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.

Projection

Kentucky has decided to take advantage of new Federal Medicaid rules and add a work requirement to those receiving Medicaid payments in order for them to be eligible for continued payments.  Recipients in the typical working age range of 19-64 must do 80 hours—two weeks—of what the State terms “community engagement.”  There are, of course, exceptions for those who cannot work.

As Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin (R) noted in his tweet about his decision to approve the new rule,

There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive. The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.

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.

Value in Spending vs Parity in Spending

The House and Senate leadership met Wednesday in Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R, WI) office, along with White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, to see if there’s any possibility of the Progressive-Democrats working with Republicans to get Federal spending under control.  It seems not.

Both parties claim to want to increase our ability to defend ourselves and our friends and allies, and so both claim to want to increase defense spending.  Only one of the two seems serious, however.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA):

Uninformed

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is upset because his enormously high taxes are going to be exposed in all their fiscally painful glory by the just-passed tax reform bill.

We’re going to propose a restructuring of our tax code. I’m not even sure what they [Republicans] did is legally constitutional and that’s something we’re looking at now.  You can change the tax code. You can’t penalize my state because of its political affiliation. There’s never been a double taxation before in the history of the nation.

Deficits as Cudgel?

Gerald Seib says that’s what the Progressive-Democrats in Congress fear the Republicans will use them for.

Democrats worry that Republicans will simply use the rising deficits they are creating as an excuse to cut government spending on domestic programs important to Democrats—in the vernacular, that the tax bill will “starve the beast” of the federal government of the money it needs to keep spending at current levels.

I certainly hope those deficits will be used as the reason for cutting government spending.  The Federal government spends way too much of our money, and it does so without regard for whose money it is and without regard for the amount of revenue that taxes bring in—deficit spending is enthusiastically pursued regardless of tax rates or revenues.

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[.]

The Disappointing Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) seemed, initially, like a center-left Democrat and a man who was capable of bipartisan work when he came on the scene a few short years ago.  Recall, for instance, his firm support of our 2nd Amendment and his opposition to much of Obamacare and to then-President Barack Obama’s (D) war on coal.

Now, though, he’s a proud member of the Progressive-Democratic Party’s caucus in the Senate, and the conflict between his claimed values and his voting against the just passed tax reform bill is showing.

There’s More To It

As part of the (actually quite minor) snafu wherein the House and Senate passed trivially different versions of the tax reform bill, the Senate’s Parliamentarian ruled that 529 Savings Plans—modified by the tax bill to be usable for K-12 as well as secondary education expenses—cannot be used, on a straight majority vote, for K-12 homeschooling, even though formally schooled K-12 children and their parents can use the Plans.  Two icons of Progressive Democracy, Senators Bernie Sanders (I, VT) and Ron Wyden (D, OR), had objected and raised the matter to the Parliamentarian.

Progressive-Democrats and Taxes

The Wall Street Journal asked in their Sunday op-ed how it came to be that

the party of the Kennedy tax cuts of the 1960s and the co-writers of the Reagan reform in the 1980s [became] implacably opposed to pro-growth tax policy?

The WSJ‘s editorialists should know better.  This isn’t their (or your or my) grandfather’s Democratic Party.  This is the Progressive-Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and all of its rank-and-file politico members.