In Venezuela, maybe today being Cinco de Mayo will magically strengthen citizens in their fight against tyranny. Meanwhile, in the U.S. we’ll keep our guns.
In Venezuela, maybe today being Cinco de Mayo will magically strengthen citizens in their fight against tyranny. Meanwhile, in the U.S. we’ll keep our guns.
The collapse in Venezuela, rather than bringing enlightenment to America’s Leftists, instead sees them double-down on their delusions about socialism.
In Venezuela, there’s a new front — the equivalent of an EMP attack, an attack on all the people, based on the massive and unprecedented electrical blackout still covering the country.
The Washington Post’s thorough report on the matter is horrifying.
CARACAS, Venezuela — One of the severest power outages in Venezuelan history ravaged the country for a second day Friday, with hospital patients languishing in the dark, most supermarkets closed and phone service largely knocked out in the oil-rich but economically collapsing country.
Venezuela, which has been roiled by a political struggle between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, has been hit by outages before. But the blackout that began Thursday evening is the longest and most widespread in recent memory, a sign of the rapid deterioration of the economy, which is expected to contract sharply in the next few weeks as U.S. sanctions on the oil industry begin to bite. Some analysts even worry that the country — once among the richest in South America — could face famine.
The chaser is a poster I saw this morning when scanning through my real-me Facebook (on which I no longer post). Because I spent most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area, my real-me Facebook has a substantial cohort of Leftists: [Read more…]
Scary Leftists includes so much: MAGA and pussy hats, Democrat presidential candidates, gun grabbing, missing Supreme Court justices, border walls, and more.
When it comes to confiscatory taxes, up-and-coming Progressive politicians are honest in their desires, but dishonest or misinformed about their facts.
I’m developing quite the soft spot for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It’s not that I think she’s either intelligent or that her ideas are good. To the contrary, I find her somewhat stupid, astonishingly ill-informed, and ideologically dangerous. Still, Ocasio-Cortez she has a singular virtue which we need to recognize, and that is the fact that she speaks honestly about Progressive goals, all of which are imaginary unicorns, and the way in which Progressives believe they can harness those unicorns. So it was that, on 60 Minutes, Ocasio-Cortez spoke freely about her desire to use her government position to enact confiscatory taxes:
‘You look at our tax rates back in the ’60s, and when you have a progressive tax-rate system, your tax rate, let’s say, from $0 to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, etc. But once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%.’
Perhaps worried about being associated too strongly with Venezuela, which went from one of Latin America’s most profitable countries to one of the poorest countries in the world thanks to socialist policies, Ocasio-Cortez insists that her dreams are limited to having America copy the wonders of socialist Sweden:
Anderson Cooper: When people hear the word socialism, they think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela. Is that what you have in mind?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Of course (LAUGH) not. What we have in mind— and what of my— and my policies most closely re— resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden.
Julian Castro, Obama’s House and Urban Development secretary and current Democrat presidential hopeful, thinks a 70% tax rate is for pikers. While he ostensibly supports Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% top marginal rate proposal, he seems to believe that confiscatory taxes can – and should — go even higher:
“There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan’s era in the 1980s it was around 50 percent” the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said.
Castro also floated “that we get more serious about making sure the corporations pay their fair share,” so the country can fund policy programs like “Medicare-for-All,” as well as universal pre-kindergarten and higher education.
“During this campaign, if I run, I’m going to be very up front with the American people on how we would do that because I think that they are owed that, but it is worth it. It is worth it in this country for us to do that,” he said, vowing not to be “a single issue candidate.”
Before I get to the facts, as opposed to the fantasies, that drive those two hard-Left, attractive, young Hispanic politicians (be afraid, be very afraid), I want to make just a few points about that whole “fair share” thing:
First, “fair share” is an entirely subjective standard, so the phrase is meaningless political waffle.
Second, in a free country the government should not create a sliding scale determining what is fair for some but not fair for others.
Third, if you want “fair,” a flat tax makes sense. Everyone should pay 10% or, alternatively, there should be a flat 10% tax on all goods except for food. Everyone will pay at least a little, but the rich will pay a lot — and without wiggling out through clever tax dodges.
Fourth, as a subset issue related to that 10% tax idea, I hate the way people conflate percentages with fixed values. I was raised to tip service providers 15%. With inflation, people started saying, “We have to tip them 20%.” It was impossible to explain to the ones advocating this 20% rate that percentages are always proportionately the same. You don’t need to raise them as prices go up, because the 15% amount automatically increases with the inflationary price adjustments. If a 10% tax is a fair rate, it should be fair for everyone.
Fifth, when discussing taxes, we need to discuss those who currently don’t pay, as well as those who pay disproportionately. I believe everyone who votes should have skin in the game. This leads to two proposals: Either everyone pays something (perhaps that 10% flat tax or a 10% flat sales tax) or those Americans who pay nothing (the takers, not the payers), don’t get to vote.
Okay, now back to Castro’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s honestly expressed opinions about taxing the rich. As to those, I have three points to touch upon: [Read more…]
Today is the 6th anniversary of four American deaths in Benghazi. This round-up remembers that day and looks at some current news too — plus pictures!
Remembering the men who died at Benghazi. Today is the six-year anniversary of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Four Americans died: Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty. While we still don’t know precisely what the goings-on at the consulate were in the months leading up to the attack, we know that:
Oh, and we know one more thing: Despite the above, Obama last week referred to those facts — all of which point to administrative malfeasance of the worst kind — as a “wild conspiracy theory.”
Now that you’ve been reminded who and what Obama and his administration were, if you don’t vote in November to help keep the Trump juggernaut going . . . well, shame on you!
Please, please, Mr. President, declassify the documents. It’s trite but accurate to say that, in matters of corporate and government secrecy, sunlight is the best disinfectant. It’s impossible to imagine that there is anything worse in the still-classified documents involving Spygate than we’ve heard to date from leaks and partisan summations.
Fortunately, though, it appears that Trump, with showmanlike timing, is planning on declassifying the Carter Page and Bruce Ohr documents. If they’re ugly for the president, they’re no worse than the stories already out there and we need to deal with truth, not innuendo; and if they’re ugly for the Deep State, then that’s something very important for the American people to know.
Hillary promotes debunked lie about Kavanaugh. Did you already know that Kamala Harris, working with Planned Parenthood, promoted a complete lie about Brett Kavanaugh? I first became aware of the lie because of a “most read” article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the headline of which claimed that Kavanaugh conflated birth control with abortifacients. I thought, “No way is he that dumb” and I was right. It turns out that the headline was a total lie, as even the Chron article (to which I will not link), concedes deep in the text:
Critics were already skeptical of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s track record on women’s reproductive rights, and the conservative judge only fanned the flames with his comments during Thursday’s confirmation hearing.
While responding to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) about his dissent in the Priests for Life v. HHS case, Kavanaugh referred to contraception as “abortion-inducing drugs.” Kavanaugh sided with the religious organization, which did not want to provide employees with insurance coverage for birth control.
[snipping numerous paragraphs]
Critics may argue that Kavanaugh, in his Thursday statements, was simply borrowing the language of the religious organization. “Either way,” explains the Cut, “the use of the phrase was telling, bringing into the mainstream the slippery conflation of birth control and abortion.”
In other words, the first two paragraphs opening the article were a complete lie, but loony Leftists heard a dog whistle and they’re not going to let go of it.
And who is the looniest Leftist of all? Why Hillary, of course. Just today, despite the truth emerging from under the pillow the MSM was using to smother it, Hillary did what she always does — she doubled down on a substantive lie:
It seems she waited until this claim about Kavanaugh had been thoroughly fact-checked and shown to be false before repeating it. https://t.co/b51DUn31O2
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 12, 2018
(For those looking for dog whistles here, my phrase “substantive lie” was a deliberate word choice. Lefties love to point out that Trump lies and they’re right. Like P.T. Barnum, he huffs and puffs all the time, but it’s always about things that are non-substantive to American politics and life. In the world of law, his lies are called puffery. In that same legal world, Obama’s and Hillary’s lies are called fraud.) [Read more…]
There’s no doubt about it: the dominant thread in this round-up is insane Leftists who are unmoored from reality and want America to fall with them.
Before I begin, I want to remind you about What Business Thinks, a website that tracks the way businesses today, watching a divided America, are selling ideology, rather than their goods and services. On the main page, you’ll find a searchable database. There’s also a new, but growing blog that tracks daily news stories about businesses staking out ideological positions (both accidentally and on purpose).
Okay, with that out of the way, it’s time for the round-up:
Sasse’s extraordinary primer on the separation of powers. Ben Sasse used the occasion of the Kavanaugh hearings to deliver a short, superb lecture about the separation of powers and a scathing indictment against Congress for its laziness. America would be a better place if more people watched his statement (which begins about five minutes into the video):
In the same vein, I recommend Jonathan Turley’s essay about the dangers lurking behind the trend to turn Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a celebrity. While I disagree with Turley’s kind words about her jurisprudence (I’ve always found her to be opaque, intellectually dishonest, and often completely wrong, a fact that helped my journey from Democrat to conservative), I agree with his premise, which he develops with deserved digs at such conservative luminaries as Scalia and Thomas too:
Whether it is the commercials for the film “RBG” over the last year or the nonstop CNN ads for the network premiere of the documentary Monday night, the airways are full of all things Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was recently shown to be the best known of the Supreme Court justices and, at this rate, she could end up bigger than The Supremes. She even has her own action figure. To someone like me, who has long praised Ginsburg and considers her to be one of the strongest intellects on the bench in the last century, the saturation coverage might seem welcome. After all, why not pay homage to a jurist instead of a reality television star?
The answer is we should not and, before you burn me in effigy for such sacrilege, allow me to explain. For years, I have criticized what I call “the rise of the celebrity justice.” Justices once avoided public speeches beyond the most mundane graduation or dedication events. Justices believed they should speak through their judicial opinions and avoid even the appearance of seeking popular or political following. This tradition developed after early years of partisan figures on the courts.
The real meaning behind yesterday’s Kavanaugh theater. Michael Goodwin looks at what went on yesterday in the Senate and it’s not pretty. I recommend the entire article, but I especially liked this point:
Because the actual hearing eventually got underway and Republicans look to have the votes for confirmation, it’s easy to dismiss the theatrical hijacking as nothing more than politics as usual. But that would be a mistake because, with apologies to Shakespeare, in this case the sound and fury signify something.
It marked the moment when there was no longer a meaningful difference between the aim of elected Democrats and their unelected supporters in the audience. They were united in their determination to shut down the process because they both believe that if they can’t win, the game should be canceled.
Trump has forced modern Democrats to show themselves for what they really are. It’s never been about constitutional governance; it’s always been about raw power. [Read more…]
Links from around the ‘net.
Anyone getting the impression that perhaps the people teaching our young minds full of mush are making it up as they go along? This from a Meagan McArdle tweet: (h/t Instapundit)
Wrote a column on Venezuela and socialism [Venezuela’s Inflation Rate To Hit 1,000,000 Percent. Thanks, socialism]. Being assailed by people who say that I obviously have no idea what socialism is, since socialism doesn’t involve state control of the economy.
Venezuelan money is now worth less than the paper on which it is printed. Note the top-rated comment at Wapo with 243 likes:
Venezuela is not suffering from socialism. It is suffering from a corrupt, incompetent, protectionist, centrally planned, kleptocratic, undemocratic, repressive regime.
I get the felling that you really don’t know what “socialism” means, but you like to throw it out there to get the MAGA crowd (who also don’t know what it means) riled up. Maybe you should read a good economics text some day.
As always, it is not that socialism is a failure, it is just that centrally planned economics have never been properly applied. Oh, and giving government such extensive power so that they can implement socialism at the end of a gun has nothing to do with all the rest of those things, like repressive, corrupt, incompetent, etc. Note also that, for some reason, imposing socialism almost always requires disarming the populace first. My question, who erased the 20th century in all of our colleges’ history and economics books?
The commenters seem a product of our finest educational institutions in the economic field. That said, at least Coleman Hughes seems to be paying attention in his courses that involve economics and the racial wealth gap.
A trip through a few days worth of my Facebook posts shows that, with little effort, I can expose Proggies to ideas and facts they usually miss or ignore.
Of late, between paying work, family demands, and a touch of the blecchies (not the flu, thank goodness, but I wasn’t feeling great), I’ve been posting on my real-me Facebook more than I’ve been blogging. Blogging requires paragraphs; Facebook requires sentences, a word here or there, or no comment at all to introduce an article.
My two goals on Facebook are to entertain people, so they keep coming back to my feed, and to place before them things that they won’t normally see as they shuffle back and forth between The New York Times, The Washington Post, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and the usual mono-ideologues who make up their intellectual world. I try to do the latter in an entirely non-judgmental way, so that people will stop and think, rather than block and argue.
To give you a sense of my M.O., here’s a sampling of things from my real-me Facebook feed over the last few days, many of which you’ll probably recognize from Instapundit and other familiar sites:
I knew that Cape Town’s imminent water shortage was its own fault because it failed to plan for drought, despite living where they regularly occur and despite a population much larger than the last time a drought rolled around. That was the same problem California had with its recent drought (and may continue to have, because last year’s big rains, rather than heralding the end of drought seem to have been just a pause). What I didn’t know was that it was South Africa’s poisonous antipathy to Israel that prevented it from saving itself. Now, when I see Cape Towners lined up with little cans at communal fountains, I don’t feel sorry for them, just as I really didn’t feel sorry for Californians (myself included) stupid enough to live in a state that failed to prepare for inevitable dry periods.
Everybody loves MacDonald’s — even Lefties. That’s why, back in 1990, when the first MacDonald’s opened in the former Soviet Union, 30,000 Russians lined up for the chance to eat there:
Emotional support pets on planes are too often a scam. I adore my dog, who makes me happy, and I’d definitely be a less panicked airplane passenger if I held him in my arms, but he’s still not medically necessary, and most other so-called emotional support pets aren’t either. The way people have abused the service pet exception to animals on planes is especially bad because it’s making things so difficult for those people who genuinely need an animal at their side to help them navigate their world or to guard them against dangerous seizures and other serious ailments. And so I said on Facebook.
Sharyl Attkisson, one of the last honest reporters, explained that the Nunes memo indicates that the FBI violated Woods Procedures. So that my friends don’t have to exhaust themselves clicking over to the article, I explain that this means that the FBI isn’t attesting to its own probity, or even the probity of the person who assembled a dossier. It needs to make a colorable showing that the person who first voiced the information — the anonymous source — is credible. I added that I was interested in learning more about those sources. Since then, of course, we’ve had intimations that the sources are Sidney Blumenthal and friends, people so devious and untrustworthy that only the Clintons could bear their presence. I haven’t mentioned those last facts to my Proggie friends. [Read more…]
For a different perspective, today’s Bookworm Beat arrives at your computer thanks to Wolf Howling, who likes serious news with a touch of the surreal.
Arab construction worker writes “good morning” on FB in Arabic. Facebook auto translator translates it as “attack them.” Israeli police arrest him before noting the error.
The new CNN ad campaign that needs to be seen to be believed. Apparently they have discovered fraud in the fruit packing industry.
Inventor of sex robots plans to have little bots with his hottie.
The Canucks have nicely asked the USA to please help stop illegal border crossings into Canada.
3% growth? Ha! Venezuela’s socialist paradise is poised to grow their economy 2300% next year. Yet another triumph of socialism that the poor capitalist running dogs can only dream of.
Male “feminist writer” fired by GQ after woman accuses him of rape. Actually not too surreal if one realizes that “male feminists” such as this joker, Harvey, Bill, and Ted seem to think that if they mouth support then they are free to do as they will. And given that 3rd wave feminism has killed off the code of chivalry, women are now back in the “prey” position they occupied in the early medieval period and before. Isn’t the prog’s arc of history grand? [Read more…]
The underlying thread in most of the following posters is that Stupid Leftists are having way too much of a say in politics and culture.
Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian, takes the floor at the UN to tell tyrants that their support for Palestinian “leadership” betrays the people.
I don’t have anything to add. Just watch this amazing video:
I have been remiss, as I have not reminded you lately that WOW! Magazine, the collaborative effort from the Watcher’s Council is an excellent resource for domestic and international political analysis, social observations, top-rate Second Amendment commentary, and just generally good stuff. If you were to go there now, you’d see all of these articles:
At most blogs, Saturday can be a bit slow. Not so for the new Watcher’s Council site — WOW! Magazine — where the group dynamics of Watcher’s Council members and their friends means that there’s always something new and interesting to read:
Owing to other commitments, I was a laggard when it came to blogging yesterday. Thank goodness for WOW! Magazine, the revamped Watcher’s Council site, which works as an aggregator for posts from all the Watcher’s Council members. If you check that site out once or twice a day, you’ll be as current as possible on the most pressing and interesting things political, cultural, and international. Here are the latest offerings:
Blacks and Muslims should be angry at their criminal cohorts, not at us. In the context of an article about political correctness, Andrew Klavan said something I’ve been struggling to say for some time. He acknowledges that blacks are on the receiving end of much more police activity, something frustrating and insulting to law-abiding blacks, but that’s because the black community’s bad eggs commit a disproportionate amount of American crime. Likewise, because children have big mouths, perfectly nice Muslim kids in school find themselves being called terrorists, reflecting the fact that acts of mass violence all over the world come primarily from their co-religionists. That’s certainly not nice, but Klavan says that law-abiding blacks and Muslims are putting blame in the wrong place:
It seems to me if you are an innocent black person being troubled by the cops, if you are an innocent Muslim under suspicion from your neighbors, the people you should be angry at, the people to blame, are not the people acting on rational suspicion. The people at fault are the bad guys who have drawn that suspicion unfairly onto you.
A black man targeted by the police shouldn’t be angry at the police. He should be angry at the thugs and criminals who look like him and make his race a target. And before Muslims blame non-Muslims for the prejudice against them, maybe they ought to look to — and openly condemn — those Muslims who have given their religion a very bad name indeed.
The problem is prejudice, yes. But it’s the tribal prejudice that says we should blame others before we blame “our own.” “Our own” are the good guys, no matter what race or religion we are.
Someone should read those words out loud at the Republican Party Convention. They’re very important.