In yet another refuting
datapoint to that whole 'liberaltarian
Captain Ed takes
note of new legislation from Senators Obama and Schumer
to ban "deceptive" electioneering practices.
In case your first instinct to the above is to
say: Why, who could be for deception?, Ed will explain:
The impulse to pass laws to punish the worst of the deceivers is understandable, but it will open a Pandora's Box of litigation that will get used to initimidate smaller grass-roots organizations into silence.If it winds up being a McCain/Obama race in 2008, fans of the First Amendment will probably start drinking heavily on Election Night, and continue doing so until at least 2012.
The bill allows "individuals", according to the NYT, to file lawsuits against anyone promoting what the plaintiff sees as "deceptive" public argument. While Schumer and Obama may have a high-minded opinion of the average American and his/her eschewing of courts for nefarious uses, the rest of us who live in the real world understands exactly what this will mean. Any campaign advertising or position paper will become fair game for all sorts of lawsuits, and more than likely multiple suits in courts all over the country.
(Via NRO Media Blog.)
But speaking of liberty:
While we weren't looking, Dubya actually went and did something to
give libertarians warm-and-fuzzy feelings in his State of the Union
address: he proposed counting employer-paid health insurance
as taxable income, and (instead) give taxpayers with health insurance a
hefty deduction. Jacob Sullum gives this a big thumbs-up,
and Arnold Kling grades it A+. And the word on the
street is, Arnold's a pretty tough grader.
And this is a day late, but in case you haven't heard: the commencement
co-speakers at the University of New Hampshire's May ceremony are the previous two presidents. And
that's of the USA, binky.
Quoth UNH's Interim President J. Bonnie Newman:
The world as we know it has changed remarkably since these two world leaders visited the Granite State, and in the ways it has changed for the better, both President Bush and President Clinton are largely responsible for the good.Leading one to wonder, not for the first time, what in the world President Newman could possibly be talking about. Maybe her goal was to give praise so over-the-top effusive that not a single thinking adult could take it seriously.
Mrs. Salad, being a Professor, attends commencement. The logistics for a normal ceremony are daunting; can't wait to see what happens at this one. People wishing to maintain (a) a reasonable blood pressure and (b) their sanity would probably be well advised to stay away.
Your Google Hit Count du Jour: "Hillary
Clinton" narcissism gives 109,000 hits. I have a lousy
at predicting meme spread, but I'll go out on a limb and say this number
can only increase.
My small input to the hitcount is a couple of old Usenet articles made in the wake of 9/11 here and here. You'll notice in the second post my fearless prediction of Hillary's political future, also incredibly wrong.