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Filed Under Rate that Ad on Jun 30 

Today California took another stand against business. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law taxing internet sales with immediate effectiveness

According the Orange County Register:

[The law] will immediately cut small-business website revenue 20% to 30%, experts say.

The state Board of Equalization says the tax will raise $200 million a year, but critics claim it will raise nothing because online retailers will end their affiliate programs rather than collect the tax.

First of all, “The state Board of Equalization”? Really? I guess my friend who manages a business in California that calls it the “Socialist Republic of California” is right.

Furthermore, it is typical of government to sell a new policy based on revenues that assume its intervention will have no effect on the current business environment. However, there are always unintended consequences. In California’s case, these consequences were rather immediate.

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Yesterday Michelle Bachmann was in my backyard. I would have gone to listen to her speech, but I have this pesky thing they call a job.

However, the best line reported from her speech was one someone asked her about alleged tension between herself and Sarah Palin. Referring to the media, Bachmann said:

They want to see two girls come together and have a mud-wrestling fight, and I’m not going to give it to ‘em.

I think I’m going to quite enjoy now living in an early primary state.

Per Rasmussen Reports (emphasis added):

A generic Republican candidate now holds a four-point lead over President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup. It’s a fifth week in a row that the GOP candidate has been ahead and the widest gap between the candidates to date.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds a generic Republican candidate earns support from 46% of Likely U.S. Voters, while the president picks up 42% of the vote.  Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Hat tip to Alaina for forwarding this article to us, it is good, succinct look at Perry and some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Here’s a little snippet:

Simple, the man has a nose for winning built into his leading-man looks. Some might deride him as Gov. Good Hair, but he’s used that mane and handsome face to his advantage, just as Ronald Reagan did.

Perry’s not too popular on PD, but a lot of pundits think he has a chance to make a significant impact in 2012.

In my view, Iran is one of the top five most concerning countries to have nuclear weapons capabilities, especially considering the views of its leaders on Israel. Now reports are they have been test launching nuclear missiles.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said they had fired 14 missiles in an exercise, one of them a medium-range weapon capable of striking Israel or US targets in the Gulf….

Iran had also announced plans to triple its capacity to produce 20 percent enriched uranium….

Western governments fear Tehran is seeking to develop a ballistic capability to enable it to launch atomic warheads under cover of its civil nuclear programme.

Read the rest here.

Corn subsidizes for ethanol are one of the most ridiculous examples of government intervention causing unintended consequences. Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the country. It is also where the presidential primary season begins. Of course this is all connected.  According to Steven Rattner:

In a crowd of rising food and commodity costs, corn stands out, its price having doubled in less than a year to a record $7.87 per bushel in early June. Booming global demand has overtaken stagnant supply.

But rather than ameliorate the problem, the government has exacerbated it, reducing food supply to a hungry world. Thanks to Washington, 4 of every 10 ears of corn grown in America — the source of 40 percent of the world’s production — are shunted into ethanol, a gasoline substitute that imperceptibly nicks our energy problem. Larded onto that are $11 billion a year of government subsidies to the corn complex.

Corn is hardly some minor agricultural product for breakfast cereal. It’s America’s largest crop, dwarfing wheat and soybeans. . . .

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According to Cars.com’s American-Made Index ranking, five Toyota and Honda models are included in the top ten and four of the top six, with the Camry and Accord taking the first two spots. The system, according to Cars.com:

Rates vehicles built and bought in the U.S. Factors include sales, where the car’s parts come from and whether the car is assembled in the U.S. We disqualify models with a domestic parts content rating below 75 percent, models built exclusively outside the U.S. or models soon to be discontinued without a U.S.-built successor.

The UAW ought to be reminded that many of the “foreign” cars are as much as if not more American than Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler, not to mention often have greater sales!

However, politicians will only continue to bail out the American automotive manufacturing industry from its abject failures due to the union money laundering scheme.

Per the Des Moines Register:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann sit atop the standings in the year’s first Des Moines Register Iowa Poll on the Republican presidential field.

Romney, the national front-runner and a familiar face in Iowa after his 2008 presidential run, attracts support from 23 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers. Bachmann, who will officially kick off her campaign in Iowa on Monday, nearly matches him, with 22 percent.

“She’s up there as a real competitor and a real contender,” said Republican pollster Randy Gutermuth, who is unaffiliated with any of the presidential candidates. “This would indicate that she’s going to be a real player in Iowa.”

The rest is here.

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Filed Under Rate that Ad on Jun 25 

Ok, so we’re releasing some oil from the SPR to calm the markets and “drive out speculators.” (By the way, there is no such thing as “speculators.” There are simply commodities brokers who buy and sell the world’s commodities–of which oil is only one–on the world’s market. The news media like to call them “speculators,” because it has an evil, underhanded connotation. The same commodities brokers buy and sell copper, gold, soybeans and pork bellies. When was the last time you heard the phrase “Evil soybean speculators”?)

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The economist axiom is you if tax something, you get less of it. This is the argument behind so called “sin” taxes on items such as cigarettes and alcohol.

This being the case, why do politicians continually rail about jobs leaving the US (or going to ATMs? Yup should have subsided the stagecoach and kept it around too) when corporations are continually taxed more for having employees?

Have a look below at how the makeup of corporate taxes has changed over the years from Political Calculations:

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Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012
Even a small drop in the share of black voters would wipe out his winning margin in North Carolina.

As if wasting hundreds of millions of dollars over the past two years on pet projects flippantly referred to as “stimulus” was not enough, with unemployment not improving, the today the Democrats are talking about spending even more.

Democratic leaders called on Wednesday for additional spending to boost the sluggish U.S. economy, setting up a fresh hurdle for bipartisan efforts in Washington to head off a government debt default this summer.

Proving he has zero understanding of who or what actually creates jobs, Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin said:

“Get the recovery right before you get in this deficit-cutting mode. Get people back to work. Let’s start moving in that direction.”

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Now he’s lost his finance team.

Pull the plug, Newt.

Pull the plug.

He’s still speaking as of 10:12 a.m., but my first instinct is that this might be one of the dullest campaign announcements I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen more passion on a PBS PSA. I’m baffled that his campaign is launching where Reagan did and inviting the comparisons.

Your reactions to Huntsman’s entry into the horse race?

According to the Tax Foundation, California currently ranks next-to-last (only New York is worse) among U.S. states for “business tax climate”. When a state, or nation for that matter, is hostile to businesses within its borders, business leaves. So do the jobs. Because, as economist will often say, when you tax something, you get less of it. Check out the graphic to the left showing the number of companies leaving California weekly before reading the analysis of consultant Joseph Vranich below.

Today, California is experiencing the fastest rate of disinvestment events based on public domain information, closure notices to the state, and information from affected employees in the three years since a specialized tracking system was put into place.
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WSJ: Texan Perry Sizes Up Roadblocks to GOP Bid

Paul won another straw poll, Perry got American Idol treatment, Obama impersonator goes too far.

NEW ORLEANS — Texas Rep. Ron Paul, riding the strength of his loyal, passionate — and mostly young — libertarian-minded enthusiasts, captured the presidential straw vote Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference.

Out of 1,542 votes cast, the Texas congressman and libertarian hero earned 618 of them — a decisive 39.7 percent in a field of 10. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who cancelled his scheduled appearance here due to a summer cold — and whose aggressive straw vote efforts took place beneath the radar and were rumored to include paying the way of his supporters to New Orleans — was second with 24.8 percent. Michele Bachmann came in third at 12.4 percent.

Read the rest.