But It's Still Funny

[Misspelled Paleolithic]

Ackshually, Paleolithic folks were pretty sharp.

Briefly noted:

  • A Democrat's in the White House, so it's once again time to weaponize the IRS against enemies of the state. From the WSJ: The IRS Makes a Strange House Call on Matt Taibbi.

    Democrats are denouncing the House GOP investigation into the weaponization of government, but maybe that’s because Republicans are getting somewhere. That includes new evidence that the Internal Revenue Service may be targeting a journalist who testified before the weaponization committee.

    House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter Monday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeking an explanation for why journalist Matt Taibbi received an unannounced home visit from an IRS agent. We’ve seen the letter, and both the circumstances and timing of the IRS focus on this journalist raise serious questions.

    One of Nikki Haley's applause lines in her Monday night Town Hall was to fire those extra 87,000 IRS agents.

  • But speaking of Nikki, she expands on her linkage of the drug war and immigration policy at National Review: Ending the Fentanyl Crisis Starts by Securing the Border. And there's a mention of…

    New Hampshire families are reeling from fentanyl. More than 400 people have died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire almost every year for the past decade. In 2022, that number was 434 people — and two-thirds died from fentanyl. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s far from over. Many more men, women, and children have been exposed to this deadly drug. Even now, dealers are peddling it across the state.

    So many people I’ve talked to in New Hampshire know someone who died from a fentanyl overdose. And every single one of them knows that if we want to save more mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters from this horrible fate, we have to get the southern border under control.

    The fentanyl that goes through towns such as Lawrence into states such as New Hampshire overwhelmingly comes from China and Mexico. Chemicals are manufactured in China, then sent to Mexico. Mexico mass-produces liquid fentanyl and fentanyl powder that’s mixed into fake prescription drugs. Drug cartels push the fentanyl across the border and sell their goods to drug traffickers. From there, it makes its way to our families and friends.

    There is (sorry, Nikki) little reason to suspect that you can "secure the border" well enough to stop drug smuggling. Didn't work for pot, didn't work for heroin, won't work for fentanyl. (There might be other reasons to "secure the border", but that's not one of them.)

    The real problem, of course, is demand. But that would involve blaming Americans for their own unwise substance use. Nikki says that fentanyl "mixed into fake prescription drugs" is a problem, and maybe it is. But why the hell are people buying fake prescription drugs?

  • Kevin D. Williamson writes on the weapon that became a "powerful cultural symbol" for both sides of the gun control debate: Under the Black Flag.

    In a report published Monday—a generally incompetent one; more on that below—the [Washington] Post forwards the claim that the AR-type rifle is “overkill for home defense,” which is not really true (and certainly is not a widely held opinion among knowledgeable shooters). But it is overkill for the particular kind of enormity with which the rifle is associated in the minds of many people: massacres such as the one perpetrated Monday at a Presbyterian school in Nashville, Tennessee, in which three 9-year-olds and three unarmed adults were murdered. That is a crime that can be committed with an ordinary revolver, but the role of the black rifle is cultural and aesthetic.

    As I have noted here on previous occasions, the AR-type rifle isn’t particularly powerful. It is generally chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge, which is much less powerful than the rounds fired by many common hunting rifles. (The 5.56mm cartridge is, in fact, too small to legally hunt deer with in some states.) Nor is the AR unusual in its rate of fire (it is semiautomatic, meaning that it fires once per pull of the trigger). And it is not unique in its capacity to be outfitted with 30- or 50-round (or 100-round) magazines that can be quickly replaced. Almost any semiautomatic rifle or pistol with a detachable magazine (meaning most firearms) can be similarly outfitted. It is, functionally speaking, just another gun.

    I also found this parenthetical note:

    (Incidentally, I was going to link to a “SOCOM” example above, but I am at the moment working from the cafe of a Whole Foods Market, which apparently employs a digital nanny that blocks U.S. gun-manufacturer websites. The link to the Communist Party of China works just fine. It’s a funny old world.)

    It surely is.

  • Not depressed enough? J.D. Tuccille has a downer article for ya, bunkie: This Year’s Farm Bill Threatens To Be a Bigger Monster Than Ever.

    In many ways, the farm bill up for consideration this year in Congress embodies all that is wrong with American lawmaking. It's a massive piece of legislation, combining unrelated matters to commit the U.S. government to spending mind-bending amounts of money at a single go. Passed roughly every five years, farm bills are less about legislating in any deliberative sense than they are about lawmakers packaging a trillion-plus dollars of goodies and committing taxpayers to fund them for years to come—and then doing it over and over again.

    J.D. notes the unholy alliance in the "Farm Bill" between agriculture subsidies and food stamps, making sensible reform incredibly difficult.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 6:19 AM EDT