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Lose the hotpants, Sister. Just throw them away. That’s right, just throw them in the garbage with the coffee grounds. And while you’re at it, get rid of those skimpy midriff tops with words like “Cruel Girl” written on them. Go ahead, you can do it! I have just returned home from a trip to […]

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Admittedly, I’ve been pressed for time this week and have not had a chance to review U.S. media extensively, but from what little I have seen, the U.S. media seems not to have noticed a serious diplomatic incident between Israel and Germany this week. It was precipitated by the ill-advised decision of German Foreign Minister […]

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Of Course the Trump Tax Plan Wouldn’t Pay for Itself. Should We Care?

 

The Trump tax cut plan — at least as outlined in the one-pager released the other day — is highly unlikely to pay for itself. Even using generous dynamic scoring.

While an argument could be made that the 35% top corporate rate puts the US on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve, slashing the rate by more than half and recouping all that lost revenue through higher economic growth … well, seems a bridge too far. I mean, $5 trillion (for the whole plan, such as it is) is a lot of red ink. Nor should we generally expect tax cuts to perform this feat. The 1981 Reagan tax cut didn’t pay for itself. And a 2004 study by two Bush II economists estimated that in the long run, “about 17 percent of a cut in labor taxes is recouped through higher economic growth. The comparable figure for a cut in capital taxes is about 50 percent.”

Ben Shapiro on Antifa, Bannon and Conservatism

 

Best-selling author, columnist and former Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro joins Whiskey Politics to discuss President Trump, Conservatism, his strong feelings about Steve Bannon, the Iran Deal, the Antifa threats against campus free speech and answers some Ricochet Member questions. You can find Ben’s columns at The Daily Wire, musings on Facebook and his #1 ranked conservative podcast on iTunes & Soundcloud.

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Ok, the biography series seems to have run its course. There are plenty more, but I think I’ll save them for my blog. I’ll have a whole section on Americans important or relevant to our history, most of them famous, a few (like Free Frank McWhorter, or Rachel Hamilton, or Lou Henry Hoover) not so […]

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Do You Talk to Your Electronics?

 

I have an iPhone, and it has its much-touted digital assistant called Siri.  In theory, you can speak to Siri and ask it to look things up for you, give you directions to some place, schedule things, or do any number of other jobs for you on your phone.  Last year, Apple extended Siri into is OS-X operating system.  Microsoft has its own digital assistant, called Cortana, which has been embedded in Windows 10 since its roll-out a couple of years ago.  I can choose not to use Siri, I’ve found that Cortana, though, constantly seems to be listening unless I disable any built-in microphones (sometimes with a soldering iron).  Amazon now has its Echoes, which bypass the phones and desktops and get strategically placed around the house.  If you have a Kinect bar on your X-Box, it’s listening to you too, and the Sony camera does likewise on the Playstation (which is really annoying when dialog in some show on Netflix triggers the PS4 to attempt some task).

I must confess I fail to see the point to any of these.

Bill Nye, Harry Potter, and Why Millennials Can’t Think

 

Millennials can’t think.  They get their science from Bill Nye.  Their only form of literary reference is the Harry Potter franchise.  Read another book, please! Bill Nye was fun in the 90’s to get the basics about science – law of gravity, simple machines, energy transfer.  I think the place that Bill Nye holds in the culture today is due to the nostalgia of millennials.

I’ve seen a number of the episodes of Nye’s original series, Bill Nye the Science Guy.  I remember watching the show in grade-school and junior high.  His shows and topics covered in each episode were quite superficial; they served as an entertaining introduction to whatever new topic we were beginning to learn about.  There was no depth there.  He was an entertaining figure when I was in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade; now he’s just a dolt.  Fellow millennials (and you gen-xers) please stop holding up this bad actor as a “scientist.”

Federalism Seems to be a Hard Sell to Conservatives and Republicans

 

The recent ruling of a federal judge issuing a temporary injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order denying further appropriations of federal revenues to cities that have deemed themselves to be “sanctuary cities” created another internal battle among Conservatives. Former U.S. prosecutor and National Review contributor Andrew McCarthy voiced concern that the judge’s ruling does not actually find fault in the executive order or the statute upon which the order was based, but rather, the judge concocted controversies in order to conjure up a ruling against Trump. McCarthy states that the executive order, in effect, did nothing other than demonstrate President Trump’s desire to enforce existing immigration law.

Another National Review paragon, David French, echoed much the same in his blog post for National Review’s “The Corner.”  “The executive order was not changing the law. It did not strip federal funds from sanctuary cities. It directed federal officials to enforce existing law and then larded up that directive with meaningless legalese that made the order look far more dramatic to the untrained eye.” French’s sentiment regarding this executive order is much the same as McCarthy’s, at least in as much as it did nothing than exclaim a desire to enforce existing law. The existing law is 8 U.S.C. § 1337 which, according to the executive order, a sanctuary city must comply with or risk losing out on federal grants.

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In a statement at a U.N. Security Council meeting today, China announced its opposition to ABM systems in South Korea, while proposing long, drawn-out negotiations with North Korea, a state which is developing ICBMs and threatening the U.S. By opposing ABMs in South Korea China weakens South Korea’s ability to defend itself from a nuclear […]

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Ann Coulter was set to give a speech on Thursday at Berkeley, which was canceled before she could give it. Blame is deserved on multiple fronts. First, blame should rest on the shoulders of Berkeley Administrators as well as Berkeley police and its Mayor. Make no mistake, these three parties could stop the threats and […]

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The Secret Service is prohibiting guns from the hall where Donald Trump will be speaking to the NRA today in Atlanta. That sounds like a wise choice, although it’s not clear if this is true for any president. The Secret Service and law enforcement can carry guns. This is how the restrictions are described: During the 2017 […]

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Ortega y Gasset and the Wisdom of Editors

 

Jose Ortega y Gasset, 2008, Manuel Pardo

Or the wisdom of one editor, in particular. I’ve a special fondness for Adam Garfinkle, editor of The American Interest. I read his work devotedly long before I began writing for his magazine, and always sensed in his writing not only an old-fashioned, well-trained intellect, but a sensibility in his prose that reminded me a bit of Montaigne, or as Hoffer said of Montaigne, “He was writing about me. He knew my innermost thoughts.” I felt this especially when reading his War, water, and negotiation in the Middle East: the case of the Palestine-Syria border, 1916-1923.

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Not paying very much attention to Turkish news (maybe my hand is shaky, or maybe Turkish web developers love onMouseOver, but either way, the sites take too long to settle down), I cannot say if the recent referendum was actually called that. But it could have been: the Turkish for “constitution” does translate literally as […]

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Just spit-balling here so please let me know whether or not my idea (I’ll call it Operation FLYPAPER.) makes any sense to you. The concept is to get as many of the violent left wing loonies as possible into one place so that we can “dissuade” them from continuing with their tactic of shutting down […]

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