Thursday, November 16, 2017

House tax bill passes 227-205, Senate still working on theirs

From the story here:

[T]he bill would limit state and local deductions and the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the personal exemption and nearly double the standard deduction. ... The most significant difference between the chambers' plans is the treatment of state and local tax deductions. The Senate plan would eliminate those deductions entirely. The measure could alienate some House Republicans who voted for the chamber's bill that would allow up to $10,000 in property tax deductions.

Meanwhile Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez is actually on trial on corruption charges, not including allegations about underage sex

More Minnesota news: Democrat Sen. Al Franken outed by KABC host for tonguing and groping her

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Over 64,000 Minnesotans making less than $50k paid over $30 million in Obamacare penalties in 2015

Nearly 82,000 Minnesotans paid over $38 million in federal penalties in 2015 for not having health insurance.

That's how much repealing the Obamacare mandate would have saved those Minnesotans in 2015, the vast majority of whom made less than the national average wage of $46,000.

The national average penalty in 2015 was $470.

In the dysfunctional marriage between the two political parties, the submissive one has a funny name

Jeff Greenfield is a Democrat political hack forging equivalency between Roy Moore, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton

Here in Politico: 

So what changed? Three people: Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and Roy Moore.

Actually, nothing's changed.

When blacks like Bill Cosby and Jews like Harvey Weinstein suddenly get outed and become ground zero for sex crime in the popular imagination, Democrats have to act quickly to change the narrative to deflect the attention away from themselves and onto their opponents.

Same old same old.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why was General Robin Rand promoted and put in charge of our nuclear missiles after he failed to report Texas shooter's crime to FBI?

From the story here in The Chicago Tribune:

The Air Force lapse in the Devin P. Kelley case, which is now under review by the Pentagon's inspector general, made it possible for him to buy guns before his attack Sunday at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-six people were killed, including multiple members of some families. About 20 other people were wounded. ...

Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after his conviction. But because it was never added to the FBI's database for background checks, Kelley was able to buy his guns.

Air Force records show Kelley initially faced charges of domestic violence for seven alleged incidents in 2011 and 2012. Five were withdrawn as part of a plea agreement, including two involving Kelley pointing a loaded gun at his wife. He pleaded guilty to striking, choking and kicking his wife and hitting his stepson "with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm."

He was sentenced in November 2012 to one year in confinement and reduction in rank to E-1, the lowest enlisted rank. He was given a bad conduct discharge, which was carried out in 2014. The officer overseeing the case was Robin Rand, then a three-star general and now the four-star commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in charge of the service's bomber force and nuclear missiles.

Ninth Circuit temporarily reinstates Trump's travel ban, overruling Hawaii judge

Jonathan Turley reports, here.

GQ's Men of the Year: Sexual predators, wankers, queers, and now a $39 million traitor

Monday, November 13, 2017

I'll entertain the notion of the US Senate's integrity when it repeals Obamacare, builds The Wall, and cuts spending

Until then, STFU.

Wow, teen-tit-film Ted Cruz thinks Roy Moore is guilty until proven innocent

You remember "teen tit film" Ted, dontcha?

The Texas Senator is quoted here on Roy Moore:

“As it stands, I can’t urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious, persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true,” the Texas Republican told reporters, according to a Texas Tribune reporter.

Judge Roy Moore is no JFK, who when 45 actually boinked 19-year old Mimi Alford in The White House

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What, Jewish Jerry Seinfeld gets to rob the cradle but not Bible-thumping Roy Moore?

In 1993 Jerry Seinfeld started dating this very fulsome 17-year old, Shoshanna Lonstein, when he was 39.

How quickly we forget.

Story here.

The weekend help at Drudge can't spell Philippines

I admit it, I still have to look that one up myself even after all these years.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Just in time for the Dec. 12 election in Alabama, WaPo comes up with a sex scandal involving candidate Roy Moore

The story, "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32", is here.

The judge liked 'em young.

Security Theatre: TSA failure rate to detect weapons and explosives improves from 95% to 80%!

Way to go, Brownie! Or somebody.

From the story here:

When ABC News asked the source familiar with the report if the failure rate was 80 percent, the response was, “You are in the ballpark.” ... The news of the failure comes two years after ABC News reported that secret teams from DHS found that TSA failed 95 percent of the time to stop inspectors from covertly smuggling weapons or explosive materials through screening.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The new governors of Virginia and New Jersey will be Democrats

Real Clear has called both races even though just 5% of the vote is in in New Jersey.

New Jersey is a flip, having been governed by Republican Chris Christie.

Virginia stays Democrat. Ed Gillespie loses another one, having run unsuccessfully for the US Senate previously and now for governor.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Comey's early FBI draft memos on Hillary in May 2016 called her "grossly negligent"

But by July she was just "extremely careless".

John Solomon for The Hill notes here that 

'The change is significant, since federal law states that gross negligence in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines. ... “There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information,” reads the statement, one of Comey’s earliest drafts from May 2, 2016.'

Sunday, November 5, 2017

You know you're living in an upside down world when they're trying to put Flynn where Bergdahl ought to be

Bush 41 has now admitted voting for Hillary

Good thing his parachute jumping days are behind him. Could be more dangerous now.

Joy-Ann Reid is not too bright, except she does correctly intuit that there is no contradiction between economic liberalism and socialism, as Spengler once pointed out

New York Antifa demonstration fizzles on November 4th, only diehard commies show up

And it wasn't even raining.

From the story here:

[A] little more than 300 people showed up, according to NYPD officers tasked with securing it. Many of the signs Refuse Fascism had prepared sat stacked against a metal railing. Organizers handed out leaflets about the Revolutionary Communist Party, an older, radical group with ties to Refuse Fascism. Over a thousand people had previously committed to going to the November 4 protests on Facebook, and roughly five thousand had pledged interest, but when all was said and done, burgeoning leftist groups like Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), protest mainstays like Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the masked anarchists that had captured the imagination of people on the far right failed to attend.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Laugh of the Day: President Copafeel calls President Trump a blowhard

Ruh-roh, in his senile dotage 41 has also taken to feelin' up the ladies at photo-ops, hence the permanent shit-faced grin.

Story here.

How to tax the rich and only the rich as originally intended in 1913, and solve a lot of problems

In 1913 when the average Joe made about $800 a year, the first income tax under the 16th Amendment didn't worry him because he didn't pay it and probably thought he never would. The personal exemption for a married couple in the original tax code was $4,000.

Today that $4,000 personal exemption adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index amounts to about $100,000.

Even in 2016 that kind of income is made by fewer than 10% of individual wage earners. Under the original income tax of 1913, 90% today wouldn't have to worry about paying the dreaded income tax either.

Is there a way to return to this golden age of taxation?

I'm here to tell you that I think so, and I say that as a conservative. We could easily simplify the tax code by returning to the status quo which prevailed before the First World War, pay all the bills, abolish Social Security and Medicare taxes, the corporate income tax and all the other little irritating taxes and reduce income inequality in the process. We'd also save a lot of time and money wasted in complying with the tax code's myriad baroque features.

Here's the math.

In 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis personal income in the United States was $15.9287 trillion.

Social Security's Office of the Chief Actuary tells us that in 2016 there were 163.5 million individual wage earners. If you exempt the first $100,000 of everybody's individual wage income in 2016, including from the rich, you're talking about $6.213 trillion of individual wage income which would be tax-free.

That leaves $9.7157 trillion of personal income left in 2016 to tax, to pay all the bills.

According to The Tax Policy Center, the bills were the total estimated federal outlays of $3.9513 trillion in 2016.

So, the tax is 40.67% (9.7157 X .4067 = 3.9513) on all personal income in excess of $100,000 a year, no itemized deductions, no credits of any kind (this is where they all came from in the first place, because the rich pissed, moaned and complained and bribed the politicians to carve out privileges for them to escape paying).

The rich, all 14.9 million of them, will still have $7.2544 trillion to play with ($1.49 trillion from their first $100K tax-free, just like everybody else, and $5.7644 trillion left over after taxes from the income in excess of $100K).

The rest of us, 148.6 million, won't pay any federal income tax, Social Security or Medicare tax, gasoline tax, or any other kind of federal tax on our $4.723 trillion. The only taxes we'll have to pay will be State and Local Income Taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and the like. Of course rich people will have to pay those too, but that's a problem for all of us and for a different level of politics.

I summarize:

$15.9287 trillion personal income 2016 (BEA)
-  3.9513 trillion federal taxes, all from those making $100,000+ per year @40.67%
-  7.2544 trillion left over for the 14.9 million making $100,000+ per year (top 10%)
-  4.7230 trillion left over for the 148.6 million making less than $100,000 per year (bottom 90%)

And the budget balances.   

Friday, November 3, 2017

House Republicans won't allow floor amendments to tax reform, will ram it through instead

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, quoted here:

He also said that there would be no House floor amendments to the bill, and that changes would be made in his committee and potentially in a conference with the Senate down the road.

In all seriousness, Republican elimination of personal exemptions is just sleight of hand to raise your taxes

In 2017, the personal exemption is $4,050.

If your little tribe is six, mommy, daddy, and four kids, your personal exemptions add up to $24,300.

Add in the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly of $12,700 and you are up to $37,000 shielded from taxation. (Itemize deductions instead and you might shield even more, but Republicans are proposing new limits on those, too).

The new Republican tax reform, however, eliminates the personal exemptions and caps all this at the new higher standard deduction of $24,000, thus exposing $13,000 to taxation that wouldn't have been exposed before. And you'll pay at a higher rate in the lowest bracket, too, which has been raised from 10% to 12%.

That's what's really going on here. The only way this benefits families is if those families are small. And, of course, small families implies something else: more immigration.

It's anti-American and anti-family, and in fact, it's inhumane. Taxes were always meant to be personal, and by eliminating personal exemptions for the first time in history the libertarians who wrote this bill are showing their purely materialistic hand.

You aren't a human being to them. You're merely capital.

Don't let them get away with this.

Republican elimination of personal exemptions gives me an idea for truly revolutionary tax reform

In 1913 when the income tax began there was no such thing as the standard deduction. That didn't come along until 1944.

The original income tax was a class tax, a tax on the wealthy, just as was the corporate tax instituted in 1909. From the beginning it came with a personal exemption of $3,000 and if you were married $4,000. Dependent exemptions didn't begin to be added until 1917, starting at $200.

Guess what the personal exemption of $4,000 would be in 2016, adjusted for inflation? $100,000. Times all the individual wage earners in America in 2016 $16.3 trillion would be exempt from taxation. In the third quarter of 2017, personal income in the United States wasn't even $16.5 trillion. 

In other words, the original personal exemptions of the tax code adjusted for inflation would exempt all current personal income from taxation, except for maybe $200 billion.

As far as I'm concerned, the government can have that.

Now that's what I call a tax reform.

Most Americans will be hoodwinked by Republican tax reform because they never do their own taxes

56% use a paid preparer, and 34% use tax software, according to figures reported here.

That means 90% of individual filers really have no idea how the numbers have worked in the past, and therefore they are most likely going to have not the slightest idea how the tax reform will change them.

I'm betting Republicans are counting on this as they try to rush this through by Thanksgiving.

Your goose is cooked, sir.

Republican tax reform includes a sneaky tax increase on itemizers, removing the personal exemption privilege

Josh Barro, here:

Currently, you get to take the personal exemption even if you also itemize deductions, but you get to take the standard deduction only if you forego itemized deductions. Combining these provisions into a single, standard deduction would mean itemizers lose their personal exemption and get nothing back — meaning they'll typically pay tax on an extra $4,050 of income if they're single, or $8,100 if they're married.

Total nonfarm jobs grow at the pathetic pace of 167,000 per month y/y in October 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Ron Wyden: Republicans to let corporations deduct state and local income taxes but not individuals

The Democrat Senator is quoted here:

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that Republicans were employing a double standard, giving corporations a better deal than individuals. ... “Corporations will still get to deduct their state and local taxes, but individuals and families won’t,” Wyden said.

The Republican tax reform is evil: It goes after the very young and the very old

Parents of large families no longer get dependent exemptions for their multiple children under the proposed Republican tax reform, thereby exposing more of their income to taxation, income which parents need to raise these future taxpayers. It's almost as if Republicans are trying to discourage giving birth to the future country.

And medical expenses are no longer a thing under the plan. It's mostly elderly people who rely on the deduction of medical expenses to keep solvent in old age, but the deduction also helps others who experience catastrophic medical expenses under high deductible plans or under no plan. It's almost as if Republicans want these people to suffer complete and utter penury because of medical necessity.

For the first time in my Republican life I'm having to consider that Republicans deliberately went after these two groups, the most vulnerable in our society. It's almost unthinkable after all these years that the pro-life party is nothing of the sort.

If stuff like that stays in the plan I'm going to be facing the prospect of having to consider seriously voting for the enemy.

Who knows. Maybe that's what Republicans want. They've become so liberal now maybe they want us to fulfill this very clearly expressed tax reform death wish by throwing them out of office.

Tax reform verdict: Big business likes the plan released today, the broad market just shrugged

The DOW gave a thumbs up . . .
. . . but the broadest measure of the market just shrugged.

Big business gets a tax rate cut to 20%, but pass-throughs only to 25%

Republicans are favoring established big businesses at the expense of smaller and independent businesses. In essence they are protecting the already successful from those who only dream of being as successful. Combine the loss of other deductions being eliminated under the tax reform proposal and pass-through filers will find that their big tax cut is not so big after all. 

"One rate for thee, but another for me".

From the story here:

The bill would lower the top rate for income from "pass-through" businesses from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. These businesses, which include some small businesses, otherwise have their income taxed through the individual code on their owners' returns. But NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] says that most small businesses wouldn't qualify for the lower rate because of the way the new rate is structured.

Additionally, the bill as a default position would not allow income from personal services businesses, such as law and accounting firms, to be eligible for the 25-percent rate.

Republican war on itemized deductions eliminates medical expense deduction

From the story here:

Under current law, the IRS allows individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income for the year. The bill would repeal that itemized deduction, effective in 2018.

This is part of The Swamp's incremental war against taxpayer deductions.

For decades the threshold was 7.5% of AGI. Then under Obamacare it became 10%. Now it's gone entirely.

These greedy bastards must be stopped.

CNBC's Jake Novak lets it slip that his libertarian hatred of single family homes has been aesthetic all along

Seen here, italics added by me:

Second we have perhaps the most controversial proposal: The plan to cap mortgage interest deductions for new home purchases at $500,000, but keep the rules as is for existing mortgages. This starts the long-needed process of eliminating a tax policy that mostly aided the rich and has aided America's ruinous and unsustainable suburban single-family home sprawl

Funny how so many Americans like to live in that suburban sprawl instead of in cities.

Funny also how they overwhelmingly vote Republican.

Funny Rush hasn't mentioned it lately, but his infamous "94 million eating but not working" are still there one year later

Looks like as much as 5,000 tons of US yellowcake were shipped by Uranium One to Canada and then on to Europe and Asia

From the story here:

NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show ... that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show. ...

Rather than give Rosatom a direct export license — which would have raised red flags inside a Congress already suspicious of the deal — the NRC in 2012 authorized an amendment to an existing export license for a Paducah, Ky.,-based trucking firm called RSB Logistics Services Inc. to simply add Uranium One to the list of clients whose uranium it could move to Canada.

The license, reviewed by The Hill, is dated March 16, 2012, and it increased the amount of uranium ore concentrate that RSB Logistics could ship to the Cameco Corp. plant in Ontario from 7,500,000 kilograms to 12,000,000 kilograms and added Uranium One to the “other parties to Export.”

The move escaped notice in Congress. ...

The entire Uranium One episode is getting a fresh look after The Hill disclosed late last month that the FBI had gathered extensive evidence in 2009 — before the mine sale was approved — that Rosatom’s main executive in the United States was engaged in a racketeering scheme that included bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Climate update for Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 2017

Grand Rapids, Michigan, climate update for October 2017

Max Temp: Actual 82, Mean 79
Min Temp: Actual 28, Mean 28
Av Temp:   Actual 55.2, Mean 51.3, YTD Actual 54.06, YTD Mean 51.08
Precip:       Actual 9.69, Mean 2.98, YTD Actual 34.67, YTD Mean 29.26
CDD:         Actual 11, Mean 8, YTD Actual 719, YTD Mean 693

Average temperature is running 5.8% ahead of mean to date.

The warmest years on record here were considerably warmer at this stage.

In the warmest full year on record by average temperature, 2012, average temperature year to date was 55.84, 1.78 ahead of 2017 year to date and 9.3% ahead of mean to date.

In the second warmest full year on record, 1931, average temperature year to date was 54.35, 0.29 ahead of 2017 year to date and 6.4% ahead of mean to date.

In the third warmest full year on record, 1921, average temperature year to date was 56.00, 1.94 ahead of 2017 year to date and 9.6% ahead of mean to date. 

If you're among the 59% who think this is the lowest point in American history, you're a dumbass

In 2009 in Obama's America, nearly 30 million people filed first time claims for unemployment. That high point is the lowest point in recent memory. And if you can't remember that, you're either a moron, on drugs, or NINE.

Story here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Yeah, Hillary and Harvey, they know who Trump is

Michael Savage interminably asks why no one will have him on their shows despite his many bestsellers

The answer is simple. He's a traitor to his tribe, which runs most of the shows, if not all of them.

The only reason itemized deductions are on the table is a minority of 30% of tax filers itemize

And when it comes to minorities, they're only as effective at protecting their interests as their lobbyists. We'll see how strong those lobbyists remain, but Republicans in the House and the Senate are clearly divided, and seem to have joined the side of the enemy. The latter aim to pitch deductibility of state and local income taxes, while the former aim to pitch deductibility of mortgage interest.

It's weird beyond odd that Republicans are having a war over tax deductions when they should be having a war over spending. Republicans used to be the "no new taxes" party, but have become the "no tax deductions" party instead, which means they're more interested in raising revenues than in cutting your taxes (which implies cutting spending).

Just 44.7 million itemized in 2015, out of 149.7 million returns.

Watch your wallets.

Discussed here.

Putin did not want Trump and $50 a barrel oil, Putin wanted Hillary and $120 a barrel oil

Seen here in the comments.

If you're having trouble summarizing the Russia mess so far, Pat Buchanan lays it out for you

Thus we have Free Beacon neocons, never-Trump Republicans, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, a British spy and comrades in Russian intelligence, and perhaps the FBI, all working with secret money and seedy individuals to destroy a candidate they could not defeat in a free election.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Laugh of the Day: "I'm not afraid to call myself a moderate"

Only in election season.

Senatrix Claire McCaskill, Missouri's arch feminist, here.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Strike Three and You're Out: Both National Associations, of Homebuilders and of Realtors, pull support from House tax plan

Trump looks set to be defeated on tax reform as 2017 winds down, just as he has failed to overturn Obamacare and build The Wall. And considering what the tax reform is looking like, it's just as well.

The tax plan as it stands this weekend eliminates the itemized deductions for mortgage interest and state income taxes, keeping only the deduction for property taxes.

Reported here:

[I]n a sign of the complex balancing act that [House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin] Brady must perform to produce a tax-overhaul bill this week, the property-tax announcement came on the same day that the National Association of Home Builders pulled its support for the legislation. The group’s chief cited concerns that the bill might undermine existing tax breaks that support the housing market. Likewise, a coalition that includes the National Association of Realtors said in an emailed statement that it “will vigorously oppose this plan.” ... It would appear that deductions for state and local income taxes and sales taxes would still be repealed under the planned House bill.

This is all the fault of our so-called conservatives in the US House. They aren't conservatives. They're doctrinaire libertarians who HATE people who want to get married, settle down and buy a house and have children. They view people as CAPITAL, whose value only decreases if it is too difficult to move them around at the whim of GLOBAL BUSINESS. That's why you'll never hear these people target the tax revenue lost to the lower capital gains and dividend tax rates, which are almost TWICE those lost to the mortgage interest deduction. These people are the enemies of localism and are instead the champions of the homogenization of society with its bland sameness everywhere. They are the ones who've shipped our jobs overseas and let in the tens of millions of immigrants who've further reduced our wages and opportunities.

One year from now you'll have another chance to send them packing.

I'll be voting for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck before voting for a libertarian in 2018.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A cuck at Taki's Magazine falsifies some "moral equivalency" between Antifa and White Nationalism

From an "apocalyptic psychologist", here:

Lacking any higher values, and surrounded on all sides by the base and the untrue, white nationalists and diversity’s agents, Antifa and Black Lives Matter, understandably turn to violence—for at least it is real, a brutal assertion of something true in the midst of so much deception. Inspired by envy and pride, these groups all deserve one another, and the American public, relishing the opportunity to hate while appearing righteous, will delight in the evil spectacle.

The violence is all Antifa's, but hey, it takes a cuck to recognize cuckery in white nationalism, right? The truth is there is no white nationalist violence to speak of, let alone any white nationalism. One gets the impression for a moment that this cuckologist secretly isn't too happy about this. It's almost as if he's goading his readers with the unpleasant truth that, just like him, they're all just pussies.

Well, he is a Calvinist atheist.

White nationalism is pretty much a phenomenon limited to the internet's world of anonymous commenters, such as at Taki's. In the main the commenters there do a good job of giving voice to white identity, but most of the discussion ends up in arguments refighting every war ever fought and no one seems to be able to agree about much of anything important, including religion. Ardent Protestants and Catholics spar with each other, as do the theists with the atheists. The editors typically feature articles which tread right up to the line, creating the playground, but go no farther. Meanwhile the actual Party of Violence is threatening the real thing, the latest action being a nationwide event set to begin on Nov. 4.

We'll see how that goes. So far if it rains Antifa's legions have shown that they will find something better to do, so if the weather interferes, Nov. 4 may turn out to be just another bust no less than every demonstration of white nationalism has turned out to be a bust. In any case Antifa only makes its biggest splashes when the whites plan to show up to contest the field, so barring that I'm expecting nothing very remarkable on the first Saturday in November.

Besides, the nation's property owners, most of whom are white, have property to protect and keep busy doing just that. There are about 75 million owner-occupied single family homes in this country, occupied by 60% of the population. They look askance at anyone threatening that property, or the businesses in which they work or which they own, whether it's Black Lives Matter doing the rioting, burning and looting and killing the cops whose duty it is to protect that property, or any other group of hooligans promising this kind of trouble.

Until the lives and fortunes of these ordinary white Americans are at real risk, there will be no sympathy for movements claiming to fight on their behalf, despite what the alarmists at the Southern Poverty Law Center may tell you.

And from a theoretical point of view, ordinary whites have no sympathy either for those who only wish matters were so dire, or half-believe they really are. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Just to refresh your memory about Paul Singer . . .

Paul Singer's pro-gay stooges were at the Republican National Convention in 2016 trying to get the platform language changed in that direction, but were rebuffed.

That's what (((Paul Singer))) is all about, the pro-gay agenda. He's donated millions of dollars to it. 

Byron York reports Washington Free Beacon confesses to funding opposition research with Fusion GPS

Here, about an hour ago:

Lawyers for the conservative publication Washington Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee Friday that the organization was the original funder for the anti-Trump opposition research project with Fusion GPS. The Free Beacon funded the project from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2016, whereupon it withdrew funding and the project was picked up by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. ...

The Free Beacon was founded in 2012. Its founders included Michael Goldfarb, who has moved back and forth between conservative journalism, politics, and activism. The Free Beacon was originally part of a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization called the Center for American Freedom, but in 2014 became a for-profit organization. It has never revealed its ownership. Conservative billionaire Paul Singer, a major funder of the Free Beacon, strongly opposed Trump at the time of the opposition research project.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Campaign Legal Center files complaint with Federal Election Commission over Clinton/DNC hidden dossier payments

From the story here:

The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said the Democrats effectively hid the payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law. By law, campaign and party committees must disclose the reason money is spent and its recipient.

A. Barton Hinkle shows once again that libertarianism is of the left, not the right

[B]oth parties have grown more extreme in recent years. Congressional Republicans certainly have. Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking.

The perception that the Democrats haven't shifted radically left in recent years is due to libertarianism agreeing with what that shift represents more than disagreeing with it. And frankly, the evidence A. Barton Hinkle cites shows how the whole country has indeed shifted left. Not completely, obviously, but shift left it has, and that libertarians can't see that tells you more about libertarianism than libertarianism tells you about libertarianism.

It's not that Republicans have become more extreme. It's that the country's shift to the left has isolated them. And Democrat positions are only "moderate" in the sense that they are now more widely shared. It's the growing isolation of Republican conservatism in the face of these which only makes it seem extreme. It would be more accurate to say that Republican positions have become anachronistic, not extreme.

Hence much of the recent evidence cited by Hinkle which demonstrates where Americans are united today is of the "shift-left" variety, including:

62% now believe in gay marriage when for generations the vast majority of Americans did not, and for millennia human beings did not, and anti-sodomy laws still dotted the land up to 2003;

73% now favor utopian pipe dreams of "alternative energy" when it was coal, oil and nuclear which made America the industrial powerhouse of the world;

73% now unsurprisingly favor euthanasia just 44 years after the Supreme Court made it legal to murder unborn children;

83% favor "medical marijuana" despite the evidence of its risks for human health and well-being;

85% want to let the Dreamers stay;

90% favor universal background checks for weapons purchases;

83% disavow "extremist bigotry" under the influence of multiculturalist indoctrination in American public schools.

And libertarians are pretty much on board with these things, along with most Democrats. That's why all the action is in the Republican Party. The war for its soul continues to animate the present time. The Democrat soul already belongs to the devil.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mark Levin did a great job eviscerating Republican hypocrite Bob Corker in the show's first hour tonight

As Levin says, we have Bob Corker's defiance of the constitution to thank for Obama's Iran deal.

The Washington Times had a nice summary of Corker's malfeasance from Jed Babbin, here:

He sponsored a measure that required the president to submit the agreement to the Senate but turned the Constitution upside down. Under Article 2, Section 2 the president must get a two-thirds vote in favor of any treaty to make it a part of the law of the land. Instead, Mr. Corker’s provision required opponents of the deal to muster a two-thirds vote — 66 senators — to vote against it. It was a pretense to conceal another Republican cave-in to Mr. Obama. Mr. Corker’s provision passed the Senate by a vote of 98-1, Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, being the only negative vote. In an entirely predictable result, when the time came for a disapproval vote, Republicans couldn’t even overcome the Democrats’ filibuster to get a final vote on disapproval. After that, it was a small matter for the president to take the Iran deal to the U.N. Security Council, which eagerly approved it. What Mr. Corker had done was to enable Mr. Obama to claim Senate approval of his deal even though the Senate hadn’t done anything of the sort.

Like Jeff Flake, Corker won't be standing next year for reelection to the Senate.

WaPo story detailing Hillary/DNC funding of Trump dossier isn't news at CNBC tonight

NYT's Maggie Haberman: Democrats sanctimoniously lied about funding Trump dossier for a year

WaPo: Hillary and DNC also paid for infamous Trump-Russia dossier, retaining Fusion GPS which hired Brit Chris Steele

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary. ...

The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since Nov. 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell from the filings how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

Arizona's Jeff Flake announces he won't run for reelection in 2018


The rich are taxed heavily in America because they're a small minority even though protecting minorities is supposed to be the whole point

Class Definitions: Lower = < $30K, lower middle = < $55K, middle = < $85K, upper middle = < $125K, upper = > $125K 

I almost didn't post this because of its spelling incompetence, but then I changed my mnid

America's three middle classes accounted for 56.5% of total 2016 net compensation of $7.627 trillion

The lower classes accounted for only 13.6% of the total net compensation in 2016 and the upper classes for 29.9%.

The three middle classes are composed of almost 74 million individual wage earners in 2016, representing 45.1% of the total 163.5 million receiving W-2s in 2016. There are about 40 million individual wage earners in the lower middle class, about 22 million in the middle middle class, and about 11 million in the upper middle class.

Just over 80 million individual wage earners, about 49.3% of the total, made less than middle class incomes in 2016, that is, less than $30,000 annually.

Just over 9 million individuals made upper class incomes, that is, above $125,000 annually.

The upper class is just 5.6% of the total work force but makes almost $2.3 trillion of the net compensation.

The tax farmers eye the middle income classes because that's where the bulk of the money is to be harvested, about $4.3 trillion in 2016.

The lower classes, again almost half of the wage earners, account for only just over $1 trillion of the net compensation in 2016.

W-2 data isn't the whole story of income in the United States but is probably the most accurate snapshot indicating what's what and who's who for the "Why me, Lord?" question those who struggle for the legal tender ask themselves every April 15 or thereabouts.

Good news for pension plans: Reduced life expectancy means obligations could fall by up to 1 percent!

Every cloud has its silver lining.

From the story here:

The U.S. age-adjusted mortality rate—a measure of the number of deaths per year—rose 1.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Society of Actuaries. That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980. ... Declining health and life expectancy are good news for one constituency: Pension plans, which must send a monthly check to retirees for as long as they live.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Actuaries, life expectancy for pension participants has dropped since its last calculation by 0.2 years. A 65-year-old man can expect to live to 85.6 years, and a woman can expect to make it to 87.6. As a result, the group calculates a typical pension plan’s obligations could fall by 0.7 percent to 1 percent.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hoorah for CNBC's Jake Novak, who says the real issue in need of reform is spending

Whether the Republicans pass a tax-reform bill this year, next year, or ever, the real issue in need of reform is spending. Washington has been spending more than it's taking from the taxpayers for so long that it can only think of new ways to take it away. The result is a spending regime that many economists believe is actually a drag on economic growth because it crowds out so much private sector investment and job creation. At some point, government spending ceases to be stimulative and just gets in the way.

Poverty Guidelines for 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Percentage of GDP spent by government at all levels in the US 1898-2016

Since 1979 through 2016, outlays at all levels have doubled on average every 12.3 years, similar to the period 1898 through 1932 when they doubled on average every 11.3 years.

Outlays in the US in between those periods, from 1932 to 1979, at all levels doubled every 7.8 years on average.

The slowdown in outlay doubling times from the end of the Carter administration is no doubt connected to increased Republican governance, but outlays now divert from productive purposes 4.6 times what they did in 1898, the highest ever except for WWII but still higher than during WWI.

Why? Are we at war today?

Greedy for revenue lost to their business tax cuts, Republicans want to cap 401(k) contributions at $2,400 (they're $18,000 now)

That's right. Republicans want to penalize savers in order to reward business, but they call it stimulating the economy. The owners of business will surely prosper under their plan, but workers will not.

From the story here:

The proposals under discussion would potentially cap the annual amount workers can set aside to as low as $2,400 for 401(k) accounts, several lobbyists and consultants said on Friday. Workers may currently put up to $18,000 a year in 401(k) accounts without paying taxes upfront on that money; that figure rises to $24,000 for workers over 50. When workers retire and begin to draw income from those accounts, they pay taxes on the benefits.

Rumors have circulated for months that negotiators were debating including a cap as a way to help offset the revenue loss from a reduction in business tax rates that Republicans have put at the center of their plan. Reducing contribution limits would be, in effect, an accounting maneuver that would create space for tax cuts by collecting tax revenue now instead of in the future.

This is what you get when you choose to live by the rules of budget reconciliation, rules designed to get around the Senate's 60-vote rule. Under them any tax cut must by definition be temporary and cannot increase deficits over the next ten years. In other words, there is no tax cut. 

Once again it's the Senate's filibuster rule which stands in the way of true reform of anything in this country, along with the ubiquitous discriminatory attitude of government toward money in the case of taxes, some of which (business') is more equal than other (yours).

It's long past the time in this country when the people revolted against this system and demanded a smaller government which spends less. That's where true tax cuts can come from. Anything else is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Virginia's Dave Brat caves to Conservatism Inc, will vote for tax cuts without spending cuts

Federal spending already is north of 21% of GDP, and government spending at all levels north of 36%. This is taxpayer money diverted from productive purposes, then skimmed to pay the useless intermediaries of The Swamp, and finally distributed for purposes formerly deemed to be the province of individuals but now the responsibility of  The State.

And they wonder why GDP is so low.

Oh please, Allah, send the asteroid Ceres to destroy DC. Our countrymen never will.

From the story here:

“I will vote for the Senate budget and while I applaud the work that Chairman Black did in our budget committee to begin the process of mandatory spending reforms, at this point, achieving economic growth is the first priority and so I want to keep that train moving,” said Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. ... Earlier this year, House Freedom Caucus members had been willing to delay committee passage of the House budget on demands that it include instructions to cut more mandatory spending. Now they are signaling acquiescence to the smaller Senate figures. ... Twenty-two conservative economic organizations under the banner of the National Taxpayers Union sent a letter to House members urging that they adopt the Senate budget.

Everyone's an American these days, including Taki

Here, from the guy born in Greece who spends most of his time in London, Gstaad and the Med:

As a European who is an American citizen and spends half the year over here, I am surprised at how different we Europeans and we Americans really are. We Europeans mostly loathe each other, snub each other, and feel united only in our envy for the Big Bully, poor old Uncle Sam. Whereas we Americans hear and read all day how disunited we are, how oppressed our womenfolk are, what racists and sexists we are, yet our stadiums are filled to the brim every weekend with mostly white men and women cheering their lungs out for mostly black athletes. Go figure, as they don’t say in Brussels.

Citizen of the world is more like it. It would be nice if those charged with nativism actually lived it, like most Americans who love their country, live and work in it year in and year out, and have no need of passports.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The stock market's been great, right, and that ain't no bull

Job creation in 2016 is the closest we've come to "robust" since the year 2000

The W-2 data clearly show that the vast majority of the job losses during the crisis occurred under Obama, not Bush

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Illegal alien (?) Jesus Fabian Gonzales arrested in Sonoma county on suspicion of arson in wild fires

From the story here:

The arson suspect is Jesus Fabian Gonzales, 29, Sgt. Spencer Crum, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office told CNBC. Crum described him as "a transient out of Sonoma" and said the suspect was "arrested for setting a small fire in a park in Sonoma on Sunday."

Speaking at the Tuesday afternoon press conference, Giordano said the arson suspect was seen "walking away from a small fire" and stopped by deputies. Also, the suspect allegedly had "a fire extinguisher and a lighter with him," said the sheriff.

Giordano said the suspect was asked whether he started the fire and responded that "he started the fire to warm himself up — something to that effect."

Dr. Doom, Marc Faber, dumped from CNBC for saying "Thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks"

From the race realist here:

"And thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks. Otherwise, the US would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority. ... I am not a racist, but the reality — no matter how politically incorrect — needs to be spelled out. ... If stating some historical facts makes me a racist, then I suppose that I am a racist. For years, Japanese were condemned because they denied the Nanking massacre".

Half-baked spurious conservative

FBI and DOJ had evidence of wrongdoing going back to 2009 before Uranium One deal approved in 2010

From the story here:

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Hillary falls down, again

Breaks toe this time.

In September 2016 she would have fallen down at the 911 remembrance but for handlers to prop her up.

And of course she fell and hit her head after being summoned to testify before Congress in 2012.

And they mocked Gerald Ford for being a klutz.

Story here.