Alpaca and Omega

Wretched start to the morning. Saturday is my one day off — barring catastrophe.

So of course a little after 5 this morning, Real Clear Policy co-editor Joe Lawler informed me, via text because good luck getting a call through right now, that he and about a million other residents of the DC Metro area are without power and therefore without Internet and that the situation is likely to persist. The update was all on my groggy brain and clumsy fingers.

There was one columnal consolation, which I led with: Christopher Caldwell’s usual Saturday essay in the Financial Times. The subject was legal tax dodgers, a subject (and target) which the Brits have got themselves worked about of late. UK Chancellor George Osborne has described the practice of dodging as many taxes as we can get away with as “morally repugnant.” Other prominent polls have joined in with censorious words to that effect.

This political “consensus position,” writes Caldwell, was first handed down to us by the insufferably platitudinous US Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said, “I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

Yeah, about that, Caldwell explains, “The problem is that where taxes are decided by legislation, they result from a tug-of-war between factions, not from ageless moral wisdom about what constitutes a ‘fair share.’ The UK’s offsetting-mortgage rule and its gift-aid scheme, the US subsidies for ethanol production and alpaca farming – you won’t find those things in the Bible.”

Read the whole thing and please stop by Real Clear Policy while you’re at it. My evil wake up time might as well serve some good end.

How to Make Tomorrow Less Insane

The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its Obamacare decision Thursday. Getting to the meat of that decision, and all of its implications for the future of this country, is going to be harder than it sounds.

It will be hard because of all the human static. People who only half know what they’re talking about will try to say something — anything! — to avoid dead air time on television and radio. Lots of weasel words, conditional clauses and marginal expert analysis to follow.

Do not despair! I bring you good news of a great blog that will pounce on the decision like a hawk and use its analytical talons to skin the thing alive.

The blog is called The Mark-Up. It is a product of one of the websites I help edit, Real Clear Policy. All day tomorrow, co-editor Joseph Lawler will cut through the static to bring you the best analysis of what the court has wrought.

If I were you, I’d bookmark it right now and do some finger exercises so you’ll be up to the monumental task of hitting that “refresh” button.

The Mark-Up