URLs du Jour


  • RBG, TERF? The Federalist is one of many sources pointing out the ACLU degenerating at ludicrous speed: ACLU Rewrites Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quote To Erase Women. Specifically:

    Yeah, "fixed." Like my dog was.

    Titania comments:

  • Another sign that the ACLU should change its name. Via Joe Lancaster at Reason: ACLU Thinks the Second Amendment Is a Threat to the First Amendment.

    On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its New York affiliate organization, the NYCLU, jointly announced they had submitted an amicus brief in the upcoming Supreme Court case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, which could determine the future of New York's onerous, barely navigable process of concealed carry licensure. Unfortunately, the organization that refers to itself as "our nation's guardian of liberty" is on the side of this illiberal process.

    In the press release announcing the brief, the ACLU averred that "restrictions on guns in public spaces are appropriate to make public spaces safe for democratic participation, including First Amendment activity such as assembly, association, and speech." In other words, the ACLU has decided that exercising one's Second Amendment rights may run counter to someone else's First Amendment rights, and is favoring the latter over the former. As evidence, the ACLU cites a case from last summer in which a Black Lives Matter rally in Florida was disrupted when a counter-protester—who also happened to be a concealed-carry license-holder—pulled out a handgun and threatened some marchers.

    You can always find excuses for infringing liberty. The ACLU used to be pretty good at debunking such excuses. Now it uses them.

  • "Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!" "Again?" Greg Mankiw quit the Republican Party, but he can spot garbage from either party: A Magic Trick from Biden's Economists.

    A magician tricks his audiences by distracting them. While people focus on something that is attractive but irrelevant (a shiny object, the magician's beautiful assistant in a skimpy outfit), the magician can more easily hide his deception.

    In a new CEA blog post, the Biden economics team does something similar. It asks what the average tax rate of the 400 wealthiest families would be if unrealized capital gains were included in the measure of their income.

    This is a mildly interesting question. But why is the Biden team taking the time from their busy schedules to ask it? Because they want to convince you that the rich aren't paying their fair share in taxes.

    The problem is that this question has little connection to the policies now being discussed. As I understand it, the essence of the plan under consideration is not a tax on the unrealized capital gains of the 400 richest families. Instead, the plan aims to raise the corporate tax rate, which in turn is paid by the many shareholders, workers, and customers of the companies. (Economists debate the relative incidence.) In addition, the plan aims to raise the tax rates applied to the already-taxed income earned by people making more than $400,000 a year. I would guess that this latter group includes about 1.5 million taxpayers. Needless to say, 1.5 million is a much larger number than 400. And the finances of the 400 are in no way representative of the finances of the 1.5 million.

    Don't get distracted by this shiny object.

    One of those posts that I couldn't easily excerpt; that's the whole thing. As a bonus, Prof Mankiw points out that there's pressure to pass that big honking "infrastructure" bill before the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Tax Committee can "score" its economic impact.

    You'd think more people might be concerned about that.

    Also on that legerdemain: good old Kevin D. Williamson, more scornful that Prof Mankiw:

    From the New York Times:

    The White House’s calculation of what the wealthiest pay in taxes is well below what other analyses have found. The difference comes from the White House officials’ decision to count the rising value of wealthy Americans’ stock portfolios — which is not taxed on an annual basis — as income. It finds that between 2010 and 2018, those top 400 households, when including the rising value of their wealth, earned a combined $1.8 trillion and paid an estimated $149 billion in federal individual income taxes.

    Which is to say: Rich people have more income if we take a lot of stuff that isn’t income and call it income.

    Democrats are embarrassed by the actual numbers, because those numbers show that high-income households already pay federal income taxes that are far disproportionate to their share of income.

    It's a pretty dishonest tactic, although granted an air of MSM "respectability" it doesn't deserve.

  • Gosh, it's almost as if Biden said: "Just let me get away with cheap rhetoric, you work out the details." Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt has some good questions about the workplace vax mandate Biden announced a couple weeks back:

    There’s another aspect of the Biden administration’s pandemic response that is a mysterious “black box.” On September 9 President Biden announced a directive to the Labor Department to develop a temporary emergency rule for businesses with 100 or more employees that would require workers to be fully vaccinated or be tested at least once a week. Biden declared that, “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

    And yet, two weeks later, OSHA has not yet issued the regulations. Almost immediately, businesses had a lot of questions about how this new mandate was going to work. What is considered documentation for proof of vaccination and how will booster vaccinations be factored into compliance? Must an employee be “fully vaccinated” in order to work? How will the requirements address natural immunity? Will individuals that have contracted COVID-19 be required to be vaccinated or submit to testing requirements? Will the requirements only apply to vaccines that are fully approved by the FDA? (The other day in my local pharmacy, a guy said he had gotten one shot of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in the United Kingdom and wanted to know whether Pfizer or Moderna was compatible with it.) What are the consequences of falsifying one’s vaccination status and does responsibility rest with the individual or employer? If an employee takes a COVID-19 test but the results are not yet available, is the employee allowed to continue to work pending the results? Should employees choose not to vaccinate, is the company or employee responsible for securing and paying for testing? Will paid time off be required for weekly tests?

    As of this [yesterday] morning, no one has any answers to these questions, leaving us to wonder if the Biden administration wanted the announcement of the policy more than the policy itself. Or maybe this administration just doesn’t have much follow-through on its announcements.

    Why it's almost as if this idea was poorly thought out!

    Kind of a habit with Biden. Ask the Afghans.

  • 75% of the joke is in the headline. From the Babylon Bee: Oh No! Girl James Bond Is Foiled When Villain Places Details Of His Evil Plans In Pickle Jar.

    “So, Silverfoot, do you expect me to talk?” asked Jane Bond while she was strapped to a table with a laser inching toward her to cut her in two. “No, you’re always talking,” Silverfoot replied. “I just want you to shut up for once.”

    “Too bad! We’re talking!”

    Yes, I laughed. I'm a bad person.