The ‘Happy Talk’ About Obamacare

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John Boehner says that everything Congress and President Trump has claimed about “repealing and replacing” the dying Obamacare system is mere “happy talk”. That, in Washington terms, means it’s a ruse to fool the rubes.

Congressional Leaders Honor Fresco Painter Of The Capitol Constantino Brumidi

Tears of happiness (talk). The High School Conservative.

Boehner is famous for resigning as Speaker of the House, tanning, smoking cigarettes, and crying. Yet, here, he may know what he’s talking about. Modern socialist Amerika will not tolerate a full repeal nor anything approaching free market principle in healthcare. And a full replacement may not be necessary to keep things limping along for a while.

Said Boehner:

“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare – I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.

Boehner’s comments come as Republican lawmakers across the country are facing angry constituents at town halls worried that Obamacare will be yanked away without a suitable replacement.

President Donald Trump has said in recent days that he will release a plan by early to mid-March on how the administration plans to move forward on a repeal-and-replace plan.

On Thursday, Boehner said the talk in November about lightning-fast passage of a new health care framework was wildly optimistic.

Trump says “the healthcare” must be addressed before the tax reforms are introduced. And, again, all of this is promised sooner than later. And sooner than later does not seem lightning fast.

Developing (slowly) …

Taxing Matters, the Waiting Game

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Bloomberg laments (or ponders) that it has been 31 years since the U.S. saw meaningful tax reform. They looked at what happened in 1986:

The result was a comprehensive bill that slashed individual and corporate rates while compensating for the lost revenue by closing loopholes. That meant eliminating tax advantages enjoyed by powerful interest groups like the oil and real-estate industries and overcoming their formidable allies in Congress.

On the way, the 1986 tax bill nearly died on multiple occasions as lobbyists pressed their cases. Throughout almost two years of debate and negotiation, the conventional wisdom was that the proposal would not survive. It was defeated once in the House. The Senate, with Democrats and Republicans equally beholden to special interests, appeared to be a certain graveyard.

Then, as the bill reached final passage, Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole marveled that in a matter of days, it went from “immovable to unstoppable.” It cleared the Senate by 97 votes to three. A combination of will, skill and ideological flexibility made it possible.

While pining for has-beens who occupied Congress for far too long, they also looked, tentatively, towards the rest of 2017.

Republicans envision a new sales tax on domestic and imported goods and services dubbed a “border adjustment tax,” a variation of a European-style value-added levy that would favor exporters like Boeing and Caterpillar over equally powerful consumer-product companies like Wal-Mart and Target, not to mention consumers themselves. There’s economic merit to the idea since it would raise money to enable rate cuts and avoids the crude protectionism that Trump has championed.

But it would create a big new tax, and already some House conservatives are objecting. So has the right-wing advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by the Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch.

Yes, the border tax. Therein could lurk the double-edge. The playing field needs leveling. The taxes might, or might not, do it. Cutting regulations and taxes, and reigning in the Fed certainly would. Who knows at this point? But, there is always some cause for concern.

In 1986, the tax cuts in some areas were accompanied by increases in others. Federal spending and debt continued to grow, unabated. Then there was the quiet inclusion in the deal of the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA). FOPA did nothing to protect anyone other than federal bureaucrats. It drastically limited the number of available automatic weapons – driving costs through the roof and into the stratosphere. Gun grabbers were pleased. Most of the public didn’t notice.

The grabbers are still at work, recent defeats aside. I suspect they will at least attempt to introduce some type of gun control into whatever tax reforms Trump proposes this year. They must be defeated.

Then again, we now know very little about what is planned for the rest of this year. Treasury Secretary Goldman Sachs Steven Mnuchin says a major overhaul is coming by August. We will see.

President Trump will address Congress next Tuesday, his first State of the Union remarks. It is a given he will discuss, in some fashion, the need for tax reform, among other measures. Details have been short. He’s also due to present a budget to Congress in the very near future. Tax details may be in there as well – again, details are in short supply.

So we’re going to continue on, and we’re going to take this budget, which is — in all fairness, I’ve only been here for four weeks, so I can’t take too much of the blame for what’s happened. But it is absolutely out of control, and we’re going to do things that are going to be tremendous over the years. We have to take care of our military. We have no choice, we have to take care of our military. It needs work; it’s very depleted. And we have to take care of a lot of other things.

Healthcare is moving along nicely. It’s being put into final forms. As you know, before we do the tax — which is actually very well finalized — but we can’t submit it until the healthcare, statutorily or otherwise. So we’re doing the healthcare. Again, moving along very well. Sometime during the month of March, maybe mid- to early March we will be submitting something that I think people will be very impressed by.

-Trump, Budget Meeting, Feb. 22, 2017.

I hope there’s something in it to be impressed with. The healthcare (or lack) is a tax itself. And I’m not sure why they can’t be reconciled together. At any rate, this is wait and see at this point.

While we wait we can look back at the history of taxation in America, the last 104 years. Bloomberg provided this graph:

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So much can be learned by simply tracking those little lines. Before 1913, the tax rates were ZERO – no taxes. Then, just as soon as they were in place, they skyrocketed. Their trajectory closely follows wars, economic turmoil, and social spending boondoggles. Their decline since the 70s paces the insane growth of debt spending – again, the spending is not dependent of the taxes and it does not stop.

It’s too much to hope that Trump wants to return to a 1912ish sound government. Still, there’s a modicum of hope. Hope tinged with caution. Keep the guns, kill the taxes.

Ronald Reagan and FOPA: Myth vs. Reality

The following is from last summer. And it’s about to become relevant again – more on that tomorrow. By the end of this month (Feb., 2017) we should hear President Trump’s State of the Union address and we should see his idea of a federal budget. Somewhere in those one should expect to find either tax cuts or a an overhaul of the entire tax system. My 2016 article highlighted that such changes, from D.C., are usually doubled-edged. Developing…

PERRIN LOVETT

Conservatives tend to lionize anyone associated with their ideology. Fewer politicians have been more ingrained in conservative mythology than Ronald Wilson Reagan. Rush Limbaugh explained:

He was optimistic and happy. He was infectious. He dared to embrace big ideas. He dared to do big things to overcome huge obstacles in the midst of all kinds of experts telling him it couldn’t be done, in the midst of all kinds of criticism, in the midst of all kinds of personal insults.

He rejected Washington elitism and connected directly with the American people who adored him. He didn’t need the press. He didn’t need the press to spin what he was or what he said. He had the ability to connect individually with each American who saw him. That is an incredible — I don’t even want to say “talent.” It’s a characteristic that so few Americans have, so few people…

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They Just Do Not Want Illegal Mexicans – Back In Mexico – *From The Last Refuge

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**Either they know something we don’t. Or, else, they’re admitting something we won’t. And either way, it’s too bad. The ‘repatriation-tied-to-visa-program’ angle in this is beautiful. Take back the illegal migrants or we stop all of them, legals too. And, Mexico would risk terminating its largest trade and economic agreements (a large percentage of their GDP). They’ll take ’em back – maybe to camps just south of the Rio Grande – but they’ll take them.**

Oh man, the winning is getting almost too exponential today. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Videgaray states his government will not allow President Trump to deport illegal Mexican aliens back into Mexico. He’s setting himself up for a big problem, here’s why. What no one noticed yet was Trump administration immediately postponed the release of the new immigration policy […]

via Mexico Again Demands Illegal Alien Mexicans Be Kept Out of Mexico… — The Last Refuge

1984: American College Version

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I have no idea whether Orwell’s 1984 is still permitted on American college campuses anymore. While it used to be mandatory or near-mandatory reading, I can see it easily offending today’s snowflake “students” and make-work professors and administrators.

One thing is certain: those administrators and their faculty allies seemed to have used the novel as a blueprint for many of their pathetic anti-freedom programs and plans.

Milo Y., recently in the news, caused a ruckus traveling the U.S. in an attempt to stir debate on various college campuses. Many students and many more Soros Rent-A-Mob hooligans reacted violently. Milo summed up the base problem at his press conference yesterday:

Don’t think for a moment that this will stop me being as offensive, provocative and outrageously funny as I want on any subject I want. America has a colossal free speech problem. The land of the First Amendment has some of the most oppressive social restrictions on free expression anywhere in the western world. I’m proud to be a warrior for free speech and creative expression.

I want everyone in America, the greatest country in the history of human civilisation, to be able to be, do, read and say anything. I will never stop fighting for your right to do that.

A colossal free speech problem – a freedom problem,really – and nowhere more evident than at our failing colleges. Here’s proof: hundreds of American colleges have snitch programs to combat “offensive” speech:

Universities are the cradle of free speech, where ideologies and ideas clash, where academics and activists can agree, disagree, or be disagreeable. This is particularly true in the United States, where the First Amendment zealously guards against government surveillance and intrusion into free speech.

Yet at hundreds of campuses across the country, administrators encourage students to report one another, or their professors, for speech protected by the First Amendment, or even mere political disagreements. The so-called “Bias Response Teams” reviewing these (often anonymous) reports typically include police officers, student conduct administrators and public relations staff who scrutinize the speech of activists and academics.

This sounds like the stuff of Orwell, although even he might have found the name “Bias Response Team” to be over-the-top.

Over the past year, I surveyed more than 230 such reporting systems for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and asked dozens of schools for records about their Bias Response Teams. What I found is detailed in a new report describing how universities broadly define “bias” to include virtually any speech, protected or not, that subjectively offends anyone. On many campuses, administrators are called upon to referee whether speech is polite.

Correction: universities were the cradle of free speech. Today they are bastions of newspeak, debt, and the secret police – and little else.

Here’s a link to the F.I.R.E. Report.

In Appendix B they list out every offended, offensive school, by state.

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I was pleased that neither of the two schools I procured degrees from were included. However, based on my experience with them, I could see them having something similar if they don’t already. The sheer volume of these programs is troubling. The whole thing is troubling.

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Open Culture.

There’s no need to look into any of these schools specifically – they usual suspects. Use this list as schools to avoid, if you’re in the education market. If you’re at one, and you get targeted, contact F.I.R.E. It’s time to drive the shrieking Nazis back into fiction.

Are You Prepared? Freedom Prepper is!

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I just mentioned Freedom Prepper in a story about my recent allergy attack (unrelated, mind you). And I would be remiss not to mention the great changes this week at that incredible publication. Check out the all new and improved:

Freedom Prepper (Always Ready)

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FP, 2017.

Yes, it’s a Drudge Report style now. I like it. Scott likes it. One really can’t reinvent Matt D’s perfectly good news deliver wheel design. And it’s a news aggregation site, now, primarily. Prepper news and related info, that is. I’ll still have some weekly articles of my own there. Most of my new stuff will (well, does now) appear at the FP App, which is (for now) only available for Apple iTunes. The new site will/should soon have a link to the App, along with the VIP pages, and Preparedness Weekly magazine (also from iTunes but somehow more compatible with other devices).

For an archive of my older (2016-17) FP articles, try THIS LINK. There’s something like 20 pages of my links (so far). The new aggregation links come up first (and are growing rapidly). Those are just links. The real articles are further back; use the “older entries” tab at the bottom of each page to review.

Now, really, where’s my Advil???

Yesterday I Sneezed … (this leads to a Free E-book)

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More of a sneezing fit really. Big sneeze and then I felt fine. Until this morning. Only too late did I consult weather.com for the pollen count (its high).

Some years I have no allergy symptoms at all. Some years there’s a little here and there. And, then, some years it hits me all at once like a sledgehammer to the head. Guess what kind of year 2017 is. Yeah.

The good news is that I know this will be over fast. The better news is the antihistamines.

Anyway, why did I write this out. Well, I have several rants to get to. And I have several longer articles in the works. But all of that requires a clear head. That’s something I rarely have anyway and hay fever doesn’t help.

I’m not going to discard you like a used tissue (or 5). Before you go, please take a free PDF, a how-to project I wrote up a while back for Freedom Prepper, a tiny (FREE) e-book:

Perrin’s DIY Gasoline Depot (Cause You Might Need Extra Gas…)

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The original write-up from FP.

Okay, now. Where’s my Advil???

Be a Filthy Hooligan (Or Smoke One)

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“Filthy Hooligan” gets tossed around a lot these days. Politicians, Republicans, Democrats, SJWs, rapefugees, Falcons fans, you, me – example after example after example.

And, once again, Alec Bradley has crafted a cigar just for our mad world: the Black Market Filthy Hooligan.

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A big, beefy, green, barber pole of a cigar.

It debuted for a limited release last year for Saint Patrick’s Day. Following a tremendous reception A.B. brought it back for this year.

Last year I saw the green oddity and wrote it off as such. And that might have been the case this year but for a great recommendation (thanks, Jake!). Don’t judge a cigar by its off-color wrapper! This may be my cigar of the year – jury’s out til December.

Anyway, the Hooligan is a stout 6X50 Toro. The construction, while solid, presents with a slightly mottled appearance. That, of course, is due to the blending of dark Nicaraguan Jalapa (the brown) and Candela leaf (the green). For a mix it holds together perfectly. And it burns perfectly too. Another perfection is the cap (of Candela) which is seemingly custom-made for precision decapitation.

It was the green that originally put me off. My Candela experience has been a little less than exciting. In general, I’ve found, that what looks like grass or hay tends to taste like grass or hay. Not this one. This green somehow imparts a sweet flavor which exceptionally compliments the rich, earthy tones of the Jalapa leaf.

The binder is Sumatran; the fillers are a tandem of Honduran happiness and Panamanian strength. The result is phenomenal. A.B. says: “The medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke explodes on the palate with sweet tobacco flavors countered by the brawnier core leaves, like a good Irish Stout.” And that’s a great description.

By the way, with the green color, they really push the St. Paddy’s Day theme. Hmm. Seems like a good year-round smoke to me. Earthy, sweet, slightly spicy, and smooth in an endearing strong fashion. I concur on the body and flavor levels. It’s a fantastic stick for a veteran, sure to satisfy. And it works really well with a beer. Or, with black coffee.

Newbies too, I suppose, would enjoy this profile. Those without an established palate might do well to eat first and limit the liquid accompaniments. But, then, for them, a slow approach would only increase the savor without discomforts.

Wherever you happen to be experience-wise in cigar land, try one a.s.a.p. You need not wait for the green beer. Unleash your inner hooligan today, you filthy animal.

Dying Industry Seeks to Appease SJW Idiots: Bankruptcy to Follow…

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The traditional publishing industry has one foot in the grave and a battleship anchor around its neck. Now, they seek to drive off the last of their successful authors and resulting revenue streams – all in the name of … whatever it is SJWs want this afternoon. They hiring, many have already hired, Sensitivity Readers (a.k.a. Censors):

Before a book is published and released to the public, it’s passed through the hands (and eyes) of many people: an author’s friends and family, an agent and, of course, an editor.

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as “dealing with terminal illness,” “racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families” or “transgender issues.”

This is from a Chicago Tribune story. And the Tribune gets it all wrong from the start. The friends and family might (might) get to read a manuscript. But, where does one find a literary agent these days? I heard there were 2 left in New York. But they are both busy hunting for new employment. Agents are as common nowadays as bookstores.

The new stores, the editors, the publishers, and the printers are all together on the internet. A few clicks on the keyboard and a new book is approved, published, and on sale to 2 Billion people instantly. And for better royalties than the biggies ever paid.

Soon traditional publishers (a few university, technical, and niche presses exempted) will be confined to the museum of unnatural history. Perhaps their “sensitivity readers” will be a side exhibit. A curiosity.

This last, failing, and stupid trend is but another attempt at social justice warrioring by people who otherwise could never find gainful employment.

‘Racism”. “Dealing with illness”. “Transgender”. “Left-handed, midget, refugee points of view on socio-economic distribution of expenditures in education”. (I made that last one up…). All of these smack of the holier-than-thou censoring for which SJWs are infamous. Nothing shall be uttered (or thought) which defies the narrative (which changes with the breeze). Who the hell cares?

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Freedom to Read Foundation.

If a book is offensive, then it won’t sell. Or, maybe it will sell even better because it offends someone. No one is forced to buy or read it. Get over it. Some busybody out there has been offended by every word ever scribed.

The next illogical step wold be for the publishers to burn their own books at SJW tantrum rallies, blue-haired hippies at a Nazi bonfire of ignorant glee. They might as well burn their presses and offices too.

They’re on life support and they’re trying to plug their own plug. Let them.

Infogalactic News

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Bookmark this:

http://news.infogalactic.com/

Vox Day and his team have done an outstanding job creating an alternative to fake news. It’s a one stop shop for the best in what’s going on and associated commentary. Debuted literally a few minutes ago. I suppose it’s still in test mode. Should be officially unveiled tomorrow. Check it out early!

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That is all. Oh, wait. Soon I shall review the 2017 Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan – a green barber pole of a cigar that I would have never looked at if not for a recommendation. Superb. That, is all.