The Russians Are Still Coming

A year later and Russia still dominates the news around US elections.  Investigations and political maneuvering over Russian influence in the last presidential continue at full tilt.  The partisan wrangling, as tragically is often the case, makes it hard to get to the real heart and findings of the problem.  But what we should be doing is just that—trying to find out exactly what happened.  That means that we should search for the truth, regardless of where that takes the search and who is involved.   If you are one that doesn’t agree then you can stop reading-justice is not the priority to you and you won’t agree with anything else. Continue reading “The Russians Are Still Coming”

Friday Quick Takes-Working Hard to Be Offended

In this edition of ‘Quick Takes’, we find that coins can be racist, certain dances are sexist and…well, we have gotten so that a large part of our society works very hard to try to be offended.

A Racist Coin Toss?

The Winter Olympics opening ceremonies are today. The process for determining who will carry to US flag during the ceremonies is a vote of the athletes and in the event of a tie, a coin toss to break the tie.

For today’s ceremony, luge racer Erin Hamlin and speed skater Shani Davis were the candidates and when the vote ended in a tie, the US Olympic Committee tossed a coin and Hamlin was selected to carry the flag.

But Davis was angry and attacked the process, which was documented in advance. Davis said the process was ‘dishonorable’ and then referenced Black History Month, apparently suggesting that either he should have won just because he is black or that the coin toss went against his because it was racist.

On a more serious note, it’s things like this that trivialize real issues of racism. When that is the stock answer to anything that happens–in this case a coin toss?!–people discount what you are saying.

And A Sexist Dance

A Staten Island high school cancelled its annual Father-Daughter dance which was scheduled for tonight. The reason? Because New York policy said that is discriminatory and that you can’t hold a dance that is limited to fathers and daughters and must be open to children and parents and grandparents of any sex.

In the scheme of things, such silliness is probably not that big of a deal and invite fathers or mothers or whoever. But silly it is and let’s call it that. At a time where we are seeing a continued erosion of the family and when we get upset because of the large number of fathers who fail to take responsibility for their parental obligations and when we have large amounts of data that shows the benefits for young girls who have a strong father figure during their developing years, why would we ever discourage an event that is designed for fathers to spend time with their daughters?

Because we have far too many people who are more interested in being blindly political correct than in anything else.

Workers Don’t Need A Bonus, According To Certain Members of Congress

Though we won’t know the complete impact of the recently passed tax reform law, one of the positive and surprisingly quick effects is that several large companies are passing on some of the tax savings to their employees. A number have raised the minimum wage of their workers while a number of others have given bonus payments, usually around $1000.

In a commentary on 1) how much people will oppose anything if it’s from people they hate or 2) how out of touch some long time politicians are with reality, former Speaker and current Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked for a reaction, said that $1000 for a worker is “crumbs”. When later asked about her comment, she reiterated her opinion that $1000 does little for a worker.

Not to be outdone, former Democratic Party Chair under President Obama, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said “I’m not sure that $1,000 goes very far for almost anyone.”

For my humble part, I’ll take $1000 and can assure you it would be a big deal.

So What’s the Real Word on Taxes?

Like most things, it’s safe to say that the tax reform bill passed in December has both good and bad aspects of it.

During the debate on the bill, most of the opposition argued that it was a tax cut for the rich at the expense of the lower and middle classes.  But that’s too easy.  That argument is used when any tax bill that includes cuts is debated and the reaction this time, and this time it appears to be out of habit.  And this time it’s just not that clear cut.  So let’s dismiss that and look closer at the actual provisions of the law… Continue reading “So What’s the Real Word on Taxes?”

The Real Problem with ‘Sanctuary’ Cities and States

On January 1, California declared itself a ‘sanctuary state’, refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement on enforcement of immigration laws.

Also this month the state of Washington, whose governor had earlier issued an executive order making that state a ‘sanctuary state’ to keep from enforcing “mean-spirited policies”, filed charges against Motel 6 accusing it of cooperating with federal immigration officials. Continue reading “The Real Problem with ‘Sanctuary’ Cities and States”

News of the Weird

Marianna Flores, a student at U of California-San Diego, is suing the university.

Flores was protesting with a group blocking a major highway in the San Diego area. While blocking the highway, she was injured when she was hit by a car. And so she is suing the university for not keeping her from protesting in the highway.

And, yes, there is a lawyer that has actually taken the case.

Friday Quick Takes–It’s Taxing

End of the week quick takes focus on comments about the recently passed tax plan.  Some different perspectives and…interesting opinions in this edition…

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who served during the Obama Administration, said that the recent tax bill was a ‘ticking time bomb’ because of the large increase in the national debt that will result.

That is a very legitimate concern and the largest drawback to law Over 10 years, even if optimistic estimates of increased economic growth play out, the debt will increase by hundreds of billions of dollars (the initial estimate by the CBO is $1.5 trillion). At some point, that will have to be addressed.

However, it’s ironic and strangely odd that this concern would come from the Treasury Secretary who helped form economic policy during an Administration where the national debt doubled, rising roughly $10 trillion, in 8 years.

But That’s My Money!

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that the recently passed tax reform bill was bad, in part, because it unfairly penalized high tax states by limiting the deduction for state taxes to $10,000. Well, yes, yes it does.

Or said another way, others will no longer be subsidizing people from high tax states by allowing them to pay less in federal taxes.

There is, of course, one obvious solution: stop having such high taxes.

 

That is just too much to consider for Cuomo.  So he has announced that he is having the state of New York sue the federal government in an attempt to invalidate the law, saying its unconstitutional.   Unconstitutional?  How is that, you may ask.  Good question, but that has sort of become ‘the thing’ to do when you disagree with a law may threaten to not give you as much money as you have started to feel entitled to getting.

So, we have one government suing another government, taking up a courts time and resources because…well, because it’s so important to settle the question of who gets more of the taxpayer’s money.