A Judge’s Error

The Trump administration had expanded rules allowing employers to opt out of being required to provide birth control coverage to their employees at no cost to the employees, so long as the opting out was convincingly based on religious or moral grounds.  Federal District Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California has issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the expansion while an underlying lawsuit against the expansion is underway.

Ordinarily, blocking an enforcement while the underlying case proceeds is no big deal, but this one is just plain wrong.  Gilliam based his ruling in significant part on the premise that

Dismantling Great Britain

The EU is pressing its effort to punish Great Britain for the latter’s effrontery in leaving the EU.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has reiterated that the EU finds a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland “unacceptable.” He warned of “serious damage” in the event of a no deal scenario.

Because the EU wants to split Northern Ireland away from Great Britain.

No threat there.

The California Magnet

Newly sworn-in California governor Gavin Newsom (D) has a plan to expand on the State’s sanctuary “status” and draw even more illegal aliens into the State and into the country:

…an unprecedented new health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering dramatically more benefits to illegal immigrants….

As Newsom noted,

People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe—they all hang in the balance

The Party of Expansionist, Acquisitive Government

That’s what we can see made plain in the incoming Congress’ House of Representatives.  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ) had this on her Progressive-Democratic Party’s plans:

There are dozens of measures…that have been languishing with Republicans at the helm for years, and I expect to see many of them finally come to the floor under Democratic leadership[.]

Plans like rolling back the just enacted tax cuts and preventing the individual income tax cuts from becoming permanent.  Because the Progressive-Democrats know more about how to spend our money than we do.

A US Appellate Court Thinks Americans Are Grindingly Stupid

Kellogg’s makes Cheez-Its, a cheesy, corny confection that’s attractive to lots of folks, especially at boring parties.  Some versions of this snack are marketed as “Whole Grain” or “Made With Whole Grain,” and the text on the packaging makes plain that this means 5 to 8 grams of whole grain for each 29-gram serving along with the primary ingredient being “enriched flour.”

This is too confusing for three women to bear, so they sued.  One of the women went so far as to claim she was injured by all of this, yet, were the packaging only changed, she would continue to purchase the products in the future (where are the feminists over this feigned stupidity?).  There started out some sanity in this idiocy:

France is Taxing

The Macron administration utterly failed in its cynical effort to raise its taxes on the French working class and poor with its “climate” tax on transportation fuels, so now it’s going to go after American tech companies with carefully targeted taxes.  And that administration is desperate to get going, and it’s going to do it unilaterally.

In early December, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said France would give the EU until March to come up with a deal on taxing US internet giants. But ten days later he announced the tax would be introduced on January 1.

Wait, what?

Taxing Speech

California has decided to kill two birds with one stone.  The State thinks it needs more money, so it’s going to raise a new tax.  The State is anxious to…manage…speech of which it disapproves, so it has chosen its target for its new tax.

California state regulators have been working on a plan to charge mobile phone users a text messaging fee intended to fund programs that make phone service accessible to the low-income residents, reports said Tuesday.

Here’s Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council President, on the plot, though:

Another Outcome of Supreme Court’s Abuse of the Takings Clause

Recall the Takings Clause of our 5th Amendment:

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Now recall three critical Takings cases decided by the Supreme Court.  Berman v Parker was a 1954 case in which the Supremes explicitly rewrote that clause to say for public purpose, not useHawaii Housing Authority v Midkiff was a 1984 case in which the Supremes ruled that it was perfectly fine for a State government to take private property away from a private enterprise and give it to private citizens who leased the property from the business.  Kelo v City of New London was a 2005 case in which the Supremes said it was jake for a State government to seize a private citizen’s property and give it to a private business for that business’ purposes.

Google’s Boss Testified

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week.  In the course of his testimony, he made some interesting claims.

“Even as we expand into new markets we never forget our American roots,” Mr Pichai said in his opening statement.

Not just roots, though. It’s important that Pichai and his team remember our American culture and values, too.  It’s not at all clear that he/they do.

As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users.  I am proud to say we do work, and we will continue to work, with the government to keep our country safe and secure.

Brexit Botch

British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday pulled today’s planned Parliament vote on her Brexit deal with Brussels when it became clear that not even her fellow Tories supported the deal in sufficient numbers to pass.  What’s more, she’s not suggested a new date for the vote, even though something is required to be presented to Parliament by 21 Jan 2019.

The deal as it stands is a terrible one, worse IMNSHO than a plain, unadorned breakout from the European Union.  It represented May’s meek submission to Brussels on nearly every one of their demands—including functional retention of EU immigration “rights” and EU court rulings within what used to be sovereign Great Britain for several years after the British nominal departure.