Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yahoo and HuffPo call this "normal" winter weather: It's not

Here. But hot summer temperatures evoke global warming headlines. 

The mean monthly lowest minimum temperature in Grand Rapids, Michigan in Decembers is +4 F. With today and tomorrow to go, we're already at - 12 F, the third coldest on record.

Average temperature in December 2017 so far ranks 32nd coldest out of 126 Decembers, the 75th percentile. Normal would be the 50th percentile. So it's definitely colder than normal, while not absolutely record setting.

Climate shmimate. These idiots can't predict bupkis three days out let alone from month to month and century to century. All year long average temperature has been running warm, until December ruined their little global warming narrative.


In 2016 1.8 million immigrant invaders, highest ever: Where's The Wall Mr. Trump? Where's the tracking of visa holders?

Donald Trump, president of the Jews

Video here.

Let this be a sign unto you: The era of libertarian looting ushered in by Reagan now reaching apogee will be followed by another FDR-like "progressive" era of welfare statism

Bernie tapped into the amorphous socialism clamored for by today's young people who face dim job prospects while saddled by large college debts for degrees incommensurate with what's available in the job marketplace. This is the direct result of the takeover of public education from bottom to top by the left. It never delivers what it promises, except for hope.

As "millennials" replace the Baby Boom at the polls, their vote will transform America, and already has. Obama and Bernie were signs of this. Expect a return to high taxation of the rich, even larger federal government, and the transformation of existing welfare state programs into universal systems.

Like it or not, that's the future. Patriotism will take the form of socialism for Americans instead of for the world.

Now that Republicanism has thoroughly committed itself to globalism, libertarians are advised to take the money and run. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Little Marco admits Republican tax bill went too far helping corporations

Story here.

Great. But he still voted for it. 

No Profile in Courage Award for you, mister.

Michael Savage, crackpot: Emphasizes "wildlife and the earth" at dinner with President Trump

Recounted here.

Trump got elected on the issue of illegal immigration. There has been no progress on the wall in a year, and Savage decides to use his valuable meeting time with Trump to talk about . . . environmentalism. As if environmentalism will be important politically in the midterms.

What a nitwit.

We're being overrun and Savage decides to get all wet.

We're doomed I tell you.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Alt-right critic Amanda Marcotte says white supremacists are harder to see at the end of 2017

Everyone's harder to see right now. They're all inside because it's like - 11 degrees F outside.

White supremacists may be harder to see at the end of 2017, but the problem they represent is not going away any time soon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Uh oh: A North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea this year has anthrax antibodies

UPI reports here:

South Korean authorities did not identify the soldier, who was either exposed to or vaccinated for anthrax, but did confirm he had developed immunity to the deadly disease before he defected, local news network Channel A reported Tuesday.

Rich guys Charles Barkley and Shaq are just going to pocket their big tax cuts from Trump

Reagan era tax "reform" killed the golden dividend goose: Monthly yield hasn't been 4% or better since 1985

Monday, December 25, 2017

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas commandeers woman's first class seat on United flight

Then claims racism when the woman complains.

Story here, where Yahoo doesn't name the congresswoman in the headline. In fact Yahoo doesn't name her until paragraph ten. But it does provide photos of the obese black idiot.

Over three months after Hurricane Maria, electricity won't be restored to all of Puerto Rico until May 2018

Way to go, Brownie!

Story here.

Read it and weep, suckers: Trump tells his rich friends at Mar-a-Lago that they just got a lot richer

'The president himself on Sept. 13 -- long before the bill was finalized -- said the wealthy would not benefit from the GOP tax overhaul.

'"The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan. We are looking for the middle class and we are looking for jobs -- jobs being the economy," Mr. Trump said.'

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Laugh of the Day: What's the difference between Tiger Woods and Santa?

Santa was smart enough to stop at three hos.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Trump is scrambling to deal with a not physically fit Navy he inherited from Obama

From the story here:

The Navy will grant a clean slate to nearly 50,000 sailors with fitness failures in their records, part of new shakeup for fleet-wide fitness rules announced Thursday.

A new Navy-wide message instructs commands to immediately stop discharging sailors for fitness failures and to cancel any pending discharges for sailors slated to be kicked out after March 31. The change applies to both enlisted and officers.

The message also unveils a new set of rules for the Physical Fitness Assessment, bringing to an end the rules forcing sailors to leave the Navy if they failed two fitness assessment tests in a three-year period. ...

The new Physical Fitness Assessment rules are part of a broader effort to keep more sailors in uniform at a time when the Navy is trying to increase end strength by over 4,100 by the end of the current fiscal year in September 2018. ...

As of July 2017, the end of the last official PFA cycle, more than 43,000 sailors have at least one failure in the past three years; another 5,477 have at least two failures on the books, according to the chief of naval personnel.

The McLaughlin Group is coming back in 2018, with Tom Rogan as moderator

The old show worked because of the tag team of John McLaughlin and his longtime pal Pat Buchanan from the Nixon White House days. Both were excellent communicators with skills honed over many years, playing off the opinions of the assorted others.

Rogan brings nothing similar to the show, only affection.

Count me out.

Story here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Tax Policy Center expects charitable giving to drop by $13 to $20 billion annually because of Republican tax reform

Way to go, Brownie!

Discussed here.

More betrayal from Trump: Commutes sentence of the poster boy for employing illegal aliens

Trump on Wednesday commuted the sentence of kosher meat producer Sholom Rubashkin, serving 27 years on 86 counts of bank fraud and money laundering.

From the story here:

President Trump issued his first prison commutation Wednesday to a man whose business was caught employing 389 illegal immigrants in a single shift, dismaying anti-illegal immigration advocates and a former prosecutor on the case. ...

Prosecutors said at sentencing that Rubashkin was found to have "cheated a bank and others out of a staggering amount of money — more than $26 million." His conviction on 86 federal counts was upheld on appeal.

David Frum is not a conservative

Ideas are not artifacts, especially the kind of collective ideas we know as ideologies. Conservatives in 1964 opposed civil-rights laws. Conservatives in 1974 opposed tax cuts unless paid for by spending cuts. Conservatives in 1984 opposed same-sex marriage. Conservatives in 1994 opposed trade protectionism. Conservatives in 2004 opposed people who equated the FBI and Soviet Union’s KGB. All those statements of conservative ideology have gone by the boards, and one could easily write a similar list of amended views for liberals.

Conservatism is what conservatives think, say, and do. As conservatives change—as much through the harsh fact of death and birth as by the fluctuations of opinion—so does what it means to be a conservative.

On the contray, conservatives believe in a transcendent moral order populated by eternal truths to which they seek to conform human affairs. Jews, for example, recognize these in the Decalogue, Platonists in the Ideas and Hindus in dharma. Infractions committed against the eternal truths do not change the truths, the infractions change us, sometimes for the better but more often for the worse.

Like the sophists, David Frum has chosen the worse, peddling his opinions in a world composed of mere opinion, as changeable as a pair of pants.

That's not conservatism.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

HaHaHa, HaHaHaHaHa: I got your "booming economy" right here, fella

The Reagan bull ended in August 2000 with final average nominal per annum return of 18.99%, real 15.28%

When terrorism gives you lemons, make lemonade

It's not exactly affection shown for the terrorists, but hey, what do you expect from thorough-going materialism?

GDP actually DROPPED in the report out today for 3Q2017

Today's GDP report was the third and final estimate for 3Q2017.

A month ago, current dollar GDP was estimated at $19.509 trillion.

Today, it's $8.4 billion less: $19.5006 trillion.

Yeah, I know, big whoop, but don't expect anyone in Conservatism Inc. to point it out, because, you know, "the economy is booming". 

Read it and weep: "The move to a territorial system opens the barn doors wide to corporate offshoring"

Read all about the new giant sucking sound, here.

Bubbles bubbles everywhere, including in politics

Joe Curl at The Washington Times is a lonely voice on the right speaking out against the Republican tax "reform"

Here in "Middle class gets trickled on again in tax-cut bill".

Or, as Fletcher might have put it, don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Once again in the dead of night Senate Republicans pass tax reform for multinational corporations

The New York Times, here:

The Senate approved the bill early Wednesday morning.

The Senate voted 51 to 48, with no Republican defections and no Democratic support.

Under the final tax bill, the corporate tax rate would fall to 21 percent, from the current 35 percent, a move that Republicans are betting will increase economic growth, create jobs and raise wages. Individuals would also see tax cuts, including a top rate of 37 percent, down from 39.6 percent. The size of inheritances shielded from estate taxation would double, to $22 million for married couples, and owners of pass-through businesses, whose profits are taxed through the individual code, would be able to deduct 20 percent of their business income.

But the individual tax cuts would expire after 2025, a step that Republicans took to comply with budget rules, which do not allow the package to add to the deficit after a decade.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Republican tax reform for multinational corporations passes US House 227-203-2

The New York Times has the roll call, here.

Just 12 Republicans voted "No", most from states hurt by the $10,000 cap for deductibility of state, local and property taxes:

Dana Rohrabacher

Darrell Issa

Walter B. Jones

Frank A. LoBiondo

Christopher H. Smith

Leonard Lance

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Lee Zeldin

Peter T. King

Dan Donovan

John J. Faso

Elise Stefanik

Taxes are about precise numbers, which means Rush Limbaugh will make you cringe

He just said Ronald Reagan lowered the top marginal rate from 90% in the 1981 tax reform.

He didn't. John F. Kennedy lowered the top rate from 90% to 70%.

Reagan lowered the top rate from 70% to 50%.

Just about everything Rush says about taxes is imprecise, and wrong, including about what he has no excuse for not knowing, namely taxes under his hero Reagan.

But hey, he can't even get the old chestnut "whose ox is gored" correct. Today it's the goose getting gored, or something.

Take another pill, Rush. Just one more hour to go before you're off for two weeks.

Update: My bad. Rush will be back tomorrow, to celebrate the tax bill passing.

Alimony paid will no longer be deductible, and alimony received will no longer be taxable

War on Men!

Expect a big decrease in amicable divorces! Women will have a YUGE incentive to stick it to the man.

So expect even fewer men proposing marriage in the first place.

And you thought the Republicans were the pro-family party.

Not any more it isn't.

Reported here:

In the new bill, however, these payments are no longer deductible for the payor. Nor are the payments included in the recipient's gross income. Instead, the money used for alimony will be taxed at the payor's rates.

This provision is effective for divorce and separation agreements signed after December 31, 2018.

Republican tax "reform" will make it harder for you to move, eliminating the relocation deduction

Reported here:

Are you thinking of moving across the country for a new career opportunity? If so, the tax bill won't let you deduct the cost of your move.

HELOC interest deduction goes away under Republican tax "reform": Expect loan consolidation

You know the one, the one you take to help buy a car, fund tuition, or actually fix up the house.

When the credit card interest deduction went away under Ronald Reagan, consumers opened up Home Equity Lines of Credit in response, the interest on which was deductible. Now that HELOC interest deductibility is going away, expect those HELOCs to be refinanced under new first mortgages to recapture that.

Also expect this to impact consumer spending, negatively.

Reported here:

Individuals who take out home equity loans will no longer be able to deduct that interest under the new bill.

Tax bill includes an incentive for US companies to invest in foreign manufacturing

Justice: Muslim who beheaded Oklahoma woman sentenced to death by lethal injection

We would have preferred the rope, say two years ago.

From the story here:

Alton Nolen, 33, was convicted of first degree murder in late September for beheading his coworker Colleen Hufford inside Vaughan Foods in September 2014. Following a two-phase trial beginning in mid-September, jurors recommended Nolen be sentenced to death in October. ... In court Friday morning, Judge Lori Walkley accepted the recommendation of the jury, sentencing Nolen to death by lethal injection for beheading Hufford.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

In unfree China, if you disrespect the mass murdering terrorist Genghis Khan you go to jail

Offenses against social stability will not be tolerated!

From the story here:

A Chinese man was sentenced to one year in jail after a video of him stamping on a portrait of Genghis Khan went viral, mainland media reported on Friday. He was charged with affecting social stability by prosecutors in Ordos, a city in Inner Mongolia, news website reported. ... Police in Inner Mongolia told the news site that they received complaints from residents in the province and deemed the video had caused disruption to society.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sometimes Ann Coulter is an idiot, for instance when dissing federal encouragement of having children

You'd think someone who wants America for Americans would want to encourage anything which promotes Americans having more children instead of importing them, but you would be wrong.

Rubio's insistence on a larger child tax credit stops some of the damage being done by Republicans to people with families larger than four.

Abolishing the personal exemption meant parents lost those exemptions for all their children, and the increased standard deduction didn't go far enough to replace them, meaning they'd pay more in taxes just because they have more kids.

Coulter's indignation appears to be purely personal, an ugly intrusion of the irrational into her otherwise often rational positions.

She doesn't realize how libertarian she sounds (she hates them by the way). Americans who have children are making it possible that something like America survives into the future, which is a more sure and lasting contribution than any law which might be passed.

Some of the founders recognized that laws are a mere parchment barrier. When the pirates are attacking, you need a navy, which means sailors, not a bill of rights.

1986 was the last year domestic investment exceeded investment abroad, which is why everything REALLY SUCKS here now

NAFTA began with Canada in 1989, was expanded in 1994, China became a WTO member in 2001, but the 1986 tax reform really started the final leg down

There's been a definite slow down in the growth rate of full-time jobs since 2015, about 25%

As a percentage of population, the broadest measure of unemployment is lower now than in 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Good dog: Battle Beagle has been thinking about Aristotle

The excerpt comes from Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance by Guillaume Faye (Arktos, 2011).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Judge Roy Moore loses US Senate bid in Alabama by 20,715 votes, 1.5 points

Judge Roy Moore joins the Todd Akin club.

Republicans got the man they really wanted, Democrat Jones, who will give them the convenient excuse they need for not passing the Trump agenda without having to vote against it.

I sincerely hope more Republicans get what they want in future. They deserve it for not delivering on The Wall, an immigration pause, and tax reform which benefits individuals instead of corporations.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kirsten Gillibrand's Trump attacks are transparently political, given the company she has happily kept with Democrat sexual creeps

If the economy is on the mend under Trump, why did the number on food stamps go up nearly 800,000 in September?

We're also witnessing a slow down in road travel, in addition to the odd up-tick in the food stamp numbers.

In October 2015 road travel was up 2.2% year over year, in October 2016 2.5%, but in October 2017 just 1.4%.

The climbdown in the rate of growth has been evident all year.

Not good.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Conservative heroine Phyllis Schlafly opposed the territorial tax system the Republicans are about to shove down our throats

Here in November 2011:

Although the Perry plan's most striking feature is its anti-marriage bias, his proposal for corporate income is equally pernicious. Perry would shift businesses to a "territorial" tax system, which means that corporations would be taxed only on the profits they earn inside the United States.

We should do exactly the opposite. We should reduce or eliminate taxes on businesses that employ Americans producing goods and services inside our own country, while increasing taxes on the profits that corporations earn by outsourcing or manufacturing overseas.

Above all, we should eliminate the foreign tax credit, a self-destructive provision that allows corporations to pay China, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia the money they would otherwise owe the U.S. government. Let's also cut out the deductions that U.S. corporations take for hiring foreigners to do work that Americans can do.

Those who support a territorial business tax argue that it will encourage multinational corporations to bring home the profits they earn overseas, but that's unlikely so long as it remains more profitable for them to invest in cheap-labor countries. Of Republican presidential candidates, only Herman Cain and Rick Santorum understand that what corporations need is lower taxes on their operations inside the United States rather than on the profits they earn in other countries.

Gene Sperling: Republican tax reform will shift even more corporate profits and jobs abroad

You'd better pray this reform effort fails, for your kids' sake.

In The Atlantic here:

Now that the bill is advancing, it’s clear that things aren’t as bad as many feared. They’re worse. . . .

[T]he tax plan fails when it comes to incentives to shift profits and operations overseas and to curtail the obsession of major multinational companies with international tax arbitrage that has nothing to do with innovation, productivity or job creation. Indeed, the ability to blend income from intangibles and routine profits, and from investment in higher tax nations with tax havens with zero taxes, leads to a worst of all worlds scenario: an even greater corporate focus on international tax minimization through a careful mixture of shifting profits and operations overseas.

If there was one thing the GOP international tax bill was advertised to accomplish, it was that it would favor locating jobs and profits in the United States. It does just the opposite—expanding the degree our tax system tilts the playing field against American taxpayers and American workers.

Wow, if this is true USA Today sucks even worse than I thought it did

Reported here:

Consider the experience of writer Ijeoma Oluo, who last week said that USA Today asked her to write a piece arguing a feminist position against due process.

She says an editor there told her, “[...] They want a piece that says that you don’t believe in due process and that if a few innocent men lose their jobs it’s worth it to protect women. Is that something you can do?” 

They were asking her to say feminists are happy to harm individual men for the good of the cause, and not interested in distinguishing innocence from guilt. She refused. That’s not who she is and not who feminists are.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Obama Justice Dept. and FBI implicated in colluding with anti-Trump dossier author

Byron York reports here:

Knowledge of the dossier project, during the campaign, extended into the highest levels of the Obama Justice Department.

The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.

Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew [Christopher] Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier. ... 

Ohr's contacts with Steele and Simpson were covered by a subpoena [Congressman] Nunes issued to the FBI and the Justice Department on Aug. 24. Yet as recently as Tuesday, when Nunes, along with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the department said nothing about Ohr's role.

Roy Moore accuser admits writing part of yearbook inscription, had a motive to accuse the Senate hopeful

Reported here:

During her original press conference with Allred in November, in which she made her original accusation, Nelson read aloud and attributed the entire inscription to Moore, including the date and location. ... Moore has denied signing the yearbook and said he did not know Nelson at the time. Moore, who went on to become a judge and then the chief justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court, later ruled against Nelson in a 1999 divorce case.

Growth of full-time jobs after one year of Trump has been better than a sharp stick in the eye, but that's about it

Thursday, December 7, 2017

American business abandoned America starting in 2000, investing gargantuan sums abroad instead of here at home

This is why we have so much income inequality in 2017.

American business increased investment levels abroad by 282% since the year 2000, chasing cheaper labor and resources and jurisdictions with few regulations (environmental, safety, wage and insurance laws).

But domestically investment is down, almost 18%. This is why incomes are stagnant, GDP is low, and good jobs are scarce in the United States.

Don't let the Republicans do this to us again.

Sum Ting Wong: Low top marginal tax rates since 1986 have NOT delivered

Low top marginal tax rates have NOT delivered since 1986.

The average top marginal rate has been 38% for the last thirty years, 49% lower than the average rate of 75% which prevailed from 1956 until the Reagan tax reform of 1986.

After the reform, stocks have done little better than before, but gross public debt has increased at a rate 21% higher than before, growth of current dollar GDP has plunged by 66%, and growth of household net worth has slowed by 48%.

Where did the gains from the Reagan tax cuts go?

You know the answer. The number of US billionaires has exploded from just 41 in 1987 to 536 in 2015, up 1,207%. The money has gone into the pockets of the few, instead of into investment. From 1960 to 1986 net domestic investment grew 846% whereas in the 30 years since 1986 the metric has grown by only 117%, a contraction of 86% under the more favorable personal income tax regime.

The lesson seems clear.

Higher marginal income tax rates force the wealthy to invest in business and derive their income from investments taxed at the preferred lower long term capital rates. Lower marginal personal income tax rates, however, entice them away from going through all the trouble, in turn depriving the economy of growth, employees of growing incomes and wealth, and the government of revenue.

Like the formerly sound public policy which invented the 30-year mortgage to force people to save for the future in the housing piggy bank, the time has come to reincentivize business owners to invest more in their businesses by making the personal income option less attractive.

Neither Republican tax bill does this. 

Recent history shows that recipients of lower top marginal income tax rates haven't invested the money . . . here

The top marginal rate averaged 70% from 1960, 73% shown is from 1956. The investment data starts in 1960.
Individuals and businesses need incentives to invest here in the United States. They won't do it naturally.

Recent tax history shows this to be the case. For decades when top marginal income tax rates were very high before 1986, the most successful in our society plowed money into domestic investment to grow businesses through which they could derive income, which was taxed at lower long term rates than ordinary income which was taxed at very high rates. Not only did they themselves benefit handsomely, but the whole country benefited because people found useful employment and government received tax revenue. It was an arrangement which made America great.

After the 1986 tax reform which lowered top marginal rates, this stopped being true. The record shows a steep fall-off in domestic investment, which is one reason why incomes and jobs have been stagnant and deficits have piled up. 

The other reason, of course, is free-trade, euphemistically called globalization, which made it possible for businesses to invest internationally instead of domestically. This has been a boon to the growth of middle classes in other countries, but not in our own.

It's not very patriotic, is it?

What we need now is government policy which rewards domestic investment, and punishes its export. The best way to do this is to abolish taxation on domestic business completely to attract more of it, and heavily tax foreign business. We should also reinstate the correct mix of high top marginal income tax rates to incentivize business investment, coupled with attractive long term capital gains tax rates as a reward to the true risk-takers.

Needless to say, the Republican shift away from worldwide taxation to territorial taxation in the "reform" is about reducing risk to established business. This is simply going to make matters much worse for the American middle class, as is the obsession with making money the easy way through lower top marginal ordinary income tax rates.

The American character and spirit I once knew appears to be truly dead.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Six female senators ask Franken to resign, but not mine, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan

Reported here:

In statements Wednesday, six of Franken's female Democratic colleagues — Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington and Kamala Harris of California — pushed for him to step down. Murray is the third-ranking Senate Democrat and the highest ranking woman.

The list has been updated at about 4:25 PM to include Stabenow and others.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The new giant sucking sound of your jobs going abroad: Republican territorial tax "reform"

Phyliss Schlafly was rightly against a territorial system long ago, and most recently opposed it when the doofus from Texas, Rick Perry, proposed it as a candidate for president in 2015. Schlafly understood that it was anti-American, but she's dead, her voice gone silent. Only some lonely leftists remain who understand how wrong this is. No voices on the right are speaking out against this travesty.

Trump on the other hand thinks this is great, but obviously understands this as little as any other policy issue. He has become the Republicans' biggest chump, with the rest of us in tow.

From the story here:

Today, the United States has what’s known as a worldwide tax system in which all profits—foreign and domestic—are subject to a 35 percent corporate income tax. If a US company wants to return foreign profits to the United States, it pays the 35 percent rate minus what it’s paid to foreign governments. The House and Senate tax bills replace this with a “territorial” system that drops the tax rate to 20 percent for domestic profits and nothing for foreign profits.

The territorial model that the GOP is pushing would create an additional incentive to invest in countries like Ireland where the corporate rate is significantly lower than the United States. Republicans believe the differences won’t be big enough to drive investment abroad. Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, disagrees, saying that’s still “plenty of juice” to encourage companies to shift production to countries with lower tax rates. Kimberly Clausing, an expert in international taxation at Reed College, writes that the shift to a territorial system “makes explicit, and permanent, the preference for foreign income over domestic income.” She estimates that profit shifting already costs the US government more than $100 billion per year. 

Large multinational companies can already play games to avoid paying the full rate, such as transferring intellectual property to tax havens and then stashing those profits abroad to indefinitely put off paying US taxes. Apple, for example, transfers patents and other intangible assets abroad, and then further reduces its tax burden with additional sub-licensing. Through tax schemes with names like the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” Apple has been able to amass more more than $128 billion in profits abroad that haven’t been touched by the IRS.

Republicans are proposing a series of guardrails to try to prevent companies shifting intangible assets—such as patents and trademarks—to tax havens. But Rosenthal says those protections are mostly ineffective and in fact create a set of new incentives to invest more abroad. He adds that it’s unclear whether the new status quo would be worse than the current system.

The main guardrail in the tax bills would impose a 10 percent tax on foreign profits that exceed a company’s “routine” return on tangible assets abroad. (Rosenthal’s blog post provides a more detailed explanation of how that works.) In theory, the guardrail would lead to companies paying a 10 percent tax when they shift profits to tax havens, but not when they actually make things abroad. In practice, the guardrail allows companies to shelter more money in tax havens when they build factories and other physical assets abroad—offering new tax incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas.

Either way, 10 percent is still half of what they would have paid if they hadn’t tried to game the system. Clausing argues that’s a clear sign Republicans are favoring foreign profits. Another is that Republicans’ aren’t using a territorial tax model that requires companies to pay a minimum rate in every country they operate in. Instead, the bill only considers whether they pay 10 percent abroad, on average. That’s an easy loophole to exploit. If Ford has a factory in Japan, it pays a corporate tax rate of about 30 percent. Ford could then shift intangible assets from the United States to a tax haven like Bermuda and still be paying more than 10 percent on a global basis. Clausing tells Mother Jones that it’s “well-known that a per-country minimum tax would be more effective and I think that’s why they didn’t do it.” 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Laugh of the Day: Drudge says fighter jets get naked in Korea, or something

Peter Strzok also reportedly responsible for change which said Hillary was "extremely careless" instead of "grossly negligent"

The story is here.

Peter Strzok, doing the work of a Hillary partisan, on the public's dime.

Peter Strzok, removed by Mueller for anti-Trump bias, interviewed Hillary in July 2016 in the e-mail investigation

Now you know how Hillary wasn't prosecuted. The interview, conducted by a friendly, wasn't recorded, and Hillary wasn't reinterviewed multiple times thereafter the way Flynn was to document her in a misstatement the way Flynn was (Comey notably declined to prosecute Flynn, saying that Flynn didn't intend to lie). Days after the interview, Comey spelled out Hillary's misdeeds but declined to prosecute because she didn't intend to mislead when testifying contrary to the physical evidence.

Had both been prosecuted were Special Prosecutor Mueller still in charge of the FBI?

Reported here:

[Strzok] participated in the FBI's fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server. 

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

I don't remember anyone who complains now about deficits complaining about Obama's then

$7.312 trillion worth!

Mark Levin's excellent rant after the Flynn plea deal points out Comey didn't believe the evidence showed intent to lie

Flynn's plea deal was no doubt, as Levin says, the result of being bullied and bankrupted by the Special Prosecutor.

Isn't anyone upset that the former FBI director Mueller found a process crime where the former FBI director Comey did not? Not even Leon Panetta thinks there was a process crime.

Nevermind there is no underlying crime (collusion). 

We have to endure this arbitrary law enforcement and judiciary in this case because of Trump administration incompetence (Jeff Sessions).

Story here.

The UK Guardian travels all the way to Australia to find dirt on Roy Moore, comes up with bupkis

Here, over and over again.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Grand Rapids, Michigan, climate update for November 2017

Grand Rapids, Michigan, climate update for November 2017

Max Temp: Actual 63, Mean 66
Min Temp: Actual 17, Mean 17
Av Temp:   Actual 38.6, Mean 39.1, YTD Actual 52.7, YTD Mean 50.0
Precip:       Actual 2.8, Mean 2.84, YTD Actual 37.47, YTD Mean 32.1
CDD:         Actual 0, Mean 0, YTD Actual 719, YTD Mean 694
HDD:         Actual 784, Mean 770, YTD Actual 1191, YTD Mean (through 2016-17) 1358

Average temperature year to date is running 5.4% ahead of mean to date.

The warmest years on record here in Grand Rapids were considerably warmer at the same penultimate stage.

In the warmest full year on record by average temperature, 2012, average temperature year to date was 54.4, 1.70 ahead of 2017 year to date and 8.8% ahead of 2017 mean to date.

In the second warmest full year on record, 1931, average temperature year to date was 53.7, 1.0 ahead of 2017 year to date and 7.4% ahead of 2017 mean to date.

In the third warmest full year on record, 1921, average temperature year to date was 54.2, 1.5 ahead of 2017 year to date and 8.4% ahead of 2017 mean to date.

The cooling need during the warm season was 3.6% above the mean.

The warming need thus far into the cool season is running 12.3% under the mean. Seasonably cold temperatures are finally predicted to arrive on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Senate Republicans passed their tax plan in the wee hours of this morning, 51-49

The Senate bill and the House bill now go to conference committee to work out a compromise. The product will have to pass both chambers to get to Trump's desk.

Story here.

Friday, December 1, 2017

NYT claims 2010 Obama Paygo law would require mandatory spending cuts under the Republican tax bill

From the story here:

The biggest program affected would be Medicare, the health insurance program for older people and the disabled. But the law allows Medicare to take only a relatively small cut: 4 percent. Other programs have no such protection. ... [Paygo] requires that legislation that adds to the federal deficit be paid for with spending cuts, increases in revenue or other offsets.

Once again Republicans refuse to even THINK of cutting spending in order to cut taxes

Reported here:

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a fiscal "trigger," important to winning deficit-wary Sen. Bob Corker's support for the GOP plan, will not work under Senate rules. Republican senators are now looking to find new ways to address the concerns of Corker, a so-called deficit hawk Republican from Tennessee.

"It doesn't look like the trigger is going to work, according to the parliamentarian," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters, according to Politico. "So we have an alternative, frankly: a tax increase we don't want to do to try to address Sen. Corker's concerns."

Retiring Sen. Bob Corker demands Republicans raise taxes in order to cut them

We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Bombing is the only way forward.

We had to have a war between the States in order to save them.

Export subsidies are necessary in order to preserve free trade.

I have abandoned free market principles in order to save the free market system.

The London Interbank Overnight Rate system had to be suppressed in order to save the banking system.

We had to bail out the banks so that we could sue them. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hypocrite Republican Joe Barton won't run for reelection

Reported here.

How to know the Senate tax bill SUCKS: John McCain now supports it

From the story here:

"After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill," McCain said in a statement. "I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families."

Jimmy P has it right: Tax cuts never jazzed core Trump voters the way immigration restriction and The Wall did

Here for The Week:

Remember, the U.S. is in its 101st month of a steady-if-unspectacular economic expansion. The unemployment rate is low. While there are obviously millions upon millions of Americans who continue to struggle, overall the economy simply isn't the priority for voters that it is in times of real economic crisis. What's more, a failed tax cut is unlikely to derail the expansion, since expectations of a fat tax cut aren't responsible for the growing economy and rising stock market. (You can thank a global economic upturn for that.) And tax cuts — much less corporate tax cuts — weren't the motivating factor behind the Trumpopulist surge. Tax cuts never jazzed core Trump voters the way immigration restriction and The Wall did. Trump's diehard supporters won't howl over a failure to slash corporate tax rates. ... [N]o magic tax cut will turn 2 percent GDP growth into sustained 3 percent or 4 percent growth.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Presidents' first nine months of current dollar GDP compared, including LBJ

Typically I present the data for JFK/LBJ as a unit because Kennedy was shot and Johnson finished his first term and then one of his own, making eight years. Same with Nixon/Ford, because Nixon resigned and Ford finished Nixon's second term, making eight years.

But when comparing first time office holders, LBJ really should be included. The key difference is that LBJ was elected in his own right in 1964, while Ford was not in 1972. So LBJ should be included, but not Ford in order to compare apples to apples.

Johnson was like Truman in three respects: For serving out a dead president's term, for being elected in his own right, and for deciding against standing for re-election.

So, the updated chart including Old Guns 'n Butter himself (note that Trump thus ranks 7th out of 12 starts in this update):

Today's second estimate of GDP for 3Q2017 doesn't give Trump much of a bump in the rankings

Trump remains in 6th place among 11 starts since 1948.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Laugh of the Day: Cokie Roberts admits all the women in media knew not to ride in the elevator with Conyers

Once again, feminism bows to party.

It takes CNBC article 13 paragraphs before admitting repeal of Obamacare mandate would result in loss of coverage for millions BY CHOICE

"Most of the losses [in insurance coverage] are due to the fact that people are not getting pushed into getting coverage," Levitt said.

Shocked, I tell you: HIV cases soar in Europe in 2016 but story never connects them to "refugees"

Reported here by Reuters.

"Forgiving Al Franken: Feminists tighten their grip on the hot stove"

"Thank God for me"

It's hard to escape the conclusion that US GDP has been highly dependent on fertility

Peak Baby Boom 1952-1957 when births per 1,000 of population averaged 25.17 (graph 1) is probably the simplest explanation for outsized GDP performance during the years when this generation turned 22 from 1974-1979. More babies in the 1950s equaled more GDP come the late 1970s.

We only wish for that GDP now.

Jimmy Carter, elected in 1976, still owns the best 4-year GDP record in the post-war, despite everything you've been told (graph 2). It's nothing special he did really, it's just that in 1975, the year before his election, you had the very peak of the Baby Boom turn 18, those born in 1957 when births per 1,000 hit 25.3 for the second and final time in the post-war. They and the rest of their cohort were ready to consume in numbers never seen before. Their era spanning from Nixon/Ford from 1972 when the first of them turned 20 through Reagan in 1984 when they turned 32 represents the coming of age of America's most powerful economic demographic and the period when America's GDP performance hit its highest levels (average 46.3%).

Their failure to have enough children themselves, however, is also a big part of the explanation for the GDP trend heading south after their time. They consumed, but they did not at all produce children like their parents had. In fact, the nadir of births per 1,000 before the current period occurred from 1972 to 1977, precisely the period exactly 20 years after peak Baby Boom 1952-1957. Births per 1,000 averaged just 14.92 during this period, a rate nearly 41% lower than their parents' era. So the most prolific fruit of the Baby Boom had gone on to become themselves the least prolific, having the fewest children ever.

Not surprisingly, without enough bodies the economy inevitably began to run out of gas starting about two decades after that. Clinton era GDP performance was never as good as Reagan's, and the era was marked by various warnings, not the least of which were the bond debacles of 1994 and 1999. The great Reagan bull market ended in August 2000, a recession ensued in 2001, average S&P 500 return has been reduced to 5.2% per annum over the last 17 years, and the GDP growth rate after Clinton has averaged just half what it averaged before Carter (16% vs. 32%). No wonder the trend is down so dramatically (graph 3).

The solution?

Have LOTS more kids, and wait 20 years, if you want America to still be America, that is. Otherwise, let in even more than the 1 million immigrants we already let in annually, and prepare to kiss your country goodbye.

But don't hold your breath. Births per 1,000 have fallen to an average of just 12.5 for the five year period 2011-2015.

They don't call it the suicide of the West for nothing.

graph 1
graph 2
graph 3

Monday, November 27, 2017

I don't see the problem here: The press is free to lie all it wants, or not, and Trump is free to point it out

As long as you are a good Democrat, like Al Franken, you can get away with molesting women and stay in the US Senate

Methodically executed 77 in Norway, gets only 21 years!
Franken committed unwanted kissing and touching, but he gets to go back to work in the US Senate today.

Just like Norway, it seems Minnesota will go easy on just about everything.

All you have to do is apologize!

Story here.

Hillary and Obama's legacy in Libya: Blacks being sold as slaves in open air markets

From the story here:

Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets right now, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. ... Footage from Libya, released last week by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Oct. 2011.” And who was behind that overthrow? None other than then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.