Mollie Hemingway has some real insight here with an excerpt below. There is much more than just the anthrax case. Or consider this from former judge and Attorney General Michael Mukasey wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week, “Mr. Mueller is not a bad man, nor is Mr. Comey. It’s just that both show particular confidence when making mistakes, which makes one grateful for safeguards like the attorney-client privilege.” Continue reading
Dr. Williams makes a great case for individual freedom. He is on to something for sure.
You might say, “Stop it, Williams! Congressmen and other public officials are not making such monumental decisions affecting my life.” Try this. Suppose you are a 22-year-old healthy person. Rather than be forced to spend $3,000 a year for health insurance and have $7,000 deducted from your salary for Social Security, you’d prefer investing that money to buy equipment to start a landscaping business. Which would be the best use of the $10,000 you earned — purchasing health insurance and paying into Social Security or starting up a landscaping business? More importantly, who would be better able to make that decision — you or members of the United States Congress?
The bottom line is that ignorance is omnipresent. The worst kind of ignorance is not knowing just how ignorant we are. That leads to the devastating pretense of knowledge that’s part and parcel of the vision of intellectual elites and politicians.
This is the real issue. Let the market decide if Amazon is good or evil. That is where the power resides. A President should be above this sort of thing. Particularly one who is the head of the Republican party.
“I have firsthand knowledge that President Trump is right. For years, the tech giant Amazon has been carrying out a nefarious plot to sell me things I want at a price I like. How evil can they get?
“Many commentators have noted that the president was wrong about almost everything he said in attacking Amazon. For instance, the president says that “only fools” believe that Amazon doesn’t cost the postal service money. However, the Post Office is losing money because of sweetheart labor deals, rising health and pension costs, and the decline in first-class mail. Delivering packages, like those for Amazon, is actually one of the few bright spots for the Post Office. Revenue from package delivery was up $2.1 billion last year, nearly a 12 percent hike. There’s even evidence suggesting that Amazon, through practices such as its Sunday delivery, may be driving an increase in postal customers. Yes, Amazon does receive a bulk discount because it ships so many packages, but, by law, that deal cannot reduce Amazon’s payments below the postal service’s costs.
“Similarly, the president is wrong about whether Amazon pays taxes. In reality, Amazon pays sales taxes for its products in all 45 states that impose a sales tax. This year, state taxes paid by Amazon totaled roughly $211 million. Amazon does devolve responsibility to the vendors themselves for payment of sales taxes by third-party vendors that use its platform, but that is not at all an unusual arrangement. Ebay, for example, operates in a similar fashion.”
David Hogg has taken the main stream media and the anti-second amendment crowd by storm. He is young, appears articulate and very savvy as seen recently with the whole Laura Ingraham dust up. Ms. Ingraham was wrong to mock Mr. Hogg. She has apologized. Mr. Hogg won’t accept it.
This video may tell the story. Be careful is all I can say to those considering him as a reliable voice for gun control. This is a real interview that has gotten very little traction. If you have children, please don’t let them watch this as there are no “bleeps” for the fowl language. The interview was with “The Outline”. Here is the link if you want to go to the original source. Here is more on “The Outline” if you want an overview.
My take is that there is a huge underlying attitude of contempt here. That is dangerous and it shouldn’t be ignored. Now matter what side of the issue he might take, we should be careful to elevate this to a leadership level.
Contempt is defined as “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.” An example cited is “this action displays an arrogant contempt for the wishes of the majority”. In other words, it is “defiance” of authority. We do have a second amendment. It is clear.
When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f…ing phone and let me handle it.’ Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a f…ing democracy, so we have to.”
It just makes me think what sick f…ers out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and honestly just get reelected. What type of s…ty person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action, because they all still see these dollar signs.”
Honestly, it’s alright that people are buying more guns. I just care that they are being safe individuals. And they can practice their Second Amendment rights all they want. I don’t give a f*ck about that. I just want to make sure that a crazy-ass individual doesn’t get an AR-15 or any weapon at all.
For the record, I am very supportive of our second amendment.
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
Translated “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”
Globalist attitudes and believes of the Left have led many countries astray. Great Britain decided to take back their sovereignty. When will others follow?
If one big government is bad, imagine how much worse two big governments would be. But that’s what people living in Europe have had to deal with: their own nation’s bloated government and the super-national government of Europe, now known as the European Union. Bureaucracy times two! How’s that for a horror show? Continue reading
Science writer Gary Taubes has a knack for subverting the conventional wisdom. Sixteen years ago, he published a groundbreaking feature in the The New York Times Magazine, arguing that decades of government-approved nutritional advice attacking fatty foods and praising carbohydrates was flat-out wrong, ideologically motivated, and contributed to rising rates of obesity and diabetes. Continue reading
Yikes, does Facebook need to go to “rehab”. They are clearly in trouble. The stock has collapsed, chopping $36 billion off the company’s market value on Monday. By mid-Tuesday morning, it had fallen 10 percent since the scandal broke. What the company expected to be a tough summer storm had turned into a Category 5 hurricane.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth decline by more than $5 billion since Monday, but it could have been worse.
Ahead of Facebook’s worst one-day decline since 2012, prompted by news that data affecting 51.3 million members was improperly shared with a political consulting firm, Zuckerberg had been busy selling stock. So far this year, he has sold more than 5 million shares.
Disposing of those Facebook shares FB, -1.87% before Tuesday ended up saving about $70 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings and some arithmetic by MarketWatch. At Tuesday’s close, the 5.4 million shares Zuckerberg has sold this year under a predetermined plan would be worth $910 million. Zuckerberg made about $980 million selling those shares, according to calculations using average weighted prices reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
People are jumping on Twitter to announce their breakup with Facebook.
The hashtag #DeleteFacebook is trending on Monday after the New York Times reported this weekend that the data of 50 million users had been unknowingly leaked and purchased to aid President Trump’s successful 2016 bid for the presidency.
Twitter was littered with users sharing the hashtag. I will only alert you that it is very difficult to actually delete Facebook, particularly if you actively use it to post content, photos and videos.
Is this the solution for the government to regulate Facebook? How about the free market? I don’t have to use Facebook. No one does.
Facebook‘s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said Wednesday he was willing to testify to Congress following revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked on President Donald Trump’s election campaign, improperly obtained information on some 50 million Facebook users via an academic researcher.
“What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn. So if that’s me, then I am happy to go,” Zuckerberg said in an evening interview on CNN. “What I think we found so far is that typically there are people whose whole job is focused on an area. But I would imagine at some point that there will be a topic where I am the sole authority on, and it will make sense for me to do it.
Now consider this from TechCrunch: Now would be a good time for Mark Zuckerberg to resign
Facebook is at the center of a dozen controversies, and outrage is peaking. The social network has failed again and again at expanding beyond a handful of core features. Doubts of its usefulness, and assertions of its uselessness, are multiplying. A crisis of confidence at multiple levels threatens the company’s structure and mission. Now is the time for Mark Zuckerberg to spare himself the infamy and resign — for Facebook’s sake and his own.
I’m not calling for his resignation, and I don’t say this out of any animus toward Zuckerberg; I personally believe him to be genuine and driven in his stated desire to connect the world — but likely increasingly frustrated by the unexpected consequences of this naive ambition and the haste with which he has pursued it. I just think that it has come to the point where the best way for him to advance that ambition is to leave.
There are three major reasons why.
“Where is everyone” ~Donald Trump
This cracked me up and I laughed out loud!
Mueller: “Hello, Jim.”
Comey: “Robert. It is my privilege and my sacred duty to meet you in this space — the space between parties, between branches, between factions, where balance can be struck by the scales of justice, unencumbered by the dastardly thumbs of dark men with dark intentions. As the great John Stuart Mill once said –”
Comey: “Oh, and I shall answer it. With the force of a raging river of truth shall I let flow the veracities etched upon the memos of my soul and also my literal memos, scribed with a love of duty and constancy unbreaking as the line of my Pilot G2 gel roller pen.”
Mueller: “Jim, I just –”
Comey: “I hear you, Robert, and I want you to know I hear the American people and I hear the American heart beating. Listen with me — thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It quickens as we enter the arena of which Teddy once so famously spoke, where we will strive to do the deeds and spend ourselves in a worthy cause; where at the best I will know the triumph of high achievement, and at the worst, if I fail, at least fail while leaking strategically. No cold and timid souls, we, Robert.”
Mueller: “I get it, Jim. I’d like to get on with –”
Comey: “I, too, would like to get on with it. With bending the arc of history toward justice with the sheer strength of our convictions. That’s what it is we’re doing here, after all, and what I have sought to do lo these many years as a servant of the public and in the footsteps of Publius before me, making the mark of my Pilot G2 gel roller pen as indelible on the preservation of the Union as that of our Founders, who of course did not have access to the finest in modern pen technology but nonetheless spurred themselves to be equal to the task. What excuse have I, then, with all this at my disposal?
Oh, could you take a pic here? Something pensive that captures the solemnity of the moment, but also the hope that simple honest men can repair the damage done. Portrait mode, obvi.”
Mueller: “Okay, but I’m not really sure –”
Comey: “These are unsure times, Robert, and it is up to sure men to tell the world that this, the greatest country on Earth, has that handful of men willing to correct and protect against the grave wrongs of the American electorate. I mean, Russia. Russia’s wrongs. That’s of course what I mean.”
Mueller: “All done. Now, can we –”
Comey: “Thank you. Lemme check this out. Did you take a few? Great. Done, Robert? I would not say we’re done, here. We have not yet begun to fight for truth, justice and the American way! Our weapons may be different. It is true, my hand rested upon the rubberized hilt of my pen, not a sword, but it will deliver justice all the same. And, when we are truly done, everyone will know in every corner of this Earth.
“In the words of another tall, noble, unconventionally handsome patriot who was exactly what the country needed at exactly the right time, ‘This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!’”
Mueller: “Jim, I was just going to ask if you need to use the restroom before we start the interview.”
Comey: “Oh, actually, yes. That raging river of truth thing got me. Hold my pen, will you? Don’t lose it. It’s a G2.”
A CNN breaking news headline declared the “end of the Internet as we know it” after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday afternoon to repeal its landmark net neutrality rules.
“End of the internet as we know it,” the lead CNN.com headline read briefly after the FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to do away with its 2015 Open Internet Order that was implemented during the Obama administration.
“Trump’s FCC repeals Obama-era net neutrality regulations intended to keep the web open and fair,” read the CNN sub-headline on its home page.
Guess what? I got up this morning and my internet is still working. Just as fast and zippy as always. So much for the hysteria.
The assault on our constitutionally guaranteed rights continues. By the constitution’s plain terms, no federal office holder or employee can be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or a federal government job. It immediately follows a clause requiring all federal and state officers to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. This clause contains the only explicit reference to religion in the original seven articles of the U.S. Constitution.
The first amendment went even further, stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
A few members of the Senate and the media want to trample our rights and are unapologetic.
“In early September, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor nominated for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Dick Durbin grilled her about her use of the term “orthodox Catholic” to describe those who try to practice the teachings of her church.
“Do you consider yourself an ‘orthodox Catholic’?” asked Durbin of Illinois, himself a Catholic, taking issue with Barrett’s use of that term to describe those who strive to align their lives fully with their church’s teachings. Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono suggested Barrett would be beholden to Catholic teaching when deciding cases.
Yesterday The New York Times continued the religious test of Amy Coney Barrett with a hit piece headlined in the style of a Donald Trump tweet:
It seems a huge challenge at all levels of government is the lack of accountability. It is a mistaken notion that there is no price to be paid. That may appear so in the short run.
Jesus challenges us to do the right thing for God’s country. There will be justice and a day of reckoning. We will all stand before God to provide an account for our actions. None of us will be immune.
“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” ~Thomas Sowell
When the federal government has grown to a $4 trillion dollar budget, it is hard to believe a tax cut isn’t in order. Even John F. Kennedy recognized that.
“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” ~John F. Kennedy
This is a great National Review article by Jay Cost. We tend to forget it took a real revolution to create America. Our form of government is really radical.
It is important to remember that as some days it is easy to give up hope. Our founders gave their lives to create this for us. It is a precious jewel to be treasured.
“The first is the notion that civil liberty must be nearly absolute. The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak, to assemble, and to worship — with no caveats whatsoever. The Second Amendment empowers the people to arm themselves, as an alternative to standing armies, which had historically been tools of oppression. The remaining amendments in the Bill of Rights keep the government from abusing the rights of privacy, ensure fair and humane treatment in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, and underscore the limitations of federal authority.
“The second idea is a radically republican conception of the state. “Republicanism” had long been around as a governing ideal — the notion being that government should serve the citizenry and, in some respect, reflect its views. Political philosophers had usually reckoned that the best way to accomplish this task was to blend different forms — like democracy and aristocracy — to keep the defects of any one system from undermining the whole regime. In the 1700s, European theorists such as Montesquieu and David Hume had judged the British Constitution to be the greatest realization of this idea, for it “balanced” the Commons against the House of Lords and the Crown.
“The delegates to the Constitutional Convention would have none of this. Their system of government was founded solely upon the people — with no self-appointed or hereditary authority. And we see their radicalism in the fact that they affirmed this commitment in 1787, when popular government in the United States seemed to have been foundering for many years. The national government was impotent during the 1780s, and the state governments were often no different than mob rule. But instead of seeking reconciliation with George III, or some reinstatement of mixed estates, the delegates to the Convention, as Madison put it, chartered a government that addressed the “inconveniencies of democracy” while remaining “consistent with the democratic form of government.”
The Federal government now owes over $20 trillion dollars to its creditors.
As you can see below, this is a massive problem no one seems to want to address.
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements.”
Source: Thomas Jefferson
What does 20 trillion dollars look like in stacks of $100 bills?
Here is the video.
Congress and the White House have until the end of December to raise the national debt limit before the federal government is faced with the prospect of either not paying its bondholders on time or deferring other bills.
Here’s a primer on the U.S. national debt, the debt limit and interest payments on the nation’s credit line:
George Will has some great insight into the legislative challenges of Congress.
When will we (the People) demand better performance.
- Neither the House nor the Senate has passed the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that the Budget Act of 1974 stipulates should have been acted on by April 15.
- Neither chamber has passed any of the 12 appropriations bills that are supposed to be passed by the Oct. 1 beginning of the fiscal year.
- On-time passage of the appropriations bills has not happened since 1996.
- Continuing resolutions involving “hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of spending” that annoyed Reagan three decades ago have become continuing resolutions involving more than a trillion — not counting the two-thirds of government spending (e.g., entitlements, debt service) that happens without congressional involvement.
- As Arkin’s analysis was appearing, the Social Security and Medicare trustees projected the former’s insolvency in 2034 and the latter’s in 2029.
In January 1988, in Ronald Reagan’s final State of the Union address, he noisily dropped on a table next to the podium in the House chamber three recent continuing resolutions, each more than a thousand pages long. Each was evidence of Congress’ disregard of the 1974 Budget Act. Reagan fumed:
” … budget deadlines delayed or missed completely, monstrous continuing resolutions that pack hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of spending into one bill, and a federal government on the brink of default. … In seven years, of 91 appropriations bills scheduled to arrive on my desk by a certain date, only 10 made it on time. Last year, of the 13 appropriations bills due by October first, none of them made it. Instead, we had four continuing resolutions lasting 41 days, then 36 days, and two days, and three days, respectively. And then, along came these [three] behemoths.”
The real effect of income tax is “hidden” from the public.
- Payroll deduction of income taxes blunts the real effect by “hiding” the expense. It was a brilliant move to force employers into the roll of collecting the tax for the government.
- There is only one time of year that real effect can be slightly seen. That is April 15 when taxes are filed. Some are still under some level of disillusionment since they “get money back”.
- My kids are in shock, every year, when I tell them how much I paid in income taxes. I feel it is important for them to know what the full amount was.
“Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” ~Thomas Sowell
From the Cato Institute: “Before committing to hundreds of billions more tax payer dollars on infrastructure spending, shouldn’t we try to get the best bang for a buck from existing money?”
Here are some good ideas we should at least experiment with.
Our constitution is a marvelous document and a tremendous governmental framework. Combine that with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and you have a true trifecta.
We seem to keep wandering down the path of executive authority. Congress and the Supreme Court should keep our presidents in check by using their constitutional authority.
That said, the president has the authority, under the constitution, to fire the FBI director.
The president doesn’t have the authority to approve treaties or start wars, just to name a few “no – no”s.
“Trump has an authoritarian impulse,” Ian Bremmer tweeted after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, “But incompetence is a better explanation of his administration’s challenges to date.”
John F. Kennedy lowered taxes, opposed abortion, supported gun rights, and believed in a strong military. And he was a proud Democrat. But would he be one today? Author and talk show host Larry Elder explains.
Donate today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h
We need some bold ideas. This one probably won’t happen but it would help “drain the swamp”.
President Trump has tweeted that Senate rules for budget bills should be changed. There’s little chance that will happen. But why settle for little changes when we need big-league change? We need to stop playing the game as it has always been played. If we’re to get this country back on track, we need to change the rules of the game.
As a reminder: the Seventeenth Amendment allows for the direct election of U.S. senators. Previously, state legislators selected senators. The framers of our Constitution believed this process would make senators less tempted by the whims of voters and more concerned with the long-term interests of their states. Less concerned with the trending topic of the moment, these senators would brake the excesses of government expansion.
Why is our religious freedom important and we need state laws to protect us? It is not all about Christians.
Sikh federal employee Kawal TagoreAfter being baptized in the Sikh faith, Kawal Tagore began carrying a kirpan, “an emblem resembling a small knife with a blunt, curved blade” that reminds Sikhs of their commitment to justice. It’s one of five articles of faith baptized Sikhs are supposed to carry.
She was told to go home from her job with the IRS in a federal building in Houston and told not to return. The building allowed scissors, knives, box cutters and other items with far sharper blades than her kirpan, but they wouldn’t let her carry her religiously required emblem. After working from home for nine months, she was fired.
She sought protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and on November 4, 2014, the government agreed to settle the case.
Levin, the editor of National Affairs, argues in his brilliant new book The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism, that both parties are besotted with nostalgia for the mid-20th century. Conservatives tend to stress the social cohesion of 1950s America (or its seeming renaissance under Ronald Reagan), while liberals yearn for the economic security of the 1960s.
Although they have different goals, leading Republicans and Democrats alike want to go back to the way things were — and they think they can take us there from Washington. Trump says he’ll cut deals in the Oval Office that will make America great again; Clinton promises “universal” everything (education, retirement, health care) to restore the American Dream.
Politicians love meetings. Sometimes, it is all they do. Much of it is for show. Little of it is for effect.
Therein is the danger.
Meetings are not a great way to govern. Leaders understand that.
People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” ~Thomas Sowell
Much of our challenges right now, in America, are not our elected officials. The normal constitutional process and the necessary gridlock are working.
It is hard to get legislation passed, signed and upheld in court. It should be, that is the way it was designed.
What was unanticipated is executive and administrative “law”. One administration “orders” it. The next “un-orders” it, if they can.
We need to reign it in. We, the people, need to take control and force order back into the system.
Whether they realize it or not, Americans are subject to the soft despotism of administrative law.
What’s the best way to help people stuck in poverty get out of poverty? Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, shows where conservatives and progressives differ.
Donate today to PragerU: http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h
Get PragerU bonus content for free! https://prageru.com/bonus-content
What’s the best way to help poor people escape poverty?
Progressives and conservatives have very different answers to this question, but before we explore those answers, let’s agree on this: Both progressives and conservatives believe that the government has a moral obligation to help those who, through bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, can’t help themselves. Here’s what a conservative icon, Nobel Prize-winning economist, Frederic Hayek, said on the subject: “There is no reason why, in a society that has reached the general level of wealth ours has attained, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all…some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work.”
Whatever the media might tell you, there isn’t a conservative out there who would not agree with Hayek’s statement. As I have documented in my book, Who Really Cares, when it comes to philanthropy and charitable giving, conservatives actually out-give progressives — by a lot. Where the two sides disagree is on the role the government plays – not in protecting the poor from poverty, but in lifting them out of it. Here’s a disturbing piece of data: On balance, since President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty programs came fully online in 1966, the poverty rate in America has hardly budged.
That rate, as computed by the United States government, was 14.7 percent in 1966. And today? It’s 13.5 percent. The rate has fluctuated a few points up and down over the decades. The net result is just one percentage point of progress. And this is after the government has spent over 20 trillion dollars on poverty relief programs. 20 trillion dollars – the current size of the US debt — and the needle has barely moved. Now, it’s true that the official poverty rate doesn’t measure consumption.
We all know that what president Trump said isn’t true.
We do know that everything is possible with God. I trust in God and Jesus. Anything else is dangerous.
Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.
Our citizens deserve this, and so much more –- so why not join forces to finally get it done? On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.
Ronald Reagan understood the evils of communism and socialist policies. He knew by diminishing the role of the private sector, government stood to benefit and subsequently control the American people.
One of the most powerful lines of his 1964 speech was, “Governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling the people. When a government does that it must use force and use coercion to achieve its purpose.”
In his “Time for Choosing” speech Reagan also said, “They also knew–those Founding Fathers–that outside its legitimate function government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.”
That statement is even more meaningful today, as we face the disastrous economic consequences of Obama’s socialized healthcare system. Contrast that statement with today where we know have a socialized healthcare system. Obamacare has been a completely failure–taking away choice from the American people and subjecting them to a government run health-care program that is less than adequate. We are seeing healthcare costs rise under this socialist system because the private sector marketplace is forced out by government regulations. Inefficiency and waste are also inevitable when we take power and financial resources away from the private sector and put them in the hands of the federal government.
Ronald Reagan was truly a visionary. Before he ever stepped foot in the White House, he saw the path of destruction that progressives were creating for America. Reagan truly believed in the power of the individual, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the private sector. His policies helped to create a sustainable economy–one which continued to prosper long after he left office. Today’s policy makers would do well to follow in his footsteps.
The United States has borrowed $20 trillion dollars. It is such a big number, it is hard to imagine how much it really is.
Here are a few clues!
$1 trillion is over $200 billion more than the GDP of Australia ($795,305). It’s more than the combined GDPs of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland ($993,314). (For a full list of PPP-adjusted GDPs, click here.)
If you had $1,000,000,000,000 in cash, you could buy:
282 billion Big Macs
3.1 million Ferrari 599 GTBs
66.7 billion copies of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street
Source: Econ4U: How Much is $1 Trillion?
President Barack Obama is promising that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its suspected meddling in America’s election process, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied. I am wondering what took so long. Apparently he has known about it for a while. I guess we can take comfort. Our president has spoken with Mr. Putin. He knows how we feel.
Amid calls on both sides of the political aisle on Capitol Hill for a full-bore congressional investigation, including assertions President Vladimir Putin was personally involved, Obama said in an interview that anytime a foreign government tries to interfere in U.S. elections, the nation must take action “and we will at a time and place of our own choosing.”
“Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be,” he told NPR News Thursday. “But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”
Authoritarianism, whether from the liberal or conservative side of things, is repugnant. We should be vigilant in recognizing it’s crafty nature of wanting to control life in America.
There is a huge difference in authority and authoritarianism. Authority is ordained by God. God is in control. Men and women who crave power are prone to authoritarianism and we should be cautious around them.
As our current election highlights, it is not just a left or right approach. When anyone wants a way of governing that values order and control over personal freedom we should listen and act with caution. I haven’t heard any of our current candidates talk about freedom, liberty and our constitution at all.
Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism’s determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 16 states’ attorneys general and those of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science.
Four core tenets of progressivism are: First, history has a destination. Second, progressives uniquely discern it. (Barack Obama frequently declares things to be on or opposed to “the right side of history.”) Third, politics should be democratic but peripheral to governance, which is the responsibility of experts scientifically administering the regulatory state. Fourth, enlightened progressives should enforce limits on speech (witness IRS suppression of conservative advocacy groups) in order to prevent thinking unhelpful to history’s progressive unfolding.
The Dark Art of Political Intimidation — By Kimberly Strassel
This is the United States of America. You are totally free to express your political views. No one is going to tell you what you can say or how you can say it, right? But what if you thought you’d be audited by the IRS or have your business boycotted or even lose your job? Would you speak freely then?
Dr. Charles Krauthammer examines the Thought police on patrol. The surest way to stop our constitutional government is to stop free expression of speech.
…[T]he left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced… To oppose it is nothing but bigotry, akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally… Long a staple of academia, the totalitarian impulse is spreading. What to do? Defend the dissenters, even if — perhaps, especially if — you disagree with their policy. It is — it was? — the American way.
“Let’s face it: sometimes history seems irrelevant. We’re living in a modern technological wonderland of smart phones, Direct TV on airplanes, and online shopping. Yet what makes history both relevant and intriguing is the humanity behind it: the universal qualities and daily life applications that we can discover in the past.
“So it is with the behind-the-scenes story of drafting the U.S. Constitution in 1787, which we mark every year on September 17 as Constitution Day. If we look back, we find that James Madison’s problem-solving skills are as applicable and useful today as they were back then.”
There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about “trade deficits”. This is one of the simplest explanations I have read. Short but very understandable.
Before the political games proceed on the evils of trade, I think it would help to understand what it means.
Every purchase we make is trade. We trade to improve our lives and trade occurs only when both parties benefit from the transaction. Individuals and companies engage in trade; countries do not trade, as countries are just geographic areas with political boundaries.
Source: Articles: The Trade Deficit Myth
HILLARY’S HAUTEUR by Chris Stirewalt – This is stunning. It is hard to imagine not understanding how this looks. But … “There’s hubris and then there’s the Clintons. The news is that former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea will stop raising money for the family’s foundation and that the organization would stop accepting foreign contributions if Hillary Clinton gets elected.
“Think about that one for a second.
“If Clinton’s critics are right and her family’s foundation was little more than a legalized form of bribing the woman who stands poised to become president of the United States, then what would the significance be of the foundation vowing to stop accepting foreign contributions if Clinton is elected?
“Why a gold rush of influence buying between now and Election Day, of course!Hurry, hurry everybody, this is a last chance to get in good with the next commander in chief.
“If Clinton and her supporters were right that the foundation is a unique and essential global charity that does essential work, why would one change course? Would Jonas Salk have ditched the polio vaccine because people complained about his funding? Would Marie Curie have dropped the radium just because she was getting cash from some unsavory sources?
“The answer from Team Clinton would be that the ban on foreign funds and diminished role for the family would avoid the “appearance of impropriety.”
“But if it appears that there might be an impropriety on Nov. 8, why not now?
“The pressure is growing on Clintons on the left to unwind their massive buckraking efforts. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and the Boston Globe editorial page both added to the weight this week. Rather than swift response though, we get what has been the hallmark of Clinton’s second White House run: caution imbued with arrogance.
“Clinton’s slow-walked response to her email scandal, her refusal to give press conferences and her tapioca-bland policy positions are all reflective of a candidate who is just kicking the can. Unworried about defeat, Clinton is simply refusing to engage and happy to keep the focus on her foe, Donald Trump.
“Whether or not that works will depend on whether Trump can ever shift the focus back to her. If he can go even a week without campaign drama or a distracting controversy, scrutiny on Clinton would intensify.
“If the race does tighten in the home stretch, that could prove to be a problem. If the race doesn’t get more competitive and Clinton doesn’t face additional calls for accountability, one can only imagine how these tendencies would play out to disastrous ends inside her White House.”
Source: Hillary’s hauteur | Fox News
Are we witnessing the end of one or both of our dominant political parties. Hard to tell but the rise of a socialist and populist may be telling to us all.
It will surely take a while for it to completely play out. Maybe it is much ado about nothing or maybe it is not.
What would come after the Republican Party? Conservative? Federalist?
The end of one political party and the creation of another may seem inconceivable to some readers. The current duopoly has governed the United States since the Civil War. They feel like a permanent part of the fabric of our national life.
But political parties are simply vehicles, means to a larger end. Political parties exist to mediate between citizens and their government; articulate (and moderate) agendas and grievances; and broker compromises among political coalitions.
When parties stop performing these functions—as both parties have—they have outlived their usefulness. Citizens should have no qualms about changing them out for newer, sharper tools designed for a new age. The Republican Party itself began in 1854 as the “third” party when the Whig Party collapsed over the issue of slavery and its expansion. One hundred and sixty-two years is not a bad run.
When I heard about this, I thought it must be a joke or hoax. There was no way the Attorney General would meet with the husband of someone she is investigating.
Acknowledging that the meeting was bad “optics” is a way for Democrats to intimate that while some rubes might get the wrong idea, there’s really nothing unethical about it. But they can’t know that’s true, can they? One of the parties involved is Bill Clinton, who’s already been impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice. The other is Loretta Lynch, who’s politicized virtually every major case under her watch.
According to American Bible Society’s annual “State of the Bible” survey powered by Barna, half of American adults (51%) say politics would be more civil if politicians engaged in regular Bible reading.
A similar majority (53%) says American politicians would be more effective if they read the Bible on a regular basis. In addition, nearly half of all adults (46%) say they wish the Bible had greater influence on American society.
This is stunningly brilliant and borderline evil in a country built on the constitution. In essence, I can violate the law without any worry of judgement because I appoint the judges.
Obama not only seeks to break the laws of the land, to make his own laws and then to demand that everyone abide by them, but he also wants a double standard in which these unique powers that he has claimed will be exclusive to his political movement. That goes beyond putting party ahead of country. It is the wholesale replacement of country with party and party with totalitarian ideology.
When he fought conservative judges based purely on ideology, Obama put party ahead of country. His judicial nominees were unqualified radicals who were manifestly hostile to the Constitution and put party ahead of country on the Supreme Court. Now Obama pleads with Republicans to put country ahead of party even while he schemes to once again find a way to put party ahead of country.
The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution set out the principles and framework of a God-centered approach to government. Our founders truly believed that God entitles us to this. God ordained it.
Our country is founded this truth being “self-evident”. Is it really self evident today? Do most of our citizens know this and believe it? Probably not and that is sad. We who do must work to make that clear.
Our country is founded on the truth that we are created equal by God. God gives us certain rights that are “unalienable”. They can’t be taken away from us.
What are those rights?
- Pursuing happiness
What do we have a government for? To secure those rights for us. That is not only the main thing that is the thing.
We give the government the power to do that. It isn’t the other way around.
We must know what the documents say and mean.
We must care that they are faithfully followed.
No Constitution can protect a people that does not know or care about what it says.
Source: Sultan Knish: Youmerica
The FBI tells us that its demand for a back door into the iPhone is all about fighting terrorism, and that it is essential to break in just this one time to find out more about the San Bernardino attack last December.
Is it essential? Will it end there? Probably not.
Ron Paul is right. Our constitution guarantees us our right to privacy.
Jesus has a great approach for life. Our focus should be on our own behavior and not others. We can control what we do. That should be our focus. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
There is “plenty of blame” to go around for how things are working in America. It is, however, not one groups fault. The essential question is to myself. What can I do?
There’s just something about the swamp gas of D.C. that seems to turn diehard conservatives wimpy, out-of-touch and punishingly dull the moment they get into the GOP leadership.
Anyone can fill out a form, say he’s a resident, and cast a vote. What is wrong with that? It seems like common sense that when we need identification for everything we do today, having it for voting would not be a big deal.
Here are some examples why.
The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of “establishment,” an epithet now descending into meaninglessness.
What does it mean? It is hard to tell. Is it really important if you are “pro establishment”, “establishment” or “anti establishment”?
You can be the “establishment” and conservative. Does the one really matter in that case?
Disney is threatening to pull is film business out of Georgia if the Governor signs recently passed legislation on religious freedom. Pay no attention to Disney operating in states that have even broader religious freedom legislation.
The NFL says Georgia may put its Super Bowl bid in jeopardy if the Governor signs the legislation. Pay no attention to the NFL considering two other states for that Super Bowl, both of which have religious freedom legislation already.
What does Georgia’s law do?
- It says no preacher can be forced to perform a religious service in violation of his faith.
- It says no religious organization can be forced to hire people that disagree with the religious tenets of the organization.
- It says the government cannot force a business to stay open on a Saturday or Sunday.
- It specifically says the organizations cannot discriminate against protected classes of citizens.
The legislation also includes the federal RFRA language that Bill Clinton signed into law. That’s it.
It does not apply to for profit businesses at all. It only applies to religious organizations. It prevents Christian organizations from being forced to hire Muslims; it prevents Muslim organizations from being forced to hire Christians; and it prevents either from having to hire atheists.
But the left will allow no accommodation for religious entities. They have flat out lied about the contents of the legislation. They have spooked good people into believing things about the law that are not true.
Now that has summoned Fortune 500 companies and Hollywood to threaten the economic future of the state.
Many times we like to react to things we haven’t read or understand. Someone says it is true and we believe it. We are hearing this with the Georgia “Religious Freedom” bill that recently passed.
Here is an overview of and some initial thoughts on the bill (you can read the actual bill here):
- Section 2 of the bill protects clergy members’ right to perform, or refuse “to solemnize any marriage, perform any rite, or administer any sacrament.” It does not define marriage, including the number of people involved, their ages or relationships with one another. It’s not clear to me whether existing legal definitions of, and restrictions on, marriage would apply here. But it is talking about religious ceremonies, not state recognition of such.
- The same section states: “All individuals shall be free to attend or not attend, at their discretion, the solemnization of any marriage ….” That appears to be an effort to exempt sole proprietors from participating in a ceremony to which they object, but not businesses any larger than that.
- Section 3 says businesses cannot be required by government to be open on either Saturday or Sunday. This was part of HB 757, a.k.a. the Pastor Protection Act, when it passed out of the House the first time.
- Section 4 says a “faith based organization” — defined as an exempt religious organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which means it’s a non-profit — is not required “to rent, lease, or otherwise grant permission for property to be used by another person for an event which is objectionable” to that organization. This was also part of HB 757 when the House passed it 161-0.
- The same section says a faith-based organization cannot be forced “to provide social, educational, or charitable services” that violate its “sincerely held religious belief.” This does not, however, get such an organization out of a voluntary contract with government.
- Section 5 says a faith-based organization has the right to fire or not hire a person “whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either” violate the organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
- Section 6 includes the text of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), the law that sets the strict scrutiny standard for free-exercise cases involving the government. It also includes a non-discrimination clause “with respect to interactions which affect the rights or interests of third persons” — which would include a discrimination claim by an individual against a business. The clause prohibits “invidious discrimination on any grounds prohibited by federal or state law.” That would seem to include sex-based discrimination under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, which the federal EEOC has interpreted to include discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. So, while local non-discrimination ordinances such as Atlanta’s which include LGBT persons are not specifically mentioned, the federal law might cover them anyway.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Here are some questions to think about:
Would you require Christian pastors, Jewish rabbis or Muslim clerics to perform weddings to which they object? Would you require a Muslim cleric to marry a Christian and Jew?
Would you force churches, synagogues, or mosques to let others use their private property for weddings and other events to which they object?
Would you force an individual to attend a wedding or other religious ceremony to which he or she objects?
Would you require a religious school to hire or retain a person whose personal religious beliefs clash with that of the school?
And so on. After all, the opposite of giving people freedom not to do these things is requiring them to do so. The entire debate has been about how to protect one person while not trampling on another person’s rights. That is a careful balance to strike, a difficult one to strike, but it is the proper role of the legislature, rather than courts, to strike that balance.
Jonah Goldberg has a real way with words. This article is long but worth it to get these kind of gems.
Sadly, it is true that President after President is weakening our republic with executive actions.
We need leadership who can stick to what they believe is best for the constitution. That is what they have sworn to do.
Consider the fact thatObamacare is now simply untethered from law or policy. This week the administration announced that you can get a hardship waiver from Obamacare if your hardship is . . .wait for it . . . Obamacare. This is like getting out of doing push-ups during basic training if you can prove that doing push-ups would be difficult for you, defeating the point of doing push-ups in the first place. The White House is quite simply making it all up as they go along. You can’t really point to a thing that is Obamacare because doing so would be like pointing at the blob in a lava lamp and saying “that looks like Michael Caine eating a badger.” Maybe it looks like that right now. Give it a second.
There is this interesting notion of fighting “the establishment”. It is like all of the sudden, somebody discovered that there are people actually in charge of organizations. And, remarkably, they have rules about how their organizations work. And, if you disagree, they might not like you and oppose you. That is fairly normal. In a collective sense, it is how things work.
So what has “the establishment” done lately?
Obama’s two victories were painful setbacks, but in the Obama era the Democrats lost 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 legislative seats, 11 governorships and 30 legislative chambers. All that stood between Republicans and real reform at the federal level was the White House — and the Democrats were sleepwalking toward nominating the least popular major player in American politics.
Source: Mona Charen
Most of us belong to some organization and have agreed to the rules of how it works. We may be leaders or members of the establishment of that group. Somebody else probably doesn’t agree with us. They are a part of another organization. Collectively, that is how things get done. It is rare that an individual, who is not part of any organization, gets anything done. Think about it.
Many organizations have many layers to the them. The GOP has the National organization. Each state has their own organization. There are multiple layers then to how they interact. Is there really a conspiracy among 51 separate Republican organizations? I don’t think so. [Note: If you want to read a great example of conspiracy theory at its finest, consider the recent article, “The Sea Island Conspiracy” by Pat Buchanan.]
The conspiracy theory seems to me that it is like tilting at windmills. We want to see enemies out of ordinary items. Windmills are not giants to be slain. Windmills are in fact windmills. Individuals who see windmills as giants have a very special place in psychiatric classifications.
There is a place for reform. When we see a better way of doing things, we should champion the better way. You can in fact build a better windmill. You can build something so much better that windmills become obsolete. Seeing a windmill as ineffective is different than seeing it as a giant to be slain.
The Republican Party has become more reform-minded and more conservative over the past 30 years. The Arlen Specters and Bob Packwoods are pretty much gone. In their places are dynamic, smart, articulate leaders such as Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Cory Gardner, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Susana Martinez and Marco Rubio. The party has become more conservative and more ethnically diverse.
Between 2008 and 2014, when Republicans were the minority in the Senate, they blocked cap and trade, the “public option” in Obamacare and card check. Republicans declined to give President Obama universal pre-K, the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” expanded unemployment benefits, a higher federal minimum wage, varieties of gun control, mandatory paid sick leave, a tax on multinational corporations, higher taxes on individuals and more. They passed bills authorizing the Keystone pipeline (which was vetoed) and trade promotion authority (the one issue Obama is not wrong about). They endorsed entitlement reform.
Source: Mona Charen
Building a better windmill that in fact does work. If it doesn’t work, in the free market of ideas, that tells us something.
Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”
“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.
“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”
“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”
Source: Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote’s success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record.
It is interesting how, when it comes to numbers, we miss the basics. It is even more interesting, how politicians many times don’t get it either.
Three percent growth is not 1 percent better than 2 percent growth, it is 50 percent better. And you can extrapolate from there.
Of course, the best thing for the government to do is get out of the way. That has a huge economic impact.
If there is going to be growth-igniting tax reform — and if there isn’t, American politics will sink deeper into distributional strife — Brady will begin it. Fortunately, the Houston congressman is focused on this simple arithmetic: Three percent growth is not 1 percent better than 2 percent growth, it is 50 percent better.
If the Obama-era’s average annual growth of 2.2 percent becomes the “new normal,” over the next 50 years real GDP will grow from today’s $16.3 trillion to $48.3 trillion. If, however, growth averages 3.2 percent, real GDP in 2065 will be $78.6 trillion. At 2.2 percent growth, the cumulative lost wealth would be $521 trillion.
I hadn’t thought about it but people trade with other countries. I choose to buy a product made somewhere else. The government, for the most part, can only make that easy or difficult.
Some of the political obfuscation about foreign trade is lifted when we recognize that it is not really nations trading with one another. In other words, the U.S. Congress does not trade with the federal government of Mexico, England’s or France’s parliaments or Japan’s Diet. It’s individual Americans who, through private intermediaries, trade with: Mexican Ford manufacturers, English clothing manufacturers, French wine producers and Japanese automakers.
There are some lessons here. The first being, it is a problem if you actually try to fulfill your commitment to the people who elected you. Enemies will be made with the leadership. It is the right thing to do but it is tough.
Second, you will upset the apple cart even more if you expose all of this by trying to become President.
Because the threat smart members of the Washington political elite truly believe in is not Ted Cruz, but the model he represents: that the path for an ambitious freshman politician to achieve leadership of the Republican Party in this day and age is not the normal give and take and deference to leaders and precedent and the way we do things around here, but instead to take a flamethrower to this system from day one. Regardless of whether Cruz wins a general election, his nomination could fundamentally transform the political incentives of the Senate and change the internal dynamics of the Senate Republican Conference. It shows that you can get a shot at the presidency not by playing along, but by playing your own game.
The potential of every two years having someone walk through the door in each new Senate class who thinks they could be the next potential Ted Cruz is an absolute nightmare for those who have thrived in their cushy lifestyles as stewards of the world’s most exclusive club. And that is why his nomination is unacceptable.
George Will takes a deep dive into the Compact for America balanced-budget proposal which, “would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed. The Compact for America is the innovation of the Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, who proposes a constitutional convention carefully called under Article V to enact a balanced-budget amendment written precisely enough to preclude evasion by the political class.
This class has powerful and permanent incentives for deficit spending, which delivers immediate benefits to constituents while deferring a significant portion of the benefits’ costs.
From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement’s brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other state legislatures. It would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed.