Today’s best news articles

Rather than scour the internet for all the best news, I’m bringing it to you in condensed form, with a little added editorial. The last one is my favorite.

An editorial on USAToday thinks Bannon’s banishment is scary for the American people because he was disloyal rather than bad at his job (which he was). The thing is, that defines modern conservatism. They’ve literally trampled almost every principle they hold. Even the holy grail of abortion was not off limits in electing the historically pro-choice Trump. But the one thing they absolutely won’t abide is disloyalty. You can be a pervert, sex offender, waver on traditional positions, even be corrupt. They’ll come out swinging to defend you. But if you show disloyalty they’ll dump you like the Dixie Chicks.

Great article from Politico Magazine on how democrats need to be more inclusive when it comes to divisive issues like guns and abortion. The GOP is off on a radical agenda driven largely by people who are turned off by democratic positions on these issues (in addition to some cultural differences). As both parties get more extreme in reaction to the politicians we hate (Obama and Trump) it would be easy to abandon the middle ground. That’s fine if you want to make a statement. But it hasn’t been working so well to get a governing majority to actually make a difference. It’s easy to dismiss the Trump election as an aberration, but the GOP has controlled the House for almost 8 years and have a governing majority in the vast majority of states. Democrats need to ask themselves if they want to be idealogically pure or advance their agenda.

The GOP again shows its inability to govern and may skip passing a budget altogether. Just…incompetent. This not going to end until the GOP fears losing general elections more than getting primaried. That’s the real power of gerrymandering, far more than who controls congress.

Climate Change and Global Warming are being scrubbed from government websites and documents. Some is supposedly censorship or pressure from above, but my take is that most of it is just budget politicking. If you want your budget expanded (or not cut) you don’t say that you’re working on the thing the administration very publicly wants to cut.

FiveThirtyEight has a great article on the different political camps and what they want in the immigration debate. Traditionally, the republicans scared of being too friendly to immigration have held off a deal. Now liberals are starting to push on their leaders to stay away from deals too friendly to republicans.

Last but probably most interesting: Corporations are DESPERATE to keep their hard fought tax cuts and are doing anything they can convince people that it benefits them directly. Lots of companies, including my own, have made very visible pronouncements that the tax cuts will increase wages, bonuses or 401k contributions. Some of these are certainly genuine. Some are likely opportunistic ways to give public credit to the tax cuts for things that were going to happen anyway. But if you’re benefiting from billions a year in tax cuts then spreading around 10 million to make it popular is just good math. I don’t think Dems will easily be able to raise those taxes again and it’s likely this will improve the popularity of the bill. But math is math and at some point we have to balance the budget. We either gut medicare/medicaid or we raise taxes. That’s really the only options. I think what this does do is open the door for two new types of taxes: 1) a carbon tax and 2) a Value Added Tax (VAT). Considering that we based our 21% tax rate on Europe corporate taxes and Europe pays both of those taxes, that seems fair and competitive to me.


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