United States produces a product abroad and then sells it abroad, our Treasury takes a cut of the profits when they are brought back home.

The House tax bill would move our system toward international norms. American companies would be able to compete abroad on a level playing field with companies based in other nations. The tax incentive for corporate inversions would be eliminated.

INCOME VS. CONSUMPTION Many economists have argued that taxes should be levied based on consumption rather than income. Consumption taxes would do less to discourage saving and investment and would thus be more favorable to economic growth. In addition, consumption taxes are arguably fairer: They tax the standard of living people enjoy rather than the value of what they produce.

The House plan moves toward a consumption tax by allowing businesses to deduct their investment spending immediately, rather than depreciating it slowly over time. By exempting the income that businesses reinvest, the government would essentially be taxing consumed profits.


ORIGIN-BASED VS. DESTINATION-BASED TAXATION The corporate tax system is now origin-based. It levies taxes on the profit from goods produced in the United States, regardless of where they end up. An alternative, proposed in the House bill, would be to tax all goods consumed in the United States, regardless of where they are made. This destination-based approach would tax imports and exempt exports, which is sometimes called a border adjustment. In this way, the business tax would resemble many of the value-added taxes used in Europe.

Some advocates have argued that the switch to destination-based taxes would make American goods more competitive and reduce our trade deficits. Some critics have suggested that it would unduly hurt firms that rely on imports and their customers. Both arguments are probably wrong.

To be sure, the immediate impact of the change would be to discourage imports and encourage exports. But that in turn would mean Americans would supply fewer dollars in foreign-exchange markets, and foreigners would demand more dollars. As a result, the dollar would appreciate, making foreign goods cheaper for Americans, and American goods more expensive for foreigners. The movement in the exchange rate would offset the initial impact on imports and exports.

The main advantage of destination-based taxation is that it is easier to determine where a good is consumed than where it is produced. In a world where multinationals produce goods using parts from around the world, origin-based taxes invite firms to game the system with transfer pricing schemes. Destination-based taxation is less easily gamed.

DEBT VS. EQUITY Now, firms can deduct interest payments to bondholders, but they cannot deduct dividend payments to equity holders. This treatment encourages firms to rely on debt rather than equity, making them more financially fragile than they would otherwise be.

The House plan fixes this asymmetric treatment of debt and equity by no longer allowing firms to deduct interest payments. A business’s taxes would be based on its cash flow: revenue minus wage payments and investment spending. How this cash flow is then paid out to equity and debt holders would be irrelevant.


While I like the policy choices proposed by the House bill, not all economists agree. Some view the bill as too radical, risking too many unintended consequences. Others worry that transitioning from the old system to a new one is not worth the cost, even if the new one is better.

Without a doubt, the coming debate will involve immense politicking. Any large tax change creates winners and losers, and the losers are sure to make their voices heard. But what matters most is whether the changes are better for the United States over all, not for special-interest groups. The more voters understand, the better off we all will be.

N. Gregory Mankiw is a professor of economics at Harvard.
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump Administration's first 100 days, Where's the beef? on: April 20, 2017, 03:56:32 PM
Giving credit for where due, President Trump made some great appointments including Justice Gorsuch, has shown strength in foreign policy, and made regulatory moves like approving the pipeline, but the largerl economic policy begs the question Walter Mondale asked of Gary Hartpence, where's the beef?

Scott Grannis:  "If we don't get substantial progress on healthcare and taxes before year end, the economy could weaken as uncertainty mounts and people delay income and investment decisions."

"No sign here of a Trump bump [on private sector job growth], and it's premature to expect one: we need to see meaningful tax and regulatory reform [first]."

http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/2017/04/market-based-chart-updates.html?m=1

Insanity is to expect better results without enacting better policies.

Economically, it is Year 9 of the Obama administration.  There isn't a tax increase that Obama and the Democrats added that has been repealed.  We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, a medical device tax, Obamacare surcharge, and higher capital gains rates - all still in place.  America has the worst estate tax rate in a dozen years, confiscatory 48% (plus up to 10% in state rate).  Last time estate taxes were jacked up that dramatically we had a Great Depression going on.  We have the highest social welfare benefit participation in our history.  Why would anyone want to earn or build wealth?  We have the lowest worker participation rate for males and the worst hiring rules in our history and lowest entrepreneurial startup rate. Who would want to risk capital or hire someone today?  Who even knows how to do that legally anymore?

Trump took a weak first swing at healthcare reform by letting the House who couldn't get a majority to back it write it.  They have taken no visible shot at tax reform at this time. It's hard to get something, anything through congress, but with both chambers in his party, but it's not harder than what most other recent President faced.  

Treasury's Mnuchin said today: "We're 'pretty close' to bringing forward 'major tax reform' ".

Now would be a good time to get major tax reform done and done right - unless you want another year of the economic results of the Obama administration.

Mnuchin said he hoped passing a tax overhaul will not "take till the end of the year."

How could it get done any sooner?  They haven't proposed anything yet.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics, Harvard Business School:Raising minimum wage kills jobs and companies on: April 20, 2017, 11:28:23 AM
A one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit [for a median level restaurant]!

Who knew?
--------------
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2951110

We study the impact of the minimum wage on firm exit in the restaurant industry, exploiting recent changes in the minimum wage at the city level. The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants.

Exit rate?  Exit means death of employer company, at least in the location of the minimum wage increase.

However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage. Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating)...


183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Turkey, in democracy, demographics is destiny on: April 19, 2017, 04:16:29 PM
https://www.steynonline.com/7758/who-lost-turkey-revisited

When democracy becomes tribal, the size of the tribe determines the outcome.  The Asian Muslims of Turkey have a far higher birth rate than the European heritage Turks.
-----------
Not mentioned is that the dictator likely stole the election, like Chavez in his recall.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/world/europe/turkey-referendum-is-haunted-by-allegations-of-voter-fraud.amp.html
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glenn Beck on Bill O'Reilly and FOX on: April 19, 2017, 04:08:40 PM
I'm no fan of Bill O'Reilly and I don't watch cable, but a company settling lawsuits is not evidence, and the most recent claim is not credible.

Glenn Beck laid this out on radio this morning. He went through the same thing. They declared they would get Bill O'Reilly for his views before they found out what he might have done wrong. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity next.  The group is Media Matters and their mentor is Bill Clinton, not exactly a symbol for fighting sexual harassment.

No link but check glennbeck.com or the blaze for the story if interested.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in America, Allah Akbar does not mean God is great on: April 19, 2017, 04:00:12 PM
https://m.townhall.com/columnists/calebparke/2017/04/19/allahu-akbar-vs-god-is-great-ap-got-it-wrong-and-why-it-matters-n2315288
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / British elections on: April 19, 2017, 01:11:49 PM
Insights on the thinking of Theresa May calling early elections:

1.  A new election declares void any challenges to the last election.
2.  Head off the shrinking of the number of seats in parliament that would hurt Tories.
3.  May needs a greater majority to get things done domestically.
4.  Leverage against a new Scottish independence vote.
5.  Increase May's legitimacy to govern.  Gain power to execute Brexit.
6.  Hit the opposition while they are in disarray.  

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/04/four-thoughts-theresa-mays-general-election-decision

187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / RIP Turkey on: April 17, 2017, 10:01:42 AM
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/16/rip-turkey-1921-2017/
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Peggy Noonan on Steve Bannon on: April 17, 2017, 09:00:42 AM
Full text of the Bannon talk on poverty and capitalism here:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world?utm_term=.fyL3Ypgya#.eto3JBpOP
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: MIT professor refutes interpretation of evidence on: April 17, 2017, 08:43:21 AM

I don't know the truth but it was reported that Israeli intelligence declared 100% certainty this chemical attack was ordered by Assad.

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/society/142007-170406-israelis-urge-gov-t-to-establish-safe-zone-in-southern-syria-after-gas-attack

Must say it would not be wise for Israel to wrongly manipulate Trump this early in his presidency.  A strike on an airfield that they could have done themselves is not much of a gain for the risk of losing their largest ally.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Health Care or Tax Code first? on: April 17, 2017, 08:33:27 AM

Healthcare with two dozen taxes in it is part of tax reform.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Administration, works, Jared, liberal money in WH on: April 17, 2017, 08:29:16 AM
It would seem they are not getting a good return on their investment, with a conservative picked for VP, an originalist picked for the court, the dismantling of the federal CO2 police, the return of a backbone to foreign policy using military strength to empower diplomacy, and tax rate cuts coming.

Trump could just as easily have turned this far to the left, and he hasn't.  MHO.
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Erdogan: one vote one last time? on: April 17, 2017, 08:06:06 AM
51-49 in favor of dictatorial, Islamist rule is a close vote when much of the opposition is already killed or in jail.

More analysis here:
https://clarionproject.org/as-turks-vote/
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: General "Forked Tongue" Warren confused on: April 17, 2017, 08:00:00 AM

Also, the exact strategy of our military is generally not something we want to print and send to the enemy.
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, Distinguishing unfairness from inequality on: April 14, 2017, 10:37:07 AM
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0082

There is immense concern about economic inequality, both among the scholarly community and in the general public. . . . However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. . . . Despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. Both psychological research and decisions by policymakers would benefit from more clearly distinguishing inequality from unfairness.
--------------------------------

Doug:  The public, social policy question is, how can we improve each person's life in real terms, not relative to someone else.   Media, politicians and 'experts' use a lot of data in this regard to lie and to deceive. Even this article does not acknowledge that pacetti's study is badly flawed.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Brett Stephens - no loss on: April 13, 2017, 12:43:04 PM
but also a Hillary Clinton voter

Stephens did not say he voted for Hillary; Levin is saying he helped her by not supporting Trump.

Trump gave plenty of reasons to doubt him.  Hadn't heard of the nuclear triad, agreed with Bernie Sanders and moveon.org on Iraq, dispose of NATO, etc.  Trump has educated himself and shifted since.  Trump was wrong on his economic analysis that won him the rust belt, Mexico, China and bad trade deals are the reasons for your troubles.  No, your Michigan problems reside in Washington DC and Lansing and they are excess taxation and over-regulation.  Among Trump's character revealed was labeling opponent Carly "That Face!" [and Ted, "lying Ted"; he paid no taxes because "I'm Smart"].  Not hard to be turned off that candidate.

Stephens is a foreign policy guy.  If you ignore the campaign and look at their histories, Clinton was the hawk and Trump was the Ron Paul.

Also beware of Stephens' immigration weakness, but my experience is that Bret Stephens is normally a great foreign policy thinker and writer - with the exception of the areas where I disagree with him.  )

Mark Levin is tough on people who disagree with him on anything.  Just hated Rubio, for example.  Turned against Trump too.

In the Levin link 'Trump’s GOP has left me', Stephens ends with:  "If I can’t get my Grand Old Party back, I’d rather help build a new one."

That is exactly what Levin says every broadcast evening.

In the other link, he criticizes Ted Cruz for running to win the right-most side of the Republican party instead of running to win the nation.  That is pretty much what I was saying then even though I agree with Ted Cruz on issues.
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Male-Female work death rate on: April 13, 2017, 10:42:41 AM
Crafty:  "I find this 95% datum to be quite useful in unbalancing those who allege/babble about income disparity."

The jobs where men are dying most might not high paying jobs but the extraordinary difference in death rates demonstrates that men and women choose and work different jobs.

http://time.com/4326676/dangerous-jobs-america/

Latest report:
"Women accounted for 43 percent of the hours worked in 2015, they accounted for only 7 percent of the fatal injuries."  [Men 93%, assuming only two genders]
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: Tillerson-Putin meeting on: April 13, 2017, 10:21:00 AM
"The length of the meetings and the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Tillerson an audience is notable in and of itself."

   - That was my thought too.  I'm guessing some pretty frank discussions are going on behind the scenes and I'm guessing Tillerson is very good at this, diplomatic but not afraid to make his point.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Labor Dept. digs in its heels on: April 13, 2017, 10:07:59 AM
(MARC:  IIRC the idea is that the advisers would need to have fiduciary obligations to the advised?  Is this a bad thing?)

There are two sides to that argument.  Whether or not it is a good thing is one question, but whether or not this is MAJOR federal government legislation that ought to be argued and decided through the legislative branch for executive signature, constitutional process rather central planning politburo, is another thing.

Fiduciary responsibility sounds good but what it changes is the nature of who can sue whom for what.   Let's say you are a middle income earner and among a range of investments available at the start of the year 2000 your investment adviser leads a little too heavily into the best performing sector of the last 3 years, like some nice tech stocks like Lucent, Cisco, Nortel and JDSU, and the market collapses as it did.  When the world's greatest R&D company stock went from 160 to 2 as you owned it, maybe you don't lose money because you can sue your adviser who should have known with such obvious hindsight that this was in a position to fall heavily, he or she should have known that, and it was far too great a risk to be offered to this client.  And the jury agreed.

199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, WSJ Bret Stephens moving to NY Times on: April 13, 2017, 08:18:33 AM
https://mobile.twitter.com/StephensWSJ/status/852273688573509633

(Also a Pulitzer Prize winner)
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 12, 2017, 05:18:08 PM
I was wondering when we would see her entourage turn against her.  They have been able to use their power to keep people in line for a quarter of a century.  With the closing of the fake charity, they are just figuring out that power is gone - forever.  That leaves staff with nothing but their stories to sell.

Easy to believe they were denying responsibility for failure then; they still deny it now.  It was Bill and Hillary who made the private server decision.  People were supposed to move on, away from the controversy, right while she was still hiding and stalling on the release of documents under subpoena, including documents with all kinds of damning content.

Good riddance Clintons.

From the article:  "...Hillary’s talented and accomplished team of professionals and loyalists simply took it."

Huma, Podesta, et al, a "talented and accomplished team of professionals"?!  Good God.
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