Thursday, October 18, 2018

(4) Super excellent article!! Read and SHARE! This... - Gayle-Marie Evans



A dose of reality . . .
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit "In His Name Ministries." He is the former National Chairman of the conservative black think tank, Project 21-The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives and a former member of its parent think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Trump is not a Liberal or Conservative, He's a Pragmatist.
(Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn't let emotion distract him or her.)
"We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation was jocund, ranging from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics. At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative, nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative.
It was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn't see the problem as liberal or conservative; he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.
Viewing problems from a liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.
Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.
Immigration isn't a Republican problem – it isn't a liberal problem – it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach, not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.
The impending collapse of the economy isn't a liberal or conservative problem; it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect.
Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work; they do not promise to accommodate.
Trump uniquely understands that China's manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it. Here again, successful businessmen like Trump who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn't work, you don't continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.
As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn't made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl's Hamburgers.
I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.
You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason people do not like him is because: (1) he is antithetical to the "good old boy" method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians; (2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a candidate speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who owe them vis-a-vis donations; (3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology; and (4) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.
Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to "out crazy" one another. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don't give tens of millions without expecting something in return.
We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us? Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?
I submit that a pragmatist might be just what America needs right now.
People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it's better to still have an "issue(s) to be solved," so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success.
Donald Trump has his total financial empire at risk in running for president; that says it all. "Success for the U.S.A.!"

Here’s How Much Red Tape Trump Has Cut | The Heritage Foundation

Here’s How Much Red Tape Trump Has Cut

Here’s How Much Red Tape Trump Has Cut

Oct 17th, 2018 5 min read
Diane Katz
Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy
Diane Katz, who has analyzed and written on public policy issues for more than two decades, is a research fellow in regulatory policy.
President Donald Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Azar's agency achieved over $12 billion in regulation-related savings for fiscal year 2018. Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Key Takeaways

Trump has pledged to “massively” reduce regulation, and he has so far significantly slowed regulatory output.
According to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs data, the administration has achieved $33 billion in net regulatory savings since taking office.
Regulation is a political spoils system by which various special interests impose their will on the public and profit from government favor.
The Trump administration on Wednesday reported $23 billion in savings from 176 deregulatory actions in fiscal year 2018. Even more consequential, the administration has issued 65 percent fewer “significant” rules—those with costs that exceed $100 million a year—than the Obama administration, and 51 percent fewer than the Bush administration, after 22 months in office.
The regulatory accounting coincides with the release of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which outlines the rulemaking plans for federal agencies in the coming fiscal year.
In her introduction to the new agenda, Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said, “[I]n modern times, the expansion of the administrative state has placed undue burdens on the public, impeding economic growth, technological innovation, and consumer choice. … Our reform efforts emphasize the rule of law, respect for the Constitution’s separation of powers, and the limits of agency authority.”
The administration in fiscal year 2018 took 57 significant deregulatory actions compared to 14 significant regulatory actions, according to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs data.
Trump has pledged to “massively” reduce regulation, and he has so far significantly slowed regulatory output.

Ten days after taking office, he issued Executive Order 13771, which requires agencies to offset the cost of any new significant regulation (or guidance) with at least two deregulatory actions. The executive order also established a regulatory budgeting system under which the Office of Management and Budget assigns to agencies a cap on the amount of “incremental costs” that will be allowed for the fiscal year.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs projects that the fiscal year 2019 caps will reduce regulatory costs, on net, by $18 billion (in present value). In addition, the administration has proposed a range of options for revising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards and greenhouse gas emissions standards that are projected to save between $120 and $340 billion. And other deregulatory actions are in process, including a rollback of the Obama administration’s signature global warming regime.
To put that in perspective, annual regulatory costs under the Obama administration increased by $122 billion, according to analyses by The Heritage Foundation.
The regulatory budgeting established in Trump’s Executive Order 13771 is intended to inject a modicum of economic discipline into rulemaking. If agencies are compelled to restrict the costs imposed on the public, they must engage in a type of rolling retrospective review of the vast accumulation of rules that comprise more than 185,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulation—up from some 138,000 in 2000.
Under guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, only “significant” regulatory actions (rules and guidance documents) count toward the cap. However, offsetting costs may be derived from a broader set of deregulatory actions that would result in a net savings, including rules and guidance; streamlined record-keeping and reporting requirements; and some actions related to international regulatory cooperation.
According to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs data, the administration has achieved $33 billion in net regulatory savings since taking office.
Most independent agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are not subject to Executive Order 13771 despite the fact that they impose enormous regulatory costs on the public.
As the table below indicates, the Department of Health and Human Services accounted for the largest regulation-related savings for fiscal year 2018.

Deregulatory actions in fiscal year 2018 include:
  • Allowing small businesses and sole proprietors to join together as associations to purchase health care coverage for employees—a cost-savings measure that had been prohibited under Obamacare.
  • Opening large areas off the coast of New England to commercial sea scallop harvesting, and increasing flexibility for sustainable catches of bluefin tuna and shark.
  • Reducing red tape for skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and home health care providers.
  • Streamlining approval of applications for small-scale exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, from U.S. export facilities.
  • Expanding exemptions to the Obamacare contraceptive coverage mandate for religious beliefs.
  • Allow bicycling on a two-mile segment of the East Shore Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
New regulatory actions in fiscal year 2018 included:
  • Setting eligibility criteria and information collection requirements for the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, which subsidizes commodities impacted by tariffs.
  • Initiation of procedures to determine whether to list the insular population of Hawaiian false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
  • New requirements for states and other operators of public transportation systems that receive federal assistance to develop public transportation agency safety plans.
  • Establishing the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel and advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that apply to gasoline and diesel transportation fuel produced or imported in 2018, and for biomass-based diesel in 2019.
  • Reporting requirements for an inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States. The requirements apply to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process.
The president’s authority to modify regulation is limited. The White House cannot countermand regulatory directives from Congress, although the president appoints agency heads who exercise some latitude in rulemaking priorities.
The president can also guide agency action through executive orders, guidance documents, and budgeting, as he has done. But reform is hindered by the immensity, complexity, and lethargy of the federal regulatory apparatus.
A regulatory repeal requires adhering to administrative procedures, such as analyzing alternatives and presenting justification for public notice and comment. Litigation is rampant and protracted.
Ultimately, however, reform is difficult because powerful forces favor the status quo. Regulation is a political spoils system by which various special interests impose their will on the public and profit from government favor.
That’s what makes the Trump administration’s reforms so important. Indeed, the need for reform has never been greater.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mike Rosen: My picks for the 2018 Colorado ballot measures

Mike Rosen: My picks for the 2018 Colorado ballot measures 

Mike Rosen: My picks for the 2018 Colorado ballot measures

Since many of you have again asked for my recommendations, here’s my analysis of Colorado ballot measures in 2018.  They’re listed in the order in which they’ll appear on your ballot and in the Blue Book.
Amendment V – Lower Age Requirement for Members of the State Legislature
Recommendation: No.
Objective:  Lower the age requirement for serving in the state legislature from 25 to 21.
Comments:  There are certainly plenty of smart 21 year-olds with high IQs and 4.0 grade point averages.  But smarts are not enough.  Experience and wisdom come later in life.  I’ll concede that not all older legislators are wise or possess impressive experience but we’re stuck with them.  Why add to the problem?  Additionally, most young people these days are still under the spell of the liberal indoctrination inflicted upon them in K-12 and higher education.  Let’s give them a few more years to overcome that in the real world.

Amendment W – Election Ballot Format for Judicial Elections
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Streamline the wording on the ballot to eliminate unnecessary repetitions.
Comments:  This one is just housekeeping and a slam dunk.  Anyone who would be confused by the change doesn’t have the wits to cast a vote.

Amendment X – Industrial Hemp Definition
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Remove the definition of “industrial hemp” from the Colorado Constitution and, instead, use the definition in state law or state statutes.
Comments:  Hemp is legal in Colorado and has become a significant agricultural crop and source of tax revenue.  Hemp (CBD) is derived from the cannabis plant as is marijuana (THC).  But unlike marijuana, it’s not a recreational drug.  It’s used for benign industrial and therapeutic purposes.  While it’s currently treated as a controlled substance by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, pending legislation before Congress may change that.  If so, the state legislature can simply pass legislation to conform Colorado’s definition of hemp to that of the federal government’s without having to amend our Constitution again.

Amendment Y – Congressional Redistricting
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Create an Independent Congressional Commission to redraw Colorado U.S. congressional district maps every ten years after a census as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Comments:  In past years, a politically divided state legislature has been unable to come up with a fair redistricting compromise.  Consequently, the court has stepped in to break the impasse.  Unfortunately, partisan judges have imposed new maps favorable to Democrats.  This “independent” commission will be made up of equal numbers of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters.  Unaffiliated voters tend to lean liberal and vote for Democrats in Colorado, so King Solomon would have a tough time coming up with a fair mix on the commission.  The details and the selection process in this proposal is mind-bogglingly complicated and takes up eleven single-spaced, small-type pages in the Blue Book put out by the Colorado General Assembly Legislative Council.  Nonetheless, the final work of the commission would probably be fairer (especially for Republicans) than it’s been in recent years.
One big concern I have is on the subject of gerrymandering.  I would hope the commission doesn’t succumb to simplistic, misinformed populism on this topic.  Yes, politicians of both parties have historically rigged the redistricting game in the interest of protecting their respective incumbents.  But impassioned calls for making every district “competitive” are unjustified and range from impractical to downright nutty.  As a matter of law and custom, the criteria for creating legislative districts include: roughly equal populations among all districts; compactness of shape (squares, circles, hexagons, etc.); contiguity (physical connectedness); preservation of political subdivisions (boundaries of counties, cities, towns); natural geographical separation (mountains, rivers, etc); and preservation of communities of interest.  That last category is especially important.  Denver, as a community of interest is overwhelmingly partisan for Democrats, as it has every right to be.  And that’s not the result of gerrymandering.  There is no imaginable way of redistricting Denver’s First Congressional District to make it politically competitive that would conform to the other districting criteria.  The shape of such a district on a map would be ludicrous.  Similarly, the congressional district encompassing El Paso County and Colorado Springs is a natural Republican stronghold.  Combining it, say, with the left-wing People’s Democratic Republic of Boulder in the interest of competiveness would be a disservice to both places.  Where feasible, competiveness may be a good thing but let’s not go overboard in that quest.

Amendment Z – Legislative Redistricting
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Create an Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission to redraw Colorado legislative district maps every ten years.
Comments:  The is the sister amendment to Y.  Ditto the above analysis.

Amendment A – Prohibit Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Remove outdated language from the Colorado Constitution that allows slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for the conviction of a crime.
Comments:  This is mostly symbolic.  Although there’s no realistic danger that slavery would ever become lawful in Colorado, our state Constitution does allow that “slavery or involuntary servitude” may be imposed as punishment for a crime. Some people find that language offensive and would strip it from our Constitution.  On the other side, others fear that groups like the ACLU could exploit this as an excuse to forbid prisons from requiring inmates to perform work.  I wouldn’t put it past some ACLU radicals to try that, but I think it’s unlikely they’d succeed.  I doubt we’ll see Cool Hand Luke laboring on a Colorado chain gang.  This isn’t worth arguing about.  Let’s just dump that clause and be done with it.

Amendment 73 – Funding for Public Schools
Recommendation: Hell no!
Objective:  Increase funding for pre-K-12 public schools through sharp hikes in income taxes on individuals, corporations, small business and farms; and higher property taxes.
Comments:  This is another bite at the apple by the teacher unions in Colorado to line the pockets of their members after the last two recent attempts via ballot questions were soundly rejected by voters.  But this one is even worse.  Even the liberal and teacher-union friendly Denver Post is against it.  It’s a plan socialist Bernie Sanders would love, punishing the “the rich and big corporations,” as their ads put it, with huge tax increases (along with homeowners, small businesses and farms).  In its deceptive language, “rich” includes middle-income families with three kids earning over $150,000 a year.  (And that amount isn’t indexed to inflation, so “bracket creep” would entrap many more middle-income families in future years.)  Also deceitful is the claim that this will only “increase the corporate income tax rate by 1.37%.”  Not exactly.  The measure increases the corporate income tax rate from its current level of 4.63% to 6.0%.  You don’t have to be a CPA to understand that this 1.37 percentage point increase calculates to a 30% increase in the actual tax collection.  And corporate taxes are a cost of doing business just like all other business costs that are ultimately passed on to the customers of a business.  That means you.
In 2000, the same activists now pushing Amendment 73, suckered voters into approving Amendment 23 which put public-school spending on automatic pilot regardless of economic conditions and other pressing budget needs.  When a serious recession hit, and ever since, this squeezed-out much needed spending for roads, infrastructure, prisons, health care, higher education and just about everything else that’s discretionary in the state budget.  The huge cost and tax burden of PERA  ─ the extravagant government employees pension plan (the largest component of which is public school employees) ─ similarly squeezes out all other spending.  Amendment 73 would compound this problem even more.  Imbedding it in our Constitution will usurp the duty of legislators to prioritize and fairly distribute limited revenues.  The massive tax increases would undermine economic incentives, investment and growth in Colorado.  We’ve seen the damage excessive tax rates have done to other states like California. And nothing in this measure would guarantee better educational outcomes; it just throws more money at the same flawed system.
Years ago, I vowed to oppose any future increase in taxes for public schools unless and until the educrats agreed to give up their monopoly.  By that I mean opening up the system to competition through parental choice and school vouchers empowering parents to take the tax dollars earmarked for educating their kids to the school of their choice public or private.  I stand by that vow, and you should, too, if you truly want to elevate the quality of your kids’ education and replace liberal indoctrination with basic academics.

Amendment 74 – Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Require state or local government to compensate a property owner if a law or regulation reduces the fair market value of his or her property.
Comments:  This is the potential antidote for Proposition 112 which I oppose (see below) if it were to pass.  Governments need to be restrained from encroaching on the property rights of its citizens in the name of the “common good.”  If they do so, they should fairly compensate the injured parties, as they are required to do when condemning private property for public use in cases of eminent domain.

Amendment 75 – Campaign Contributions
Recommendation: Yes
Objective:  Increase state campaign contribution limits to competing candidates when another candidate contributes more than $1 million to his or her own campaign.
Comments:  You might call this the “anti-Jared Polis Amendment” for future elections.  If Polis were a Republican, the liberal media would be branding him a “fat cat” and attack him for buying an election.  Since he’s a Democrat, they give him a pass on that.  He’s already fed his campaign about $20 million and there’s no limit to what he can spend.  Colorado’s limits on what individuals can contribute to candidates (other than themselves) are ridiculously low.  They range from $400 for legislators to $1,150 for Governor and other statewide offices.  This amendment would increase those limits five-fold.  Still not that much, but it’s an improvement.

Proposition 109 – Authorize Bonds for Highway Projects
Recommendation: Yes
Objective Require the state to borrow up to $3.5 billion to fund 66 specific highway projects, funded within existing state revenues without raising taxes or fees.
Comments:  Also known as “Fix Our Damn Roads” this is fathered by Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute (and Complete Colorado).  On a recent road trip that took me through Utah, the comparison of that state’s roads to ours is astounding.  Colorado’s roads are in terrible shape, the consequence of serious underfunding for decades by the legislature downgrading the priority of roads.  This has been compounded by electric cars and enhanced fuel economy which have reduced gasoline tax revenues.  There’s no easy budget fix in sight, which is why bonding is necessary.  Prop 109 specifically mandates every dollar of this project for highways and bridge expansions, and that alone, unlike Prop 110, discussed below, which would divert funds for other purposes.

Proposition 110 – Authorize Sales Tax and Bonds for Transportation Projects
Recommendation: No
Objective:  Increase the state sales and use tax rate from 2.9% to 3.52% (a 21% increase) and borrow $6 billion.  Distribute 45% of the revenues to state government, 40% to local governments and 15% for multi-model transportation projects.
Comments:  Prop 109, above, is a better alternative.  Prop 110 is another huge tax increase to be piled on top of others on the ballot measure menu this year.  Maintenance and improvement of state roads should be a fundamental part of the state budget not an afterthought.  And local road projects should be funded locally.  Note that this is called a “transportation” project.  That means funds that should go exclusively to long-needed highway maintenance will be diverted to so-called “multi-model” projects like “bike paths, sidewalks and public transit.”  That’s bait and switch.  Those projects have no business being piggy-backed on a highway proposition.

Proposition 111 – Limitations on Payday loans
Recommendation: No
Objective:  Limit the total cost for a payday loan to a 36% annual percentage rate.
Comments:  Interest rates on payday loans are very high.  But the risk attached to these loans is high for lenders, as well.  When compounded to an annual interest rate they sound outrageous.  But that’s misleading since these are usually very short-term loans, on average about two weeks.  For example, a two-week payday loan for $100 at typical 15 percent rate would cost $15 in interest.  While that computes to an annual rate of almost 400%, the actual cost is just the fifteen bucks.  If Prop 111’s 36 percent annual limit (3 percent per month) were imposed, a two week loan of $100 would be limited to an interest rate of just 1.5 percent or just $1.50 (or a fee of $7.50 on a $500 loan). That may not be worth the trouble for payday lenders.  For people with low incomes and no credit rating who are unappealing to banks or finance companies, the only option (other than hitting up a friend or family member) could be the neighborhood loan shark, whose collection methods if you’re late can be hazardous to one’s health.  By reducing the availability of legal payday loans, Prop 111 would hurt the very people it’s trying to help.  (And illegal loan sharks may raise their rates.)  This is a voluntary transaction between a willing payday lender and a willing borrower.  There’s no need for government to interfere.  If Prop 111 fails, look for liberals to come back in the next election cycle with a proposition to create a government bureaucracy to provide no-interest payday loans.  If you think I’m kidding, listen to Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s plans about student college loans.

Proposition 112 – Increased Setback Requirement for Oil and Natural Gas Development
Recommendation: No, no, a thousand times no!
Objective:  Require that new oil and natural gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures, water sources and areas designated as vulnerable.
Comments:  On your ballot and in the Blue Book, the absolute worst measure has been saved for last.  This is the brainchild of radical greenies, anti-fracking fanatics and those wishful dreamers who believe wind and solar “renewable” energy sources can replace fossil fuels anytime in the near future.  The 2,500 foot setback is greatly excessive and existing state regulations are sufficient to protect public health in this area.  Prop 112 would savage Colorado’s oil and gas industry, cost 150,000 jobs over ten years, deprive the state of $26 billion in economic output by 2030 and a loss of $1 billion in state and local tax revenue each year.  Reasonable Democrats have joined in opposition to this measure including Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Interior Secretary and Senator Ken Salazar.  Even the oh-so green and liberal Denver Post opposes it, placing this headline above its editorial: “Proposition 12 isn’t about safe distances; it’s a ban.”

As for Recommendations on Retention of Judges:
I usually don’t bother casting votes on this unless I have personal knowledge of a judge for good or bad.  And the process is perfunctory.  Rarely is any judge not retained.  The evaluations in the Blue Book by the State Commission on Judicial Performance don’t deal with a judge’s judicial philosophy and aren’t penetrating.  This year, every single judge up for retention was deemed by the commission to “meet performance standards.”  Not much help there.

Here’s a summary for marking your ballot:
V         NO
W        YES
X         YES
Y         YES
Z         YES
A         YES
73        NO
74        YES
75        YES
109      YES
110      NO
111      NO
112      NO

For Jared Polis, human rights requires both makers and takers

For Jared Polis, human rights requires both makers and takers 

For Jared Polis, human rights requires both makers and takers

If polling is right, Jared Polis is in the lead to become our next governor. Are Coloradans signaling they’re just craving free healthcare, free preschool and all renewable energy like Polis is promising in every commercial? While voters might elect Polis, polling also suggests they’ll use the same ballot to say they don’t share all his turn-us-into-California dreams.
Current polling shows both of the massive state-wide tax increase proposals, a 21 percent sales tax hike for mystery transportation projects and a progressive income tax income for education, are dying fiery deaths (I’m a proponent of the Fix Our Damn Roads without a tax increase proposition). And the fracking ban Prop 112 (basically what Jared supported a few years ago), is losing support and will likely fail. And, in the most accurate poll of all, two years ago Colorado voters destroyed a ballot issue to provide healthcare for all by a blistering 80 to 20 percent.
But Polis insists “Healthcare is a human right.”
Either my understanding of human rights is completely wrong, or Polis’s understanding of the English language is.
I thought human rights are guarantees through natural law that you can do some things even if the society around you wants to stop you. Those activities, and the beliefs behind them, can’t be ripped from you even if you’re in the political minority. The government can’t force a religion on you, can’t take away your speech and expression, your ability to assemble, petition, own firearms. Government can’t take property without due process, inflict cruel punishment.
The new progressive “human rights” means the people around owed you stuff, and to that end government has to transfer it from them to you.
What stuff? Beyond Polis’s healthcare, other progressives declare it’s food, shelter and clothing.
I’ve always thought providing those things to those in need is wise policy, something a wealthy and generous people strive to realize. But I don’t see how anyone has a God-given right to the produce of other people’s work.
Let’s try it this way. If it is a “human right” it must be true no matter the size of the community, whether we’re talking about a community of 300 million people in our country, or 6 million in our state, or 100 in our small town. Hell, a human right is undeniable even if there is only three of us in the entire universe. It’s a (expletive) human right after all, so it’s inalienable.
Something doesn’t become a right only when we reach a certain population level.
That certainly holds true for what’s listed in our U.S. Bill of Rights. In a society of only three people it would still be a violation of human rights for two of them to force the third into a religion, or restrict his speech, take his guns, punish him cruelly.
But the new progressive view of human rights, where a guarantee of goods and services at someone else’s expense is a birthright, well, that just doesn’t hold up in this thought experiment.
If it is a right then one person out of our fictional society of three could demand healthcare, food, shelter and clothing, and the other two must provide him that human right. It’s not a freedom for the first person to do something the others don’t like, it’s a liability for the other two to provide.
And what if two people demand their new human rights be provided by the remaining one? We can’t demand someone work before they receive their rights. Then it is not a right, because rights aren’t conditional.
And if all three demand their rights? There’d be no one to produce any human rights for any of them.
How could there be humans yet be no human rights?
In other words, these new progressive human rights are completely conditional on other people providing for them. And that blows my tiny little non-progressive brain because HUMAN RIGHTS ARE UNCONDITIONAL, OTHERWISE WE WOULDN’T CALL THEM HUMAN RIGHTS.
By the way, this thought experiment is playing itself out on different real-world policy stages, like Social Security where it now takes three people working to support one retiree. That is expected to drop to two people per one retiree by 2030. By contrast in 1945 it was 41 workers per one retiree.
In Polis’s Colorado will you be the producer of human rights for others, or the taker of human rights?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren's DNA Results Disqualify Her from Cherokee Tribes

Elizabeth Warren's DNA Results Disqualify Her from Cherokee Tribes

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Results Disqualify Her from Cherokee Tribes

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the National Press Club August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Warren spoke on ending corruption in the nation's capital during her remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reveals her DNA test purporting to show she has anywhere between 0.1 percent to 1.56 percent Native American ancestry, the liberal lawmaker remains ineligible for Cherokee Nation citizenship.

On Monday, Warren claimed she is vindicated after she released the findings of a DNA test which claims she is at the most 1/64th Native American and at the least, 1/1,024.
The DNA findings, regardless of their legitimacy, do not make her eligible for Cherokee Nation citizenship. Nor does the DNA test make Warren eligible to join the Eastern Band of the Cherokee or the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.
In 2012, The Atlantic provided a full breakdown of what it would take for Warren to be eligible to join any of the three federally-recognized Cherokee tribes.
For Warren to apply for Cherokee Nation citizenship, she would have to provide documentation proving she has a direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Rolls of the tribe. To this day, Warren has not provided any documentation that would make her eligible for Cherokee Nation citizenship.
In order for Warren to be recognized as Cherokee by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, she would have to be at least 1/16 Cherokee — which she is not — and would have to provide documentation showing she is a direct descendant of someone listed on the tribe’s rolls.
To join the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee, Warren would have to be 1/4 Keetoowah Cherokee — which she is not —  and have a direct ancestor on the Dawes Rolls.
As Breitbart News noted, Warren is actually less Native American than many white, Hispanic and black Americans. Experts with 23andMe say the average black American is nearly one percent Native American, while the average Hispanic American is 18 percent Native American. Additionally, about eight percent of white Americans in Louisiana, for example, are at least one percent Native American.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016

Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016

Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016

(Bloomberg) -- Individual income taxes are the federal government’s single biggest revenue source. In fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, the individual income tax is expected to bring in roughly $1.7 trillion, or about half of all federal revenues, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
If past statistics can offer any guidance, in 2016, $1.44 trillion income taxes were paid by 140.9 million taxpayers reporting a total of $10.2 trillion in adjusted gross income, according to data recently released by the Internal Revenue Services.
Bloomberg looked into the 2016 individual returns data in detail for some additional insights illustrated in the charts below:
  • The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (37.3 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (30.5 percent).
  • The top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of total individual income taxes.
Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016

  • In other words, the bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent. Which small percentile of tax payers also paid 3 percent or more? You might have guessed it. It is the top 0.001%, or about 1,400 taxpayers. That group alone paid 3.25 percent of all income taxes. In 2001, the bottom 50 percent paid nearly 5 percent whereas the top 0.001 percent of filers paid 2.3 percent of income taxes.
Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016

  • The individual income tax system is designed to be progressive – those with higher incomes pay at higher rates. While the indentation, or the reduction in the steepness of the "progressivity" curve, is visible at the highest levels.
Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016
The average tax rates paid for the very wealthiest has fallen in recent years from a peak of 24.1 percent in 2013 to 22.9 on 2016 and was a full four percentage points below the 26.9 percent that the top one percent paid on average. To put these numbers in perspective, the top 0.001 percent of taxpayers consists of 1,409 returns, the top 1 percent equals 1.4 million returns and the top 50 percent is half of the total 140.9 million returns.
Top 3% of U.S. Taxpayers Paid Majority of Income Taxes in 2016
The most extensive rewrite of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years was signed in law in early 2018. Individuals may start to feel the effects of last year’s tax overhaul when they file their returns in April. Estimates show the law’s biggest benefits go to top earners.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

BOMBSHELL: audit of global warming data finds it riddled with errors

BOMBSHELL: audit of global warming data finds it riddled with errors

Just ahead of a new report from the IPCC, dubbed SR#15 about to be released today, we have this bombshell- a detailed audit shows the surface temperature data is unfit for purpose. The first ever audit of the world’s most important temperature data set (HadCRUT4) has found it to be so riddled with errors and “freakishly improbable data”  that it is effectively useless.
From the IPCC:
Global Warming of 1.5 °C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
This is what consensus science brings you – groupthink with no quality control.
HadCRUT4 is the primary global temperature dataset used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to make its dramatic claims about “man-made global warming”.  It’s also the dataset at the center of “ClimateGate” from 2009, managed by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University.
The audit finds more than 70 areas of concern about data quality and accuracy.
But according to an analysis by Australian researcher John McLean it’s far too sloppy to be taken seriously even by climate scientists, let alone a body as influential as the IPCC or by the governments of the world.

Main points:

  • The Hadley data is one of the most cited, most important databases for climate modeling, and thus for policies involving billions of dollars.
  • McLean found freakishly improbable data, and systematic adjustment errors , large gaps where there is no data, location errors, Fahrenheit temperatures reported as Celsius, and spelling errors.
  • Almost no quality control checks have been done: outliers that are obvious mistakes have not been corrected – one town in Columbia spent three months in 1978 at an average daily temperature of over 80 degrees C.  One town in Romania stepped out from summer in 1953 straight into a month of Spring at minus 46°C. These are supposedly “average” temperatures for a full month at a time. St Kitts, a Caribbean island, was recorded at 0°C for a whole month, and twice!
  • Temperatures for the entire Southern Hemisphere in 1850 and for the next three years are calculated from just one site in Indonesia and some random ships.
  • Sea surface temperatures represent 70% of the Earth’s surface, but some measurements come from ships which are logged at locations 100km inland. Others are in harbors which are hardly representative of the open ocean.
  • When a thermometer is relocated to a new site, the adjustment assumes that the old site was always built up and “heated” by concrete and buildings. In reality, the artificial warming probably crept in slowly. By correcting for buildings that likely didn’t exist in 1880, old records are artificially cooled. Adjustments for a few site changes can create a whole century of artificial warming trends.

Details of the worst outliers

  • For April, June and July of 1978 Apto Uto (Colombia, ID:800890)  had an average monthly temperature of  81.5°C, 83.4°C and 83.4°C respectively.
  • The monthly mean temperature in September 1953 at Paltinis, Romania is reported as -46.4 °C (in other years the September average was about 11.5°C).
  • At Golden Rock Airport, on the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean, mean monthly temperatures for December in 1981 and 1984 are reported as 0.0°C. But from 1971 to 1990 the average in all the other years was 26.0°C.
More at Jo Nova

The report:
Unfortunately, the report is paywalled. The good news is that it’s a mere $8.
The researcher, John McLean, did all the work on his own, so it is a way to get compensated for all the time and effort put into it. He writes:
This report is based on a thesis for my PhD, which was awarded in December 2017 by James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. The thesis1 was based on the HadCRUT4 dataset and associated files as they were in late January 2016. The thesis identified 27 issues of concern about the dataset.
The January 2018 versions of the files contained not just updates for the intervening 24 months, but also additional observation stations and consequent changes in the monthly global average temperature anomaly right back to the start of data in 1850.
The report uses January 2018 data and revises and extends the analysis performed in the original thesis, sometimes omitting minor issues, sometimes splitting major issues and sometimes analysing new areas and reporting on those findings.
The thesis was examined by experts external to the university, revised in accordance with their comments and then accepted by the university. This process was at least equivalent to “peer review” as conducted by scientific journals.
I’ve purchased a copy, and I’ve reproduced the executive summary below. I urge readers to buy a copy and support this work.
Get it here:

As far as can be ascertained, this is the first audit of the HadCRUT4 dataset, the main temperature dataset used in climate assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Governments and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) rely heavily on the IPCC reports so ultimately the temperature data needs to be accurate and reliable.
This audit shows that it is neither of those things.
More than 70 issues are identified, covering the entire process from the measurement of temperatures to the dataset’s creation, to data derived from it (such as averages) and to its eventual publication. The findings (shown in consolidated form Appendix 6) even include simple issues of obviously erroneous data, glossed-over sparsity of data, significant but questionable assumptions and temperature data that has been incorrectly adjusted in a way that exaggerates warming.
It finds, for example, an observation station reporting average monthly temperatures above 80°C, two instances of a station in the Caribbean reporting December average temperatures of 0°C and a Romanian station reporting a September average temperature of -45°C when the typical average in that month is 10°C. On top of that, some ships that measured sea temperatures reported their locations as more than 80km inland.
It appears that the suppliers of the land and sea temperature data failed to check for basic errors and the people who create the HadCRUT dataset didn’t find them and raise questions either.
The processing that creates the dataset does remove some errors but it uses a threshold set from two values calculated from part of the data but errors weren’t removed from that part before the two values were calculated.
Data sparsity is a real problem. The dataset starts in 1850 but for just over two years at the start of the record the only land-based data for the entire Southern Hemisphere came from a single observation station in Indonesia. At the end of five years just three stations reported data in that hemisphere. Global averages are calculated from the averages for each of the two hemispheres, so these few stations have a large influence on what’s supposedly “global”. Related to the amount of data is the percentage of the world (or hemisphere) that the data covers. According to the method of calculating coverage for the dataset, 50% global coverage wasn’t reached until 1906 and 50% of the Southern Hemisphere wasn’t reached until about
In May 1861 global coverage was a mere 12% – that’s less than one-eighth. In much of the 1860s and 1870s most of the supposedly global coverage was from Europe and its trade sea routes and ports, covering only about 13% of the Earth’s surface. To calculate averages from this data and refer to them as “global averages” is stretching credulity.
Another important finding of this audit is that many temperatures have been incorrectly adjusted. The adjustment of data aims to create a temperature record that would have resulted if the current observation stations and equipment had always measured the local temperature. Adjustments are typically made when station is relocated or its instruments or their housing replaced.
The typical method of adjusting data is to alter all previous values by the same amount. Applying this to situations that changed gradually (such as a growing city increasingly distorting the true temperature) is very wrong and it leaves the earlier data adjusted by more than it should have been. Observation stations might be relocated multiple times and with all previous data adjusted each time the very earliest data might be far below its correct value and the complete data record show an exaggerated warming trend.
The overall conclusion (see chapter 10) is that the data is not fit for global studies. Data prior to 1950 suffers from poor coverage and very likely multiple incorrect adjustments of station data. Data since that year has better coverage but still has the problem of data adjustments and a host of other issues mentioned in the audit.
Calculating the correct temperatures would require a huge amount of detailed data, time and effort, which is beyond the scope of this audit and perhaps even impossible. The primary conclusion of the audit is however that the dataset shows exaggerated warming and that global averages are far less certain than have been claimed.
One implication of the audit is that climate models have been tuned to match incorrect data, which would render incorrect their predictions of future temperatures and estimates of the human influence of temperatures.
Another implication is that the proposal that the Paris Climate Agreement adopt 1850-1899 averages as “indicative” of pre-industrial temperatures is fatally flawed. During that period global coverage is low – it averages 30% across that time – and many land-based temperatures are very likely to be excessively adjusted and therefore incorrect.
A third implication is that even if the IPCC’s claim that mankind has caused the majority of warming since 1950 is correct then the amount of such warming over what is almost 70 years could well be negligible. The question then arises as to whether the effort and cost of addressing it make any sense.
Ultimately it is the opinion of this author that the HadCRUT4 data, and any reports or claims based on it, do not form a credible basis for government policy on climate or for international agreements about supposed causes of climate change.