Doctors and Gun Rights

Many in the medical profession have gotten their panties in wads because, on the matter of guns and gun rights, someone was impertinent enough to suggest that they’re really not that expert.  The National Rifle Association, it turns out, had demurred from an American College of Physicians paper calling for ways to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a threat—with “threat,” of course, defined by the ACP.

Federal Reserve Bank Regulations

The current iteration of the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors, with several President Donald Trump appointees, is proposing a rule that would significantly ease the amount of cash big banks must keep on hand to cover bills due within 30 days.  The savings from this are expected to aggregate to $77 billion per year—not a lot compared to the total of liquid assets held by those banks already.

There is a rumbling, though.  An Obama appointee to the BoG, Lael Brainard, is objecting to the regulatory easing.

She added that banks are “providing ample credit and earning ample profits” under current liquidity requirements.

The End of Free Speech

At least in Europe.  The European Court of Human Rights ruled last Thursday that it’s impermissible to make crude remarks about Islam’s Muhammed if those remarks fall outside what Government deems acceptable.  It seems that, in the course of a 2009 seminar, a woman commented on Muhammed’s marriage to his child bride:

[Muhammed] liked to do it with children…. A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? … What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?

The ECHR ruled that remark unobjective, lacking historical background, and intended to disparage Islam.

A Health Care Coverage Step

Alexander Acosta, Steven Mnuchin, and Alex Azar, respectively Secretaries of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, are in the process of offering one.  They’re putting together a rule that would expand HRAs, Health Reimbursement Arrangements.  These are plans that allow employers to reimburse employees for certain qualified health expenses.  Their expansion consists of two parts:

  • permit[ting] employers to offer HRAs to reimburse employees for health insurance purchased in the individual market—allowing employers to provide a contribution as significant as they would have made for the premiums of a traditional employer-sponsored plan.

Building It

Chao Deng’s piece in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal chronicled the failure of People’s Republic of China rampant infrastructure spending to stimulate economic activity.

China bolstered economic growth for decades by pouring trillions of dollars into roads, factories, railroads and more, and doubled down to protect the economy from the global financial crisis of the last decade.

Deng went to lengths to point out that, for all those trillions, businesses did not appear, factories remain unused, roads and railroads are only lightly traveled, and even the high rise apartment buildings remain largely empty.

Pharma and Drug Prices

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that would require companies advertising drugs to provide the list prices of those drugs in their advertising—including their television advertising.  Big Pharma is opposed, and wants instead to be left to voluntarily provide pricing information by having links in their advertising that would guide folks to a separate Web site.

I sympathize with Big Pharma on this. Government regulation already is out of hand; the Trump administration is reducing that, and this is an unnecessary addition.

There is an alternative.

Feinstein’s Weapons Distortion

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) isn’t only dissembling in the course of her Progressive-Democratic Party’s shambles-making of the Judge Kavanaugh Supreme Court Justice confirmation process.  She’s dissembling regarding our right to keep and bear Arms, also.  Using the hoo-raw the Party created during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (she’s the Ranking Democrat on that committee), she had this comment in the lead up to a question she had for Kavanaugh:

I’m talking about your statement on “common use.”  Assault weapons are not in common use.

Promise

The People’s Republic of China has been rolling out its system for spying on surveilling its citizens for a while now.  This is the system that develops social scores for every PRC citizen, and the system has bennies for achieving high scores:

…waived deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications, and fast-tracking to the most prestigious universities.

Things that can detract from those high scores include

[j]aywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol, or speaking out against the government….
Other mooted punishable offences include spending too long playing video games, wasting money on frivolous purchases, and posting on social media….

Government Diktat

California style.  That state has passed a law.

The law requires a company to appoint one woman to its board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 a five-member board would need to have two women, while boards with six or more directors would need three. The Legislature, always alert to possible micro-aggressions, defines female as “an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

(One wonders whether the law would be satisfied by a male Board member self-identifying as a woman for the purpose of Board-related activities.  [/snark])

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.