It is a truth universally acknowledged that lower taxes and smaller government lead to economic growth, while higher taxes and bigger government hold the economy back. And like many truths that are universally acknowledged, it is frequently contradicted by easily observable facts and that makes no difference. Economics especially seems to be full of these ironclad universal rules that only hold true some of the time, in elegantly controlled micro-economic examples.
Two weeks ago, my co-bloggers urged the American government to press Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza strip. I was skeptical that American pressure would be effective. One universal truth of sovereign nation states is that no one appreciates self-righteous foreigners telling them what to what to do, especially self-righteous foreigners with their own tainted records.
We Americans are an independent people with a do-it-yourself attitude. And no one proves that more than Gary Brooks Faulkner. The 50-ish American – armed with a pistol, 40-inch sword, night-vision goggles and book of Christian verses – went to Pakistan on a one-man mission to behead Osama bin Laden.
“God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing him,” Faulkner said.
"Get the hell out of Palestine...Remember these people are occupied, and it's their land." -- Helen Thomas, former journalist of the White House Press Corps
Their land. What does that phrase mean? I understand what it means to purchase a piece of land. You sign a deed, and you own the property, just as you might own a car, shares of stock shares, or a poodle. If someone steals your land, your car, your stock, or your poodle, it is an injustice.
On June 4th, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released an audio recording of a radio exchange between a flotilla ship and the Israeli Navy in which an unidentified crew member of the Mavi Marmara shouted, "Shut up, go back to Auschwitz!" Another unidentified voice with a distinctive Southern drawl explained to the Israeli Navy, "We're helping Arabs go against the US. Don't forget 9/11, guys."
It's no secret that I greet all information coming from the IDF skeptically. I expect bullshit, but I expect cleverly crafted, quasi-credible bullshit. So when I heard this 26-second audio clip from the flotilla encounter two days ago, I felt sure it was a scam -- a hoax by some nasty leftist agitators seeking to embarrass the Israeli military.
Let me start with this: I don't want Nikki Haley to be Governor of South Carolina. No way. No how. I don't especially want her to win her primary, and I would actively root for her defeat in the general election. But the way Haley is being treated is dead wrong.
I don't want Haley to become Governor because I think her ideas are mistaken and misguided. I don't think modern conservatism leads to good policies. So, I hope she loses. But the question of whether or not she's perfectly faithful to her husband has nothing to do with what kind of leader she would be.
Former President George W. Bush on Monday offered a gentle critique of some of the rhetoric and policies President Donald Trump has embraced in his first few weeks in office.
"Today" host Matt Lauer confronted Bush specifically about Trump's assertion that some news-media outlets were the "enemy of the people." It was a rare interview for Bush, who was promoting his new book, "Portraits of Courage." [....]
Over six minutes, Bush countered Trump's worldview, seeming to slightly criticize everything from Trump's immigration policy to his description of "American carnage" across the US [....]
As AA noted, Route 66 used to be *the* way to escape the madness. I used to be hellbent on 20 hour drive-a-thons to whatever sector of the country or side of the border till I figured out planes fly, cars sink, so as to outmaneuver the coasts. I was amazed meeting an Oregon woman in her 30's who'd never been to the ocean 100 miles away. Seems the post-war wanderlust has largely subsided,
As populism grips Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere, there are few targets as ripe for political assault as the institutions stuffed with unelected technocrats wielding the power to affect the economic fate of millions.
.....if Iraq remains on the list of banned nations in a revised order the White House says it is preparing, he could face another political rebellion that could cause his government to collapse. Tehran’s Shiite militias could push to replace U.S. forces in the fight for Mosul; or more likely, Iran’s clients could demand that all American forces leave Iraq immediately after the battle...
President Trump will instruct federal agencies on Monday to assemble a budget for the coming fiscal year that includes sharp increases in Defense Department spending.. tens of billions of dollars in reductions to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department...Social safety net programs, aside from the big entitlement programs for retirees, would also be hit hard.....
Fascinating and very apropos to everything we members do on this site as well as the current political and social situation in this country.
To sum a major point of the article up, which is itself a summary gleaned from several recently published books: Scientists from several disciplines are beginning to think that the more evolved a human is, the less "confirmation bias" they will have in selecting facts and other information. That "confirmation bias" was a positive trait in tribalistic society, but is becoming a negative trait now.
(their web headline story after all the Oscars stuff, natch)
Backers of a 'single-payer' system that operates like Medicare say the uncertainty surrounding Trump's promise to repeal Obamacare presents California with a chance to rethink how healthcare is delivered to its 39 million residents.
It’s just over a month into Hillary Clinton’s historic presidency, and Milo Yiannopoulos works as a Starbucks barista, the Koch brothers have fled the country and the first woman to occupy the Oval Office is the sober, exacting policy wonk that millions of Americans expected.
[....] Linda Stasi, who chronicled Mr. Trump’s up-and-down marriage to Marla Maples in the 1990s for two New York papers, said she could have predicted the presidential agita. “He would plant stories and he would get mad if they didn’t come out exactly as he wanted,” she recalled of earlier dealings with Mr. Trump. “It never occurred to him that he couldn’t control everything.”
Now, Ms. Stasi said, “he is shocked that he is not in control of the press.”
The headlines this month have been alarming. “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome” (Business Insider). “Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable” (the Huffington Post). “Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III” (the Nation).