DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Your tax dollars at work – and play.' Category

Inclusionary Zoning Flops in Portland

16th February 2018

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As the price of housing continues to rise in many cities, one popular progressive policy idea to address it is inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning requires that a certain percentage of units in a building be priced at below market, targeted at people who earn some fraction of the area median income. Often this set aside is required in exchange for density bonuses or other things the developer might want.

Portland passed one of these, and according to a report in the Portland Mercury, construction fell off a cliff.

Markets work the way markets work even when you don’t want them to.

Whenever government interferes with the action of a market, participants in that market take action that seems best in their own self-interest: either working around the government restrictions (a ‘black market’) if they can do so profitably, or deserting the market if they can’t work around the constraints. (Organized crime depends on such market constraints for their profits; their business model is working around government constraints on markets, and they are pretty good at it.)

Politicians never seem to learn that they can’t just pass a law and have everyone do what the politicians want them to do in the way that politicians want them to do it.

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‘If You See Something, Say Something’ Only Works if Authorities Do Something

15th February 2018

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‘When seconds count, police arrive in minutes.’ (At best.)

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OECD: Energy Taxes Too Low to Fight Climate Change

15th February 2018

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How, you may ask, do energy taxes ‘fight’ ‘climate chante’? Why, by discouraging the use of ‘energy’ and thus the ThoughtCrime actions that bring on ‘climate change’.

Oddly enough, it also provides parasitic government bureaucrats with extra money to waste. Purely a coincidence, of course, Win-win!

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Today in Trump Derangement Syndrome

13th February 2018

CNN’s Hossain — Republican Women Are ‘Trapped’ With ‘Abuser’ Trump  Of course, there is no evidence that Trump is an ‘abuser’ — the overwhelming majority of ‘abusers’ outed so far are Democrats.

Former Clinton Advisor Attacks Sarah Sanders — ‘She Lies Every Day’  No actual lies cited, of course, just vague allegations.

‘This Narrative Has Sunk In’: MSNBC Panel Betray The Political Agenda Behind Trump Coverage

MSNBC Analyst: Trump’s the ‘Commander-in-Chief of American Rape Culture’  Now they’re just making stuff up.

Mike Pence ‘thinks Jesus tells him to say things’, says former Trump aide Omarosa  And of course it has to be true because a black woman said it.

CNN Contributor: ‘Trump Should Be Charged With Manslaughter!’  No doubt for strangling the Proglodyte Dream.

Ed Asner Jokes About Trump’s Sons Being Mauled By Lion  Yet he would be the first to scream of somebody made a similar joke about one of Obama’s daughters.

Former Obama Campaign Aide Compares Trump to Child Murdering Haitian Dictator  Since that child-murdering Haitan dictator was black, I don’t see the resemblance.

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Up in Smoke

13th February 2018

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I wrote here about the void in the Trump/Sessions, where four nominees for Assistant Attorney General positions are being held up due to Senate inaction. The four positions are crucial ones: Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.

Why can’t these nominees get a vote? Apparently, it’s because of marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner is vexed with Attorney General Sessions over enforcement of Federal marijuana laws in Colorado.

It’s offensive that these archaic privileges are standing in the way of efficient government. It’s especially offensive that a Republican Senator is impeding a Republican administration in pursuit of so trivial a subject.

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Jury Convicts Elite Baltimore Task Force on Federal Corruption Charges

12th February 2018

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Yet another example of the culture of corruption in Democrat-run cities.

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America Still Has No Ambassador to Germany — and It’s the Senate’s Fault

12th February 2018

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Tell the truth — do we really NEED an Ambassador to Germany? If Trump want to talk to Merkel, he picks up the phone. If Tillerson wants to talk to Gabriel, he picks up the phone. I don’t see this as a major problem. Or even a minor problem.

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Hundreds of Public Defenders Protest ICE Court Arrests

9th February 2018

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New York City public defenders protested Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers Thursday for arresting their clients at courthouses.

Note that these are illegal immigrants who have been arrested for committing crimes.

Several hundred public defenders lined up outside a courthouse in the Bronx after ICE agents arrested Dembele Lanier, an illegal immigrant who was leaving the courthouse after seeing a judge for an assault charge. His wife said the ICE agents were waiting for Lanier outside of the courthouse, WNYC News reported.

In a ‘sanctuary city’ like New York, it’s their most efficient option.

After Lanier’s arrest, Bronx public defenders and attorneys for The Legal Aid Society gathered in front of the courthouse with posters that read “immigrants are welcome here.”

Note the refusal to distinguish between legal immigrants (who are indeed welcome here) and illegal immigrants (who aren’t).

The Legal Aid Society is a communist-dominated group whose members never met a criminal that they didn’t try to get off.

The Bronx public defenders said ICE was “not an immigration enforcement zone.”

That’s a very stupid statement for lawyers to make.

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Minnesota School District Removes To Kill a Mockingbird and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Over Use of Racial Slurs

8th February 2018

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ThoughtCrime! Down the Memory Hole!

Time to home-school.

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FBI Informant: US Lobbyists Paid by Russia to Influence Clinton on Uranium One

8th February 2018

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She was expensive, but worth it.

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California Vows to Block Oil From Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion

7th February 2018

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Good luck with that.

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The Congressional Racist Caucus

7th February 2018

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Hardly a year goes by without a criminal case involving a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Funny how nobody blinks at an explicitly racist organization — so long as it favors black people. The NAACP is an other example. I guess some animals are more equal than others.

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Damning Audit Says Pentagon Cannot Account for $800 Million

6th February 2018

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I’m surprised it’s that low.

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CNN Hires Former FBI Agent Days After Writing Anti-Trump Op-Ed

5th February 2018

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Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings’

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National Security Plans for Super Bowl Left on Seat on Commercial Flight

5th February 2018

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These are the people that Democrats want in charge of our health care.

You would have thought that the Post Office was sufficient counter-example, but no ….

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The Philadelphia Eagles Won the Super Bowl, but They’ll Lose on Tax Day

5th February 2018

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Because the game was played in Minneapolis, the $112,000 bonuses paid to each player on the winning team (and the $56,000 bonuses paid to the losers), will be taxable in Minnesota, which has some of the highest personal income tax rates in the country. Each member of the Eagles will end up paying about $7,200 of their Super Bowl bonus to the state of Minnesota. That comes on top of an estimated $23,500 federal tax hit for each of the winning player’s shares.

And that’s just the start. Minnesota also imposes a so-called “jock tax” on athletes that visit the state for practices and games. Income earned during the days leading up to Sunday’s big game will be taxed at the state’s top marginal rate of 9.85 percent. Only California has a higher jock tax, and even states with no personal income taxes—like Texas and Florida, both frequent Super Bowl hosts—still hit up professional athletes, coaches, and team staff with special taxes.

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Catalog of Missing Devices Illustrates Gadgets that Could and Should Exist

3rd February 2018

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“The law that is supposed to restrict copying has instead been misused to crack down on competition, strangling a future’s worth of gadgets in their cradles,” said EFF Special Advisor Cory Doctorow. “But it’s hard to notice what isn’t there. We’re aiming to fix that with this Catalog of Missing Devices. It’s a collection of tools, services, and products that could have been, and should have been, but never were.”

The damage comes from Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA 1201), which covers digital rights management software (DRM). DRM was designed to block software counterfeiting and other illegal copying, and Section 1201 bans DRM circumvention. However, businesses quickly learned that by employing DRM they could thwart honest competitors from creating inter-operative tools.

Right now, that means you could be breaking the law just by doing something as simple as repairing your car on your own, without the vehicle-maker’s pricey tool. Other examples include rightsholders forcing you to buy additional copies of movies you want to watch on your phone—instead of allowing you to rip the DVD you already own and are entitled to watch—or manufacturers blocking your printer from using anything but their official ink cartridges.

 

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Michigan Dog Approved for Unemployment Benefits

3rd February 2018

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Attorney Michael Haddock told WZZM-TV this week that he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency in the mail that said “Michael Ryder” will receive $360 a week.

But there is nobody named “Michael Ryder” at Haddock’s address. “Ryder,” however, is the name of Haddock’s German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. So Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog.

“Not sure what he is going to do with the money, but it should be interesting,” Haddock said. “I knew he was clever, but he surprised me this time.”

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New Mexico Considers Forcing High-School Students Into State-Approved Post-Graduation Plans

3rd February 2018

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When I was a young boy, that was called The Draft and supposedly we don’t have it any more.

I guess these two ‘legislators’ (perhaps the more accurate term would be ‘commissars’) didn’t get the memo.

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FDA Begins Implementing Awful Food-Safety Law

3rd February 2018

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Obama, the give that keeps on shivving.

America’s farmers are on the alert this week as key provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) begin to take effect. The law, which is being rolled out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over several years, could have far-reaching implications for who grows—and doesn’t grow—the food you buy.

When Congress passed FSMA (pronounced FIZZ-muh) in late 2010—President Obama signed it into law during the first days of 2011—supporters touted the law as the most sweeping update of our nation’s food-safety laws in more than 75 years.

But both the law and its implementation are controversial. Many small farmers feared—and still fear—that the new regulations and high costs of complying with the law could squeeze them out of business. As evidence, they point to the giant farms and food producers who supported the law.

Compliance costs are dooming ‘family’ farms. Expenses that would be pocket change for Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland eat up all the profit of small (typically organic) producers, who market their produce locally and don’t run huge centralized beef/pork/poultry factories, which Mark Pollan documents to great effect in The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

The relative compliance costs for small and large farms are stark. As I’ve noted previously, the FDA estimates FSMA will cost America’s small farms about $13,000 each per year and its larger farms about $30,000 per year. That means that for some small farmers, compliance costs could eat more than half of their revenue. For larger farms, compliance costs will amount to less than one percent of revenue.

,,,

Even if FSMA is implemented perfectly, the law won’t make our food supply much safer. That’s according to the FDA’s best-case estimates which, I wrote in 2014, would mean “a paltry reduction in cases of foodborne illness of between 3.7 percent and 5.4 percent.” Again, that’s the best-case scenario. A more likely outcome, I estimated, also using FDA data, is that foodborne illness cases might drop by around 2.6 percent.

Why such little impact? As I detailed in 2015, FDA regulations are only capable of preventing, at most, “only one out of every five cases… of foodborne illness.” That’s because four of every five cases of foodborne illness can be traced to causes that have nothing to do with foods regulated by the FDA.

Joel Salatin, a small organic farmer (500 acres) in Virginia, points out in his fascinating book You Can Farm that compliance with government regulations designed for massive industrial farms is the chief burden preventing farms like his from viability.

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California Space Tax is Out of This World

2nd February 2018

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Last month, Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey introduced legislation to repeal California’s recently enacted tax on space travel. California’s space tax, the first ever created, requires businesses exploring and attempting space travel to pay taxes based on miles traveled through space and the frequency of flight launches.

I hereby christen California ‘Taxifornia’.

If we could get rid of California and Massachusetts, well, that would really make America great again.

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The Wrong Side of Z Street

2nd February 2018

Scott Johnson blows the whistle on the IRS, strong right arm of the Deep State.

If there was a federal agency that Barack Obama did not corrupt, it must be because it was corrupt when he took over in 2009. The corruption of the IRS is a case in point. Its criminal misconduct perfectly represents what Obama wrought in the agencies that he charged with dictating the way we live. Consider the case of Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Z Street.

Z Street is Lori’s pro-Israel group. It had its application for tax-exempt status held up at the IRS for seven years. When Lori asked why, she was told that IRS auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention and that Z Street’s application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review. Not to put too fine a point on the legal issues, this wasn’t kosher. It’s illegal.

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(Mostly) Other People’s Takes on the SOTU

31st January 2018

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Suckin’ on lemons, every day….

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Veteran Blinds Maxine Waters With Patriotism After She Gave Him the Cold Shoulder

31st January 2018

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Though Maxine Waters — who boycotted President Trump’s State of the Union address — declined to give her empty SOTU seat to Ricky Taylor, the Army veteran still got to take attend Tuesday’s address.

The Daily Caller caught up with Taylor, who ended up attending as a guest of Congressman Sean Duffy, in Statuary Hall on the Hill Tuesday night, during which he poured a little more salt in Waters’ wound.

“It’s disrespectful honestly,” Taylor says, “That’s what I really believe. It’s very unpatriotic, regardless of if you like the President or not.”

That’s never stopped them before. The D in Democrat also stands for Disrespect.

Sucking on a lemon since 1991.

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Eight Times Democrats Refused to Stand During Trump’s Address

31st January 2018

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Suckin’ on lemons, every one. Pelosi looks as if she’s got something caught in her teeth.

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SOTU

31st January 2018

Maxine Waters may have boycotted the SOTU speech, but her face was there — every damned one of those Democrats looks as if he or she had been sucking on a lemon for the last 20 years.

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US Air Force Sergeant Removed From Post After Expletive-Filled Facebook Rant About ‘Black Females’

30th January 2018

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Tech Sgt Geraldine Lovely has been “removed from her supervisory role” after the Facebook post went viral over the weekend, officials at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas have said.

The Sergeant is female and apparently white or Hispanic.

“It pisses me the f*** off that they have no respect and constantly have attitude,” Ms Lovely says in the video. “What the f*** is up with that?”

That’s the way they were raised. Good manners have no value in the ‘hood.

The Air Force base said that they will be using the profane video to start a dialogue within their ranks.

Said ‘dialogue’ will be rather one-sided: ‘You WILL shut up about this.’ Been there, heard that.

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California Politician Will Seek Sale Ban on Elon Musk’s Boring Company Flamethrower

30th January 2018

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Saw THAT coming’….

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Dems on Immigration: That Was Then, This Is Now

29th January 2018

Read it. And watch the videos.

Matching what Dems said then and what they say now.

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Democrats and Leftists Will Be Giving at Least Six Separate Responses fo Trump’s State of the Union Address

29th January 2018

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Democrats as Officer Obie: ‘And everybody wanted to get in the newspaper story about it….’

And Trump is going to make them look like full-diaper fools.

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After 24 Years in Congress, Corrine Brown Starts New Life in Prison

29th January 2018

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Perhaps I ought to start a new category, Crooked Black Women Democrats. (Well, ‘Democrat” is probably redundant.)

Worst part of it is, she still gets a handsome pension.

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Get Ready for a Meat Tax Push

25th January 2018

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Yes, here comes the meat tax push–because you know, eating meat to environmentalists and animal rights activists is a terrible sin.

Ever since statists discovered that taxes are a ready (although defective) means of ‘social engineering’, they’ve tried to tax everything they didn’t like — and that’s about everything that you do like, unless you are one of the Anointed.

The proglodyte Hunt for Heretics and Sinners is enshrined in much of our existing tax code. Fortunately, in the Age of Trump, they’re having to work at the state and local level, which means that people can vote with their feet. (And they are.)

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Berkeley Mayor on Wiener-Skinner Housing Bill: ‘A declaration of war against our neighborhoods’

24th January 2018

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New proposed legislation, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener and co-authored by Sen. Nancy Skinner, that would require California cities to allow denser, taller housing developments near transit hubs and bus lines, has ignited controversy in Berkeley and nationally.

With some limitations, SB 827 would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses that can be built within a half-mile of BART and within a quarter-mile of major bus routes, including Muni and AC Transit. It would also block cities from mandating parking requirements.

For those curious as to why it’s impossible to find affordable housing in California.

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The INCREDIBLE SHRINKING of Illinois: High Taxes and Low Economic Freedom Have Led to State Crisis

24th January 2018

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Illinois has been losing population for four years. The state’s outmigration crisis is so bad that Illinois has dropped from the fifth-largest to the sixth-largest state, falling behind Pennsylvania. Since 2010, the Land of Lincoln lost a whopping 640,000 people on net to outmigration. The state is shrinking so rapidly that it’s at risk of losing a House seat.

Illinois ranks near the bottom in terms of economic freedom compared with the rest of the country, according to the Fraser Institute’s recent Economic Freedom of North America, or EFNA, report, released in partnership with the Illinois Policy Institute. This report ranks states based on an index of 10 variables related to government spending, taxes and labor market freedom. Only 12 states were ranked lower. Unsurprisingly, blue states California and New York ranked at the bottom of the economic freedom list.

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Swing State Florida Could Add More Than One Million Felons to Voting Rolls

23rd January 2018

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And how many of them, do you think, would vote Republican?

That tells you everything you need to know about the push to grant felons the vote.

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Apple Spent a Record $7M Last Year Lobbying the Trump Administration

23rd January 2018

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Tim Cook is apparently determined not to make the Microsoft Mistake.

 

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Takes Cronyism to the Next Level With $5 Billion Bid for Amazon Headquarters

22nd January 2018

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Amazon has narrowed the list of places where it might put its second headquarters down to 20. Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, is so excited that Montgomery County made the shortlist that he’s offering Amazon a new $5 billion package of incentives.

“Amazon sent a clear signal that Maryland truly is open for business by selecting Montgomery County as one of an elite group of contenders for this transformative project,” Hogan said today as he unveiled the sycophantically named Promoting ext-Raordinary Innovation in Maryland’s Economy (PRIME) Act.

Not only is Maryland open for business, it appears to be for sale cheap.

Funny how Democrats who spend their working hours castigating rich people as the scum of the earth line up to kiss the butt of the richest one of all. But he’s a Democrat so that’s okay. I’m told that he’s officially a Republican. You can understand my natural mistake.

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Supreme Court Will Decide Whether the Feds Can Control Private Property for an Endangered Frog That Doesn’t Live There

22nd January 2018

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The key issue here, of course, is how much of a Federal power grab by the bureaucracy the Supremes will stomach.

Historical evidence suggests Quite a Bit.

But we’ll see.

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“Get Out of Jail Free” Cards

22nd January 2018

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In the movies, I’ve seen people who try to get out of a traffic ticket by telling the police officer they made a donation to the policeman’s ball, but those were comedies. I had no idea that no only does this exist there are official cards.

Yet another aspect of the city-as-corrupt-enterprise pioneered and refined by Democrat machine politicians.

I’ve always wondered why Republicans don’t publish statistics of the murder rate in jurisdictions run by Democrats versus that in jurisdictions run by Republicans.

UPDATE: NYC Police Union to Limit ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Cards

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Scapegoating in Baltimore

21st January 2018

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You can see the problem immediately. Homicide in Baltimore, as in other cities, is mainly a black-on-black crime. But how are you going to police black areas of the city if, in doing so, you’re accused of discriminating against blacks?

This is made worse by having public officials who rode into office on a wave of identity-politics we-are-oppressed breast-beating, and have no idea how to run a city — and, really, no intent of doing so, as long as they can collect a fat public-employee salary while trashing their critics as racists. (Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have ridden that particular mule to the bank and back for decades.)

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ICE Is Enforcing Deportation Orders Against High-Profile Illegal Immigrant Activists

20th January 2018

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Immigration authorities have detained in recent weeks two prominent activists who are themselves illegal immigrants, demonstrating the Trump administration’s commitment to expand the pool of deportable aliens.

The arrested men have openly lived in the U.S. for years and have until recently enjoyed a de facto immunity from deportation, thanks to their status as high-profile immigrants’ rights activists. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have denied the arrests are politically motivated, but they clearly show that immigration agents are now emboldened to arrest even the most connected of illegal immigrants.

Sounds like progress. If people who are obviously breaking the law act with impunity, it merely encourages others to break the law. It also encourages other public officials to not enforce the law.

Montrevil, who co-founded the New Sanctuary coalition, was taken into custody in early January near his home in Queens, touching off a firestorm of protest. Activists accused ICE of breaking an “understanding” that Montrevil would not be arrested while he appealed his order of removal. Despite the public outcry, ICE deported Montrevil to Haiti on Tuesday.

One down.

The week before Montrevil’s removal, ICE arrested Ravidath Ragbir during his check-in with officials at the ICE office in New York. The executive director of New Sanctuary and the public face of immigration activism in New York City, Ragbir came to the U.S. in 1991 as a legal permanent resident, but he was ordered deported in 2006 following a wire fraud conviction for which he served a two-and-a-half year prison sentence.

Two down. Both obviously deserve deportation.

Ragbir’s wife Amy Gottlieb, an immigration lawyer, has accused the Trump administration of singling out her husband because of his outspoken activism.

And rightly so. Scofflaws ought to be the first targets of genuine law enforcement. The law must not only be enforced but also be seen to be enforced.

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Judges Need to Stop Trying to Annul Trump’s Election

20th January 2018

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At issue is whether Trump can use his executive authority to enforce the law and undo President Barack Obama’s use of his executive authority to skirt the law.

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California Democrats Want Businesses to Give Half Their Tax-Cut Savings to State

20th January 2018

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California lawmakers are targeting the expected windfall that companies in the state would see under the federal tax overhaul with a bill that would require businesses to turn over half to the state.

A proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment by Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would create a tax surcharge on California companies making more than $1 million so that half of their federal tax cut would instead go to programs that benefit low-income and middle-class families.

“Trump’s tax reform plan was nothing more than a middle-class tax increase,” Ting said in a statement. “It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals. This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care, and other core priorities.”

I hereby dub thee Taxifornia.

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A Primer on the “Government Shutdown”

19th January 2018

Steven Hayward of PowerLine yanks back the curtain.

It seems Senate Democrats are determined to have a government shutdown probably because of the default requirement of the Democratic base of “total resistance” to Trump. They are attaching the demand that DACA be “fixed” as a condition to funding the federal government (as OMB director Nick Mulvaney pointed out this morning, Democrats do not oppose any of the funding specifics of the continuing resolution), because they know that if DACA is part of larger immigration deal they lose a lot of leverage. More on that point in a moment.

Democrats are banking on the premise of the media-academic complex that a government shutdown will be blamed on Republicans. The second premise of the media-academic complex is that Republicans are supposed to forever be the Washington Generals to the Democratic Progresstrotters, and roll over for “the side of history.” Trump just might be the kind of person who will call an end to this perverse state of affairs. In addition, Mulvaney suggested this morning that the Trump Administration is prepared to hunker down for a good long while, as many agencies can use holdover funds and “transfer authority” to pay for priority services—something Obama refused to do back in 2013.

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Nancy Pelosi Participating in Drag Show

18th January 2018

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be participating in a drag show as a guest judge for a reality TV series later this year.

This confirms quite a few of my suspicions about Nancy Botox.

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Will News Media Recall Schumer’s 2013 Vow to Not Shutdown Over Immigration?

18th January 2018

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Of course not. That was then, this is TRUMP.

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Metro’s Unsurprising Derailment

18th January 2018

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Washington Metro officials pretended to be shocked when a Red Line train derailed due to a broken rail on Monday. In fact, the break should not and probably didn’t surprise any of them.

“It’s like, God, didn’t we do all of the fixing, the bad areas, SafeTrack?” rambled Metro’s board chair, Jack Evans. “All that stuff was intended to prevent stuff like this from happening.” Actually, Evans knows perfectly well that the SafeTrack work was superficial and the system still needs $15 billion to $25 billion of maintenance and rehabilitation work.

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California’s Boondoggle Bullet Train About to Break the Bank

17th January 2018

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The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

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Immigration and the Deep State

17th January 2018

Steve Sailer explains it all to you.

Last Thursday, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) scheduled a meeting with the president to try to trick him into supporting their politically suicidal immigration bill. To their dismay, however, when they arrived they found that Trump had also invited realist immigration experts such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and the president’s speechwriter Stephen Miller.

In the ensuing debate, Durbin and Graham were demolished. So Durbin, his plot foiled, tried the underhanded ploy of asserting to the press, perhaps inaccurately, that Trump had used the now-notorious vulgarity to characterize Haiti.

Of course, Haiti ranks 163rd on the U.N.’s Human Development Index while Norway ranks first, so, as usual, what drives the establishment most crazy about Trump is his tendency to tell the rough truth.

This situation illustrates quite nicely the Standard Operating Procedure of the D.C. political class. Senators think that if they come to a President with a ‘bipartisan’ deal, he is ipso facto required to support it. A Senator balked in that expectation is totally entitled to act like a spoiled child and have a tantrum in the press. The press are totally entitled to use anything handy to trash a politician that they don’t like or who disagrees with them. Etc.

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Trump and Graham, the End of an Ugly Friendship

17th January 2018

Read it.

Lindsey Graham, the Arlen Specter of the South, has been trying to ingratiate himself with President Trump, his former adversary. By doing so, Graham hopes to achieve his longtime dream of granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

One happy byproduct of the unfortunate “S***thole” controversy is that, in all likelihood, Graham’s friendship with the president is at an end. It’s over not because of that controversy, but because of what led to it. Simply stated, Graham tried to bamboozle Trump.

As Harry Truman once famously said, ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ One of the distinguishing characteristics of politics, not just in America but almost anywhere, is that ‘friends’ of politicians will inevitably try to use that ‘friendship’ to gain some sort of advantage through the proxy use of that politician’s authority. This is a reversion to an earlier cultural type, still nearly universal in the Third World, where someone in power is expected to use that power, not for the general good, but for the particular good of that person’s ‘friends & relations’. One of the most significant aspects of ‘American exceptionalism’ is the weakening of this ancient expectation and its replacement by the expectation that public officials will act for the general good, not just that of their personal affinities.

Democrats, of course, are the primary proponents of preserving the traditional orientation, as any examination of that hoary Democrat institution, the metropolitan political machine, makes clear. This is, I suspect, one reason why the Democratic Party was the usual object of the affection of organized crime — they both have the same approach to the use of political power. (When was the last time you heard of the Mafia trying to steal an election for a Republican?)

Republicans, on the other hand, take their cues from the classical Roman republican tradition, in which the service fo the res publica, the ‘public thing’, was paramount over la cost rostra, ‘our thing’ (sorry for mixing languages). There are recorded instances of Roman fathers having their sons executed for theft and treason, which in any other ancient civilization would be considered insane. The Founding Fathers of the American Republic were, needless to say, thoroughgoing republicans, if not Republicans.

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