Vote

Go vote.  Speak your piece at the ballot box.

Double check your ballot, too, before you hit the CAST BALLOT button; electronic machines are capable of glitches.

Don’t make excuses; take the time.  Have your say.

A Useful Step

It’s even a step toward my goal of privatizing Social Security.  Tom Giovanetti, Institute for Policy Innovation President wrote of an idea for an additional tax cut in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.

[I]nstead of an impotent income-tax cut or, say, a payroll-tax cut of 4% of income, why not redirect that same 4% into personal retirement accounts for every worker? … With no decline in disposable income, American workers would suddenly be investing for retirement at market rates in accounts they own and control, instead of relying on Congress to keep Social Security solvent.

The Debate Over Birthright Citizenship

President Donald Trump is thinking about signing an Executive Order that would end the birthright citizenship that many say is encoded in the 14th Amendment of our Constitution.  Whether Trump has the authority for such an EO is an open debate, but the more important debate is another one such a move has triggered: whether we should have birthright citizenship, in particular for the children of illegal aliens.

Nor is this question as cut and dried as many would like it to be.  Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law Houston, has argued

The Wages of a Minimum Wage Law

Recall Seattle’s 2015-2016 minimum wage law that mandated a rise in minimum wage from $9.47/hr to $12 for small businesses and $13 for large businesses.  The University of Washington early on published a study that demonstrated a drop in hours worked by low-wage workers of some 9% with a resulting decrease in actual income for those low-wage earners—ones least able to afford the cut—of some $74/mo.

New, updated numbers are in, reflecting in particular tracks folks with jobs at the time the mandated minimum wage went up.

Cold War Mentality and Objectivity

As Australia and Papua New Guinea work together to reconstitute a WWII naval base on the island, a People’s Republic of China official objected to those two nations moving to improve their ability to defend themselves.  Lu Kang, the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Information Director-General, said

We hope the relevant countries, and relevant people, can discard the Cold War mentality…and view China’s relations with Pacific islands in an objective way.

Federal Redistributions of State Funds

In response to Robert Poole’s Wall Street Journal bit about making some aspects of our infrastructure more affordable, a couple of folks wrote Letters to the Editor.  And so I have my own response.

[A]sset recycling is not about finding more efficient ways to modernize and expand infrastructure. It’s about raising money for cash-starved treasuries….

and

The solution is to allow all states to retain the federal gas tax generated by each state.

This is Meeting a 2% Commitment?

This is a pretty ugly performance by what used to be a top-drawer defense establishment.

Germany’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that only 39 percent of large items, such as tanks and helicopters, delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2017 did not require improvement before deployment.

That’s against an already shockingly low goal of a 70% Operational Ready status for already delivered military equipment—like those tanks and helicopters.

And this:

Only 27 of the 71 Pumas delivered last year; half of the eight A400M delivered; two among seven Tiger combat helicopters; and four among seven NH90 transport helicopters, were operationally ready last year….
Among four new Eurofighter combat jets delivered in 2017, one could be used.

Speaking of Censorship of Conservatives

(See nearby.)  Republican candidate for Senator from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn has had her campaign ad censored by Google:

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to show your ads on Google, our search partners, or on Display Network placements until you edit your ads or keywords to make them compliant with our policies….

Here are the ads Google says is inappropriate.

It seems it’s a violation of Google’s policies to depict the Left in an unfavorable light.

This is the nature of “free” speech to which we can look forward if the Progressive-Democrats succeed next week or in 2020 or later elections.

“Sick and Tired”

That’s what ex-Vice President Joe Biden (D) said about the Trump administration last Tuesday.

Three times this past week the forces of hate have terrorized our fellow Americans for their political beliefs, the color of their skin or their religion[.]

Forces of hate have always been with us, and they always will be—there’s evil in the world, and we’re humans, not angels.  But those forces have been spun up especially hard by the hateful, divisive rhetoric of the last couple of years, rhetoric that is an especially virulent rhetoric of the divisive rhetoric of the preceding eight years: cops act stupidly and are racist, Americans are nothing but bitter Bible-clingers and gun-toters living in flyover country, Americans are irredeemably deplorable racists and misogynists.

Another Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

There is a nascent movement, the #WalkAway movement, that for the last five months has been urging those disgruntled with the Progressive-Democratic Party to leave the party and form a different one.

Some said the Democratic Party has become hate-filled and hostile to opposing points of view while moving further to the left. Others say they were tired of the party’s “politically correct” culture.

The movement appears to have gained steam from the Kavanaugh hearing travesty.