The Mitchell Report

Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor that questioned Dr. Ford, released her report on the testimony given on Thursday. Her conclusion is a strong rebuke of the claims made by Dr. Ford. 

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Senator Orrin Hatch’s Takedown

Senator Orrin Hatch has some strong words during Justice Thomas’ confirmation hearings. There are many similarities between what happened to Justice Thomas and what is now happening to Judge Kavanaugh. His words are almost perfectly applicable to the sideshow that Judge Kavanaugh’s hearing confirmation he become.

I have included the scathing rebuke from Justice Thomas on how he feels he was being treated during his trial confirmation hearing.


You Need To Vote In The Midterm Election

The Midterm Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Click Here, Find Your State and Get Registered

Click Here, More Voter Registration Info

Texans, Beto Is Bad For You


The midterm election is fast approaching. Voting is a right that many Americans take for granted because they do not think politics has any effect on them. Or, maybe, they just do no care. But they should, and so should you. Over a billion people around the world live under a government in which they have no say in. In places like Iraq, under the threat of attack by recently (mostly) defeated ISIS, 8 million voters (44.5% of eligible) turned out to have a say in how their lives are run. In the 2016 General Election 55.7% of American voters turned out; we were not under threat of terroristic activity. The United States is better than this. We are better than only having a 25% higher turnout than Iraq.

What is at stake?

For the last (almost) two years the left has been apoplectic. It is funny to watch the left’s hyperbolic response to anything Trump. But, their “righteous” indignation is going to drive them to the voting booth in record numbers.

If you would vote against a Democrat, but you do not vote, you help elect Democrats. It is as simple as that.

The saying “complacency kills” is true when it comes to the midterms; no, I am not accusing the democrats of being responsible for killing people if they are elected. They, however, will kill anything good that the Trump Administration has done for the country. They will try and make bigger and more expensive government a thing.

Currently serving Democrats are not being shy about, should they take control of congress after the midterm election, what their agenda will be. They will turn the House and Senate into a kangaroo court against the President, and the right more generally. They will work to undermine the President at every turn.

Things that the left may do if they control congress:

Go after Judge Kavanaugh
Move to impeach the President
If impeachment fails, they will stonewall judicial nominees
Move to undo tax cuts
Medicare for All may become a reality
Move towards “Democratic Socialism”
Gun Control
Overbearing corporate regulations
Voting Democrat = Leverage for illegals; Rep. Pelosi
Rebuilding of Obamacare

This list is by no means all inclusive of what the Democrats want to do if they win.

Reach out to your friends and family that may be undecided, get registered, and help others get registered. If you do meet an undecided voter, do not appeal to their emotions. Instead, use facts and reason to convince them to vote republican. Talk to them about the economy and what may happen if things are abruptly reversed. Be smart and be respectful when discussing the issues.

Do not do anything that is against voting laws

IMG_8215
Seems about right

Beto O’Rourke Is Bad For Texas

Beto O’Rourke is running against Ted Cruz for United States Senator from Texas. Beto is not good for Texas or for the United States as a whole. He has recently shown that he, just like many Democrats, does not understand basic economics, is a hypocrite, and does not put the concerns of his prospective constituents first.

Full disclosure; I voted for Senator Cruz in 2012 and would very happily do it again if I still lived in Texas.

Economics

Something that really bothers me is when elected officials, or candidates, make statements on policy using the party line talking points. Usually, these talking points are beret of facts, context, or both. In an interview with a Houston based NBC affiliate, KPRC, Rep. O’Rourke made the following statement. It is astonishing how far removed from reality this statement is, especially when put into context.

First, tax cuts do not “cost” money. Tax cuts have a dollar amount attached to them to show the scope of the cuts; single payer healthcare has an actual “cost” because it increases spending. As stated in the previously linked article:

Taxes are revenue for the government collected involuntarily from its citizens. Therefore, a cut in taxes simply means less non-consensual money is taken from taxpayers. It is not money changing hands from the government to citizens. Indeed, it is money not changing hands. A tax cut is lowering the rate of taxation…

It is likely that he knows talking about the “cost” is misleading. He is betting that the majority of people watching his interview do not fully understand economics and taxation. I do not fully understand them either, but I know he is being dishonest. His talk about the cost flows right into his second misleading statement.

Rep. O’Rourke says that the tax cuts will disproportionately flow to the wealthiest in the country. He is right, because that is how tax cuts work. Consider the following information from the Tax Foundation regarding 2015 tax information, source:

  • The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.0 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.4 percent).

  • The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 27.1 percent individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.6 percent).

  • In 2015, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97.2 percent of all individual income taxes while the bottom 50 percent paid the remaining 2.8 percent.

  • The top 25% of income earners, those earning above $79,655, paid 86.6, or $1.25 trillion of the total income taxes collected. *

  • The second 25% paid $153 billion in total income taxes. The bottom 50% paid only $41 billion in total taxes. *

*Data is in table 1

While O’Rourke is correct in his statement that the wealthy will get the most benefit from the tax cuts, it is highly misleading to stop there. The press eviscerated Mitt Romney during the 2012 election cycle when he claimed that “47% of Americans pay no income tax.” As rated here, his statement was true. For O’Rourke to make the claim that the wealthy will disproportionately benefit from the tax cut completely ignores the reality of federal taxation. A person can only benefit from a tax cut when they pay taxes. Additionally, we have progressive taxes, which makes it completely uncontroversial that wealthy Americans will get a comparatively larger tax cut than someone making significantly less money, because they pay significantly more in taxes.

He briefly mentions income inequality as if the rich stole from the poor to get their wealth and create the inequality. Like the previous statements, this is only relevant if you are trying to mislead your supporters and guide them down a path of victim mentality. Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person on earth, did not achieve his wealth by stealing from others. He got it by creating one of the most powerful capitalistic forces the world has ever seen. Amazon is such a commercial powerhouse that the Chairman of the Fed credits Amazon with helping to keep inflation rates low. Bezos got his wealth by providing a service to tens of millions of Americans, by enabling tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of merchants to expand their online businesses, and by powering a majority of the websites and services we enjoy; for context, Netflix is an AWS customer, source.

I do not understand the vilification of the wealthy for political gain. The people arguing the wealthy are greedy for not wanting to be taxed heavily are the very people wanting to take more of someone else’s money. Taxation is not compassion, it is legalized theft and those that want more of people’s money are as greedy as the ones they chastise for not wanting more taxes.

O’Rourke continues to vilify corporate America by attempting to paint them as greedy thieves because they have made a lot of money and retained the savings. It is relevant to note that Apple, the first company valued at $1 trillion dollars, regularly increases their stock dividends, is buying back their stock at a record pace (which helps the investor), and continues to be technological paradigm shifter. They also have $243.7 billion cash on hand. His criticisms are stupid for the same reasons as in the above paragraph.

Rep. O’Rourke then latches on to the inhumanity of giving tax cuts instead of giving raises to teachers. Good teachers are not paid enough for their time, commitment, and the importance of their work. Regardless of personal beliefs on the public school system, it is the current system in place and the most widely utilized educational system. Teachers compensation should not be a partisan talking point. It should be something that a consensus form easily about. Rep. O’Rourke may have forgotten that all spending bills originate in the House; according to GovTrack he has not proposed or sponsored any legislation on teacher pay, unless there are provisions I am unaware of in the legislation sponsored or proposed by him. Furthermore, as he bemoans the tax cuts on behalf of teachers, he is forgetting that the tax cuts are, in essence, a pay raise for these teachers. If elected though, he would likely vote to repeal the tax cuts; effectively cutting the paycheck of millions of Americans, including the teachers he feigns concern for.

His criticism of the tax cuts, and corporate America, is a red herring designed to sow divisions between the wealthy and the not so wealthy.

Beto, The Hypocrite

As noted in the above video, O’Rourke thinks that budget deficits are bad.

Actually, that is not totally true. O’Rourke believes that a single payer healthcare system is the future of healthcare in America, source. In one breath he bemoans the $800 billion deficit this year, and in another talks about racking up roughly $30 trillion in additional federal spending for a single payer system. A Medicare for All system would take that $800 billion deficit and and triple it, if not more. I wrote a post on Medicare for All, here, and there is a great article here that talks about the difficulties and cost of transitioning to a single payer system. It seems that O’Rourke likes deficits, massive government, and gargantuan tax increases if they enable leftist policy. Below is a graphic documenting the necessary tax increases to fund the single payer system he have shown support for.

Examples of necessary single payer tax increases; @Brian_Riedl

 

Beto (maybe) Put “Dreamers” First

Rep. O’Rourke talked about how the Houston area, devastated by Hurricane Harvey one year ago, is still in need of help to recover from the record devastation. He, and Cruz, have voted yes on measures to secure something like $90 billion in funds to help with recovery in the area, which is very good.

Recently the Cruz campaign released an ad attacking O’Rourke for voting against a measure to secure various tax breaks for victims of Hurricane Harvey, and other storms. O’Rourke says that he voted no because the tax breaks were not generous enough to the victims of the 2017 hurricane season compared with breaks previously granted to storm victims. I do not know the accuracy of this claim, and I am also not an expert by any definition on the processes and procedures of the House of Representatives; but according to the record of actions for this bill, Rep. O’Rourke did nothing to improve the provisions of the bill while it was up for debate [If I am wrong please correct me]. Additionally, he initially voted against another disaster relief bill because he, among other democrats, wanted to attach provisions to DACA recipients, as noted below; source.

O’Rourke did support four other bills that provided disaster relief for Harvey victims, three of which became law.

O’Rourke voted “no” on an earlier version of one of the bills containing Harvey aid that was passed to avert a government shutdown. Many Democrats opposed that bill because it did not address the status of young immigrants facing deportation after President Donald Trump scrapped the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

 

Due to his inaction on proposing changes to the bill, and his previously DACA motivated “no” vote, its hard to say that he always puts his constituents best interests first. At the end of this Ted Cruz ad there are state (or local) officials praising Sen. Cruz for his tireless work for Texas’ recovery.


O’Rourke will be bad for Texas.

The Death of Civil Discourse, and Personal Attacks

For all intents and purposes, civil discourse is not possible in today’s hyper-polarized, politically correct climate. So much so that the Intellectual Dark Web is a thing. For those unaware, let Dave Rubin, a member of the IDW, explain it for you HERE.

I think we are in a sad state because something like the IDW is a thing that exists. What is even more sad is that the existence of this group is considered controversial, and the topics they speak on are considered taboo. By shutting down and shutting out discussions on topics that are difficult to speak on, we are cutting off our nose to spite our face (cutting out our tongue may be a more apt comparison though). The safe space, trigger warning, and “anyone that I disagree with is a racist” mentality is handicapping our ability to work with those we disagree with in any kind of meaningful way.

I recently had the displeasure of having someone levy a personal attack against me because we disagreed. It all started when my sister’s boyfriend, Travis, made a post on Facebook about the USAG, Jeff Sessions, patronizing a local Mexican restaurant in Houston, TX. The owner and chef posted a picture with Sessions to social media. This was a horrible, no good, very bad sin of the highest order that the owner committed. People were incensed and the internet hate machine roared into action. It was the typical leftist circle-jerk of who can virtue signal their way up the “wokeness” hierarchy the fastest. I guess being the USAG and not supporting illegal immigration makes you incapable of enjoying Mexican/Tex-Mex food.

One of the comments on his post claimed, as a fact, that Sessions is a white supremacist. I guess my curiosity got the best of me and I asked for information that lead her to the conclusion. She offered up a couple of links, neither of which made a statement of fact; one was the worst case interpretation of his statement, “The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement…”. Even left leaning, fact checking site, Snopes says this:

While we are unable to ascertain Sessions’s motives for the change he made to his prepared speech (there were many other places he diverged, as well), we can say that it is factual that Sessions made the statement that “the office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement” and that “Anglo-American” is a way to reference to the common law legal heritage the United States sheriff’s system shares with Europe.

Snopes admits that Sessions’ claim is factual and make no attempt to attribute intent to what he said. Source

Her other source for her claim was a story referencing a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King, admonishing Sessions, and saying that he should not be confirmed for a federal judgeship. He ultimately was not confirmed to the court. This letter by King may or may not be based in fact against Sessions, I have not looked into it. However, her using the opinion of someone else to make a factual claim is not an argument in good faith, and offers no statement of fact to support her claim. I responded by saying that she should do better to support her claims that he is, in fact, a white supremacist. After saying my piece about her evidence, she implied that I am defending Sessions because I too am a racist, and instructed Travis to, “come get your family.” Travis responded by claiming that, “sadly he is unwrangleable.” Which lead me to reply in saying that he is not and hopefully will not be a family to me. Screen shots of the exchange will be shown below.

All of this is relevant because it predicates what came next.


Travis and my sister have been together just over two years, I believe, and both are in their mid 30s. To say I never liked him would be a gross understatement. He has shown himself to be as intolerant as any archetypal leftist you can find; he operates from a place of hostile emotion, and believes that if you bring facts or a different opinion to a discussion with him you are a hostile, hateful person.

Travis and I have gone back and forth many times and on many different subjects; we have agreed on maybe 1. Our last interactions, I felt, left us in a place where we would try and be more mindful of the other’s position and give the benefit of the doubt when we disagreed.


This online exchange was far from the end of it, and Travis, the perpetual victim, then crossed a line.

First some more context: He is included in a group text message between my parents, me, my wife, and my 3 sisters. We had been chatting because my mom went to urgent care because she sliced open her toe and needed stitches.

He used that group chat to actually tattle on me to my family because I was “mean to him” (after he said I was “unwrangleable”) then claimed he had no idea why I became overtly hostile to him. He twisted things to make it seem like I brought hostility to the group chat. I snapped. I decided I would meet him at his level and finish what he started.

Travis then used his Facebook to do a number of things: make a public, personal attack on me; tagged my 3 sisters, my wife, and a distant relative that I thought was friendly with me, in order to get them to condemn me and support him; claimed, and not for the first time, that I am a hateful person; finally, framed his post to make it seem like I was the one that went after him initially.

Before we go further, can I just comment on how idiotic he is to think that my wife, of all people, would side with him instead of me? Does he not understand that we chose each other, have a very similar world-views, agree that he is an intolerant manipulator, and put the best interests of our family unit above the feelings of someone like him?

There has been no further discussion in my family’s group text so I do not currently know where things stand. I regret nothing and meant everything everything that I said. I have attached relevant screenshots to see the progression of the conversations.

Why is this relevant? Because this is a microcosm of the state of discourse in the country now. Instead of agreeing to disagree people resort to personal character attacks to shame others into silence. I can only speak for myself, but any comments that I made on his post did not come from a place of hatred or intolerance. I want people to be better with forming opinions based on fact, not conjecture. Instead of mollifying his friend and claiming me to be unwrangleable, he could have chosen to give my opinions space without having to agree with me at all. Personal character attacks to someone’s family because you disagree with them is a low, immature tactic.

The IDW, thankfully, exists despite people like Travis who would like to see any differing opinion silenced. I hope that as a society we can overcome this tribal, intersectional disaster we have gotten ourselves into; if we are unable to the future is a nasty place.

Medicare For All

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently estimated the cost for the Democratic-Socialist’s Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez styled “Medicare for All” would be an additional $32 trillion over the next 10 years. Lets punch some numbers to put that into context:

  • CY 2016 U.S. GDP was $18,624.48 billion or $18.624.48 trillion.[1]
  • FY 2016, the total federal revenue was $3.267 trillion, with a $500+ billion deficit.[2]
  • $32 trillion over ten years is $3.2 trillion a year. Then, factor out the current Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace subsidy expenditures, because “Medicare for All” would encompass these programs, which equals $1 trillion a year, of which $594 billion is for just Medicare expenses.[3]
  • This represents a net increase of $2.2 trillion in federal spending; or a total of, at least, 67.3% of the FY 2016. The increase in expenditures represents an 11.81% jump in spending as a percentage of the GDP, taking the new total, $5.467 trillion, as a percentage of GDP would then stand at 29.35%, up from 17.54%

In 2016 there were a total of 56,981,183 Medicare enrollees. According to The Government, in 2016 the U.S. population was approximately 324,650,630. That means 17.55% of the U.S. population was enrolled in Medicare, at a cost of $594 billion. Based on cost and enrollment, the average per-person amount was $10,424. Applying that total to the 2016 population estimate, that works to be $3.384 trillion; about $184 billion higher than projected by the Mercatus Center.

Ocasio-Cortez has an economics and international relations degree from Boston College. She may want to get her money back because she appears to lack any notion of basic economic principals and important international relations. UnemploymentHow to Pay for Medicare For AllViews on Israel

As shown below with the graphic, there would be a bevy of new taxes, tax increases, and elimination of large and popular tax credits/deductions. A startling point to consider is that even if the government were to seize 100% of the net worth of everyone on the 2017 Forbes 400 list, the funds obtained would have only paid for roughly 72% of federal expenditures in 2016, including the deficit for the year. [4]

The chart also does not account for any economic losses that would occur with such a massive government takeover.

Tax increase proposals by @Brian_Riedl

Last page of text from the Mercatus report. Paints a clear picture of how unaffordable this plan is. If anyone attempts to say that the plan saves money simply show them this and ask them to reconcile the two.

The VA handles my healthcare. It is a service that I am grateful for and I am extremely appreciative of the providers that choose to serve those that served the country. By working with veterans, they are passing on a career that could be far more lucrative, and far less political, than being a government employee. It is, however, far from perfect. For example, I made an appointment on July 31st to see a new provider because my previous one transferred to another location for personal reasons. Side note, he was a fantastic doctor. He was easier to talk to than any other doctor that I have ever had an appointment with. Thank you for your service Dr. A.. Anyways, the first appointment that works with my school schedule is in the middle of November, which is also baby #2’s due date. That is 106 days away from July 31st. This is the longest I have had before a regularly scheduled appointment. But, generally, for non-emergency medical issues there is almost always at least a 2 week wait. Many times it has been over a month before being able to schedule and appointment. Long waits for appointments and the widely reported VA scandals are the reality of government run healthcare on a large scale.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,243 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,062 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. [5]

The idea of government run healthcare is a nice idea and it may work at a national level in other countries. But to say that if significantly smaller countries with a nationalized healthcare system can make it work (and not have it be overly expensive), the United States, which is the third largest country by population, should be able to as well is not an honest argument.

As of July 1, 2016:

At #3, the United States – 322,179,605
At #21, The United Kingdom – 65,788,574 ≈ 20% the population of U.S.
At #38, Canada – 36,289,822 ≈ 11% the population of the U.S.

Accusing People of Being Racist

Accusing someone of being a racist is one of the most gross claims that someone can make against another person. It is a popular tactic that is often used when someone is losing an argument, disagrees with you politically, or is attempting to gain some kind of moral superiority. Its a bad faith tactic that, more often than not, has no basis in reality.

Hindsight is 20/20 and the overwhelming majority of people in the United States concur that racism is bad, being a racist is bad, and would like to see racism no longer exist.

When I lived in Houston I would listen to Michael Berry, a local conservative talk radio show host. He seemed to be lightning rod for controversy because he spoke his mind a lot (like everyday, twice a day), he had a platform, and a large market. Berry is from deep southeast Texas, studied at U of H, UT Austin, and University of Nottingham. He and his wife of 25 years have adopted their two sons. He graduated with honors and has earned two law degrees, and uses his position to do good around Houston. I have personal experience with this; I believe this was back in 2012 or 2013. News of a local, 91 year old recent widower, WWII (Marine) veteran’s home being broken into, burglarized, and vandalized by some local teens was reported. Berry used his radio show to rally the city of Houston; he talked about what happened, spoke of Mr. Wood’s situation, and implored anyone that could help, to help. Long story short, more than 60 local business and 300 volunteers worked to not just restore and improve his home, but to also make it more accessible for the elderly veteran. I got to take part in this, and it was an amazing thing to see so many come together so fast. Story

I bring this up to show the type of person Mr. Berry is.

He is often called a racist. Did I mention that his wife is from India, and that their two sons are from Ethiopia? Taking this information about his family into consideration; what would his burden of proof have to be in order to show that he is not a racist? I imagine that this claim of being a racist precedes him, and quite unfairly so in my opinion.

Another person whose racism, among other things, precedes them is Ben Shapiro. As noted here, Shapiro’s racism is so well documented that you can watch the vitriol pour from his mouth as he bemoans the movie Black Panther. You really get a sense of how racist he is when the article quotes Shapiro as saying, “…[A]nd liberated by the Civil Rights Movement, with federal legislation, and have not been gradually restored to, what always should have been, full civil rights in the United States.” Emphasis is mine.

The article actually does not say that. It was omitted so the author may make the point that Shapiro is racist. It is also likely that the author may have expected no one to want to watch such a racist diatribe and felt that they could make such a claim against Shapiro.

Another thing about the video is the very obvious editing jump that takes place. It doesn’t take long to find the podcast episode or YouTube video and find the part that is edited out, it’s about 35 minutes into the show. The author, Isha Aran (@ishaaran), and the editor of the video clip, Alazar Moges (@zarzarbinkss) would have been unable to make such a claim against Shapiro if that edit had not been made. Below is the very first thing he says in the portion that’s edited out.

Now, you may sense that I’m mocking a little bit. The reason I’m mocking a little bit is because I hate this kind of identity politics. I think it’s incredibly stupid.

As evidence for his defense, let me present exhibits A and B.

This is the stupid identity politics that he was talking about. The people in the pictures are ridiculous, the article’s author and the clip’s editor are dishonest, and this kind of foolish behavior is what got Donald Trump elected President.

To accuse someone of racism with nothing more than edited and out of context soundbites, or in spite of the fact that someone’s entire immediate family is not white, is a bush league tactic used when someone is too poorly informed/educated to make a reasoned argument. When the accusation is made many feel that defending themselves against the claim immediately becomes the most important thing they can do. Based on the situation this may be true, but more importantly you should expect this accusation anytime you engage with leftists. Come into the discussion with a strong, preplanned defense and a biting retort for their need to make such an accusation about you. A strong play will give you the upper hand, and allow you to steer the conversation back to the facts. Staying calm and focused is key; such a disgusting accusation is likely to leave you incensed. Expect it, prepare for it, and use reason and facts to show how incorrect they and their arguments are.