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Yellen Rejects Global Wealth Tax

Hey! She did something right!

FRANKFURT—The U.S. opposes a proposed global wealth tax on billionaires, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said, rejecting an idea floated by Brazil, France and other nations to tip the economic scales away from the megarich.

It is Brazil’s turn to lead the Group of 20 major economies this year and the country has called on the group to develop a coordinated approach for taxing ultrawealthy individuals who can move their money into low-tax jurisdictions. The goal is to mirror a global minimum tax on corporations, which roughly 140 countries signed up for in 2021 but has since run into roadblocks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Setting aside, for a moment, the principle that people should not be taxed by extragovernmental bodies in which they are not represented, all of these kinds of proposals are designed to do one thing: redistribute the United States’ wealth to other countries. The U.S. has the most billionaires, the most wealth, the most Fortune 500 companies, etc. Other countries want to take that wealth for themselves. That’s all this is and Yellen is right to oppose it.

Iranian President Confirmed Dead

This looks like just an accident but be ready for Iran to blame Israel or America as a justification to do something violent.

DUBAI (Reuters) -Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed after his helicopter crashed in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media said on Monday.

 

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

 

Supreme Leader Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, said First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, would take over as interim president, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Americans Facing Massive Tax Increase if Biden Wins

He will absolutely let these expire.

Donald Trump-era tax breaks are set to expire next year meaning millions of Americans may have to start paying more in 2026.

 

Trump made sweeping changes to the tax landscape through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017.

 

This included lowering individual income tax rates, almost doubling the standard deduction and raising the federal estate tax exemption. It also slashed corporate income tax to 21 percent – its lowest level since 1993.

Biden at Morehouse

Whatever.

The president took the opportunity on Sunday to address students’ concerns over the Israel-Hamas war.

“What’s happening in Israel and Gaza is heartbreaking,” Biden said. He acknowledged the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, who also kidnapped nearly 250 hostages that day. Biden also underscored the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, which is on the brink of famine and in desperate need of medical supplies.

 

In his address, Biden called for an immediate ceasefire and said his administration is working on a deal “as we speak” so that Israelis taken hostage can be returned home and more humanitarian aid can get into war-torn Gaza. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is in Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend to talk with top leaders.

I watched this speech in its entirety and encourage you to do so too. It’s enlightening to watch Biden speak in long form. Yes, there were the mumbles, mispronounced words, lies, and weird shouting, but I finished this speech with two overriding impressions.

First, Biden talks about himself a lot. A LOT. The first 10 minutes of the 27 minute speech was about him. His past. His stories. I. I. I. The remaining 17 minutes had more of the same, but not exclusively. It reminded me a lot about how Obama spoke. Biden rarely references his administration or the government or America. It’s all about him.

Second, Biden’s race-baiting is crude and belongs in the previous century. He acts like America in 2024 is still 1958 Jim Crow Mississippi. We have come a long way since then and he gives no credit for the progress. He’s still telling Black men graduating from a prestigious university like Morehouse that America doesn’t love them and that they are being oppressed. Biden’s low opinion of America and Americans is nauseating. I don’t want to live in the America in his mind either.

Liberal Columnist Greives over Prospect of Trump Win

This guy is beside himself.

One would never know from looking at the data that Trump is the defendant in a criminal trial in New York City that’s been going on for weeks, where testimony has implicated him in cheating on his wife with a porn star and planting sleazy smears of his political opponents in national tabloids.

 

Trump critics have spent nine years waiting for Americans to have a “eureka” moment that he’s unfit for office. But the problem has never been getting voters to recognize that he’s unfit; the problem has been getting them to agree that he’s less fit than his opponent.

 

Between persistent inflation, left-wing wedge issues like the war in Gaza and of course his very advanced age, Biden is less qualified now than he was four years ago to make the case that he’s the fitter of the two candidates. Despite his best efforts to turn the race into another referendum on Trump, the data suggests that for most voters it’s more of a referendum on the incumbent, as reelection bids tend to be.

 

For cripes sake, he’s at 33% in the Times swing-state poll when Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein and Cornel West are included as options for respondents.

 

In fact, despite Biden trailing Trump in Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, the same Times poll finds the Democratic candidates for Senate in all three states leading their Republican opponents.

 

Democrats likewise lead in the generic ballot average nationally even though Biden consistently trails Trump head-to-head. The president’s the weak link in the Democratic Party, plainly; a meaningful share of swing voters who are open to voting for Democrats in principle really do not want to vote for him again.

It took me a while to get Trump’s appeal in 2016, but I think I get it now. I can understand this columnist not getting it. What continues to flummox me is liberals’ inability to see Biden’s failures. His term has been an utter disaster on the domestic and foreign fronts. Americans are significantly less well off in terms of their economic well-being and physical security since Biden took office. And yet, liberals seem to keep thinking that it’s a messaging problem. It’s not. It’s a performance problem. And even though Trump is a mess of a man, he was a helluva a president. Americans get that.

Putin and Xi

I think this story is a bit optimistic from a Westerner’s perspective, but the relationship surely has changed.

Mr Putin came to China cap in hand, eager for Beijing to continue trading with a heavily sanctioned and isolated Russia. His statements were filled with honeyed tones and flattering phrases.

 

He said that his family were learning Mandarin – this was particularly noteworthy because he very rarely talks about his children in public.

 

He declared that he and Mr Xi were “as close as brothers” and went on to praise China’s economy, saying it was “developing in leaps and bounds, at a fast pace”. This will likely play well with Beijing officials worried by a sluggish economy.

 

But Mr Xi himself did not echo the tone of these lofty compliments. Instead, his remarks were more perfunctory – even bland. Mr Putin, he said, was a “good friend and a good neighbour”. For China, the welcome ceremony and show of unity is in its interests, but lavishing its guest with praise is not.

 

The costly war in Ukraine, which shows no signs of ending, has changed their relationship, exposing the weaknesses in Russia’s army and its economy. Mr Xi will know that he is now in charge.

 

The war has isolated Russia. China’s ties with the West may be tense, but Beijing has not cut itself off from the world like Russia, nor does it want to.

Abbott Pardons Man Convicted of Killing Violent Protestor

Excellent

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon Thursday for a former U.S. Army sergeant convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.

 

Abbott announced the pardon shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced a unanimous recommendation that Daniel Perry be pardoned and have his firearms rights restored.

 

Perry had been in state prison on a 25-year sentence since his 2023 conviction in the killing of Garrett Foster, and was released shortly after the pardon, a prison spokeswoman said.

Perry, who is white, was working as a ride-share driver when his car approached a demonstration in Austin. Prosecutors said he could have driven away from the confrontation with Foster, a white Air Force veteran who witnesses said never raised his gun.

 

A jury convicted Perry of murder, but Abbott called it a case of self-defense.

 

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” Abbott said.

Dublin-NYC Portal Shut Down

Ope

That didn’t take long. Less than a week after two public sculptures featuring a livestream between Dublin, Ireland, and New York City debuted, “inappropriate behavior” in real-time interactions between people in the two cities has prompted a temporary shutdown.

The two sculptures, “The Portals,” are round, lens-like installations with a 24/7 video link to allow residents and visitors in the two cities to interact with each other. Social media videos have shown people flashing body parts to people on the other side. The installation does not include audio.

Biden’s and Baldwin’s actions support Hamas

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s you go.

International affairs are inherently complicated with cross-currents of cultures, economies, religion, and philosophies in the deep ocean of history. The current war in the Gaza Strip in Israel, however, in a moment of moral clarity on which President Joe Biden and Senator Tammy Baldwin are demonstrating moral bankruptcy.

 

The fighting in the Middle East dates back to the very dawn of human civilization as a resource-rich and trading nexus of the ancient and modern world. The current war’s roots, however, are very modern.

 

When Israel came into its modern existence in 1948, the area known as the Gaza Strip was Egyptian territory and remained so for nearly 20 years. In 1967, a coalition of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched an unprovoked war against Israel that became known as the Six-Day War. Israel overwhelmingly won that war and seized the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights as the spoils of war and as a security buffer.

 

The Gaza Strip has been a part of Israel since 1967. In 2005, bowing to international pressure, Israel gave the Gaza Strip to the Gazans for them to self-govern and withdrew all forces, although Israel maintained border security for and with the Gaza Strip.

 

Promptly in 2006, the Gazans elected Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization supported by Iran, to govern the Gaza Strip. Since 2006, Hamas has regularly launched rockets and small-scale attacks into Israel. Hamas has enjoyed widespread support by the Gazans for nearly 20 years.

 

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas launched a bloody attack across the border killing about 1,200 people of all ages and genders, and they took over 250 people back to Gaza as hostages. It was a bloody, bigoted, indiscriminate attack against civilians including babies and grandmothers. As bloody bodies were paraded through the streets in Gaza, the Gazans cheered. This is not the case of an unwelcome totalitarian government ruling over an innocent population. This is the case of a government acting with the overwhelming majority of their citizens supporting their barbarity.

 

Israel responded the same way I hope America would if the people of Tijuana attacked San Diego and butchered women and children. Israel fought back to eliminate the hostile threat while taking extraordinary measures to limit civilian deaths. The fact that some civilians are being killed is the direct result of Hamas’ policy to use them as human shields.

 

This is not a complicated war. Hamas is an Islamist terror group that is wantonly killing civilians from their power base and then hiding behind their own citizens when Israel pushes back. To support anything other than Israel’s right and duty to rid the world of Hamas is to support the perpetuation of hate, bigotry, murder, and terror.

 

Yet, that is where we find President Biden and Senator Baldwin. As always, we must watch what they do — not what they say. Biden has attempted to split the baby with his rhetoric vacillating between powerful support for Israel and appeasement to Hamas. His actions, however, lean heavily in favor of Hamas.

 

Biden has been calling for a ceasefire without the precondition of releasing all of the hostages which only benefits Hamas. Biden has condemned Israel for civilian casualties despite Israel’s extraordinary efforts to keep them to a minimum while Hamas pushes civilians into the fray. Last week, Biden unilaterally halted the shipment of ammunition to Israel and has threatened to halt more shipments if Israel moves to root out Hamas in their last remaining stronghold in Rafah.

 

Hamas never had a greater ally than President Biden.

 

Meanwhile, Senator Baldwin is in lock-step with Biden and Hamas providing rhetorical and legislative support whenever they need it. Baldwin has always been a loyal vote of support for whatever the Democrat leadership wants. This case is no different.

 

In a moment of crystal clear moral clarity, Biden and Baldwin have put themselves on the wrong side of history.

Teachers Facing Mass Layoffs Due to Terrible Budget Practices

There. I fixed their headline. The “free” covid bonanza allowed school districts across America to delay adjusting staffing for declining enrollment. With the money coming to an end, there is a glut of unfunded and unjustified positions that need to be reduced all at once instead of gradually. If the school districts had managed their staffing to need instead of to available funding, they would all be flush with surpluses and not have this problem.

Schools across the country are announcing teacher and staff layoffs as districts brace for the end of a pandemic aid package that delivered the largest one-time federal investment in K-12 education.

 

The funds must be used by the end of September, creating a sharp funding cliff as schools also struggle with widespread enrollment declines and inflation.

 

Many districts have warned of layoffs as the current school year comes to a close and next year’s budgets are planned. The local headlines about teachers likely won’t help Americans who remain stubbornly pessimistic about the economy feel any better, adding to the challenge President Joe Biden faces to show voters how things are better than they were four years ago.

Newsome Makes Severe Cuts to Budget in Face of Deficit

“Severe” lol. Californians are adorable about what they get worked up about. Bless their hearts.

While Newsom has not taken away health insurance from anyone, he proposed the state stop paying for health care workers to care for some 14,000 disabled immigrants in their home. That would save the state $94.7 million. While he hasn’t pulled back the state’s commitment to expanded kindergarten, he proposed eliminating $550 million that would have helped school districts build the facilities they need to teach all of those extra students.

 

After promising to pay for child care for another 146,000 children from low-income families, Newsom on Friday proposed pausing that expansion at 119,000. And after promising to boost how much money doctor’s get to treat Medicaid patients, Newsom on Friday proposed canceling $6.7 billion that had been set aside to do that.

 

[…]

 

In total, Newsom is proposing $32.8 billion in cuts over two years, including eliminating 10,000 unfilled state jobs and an 8% cut to state operations — including things like eliminating landlines. He promised there would be no layoffs, furloughs or salary cuts for the state’s more than 221,000 state workers.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to Decide Fewest Cases in 40 Years

Is this a problem? I rather like a minimalist court. Although it does seem that this particular court is usurping power and running roughshod over the Constitution where they choose.

It would be the first time the court has issued fewer than 40 decisions in a term in at least four decades.

 

According to Ball’s analysis, the court filed more than 130 decisions in its 1980-81 term and has generally fluctuated between 40 and 100 per term in subsequent years. Before the late 1970s and the creation of the court of appeals, the state Supreme Court often filed more than 200 decisions per term and sometimes more than 300.

 

[…]

The number of petitions for review has dropped significantly. The court received 658 petitions in its 2020-21 term, 624 in 2021-22 and 573 in 2022-23. According to a March 2024 report from the court, 332 petitions have been filed in the current term.

“In addition to a smaller number of petitions for review, the justices have clearly decided that fewer of the petitions merit acceptance. Why that might be is harder to say,” Ball said.

It is interesting that there are so few petitions. Does this indicate a lack of confidence in the court? Maybe. Maybe it’s just coincidence.

Virginian School Board Reinstates Historic School Names

This is an interesting push back.

The school board in Shenandoah County, Virginia, early Friday approved a proposal that will restore the names of Confederate military leaders to two public schools.

 

The measure, which passed 5-1, reverses a previous board’s decision in 2020 to change the names of schools that had been linked to Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby, three men who led the pro-slavery Southern states during the Civil War.

 

Mountain View High School will go back to the name Stonewall Jackson High School. Honey Run Elementary School will go back to the name Ashby-Lee Elementary School.

U.S. Strengthens Border… for Dogs

But if you’re a Chinese national coming across the southern border, we’ll just wave you through.

NEW YORK — All dogs coming into the U.S. from other countries must be at least 6 months old and microchipped to help prevent the spread of rabies, according to new government rules published Wednesday.

 

The new rules require vaccination for dogs that have been in countries where rabies is common. The update applies to dogs brought in by breeders or rescue groups as well as pets traveling with their U.S. owners.

Hochul Apologizes for Being Racist

Ope.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says she regrets making an offhand remark that suggested Black children in the Bronx do not know what the word “computer” means.

 

Hochul, a Democrat, made the extemporaneous comment Monday while being interviewed at a large business conference in California to discuss expanding economic opportunities in artificial intelligence for low-income communities.

 

“Right now, we have young Black kids growing up in the Bronx who don’t even know what the word computer is. They don’t know, they don’t know these things,” Hochul said while on stage at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

Trans Activists Thwart Efforts to Enforce Law

This is a pretty effective bit of civil disobedience.

In the week since it launched, the online tip line already has received more than 10,000 submissions, none of which seem legitimate, he said. The form asks people to report public school employees who knowingly allow someone to use a facility designated for the opposite sex.

 

Utah residents and visitors are required by law to use bathrooms and changing rooms in government-owned buildings that correspond with their birth sex. As of last Wednesday, schools and agencies found not enforcing the new restrictions can be fined up to $10,000 per day for each violation.

 

Although their advocacy efforts failed to stop Republican lawmakers in many states from passing restrictions for trans people, the community has found success in interfering with the often ill-conceived enforcement plans attached to those laws.

 

Within hours of its publication Wednesday night, trans activists and community members from across the U.S. already had spread the Utah tip line widely on social media. Many shared the spam they had submitted and encouraged others to follow suit.

 

Their efforts mark the latest attempt by advocates to shut down or render unusable a government tip line that they argue sows division by encouraging residents to snitch on each other. Similar portals in at least five other states also have been inundated with hoax reports, leading state officials to shut some down.

Boy Scouts Embrace History of Being Safe Space for Sex Offenders

Another great institution destroyed.

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America announced after 114 years that it will change its name and will become Scouting America in an effort to emphasize inclusion as it works to move past the turmoil of bankruptcy and a flood of sexual abuse claims.

 

The rebrand is another seismic shift for an organization steeped in tradition that did not allow gay youths or girls to begin joining its ranks until relatively recently. Seeking to boost flagging membership numbers, the Irving, Texas-based organization announced the name change Tuesday at its annual meeting in Florida.

Young Voters Are Upset About the Economy Too

Yup. They may be bigots, but they still have bills to pay.

But these headlines are not reflective of young voters’ top concerns this election year, according to recent polls. Surveys taken in recent months show young voters are more likely to sympathize with Palestinians in the conflict, but few of them rank the Israel-Hamas war among their top issues in the 2024 election. Like other voters, young people often put economic concerns at the top of the list.

 

And while young voters are cooler to Biden than they were at the same point in 2020, there is little evidence that American support for the Israeli invasion of Gaza is a critical factor in their relative discontent.

 

“When you have two presidents that have the same stance on one issue, that automatically puts that issue — I hate to say lower down the list, because it’s obviously an important issue, but it doesn’t make it an issue where I’m going to choose Donald Trump over Joe Biden,” said Devon Schwartz, a student at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

[…]

 

In an Economist/YouGov poll taken more recently, in late April, 22% of voters ages 18 to 29 listed inflation as their most important issue. Two percent named foreign policy as their top concern. (The poll did not specifically ask about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.)

Biden Holds Back Ammunition Allocated to Israel

So now our president is withholding ammunition from our ally as they try to root out and eliminate an Islamic terror group. Oh, how far we have come in the War on Terror.

According to one U.S. official, the U.S. Air Force has been told by the White House National Security Council to pause the delivery of ammunition already approved and under contract, waiting to be shipped from Dover Air Force Base.

 

A second U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that the NSC was behind the decision to pause the munitions. U.S. officials said the delay is being done intentionally.

 

The NSC has not confirmed the decision or said why the shipment was put on hold. Instead, administration officials have noted that the overall U.S. policy toward Israel hasn’t changed.

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