- I've totally gotten Amy into So You Think You Can Dance. It's kind of awesome. The show is promoting a national dance day on July 30, and they have several different tutorials on dances to learn. I'm hoping that we'll really do it and get into it. Start with this video if you're interested:
- Over at Powerline, I read this blogpost about the conservative case for taxes. I thought it was really insightful. Here is a key excerpt:
But here’s the case: one problem with our current tax policy is that at the moment the American people as a whole are receiving a dollar of government for the price of only 60 cents. (I don’t say a “dollar’s worth of government,” but let’s leave that snark for another time.) Any time you can get a dollar of something at a 40 percent discount, you are going to demand more of it. My theory is simple: if the broad middle class of Americans are made to pay for all of the government they get, they may well start to demand less of it, quickly.
There’s corollary point to this. Back in the Reagan years, there was a vigorous internal debate about whether to resist tax increases because “starving the beast” would hold down spending. But evidence is now in: this strategy doesn’t work. My witness on this point is the Cato Institute’s chairman, William Niskanen (who was chairman of Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers at one point, and a person whose libertarian credentials are hard to beat). Niskanen noted this striking finding  in a Cato Policy Report a while ago:
In a professional paper published in 2002, I presented evidence that the relative level of federal spending over the period 1981 through 2000 was coincident with the relative level of the federal tax burden in the opposite direction; in other words, there was a strong negative relation between the relative level of federal spending and tax revenues. Controlling for the unemployment rate, federal spending increased by about one-half percent of GDP for each one percentage point decline in the relative level of federal tax revenues. . . One implication of this relation is that a tax increase may be the most effective policy to reduce the relative level of federal spending.
Other economists have reached the same conclusion . In other words, if you want to limit government spending, instead of starving the beast, serve the check. (Well, I can hear everyone now, there’s goes your invitation to Grover Norquist’s Wednesday meetings! True that.) Right now the anti-tax bias of the right has the effect of shifting costs onto future generations who do not vote in today’s elections, and enables liberals to defend against spending restraints very cheaply. Time to end the free ride.
- An article over at NRO talks about a case of overly restrictive separation between Church and state. Article is here. An excerpt:
This isn’t the first episode of such trouble. In May, with the approach of Memorial Day — always a day of proud and sorrowful reflection at veterans’ cemeteries, typically characterized by invocations of God’s mercy and His blessings on our country — Ocasio required that the ministers who planned to speak at the cemetery submit their proposed prayers to her in advance. Pastor Scott Rainey of Living Word Church did so, and was told to revise his prayers to be more “inclusive” — by excluding specific reference to his own religion. Appealing to the VA in Washington, Rainey was referred to a deputy in the general counsel’s office, who backed Ocasio.
Rainey took his case to federal district court in Houston, where Judge Lynn Hughes sharply rebuked the VA and Ocasio, issuing a restraining order against them on May 26. As Hughes said in his opinion, “the government cannot gag citizens” in the name of “some bureaucrat’s notion of cultural homogeneity.”
- I read a pretty cool article on ESPN about what The Decision (Lebron's televised decision to choose the Heat over the Cavaliers) looked like through the eyes of the kids at the Boys and Girls Club where it was televised from. It was a really fun look, and it also reminded me of how important the Boys and Girls Club was for me when I was growing up with two parents who worked and no one else who could look after me in the summers. I still even remember one of the guys that I really looked up to - George Gorey. I ought to look him up. It takes a village...and I feel like I had all sorts of people that I owe so much to because of roles that they played for me during my childhood. Here is the article.
- A friend of mine will occasionally send out songs or albums that she's really into, and I do the same thing every time. I'll just set it aside for a month or three, start get into the music on my own, and then remember that she sent it to me way before it all got big. That's happened at least three times that I can think of right off the bat. Anyway, the latest is this song. And I just love love the video.
And that's all I got for today. Have a great weekend, y'all!