URLs du Jour

2021-11-03

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  • Do unto others. Kyle Smith thinks we should Give Alec Baldwin a Break

    Baldwin and I don’t agree on much in the political realm, but I’d be ashamed of myself if I took any joy in his plight or made jokes about it. Which brings up a larger issue: our increasing inability to see our neighbors on the other side of the political divide as human beings. The growing self-segregation by political disposition is having some of the same effects that racial segregation once did; it becomes temptingly easy to ascribe character flaws to a group of people you avoid and don’t really know. When you keep an out-group at arm’s length long enough, it’s easy to stereotype its members: “They’re all like that.” “Serves ’em right, they get what they deserve.” “They wouldn’t break a sweat defending me if the situation were reversed.”

    Many on the left had themselves a grand old time mocking Dick Cheney when he accidentally shot a friend on a hunting trip. Dana Milbank, who was then ostensibly a nonpartisan reporter for the Washington Post, thought it was so hilarious that a 78-year-old man was hit by shotgun fire and suffered a heart attack and a collapsed lung that he appeared on MSNBC in a ridiculous Elmer Fudd costume.

    Agreed. I'm not much of a Christian, but here's what I'm pretty sure the Golden Rule does not say: "Do unto others as the worst "others" would do to you if they had the chance."


  • And 'fair share' means 'more'. Gerard Baker details an entry in the Alinsky Dictionary: For Privileged Progressives, ‘We’ Means ‘You’

    If there’s a defining feature of modern progressives’ self-image, it’s the idea that—by dint of their supposedly superior education, their association with like-minded members of global elites and their immersion in the various rites of the contemporary secular religion—they are more knowledgeable and virtuous than you, the inferior classes.

    Democratic leaders, and the academic, corporate and media people who sustain them, nurture their luxury beliefs, comfortable in the conviction of their own moral supremacy.

    We shouldn’t be surprised. There’s been a social revolution in this country and the wider West in the past 50 years in which, by a remarkable inversion, the left—which used to represent the interests of the outsiders, the disadvantaged—is in almost total control of the institutions of the establishment.

    They are the masters now. And like masters through most of history—from tribal chiefs to Roman patricians, absolutist monarchs and totalitarian tyrants—their superiority is such that the rules they make don’t apply to them. They apply only to you, the unenlightened.

    Baker provides examples, including President Wheezy's '85-car motorcade' in Rome to chat with the Pope about climate change.


  • But 'fair share' sometimes means 'less'. Eric Boehm notes the latest Democratic spaghetti-throwing: A Tax Break for the Rich Could End up Being the Largest Part of the 'Build Back Better' Plan

    President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan was pitched as a once-in-a-generation rebalancing of America's socioeconomic scales. Democrats were going to "Tax The Rich" and use the proceeds to fund a massive expansion of government benefits for everyone else.

    Now, the package appears likely to deliver an overall tax cut for America's wealthiest citizens.

    In large part, that's because Democrats now plan to fully repeal a cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. The cap, imposed as part of the 2017 federal tax reform law, allows Americans to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local tax payments from their federal taxes. That cap is high enough that it covers the vast majority of Americans, but the changes made in 2017 meant that wealthy Americans could no longer take advantage of a sort of backdoor subsidy that eased the burden of living in a high-tax state or locality.

    It's difficult to imagine this increasingly shambolic legislation will make it to the finish line. "Moderate" Democrats should be nervous (given yesterday's election results). And "progressive" Democrats (if they believe their own rhetoric) should be outraged at the SALT stuff. It would be nice to see everything crash and burn, but I'm not getting my hopes up.


  • I might have gone with 'poop' there. James Lileks writes today's Bleat from a Minneapolis that soundly defeated a "defund the police" referendum. So he won't be moving to Edina. Yet. And I liked this:

    I voted in person on the day of election, as God and George Washington intended, and afterwards was invited to take a sticker that said I VOTED! I declined, because they always seem a tad precious. Yeah that’s great but for what and for whom? Being proud of voting is like wearing a sticker that said I DID NOT DEFECATE ON A PUBLIC SIDEWALK, which is also something you shouldn’t get applause for proclaiming. It’s the bare minimum.

    Tempted to flaunt your civic virtue? Resist.