Cal Thomas

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Economics was not one of my favorite subjects in college, so I avoided economic courses. But I do know a few things about human nature. If you tax income at too high a rate, corporations will look elsewhere for relief. Take Ireland. In 1991, Apple Corporation cut a deal with the Irish government so that only a certain bracket of its earnings would be taxed, giving it, writes Business Insider, "...a dramatically lower tax rate than it would have to pay in the U.S." 


The prize quote of this incendiary political year may go to Hillary Clinton. In response to Donald Trump's charge that the Clintons set up a pay-for-play arrangement that granted big contributors access to Clinton while she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton said, "My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right to keep Americans safe and protect our interests abroad." She added, "I know there's a lot of smoke, and there's no fire."


Every election cycle we must endure challenges and allegations about fraud (conservatives) and discrimination (liberals) when it comes to voter ID laws. This year is no different. A federal court ruled that the Texas Voter ID law passed in 2011, requiring voters to present official photo identification, discriminated again poor, minority and disabled voters and ordered a judge to approve new interim rules for the Nov. 8 election. The new rules will broaden the list of acceptable forms of ID. Voters will now be able to present, among other things, an expired ID, a government check or a current utility bill.


Growing up, I watched a lot of Westerns. In addition to the cowboy hero, the town sheriff was almost always a model of integrity. He stood for law and order against bank robbers, cattle rustlers and horse thieves all trying to disrupt the peace. A contemporary and real-life version of those fictional characters is Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.


While we shouldn't live in the past, we can certainly learn from it. We are not the first humans to walk the Earth and yet too many, especially the young, suffer from the conceit that history is just a boring subject in school. PBS is rerunning episodes on its award-winning series "American Experience" on modern presidents and the challenges they faced. Each episode retraces what presidents believed to be good ideas at the time -- from Lyndon Johnson's program to wipe out poverty and defeat the communists in Vietnam, to George W. Bush's toppling of Saddam Hussein. 

 


You've probably heard the very old riddle: When is a door not a door? When it's ajar. An updated version might go like this: When is a ransom not a ransom? When the Obama administration says it isn't. President Obama and his State Department want us to believe that $400 million in foreign cash that was flown into Iran under cover of darkness on an unmarked cargo plane was merely money "owed" to the world's No. 1 sponsor of terrorism from a failed arms deal negotiated with the Shah of Iran more than 35 years ago


Thanks to WikiLeaks, which has released nearly 20,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee — with promises of more to come — we have proof the party that styles itself as inclusive, diverse and tolerant isn’t. Among the delectable tidbits on which Republicans are feasting are these: one male DNC staffer wrote another male staffer saying “I love you” and added “no homo.” Another DNC email referred to Latino voters as “taco bowl outreach.


In 1926, speaking about the Declaration of Independence on its 150th anniversary, President Calvin Coolidge noted the unique philosophy behind the creation of the United States: "We cannot continue to enjoy the result, if we neglect and abandon the cause."


In just the last few days, two African-American men were shot and killed by non-African-American police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana and five non-African-American police officers were shot and killed in Dallas by an African-American man who declared he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." The gap in our racially divided country has never been wider.


FBI Director James Comey has given Hillary Clinton something better than a get out of jail free card. He's protected her from indictment by recommending to the Department of Justice that she not be prosecuted for her and her staff's "extremely careless" handling of emails on private servers that included documents classified as "top secret," "secret" and "confidential."

 


Have you heard that Hillary Clinton is the "first woman" ever to be nominated for president by a major political party? Of course you have. The media have repeated the line so often it is broken news. Hillary Clinton's nomination and the euphoria in the press (one NPR female reporter said she has seen women weeping over the possibility of Hillary becoming president) eclipses any discussion about the real issues facing the country.


Maybe it was those college courses on the history of Europe that soured me on the idea of a united continent. How could a conglomeration of nation states noted for invading each other, pillaging and warring against each other form a union? How could a continent with different languages, cultures and money become a united states of Europe modeled after the USA?


Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) recently disclosed that a congressional investigation has found at least 72 employees of the Department of Homeland Security listed on the U.S. terrorist watch list. In other news, President Obama used a memorial service for the victims of the Orlando massacre to advocate for more gun control laws. Anyone else see a contradiction in these two items?


Credit President Obama for finally using the words he has desperately tried to avoid during his presidency. He correctly called the mass shooting in an Orlando gay nightclub Sunday morning, which killed 49 and injured 53, "an act of terror." It was, writes The New York Times, the "deadliest attack on a gay target in the nation’s history."


My musical tastes do not include rap and hip-hop, but when Snoop Dogg comments on the "Roots" remake, saying he is tired of movies about slavery and would prefer a series "about the success that black folks are having," he is singing my song.


"Rules are made to be broken" is a saying that has many variations, but perhaps no one has summed up Hillary Clinton's attitude (and Bill's, too) about rules more than the late science-fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein, who said: "I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

In its report on how Hillary Clinton handled her "private" emails while serving as secretary of state, the State Department's inspector general (IG) has found that Hillary Clinton disregarded cyber security guidelines when she used a private computer server. She continues to deny she did anything wrong and falsely claims she turned over "all" of her emails to the State Department after she left office. In fact, she, or members of her team, deleted about 30,000 of them before an investigation of her practices began.


Historically, when our nation has transitioned from one way of life to another, there has usually been some optimism about what was to come. That was true at the time of the American Revolution and it was true as we moved from an agrarian society toward the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th through mid-19th centuries.

 


LOUISVILLE — Religion and politics are again at the forefront of this year’s presidential race. Yet, in this campaign, self-described evangelicals don’t seem as concerned as they once were about a candidate’s personal faith. Otherwise, more of them might support the openly Christian candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, rather than Donald Trump, whose familiarity with the Bible, not to mention the lifestyle it recommends, places him among biblical illiterates.

 


Thanks to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) 200,000 convicted felons in the state of Virginia may now register to vote.

Writes The Washington Post, "The change applies to all felons who have completed their sentences and been released from supervised probation or parole. The Democratic governor’s decision particularly affects black residents of Virginia: 1 in 4 African Americans in the state has been permanently banned from voting because of laws restricting the rights of those with convictions."


The Mafia, in its heyday, ran lucrative protection rackets. Pay them and your business would be kept safe from "unforeseen" threats. Don’t pay them and your business might go up in smoke with you inside.