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Why Isn’t the Blue Model Working?

Posted by V the K at 11:11 am - June 28, 2017.
Filed under: Economy,State Politics & Government

Illinois is about to enact a massive tax increase. The Republican governor wanted property tax reform coupled with pension reform to tame the state’s out-of-control debt. But the Democrats who control the legislature only know one tool — tax increases — and it was the only one they were willing to use. Even this massive increase in taxes will only put a small dent in the state’s debts; and that’s if the Democrats don’t use it for more spending, which they will. It’s so bad in Illinois that Megamillions and Powerball are going to suspend lottery ticket sales.

The Blue State of Connecticut enacted major tax increases in 2009 and 2011 and has become even more financially insolvent as state spending outpaced receipts.

People… especially, people with healthy incomes… are fleeing Illinois and Connecticut.

Meanwhile, the states of Florida and Texas, which have no income tax, are not only attracting new residents and new business, but are also fiscally solvent.

How can that be if the Democrat formula of high taxes and lavish Government spending is the optimal formula for success? Democrats claim that people want high taxes to pay for the pensions and fine work of Government bureaucrats. Democrats claim that “investments” (spending) on their pet projects pays off with higher wage earners contributing to a robust economy. But it seems like, given a choice, people prefer to live where taxes and levels of “public services” are lower.

Why Would Anybody Want to Live in Connecticut?

Insurance company Aetna is looking to relocate its headquarters out of Hartford Connecticut.

The state’s Democrat Governor, Dannel (not a misspelling) Malloy is begging them not to leave. Malloy enacted major tax increases in 2009, 2011, and 2015. The 2017 budget calls for still more tax increases, but not nearly enough to cover the state’s $5 Billion deficit. Connecticut already has, after New Jersey, the 2nd highest tax burden in the country.
Aetna is apparently looking to New York or Boston for its headquarters, so it’s not really taxes or regulation that it’s fleeing. However, the onerous taxes and horrendous cost of living in New York or Boston is made up for because you can get a decent bagel and Bhutanese take-out at 3:00 in the morning. This makes it worth it to some people; some not very wise people.

But Hartford can’t compete on that playing field. No matter how much money the mayor extorts from the state to try and build a “vibrant and culturally diverse” city and neighborhoods, it’s always going to be a shadow of New York and Boston. You too, Providence RI. And hardly anybody who has a choice is going to live in Connecticut’s brutal tax environment AND a declining, third tier city. It’s not like the state has lovely scenery or good weather.

To compete with surrounding states, Connecticut ought to create a low-tax, business-friendly environment that would make the state economically competitive with its neighbors. But lowering taxes and reducing Government is anathema to the left-wing Democrats who monopolize power there. The best they can do is pander… politician to big business crony… and offer Aetna the kind of tax breaks and other fiscal relief that smaller businesses in the state do not get.

BTW, isn’t Aetna the kind of company Democrats want to put completely out of business with Single Payer Health Care?

Politicians Need to Go Away When Their Terms Are Over

Posted by V the K at 5:34 pm - January 12, 2017.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

One good thing about the Bushes is when they’re time was up, they retreated from politics (mostly) and went back to being private citizens.

Barky, apparently, is going to stick around and organize opposition to the man who is succeeding him.

A difference between leftists and conservatives is that politics are everything to the left. They don’t separate the political realm from everything else. Indeed, private lives, business, the arts, even sports (have you watched ESPN lately?) exist only to serve as appendages to the political agenda.

The Bushes could leave politics, or at least, tend to them only part-time. (i.e. Helping Jeb when he wanted to continue the dynasty.) The Obamas, like the Clintons before them, cannot leave politics because they have nothing else.


Posted by V the K at 7:19 pm - January 3, 2017.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

The Democrats Today: Planning on playing political games and stalling Trump’s cabinet nominees.

The Republicans Today: Retreating from their plan to reform the rules for Independent Ethics Investigations. (An office the Democrats have used repeatedly to play political games.)

Donald Trump Today: Celebrating that Ford is keeping 700 jobs in the USA.

And that’s why he beat both of those political parties.

Not because “Russian hackers” tricked Jon Podesta into responding to a phishing scam.

Also from AOSHQ: The White House Obamasplains why it never went after China for hacking personnel records.  Ace sums up their response in two words. Can you guess them?

Some Good News from a Blue State

Posted by V the K at 8:51 pm - November 14, 2016.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

The Democrat Secretary of State who persecuted a Christian couple for declining to participate in a gay wedding, destroyed their business, and confiscated their life savings was voted out of office last week.

Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State went down to defeat, marking the first GOP victory in a statewide election in 14 years. More significantly, the loser of this race was known to many as the infamous bully who led the charge to fine a Christian-owned bakery $144,000 for declining to provide services to a same-sex wedding.


Yeah, Pretty Much

Posted by V the K at 2:13 pm - May 12, 2016.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

Pretty neat summation of where the American political parties stand on several issues. I would upload the graphic directly, except that its wider than the GOP template likes, and it had the kind of language leftists use prodigiously in it.

Gotta say, the party I’m voting for in the fall comes out looking pretty good.

Politics Is the Sewer Pipe of Culture

Posted by V the K at 6:51 pm - May 5, 2016.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

Senator Ben Sasse… one of the few conservatives the GOP Establishment was unsuccessful in defeating in 2014 … has penned keyboarded a letter decrying the horrible state of our political culture. The TL:DR version is: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are proof that both the Democrat and Republican parties suck worse than anything has ever sucked in the cosmological history of the multiverse and maybe we should consider a third party.

Based on the outcome of the primaries, one would be well within one’s reason to conclude that the Democrats and Republicans made a bet over who could nominate the worst candidate. And they both won. However, if you back it up a bit, the fault lies not in our political parties, but in the debased electorate that chooses them.

A buddy on the Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Data Aggregator expressed it this way. (No link, it was in a closed group. Edited for clarity.)

Andrew Breitbart said that politics is downstream from culture. And perhaps the most egregious mistake conservatives have made in the last eight years is in telling themselves that what we have is a good, innocent country somehow held “hostage” against its will by bad people in Washington.

The truth is far harsher and less comforting. We don’t have a “good, innocent country.” What we have is a country that has completely lost its way, and resultantly we have a government very much reflective of that fact.

The problem with America today is not that the government does not reflect or is unresponsive to the desires of the body politic–it is that the government reflects the body politic far MORE than the Founders ever intended.

And the longer people continue in the self-delusion that their problem is the politicians, the longer it will take them to arrive at any kind of genuine solution.

An electorate that is greedy, corrupt, and ill-informed trendiness has elected a political class that has distilled those qualities to become a sort of balsamic reduction of greed, corruption, and trendy ignorance.

How long history will tolerate a culture grown so fat, lazy, and stupid is an open question.


The Democrat Legislature of the People’s Republic of Maryland focuses its attention on the very important issues of the day.

A compromise on a new Maryland state song is moving forward in the General Assembly. The state Senate will begin considering a bill Tuesday that would relegate the current pro-Confederacy lyrics to “Maryland, My Maryland” by James Ryder Randall to the status of “historic state song.”

Yeah, that should solve all the state’s problems.

Suddenly, Leftists Are All About the “Rule of Law”

Posted by V the K at 6:46 am - January 4, 2016.
Filed under: State Politics & Government


#OccupyWallStreet took over public spaces in major cities and remained in them for months, committing crimes of vandalism and rape, as the media stood by and cheered and prominent Democrats rallied to their cause.

#BlackLivesMatter blocked freeways, burned down and looted neighborhood businesses, assaulted police, and threatened more violence. Once again, the media said that their grievances were legitimate, the violence was understandable if not necessarily justified, and Democrat politicians said we needed a “national dialog” to address their concerns.

But when a handful of ranchers and “militia” non-violently take over an unoccupied building in a remote western wilderness, all of the sudden, bloodthirsty leftists call it a “Terrorist Attack” and demand for them to be killed … because of the importance of the “Rule of Law.” (Which is apparently not so important when it comes to #BlackLivesMatter protests or Sanctuary Cities, but that’s a topic for another time.)

FWIW, I am pretty sure the “armed hillbilly militia” in Oregon isn’t going to be burning down any local businesses, defecating on police cars, or necessitating any “rape tents” at the locale of their protest.

There are murky legal issues underlying the events behind this particular incident. Whether or not the Federal prosecutors were justified in seeking “Terrorism” charges against the ranchers is a question people of good faith can differ on. It’s not necessary to agree with their tactics, but one has to acknowledge that given that the Coastal Media and Political Elites have zero interests in the issue of land rights in the West, it’s difficult to see what, if any, alternatives they had in raising awareness.

By and large, the elite left does not see a problem with the Federal Government outright owning 62% of Alaska, 62% of Idaho, 81% of Nevada, 67% of Utah, 53% of Oregon, 42% of Arizona. To coastal progressive elites, it seems right and natural that political appointees and bureaucrats with Public Policy degrees should manage these lands from offices in Washington. It’s axiomatic that those “hillbillies” in “flyover country” cannot be trusted to manage their own lands themselves. Not without a degree from Georgetown and a graduate thesis on “Transgender Issues in Forestry Management” they aren’t.

With the media not finding the Western Land issue “Sexy” enough to cover in the absence of “armed hillbillies,” and politicians oblivious to it, it’s difficult to see what other recourse the aggrieved ranchers and other inhabitants of the west have.

What’s happening in Oregon is yet another microfracture on the skin of society. Government is ineffectual at best and malignant at worst, and there is little hope for meaningful reform. It seems inevitable that these little cracks are going to grow in both size and severity, and if Government does as the progressives suggest and crack down even harder on the dissidents, it will likely accelerate the effect.

Baltimore, Detroit, and Other Democrat Utopias

Kevin Williamson at NRO points out that the Baltimore riots are a direct result of the Democrat leadership of that city; a city with no Republicans in any positions of city Government, in the bluest state in the country. Baltimore is a one-party Democrat-run city, and the same can be said of Detroit, St. Louis, Newark, Atlanta and most other large cities that have not seen a Republican mayor since before the advent of color television. Williamson catalogs the failings of Democrat city governments, but he doesn’t really explain how dysfunction is rooted in the Democrat style of politics.

As I have often said, the Democrat Party has one value proposition: We’re going to take money away from people you don’t like and spend it on you. This model has been highly successful in large urban areas and in the last two presidential elections. It is a highly effective message for the greedy, entitled, low-information voters that make up the Democrat base. It is not, however, an effective strategy for actual governance. It is, in fact, the root of why Democrat governance is so dysfunctional.

In real life, how the Democrat value proposition plays out is, “We’re going to take money from people you don’t like, use it to create massive, bloated government bureaucracies where we can give our cronies do-nothing, no-show jobs and also divert a lot of that money to our business cronies who contributed to our campaigns, and whatever is left will trickle down to you in the form of lousy Government services [think inner city schools] and welfare payments that are just enough to keep you in poverty and demanding more.”

In the Democrat model, businesses that employ people and indeed people employed by the private sector are the enemy. The Democrat base is constantly told that businesses are greedy, and that they “owe” the community their “fair share.” And even when businesses try to do good for the community, they are attacked for not doing enough, or for doing it in the wrong way.

In this way, Democrats justify constant increases in taxes and regulations on businesses; and also make sure businesses contribute to the party in a kind of protection racket. However, it also drives businesses out of Democrat-run areas, or out of business entirely, creating unemployment. Democrats are by and large OK with this because welfare recipients are loyal voters; but a model in which ever fewer working people are supporting ever greater numbers of welfare recipients and government bureaucrats is unsustainable. Government, despite the “you didn’t build that” claims of Barack Obama and Liz Warren, creates nothing; it only takes. And it can only be sustained by economic growth in the private sector, which Democrat policies stifle.

Democrats also must villainize Republicans to make sure no alternative to their party exists. They tell blacks, “Republicans want to bring back slavery.” They tell gays, “Republicans want to outlaw sex and make it legal to kill you.” They tell single women, “Republicans will outlaw contraception.” They tell Hispanics, “Republicans want to secure the border and stop you from illegally taking American jobs.” None of these is true, but by demonizing Republicans, Democrats assure dysfunction by denying political alternatives, and by allowing their constituents to ignore the causes and effects of their own dysfunction. Contrary to Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, and guilt-ridden white liberals, the dysfunction of the black community is not the fault of Caucasian Americans. But it is politically potent for Democrats to tell African-Americans that they are the victims of White America. As such, there is no incentive for the black community to introspectively examine black-on-black violence, broken and dysfunctional families, or their rotten (Democrat-run) education systems. Those who acknowledge the dysfunction are decried as racists.

Democrats win election by stoking resentments, scapegoating productive people for the failures of unproductive people, looting the public treasury, and making monsters out of their opponents. These policies win elections very effectively particularly where voters are uneducated and ill-informed (i.e. dependent on Democrat-run schools and Democrat-run media), but as a strategy of governance, they are inherently dysfunctional. The resentments become hatred and violence, the productive people abandon the dysfunction until the dysfunctional are a voting majority, the public treasury is robbed bare, and you end up with… Detroit, Newark, Baltimore, St. Louis, Providence, Bridgeport, Camden, and all the other one-party urban hellholes, basically.

Democrats think that the dysfunction can be papered over by spending more of other people’s money. But that only works while there is money to spend.  The country is broke, which is why I think Baltimore is just the prelude of what’s to come.

Angie’s List’s Sanctimony Is a Cover for Frustrated Cronyism

Posted by V the K at 3:42 pm - April 10, 2015.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

When the on-line company Angie’s List backed out of a deal to expand its headquarters in Indianapolis, company executives were quick to claim that it was their moral duty not to expand in a state that so intolerantly decided to protect the rights of people of faith to conduct their lives in accordance with their faith.

Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle said his firm will pull out of a pending deal with the state and city to expand its headquarters in Indianapolis because of his disagreement with the state’s passage of the “religious freedom” law.

“We’re going to be very vocal on this issue and I don’t feel we can do that if we are taking state money,” Oesterle said Saturday in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. “We don’t want to be bound by commitments in that deal given the current atmosphere in the state (government).”

And for that, the trained seals of the left applauded them for showing… what do they call it? Good corporate citizenship? Moral leadership?

But the truth is, the city and state had already begun questioning the millions of dollars in subsidies Angie’s List was demanding. And the city council was preparing to vote down the subsidies Angie’s List had demanded. And the real reason Angie’s List wanted to suspend the project had nothing to do with protecting gay people from hurt feelings, and everything to do with not getting their corporate expansion fully subsidized by the taxpayers of Indiana.

Perhaps the most glaring is the fact that in its 20-year history, Angie’s List has never turned a profit. In addition, the company’s stock has plummeted from its initial public offering of $15.80 to this week’s $5.14 per share.

While Angie’s List tempts and teases with the promise of expansion, including adding 1,000 new jobs and relocating 800 of its current employees; we can’t forget the company’s massive layoff just last year.

The proposal currently states the city would designate $2 million on streets and other infrastructure work with the remaining $16.3 million going toward building a garage for employees and relocating an Indianapolis Public Schools’ warehouse from the former Ford assembly plant. But the city wouldn’t be alone in its giving. The state would provide $6.5 million in tax credits and $500,000 in training grants.

Thanks, John in Indy, for pretty much writing the story.

Oregon Democrats Expand Vote Fraud

Posted by V the K at 9:18 am - March 17, 2015.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

In a state where politicians believe motorists are too dumb to pump their own gas, every adult who “interacts” with the Department of Motor Vehicles will now be automatically registered to vote and mailed a ballot… expanding the Democrat voter base by 300,000 lazy, dumb, and apathetic people whose ballots will be scooped up and filled out for them by ACORN-type community organizations.

Fanatics Using Government to Force Their Lifestyle Choices on Everyone

A bill is moving through the Colorado Statehouse that would  deny people under the age of 18 the choice of seeking psychological counseling to change their sexual orientation.

However, it will still be legal for minors to undergo irreversible hormone therapy should they want to choose to change their “gender.”

Because Progressives know what’s best for everyone, and will simply remove your ability to make choices they don’t approve of. They will, however, demand taxpayer funding for choices they do approve of.

How Much Worse Could Things Get in Chicago?

Posted by V the K at 6:18 pm - September 23, 2014.
Filed under: State Politics & Government

Chicago isn’t Detroit yet, but, gosh darn it, they’re trying. The president of the Chicago Teacher’s Union is considering a run for mayor, and according to polls, she would probably win.

The current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, is a standard issue corrupt Chicago Democrat; Lewis is a straight-up radical. Lewis’s main beef with him is that, in response to the fact that the population of Chicago is declining, and the population of school-age children in Chicago is declining even more, Emanuel closed a bunch of unnecessary public schools; and of course that meant layoffs for teachers and administrators, and that meant fewer dues-payers to support Ms. Lewis’s quarter-million-dollar annual Teacher’s Union president salary.

In the Chicago Public Schools’ run by Ms. Lewis’s Teacher’s Union:

  • Four out of 10 freshmen don’t graduate
  • 91 percent of graduates must take remedial courses in college because they do not know how to do basic math and other schoolwork
  • Only 26 percent of high school students are college-ready, according to results from ACT subject-matter tests.

And the average salary for a Chicago Public School teacher was $76,000 per year in 2012 when teachers went on strike to demand more money, which was not only the highest in the country, but $3000 more than teachers in New York City.



She also obviously has not been participating in Michelle Obama’s school lunch program.

What Democrats and Republican Elites Really Think

Item No. 1: The establishment GOP National Republican Senate Committee paid for a radio ad and printed flyers in Mississippi that called fiscal, small Government conservatives racists.

Item No. 2: The Democrats’ central argument in opposing voter ID boils down to this: “Our voters are too lazy and stupid to go out and get a Government ID.

It fascinates me that, when push comes to shove, both parties privately embrace and promote the worst stereotypes of the people said to vote for them.

It’s also revealing what political aristocrats really think of the people who cast votes for them.

Where Are the Occupy Candidates?

The Occupy Movement was conceived and executed as a response to the Tea Party movement. It was said that both movements opposed crony capitalism; the Tea Party opposed cronyism, and Occupy opposed capitalism.

The Tea Party, though reviled across the political spectrum from far-left to center-left (i.e., the Democrats, the media, low-info voters, and Republicans threatened by the loss of power), managed to elect quite a few candidates at the local, state, and Congressional level. And even those Republicans who didn’t formally align with the Tea Party at least paid lip service to the Tea Party agenda of limited Government, reductions in Government spending, and reform of taxes and regulation.

But when you look for Democrats championing the Occupy Agenda… student loan forgiveness, redistribution of income, expansion of the welfare state, rape tents … there don’t seem to be any who willingly identify themselves as “Occupy” candidates.

There’s Senator Elizabeth Warren, the blonde-haired Cherokee from Massachusetts, who claims to be the founder of the Occupy movement. (She claims a lot of things.) But that’s really it.

I kind of think it’s because the Occupy Agenda is baked into the Democrat Party already; (“We’ll take money away from people you don’t like and spend it on you.”) Also because Occupy was always more of a Democrat PR stunt than an actual movement; they all sort of melted away after the 2012 elections. Also, what politician outside of the San Francisco Bay Area wants to identify himself with rape tents and pooping on cop cars?

Tax Day homily

Although this story focuses on California’s abuses, it shows how government gets its revenue in general: arbitrarily and with the power and willingness to ruin people’s lives.

In 1970, a young Southern California electrical engineer and inventor named Gilbert Hyatt filed a patent application for an innovative microprocessor chip…

Twenty years later…the U.S. patent office awarded Hyatt the patent…a multimillion-dollar windfall. He moved to Las Vegas, where he said he was a full-time resident before he received the earnings.

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB)…decided to seek $7.4 million in back taxes, claiming that he was still a resident of California when the money came in. That sounds like a simple enough dispute that could quickly be resolved, but what followed has been an ordeal that has consumed a good bit of Hyatt’s adult life.

…[for] a sum that now tops $55 million as interest and penalties have accrued…The tax authorities have been pursuing him through its administrative process. Tired of the endless investigations, Hyatt filed suit in Nevada court in 1998. California officials said they weren’t subject to an out-of-state tort lawsuit. California lost that argument in the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and the high court decision sent the case back to a Nevada district court, which awarded Hyatt nearly $400 million in damages after finding that the California authorities abused their power and invaded his privacy. That case is on appeal.

Hyatt believes that California officials are purposefully delaying. “Specifically, because of the 20 year delay Hyatt can no longer obtain a fair and full adjudication of whether he owes state taxes to California,” according to his lawsuit. “During this time, material witnesses have passed away, memories of witnesses have faded, and documents relevant and important to Hyatt are no longer available.” The board keeps assessing penalties…He suspects the tax board is waiting for him to die so that it can go after his estate.

Under California law, the Franchise Tax Board has the “presumption of correctness,” meaning that the onus always is on Hyatt to disprove what the tax officials say. And, he argues, they keep changing their stories and their allegations, thus resulting in more years of legal expenses and disputes…

To sum up – When dealing with the tax man in America today, you have:

  • No “innocent until proven guilty”.
  • No real “right to a speedy trial”.
  • Kafka-esque complexity and situations rigged for you to lose.

To anyone who wants to claim that our tax system is “voluntary”, or that government somehow isn’t a gun, or that taxation somehow isn’t a use of force on people (many conscientious tax-objectors are given long jail sentences): You’re just lying.

So, it’s not obstruction when a Democrat does it?

Brit Hume just made my job a lot easier:*

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.17.56 AM

Yesterday, Anderson Cooper all but drooled over the Texas Democrat.  And my left-of-center Facebook friends are making her a hero.  Should remind them of their support for this woman blocking a bill with majority support in the Texas Senate the next time a Republican blocks a bill with similar support in the U.S. Senate.

*I had planned a post wondering if Democrats’ love for Davis signaled a change of heart on the filibuster.

Rhode Island recognizes gay marriages the right way

After several tries, the Ocean State will start recognizing same-sex marriages on August 1.   Both houses of the legislature voted in favor of such recognition and the elected governor signed the bill into law.

And this legislation, like that in New Hampshire, addresses the concerns of those who contend such recognition would force churches (and other religious institutions) to perform weddings at odd with their faith’s doctrine.  According to the Associated Press’s David Klepper:

The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.

With such provisions, the Ocean State not only recognizes same-sex marriages, but also protects religious freedom.


FROM THE COMMENTS:  Jayne contends that “union of 2 males or 2 females is, biologically, historically and culturally so vastly different from the union between a male and female that to define it with the same term renders the definition meaningless.”

I would agree that same-sex unions are different from different-sex ones merely because of the differences between men and women, but is she right, are they “vastly different”? (Emphasis added.)

So, are we big 10th Amendment People now?

So, as I’ve said before, I’m mostly agnostic on gay marriage (I believe the entire institution should be left to personal/familial/community/religious devices and the government should remove itself entirely from the argument lock-stock-and-barrel). That said, you can’t be gay—well, or even straight it seems—in the United States today, according to the media, and not be completely and obsessively consumed by the issue (and, natch, your opinion can only be “FOR!”).

And since SCOTUS is hearing it this week, I suppose I might as well poke a stick into the monkey cage:

If we’re supposed to oppose DOMA on states’ rights grounds, should we then oppose the effort to overturn Prop 8?


-Nick (ColoradoPatriot) from HHQ

Excellent point made (and I don’t just say this because I have several captions vying for his “Best of” category) by VtheK from the comments:

This country would be so much better off if people cared as much about fiscal responsibility and economic growth as they do about giving same sex couples a piece of paper signed by a bureaucrat to legitimize their coupling.

Speaking of which, I think the time has come to push for polygamy. If gender doesn’t [matter], what’s so damned magical about the number 2?

(As for the first part, I have made this exact point many times myself, and I have much more to say about Viking’s second point, which perhaps I will anon…)