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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Editorial]
2017-05-28 10:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 170 references
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Let's talk about the screamfest that is already starting, amplified in the media, about Trump's budget and the cuts to Medicaid that are embodied in it.

Oh, cuts you say?  Yes, cuts.  See, Trump knows as do the other politicians that medical spending growing at 9% a year, which is the pattern over the last three decades, will bankrupt the United States.  Congress pretends this "won't happen" but I can tell you with utter certainty they are well-aware of it and in fact senate staffers admitted to me, in person, that they both were aware of it and intentionally ignoring it roughly five years ago.

What Trump is trying to do with his budget, and what the Republicans and Democrats eventually will do is toss the grenade to the States.  Medicaid is the vehicle to do so; it is a federal and state joint program, so tossing off "block grants" to the states which are an effectively-fixed chunk of cash throws half the ticking bomb at them and thus blows up both federal and state budgets instead of just the federal side.

Isn't that special?

You, for your part, will not and have not bombarded and demanded, under penalty of whatever action is necessary to enforce the demand, that both federal and state law enforcement go after the medical industry for practices that in any other business would land people in prison immediately.  Specifically, refusal to quote a price, discriminating in price between like kind and quantity of purchase by a factor of 10, 100 or even 1,000% or more based on "what sort of insurance" someone has (or whether they have it at all), billing people for things they never consented to, billing people for events that didn't happen or products that weren't even used, allowing a doctor to call sticking his head into a room and saying "hi" as a "consultation" and billing that at several hundred dollars and more.  You allow drug companies to take a drug that costs $500 for a year's supply in other developed, first-world nations and charge $70,000 for it here instead of such an action being deemed an unlawful restraint of trade made illegal in laws that are over 100 years old resulting in indictments.

But there's a second-level problem embedded in this budget and the screamfest which, unlike the above, hasn't gotten a lot of digital ink from me -- and that's addiction.

Unlike some illnesses that cannot realistically be traced to someone's deliberate acts addiction is nearly always the exact opposite.  With notable exceptions (e.g. babies born addicted because their mother was a drug abuser) essentially everyone who has an addition obtained it voluntarily and we must as a society face the reality of how it happens and our part in it.

Let's cut the crap eh?  Before drug prohibition you could buy various highly addictive preparations over the counter; they were both cheap and plentiful.  A small but material percentage of the population did just that and became addicted to them.  Nearly all of said addicted persons were still productive members of society anyway despite being addicted to said drug.

Then we decided to change the paradigm.  We decided that being addicted was an act of "moral turpitude" so severe that it was worth felony prison time to possess or distribute certain things to and among willing adults.  We even tried to extend that to alcohol -- with disastrous consequences.

In doing so and in refusing to repeal all of it when prohibition went away we built two economic industries that we now actively refuse to get rid of -- prisons and gangs.  For every person we throw in a prison on average there is $31,000 in economic activity that gets spread around various people, from cops to private firms to suppliers and similar.  The anciliary economic activity, from the police forces to judges to courtrooms to bail bondsmen to lawyers, plus operating the prisons themselves adds up to tens of billions a year.  Roughly half of that expense is due to drug laws and we could end them all tomorrow plus essentially all of the gang-related violence.

In addition an enormous percentage of property crime is committed by persons who are stealing things in order to buy drugs that they are addicted to.  They only need to steal to buy the drugs because we made them 100 or more times as expensive as they would be if they were bought in a pharmacy over the counter.  Were the latter to be the case even with very high tax rates an addict could easily panhandle for sufficient money to pay for his or her drug of choice.

You have people like conservatives such as "Judge" Jeannine Pirro who, of course, back their own profession and its advancement. 

Under President Trump and Attorney General Sessions, the Department of Justice is going to charge major drug traffickers based on the exceedingly large amounts of deadly poison they are peddling in our neighborhoods. These drug traffickers will no longer be treated with kid gloves – they will be treated like the merchants of death that they are.

Right.  A merchant who engages in a consensual transaction with an adult is selling death?  Not on purpose, I assure you -- dead customers don't buy anything more, of course.

No, the merchants of death are found in the JustUS department.  Eric Holder, for example, who knowingly allowed an untold number of guns to be run to Mexican drug gangs despite knowing that they were bogus, illegal sales.  Nonetheless he directed that said sales be allowed to proceed -- on purpose.  Since there's nothing consensual about being shot that is a "merchant of death."  Funny how nobody in that category is prosecuted, isn't it?

Or how about the CIA?  It's not like they haven't been running drugs and facilitating it from other nations around the world for the last several decades, right?  What was little shindig during Reagan's Presidency about again?  Isolated incident?  My ass it was.  Funny how nobody in that category gets prosecuted either, isn't it?

Or how about the current epidemic of death.  It's not the heroin Jeannine, you know.  Or maybe you don't, because as soon as you hear "drug" the snatch-jerk reaction is prison, now!  No, "Judge", it's fentanyl and other synthetic opioid compounds that are killing people (Prince included, I might note), and they're not being made in the United States.  The raw materials are being sourced out of China, and of course nobody is being prosecuted on that count either, nor are we doing anything about it.  We ship all the former blue-collar jobs over to China and then import their extremely cheap synthetic opiods that are 100, 1000 or more times as potent as heroin and since there's no purity and labeling requirement on said drugs because they're sold illegally people die by accident as they have no way to know the difference between an effective ("gets you high") and deadly ("gets you dead") dose.

And finally, where does all this addiction start?  A very large percentage starts right here, at home, in a doctor's office.  Who's the merchant of death there Judge?  If someone's diabetic why we'll get 'em good and hooked on various drugs instead of telling them to not eat carbs and if pain is the problem then we'll get 'em good and hooked on opium compounds and once they are, aw damn, we can't keep prescribing more and more so what do you expect people to do next?  It is our own medical system that creates the demand for many of these illegal drugs and makes billions of dollars a year doing so!

So who's fault is it that we have an addiction problem and thus a Medicaid cost problem to go with it?  Who's fault is it that we have a huge amount of money blown on prisons, police, courts and lawyers for non-violent drug transactions?  Who's fault is it that Prince got a load of fentanyl, almost-certainly without knowing it and almost-certainly with an original source in CHINA, and accidentally killed himself?  Who's fault is it that drug gangs have a profitable business to engage in -- one that's so profitable that they're willing to kill or die in order to participate in it?  And oh, by the way, since their trade is illegal they don't practice with their firearms either, which means they're terrible shots and kill innocent people all the time by accident (let's be honest -- would you really give a crap if a couple of dope dealers had a duel on the street -- provided they didn't hit anyone else?)

The innocent child who happens to be shot and killed with a stray bullet dies because you allow the drug trade to exist.  It exists because you demand and allow the illegality of trade between consenting adults for substances that are pleasant enough to use and addictive enough that they create their own demand.  You choose to ignore the fact that humans are animals and every animal has enough of a reptilian brain that the risk of addiction is present and real; even mice will push a button to get cocaine to the point of starvation!  But that's not enough!  No, when there aren't enough addicts and dealers to employ all the cops, jailers and judges that want jobs we then license people to create drug addicts by the score and call them "doctors"!

It's no surprise that there are people who are addicts in various forms and to various things; addiction is both a mental and physiological phenomena with some drugs being psychologically addictive, some physically addictive, and some are both.

But we, as a body politic, are the ones who choose whether the trade in such substances is legal or not, if it's legal whether it's regulated and taxed, and exactly how that's implemented.  We as a body politic choose to endorse and allow a "medical model" that is pill based and creates addicts at the same time it generates hundreds of billions of "revenue" every year for the drug manufacturers.  We as a body politic choose to trade with nations that manufacture cheap synthetic and deadly forms of addictive drugs and call them "most favored nations" instead of treating them as an international menace.  We as a body politic choose to allow our government to arm and fund international drug cartels that are real merchants of death in that they shoot anyone they disagree with.

In short we as a body politic choose to create hundreds of billions of dollars of economic activity out of thin air along with a whole set of industries that destroy lives and create permanently disadvantaged persons who remain so even if they manage to overcome their addictions.

I again remind you that the economic impact of all this horse**** runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars annually.  It's money we spend simply because we decide that certain things are "bad" but we will fund those who made both addicts and create supply for them.  Then, as a token act of hubris and outrage we lock up the people who we gave incentives to and even provided the necessary money and guns to in order to fill the demand we created and many are insane enough to cheer jackasses like Judge Jeannine when they pontificate on a trade created out of whole cloth that just happens to give them a job and make them wealthy.

Gee, what a fancy coincidence that is.

There are nations that literally execute even low-level drug dealers and users but they still have a drug problem.  We had one too before drug prohibition -- but it was lower-level than it is today, most people who were addicted remained productive in society, and we didn't spend any of the money we spend today throwing those folks in jail nor did we suffer any of the violence that the illegality of these substances has produced.

But we didn't intentionally create addicts nor did we fund the supply chain with both money and guns.

I believe all of what changed from then until now were not only bad decisions they're demonstrably the product of insanity, arrogance and greed -- and not by the drug dealers.  Drug addiction is terrible but that doesn't justify making drugs illegal nor does it justify running guns and drugs to violent criminal gangs.

We should legalize all of it -- literally all -- for consenting adults, sell drugs in pharmacies over the counter to anyone who is 21 and include with them honest information on the risks of their use, including the known composition, lethal dosage limits, addiction potential and, where it is the case, physical bodily harm that comes from using them.

No, that won't get rid of addiction.  But it will remove the economic incentive for "pushers" to push and for law enforcement to act like thugs.  It will stop funding the drug lords with both money and guns.  It will also enable those who become addicted but put forward the effort to stop to not have permanently damaged economic and social prospects as a consequence of criminal prosecution for acts that had nothing to do with violence or any other sort of harm to others.

In short it's time to go back to drugs being sold in drug stores, as they were in America not all that long ago -- over the counter -- and to tell the screaming religious harpies and so-called "Judges" like Pirro that in large part led to drugs being made illegal that we refuse to allow them to cause both crime and death.

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2017-05-27 13:20 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 227 references
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The last few days have brought into extraordinarily-stark relief why I believe there's no saving this nation.  Not personally for nearly everyone, and not collectively either.

I'll start with the "newsy" part of it, because it's topical and important.  Let's begin here:

It’s easy to use numbers to define health realities, but life is far different in the doctor’s office. What patients really want is access to basic health care, delivered by a doctor they can trust at an affordable price. Patients want choices, not narrow networks of providers and services and deductibles so high they never reach them. They don’t want to be forced to buy an insurance plan that promises them services that we doctors just can’t deliver.

Mr. Siegel may be a M.D. but he doesn't understand insurance.  He should, having gone to post-secondary school for 8 years or more, but apparently he missed a first-semester statistics class somewhere in there.

An insurance policy that "covers" something that doctors cannot deliver (that is, which cannot be used) has no more cost than one that does not have such a provision in it, because the "p" (probability of use) of such a "feature" is zero.

It costs exactly zero to insure me, as a male, against ovarian cancer because I do not have ovaries.  Therefore the risk of such a condition ever afflicting me is zero and as a result the cost of such a "coverage" is also zero.

Second, they're not patients they're customers and while the first sentence of this paragraph is true the rest is false.

Patients want a chance to purchase affordable insurance that covers actual problems they may have. A new health law can deliver that and cover most, if not all, of the population if it offers as an option the kind of scaled-down coverage that patients would have chosen to buy under ObamaCare even if they weren’t forced to.

What "scaled down" coverage are we speaking of?  See, this is the problem with not calling someone or something what it is.  If you call someone a patient then you immediately get to take away all the connotations and expectations that someone who is a customer might have -- like the ability to see a ****ing price and agree to it before you start providing a good or service!

There are things you should be able to opt out of.  For example I would be happy to buy a health policy that explicitly excluded both addiction and mental health.  These can be very expensive problems to treat and the probability of either is not zero, so excluding them would materially change insurance costs.  Since I consider both to be outside of what I think of as insurable risk for myself I'm perfectly ok with a policy that excludes both.  Others will have a different view and should be free to make that choice -- and bear the cost.

But excluding certain problems from a policy just shoves the fat, ugly, abrasive uncle in the room into a closet and locks the door behind him instead of dealing with the apparent problem: Cost.

It's also doomed to fail because over time the list of conditions that you shove into the closet will inevitably increase.  

The usual response from the left on these sorts of problems is to say single payer.  But California has studied in some depth what it would take to do that under our present pricing system and what they found is that it would cost $400 billion a year just for their state alone which incidentally is more than double the ENTIRE current state budget!  They don't have that sort of money and can't raise it; you simply cannot soak the rich for $200 billion a year in that one state and believe that the rich actually have that much money.  They don't.

Utterly nobody wants to deal with the reality of health care cost because as soon as you do you're forced to deal with the fact that most of what is spent on "health care" is either wasted, extorted through various means or both.  In fact somewhere between 80-90% of all health spending falls into these categories!

I've written large on this now for close to 10 years; you can click the category at the top of this post to read backward in reverse-chronological order. Nobody, statistically speaking, cares to take this up and ram it down the throats of lawmakers.  Lawmakers and law-enforcers won't do it without you forcing them to do so by whatever means are necessary because if you collapse health care from 19.x% of the economy to 3-4% it will be the mother and father of all recessions until the economy adjusts and there are exactly zero politicians who will take such actions on their own initiative even if failing to do so will destroy the nation due to the exponential expansion of said "services" and our inability to fund them.

Since the people of this country and the readers of this column will not force the political class to the table and ram it down their throats we are ****ed, in short, and it's our fault as a society because the means to address the problem not only exists it's in existing law which can be applied in a literal day.

But what might even be worse is our refusal to hold so-called medical professionals accountable for their malfeasance and misfeasance with regard to the facts related to many diseases and conditions.  We refused at the origin of AIDS spreading like wildfire in the Bay Area of California to tell gay men that unprotected anal sex had a high probability of killing them and what's worse we intentionally left open the public bathhouses where they were engaged in same despite knowing that this was the vector that was killing people by the score!  That's a fact and yet exactly zero public employees were ever charged with the tens of thousands of counts of being an accessory to negligent homicide, charges they absolutely should have faced.

Today so-called medical professionals do the same thing every damn day.  Let me outline just two recent personal examples, of course without names or enough attribution to figure out who they are.

The first is an elderly woman who was Type II diabetic and just had a shunt put in for dialysis.  Her kidneys are essentially dead and diabetes was the cause.  She will be too; dialysis on a permanent basis doesn't work in addition to being hideously expensive and your body essentially "poisons itself" because the build-up of waste products can only be removed when you're on dialysis rather than continually as is the normal case.

You will note up above that I said was Type II diabetic.  She's now living with someone who takes care of preparing her meals for her and such and has essentially eliminated all fast carbs from her diet.  Her blood sugar is now normal.  That's right -- she's not diabetic any more.  Unfortunately kidneys do not grow back and what's worse is that it would appear, although I didn't and won't pry, that at no time during her being diabetic did her physician tell her that (1) she could be non-diabetic by changing what she ate and (2) if she didn't do that there was a good chance she'd wind up exactly where she is now.

The jackwad(s) responsible for that ought to be brought up on negligent homicide and grand theft charges for all the medication and now the surgical and dialysis charges she's incurring.  Every last ****ing nickel that said so-called "medical professionals" have should be confiscated to pay for every damn dime of expenditure she's had to and will endure and be forced to pay her back for all of that expense and then they should be thrown in prison as an accessory to her inevitable death which they had a hand in causing.

Again it won't happen because we won't demand that it does but you can't argue that the answer to this problem wasn't known because some one hundred years ago before we had drugs and similar for Type II diabetes it was not only known it was all over the medical literature -- either stop eating those things that convert to sugar in your body or die.  It was only when we "developed" the means to steal a half-million dollars in drug costs, surgeries and dialysis per customer, inevitably ending in the death of the customer, that the so-called "medical advice" changed.  That's not advancement it's intentional malfeasance and damn well ought to bring both criminal and civil ruin to everyone involved.

The second is a random someone I ran into.  He is also Type II and his kidneys are compromised but not yet dead, which he was quite up-front about when we got into a random conversation as I was munching on a near-zero-carb option -- meatballs -- in a local joint.  I told him he should try some as they were tasty and he said had already eaten both meatballs and spaghetti a few hours before.

I mentioned that he might want to try getting all the carbs out of his diet as it might well resolve the diabetes.  His answer was "I already know that won't work."  I asked him if he'd tried it and he said no.  Who told him it won't work and why hasn't his doctor told him it almost certainly will work and since he's already got compromised kidneys if he doesn't do it he's likely to die.

I swallowed hard, reminded myself that it wasn't his fault he was uninformed since the very people he trusted to tell him what was going on were actively lying to him while pushing pills-for-profit but I had to get out of there before I blew a gasket.  Here's a guy who by all appearances is a good and decent man and despite being on the road to ruin those people who he trusts and could advise him on a way to avoid it are instead choosing money from and misery to him by the wheelbarrow load.

Oh by the way best guess is that this crap in aggregate costs Medicare and Medicaid alone -- not including private expense -- some $400 billion a year.  If you stop it essentially the entire federal budget deficit disappears.

This **** needs to stop folks, and it needs to stop now.  Yeah, that's just two people but damnit you know it's everywhere at present and has been for decades.  The people in the so-called "medical profession" responsible for this, and that's most of them, need to be asset-stripped to their underwear and locked in the stocks for us to throw rotten tomatoes at.

It's our fault folks.  It's our fault that not only are people dying miserably by the boatload but our government is going to fail on a fiscal level within years if we don't demand it stop.

It's our fault because we won't hold people accountable for the misery and financial******they serve on all of us -- and the screwing it imposes on everyone both privately and through the federal government.

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2017-05-25 08:33 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 165 references
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No, you can't see the article or video here that I teased a couple weeks ago.

You have to go to this place and read it.

Yes, the video is mine (obviously, once you see it.)  The article that goes with it is not, but it's quite good reading.

Maybe you'll make this "other place", which is not mine but is written by someone I know rather well, part of your daily blog list just as you do here.  You can easily get there by just clicking the cute picture on the top right of the page...

I recommend it....

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2017-05-23 12:25 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 668 references
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There is this ugly and pervasive "political" view that Islamic Terrorism is some "new thing."  It usually comes with some line of crap about how we've "created" these monsters by invading their nations and displacing "their" people, and that "we" (the western world generally) are responsible.

This is a bald lie.

Islamic terrorism dates back centuries.  It was a problem in the form of piracy and slavery in the early days of our Republic -- long before we had a military that could invade anything.  The "big lie" is proved again in the present by these people attacking nations that have formally eschewed any sort of association or funding for any sort of "military adventurism."  Yet they get blown up and shot just the same.

The root of the problem is not complicated.  Their very "holy book" proclaims that one who is not Muslim has, in fact, three and only three choices: Slavery, conversion or death.

In the United States we have Freedom of Speech.  It's written into our Constitution and in fact is the first freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.  In "muslim" nations blasphemy is typically a serious crime.  It is one thing to look askance at someone who says "God doesn't exist"; it is quite another to throw them in prison.

Similarly "slandering a prophet" is frequently a crime.  It is a fact that Islam's "holiest" prophet took children as his wives, and yes, that's plural.  Leave polygamy out of it for there are arguments for that if you're trying to "be fruitful and multiply"; nobody in the modern world believes that marrying a child is acceptable and yet to merely speak critically of such behavior with regard to certain people in these nations is a criminal offense.

Our so-called "muslim nation partners", including Saudi Arabia, criminalize homosexuality.  It is a criminal offense for which one can be imprisoned for years or even killed.  Some of these nations also practice female genital mutilation: they cut off the clitoris of young girls so as to deny them sexual pleasure at any time in their life.

It is true that the majority of the victims of islamic terror are in fact muslims.  That's because there are two "branches" or "sects" of Islam and they hate each other with a white-hot passion.  This more than occasionally has led to wars and various forms of terrorism over the millennia.  Is it any surprise that such terrorism often hits muslims when there are two branches that hate one another with enough passion to kill?

You can look through the Bible of both Christian faiths and the Old Testament of same (commonly known as the Pentateuch) which is functionally the same as the Jewish Torah, and find various demands for ostracism given certain behaviors or worse.  If you're unfamiliar with where to find such prohibitions and declarations of punishment look in Leviticus 20 for starters -- there's a nice list there.  But those faiths grew up over time and with damn few exceptions none make argument for actual execution or imprisonment for same in the modern world.

Muslims have refused to grow up, in short.

They've only had 1,000 or so years to do so and have continually refused including state-level actors such as Saudi Arabia while time and technology have marched on and replaced spears, sailing ships, cannon and longbows with modern firearms, howitzers, missiles, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and more.  The religiously insane are no longer limited to taking lives one at a time; they can now put together concoctions and wear them into a stadium, murdering dozens.  It is only a matter of time before some of these nutjobs come up with enough fissile material and sufficient ability to fashion a crude nuclear device at which point you can be assured they will use it.

At what point do a civilized people demand that this madness stop?  And with what force are we willing to demand that it does?  I argue the time has long passed to say "enough damnit" and put forward the premise that if you support this ideology -- not just with money but with your judicial system in any form or fashion then civilized people are done with all who hold such views and all of their enablers.

Let's bring this into the present and our current multi-billion dollar technology companies.

Neither Twitter or Facebook will ban a user for espousing that someone who insults a prophet or religion, specifically in relationship to Islam should be KILLED.  Even a fairly-specific threat to murder a specific person if that someone doesn't "stop" maligning a religious practice or belief does not cross their lines.

Folks, if you are making possible the continued operation of these firms by your presence and use of them then you are contributing, in a real and present sense, to the spreading of this hate and the religious ideology that it is acceptable to kill persons who disagree with a given view of a particular religion or religious person.

This makes YOU PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE in part for what just happened in Manchester; you made possible the recruiting, you made possible the gloating and you make possible here, now and today the communication channels that these people use to churn themselves and others into the frothy madness that then results in the murder of innocent people by suicide bombers.

You further this activity by being on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by providing them with the market capitalization and advertising revenue that they rely on to exist.

Facebook and Twitter, among others, have decided that selling advertising targeted at savages who threaten to murder those they disagree with is more important then your life and you personally and continually approve of that decision by being part of their "user base" -- which is all they have to sell to the advertisers that make their operation as businesses possible.  They could instantly banhammer anyone who levels such a personalized threat but they refuse and you allow them to continue to refuse by funding their madness right alongside the islamic nutjobs.

Deal with it because those concert-goers blood is on your hands.

And yeah, this means that's now my message and purpose for being on both.  To make sure people understand that they are fomenting and furthering terrorism since these firms will not remove the accounts of those who express such threats.

I have personal experience with this when I ran my ISP (MCSNet) in the form of a different but somewhat-related "ethnic difference."  I had users from one "side" on my system -- who were welcome despite having "very strong" views and expressing them regularly -- right up until they posted an actual threat to commit a violent unlawful act.  Then they were done -- no second chances, no maybes, no ifs ands or buts.  Done, baked, account gone, terminated, finished.  Period.  Yes, this meant that I never again got a nickel from anyone "on that side" of the "debate."  That's the choice when it comes down to it: You either do the right thing or you sell yourself and your users for blood.

No, this doesn't mean we should bomb all these people back into the stone age -- until and unless they bomb or shoot at us.

But it does mean that civilized people must hold social media and realted firms accountable in full for their continued provision of tools and technology used to foment violence and froth these nutjobs into a state of mind where they will murder either individually or en-masse with a vest full of homemade explosives.  Those firms who refuse to immediately cancel accounts for blatant threats that inherently disrespect our very First Freedom must be driven from the marketplace of free ideas and markets.

Further, on a national level it does mean no trade with those nations that refuse to act on this same principle -- period.  No deals.  No immigration or "refugees."  No visitors, no ships, no nothing leaves their airspace or borders and I don't give a damn how much money you have or who's ass -- or hand -- you kiss.  We burn any bonds they bought in the past on the South lawn in a ceremony of peace.  In a world in which a "simple" ship full of alleged goods could instead have a makeshift nuke in the cargo hold, any land vehicle can be packed with explosives and any aircraft can (and some have) be carrying a bomb that kills all on board and perhaps many on the ground there simply is no argument remaining for allowing any passage of material or persons across the borders of such "nations" onto the land and airspace of civilized people.

While we should and in fact must not seek war, if those who refuse to respect human rights at the most-base levels want war then we'll give them war.  But they should be warned -- someone who has declared they will murder simply because someone prays the wrong way, insults a prophet or eats a ham sandwich has declared that they lack the capacity for critical thought and thus has become inimical to humanity as a whole.  Since they not only threaten to blow up or shoot anyone who disagrees they've repeatedly demonstrated they mean it if they demonstrate that they cannot be persuaded otherwise through peaceful means via direct and hostile action the choice of either "shoot them now or let them shoot us later" looks pretty obvious from my point of view.

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2017-05-19 06:00 by Karl Denninger
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Robert Mueller has been named special prosecutor for the "Russia investigation" with regard to Trump's campaign.

Mueller, a former FBI head and federal prosecutor, is well-respected by both sides of the aisle -- and with reasonably good cause.  I'm aware of no material accusations of misconduct during his tenure and he has a reputation for being honest -- and tough.  He has also worked with Comey before -- extensively.  The conflict of interest issue is obvious -- and, from the point of view of the DOJ, irrelevant.  You take from that whatever you wish.

In my view of events this is generally good in that it will lead to a dispositive outcome.  If, as Trump asserts, there were no untoward actions by his campaign, his staff and those close to him during the campaign or afterward with regard to Russia then the Democrat narrative will be demolished and laid rest in a pile of ash.

However, if there is evidence of obstruction or worse, actual collusion of some sort with the Russians then all Hell is going to break loose.

The problem for those who are preening for a "Trump Trade" is that either outcome leaves such a trump-trade expectation in the dustbin.

Let's assume that the now-being-repeated video that "there was no obstruction" proves up.  So what? The Democrats are not going to let this go and will argue they've been railroaded.  Now what?  Anything that has to go through regular order is not going to happen and remember that due to how the process works under reconciliation you have to get the AHCA, or whatever it turns into in the Senate, through before you take up taxes since you can't score the tax bill otherwise.

If there was collusion, on the other hand, then Trump is burnt toast and it makes zero difference who in his campaign did the colluding.  Whether it was him or anyone else in his campaign if there's any sort of fire to go with the smoke his administration is finished in practical terms even if they don't impeach him (and the Republicans won't, by the way, so you can forget about that.)

Finally either way the House is likely to flip Democrat in 2018.  This is just math; the party in power nearly always loses seats and frequently loses the majority after the first two years of a new administration where the Presidency changes hands.  The day that happens you can forget about passing anything having to do with actual tax cuts and I remind you that the 2018 mid-term campaigning is due to start pretty much as soon as Congress comes back from summer recess!

If you think there will be tax reform given the present environment you need to get the crack pipe out of your mouth as you are a drug-addled fool.  Trump had the opportunity to get this done, and to fix health care (for real; see my proposal to the top right) but he simply does not have the luxury of time into a midterm election in which he is nearly-certain to lose seats in the House and probably will lose the House majority.

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