Today is tax day. People are trying to beat the deadline and accountants are about to keel over out of sheer exhaustion.
Nobody likes to go through this process. However, many are happy if they get money back. It seems like found money, a nice gift from good old Uncle Sam. What it actually means is that the government has been using your money interest free and will finally give it back.
For most people, tax collecting is pretty painless. It is taken out of their pay before they even see it. Many think of their pay as what they take home. For those, I would suggest they take a close look at their pay stub.
If Republicans really want tax cuts, they should make paying taxes more painful. If everyone had to write checks to the government, there would be a national uproar.
Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio have joined Ted Cruz in declaring their candidacy for president. A thundering herd of undeclared candidates will join them over the next few months.
Let’s look at the Republicans first. We really can split the party into three segments; the Establishment, Main Street and True Believers. The Establishment is small in numbers but they make up for it with power and money. Main Street is the traditional core of the party while the True Believers are the ideological purists.
Both Paul and Cruz are going after the True Believers and have limited appeal among the other groups. Cruz seems to touch all the bases. He stands a good chance of being one of the final three or four candidates but his lack of broad appeal will make his candidacy unlikely. Paul has to find a way to go beyond his father’s core constituency. His isolationist views are out of step with the times. He will likely not make the cut. Rubio has appeal for all three groups although his views on immigration will hurt him with the True Believers. If Bush stumbles, Rubio could be a real contender.
I found Hillary Clinton’s announcement rather bizarre. While the others told heartfelt personal stories and stated their convictions before cheering crowds, she released a two minute video. One of her challenges is to connect with the electorate. That is sure not going to do the job. Now is riding in a van on her way to Iowa apparently in an effort to show she is “just plain folks”. She stopped at a restaurant incognito wearing dark glasses and talking to no one. Bill would have shaken every hand, kissed every baby and maybe have gotten phone numbers from a few women. She is off to a horrible start.
It’s a long race and there are lots of twists and turns. However, if the Clinton campaign can’t get their act together, she won’t make it to the finish line.
The country gained a new friend this week. It sponsors terror and is trying to destabilize its part of the work. The idea of human rights is joke. It has pledged to destroy Israel. You guessed it. It's Iran.
President Obama is hailing the framework of a deal struck with Iran. He sounds like British Prime Minister Chamberlain returning from Germany in 1938 saying "We have peace in our time". We all know how that turned out.
As I understand it, Iran can keep all of their nuclear facilities, continue their research and keep producing uranium (at a slower rate). The tough inspections Obama talks about must be scheduled in advance, gving them plenty of time to cover up their cheating. Recognition of Israel's right to exist was not part of the deal. A high Iranian official said Israel's desstruction is nonnegotiable. Obama didn't lift a finger to free some Americans from an Iranian prison.
Now the Middle East is a powderkeg waiting to blow. Obama pulled troops out of Iraq and dithered in Syria which allowed ISIS to grow. Now he is basically giving Iran carte blanche. I'd say his Nobel Peace Prize is pretty tarnished.
Israel has been a close ally ever since it was founded. There was never any partisan bickering on this issue. Now that has all changed.
President Obama has chosen to distance us from them, presumably to curry favor with the Arab countries. Now the childishness of three men has made it much worse. John Boehner got the ball rolling when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress against Obama’s negotiations with Iran. This was really about sticking it to Obama and they should have known better. Rather than taking the high road, Obama threw a world class hissy fit. Now we have a real mess on our hands.
Other than personality differences, the single issue causing the conflict is the creation of a Palestine state. A little historical perspective is necessary. In 1967 Egypt, Syria and Jordan started a war against Israel. Six days later it was over and Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. It gave Sinai back to Egypt in the historic 1979 peace treaty. Gaza was granted the right to self-government. The terrorist group Hamas took over and has launched thousands upon thousands of rockets at Israel.
Many agree that the Palestinians deserve their own state and the Israelis deserve security. Obama says a lot about the former and little about the latter (to his credit, he agree with Israel’s decision to bomb Gaza in an attempt to stop the rockets). There are no major cities near Gaza but the West Bank includes East Jerusalem. If Hamas got their hands on it, they could level Jerusalem.
Right now Palestine statehood and Israel security is an either/or situation. Until that changes, we should support the status quo. Let’s hope that all involved start acting like grownups.
I have heard many stories about the disastrous effect of climate change but never before heard that it will cause prostitution. Rep. Barbara Lee introduced legislation that would require the government to address how global warming will impact women. She states that “women will disproportionally face harmful impacts from climate change”. This will force them into prostitution.
In effect, she is saying that women are less capable than men. If a man said that, he would rightfully face a lot of hostility. Many liberals like to portray women as helpless victims needing the protection of a benevolent government. That sure doesn’t fit any woman I know.
The proponents of global warming oversell its consequences. Whether it is too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet, climate change is supposed to be the cause. Apparently we never had extreme weather before the invention of the internal combustion engine.
This is a serious subject deserving careful study. Unfortunately, academia treats it like a religion in which doubters are punished.