Department of YGTBSM Department

Recall the California (and others) foolishness in banning plastic straws.  Now there’s a company, FinalStraw, that makes metal straws.  They’re steel.  They’re collapsible.  And they come with a carrying case.

What’s next—”cigarette” holders for vapers?

Some people’s children.  Jeez.

“I’m Confused”

Here’s an exchange (edited slightly for spacing) between Senator Mazie Hirono (D, HI) and ICE Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations Matthew Albence as the latter testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary last Tuesday.

Albence: I think we’re missing the point. These individuals are there because they have broken a law.

Hirono interrupted, insisting that the illegal immigrants being held in the detention centers “have broken a law only as deemed so by” President Donald Trump.

A Next Step

A step has been taken to mitigate the destructiveness of Obamacare.  A new rule has been promulgated by the Trump administration that will

allow for the proliferation of cheaper, less-comprehensive health plans that have been restricted by the former Obama administration.

Under the rule, actual health insurance plans will be allowed that cover a range of health-related matters that more closely align with a customer’s interests.  These plans also will be good for a year and be renewable for a total of three years, a drastic improvement over Obamacare’s limit of 90 days.  A further improvement of this rule:

Based on What Law?

Federal District Judge Robert Lasnik of the Western District of Washington has blocked, temporarily, the online distribution of blueprints for printing 3-D guns.  Lasnik’s temporary restraining order is subsequent to a settlement reached between Defense Distributed and State (which previously had blocked the posting of the plans) that functionally set aside State’s security objections to the posting.  The State of Washington, et al., then sued to reinstate the prior block.

In decrying the settlement that’s the subject of his TRO, Lasik wrote

Equal Outcomes

New York has them.

A 7-yr-old in New York tried to sell lemonade from his stand last week, and he was shut down by the State’s Health Department.  He didn’t have the required business license, you see.

Up stepped Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who offered to pony up for the boy’s license next year.  As if a child needs one.  However, as the WSJ put it regarding this Progressive-Democrat version of largesse,

will [Cuomo] pay for every child in New York caught up in illicit lemonade sales?

And

“As Necessary”

Recall the kerfuffle over whether senior government officials—an ex-CIA Director, for instance—should have their security clearances continued when they leave government services.  As Sean Bigley put it in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed,

The idea was that senior administration officials should be allowed to retain their security clearances after leaving government so they could consult with successors as necessary.

Bigley suggested that this particular rationale even “makes sense for a brief, defined period.”

He’s overstating the case, though.  “As necessary” doesn’t justify an automatic continuance of a clearance that’s no longer automatically needed, nor does “as necessary” come close to representing a continued need to know that is a Critical Item in granting clearances.

Foreign Business Inside the PRC

The Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP Semiconductors is supposedly in jeopardy as the People’s Republic of China threatens approval of the acquisition in its prosecution of its long-term trade fight with the US.

But wait—Qualcomm is an American company, and NXP is a Dutch company.  Why does the PRC even have a say in this?

[The PRC] is the last of nine markets where Qualcomm and NXP need approval from competition authorities….

Auditors and Regulators

American regulators regularly inspect American auditors—particularly the Big Four accounting firms, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers—in order to give confidence to investors and the market at large that the auditors are giving accurate and balanced reports on balanced and accurate audits of the companies they audit.

Inspecting the auditors in the People’s Republic of China is a different matter.

Big Four accounting firms use their Chinese and Hong Kong affiliates to do significant work on the yearly audits of dozens of US companies doing business in China, including Walmart, Pfizer, and 3M, according to regulatory disclosures the auditors recently made for the first time.

Musical Desks

The Acting Director of the Veterans Administration is replacing his acting head of Veterans Health Administration with another acting head.  The current acting head needs replacement, not through any malfeasance, but because the incumbent acting head is moving to take another position within the VA.

Bad as the VA is, it isn’t helped by this instability in its management team.  Not a bit.

This continues to illustrate the waste of resources that is the VA.  Get rid of it, and use its current and future budgets for vouchers for our veterans.

Veteranos Administratio delende est.

Free Food Stamps

The House passed a farm welfare bill that includes a requirement for food stamp recipients to work for their welfare payouts last month, and the Senate passed its version—carefully without that requirement for actual work. Or perhaps just timidly passed, since Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R, KS) was intimidated by Progressive-Democrat Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D, MI) and couldn’t find the backbone to oppose her.

Now the two bills go to conference for resolution, and the outcome doesn’t look promising for work.

In today’s tight employment environment, that work would be easy to find, too, and in light of that, The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board made the comment