- - Monday, January 5, 2015

It turns out you can learn a lot while ensconced in your couch-potato spider hole during your Christmas vacation.

For example, you can learn that Rich Little really was an underappreciated talent while you’re strung out on eggnog watching the infomercial channel at 2 a.m. You can learn what a middle-aged man smells like without two days of showering. You can learn that brownie brittle sounds better than it actually tastes, but you’ll buy it in bulk at Costco anyway. And you can learn the likelihood your John Madden football game will freeze up on you greatly increases after 10 consecutive hours of usage (three days in a row).

But each of those things pale in comparison to the three biggest lessons I learned while enjoying my ‘Murica Christmas staycation.

1. I learned why people move to states with little to no state income tax.

The big sports story while I was “carbing up” was Jim Harbaugh bolting the power and glory of the NFL to coach college football at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. At first, the ESPN sports intelligentsia said it was all about the money, with anonymous reports the Wolverines were going to make him the highest paid coach in the history of pigskin. Except when the final numbers were revealed, it turns out Mr. Harbaugh’s base salary will be almost exactly what he made with the San Francisco 49ers in the pros.

Except it’s not, if you factor in one often overlooked thing.

If you consider the difference in state income tax rates between California and Michigan, Mr. Harbaugh is looking at an approximately $400,000 annual raise, because he’s leaving the state with the highest income tax rates in the nation. That works out to over $3 million total over the course of his Michigan contract. Needless to say, that’s a pretty substantial raise.

That also might explain why of the 10 states that received more inbound than outbound relocations in 2014 according to Atlas Van Lines, four of them were the seven states that have no confiscatory income tax. Which reminds me, once these Iowa Caucuses are over I could be looking for real estate advice in Florida and Texas, which have no state income tax plus the right three seasons. I’m asking for a friend, of course.

2. VH1 is a bunch of bigots.

One day I was flipping channels during commercial breaks of college football coverage, and I came across something on VH1 called “Naked Dating” (which my wife tells me has been on the air for quite some time apparently).

The premise of this show (on basic cable no less) is they take random single people looking for love from various walks of life, put them on a tropical island naked to remove any pretense for a weekend, and see if any love connections are made. The nudity is blurred out, but it’s clear what the producers are hoping for. I only watched one episode for five minutes, and had to turn the channel. Not because I was offended at the salaciousness, mind you, but the intolerance.

One naked single woman said she “was a lesbian” for several years but has since decided guys were the thing for her, so she was hot for the opposite gender now.

It’s a shame VH1 has chosen to embrace such bigotry.

I thought you couldn’t do that? I thought people were born this way, can’t help themselves, and thus we had to reorder all of society and how we define “rights” in our constitutional republic to accommodate these inclinations?

The good news is Christians can now be forced by the state to defy God and His Word in order to affirm a behavior the person behaving it might not be behaving in the future. This deal just keeps getting better all the time.

3. The GOP Establishment protects its own.

Remember when Christine O’Donnell had to go because she had admitted to Bill Maher a decade prior she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager? Remember when Todd Akin had to go because of his infamous verbal flub regarding rape and abortion?

All this time, I thought calls for these flawed individuals to go were for the benefit of the Republican Party. Silly me, I should’ve known better. It turns out their real sins were winning primaries without the blessing of the GOP establishment.

How else do you explain the way the GOP establishment has rallied to the defense of House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, who may or may not have spoken to David Duke’s white supremacist and anti-Semite organization (there are conflicting reports)?

Even if he didn’t speak to Mr. Duke’s group, Mr. Scalise’s relationship with Duke acolyte Kenny Knight, who is now publicly defending Mr. Scalise (with “friends” like these…), certainly calls into question Mr. Scalise’s judgment for the third most powerful position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Or at least it would, if Mr. Scalise were a tea party congressman or a champion of the American Family Association crowd. But since Mr. Scalise is neither of those things, he can most assuredly count on the cronyism and hypocrisy the GOP establishment has in common with the Marxists in the Democrat Party to come through once more.

Which leads me to the final lesson I learned on my Christmas vacation: A dog always returns to its own vomit.

(Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)

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