URLs du Jour


[Lois Lerner, Anyone?]

  • As P. J. O'Rourke said… "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at John Hinderaker's question: What’s Behind the Democrats’ IRS Expansion?. It would be easy to dismiss this bit as paranoia, but…

    I think the liberals who run the IRS would sic their agents on every conservative nonprofit in the country. They would audit such organizations, looking for evidence that they somehow had violated the extremely vague regulations governing political activity. Such audits would require even squeaky-clean organizations like my own to hire lawyers to defend them. Government lawyers work for free–that is, courtesy of the taxpayers–while private lawyers have to be paid. Thus, a concerted attack by the IRS could largely disable conservative nonprofits, whose revenue would be dissipated by paying for lawyers, and whose energies would be dissipated in dealing with IRS attacks.

    Oh, right: that happened before.

  • [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] I assume the FBI was looking for Gadsden flags at Mar-A-Lago. J.D. Tuccille notes the deep-thinking in process at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW: FBI: American Revolution Images Might Reveal You As a ‘Violent Extremist’.

    When the FBI puts out a bulletin on symbols "used by Anti-Government or Anti-Authority Violent Extremists," and it looks like a catalog of T-shirts half the country might want to wear, it's a strong indication that the feds are way off-base. It gets even sillier when part of the bulletin resembles a brochure for a Revolutionary War museum. Then again, George Washington and the Continental Army were, arguably, "Anti-Government or Anti-Authority Violent Extremists," which is a reminder that governments aren't necessarily the good guys.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide hit the news August 2 when it was shared by sources, including Mississippi attorney Steven Stamboulieh, who posted the bulletin on Twitter. He told me he got it from the FBI and that he followed up with a query for more information.

    You can still buy a Gadsden flag at Amazon (link at right), but your neighbors might report you to Christopher Wray, so…

  • It does everything! Except reduce inflation! If the IRS doesn't get you, the "Inflation Reduction Act" also provides (as Stephen Moore and Tomas J. Philipson point out): Fewer Cures, Costlier Energy.

    The so-called Inflation Reduction Act will be one of the greatest misallocations of federal resources in American history. The bill has many moving parts, but here’s a simple way to sum up its macroeconomic impact: It would transfer about a quarter of a trillion dollars from America’s pharmaceutical industry, which saves and extends lives, to the climate-change industrial complex, which makes energy more expensive.

    The former industry has produced the majority of the world’s 40 most recent wonder drugs. Covid-19 vaccines and treatments alone probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives and restored trillions in economic activity. The industry has provided life-saving and pain-reducing treatments, contributing to reductions in death rates from cancer and heart disease by half over the past 50 years. The pharmaceutical industry spends roughly $100 billion a year in research and development—on the race for the next generation of cures and treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and other diseases.

    "Other than that, though, it's fine!"

  • Senator Maggie is a phony. Senator Lindsay Graham is not my favorite politician, but he called out my state's junior senator's 'Phony, Cynical' Ploy on Oil Tax Hike, as reported at NHJournal:

    On Saturday, Graham proposed stripping the bill of tax and fee increases on oil imports and production. As he put it in his amendment, “To strike a tax increase that would result in higher consumer prices for gasoline, heating oil, and other energy sources for Americans earning less than $400,000 per year.”

    All 50 Democratic senators voted against his amendment, including Hassan, which killed it. Minutes later, Hassan took to the floor to offer essentially the same amendment, but under a different rule that requires 60 votes. Every Republican voted for it, as did Hassan and a handful of Democrats — all of whom knew there wouldn’t be 60 votes.

    A short amusing video, which I hope would be the basis for a election ad blitz by the GOP:

  • The "Live Free or Die" state is … number 35?! That sad news is contained on the Free Speech Index exhaustively compiled (appropriately enough) by the Institute for Free Speech. Description:

    A first-of-its-kind analysis of laws restricting speech about government in all 50 states. This Index is the most comprehensive examination of state laws governing and regulating political engagement ever published.

    The Free Speech Index rates each state on how well it supports the free speech and association rights of individuals and groups interested in speaking about candidates, issues of public policy, and their government.

    What are we doing wrong? Lots, obviously. For example, under the "Laws on Political Committees" section: any (vaguely defined) political activity by a group turns it into a "political committee": information on any contributor giving over $25 to the group must be reported, including the contributor's employer.