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They can’t help themselves

President Trump’s tweets take probably no more than 20 minutes of his day. Most of his day goes to meetings and phone calls leading to policy speeches and actions. For months, we’ve seen speeches and policy actions from him that the media didn’t cover much – if at all.

In the clip linked here, Rep. Scott Taylor (R – VA) tells it straight to a CNN anchordummy, Alisyn Camerota: He’s playing you, with this Twitter stuff. For your own good, you have to rebalance your coverage toward the news.

Visibly frustrated, she tries to stay on the attack with Taylor. But near the end, this exchange:

Taylor: You’ve got a lot of other things to cover.

Camerota: I agree. We would love to be able to move on. We would love to be able to talk about substance.

Perhaps she never heard of Free Will? She, or at least the producers and bosses who script her prompter, can talk about policy matters – any time they want.

It’s bizarre for them to play victim. “Oh, he put something challenging on Twitter again! Now we have to give it wall-to-wall coverage! We can’t just do 2 minutes and go on! And he eats all the ice creams!!1!!!”

I see Trump’s strategy now. It’s a brand-poisoning exercise. Trump is triggering the media to self-destroy their brand; to put themselves in the political fray, with their own pettiness and weakness on display.

UPDATE: Neil Cavuto calling it Fake News, that the media would flip out over Trump’s tweets as “advocating violence” – while having ignored the Left’s own, very real violence for a long time.

From the comments: Victor Davis Hanson. He orchestrates details like a maestro, reminding you of things you’d forgotten. (Obama trash-talking Sean Hannity, anyone?)

Will Trump Raise Taxes on the Wealthy?

Posted by V the K at 3:46 pm - July 3, 2017.
Filed under: Economy

It’s an idea the Trump White House is floating.

Steve Bannon is causing a stir inside the administration by pushing an idea that’s anathema to most Republicans: raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for steep middle and working-class tax cuts. (Some officials who’ve heard Bannon’s idea think it’s crazy, but the President’s chief strategist believes it’s a potent populist idea.)
Bannon has told colleagues he wants the top income tax bracket to “have a 4 in front of it.” (The top bracket is currently 39.6% for Americans who earn more than $418,400.)

I’m actually not too much opposed to this, depending on how it would be implemented. Under Obama, Bush, and Clinton, the amount of wealth in the upper income ranges grew dramatically while middle-class and working class incomes stagnated (and in many cases declined). Most of those affluent people vote for Democrats, so maybe they should get what’s coming to them. Good and hard.

There are a lot of ways to accomplish this ends through tax reform without dramatically raising rates on the uppermost levels of income. For example, the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes would primarily hit upper income levels in blue states like New York and California. There are all kinds of other carve outs in the tax code that could be also eliminated. Were it up to me, I’d deep-six all deductions except for mortgage interest on your primary residence, and charitable contributions. Of course, were it up to me, there’d be just a flat income tax and a consumption tax. No one listens to Zathros.

Under our current system, taxes are paid primarily by people who aren’t poor enough to avoid them and aren’t rich enough to evade them. This, above all else, is what needs fixing.

State budget crises

These seem to be popping up. For decades, State public pensions have been under-funded and overly-generous. The bill is coming due. Bloomberg has a map:

Gray means nothing good. California, for example, has under-funded its pensions by $1 trillion – or $93,000 per household – which is worse than Illinois.

The big crisis of the moment is Illinois. They have not enacted a budget in 3 years, have $15 billion in unpaid bills, and a court just ordered them to make some large Medicaid payments they had been skipping. In consequence, the Democrat legislature has passed tax hikes – that the Republican governor has vowed to veto, at least for now.

Other states in crisis are

  • Connecticut, where the Democrat governor has signed an executive order to take control of State spending (and do service cuts) after the Democrat legislature couldn’t pass a budget.
  • Maine, where the Republican governor is threatening a government shutdown (and state of emergency) rather than accept another Democrat tax hike.

All of these States face downgrades of their bond ratings.

As to California: it already has some of the nation’s highest tax rates (13% top income, 7-10% sales taxes). With typical “progressive” insanity, CA is spinning on whether to do single-payer health care – a $400B idea that it can’t afford even today, and still less after California’s inevitable pension crisis hits.

I Was Told There Would Be No Death Panels

Posted by V the K at 2:26 pm - July 3, 2017.
Filed under: Health & medical

The British National Health Service (which progressive leftists adore) and the European Human Rights Court (a lesser object of Progressive Left adoration) have sentenced a baby to death rather than allow his parents to take him to the USA for a potentially life saving treatment. Mainly in order to maintain the Supremacy of the State over all medical decisions.

The Good of the State > The Needs of the Individual.

Another Email Cover-Up

Posted by V the K at 9:18 am - July 3, 2017.
Filed under: Violence on the Left

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin is refusing to release email exchanges between his office and the Bernie Bro who tried to mass murder the Republican Congress.

And the completely non-partisan, not at all biased, plays it completely fair with both sides, Democrat Media Complex is not pressuring him to.

This One Weird Trick Destroys American Cities

Posted by V the K at 8:35 am - July 3, 2017.
Filed under: Socialism in America

Democrats have hit on a formula for urban success. When they control a city, they raise taxes, severely diminish the quality of public services, and drive out businesses and the middle class.

It seems like an odd formula for political success, but it has been immensely successful.

The question is, do Democrat policies cause urban rot? Or, does urban rot produce such a poor quality electorate that it is only possible to elect Democrat politicians? Chicken or egg?

When In the Course of Human Events…

Posted by V the K at 6:37 am - July 3, 2017.
Filed under: Holidays

I cannot help but reflect that on July 4, we will celebrate that date our people liberated themselves from the oppressive rule of political elites connected by heredity and social class; and that this model of Government is precisely what the progressive left wants to bring us back to.

Opioid epidemic

Ever notice how phrases “pop” at you in public discourse? It can be hard to tell if it’s just you, or if the phrase came into fashion recently.

In 2017 (about since President Trump was sworn in), I’ve been seeing more about human trafficking, and more about opioid epidemic. Both are horrible things. Were we collectively talking about them before? I don’t think so. Why weren’t we? Was there some sort of political-media embargo? Or did we just not want to? Were we being distracted?

Trump has been making more of a fight against human trafficking than President Obama did. Which is good. I may post on that soon. This post will be on the opioid epidemic.

In 2014, I noted how U.S. involvement in Afghanistan strangely coincided with a 30-fold increase in opium cultivation in that nation. (Also in 2009, Bruce (the GayPatriot) acknowledged it indirectly.) Afghan heroin could certainly be contributing to the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Today I want to show you this chart seen on Zero Hedge.

The U.S. has the highest rate of drug deaths in the world. 4x of Asia; 6x of the world average; 9x of Western Europe; 16x of Africa.

I’m not sure what it means. Perhaps several things.

  • Does Africa not have a drug problem? (Looks that way.)
  • Is the U.S. weak on drug rehabilitation? (Probably.)
  • Are drugs in the U.S. a big business? (all that Afghanistan heroin comes here? plus Latin American cocaine, etc.?)
  • If yes, then surely certain U.S. political-financial forces would be out to protect the U.S. drug business? Surely those forces would hide in plain sight, as respectable authorities, or politicians of the 2 major parties?
  • Are we suddenly talking about the opioid epidemic in 2017 because, say, some of those forces lost some power in a recent election – making it OK to notice? Or just because the term hit a critical mass?

One thing is for sure: the “War on Drugs” of the last 3+ decades has been a miserable failure. A city council member in Ohio proposes to handle it Darwin’s way: Deny 911 assistance to repeat drug overdosers.

His reasons have to do with saving his city’s finances. But one side effect would be to have drug overdosers face an increased (that is, a natural) death rate. That’s an unusual idea.

UPDATE: Commenters are noting the role of Medicaid and Obamacare in giving people more access to prescription opioids. Also here is a chart from the CDC (via Wiki):

It looks like a trend since 2000 in deaths from all opioids (heroin, synthetic and prescribed) that has accelerated in the last 5 – 7 years. Wiki says:

Fentanyl, a newer synthetic opioid painkiller, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin…strong enough that police and first responders helping overdose victims have themselves overdosed by simply touching or inhaling a small amount…Fentanyl has surpassed heroin as a killer in several locales.