Friday, June 29, 2018

Trump's Economic Miracle: Not...

I am sad to say that most Trump True Believers will likely believe the charlatan. If you like to live in the real world this is a good Fact Check. AP FACT CHECK: Trump dubs tax cuts an "economic miracle"

I mean it is easy to make the country's economy growth if you are willing to borrow trillions of dollars from our kids. But at least be honest about what you are doing.  This is the same game Dayton and the DEMs did in MN, they passed huge bonding bills and claimed economic success. 

It is easy to grow an economy by borrowing...   Duh... I could go one heck of a spending spree if I was putting it on someone else credit card...
"KUDLOW: "As the economy gears up, more people working, better jobs and careers, those revenues come rolling in, and the deficit, which is one of the other criticisms, is coming down, and it's coming down rapidly." 
Since the fiscal year started in October, Treasury Department reports show the federal government has recorded a $385.4 billion deficit, a 12 percent jump from the same period in the previous year. 
The Congressional Budget Office was even more blunt in a long-term assessment released Tuesday. 
It estimates that the national debt — the sum of yearly deficits — will be $2.2 trillion higher in 2027 than it had previously forecast, largely a consequence of Trump's 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax cut. The size of the debt could be even higher if provisions of the tax cut that are set to expire are, instead, renewed."
And worse yet Trump wants to double down on this childish behavior.  I say childish because responsible adults pay their bills, they don't charge up their credit card and give the bill to their kids.

A few more interesting links:

From personal experience I can confirm that my employer is not sharing the new found wealth.  And based on most sources this seems typical.

The good news of course is that I am fairly wealthy and benefit from increases in the stock market. However now Trump is working to disrupt that also.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

SCOTUS Against Forced Dues

Thank heavens, SCOTUS just got rid of the forced payments to unions. Or as VOX describes the action. The Supreme Court decision gutting public sector unions, explained. How to understand Janus v. AFSCME.

I am sorry but I see Public Employee Unions as terrible for America.  Just what American citizens do not need... Organizations who work to:
  • Protect employees based on age rather than capability or results.
  • Raise wages based on age rather than capability or results.
  • Protect employees against any accountability or performance measures.
  • Increase the cost of government through higher wages, more employees, more work rules, more bureaucracy, etc
Hopefully this helps our Public Service Systems to become more effective and efficient over time.

Good News and Liberal Hypocrisy

First the news topic, MSN Federal Judge Orders Family Reunification The judge also set time limits which is good.

The second speaks to the Liberal elites hypocrisy:
"Sessions spoke Tuesday to a crowd at the conservative-leaning conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, and accused critics of his “zero tolerance” immigration policy of hypocrisy.

“These same people live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in to hear em speak. They like a little security around themselves,” he said.

“If you try to scale the fence they’d be even too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”

The last line brought laughs and a few cheers from the audience in Los Angeles, which was greeted with protests by those who see the separation of children from their undocumented parents as inhumane."  MSN Session Jokes about Child Separation
Along those lines, here is an interesting study I heard about one day on NPR.  WAPO Researchers put two Spanish-speakers on a train and changed commuters’ views of immigration

It pretty much aligns with what I have experienced in the behaviors of suburban and rural Liberals.  They are very supportive of the poor, the immigrants, the minorities, etc until they start to move into their neighborhoods or schools.  I mean SO MANY middle and upper class Liberal households have moved to get their kids into that Whiter more affluent district.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Farm Stress Can Be Deadly

CBS Farmers are killing themselves in staggering numbers

MinnPost Minnesota is considering doubling its number of rural mental health counselors. To two.

MPR As milk prices decline, worries about dairy farmer suicides rise

I had better keep an eye on my friends. I heard some of the reasons why the farmers are such a high risk group:
  • Many are single men (ie reluctant to see Doctor, Counselor, etc)
  • Many are trying to "save the family farm" that has been in the family for generations (ie big stress / guilt)
  • Little control over their costs or revenues (ie market determined and some farmers are not skilled at timing their "buying and selling")
  • Big bets can lead to HUGE losses
Personally I think things are going to get pretty tough if the commodity prices fall.  Possibly exacerbated by Trump's trade war.

There are a lot of farmers who bought real expensive land and equipment when commodity prices were high.  And Lord knows the costs are not falling. (ie equipment, fuel, fertilizer, seed, etc)

The graph linked to above is offset by one benefit, the yield has increased on average due to better seeds and farming practices.

Travel Ban Rev 3 is Upheld

CNN Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban
I never did understand why folks considered this issue a "religious issue".  I mean only a small percentage of Muslims live in the countries that are named.  And Lord knows security is pretty weak in the countries named and/or folks there do not wish America well.  Thoughts?

Though it is odd that Russia doesn't make the list given their recent behaviors in America. Oh yeah, I forgot that Putin is black mailing Trump. :-)

Monday, June 25, 2018

GOP Hypocrisy

This is an amusing piece. USA Today: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Guide to Refusing Service: Christian Baker Can, Red Hen Can't.

Of course I also wonder where the Liberals are who support that "All Business Must Do Business With All Comers".  Shouldn't they be boycotting the Red Hen or something? :-)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Trump Visits Duluth

Trump visited Duluth, here are some thoughts from Eric at MinnPost, and Hiram.
"A president who lies whee the interests of children are concerned was greeted by a rapturous reception in Duluth. Minnesotans should be ashamed."  --Hiram

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Democrats Blocking Immigration Bill

CNN The depressing predictability of the immigration debate. Apparently the DEMs will block the GOP Moderate's bill over border security funding... It is very odd that DEMs are against government spending in this case... I mean they have no problem spending hundreds of billions each year on social programs, however they won't make a one time payment to protect the Dreamers and to put the immigration topic behind us.
"What's more: Even if, by hook or by crook, the House manages to pass this compromise bill, it's virtually certain to be dead on arrival in the Senate. Even if all 50 Republican senators voted for it -- John McCain remains in Arizona battling brain cancer -- the bill would need 10 votes from Democrats to bring it to the floor for debate. And unless you have been living on another planet for the last few years, you know that 10 Democrats ain't voting for legislation that provides $25 billion in funding for a southern border wall."
It is interesting how the DEMs seemed to have no more desire to solve this immigration issue than the GOP folks. Maybe they are the ones wanting to use the Dreamers in the election.

Sean said the following in the previous post's comments. "The Democratic Party or "liberals" aren't generally supporting open borders, no control, no limits, or any of the other nonsense you've tried to attribute to them in this thread. You can see what they voted for in 2013. You can see the sort of proposals brought forward earlier this year (like McCain-Coons or Graham-Durbin)."

Since they are reluctant to compromise now, I am thinking this is more about DEM politics than helping people. Over there I posted the following comment and questions:
"Ultimately this comes down to what is the purpose of the American Immigration policy? 
  1. To help 1+ million people a year enter the "American Lifeboat".
  2. To help America succeed by bringing in people who can help our country thrive. 
Or just assuming 1 million per year...What mix of the above? 
I think 200,000 "Life Boaters" and 800,00 "Make America Greaters" sounds much wiser than our current mix. 
That way we can afford to keep helping people in their home countries.
We apparently let ~1.6 million people immigrate her in 2016, and we are near a record rate...  So:  
  • How many immigrants per year is the correct amount?
  • What should be the characteristics of people we allow in?

Liberals and the Southern Border

I keep asking of people with more Liberal views.
"So what is your proposal to control access on our Southern border?

Or do you support no Southern border control and allowing anyone who gets to the border to enter our country?

Please think before you answer... There are ~7 BILLION people on earth and many of them are poor destitute and would love to live in the USA.  
How many do you want to let in? Remembering that we are already at record levels. And our poor have a hard time making a living wage here...

And just raising taxes and government spending is not an adequate answer.

Instead of complaining and name calling...  Give us solutions. "

And all I receive in exchange is the sounds of crickets. Which leads me to believe that they support pretty much uncontrolled unlimited legal / illegal immigration.

Does that mean anyone who shows up at our border and says...  "My (our) life sucks in my (our) home country"... is allowed in?  Without yearly quantity limits?

Help us more conservative folks understand your plan...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump Approval / Disapproval Update

Eric at Minnpost has some very interesting information here. This seems logical to me, but the Trump True Believers will likely say it is just fake news...
"I’ll just pass along the change in Trump’s statewide ratings in the three states that according to many analysts determined the outcome of the election, the three “Blue Wall” states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which Trump carried narrowly. 
In Pennsylvania, Trump’s approval when he took office was +10. In the latest polling, it’s -4.  In Michigan, it’s dropped 17 percentage points, from +8 to -9.  And in Wisconsin it’s fallen 18 points from +6 to -12. 
On balance, according to 538’s table, Trump’s approval numbers are still above water in 20 states, 12 of them in the south, including the key swing state of Florida, where is net approval has declined from +22 on Inauguration Day to +5 in this roundup." Eric Black
I am very interested to see what happens in November...

Additional Links
FiveThirtyEight overview of the state-by-state Trump approval polls
RCP Trump Approval Disapproval Summary

Republicans Approve of Breakup Policy

CNN Majority oppose policy that causes family separation, but Republicans approve

I guess I personally agree with the administration's "zero tolerance" policy of criminally charging people who cross the border illegally.  I mean the goal of walls, border patrols, and now criminal charges is to dissuade people from trying to enter our country illegally.  Which as you know, I whole heartedly support.  (too many people are hurt / killed during the migration and we want to encourage legal migration with back ground checks and searches completed)

I think the previous policy of catch, release and set a court date seemed stupid and not effective.  It was like saying please attempt to violate our border...  And if we don't catch you, you win...  And if we do catch you, you get to stay here for awhile and may get lucky.  I mean how is that supposed to dissuade anyone.

That said... How can we enforce our laws and our borders without breaking up families? Here are some possibilities, if border control catches a family... 
  1. Give them a bus ticket back to their home country
  2. Drive them back to the Mexican border and drop them off.
  3. Setup refugee tent cities on the border and deposit people there until their court date
Now the big problem though is that having toddlers removed from their Mom's arms seems like political suicide to me.  What was Trump and the GOP thinking?


Saturday, June 16, 2018

FBI Inspector General Report

Apparently Trump read a different IG report than the rest of us.  He apparently thinks this report had something to do with him, which it did not...

I am happy the report concluded that:

  • The FBI behaved in an admirable and non-biased manner
  • Comey did push back against the politically motivated Attorney General (ie was insubordinate)
  • A couple of FBI employees were anti-Trump (go figure..)
All of which we already understood.  No surprises here...

Now here is a piece from someone who disagrees.  Of course, my thought was that if FBI folks were out to prevent Trump from getting the Presidency, they did a really bad job.  I mean not one leak about Trump's campaign members meeting with Russian agents made the news before the election.

It may make for a good "spy / conspiracy theory" movie some day... :-)

Justifying Trump's Lack of Decorum

A Far Right FB friend posted "a piece defending President Donald Trump’s lack of decorum and dignity in office". It was originally "spread widely online, attributed to Dr. Marshall Kamena, the Democratic mayor of Livermore, California:" Snopes: He Fights It turned out that it was actually written by a Far Right comedian.
Of course my friend made the mistake of writing this with the post... "I leave it here for your honest and open consideration." Which normally would be fine, except that I took it as a open invitation to comment. 😁
Now the reason I am posting this is to help people understand the perspective of Trump True Believers. From the comments we exchanged, these folks truly believe:
  • the piece is 100% true and factual
  • that the "Liberal Tribe" is evil, underhanded and corrupt
  • the media is complicit in furthering the Lefts power
  • that achieving their "ends" (ie Conservative Judges, Power to the States, Christian Based Laws, Weakening of the Federal Government, etc) pretty much any justifies any means. (including Trump)
  • Other
My thoughts after participating in that exchange are similar to when I enter a discussion with folks from the Far Left:
  • Is there any way for the Far Left and Far Right to ever "just get along"?
  • If not get along: at least accept that neither side is good or bad, right or wrong, etc
  • With cable news and social media "echo chambers" and "their rock throwing" continually reinforcing the views of the extremes, is there any way to bring our citizens back together?
  • I don't hold out a lot of hope as long as Tribe Liberal and Tribe Conservative continue see and paint each other as enemies of the USA... 😨

Thursday, June 14, 2018

What are Children Entitled to in a Parent(s)?

I have to vent about the MinnPost Moderators again.  They published Ian's snarky "Judge not... Lest you be judged" comment. However they would not accept any of my 6 variations of "Ian, What do you think children are entitled to in a parent(s)? (ie level of emotional stability, responsibility, knowledge, maturity, financial stability, independence, role model, etc)  My first concern is the children, not the adults that interact with them."

11 Facts About Child Abuse
More Statistics
G2A How to Win the War on Poverty

The good news is that they did allow me to respond with Paul's latest far Left comment...  You know the one's where he blames the Conservatives and businesses for all the ills of our poor citizens.
"The controllable reasons poor people are poor seem pretty predictable:
  • low achievement in the area of education or skills
  • unwilling to do high hour, dirty or high travel jobs that are unpopular but sometimes pay more
  • pursuing their passion in a poor paying field (ie arts, charity, etc)
  • unwilling to relocate from their community
  • spend too much and or have too many children
  • addicted to smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc
Now how again does giving these people tax dollars help them escape poverty in the long term? 
Now I whole heartedly agree that society needs to care for those who are or become physically or mentally disabled.  And we need to provide a safety trampoline to help people up from temporary problems. 
However the idea that "work requirements" are in some way inhumane seems silly to me.
And please remember that low paying jobs are low paying is because there is too much supply and too little demand...  That is why I support deport illegal workers and stopping their entry until the lower wage jobs pay more. :-)" G2A

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trump has Another Tantrum

So Trump comes home from his big dog and pony show in Singapore and most of us are not impressed, and we say so...  So what does an egotistical self centered guy who is wishing he was an emperor of old do...  He accuses the people who disagree with his world view of being America's "biggest enemy"

Of course in Trump's alternate universe, Kim and North Korea are apparently no longer a threat to the USA.  And of course he thinks Russia is now our friend and should be welcomed back into the G7.

I guess one can understand Trump being in a crabby mood, I mean a judge ruled against his recommendation in the ATT and Time Warner merger case.  And that means that his arch nemesis CNN just got much deeper pockets and even more broadcasting power...

Here is some more background regarding Trump and the Merger.

One more twist this week is Trump submarining one of the Freedom Caucus representatives. I am not sure how the GOP is going to survive if only people who suck up to Trump win...  I mean Trump is a little more popular than in the past, but he is still disapproved of by massive numbers.  And he sure isn't doing anything to win the members of Tribe Liberal and Tribe Moderate over...

Look what his idiotic tariffs are doing to companies like my employer who manufactures with a lot of steel and aluminum and then tries to compete around the world.  Please remember that our competitors in China, Japan and Europe will not be paying the tariff in their country...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What Happened in Singapore

Any Thoughts?  CNN Expert View

I am cynical...  I think Kim and Trump both fed their huge egos and little will change...  Well other than that the North Koreans will play us again...  I hope I am wrong...

Trump seems really good at ripping up and backing away from agreements...
And seems really bad at getting new better agreements signed.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Harder For Women and Kids to get Asylum

CNN Trump admin drops asylum protections for domestic violence victims

VOX Jeff Sessions has all but slammed the door on survivors of domestic and gang violence
"Asylum: protection from arrest and extradition given especially to political refugees by a nation or by an embassy or other agency enjoying freedom from what is required by law for most people ." Merriam Webster
Though it seems cold, I guess it kind of makes sense. I mean:
  • How would a person prove their life was at risk?
  • Do we really want to accept everyone who has a hard life in another country?
  • Wasn't asylum more specifically defined before?

Cleaning the Voter Rolls

I personally agree that this decision makes sense.  CNN Supreme Court upholds Ohio method of removing names from voter rolls.  I mean how else do people expect to remove those who die, move to another State, etc?

Here is VOX's view.  Supreme Court’s conservative justices uphold Ohio’s voter purge system

And FOX's... Supreme Court gives green light to Ohio's voting roll purge

As I am questioning elsewhere, personally I think our rights of citizenship should come with responsibilities...  Even us voters need to make sure our records stay up to date.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Income Inequality

From Laurie: Unrelated link on income inequality:

A Look At Income Inequality Around the World: It’s a Choice, Not a Destiny

Liberals and Bigotry of Low Expectations

The comment string over here took a twist, here is my latest.

"Please remember that I am fine with tax payers funding SNAP, TANF, WIC, Job Training, Social Services, Medicaid, Public Schools. etc as long as we hold the recipients accountable for striving to improve themselves and escape poverty. Here is an interesting site that I just found that lists many of the programs available.

Unfortunately it seems many of the folks with a more liberal perspective believe that tax payers should pay the expenses of a small percentage of our less motivated citizens and expect little in the way of improvement or effort from them.  This is what I disagree with, I see it as a form of co-dependency and bigotry of low expectations.

I personally believe that every person is capable of learning knowledge, skills and making good financial decisions for themselves and their family, given the correct incentives. Whereas some folks seem to doubt their capabilities, and therefore are against work and training requirements.
Now tax payers care for the old infirm and young in the name of "humanity".  However when it come to spending money on healthy adults, that should be an investment in them with clear expectations, rewards and or lack of rewards.
I often find it amusing when people say that Conservatives want to punish people for their chosen or inherited lifestyle.  As if people are owed food, healthcare, housing, etc just for standing on American soil.
The reality is that all the money that is spent on healthy citizens is a gift / investment from other tax payers.  And that with holding a gift is not "punishment", it is just not giving a gift / investment.

I mean if someone applies for a grant and does not receive it...  Is that a punishment?"

Thursday, June 7, 2018

ACA Update

Well the President is now playing politics with the Justice department.
WAPO Justice Dept will Not Defend ACA
CNN Trump Admin will Not Defend ACA

However apparently Obama's crew set precedent recently...
"But Bagley noted that the Trump administration "loathes the ACA" and the Obama administration's refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defined marriage between a man and a woman back in 2011, sets precedent."
If they succeed in trashing ACA, I sure am happy I don't have any pre-existing conditions.  And I am still covered under my employer subsidized plan.

What will be interesting is how the voting public will react in the mid-terms?

The Balance ACA Advantages
The Balance Disadvantages
538 ACA Opinions
The Hill Majority Supports ACA

SNAP and the Farm Bill

From MinnPost Why SNAP matters in the Farm Bill. Katie is a Dietician and is voicing her views via their Community Voices section.

Please remember that pretty much every children and their family benefits from the USDA food programs.

As I commented in the Somali Daycare Fraud post.

"Almost all child care facilities and schools receive a food subsidy based the number of meals / snacks served.

For poor families it is a ~100% reimbursement. For wealthier students it is less.

I do not disagree that government has its waste. However I think most of that waste and over sight is due to criminal and/or fraudulent citizens... Not a problem with the system." G2A
So if you are a wealthy conservative people complaining about those people getting free food...  Guess what, you also are on the dole... :-)

SS and Medicare Update

Well the Trustees have issued a new report and things still look bleak for folks who are going to be reliant on Social Security and/or Medicare.
"The trustees estimate that by 2034 the combined trust funds for Social Security — which help fund the old age and disability programs — will run dry. At that point Social Security will be able to pay only 79% in promised benefits to retirees and disabled beneficiaries." 
"The trust fund for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital and nursing home costs for seniors, would run dry by 2026, three years earlier than last year's projection. At that point the program would only be able to pay out 91% of promised benefits."
Thankfully I will not be in that group, however since I did save hard for my retirement...  I assume Liberals will look at my nest egg as part of the solution for continuing payments to others. :-(

The correct solution would have been to raise the pay roll tax rate many years ago. (ie premium matches benefits)  Unfortunately as is often the case, the voters back then were happy to leave their rate low and push the problem off into the future.  As we continue to do even now. :-)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Religion 1 LGBT 1

Well I am happy to see this ruling by SCOTUS. By the way, my scoring is that SCOTUS made LGBT marriage legal.  And now they have acknowledged the importance of religious freedom in our country.
"Kennedy wrote that there is room for religious tolerance, pointing specifically to how the Colorado commission treated Phillips by downplaying his religious liberty concerns.

"At the same time the religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression," Kennedy wrote, adding that the "neutral consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here."

"The commission's hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion," Kennedy said, adding to say that the case was narrow.

"The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market," the opinion states."

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Low Black Unemployment Rate

Sometimes I have to agree with the Trump True Believers, it seems that many liberals would be happier if things were going worse for the citizens of America. This VOX piece regarding the Black Unemployment rate seems to want to down play how great the record low rate is.

Of course the Conservatives did the same thing when Obama was President, so I assume this is just something that tribal members do.

Life should be good for us today, I mean we have low taxes, high spending, large borrowing, cheap polluting energy, etc.  I am more concerned regarding the long term consequences of our living large on the "credit card".