Category Archives: Politics

Rule Five Taxation is Theft Friday

A Wealth of Bad Ideas

It’s no surprise to anyone that has been paying attention that Democrat Presidential candidate Spreading Bull Warren is proposing a wealth tax to pay for her massive spending proposals, not least of which is “Medicare for All.”  While her proposals suck for a number of reasons, this one is perhaps one of the worst.  Let’s look at the reasons why.

Practical Reasons

Let’s forget legal aspects for a moment and look at the practical aspects of this proposal to confiscate the wealth of successful Americans by force.

By her own words, she claims that her proposal would only affect either “billionaires” or “the top 1%,” depending on which day you listen to her.  But these people are the same people who are best equipped, best prepared and most able to evade just such a tax; the inevitable result of this plan would yield only a massive capital flight from our shores, and a resulting catastrophic crash of our financial markets.  Less wealthy Americans, less able to flee the new taxation scheme, would see their retirement accounts evaporate.  Businesses would suffer; layoffs and business closings would follow.

And bear in mind that her proposal isn’t a one time thing.  It would tax the assets of every American that meets the criteria, every year.  And her claim of 2%?  Well, that’s how the income tax started, too.  How long do you suppose the wealth tax would stay at 2%?

At best, we could expect a prolonged recession that would make the 2008-2009 “Great Recession” look like a blip.  At worst, we could see a prolonged Depression, quite possibly worse than the 1928-1938 Depression, very likely the worst downturn in our nation’s history.

But there are stronger arguments against Princess Spreading Bull’s plan, and those are found in the Constitution.

Constitutional Reasons

Article One, Section Nine of the U.S. Constitution, Limits on Congress, contains the following unambiguous statement:

No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

What does this mean?  Simply this:  Congress can levy no direct tax unless that tax is levied in proportion to the population of the several States.  In other words, if California contains 12% of the nation’s population, then California must supply 12% of any direct tax.  If Alaska contains 2%, then the residents of Alaska are only responsible for 2% of the total.  Now it’s pretty apparent to anyone who’s been paying attention that a few states, like New York and California, contain a proportion of wealth far higher than their percentage of the nation’s total population; other states, like Alaska and Arkansas, rather less so.

In order to levy the existing income tax, the Sixteenth Amendment was passed:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Note that final clause; a specific exemption was stated to allow the current income tax to be collected without regard to “…any census or enumeration.”

Liawatha Warren’s wealth tax, in which she proposes to confiscate the wealth of many successful Americans, a tax which would wreck our economy and lay a heavy levy on wealth generated with post tax dollars – thus representing double taxation – would require a Constitutional amendment, one which has rather less chances of ratification than would an amendment denying the vote to all persons with red hair and blue eyes.

In Conclusion…

Liawatha Warren is perhaps one of the most dangerous politicians to ever seek the office of the President.  Her proposals would destroy the Constitution, would result in economic ruin, and would drive wealth out of the country.  Fortunately, while she seems to be in a good position to gain the Democratic nomination, her odds thereafter are not good; if for no other reason, her Medicare-for-All plan would strip the generous,  union-negotiated health care plans of millions of blue-collar and middle-class Americans.  If the Democrats lose the labor unions, they lose the election, and this plan guarantees that loss.  Add to that the fact that her proposals would prove wildly unpopular to all Americans other than the far left, and her nomination is little more than a gift to the Trump re-election campaign.

But still, it’s important to examine her policy plans, and spread the word on why and how they would result in disaster.  Let’s hope most Americans are paying attention.

Animal’s Daily 1984 News

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has put together a piece on the upcoming 2020 election.  Go read it all.  Excerpt:

When Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a number of Democratic presidential candidates sympathize with the New York subway jumpers who openly threaten the police, then what or who exactly is the alternative to such chaos?

When the media proves 90 percent partisan according to its own liberal watchdog institutions, or reports things as true that cannot be true but “should” be true, what are the forces behind that?

When the violence of Antifa is quietly—or sometimes loudly—condoned, who are those who empower it and excuse it?

If a late-term abortion results in a live baby exiting the birth canal only to be liquidated, who exactly would say that is amoral?

If the leading Democratic presidential candidates openly embrace the Green New Deal, reparations, abolishing the Electoral College, welfare for illegal aliens, open borders, amnesties, wealth taxes, a 70-90 percent income tax code, Medicare for all, and legal infanticide—what is the alternative vision and who stands between all that and a targeted traditional America?

In California, the nation’s largest utility preemptively shuts off power to multibillion-dollar industries and two-million customers, given its ossified grid and over-regulated operations, and the deliberate policy of the state not to clean up drought-stricken dead forests and underbrush that are ignited by wind and antiquated transmission cables. So, who or what then in 2020 would oppose all that?

Well, for 2020, I think we already know the answer.  My official prediction is that President Trump will easily survive the attempt to remove him from office, and barring any major economic or political calamity, he’ll be re-elected next year.  And no, nothing the Dems have come up with yet comprises a major political calamity.

But for 2024 and after?

I know I harp on this theme a lot, but the big-government ratchet only turns one way.  We can’t regain freedoms lost or liberties infringed, except – maybe – by violence.  And violence, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, won’t result in a glorious restoration of the Republic.  It will just result in the end of our Republic.

Dr. Hanson concludes:  One side advocates a complete transformation not just of the American present but of the past as well. The Left is quite eager to change our very vocabulary and monitor our private behavior to ensure we are not just guilty of incorrect behavior but thought as well.

The other side believes America is far better than the alternative, that it never had to be perfect to be good, and that, all and all, its flawed past is a story of a moral nation’s constant struggle for moral improvement.

One side will say, “Just give us more power and we will create heaven on earth.” The other says “Why would anyone wish to take their road to an Orwellian nightmare?” The 2020 election is that simple.

And so will the 2024 election be that simple.  And the 2028 election.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Now, on to the links!

Monday, of course, was Veteran’s Day.  Have a listen to a great piece commemorating that day from one of my follow Glibertarians.

Want to know how to spot a psychopath?  Well, you could look at Congress.

The President of the University of Virginia is an idiot.

This Popeyes worker is an idiot.

At least half of the university students in the UK are idiots.

The next big tech thing may be smart glasses.  I figure I’ll just keep my old dumb glasses.

Things in Hong Kong are quickly going from bad to worse.

Heh heh heh.

Autophagia on the Left.

Yesterday, we talked about the Imperial judiciary, but it seems at least Justice Gorsuch is framing well at the task.  So far.

A homeless man bum in Los Angeles dumped a bucket of “hot diarrhea” over a woman’s head.  That’s as opposed to the hot diarrhea coming out of Congress.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is concerned about something she doesn’t understand.  Again.

Double-Secret Impeachment.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex once again opens her mouth, removes all doubt.

This asshole deserved at least twice the sentence he got.

In the nation’s capital, the school system is an abject, total failure.

And on that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Federal Judiciary News

I’ve had my issues from time to time with Mitch McConnell, but man is he ramming new judge appointments through the Senate.  Excerpt:

McConnell and Trump have already overseen the confirmation of more than 150 judges — a whopping 40 more than former President Barack Obama had confirmed at a similar point in his tenure.

McConnell got a standing ovation Wednesday at a White House celebration Trump held to mark the achievement, and they’re celebrating on the campaign trail, too. “So President Obama left Mitch and me and Rand [Paul] and all of us, he left 142 openings for judges,” Trump said to cheers at a Monday rally in McConnell’s home state, Kentucky. “You are not supposed to allow any. You don’t do that.”

Rest assured McConnell and Trump have no plans to do that. So while Democrats are obsessing over impeachment, and government funding remains at an impasse over funding for Trump’s border wall, McConnell is going to stick to his knitting and steamroll Democrats with another wave of judicial confirmations.

“The Senate will continue its work in the personnel business and confirm more of the president’s outstanding nominees to the federal judiciary,” McConnell said on the Senate floor this week. “Since our Democratic colleagues chose last week to filibuster defense funding and block the Senate from even considering legislation to fund our armed forces, we’ll turn our focus to confirmations while we wait for progress from them on appropriations.”

In other words, Senator McConnell knows how this game is played, and he’s damn well playing it.

Of course, President Trump’s judicial nominees are an order of magnitude less horrible than Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I’s picks would have been.  And given the fact that here in America these days the process seems to be to legislate through the courts, getting a bunch of Federal judges who are at least on nodding terms with the Constitution would be a good thing.

But you’ll forgive me if I’m a little skeptical.

Government, as George Washington pointed out, is like fire, a fearful servant and a dreadful master.  Having power over others is addictive.  Judges are prone to that no less than any other official.  So, I guess, maybe “less horrible” is the best we can hope for.

Let’s see what less horrible gets us.

Rule Five Civil War Friday

The American Conservative’s Michael Vlahos, earlier this week, had some interesting thoughts on the possibility of a second Civil War.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

A Georgetown Institute poll finds that two-thirds of us believe we are edging closer “to the brink of a civil war.” Yet Americans cannot properly analyze this “gathering storm.” We lack a framework, a lexicon, and the historical data (from other civil wars) to see clearly what is happening to us.

Here is a quick template for how we might more usefully decipher how this nation gets to another civil war. It is arranged as a short series of questions: 1) What is civil war? 2) Why do political-constitutional orders sometimes breakdown, rather than simply transform in response to change? 3) How is violence essential to constitutional and political resolution? 4) How close is the U.S. to such a break down, and its consequences?

My thoughts:  1) A civil war is two factions fighting for control of one nation; and yes, I’m aware that what we call the Civil War, wasn’t.  2) I think it’s likely inevitable, when you have two factions (we call them parties) competing for control, that eventually friction will build to the point of open hostility.  3) I don’t know that it’s essential, but Thomas Jefferson thought so.  4) I suspect something bad will happen in the next 50 years.

Now, the article on these four points; I’ll just give you a few words and let you read the rest:

What is civil war? 

Civil war is, at root, a contest over legitimacy. Legitimacy—literally the right to make law — is shorthand for the consent of the citizens and political parties to abide by the authority of a constitutional order. Civil war begins when this larger political compact breaks down. 

Why do some constitutional orders breakdown rather than transform?

Our political stability has depended on the tenure of periodic “party systems.” Legitimacy flows from the give and take of a two-party relationship. American party systems have had dominant parties or states.

How is violence essential to constitutional and political resolution?

Violence is the magical substance of civil war. If, by definition, political groups in opposition have also abandoned the legitimacy of the old order, then a successor constitutional order with working politics cannot be birthed without violence. Hence violence is the only force that can bring about a new order. This is why all memorable civil wars, and all parties, enthusiastically embrace violence.

How close is the U.S. to such a breakdown—and its consequences?

American constitutional order has not broken down, yet. Constitutional legitimacy still rules. Recent tests of legitimacy confirm this. A presidential impeachment in the 1990s did not lead to conviction in a trial, nor did anyone expect it to. The Supreme Court decided a contested presidential election in 2000, and the decision was everywhere accepted. 2016, in contrast, was bitterly accepted. Yet even the relentless force to depose the president that followed, through a special prosecutor, was spent by the spring of 2019. 

Yet if these are tests of robust legitimacy they are hardly reassuring.  A daily torrent of unfiltered evidence suggests that our constitutional order is fissuring before our eyes. That we have skirted constitutional crisis for the past quarter century is no reassurance, but rather an alarm of continuing erosion. Each new test is yet more bitterly contested, and still less resolved.

So, not too different than my preliminary thoughts.  But here’s the part that I find worrisome:

The issue here is not “What if?” but rather, “What then?” It is not about the authenticity of conflict scenarios, but rather about how contingencies we cannot now predict might bring us to a breaking point, and the breakdown of legitimacy.

Already, warring sides have hardened their hearts so that they will do almost anything in order to prevail. The great irony is that their mutual drive to win—either to preserve their way of life, or make their way of life the law of the land—means that the battle has already become a perverse alliance. Today they refuse to work together in the rusting carapace of old constitutional order. Yet nonetheless they work shoulder-to-shoulder, together, to overthrow it. For both sides, the old order is the major obstacle to victory. Hence victory is through overthrow. Only when constitutional obstacles are toppled can the battle for light and truth begin.

Here’s where I part ways with Mr. Vlahos.  I don’t see any “battle for light and truth” resulting from such a conflict.  I can see only the end of my country, the end of a nation that has been a beacon of freedom.  Some kind of tyranny or dictatorship will be the likely result; either that, or utter anarchy.  The best we can hope for is a balkanization, with several smaller countries arising where a superpower once stood.  This will result in a global power vacuum – and who will step into the void?  Russia?  Not likely; they are a dying giant.  China, perhaps?

Any civil war will be fought among us, in the fields, the streets, on the highways and in the neighborhoods of our country.  It will be brutal and deadly, and it will be the end of the United States.  Some folks on the right and on the left seem to think it would be a rebirth; it won’t.  It will be a death.  The death of our nation, and the death of a world of peace and order.

Animal’s Daily Rights or No Rights News

Before we start, check out my 2019 Hunt Report (abbreviated) over at Glibertarians.

Can something be a “right” if one person’s exercising of that right forces another person to surrender some of their property to pay for it?  I say no, and so does our good friend Jillian Becker.  Excerpt:

There cannot be a “right” for one person that puts an obligation on another person.

There cannot be a “right” for everyone that puts an obligation on some people.

A “right” to health care imposes an obligation on medical practitioners.

Yet the Democratic candidates for the November 2020 presidential election believe that medical treatment is a “human right”.

That old Communist from way back, Bernie Sanders – elected to the Senate as an Independent but running for the presidency as a Democrat – explicitly insists that it is.

Dr. Kevin Pham writes at the Daily Signal:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was recently on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show to discuss … his vision for health care in America.

He calls his plan “Medicare for All”.

In one interesting statement, Sanders described the rollout of his plan: “I want to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses, and then what I want to do is lower the eligibility age the first year from 65 down to 55, then to 45, then to 35, then we cover everybody.”

Cover? Covered by insurance? No. “Free” health care for all would not be paid for through a system of insurance. It would be paid for through taxes. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, all health care workers would be employees of the government.

The plan, Dr. Pham points out, is more accurately called “Medicaid for All”.

I call it horseshit.

Just yesterday afternoon, on my commute from the work site back to my temporary New Jersey lodgings, I heard Princess Spreading Bull Warren repeating her claim that the middle class wouldn’t be taxed to pay for her statist horseshit.  What’s more, she claimed “only billionaires” would pay more.

What unmitigated bullshit.

Ms. Becker concludes:

Under Bernie Sanders’s scheme (and Elizabeth Warren’s vague and colossally expensive plan), there would no private insurance and “the whole system would crumble”.

Providers who participate in Medicaid must accept the government-mandated prices for services and deal with oftentimes long delays in receiving reimbursement that is below the cost of practice. 

Study hard for years at great expense only to earn a pittance? (Oh, I nearly forgot – higher education will also be “free” in that it will be paid for by taxation. Your pathetic little income will be taxed at so high a rate that you’ll be left with nothing but a little pocket-money.)

You would have to be a fanatical philanthropist, or even a masochist, to enter the medical profession under such conditions.

Amen and amen.

Were I to handicap the Dem’s nominees right now, I’d have to say Liawatha is the one who seems to be gaining some traction.  And that’s a good thing, because given her math-challenged moonbattery, she’s a walking talking gift to the Trump re-election campaign.

All the Democrats had to do to win in 2020 was to not be crazy.  They’ve failed.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, The Other McCain and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Colorado’s roads are in notoriously bad shape.  Now one might blame that on a lack of revenues, which is horseshit; one might blame it on climate change which is laughable; one might also blame it on incompetent leadership put in place due to corruption, in which case you’d be right in the ten ring.  Excerpt:

In December 2018, Governor Jared Polis appointed 35-year-old Shoshana Lew as his new Executive Director, a history major at Harvard University with an M.A. in American History from Northwestern. She replaced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of 56-year-old Michael Lewis, an engineer with extensive public construction management experience. Lew’s appointment was a shock to CDOT employees.

Lew’s primary qualification, according to insiders, was her close relationship to Michelle Obama who called the newly elected governor for a favor — find a job for Shoshana Lew. Lew is the daughter of President Obama’s Chief of Staff and later Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew. Ms. Lew is considered by some as an example of how the rich and well connected can use their positions to secure favored treatment in and outside of government.

While originally intending to get a doctorate in history and become a history professor, she instead joined the Washington based liberal Brookings Institute as a policy analyst. Almost magically, although in her 20s with no experience, she entered the Obama administration and soon became a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and policy adviser at the White House Domestic Policy Council. With no financial background whatsoever, she next was appointed Chief Financial Officer of U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as well as garnering other impressive titles.

As the Obama administration began winding down, she parlayed her position as CFO of USDOT to become the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) in the spring of 2017. After a controversial reign as COO for RIDOT of just over one year she was appointed Executive Director of CDOT in December 2018 by Governor Polis — a job, according to CDOT employees, she was wholly ill prepared for. CDOT employs over 3,300 people and has an annual budget in excess of $4.5 billion.

So, in other words, Governor Polis has appointed an inexperienced, unqualified political crony of Michelle Obama to oversee Colorado’s collapsing road network.

No wonder potholes are going unrepaired.

For some years now, Colorado – a place where I have lived for thirty years, a state I love for many reasons – has been following in California’s footsteps.  This bit of abject cronyism, Governor Polis appointing a wholly unqualified, incompetent political crony of a national figure who has never held elected or appointed office herself, is just a recent, egregious example.

So what recourse do sensible Colorado voters have?  That’s unclear.  There’s a “Recall Polis” petition going around, but honestly, it probably won’t amount to anything.  Sensible voters in the outer suburbs, the Eastern Plains, the Western Slope and other places will not now be able to overcome the Californicated Denver-Boulder Axis that now runs that state.

It’s sad, but Colorado is no longer a free state.  And we should note that the appointment of incompetent political cronies is a symptom, not a cause.

Rule Five Income Inequality Friday

Denver’s own Mike Rosen weighs in on income inequality, and as usual, he nails it.  Excerpt:

In a political auction for seductive but unachievable outcomes at someone else’s expense, socialist and progressive politicians unconstrained by economic reality can always outbid conservatives. Bernie Sanders’ utopian ravings and Elizabeth Warren’s cornucopia of extravagant “plans” magically funded by a new tax on “wealth” (on top of sharp increases in taxes on income) is this election season’s theme.

Their rallying cry is the evil of “income inequality.” But income inequality is not evil, it’s unavoidable and an essential element of a market economy and a free society. As historian Will Durant observed: “The concentration of wealth is a natural and inevitable result of the concentration of abilities in a minority of men and regularly recurs in history.” In microcosm, an obvious example is the disparity in income between a relative handful of elite professional athletes, rock stars, actors and captains of industry compared to those of average ability in their respective fields.

Durant added, “Despotism may for a time retard the concentration; democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it.” Throughout history, he noted, societies have dealt with income inequality through, “legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.” Alexis de Tocqueville, writing in Democracy in America in the 1830s, cautioned that democracy could be taken too far, “that there exists in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality in freedom.”

Take a good close look at that last line.

It’s been said that capitalism is the equal distribution of opportunity, while socialism is the equal distribution of misery.  Places like the former Soviet Union and present-day Venezuela illustrate that very plainly, although too many Americans aren’t paying attention.

But here’s the thing:  No two things in the world are equal – not a leaf, nor a tree.  Nothing and nobody.  There will always be differences in people, in talents, in abilities, in intelligence, in motivation, in circumstances.  That’s inevitable.

Whenever you hear someone decry income inequality or wealth inequality, remember this one fundamental fact:  They are proposing to satisfy someone’s envy by confiscating someone else’s property by force.  Were any private citizen or private company to do that, it would be robbery.  When the Imperial government (or any level of government) does it, it’s “taxation.”

And worst of all, the entire argument is based on a series of fallacies.  As Mike Rosen points out:

Incidentally, the influx of millions of legal and illegal immigrants from Latin America who took low paying jobs over these years had the effect of bringing down the national income average somewhat. Ironically, those same immigrants greatly improved their own standard of living from what it was in their native countries.

Income inequality is also skewed by official statistics that typically omit non-wage compensation like employer-provided health insurance and deferred compensation in the form of generous defined benefit pension plans for government employees. On top of that, the income of the rich is exaggerated by using their pre-tax earnings. This ignores the fact that the top one percent pays almost 40% of the total federal individual income tax burden all by themselves, while the bottom 50% pays only 3% of it.

Compounding the distortion, cash transfers and the value of government services and subsidies obtained by recipients amounting to trillions of dollars at the federal and state levels are simply ignored. It’s as if those taxes paid by the rich and the means-tested benefits given to those with lower incomes don’t exist.

Here’s the thing:  Income and wealth inequality just don’t matter – not today, not in the United States.   The poorest people in America today are inconceivably wealthy compared to the overwhelming majority of people that have ever lived on the planet; the poorest people in America today are in the top 10% of people on the planet.  There is no abject poverty in the U.S., only relative poverty, and the entire RHEEEEEE about inequality has only one goal for pols that engage in it – buying votes by peddling envy and promising Free Shit.

Mr. Rosen concludes:

As a matter of democratic political necessity, and in the name of “social justice” or public charity, government greatly mitigates income inequality in this country. Of equal importance is the reality that excessive taxation and redistribution of income and wealth can destroy a society economically. This is beyond Bernie’s and Lizzie’s comprehension ─ or concern.

I can add nothing to that.

Animal’s Daily Hate Speech News

Spooky!

This seems appropriate for Halloween:  Why American Needs a Hate Speech Law.  Let me preface this by saying to the author, “Fuck off,” in advance.  Excerpts, with my comments:

When I was a journalist, I loved Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s assertion that the Constitution and the First Amendment are not just about protecting “free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier. Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?

Because, you ignorant savage, that’s what liberty means.  It means you have to let the Ku Klux Klan have parades.  It means you have to let Louis Farrakhan spout off about Jews.  It means you have to let people place crucifixes in jars of urine, and yes, it means you have to let people burn Korans.  Free speech applies to all speech (not actions) or it applies to no speech.

My reply to this “sophisticated Arab diplomat” would be to ask how he deals with gay people or Christians in his country.  “How many gays were tossed off rooftops in your country in the last year?”  Seriously, why would you take anyone from that part of the world seriously when discussing fundamental freedoms?

All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting “thought that we hate,” but not speech that incites hate. It undermines the very values of a fair marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect.

I see – we have to destroy the village in order to save it.

Well, to that I can only say “Fuck off, slaver.”

Forget the term “hate speech.”  It’s a canard.  What this asshole and others like him are seeking to prohibit isn’t speech; it’s thought.  Wrongthink is the crime proposed, and the crime itself will involve no more than offending someone’s sensibilities; this will leave you at the mercy of the most hypersensitive, most prickly, most easily offended group extant.

Yes, I’m looking at you, “sophisticated Arab diplomat.”  Fuck you and the horse you rode in on; I’ll speak as I please, and if I want to burn a Koran – or a Bible, or a flag, or the Book of Mormon, or the New York Times – then I damn well will.

Animal’s Hump Day News

It’s on to the links!

Salon writer Cody Cain is an idiot.

More than a third of millennials are idiots.

Max Boot is an idiot.  I know, that last one is low-hanging fruit, but still…

Strike a pose to look more attractive to the opposite sex.  Or, you know, whatever sex strikes your fancy, I guess.

Have a problem with rats?  Get some monkeys.

The Celts thought everyone should have wine.  I prefer beer, myself, but I can go along with the sentiment.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

California proposes to crack down on freelancers.  A stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idea.  Add it to a long list of stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid ideas coming up in California these days.

The President has an idea for reducing criminal misuse of guns.  It makes some sense, so of course it won’t go anywhere in Congress.

In California, you can have unburned property, or you can have electricity.  Pick one.

In Colorado, we have mail-in ballots, which are starting to be returned.  So far Republicans and older voters are returning ballots at higher levels than Democrats and younger voters – all of which doesn’t mean much in our increasingly-blue state.  Still, it is an off year…

Turns out that Congress has several options for financing Medicare for all.  Here they are:

  • A 32 percent payroll tax
  • A 25 percent income surtax
  • A 42 percent value-added tax (VAT)
  • A mandatory public premium averaging $7,500 per capita – the equivalent of $12,000 per individual not otherwise on public insurance
  • More than doubling all individual and corporate income tax rates
  • An 80 percent reduction in non-health federal spending
  • A 108 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase in the national debt
  • Impossibly high taxes on high earners, corporations, and the financial sector
  • A combination of approaches

To all of those I can only say three things:

  • Hell no
  • Fuck off, slavers
  • Taxation is theft!

On that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.