There. Now that I have your attention…
While I’ve always run a forthrightly ideological conservative blog (that also covers music, history, and pretty much any other subject I want to cover), I’ve also always sought to facilitate a lively discussion in my comment section – one that crosses the proverbial aisle. That has been my policy since I first figured out how to add comments to this blog, back in 2003 or so.
I italicize the word discussion because that is literally what I’m shooting for; people from all different angles of a subject, going at it, pretty much untrammeled. Let’s face it – vigorous agreement is just another term for “echo chamber”; a good donnybrook is a chance to convince others. Or even me – lotsa luck. Some of this blog’s most celebrated commenters – I’m looking at you, Angryclown – could be fairly called “the opposition” in this space.
And that’s a good thing.
A good discussion is kind of a rare thing in the world of blogs, these days; most blogs either farm their comments out to a turnkey service in which they participate only rarely (like Hot Air or Powerline), or control access veeeeeery carefully (Sally Jo Sorenson at Bluestem Prairie, who blocks many/most critical comments, and holds most all comments until she can respond), or just block everyone that annoys them (pretty much name any left-leaning MN blogs).
For over a decade, I’ve tried, and succeeded, in focusing my comment section on being a discussion. In all that time,I’ve rolled out the welcome mat to all, pretty much without exception; I’ve kept to my policy of only blocking people who write things that could get me in legal trouble (two commenters, ever) or people who feel like exercising personal pissing matches with me – three of them bordering on stalking – to an extent where there was no redeeming value to the “conribution” they made.
But while I feel no desire to change my policy, I’m going to say this; I did not start my comment section as a place for people to do the rhetorical equivalent of leaving a bag of flaming dog poo at my door, ringing the bell and running.
If you make a continuous practice of dumping contentious comments and running, week in, week out, then you’re treating the comment section more like your personal blog.
And since a blog takes literally two minutes to set up, there’s no real reason for you to do that – or for me to host it.
I don’t care if you refer people back to your personal blog (or facebook page, or twitter feed) as much as you want. Go for it! That’s how all of us created traffic when we were getting started! But if you’re dumping a bunch of content here without actually discussing it with, at the very least, me – the person hosting your little outburst – then we’ll need to have a word.
First thing: Trump technically is correct that the government can print money to prevent default, as the Treasury Department controls the printing presses. But as a practical matter, it’d be nearly impossible to churn out enough $100 bills to make the annual debt service payment of $220 billion. That doesn’t make Trump an idiot, it highlights the idiotic policies that have led to such massive debt that the interest payment alone is comfortably larger than most national GDPs.
The Federal Reserve controls credit so it must agree to increase the money supply. But that’s precisely what Quantitative Easing was all about. Or the Fed can purchase US Government debt – as it has been doing – if that’s what’s needed to give it the money to avoid default.
Trump is right that default is not an economic problem, it’s a political ploy used by Liberals to hold the nation hostage.
And Trump’s buy-back-debt-at-a-discount scheme isn’t even new, it’s standard business practice including this very administration.
Steve Rattner. Come on, you remember Steve Rattner. He was President Obama’s Car Czar who stage-managed the GM and Chrysler bailouts, bankruptcies, dealership closings. He forced the bond-holders to settle their debts for cents-on-the-dollar (which freed up money to pay union pensions).
Everybody cheered when President Obama’s guy used that tactic to save union automaker pensions; why is nobody cheering President Trump’s idea to use the same tactic to save everybody’s pensions aka Social Security?
Sources tell Gizmodo that Facebook routinely gundecked “conservative” news – spiking it from the “trending” news section, even if it was legitimately, y’know, trending (and buffing up stories that management wanted pushed):
These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site.
Tangential note: you’re a young “journalist” with an Ivy-League degree. You’re working as a “curator” for Facebook.
Contact me. I’ll refer you to a good suicide hotline. You’re gonna need it sooner than later.
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
It’s really no different than any newspaper. Just big and financially successful.
The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.
It does bespeak a certain insecurity, doesn’t it?
(It also introduces a conundrum: which do more hope to see crash and burn? Facebook or Twitter?)
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Sure, things are great now but in 80 years, they’ll suck. So give me all your money today.
There’s a reason that message doesn’t resonate with ordinary voters and it has nothing to do with science.
The climate mafia strives for Al Capone. They achieve something more like Elmer Gantry.
Rapper Azealea Banks noted something has been screechingly obvious for decades, to anyone who’s not competely left-addled:
On Saturday afternoon, singer Azealia Banks expressed her support for the GOP candidate in a spree of tweets, kicking off the conversation with, “I REALLY want Donald Trump to win the election.”
Hillary talks to black people as if we’re children or pets. i can’t stand herrrrrrr.
— BRUJA DEL BLOQUE (@AZEALIABANKS) May 7, 2016
Ms. Banks has a point.
It’s a point originally made by none other than Malcolm X himself:
Sixty years ago, 40% of African-Americans voted GOP. That changed in 1960, when Kennedy reeled in the black vote with promises of civil rights legislation…
…on which he promptly reneged.
As the Democrat party has done, over and over again, for two generations. Indeed, virtually every problem that the urban African-American community has, these days, springs from their relentless support of the Democrat machines that run their cities…into the ground.
Ms. Banks won’t be able to get a table at Carl’s Junior after this, at least in show-biz circles, of course. But she – and Mr. X – are both right.
Ever since Governor Dayton passed one of the highest taxes in the nation on people earning over about $150,000 a year, conservatives have been predicting an exodus of the productive class.
The Minnesota left is doing cartwheels over “data” showing it’s not happened…
…sort of. I add emphasis:
The ranks of the very rich are growing in Minnesota, despite a controversial tax increase that singles out the biggest earners to pay more.
Critics predicted that the ultra-affluent would flee after Gov. Mark Dayton secured 2013 passage of a new income tax tier of 9.85 percent on individuals who make more than $156,000 a year. But the latest data show that the number of people who filed tax returns with over $1 million in income grew by 15.3 percent in the year after the tax passed, while the new top tier of taxpayers grew by 6 percent.
So many holes in this “story”:
People making over a million a year – the “ultrarich” – can live anywhere they want; the Twin Cities are a great place to be rich; good quality of life with lots of bigger-city amenities, and your dollar, after taxes, still goes a ways. That’s why so many big corporations have their headquarters in the Twin Cities, even though they haven’t hired a non-service blue-collar worker in Minnesota in decades; it’s a great place to be a CEO.
As to the number of people in the >$156K tax bracket rising? So what? As the value of the dollar drops, and inflation creeps in, more real estate agents, dentists, software architects, insurance salespeople and the like find their incomes creeping upward from $145K to $156K.
But you have to then ask:
- How many of them hit that $156K mark, stew on it for a year or so, and decide to move to Hudson or Fargo or Superior?
- How many more would have reached that threshold if it weren’t for the tax hike?
The answers, by the way are “anecdotally, many” and “the Strib, being Tina Flint-Smith’s waterboys, sure aren’t going to tell us”.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The US economy grew in the first quarter of 2016, but only a tiny bit, 0.5%. That’s technically enough to keep it from being called a “recession.”
First, do you believe that number? Economic estimates are routinely announced with pronounced spin showing how well the administration’s policies are working, then quietly revised downward a few months later. There’s not much room to revise this number downward.
Second, look at the formula for calculating GDP:
Gross Domestic Product = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports – Imports)
If the federal government wants the GDP number to look good, it can manipulate the formula by increasing government spending to offset decreases in Consumption, Investment and Net Exports. But federal government spending slowed down in the first quarter. And the GDP number is falling as a result. The implications are important.
It means there never was any growth in the Consumer or Investment side of the economy, that’s all been propped up by federal government spending. In other words, we’ve been experiencing negative economic growth for months, maybe years, but it’s been masked by federal government spending. I’m looking at you, Barack Obama, and your $20 Trillion national debt.
The take-away is simple: don’t worry about Great Depression 2.0 coming; it’s already here. Worry about what happens when the ordinary public figures it out.
Like we need any more good news this week…
The press isn’t so crazy about background checks – when it’s their freedom this being walked all over:
For the first time this year, the Secret Service has a hand in credentialing the media; during previous conventions only the Congressional press galleries were in charge of credentialing the media…[Buzzfeed “editor” John Stanton] Stanton cited concerns about the background checks, the lack of a clear appeals process, and the involvement of a third-party subcontractor, urging his fellow journalists to express their concern over the process.“It seems like an unnecessary step and it gives them in my mind a new and troubling precedence to try and exert authority over the press corps,” Stanton said in an interview. “It creates a logistical burden, a troubling precedent for their ability to have almost a de facto say in who is qualified to be a reporter at these events. What if they use this as precedent to extend to other campaign events or any government events?”
Right – but if it saves just one life…
…but I will say that his Second Amendment stance, expressed here in writing, is aggressively excellent.
Especially this bit here:
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
Given how often Trump is accused of making verbal promises he has no idea how to deliver, it’s kind of funny seeing him showing the gun control movement – which has been doing the same thing in fact for almost 50 years.