URLs du Jour

2017-11-21

Proverbs 18:5 belabors the obvious.

5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
    and so deprive the innocent of justice.

So if you notice people being partial to the wicked, depriving the innocent of justice, be sure to tell them: "That's not good."


■ In the [possibly paywalled] WSJ, Adam O’Neal asks the tough question: What Will Tax Reform Do for Puppies?

As tax reform snakes its way through the legislative process, it’s becoming clear that one critical group could come out behind: dog families. This inequity must be remedied. I suggest Republicans cancel their proposed Child Tax Credit expansion and instead offer a fully refundable Canine Tax Credit worth at least $500 a dog.

Congress is preparing to maybe even double the Child Tax Credit. But what about couples who opted for dogs instead of children? Or those who are preparing for parenthood by taking on a cuddly critter for a couple of years? It’s as if the Child Tax Credit’s biggest boosters are stuck in 1997, when Congress first approved the handout.

O'Neal efficiently skewers the mindset of social engineers who use the tax code to clumsily reward taxpayers for their allegedly socially beneficial behavior (assuming they have their papers in order).


■ For example of the above, peruse the Reason post from Christian "Only Two Vowels in My Surname" Britschgi: Tax Reform Fight Shows Why Subsidies Never Die.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by the House last week, promised to save about $12.3 billion over the next decade by scaling back a "production tax credit" mostly used by wind energy producers. It was a tepid but welcome change to a program that has far outlived whatever usefulness it might have had. Sadly, even this marginal reform seems to be too much for Senate Republicans, who have left the credit untouched in their version of the bill.

Main obstacle to getting rid of this boondoggle is Iowa Republican Senator Grassley. I was in Iowa this summer, and there sure were a lot of windmills dotting the countryside, slicing up the birdies, and also your tax dollars.


■ Another article from dead-trees Reason contains news you can use, if you are a US teen, or know one who needs legal guidance: Sex, Jobs, and Smoking: What's Legal for Teens in Your State? Example:

In New Hampshire, girls can get married at 13; boys can get married at 14; and neither can consent to sex until 16 unless legally married.

So there you go.


■ I was inordinately amused by this tweet from Christopher J. Scalia:

If you don't get it, this explanation will probably ruin the joke, but here goes:

  1. That's Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett on the right, who was recently nominated to the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals.

  2. Maybe you recall Senator Dianne Feinstein's infamous comments during confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the 7th Court of Appeals. Noting Barrett's staunch Catholicism (aieee!), Feinstein complained that "the [Catholic] dogma lives loudly within you".

  3. And during Willett's confirmation hearings, this April 2015 tweet became an issue:

    … attacked by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy for being insufficiently respectful to Obergefell, the SC's gay-marriage decision. Which didn't occur until June 2015.

So… apologies for the joke explainer. But now it's funny, right?