No Americans like being told what to do. And no, you can’t break that. It’s who we are. If you’re not like that, maybe you ain’t American.


OPEN THREAD: Party on, dudes.


“The pure comedic aspect surfaces when Fauci blames red states for not pushing vaccination, saying they will keep COVID around as new outbreaks occur. Sir, you’re in deep-blue DC, and people are skeptical of getting vaccinated. Also, the cat was already out of the bag: COVID is endemic. The one thing that Fauci should have come away with during this little walk through DC is that he’s abysmal at messaging. He also said that Republicans needed to be broken to his whims on vaccination.”

Why, it’s as if: Fauci Has No Idea Why People Are Mad At Him.

JEREMY CLARKSON: A Tory BBC? Everyone I met there in 25 years was flaming red.

It’s often said that when someone emerges into the world from university and likes what they see, they will go into the City or into business and they will devote their lives to making money and going to parties and having fun. However, if they leave university and think the world is all broken and full of injustice, they will try to change the system. Which means they will add a rainbow emoji to their Twitter bio and join the BBC.

Of course, in recent weeks we have been told over and over again that this is emphatically not the case. Many angry, red-faced people have pointed out that the present chairman of the BBC is a Tory party donor and that Tim Davie, the director-general, once stood as a Conservative candidate in the local council elections in Hammersmith & Fulham. The message, then, is clear. At the very top, the Beeb is a festering maggot pit run by the bastard love children of Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Gekko.

* * * * * * * *

The mob, however, is wrong. Yes, at this precise moment of history it’s possible that the two people at the top of the BBC might at some point in their past have voted Conservative, but what about everyone else? All the other 22,000 people involved in running this broadcasting giant? The army that creates and writes and presents all the shows it produces? Well, I worked at the BBC for more than 25 years, and I can tell you that almost everyone I met was redder than the end of a dog’s lipstick.

I was once told when visiting the Simon Mayo show that I would have to leave my copy of The Spectator outside as “extremist material” was not allowed in the Radio 5 Live offices*. And then, while I was waiting to go on The One Show, a producer said that I had to agree with the public sector strikes that were happening that day or it would be “awkward”.

I know someone who was told to take down his Union Jack because it was “offensive”, and I was asked to remove my poster of Mrs Thatcher because it was upsetting people who walked past. I did, and replaced it with a picture of Kate and [Prince William], which somehow made them even angrier.

* Gentlemen, you can’t have differing opinions here, this is a broadcast network!


THE GREAT ABDICATION: In California, public officials now favor the lawless and deviant over the law-abiding and hardworking.

No one exemplifies the post-Floyd antiracist reformer more dramatically than George Gascón. In 2011, when he was mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón as the city’s district attorney; before then, Gascón had led the police agencies of San Francisco and Mesa, Arizona. In November 2020, Gascón was elected district attorney in Los Angeles, running on an antiracism platform and ousting L.A.’s comparatively conservative black district attorney.

Within hours of taking office, Gascón instituted 90 pages of policy changes that had been recommended by defense attorneys and anti-incarceration advocates. He banned the use of all sentencing enhancements, which seek a higher sentence for a particular crime than might otherwise be sought. Grounds for enhancement include criminal history and the defendant’s conduct during the latest crime in question, such as the use of a gun or the infliction of great bodily harm.

This prohibition on enhancements resulted in about 8,000 fewer sentence years imposed during Gascón’s first three months in office, compared with the same period in the previous year, reported the New York Times. Gascón banned his staff from bringing cases against criminals who had resisted arrest, trespassed, engaged in disorderly conduct, loitered for the purpose of prostitution, driven with no license, or driven with a suspended one. He banned prosecutors from attending parole hearings. He eliminated bail for all “nonserious” offenses.

Gascón started reviewing the sentences of some 20,000 state prisoners for possible early release. In March 2021, a convicted murderer in Sacramento’s Folsom State Prison recorded a video of himself and another inmate toasting Gascón for his retroactive sentence shortenings. While convicted felons would get their sentences reopened for review, police officers who had shot a suspect but who had been cleared by Gascón’s predecessor would see their cases reexamined for possible prosecution.

As Tom Cotton wrote in December, 2021: Recall, Remove & Replace Every Last Soros Prosecutor.

WATCH: We the People Speak out Against San Antonio’s Threat to Use Eminent Domain to Steal a Texan’s Business.

Eminent domain is one of several methods the government has used to achieve tyrannical ends. Originally intended to make way for infrastructure projects and others that are ostensibly “for the public good,” it has been expanded over the years to allow the state to steal property and land from American citizens.

This is what the state of Texas, in conjunction with the city of San Antonio, is doing to Vince Cantu, owner of Moses Rose’s bar and grill, which is located next to the Alamo. The city has initiated eminent domain proceedings against him to take his property so that they can do some renovations to the Alamo and build a museum and gift shop on the land where his property lies. Check out my article and conversation with Cantu here.

Also check out this recent Reason article and accompanying video on Cantu: A Tavern Keeper’s Last Stand at the Alamo.

HOW WEAK IS THE CASE AGAINST TRUMP? THIS WEAK: Avenatti says there’s no case against Trump.

We will see if justice is served or they indict Trump.

The media promoted Avenatti in 2018 in their endless campaign to ruin President Trump. The Washington Free Beacon reported on May 11, 2018, “The Washington Free Beacon analyzed 108 appearances by Avenatti on MSNBC and CNN over a 64-day period from March 7 to May 10.”

He appeared on Fox twice.

I believe he regretted his second appearance.

But given his tweets were posted on Friday without comment in the media, I believe they finally dropkicked him through the goalposts of ignominy.

They love you when you’re useful, but not when you’re an impediment.

GOOD: Strong Revenue and Fiscal Federalism Are Driving a State-Based Tax Revolution.

State lawmakers have been driving down income-tax rates across the map for two consecutive fiscal years, and they show no sign of relenting in 2023. The extraordinary wave of state income-tax cuts that began in 2021 is set to continue as states such as West Virginia, North Dakota, and Kentucky are moving quickly to cut rates this year.

Strong state revenue made the recent wave of tax cuts possible. Changes in federal tax law enacted in 2017, and the rise of remote work following the pandemic — that allows workers to move to better-managed, lower-tax states — gave lawmakers the further incentive to act, resulting in unprecedented interstate tax competition.

In just the last week, West Virginia lawmakers sent Governor Jim Justice a bill to cut the top income-tax rate from 6.5 percent to 5.12 percent. North Dakota’s house passed a series of bills that would scrap the state’s progressive tax structure, with its 2.9 percent top rate, and replace it with a flat income tax of 1.5 percent.

Kentucky already enacted an income-tax-rate cut from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent in February, effective next year. Still more states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Kansas are teeing up major income-tax overhauls, each targeting a low, flat (or near-flat) income-tax structure.

Strong state revenue combined with extraordinary federal pandemic aid created the opportunity for a wave of state tax reforms. The National Association of State Budget Officers estimates that state general revenue grew by 16.6 percent in fiscal 2021 and 14.5 percent in fiscal 2022, which explains why so many states have been able to cut rates in concert.

In addition, two structural changes have enhanced state tax competition. First, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the federal deduction for state and local taxes paid at $10,000, thus increasing the “felt cost” of state taxation, particularly for higher earners. A high-paid Silicon Valley engineer who could previously deduct $70,000 in California income taxes on his federal tax return can now only deduct $10,000. In short, the burden of his state-government tax policy went up, incentivizing him to find a better-managed state.

Second, the pandemic untethered a multitude of high-paid workers from a geographic location, creating the opportunity for taxpayers to move, and giving states an incentive to compete for their relocations. A 2022 McKinsey report found that 35 percent of workers were eligible for full-time remote work, including 46 percent of workers earning over $150,000. The Silicon Valley engineer who lost federal deductibility for his California income taxes in 2018 became eligible for remote work in 2021. His move to Austin, Texas, eliminated his entire state income-tax liability.

But will he be smart enough to support the policies that attracted him?

SELF-DEFENSE: Focus on what you can do, not what you can buy.

Good gear is good, and always fun to talk about, but skills are ultimately more important. Alfred Stieglitz took an amazing photo of Grand Central Station with a camera he made out of a shoebox with a pinhole poked in it.

PISTOLS: 1911 vs. 2011. “That is the smoothest gun of all time. It doesn’t move. Like it literally doesn’t move, there’s no recoil.”