The Harassment Continues

On Tuesday, Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article about Attorney John Eastman. Attorney Eastman has an impressive record as an attorney. He is the founding director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the conservative think tank Claremont Institute. He is a former professor and dean at the Chapman University School of Law. He is also a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

His phone was recently seized by the FBI as he was leaving a restaurant. He was not shown a warrant for the seizure until after his phone was taken.

On Monday, The Washington Times reported:

Eastman said the agents who approached him identified themselves as from the FBI but appeared to be serving a warrant on behalf of the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, which he contends has no jurisdiction to investigate him since he has never worked for the department. He said the cell phone that was seized contains emails that have been the subject of a months-long dispute between him and the House panel.

“That litigation has received extensive media attention, so it is hard to imagine that the Department of Justice, which apparently submitted the application for the warrant at issue here, was not aware of it,” wrote his lawyers, Charles Burnham and Joseph Gribble. 

There is little doubt that Attorney Eastman’s phone was seized because of his work on behalf of President Trump to investigate election fraud.

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

The AP covers the story here. Orin Kerr takes up the legality of the search and seizure in a Twitter thread here. We remain to be illuminated on the criminal law for which the FBI claims it has probable cause against Eastman. Late in the thread he notes that the warrant does not extend beyond the seizure of John’s phone (i.e., it covers seizure only).

Eastman’s close encounter with the FBI last week was obviously coordinated with the close encounters of Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark and Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald. The FBI appears to have taken up the role of the ruling party’s enforcement arm.

We are rapidly approaching banana-republic status if we have not reached it already.

 

 

The Abortion Ruling Has Been Released

On Friday, John Hinderaker reported at Power Line Blog on Friday that the Supreme Court had released its decision on the Dobbs case.

Townhall posted a similar article on Friday.

John Hinderaker reported:

The Supreme Court released its opinions in the Dobbs case this morning. Consistent with the leaked draft by Justice Alito, it overrules the Roe and Casey decisions. You can read the opinions here. I haven’t had time yet to review Alito’s majority opinion to see how closely it conforms to what was leaked.

The vote was 6-3, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring in the result. He would have upheld the Mississippi statute without entirely overruling Roe. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh wrote concurring opinions.

Townhall reports:

The Supreme Court issued an opinion Monday morning in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. Justices ruled 5-4 to uphold Dobbs, which limits abortion to 15-weeks in Mississippi, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade and returning abortion law to the states. The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito. 

“Now today, the Court rightly overrules Roe and Casey—two of this Court’s “most notoriously incorrect” sub- stantive due process decisions,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

The ruling comes more than a month after a draft opinion of the case showed five justices planned to overturn Roe, with Justice Samuel Alito writing about the decision. The draft opinion is nearly identical to the final ruling. 

This ruling does not end legal abortion–it simply allows each state to make its own decision on the matter. The theory behind the federalism principles that our Founding Fathers embraced was that the people in the states, who were the closest to the voters, should be the people making the majority of the laws. Roe vs. Wade was unconstitutional as it ignored the Tenth Amendment.

The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

We need to pay attention to the documents involved in the founding and establishment of America.

Maybe We Need To Rethink The Cause Of The Problem

On Saturday, Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line Blog quoting a recent column by Stephen Hunter:

Possibly you’re old enough to remember the great massacre spree of 1964? Classrooms shot up, strip malls decimated, scout troops blown away, fast food restaurants turned into mortuaries.

And all because, in its infinite stupidity, the U.S. government dumped 240,000 high-capacity .30 caliber assault rifles into an otherwise innocent America.

The weapons clearly had a demon-spirit to them. Compared to anything else in the market, they had that murder-most-easy look. One glance at the sinister gleam of the walnut stock which caressed the military-gray receiver and barrel of the weapon, its magazine wickedly boasting of many cartridges ready and waiting, its photo- and Hollywood associations with war, and some went screwball. They had the overwhelming desire to use it as it was meant to be used. It was not powerful enough for deer and not accurate enough for vermin. It existed only to kill human beings.

Except there was no massacre spree of 1964, despite the fact that in 1963 the United States Army surplussed 240,000 M1 carbines via the NRA. They were available through the mail at $20. Not an NRA member? Eighty bucks, then, from any sporting goods store. Denver’s Dave Cook’s–“Guns Galore at Prices to Score”– had them by mail order, magazine and sling included, postage, $1.25.

What did happen next was remarkable. It was also simple: nothing. Firearms deaths in 1964 rose modestly, in accord with statistical norms. No spurt of slaughter can be documented, much less attributed, to the sudden presence of all these weapons of war.

The article concludes:

It was clearly our first assault rifle; its appearance is meaningless. The cartridge was as powerful as the iconic .357 magnum. It held either 15 or 30 rounds, depending on the magazine. It could be fired as quickly as the trigger was pulled — 30 shots in 10 seconds sounds about right– and reloaded in two or three seconds. It never jammed. It was light and handy with minimal recoil. Certain iterations had folding stocks, reducing the 35-inch length by a third, making concealment easy. Some had full-auto capacity. All had bayonet studs. It could do anything an AR-15 can do except kill groundhogs at 400 yards or penetrate a car door at 20. Either Peyton Gendron or Salvador Ramos could have employed it to the same results.

So in 1964, the guns were there — lots of them, everywhere, dirt cheap. But Gendron and Ramos were not. We must look elsewhere for the reason why.

It is time to look at some of the cultural influences at work today–violent movies, violent television shows, and violent video games. We should also examine the impact of the destruction of the American family due to government welfare policies.

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

On Sunday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about an event held Friday in a Texas gay bar. The event was called Drag the Kids to Pride. Follow the link at your own risk. You have been warned. The article includes two short videos of events at the bar. The activities involved are in no way suitable for the young children in attendance.

The article concludes:

One cannot imagine how parents can expose their young children to such nonsense. In general, children should be pulled out of the inept and failing public schools, which have now added perverse indoctrination to their other sins. But when parents go out of their way to inflict perversity on their kids, one can only despair.

I have no problem with teaching older children to be respectful of people who have an alternative lifestyle (yes, homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle) or to be respectful of their peers who struggle with gender dysphoria. However, these are lifestyles that are not mainstream and should not be encouraged to become mainstream. Before the growth of social media, gender dysphoria was very rare and generally young children outgrew it without any treatment. Unfortunately, social media has created an image of transgender as ‘cool’ and many teenagers having trouble adjusting to puberty are being caught up in the social pressure. This is a problem that will not in any way be helped by taking young children to a Drag the Kids to Pride event.

 

The Real Statistics On School Shootings

What happened in Texas this week is horrific. There were a number of mistakes made that allowed the incident to occur, but that will be sorted out later. It was a horrible event, and everyone’s heart goes out to the parents, grandparents and other family members impacted by the incident. The immediate calls for gun control are simply political grandstanding. Until we deal with mental illness among teenagers, we will not have a solution to gun violence.

On Wednesday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article that provides some historical context to what happened this week.

The article posted a list of school shootings where four or more people are killed since 2000. Here is the list:

2022: 1
2021: 1
2020: 0
2019: 0
2018: 2
2017: 1
2016: 0
2015: 1
2014: 1
2013: 1
2012: 2
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 1
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 1
2004: 0
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 0
2000: 0

A school shooting is a serious thing, but it doesn’t look as if it is a common occurrence.

The article continues:

So mass school shootings are rare, a total of 14 incidents in more than 22 years. In a nation of 320 million, many more people die from bee stings, lighting strikes, and so on; yet, for understandable reasons, school shootings command national attention. But their very rarity makes it hard to know what to do about them, especially since most school shooters expect to die, which makes them more or less impossible to deter. How do you prevent something that happens, in crude terms, once every 480 million man-years?

The “solutions” proposed by Democrats are laughable, obviously intended for political gain rather than practical benefit. Banning “assault rifles,” while likely unconstitutional, would do zero good. In close quarters, handguns are better than rifles, even short-barreled rifles like AR-15s. In the worst school shooting rampage so far, at Virginia Tech, the murderer used handguns. And when the ill-fated ban on “assault weapons” expired in 2004, the homicide rate went down, not up.

But there are things we can do. Would-be mass murderers may be crazy, but they aren’t stupid. They nearly always strike in gun-free zones, including schools, because they want to be sure they are the only one with a firearm. Gun-free zones are an idiotic concept and should be abolished. And if every public school in America fired a diversity consultant and hired an armed guard, they would be vastly safer. Who stands in the way of such practical reform? Mostly the teachers’ unions, which bitterly resist improvements in school security, thus selling out, as they consistently do, the interests of American children.

After noting that the number of school shootings increased after the Covid shutdowns, the article notes:

The only plausible explanation for this increase is that covid-related shutdowns of schools and businesses exacerbated mental health issues in vulnerable young people. There is a great deal of data confirming such an effect, and in the extreme case, shutdowns evidently have have led to a dramatic increase in “active shooters.” Let’s not make that foolish mistake again.

Those solutions aren’t perfect, but they are practical and would reduce the already microscopically-low incidence of mass school shootings.

This certainly represents a more rational approach than taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.

If You Believe This…

On Tuesday, The Washington Times posted an article ‘explaining’ how a “typo” in an email led investigators in 2016 to believe that false allegations linking former President Trump to Russia’s Alfa Bank came from the Department of Justice rather than from Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

The article quotes testimony from the trial of Michael Sussmann.

FBI Agent Curtis Heide, who along with agent Allison Sands authored the internal communication, said the inaccuracy, sent out just weeks before the 2016 election, was simply a mistake.

“We may have conflated the Office of the General Counsel and the Justice Department,” Mr. Heide said on the witness stand. “I don’t know how that information got in there.”

On Monday, jurors in the criminal trial of Mr. Sussmann were shown the electronic communication sent in September 2016 by top bureau officials to field agents marking the opening of the case. The communication said the investigation was based on a “referral” from the Justice Department, rather than a tip from Mr. Sussmann.

On Tuesday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog reported the following:

I was skeptical that the Sussman prosecution would tell us much that is new, but some significant nuggets have come out. Like this one: “FBI brass were ‘fired up’ about now-debunked Trump-Russia ties.”

FBI leaders, including then-Director James Comey, were “fired up” about a potential connection between the Trump campaign and Russia — which ultimately was proven false, text messages and court testimony revealed Tuesday.

On Sept. 21, 2016, two days after Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann gave then-FBI General Counsel James Baker info about a supposed digital back channel between the Trump Organization and Moscow-based Alfa Bank, agent Joe Pientka texted colleague Curtis Heide: “People on 7th floor to include Director are fired up about this server.”

So there was zero evidence of any connection between presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Alfa Bank, or any other Russians of note, and all one of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers had to do was waltz into the Bureau with some fabricated “data” and FBI Director James Comey and others were “fired up.” The lust to defeat the interloper Trump and elect Hillary Clinton is palpable.

It’s a shame that they were not nearly so ‘fired up’ over the security problems involved in Hillary Clinton’s secret server.

Eliminating The Terrorists One By One

On Monday, Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog reported that IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari was killed yesterday.

The article reports:

IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari was assassinated yesterday Sunday in broad daylight outside his home by two men on a motorcycle who rode off into the sunset. Iran blamed the assassination on “elements linked to the global arrogance,” which the Times of Israel’s story translates as “the term for the United States and its allies including Israel.”

I think Iran is fingering Israel, but they don’t want to let the Great Satan off the hook either. The mullahs have their assassins working on Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, if not President Trump himself. The Jerusalem Post notes: “The IRGC also reported that Khodayari was involved in the security of the Shiite holy places in Damascus and that he had a close relationship with Qasem Soleimani, an IRGC commander who was killed in a US airstrike in 2020.”

The ToI story adds one more translation: “Reports identified [Khodayari] as a ‘defender of the sanctuary,’ a reference to Iranians who carry out Tehran’s operations in Syria and Iraq within the Guard’s elite Quds Force that oversees operations abroad.” The Jerusalem Post covers the techniques employed in the assassination here (also linked above).

The Jerusalem Post also notes: “According to Iranian sources, Khodayari was responsible for attempts to abduct and assassinate Israelis in Cyprus, Turkey and Colombia, N12 reported.” There’s a war underway. However, I’m quite sure the United States has quit fighting back President Trump left town. The Post’s analysis separately concludes “Assassination of IRGC official shows Israel has shifted gears.”

If America chooses to sit on the sidelines while Israel deals with terrorist attacks, Israel will successfully deal with those attacks on her own. It would be nice if America helped, but not necessary. The Israelis have a way of getting things done on their own.

The article notes:

Unsourced reports in the Israeli media state that Khodayari had planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide. Israel Hayom has more here.

I guess those plans are at least temporarily on hold.

Sometimes ‘The Spin’ Is Very Entertaining

On Wednesday, Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line Blog about a breaking news story being reported by The Washington Post.

Steven Hayward reports:

Today is offering a surfeit of feel-good news, but this one came in too late for the pervious post. The Washington Post is just up with the breaking story that the Biden Administration has decided to “pause” (but almost certainly shut down) the mis-named “Disinformation Governance Board”:

Just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being “paused,” according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story. On Monday, DHS decided to shut down the board, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. By Tuesday morning, Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board’s dissolution.

But Tuesday night, Jankowicz was pulled into an urgent call with DHS officials who gave her the choice to stay on, even as the department’s work was put on hold because of the backlash it faced, according to multiple people with knowledge of the call. Working groups within DHS focused on mis-, dis- and mal-information have been suspended. The board could still be shut down pending a review from the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Jankowicz is evaluating her position within the department.

This is The Washington Post headline at the time of this article:

I hadn’t realized that free speech was such a partisan issue. I do notice that the headline is a little vague about where the disinformation is coming from–do they mean the White House is going to stop releasing disinformation?

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

And “experts”—the mainstream media’s favorite sources for their ventriloquist journalism—show up for duty:

Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook and that it’s crucial that the public and leaders of institutions, especially in the government, the media and educational bodies, understand more fully how these cycles operate.

There is absolutely nothing I can add to that statement.

How Spin Works

The shortage of baby formula is no joke for young parents. The fact that pallets of formula are showing up at the southern border for illegal immigrants is an indication of how much those in Washington care about the welfare of average Americans. However, one interesting aspect of this crisis is the media’s attempt to keep the blame away from the Biden administration. On Saturday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog detailing the media spin.

The article reports:

You can tell the Biden administration has badly bungled the infant formula situation when the best their shills at the Associated Press can do is play the “Republicans pounce” card: “GOP’s new midterm attack: Blaming Biden for formula shortage.”

Republicans aiming to retake control of Congress have already sharpened a message centering around blaming Democrats for high inflation, expensive gas, migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and violent crime in some cities.

But GOP leaders landed on an issue this week that it hopes could prove even more potent: tying President Joe Biden to a shortage in baby formula.
***
Asked if his administration had responded as quickly as it should have, Biden said, ”If we’d been better mind readers, I guess we could’ve. But we moved as quickly as the problem became apparent.”

But the defense by the White House illustrates how finger-pointing at the Biden administration has already spread far and wide among Republicans in Washington, on television and on social media. It’s a new issue for the GOP to hammer at and a way to address families at a time when Democrats believe outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court possibly ending the right to an abortion could galvanize women and other key voters, and thwart or at least lessen a Republican wave in November.

The AP takes up the cudgels for Joe Biden, describing the now-famous photo and video of stacks of formula containers at an illegal immigrant facility at the border:

The AP has not independently verified the photo’s authenticity or when exactly it was captured. Some conservative pundits and news outlets have since spun even greater tall tales from the photo…

“Spun even greater tall tales.” Remember that this is not an opinion piece, it purports to be news reporting.

…with some claiming that they show Biden is shipping “thousands” of pallets of baby formula to the border while parents in the U.S. struggle to find formula.

So how many pallets are there? The AP has no idea.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Border Patrol is “following the law” that requires the government to provide adequate food, specifically formula for children under the age of one, who are detained at the border.

GOP political consultants nonetheless call it a ready-made issue that resonates with voters.

Somehow I don’t think the spin is going to work on young American mothers trying to find formula for their babies.

Food And The Green Movement

The radical environmentalists don’t seem to be aware of the unintended consequences of their extreme goals. Balance seems to be a concept that has long since left the building. On Monday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog illustrating one aspect of the problem.

The article quotes an article from The Guardian on May 1:

Northern Ireland will need to lose more than 1 million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets, according to an industry-commissioned analysis seen by the Guardian.

The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the ​​jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce methane emissions by almost 50% over the same period.

… Analysis by KPMG, commissioned by industry representatives including the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), estimates more than 500,000 cattle and about 700,000 sheep would need to be lost in order for Northern Ireland to meet the new climate targets.

Separate analysis by the UK government’s climate advisers suggests chicken numbers would also need to be cut by 5 million by 2035.

So we are going to destroy the food supply, starve massive numbers of people, and call it saving the planet? For whom are we saving the planet? Is that a question that needs to be asked–do you think the ruling class will starve?

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

So if you do away with cows, sheep, chickens and pigs, you are basically doing away with agriculture in Northern Ireland. But people will still need to eat. The environmentalists don’t care, of course. But others do:

Although farm labour only accounts for 7% of the country’s labour force, many more depend on the rural economy. Altogether the rural population makes up about 40% of the total in N Ireland. Destroying a large part of farming sector there would be catastrophic for the rural sector. Replacing the meat and dairy sector with, for instance, potatoes would decimate incomes and lead to mass migration out of the countryside.

My guess is that no democracy will actually go through with the idiotic “green” promises that governments have made. I hope not, anyway. As for the autocracies, they have been careful not to promise anything meaningful, and they wouldn’t follow through in any event. This gives them a huge economic and human advantage to the extent that democracies fulfill their irrational commitments.

Do you still believe that environmentalism is actually about the environment?

 

Have You Read “Johnny The Walrus”?

On Thursday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about a book by Matt Walsh titled, “Johnny the Walrus.”

The article reports:

Matt Walsh has written a book for children called Johnny the Walrus. It satirizes the current transgender craze, which has resulted in an epidemic of irreversible child abuse:

Johnny is a little boy with a big imagination. One day he pretends to be a big scary dinosaur, the next day he’s a knight in shining armor or a playful puppy. But when the internet people find out Johnny likes to make-believe, he’s forced to make a decision between the little boy he is and the things he pretends to be — and he’s not allowed to change his mind.

To the horror of the libs who work at Amazon, Walsh’s book is selling like hotcakes on that platform. Someone leaked a zoom call on which Amazon employees wring their hands over what to do about Johnny the Walrus. I should note that the statements about the book made by the anonymous caller are entirely false. In typical liberal fashion, she just made them up. The people on the call would know they were false if they took the trouble to read Johnny the Walrus, a kids’ board book, which probably would have taken two minutes or less. But of course they didn’t bother. Ideology is everything.

The article includes screenshots of Amazon therapy session for trauma from Matt Walsh’s books. Evidently the thought of anyone writing an allegorical story about the damage that is being done to our children is upsetting to those who support doing the damage. Please follow the link above to read the entire article and view the screenshots.The book is not currently available on Amazon.

To Mask Or Not To Mask

On Tuesday, Just the News reported that the Biden administration intends to appeal the court decision that mask mandates were unconstitutional. The statement is shrouded in ‘wiggle words,’ but that is the general direction the administration is going.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines masks to be necessary, it will appeal the Florida judge’s decision striking down the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mask mandate on transportation.

So the administration will blame the CDC if it decides to appeal.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog also posted an article about mask mandates on Thursday.

The article at Power Line Blog notes:

Speaking of maskaholism, former New York Times science writer John Tierney reviews the record in the outstanding City Journal column “Maskaholics.” Tierney includes the graph below with his column. It was created by data analyst Ian Miller. Tierney comments that the graph should be required viewing for everyone still wearing a mask and every public official or journalist who still insists that mask mandates “control the spread[,]” such as Mr. Playbook above.

Tierney explains:

The graph tracks the results of a natural experiment that occurred nationwide during the pandemic. Eleven states never mandated masks, while the other 39 states enforced mandates. The mandates typically began early in the pandemic in 2020 and remained until at least the summer of 2021, with some extending into 2022. The black line on the graph shows the weekly rate of Covid cases in all the states with mask mandates that week, while the orange line shows the rate in all the states without mandates.

As you can see from the lines’ similar trajectories, the mask mandates hardly controlled the virus. By the time the mandates were introduced in New York and other states in the spring of 2020 (at the left side of the graph), infections had already been declining in those states, and the mandates didn’t prevent a surge later that year, when cases rose and fell in nearly identical trajectories regardless of states’ mask policies. The pandemic’s second year saw slight deviations in both directions, but those reflected the seasonality of the virus and the geography of mask mandates, which remained more common in northern states. Cases were higher in the non-mandate states last summer, when the seasonal surge in the South disproportionately hit Republican states without mandates, but those states went on to have fewer cases during the winter, when the seasonal surge in the North hit more Democratic states with mandates.

If you add up all the numbers on those two lines, you find that the mask mandates made zero difference. The cumulative rate of infection over the course of the pandemic was about 24 percent in the mandate states as well as in the non-mandate states. Their cumulative rates of Covid mortality were virtually identical, too (in fact, there were slightly more deaths per capita in the states with mask mandates).

Please follow the links to both articles for further information and insight into the significance of masks.

Inflation And Taxes

On Wednesday, Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line Blog about President Biden’s tax proposal that would only ‘tax the rich.’ Taxing the rich has never been a really good idea–the ‘rich’ have tax accountants to limit their tax liability. Generally speaking, the middle-class does not have tax accountants and gets stuck paying the taxes that were for the ‘rich.’

The article reports:

Everyone is familiar with the two great lies of modern times: the check is in the mail, and “Of course I’ll still respect you in the morning.” To which should be added a third: “wealth taxes” will only affect the very rich—the middle class has nothing to fear. When you hear Democrats say this, reach for your wallet.

This needs to be kept in mind with thinking about President Biden’s new proposed “wealth tax,” which would impose a 20 percent tax on unrealized gains of liquid assets (i.e., stocks and bonds) for households with a net worth of more than $100 million. The Biden Administration claims this proposed tax will only hit the top 0.01 percent of taxpayers, with most of the incidence of the tax falling on billionaires.

Of course, this is what liberals told us about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) back in the late 1960s, when the left created a scandal around the fact that 155 people with adjusted gross income above $200,000 paid zero income tax on their 1967 tax returns. (Adjusted for inflation, that would be around $1.5 million today.) As the internet clickbait headlines like to say, “You’ll never guess what happened next!” Of course you don’t need to guess: by 2017, before the Trump tax cut finally scaled back the AMT (but only temporarily because of our strange budget rules), 5.2 million households were caught up in it, a far cry from the few hundred originally targeted in 1969.

The same thing will surely happen with any “wealth tax” targeted at the super rich, and for the same reasons: inflation, and the insatiable appetite of liberals for revenue, which can only come in sufficient amounts by taxing the middle class. Devices like the AMT or a “wealth tax” are gimmicks to disguise this fact.

The article notes:

Thomas Hoenig of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University (and former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City) warns in Barron’s:

The proposal sounds so simple. Report income and unrealized gains in liquid assets and tax them at a minimum of 20%—the assumption being that only the richest experience significant increases in asset values. However, the truth is that in a period of persistent asset inflation, which we have had now for decades, such a tax eventually would apply to an ever-larger proportion of the population, notably the middle class.

The income tax is a good example of how a tax on the wealthy becomes a tax on the middle class. In 1913, Congress passed the first income tax under the newly passed 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which topped out at 7% for income above $500,000. After a temporary, significant tax increase to pay for World War I, tax rates settled in at 25% on incomes above $100,000. It was only a matter of time before the politicians forgot about the “wealthy” part.

Taxing the rich is one of those ideas that sounds really good but never actually works!

One Perspective On Fake News

‘Fake news’ was the expression used by Democrats whenever someone outside the mainstream media reported something that was true (that might damage the Democrat image). Now, as The New York Times admits that the Hunter Biden laptop was real, many Americans are beginning to wonder exactly who is disseminating fake news. On Saturday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted his evaluation of our current media situation.

The article reminds us of the history of the laptop and reporting on it:

Some observers consider the New York Times’ belated admission that Hunter Biden’s laptop was genuine to be a big deal. I don’t. For one thing, the Times hasn’t acknowledged, and won’t report on, the specific information on the laptop that told the story of Joe Biden’s corruption.

Moreover, there was never any doubt about the genuineness of the laptop and the data it contained. The owner of the repair shop had a receipt with Hunter Biden’s signature on it, the laptop contained a large number of self-validating videos and photos of Hunter in various compromising situations, and the authenticity of emails on the laptop was confirmed by the presence of the same emails in other accounts. The idea that the laptop was “Russian disinformation” was a desperate and absurd invention intended to fool those who paid no attention, and those who wanted to be fooled.

The laptop saga was really a continuation of the Russia collusion hoax. As in the larger case of the collusion hoax, those who perpetrated the “Russian disinformation” fraud are unrepentant. The Times now implicitly admits that it was wrong to ignore or impugn the evidence of the laptop, but has it issued any corrections to, or retractions of, its reporting? No. Has it launched an investigation into how it could have been “fooled”? Of course not.

The New York Times was never ‘fooled.’ What they were was part of a campaign to elect Joe Biden.

The article concludes:

The New York Times expresses no regret because it doesn’t regret what it did. The Times isn’t a newspaper, it is a mouthpiece. Its purpose was obvious. It was the same purpose that animated many other news outlets, Twitter, and the 51 lying spies: they were trying to get Joe Biden elected president.

That effort succeeded. Lying about the laptop was just one of many corners they cut to achieve their desired objective, but poll data suggest that it was one of the most important. If voters had realized how demonstrably corrupt Joe Biden is–no one has ever bribed Hunter Biden–polls suggest that Donald Trump would have been re-elected. Liberal news outlets are proud of the fact that they acted together to prevent that awful possibility. If it took some lies to accomplish the mission, so what?

Thus, I attribute little significance to the New York Times’ casual acknowledgement that it blew the Hunter laptop story–really, it blew the 2020 election, if you think the Times is trying to report objectively on the news. But of course no one thinks that. For the Times, Twitter, and countless other liberal institutions, their lies about Joe Biden and Donald Trump accomplished the intended mission. There will be no apologies, no regrets–only, behind the scenes, discreet high fives.

The lies about the laptop achieved their purpose. Anything said now is moot.