Right and Left Just Keep on Spending

from Rand Paul for the Washington Examiner:

Sen. Rand Paul: The debt and the decline of empire

I ran into a couple of GOP senators the other day. They were talking about the fall of the Roman Empire (who knew senators might actually discuss history?). One senator made the point that Rome’s fall corresponded with a loss of values, which of course has some merit. But that’s missing the bigger picture. I responded that perhaps their decline had something to do with being overextended militarily, knowing that they would likely reject this point since it might imply that the United States, also, might be faced with the same future.

History certainly has lessons, but it’s amazing that after 2,000 years we still draw different conclusions. I couldn’t resist to jab them a little: “You know our own decline will ultimately come when we can’t manage our debt.”

read more

Have We Thought Through the Idea of the Driverless Car

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

The driverless autonomous car has, it seems, finally come of age, with General Motors’ announcement of the release of the new GM Cruise AV (autonomous vehicle). At least this is what GM is banking on.

The Cruise has no gas pedal, no steering wheel, no brake or clutch pedal, no turn signals.

A report, by the New York Times, indicates that last Friday, January 12, “G.M. said it had submitted a petition to the United States Department of Transportation seeking permission to begin operating fully autonomous cars — without steering wheels or pedals — in a commercial ride-hailing service next year,” similar to Uber and Lyft.

There have been “driverless” cars before the GM, but most were not truly driverless, owing to the fact they still retained a steering wheel and various pedals.

The GM Cruise AV is the first truly driverless, fully autonomous mass production car. There is literally no way for a human to drive it. read more

Foxconn’s Olympic Venue

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

On the surface, it’s great to hear that companies are repatriating themselves. Not just money coming back in, but companies either moving back or expanding facilities in the United States rather than over seas.

The problem is that many States are so desperate for the potential of an additional tax base that state governments tend to offer extraordinary perks and tax breaks to entice the multi-national corporations to set up shop in their State. So much so that the companies end up receiving ridiculous amounts of relief and “incentives” from the State for the privilege of effectively underwriting the new facility.

Exhibit A: In July, 2017, Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer that makes electronics for Apple and other tech companies, announced that it will build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker eagerly proclaimed that, “The project will create 13,000 new jobs and should be completed by 2020.”

Foxconn’s projections were a tad more subdued. “In a statement, the company said the project will create 3,000 jobs with the ‘potential’ to generate up to 13,000 new jobs.” read more

Podcast – The Sugar Tax – A Study of Cartoon Dialect

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The city of Seattle Washington has just instituted a massive tax on sugary beverages that is already hitting consumers hard. The tax is almost doubling the cost of sugary drinks. Consumers and small businesses are upset by it, but matters not to the Nanny State politicians and egg heads who are doing this for our own good.

Two academics have taken it upon themselves to study the dialects of childrens’ cartoon characters, and have found something both startling and apparently disturbing. Virtually all good guys (and girls) portrayed in cartoons have American accents, but villains are predominantly represented with English accents. This, they say, is a problem, because, as we know, Americans, particularly white Americans, are not supposed to be the good guys. read more

Social Democracy Won’t Work in America

from the Washington Examiner:

What liberals and progressives get so horribly wrong about taxes

It’s a consistent complaint that those wondrous social democracies over in Europe get so much more from government, so why can’t we here in the U.S.? Some advocating this are even willing to make the (true) point that to get so much more from government, we’ll all have to pay so much more, as they do, in taxes.

Well, as long as people are willing to point out both sides of this, that we can only get “free” healthcare and college if we pay for it, then that’s fine. It becomes an argument over what is either efficient or fair as a method of delivering those things which we know we’re going to have, healthcare and college. read more

Is Bitcoin Un-Islamic due to Faith or Control

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

On Monday, it was reported that the Grand Mufti of Egypt has issued a fatwa, or ruling, on cryptocurrency, and specifically Bitcoin. He has banned it as being “un-Islamic.” Grand Mufti, Shawki Allam decreed that the virtual currency is “forbidden” by Sharia law “due to its direct responsibility in financial ruin for individuals.” He added that it “was not permissible as it is not considered by legitimate bodies an “acceptable interface of exchange.’”

In other words, he likens it to gambling, which is forbidden under Sharia.

Now, the old Mufti may say that Bitcoin is un-Islamic and forbidden by Sharia, but is his fatwa really based on firmly held religious belief, or does it come down to a matter of government control.

Obviously, I don’t know what is in Shawki Allam’s heart. I can only attempt to interpret what else he says about it. read more

No Talk of Government Cutting Back

from The Blaze:

Republicans and Democrats open 2018 by arguing over how much to grow the size of government

As the holiday season comes to a close, Republicans and Democrats are opening the new year by resuming debate over a measure to fund the government through the end of 2018. The two sides failed to reach a compromise before the end of the year on such thorny issues as protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and funding for a wall on the southern border. But in addition to these sticking points, the two sides also appear to disagree over exactly how much the government should grow. read more

WND Exclusive – Reality Will Trump Perception as Paychecks Grow

On Nov. 29, the prognosticator website FiveThirtyEight announced that, “The GOP Tax Cuts Are Even

 More Unpopular Than Past Tax Hikes.”

“Poll after poll shows that more voters than not are opposed to their efforts,” wrote the website. They claimed that only about a third of voters support the tax cut plan, and that, “the GOP bill is one of the least popular tax plans since Ronald Reagan’s day.”

Well, at least Trump and the Republicans are in good company. You may (or may not) recall the left’s visceral hatred of Reagan. His tax cut and economic plan was also to be the end of the world, but actually gave us the longest period of sustained growth during peacetime and the second-longest period of sustained growth in U.S. history.

Maybe FiveThirtyEight should instead do a little research on how often the Democrats are wrong about pretty much everything. read more

Video Podcast – Feelin the Republican Bern – Leftists took to Twitter

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Recently, a camera wielding interviewer took to the streets of New York City. There he founds liberals who were actually quite enamored with the new Republican Tax law.

How could this be you may ask? Easy – the roving conservative reporter presented the Republican plan as one authored by their hero Bernie Sanders. These leftists agreed with practically every proposal within the plan, when they thought it originated with Bernie.

Some radical leftists took to Twitter a few days ago to lament not just the Republican tax plan, but Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise’s help in passing it.

Recall that Scalise was the unfortunate soul gunned down by another unhinged Bernie supporter during a Congressional baseball earlier this year.

They tweeted that the shooter should have finished the job. read more

Trump is a Regulation Slashing Machine

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Scroll Down for Audio Version

As I have said many times over the past several months – that left to his own, President Trump is getting a lot accomplished, and virtually all of it is conservative-friendly. I’ve also stated ad nauseum, that I wasn’t a Trumpster, but have begun to come around. I will still never be a Trump apologist or mouthpiece. You know – those who go on Fox News and excuse everything the man has ever done, or will do. That’s just absurd.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. With all he’s had to contend with this past year, he’s done a remarkable job. Just imagine where we could be if the establishment would have given up their quest to torpedo his Presidency and come along for the ride.

One thing he’s begun, but not near completed, is government regulatory restraint. It is not as glitzy, and seemingly not as important as elections or scandals, but in fact, it as at least as important, if not more so, in the grand scheme of things.

And why is this? Well, I’ll you why. read more