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 on: July 17, 2017, 04:26:48 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
bold and decisive action

lets see Rand Paul
            Ted Cruz
            Mike Lee
            Donald Trump

There are probably others but these are the only ones who come to mind

Could anyone imagine if Jeb was President.  Every single policy would be a compromise and basically progressive .

 on: July 17, 2017, 01:50:17 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
I watched Rand Paul on Fox News Sunday.  He made perfect sense - if we were arguing this in theory or in a college debate.  But we aren't.  I wish we had 51 or 100 Senators like him on tax and spend issues.  But we don't.  Senator Paul, if you have a better plan, put it on the table and name your other 50 votes.  This isn't a play or a skit or a rehearsal we're working on here.  It's the future of the country and we're deciding it RIGHT NOW.  If you can't roll back all of the government's power you had better start right now rolling back some of it.  Or else we will very soon and very suddenly be turning in the other direction - on policy and in the elections.  Trump already said he's going to work with Democrats on healthcare if he can't work with Republicans.  He is a deal maker and you, apparently, are not.

 on: July 17, 2017, 01:48:58 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M

It is very interesting and I will comment after digesting it.

China has serious internal stability issues. This fuels China's aggressive behavior in the South China sea. Building China's internal perception of a strong, rising power is what gives the CCP it's legitimacy with the population. Failure to maintain it's legitimacy could be fatal to the current power structure. So, China is motivated to act aggressively, and not back down in a scenario that offers a loss of face for the power structure. Keep in mind that despite all the money China has dumped into upgrading it's military, it spends even more on internal security. The power vacuum of "leading from behind" has further fueled China's aggressiveness. Obama has left Trump a ticking bomb.

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?
The Link By Stan Grant
Updated Sat at 12:10pm

 Officer Cadets on Parade at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra
PHOTO: Is Australia fully prepared for a 21st Century conflict? (Australian Defence Force)
MAP: Australia
Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare.

The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes.

All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended.

This isn't mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his life's work to prepare for just this scenario.

Admiral Chris Barrie was chief of Australia's Defence Force between 1998 and 2002.

He has seen war and sent troops into battle.

Now, he says we are sleepwalking towards a conflict that will alter the world as we know it.

Australia, he says, will be invaded. He fears for the country his grandchildren will inherit.

History doesn't repeat but it does rhyme

 Admiral (ret.) Chris Barrie talks to Stan Grant over Korean bbq
PHOTO: Admiral (ret.) Chris Barrie says a misunderstanding or miscalculation could tip the region over the edge. (ABC News)
Admiral Barrie delivered his warning to me over a Korean barbeque meal in Western Sydney.

I was interviewing him for The Link to get his assessment of the North Korean nuclear threat, but his fears expand far beyond the hermit kingdom.

Over kimchi and slices of beef, Admiral Barrie guided me through our region's many tripwires.

A miscalculation or misunderstanding, he said, could tip us over the edge, countries would be backed into corners and we have no way right now of talking our way out.

This is a warning that comes from our past, and if unheeded, will shatter our future.

"History doesn't repeat but it does rhyme."

That quote is often attributed to the great American writer Mark Twain, but its sentiment speaks to us through the ages.

History can appear as inevitable even as we fail to see it.

The French diplomat and political scientist, Alexis de Tocqueville, said of the French Revolution:

"Never was any such event, stemming from factors so far back in the past, so inevitable and yet so completely unseen."
In a new century, simmering tensions and geo-strategic alliances would tip the world into all-out war.

Historian Christopher Clarke's book Sleepwalkers reveals how the assassination of Habsburg heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28 1914 in Sarajevo triggered a domino effect that pitted the reigning global power Britain against the rising Germany.

The world thought it couldn't happen — Germany and Britain were each other's single biggest trading partners; the royal families were blood relatives — yet it did.

How? Clark says political leaders become hostage to events.

"Causes trawled from the length and breadth of Europe's pre-war decades are piled like weights on the scale until it tilts from probability to inevitability," he wrote.

Admiral Chris Barrie says he has been reading Clark's book and thinking how events then mirror events now.

He is not the only one.

The Thucydides Trap

 Franz Ferdinand and wife Sophie
PHOTO: Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, shortly before he was assassinated. (Imperial War Museum)
Founding dean of the Harvard University Kennedy School, Graham Allison, fears the world is lurching towards conflict unseen since World War II.

He puts his case in a new book, Destined for War: Can America and China escape Thucydides' Trap?

Thucydides? He was the Greek Historian whose writings about war 2,000 years ago resonate still.

"It was the rise of Athens and the fear this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable," he writes.

Then it was Athens-Sparta. In 1914 it was Germany-Great Britain and now China-United States.

"As far ahead as the eye can see, the defining question about global order is whether China and the US can escape Thucydides's trap. Most contests that fit this pattern have ended badly," Allison writes.
On the current trajectory, Allison says, war is "not just possible, but much more likely than currently recognised".

Any clash between the US and China is potentially catastrophic, but as much as we may try to wish it away, right now military strategists in Beijing and Washington are preparing for just an eventuality.

Global think tank the Rand Corporation prepared a report in 2015 for the American military, its title could not have been more direct — War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable.

It concluded that China would suffer greater casualties than the US if war was to break out now. However, it cautioned, that as China's military muscle increased so would the prospect of a prolonged destructive war.

Where would such a conflict spark?

Many potential faultlines

 Satellite image of Subi Reef, one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea
PHOTO: A satellite image of Subi Reef which appears to show anti-aircraft guns and a weapons system. (CSIS AMTI: Reuters)
The entire Asia region is a tinderbox.

Historian Michael Auslan, thinks Asia is so potentially unstable and insecure that he has questioned the very future of the region in his new book, The End of the Asian Century.

War and economic stagnation are the two biggest risks, Auslan identifies.

"Here be dragons," he writes.

Mr Auslan reminds us the Asia-Pacific is the most militarised region in the world, it's home to some of the world's largest armies, technologically advanced fighting machines, nuclear armed states and added to that a massive American military presence.

To the military muscle add the incendiary mix of history: old bitter enmities, existential stand offs, and a fierce competition for scarce resources.

The faultlines are many: India-Pakistan, North and South Korea, China-Japan.
Much of these simmering tensions coalesce around territorial disputes notably the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands claimed by Japan and China and the islands of the South China Sea.

It is these disputes that most observers fear could escalate.

China has dredged up sand to expand the islands, building runways and harbours potentially to deploy fighter jets and war ships.

Mr Auslan points out that militarising the islands not only allows China to project power but bolsters legal claims of territorial control.

The US has demanded the right of freedom of navigation through the islands and to fly over the disputed territory.

Tension has ebbed and flowed, at one point in 2016, a Chinese state-run newspaper declared war as "inevitable".

But is it?

Has the first 'shot' already been fired?

 Cyber war
PHOTO: Cyberspace is expected to be the frontline in any confrontation. (Reuters: Rick Wilking)
Some fear the war has already begun — in cyberspace.

The US reports massive hacking by groups controlled by the Chinese military.

In 2015 the Obama administration revealed that Chinese hackers had hacked government personnel files potentially exposing every US state employee.

But what of a shooting war?

Certainly the world is very different to the time of Thucydides.

Even compared to 1914, we are a more interconnected, economically entwined global community.

Since the 1960's peace in Asia has allowed unprecedented growth.

Chinese scholar Wu Zurong, in a 2015 article for Foreign Policy magazine called No Thucydides Trap, wrote of how globalisation and the links between China and the US mitigates war.

China, he wrote, seeks "a modern relationship ... a win-win scenario".

In a speech in the United States in 2015 China's President, Xi Jinping, spoke of an opportunity for the two powers to boost global security but he also issued a warning.

"Should they enter into conflict or confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries and the world at large," he said.
Admiral Barrie has looked at how the world can avoid its sleepwalk to disaster.

This week he joined with fellow Australian National University scholars, Roger Bradbury and Dmitry Brizhinev, for an article in The Conversation that measured what they termed "hawkishness" — a preparedness for war — with risk.

They found that a little bit of risk aversion significantly increases the chances of peace.

"Hawkishness alone", they wrote, "will not lead to war unless risk aversion is also low."

Simply put, how willing are countries to avoid war? How much do they fear the consequences?

Risk on the rise

 Soldiers in blue and white camo helmets and fatigues march past a tank and Chinese flags, lined up perfectly, and holding guns.
PHOTO: China has been increasing it military power. (AP: Vincent Yu)
In Asia there are many unknowables. Who is prepared to say for certain, that Kim Jong-un will not launch a nuclear strike?

Would a downed plane in the South China Sea push China and the US over the brink?

Would an attack in Kashmir bring the nuclear armed stand-off between India and Pakistan to the brink?

What would happen in Taiwan declared independence?

What's to stop any of this happening?

As Mr Auslan writes:

"Risk that should be falling is instead rising. As Asia's nations become wealthier and have more resources to devote to their militaries, they seem less interested in avoiding confrontation."
Personally, as someone who has reported across Asia for two decades and lived many years in China, I err on the side of peace.

America is crucial to the stability of the region and we cannot afford for it to retreat or to weaken its resolve. I don't believe it will.

China for all its military build-up, knows it still cannot compete with US firepower.

Yet, people with far more experience in matters of war than I, fear the worst. People like Admiral Chris Barrie.

How does Allison answer his question: can America and China escape the Thucydides trap?

He believes our fate depends on realism on all sides, vital interests must be clearly defined, America must strengthen its democracy and China address its failures of governance - threats come from within.

There is a need, he writes, for great thinkers to devise a grand strategy.

Allison concludes with a quote not from Thucydides but Shakespeare, our destiny lies "not in our stars, but in ourselves".

I can think of something else Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth:

"And all our yesterdays have lighted fools.

"The way to dusty death."

 on: July 17, 2017, 01:17:22 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
G M: "Failure to end Obamacare and to cut taxes will result in real losses next year. The republican party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Tax cuts should have been passed instantly and made retroactive to the beginning of this year.  Now what?  Don't pass them at all?  Make people wait another year?  What does that do for an economy coming into an election?

Some factors in 2018:
1) House districts were drawn by Republicans.  Dems popularity tend to be concentrated in urban and coastal areas.  Big advantage R.
2) Presidents party typically loses 20-25 seats in the midterm.  Current margin = 24.  Advantage back to neutral.
3) Republicans have 52-48 currently in the Senate.
4) Democrats have to defend 25 seats in the Senate, more than half their total.  Advantage R.
5) 5 of those seats are in states Trump won by 19 points or more.  Huge advantage: R.
6) Dem leadership is broken or lost nationally and in both chambers.  Advantage: even.
7) The left universally hates Trump. Resist. The right is divided and frustrated.
 Advantage: D
8 ) The media universally hates Trump.  Resist.  Advantage: D
9) The popularity of Trump in the counties he won is still at 50%.  Advantage:  Neutral.
10)  Deciding factor will be the economy (stupid) if we're not at war.  Republicans are governing under Democrat no-growth policies once again.  Conservatives and Republicans will have no reason to show up if the elected officials fail to keep promises and enact agenda.  Independents will have no reason to favor Republicans if they can't govern.  The middle generally favors divided government anyway.  Advantage back to the Dems unless Republicans suddenly get their act together.

Republicans have one chance to turn this country and they are screwing it up royally, proving they can't govern.  They can't even remember why they wanted to win majorities or where they want to lead.  OMG, not smaller government!  These bills that aren't passing aren't very good anyway.  

When RINOs screw up, voters don't turn to the conservatives.  They take a sharp left turn, see 2006, 2008.

Dems could take Heller's seat in Nevada.  They could take 2 seats in Arizona; McCain is not looking very healthy to me.  And they could run the table on all 25 of their own incumbents.  If this really becomes a wave election leftward, it will be way worse than that.

 on: July 17, 2017, 11:51:17 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M
Failure to end Obamacare and to cut taxes will result in real losses next year. The republican party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

 on: July 17, 2017, 10:14:40 AM 
Started by G M - Last post by DougMacG
"It's pretty much the grand unified theory of what has gone wrong in the western world in recent times. Taleb is brilliant."

Agreed.  I didn't recognize his name but he is author of the Black Swan and often mentioned on the forum.

I would like to look deeper into his way of thinking.  Skin in the game hits the nail on the head - for all topics.

 on: July 17, 2017, 10:04:40 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Besides tax apathy, we can't seem to keep government spending on the front page here with all the excitement about shiny objects...

Please watch and share this video.   A simple plan for prosperity.

 on: July 17, 2017, 09:54:33 AM 
Started by G M - Last post by DougMacG
Her substance is as screwed up as her delivery.  Nancy Pelosi on drugs or is this the best she can do...

 on: July 17, 2017, 09:52:10 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
This secret conspiracy swept undetected by journalism across 29 states.  A true story as the word collusion has come to have a valid use even when nothing criminal took place.

CNN Report: Millions Of American Voters May Have Colluded To Elect Trump
July 13, 2017
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter 

U.S.—A new, exclusive CNN investigative report revealed Thursday that millions of American voters may have potentially colluded with the Trump campaign to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States.

While Russia has been accused of interfering in the election, the breaking report indicates that the collusion may have extended to a significant portion of the U.S. population—“as many as 60 million citizens, and possibly even more.”

“The conspiracy goes much deeper than anyone expected,” Jake Tapper said on his news segment The Politics Lead. “We’re talking tens of millions of people involved in this secret plot to make sure Hillary didn’t make it into the White House and to prop up Donald Trump as the winner.”

The CNN report does not accuse anyone of hacking or rigging the vote, but rather suggests that those colluding with the real estate mogul in the far-reaching scheme may have simply walked into voting booths and cast their vote for Donald Trump, giving him the electoral college victory.

“It’s far more sinister than we thought,” a visibly disturbed Tapper said.

 on: July 17, 2017, 09:43:02 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Famous people reading the forum.  We are going to have a mid-term referendum on the economy in 2018, about a minute from now, and we are governing the American private sector with the exact tax plan left in place by Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, Sanders, Ellison, Schumer, Maxine Waters, et al.  Talk about self destructive behavior.  And this is okay because, well, we just can't come to agreement amongst ourselves and well we didn't really expect to win??  Good grief, get going, DO SOMETHING!

A Tax Cut Victory Before Labor Day
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President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress must act with much more urgency and decisiveness on tax cuts.

In recent weeks the tax cut agenda seems stalled out and the delays and indecision are negatively affecting growth and the stock market. We hear that a tax plan from the White House may not come until the fall and may not even pass Congress until 2018 – if at all.

Is it any wonder that investors are getting jittery? The stock market had priced in much of the anticipated benefits to business, wages and profits, which accounts in no small part for the $3 trillion rise in equity values and the surge in business and consumer confidence after the election. Now the confidence is waning.

Without a tax cut passage in 2017, the odds of Republicans losing the House and Senate in November 2018 are heightened. The economy needs time to respond to the growth hormones from the Trump tax plan. A prosperous economy in 2018 is by far the best way for the GOP to build on its historic victory in 2016.

We reject the idea that a simple, clear, growth-oriented tax cut can't happen this summer. Barack Obama passed an $830 billion so-called "stimulus bill" within weeks of his new presidency in 2009. Ronald Reagan signed into law at his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif. his historic tax cut — then the largest in history — by August of his first year in office. The only reason Republicans haven't made this happen is that the tax cut has not been a priority.

To jump-start the tax debate, we are suggesting a Three Easy Pieces initiative:

A 15% business tax rate for small and large businesses, with full and immediate expensing for capital purchases.
A repatriation tax at 10% for foreign earnings brought back to the United States.
A doubling of the standard deduction from $6,500 to $13,000 for individuals and $13,000 to $25,000 for couples,‎ to put more money into their pockets now and to simplify tax returns.
This plan over 10 years would deliver a $3 trillion tax cut to workers and businesses, and the boost in growth in jobs and output will produce higher-than-predicted increases in federal, state and local tax receipts. A 3%-plus growth rate over the next decade will yield more than $3 trillion in lower deficits at the federal level and almost $1 trillion more in revenues for the states and cities.

We estimate that the business tax cut and full expensing would expand business investment and inflows back into the United States by potentially trillions of dollars in 2018. Instead of jobs, businesses and factories fleeing these shores, the U.S. would become an overnight magnet for capital and jobs. America would be the tax haven.

What does this mean for the middle class? First, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about two-thirds of the benefits of the corporate tax cut would go to workers in more jobs and wages as businesses reinvest at a faster pace. Faster growth and higher wages would put after-tax revenue in the pockets of average families. Welfare would fall and prosperity would be the new mindset. The increase in the standard deduction would save many middle-class families about $1,500 to $2,000 a year on their taxes and simplify taxes by reducing the need for middle-class families to itemize their deductions.

This "keep it simple" tax plan would scrap three widely believed misconceptions on the way forward on tax policy. The first misconception is that a tax plan should be paid for with offsetting tax increases. No. Revenue neutrality is an inside-the-Beltway trap and will prevent passage of a strong tax cut. We fully recognize that because of arcane budget rules, rejecting revenue neutrality means that the tax cut will not be permanent.

But nothing is permanent in Washington. With 51 votes, the Senate can pass a "temporary" tax cut for that lasts for 10 or 15 years without a single Democrat vote. We would much prefer a powerful tax cut that is "temporary" over a revenue-neutral tax plan that is economically impotent.

The second misconception is that a border-adjustable tax is necessary. Incredibly, the House leaders still have not given up on this wildly unpopular and ill-designed sales tax. This obsession with the border tax is beginning to look like the Pickett's Charge of tax reform.

Third, is that passing a tax cut now will kill the move for tax simplification and broader reform with lower tax rates and elimination of special interest tax breaks. No. Winning creates its own momentum. A populist campaign to rip up the incomprehensible 60,000-page tax code should be the GOP crusade for 2018 and 2019 – and we will be right behind President Trump in that fight.

Finally, Trump will have to fight for this tax cut not just to take on the liberal class-warfare warriors, but also to get the knee-knockers in his own party off the dime. He should hold a nationally televised address from the Oval Office in the weeks ahead making the case to the American people that a tax cut is vitally important to the economic health, jobs and the vitality of the nation.

This is what Reagan did to push foot-dragging House and Senate members forward on passage of his tax plan in 1981. That changed the course of the American economy for nearly two decades, and Donald Trump can accomplish the same economic resurgence if he acts decisively — and with all due speed.

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