September 16, 2021

NEW PLAN WOULD PUSH TOP TAX RATE TO ALMOST 60 PERCENT IN THESE 4 STATES:

“For New Yorkers earning more than $5 million, the combined city, state and federal tax rate would skyrocket to 61.2% under the House plan,” Fox Business reports. “The combined rate in California, meanwhile, would spike to 59.7%, while the wealthiest individuals living in New Jersey could pay a rate as high as 57.2%. In Hawaii, the combined marginal rate would be an estimated 57.4%.”

That’s right: High-earning residents of these states could end up paying nearly 60 percent tax rates on their income earned above a certain level. That’s an obscene and fundamentally unfair level of taxation. But such punitive levels of taxation are also highly impractical and certain to have adverse economic consequences.

Voters in these blue states knew what would happen when they punched the card for Biden: Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act.

And this was uttered by a 2008-era pre-trunalimunumaprzure Biden.

FREDDIE DEBOER: The Original Matrix is Pretty Bad — and that doesn’t really seem contrarian to me.

The Oracle when she said that Morpheus was going to die, and Neo saved him, so we have free will! But Morpheus says she told him exactly what he needed to hear, suggesting she manipulated him and he had no agency. But then isn’t Agent Smith right? I am le confuse. Also, I know the movie cares about these questions because Morpheus literally says “Do you believe in fate?” to Neo, which is part of its larger habit of just telling you what’s on its mind. That would just be clumsy, except that (again) it doesn’t know what’s on its mind, not really, so the tic is even more obvious. Do you believe in fate, movie? Wachowskis? I sat through like 7 hours of this stuff and never found out.

But then a rack of guns comes out from nowhere, and it goes whooooosh!

Look, I want to like all of this more than I do. I too just want to lay back and enjoy a bravura and kitschy triumph of aesthetics that articulates several different kinds of pre-millennium tension. I want to enjoy the guns and the Czech raver clothes and the (pre-Crouching Tiger) balletic martial arts. But for whatever reason it just never congeals; the style is too ridiculous and the substance is too confused. Perhaps what colors this for me is that there’s another 90s movie that I think pulls off the aesthetics and the action The Matrix is going for, with precisely the goofy spirit people say they like and without the go-nowhere brain teasers – Blade. The Blade trilogy, which started a year earlier, pulls off the ridiculous(ly cool) black leather and shades look with more panache than The Matrix, and it did so without posing existential riddles it didn’t want to solve or crawling too far up its own ass. And watching Blade today is a pleasure because, in contrast with the previously-mentioned Fast franchise, the movie doesn’t constantly let you know that it’s winking along with you. It premiered before this awful Age of Knowingness, and so did The Matrix, which in hindsight I think is the thing I like the most about it.

Oh well. At least “I know kung fu” is cool.

But the song “Kung Fu Fighting” was dubbed evil racist hate speech a decade ago: Mark Steyn Wishes He Were As Funky As Those Funky Chinamen From That Funky Chinatown.

HONEYMOON IS OVER: Biden Continues Sinking in Approval Polls.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Study: Couples in supportive marriages have better mental, physical health.

TIME MAGAZINE’S AIRHEADS OF THE YEAR:

Time contends that the prince and former actress, who specialize in the cringe-inducing regurgitation of every trendy puerile progressive societal grievance they hear, “not only prompted deep re-appraisals of British society and the monarchy’s place within it, but have also catalyzed essential conversations on topics from mental health to misinformation.” This might come as a surprise to Time editors, but the British have been re-appraising the monarchy’s role for quite some time! Ask Robert Fitzwalter or Johnny Rotten. Of course, Time is in the business of selling magazines — just as People and Us are. There’s nothing at all wrong with it. But there’s no reason anyone should take the publication seriously anymore. As Walter Kirn notes, Time is alive in name, but its “original, defining mission — grounding the American mind in a moderate, shared reality — is dead.”

To be fair, Time’s “original defining mission” died in the late 1960s.

QED: Time Magazine Takes Chinese Cash To Promote Controversial Drone Business. Iconic mag fails to properly disclose $700k from China.

Henry Luce, the son of Presbyterian missionaries to China, who created Time magazine in 1923, and who sided with Chiang Kai-shek during China’s communist revolution, has rolled over many times in his grave learning this news.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY UNDER THE NEW BIDEN-HARRIS FOREIGN POLICY: Situation in Indo-Pacific ‘deteriorating,’ says Australian defense minister.

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Clint Eastwood on Politics: It’s Complicated.

LIVE AT 3:30PM EASTERN: ‘Five O’Clock Somewhere’ Introduces the Seat of Uncomfortable Ecstasy.

Hot takes, cold drinks, special surprise guest.

THIS IS TRUE ONLY FOR CERTAIN SETS OF “WE”: There’s A Hostage Crisis in Afghanistan, and We’re Not Talking About It. “The Taliban is blocking flights, and the United States, the world’s number one superpower, has done everything they think they can. This sounds like a hostage crisis.”

Related: Afghanistan Hostage Crisis: Family of Navy Vet Wants Biden Official Fired.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: OPR’s Bayrum Shave Soap.

CRISIS BY DESIGN: Migrant encounters over 200,000 again in August, as border surge continues. “The 208,887 migrant encounters mark a 317% increase over last August.”

THAT’S THE EXCUSE, PROBABLY JUST TRYING TO HOOK UP WITH HOT DENISOVANS: Scientists pretend to be Neanderthals to explore how they caught birds in caves for food.

ROGER SIMON: Abandon Ship! Time for Conservatives to Leave California.

Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200. Just get out and be grateful. You really are getting out of jail free.

California and Californians are beyond repair. If they couldn’t vote Newsom out after all that has happened and after the obvious condition of the state almost everywhere you go, except perhaps the French Laundry, it will never happen. Stop kidding yourself.

And you’ll be surprised there are a lot of good places to eat outside the state at less than a fifth of the freight of that over-priced Napa Valley redoubt.

If you have a house to sell, you can have one twice that size outside California.

I’m not gloating here, just because I got out myself over three years ago. Actually, it makes me sad. I may never see Yosemite, Big Sur, or a single Joshua tree again. But so what? C’est la vie. There are wonders all over the world.

And starting over in a new location has a lot to recommend it. It makes you younger and expands the mind, like learning to use a computer mouse with the opposite hand.

Larry Elder, a fantastic man with a great talent and a wonderful sense of humor, is also more than welcome to come, if he should be, most justifiably in his case, fed up with California.

But to my fellow conservatives and libertarians, if you do come, please remember why you left. Some are concerned here in Tennessee, and I assume in other red states, that you might, I’m sure inadvertently, bring some of your blue state values with you.

How’s that Welcome Wagon program coming along?

MICROBIOME NEWS: Common factors within the gut associated with depression and bipolar disorder.

COME SEE THE RACISM INHERENT IN THE LEFTISM:

NICKI MINAJ CAUSES THE ESTABLISHMENT TO GO DEFCON ONE:

If you are the kind of person who would choose to not get a vaccine to protect against a virus that has killed more than 4.6 million people around the world, because you heard that Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend in Trinidad had his testicles swell up, there’s really not much that can be done to save you. Your ability to discern a trustworthy source of information is fatally flawed. You should not get your health advice from hip-hop stars who have no idea who you are, just as you should not take your personal-hygiene tips from Steve Jobs, you should not get your tax advice from Wesley Snipes, you should not take marital advice from O. J. Simpson, and you should not ask Armie Hammer to cater your next party. Nicki Minaj may have the best of intentions, but she is not a doctor and no, wearing a nurse’s outfit in a music video does not count.

Jim Treacher adds: “Well, who you gonna trust: some doctor, or the unfortunate friend of Nicki Minaj’s Trinidadian cousin? I don’t know what else the White House is supposed to do here, but it definitively busts the Democrats’ myth that vaccine hesitancy is the fault of Donald Trump, or his voters, or white supremacy, or whichever boogeyman the libs come up with next. People are hesitant about vaccines for a lot of reasons, not always good reasons, but it’s not necessarily political.”

NPR-AMERICANS ARE ALREADY PROOF OF THIS: We hear what we want to hear, new study confirms.

HMMM: Signs point to Milley’s exit. “Baseball fans know the score. When the general manager says he’s behind the manager 100%, that means the manager has two weeks left. Biden just said, ‘I have great confidence in General Milley.’ Look for Milley to soon decide to spend more time with his family.”

SPACE RACE SNUB: NASA Adds Insult to Jeff Bezos’ Injury with Puny Blue Origin Contract. “Imagine what Bezos and his billionaire ego must feel like now that NASA has announced Blue Origin’s consolation prize? A puny $26 million to develop a lunar lander concept that might, someday, possibly lead to building an actual landing system.”

HOT, HOT, HOT!:  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has released its report on racial disparities in maternal mortality.  The report claims, among other things, that (1) mothers today are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were a generation ago; (2) racism is a root cause.  My dissent shows why neither claim is makes sense. 

Maternal mortality is a fashionable topic on the Left.  Here in San Diego County, there was recently a billboard/poster campaign to alert African-American mothers that they were more likely than white mothers to die in child birth “because of racism.”  Go figure.

HE SHOULD NOT MERELY BE FIRED, HE SHOULD BE COURT-MARTIALED. Gen. Milley must go for subverting civilian control of the military. “The most grimly amusing thing about these reports is that they come after four years of tedious self-aggrandizing lectures from journalists and liberal politicians about the sacredness of our ‘norms.'”

Related: Was it treason? The general vs. the president. Telling an adversary you’ll warn them if we attack is at least a promise to commit treason under the circumstances.

The funny thing is, it was presumably meant to reassure the Chinese, but they certainly wouldn’t believe such a promise, which they might make, but would never honor, themselves.

NICE. THEN THEY SHOULD START VOTING REPUBLICAN: Majority of black parents oppose critical race theory curriculum.

BIDENFLATION, PART DEUX: Three Glaring Problems With Congress’s Plan to Raise Taxes on Cigarettes and Vaping. “resident Biden and his political allies have long promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. But their new plans for increasing taxes on cigarettes and vaping products would stretch that pledge far past its breaking point.”

SAME OLD SONG: Democrats Are Hell-Bent on Making Life Miserable for Average Americans.

OF COURSE THEY KNEW: Internal Facebook Data Shows Company Has Known for Years That Instagram Harms Teens.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I read this book every few years and it still resonates in today’s world.

COLORADO BLUE: Brace for Impact: You’re About to Pay $2.1 Billion in New Taxes and Fees.

CAYMAN’S EXTENDED SHUTDOWN HAS FAILED TO STOP THE DISEASE, BUT HAS COST THOUSANDS OF JOBS: Cayman’s tourism leaders condemn delay in reopening.

Tourism business leaders have condemned government’s decision to delay the reopening of the border, claiming it is not based on scientific evidence and threatens the livelihoods of thousands of Caymanians.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association released a statement Wednesday expressing dismay at the “indefinite pause in the reopening plan and continued closure of the borders”.

It recommends measures such as vaccine mandates, rapid testing and contact tracing, which it claims would be more effective and sustainable means of controlling the threat of the coronavirus.

CITA argues that COVID-19 is already in the community and that Cayman, like the rest of the world, must learn to live with it and manage those risks.

Related: To Defeat Delta Variant, Experts Recommend Doing All The Things That Didn’t Work The First Time.

IF IT WERE REALLY A PANDEMIC CRISIS, WOULD THEY GET RID OF SO MANY EMPLOYEES? Indiana University hospital system suspends 280 employees for COVID vaccine refusal.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Hypocrites: Media Hail ‘Vindication’ for Newsom, Grumbled at Walker’s Recall Win.

PJ MEDIA VIP ROUNDUP: Don’t forget that VODKAPUNDIT promo code if you’ve been thinking of joining us.

Kevin Downey Jr: Despite Despotic Measures, COVID Deaths Much Higher One Year Later. “It might be time for our elected leaders to admit what is becoming obvious: They have no idea what they are doing when it comes to COVID. The lockdown appears to have been unnecessary, even devastating.”

Matt Margolis: Why Did the California Recall Fail? “In November 2020, President Trump received over six million votes in California, while only just under 3.3 million voters voted to remove Newsom. Had every person who voted for Trump voted to recall Newsom, Larry Elder would have been elected governor of California on Tuesday.”

Yours Truly: This Is the Real Tragedy of Imaginary Genders. “How is a person supposed to become intimate — I mean emotionally intimate — when their entire identity is wrapped up in imaginary buzzwords and takes genuine offense at anyone who doesn’t somehow ‘get’ them?”

HIGHER EDUCATION DISCRIMINATION: Why so few conservative student clubs? Faculty are unwilling to sponsor them.

FOUR-STAR TREASON: Mark Milley Finally Gives His Denial but Ends up Telling on Himself. “Here’s the thing with denials. It’s typically useful when giving one to actually deny the activity you are being accused of. Instead of Milley doing that in this statement, we see a flurry of qualifiers and weasel language that mirror Jennifer Griffin’s Pentagon stenography.”

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Olympic Gymnasts Reveal That Comey’s Trump-Hating FBI Was OK With Child Rape. “The timeline of the accusations against the monster Nassar overlaps with the timeline of the FBI’s Russia collusion jihad against President Trump. The Bureau has become so politicized that it prioritized the destruction of the president over protecting little girls who were being raped.”

HMM: Breaking: Durham To Indict Michael Sussman? “Sussman, of course, was, until quite recently a partner at Perkins Coie, and a major player in the world of Dem election law work.”

Well, stay tuned, but so far the Durham investigation hasn’t produced much. When does the statute of limitations run out?

CENSORS FOR THE REGIME: Facebook drops hammer on song critical of Biden, ‘Blood on my hands.’

LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: For The Third Day In A Row, Some Baltimore City Schools Were Forced To Dismiss Early Due To Lack Of Air Conditioning. “It’s crazy, it doesn’t make any sense.”

YES: When It Comes to the Delta Variant, the Kids Are All Right. “Any child’s death is tragic, but this number needs to be put into perspective. COVID-19 deaths among children last year are comparable to the number of children who die annually in automobile accidents (636 in 2018) and the estimated 480 deaths from flu among the same age group during the 2018–19 flu season. As Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, put it, ‘We don’t shut down schools in flu season.’”

Not before 2020 we didn’t.

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Nicki Minaj Suspended From Twitter After Announcing She’s Taking Enlarged Testicle Crusade to the White House.

Nicki Minaj said she was suspended from Twitter on Wednesday night, shortly after she posted a series of tweets regarding her claims about Covid-19 vaccination side-effects. In one of the Wednesday tweets, Minaj said she had been invited to the White House to discuss her concerns.

The rapper has faced criticism this week for disseminating a rumor that the friend of her cousin in Trinidad and Tobago became “impotent” and “his testicles became swollen” after taking the vaccine.

When asked about the rumor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, said they were baseless.

“There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen,” Fauci said.

Trinidad’s health minister was also forced to dispel the rumor. He lamented that “so much time” was wasted fact-checking the claim.

But she’s a uniter, not a divider! ‘Dummies:’ Nicki Minaj defends posting a clip from ‘white nationalist’ Tucker Carlson’s show.

Once again, proof positive that the version of the Matrix that Tom Wolfe programmed shortly before his death in 2018 is working absolutely perfectly. 

(Classical reference in headline.)

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Deep State, Deep Trouble: America’s woke generals and the Military-Industrial Complex must be purged to save the nation.

Revelations from a new book, Peril, by Bob Woodward and Rob Costa, reveal just how deep the spiritual rot in the military goes. In the days after the January 6 protest, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, promised, in the event of a war, to give aid and comfort to China. According to the Washington Post, after the Capitol protest, Milley sent secret communiques to the head of the People’s Liberation Army, promising that “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.” . . .

Our generals are losers abroad, and grifters at home. They parrot MSNBC talking points on Twitter and grovel before Fauci. This is bad enough. But Milley’s actions show that America’s top military officers have reached another level of delusion. They fancy themselves a new praetorian guard to protect the nation—as construed by elite editorial boards—from the people’s elected representatives.

This deep state is in control. It is clear that no populist elected leader can trust America’s security establishment. As Senator Chuck Schumer warned President Trump on Rachel Maddow’s show in 2017, the intelligence community has “six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”

The military establishment is gloating now and flexing its muscle.

Losing wars while flexing political muscle. This will not end well, for anyone.

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Business Travel, Conventions, Office Occupancy Stuck in Collapse: Been so Long, People Forgot What Old Normal Was.

The largest destination, the New York City metro, is expected to see an 88% collapse in annual hotel business travel revenues, from $4.6 billion in 2019 to a projected $531 million in 2021.

In Orlando, the second largest destination in 2019, annual hotel business travel revenues are expected to collapse by 81%, from $2.8 billion in 2019 to a projected $518 million in 2021.

The third largest destination, the Washington D.C. metro, is expected to see an 86% collapse in hotel business travel revenues, from $2.7 billion in 2019 to $371 million in 2021.

Plus: “Office occupancy, as measured by workers actually showing up at the office, struggled to recover from dreadfully low levels, but over the past two months has relapsed. According to Kastle Systems, the 10-city average has dropped to 31% of where it had been before the pandemic, meaning it’s down 69% from the Good Times.”

More at the link.

AND THE ANSWER IS NONE. NONE MORE GRAUNIAD: The Guardian dubs Fauci ‘sexiest man alive’ on Instagram, sparks viral mockery.

Incidentally, the Grauniad’s “sexiest man alive” wants you to have it, good and hard: Fauci: May Take ‘Many, Many’ More Vaccine Mandates to Get Pandemic Under Control.

RECALL & INITIATIVE BALLOTS WERE A PROGRESSIVE ERA REFORM:  But now that California is a One Party Empire, you can expect Democrats to curtail the system.

DAVID SOLWAY: Reason to Fear a Vaccine Mandate.

One does not wish to join the pandemic of viral fear whipped up by our political leaders, collusive medical “experts,” and the grossly irresponsible and programmatically ignorant media conglomerate. And yet, there is good reason to fear being inscribed in the category of “the unvaccinated”—the New Jews at risk of disenfranchisement and worse in the increasingly fascist temper of the times.

From my perspective, this is not a frivolous analogy. Growing up Jewish in a small town in the north of Quebec under the sway of an ultramontane clergy, I know what it is to be publicly mocked, prohibited as an undesirable from entering certain local establishments, and fighting my way out of ambushes when walking to school. I am familiar with epithets like maudit Juif (damned Jew), which I heard so frequently that for some time I thought it was one word, mauditjuif — which in effect it was.

Now, as a member of the tribe of the unvaccinated, I sense once again that primal fear of exclusion and imminent violence. As I wrote in an earlier article for PJ Media, my wife and I are under virtual house arrest, prevented from crossing our provincial borders, forbidden to attend a wide range of public activities and venues, including movie theaters, plays, sporting events, gyms, swimming pools, night clubs, concerts, conferences, and university seminars, or to dine in restaurants. I am back in the Quebec of my youth.

Read the whole thing.

STICKER OF THE DAY: 10 Pack Fuck Biden Truck Sticker.

ADHERING TO OUR ENEMIES: Milley’s Favorite Chinese General Is One of CCP’s Biggest Saber Rattlers.

CAPITALISM: THE UNKNOWN IDEAL. Seven Possible Causes of the Next Financial Crisis.

NOT BEFORE COLLEGE GAVE UP ON MEN: Men give up on college.

HOW THEY THINK: LA Times: Our recall system needs to be fixed so Republicans can’t win.

THE FBI IS TERRIBLE AT ITS JOB: Star Gymnasts Give Senators an Unsparing Account of FBI’s Failures in Nassar Investigation.

In a litany of reports and documents, the four women who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday have for years been referred to by initials or numbers: “Athlete B,” “Gymnast 1”, “Athlete A,” “Gymnast 3.”

On Wednesday, the women—elite gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman—gave U.S. senators an emotional and unsparing account of how the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee failed to investigate or act when they emerged as potential victims of sexual assault by former national team doctor Larry Nassar.

“I can imagine no place that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here in front of you, sharing these comments,” said Biles, one of the most decorated gymnasts in her sport’s history. She then paused in tears, before adding: “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar but I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.” . . .

Some gymnasts’ lawyers have demanded separate action against the FBI. Raisman also called for other action by Congress in strengthening anti-abuse measures, and in particular, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the main body charged with responding to abuse reports in amateur sports.

The women repeatedly aimed their anger at both the FBI and the sports organizations under whose banners they won world and Olympic titles. Their remarks drew outrage from both Democratic and Republican senators, much of it aimed at the FBI.

We need mass firings.

More: US Olympic gymnasts slam Nassar investigation, allege FBI ‘turned a blind eye,’ falsified report.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: California, You Blew It Again.

Not only did California Gov. Gavin Newsom survive the recall election, the vote margin was tilted so far in his favor by Wednesday morning that he’s likely to see the results as a mandate to issue another round of harsh pandemic rules. What is certain is that he will consider it a signal to press the Blue State agenda that’s made California a miserable experience for so many.

And here we go! LA County to Require Proof of Vaccine for Customers and Employees of Bars, Nightclubs, Sporting Events.

STACEY LENNOX: It’s OK to Be Pro-Vaccine and Anti-Mandate—in Fact, It’s a Winning Message. “The vaccine mandate gambit—meant to divide Americans following bipartisan condemnation of the Afghanistan debacle—largely worked. However, the majority of unaffiliated voters are breaking with Republicans on this issue in both polls, which gives Republicans a messaging advantage. Being pro-vaccine and anti-mandate seems to be the winning position. The vaccine mandate issue will linger much longer than the current surge of the Delta variant.”

INSTITUTIONAL RACISM: “Black News” now free from Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but everyone else has to pay.

ON DOOR-TO-DOOR SALESMEN, GOOGLE SEARCH AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS: They are strongly related (though not causative), as HillFaith explains this morning. And if you suddenly feel skepticism rising up in your chest, try a little willing suspension of disbelief, if only for a moment.

September 15, 2021

OPEN THREAD: “This must have cost a fortune!”

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Biden $3.5T plan tests voter appeal of expansive gov’t role.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s “build back better” agenda is poised to be the most far-reaching federal investment since FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s Great Society — a prodigious effort to tax the rich and shift money into projects and programs touching the lives of nearly every American.

The ultra-objective AP believes that Biden is the next FDR and/or LBJ?

Amity Shlaes on Biden As the New FDR: It’s the same old bad deal for jobs.

Not until World War II did joblessness finally begin to subside, in good measure because of military mobilization — important, but not the same as peacetime employment.

As often discussed, errors in monetary policy contributed to the misfortune that was the 1930s. The cause of the duration of the Depression, though, was Washington’s persistent intervention. The chief economist at Chase, Benjamin Anderson, noted that after failing by playing God, the government chose not to retire but simply “to play God more vigorously.”

The first lesson of this sorry account is that an arbitrary national economic campaign from atop generates damaging uncertainty in the economy. However charmingly it reverberates, the very phrase “bold persistent experimentation” stifles growth.

The second point is that what helps the union hurts the worker. President Biden’s proposal to end “Right to Work,” if it becomes law, will dramatically stifle employment.

Flashback: FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate.

And as William Voegeli wrote in his review of Shlaes’ 2019 book, Great Society: A New History:

The Great Society was predicated on the opposite conviction: America had become an “Affluent Society” (the title of John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1958 bestseller), whose irrepressible growth meant that worries about finite resources could no longer excuse tolerating remediable social problems (There was no such thing as an irremediable social problem.) Treating America’s new prosperity as permanent and inexhaustible, the Great Society proceeded to kill the goose laying the golden eggs, setting in motion what Shlaes calls an “economic tragedy.” Neither the inflation of the 1970s nor the transformation of America’s industrial heartland into its Rust Belt was inevitable, she argues. Both were direct, foreseeable consequences of short-sighted choices: demanding that monetary policy accommodate irresponsible fiscal policy, and labor and management agreeing to enrich one another by fleecing customers and shareholders ever more brazenly.

Don’t worry though, Biden can handle it — just ask him:

“Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore,” Biden told Politico last year. “When did Milton Friedman die and become king?” Biden asked in 2019. The truth is that Friedman, who died in 2006, has held little sway over either Democrats or Republicans for almost two decades. But Biden wants to mark the definitive end of Friedman and the “neoliberal” economics he espoused by unleashing a tsunami of dollars into the global economy and inundating Americans with new entitlements.

I’m sure things will turn out differently this time around.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE NEW SPACE RACE: NASA selects five companies for lunar lander studies.

JIM TREACHER: Norm Macdonald, R.I.P.

Norm meant a lot to me, not just for his comedy, but for his sheer willpower. He never bent to anybody who tried to tell him what to do, even when it hurt his career. He didn’t go along to get along. I felt an affinity with him because he made it to a certain level of fame, kinda blew it, and never really reached that pinnacle again. But he just kept going, whether people dug what he was doing or not. He honed and perfected his style of humor until there was no one better, even if most people never saw it. Every once in a while he’d get his own show or something, a sitcom or a talk show or whatever. It never lasted very long, but he didn’t seem to mind too much. He would just keep writing jokes.

My successes have been much more modest than Norm’s were, but I’ve always admired him for refusing to compromise his ideals, refusing to quit.

And now, knowing Norm spent his last decade living with cancer, it’s even more remarkable. He kept his diagnosis a secret for almost 10 years, probably because he just didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for him. He was a comic, after all, and comedy relies on surprise. Norm was never one to telegraph a punchline.

Read the whole thing.

THE MASKING OF THE SERVANT CLASS: Ugly COVID Images From the Met Gala Are Now Commonplace.

Much of the attention on Monday night was devoted to the appearance on the red carpet by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The usual horde of embittered online nay-sayers and envious party-poopers tried implying that there was something incongruous about a socialist politician gleefully participating in the most vulgar tribute to capitalism and social inequality to emerge since the walled-off galas thrown by the French aristocracy at the Palace of Versailles. Some petty, resentful critics even suggested that AOC’s latest star turn somehow illustrated what Shant Mesrobian has disparagingly described as “the Squad’s brand of highly educated, professional-class cultural leftism,” which “now offers elected officials a path to fame and pop culture status that circumvents much of the old, hand-dirtying business of politics,” pursuant to which “elected office itself has become merely a stepping stone to social media celebrity” and “maintaining a social media influencer empire rivals, or even surpasses, the priority of being a successful legislator.”

Fortunately, many of AOC’s most devoted socialist supporters stepped forth with passionate defenses of their leader. As they pointed out, AOC had painted onto the back of her pristine white gown — in perfectly proportioned and tastefully scrolled red ink highlighting the stunning virtues of the designer dress’ silhouette — a leftist phrase, Tax the Rich, that not only assaulted the Biden-supporting liberal celebrities in attendance but made them feel endangered in their own habitat, as if their wealth and privilege were being imperiled not from afar but from one of their own, from within. Far from being what AOC’s dirty and petty critics tried to malign this as being — an attention-seeking, celebrity-building, branding opportunity in which AOC yet again lavished herself in the multi-pronged rewards of the very economic and cultural hierarchies she claims to despise and vows to combat — she was actually engaged in a revolutionary and subversive act, injecting into aristocratic circles a beautifully artistic yet hostile message.

This was not, contrary to the grievances of her small-minded and jealous critics, AOC reveling in one of Louis XVI’s court festivities. Instead, she was storming the Bastille: not with weapons or fire but with the graceful designer elegance of the insurgent Marxist renegade, which made her presence all the more deceptively disruptive. While it may have appeared that Vogue‘s perfectly-coiffed red-carpet correspondents and other Met luminaries were gushing with admiration and awe at her bold fashion statement, they were actually shaking with fear over what AOC had wrought. They were quivering with rage and fear, not swooning with delight as it appeared.

Besides, as AOC herself put it with her trademarked class consciousness, the very fact that she can attend the Met Gala while you cannot is proof of the potency of the left-wing movement she leads. Standing next to Aurora James, the designer of her dress, AOC revealed the underlying clandestine strategy of her subversive attendance: “We really started having a conversation about what it means to be a working class woman of color at the Met … we can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall.”

Related: Watch: Masked Attendants Carry Unmasked AOC’s ‘Tax The Rich’ Dress As She Leaves Met Gala:

This clip should end any remaining working class hero poses from “that humble Tesla-driving architect’s daughter from Westchester County who enjoys parking illegally behind the Jeff Bezos-owned Whole Foodsin D.C.”

Not surprisingly, America’s Newspaper of Record scooped the world — AOC’s dress was in accordance with the prophecy:

UPDATE: Woman of the people: The cost of AOC’s Met Gala shoes could have fed an American family for a month.

GOODER AND HARDER: LA County to Require Proof of Vaccine for Customers and Employees of Bars, Nightclubs, Sporting Events. “With Gavin Newsom having escaped recall, statists in California are emboldened and wasting no time moving forward with their total control, anti-science agenda. The first ghoul to gleefully issue new health orders is, unsurprisingly, Los Angeles County’s Not-a-Doctor Barbara Ferrer.”

I’D FEEL BETTER UNDER AN ADMINISTRATION THAT WASN’T BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY BEIJING: Richard Fernandez: The Grand Alliance to Contain China. Australia will be building nuclear subs for the first time.

SO 1 IN 3 PEOPLE ARE ANNOYED BY OTHER PEOPLE’S FIDGETING: First In-Depth Study of ‘Misokinesia’ Phenomenon Shows It May Affect 1 in 3 People.

DUCK AND WEAVE: Pentagon dodges questions on Milley phone calls: ‘I can’t speak to specifics.’

Related: They wanted a coup all along. “I am not surprised by the news that the head of the Pentagon, Generalissimo ‘White Rage’ Milley conspired with Red China and fellow officers to block President Donald John Trump. Appalled, yes. Disgusted, yes. Hoping for a sentence of 20 years of hard labor, yes. But surprised? Nope because this is what Washington wanted all along. The American press called for a military coup months before President Trump was elected!”

INVESTIGATION: Pennsylvania Republicans subpoena detailed voter info in 2020 election probe.

CLAWING BACK HEALTH CARE: Gov’t moves to go back on rule allowing Medicare to cover ‘breakthrough’ devices.

The federal agency that operates Medicare is officially going back on a rule change it finalized earlier this year under former President Donald Trump that would have allowed the health program to cover the costs of “breakthrough” medical devices.

In January, before President Joe Biden took office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services moved to implement the rule change as a measure to give American seniors quicker access to “innovative” medical devices.

The rule was part of the agency’s “Unleashing Innovation and Patients Over Paperwork” initiative.

Now they’ve decided to reorient their priorities.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Serial Groper Al Franken Eyes Political Comeback.

REMEMBER HOW THEY TOLD US WE HAD TO EMULATE CHINA’S LOCKDOWN TACTICS BECAUSE THEY HAD SO SUCCESSFULLY STOPPED THE DISEASE? China imposes local lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge.

YES: Randall Kennedy: Is It Ever OK To Enunciate A Slur In The Classroom?

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: ‘National Magazine of Texas’ Marvels That Hispanic Texans Are Voting Republican.

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: How Important is a Fast Draw for Personal Defense with a Handgun?

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Biden Vax Mandate In ‘Chaos’: OSHA ‘Underfunded’ And ‘Toothless,’ Employers Worried About ‘Millions Of Dollars’ In Testing Costs.

If the grownups really were in charge, they’d have asked themselves first if a smallish workplace agency was up to the massive task given to it.

PROBABLY, BUT WHO WILL HOLD HER TO ACCOUNT? Did AOC’s Met Gala Stunt Violate Federal Ethics Laws?

AN ATTACK PIECE ON SPACEX FROM THE LEFTY TEXAS OBSERVER. Was Bezos money behind it? I wouldn’t rule it out.

AFGHANISTAN HOSTAGE CRISIS: Family of Navy Vet Wants Biden Official Fired. “If Frerichs’ name doesn’t sound familiar despite months of captivity, maybe that’s because ‘Biden has mentioned Frerichs in public once before in a July speech, but stumbled over his name when doing so.'”

FASTER, PLEASE: Study shows protein that reverses aging of skeletal muscle.

UNEXPECTEDLY! 911 callers in Portland face lengthy hold times amid efforts to defund the police.

According to The Oregonian, starting in the late spring, the riot-gripped city has faced a sharp increase in 911 calls placed on hold for two minutes or longer.

The national standard for 911 hold times is 15 to 20 seconds, but according to data from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications obtained by The Oregonian, 574 of the 911 calls in the city had to wait on hold for more than five minutes in July. This number is more than double that of May, in which 221 calls waited that long, and is drastically more than the figure in March, when only eight 911 calls took more than five minutes to answer.

Bob Cozzie, director of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications, said, “I think it’s horrible. There’s no other way to state it,” in regards to the dramatic jump in wait times. “We’re at a tipping point now. It’s become unmanageable,” he said, acknowledging the delay. “The system is broken.”

And not by accident.

SPACE: SpaceX’s Inspiration4 civilian crew hopes mission will inspire world.

NO ONE ELECTED MARK MILLEY:

The larger problem at hand is that no one elected Gen. Milley to anything. It is not the job of the military state, or the intelligence state (James Comey) to override the governing authority granted to the president of the United States. We the people make those choices. If we the people decide to elect a brash gameshow host with a short fuse and no governing experience, then that is the choice we make, yes, even should the republic fall. Unelected bureaucrats and generals holding secret meetings with hostile foreign nations are the things that lead to actual banana republics and military juntas, not mean tweets and yelling at journalists.

Even Trump antagonist and MSNBC regular Alexander Vindman admits as much and is calling for Milley’s immediate resignation. Vindman tweeted, ‘If this is true GEN Milley must resign. He usurped civilian authority, broke Chain of Command, and violated the sacrosanct principle of civilian control over the military. It’s an extremely dangerous precedent. You can’t simply walk away from that.’

Vindman is correct. The United States is ours to keep or lose. That decision is not up to Gen. Milley, no matter how much he squeals he is ‘needed on that wall’.

You have to wonder: if Milley was willing to overstep his authority in January, what’s stopping him from believing that an 80-year-old Joe Biden might be incapacitated to the point of not being able to make clear headed decisions regarding actions in, say, Afghanistan? Media pundits and Milley defenders aren’t looking at the long game. But they should. Milley does not become a patriot by suddenly aligning with the wild fantasies of #Resistance Twitter. If he’s willing to overstep his authority with imagined scenarios in the Trump era, how far would he be willing to go in the real world? How much authority was Milley granted on President Biden’s catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal? How much say did Milley have in a drone strike that reportedly targeted and killed a US-aligned aide worker and seven children in Kabul?

Read the whole thing.

MACKUBIN OWENS: U.S. military is more focused on ‘diversity’ than effectiveness.

ROBERT SPENCER: As Biden Says Islam is Peaceful, D.C. Imam Calls for Jihad.

A GOOD MOVE FROM KENT SYVERUD: A Good Statement on Faculty Speech from Syracuse. “I’m a believer in positive reinforcement, and when university leaders do the right thing they should get credit for doing so. Kent Syverud, the president of Syracuse University and a former law professor, did the right thing. Other university presidents should take notes.”

I note, though, that it takes criticism of leftist faculty to produce such statements. And so does Keith Whittington here:

Syverud was much less vocal when a professor was targeted by campus activists and denounced by members of his senior administration for calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan Flu or the Chinese Communist Party virus.” On that occasion, FIRE had to remind Syracuse about its obligations when professors say controversial things. Far from vocally defending that professor, Syracuse instead suspended him and launched an investigation over whether he should be further sanctioned and perhaps fired, contributing to FIRE awarding Syracuse a “Lifetime Censorship Award.” That professor’s case dragged on for months before Syracuse finally reinstated him.

One hopes that Syracuse has learned its lesson and will now aggressively defend free speech regardless of whether it is off-campus right-wing activists or on-campus left-wing campus activists attacking it.

If you want free speech on campus, it’s sadly probably necessary to attack leftist professors’ statements. The idea of academic freedom basically originated as a means of protecting leftist faculty from the angry bourgeoisie. For a while leftists thought they’d silenced the angry bourgeoisie and could do without academic freedom. I think it’s necessary to remind them that they’re not as safe as they thought. Hey, I don’t make these rules. They did.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: New guidelines urge chlamydia, gonorrhea screening for women 24 and younger.

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