Monday, November 27, 2017

Trump Surrenders, Again

With the withdrawal of support to the  Kurds in Syria and Iraq, Trump has surrendered to Turkey, Iran, Russia, and of course Assad in Syria.

 This cedes control of that whole region of the Middle East to Russia and Iran.

Trump has now strengthened Iran, as well as Russia; all to appease Turkey, an erstwhile NATO ally.

How can GOP conservatives, Saudi Arabia and Israel be happy with this development ?

I said that Trump surrenders again because in my earlier posts I wrote about his surrender of Asia to China and Eastern Europe to Russia. 

 Western Europe stands alone. Of course, Trump has alienated Mexico and Canada, and taken shots at Australia.

At least he's beloved by dictators, autocrats, kings, thugs and ( sadly) Israel.

Pax Americana is over and the US is going it alone for now.  Trump only wants only bilateral trade agreements that no one else really wants.  They may have to trade with us since we are such big, rich bullies; but the resentment will fester and eventually hurt us.

 I always thought  that the goal of trade was "win-win". Not according to Trump. By the way, trade deficits are meaningless "red herrings". 

These developments can only harm America in the long run. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Tax Cuts For Donald Trump Act

The Tax Cuts for Donald Trump Act: 

That should be the name of the recently announced GOP tax plan. The major beneficiary of this tax plan is not the American public broadly but, instead, Donald J Trump and his family, personally.
First of all not reducing the highest income tax rate for higher earners is not relevant to Trump. Virtually none of his income is taxable at ordinary income tax rates .

Almost all of Trump's income comes from pass-through entities which will now be given a windfall tax rate of 25%. It is grossly misleading to say this new rate benefits small business. Most truly small businesses already pay at a 25% rate. Rather the only pass entities that will receive this unjustified windfall are the kind in which Trump is invested, including, of course, The Trump Organization.

The second major windfall for Trump and his family is the eventual elimination of the estate tax. It is grossly misleading to present this as a benefit for family farms and small businesses because under current law estates of up to $11,000,000 are exempt from  paying estate taxes.  This change is exclusively for the benefit of the .1% . This change alone would save the Trump family billions.

 Finally,  the elimination of AMT, as Rachel Maddow revealed, is the only thing that resulted in Trump paying meaningful taxes for that year, or  any year for that matter. Eliminating it, rather than appropriately modifying it to not apply to upper middle class taxpayers, would save Trump tens of millions of dollars. AMT was intended to insure that the rich still paid taxes. While it has ensnared more than the rich;  just terminating it would once again allow some of the richness among us to avoid paying any federal income taxes. 

Even this simplistic analysis (of but a few salient provisions of the GOP tax plan) clearly shows that  Donald Trump and his family personally would be a very major beneficiary of this tax bill.

Thus , "The Tax Cuts for Donald Trump Act" seems the most honestly descriptive name for the GOP's tax plan.


Monday, October 2, 2017

ACA and Gerrymandering

When you consider how many are still uninsured, and how much of our elections have been distorted  and will continue to be distorted for quite a while, was the Affordable Care Act worth it? With almost 30 million still uninsured, is what it accomplished worth the consequences ? 

It seems that largely due to the passage of the ACA, a GOP tidal wave took place in the 2010 election. And since 2010 coincidentally  was a census year, the GOP controlled and gerrymandered both Congressional and state districts to lock in GOP majorities in the House of Representatives for at least 10 years. Those gerrymandered GOP majorities will stay in place at least until 2020, unless the Supreme Court acts and declared gerrymandering unconstitutional .  

With all of the havoc which the GOP controlled House has reeked , and will continue to , reek, was it worth it if almost  3/4 of the pre-ACA uninsured remain uninsured. In addition  many people who had insurance feel their insurance options are worse today than before ACA. 

Will we look back on this as a good beginning , as with social security or Medicare , or a political disaster with not enough positive impact?

 While many provisions of the ACA are beneficial, I just question whether the ACA is accomplishing it's core primary goal of eliminating the uninsured. The price  paid so far is sustained undemocratic GOP control of the House of Representatives.


Why No Country for Kurds

Why until recently does almost no one talk about a country for the Kurds, but constantly focus on a country for the Palestinians?

The Kurds has been a separate people for centuries. They live in a relatively compact contiguous area which today constitutes parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. They are treated badly everywhere. In Turkey they were not even allowed to speak their own language. At least Palestinians are Arabs and Arabs have many countries. Do the Arabs really need another country, while the Kurds have none and the Jews just one.
All things considered the Kurds have a stronger claim to a country of their own to most countries  in that region. 

Almost almost all countries , except Israel , are against a country for the Kurds . Their positions are based on geopolitical stability.

 But what about the Left and academia? They passionately demonstrate for a Palestinian State, but seem to have no interest in the Kurds. Maybe if they were fighting Jews the Left would act differently. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Just who is disrespecting the American Flag

Aren't those Trump supporters who carry around and waive Confederate Flags disrespecting and dishonoring those who fought and died to preserve our country? Isn't that dishonoring the American Flag?

Trump hasn't attacked them, nor has the media picked up on this issue. 

Also no one has asked why Trump even brought up this issue now in Alabama.  Kaepernick is not even in the league now. What brought on his tirade; perhaps his failing policies. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Return to Normalcy

Fake News from fringe Internet sites, abetted by Russian hacks etc. will  lead to a return of wide spread recognition of the legitimacy and reliability of established media.  

Most people will begin to recognize that you can't rely on the Internet for any credible information. Social media and fringe Internet sites are like the "Wild West". 

 In addition, foreign interference taints all but the most secure and reliable sources.

Of course, there will still be confirmation bias; but there is a big difference between political points of view from right and left, and outright phony agenda driven stories on the Internet. 

Standards, and the reliance on credible facts from reliable sources, will be viewed as important again.

People will largely return to trusting only objective, well researched articles etc. from decent widely respected credible people and organizations. 

Those sources will include: Network TV, including PBS;  Cable News such as CNN,  Fox News and MSNBC; and Major circulation Newspapers , Magazines and Periodicals.

The mania of Fake News will abate and a semblance of  Normalcy will Return. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Cleanse

If we can survive the next 3 ½ years without too much long term damage,
the Trump debacle may be just the thing this country needs to cleanse
itself of the madness released by Trump's candidacy and election. .

People will realize just how wrong and destructive Trump's behavior and
ideas are. They'll see there is a proper and important role for government
within a free and fair dynamic capitalist economic system.

The hatred, racism and anti-Semitism will be exposed for the cancer that
it is. Trump will be exposed for the fraud he is.

Maybe the Democrats will even see that the positions of the far left are
wrong headed and perhaps equally destructive.

We need trade, successful businesses and strong private sector unions to promote good paying jobs.
The tax code can be reformed without a vendetta to soak the rich in a
counterproductive way. We can provide for the poor, and better still,
provide opportunities so they don't have to remain poor and dependent

Cultural differences don't have to devolve into culture wars. As the Pope
once said "Who am I to judge?"

Competence and integrity will once again be important criteria for
high office. An appreciation for decency will return. Policies of
divisiveness will be rejected.

The dark side of Trumpism will be exposed and rejected. This couldn't have
happen without the fever that is Donald J. Trump.

Many have said that I'm too optimistic; but while not every Trump supporter will be convinced,  enough voters may come to  understand what a disaster Trump is to change future election results.