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Emerging from my cave after several months

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Emerging from my cave after several months

As some of you may know, I’ve been essentially disconnected from the online world for several months now. After our son’s third stay at the hospital in his first six months of life here, it became clear I needed to focus on him and the rest of my family. Thank the Lord we were sustained during this time. Now it’s time to get back on the saddle.

We’re expecting another child. I always knew I would have to return to this side of life at some point in the near future, but this latest surprise accelerated it to the point that I made the decision this morning. Now, I’m back.

Thank you to the team here at NOQ Report for keeping everything going in my absence. I owe a lot of kudos to many people and apologies to many more. For now, I’m going to get reacquainted with everything, collect my thoughts, and then let the whirlwind start up again. This is going to be fun.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Leach

    July 25, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    We’ve missed you. Glad you’re back. We need to talk soon.

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Economy

To those who don’t care about the national debt, consider this

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To those who dont care about the national debt consider this

The national debt has been growing dramatically for decades. It’s so great that most Americans seem to dismiss it altogether; if we haven’t been harmed by it already, it obviously can’t hurt us, right? This sort of “head in the sand” thinking is why lawmakers refuse to tackle it. As long as the people don’t seem to care, why should they?

It’s time to care. It’s been time to care for a while but the collective ignoring of it has brought it to the level that now, in 2018, we are nearing the point of no return.

Why? Because the astronomical interest is now going to noticeably affect how the government operates. We’ve spent years pretending like the interest isn’t a big deal even though it was growing to unsustainable levels during the Clinton administration. Now, we’re seeing it reach levels that are tangible. Why? Because the cost to cover it is now great enough that other areas are going to need to be cut.

In 2017, the interest on our debt was $263 billion. That’s 6.6% of federal government spending. We’re on track to spend more on interest than Medicaid in 2020 and more on interest than defense by 2023. Let me repeat that:

By 2023, we will spend more in interest on the national debt than we spend on national defense.

Normally, we can take CBO predictions with a grain of salt because they’re usually off (see Obamacare predictions for CBO’s epic failures) but this one relies on simple math. Even in a humming economy with the best case scenarios in play, you can’t overcome interest without paying down the debt.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have any intention of paying off the debt. This is why candidate Trump went from promising to pay off the national debt in eight years, then ten years, then paying part of it off, then finally proclaiming himself the “king of debt” – all within the period of one month on the campaign trail.

To get the national debt in line will require an ironclad commitment backed by irrevocable legislation that spans two- to four-decades. It means entitlement reform, budget limits, cutting entire agencies and possibly even departments, and commitments to rein in all forms of discretionary spending.

In other words, the only way to get the national debt to a manageable level – not even getting it to zero but somewhere much lower than it is – would require commitments by politicians that none of them are willing to make. Oh, there might be a couple of Senators and a handful of Congressmen who would embrace such measures, but even those ones won’t buck the system to the point that they’d push hard for it without a mandate by voters.

We are the only hope for the very near future. If Americans don’t care that our tax dollars are being used to pay interest on the mountainous debt that has been accumulated in recent years, let alone the debt that preceded it, then we shouldn’t expect politicians to care, either. This can has been kicked down the road for decades, but the road is coming to a very abrupt end soon. It’s beyond unsustainable. We’re on the verge of collapsing under the weight of our own mistakes.

As long as voters ignore the national debt, neither party will pay attention to it, either. We will drown in our own ignorance if we don’t act soon. In the past, they said the debt will affect our children and grandchildren. Now, the debt is starting to affect us.

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Entertainment and Sports

Hey Kansas: If you get Les Miles, the funny quotes come free

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Hey Kansas If you get Les Miles, the funny quotes come free

The Kansas Jayhawks have had a rough football season. They’ve had several rough football seasons. Today’s loss to the Oklahoma Sooners showed a spark of offense for a team that may not be as bad as their record indicates. They also got some good news on the coaching front.

Les Miles may be coming to Lawrence.

The coach that won a national championship with LSU and helped put Oklahoma State on the college football map may try to do the same for the Jayhawks if rumors turn out to be correct.

Beyond being a great coach, Miles has built a reputation for saying some of the funniest things to the press. Here’s one of my personal favorites:

“When I wake up in the morning and I turn that film on, it’s like reading a book and it’s exciting. I don’t read books, but if I read books it would be like reading a book.”

I do hope to see Miles coaching at KU. They need him. The Big 12 needs him. Football fans in general need him.

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Foreign Affairs

State Department denies claims MBS involved in Khashoggi killing

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State Department denies claims MBS involved in Khashoggi killing

Yesterday, reports were flying across the news wire that the CIA had concluded Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The State Department issued a statement today denying the claim, stating no conclusion has been reached.

My Take

This is a lie. The State Department has seen and heard the mountains of evidence. The various cover stories put forth by the Saudi government have been hollow and debunked. They aren’t investigating further. They’re simply buying time and hoping other stories will help sweep this one under the rug.

Either MBS is so incompetent and disrespected that members of his own team went behind his back to murder someone, or he gave the order. The fact that Saudi Arabia wants us to buy the “rogue killer” is absolutely pitiful.

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