Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mary Matalin: ‘We Have a Republican Nominee Who Has a Private Conversation about Sex He’s Not Getting and the Party Abandons Him’

The Donks and their media servants are trying to make mountains out of a molehill

Republican strategist Mary Matalin said during a roundtable discussion Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the Democratic Party stood behind President Bill Clinton during his sex scandal with a White House intern but the Republican Party is abandoning GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for a “private conversation about sex he’s not getting.”

“So here we have -- this is a difference between the parties. We have a Democrat who acts with his intern in the White House and the party rallies around him. We have a Republican nominee who has a private conversation about sex he's not getting and the party abandons him,” said Matalin, referring to President Bill Clinton and Trump, respectively.

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said Trump’s brand was “seriously damaged” by videotaped remarks he made in 2005 that surfaced over the weekend, where Trump is heard bragging about kissing and groping women.

Dowd compared it to the aftermath of golfer Tiger Woods when news came out about Woods’ marital infidelity.

“This is Hurricane Donald this weekend as a category 5 when you look at this, and I think we're going to look at the aftermath of this. I was thinking about the effect that this could have. To me this is akin to Tiger Woods in the Escalade hitting the fire hydrant in 2009. And ever since that, point his career was basically careened,” Dowd said.

When asked what Trump can do, Matalin said, “Well, he can do more of what he's been doing, but I disagree with that, and I would say something similar that we have seen in our 200 years is New Hampshire, 1992, Monica Lewinsky in the White House.

“So here we have -- this is a difference between the parties. We have a Democrat who acts with his intern in the White House and the party rallies around him. We have a Republican nominee who has a private conversation about sex he's not getting and the party abandons him,” she said.

“But that's what I'm talking about. What's unprecedented here is not just the tape it's the reaction over the last 48 hours,” host George Stephanopoulos said.

“Well, it says something about the party. It says something good about the party. It says something that is aggravating to conservatives out there of how the party does not stick with their nominee. He wasn't my first, second or 16th choice, but he's the guy,” Matalin said.

“Well, I think this tells you a couple things. One is a terrible thing. I can't defend it and do not plan to. But I'm not sure that -- I would have a little different view than Matt because unlike Tiger Woods there are big tidal forces underneath this debate. This election, ultimately, is not about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, both who have huge negatives,” Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said.

“Donald Trump, should be -- some of the things he said and done, if he hadn't done those, he might be 10 points ahead,” Castellanos said.

“What are those big tidal forces? This country is headed in the wrong direction. The ISIS JV team has turned into an NBA pro team. The economy is stagnant and people's lives feel like they're being wasted. Guess what, they're voting for change,” Castellanos added.

“First of all, this isn't just words. This isn't boys will be boys. This is somebody celebrating sexual predation, right. And in the 1990s, as Mary just mentioned, the Republicans went out of their way saying that a sexual predator shouldn't be in the White House,” Dowd said.

“And he was reelected,” Castellanos said about Bill Clinton.

“Wait a second. I'm talking about hypocrisy, hypocrisy, and now in 2016, Republicans are making the argument -- some Republicans are making the argument that it's OK to put a sexual predator back in the White House,” Dowd said.

“Sexual predator? Big talker. Locker room talker,” Matalin said.



An Independent Voter Explains How "The Trump Tape" Scandal 'Changed' His Mind

While the mainstream media does its best to make "The Trump Tapes" the biggest thing since, well the last thing they thought would 'kill' Trump, it appears that Republican voters (not the politicians themselves) are indifferent and unsurprised.

Of course, the lifelong Democrets, Washington establishmentarians, and Hillary sycophants are also indifferent and unsurprised: their vote is known from day one.

Which leaves The Independents, such as Zero Hedge reader LetThemEatRand, who earlier opined:

"This whole thing has pretty much taken me off the fence of deciding whether to vote 3rd party or stay home.  Seeing the incredible push by all of the DC power-brokers to have Trump withdraw over this has convinced me that it's not an act.  TPTB really are scared of him and desperately want Hillary to win.

That's good enough to convince me to vote for Trump.  I wonder if any others like me who didn't really buy the hype had a similar reaction.  I would guess yes"



Taxpayers Face Penalties That Discourage Work

News about taxes are almost never good. Here’s more bad news. Many Americans sacrifice far more to the federal government than they realize. Seniors who see their nominal incomes rise, for example, can suffer a loss of Social Security benefits that exceeds the explicit taxes they pay on any extra income. This new finding—laid out in great detail and announced last month by Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff and his colleagues—has major consequences for the incentive to work. If more seniors understood how such penalties operated, many would stop trying to raise their incomes, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman.

A senior making $85,000 who increases her income to $86,000, for example, could see her annual Medicare Part B premiums increase by a whopping $534.40, Goodman explains. The reason? Medicare premiums were never indexed to inflation. Thus, the penalty hits more people than was originally intended. Social Security benefits and earnings suffer a similar problem. Kotlikoff and company have derived a new statistic—called the lifetime net marginal tax rate—that factors in the loss related to future taxes and future entitlement benefits. At the worst extreme, Goodman writes, “workers can lose 95 cents out of each dollar they earn just in the current year.”

It goes without saying that entitlement penalties inflict great harm on seniors’ pocketbooks. Ironically, such disincentives to earning extra income also harm the public purse. “If we abolished the [Social Security] earnings penalty, the government would probably be a net winner,” Goodman writes. “Seniors would work more and earn more, and the other taxes they pay would more than make up for any short-term revenue loss.”



The sad truth about constitutions

In the United States of America (though not in many other countries) it is difficult to amend the formal, written Constitution. No doubt that difficulty helps to explain why such great efforts have always been made not to amend it but to reinterpret its unchanged provisions, in many cases to such a great extent that its plain meaning has been turned completely on its head (e.g., authority to regulate interstate commerce ultimately becoming a limitless grant of congressional power to regulate practically everything). Notice also the immense attention given to presidential appointments to the Supreme Court. If the justices did only what a Buchanan-type court is supposed to do, their identities would scarcely matter. Yet, because the High Court has increasingly become a law-making body in its own right, its membership may matter a great deal and therefore incite tremendous political controversy and conflict. Hardly anything illustrates better the degree to which the constitutional and normal-political levels are not separate and apart, but essentially one and the same.

The longing for fundamental, semi-permanent constitutional constraints has a long history, and Buchanan’s contributions only capped those of many previous deep jurisprudential thinkers. But, alas, people in their daily grasping for power and pelf cannot be kept penned within such institutional fences. They and their political representatives will—as they have throughout U.S. history—leap over or burst through such would-be containments. Constitutional constraints have been especially flimsy during times of national emergency. I have written about this aspect of the matter since the early 1980s; my book Crisis and Leviathan, among many other works, deals with it at considerable length.

This relationship might occur to someone walking along in the shallow water of a sandy beach. Often one puts his feet down on a seemingly solid surface. Yet, as soon as a wave washes over the area, the sand slips from beneath one’s feet, and one must take steps to keep from being undermined and upset in the surf. Likewise, a constitution may seem to provide a solid, durable foundation for the conduct of workaday political affairs, but the sensation is misleading. As soon as a real or imagined crisis occurs, the constitution’s seemingly solid foundation is washed away, and political actors take new steps to gain their objectives unconstrained by any stronger or more enduring restraints. Indeed, many such opportunists understand this relation well and prepare themselves to exploit a crisis to the maximum when one conveniently comes along—another matter on which I have written repeatedly.

In his parable of the wise and foolish builders, recounted in the Book of Matthew, chap. 7, Jesus refers to “a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” The parable might well be applied also in the field of constitutional political economy. Constitutions have inspired much hope among political philosophers and ordinary people. Sad to say, they have never held the potential to restrain the leviathan that many people expected or hoped they would hold. It is very hard to restrain determined political actors with mere parchment barriers. Indeed, it is pretty much impossible. Unless the constitution is soundly framed and written in the hearts of many influential people in society, it has little capacity to restrain people’s political grasping and folly.



Government Smacks Job Seekers with One-Two Punch

Finding a job in California is difficult but government makes it tougher still, according to Jobs For Californians: Strategies to Ease Occupational Licensing Barriers, a new report from the state’s Little Hoover Commission. “One out of every five Californians must receive permission from the government to work,” Commission Chair and former assemblyman Pedro Nava explains, down from one in 20 sixty years ago. This government barrier wields particular impact on those educated and trained outside of California, on veterans and on military spouses.

In California, the report notes, manicurists must complete at least 400 hours of classwork and training then take written and practical exams offered only in the cities of Fairfield and Glendale. The licensing board assigns the dates and if candidates can’t make it that day, “their candidacy is terminated, they lose their application fee and they must begin the application process all over again.”

As Nava explains, “when government limits the supply of providers, the cost of services goes up,” and those of “limited means” have a harder time accessing those services. Therefore “occupational licensing hurts those at the bottom of the economic ladder twice,” by imposing “significant costs on them should they try to enter a licensed occupation” and by “pricing the services provided by licensed professionals out of reach.” As Jobs for Californians explains, it’s actually worse.

Occupational regulations amount to “rent-seeking,” an attempt to gain influence “without contributing to productivity.” The licensing rules “serve to keep competitors out of the industry.” The rules also keep government employees in highly paid but essentially useless jobs. That is why, as the report notes, “when the Legislature eliminated the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology in 1997, Senator Richard Polanco resurrected it with legislation in 2002.” This board, one of the largest in the country, now boasts 94 employees and a budget of more than $17 million. Taxpayers should count that as pure waste.

“Getting government out of the way of people finding good jobs is a bipartisan issue,” Pedro Nava told Adam Ashton of the Sacramento Bee. Good luck with that. On all fronts, California legislators want to keep government in the way.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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