Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trump reestablishes the momentum in USA Today poll, in first by 10 points ahead of Carson and Fiorina

A crack in the Trump facade

Donald Trump, quoted here:

“I’m a practical person,” Trump said. "If I see things aren’t going well, like for instance there are people right now in the Republican party who are not doing well I don’t think it’s going to change for many of them, at some point you have to get out. Right now, I’m leading every poll I get the biggest crowds by far. I had 20,000 in Dallas I had 35,000 people in Mobile, Alabama, you know so far it’s looking good…So I will go and if for some reason I think it’s not going to work, I’ll go back to my business.”

Libertarian impotence: Purple PAC suspends raising money for Rand Paul but has spent next to nothing on him all year

Amazing but true.

Reported here:

“I don’t want to raise money for a futile crusade,” [Ed Crane of Cato fame] said. “I still hope to raise money for him, but not until I see a concerted effort to get back to the roots that got him where he was for a while.” . . .

Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Mr. Paul’s campaign, said, “It is untruthful for a story to say that this super PAC stopped supporting Sen. Paul, when in fact they don’t seem to have lifted a finger in the first place.”

The group spent less than $8,000 in the first half of the year.

Purple PAC raised $1.2 million in the first half of the year, $1 million of which came from Jeff Yass, owner of the trading firm Susquehanna Partners. Mr. Crane said he had not consulted with Mr. Yass on his decision to suspend fundraising. The super PAC currently has $1.4 million on hand, which it won’t spend until Mr. Crane feels more positively about Mr. Paul’s campaign, he said.

Neocon insanity: Krauthammer blows a gasket, says Russia trying to expand hegemony in Syria

Oh yeah, like Syria is somehow Ukraine. The USSR is alive and well, but only in the fevered minds of the neoconservatives.

"This isn't about the Russians taking on ISIS; this is about the Russians taking over Syria and keeping Assad as a client in place."

Ah, no Charles. This is about a pro-Christian autocrat rescuing an autocrat who used to protect Christians before the Obama policy to disorganize the Middle Eastern community resulted in Christians getting their heads cut off and their communities destroyed.

We should be thanking the Russians, not trying to bury them.

The Tax Foundation says Trump tax plan will blow up the deficit, reducing revenues to 12% of GDP

From Alan Cole, here:

"Looking at these rates, collectively, note that Mr. Trump is frequently cutting rates in half, and sometimes cutting them by even more than that. Taken together, these rate reductions are enough—by my estimates—to reduce tax collections from about 18 percent of GDP to about 12 percent. Under rates as low as these, economic growth—moderate or otherwise—cannot restore federal revenues to current-law levels.

"Tax cuts can do a great deal of good; each of the provisions I outlined above could help a lot of people lead better lives. However, the reductions in federal revenue need to be acknowledged, and likely mitigated through substantial cuts in spending, in order to make this plan feasible."

Larry Kudlow really likes the Donald Trump 15% corporate tax plan, saying he never thought he'd see it

'Kudlow, who hosts his own syndicated radio show, has long championed a 15 percent corporate tax rate, but "I never thought I'd see a candidate do it. "It'll give us a gigantic advantage. Bring capital and businesses to the U.S., make us the most hospitable place to invest — and that's what Donald Trump has done."'

Zogby poll on September 20th had Trump out front with 33%

Reported here at Forbes:

Trump 33%
Carson 13%
Bush 9%
Fiorina 7%
Cruz 5%
Rubio 4%
Paul 4%
Kasich 4%
Christie 3%
Walker 2%
Huckabee 2%

Ipsos/Reuters poll of core political approval as of September 24th has Trump in the lead with 30%

Seen here:

"After the Wednesday Republican debate, Donald Trump continues to hold the support of 30% of Republicans in our tracking poll, down 5% from last week. Ben Carson remains in 2nd at 18% among Republicans. Jeb Bush is in 3rd with 10%. Carly Fiorina has made significant gains, currently at 8% among Republicans, up from 2% before the debate."

Vladimir Putin tells Obama he's brought nothing but violence, poverty and social disaster to the Middle East

Marco Rubio was for in-state tuition for illegals before he was against it in October 2011

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CBS News claims Trump keeps the EITC


For the current 5-year period 2012-2016 the Joint Committee on Taxation has previously estimated the annual cost of the Earned Income Tax Credit to be about $64 billion.

That's actually less costly than the food stamp program was in 2014: $74.2 billion.

Keeping the EITC means keeping what amounts to a welfare program, but one which rewards only those who work. The transfer payments to such individuals basically rebate the Social Security taxes they pay even though they generally make too little to pay much in the way of federal income taxes, if they pay any at all.

Trump's claim that his plan will be revenue neutral is already taking incoming because of things like this.

Of course we don't know what spending Trump plans to cut. He might go really big and call for shuttering some cabinet level departments entirely. The Department of Education, for example, costs $77.4 billion.

Sean Trende spells out the achievements of John Boehner

Sean Trende notes that:

  • federal expenditures on a quarterly basis flatlined beginning in early 2011, right when Republicans took control of the House under Boehner, largely because of sequestration won in the debt ceiling showdown that year despite controlling only one chamber of Congress, "no small feat";

  • even "more impressive" was the fiscal cliff deal brokered by John Boehner in late 2012, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, again with control of only the House of Representatives;

  • Boehner "managed to kill" the immigration bill that came out of Mitch McConnell's US Senate, despite "substantial internal pressures" all around to pass it.

Much more at the link.

The Detroit News says GOP malcontents weakened John Boehner's hand in dealing with Obama

Rep. Justin Amash, MI-3, a ringleader of the malcontents

Boehner has been no pushover for the Obama administration. He has staked out tough, rational positions on issues important to conservatives. But his hand has been weakened in negotiating with the White House because he has lacked the full support of such a large portion of his caucus, those members who feel symbolic fights over principle are more important than long-term victories.

Joe Nocera says Trump will be out before Iowa

In The New York Times here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Washington Examiner has the rare proper assessment of Speaker John Boehner, faced with the unique challenge of a president disloyal to the constitution

"[R]ight wingers give him an undeservedly bad rap. As a Republican speaker with a Democratic president, he never had a chance to do several of the things they clamored for him to do. Sometimes his most critical Republican colleagues' demands that he get rid of Obamacare or, more recently, defund Planned Parenthood, have suggested a fundamental failure to grasp the mechanics of the system of government in which they work.

"Boehner was not in a position to enact a sweeping, positive agenda. It could not have progressed through the narrowly divided Senate, let alone [have] overridden President Obama's inevitable veto.

"The best accomplishments Boehner could hope for were mostly defensive and negative. The beginning of the his speakership marked the end of Obama's legislative agenda, although sadly the president took this as a cue to exceed his proper powers and bypass Congress, governing by fiat. ...

"Boehner did his job well, and with the sort of patience that conservatives may not appreciate until he is gone."

Trump's tax plan released to the public today is ambitious and pro-growth

The Trump tax plan can be reviewed here.

Notable features include exemption from federal income taxation entirely for up to about 73 million households who make up to either $25,000 individually or $50,000 jointly.

This is in the spirit of the original income tax law, which for its first few years, that is until the demands of World War I and the bureaucratic state came into play, taxed the incomes of no one except the very wealthiest.

It is unclear whether the plan retains the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit, two programs which effectively transfer welfare to lower income families who pay no income tax anyway and who receive through these two vehicles what is effectively a rebate of Social Security taxes they pay as employees, eliminating its regressivity.

For the rest there are just three tax brackets of 10%, 20% and 25%, kicking in at joint incomes up to $100K, up to $300K and beyond $300K. Presumably, but not stated, short term capital gains are taxed at these ordinary rates. Long term capital gains tax rates are 0% up to $100K of joint income, then 15% and 20% up to $300K and beyond $300K of joint income.

Business taxes are slashed to 15% no matter the size, which is YUGE for American competitiveness.

The AMT is eliminated entirely, along with the marriage penalty and . . . the death tax. It's going to be unbelievable!

Deductions are capped for the richest Americans, but deductions for charity and mortgage interest are retained.

We'll see what the dynamic scorers will have to say about it for revenues, as time goes by.

And they say liberals have a death wish: Why Republicans fail

Republicans fail because instead of attacking Democrats, they would rather attack and eat their own.

And it's not like both sides in the Party haven't done this, or that conservatives don't have a case against the leadership. The long history of establishment attacks against conservatives goes back to the George Romney failure to endorse Goldwater in 1964, book-ended most recently by the Mitt Romney campaign's vicious attack of the totally hapless Todd Akin of Missouri, a mere pimple on the butt of the elephant. The kinder gentler conservatism of the Bush clan was, after all, a repudiation of the Reagan era. Kinder and gentler it wasn't, nor conservative.

Pressuring their own Speaker of the House John Boehner to resign last week, however, marks a new low in the history of Republican politics. And this morning Laura Ingraham is endorsing the "frenzy" to get rid of the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. People caught up in this have more in common with the Jacobin Club than they do with the men who prevented the revolution against the rights of Englishmen in 1776.

Conservatives now find themselves in the ignoble position of doing the job the voters didn't do in 2014. And they say liberals have a death wish. 

What goes around comes around, but for the faction which drapes itself in the US Constitution there is nothing conservative, or wise, about any of this. Conservatives should ask themselves whether the citizens of the state of Kentucky and Ohio are entitled to the representation they have or not. And if not, then why are conservatives entitled to theirs?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NBC/WSJ poll pulls Trump back to earth, still first in Real Clear Politics poll average with 23.4%, 6.4 ahead of Carson

Trump in the middle of summer was +4 in the NBC/WSJ poll
Trump starts autumn at +1 in the NBC/WSJ poll
Trump's poll average hasn't changed much in the last eight weeks, indicating he's stopped persuading people to join him, while the average spread of his lead has dropped by 39% in the interim. This is because support is firming for candidates below him. 

While the names have changed in second and third, the level of support has improved for the person in second by 33% and remained more or less the same for the person in third over the period. Ben Carson is the most benefited, going from fifth to second, even as Fiorina rocketed up 1060% to take third, replacing Walker who dropped out.

Similarly the persons occupying fourth and fifth have improved their levels of support on average by 42%, but their names have changed, too. Marco Rubio in fourth has improved his support by 85% over the period, but Jeb Bush is the most hurt, going from second to fifth.

Ted Cruz is notably stuck in sixth in both snapshots, with the same average of support. He's persuading no one, either, except maybe so-called values voters to shift their votes around, unaware that they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Ted Cruz' true calling is stand-up comedy: The president of China is in town, meeting with the world's most powerful communist

The Don and Ted Show: "You're fired!" "No I'm NOT!"
Seen here:

"And today, the president of China, President Xi, is in town. Media all over the world are reporting on this historic meeting of the world's most powerful communist... And the President of China."

The endorsement of Ted Cruz by so-called values voters means little, except for Ben Carson and Donald Trump

From the story at The Hill, here:

Sen. Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit straw poll for the third year in a row on Saturday, a strong showing of support from evangelical voters for his 2016 presidential bid. The firebrand Texas senator won a whopping 35 percent in the poll of summit-goers, ahead of runner-up Ben Carson’s 18 percent. That margin is significantly wider than last year, where he edged out Carson by just 5 percentage points. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) took third with 14 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) with 13 percent. Real estate magnate Donald Trump finished a distant fifth with 5 percent.

So "values voters" have finally figured out one thing: Ben Carson's values may be traditional, but they are rooted in a crackpot religion which was born of a failed prediction of the end of the world in 1844.

Now if they could only figure that out about their own religion.

What's happening here is that the evangelical base is clearly choosing a Southern Baptist over a Seventh-day Adventist, and distancing itself dramatically from the mainline Protestant in the race, Donald Trump.

Meanwhile Ted Cruz isn't going to be the nominee, not as long as he garners just 27% of the support enjoyed by the frontrunner.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The anatomy of an ideologue: Right winger Ace of Spades is a manipulative hope peddler, just like Obama

But dumber than Obama because he comes right out and admits it, here:

One of the things that political movements offer its [sic] adherents, similar to religious movements, is hope. The fecklessness, failures, and flat-out betrayals of the current GOP leadership has [sic] destroyed all hope in the GOP. And a political movement without hope is not a political movement at all; it is simply an advocacy organization for getting a very small number of people cush jobs in the federal government. If there is to be any hope permitted to the rank and file of the Republican Party, then we need big changes that permit us the illusion and fantasy of hope, without which we are nothing at all, just dejected former Republican voters. ... Hope requires a change -- Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Cathy McMorris-Rogers are no change at all; they are simply John Boehner's less accomplished inferior employees. ... And if you want to entice the alienated back into the fold, you have to at least let us dream of the possibility of actual change. That requires allowing us hope -- and not simply doubling-down on the current crop of failures and fainthearts we are obligated, sourly, to call our "leadership." Hope is a silly illusion, but it is a necessary, sustaining silly illusion.

Textbook George W. Bush that, trying to fight ideology with a better ideology, except the right doesn't have a better ideology. Better ideology is an oxymoron because you can't just bottle up and export what it took 500 years to develop on these shores and expect it to work elsewhere, or even here the same way it used to. Nor can you tell your fellow Americans that the people they are happy to keep reelecting don't represent them when they do and hope to succeed in getting them to follow you instead. We had the government we deserve and 30 malcontents just got rid of our leader who gave us $3.25 trillion reasons to be pretty happy with him.

I predict the president who was reduced to playing the tyrant to get his way as John Boehner gently strung him along will act more boldly now that he's gone and Republicans are in disarray and are about to crack up. Obama has nothing left to lose.

The Mark Levin wing of the Republican Party is unhappy the American people got only $3.25 trillion in tax relief from John Boehner

WaPo, grossly underestimating Boehner's achievement, calls Boehner's opponents in Congress "conservatives" but what they are is ideologues, fanatics for whom anything less than everything they demand is unacceptable, and for whom the good is the enemy of the perfect, here:

"Boehner could never please his most conservative members. Fiscal deals negotiated with President Obama produced more than $2 trillion in savings and made the GOP’s tax cuts permanent for 99 percent of workers, but the far right painted both deals as sellouts."

Conservatives give thanks for the achievements of John Boehner, libertarians, the ignorant and the stupid just snarl

  • Saved taxpayers $762 billion over ten years by making the Bush tax rates permanent for 98% of all filers beginning at the dawn of 2013
  • Saved taxpayers $1.8 trillion over ten years by finally fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax for all victims of bracket-creep
  • Saved taxpayers $339 billion over ten years by maintaining the 15% capital gains tax rate for incomes below $450,000
  • Saved families $354 billion over ten years by maintaining the child tax credit
  • Cut average annual federal deficits of $1.3 trillion 2009-2012 by 57%, to $556 billion on average 2013-2016 by ending the emergency Social Security Tax reductions and instituting the sequester spending cuts
  • The S&P 500 immediately responded with total returns in 2013 of 32.39%, the fifth best year since 1970  
  • The moribund US Dollar rose 19%, from below 80 to 95 today as overall fiscal rectitude improved
  • Causing oil prices to plummet from an average of $95/barrel 2011-2014 to $52/barrel on average in 2015 
  • Causing average US gasoline prices to fall from $3.34/gallon one year ago to $2.28/gallon today
  • Helping to keep the all-items consumer price index year-over-year nearly flat, rising just 0.2%

Friday, September 25, 2015

Politico lies about what John Boehner and Barack Obama accomplished together

"But [Boehner's] tenure will also be remembered for his complicated relationship with President Barack Obama. He and Obama tried — but repeatedly failed — to cut a deal on a sweeping fiscal agreement."

Boehner got the Bush tax cuts made permanent, and under a Democrat president no less, something Bush couldn't do while he himself was president. If I were Politico I wouldn't mention it, either.

Boehner also got the fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax made permanent, something which eluded Republicans for decades, again under a Democrat president.

Passed at the very opening to 2013, the stock market boomed as a result, tax revenues recovered and the dollar soared from 80 to 95ish today, helping to tank oil prices, for which each and every American should be grateful everytime he fills the gas tank.

"Repeatedly failed"?

Utter nonsense.

John Boehner to resign at the end of October

Story here.

Better to resign than face the mutiny?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

German Americans still the largest ethnic group in 2013 at 46 million

The Economist reported here in February:

German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). In 2013, according to the Census bureau, 46m Americans claimed German ancestry: more than the number who traced their roots to Ireland (33m) or England (25m). In whole swathes of the northern United States, German-Americans outnumber any other group (see map). Some 41% of the people in Wisconsin are of Teutonic stock.

That figure is down from 51 million before 2009 and from 50 million in 2009, so evidently the German American population is declining by about 1 million per year. 

Walls work: The pope's Vatican has a population of 8 people per acre, Manhattan 109

People who live in walled states shouldn't throw stones, even if they have plenty.

Trump's critics of his investment success need to get a new calculator, and some brains

This morning on the Chris Plante Show on WMAL a caller complained that Trump inherited $200 million and that anyone could have $10 billion after 30 years, too, just by investing in a CD.

Chris Plante said "that's some CD"!

This meme is now ubiquitous in the media critical of Trump, and while not as obviously silly as this morning's example the critics nevertheless display remarkable investment ignorance.

Grant for a moment that Trump inherited $200 million, and keep in mind that that is the upper end of the estimates, which go as low as $40 million. Also keep in mind it's mostly real estate, not cash, not stocks, not bonds, a completely different business.

$200 million invested in the S&P 500 for 30 years from 1985 to 2015 yielded $4.2 billion, or just 42% of the net worth Trump claims to have accumulated over the period. The actual average nominal rate of return for the S&P 500 was 10.75% per annum, dividends fully reinvested. The $10 billion net worth claim, on the other hand, represents an annual net rate of return of 13.93%, again assuming the investment of $200 million, almost 30% better every year than what the S&P 500 actually yielded. But again, the S&P 500 return is not net. You still have to deduct taxes, inflation and expenses from that, which is an individual calculation and highly variable, and in New York can be quite onerous. 

On the other end of the scale, the investment of $40 million becoming $10 billion is the equivalent of a net return of 20.21% per annum, 88% better than the S&P 500 nominal return every year on average.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but no matter how you cut it, Donald Trump capitalized on what he was given in a way which has been exceptionally more successful than what most people ever experience.

He's Yuge.

Mark Penn strategy memo from 2007 shows Hillary Clinton campaign wanted to exploit Obama's "lack of American roots"

The Atlantic has the memo here.

Trump has held first place in the Real Clear Politics poll average since July 19th, over two months

Trump in first in Real Clear Politics poll average with 24%, 7.7 points ahead of Carson, 12.2 ahead of Fiorina

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trump, Carson, Rubio and Fiorina all rise in latest FOX poll, Trump still in first with 27.5% in Real Clear Politics poll average

FBI successful at recovering e-mails from "wiped" Hillary private server used while she was Secretary of State

Bloomberg originally reported here:

The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation. ... Internal government watchdogs have determined that classified information ended up on the system. Their findings sparked the FBI inquiry. ... There has been some question as to whether Clinton deleted her messages or took the more thorough and technical step of “wiping” the server. [Andy] Boian said Tuesday that Platte River [Networks] had “no knowledge of it being wiped.”

Is Hillary worried we'll find the birther e-mail on her server?

Hillary's vigorous denial of the birther story only lends more credence to the charge that she started the birther movement. If it's so ludicrous, why give it this credibility?

Hillary throwing up the smokescreen here, never mentioning that Politico reported, not the right wing, that the anonymous birther e-mail (!) circulated in the Clinton campaign in early 2008:

HILLARY CLINTON: That is – no. That is so ludicrous, Don. You know, honestly, I just believe that, first of all, it’s totally untrue, and secondly, you know, the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that. You know, this is such a bad example of what’s wrong with, you know, instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia like Donald Trump. And obviously all of us have to stand against it. And, you know, I have been blamed for nearly everything, that was a new one to me, but you know, I’ll just keep going and talking about what I want to do to get income risings and making college affordable and making all of the positive changes that we have to be worried about.

Ben Carson shifts a little, allows a Muslim who forswears Sharia could be president

You mean like Obama?

Ben Carson, quoted here:

"If they embrace our Constitution and are willing to place that above their religious beliefs, I have no problem with that. ... I think anybody, regardless of their religion, if they are willing to embrace the values and principles of America and our Constitution and subject their beliefs to the Constitution, I have no problem with that at all. And that's perfectly reasonable."

Carly Fiorina is a Dreamer, supports citizenship for the children brought here by illegal aliens

From the story here:

“Following her town hall at Iowa State University in Ames, Fiorina said she would be open to passing a version of the Dream Act to grant citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children,” reported NBC News.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WaPo rips papal visit to Cuba's Castro, concluding "it takes more fortitude to challenge a dictatorship than a democracy"

The editorial is here, which I was able to see without a paywall.

When WaPo rips the church for hypocrisy, it makes sure you know it.

Someone should ask Ben Carson to swear to place the Constitution above the writings of Ellen G. White

Ben Carson, quoted here:

BEN CARSON: Now if someone has a Muslim background and they are willing to reject those anti-democratic] tenets [of some Islamic theocracies] and will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then of course they will be considered infidels and heretics, but I would be quite willing to support them...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hey Reince Priebus! Show us Scott Walker's signed Pledge to Support the Nominee!

Gov. Scott Walker has large personal debt problems, consistent with reports of his negative net worth

Reported here:

"The Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate has cast him­self as both a fisc­al con­ser­vat­ive lead­er and a penny-pinch­ing every­man on the cam­paign trail, of­ten tout­ing his love of Kohl’s, the dis­count de­part­ment store. His newly pub­lished fin­an­cial dis­clos­ure shows that, like many Amer­ic­ans, Walk­er has few as­sets, some ma­jor debts (in­clud­ing more than $100,000 for stu­dent loans for his chil­dren), and a pun­ish­ing in­terest rate on his cred­it-card ob­lig­a­tions. Walk­er in­curred one cred­it-card debt with Barclays in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the fin­an­cial dis­clos­ure form, and owed between $10,000 and $15,000 at a 27.24 per­cent in­terest rate as of Ju­ly 2015. ... One of Walk­er’s cred­it-card debts, to Bank of Amer­ica, dates back to 2011, his first year as gov­ernor, ac­cord­ing to the dis­clos­ure form. Walk­er cur­rently owes between $10,000 and $15,000 on that one, with an in­terest rate of 11.99 per­cent."

Flip-flopping Scott Walker ends campaign for president, declares war on Trump

Scott Walker's entire political career comes to an ignoble end, lashing out at the man who seized the issue of the time, illegal immigration, from his hands.

Watch Walker triangulate again in the near future and moderate his position on amnesty back to what it was just a couple of years ago. Walker never really opposed amnesty. He just wanted the Republican base to think he did, and now proves it.

The Guardian had the money quotes, here:

“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top,” Walker said. “With this in mind, I am suspending my campaign indefinitely.” Walker encouraged other candidates to do the same, “so that voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current frontrunner.”

A small man was he, not ready for prime time.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

With 99% of the vote counted in Greece, Syriza retakes power as before while Popular Unity at 2.86% of the vote gets NOTHING

Why George W. Bush was wrong not to kill everybody and break everything in Afghanistan

Kill 'em all, let Allah sort 'em out.

Alexis Tsipras and Syriza consolidate power in Greece without the anti-austerity rebels

At this hour with 75% of the vote counted, Alexis Tsipras and Syriza are set to return to power and head the Greek government for the next four years with 145 seats and a coalition with the Independent Greeks as before, but without the Syriza rebels who left to form Popular Unity. The latter isn't polling even 3% and will not win one seat, meaning there is no viable party representing anti-austerity or a return to the drachma. Turn out at 56% hasn't been this low since 1946 when only 53% turned out when leftists boycotted the election.

US House voted Friday to defund Planned Parenthood 241-187, Justin Amash joins the party

The Roll Call vote is here.

Justin Amash of Michigan, the formerly "consistent" conservative, decided this time to vote to defund, whereas in 2011 he voted "present".

There is no explanation up on his Facebook page as far as I can tell at this hour, his usual claim to fame being that he explains every vote there.

Estimated net worth of Democrats for president in 2016

Chafee $43 million
Clinton $21.5 million
Warren $6.69 million
Webb $4.6 million
Biden $600,000
Sanders $330,506

Estimated net worth of Republicans for president in 2016

Trump $10 billion

Fiorina $59 million
Carson $10 million
Bush $10 million
Santorum $5 million
Huckabee $5 million
Christie $4 million
Cruz $3.17 million
Perry $3 million (out already)
Jindal $2.7 million
Kasich $2.5 million
Paul $1.33 million
Graham $1.02 million
Rubio $443,500

Walker ($71,500), that's right, he's in the hole

Trump loses significant ground in CNN poll, still in first at 24%, Walker Jindal and Graham get goose eggs, Trump retains lead in Real Clear Politics poll average with 28.5%

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ted Cruz' Munsters problem

Ted Cruz
"Grandpa" Al Lewis

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tony Heller corrects Jonah Goldberg about September warming

Trump publishes 2nd Amendment position paper, calls for national right to carry

"NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege."

Morning Consult post-debate poll of 504 registered voters finds Trump still way ahead in first with 36%

Obama flashback 2008: "My Muslim faith"

Oops. I meant the totally opposite thing. 

George Bush didn't keep us safe: 911 happened under his watch

Two doors down there's a memory that won't ever end

Rush Limbaugh can't remember shit about taxes under Reagan: Why do we listen to this guy?

Here yesterday, wrong on both years, and forgetting that G. H. W. Bush raised taxes by adding a 31% bracket in 1991, getting himself defeated by Clinton in 1992:

"What did Ronald Reagan do? When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 the top marginal tax rate was 90%. And the amount of money raised by the tax code was about $500 billion back then. When Reagan left office in 1989, there were three tax rates, essentially two, but there was a 31% bubble in there. But the top 90%, that marginal rate of 90% had been dropped to 28%. And the amount of money generated by the tax code had doubled, almost a billion dollars, by reducing tax rates."

Revenues in 1981 were $599.3 billion nominal, in 1989 $991.1 billion, up 65%, not 100%. Revenues did not double until 1993-1994, after Bush and then Clinton raised marginal rates as high as 39.6%. Revenues did not double again until 2006. The record shows that whether marginal rates were higher or lower, revenues took twelve to thirteen years to double.

What Rush Limbaugh means by "doubled, almost a billion dollars" is anybody's guess. Only his pharmacist knows for sure.

The facts are that Ronald Reagan persuaded Democrats to bring the top marginal rate down from 70% in 1981 to 50% 1982-1986. After the tax reform of 1986 the top marginal rate dropped to 38.5% in 1987. For three years 1988 through 1990 there were just two marginal rates: 15% and 28%. That was the brief golden age of taxation under Reagan, which his successor totally screwed up.

Reagan had NOTHING to do with the introduction of a 31% bracket. That was all on George Herbert Walker Bush, for which the Democrats recently gave him the Profiles in Courage Award.

Carly Fiorina was against the bailouts in 2009 after the wind changed, but was for them in 2008 with John McCain


Just like Sarah Palin.

Donald Trump has Tom Brady, Mike Ditka and Bobby Knight on the team

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Charles Cook embraces the impotence of contemporary conservatism faced with Donald Trump

Where else but in National Review here, the locus of conservatism as ineffectual cult and ideology, which finds it impossible to revolt against anything except for the rebels:

"As it happens, Trump’s critics do grasp the appeal [of revolt]. What they do not do, however, is act upon it in this manner. The temptation to deliver a bloody nose to one’s ideological enemies is a human and comprehensible one, by no means limited in its allure to the disgruntled part of the Republican primary electorate. But temptation and reasonable conduct are two separate things entirely, and they should always be treated as such. Can one understand the instinct that is on display? Sure. Can one look beneath the surface and do anything other than despair? I’m afraid not. Such as they are, the explanations provided by Trump’s discordant choir are entirely risible and easily dismantled. Great, you’re annoyed! But then what?"

He's obviously proud of it. In 1776 he'd be called a royalist.

Was taking up arms against England "reasonable conduct"? Only a Catholic sensibility could fail to grasp the point. "But then what?" Well, a long war of several years, full of privations and without guaranty of success, followed by another long period of several years preparing for and culminating in a constitutional convention, during which local and colonial institutions were strong enough to support the absence of a centralized framework. The same is still true today, if only the locals more frequently told the federal courts to go to hell, as the Kentucky county clerk recently did.

By definition, an ideology ought to have some ideas in it which form a system, and should be, when all is said and done, unrealistic. That pretty much describes American conservatism since forever: unable to roll back anything, including the income tax, direct election of Senators, universal suffrage, the Federal Reserve Act, the Reapportionment Act of 1929, Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, Obamacare, and the enormous regulatory code, and unable to permanently refound the country on any constitutional principles, say, of limited government or separation of powers. Conservatism has a massive record of zero achievement while liberalism's untruths keep marching on like tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Trump's camp, meanwhile, thinks three modest things: the way to make America great again is to restore law and order by starting with enforcing its borders and putting an end to illegal immigration, to bring jobs back to Americans by reforming the tax code, developing energy independence, cutting wasteful spending and punishing unpatriotic corporations who profit from exporting jobs, and to rebuild the military to protect freedom at home and for our friends and allies abroad.

It takes near religious nuttery to call the proponent of these measures "a self-interested narcissist and serial heretic whose entirely inchoate political platform bends cynically to the demands of the moment."

To understand Trump, it takes a village . . . of Protestants.

Pompous ass Steve Gruber Show doesn't fact check while imagining it possesses journalistic integrity

"49 million on food stamps."

"McCain got more votes than Romney."

Marco Rubio, the intellectual who played football for Tarkio College in 1989-1990

Donald Trump again brought NFL-level ratings to Republican debate, this time 23 million to CNN, its most-watched program ever

Reported here:

"Wednesday's prime time GOP debate averaged 22.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in CNN's history. ... CNN's most-watched program overall was a special "Larry King Live" episode in 1993. The episode featured Al Gore and Ross Perot debating NAFTA and averaged 16.8 million viewers. ... These are NFL-level ratings -- affirming that the Donald Trump fueled Republican debate slate is one of the most popular television shows of the year."

Republicans in denial: 911 happened under George W. Bush's watch, as did the 2008 financial panic

George W. Bush remains the elephant in the Republican debate room. We're not safer since he was elected in 2000, and we're not richer, either.

Obama has failed miserably to fix it, and the "it" still needs fixing.

Discussed here

Destroying Trump means even disgraced Rolling Stone becomes a credible source

The Daily Beast, here:

'Asked what she thought of the comment and of Trump’s explanation that he was referring to her “persona” when he told a Rolling Stone reporter to “look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?" Fiorina paused and then went in for the kill.

'“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said.'

Feminism uber alles, even if all you've got is a made up story about campus rape.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Obama says America is great right now, on same day his own Census Bureau reports people are 6.5% poorer than in 2007

Obama here.

Marketwatch here:

"The Census Bureau reported that median household income was $53,657 in 2014. That’s less than the 2013 median of $54,462, but not statistically different. What is of significance is that, when adjusted for inflation, the median household generated 6.5% less than they did in 2007, the year before the recession."

Ben Carson's church believes carbon dioxide is a pollutant causing climate change and should be reduced

"To keep climate change within bearable limits, the emissions of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), need to be significantly reduced. Industrialized countries are the main source of these emissions, while the first victims are the small island states and low-lying coastal countries."

Real Clear Politics poll average updated to show Trump in first with 30.5% in September first half

Something down is up in Russia

Normally traffic from Russia represents over 10% of my blog audience, going back years, but in the last week that has dropped off the cliff to zero.

It's like somebody turned off the spigot.

Reuters provides clues here:

"The large Moscow street protests of 2011 and 2012 illustrated the connection between economic growth and demands for greater political participation by the chief beneficiaries of Russia’s then-prosperity. Now, as the collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions undermine the economy, the mood inside Russia could hardly be more different. The creative class in big cities like Moscow is depressed and increasingly disengaged from political life. Some have given up and are just leaving the country. The combination of economic crisis, heavy propaganda, patriotic mobilization and hybrid war inside Ukraine have produced conformism, passivity and insensitivity."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Warming over 100 years from 1990 predicted by IPCC is falling short by 62% due to 18 year, 8 month pause

Reported here:

"From January 1979 to August 2015, the trend was just 1.21 K/century.

"In 1990, the IPCC had predicted near-straight-line warming of 1 K to 2025, equivalent to almost 2.8 K/century. Of this warming, more than 0.7 K should have happened by now, but only 0.26 K has actually occurred. ...

"The UAH and RSS satellite data both show the Pause, though the terrestrial tamperature datasets have all been altered in the past year with the effect of concealing it."

Gold King Mine disaster video released by the incompetent EPA: let's dig here and see why it's leaking!

Link here for the video.
When you plug leaks at other old mines nearby, the water has to go somewhere. Minor toxic leaks are obviously preferable to releasing by accident 3 million gallons of heavy metal contaminated water into the Animas River.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

WaPo story continues the Hillary e-mail shell game: It's her CURRENT server which needs to be examined

Reported here tonight by WaPo:

'“Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped,” company spokesman Andy Boian told The Washington Post. “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.” ... All the e-mails from Clinton’s tenure at the State Department were on the server when the device was taken over in June 2013 by Platte River Networks, four months after Clinton left office. A company attorney has said that all of Clinton’s e-mails were then migrated to a new server. The e-mails were removed from the second server in 2014, with Clinton’s lawyers storing those they deemed work-related on a thumb drive and discarding those that they determined were entirely personal. Copies of 30,000 work e-mails were turned over to the State Department in December and are being released to the public in batches under the terms of a court order.'

All the e-mails were migrated to the current server in June 2013, five months after Hillary's January 23, 2013 testimony before the Oversight Committee and nine months after it asked for her emails about Benghazi on September 20, 2012. They were combed, sorted, some distributed to the State Department in December 2014 and everything  supposedly "deleted". But all that is theoretically recoverable from the current server, which evidently remains in Chappaqua, NY.

Some might also be recoverable from the New Jersey server. And there might be backup servers no one has yet learned about, but it is the current server which needs to be examined.

But just try getting in to Bill Clinton's stuff.

Hillary is still exploiting him for all he's worth, and right now his sacrosanctity is worth everything.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ex-Gore-Democrat Rick Perry drops out of Republican race for president for a second time

Story here.

Santorum, Jindal and Graham should drop out, too.

Does anyone know if Pataki is still in?

Who? Gilmore? What?


Counting Perry, there have been no fewer than 37 running for the Republican nomination.

It's the 14th anniversary of 9/11 and we're still waiting for a president who will send in the troops to kill everybody and break everything

Everybody. Everything. Yesterday.

Hooah you maggots.

With nine days to go before Greek elections, Syriza recaptures the lead in the latest ProRata poll

The latest Greek election poll result appears here today, showing left wing Syriza back on top with 28.5% of the vote and center right New Democracy roaring back strongly in second with 23.5% as more undecided voters in the last two weeks have made up their minds. Syriza had been taking a beating in various polls over the fortnight.

Nationalist Golden Dawn remains in third with 6.5%, unchanged from the end of August. The communist KKE and socialist PASOK are duking it out for fourth place with 4.5% of the vote each, while the Syriza rebels who formed Popular Unity have lost support and fallen below the 3% threshold necessary to get representation in the parliament. Two weeks ago Popular Unity had been polling at 3.5% but evidently as time has passed voters have realized these former compatriots of Alexis Tsipras really do mean to dump the Euro and go back to the Drachma, and want none of it. 

Greeks overwhelmingly continue to favor remaining in the Euro, but really like Tsipras over Meimarakis of New Democracy 37% to 25%.

The election is a week from Sunday.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ben Carson: I got where I am because, unlike Donald Trump, I'm HUMBLE!!!!!!!!

Carly Fiorina ripped Barbara Boxer's hair as "so yesterday" back in 2010

Video here.

If she can dish it out, she should expect to get it, too, especially from Donald Trump.

Jeb Bush the snake: omitted plan to cap itemized deductions in Wall Street Journal tax op-ed

Reported here:

"But the full plan includes one very significant change not mentioned in the Wall Street Journal op-ed where Bush announced his plan—one that would likely raise more than a trillion dollars in revenue over a decade, and secretly accomplish a policy goal sought by everyone from President Obama to Paul Ryan. The change: Bush wants to limit itemized deductions sharply, capping them at 2 percent of aggregate gross income, and eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes entirely. (The exception would be the deduction for charitable giving, which is politically toxic to attack, and would still be unlimited.) ...

"But it’s the politics of the cap that make it really interesting. If you look at who would actually be affected, it appears that the cap is a very benign-sounding way to do something politically difficult: limit the mortgage-interest deduction. Of the $54 billion a year the cap would raise according to the Feldstein estimate, $46 billion comes out of the mortgage interest deduction."

Trump in first with 29.8% in new Real Clear Politics poll average, 13.8 points ahead of Carson in second, 21.5 points ahead of Jeb Bush

Trump questions Ben Carson's job-creation experience, Carson goes nuclear and plays the religion card

Ben Carson has gone sectarian, which comes as no surprise in view of his Seventh Day Adventism, which has its roots among the Millerites and the Methodists of the 19th Century.

What is surprising is that it is in response to criticism from Trump about Carson's job-creation experience. Trump questioned whether Carson has the right stuff in that area, and Carson's first inclination is to question Trump's faith. Pretty thin-skinned of Carson, playing the religion card like that. It's reminiscent of Obama playing the race card. Not a good sign in a chief executive.

Asked to name a favorite Bible verse in a Megyn Kelly interview, Carson named two but tellingly stumbled over one of them.

Video here at about the 2:25 mark where Ben Carson haltingly quotes Proverbs 22:4 as "With humility and the fear of the Lord, that's where life and wealth come from." The King James puts it this way: "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life."

Funny he left out "honor".

Evangelicals will question whether this was an honorable thing for Ben Carson to say in a political context yesterday, where sectarian arguments between candidates are generally frowned upon:

"The biggest thing is that I realize where my success has come from, and I don't any way deny my faith in God," said Carson. "And I think that probably is a big difference between us." That was his entire answer. A reporter asked Carson to expand on that response, and on whether he didn't believe Trump's expressions of faith have been sincere. "I haven’t heard it, I haven’t seen it," said Carson. "You know, one of my favorite, Proverbs 22:4, it says: 'By humility and the fear of the Lord, our are riches and honor and life.' And that's a very big part of who I am. Humility, and fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression with him. Maybe I'm wrong."

Pretty ugly to question Trump's sincerity, but to accuse him of denying his faith? That's wacky. Consider the source.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Make America Great Again: Make Babies

Births per 1000 population in 2013 fell to 12.4, less than half the 1957 level of 25.3.

The preliminary estimate for 2014 is 12.5 per 1000 population, as of June 2015.

Is Trump great or what: Jeb says his brother W spent too much

'“He should have brought the hammer down on the Republicans when they were spending way too much, because our brand is limited government,” Jeb said. “He didn’t veto things, he didn’t bring order and fiscal restraint.”'

Donald Trump is having an amazing impact on the election campaign: we're talking about illegal immigration and rising crime, sanctuary cities and defiance of federal law, stupid treaties and the stoops who write them, and Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are so desperate that she is apologizing (not sure for what) and he is violating the family loyalty oath.

Now that's progressive Republicanism.

Speaking of Ben Carson, it's odd that such a smart guy has a crackpot religion

It was Mormonism's turn in 2012, now it's on to Seventh Day Adventism.

Ben Carson's Seventh Day Adventism keeps the Sabbath on Saturdays, believes in the investigative judgment of professed Christians, ongoing somewhere in heaven since 1844, and considers the scores of revelations of the visionary Ellen G. White authoritative, placing the group outside the beliefs of the world's 600 million Evangelical Christians.

But hey, it's a free country, right?

Ben Carson advocated fingerprint locks on guns as recently as October 2014

Fingerprint locks would incapacitate a weapon to everyone save the owner, which pretty much means the Second Amendment is reduced to a self-defense amendment instead of a militia amendment, i. e. an anti-tyranny amendment. Fallen soldiers' weapons would be useless to others.

It's not helpful that the Supreme Court has ruled the right to keep and bear arms an individual right, which plays into the hands of those seeking constitutionality for fingerprint locks.

Can fingerprint condoms be far behind?

Audio of Carson here.

Rush Limbaugh expresses astonishment that Germany will accept 500,000 refugees annually

Limbaugh said in the last half hour that he looked into it and discovered Germany's birthrate is so low they're happy to have the refugees as future workers.

How long will it take this doofus to figure out that our declining labor force is the result of retirees who aren't being replaced because our birthrates were also too low for too long?

The Baby Boom between 1946 and 1966 produced 83.1 million births. Unfortunately Baby Boomers produced just 72.6 million births from 1967 to 1987, a shortfall of 10.5 million or 12.6%.

What it means is there are 500,000 fewer replacements every year on average for retiring Baby Boomers, about 85% of whom more or less survive to retirement age.