Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Reason for ‘Right Flight’

The U.S. and Texas state flags are displayed at Murchison Rogers Park in El Paso, Texas, on June 24, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

The Reason for ‘Right Flight’


There’s a great migration underway to red America from blue America, to Republican-controlled states such as Texas and Florida from Democratic-controlled states such as New York and California. I should know. I lived from 2000 to 2017 in Southern California, before leaving the state for Texas, where I live now.

I’m part of a larger movement that we could call “right flight,” the flight to right-leaning states from left-leaning ones.

Sure, I moved partly because I married a Texan, or perhaps I should say a Venezuelan who has spent her entire adult life in Texas. But she could have come my way to San Diego; instead, I chose to go her way to the Houston area. Many factors were involved, but let’s just say, I don’t mind my state income tax rate going to zero from around 10 percent.

My film company is still based in California, at least for now, and we have two members of our small team who still live there. Interestingly, one is in the process of moving his family to Florida, and I just heard the other guy has been checking out real estate in the Southwest. He says he’s “just looking,” but just looking is often the gateway to relocating. I predict that he’ll be calling a moving company soon.

Now, one explanation of what’s going on is that Americans are self-segregating as part of a great divide that has opened up between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. I’m tempted to say that we’re moving toward the sort of ideological chasm that defined the period leading up to the Civil War. But then, I realize that, in many respects, America today is more divided than it was in 1860.

In 1860, only one issue divided America: the issue of slavery. This is a point made by Abraham Lincoln, on the eve of the Civil War, writing to his former Whig colleague Alexander Stephens, who became the vice president of the Confederacy. Essentially, Lincoln said that the secessionists believed slavery to be right, and wanted to see it expand, while the unionists believed slavery to be wrong, and wanted to see it contract. But this, Lincoln emphasized, was the only major difference between the two camps.

Today, by contrast, there’s so much that divides conservative Republicans from left-wing Democrats that it’s hard to think of a single issue that they agree on. Moreover, the two sides don’t even like each other very much. Each seeks to demonize the other, to get away from the other. Moreover, Democrats seem unwilling to live and let live; they seem intent on forcing their values on the rest of the country, through ideological indoctrination in schools, through imposed federal mandates, and through censorship enforced across digital platforms.

This process of ideological separation—let’s call it a secession within America—has been occurring for a couple of decades now. Initially, people sorted themselves within states, and so there were “red” pockets such as Orange County and the Central Valley in blue California, just as there are “blue” pockets such as Austin and the Rio Grande Valley in red Texas.

But now, people are actually leaving blue America to relocate to red America. Since this is a one-way trend—we don’t see Texans rushing to California, or Floridians heading up to New York—it can’t be interpreted simply as a process of ideological self-segregation. Something more must be going on, and that something seems to be that the red states are more appealing places to live than the blue states.

It’s sometimes said that “immigration is a form of flattery.” This applies, of course, to people coming to America. There must be something more attractive about America than their home countries. But the same principle applies to people who move from one place to another within America. There must be something more attractive to them about their new destinations than the places that they are leaving.

Consider Texas and California, which, at first glance, are quite similar in a number of respects. Both are large states, in terms of physical size and population. Both have substantial Hispanic populations. Historically, both were independent republics, even if for a brief time. Both were relatively unaffected by the Civil War, even though Texas, unlike California, was part of the Confederacy. Today, both have large industries such as agriculture, energy, biotech, and high-tech.

What differentiates the two states is just two things. California is a much more beautiful state and has, on the whole, much better weather. This should give California a natural advantage over Texas. Call it the sunshine plus. Texas, however, has conservative policies in both the economic and cultural realms. This seems to overcome the California advantage, since the movement is to Texas from California and not so much the other way.

Earlier, I mentioned state income taxes: Texas has none. Texas also has cheaper land values, so you can get more for your money when you buy a house. Everything from groceries to gas is markedly cheaper in Texas, which means that the family paycheck goes further. Texas is also a better-run state, which you can test by going to a DMV in California versus one in Texas. In California, you have to take the day off work because you could be there for hours; in Texas, you’re usually out with whatever you needed to get done within 30 minutes.

In La Jolla, California, I had a view of the ocean that I can’t replicate in Texas. But in Texas, I have a nice little mansion with a pool and waterfall in the backyard that reminds me of Hawaii. I don’t really miss the Pacific Ocean. It’s not just the economic benefits. Texans still have the spirit of the Alamo, the spirit of freedom, which gives daily life itself a more charged, vibrant quality.

California, by contrast, cultivates in its inhabitants today the spirit of dependency, the spirit of the leech and the parasite. California once had its own dream, the California dream, which was basically the California version of the American dream.

But increasingly, people living in blue America see their American dream passing away, and so they flee to red America, where they can live better and once again dream big dreams for themselves and their children.

WH Official Comment on 'F Joe Biden' and 'Let's Go Brandon' Chants Is as Bad as You Would Think

WH Official Comment on 'F Joe Biden' and 'Let's Go Brandon' Chants Is as Bad as You Would Think

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

How do we know that the “F Joe Biden” and “Let’s go, Brandon” movement has had an impact?

When media like The Washington Post tries to argue it away and shoot holes in it, you know it’s having an effect. As we reported, WaPo argued that the chants were somehow especially more vulgar than prior political chants against opponents.

What absolute bunk, especially given all the incredibly nasty things that folks on the left and their willing acolytes in media called President Donald Trump during his years in office and how the reaction of most liberal media was to think that was just wonderful. As we noted, they even included an absolute lie about Donald Trump, Jr. in their article supposedly inciting the “Let’s go, Brandon” chant at a rally on September 22, when it didn’t actually come into effect until after Oct. 2 and the NASCAR event.

But you know they’re in next level panic when you even have the White House spinning and claiming they haven’t heard about the “F**k Joe Biden” or “Let’s go, Brandon” chants.

From Daily Wire:

“Administration officials sought to downplay the phenomenon, and at least one claimed to be unfamiliar with the ‘Let’s go Brandon’ chant or its cruder cousin, though they are now chanted everywhere from football stadiums to concert arenas to local bars,” The Washington Post reported Saturday.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates claimed, “I had never heard of that chant until you explained it to me.”

Mocking the anti-Biden sentiment as fringe, Bates added, “I guess I’m not spending enough time on 8chan or whatever.”

Isn’t that sweet? Trying to downplay it as from 8Chan. Once again, there’s that dismissing of Americans, from the folks working for such a “unifier.” Who has Biden actually unified? Except people in unity against him?

Bottom line is they don’t want to acknowledge how viral the movement is because then they’d have to acknowledge how unpopular Mr. Unifier truly is.

Even as the White House denies knowing about it, Biden himself acknowledged seeing the “F**k Joe Biden” signs twice already. Both sayings have been chanted at every Biden stop by protesters over the past month, “F**k Joe Biden” in September, as well. The first time Biden acknowledged it was on 9/11 at the Shanksville, PA memorial to Flight 93. Biden inappropriately invoked the dead heroes, saying what would they think about people holding signs that he saw saying “F someone.” Biden also acknowledged it during a stop in Michigan where he tried to argue the signs didn’t mean anything because he got “81 million votes.” Not only does that show he is aware of it, it shows he’s insecure about it enough to feel he has to argue it away and justify himself. Biden also appeared to some to be trying to flip the meme when he did a clip with a man named Brandon pushing for the passage of his Build Back Better bill.

So it’s just a straight-up lie that they don’t know about it. But let’s go with that a second. If they’re saying they don’t know about it, they’re acknowledging they don’t pay attention to what Americans have been chanting at them for more than a month. Perhaps that’s why they are so off the mark in understanding what Americans think. Because they really don’t care.

However, Donald Trump, Jr. had a solution to their stunning claim of ignorance. “If they’re not familiar, let’s keep it going until they are,” he shot back on Instagram.

WaPo Op-ed Admits We Will 'Never' Be 'Fully Vaccinated'

WaPo Op-ed Admits We Will 'Never' Be 'Fully Vaccinated'

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

“‘Fully vaccinated’ is a term for communities or nations, not for individuals.” What the hell is that?  

That is a declaration from James Hamblin, a journalist, and physician specializing in public health and preventive medicine, and a lecturer at Yale University, writing in an op-ed for The Washington Post, titled You’re not ‘fully vaccinated.’ You never will be. Any questions?

Oh, I have a hell of a lot of questions for the good doctor — but we’ll get to those later.

“Fully vaccinated.” What does it even mean?

Even the CDC recently admitted that the term is a moving target, at best. “Fully vaccinated” is not dissimilar to “climate change,” in the respect that climate alarmists — the “existential threat of our times” loons — can and do declare anything and everything is caused by climate change, as they see fit.

Hamblin began the op-ed by revisiting the death of retired Gen. Colin Powell, whose family announced his death in a brief Facebook post last Monday, saying the cause was “complications from Covid-19,” despite Powell being “fully vaccinated.” Hamblin noted that Powell had been undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that causes a breakdown of the immune system, making it capable of only producing one type of antibody.

Translation: “Fully vaccinated,” or not, Powell was most likely doomed from the start.

Hamblin said that when he read the Powell family’s statement and watched news reports of the retired general’s death, the term “fully vaccinated” stood out.

That specific phrase — “fully vaccinated” — stood out to me especially, as it featured prominently in most news coverage. It implied that Powell should have been completely protected; that he shouldn’t have been able to die from covid-19.

The use of “fully vaccinated” is not unique to Powell, either, though the coverage of his death has highlighted that the term is inappropriate in many cases, primarily because there is no consensus on what it means.

As we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, [the] precision of language and transparency in delineating the known and the unknown are key to any effective public health response.

A sense of false confidence — or of exaggerated risk — can permanently damage the credibility that is so critical to the success of the coronavirus vaccination campaign and of future ones.

Of particular concern to Hamblin and those of us who care about such things is the COVID “booster” shot; defined by Merriam-Webster as “a supplementary dose of an immunizing agent administered as an injection” and how many booster shots await us down the long and winding COVID road. (Emphasis, mine.)

At the moment, the central debate among immunologists and infectious-disease experts — in the United States, at least — pertains to booster doses. It has become clear that some people will benefit from additional shots (third doses of the mRNA vaccines and second doses of Johnson & Johnson) and equally clear that others may not.

The challenge is in determining where to draw that line. Most of us fall into a gray area between the 21-year-old Olympic decathlete in no need of more doses and the 90-year-old with emphysema who sings in an unvaccinated choir and would quite benefit from boosting.

And “fully vaccinated”?

Until 2021, “fully vaccinated” was not a standard phrase, any more than “fully married” or “fully graduated from college.” Typically a person is considered “vaccinated” or “unvaccinated.”

Technical distinctions might be used clinically to describe gray areas — a young child or a puppy, say, between doses of measles or rabies vaccines, may be considered “partially vaccinated” for purposes of logistical communications between doctors.

But such a designation would not imply that the child or puppy is protected.

Hamblin explained that earlier this year, as COVID vaccines began to become available to the public, the term “booster shot” was useful (principally to coax people into getting additional shots, of course). Now, ten months later, said Hamblin, “abundant new evidence has actually made it less clear whether our vaccine regimens should consist of one, two, or three doses.”

Needless to say, the “mainstream” media have pretty much adopted the “If one is good, two or more is better!” approach while shilling for the vaccination, including in some cases for children as young as five.

Hamblin then pointed to the “moving target” reference I made earlier in this article about the CDC.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people are fully vaccinated “2 weeks after their second dose” of Pfizer or Moderna, or “2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine” such as Johnson & Johnson.

This definition is already obsolete; as of last month, the agency also recommends third doses of the Pfizer shot for high-risk groups after six months. Soon the recommendation is expected to extend to everyone over 40.

“There is legitimate disagreement among experts, and important debate as to the prudence of such a move,” wrote Hamblin, “all part of the attempt to define “fully vaccinated.”

Hamblin used an example of a hypothetical 84-year-old with blood cancer.

If “fully vaccinated” is useful as a concept, it’s more at the level of the population than the individual. There is probably no amount of vaccine that can guarantee an 84-year-old with blood cancer is absolutely protected from covid-19 — or from anything else.

“It’s more at the level of the population than the individual.” Hamblin took the concept even further.

To be fully vaccinated might more accurately be the goal of a school or business or town or nation. And ideally, of the world. The more we lose sight of this, focusing instead on boosters and some ethereal notion of a “fully optimized individual,” the more we stand to lose, and the longer the pandemic will linger, with doses hoarded and layered on high-risk people […]. —

And a shot at “the unvaccinated,” of course: “While the unvaccinated blame the continued spread of the virus on the vaccines, rather than on themselves.”

What Hamblin fails to admit is, like the CDC, he is also moving the goalposts — attempting to precondition us for a never-ending series of booster shots if deemed “necessary” by the CDC. Moreover, that the term “fully vaccinated” never really meant anything in the first place.

Incidentally, as we reported yesterday, CNN actually said in a headline:

“People vaccinated against Covid-19 less likely to die from any cause, study finds.” 

No, really — check out the hilarious article. Pure CNN.

Meanwhile, the lies continue. You in?

Saturday, October 30, 2021




The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Biden administration is in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said. Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child, the people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents families in one of the lawsuits, has identified about 5,500 children separated at the border over the course of the Trump administration, citing figures provided to it by the government. The number of families eligible under the potential settlement is expected to be smaller, the people said, as government officials aren’t sure how many will come forward. Around 940 claims have so far been filed by the families, the people said.

The total potential payout could be $1 billion or more.

A bit deeper into the story we find this:

Many of the lawsuits describe lasting mental-health problems for the children from the trauma of the months without their parents in harsh conditions, including anxiety, a fear of strangers and nightmares. The lawsuits seek a range of payouts, with the average demand being roughly $3.4 million per family, some of the people said.

In recent months, lawyers for the families and the government have told courts overseeing the cases that they are engaged in settlement negotiations and hoped to reach a deal by the end of November.

“President Biden has agreed that the family separation policy is a historic moral stain on our nation that must be fully remedied,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s immigrant-rights project and a lead negotiator on one of the lawsuits. “That remedy must include not only meaningful monetary compensation, but a pathway to remain in the country.”

In his first weeks in office, Mr. Biden pledged to reunite the separated families, describing those actions undertaken by the Trump administration a “moral and national shame.”

A DHS spokeswoman referred questions to the Justice Department, where a spokeswoman declined to comment. The Department of Health and Human Services didn’t respond to a request for comment.

I am on outrage overload. I have no comment either. This story is beyond my poor power to add or detract. I can only say that I would prefer to defend these cases to the hilt and submit them to a jury if they pass legal muster than to pay dime one voluntarily.

Stacey Abrams Is Still the Worst Fake Governor in America

Stacey Abrams Is Still the Worst Fake Governor in America

AP Photo/John Amis

Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Monday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. We’ll be serving pork rinds immediately after spin class.

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. I had a couple of ulcer-inducing sports fan days. It might be time to take up model airplane building or something that I won’t care about so much.

Near the top of my list of pet peeves about Democrats is the fact that they are constantly lying about Republicans and elections. Any kind of election integrity measure that is supported by the GOP is called “restrictive.” They also have an ongoing false story about Republicans not wanting minorities to vote. On and on the prevarication goes, and they’ve told the lies so often now that they probably believe them.

It is, of course, rich to hear any Democrat accuse people of trying to interfere with elections in the United States. They’re the ones who are behind most “irregularities” we see. Everything with them is projection.

One of the most infamous big liars is Stacey Abrams from Georgia, who is still flapping her gums about having been the real winner of Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election. That’s based entirely on her lunatic opinion and not on any objective evidence. Almost three years after that election, Abrams and other Democrats are still lying to the American public about what happened.

A.J. wrote a story over the weekend about the latest prominent Dem to spin the tale:

Two left-wing conspiracy theorists stood on stage in a Virginia college town Sunday, spreading fear and misinformation to gullible attendees.

For some unbeknownst reason, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe claimed that radical conspiracist Stacey Abrams should be Georgia’s governor, accusing current Gov. Brian Kemp of disenfranchising Peach State voters during the 2018 election.

The Democrat nominee espoused debunked claims at an event in Charlottesville, saying Abrams “would be the governor of Georgia today had the governor of Georgia not disenfranchised 1.4 million Georgia voters before the election.”

“That’s what happened to Stacey Abrams. They took the votes away,” he added.

Last week, McAuliffe proudly nodded along as Abrams — who literally believes she’s entitled to lead Georgia — repeated her lies and conspiracies about the 2018 race she lost to Kemp.

McAuliffe is not only a former governor but the former head of the Democratic National Committee as well. The election lies frequently come from the upper echelon of the Democratic Party. McAuliffe’s relationship with the truth has never been the strongest, so it’s not surprising that he’s on the Abrams train.

It’s just really irritating.

The Democrats have been whining about Donald Trump casting doubt on last year’s election, feigning shock that anyone would call into question the results. In reality, they’ve been doing just that for all of the 21st century, beginning with the 2000 presidential election. Democrats spent years insisting that Al Gore really won that one. They got so comfortable with the lie that they’ve kept it at the ready to be used whenever one of their smug, entitled candidates loses.

Abrams, of course, keeps up the storytelling because she’s been far more successful as a professional liar than she was as a politician. There’s gold in them thar Democrat hills for full-time liars.

One of the reasons I’m not a fan of any attempts at bipartisanship is the fact that the Democrats won’t stop lying about Republicans and elections. They can’t be dealt with in good faith as long as this goes on.

Which it probably will forever.

Forget Medicaid Expansion. Congress Is Pushing A Medicaid Takeover.

Forget Medicaid Expansion. Congress Is Pushing A Medicaid Takeover.

By  RealClearWire

That’s the unspoken reality of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill, a major part of which concerns the federal low-income health care program. While the bill is being sold as a means of providing coverage to millions more people, it would fundamentally change a big part of Medicaid from a state-run model to a purely federal operation. Such a shift would leave the already struggling program even less able to meet the medical needs of vulnerable Americans.

The impetus behind this transformation is simple. President Biden and congressional Democrats dislike that 12 states have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. From Texas to Florida to South Dakota, governors and state legislators have held out for the better part of a decade. Years of pressure have failed to convince these states to give in, so the president and Congress have decided to force it on them anyway.

Their state opposition is grounded in common sense. Costly Medicaid expansion crowds out state spending on education, infrastructure, and other key priorities, making it harder for officials to meet the needs of their citizens. Expansion also shifts people from higher-quality private insurance to a lower-grade, government-run plan, leaving them with worse access to care and health outcomes. Finally, Medicaid expansion opens the program to a new class of able-bodied adults, who Medicaid was never meant to cover. That makes it harder for states to help the truly needy, which is the entire point of Medicaid.

Democrats ignore these realities in the $3.5 trillion spending bill, making no attempt to reform Medicaid’s well-known challenges. Instead, they want to create a new federally run Medicaid program that bypasses the 12 hold-out states and nationalizes Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Currently, Medicaid is operated by state governments, though it is mostly paid for by federal taxpayers. The new program would be 100 percent controlled by Washington, D.C. – and that’s a problem.

The 38 states that have already expanded Medicaid would want to ditch the old expansion in favor of the new one. They’re currently paying 10 percent of expansion’s total costs and as much as 50 percent of Medicaid’s administrative costs, but under a federally run program, D.C. could cover all of the latter and potentially all of the former. States could shift hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars to federal taxpayers, depending on the state. While any legislation is likely to bar states from dropping Medicaid expansion, some experts believe such a provision would be unenforceable. In fewer than four years, all 50 states and D.C. could offload their expansion populations to the federal government.

But they wouldn’t just be sticking federal taxpayers with the bill. They’d be sticking federal regulators with the bureaucratic details – everything from cost to access to the requirements that Medicaid recipients must meet. The program is already known to force one-size-fits-all mandates on states, and the last thing it needs is more of the same. Medicaid’s struggles would only grow worse, because federal officials are uniquely unsuited to address the health care needs of such a diverse country.

Congressional Democrats should ask if they really want to empower the federal government instead of protecting their states. Does Senator Sinema, who has previously opposed federal policies affecting Arizona’s Medicaid program, really want to give D.C. more control over her state? Does Senator Joe Manchin really want to make it harder for West Virginia to do things like its current Medicaid experiment to treat substance abuse disorder?

Federally run Medicaid is the last thing the ailing program needs. Instead, Congress should look for ways to give states more freedom and flexibility, the better to serve their most vulnerable citizens. Medicaid expansion has already made that mission harder to fulfill. A Medicaid takeover would make it all but impossible.

Yellen, Biden Are Coming After Your IRA Next

Yellen, Biden Are Coming After Your IRA Next

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

A wealth tax on billionaires is included in the latest version of Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, but it’s a sure thing the real target is your retirement savings.

The so-called “Billionaire Income Tax” is being written by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) with “input from the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House,” according to SWFI.

“It’s not a wealth tax, but a tax on unrealized capital gains of exceptionally wealthy individuals,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNN on Sunday.

That’s like saying you have a four-legged pet that eats kibble, barks, fetches, and looks exactly like a Golden Retriever — but it isn’t a dog.

Yellen told Jake Tapper, “I think what’s under consideration is a proposal that Senator Wyden and the Senate Finance Committee have been looking at that would impose a tax on unrealized capital gains, on liquid assets held by extremely wealthy individuals, billionaires. I wouldn’t call that a wealth tax.”

It’s a wealth tax.

Worse, it’s a tax on the investments and productivity gains that make the entire country richer.

Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m a young entrepreneur whose company just went public. I’ve been personally scraping by to get my business going, working long hours and not taking much pay. Overnight, though, the shares I hold are worth a billion dollars.

Let’s also pretend that you, gentle reader, are a smart investor who bought a few shares in my IPO and tucked them away in your IRA account.

I don’t actually have a billion dollars. I just have these shares that the stock market values at a billion dollars. But according to Yellen, wealth tax-proponent Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Presidentish Joe Biden, I “made” a billion dollars yesterday. And being a naughty rich person, I must pay taxes on that money I don’t actually have.

So what do I do? I’m forced to sell off enough shares in my own company to pay the tax bill.

What does that do to you, Mr. or Mrs. Smart Investor? My big sell-off reduces the value of your shares and your retirement account. In essence, you’re paying the “Billionaire Income Tax” even though you aren’t a billionaire and haven’t made any income.

Every year around Tax Day there would be a big sell-off.

So not only is Yellen lying when she says it isn’t a wealth tax, she’s lying when she says it will fall only on the “extremely wealthy.”

I’m going to need at least one more cup of coffee before I can figure how, exactly, a wealth tax would stifle investment and innovation, so let’s just say for now that it would create several disincentives to smart investing, along with a few more perverse incentives toward making bad investments.

We’d be looking at a replay of the 1970s, when people were looking more for tax shelters than they were for smart investments. There are reasons the ’70s was the Malaise Decade, and that’s a big one.

But thank goodness that you only have to pay for the unintended (?) consequences of this wealth tax… for now.

You won’t pay today, but someday you certainly will.

When the income tax first went into effect in 1915, the top rate was a mere 7% and fell only on those making $500,000 a year or more — that’s $13.5 million in today’s dollars. The vast majority of Americans paid the lowest 1% rate.

Today, the federal income tax ranges from 10%-37% and that’s on top of all the FICA withholding. Today’s top rate — more than five times higher than it was in 1915 — falls on those making about $500,000.

Which means top rate-payers are paying 5.5 more income tax on about one-thirtieth of the income.

The lowest rate-payers are paying 10 times more on about the same fraction — and that still doesn’t count FICA deductions, which hit the poorest the hardest.

The income tax was sold by early 20th Century progressives as a way to sock it to the rich, but progressives made sure it become a way to sock it to everybody.

You can bet your bottom dollar — if Congress doesn’t confiscate that, too — that today’s “Billionaire Income Tax” is tomorrow’s “Tax Your Middle Class Retirement Accounts Before You Even Retire.”

Friday, October 29, 2021




A headline at the top of the Washington Post’s front page today informs us that “D.C.’s Willard hotel served as ‘command center’ for Trump team” during that team’s attempt to contest the 2020 election. I’m not sure what’s headline-worthy about this. Presumably, Al Gore had a command center or “war room” when he was contesting the result of the 2000 election. That’s standard operating procedure.

I don’t see that it matters whether Trump’s team headquartered itself at the Willard, a Holiday Inn, or Steve Bannon’s basement. All that matters at this point is whether anything illegal or improper occurred at the “command center.”

The Post’s article shows that, as far as the Post knows, neither illegality nor impropriety occurred. Maybe that’s why the Post felt compelled to highlight the location of the command center at a “posh” hotel.

What went on there? According to the Post, various operatives tried to find evidence of election fraud and tried to persuade members of state legislatures that there was enough evidence of it to challenge the result in their state. Meanwhile, John Eastman wrote memos presenting his view regarding the power of the vice president to prevent Joe Biden from being declared the winner on January 6.

Clearly, there was nothing illegal about this. Nor was there anything improper. There’s nothing wrong with writing memos — whether sound or unsound — about what the vice president can and cannot do, and nothing wrong with trying to persuade state legislators that rampant fraud in their state changed the result there.

Whether this lobbying effort at such a late date, after the Trump Justice Department had failed to find result-determinative fraud, was a good idea, and good for the country, is another question. But there is nothing scandalous about what the Post reports happened at the Willard.

This doesn’t mean the Post’s story is worthless. On the contrary, I view the Post’s report as important because it helps show that congressional Democrats are off-base in trying to obtain the records of those who were at the Willard working for Trump.

As I understand it, Congress is investigating the storming of the Capitol building on January 6. In any case, that’s all that deserves to be investigated.

Nothing in the Post’s article suggests a connection between actions at the command center — all legal, as far as the Post shows — and the illegal actions at the Capitol. Again, all that seems to have happened at the Willard was memo writing and attempts at persuasion.

It’s possible that the records the Dems seek contain statements suggesting that having Trump supporters come to Washington D.C. would assist in the effort to prevent Biden being declared the winner on January 6. But such statements wouldn’t be evidence of unlawful or improper conduct, either. Urging people to come to D.C. to protest is a time-honored way of advancing an agenda, and is protected by the First Amendment.

Maybe the Democrats hope to find in the records of someone at the Willard’s “command center” a statement to the effect that it would be great if pro-Trumpers stormed the Capitol. This, though, is a fantasy. Seeking the records in question for that purpose is a fishing expedition, par excellence.

Indeed, if you think about it, the question of whether Trump or pro-Trumpers incited the storming of the Capitol can’t be determined from records. Outsiders can’t be incited by insiders’ notes and memos. They can only be incited by what they are told.

Thus, congressional Dems only need records of what Trump and others on his team communicated to the crowd that came to Washington to protest. (No communication of which I’m aware can be construed as advocating that the Capitol be stormed. Indeed, the communications the Post cites advocate being “peaceful” and “respecting the law”.) The inside baseball is irrelevant to any legitimate inquiry.

Unfortunately, congressional Dems aren’t interested in a legitimate inquiry. They simply wish to keep generating news stories about January 6, hoping, unrealistically, to make that day one that will live infamy — and not just in the minds of partisan Democrats and never-Trumpers.

The Washington Post is eager to do its part.




At RealClearPolitics they like to pair columns with contrasting points of view, but they have President Obama injecting his poison into our bloodstream without an antidote this morning. Obama was out campaigning for the Democratic candidates in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races this weekend. RCP has posted a video clip and transcript of Obama’s appearance in New Jersey under the heading “We Don’t Have Time To Waste On These Phony Right Wing Culture Wars.”

Coincidentally, Jewish World Review editor Binyamin Jolkovsky writes this morning to advise that Thomas Sowell has come off the bench to weigh in on the Virginia race. He sees it differently from Obama. Sowell’s column is “High stakes in Virginia.” Take this as Sowell’s response to Obama’s “argument,” such as it is:

This is one battle in a much bigger war, and the stakes are far higher than the governorship of Virginia or the Democrats and Republicans. The stakes are the future of this nation.

When school propaganda teaches black kids to hate white people, that is a danger to all Americans of every race. Anyone at all familiar with the history of group-identity politics in other countries knows that it has often ended up producing sickening atrocities that have torn whole societies apart.

If you have a strong stomach, read about the 1915 atrocities against the Armenians in Turkey, “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans, or the reciprocal atrocities between the Sinhalese and Tamils during their civil war in Sri Lanka.

Do not kid yourself that this cannot happen in America. The relations between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka were once held up to the world as a model of intergroup harmony.

They got along better than blacks and whites have ever gotten along in the U.S. But then a talented demagogue polarized the country with group-identity politics, to get himself elected prime minister.

Once he was elected, he was ready to moderate his position. But you cannot just turn group hatred on and off, like a light bulb. He was assassinated and the hatred continued on.

There is a point of no return in America as well. And we may be nearing it, or perhaps past it.

Low-income minority students, especially, cannot afford the luxury of having their time wasted on ideological propaganda in the schools, when they are not getting a decent education in mathematics or the English language.

When they graduate, and go on to higher education that could prepare them for professional careers, hating white people is not likely to do them nearly as much good as knowing math and English.

Here is a bit more:

Parents who protest the arrogant abuse of a captive audience of children are performing an important public service. They deserve something better than having the Biden administration’s Attorney General threatening them.

But this whole issue is far older and far bigger than the Biden administration. It will be a cancerous threat to this country, long after the current administration is over.

Poisonous indoctrination will not stop unless it gets stopped. But most parents and voters have lives to lead, and cannot keep monitoring everything the schools do.

Most low-income parents lack the one thing that would get them taken seriously by the education establishment — an ability to take their children to other schools

Sowell has more and I urge interested readers to read the whole thing here.