TCJA | Trump Tax Cuts vs Rhetoric (FLASHBACK)

This is to bring into one place a few of my past posts regarding the tax reforms Trump passed via the TCJA (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). They are not reforms in the way conservatives think of them. But neither did they overwhelmingly benefit “the rich” and large corporations and did little or nothing to help middle class families — as Democrats state it.

In March, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the 2017 Trump tax cuts a $2 trillion “GOP tax scam.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., accused Republicans of hypocrisy for supporting the tax cuts but opposing Congress’ massive spending spree.

The Biden White House issued a press release claiming “the Trump tax cuts had added $2 trillion to deficits over a decade.”

But the numbers tell a different story. Despite the political rhetoric, tax revenues are up.

(DAILY SIGNAL – June 1, 2022)

I will date my posts as I add them in a mixed order. But first… let us start this grand flashback with YAHOO NEWS (February 13, 2019):

data reflects a single week of tax filing season and it is likely that the size of refunds will increase as tax season continues – Morgan Stanley analysts have predicted that refunds will increase by 26 percent.

In addition, the size of a tax refund means nothing without also comparing the change in paychecks. In net, the overwhelming number of filers will be better off as an estimated 90 percent of Americans are seeing a tax cut.

[….]

the success of the TCJA is clear. In the months following passage of the tax cuts, unemployment fell to a 49-year low and key demographics including women, African-Americans and Hispanics have seen record low unemployment rates.

Job openings have now hit a record high of 7.3 million and over 300,000 jobs were created last month, as most private-sector businesses continued hiring despite the government shutdown. Year-over-year, wages have grown 3.2 percent and the economy is projected to grow at 3.1 percent over 2018.

This positive news is not anecdotal.

According to Guy Berkebile, the owner of Pennsylvania-based small business Guy Chemical and one of the witnesses at the Ways and Means hearing, the bill has been a net positive for businesses.

“On the business expansion front, Guy Chemical was able to build a new laboratory that was five-times larger than our previous one, invest in new chemical compounding equipment and purchase new packaging line,” Berkebile told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Not only was this good for the businesses, it also benefited employees as noted in the testimony of Mr. Berkebile: “We were also able to pass down much of the financial savings to employees. More specifically, we were able to raise wages, expand bonuses by up to 50 percent, start a 401(k) retirement program and create 29 new jobs. These changes also instilled a sense of optimism among our staff, which has produced a less stressful and more enjoyable work environment.”

This is not an isolated story. Workers across the country have seen increased take-home pay, new or expanded education and adoption programs, and increased retirement benefits, while consumers are seeing lower utility bills.

More Good News

To use a few examples, Firebird Bronze, an Oregon-based manufacturer was able to afford to give its nine employees health insurance for the first time while McDonald’s has used tax reform to allocate $1,500 in annual tuition assistance to every employee working more than 15 hours a week.

Visa has doubled its 401(k) employee contribution match to 10 percent of employee pay, while Anfinson Farm Store, a family-owned business in Cushing, Iowa (population 223) has given its employees a $1,000 bonus and raised wages by 5 percent.

In addition to these employee benefits, America’s middle class is seeing direct tax relief.

A family of four with annual income of $73,000 is seeing a 60 percent reduction in federal taxes — totaling to more than $2,058. According to the Heritage Foundation, the typical American family will be almost $45,000 better off over the next decade because of higher take-home pay and a stronger economy.

Tax reform doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, giving over 22 million American families important tax relief. The standard deduction was doubled from $6,000 to $12,000 ($12,000 to $24,000 for a family) giving tax relief for over 105 million taxpayers that took the deduction prior to tax reform and simplifying the code for tens of millions Americans that will not take the standard deduction instead of itemizing.

While the rhetoric of the left has sought to portray the Republican tax cuts as a negative for the middle class, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, the middle class has seen strong tax reduction, higher take home pay, more jobs and more economic opportunity……

NOTE:

  • The TCJA reduced the average federal tax rate from 20.8 percent to 19.3 percent for all filers. The bottom 20 percent of earners saw their average federal tax rate fall from 1.2 percent to nearly 0 percent. (TAX FOUNDATION | August 5, 2021)


RPT: December 28, 2017


(As an aside, I sent the “calculator” linked below to my wife’s uncle as he expressed concern in a private discussion to him paying more.)

Larry Elder plays CBS’ tax special with three families (watch the CBS video here at TOWNHALL) from different incomes: (a) little under $40,000 a year; (b) more than $150,000 a year; (c) couple’s combined income was $300,000. Turns out ALL THREE will get a tax return. The Democrats know they are in trouble!

Here Are The Winners And Losers Of The New Tax Law  — In that article is a link to THIS TAX CALCULATOR

 

END

There are critics however, as noted by Robb Sinn at THE FEDERALIST (November 02, 2020):

Many on the left refuse to admit President Trump’s populist policies have provided massive benefits to working-class Americans. Matthew Yglesias argued at Vox that Trump’s refusal to endorse a federal $15 per hour minimum wage proves Trump has abandoned populist ideals. Progressives claim the Trump economy helps billionaires, not workers, and snidely dismiss his outreach to minorities.

Yet, during the first three years of the Trump presidency, wage growth was off the charts, especially for low-income workers and African Americans. The third-quarter economic data released Thursday confirm once again that Trump is on the job for U.S. workers.

The Biden campaign has tried to tie COVID-linked economic devastation to Trump’s leadership. The new third-quarter economic data once again shows that’s wrong. The total number of U.S. wage earners increased more than 5 percent in that period, and the third-quarter rebound for African Americans occurred at a 17 percent faster rate than for wage earners as a whole.

Trump campaigned on exiting the China-centric Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump claimed his tax and trade policies would benefit American workers.

Even though evidence shows they are highly effective, Trump’s economic ideas have consistently underwhelmed pundits. Democrats hated his tax cuts. Liberals predicted a worldwide economic crisis if he was elected in 2016 and scoffed at Trump’s “middle class miracle.” Leading up to the 2016 election, economists including eight Nobel laureates derided his economic ignorance and called his proposals “magical thinking.”

[….]

The story grows quite interesting when we focus on wage earners in lower brackets. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 20-year growth trend for the 10th percentile weekly wage was $2.03 per quarter. For Trump’s first three years, wage growth was $4.95.

What about in the Obama era? Even cherry picking Obama’s last three years and ignoring the 2009 recession leaves us with growth of $1.68 per quarter, well below both the historic trend and Trump’s. Table 1 shows striking wage growth under Trump, a reversal of prior patterns, not a continuation, especially in the lowest wage brackets.

Trump Benefited Black Americans More Than Obama Did

During the final presidential debate, President Trump boldly stated he has done more for black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. And he is not so sure Abe did better. While liberals fact-checked his hyperbole, we may employ the quaintly anachronistic approach of using data and logic. The Obama era proved dispiriting for many African American wage earners. The first three years of the Trump administration were a comparative godsend.

Obama oversaw the addition of 2.1 million African American wage earners during eight years in office, about 250,000 per year. Table 2 reveals the tepid results in terms of wage growth. Trump oversaw the addition of 1.3 million African American wage earners in his first three years, more than 400,000 per year. Excellent wage growth occurred across the spectrum. The results for the 10th and 25th percentiles were remarkable.

The 10th percentile U.S. weekly wage grew by $3.25 per quarter for African Americans during Trump’s first three years, nearly double the historic rate of $1.65. The best Obama growth rate was only $1.68. Perhaps having a businessman at the helm of the world’s largest economy is not such a bad idea. Will any deniers admit they were wrong?

……

Here are the links one should enjoy spending time in via my membership retirement org, AMAC:

And please note this as well:

  • Wages for all workers and measures of real wages show similar upticks. Census Bureau data also show that real household income reached an all-time high in 2019, growing by $4,400 (a 6.8% one-year increase).(HERITAGE FOUNDATION | March 24, 2021)

RPT: December 4, 2017


GAY PATRIOT [now, sadly, defunct] comments on the main idea that the Left are a bunch of babies with almost zero understanding of anything economic:

The tax “reform” bill the US Senate passed last night is pretty lame, actually. It keeps the current ridiculous progressive structure of seven separate tax rates. (The House reduced it to four, and the correct number ought to be one.) Susan Collins was bought off by retaining the mortgage interest deduction on vacation homes for millionaires. Freeloaders at the lower income brackets still pay nada. Some high income progressives from blue states are whining because some of their state and local taxes are no longer deductible. Sucks that you progressives in high tax blue states forgot to elect any Republican senators. 

There has also been a lot of howling from the “suddenly we’re concerned about the debt” progressive left that the bill will add $1.5 Trillion to the National Debt over ten years. That figure represents less than 3% of Government expenditures in that time period. Cut Government spending 3% (I’m sure we can get by on 97% of the Government). Problem solved.

It’s a lame bill. Really, the best part of the Senate Bill passing has been watching the histrionic meltdown on the Progressive Left. (But even that gets a little boring considering the progressive left has a histrionic meltdown at literally everything Donald Trump does.)

Oh, Patti, don’t feel so bad. There are lots of other countries you can move to. Have you considered Mexico? No Republicans there. Strict gun control, too. The Government is very progressive, taxes are very progressive, and economic activated is highly regulated. It’s a lot like California, come to think of it. But with fewer Mexicans……..

POWERLINE opines well with two RAMIREZ TOONS:

  • It is comical to see Democrats feigning outrage over the claim (likely false) that the GOP tax reform plan will add to the national debt. Talk about a head-snapping about face! Where was the Dems’ concern about debt when the Obama administration ran up $10 trillion of it?

UPDATE FROM GAYPATRIOT

….A remarkable thing happened over the weekend; Democrats rediscovered their concern about the national debt, state’s rights, and voter fraud.

The same Democrats who had no problem helping Barack Obama double the national debt to a mind-blowing $20 Trillion have attacked the Republican Senate’s limpwrist “tax reform” bill claiming it will add $1.5 Trillion to the national debt over ten years.

$1.5 Trillion represents less than 3% of Government spending over the next ten years. If that’s a problem, then, by all means, cut spending by 3%.

Democrats are also  suddenly hollering about “state’s rights” because Congress is looking to make concealed carry licenses valid across state lines; like driver’s licenses. (And, yes, most states require training and a background check before a concealed carry license is issued.) The Democrats have suddenly taken a position analogous to claiming Rosa Parks only had the right to sit in the front of the bus while she was in Alabama…..

END


RPT:  May 25, 2022
(OG Post was March of 2016)


The bottom small section was posted March of 2016… the updated information comes to us as a way of emboldening the comparisons between Hillary’s tax plan and Trump’s compared. With the predictions made about Trumps’ plan coming to fruition.

UPDATE

The WASHINGTON EXAMINER (Dec 2021) has a tracking of how these tax plans worked out (note the highlighted portion readers):

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats’ Build Back Better Act would increase taxes on higher-income earners and expand business levies to help cover its $2.4 trillion price tag.

Biden and many Democrats in Congress have argued that their plan to raise taxes in the midst of an economic recovery is justified because it would help offset or reverse important elements of the Republican tax reform passed in 2017. Democrats have long claimed that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act needs to be repealed or heavily altered because it unjustly benefits the wealthy at the expense of working and middle-class families.

However, the most recent personal income tax data from the IRS prove that this claim is completely false. The 2017 tax law has disproportionately benefited lower- and middle-income working families. The data show the law has also led to substantial improvements in economic mobility for middle-income and upper-middle-income households.

A careful analysis of detailed tax data from 2017 and 2018, the first year the TCJA went into effect and the most recent year for which detailed IRS income data are available, reveals that over just one year, households with an adjusted gross income of $15,000 to $50,000 saw their total tax bills cut by an average of 16% to 26%, with most filers enjoying at least an 18% tax cut. Similarly, filers earning between $50,000 and $100,000, one of the largest groups of taxpayers, experienced a 15% to 17% tax cut, on average, from 2017 to 2018.

Higher-income households also experienced sizable tax cuts, but not nearly as large as the tax reductions provided by the law to working and middle-class families. Those with AGIs of $500,000 to $1 million, for example, had their taxes cut by less than 9%, and filers earning $5 million to $10 million received a 3.4% cut, the lowest of any bracket provided by the IRS.

The data also show that wealthier filers ended up providing a slightly higher proportion of total personal income tax revenue in 2018 than they did in 2017. In 2017, filers earning $500,000 or more provided 38.9% of all personal income tax revenues. In 2018, the same group provided 41.5% of revenues.

That means the Trump-GOP tax cuts made the income tax code more progressive than it had previously been. That’s a remarkable finding. After all, Democrats have spent the past few years insisting the TCJA provided a huge windfall to the richest income brackets while leaving everyone else behind!

Perhaps most importantly, the tax cuts caused substantial upward economic mobility. Despite an increase in the total number of tax returns filed in 2018 compared to 2017, the number of people filing who claimed an AGI of $1 to $25,000 fell by more than 2 million. But every other income bracket above $25,000 increased, with many seeing huge gains.

The number of filers claiming an AGI of $100,000 to $200,000, for example, increased by more than 1 million in a single year……

And in April of 2022 AMERICAN’S FOR TAX REFORM noted that this delve into the IRS data shows strongly that the “Trump Tax Breaks for the Rich” helped the middle class the most:

The Internal Revenue Service’s released 2019 Statistics of Income (SOI) data, the agency’s most recent available data, shows that middle income American families saw a significant tax cut – measured as the percentage decrease in “total tax liability” between 2017 and 2019 – from the Trump-Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Similarly, Americans saw significant decreases in tax liability from 2017 to 2018.

Total tax liability includes federal income taxes as well as taxes listed on IRS form 1040 such as payroll taxes including social security and Medicare taxes. The TCJA significantly reduced federal income taxes but did not modify payroll taxes. 

As the data notes, Americans with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 saw a substantial decline in their tax liability:

  • Americans with adjusted gross income (AGI) between $50,000 and $74,999 saw a 15.2 percent reduction in average tax liabilities between 2017 and 2019.  
  • Americans with AGI of between $75,000 and $99,999 saw a 15.6 percent reduction in average federal tax liability between 2017 and 2019. 

Middle-class Americans in key states were delivered significant tax cuts:

  • Floridians with AGI between $50,000 and $74,999 saw a 19.6% reduction. Floridians with AGI between $75,000 and $99,999 saw a 17.2% reduction. 
  • New Yorkers with AGI between $50,000 and $74,999 saw a 18.9% reduction. New Yorkers with AGI between $75,000 and $99,999 saw a 12.4% reduction. 
  • Californians with AGI between $50,000 and $74,999 saw a 18.4% reduction. Californians with AGI between $75,000 and $99,999 saw a 14% reduction. 

The TCJA also caused millions of Americans to see an increased child tax credit, and millions more qualified for this tax cut for the first time. The TCJA expanded the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 and raised the income thresholds so millions of families could take the credit.

The TCJA also repealed the Obamacare individual mandate tax by zeroing out the penalty. Prior to the passage of the bill, the mandate imposed a tax of up to $2,085 on households that failed to purchase government-approved healthcare. Five million people paid this in 2017, and 75 percent of these households earned less than $75,000.

[….]

Additionally, the TCJA enacted a high alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption and raised the income level at which the exemption begins to phase out. Congress enacted the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in 1969 following the discovery that 155 people with adjusted gross income above $200,000 had paid zero federal income tax. Over time, the AMT grew so large that millions of Americans paid the tax and millions more saw increased tax complexity. The TCJA caused the number of AMT taxpayers to fall from more than 5 million in 2017 to just 263,720 in 2018. 

For years, President Joe Biden has falsely claimed that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed by the Congressional Republicans and President Trump overwhelmingly benefited “the rich” and large corporations and did little or nothing to help middle class families.

Even left-leaning media outlets have (eventually) acknowledged the tax cuts benefited middle class families. The Washington Post fact-checker gave Biden’s claim that the middle class did not see a tax cut its rating of four Pinocchios. The New York Times characterized the false perception that the middle class saw no benefit from the tax cuts as a “sustained and misleading effort by liberal opponents.”  ……

Yep, another Democrat myth about Trump bites the dust. Here is the small original post:

ORIGINAL 2016 POST

This is with thanks to the US Tax Center:

(to enlarge right click on image and “open in another tab”)

END

Democratic Historic Racism: Rev. Wayne Perryman

12-year Flashback

(March 26, 2010) Rev. Wayne Perryman Speaks With Michael Medved About Historic Democratic Racism

  • My Vimeo account was terminated many years back; this is a recovered audio from it. (Some will be many years old.)

KILLING BLACK & WHITE REPUBLICANS

This made me think of a connection to the Democrat Party’s historical past. Here is my comment on that part of the group on Facebook:

You know, this reminds me of something from the Democrats past. What this is is a “hit card” that the violent arm [the KKK] of the Democrat Party use to carry around with them. They would use it as an identifier to kill or harass members of the “radical group” (Republicans who thought color did not matter) in order to affect voting outcomes. While we hear of the lynchings of black persons (who did make up a larger percentage of lynchings), there were quite a few white “radicals” lynched for supporting the black vote and arming ex-slaves. It is also ironic that the current Democrat melee is focused on racial differences.

I could go on, but I won’t.

Here is a short video discussing the matter:

  • virtually every significant racist in American political history was a Democrat.” — Bruce Bartlett, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past (New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), ix;
  • not every Democrat was a KKK’er, but every KKK’er was a Democrat.” — Ann Coulter, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama (New York, NY: Sentinel [Penguin], 2012), 19.

FLASHBACK: Russian Bounties and Fallen Soldiers (#FakeNews)

RUSSIAN BOUNTIES

A SUPERCUT sandwiched in the middle of Kaylee McKenna in April of 2021 discussing the #FAKENEWS aspect of  the media’s running with one of MANY fake stories meant merely to hurt the Presidency of Donald Trump. Former President Trump’s White House spokeswoman, Kaylee McKenna, also notes another #FAKENEWS story [media lie] regarding President Trump calling fallen soldiers losers.

Here are some related articles for the reader:

  • The Russian bounties story was apparently fake news all along (WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
  • Surprise! The ‘Russian Bounty’ Story Hyped Up By Corrupt Media To Hurt Trump Turned Out To Be Fake News (THE FEDERALIST)
  • Pentagon Exposes NYT Fake News About Russian Bounties to Kill US Troops (STEPHEN LENDMAN BLOG)
  • McEnany rips apart ‘coordinated attempt’ on Russian bounty story (FOX NEWS VIDEO)
  • Tucker: Elites pushed false narrative to get what they want (FOX NEWS VIDEO)

FALLEN SOLDIERS

(FLASHBACK to September 2020) An Atlantic story says President Trump military men and women who died in WWII “suckers” and “losers.”

Here are some articles for the reader:

  • Stench of lies: The Atlantic runs fake news about Trump supposedly calling fallen servicemen ‘losers’ (AMERICAN THINKER)
  • Atlantic Editor Concedes Central Claim Of Trump Hit Piece Could Be Wrong (THE FEDERALIST)
  • John Bolton Rejects Atlantic Story: ‘I Was There’; ‘I Didn’t Hear That’ (BREITBART)
  • The Atlantic Fabricates Another Anti-Trump Story (RED STATE)

The Atlantic published an article claiming via unnamed sources that President Trump refused to honor fallen U.S. soldiers because they were “losers”. Does that really sound like Trump? Andrew Klavan explains.

Russia Gate: Glenn Greenwald’s “Media MOAB” and More

Shepard Smith at one point reported [and believed] the Steele Dossier as fact, or at least not disproven. Which at that time it was — both in conservative news sources, Congressmen (like Devin Nunes), and the like — shown to be a fabrication. We even knew quite some time ago that the FBI knew it was a complete fabrication. EVEN personalities on FOX NEWS were saying it was bunk! And these three indictments by Prosecutor Durham, the most recent of Igor Danchenko, prove this contention.

I will combine snaps of the Tweets with other media in them by Glenn Greenwald as well as text provided by THREAD READER:


GLENN’S THREAD


The employees of these media corporations know, deep down, what they did. They did the worst thing you can possibly do while calling yourself a “journalist”: they drowned US politics for years in a fake conspiracy theory funded and concocted by criminals for partisan gain.

But we have heard so little about these indictments from these media figures. Why? Because they know that as long as they stay united in silence, the only people who will point out what they did are those they have frozen out of their circle and trained their audience not to hear

The NYT, the WPost, CNN, NBC and the digital liberal outlets are all vastly more guilty of what they have spent years claiming Trump and the GOP are: they basically ran a dangerous disinformation campaign, full of lies, in conjunction with CIA/FBI, and now won’t own up to it.

From the start, Russiagate — which drowned US politics and dangerously ratcheted up tensions with a major nuclear-armed power — was concocted from whole cloth by serial liars paid for by the Clinton campaign and spread by their media servants: David Corn, Isikoff, Frank Foer.

They all made gigantic profit from this set of lies: all of them. Their ratings skyrocketed by scaring liberals about Kremlin control of the US. They wrote best-selling books and gave themselves Pulitzers based on this massive fraud. FBI lied to the FISA court. CIA fueled it all.

The indictments “cast new uncertainty on some past reporting on the dossier by news organizations, including The Washington Post?” LOL The dossier wasn’t just paid for by the Clinton campaign – which they lied about for a year – but the info in it came from a Clinton operative.

What Rachel Maddow in particular did makes her one of the most disgraceful and unhinged media figures ever to work for a major media corporation. Her derangement and lies were off the charts. Yet the liberal networks are bidding for her: because DNC disinformation is their model!

Anyway, for all of those who lied to the public for years — the NYT and WPost reporters, the rich and insulated CNN and NBC hosts, the countless charlatans and politicians like Adam Schiff & John Brennan who wrote bestselling books — none of this will matter. Lies are rewarded.

Polarization of media means virtually every major media corporation — CNN, NBC, NYT, WPost, NPR -have an exclusively Dem audience. These Dems don’t want to hear that they were lied to and, even if they knew, they’d be fine with it: for the right cause. So zero consequences.

But if you are someone who hates these media outlets and the liars who work for them to your core, know that your hatred is valid, justified and righteous. They are a toxic force in US political life. They don’t lie, smear and propagandize on occasion: it’s their core function.

MEDIA….

Jesse Watters

Jesse Watters discusses how the media latched on to the Russia collusion narrative on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

(Key in the below is that he worked for a Russian energy company. Why would Russians want Trump out? See my past “Bullet Points” on the issue.)

Dan Hoffman

Former CIA station chief Dan Hoffman reacts to federal agents arresting the primary sub-source who contributed to the Trump-Russia dossier

Jonathan Turley

Brett Tolman

Former federal prosecutor Brett Tolman reacts to the principle source of the Steele Dossier being charged with five counts of lying to the FBI.


MOLLIE HEMINGWAY


TWITCHY hat-tip:

Some SOFA/Iraq History (RPT FLASHBACK)

What if people have the war in Iraq backwards? What if George W. Bush and the U.S. military won it, and Barack Obama and the Democrats gave it away? Well, we don’t have to wonder what if, because Pete Hegseth, who served in Iraq, explains what happened.

Iraq and the failed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), FLASHBACK (August 2016)

Smack Down Galore!

(Above Video) The caller notes that the narrative is that the Islamic State would have still come to power even if we kept troops in Iraq. Which is true, they would have still come to existence, in Syria. But Iraq would not have lost any cities or territories if we still had a presence in Iraq. The caller mentioned a force of 10,000 troops, it would have been closer to 30,000 troops. And having a base of operations in country would have allowed the administration to deal more effectively with the Islamic State in Syria (flying sorties, and supporting quick reaction [spec-ops] units activity), and the like.

(Above Video) Megyn Kelly Destroys Jen Psaki who can’t get off talking points.

(Above Video) Larry Elder (and Paul Bremer) dismantle older as well as new mantras flying around via our friends on the left. In the interview that is the centerpiece of the segment[s] here via Larry Elder, Erin “Monkey” Burnett gets all of her talking points smacked down. The only thing Miss Burnett accomplished was showing her bias/sarcasm well.

Here Bremer educates Erin with facts she knew, but refuses to deploy in her logic because it would ruin her defense of her Master Obama, “The planning in 2011, leaked very heavily from the Pentagon and the White House was to keep 20 to 30 thousand troops after 2011, the White House leaked that it wanted to only keep 3,000 troops, then they said to al-Maliki not only do we want a Status of Forces Agreement but you have to get it through your Parliament. So for the first time, to my knowledge, since 1945, we have 84 SOFA agreements around the world, we were telling the host government how to they proceed in approving that Status of Forces Agreement. That put al-Maliki in an impossible situation.”

(Read more)


Bombs Over Erbil


Obama is SUCH a joke! HotAir has this:

….A dandy little edit here by the Free Beacon, via Ace. I know I’ve linked it before but the piece you want to read as accompaniment is Iraq hawk turned dove Peter Beinart lamenting all the ways Obama screwed up post-Bush American policy in the country. O wants you to believe at the end of the video here that he pushed hard to keep a residual American force inside Iraq for counterterrorism (i.e. counter-ISIS) operations but it’s simply not true. He didn’t push hard for it; when Maliki initially resisted his demand that U.S. troops be granted immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, O took that as his cue to pull everyone out. And that wasn’t the only time he indulged Maliki’s dumbest impulses. The story of the U.S. vis-a-vis Iraq after 2009, writes Beinart, is a story of disinterest and disengagement:

The decline of U.S. leverage in Iraq simply reinforced the attitude Obama had held since 2009: Let Maliki do whatever he wants so long as he keeps Iraq off the front page.

On December 12, 2011, just days before the final U.S. troops departed Iraq, Maliki visited the White House. According to Nasr, he told Obama that Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, an Iraqiya leader and the highest-ranking Sunni in his government, supported terrorism. Maliki, argues Nasr, was testing Obama, probing to see how the U.S. would react if he began cleansing his government of Sunnis. Obama replied that it was a domestic Iraqi affair. After the meeting, Nasr claims, Maliki told aides, “See! The Americans don’t care.”

In public remarks after the meeting, Obama praised Maliki for leading “Iraq’s most inclusive government yet.” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Saleh al-Mutlaq, another Sunni, told CNN he was “shocked” by the president’s comments. “There will be a day,” he predicted, “whereby the Americans will realize that they were deceived by al-Maliki … and they will regret that.”

And now the day has come. Remember that the next time O walks out to the podium and acts indignant about Maliki clinging to power.

One more bit, this from Dexter Filkins, on just how much of a fight O put up in demanding a residual troop presence:

President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq. For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis—like how many troops they wanted to leave behind—because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” Jeffrey told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ ” At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said…

(read more)


(Still the Lynn University campus debate via WaPo)

  • Romney: “With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,”
  • Obama: “That’s not true,”
  • Romney: “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?”
  • Obama: “No,” … “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

Some other things Mitt got right and “O” didn’t:

What “Counts” as a Hate Crime? (RPT FLASHBACK)

  • (Reason for the FLASHBACK) I was invited to a Facebook group regarding recalling George Gascon (SITE | Facebook Group). While I support that, enthusiastically, I have seen a passion for hate-crimes… which I do not support enthusiastically. And it was then that I realized I had no real discussion or presentation of hate-crime legislation that was pushed through by Harry Reid back in the day. So this post is a combination of stuff from my BLOGSPOT days.

I want to lead with some articles and excerpts, interrupted by some media. I realized I hadn’t done much on “hate-crime” legislation on this .com — but I was posting on the issue on my old BLOGSPOT (hate-crimes posts) site because that is the time it was being put into law. This post is a FLASHBACK of sorts, and has to do with how hate-crimes are “interpreted,” which makes them a weapon for the social-justice warriors whims. For some background, I was writing on this more in 2009 because this legislation was passed then. Here is Star Parker noting the change in law:

President Barack Obama has signed into law the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Actually, he signed into law the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act tacked onto which was the hate crimes legislation.

Sen. Harry Reid, our brave Democratic majority leader, slipped the hate crimes bill into the defense authorization bill to avoid having to have our senators consider the controversial hate crimes bill on its own.

It’s for good reason that our Democratic legislators wanted to hide under a rock while passing this terrible piece of legislation. It may help them with the far left wing of their party. But weakening and damaging our country is not something to be proud of. And that is exactly what this new hate crime law does.

(STAR PARKER & my old Blogspot)

Here JOHN MCCAIN opines on the issue of Harry Reid shoving that bill into a defense act (VIDEO). You will in the words and media below see how this PC take on what is “equal” actually destroys the premise of “equal under the law.” A good start is this short noting of “hyphenated justice” by Dennis Prager:

So… where do we start. Let us begin with a series of letters I made and put in the break-room at Whole Foods during a “summer session.” It was a newsletter of sorts of ideas I knew my co-workers had never heard of. Here is an excerpt from July of 2003:

Murder – Homosexual vs. Heterosexual[1]

Witness the wall-to-wall coverage generated by the murder of Matthew Shepard, the young Wyoming man who was lured from a Laramie bar by two thugs in the fall of 1998, beaten unconscious and left to die, tied to a fence post in sub-freezing temperatures.  The implicit assumption of the coverage was that Shepard had fallen victim to the often invisible but always sinister homophobia embedded deeply in American society, a pathology that could be cured only by hate-crimes legislation.  On the eve of the killers’ trial, Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times: “What remains as certain now as on October 22, the day Matthew Shepard died, is that this murder happened against the backdrop of a campaign in which the far right[2], abetted by political leaders like Trent Lott, was demonizing gay people as sick and sinful.”

Given the avalanche of press it received, there are probably grounds to wonder whether the Shepard case might have been over-covered, although the gruesomeness of the murder and the hate that drove it certainly raised it to the level of an important national story.  But when homosexuals are the perpetrators of violence instead of the victims, the sense of moral urgency seems to vanish.  This is particularly true when the violence touches on the explosive issue of gay pedophilia.[3] A case in point is the 1999 murder of a thirteen-year-old Arkansas boy named Jesse Dirkhising and the 2001 trial of the two gay neighbors who killed him.

According to prosecutors at the trial, the two men had become friendly with the boy and his mother, their next-door neighbors, and one day invited Jesse over to their house.  During the afternoon, they drugged Jesse, tied him to a bed, shoved his underwear into his mouth to gag him, and added duct tape to ensure his silence.  As one man stood watching in a doorway and masturbated, the other raped the boy for hours using a variety of foreign objects, including food.  The two men then left the boy in such a position on the bed that he slowly suffocated to death.

A Nexis search revealed that in the first month after the Shepard murder, the media did 3007 stories about the killing.  And when the case finally went to trial in the fall of 1999, it was all over the broadcast news, received front-page coverage in all major newspapers, and was featured on the cover of Time magazine.  (In all, the New York Times ran 195 stories about the case.)

In the month after the Dirkhising murder, however, Nexis recorded only 46 stories.  The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored the story altogether and continued to do so through the March 2001 trial of one of the murderers, which resulted in a conviction.  (The other assailant later pled guilty.)  The Washington Post ran but one tiny AP [Associated Press] item about the case, along with an unusual ombudsman’s[4] defensive explanation of the paper’s decision not to cover the case.

Writing for the New Republic, gay journalist Andrew Sullivan had some insight into why there was such disparity between the Shepard case and that of Jesse Dirkhising, and why the press found the latter so difficult to handle.  The answer was politics, Sullivan wrote:

“The Shepard case was hyped for political reasons: to build support for inclusion of homosexuals in a federal hate-crimes law.  The Dirkhising case was ignored for political reasons: squeamishness about reporting a story that could feed anti-gay prejudice, and the lack of any pending interest-group legislation to hang a story on….  Some deaths – if they affect a politically protected class – are worth more than others.  Other deaths, those that do not fit a politically correct profile, are left to oblivion.”

Can Minorities Commit “Hate-Crimes?”[5]

Refusal to acknowledge the reality of anti-white racism is particularly evident in coverage of black-on-white crime.  According to some survey’s, in the 1990s blacks were at least three times more likely to commit hate crimes against whites than the other way around.  Yet in case after case, media coverage either refuses to acknowledge the racial subtext of such crimes, or fails to subject them to the same scrutiny used when the racial roles are reversed.  This is so even in cases where the racial motivation is clear-cut, as in the 1994 case when a gang of black teenage muggers confessed to police that it had intentionally limited its violent attacks in a Brooklyn housing project to elderly whites.  Police reports had one culprit admitting, “We made an agreement not to rob black woman.  We would only take white woman.  It was a pact we all made.  Only white people.”  Yet such details did not find their way into the stories run by the New York Times.  The same omission occurred in coverage of other black-on-white attacks, even when the assailants were heard calling their victims “white bitch,” “white ho” (whore) and “white KKK bitch,” as they were in an April 1997 attack on a white matron by a gang of New York City high school girls on a bus.

[….]

Another recent illustration of the media’s tendency to sidestep uncomfortable realities of black racism involved the case of Ronald Taylor, a thirty-nine-year-old black Pennsylvania man who killed three people and wounded tow others, all white, in March of 2000.  According to authorities, Taylor had grown enraged when managers at his Wilksburg, Pennsylvania, housing project sent white maintenance workers to fix something in his apartment.  He shot the two maintenance workers, killing one.  Then he set his apartment on fire and walked to a Burger King a mile away, where he shot another white person before going across the street and shooting three others at a McDonalds.  After that, Taylor stormed a building used as a senior citizen and children’s day care center, taking hostages before finally surrendering.

It would not take much digging to find a racist antipathy to whites in the background of Taylor’s rampage.  According to the Associated Press, which quoted the surviving maintenance worker, Taylor shouted, “You’re all white trash racist pigs.  You’re dead.”  Other published reports the day after the shootings had him barging into the home of a friend, saying, “I’m not gonna kill any black people.  I’m gonna kill white people.”

[….]

After finding racist and anti-Semitic literature in his home, the FBI finally labeled Taylor’s actions a hate crime, which forced the media to report it as such.  To some, the lag was odd.  As a writer for the webzine salon.com put it: “What took so long?  Why did the media, which normally promote not only the of hate crimes but of hate crime legislation, have to wait for the FBI to make this designation?”

To “Digress”[6]

The double standard slaps you in the face.

Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Ronald Taylor, a black man, allegedly guns down five whites, killing three. What followed became a textbook case on how contemporary American journalism deals with race.  The suspect’s motive could not have been more clear. A black neighbor quoted Taylor as saying, “I’m gonna kill all white people.”

A white maintenance man described Taylor as disruptive ever since moving into the apartment building, “Whenever he saw me, he’d call me a racist pig, or white trash, or he’d make a point of walking past me and brushing up against me. He just didn’t like me.”  Yet the media leaned over backwards to avoid any appearance of racism. News anchors cautioned that we don’t know whether Taylor’s alleged hatred against whites was the “primary” or “sole” reason for the shootings. Pardon me. When did they add that requirement?

The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act defines hate crime as: “crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.” No mention of hatred as a “sole” or “primary” motive.  Even the police issued mild, tentative statements about whether they considered Taylor’s actions a hate crime. “There’s a lot of hostility in this individual,” said Wilkinsburg Police Chief Gerald Brewer, “so I think it’s a little premature to simply define this as a racist event.” A little premature?

In August, 1999, white supremacist Buford Furrow gunned down several people at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, and shot and killed a Filipino letter carrier. In the three days following the shooting, over 150 newspapers wrote nearly 200 articles about the slaughter.

On November 11, 1999, in Kansas City, an Ethiopian man shot and killed two co-workers and wounded a third person. All the victims were white. The Ethiopian shooter, who also shot and killed himself, left a letter referring to “blood sucker” whites. To date, how many newspapers carried a story about this apparent race-based shooting? Eleven.

The killing of Wyoming gay student Matthew Shepherd brought screaming headlines and around-the-clock coverage. So did the dragging and killing of black Texan James Byrd.

Jesse Jackson parachutes into Decatur, Illinois, turning the expulsion of seven high school kids into a referendum on race. Meanwhile, in Missouri, a carjacker steals a car. He tries to push out a seat belt-strapped child, and drives at high speeds, with the boy bouncing to his death along the highway. In Michigan, a six-year-old girl is shot and killed by a six-year-old boy. In these cases, the media informs us much, much later that the bad guys are black. Were it the other way around, how long before Al Sharpton holds a press conference, a somber Kweisi Mfume of the NAACP by his side?

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker shoots his mouth off to Sports Illustrated, and everyone from Jesse Jackson to Jesse James piles on. But the same gang seemed strangely AWOL in the case of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Where’s the somber gathering of the “black leadership” demanding that Congress pass enhanced hate crime legislation? Where’s the speech by President Clinton asking some blacks to cope with their pronounced and mostly unwarranted anti-white bias?

The double standard simply astonishes. George W. Bush must apologize for speaking at Bob Jones University, given the institution’s anti-Catholic statements and policy against inter-racial dating. And on the question of the Confederate flag, the media filed story after story on the Republicans’ response.

Yet the media allows Al Gore’s black female campaign manager, Donna Brazile, to derisively refer to the Republicans as the “party of the white boys,” while suggesting black Republicans J.C. Watts and Colin Powell are Uncle Toms. 

The media sits as both Al Gore and Hillary Rodham-Clinton trek to Harlem and kiss the ring of Reverend Al Sharpton, a David Duke in blackface. Nevermind that Sharpton falsely accused a prosecutor of rape. Nevermind that Sharpton turned a dispute between a black tenant and a Jewish landlord into a racial riff. Stirred up by Sharpton’s rantings, a black man set fire to the building in dispute, and then shot and killed several minorities before turning the gun on himself. Nice work, Reverend.

Sooner or later, the mainstream media and the white-man-done-me-wrong black leadership must face the facts. Black/white interracial crime is almost entirely committed by blacks against whites. By ignoring this, and holding black criminals to a different standard, the media heightens tension and divisiveness. 

[1] Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, William McGowan. Encounter Books; San Francisco: CA (2001), pp. 99-100

[2] Side-note: You rarely hear – if at all –the phrase “far-left,” but you do hear “far-right;” or, you never hear “religious-left,” but always “religious-right;” we hear “hard-line-conservative,” but never “hard-line-liberal.”  For instance, over a period of ten years, the Los Angeles Times used the term “hard-line-conservative” 71 times.  What about “hard-line-liberal?”  Surely such a person exists (Jane Fonda, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, etc.).  Over the same period of time the Los Angeles Times used the phrase “hard-line-liberal” twice.  A Lexis Nexis search of the New York Times archives shows there are 109 items using the phrase “far right wing,” but only 18 items using “far left wing.”

[3] Side-note: Pedophiles seek out positions of authority and seclusion over their victims.  The relaxation of tough moral consensus on these issues (mainly due to the sexual-liberation movement of the 60’s and 70’s), have made institutions impotent (for lack of a better word) in forcefully dealing with this issue.  This is why the Catholic Church and Hare Krishna’s, as well as other institutions, are having trouble currently for crimes committed during the 60’s and 70’s.  The boy-scouts for example have an unofficial saying, “sodomy will not happen if you refuse to allow sodomites in.”  In our politically correct (“diverse”) culture though, this has been a tough road to travel for the Boy-Scouts.  And the “diverse” journalism merely fuels the fire.

[4] A person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university, or in this case, between readers and the paper.

[5] Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism, William McGowan. Encounter Books; San Francisco: CA (2001), pp. 59-60, 67-68

[6] By this I mean I am including an outside article with this Summer Reading SessionWhen the Bad Guy is Black”by Larry Elder (black writer and radio commentator), found at FREE REPUBLIC: and JEWISH WORLD REVIEW: “When the Bad Guy is Black”

Many people have not heard of Jesse Dirkhising. The media was oddly silent at the death of this little boy. Before going further… it was thought that Sheparhd was killed due to an anti-gaye hatred by his killers… a narrative pushed by the media. However, through real journalism, Stephen Jimenez (a gay man himself) wrote an excellent book entitled: The Book of Matt: The Real Story of the Murder of Matthew Shepard (Documentary Narratives) So as you read some of the below, the assumption was that this was a hate crime.

The Dirkhising story never caught on with the major media, which claimed it was not news because it was not a “hate crime.” As Jonathan Gregg wrote then for Time.com:

“The most salient difference between the Shepard case and this one, however, is that while Shepard’s murderers were driven to kill by hate, the boy’s rape and death was a sex crime. ” He continued: “It was the kind of depraved act that happens with even more regularity against young females, and, indeed, if the victim had been a 13-year-old girl, the story would probably never have gotten beyond Benton County, much less Arkansas.

(NEWSBUSTERS: “On ‘Hate Crimes Day,’ Remembering Media Blackout of Jesse Dirkhising’s Death)

  • In the month after Shepard’s murder, LexisNexis Recorded 3,007 stories about his death. In the month after Dirkhising’s murder, Nexis recorded 46 stories about his. … A LexisNexis search revealed only a few dozen articles that appeared only after The Washington Times story on the lack of coverage on October 22, 1999, a month after Dirkhising’s death.(WIKI)

Other articles wroth your while:

  • The Tragic Story Of Jesse Dirkhising (WND)
  • Not a Hate Crime (WND)

Here is some media to show where we are headed, and why we have not zoomed towards it is only because of the First Amendment.

Where Does Freedom of Speech End, and a Hate-Crime Begin?

A Norwich grandmother has had a visit from police after firing off a letter complaining about a gay pride march, broadcast on 26 October 2009

A Christian pensioner was verbally abused at a gay pride parade but, when she complained to her local council, the police investigated her for homophobic hatred.

Placing a Qur’an in a toilet or burning it is not a hate crime, even though it is treated as such.

And crimes like the following… are not treated as hate-crimes when they should be: “Vent with Michelle Malkin covers the Christian-Newsom Murders. The mainstream media finds some crimes more useful than others. Michelle explains.”

On Saturday January 6, 2007 Hugh Christopher Newsom, age 23 and Channon Gail Christian, age 21, both students at the University of Tennessee went out on a date.

They were driving in Channon’s Toyota 4-Runner when they were carjacked at gunpoint. Suddenly the crime turned far more savage than an armed car theft. Chris and Channon were kidnapped and driven to 2316 Chipman Street where they were forced into the home at gunpoint.

While Channon was forced to watch, her boyfriend was raped prison style and then his penis was cut off. He was later driven to nearby railroad tracks where he was shot and set afire. But Channon’s hell was just beginning. She was beaten; gang raped repeatedly in many ways, had one of her breasts cut off and bleach poured down her throat to destroy DNA evidence—all while she was still alive. To add to Channon’s degradation the suspects took turns urinating on her. They too set her body afire, apparently inside the residence, but for some reason left her body there—in five separate trash bags.

(FLOPPING ACES & LA SHAWN BARBER via SERAPHIC SECRETS and NEWSBUSTERS)

The entire “hate-crime” obfuscates justice rather than achieves it. There are reasons for this, and I will let ROMAN CATHOLIC BLOG from over a decade ago share their reasons why they think it is [or was] all the rage:

….It seems to me that “hate” crime legislation is an attempt to make sure that criminals should always be indifferent about their victims, taking an, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business,” approach. I think the nature of a crime speaks for itself and its own nature should determine the merited consequence in the justice system. Criminal acts can carry serious penalties for the nature of the acts committed for without worrying about whether the criminal actively “hated” their victim during the commission of the crime.

Here are other reasons not to support “hate crime” legislation:

It is costly and difficult to prove hatred as a motivation.

Hate crime legislation sacrifices equality before the law by treating perpetrators of the same crime differently because they hold different beliefs.

Over time, hate crime laws and associated case law could evolve to the point that speaking out strongly against a particular group or its actions could be construed as a libelous hate crime, violating rights to freedom of expression, thought, religion (among others).

The danger of “hate” crime laws and “hate” speech laws is that they are being used to unfairly suppress religious objections to homosexuality (among other things) in this country and in other countries.

I believe “hate” crime legislation is essentially indoctrination that has been elevated to the status of law, and I do not want to live in a society where the government prosecutes thought crime.