Links for 6-18-2015

  • Ben Domenech wrote a tremendous essay on the folly of removing Alexander Hamilton from the ten dollar bill. It includes this:

    Back in 2009, during the height of the Tea Party, there were crotchety old Americans who warned in dark tones about the dangers of this president. He was a socialist, they said, and feckless to boot. He hated the American Founding and the men who built the foundations of this country. He would lead us into war and ruin and despair, and he would tear down the monuments to our heroes along the way. He was anti-American through and through, in ways that us youngsters did not understand. When they said this, I would disagree as politely as possible. The president is wrong about policy, wrong about direction, I said at the time, but he is not a socialist, not someone who hates America. He may have the wrong ideas, but his heart was still in the right place, or close to it.

    Is it possible they were right, and I was wrong?

    Yes, Domenech was wrong. He continues:

    Alexander Hamilton loved America. He labored for her, fought for her, wrote her laws, built her structures, and died a patriot. He arrived here as a penniless immigrant with nothing but his dedication, his mind, and the strength of his beliefs going for him, and he became one of the most significant Americans to ever live. Love his ideas or hate them, they made our nation what she is: they established our federalist system of government, secured our liberty, and transformed us into an economic power that was and is the envy of the world.

    Alexander Hamilton was a bastard, but he was a righteous bastard. He loved his country. And the callow men who are demoting him on our currency today are not fit to lick his boots.

  • A roommate of Dylann Roof’s said he’d been planning an attack like the one against the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for six months. Perhaps he could have said something beforehand.

  • Rand Paul announced a 14.5% flat tax plan. His plan taxes the money corporations use to pay wages and salaries, which means that money is double taxed.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed fast track trade authority for President Obama on a 218–208 vote. The bill lacked the “trade adjustment assistance” provision of the Senate’s bill, so the House version is going back to the Senate for another vote. Mitch McConnell plans to attach the “trade adjustment assistance” spending to some other non-controversial bill.

  • The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, has privately been using the word “quagmire” in the context of the situation in Iraq. He wasn’t willing to use that word during Congressional testimony, but he was willing to ask his staff to leak that word to James Rosen of Fox News.

  • Mark J. Perry took a summer trip to the Bakken oil fields so you don’t have to.

  • The California Labor Commission declared that Uber’s drivers are employees, not contractors, which screws their business model.