New Hampshire Senate Rejects Occupational Licensing Bill

The New Hampshire Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee rejected a bill that would have created a state commission for reviewing occupational licensing rules.

The committee voted to reject House Bill 1685 (H.B. 1685) on April 5. The state House of Representatives had approved the bill in March.

Opportunities Squashed

H.B. 1685’s sponsor, state Rep. Bill Ohm (R-Nashua) says his bill could have helped people get  jobs and lift themselves out of poverty and drug addiction.

“New Hampshire has an interesting dichotomy,” Ohm said. “We have extremely low unemployment but high levels of opioid addiction. We have perhaps 15,000 recovering opioid addicts sidelined from our workforce, and a need for able-bodied working adults. One part of the bill was to make New Hampshire ‘recovery friendly’ by requiring licensing boards to determine, in advance, whether an individual’s criminal record would disqualify that individual from obtaining the appropriate license.”

Ohm says H.B. 1685 would have created opportunities for those seeking to better themselves.

“The intention of the bill was to increase employment opportunities for those who wish to work,” Ohm said. “It does that by starting a process to review all occupational licensing over a five-year period to see if the current laws are appropriate.”

Hoped to Cut Cronyism

Ohm says many occupational licensing rules reflect obvious cronyism.

“Some professions, such as cosmetology, require more than 1,000 hours of training to get an appropriate license,” Ohm said. “The expense of that training serves to discourage job seekers who wish to enter that profession, and seems to primarily benefit those who wish to restrict additional competition. If an EMT can qualify for a license with 40 hours of training, is cosmetology that much more dangerous to public health and safety?”

‘Little Public Purpose’

David Harrington, an economics professor at Kenyon College, says his research has led him to conclude occupational licensing needlessly increases the prices of goods and services.

“Most of my studies of occupational licensing involve the funeral industry,” Harrington said. “I have found evidence that more stringent requirements to become a funeral service worker increase funeral prices paid by consumers and reduce the likelihood that they choose cremation, because funeral directors persuade many of them to purchase a more expensive, traditional earth burial.”

Ohm says many government occupational restrictions have little real benefit for the general public.

“Licensing is certainly appropriate for occupations that put the health and safety of the public at risk, such as medical professionals, but other licensed professions, such as an athletic trainer or an auctioneer, seem to involve little public risk,” Ohm said. “Requiring a state license to enter certain professions seems to create a high barrier to entry with little public purpose.”

Disparate Impacts

The burden of government permission slips is especially heavy for women and ethnic minorities, Harrington says.

“Women are less likely to be funeral directors in states that require all funeral directors to be embalmers,” Harrington said. “I also think that these laws make it difficult for immigrants to enter funeral directing to serve their communities.”

Free-Market Alternatives

Ohm says the public can ensure the safety and quality of goods and services without government control.

“Professions should be open to jobseekers who meet appropriate standards of training and proficiency,” Ohm said. “Industry or government certifications, proof of insurance and bonding, and even social media reports are less restrictive ways to protect consumers than licensing.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News.

PHOTO: New Hampshire State House in Concord, NH. Photograph taken and uploaded by Jared C. Benedict on 29 December 2004. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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Ben Shapiro: The Suicide of Europe

On Friday, the British police arrested Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a far-right anti-Islam group. Robinson is a controversial character, to be sure, a sort of Milo Yiannopoulos lite. His chief focus is on the threat of radical Islam, which he believes threatens the integrity of the British system.

You don’t have to like Robinson. But whatever you think of him, his arrest is absurd by any measure. You see, Robinson was arrested for standing outside a court building and reporting on a trial involving the alleged grooming of young girls for sexual assault by radical Muslims.

Now, what would be illegal about that, you ask? It turns out that Robinson was given a suspended sentence last year for filming outside another court building, where a trial for alleged gang rape by radical Muslims was taking place. He wasn’t inside the courtroom. Nonetheless, the judge believed he was somehow biasing the jurors. According to the judge, Robinson was sentenced thanks to “pejorative language which prejudges the case, and it is language and reporting … that could have had the effect of substantially derailing the trial.”

This time, Robinson was again arrested for prejudicing a case, only he wasn’t inside the court building. He was outside. And the media were originally banned from reporting on his arrest so that his trial wouldn’t be biased. In other words, Britain has now effectively banned reporting that actually mentions the Islamic nature of criminal defendants for fear of stirring up bigotry — and has banned reporting on reporting on such defendants. It’s an infinite regress of suicidal political correctness.

But at least the Europeans have their priorities straight: While it’s perfectly legal to lock up a provocateur covering a trial involving Muslims, the European Union is now considering a ban on products like cotton buds, straws and other plastics for fear of marine litter. And just as importantly, it’s now perfectly legal to kill unborn children again in Ireland, where voters — with the help of a cheering press — decided to lift the ban on abortions until the 20th week, condemning thousands of children to death.

This is how the West dies: with a tut-tut, not with a bang. The same civilization that sees it as a fundamental right to kill a child in the womb thinks it is utterly out of bounds to film outside a trial involving the abuse of children, so long as the defendants are radical Muslims. The Europeans have elevated the right to not be offended above the right to life; they’ve elevated the right to not be offended above the right to free speech, all in the name of some utopian vision of a society without standards.

Discarding those standards was supposed to make Europeans more free; it was supposed to allow Europeans to feel more comfortable. But the sad truth is that no society exists without certain standards and Europe has a new standard: enforcement of its “tolerance” via jail sentence, combined with tolerance of multiculturalism that sees tolerance itself as a Trojan horse. The notion of individual rights sprang from European soil. Now they’re beginning to die there.

PHOTO: Ben Shapiro speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Michelle Malkin: Crapweasel of the Week: Educrat Arne Duncan

Educrat (ED-yoo-krat) noun, usually pejorative. A government school official or administrator whose primary function is to spend tax dollars telling other parents what to do with their children.

Beltway education bureaucrats abhor families who choose to keep their kids out of public schools — unless it’s to grandstand over gun control.

Behold Arne Duncan, longtime pal of Barack Obama and former U.S. Department of Education secretary, who called last weekend for parents nationwide to withdraw students from classes “until gun laws (are) changed to keep them safe.”

Emotions are still raw after a teen shot 10 classmates and teachers to death in Texas last week. But Duncan has no excuse for his cynical, made-for-cable-TV exploitation of the Santa Fe High School massacre. Existing state laws banning minors under 18 from purchasing or possessing guns didn’t stop the shooter. Neither did laws against possessing sawed-off shotguns or pipe bombs.

And contrary to hysterical early reports, the accused 17-year-old gunman did not use “assault rifles.” So a “common sense” ban on “assault weapons” would not have saved lives, either.

But effective solutions to maximize students’ safety and well-being seemingly aren’t Duncan’s goals. His mission is airtime. Publicity. Entertainment. Provocation for provocation’s sake. Show time — for the children, of course.

School boycotts are a “radical idea,” he admitted to MSNBC. “It’s controversial. It’s intentionally provocative.” Praising teacher walkouts and student protests, Duncan told The Atlantic he supported parent-initiated school shutdowns for gun control because “we are not protecting our kids… And the fact that we’re not doing that — we’re not willing to think radically enough to do it — I can’t stomach that.”

Ah, the royal, unstomachable “we.”

Here’s another thing I find hard to swallow: Education overlord Arne Duncan now championing the radical idea of parents exercising their autonomy to do what’s best for their children.

As Obama’s meddling power-hungry education secretary, Duncan attacked “white suburban moms” and their children who turned to homeschooling in protest of the top-down Common Core “standards”/testing/data-mining program. Duncan sneered that he found it “fascinating” that the grass-roots anti-Common Core revolt came from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

This elitist control freak revealed his fundamental disdain for rabble-rousing parents who’ve taken educational matters in to their own hands. By characterizing the movement against Common Core as “white” and “suburban,” Duncan also exposed his bigotry against countless parents “of color,” like myself, who’ve long opposed Fed Ed’s sabotage of academic excellence, local control and student privacy in school districts across the country.

Note that newly minted parents’ rights advocate Arne Duncan never once advocated boycotting Chicago public schools, which he ran for eight years, for their abject failure to quell rampant school violence.

Nor has Duncan called for parents to demand their districts withdraw from the disastrous “PROMISE” alternative discipline program that he helped create. (After Duncan’s protege, Broward County school superintendent Robert Runcie, initially denied that Parkland, Fla., shooter Nicholas Cruz had benefited from the program, he sheepishly acknowledged last week that Cruz had in fact been referred to the program and avoided criminal prosecution for school vandalism as a result.)

Nor has Duncan said a peep about systemic coddling of abusers in the classroom by teachers’ union presidents in New Jersey and Ohio, as exposed over the past month by undercover investigative journalists at Project Veritas.

Instead, Duncan has won high praise and more media interviews for his phony boycott proposal. “My family is all in if we can do this at scale,” he nobly tweeted.

But what his slavering fans in the liberal media won’t tell you is that Duncan’s wife works at and his own children attend the exclusive, private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in tony Hyde Park, which a Lab Schools brochure brags is “patrolled by the University of Chicago Police Department and private security.”

Armed, of course, for thine and thee, Arne. But not for we.

PHOTO: Michelle Malkin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Arizona Senate Puts Coal Tax Relief Bill on Hold

A bill to provide tax relief for Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station (NGS) by exempting income derived from coal mining from the state’s transaction privilege tax (TPT) was held up in the Arizona Senate’s Finance Committee with the legislation falling one vote short of passage.

The bill’s sponsors are working to gain additional support before bringing it up for reconsideration in the wake of the March 14 setback.

Native-American Workforce

NGS, a 2,250-megawatt coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation reservation near Page, Arizona, is the largest electricity power generator in the state. NGS operates under a lease agreement with the Navajo Nation, supplying electricity to customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada. It also provides the power needed to pump water for agriculture and municipal uses from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson through the Central Arizona Project.

The plant is jointly owned by the Salt River Project and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, who own the largest percentages of the installation, and the Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy, and Tucson Electric Power, who have smaller shares. NGS employs more than 400 full-time staff, 90 percent of whom are Navajo.

NGS uses coal from the Kayenta Mine, operated by Peabody Western Coal Company under lease agreements with the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The coal is delivered to NGS by a 75-mile electric railroad owned and operated by the plant. Ninety-nine percent of the mine’s 340 employees are Native American.

‘A Tax Elimination’

Arizona’s TPT taxes companies’ gross receipts in 16 separate business classifications, including mining, retail, telecommunications, and utilities. Arizona also allows municipalities to levy local TPTs.

HB 2003 would exempt coal from the retail and mining classifications under the state TPT and any municipal TPT and sales taxes. A Fiscal Note prepared for HB 2003 estimated although the proposed exemptions would reduce Arizona’s General Fund by $9.1 million in Fiscal Year 2019, the ongoing revenue loss from a closed NGS would be $12.2 million.

State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), HB 2003’s sponsor, says TPT never should have been imposed on coal mining.

“This is … a tax elimination,” said Finchem. “The state does not collect a [TPT] on the wind, the sun, or the water, nor does it collect the tax on natural gas and nuclear fuels, … [so the TPT on coal] never should have been laid.”

Fails Tax Tests

John Nothdurft, director of government relations at The Heartland Institute, which publishes Environment & Climate News, testified HB 2003 would improve energy markets in the state, during a hearing before Arizona House Ways and Means Committee on February 14.

“Arizona’s transaction privilege tax … [is] dissimilar to how other states tax raw materials used to produce energy, such as coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels,” Nothdurft testified. “Sound tax policy generally abides by four basic principles: It is applied to a broad base; kept at a competitive, low rate; it is non-distorting; and rate-setting and the regulatory process are completely transparent to the state’s citizens.

“Arizona’s transaction privilege tax fails on at least three, if not all four, of these principles,” Nothdurft said.

High Closing Costs

Nothdurft also testified failure to implement the proposed tax reform might cause NGS to close, which would increase energy prices in Arizona.

“Thirty-one percent of Arizona’s electricity generation comes from coal, but this would significantly decrease if NGS is closed,” said Nothdurft. “This is a significant problem, since the cost of coal electricity is much cheaper than other forms of electricity—especially wind and solar, which are heavily subsidized and yet remain more expensive.”

Severe Power Disruptions Forecast

Fred Palmer, a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, says ending TPT for coal mining would benefit all of Arizona.

“HB 2003 is designed to help extend the commercial life of NGS, a crucial resource for the economic future of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, as well as water users, electric consumers, and agricultural interests in Arizona,” Palmer said. “Since a closed NGS will produce no mining tax revenues, opposition to the bill can only be construed as anti-Native, anti-fossil fuels, and anti-growth.”

A recent study by utility consulting firm Quanta Technology confirms NGS is critical to the power supply in the Southwest.

The report states closing NGS in 2019 would result in “power deficiencies which could evolve into potential voltage collapse and outages, load shedding triggers, potential rotating brownouts, failing transformers or transmission lines and equipment damage” affecting Phoenix, Flagstaff, other large Arizona cities, and California cities such as Lugo and Shandon.

Confident in Bill’s Prospects

Although HB 2003 stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, Carlyle Begay, a Navajo and former Arizona state senator for the district where NGS is located, says he is confident HB 2003 will eventually pass.

Finance Committee member Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), who initially withheld support for the bill, which kept it from moving out of the committee, now supports the proposal, Begay says.

In addition, “we will have enough Democrat votes to pass the bill through the Senate,” Begay said. “The commitment will be in place in case we need it.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.

PHOTO: The Arizona Capitol Museum building in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

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U.S. Supreme Court Reconsiders Online Sales Tax Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court is reconsidering a longstanding decision preventing states from requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made by residents of their states.

Oral arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. began on April 17.

In the 1992 case Quill v. North Dakota, the Court established the “nexus” standard for business taxation, declaring a business need not remit sales taxes unless it maintains a physical location, or nexus, in the taxing jurisdiction. Consumers are supposed to pay the tax directly to governments, but compliance is rare.

Lawyers representing 41 states, including South Dakota, are asking the court to overturn the Quill decision.

Matter of Jurisdiction

Tim Huelskamp, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News, says state governments lack the constitutional authority to tax people outside their borders.

“The United States is essentially 50 free markets,” Huelskamp said. “The Quill decision made it clear that, [for example] New York has no authority to tax folks in Kansas if the business doesn’t have a presence there, which matches all kinds of constitutional standards. We’re going to let the state of California reach into every state in the Union? It’s certainly scary to proponents of limited government.”

More Taxes, More Problems

Andrew Moylan, president of the National Taxpayers Union, says reversing the Quill decision would hit small business owners with more taxes and complex paperwork.

“Large retailers already have to collect tax in every state because they have storefronts, warehouses, or employees in states across the country,” Moylan said. “The people who would be negatively impacted by this are those small- and medium-sized businesses, and particularly people who utilize so-called marketplaces—think of websites like eBay or Etsy or even Amazon Marketplace.”

Huelskamp says states should reduce spending and enforce existing laws instead of trying to tax outsiders.

“I think we have a spending problem in most of these states, not a revenue problem,” Huelskamp said. “There are a number of other options. Eighty percent of this revenue is already collectible under current law.”

Interstate Commerce Slowdown

Moylan says undoing Quill would cause many business owners to stop selling to out-of-state consumers.

“They’d see huge compliance costs and major complexity to the point where they would most likely just not sell across state lines,” Moylan said. “If businesses find it too complicated to engage in interstate commerce, they will simply stop.”

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News.

PHOTO: The Supreme Court Building of the United States from the dome of the capitol building. Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Farragutful. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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EPA Revokes Interim Fuel Economy Increases

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced EPA was revoking standards requiring cars and light trucks sold in the United States to achieve an average of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

EPA approved the current emission standards in December 2016, just before President Barack Obama left office and two years before the previous standards were scheduled to be reviewed.

Studies show the standard imposed in late 2016 would substantially increase the price of cars and change the composition of the nation’s automobile and light truck fleet for years.

‘Politically Charged Expediency’

In the April 2 press release announcing EPA was halting the tightening of fuel economy standards, Pruitt said the Obama administration had short-circuited the process for setting fuel economy standards for political reasons.

“The Obama administration’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a press release. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

Pruitt said EPA would work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to establish a new standard that “allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford—while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars.”

Automakers Support Change

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), whose members produce 70 percent of the cars and light trucks sold in the United States, endorsed Pruitt’s decision.

Gloria Bergquist, AAM’s vice president of public affairs, said in a press statement her organization’s members, which include Ford, GM, FCA, Mazda, Toyota, and Volvo, among others, agreed with Pruitt’s decision to revise the interim standards.

“[AAM’s members] support the administration for pursuing a data-driven effort and a single national program as it works to finalize future standards,” Bergquist’s statement said. “We appreciate that the administration is working to find a way to both increase fuel economy standards and keep new vehicles affordable to more Americans.”

Pruitt said EPA had consulted with automakers before deciding to revise the standards.

Failed Government Interventions

As gas prices declined and the sale of pickup trucks and SUVs accelerated, car and truck fuel economy improvements have slowed since 2013.

In EPA’s press release, Pruitt said Obama’s EPA had been “optimistic in its assumptions and projections” about the availability of technology to meet the new standards, and he suggested if new, cleaner vehicles become too expensive, consumers will hold onto older cars, which will decrease collective fuel efficiency and result in increased emissions.

Federal fuel efficiency standards failed to reduce fuel imports as originally intended and are now unnecessary because of increased domestic oil and gas production, says Steve Goreham, executive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, which publishes Environment & Climate News.

“The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were originally established by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, passed in the middle of the 1970s oil crisis to try to reduce imports of foreign oil,” Goreham said. “But CAFE mileage standards failed to solve this problem, as imports of petroleum use rose from about 20 percent of domestic use in 1970 to 60 percent by 2005.

“By contrast, over the last decade, the fracking revolution boosted domestic oil production and caused imports of foreign oil to drop from 60 percent down to 20 percent again, with further declines ahead,” said Goreham. “The fracking revolution made CAFE standards obsolete, and as a result the standards should be relaxed and eventually eliminated.”

California Dreamin’

Subject to an EPA waiver, the 1970 Clean Air Act gave California the authority to set its own emissions limits. California has vowed to sue to halt EPA’s fuel economy reversal or use its waiver to maintain the Obama EPA’s standard for vehicles sold in California. This is important because twelve other states, representing approximately a third of the U.S. auto market, follow California’s standards.

In congressional testimony in 2017, Pruitt said EPA would not commit to maintaining California’s waiver to set separate emission standards. Apparently anticipating California’s reaction, EPA’s press release said the state’s waiver “is still being reexamined by EPA under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership.”

“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country…. It is in America’s best interest to have a national standard, and we look forward to partnering with all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard,” Pruitt said in the press release.

Conflict Between Law, Waiver

Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says EPA should never have allowed California to limit automobile emissions.

“EPA should never have granted California a waiver to implement its greenhouse gas motor vehicle law in the first place,” said Lewis. “California’s greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles implicitly and substantially regulate fuel economy, because limiting car and truck carbon dioxide emissions requires using fuel-saving technologies or strategies, like weight reduction, that reduce the amount of fuel consumed per mile.

“However, the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the nation’s original fuel economy statute, specifically preempts states from adopting or enforcing laws or regulations ‘related to’ fuel economy standards,” Lewis said.

Lewis says EPA’s decision to halt mandatory fuel economy increases is good for consumers.

“EPA’s announcement is good news,” said Lewis. “Fuel economy mandates limit consumer choice, add thousands of dollars to the cost of new vehicles, and result in car makers producing vehicles that are less safe than they otherwise would be.

“Congress should end the reign of bureaucrats and put consumers back in charge of telling automakers what kinds of cars and trucks to produce,” Lewis said.

Editor’s Note: This article was published in cooperation with The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.

PHOTO: Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Michelle Malkin: The ‘Uncle Tom’ Card Is Dead

Here is a short list of prominent conservatives and independent thinkers who’ve been accused by their critics of being an “Uncle Tom” or some other vitriolic variation on the overplayed left-wing theme of being a traitor to their race or gender (“Aunt Tomasina,” “Uncle Juan,” “Aunt Jemima,” “Uncle Wong,” etc.):

–White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

–U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.

–HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

–Rapper Kanye West.

–Lt. Col. Allen West.

–Former Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal.

–Attorney Miguel Estrada.

–Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

–Judge Janice Rogers Brown.

–Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

–Author and CRTV host Deneen Borelli.

–ACT for America founder and author Brigitte Gabriel.

–Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

–Former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

–Attorney and author Ann Coulter.

–Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

–Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

–Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

–Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

–Economist Thomas Sowell.

–Economist Walter Williams.

–Scholar Glenn Loury.

–Turning Point USA activist Candace Owens.

–Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder.

–Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.

–Author Erik Rush.

–Actress Stacey Dash.

–Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

–Former University of California regent and businessman Ward Connerly.

–Former ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

–Conservative activist Niger Innis.

–Tea party organizer Lloyd Marcus.

–Author and columnist Star Parker.

–Author Shelby Steele.

–Social media stars Diamond and Silk.

–ESPN’s Sage Steele.

–Radio host Charlamagne tha God.

–Me.

Surveying this short list, you’ll notice that all of us public enemies of the progressive diversity-mongers possess an incredibly diverse array of life and work experiences.

We are black, white, brown, native-born citizens, immigrants and naturalized Americans.

We are Republican, libertarian, moderate, hard-right and unaffiliated.

We are politicians, diplomats, academicians, writers, economists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, lawyers, doctors and pastors.

Like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty much any “person of color” who doesn’t adhere militantly to Democrat Party orthodoxy has or will face the barbed charge of self-loathing or tribe betrayal.

And legions of women, famous and obscure, wealthy and poor, have been labeled “female impersonators” or “Stepford Wives” for embracing everything from unborn life to gun ownership, high border walls, low taxes and local control.

According to the self-appointed arbiters of color-coded and chromosomal fealty, if you marry outside your race, you’re a traitor. If you adopt your husband’s name, you’re a traitor. If you’re happy with stay-at-home motherhood, you’re a traitor. If you straighten your hair, or culturally appropriate some other culture’s hair, or bleach your hair the wrong color, you’re a traitor.

Lord, what dreary killjoys these p.c. police be.

I catalogued my favorite malicious mutations of the Uncle Tom card for years on my blog, from “white man’s puppet” to “Tokyo Rose” to “Manila whore,” “Subic Bay bar girl,” banana, coconut and Oreo. Instead of dissuading me from espousing heretical opinions, these insults spurred me on. Now, the increasing exposure and public ubiquity of unapologetic and unorthodox women and minorities seems to have triggered the collectivists’ bile production at the highest levels.

Most recently, the White House Correspondents’ Association gave “comedian” Michelle Wolf a lofty platform upon which to denigrate Sarah Sanders’ womanhood by sniping:

“I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? What’s Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Aunt Coulter.”

Ultimately, the problem with the whinnying Wolf’s schtick isn’t that it’s mean and divisive. It’s that it’s boring, unfunny and ineffectual. When everyone qualifies as an “Uncle Tom” in the eyes of the left’s raging resistance, there will be no one left to pretend to laugh at their anemic jokes.

PHOTO: Michelle Malkin speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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