12 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-16-19

  1. Now that Tax Day is behind us….

    Did you?


    “Did You Get a Tax Cut? Data Says Yes

    “The gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law…””


    “Remember that tax plan that passed in late 2017? The left pounced and convinced people they would not receive a tax cut. Some even believed they would see a tax increase.

    Lies. Data has proven the left wrong once again.

    In Sunday’s New York Times, economics writer Ben Casselman and economics and tax policy writer Jim Tankersly, penned a piece in an attempt to turn the tide.

    They noted how poll after poll showed that people didn’t believe they would receive a tax cut, mainly due to the spin fed to them by the left:

    To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.

    Yet the data shows 65% of citizens paid less:

    The Tax Policy Center estimates that 65 percent of people paid less under the law and that just 6 percent paid more. (The rest saw little change to their taxes.)

    Other analyses reached similar conclusions. The Joint Committee on Taxation — Congress’s nonpartisan team of tax analysts — found that every income group would see a tax cut on average. So did the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank that was sharply critical of the law. In fact, that group went even further: In a December 2017 analysis, it found that every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.

    So far, tax season seems to be playing out more or less as the experts predicted. H&R Block, the tax-preparation giant, said last week that two-thirds of returning customers had paid less tax this year than last (excluding people who owed no tax in either year). Taxes were down, on average, in every state.

    It all comes down to withholding, which is a conversation I have with my best friend. People have become reliant on the refund check issued by the IRS that they don’t realize they bring a larger chunk home in their paychecks:”


  2. Small business owners are saying the same, and pushing back on the Democrat/Media assertions to the contrary. Assertions designed to mislead the easily fooled and willfully ignorant, basically, their base.


    “”There’s a lot of attention on the size of the tax refund,” Ortiz said during an exclusive interview. “Folks need to understand that you’re going to be paying less money to the government because of the tax cuts, so you’ll be getting less money when it’s time to file.”

    He pointed to the fact that on average individual tax refunds are only down 1.1 percent—or $31—from 2018 to argue that more drastic reports of reduced returns are “off base.”

    “The news media is focusing on refund size, however, that isn’t the whole picture,” Ortiz said. “When you look at it you see [individuals and businesses] are paying less in taxes overall.”

    The “real story” behind the tax cuts isn’t just in the “total amount of tax savings,” but also in the “broader economic impact,” according to Ortiz.

    “Two-thirds of the job growth is in the hands of small business owners,” he said. “The big thing happening with this economic boom is that small business owners have been able to continue investing in their businesses. Whether its buying equipment needed to grow their business or investing right back into their people through higher wages and better benefits.”

    One of the small business entrepreneurs that benefited from the tax cuts was Joseph Semprevivo, a JCN member from Florida who runs a diabetic-friendly baked goods company. The legislation’s corporate tax cuts and expanded business deductions saved Semprevivo’s business $30,000 over the year. Instead of pocketing the money, he chose to share it with his employees.

    “As a result of the tax cuts we hired five new team members and we gave all our employees raises between $3,250 and $5,100,” Semprevivo told the Free Beacon. “This was my way of telling my employees we love them, we want to retain you… and you’re valuable.”

    Semprevivo said the tax cuts didn’t just benefit his company and his employees, but also contributed positively to the larger ecosystem.”


  3. OK, now I get why he was so popular on the left.


    “The late Saudi Arabian journalist, editor and kingdom-insider Jamal Khashoggi, writing on Twitter from 2011 until 2018, said Jews had no roots in historical Palestine, that one must know how to speak to Jews when meeting them, and that Jews were conspiring to divide al-Aqsa Mosque. The tweets, still online as of April 14, show a pattern of anti-Jewish views that even hinted at references to the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and complained that the West had laws preventing Holocaust denial.

    Khashoggi was a well-known Saudi Arabian media titan who had close relationships to the kingdom’s diplomats and public-relations apparatus, until he fell out with the leadership, left the country and began writing abroad in 2017. A columnist for The Washington Post with close links to Qatar and Turkey, he was murdered in October 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, allegedly at the direction of the highest levels of the Saudi government.

    Khashoggi was heralded as a dissident journalist following his murder, but his views on the Middle East were more controversial at home. He argued against Riyadh’s turn against the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with Al Jazeera in November 2017, he said Saudi Arabia needed to return to its religious roots and have an alliance with political Islam and the Brotherhood. According to the article, he said Riyadh should work more closely with the Palestinians in the struggle against Israel.

    It is now clear that his views on Israel were deeply entwined with his negative views of Jews, and that he harbored traditional antisemitic and conspiratorial opinions. A survey of his tweets in Arabic reveals his worldview, as it developed over time. In 54,000 tweets since 2009, written to some 1.7 million eventual followers, he rarely mentioned Jews – but when he did it was consistently negative. Only 30 references were found, but they present an important insight into his controversial views. “


  4. We shall see soon enough.


    “Although Republicans were pleased that Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he was unable to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, they fear his practice of distorting facts during his investigation will color his final report, which Attorney General William Barr is expected to release to Congress in redacted form this week.

    Democrats are convinced that it will show examples of “collusion” between Trump and Russia, even if there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy.

    Seeking to manage public perceptions about the Mueller report as much as Democrats are, Republicans say their counterparts are bent on cherry-picking its details to make it still look as if President Trump coordinated with Russia, part of their effort to keep the collusion narrative alive heading into the 2020 presidential election. They fear Mueller will make it easy for them to continue spinning that tale.

    Senior Republicans on investigative committees on Capitol Hill, who have reviewed some of the same evidence Mueller’s investigators have examined, complain that the special counsel’s team of mostly Democratic prosecutors shaded evidence in charging documents filed against a number of Trump associates for process crimes unrelated to collusion (mostly lying to investigators) to suggest a broad conspiracy. They say that the special counsel and prosecutors misled the court and the media by, among other things, editing the contents of emails to cast a sinister shadow on otherwise innocuous communications among Trump advisers and by omitting exculpatory information.

    They cite charging documents filed against Trump advisers George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen and former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as examples.

    “The indictments that were made by the Mueller team are very questionable, and there’s pieces of them that read like Russian spy novels,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

    “That was done on purpose,” he added, “to create a narrative to make the American people think, as they were indicting these people, that somehow this had to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

    For example, in filing false-statement charges against former Trump campaign adviser Papadopoulos in October 2017, Mueller’s team included a footnote that said emails obtained by the special counsel revealed that a Trump “campaign official suggested ‘low level’ staff should go to Russia.”

    As the Senate Judiciary Committee pointed out in a secret letter to Mueller, the special counsel neglected to mention that the emails had been provided to it by the Trump campaign and they showed the campaign wanted someone “low level” to decline these types of invitations.

    The distortions led the Washington Post, CNN and other major media to “misinterpret the nature of the internal campaign dialogue” as attempts by the Trump campaign to coordinate activities with Moscow, according to Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley, the top Republicans on the committee.”


  5. He’s not qualified if he doesn’t even understand the basics of how our system of govt works.



  6. ——————


  7. The one question about the Electoral College that I have seen that seems to have a point is – If we say that the EC keeps the more heavily populated areas from having tyranny over the lesser populated areas, isn’t it then allowing the lesser populated areas to have tyranny over the greater populated areas? I wasn’t sure how to answer that.


  8. It keeps big neighbors from running roughshod over smaller neighbors but does not let the smaller ones run over the bigger ones either. Kind of levels the playing field. It is a well done but imperfect system for imperfect people. Probably the best we can do. It allows the individual states to maintain some autonomy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree, Mumsee. The complaint seems to be that smaller ones “get their way” over the will of the bigger ones.

    But as you say, it is an imperfect system, but the best we can do.


  10. I don’t think most Idahoans care what California does but there seem to be a lot of Californians who care what Idahoans do. Idahoans tend to think independently and Californians tend to think more group think. Or Oregonians (which is divided east and west) or Washingtonians, also divided between Seattle and the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

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