Monday, July 31, 2017
Now you see him, now you don't. A veritable turd flying at the speed of light, who wiped out both Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus in one fell swoop. Or should I say poop?
Mission accomplished, he's gone.
Wouldn't it have been cleaner doing it the usual way?
Watch Rep. Louie Gohmert expose the FBI's Robert Mueller for his incompetence in the Boston bombing case
Orange County Register thinks Trump has a point, correctly calls for an end to the filibuster rule in the Senate
The 60-vote requirement to cut off debate isn’t in the Constitution. In fact, the opposite is true. The Constitution’s forerunner in 1781, the Articles of Confederation, required the approval of nine of the thirteen states to pass a law, but that supermajority provision was conspicuously absent from the document hammered out at the convention in Philadelphia in 1787 after the Articles were replaced.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner once infamously said that Democrat President Obama had the right to set the agenda. But now that we have a Republican president, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan doesn't see it that way.
Slow-walking Trump's agenda isn't just a Democrat goal, it's an establishment goal. Republicans don't want to see it implemented anymore than the Democrats do, which is why Paul Ryan sabotaged Obamacare repeal in the Senate and promptly adjourned. His reassurances that the House wouldn't simply pass what the Senate passed supposedly were not good enough for John McCain.
But John McCain, who everyone knows is going to promptly die anyway, simply took one for the team. "Gee, what a guy. We get to run for reelection saying we voted for repeal and the dopes will believe us".
Remember the agenda below from Trump? Seven months already have been blown on item 5, yet without success. Election 2018 is just 15 months away, and really 14 because August is a fait accompli. The prospects for getting nothing done by then of what Trump wants accomplished look better and better by the day, and that's just the way the establishment wants it.
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act.
An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
2. End The Offshoring Act.
Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act.
Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act.
Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.
Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act.
Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
7. End Illegal Immigration Act.
Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
8. Restoring Community Safety Act.
Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
9. Restoring National Security Act.
Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values.
10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act.
Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
Friday, July 28, 2017
He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute—that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”
State capitalist cronyism in Wisconsin smells to high heaven: The state will pay $3 billion for Foxconn jobs
The cost of reelection for Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump.
What will the State of Wisconsin be paying to lure Foxconn? A steep price. It adds up to $3 billion, including tax credits, training grants and infrastructure improvements. That comes to almost a quarter-million per job, which will pay an average of $54,000 per year. In other words, the people of Wisconsin will in effect be paying the plant’s entire workforce for about five years. And the construction jobs – which make up more than three-quarters of the total – will only last about four. ...
No one knows how long the Foxconn jobs in Kenosha will last. But we do know the company has publicly committed to automating away the vast majority of its current 1.2 million jobs, most of which are located in Asia. At one plant alone in China’s Guangdong province they have eliminated about 60,000 jobs. And they certainly aren’t stopping there. They have targeted to reach 30 percent automation by 2020, and their stated goal is to eliminate almost their entire human workforce, retaining only a minimal number of workers in production, logistics, and inspection.
Kim Strassel sets the table in her column today, here, from which these excerpts:
Fusion GPS. That’s the oppo-research outfit behind the infamous and discredited “Trump dossier,” ginned up by a former British spook. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson also was supposed to testify at the Grassley hearing, where he might have been asked in public to reveal who hired him to put together the hit job on Mr. Trump, which was based largely on anonymous Russian sources. Turns out Democrats are willing to give up just about anything—including their Manafort moment—to protect Mr. Simpson from having to answer that question.
What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn’t the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility. ...
What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign [that hired Simpson]? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources? Moreover, what if those Kremlin-tied sources already knew about this dirt-digging, tipped off by Mr. Akhmetshin? What if they specifically made up claims to dupe Mr. Steele, to trick him into writing this dossier?
John McCain, Liza Mercowskee, and Susan Collins vote against skinny repeal, leaving millions in bondage to healthcare mandates
Bloomberg reports here:
The GOP’s ‘skinny’ repeal bill was defeated 49-51, falling just short of the 50 votes needed to advance it. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski also voted against it. ... "I sadly feel a great many Americans will feel betrayed, that they were lied to, and that sentiment will not be unjustified. You cannot campaign against Obamacare and then vote for Obamacare," Republican Senator Ted Cruz said early Friday.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote. It should be repealed without a single Democrat vote to remove that offense.
But John McCain thinks like a loser, not a winner, and wants to work with Democrats now, before any of that happens. Like that'll work.
Trump was right about McCain the first time. And McCain is going to die in captivity.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
CNBC's John Harwood lies about the size of the individual market in health insurance, and by omission
Individual market coverage has risen to 18 million from 11 million in 2013.
That's simply false.
The Kaiser Family Foundation had individual market coverage at 15.4 million already in 2013, as I reported at the time here. Rising by less than three million in four years to 18 million, if that's even true, is purely a function of natural population growth, not Obamacare's success in extending individual market coverage where there was none before. These millions who have seen their premiums and their deductibles soar as a result of Obamacare were far more numerous than Harwood says.
Completely unaddressed by Harwood is the small group market where employers have fewer than 50 employees. Their costs have also soared, as anyone working for a small business can tell you. Obamacare compliant small group plans typically charge FIVE TIMES what individuals used to pay on the individual market before Obamacare. This small group market was 25 million strong in 2013.
That's over 40 million people in 2013 who have born the brunt of paying for Obamacare's handouts to deadbeats and grifters, not the 10 million or fewer Harwood claims.
HE'S A LYING SACK OF JAWEA.
The Senate on Wednesday rejected an amendment to gut Obamacare without a replacement ready to go, a bill identical to a 2015 measure that passed Congress.
Senators voted 45-55 on the measure, with seven Republicans and all Democrats voting no. The Republicans voting no were Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dick Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Only Collins voted against the measure in 2015. ...
The bill is identical to a 2015 measure that passed Congress that would gut Obamacare's taxes and mandates but leave in place insurer regulations. The bill would have let Obamacare stay in place for two years while a replacement was crafted. Former President Barack Obama vetoed the legislation in 2015.
The male aggression rears its ugly head, or something:
Jenner in the past [you know, ages ago . . . in April] told Diane Sawyer that she has “one deal-breaker” with the Republican party: “You mess with my community, you do the wrong thing with our community, you don’t give us equality and a fair shot, I’m coming after you.”
The story is here.
Your government Medicaid doctors are drug pushers.
Very telling, that.
He must read WaPo tweeter Jenna Johnson here, and NY Magazine here, which omit references to the loud sustained boos by Boy Scouts for Obama but focus instead on the boos for Hillary.
Well, they emphasize what's important to them. Since they are Clinton advocates and Trump opponents and want to make the story a story about Trump's inappropriate partisanship, the fact that Trump was contrasting himself with his predecessor, not Hillary, has to be ignored.
Most stories have been about the boos for Obama.
Here is Boot:
At one point he actually had the boys booing Clinton, a former secretary of State, former first lady and the first female major-party presidential nominee in U.S. history. This is an offense not only against good taste but also against the Boy Scout rule forbidding any political activities in uniform.
David Harsanyi: There isn't a single Republican lawmaker effectively answering the lies told about Obamacare or their own plans
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Meanwhile the redundant Damon Linker is just fine with a thieving lefty as defacto head of the Democrat Party
Here in "Democrats don't need 'A Better Deal.' They need Bernie Sanders":
That he was an independent who became a Democrat solely for the purpose of running for president and spent a good deal of time on the stump railing against the party's choice to succeed Barack Obama as president is just one reason why he should be treated as the party's de facto leader and its presumptive presidential frontrunner — and why he should have been the one to craft and deliver the party's message heading into the midterms. ... Populism is a politics of anger. It needn't escalate to violence. It shouldn't tear down institutions that can be reformed in productive ways. But it does need to channel the passion for justice and give voice to justified resentments.
Emotion, not reason, has the better of a person who can write that, or "who is sufficiently woke enough" and "now, at long last . . . has finally . . .."
If you get WaPo delivered and live next to Damon Linker, make sure you are "woke" before he is or you might be out of luck.
Thieving lefty: Washington neighbor of Bernie Sanders tells Chris Plante Sanders routinely pinched his Sunday delivery of WaPo
Plante reported yesterday the anecdote from the neighbor, saying WaPo actually investigated and confirmed that an old balding and greying guy was personally observed by the person responsible for the route picking up the paper at the door. The subscriber, however, is younger and has a full head of hair.
The Laugh of the Day comes from a John Boehner leak: Trump should never get into a pissing match with skunks
|Mika Skunkski and Joe Skunkorough|
A guy who recognizes that the media are skunks can't be all bad.
“You never get into a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. He does it every day.” Boehner said, adding, “Never get into a p---ing match with a skunk. He does it every day.” “It may have worked during the campaign. But I think he would do himself well if he would just slow the tweeting down and just focus on what he’s doing and not being critical,” Boehner said.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Despite auto company bailouts, Michigan employment lags year 2000 levels by 308,000 jobs, the worst in the country
Reported in Crain's Detroit Business, here:
Research indicates Michigan's drug abuse problem is at an all-time high. A study released in May found Michigan ranks 10th for drug use and addiction among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with analysts considering such factors as abuse of prescription drugs, illicit drugs and the rate of overdose deaths.
In 2015, Michigan recorded 1,981 fatal drug overdoses — more than five per day — with nearly half related to opioids. That death rate represents more than a 10-fold increase from 1999
Sunday, July 23, 2017
George Herbert Walker Bush's legacy: It took only 7 years of NAFTA to destroy hours worked in the United States
Hours of all persons grew 44% during the Reagan bull market, which ended in August 2000. Since then, hours of all persons has grown just 3%.
NAFTA went into effect in January 1994, eleven years after the Reagan bull began and a little over one year after Bush inked the deal. Seven years later hours of all persons peaked.
It reminds me of Bill Clinton's innovation, the so-called Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which blew up the housing market after just 10 years.
Republicans take away your job, then Democrats come along and take away your house.
If you're living in your car, you'd better watch your back.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Income inequality has increased really for just one reason: Growth of owner occupied housing is in decline
Your mortgage interest deduction is only eighth in the latest list of top things on which government claims it loses revenue
But libertarians especially hate it. Expect more articles telling you it's got to go as tax reform talk heats up in Congress.
Here are the top 20 "tax loss expenditures" for 2016-2020:
1. Exclusion of employer contributions for health care and insurance: $863 billion
2. Lower tax rates on dividends and long term capital gains: $678 billion
3. Income made by controlled foreign corporations: $587 billion
4. Contributions made to IRAs and 401k plans: $584 billion
5. Pension plan contributions: $424 billion
6. Earned Income Tax Credit: $373 billion
7. Deductions taken for state and local income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes: $369 billion
8. Deductions taken for mortgage interest on owner occupied homes: $357 billion
9. Obamacare "subsidies": $327 billion (what a laugh: they raise the cost, give you a subsidy, and count the subsidy as a tax-free gift)
10. Child tax credit: $271 billion
11. Expensing depreciable business property: $248 billion
12. Deductions taken for charitable contributions: $231 billion
13. Social Security benefits: $214 billion
14. Municipal bond income: $195 billion
15. Deductions taken for taxes on real property: $180 billion
16. Capital gains taxes excluded at death: $179 billion
17. Medical expenses and over the counter medications under cafeteria plans: $169 billion
18. Capital gains taxes excluded on sale of principal residence: $166 billion
19. Life insurance proceeds: $128 billion
20. Deduction for income from domestic production activities: $102 billion.
Total revenue the government claims it's "losing" because of its "benevolent" tax policy on these items: $6.645 trillion over five years, or $1.329 trillion annually.
My, how nice of them.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Justin Raimondo is right, and Coulter and Nehlen are wrong: Afghanistan is the world's first narcostate, supplying over 75% of the world's heroin
Nuke Afghanistan's poppy fields, and you solve a lot of the world's problems. Raimondo is right, Coulter and Nehlen are wrong. Mexico isn't the "source". It's the conduit.
From the New York Times in 2013, here:
Afghanistan is already the world’s largest producer of opium, and last year accounted for 75 percent of the world’s heroin supply. “The assumption is it will reach again to 90 percent this year,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the United Nations’ top counternarcotics official here.
The Chicoms consume about 4.7 cigarettes per day per capita, about 7.1 packs a month, despite recent attempts to tax the habit out of existence (2350 billion cigs in 2016 divided by population of 1.379 billion).
Americans consume 2.2 cigarettes per day per capita, about 3.3 packs a month (258 billion cigs in 2016 divided by population of .3231 billion).
Life expectancy in the US is 79 years, in China 76 years.
Deaths per 100,000 from coronary heart disease in China are pushing 100, in the US 78.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Inquiring minds want to know: Is it cheaper to stop drugs by building a wall or nuking the opium fields of Afghanistan?
Each one can incinerate about 50 square miles.
Afghanistan has about 780 square miles devoted to opium production.
Number of B61 bombs needed: just 16.
Cost $320 million.
Hundreds of bombs left over to enlighten other ne'er-do-wells.
Three pleasant outcomes: 1) Drugs eliminated at the source; 2) Afghan War ends immediately; 3) Drug mules and gangs stop coming over the border.
I say we nuke 'em.
The high court on Wednesday blocked Watson’s order as it applies to refugees, but not the expanded list of relatives. The justices said the federal appeals court in San Francisco should now consider the appeal. It’s not clear how quickly that will happen.
In the meantime, though, up to 24,000 refugees who already have been assigned to a charity or religious organization in the U.S. will not be able to use that connection to get into the country.
And it set a horrible precedent for the dramatic overspending of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, which has sent us on a course to oblivion. You can argue it was necessary to defeat the USSR, but you can't argue that baseline spending (in black) has done anything but go up, up, up to dangerous new levels as a result (notice the baseline Jimmy Carter inherited from liberal Republicanism, for which he got the blame from Ronald Reagan, which wasn't very nice of the old man who went on to bequeath a similar giant new baseline to his successor, G.H.W. Bush).
No, the real miracle was the pathetic loser in Iran, Jimmy Carter, who spent the least in the post-war for his additional GDP, followed by Bill Clinton.
Of course, the spending is all the prerogative of the Congress. The president proposes but the Congress disposes, as the saying goes.
Beware libertarian politicians preaching balanced budgets, as well as utopian infrastructure spending enthusiasts promising the moon and liberal Republicans selling government spending as security to senior citizens at the expense of younger Americans in a time of protracted war. They have delivered little beyond $20 trillion in debt.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Trump has the same problem.
Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen.
In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%.
That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A's on report cards might be fool's gold.
There were 52 "Yeas" for the HR 3762 Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate on December 3, 2015 out of 54 Republicans, which Obama subsequently vetoed. It was the only repeal bill ever to reach Obama's desk:
Alexander of Tennessee
Barrasso of Wyoming
Blunt of Missouri
Boozman of Arkansas
Burr of North Carolina
Capito of West Virginia
Cassidy of Louisiana
Cochran of Mississippi
Corker of Tennessee
Cornyn of Texas
Cotton of Arkansas
Crapo of Idaho
Cruz of Texas
Daines of Montana
Enzi of Wyoming
Ernst of Iowa
Fischer of Nebraska
Flake of Arizona
Gardner of Colorado
Graham of South Carolina
Grassley of Iowa
Hatch of Utah
Heller of Nevada
Hoeven of North Dakota
Inhofe of Oklahoma
Isakson of Georgia
Johnson of Wisconsin
Lankford of Oklahoma
Lee of Utah
McCain of Arizona
McConnell of Kentucky
Moran of Kansas
Murkowski of Alaska
Paul of Kentucky
Perdue of Georgia
Portman of Ohio
Risch of Idaho
Roberts of Kansas
Rounds of South Dakota
Rubio of Florida
Sasse of Nebraska
Scott of South Carolina
Shelby of Alabama
Sullivan of Alaska
Thune of South Dakota
Tillis of North Carolina
Toomey of Pennsylvania
Wicker of Mississippi.
There were two Republican "Nays":
Collins of Maine, who is still there
Kirk of Illinois, who lost his seat to the Democrats.
Now out of 52 Republicans in the Senate we have 48 votes this time for repeal that we had last time, plus 3 Republican freshman in the Senate to pressure to vote for repeal, which would bring the total to 51, assuming Collins of Maine again votes "Nay".
We'll see if they have the guts.
Monday, July 17, 2017
The Ted Cruz incident with McConnell involved the Export-Import Bank (story here).
Now, Ron Johnson is reportedly concluding McConnell committed a breach of trust by privately telling moderate senators that the Medicaid cuts in the healthcare bill won't actually occur, as reported here.
The current Republican bill in the Senate appears dead as four senators in the Republican caucus have said they don't support it. With a 2-seat majority, only 3 defections are tolerable (the tie-breaker vote is cast by the Vice President, Mike Pence).
When all is said and done we might find out that the loss of support is all intentional and orchestrated in order to save the Senate from having to vote on the issue again at all. The nay-sayers may be handsomely rewarded at some future date while getting to please their constituencies.
Remember, Republicans generally don't believe in anything except for what is. In other words, maintaining the status quo is their objective. They are pragmatists who are willing to accept progressive creations once passed, like the income tax, Social Security, Medicare and now Obamacare, and will defend those programs no matter how they became law.
Lighting their hair on fire for anything is completely out of the question, including for the constitution.
The only thing that will save us now is a meteor strike on the Senate chamber while they are all in session.