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2018-04-11 09:23 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 145 references
[Comments enabled]  

Ryan is apparently stepping down.

The same Ryan that has presided over the destruction of any sort of fiscal discipline.

The same Ryan that has refused to regular order for budgets and appropriations.

The same Ryan that likes to claim to have some sort of "principles" when the only one he really has is maintaining the lie factory in DC and, what's far worse, the extortion and extraction system set up by the medical monopolists (never mind others.)

May I remind you that a number of "large companies" have negative tax rates, Amazon among them.  Yet Ryan ran the horse****, along with Trump, that corporate tax rates are too high.

This was a damnable lie when firms like Amazon are literally paid by the US Government to exist.  No, that's not hyperbole, it's fact.

Not only does the firm play all sorts of subsidy games with the US Postal Service it was literally paid over $100 million in tax year 2017 by the Federal Government to be in business in the form of a negative income tax rate.

All of this didn't start with Speaker Ryan, but he has not only done nothing to curtail any of it he has expanded the theft on an insane basis, especially in the medical field.  The so-called "tax reform" could have consisted of removing the means to game those negative effective rates -- all of them -- and imposed a flat corporate tax rate.  That would have helped.  So would have The Fair Tax.

Ryan insisted on and pushed neither -- nor has TRump.

This nation is headed for a fiscal cliff that will destroy the nice, pleasant times that America has had.  If you think the partisan wrangling and hatred expressed by both sides toward the other is nasty now just wait until the entitlement checks cannot clear and interest rate expense skyrockets, forcing out that so-called "mandatory" spending.

It's coming folks, and my best guess as I've pointed out now for years places the time frame on that somewhere right around the end of Trump's first term.  The midterm elections in November will almost-certainly lead to loss of a Republican majority in The House and shaving of the small margin in the Senate.

But the real bloodbath -- and it has a decent chance of being the true sort of bloodbath rather than just the political type, will arrive when the gap between tax revenue and spending blows out dramatically in the next few years and the government is forced to chop the checks.

At the same time we are playing "wag the dog" right here and now, which has a very real possibility of blowing up in our face -- literally.

Got SPF 50,000 sunscreen "just in case"?

But even if you don't need it you better start thinking and acting to deal with the inevitable fiscal collision that will occur within the next few years.  Not decades in the future, not even one decade in the future -- but likely during this Presidential term.

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2018-04-02 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 249 references
[Comments enabled]  

Jesus, I never thought anyone would do this on a public, social media page and not immediately lose their account -- or worse.

I was wrong.


Semiautomatic weapons?!

You ought to go read this piece again Dylan, although I sent it to you on Twatter when you posted this originally.  You haven't had the balls to respond there so here you go -- in more detail, and in public.

Simply put most firearms are semi-automatic including nearly every single one that a cop carries.

Your statement thus demonstrates intent to murder untold millions of Americans.  You intend to do so by ordering others to do it for you as I'm quite sure you are too much of a pussy to try to do it yourself, probably because you're well-aware of how that would work out.

What's worse is that you intend to order others to do so with the very weapons you demand nobody else has -- except for those who, if you win, will be used to protect you.

I don't think Mr. Ratigan has thought this through.  He and I agreed on much years ago, and sparred over a few things.

But post this act on his part it's clear we agree on nothing and I will associate with exactly nobody who supports, gives money to, or votes for this clown.  And yes, I will pull every single FEC report (they're public and you can find them at the link here) from this date onward and maintain in a database every one of the people who did or do donate so much as a nickel on a personal blacklist forever.

I implore everyone who believes in the 2nd Amendment and its original purpose to do the same.

This jackass actually believes he is entitled to armed security using the exact weapons he would dispossess everyone else from owning and he implores you to elevate him to a position where he can have that security on call 24x7 while unconstitutionally, forcibly and through murder if you say no removing same from you.

That's the very definition of tyranny folks and since it can only be accomplished in the present day, given our Constitution and 2nd Amendment, by direct, intentional and violent violation of said Constitution including the commission of millions of murders I think the word "sedition" might even apply.

How about you?

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Understand something very important: Pennsylvania voted for a Democrat in a district that was absolutely safe as a Republican seat by political standards.


Because Republicans either didn't show up at all or didn't vote Republican.  Probably more of the former, but do understand something -- a Republican who votes Democrat results in a net two vote swing while one who stays home only results in a one vote swing.

Now contemplate this: Dicks Sporting Goods just reported earnings and their CEO noted on the conference call that the firm's decision to stop selling guns to people under 21 along with normal capacity magazines and, in a few stores, certain types of rifles was expected to result in lower sales -- that is, people staying away.

Now remember what has commonly been said about these sorts of "gun control" changes: Hunters favor them, as do most other Americans.  Uh, sure -- you see, Dicks has never been a "tactical" sort of store -- they sell hunting gear in the general panoply of firearms and yet the analyst view is that 10 percent of hunters will eschew Dicks as a result of said changes.

That's a big swing and may I remind you that not all hunters are Republicans?

The common rubric from the NRA and others is that one must vote "Red" lest the gun-grabbers get in power and do their thing.  Uh, no -- the last 20+ years says exactly the opposite.  Even a Democrat majority in all three locations of the Federal Government was unable to do anything destructive to gun rights during Obama's first two years.

Yet a Republican majority in all three houses plus in Florida has been extremely destructive in a matter of weeks and it was a Republican governor that signed that bill in Florida along with a Republican House and Senate that passed it.

It gets worse.  The Trump ATF is doing the exact opposite of honoring the Second Amendment.  In fact they and Trump literally just ripped up the entire Constitution including the 5th Amendment. Right here, right now.

Contemplate the entire "bump stock" thing folks.  These were sold as legal accessories for years.  Millions of dollars changed hands for them, people were employed and now they're in the hands of individuals.  A formal legal ruling was issued by the BATFE that these were legal accessories; the manufacturers and buyers didn't assume, they asked for and obtained a written declaration that these devices not only complied with the law they didn't require any sort of labeling, serialization or other form of control (such as a background check) as legally they were nothing more than piece of plastic.

The government is, of course, entitled to be wrong and repair that error which is what they're claiming they're doing now.  What it's not entitled to do, however, is turn you into a felon if you don't destroy or turn over a thing you were explicitly told, in writing, was legal and nothing more-nefarious or subject to regulation than a plastic box.  At absolute minimum the government is required (under the 5th Amendment) to pay you for the current fair market value of that device plus all your costs (e.g. sales tax) associated with same and to pay the manufacturers the imputed value of their facility, inventory and forward foregone earnings (and employee salaries) that would have been generated but for their error.  They could also ban the things on a forward basis (limiting any 5th Amendment claim of "taking" to the manufacturers) and leave alone anyone who already owns one.

Instead they claim to be able to retroactively declare anyone who has one of these a felon and then shoot them if they refuse to either turn them over or report to prison for 10 years after having given written confirmation that the device in question is lawful to own, possess, use and sell without any permit whatsoever.

This is a flatly and outrageously unconstitutional act; it is in fact a declaration of war by our government against the people of the United States as it stands as a claim that the US Government will not honor the bounds of the Constitution -- now or ever in the future.  This "decision" will not and does not limit itself to "bump stocks" which I personally find worthless and thus don't own any of.

If left to stand as proposed utterly no property that has been formally confirmed in writing as legal, say much less any lesser-protected form of property that someone believes is legal without a formal, written declaration, is safe from forcible confiscation under threat of death anywhere, ever, in the United States ever again.

This in fact has nothing to do with guns specifically; rather it is a clear statement that the United States Federal Government, our alleged President and the "Just-US" department can and will declare anything it likes on a retroactive basis to likes to be against the law and force you to surrender it without compensation, go to prison or die.

How far removed is this statement from what happened at Concord?

It in fact is worse than what happened at Concord in that the British Crown had never issued a written declaration that the powder and ball stored there were perfectly legal.

The ATF did, in fact, issue written and formal assurance that these devices not only weren't subject to the NFA they weren't subject to any law whatsoever as they were legally nothing more than common bits of plastic.

There goes the NRA (and other gun owner advocacy group) argument that one must vote Republican if you honor the 2nd Amendment.  The facts are that neither political party gives a flying **** about the 2nd Amendment or the Constitution at large and a Republican majority is much more dangerous since when in the majority they have no political reason to oppose anything on the basis of partisanship!

If you're pro-Second Amendment then the answer is clear: **** you Republicans!

Look folks, there are 50,000 gun laws and regulations, more or less, on the books now.  Miller (310 US 174), the seminal case on short-barreled weapons that made "NFA" firearms able to be listed and maintained was decided on a factual lie presented to the Supreme Court, unchallenged because Miller was indigent.  Specifically, the claim was made by the government that a short-barrel shotgun was not a "militia weapon" because it had no legitimate infantry wartime use.  That was a knowing lie as in fact the military had previously ordered and used a whole bunch of short-barreled shotguns for use in trench warfare and the US Government's counsel lied in the presentation of their case.

Never mind that the current debate, about whether an "AR pattern rifle" (or similar) is something ordinary people can own goes directly to that question since a rifle of similar (but not identical, in that military weapons are select-fire) construction is in fact the service rifle of the United States military!  By the very argument made by the government in Miller the AWB by Clinton was blatantly unconstitutional and so are state-level similar bans.

The entirety of these alleged "laws" are unconstitutional as each rests on the previous; the NFA is a blatantly and outrageously unconstitutional act, supported by a lie put before the Supreme Court with an indigent defendant unable to defend himself before same, and then used by the government as the animating feature of over 50,000 unconstitutional laws and regulations since.

These are facts folks, and perhaps -- just perhaps -- people are waking up.  Certainly it appears that both when it comes to DICKS and the people of that district in PA they've woken up and said **** you -- with a chainsaw.

To lose a seat that was considered incontestable as it had a 20 point margin of victory previously is virtually unheard of unless the incumbent just got caught in bed with a dead girl -- or a live boy!  If you think there are only a "few" people who you wish to label "crazy" that care about such things the evidence is that you're dead wrong.  I remind you that Dicks says they think 10 percent of their hunting traffic may have disappeared almost overnight.

That's a huge number; over a million and a half people nationally, and that's with only six percent of Americans hunting.  If half that percentage of those who don't hunt feel the same way then we're talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 million Americans total who have had enough of this crap.

May I remind you that this is some six times the margin on the Presidential popular vote in 2016?

It's no wonder the PA contest turned out the way it did and the warning damn well ought to be clear: Restore the damned Second Amendment to its original words, and do it now Republicans, or else.

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2012-10-04 17:19 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 1673 references

Here's The Bill that either Obama or Romney could propose and demand be passed.

(For that matter so could Gary Johnson, and if he had a lick of sense, he would as this would be a "break the glass" moment for the Libertarians, but I digress...)


An Act to redress the imbalances in the economy related to health care products and services, enforce the law, improve patient outcomes, enhance access to treatment modalities, decrease costs and open competition in the Medical Industry.


Article I - Competition

  1. The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts shall apply to medical commodities, services and related products without exception, including but not limited to pharmaceuticals, hospital services, clinical services, medical devices, implements, drugs and supplies, financial services such as payment plans and health insurance or any other service or good used or provided for the purpose of promoting health, treating or diagnosing disease, provided that said goods, products or services are marketed, sold, advertised or used anywhere inside the United States and its territories.

  2. Medical providers shall post via conspicuous method and bill at a level price for their services to all users of like kind and quantity without regard to the means of payment, subject only to reasonably-defensible discounts for volume of service or product rendered or sold.

  3. All State CON laws and other regulations that serve to prevent, deter, bar or impair medical good or service providers from entrance or exit to or from a market area, where said facilities do or may serve customers on an interstate basis, are hereby preempted and void under the Interstate Commerce Clause to the US Constitution.

  4. The doctrine of first sale shall be applied to all medical and health-related commodities, pharmaceuticals, supplies and goods, including but not limited to drugs, medical devices, implements and health-related products, provided that such goods are truthfully and lawfully labeled as to their origin, manufacturer and contents, irrespective of their point of original purchase.

  5. No manufacturer, distributor or other seller of medical goods or commodities may prohibit by contract or other provision the effects of Article I Section 4, and any such clause in existing contracts for sale are hereby declared void as a violation of public policy.

  6. Medical goods and commodities permitted or lawfully offered for sale in nations and territories other than the United States may be imported, marketed and sold for consumption and use in the United States irrespective of FDA approval provided that any drug, device, implement or commodity not approved by the FDA shall be conspicuously labeled that it does not have FDA approval in no less than 14 point white print on a black background on all bulk and, where applicable, individual use or dispensed packages.  All such unapproved drugs, devices, implements and commodities shall bear or have enclosed with their packaging truthful information as to their exact contents, purity, method of action, expected benefits and known risks and side effects of its use.  All such unapproved drugs, devices, implements and commodities shall be explicitly disclosed to the consumer before use or administration by any licensed medical facility or physician and an explicit release shall be obtained from said consumer in advance of the use of such unapproved drugs, devices, implements or commodities.


Article II -- Access To Medical Care And Records

  1. EMTALA is hereby repealed.

  2. Privately-run and operated medical clearing firms are hereby authorized who citizens and visitors to the United States may register with to document verifiable means of coverage or payment for potential medical services and products.  These firms shall be regulated only as to privacy of information maintained.

  3. Such registration shall include not only insurance coverage by traditional health insurance firms but also registration of escrowed funds or other unencumbered and liquid assets available for disbursement in the event of unplanned and emergency medical expense.

  4. Medical providers may query any such registry only for a bona-fide purpose of determining whether a proposed procedure is covered for payment, and shall not issue more than one query per patient, per medical incident without that patient or their agent's explicit approval.

  5. Registries shall not provide information on coverage or escrowed and liquid limits beyond a response indicating whether the explicit and queried amount proposed to be billed is or is not covered.

  6. Patients shall own all records in any such registry, including the record of all inquiries and shall have a right of inspection of any such records during reasonable business hours and by reasonable means.

  7. Medical records shall be the property of the consumer to whom they pertain, and shall be provided to and may be maintained by the consumer upon his or her reasonable request.  No provider shall provide access to or permit the copying of any such record to any third party without the explicit authorization of the consumer or his or her lawful representative, except where applicable statute mandates the disclosure of said records such as in the case of communicable disease or mandatory reporting statutes.

  8. A registry or medical provider that violates any provision of this section shall be liable for all damages that a consumer shall suffer, but not less than $25,000 (twenty-five thousand dollars US) per incident in liquidated damages if the actual amount of damages shall be less.

  9. EMS providers and systems shall maintain a registry of charitable hospitals and other providers of medical care willing to provide services to those who have no verifiable or actual means of payment so as to be able to expeditiously make decisions on transport of indigent patients, and shall update their listing of such available care facilities not less than once daily.


Article III - Enforcement

  1. Consumers, employers or other parties harmed by violations of this act shall have a private right of recovery for all harm sustained in triplicate, but not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each occurrence.

  2. Each day that any such violation occurs shall constitute a separate and distinct civil offense.

  3. Willful and intentional violations of consumer privacy, or any act of conspiracy between parties to violate any provision of this act shall be a Federal Felony Criminal Offense punished by not less than 2 nor more than 20 years of confinement and a fine of not less than $10,000 or more than $100,000 for each count, except that if permanent physical injury shall occur to any person as a consequence of said violation the penalty shall be not less than 10 nor more than 25 years of confinement and a fine of not less than $50,000 nor more than $250,000 for each count, and if death to any person shall occur as a consequence of said violation the penalty shall be not less than 25 years to life of confinement and not less than $100,000 nor more than $2,000,000 for each count.


That would pretty much do it, I suspect (that is, cut the cost of medical care by about 80% -- if not more.)

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The piece sent "over the transom" taking a shot at Governor Johnson's possible motives for running as a Libertarian contains some interesting theories.

However, it also contains some disturbing claimed facts, and one thing I did do before publishing that piece was check them.

Unfortunately the facts cited are correct and Gary is being less-than-honest.

This is what his campaign web site claims on his record:

  • Left office with New Mexico as one of the only four states in the country with a balanced budget
  • Left New Mexico with a budget surplus
  • Used Line Item Veto thousands of times to trim the budget
  • Vetoed 750 bills during his time in office; more than all other governors combined
  • Cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone
  • Created more than 20,000 new jobs
  • First New Mexico Governor to challenge education status quo and propose statewide voucher program
  • Restored State General Fund reserves to more than $222 million from a low of $28.1 million
  • Limited annual state budget growth to 5.0% during eight years in office
  • Cut taxes 14 times while never raising them—a first for New Mexico
  • Vetoed 32% of the total number of bills submitted for his signature

This all sounds good, right?

Well, no.  Yes, the budget rose 5% per year during his time in office.  Unfortunately that's a roughly 50% increase in the size of the State Government during those eight years.

That might be ok if the rate of increase was less than the rate of inflation.  So let's check the rate of inflation and see if Governor Johnson was telling the truth or if he's being less-than-honest with the public.

In 1995 the CPI index stood at 150.3.  In 2003 when Johnson left office it stood at 181.7.  That's a 20.9% increase over the same eight years.

In other words Gary Johnson increased spending in New Mexico at approximately 240% the rate of inflation -- or about double and a half as fast as prices rose.

Do you define that as "fiscally conservative" or "responsible"?  I do not.  Further, can you find any part of spending in this chart that he actually cut during his time in office or did every single one of these bars get bigger?

 by genesis 


Then there's the claim of a "balanced budget".   That's a nice claim.  Unfortunately it was achieved by lying, just as it has been in the other states, because the amount of debt the State Government had outstanding nearly doubled during those very same years.

 by genesis

That's a gross $2.78 billion increase in debt during those years.  The population of the state was (as of 2003) 1.87 million, so Governor Johnson added about $1,500 in debt to the financial responsibility of every man, woman and child in New Mexico during his administration and that's only for the state itself -- municipal governments added another billion, so the total was well over $2,000 per person.

Is that "fiscally conservative"?

Ron Paul has often been called "Dr. No" for his refusal to accede to more spending and bigger deficits.  While he's one man in Congress, you can rarely if ever find a bill that he has approved which increases spending and public debt. 

Gary Johnson, on the other hand, was the man with the pen who signed the spending bills in the end analysis.  He is the one who was responsible for approval of the budget and the actual spending and borrowing profile of the State.  And he has repeatedly claimed, and claims today, a huge number of vetoes.

It's true that Governor Johnson vetoed a huge number of bills.  But the implication he wishes you to believe, that he shrunk the size of government in New Mexico and thus that he also shrunk residents' responsibility, both directly in current government spending and in the debt that was left for both residents who voted for various policies and the children and unborn unable to vote for or against those policies is simply false.

Governor, you have some explaining to do if you expect me to support or vote for you, as I believe you have actively and intentionally misled not only myself personally but the Libertarian Party in general on the actual facts when it comes to your spending and debt record as Governor.

Nobody should vote for this man believing he will cut their debt load or actually shrink one single line item in the Federal Budget, as his history shows that over eight years as Governor of a small state he saddled every single resident with more than $1,500 worth of additional debt, sanctioned municipal and local governments adding roughly $1,000 more, and in fact added to State Spending in all of the categories he claims he will "control" or "cut" including pensions, health care and education. 

Not one of those areas was cut in size during his time in office.

And that, my friends, is a fact.

Ps: Before someone pipes up and tries to claim that population increases were responsible for this, the population of New Mexico in 1995 was ~1.7 million.   In 2003 it was 1.9 million, or 12% higher, an approximately 1.4% annual expansion.  It is thus immaterial to the expansion of the State budget and debt, and one cannot lay off these expansions on "growing population"; any such attempted claim is a futher lie.

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