The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Investigating the Federal Government v the Citizens

For John, BLUFOne's view on this is probably influenced by the degree to which one believes the federal Government is being "weaponized" agaist the Citizenry.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Stephen Kruier, 25 January 2023, 10:56 PM.

Here is the lede plus four:

Part of the package of “concessions” made by Kevin McCarthy in his bid to become speaker of the House of Representatives was that he promised to launch a formal investigation into Joe Biden’s egregious weaponization of federal law enforcement for his own political gains.  He wasted little time in fulfilling that promise, announcing on Tuesday which Republicans would be involved.

The Hill:

McCarthy said in a letter to his Republican colleagues that the subcommittee will expose the “weaponization of government against our citizenry, writ large.”

The subcommittee will be led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who was a close supporter of McCarthy during his Speaker bid and who serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. McCarthy said earlier this month that Jordan would chair the subcommittee.

The other GOP members of the committee will be Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Mike Johnson (La.), Chip Roy (Texas), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Kat Cammack (Fla.) and Harriet Hageman (Wyo.).

Yes, Rep Jim Jordan is a good choice for Chairman.

I am interested in seeing the outcome of these committee hearings.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Taxing the Rich More

For John, BLUFWhile the Federal Government can go into debt by trillions of dolollars, Statees must balance their budgets.  Thus zCalifornia is trying to increase taxes, to send even more.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The state of the state is so dire…Governor Gavin Newsom is threatening to cut spending on climate change projects

From Legal Insurrectioon, by Blogger Leslie Eastman, 25 January 2023, 07:00am.

Here is the lede plus five:

Some California politicos are proposing an additional “wealth tax” on the state’s richest residents.

And while many of you will laugh at my pain, the Democrats want this tax enacted nationally…so it concerns you, too.

Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat from San Jose, filed legislation that would tax an extra 1.5% on Californians with a worldwide net worth of more than $1 billion starting January of 2024, and 1% for those making more than $50 million starting in 2026.

Lee’s proposal aims to tax assets such as stocks and bonds that can skyrocket in value without incurring taxes until they’re sold. He said the tax would apply to the top .1% of California earners and could generate about $22 billion.

“For far too long, we’ve allowed income inequality to deepen and fester in this state and this country while the rich get richer and the middle class shrinks behind,” Lee said Monday.

The legislation is part of a multi-state effort from progressive lawmakers across the country who say the nation’s top earners need to pay their fair share.

Having voted in California for three decades, I am embarrassed by this.  I was obviously one of those who let things spiral down to this point.  I tried to vote for limited government, but it wasn't enough.

The idea of an extra tax for the rich to fund programs strikes me as counter-productive.  All of us as Citizens shoould be invested in our government programs.  On top of that, a special tax on the rich will result in the rich infiltrating out to a new location, with fewer taxes.

This California plan is a bad idea.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Leaks at the Supreme Court

For John, BLUFAs the US Supreme Court was reviewing its nearly 50 year old Roe v Wade (Abortion) decision someone leaked the draft decision, apparently with the intent of influencing that decision.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Epoch Times, by Reporter Samantha Flom, 23 January 2023.

Here is the lede plus five:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley criticized the Supreme Court on Jan. 19 over its failure to determine who leaked a draft of the court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion.

After a months-long investigation sparked by the May leak, the court released its much-anticipated investigative report (pdf) on the matter Thursday, finding that it was “not possible” to identify the person responsible for the breach or how the document had ended up in the hands of Politico.

“The Supreme Court’s report indicates that they cannot isolate the culprit among the over 80 possible suspects for the Dobbs leak,” Turley noted in a series of Jan. 19 tweets. “It is an admission that is almost as chilling as the leak itself.”

Turley also posited that, despite the security recommendations of the court’s marshal, the inconclusive investigation would likely only serve to embolden future leakers.

“The nature of the Court’s work requires a free flow of drafts and memoranda,” he noted. “That is why we hope to achieve through deterrence what was not achieved through ethics.

“In this age of rage, this danger will only grow,” he added. “Someone felt that they had license to leak. Some others may now feel that they have the impunity to do so.”

The term "age of rage" sums up our current situation.  Take, for example, the City of Atlanta over this past weekend. where people from outside the city converged on it to protest the police building a training center.  One would think that better training would lead to better, more just, policing.  Apparently that is not an obvious conclusion to all.

As for the US Supreme Court lead, one wondeers if the search is worth the ensuing turmoil.  Heaven forbid it were one of the Justices.  Would there ever be comity again?  A law clerk?  In the future could they be trusted to carry a piece of paper from one office to another?  Better to consider it an aberation and move on.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

When to Transition

For John, BLUFSince we are currently going through an orgy of self-recrimination over the sins of our ancestors, it might be worth asking about what we are doing that future generations might frown upon.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Stream, by Mr Mark Judge, 11 January 2023.

Here is the lede plus one:

“So who’s your favorite band?”

Chloe Cole doesn’t hesitate to answer.  “I like all kinds of music,” she says.  “I listen to everything.  I like all of it.”

It’s not a surprising answer. Cole, 18, has become a popular face of those who are raising serious questions about transgender ideology. Cole, who grew up in Northern California, was 11 years old when she was first exposed to gender ideology via online platforms.  She was also diagnosed with autism and ADHD at age 7, things she says are “common comorbidities with gender dysphoria.”  Cole was put on puberty blockers and testosterone at 13 years old, and then underwent a double mastectomy at 15.

Cole spoke about her ordeal Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation, and to see and hear it live was incredibly powerful.  It also explains why after the talk I went up to her and asked this brave and brilliant teenager who her favorite band is.  After hearing her explain the trauma she endured, I just felt like I wanted Cole to be able to express some joy.  For me, joy has always come from popular music.  Cole’s answer that she “likes everything” did not surprise me.  She has a capacious mind and speaks with incredible eloquence and the ability to hold several thoughts in her mind at once. She also likes art and graphic design.

A hundred years from now, assuming our republic holds together, our successor may look back on us and condemn us for child abuse in terms of transitioning young people between genders.  This is not to say all such transitioning should be stopped.  We have been doing medical transitions since at least post World War II, for example, Chritine Jorgensen, a World War II Army Veteran.

The issue is, do those under the eage of 18, 21 or 23 have the mental maturity to make serious, informed decisions with regard to gender reassignment actions.  I would think that decisions and actions should be delayed at least until the age of 18, and perhaps 21.  Full mental and emotional maturity is reached around age 23.

We should not be treating every child with a learning disability as a candidate for transitioning.  Nor should we be recruiting individuals for transitioning through our actions toward children, such as Drag Queen Story Times in public libraries.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Progressive Colonists

For John, BLUFI am having a hard time understanding the arrogance of NPR to think that Brazil can not create a reaction to a questionable Presidential vote on their own, without US intervention.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From National Public Radio, by Reporters Bill Chappell, Shannon Bond and Sergio Olmos, 10 January 2023, 5:15 AM ET.

Here is the lede plus three:

Long before Sunday's shocking attack on Brazil's Congress and other government buildings, warning signs on social media pointed to possible violence by backers of former President Jair Bolsonaro — one of several important parallels with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol two years ago.

The similarities run deep: In addition to the aim of subverting an election, some of the same U.S. voices that amplified then-President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election before the Capitol assault have also sought to sow doubt over Bolsonaro's loss to Brazil's new president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

In the space of 24 hours over Sunday and Monday, former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon said no fewer than 10 times on the right-wing social media platform Gettr that Lula "stole the election."  When he shared images from Brasilia on Sunday showing the houses of Brazil's democracy under attack, Bannon labeled the insurrectionists "freedom fighters."

Since before the October election, Bannon has been hosting guests on his popular podcast warning about fraud in Brazil and promoting accusations that voting had been compromised.

Their main point of attack is Mr Steve Bannon, but President Trump has been pulled into this argument that the US is responsible for the riots and unrest in Brazilia, the National Capitol of Brazil, over the election of Lula da Silva over Jair Bolsonaro.

Here is a comment from the author:

“You know what’s Trump’s fault?  The violent protests in Brazil, where they do political violence with the same enthusiasm and frequency as they play soccer.”
I think that sums it up.  Brazil, with a populationo of 217 million people, seems quite capable of creating its own political theater, without help from other quarters.

What we are seeing here is NPR repoorters writing in a racist way, assuming that a nation with a majroity non-Caucasian population is not capable of conducting its own revolutions, coups and counter-coups.  That is pretty petty on their part, and racist  Or perhaps they have prejudged former President Donald Trump and want him in jail and will hang whatever they can on him to make it happen.  What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, January 9, 2023

Alternate View of Speaker Contest

For John, BLUFIt is easy to take something at face value, but sometimes it is deeper, as with the Contest for House Speaker.  Those 20 Republican House Members really are interested in changing how the House does business, to move away from the more Massachusetts General Court approach of the Pelosi era.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Reporter Stacey Lennox, 4 January 2023, 1:36 PM.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Republican establishment that still believes they can manage voters’ expectations to maintain the status quo may want to do a reality check.  The base had high expectations in 2022, and the elections did not meet those expectations.  Many voters suspect that at least some establishment Republicans put a greater emphasis on ensuring that candidates tied to President Trump did not win than on winning back the Senate and a more significant majority in the House.

Then, the GOP members they did manage to elect voted to keep the wildly unpopular Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as Senate Republican Leader.  Then, with a RealClearPolitics average favorability rating of -33%, McConnell turned around and betrayed Republican voters by helping Democrats pass a $1.7 trillion Omnibus package along with 17 of his colleagues.

No one should be surprised that Republican voters are fed up.  They organized the Tea Party and elected candidates who promised fiscal responsibility.  When that did not work, they elected a reality television star as president.  Yet the incumbents in Washington still don’t learn.  So while CNN wrings its hands about Republican chaos and Karl Rove lectures the Freedom Caucus on TV, voters want change and are getting ready to close their wallets.

This all looks like 20 Republican representatives mad at Houose Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of San Diego.  However, that is a surface analysis.  As I said on City Life (or was it The Dawn Patrol) this moorning, they re really mad at our own Rep, Ms Lori Trahan (D-MA).  She, and a lot of Democrats, and 17 Republican Senators, raided the Pork Barrel last month to give us a 1.7. TRILLION dollar Omnibus Spending Bill, when our Budget deficit and national debt are both out of control.

The Omnibus spending bill is the grab bag of what is supposed to be a dozen different appropriations of discretionary spending.

Part of the problem with the National Debt is the need to be paying the annual interest.  This is happening in a borrowing market where the interest keeps going up.  Several media sources (e.g., CBN News) say things to the effect:  "In fact federal interest payments are on track to cost more than the defense budget in the coming years."

Regards  —  Cliff
  According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the current national debt of the U.S. is $31.3 trillion.   Roughly 12% of total government spending for the year, or $48 billion, was employed in maintaining the U.S. national debt as of October 2022.
  FedSmith dot Com described the bill thusly:  The Omnibus Spending Bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023) is a monster bill. It is a 4,000+ page amalgamation of a wide variety of topics, many of which could not get passed as individual bills in Congress. Some of these bills are inserted together in one large bill and passed into law as the government budget has to be passed for the federal government to continue to function. It was not read before it passed. No amendments were considered.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

World Bank Forecast for 2023

For John, BLUFIt may only be fiat money, but its printing must be managed, to avoid issues.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Yahoo Finance, by Ros Krasny, 7 January 2023, 7:34 AM EST.

Here is the lede plus two:

(Bloomberg) -- The World Bank is concerned that “further adverse shocks” could push the global economy into recession in 2023, with small states especially vulnerable.

The warning is contained in an abstract for the bi-annual “Global Economic Prospects” report due for release on Tuesday and visible on the group’s Open Knowledge Repository website.

Even without another crisis, global growth this year “is expected to decelerate sharply, reflecting synchronous policy tightening aimed at containing very high inflation, worsening financial conditions, and continued disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the World Bank said.

Yes, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre keeps telling me things are fine, but I am not so sure.  We have pumped a lot of dollars into the economy, through Federal spending, but we have not had a comensurate amount of economic output.  And people are avoiding employment.  While we have climbed out of the April 2020 hole (60.1%), our December 2022 number of 62.3% is still low compared to the 66% of the Bush years before the Recession.  Even then the low was 62.4% (Sept 2015).

These kinds of thoughts are part of what drove those 20 holdouts in the House Speaker election over the last few days.  The Federal Government needs to get its financial house in order.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff