Friday, May 27, 2016

Minimum Wage aka Economic Illiteracy

“It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster,” the former McDonalds Chief Executive added.

A democratic republic which has taught its kids to be economic illiterates is in for some school of hard knocks learning.

Hillary Email Fiasco

One of the two big dominoes in the Hillary Clinton email controversy toppled today: The State Department’s inspector general released its report on the email practices of Clinton and a number of other past secretaries of state. (The other major domino is, of course, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s decision to exclusively use a private email server while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.)

Finally, Clinton insisted that she and her team complied with the Federal Records Act by making sure that their correspondence got copied to other State Department addresses. Clinton explained this decision by insisting that she wanted the most efficient method of handling electronic communications, even if in retrospect that decision turned out to be regrettable.
Regrets should be coming, but not in the way Clinton has suggested. State’s Inspector General released the long-awaited report into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server – and it contradicts every excuse Clinton has offered over the last 15 months.

If a need arose to use an outside communications channel to transmit SBU data, then Clinton should have “requested a solution” from within the department. Instead, the IG found “no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever requested such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU.”

The IG also rebutted claims that Clinton ever put “robust protections” on her server, claims that appear on Clinton’s website. State’s information-management groups told the IG that Clinton had never checked with them at all. Neither her server nor the mobile device Clinton used to access it had ever been certified to meet standards established before Clinton took office. Furthermore, no official recalled Clinton ever checking to ensure that the use of the server was acceptable – and that such a request would have been rejected outright had she made one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#EasyPredictions: The VA, and Medicare/Medicaid, Won't Be "Fixed" - Ever

This seems to be an issue of how many vets are where - in Maine I see folks relatively quickly, in Memphis it was a four month proposition just to get in for a first appointment.

Corporate Taxes Hurt All of Us

The dirty little secret of the corporate income tax is that corporations don’t really pay taxes. They are not living beings that know they are being taxed. Rather, shareholders shoulder the burden in the form of reduced dividends and lower stock valuations.
If a company’s “effective” tax rate (after deductions and credits) is 27%, that is what shareholders pay. And they pay that whether they own 10 shares or 10 million shares, and whether the shares are in a standard account or in an IRA, 401(k) or pension fund.

A lot of these taxes are paid by those who buy the products - "corporate" taxes are just a sneaky way pols take our stuff from us at gun point.

Poor Hillary Continues To Get What's Coming To Her

There’s no better example than the war on women. Mrs. Clinton started out all set to run the standard playbook against what she presumed would be a standard Republican opponent. But Mr. Trump has now turned it on her, putting her in the position of running against her husband.
Whenever Mrs. Clinton brings up women, Mr. Trump throws Bill Clinton right back at her. Indeed, on Monday Mr. Trump released a new attack on Instagram featuring an audio of Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick over the caption: “Is Hillary really protecting women?” 
Mr. Trump is doing all this, moreover, without the slightest apology for his own playboy boorishness. Think of him as Mr. Clinton minus the credible rape and harassment allegations.

She did not have to run nor did she have to stay with Bill, no sympathy required.

"Science" On Your Side?

Most important rule of politics: Do what it takes to win. Whatever it takes. Part of that rule is claiming that your side is the one that is comporting with "science". As far as I can tell, either side will make claims to that effect, most of which demonstrate their ignorance of how science is done and what it can or cannot tell us. I love this quote:

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side – at least in an argument.

Much of the rest of the article is skippable, until you get to this little demonstration of New York values:

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

Read more at:

Tyranny For the People

Venezuela has some of the world’s largest supplies of oil, with more proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. But about 15 years ago, the late president Hugo Chavez set out to impose a socialist revolution, making a particular point about his great munificence in providing free health care for everyone. In pursuit of this revolution, Chavez crushed every industry outside the oil sector and brought the state-owned oil company under his control. The result has been a long spiral into poverty and oppression. Now we can see the results: socialism literally kills babies.

The experiment has been repeated, same result.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Some Pigs Are More Equal Than Others

Interesting read.

Then there was the compelling evidence of the former Secretary of State’s quid pro quo influence peddling – favorable Department decisions and contracts linked to cash for contributions to the Clinton Foundation, which was essentially just a slush fund that subsidized the ex-president and his wife’s lavish lifestyle. And, of course, there was obstruction of justice – Clinton’s brazen attempted destruction of over 30,000 emails. She might as well have wiped them with a cloth because the skilled FBI technicians were able to recover most of them – and what they found was damning. 
Well, it would be damning for anyone else. Even at that moment, there were ongoing prosecutions brought with a fraction of the evidence his dozens of agents had assembled against Clinton. At that moment, people were serving sentences for doing less with less sensitive material. And if some company under investigation had destroyed thousands of emails it had the legal obligation to maintain, the CEO would already be sweating out shower time in a federal prison.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Never Ends, Never

I think it's so cute when Hillary calls Bill her "husband".  

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the foundation in 2010 committed $2 million to Energy Pioneer Solutions, despite IRS rules that say a charity is not “supposed to act in anyone’s private interests.” The ex-president even personally arranged a US Energy Department grant to the company.
Among the firm’s owners are several longtime Clinton friends — including a wealthy blond divorcĂ©e from Chappaqua whose relationship with Bill has long been the subject of speculation. The Journal reports that the foundation even removed the fiscal link from its website to avoid calling attention to Bill’s “friendship.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

No Explanation, Still

But then comes the paradox. If insufficient resistance to Obama’s liberalism created this sense of betrayal, why in a field of 17 did Republican voters choose the least conservative candidate? A man who until yesterday was himself a liberal. Who donated money to those very same Democrats to whom the GOP establishment is said to have caved, including Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton.
Trump has expressed sympathy for a single-payer system of socialized medicine, far to the left of Obamacare. Trump lists health care as one of the federal government’s three main responsibilities ; Republicans adamantly oppose federal intervention in health care. He also lists education, which Republicans believe should be left to the states.

Monday, May 9, 2016

No Silver Lining

I got nothing to add.  It's that moment of depression when you realize you just have to make the best of what will apparently a worse situation that you ever could have imagined.

It's quite possible that Reaganism is no longer relevant or popular among a majority of voters on the right. Do people believe in conservatism (widely understood) because it's popular, or because they find some truth in it? If it's the latter, conservatives can either chase Trump fans by attempting to make a compelling case or offer some new ideas or better arguments. Or they can surrender and adopt Trumpism and reward the least classically liberal candidate in Republican Party history. A Clinton presidency, even with a Republican Congress, will be a disaster for conservatives, but lesser so.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Obama's Parting Gift

The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare.
But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.
Just a week after the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group, pulled out of most Obamacare exchanges because it anticipates $650 million in losses this year, Aetna’s CEO said Thursday that his company expects to break even, but legislative fixes are needed to make the marketplace sustainable.

It would be only too sweet if this becomes the issue that tips the election.


I don't want Trump, but a GOP is all that is left to defend the court from the progressive menace, a dose of heavy handed government, less restrained by the day, that the republic can't live through.

61% of Republican voters, and by that I mean actual, registered Republican voters, don’t want Donald Trump as their nominee. The 39% that support Trump, and by that I mean the about 15% of Republican voters who rarely vote and the Independents and Democrats who crossed over in open primary states, might just find themselves on the morning of June 8th thinking, “Wait, I thought we’d won this?!”
This, my friends, is what we call in running “a receding finish line.” It happens when you have hit empty in the tank with enough of the race left that more than a few can pass you and the finish line seems to get further away with each stride.
The 800b gorilla is about to jump on Trump’s back and he’s going to start flailing down the finishing straight, complaining the entire time about a “rigged” system that has rewarded him 100% of delegates for winning 35% of the vote in some states. There is a very good chance that instead of crossing the finish line in first, Trump falls flat on his face.

Anything's Better than Clintonism

Heaping contempt on the Hillary, and well stated.
And then there is the ultimate proof that Hillary is an unreconstructed warfare statist who would bury America deeper in foreign quagmires and fiscal chains. To wit, she has become so blinded by the parochial delusions of Imperial Washington that she actually likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
C’mon. The man’s a monumental crook and no model citizen of the world, but he is no threat to American security whatsoever.
He presides over a third rate economy no larger than the GDP of the New York SMSA that essentially consists of a complex of petroleum fields, grain farms and metal mines and a lethargic work force with a fondness for Vodka.
Until the constitutionally elected government of Ukraine was overthrown by a Washington funded mob of  economically deprived citizens, disgruntled nationalists and crypto-Nazi agitators in February 2014, Putin was basking in the glory of the Sochi Olympics and having petty quarrels with the crook who took-over the tiny state of Georgia after the Soviet Union disappeared. The world disdained his oafish character, but no one claimed that he was fixing to invade Europe.
At the same time, any one who knew the slightest thing about Ukraine’s history and its long co-existence in the shadow of Mother Russia understood that bringing it into NATO was a decidedly stupid idea, and that threatening Russia’s rented naval homeport in Sevastopol, Crimea was sheer folly.