Ordinary World 17 Dec 18

world

Ordinary World
16 Dec 18

[OW1] Has The Trump-Russia Scandal Actually Been The GOP-Russia Scandal All Along? by Elizabeth Piccuito: “People have generally assumed that the main problem facing the GOP from investigations into illegal Russian influence schemes is that the party will be sullied by association with their leader. Butina’s plea, however, is a sign (and not the only sign) that Trump may not be the only Republican unduly influenced by Russia.”

[OW2] How to approach Kansas’s economy post-Brownback by Alex Muresianu: “Instead of pursuing budget-busting tax cuts, the Republican legislature should work with the new governor to reform Kansas’s tax code by lowering tax rates and broadening tax bases. Kansas’s tax code is roughly average, ranking 28th of 50 for business climate, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.”

[OW3] A Boost for Young, Diverse Farmers by Olivia Paschal: “The new farm bill, which passed through both houses of Congress last week and is waiting on Donald Trump’s signature, nearly triples funding for the only two programs specifically designed to support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers; in other words, farmers outside the current dominant—and aging—demographic. The two grant programs—the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program, often known as the 2501 Program after its original section number, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program—will exist within one new initiative, called the Farmer Opportunity Training and Outreach (FOTO) Program.”

[OW4] Tear Up the Farm Bill and Start Over by Alison Acosta Winters & Caroline Kitchens : “This year’s bill, like its predecessors, is a huge jumble of subsidies and other programs, such as quotas and price setting, that dole out welfare to corporate agricultural interests. It creates barriers for new farmers, wastes resources, and creates risk for farmers and taxpayers alike. The bill leaves intact numerous harmful policies, including programs designed to shield the U.S. sugar industry from competition, which help keep U.S. sugar prices double those of the rest of the world. This hurts consumers and sugar-using businesses alike.”

[OW5] California Regulators Want to Tax Texts You Sent 5 Years Ago by Joe Setyon: “The tax would not apply to internet messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage—platforms that many people use instead of traditional texting. That raises the question of unequal enforcement. “Subjecting wireless carriers’ text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion’s share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anti-competitive, and harmful to consumers,” the CTIA, a telecommunications industry trade group, argues in a legal filing. It’s not even a given that the California Public Utilities Commission has the legal right to do this. Thanks to a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, text messages are now considered an “information service,” which the commission may not have the authority to tax.”

[OW6] Teen vaping is soaring as the Trump administration tries to crack down by Kimberly Leonard: “Vaping opponents, including members of the public health sector, have long charged that e-cigarettes target teens because they come in multiple flavors intended to mimic fruits or desserts. Defenders of the flavors say that adults need an alternative that tastes nothing like traditional cigarettes to get them to stop smoking. The FDA plans to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations. This would mean that certain flavors can be sold only in specialty vaping shops. The FDA will also require age verifications on websites where the devices are sold. The actions have caused alarm among conservatives who point to the Trump administration’s otherwise deregulatory agenda, and to vaping organizations who argue that they will diminish progress made on smoking regular cigarettes.”

[OW7] Rebuilding the City on a Hill by Avi Woolf: “Increasing rural support for the right, alongside its decline in cities and now also suburbs, marks something deeper than what pundits have noted. Right-wing bigotry, after all, existed long before the Tea Party, and it certainly predates Trump. I’m afraid what it marks out is the abandonment of any hope for the future, of any belief in the possibility of persuading young people or immigrants or anyone who lives near different kinds of people that conservative ideas outside of just free markets and tax cuts have any value for them. This is wrong. My series has been an attempt to show that.”

[OW8] Trump Owns a Government Shutdown. So What? by Alex Shephard: “Trump designed Tuesday’s Oval Office meeting to be a spectacle. “Although aides often urge him to keep such meetings closed to the public, The Washington Post reports, “Trump likes the visual of him at the center of a room leading a meeting with lawmakers because he looks like he is ‘in charge,’ according to a former White House official.” When Pelosi and Schumer asked to meet behind closed doors, Trump refused. Nonetheless, all three of them may have gotten what they wanted.”


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Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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2 thoughts on “Ordinary World 17 Dec 18

  1. I agree with the main point of OW-8 – there’s never really been a penalty to Republicans for shutting down the government. Remember Ted Cruz’s filibuster shutdown? The pundits were all SURE that Republicans would take a drubbing for it the next election – they picked up house and senate seats instead. Ditto the most recent two shut downs. It cost a ton of money to partially turn the government off and on, but there’s no political downside, nor will there be this time. Afterall, Republicans seem to have convinced a lot of Americans that the federal government is their enemy.

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