Loose Ends (61)

Heading into the first weekend of 2019, a few stray stories worth noting.

This story out of Canada is so stupid that I can’t even give it one of our coveted Green Weenie Awards:

Sometimes being energy conscious can mean geeking out on gigawatts, or studying the latest heat exchanger technology. But in this case, it involved splurging on a $2,000 cat door.

The super-insulated, radio-frequency-controlled designer cat passageway is one of many energy saving features in a super energy efficient house being built in West Vancouver.

“I was in Austria at a passive house conference, and it was amazing seeing all these building products being built,” said home owner James Dean. “One was a cat door where you needed a certain insulation level, [it] needs to be airtight, and they have an actuator that opens the door for your cat.”

By the way, just what is a “passive house conference” like? Does everyone say every sentence something like, “The house will be insulated by a builder so that lights can be turned off by someone else”??

Also, if you read down in the story, you find that this brilliant eco-house cost $3 million to build. Just the thing for the masses. (I prefer my house to be at least passive-aggressive. I think I’ll organize a “passive-aggressive house conference,” in which my Amazon Alexa will be programed with a Jewish mother act.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is wasting no time getting her socialist freak on:

In an upcoming 60 Minutes interview, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will call for federal income tax rates of up to 70 percent as part of a proposal to create vast new government spending programs.

The current top federal income tax rate is 37 percent, so the Ocasio-Cortez plan will nearly double the tax rate for the top bracket.

New York State has a top income tax rate of 8.82 percent while New York City has a top rate of 3.876 percent. So under this proposal, her constituents would pay a top combined income tax rate of 82.7 percent:

Federal income tax rate:   70.0%
NY state income tax rate: 8.82%
NYC income tax rate:       3.876%
TOTAL:                           82.696%

New Yorkers would not be the only ones suffering under the Ocasio-Cortez plan. California taxpayers would pay a top rate of 83.3 percent (70 percent plus the California rate of 13.30 percent).

I predict this proposal will not pass.

Did you know there are health benefits to eating bacon? Of course there are. It is an intuitive truth, but if you need settled science, see this.

Related, from Gallup: “Few Americans Are Vegetarian or Vegan.” Key quote: “Fewer than one in 10 Americans adhere to such diets, with 5% in the U.S. now saying they are vegetarians and 3% reporting they are vegans. These numbers are little changed in recent years.”

Good news for the Trump re-election campaign.

Heads-up: Tomorrow’s Week in Pictures is epic, and includes our first-ever (I think) short video content.

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