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 on: September 19, 2014, 11:12:29 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained." --George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789

 on: September 19, 2014, 10:58:55 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Kansas is reliably red if you consider Bob Dole and Kathleen Sebelius to be conservatives...

We also discussed Kansas here:

(I see that young Eliana Johnson, daughter of Powerline's Scott Johnson, is now Washington Editor of National Review.)

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 4:00 AM
Can Brownback Survive?
A conservative reformer is under siege.
By Eliana Johnson

Even before his election as governor in 2010, liberal observers were warning about Sam Brownback. In October of that year, the New York Times warned that the mere prospect of Brownback’s ascent was “redefining” the Republican party. That’s certainly been his goal. Operating on the assumption that change in the states drives change in Washington, Brownback has, over the past four years, slashed income taxes, privatized Medicaid, expanded gun rights, and taken on the state’s teachers’ unions.

Those reforms may have made him a hero to conservatives, but they have also made him a major target this election cycle. For Democrats, the former senator and 2008 presidential candidate is a high-profile scalp whose defeat would galvanize liberals across the country. Implementing his agenda also meant alienating the state’s many moderate Republicans, whom Brownback actively and successfully tried to defeat in the 2012 state legislative elections; for them, picking him off is a matter of simple revenge. Several of them have joined a group of over 100 Republicans to support Brownback’s Democratic challenger, the state’s house minority leader, Paul Davis.
Outside money from both sides has poured into the race, including $2.8 million on advertisements alone even before the end of September. The governor’s tax-cutting agenda has also attracted the attention of liberal journalists, who have denounced him en masse in an attempt to make Kansas an illustration of the catastrophe of conservative governance. “Brownbackistan” is now a Facebook group and the name of a Tumblr account; it is emblazoned on T-shirts and has its own entry in Urban Dictionary. Philadelphia magazine called it “the Koch Bros. experiment with making Kansas stupider, meaner, and more difficult.”

Much of this blowback was prompted by the tax cuts Brownback signed into law in 2012, which brought the personal income-tax rate down to 3.9 percent from 6.45 percent and exempted pass-through income — income earned by individual proprietors — entirely. No state had ever tried exempting pass-through entities.

“It was a totally new, untested thing,” says Lyman Stone, an economist with the Tax Foundation, a conservative tax-policy research organization. “Experts on the left and the right raised the alarm about this policy because we thought it might cause tax distortions, it was hard to predict in terms of the revenue changes.”

Revenues have fallen more than expected, and liberals have rejoiced. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman derided the “charlatans and cranks dictating policy in Kansas.” reported that, while “Kansas was supposed to be the GOP’s tax-cut paradise, now it can barely pay its bills.” Another piece on the site explained “How Sam Brownback’s tax cuts backfired.”

At the same time, defenders of the cuts say they’​ve created economic growth. The state’s unemployment rate has steadily decreased since Brownback took office in 2010, and the unemployment rate today stands at 4.9 percent, more than a percentage point lower than the national average. The number of private-sector jobs has increased.

“The fact that revenues were down was kind of like, ‘Duh,’” says Dave Trabert, president of the free-market Kansas Policy Institute. “That was the plan. It was anticipated that revenues would fall off dramatically because we cut taxes dramatically.” That’s true, but Stone points out that the amount of income claimed by sole proprietors has risen dramatically, which suggests that the pass-through exemption is playing a large role in the state’s revenue decline.

“The tax plan has a lot of positive features, including the shift to a positive tax base and a reduction of taxes overall,” says Stone, “but in the short term there are some features of the tax plan, like the exemption for pass-through income, that have not met expectations and that do raise concerns.”

At times, the governor has not helped himself in the face of these challenges. His critics seized on his remark that he was undertaking a “real live experiment” in red-state conservatism. But his supporters argue that Democrats are threatened by the prospect that Kansas will, if Brownback wins reelection this year, come to serve as an example of red-state success. “There’s been a fundamental shift in state policies,” a top Brownback adviser tells me. “If it works, [the Left] is really in trouble.”

The Sunflower State was always going to be a tough place to lead a conservative revolution. It has long been home to a relatively liberal Republican party — “the most liberal Republican party in America outside of the Acela corridor,” says the Brownback strategist. Brownback himself has said Kansas has a “three-party system,” and there’s some truth to that claim. One former GOP chairman, Mark Parkinson, switched parties and went on become to become Kathleen Sebelius’s gubernatorial running mate, and to serve out her term as a Democrat when she joined the Obama administration.

Brownback has never shied away from intra-party battles, and his reforms have exacerbated tensions in the GOP. When he ran for the Senate in 1996, he defeated a more moderate Republican in the primary and, two years ago, when moderates in the state senate voiced their opposition to his tax plan, he went after them in that year’s elections and succeeded in ousting nine of them from office. It is in this context that Republican senator Pat Roberts is locked in a close race with his ill-defined independent challenger, the businessman Greg Orman.

Brownback’s reforms have not made him popular. His approval rating has for months languished in the mid 30s. All of the recent polls show Davis, his opponent, leading by single digits, and the race is considered a toss-up. The Tax Foundation’s Stone notes that it will take time to feel the impact of Brownback’s reforms. “Tax cuts are not a shot of adrenaline to the economy,” he says, “but a structural feature that has an effect in the long run, where you get an overall higher level of growth the next decade.” It will be a boon for Democrats if they can boot Brownback from office before that happens, assuming it’s in the offing.

Brownback, for his part, appears uncowed by the onslaught, and his strategy for victory is becoming clear. Up to this point, all of the focus on Brownback’s record has allowed Davis to avoid staking out his own positions. In their first debate earlier this month, Brownback called Davis “the Nancy Pelosi of Kansas.” Davis represents a house district in eastern Lawrence, home to Kansas University and widely considered more liberal than the rest of the state. While Kansas voters may not be fiery conservatives, they are not Lawrence liberals.

And they are certainly not Obama liberals. As Brownback’s strategist puts it, “If people look at the difference between Brownback, four times elected statewide, two times by double digits, versus Davis, a two-time Obama delegate, I think we know how this movie ends.”

How the movie ends will have broad implications for Brownback’s red-state experiment, whether it’s ultimately held up as an example by liberals, who will draw energy from upending it, or by conservatives, who, as Brownback hopes, will cite it as a model of good governance that ultimately reaches Washington, D.C.

 on: September 19, 2014, 10:56:15 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
I fear we are headed into a disaster.

Obama's alleged strategy is based upon a number of fictions:

a) that Iraq can be put together again
b) that the Shia militias -- apparently as brutal as ISIS, see my post above-- support the government of Baghdad and not Iran
c) that the government of Baghad will forward arms to the Kurds
d) the the army of the government of Baghdad will fight for our purposes, not Iran's.
e) that the FSA will become a viable fighting force that will take on ISIL first, and then take on and defeat Assad, Al Nusra, and AQ and establish a moderate regime.  Along the way, even it currently fights as a junior member alongside Al Nusra and AQ against its primary enemy, Assad, the weapons we give it will not end up in the hands of Al-Nusra, Al Qaeda, or ISIL.

There's lots more, but I trust that these suffice to make my point.

The US Congress, most certainly including the Republicans, is failing in the exercise of its Constitutional duty to determine whether we go to war.    The enemy is world-wide Islamic Fascism, not just ISIL.  Our strategy is the epitome of the whack-a-mole that Obama says he derides.

 on: September 19, 2014, 10:47:29 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
John Hinderacker at Powerline (excerpted, link below):
Rand Paul and the Foreign Policy delusions of libertarianism
Rand Paul began his speech today by saying that “there is one theme that connects the dots in the Middle East.” He was wrong. The Middle East, and more broadly the Islamic world, are complex places. There are many causes of their dysfunction, but the most important one is the cultural heritage of Islam. ...  In that region, as elsewhere, different situations call for different remedies. The idea that there is only “one theme”–that terrorism is the result of chaos, which is the result of overthrowing otherwise-stable and benign secular dictators–is false.
The number one sponsor of terrorism over the last thirty years has been Iran. Did the mullahs take control because of an ill-advised American intervention? No. The Shah was, perhaps, the paradigm of the benign Middle Eastern dictator, and he was our ally. While one can argue–I certainly do–that the Carter administration should have done more to support him, it wasn’t U.S. intervention that overthrew the Shah, it was a fundamentalist Muslim revolt.

How about the Taliban, which took over Afghanistan and harbored al Qaeda? Was the Taliban’s takeover the result of America’s toppling of a secular dictator? No, not unless the dictator was the Soviet Union, back in the 1980s.

No groups have contributed more to chaos in the Middle East than Hezbollah and Hamas. Does either organization owe its existence to some foreign policy mistake on the part of the U.S.? No.

A great deal of chaos in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Somalia and Nigeria, has been caused by radical Muslim groups (including, in Somalia’s case, al Qaeda). In either instance, was the cause of the chaos or the rise of terrorist groups, American intervention? No.

Rand Paul offers Iraq as an instance where the “prime source” of chaos that breeds terrorism was our “intervention to topple [a] secular dictator.” But is that really what happened in Iraq? Put aside for a moment the assumption that Saddam–who had a Koran written in his own blood and sponsored terrorism by Muslim extremists–was “secular.” Likewise, forget that Saddam was a bitter enemy of the United States, so that, when George W. Bush took office as president, there was one place on Earth where American servicemen were routinely being shot at–Iraq. We certainly did topple Saddam, a feat of which, in my view, we should be proud. Was chaos the necessary result? No. As of last year, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were hailing a stable, prosperous Iraq as one of their administration’s greatest achievements. Chaos and the ascendancy of ISIS in Iraq was the result of our needless abandonment of that country.

And where did ISIS come from? Syria. Here, Paul’s words are mystifying. He includes Assad as a secular dictator who was mistakenly “toppled” by U.S. intervention. But that is ridiculous: rightly or wrongly, America hasn’t intervened to overthrow Assad, nor has any other Western nation. The rebellion against Assad arose from two distinct sources: popular dissatisfaction with his dictatorial rule, largely on behalf of the Alawite minority, and radical Islam as embodied in ISIS. Syria disproves Rand’s implicit assumption that “secular dictators” will be secure and will maintain the sort of order that precludes terrorism, if only we leave them alone or support them. Saddam, ruling on behalf of a Sunni minority, would not have been able to preserve order (such as it was) indefinitely in Iraq, for the same reasons that Assad couldn’t in Syria.
The second major problem with Paul’s approach is the way he characterizes those who disagree with him. ...  completely over the top. No one wants “perpetual war,” no one wants “boots on the ground everywhere,” no one believes that “war is the answer for every problem.” To the extent he is talking about members of his own party, Paul is choosing a peculiar path to the presidential nomination.

Much of what Rand Paul said today was sensible. ...  But Paul could have made those points without asserting his overarching claim that the “prime source” of Middle Eastern turmoil and terrorism is America’s actions.
Paul is right, I think, about Libya. That is a case where the West overthrew a dictator that, while once a sponsor of terrorism, had been de-fanged, and what followed was much worse. The Libyan venture was a serious mistake by the Obama administration.

 on: September 19, 2014, 10:26:31 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by DougMacG
Krauthammer says (paraphrasing) that either the Jihadis are stupid, which is not likely, or they are luring us into this Mideast war with the beheading videos intentionally, to raise their profile among competing jihad organizations,  knowing that we don't have the leadership or resolve to beat them.  Unknown a year ago, now they are the talk of the town.

 on: September 19, 2014, 10:12:42 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
I don't follow how they made the leap from a business not firing her for caring for her son to having the government force the business to pay her whether she comes to work or not.  Since they are arguing policy with anecdotal stories, Whole Foods is already under a squeeze right now with competition coming at them from all sides.  Paying the people who don't work already took down the airline and automaking industries.  Let's take down your local store next and you can drive further with no car to a Soviet style supply outlet with its empty shelves.

What about the consumer?  There are women in that role too.  They worked hard all day but can't buy fresh fruits and vegetables for their little ones because their preferred store is no longer has one checkout lane open with the workers out on paid leave.  Unintended consequences of liberal activist policies are not that hard to imagine.  What we can't see are all the business competing for workers that never started because the all rules are just too complicated, costly and constraining.

Showing a little compassion is good for a business in the eyes of their customers, community and in their competition for good workers.  Having the rules for those businesses all same-sized and set in Washington takes away competitive differences and advantages, increases the costs, cuts out competition, worsens the service and raises the prices.  That is a women's issue too.

Women are faring TERRIBLY in the Obama era economy.  Thom Tillis, Sen candidate in NC, was just making that point, but no one is shouting it nationwide from the rooftops.

The Clinton administration (of the 90s) started a lot of this with the big push for "family leave".  They said it was limited to larger companies and it was unpaid leave.  How can we be against that?  Well, for one thing it is the federal government setting local, private establish rules, and secondly we know that mandated unpaid leave leads to mandated paid leave, which is one more way of paying people to not work.

Paid leave is what Adrian Peterson is receiving, by union rules and government subsidy from our far-left Governor.  $700,000 a week for beating up children with no wear and tear on your knees is not bad pay, and with the money committed to Peterson, the team can leave that position vacant, lose games, money and viewership.  What could possibly go wrong with feminist and activists running our formerly private sector.

How about if we leave welfare programs to the government, and allow businesses employ workers in privately negotiated agreements between consenting adults.

 on: September 19, 2014, 07:07:21 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
It takes a village - the state, the employer and everyone other than the mother and father to raise a child.   What single mother is going to hear this and think of course she should get paid time off to pick up her child in minus 30 degree weather?

**********Hillary Clinton Blames Republicans for 'Egregious' Policies Toward Women
ABC News By Liz Kreutz

During a panel at the Center for American Progress today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's message was clear: Equal pay for women, access to affordable, quality childcare, paid sick leave, and the full participation by women in the U.S. labor force will lead to a stronger economy (even a 10% increase in the GDP, she argued).

But Clinton also made clear she believes politicians on "the other side of the aisle" are preventing any such policy changes from passing through.

"Congress increasingly, despite the best efforts of my friends and others, is living in an evidence-free zone where what the reality is in the lives of Americans is so far from the minds of too many who don't place the highest priority on … family-centered economics," Clinton said.

"We could all tell stories of people we know who had really egregiously been impacted by the failure of our political leadership on the other side of the aisle to recognize the importance of making sure that people who work hard, play by the rules, have a chance to get into the middle class and certainly a chance to stay in the middle class," she added.

I'm Baa-aack! Clintons Give Hillary's 2016 Efforts An Unofficial Start in Iowa

Everything You Need to Know About the Iowa Steak Fry

In Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton Pushes For Energy Efficient Casinos

Today's panel in Washington, D.C., which also included Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., focused on women's economic security and finding solutions to what Gillibrand dubbed as "Mad Men" era policies that she believes still exists in the United States today.

One featured guest, a student and single mother from Chicago, described how she was laid off from her job at Whole Foods after she took a day off to pick up her son after his school cancelled classes in -30 degree weather.

Gillibrand said that lack of paid leave makes her "the angriest," arguing that even Pakistan and Afghanistan have more paid leave than the United States. She said stories like this Chicago mother's were "outrageous."

The overall message among all the panelists was the notion that "the number one" thing the U.S. could do to make its economy stronger would be to tap into the full potential of women in the workplace. Without this support, Gillibrand argued, "we are providing an artificial drag on the economy."

Clinton, however, was the most vocal of the women to slam Republicans for their resistance to change.

"I think the other side will hang on for all they're worth - Nancy [Pelosi] knows that better than anybody. But I think if voters, if citizens speak up for themselves, for their families and their futures, we will see the kind of changes we're all advocating for," Clinton said to audience applause.

While the panelists engaged in an amiable conversation about an issue they are all passionate about, the end took a bit of a competitive turn.

Pelosi teasingly called out Clinton (former Senator of New York) for "bragging" that New York had the first women's rights conventions at Seneca Falls in 1848. Pelosi reminded everyone that her state - California - had just celebrated its 10 th anniversary with paid leave.

DeLauro then chimed in to defend her state too. "I just don't want to pre-empt New York or California, but quite frankly Connecticut was the first state to have paid sick leave and to increase its minimum wage," she quipped.

Clinton simmered down the group: "Competition is good on this one!" Clinton yelled out, with a smile.

 on: September 18, 2014, 06:35:58 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
Thank you for the very detailed and articulated response. 
Our side needs to be immediately ready with rapid fire answers like yours.  And be able to hit the airwaves with responses just like the Clinton mob did in the 90's.  For any slight or criticism they would flood every took show immediately with hours with coordinated talking points.

We have nothing like it.

 on: September 18, 2014, 05:20:14 PM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: September 18, 2014, 05:14:39 PM 
Started by Crafty Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

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