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I'm not so sure that income inequality hasn't always entered into the opposition to EPA regulations, if only indirectly. Consider the price of housing as a function of distance from a polluting business. The immediate impact of an industry generating significant air pollution is inversely proportional to the distance one's home is from that industry, so expensive housing tends to be farther away from polluting industries than cheaper housing. Imagine if a power plant belching out noxious fumes and soot is directly upwind of, say, the most prestigious country club in the area - but does not affect air quality in residential areas. Now imagine an identical power plant, but this time sited in a location surrounded by the homes of the poor and lower-middle class. Imagine further that the plant's owners and the rest of the upper and upper-middle class residents live upwind from the plant and are not often exposed to the soot and the smells. Wouldn't we see opposition to the respective plants linked to income levels? The "get the EPA off our backs" meme has similar correlations: the rich see added expense to install pollution controls, and no direct benefit to themselves because they are rarely exposed directly to the pollution. Add in the increasing ideological opposition to having the government provide anything of benefit to the population other than military, police, and fire services, and one sees opposition to government pollution regulations with a correlation to one's income level.
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George for President? Patooie!
I believe Mr. Yglesias' point was that anyone can act like a lunatic asshole - Mr. McConnell's flash of evil strategic brilliance was in knowing that the more the Republicans acted like partisan assholes, the more the press would blame President Obama for failing to end partisan gridlock as he'd promised.
This argument assumes its conclusion: it concludes that printing lots of money causes lots of inflation - based solely on the unsupported assumption that printing lots of money causes lots of inflation. The reasoning sounds a bit circular to me. What the author fails to consider is that much of the money supply is not in gold coins, or paper dollars - but stored and spent via credit. Just as the Fed can expand the money supply by changing the credit rules, it can also contract the money supply that same way. It simply isn't the case that telling the Secretary of the Treasury to stop authorizing overtime at the Mint's printing presses has a significant effect on the real money supply - which means that the money supply can be contracted without the need to reduce the number of paper dollars (or gold coins).
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The rich should pay their fair share - currently, they don't. A higher marginal tax rate and more tax brackets would do wonders for our country as a whole -starting with the ability to fund public schools, colleges, universities, infrastructure repairs, and basic health care. Otherwise, our society may well collapse - which is not in the best interests of the ultra-rich, as they will be targets.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2014 on Inequality and Progressive Taxes at Economist's View
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Or we could just tax foreign corporations based on their US-derived profits. For example, if the US subsidiary paid $1mm in licensing fees to its Ireland-based parent, tax the parent on the $1mm. It's really silly to only tax the subsidiaries and not the entire entity.
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Guns don't kill people - it's those pesky bullets.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2014 on Foot Shot at Whiskey Fire
The problem is that these gun worshippers often shoot others. Consider their stupidity: any time one carries a firearm, there's a small probability of an accidental firing, or shooting someone without justification. There's also a very small chance of being attacked by a criminal (or a self-righteous gun worshipper). If you're attacked, there's a possibility that you'll successfully defend yourself, as well as a possibility that your attacker got the drop on you and will take your gun away. Considering all the probabilities, the odds of successfully protecting oneself with a gun seem far lower than the odds of getting injured or killed because you (or some gun worshipper) was carrying a gun. It's the people too stupid to understand this who carry guns around in most of the US. Side note: street gangs often get into gunfights with each other - why do gun nuts think criminals will flee in terror from an armed "good guy?"
Toggle Commented Sep 5, 2014 on Foot Shot at Whiskey Fire
Perhaps Zav Chafets didn't want to mention another possibility: that Reform Jews also listen to Republican speeches about the US being a "Christian Nation", and have enough knowledge of history to know what happen to Jews in a nation proclaiming itself as "Christian", or one whipped into a nationalistic frenzy (or both). Look at, say, Ferdinand and Isabella's demonstration of Christian charity toward the Jews of Spain (they expelled the Jews, killing any who remained and did not convert to Catholicism), or the rise of anti-Semitism in today's Russia. This isn't unique to Christianity - look at the "price tag" attacks on Christians by fanatical Israelis. Of course, once a nation declares itself to be a particular religion, disputes begin to arise over whether people are practicing the one true religion in the one true way. We see this in disputes between American Orthodox Jews and those in Israel, as well as the ongoing fights between Shi'ite versus Sunni Muslims, or the Protestant/Catholic violence that still flares up in Northern Ireland from time to time. Yes, one can see why someone trying to get people to vote for Republicans might forget to mention the jingoistic religious fanatics controlling today's Republican Party. Undoubtedly an oversight, and not an attempt to avoid facts explaining Republican unpopularity with certain demographic groups.
It's the freedom fighter / terrorist thing. Imagine if the tactics employed by the Ferguson police had been used at the Bundy Ranch. Perhaps the key is making sure that discontented citizens don't have horses?
How can a market be rational where all the players exhibit irrational behavior in varying degrees? How can we expect irrational humans to create "fully designed" rational markets? P.S.: don't assume computer-designed markets - the programmers make subjective value-judgements in setting up the algorithms followed by the computer.
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So, fewer jobs for butlers and other domestic servants? Also, didn't Grover Norquist supply the data used to verify the new app's predictions?
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That's part of the truth - the actual truth is that anyone earning more than a million dollars per year simply doesn't notice the effect of any incremental tax bracket changes. The common misconception anti-tax marketers push is that moving into the next tax bracket increases taxes on all reportable income. In fact, only that portion of one's income in excess of the bracket gets the additional tax. Thus, if you make $999,999.99 in taxable income as of December 30, and earn $0.01 on December 31, the 3% additional tax only applies to the additional penny - your tax bill would increase by a whopping three-one-hundredths of a penny ($0.0003). Hardly enough to make it worth the trouble to flee the state - especially as one's tax planner can find easier ways of avoiding the tax increase.
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I suggest ads telling Republican men that they shouldn't have sex with women any more unless they're trying to get her pregnant. Good bumper sticker material: "Republican Men just say no to sex" Republican Family Planning: the permanent headache."
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2014 on Well, Yeah... at Whiskey Fire
Back in the day, the males writing the laws decided that making it illegal for children conceived out of wedlock (bastards) to inherit anything from their fathers would deter women from having sex with men. Notice, please, that the idea was to make sexual activity consequence-free for men, yet highly burdensome for women. (They also made it very difficult for women to establish that they'd been raped.) The boys on the Supreme Court seem to want to bring the bad old days back again.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2014 on The Lords of Permissible Fucking at Whiskey Fire
Jennifer Rubin is more than welcome to promote Governor Goodhair as the best that the Republican party has to offer. Given the pure evil that is Ted Cruz and the rest of the gang, another Texas Governor with little intellect and no morals or scruples may indeed fit that role. @ Montag: Remember the Halloween episode where Homer was captured by the brain-eating zombies, who examined Homer's head and then dropped him in disgust?
Here's an idea - encrypt it, and store the encrypted files somewhere on the Internet with a decryption key set to allow decryption in, say, 50 years. Someone should be able write that type of app.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2014 on Crimes against Memory at Whiskey Fire
Mr. Gowdy does indeed seem to have been chosen based on his ability to give pleasure to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Besides, perhaps Mr. Gowdy will discover that Hillary Clinton hired Barack Obama to make Vince Foster's death look like a suicide.
I'm actually thinking Dr. Who has a soft spot for Islamo-communist-fascist-Kenyan usurpers. Without time travel, it seems unlikely that so many of President Obama's alleged plots could succeed. (P.S.: Here's a conspiracy theory you won't hear on Fox - the IRS folks suspected of targeting the Tea Party organizations were appointed by a mainstream Republican friend of Karl Rove. Karl Rove doesn't like Tea Party organizations that compete with him for donations. Now, suppose what was really going on was the Country Club Republicans targeting Tea Party activists that were pulling a Bundy and failing to use code words when stating their views? I could see Karl Rove trying to both suppress competitors for donation money and also trying to blame Democrats for Karl Rove's own iniquity. REPUBLICANS BLAST NEVADA RANCHER FOR FAILING TO USE COMMONLY ACCEPTED RACIAL CODE WORDS
Toggle Commented Apr 25, 2014 on Let's Talk Taxes! at Whiskey Fire
Perhaps somebody should point out that Lois Lerner was appointed to this post - in 2005: Lois G. Lerner Selected as Director of IRS Exempt Organizations Division IR-2005-148, Dec. 22, 2005 WASHINGTON — Lois G. Lerner has been selected as the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service. In this position, she will be responsible for administering and enforcing the tax laws that apply to more than 1.8 million organizations recognized by the IRS as exempt from tax. In other words, a George W Bush legacy employee...
Toggle Commented Apr 25, 2014 on Let's Talk Taxes! at Whiskey Fire
Funny how someone's views about "minority rights" shift dramatically - once they view themselves as the minority in question. I'll bet these same folks have no qualms about forcing their particular flavor of Christianity on others because "the majority has spoken."
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2014 on When You Add up the Numbers at Whiskey Fire
Funny how wonderful it is to be a "disruptive" industry, but not a "disruptive" activist. Of course, the real reason people opposed to such ideas oppose strident activism is because it is so often productive. Consider, say, the effect of Operation Rescue on the debate over abortion.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2014 on Wrinkled Ghosts at Whiskey Fire
We could build fully-automated fast-food restaurants today - but minimum wage workers are still cheaper. Little by little, automation will eat away at jobs ranging from bus and taxi drivers to newspaper reporters. (They've already got automated sports writing software.) As the technology gets cheaper, more humans will lose their jobs to the robots. True, robots won't eliminate all jobs - but they'll eliminate enough of them to hurt - badly. I'm not sure whom would patronize robot fast-food places, though. Those without jobs won't be able to buy food at all, and those with jobs will want better quality food (probably at robo-Sizzler).
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Who knew that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of the right-wing radio stars were collectivists? I mean, they typically attempt to discredit and intimidate their opponents, and routinely engage in character assassination - and as only collectivists do this according to Mr. Koch, this must mean that they are collectivists. Right? Oh, the Birthers too? Who knew? Then, too, there's the litigator that Chris Christie hired to "investigate" the bridge scandal. He "has a reputation as a brutal cross examiner who does “crisis management,” shutting down public criticism – often with aggressive attacks on the sources of that criticism." Who knew that Chris Christie hired a "collectivist" to perform the investigation? Of course, when someone the Koch Brothers like and/or support engage in such tactics, they're merely crafting an effective public relations campaign. Could this be what is really troubling the Koch Brothers - that attacking them directly might prove effective in countering the Koch Brothers' own campaign of discrediting and intimidating their opponents through character assassination?
We don't need to hold them for a day - merely eliminating the various ways to game the system is enough. This is what they did when building the new IEX Stock Exchange: "All three predatory strategies depended on speed. It was Katsuyama who had the crude first idea to counter them: Everyone was fighting to get in as close to the exchange as possible — why not push them as far away as possible? Put ourselves at a distance, but don’t let anyone else be there. The idea was to locate their exchange’s matching engine at some meaningful distance from the place traders connected to the exchange (called the point of presence) and to require anyone who wanted to trade to connect to the exchange at that point of presence. If you placed every participant in the market far enough away from the exchange, you could eliminate most, and maybe all, of the advantages created by speed." Source: The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street (
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