Poverty and Concern for the Rich

Recall the Progressive-Democratic Party-controlled legislature with their Progressive-Democrat governor who run things in California.  In response to the just-passed tax reform bill’s capping of state and local tax deductions on the Federal income tax form at $10,000, these worthies have introduced a bill that would create a State-run “charity” foundation into which California citizens could make “donations” and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that they could then apply to their SALT requirements that exceed those $10,000.

Never mind that, as The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board pointed out last Friday,

The Rogue EPA

Glider trucks are freight-hauling trucks with used, rebuilt engines and drive trains installed in new cab-chassis.  Then-President Barack Obama’s (D) EPA, led by the paragon of green envy virtue, Gina McCarthy, decided that these used trucks actually were new trucks and held them required to meet that EPA’s emissions standards for new trucks.  After all, the Environmental Protection Act exempted used trucks from those standards, and the Obama crowd and its cronies like Volvo didn’t like that.

In late 2017, in order to prove the legitimacy of the claim, some holdover folks of the EPA ran a test on a couple of glider trucks and found them to meet/exceed EPA standards for new truck emissions.

A Justice Misunderstands

The Supreme Court heard arguments the other day on an Ohio voter registration law.  That law removes voters from the roll if they haven’t voted over a two-year period and don’t respond to a follow-up notice from Ohio’s Secretary of State.

It’s a partisan case from the Left’s perspective: those opposing the law argue, with some justification, that those who live in urban regions (and who happen to vote Democratic) relocate more frequently than do those who live in the ‘burbs and out in the country (and who happen to vote Republican).  This would seem to put Democrats at a disadvantage in elections since they’re more likely to have not voted over a two-year period and not responded to the follow-up notice.

Privacy Innovation

The FBI’s management says it supports strong encryption, but out of the other side of their mouth they claim that the FBI’s

inability to access data [is] “an urgent public safety issue” that requires “significant innovation.”

Here we go again.  Heads up for FBI Director making plain what he’s now only hinting at: he wants a backdoor into our encryption so Government can enter whenever it takes a notion to.

FBI Director Chris Wray is seeking to reboot the privacy-versus-security debate surrounding law enforcement’s inability to access data on electronic devices protected by powerful encryption.

A Federal Judge Has Overstepped

DACA was implemented by Department of Homeland Security memorandum—not even through Rule Making—and it can be removed by the same process or by Executive Order.  There is no legislation being ignored or abused here; this is purely and solely an internal Executive Branch affair.  Alsup is nakedly insinuating himself in what is only—can only be—a political matter and not a judicial one in a blatant violation of Constitutional separation of powers.

Even ex-Progressive-Democratic President Barack Obama (D) confessed he had no Constitutional authority to order the things DACA orders—before he had his DHS Secretary issue her memorandum.

Censorship

Three Leftist parties in Germany want to change—to “strengthen”—the nation’s online hate speech law: the Free Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the Left Party.  (FDP claims to be a libertarian-leaning, classical liberal party, but with this move, it exposes itself as being Modern Liberal.)

The current law requires social media companies to police themselves regarding posts someone—anyone—flags as offensive.  This is too much free speech, however.

[FDP General Secretary Nicola] Beer said Germany needed a law similar to the one the FDP proposed before Christmas that would give an “appropriately endowed authority” the right to enforce the rule of law online rather than give private companies the right to determine the illegality of flagged content.

Facebook Revamp?

Christopher Mims had a piece on this, that Facebook MFWIC Mark Zuckerberg says he’s interested in doing.  Mims opened his article with an important question:

So here’s the multibillion-dollar question: is Mr Zuckerberg willing to sacrifice revenue for the well-being of Facebook’s two billion-plus users?

Unfortunately, his piece centered on the potentially addictive nature of Facebook (among other virtual, interactive social media).  Important as money is to running a business, and important as addiction is to handle, Mims missed a number of larger questions—which bear on addiction, but not exclusively so.

The Veteran’s Choice Program

This is a program that would give veterans the option of going to a private sector doctor in lieu of playing the delay wait game at a Veterans Administration facility, after the veteran has jumped through the requisite VA hoops.  After a political tussle in Congress over increasing/renewing its funding, some additional money was provided.  That additional funding was necessitated because

its popularity depleted the allocated funds more quickly than anticipated. Patient visits through the program increased more than 30% in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, according to the VA.

The Gentleman Doth Protest Too Much?

Senator Mark Warner (D, VA), Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says President Donald Trump better not fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, or else.

I believe it is up to every member of this institution, Republican or Democrat, to make a clear and unambiguous statement that any attempt by this president to remove Special Counsel Mueller from his position or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability or shut down the investigation would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of executive branch responsibilities and authorities[.]

Free Speech Turkey-Style

Enes Kanter, a Center for the New York Knicks, has expressed his opinion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a Turkish prosecutor has indicted him in absentia for this heinous crime and wants Kantor jailed for four years.  Among other things, Kantor has said that Erdogan is the “Hitler of our century,” in the aftermath of the Turkish government’s revocation of his passport and its having forced his father, still in Turkey, to disown him—and then was thrown into jail, anyway.  All because Kanter supports the equally Erdogan-hated Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Here’s Kanter: