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%
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.