URLs du Jour - 2014-10-27

  • Hillary Clinton said something unspeakably vile:

    “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” Clinton said during a Boston rally for Martha Coakley, who’s running for Massachusetts governor. “You know that old theory — trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

    Why "unspeakably vile" and not "breathtakingly stupid"? Because she knows better. Her remarks were just demagogic boob bait, a desperate attempt to convince low-info voters in Massachusetts that government (generally) is their only path to prosperity and (specifically) electing Martha Coakley is their only hope.

    Amusingly, Jonathan Allen pulls telling quotes from Hillary's recent book—only a few months old!—that contradicts her newfound doltish populism. She's also darn proud of the cozy corporate welfare relationship between Boeing and the Export-Import Bank.

    What can she say? "It's not trickle-down when we do it"?

  • Over at Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux is equally disgusted with a different Clinton "don't let anybody tell you" assertion:

    Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. I’ve been through that. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s [by signing a bill that raised the national minimum wage].

    I really like Professor Boudreaux's rebuttal, so much so that I'll quote him a little more extensively than normal:

    Workers whose take-home, monetary pay rose as a result of a minimum-wage hike in the 1990s were not given that raise by Bill Clinton.  Rather, Bill Clinton was complicit with Congress in using threats of violence to force thousands of employers throughout America to give raises to some of their workers.

    I write these words from a coffee shop in Fairfax, Virginia.  If I were to point a gun to the head of the man who is now standing second in line to buy coffee and order him to purchase cups of coffee for the two young women standing in front of him in line, no one would say that “Don Boudreaux gave cups of coffee to some women today!”  Rather, anyone who saw me commit this crime would call the police or, perhaps, justifiably take me down with a swift kick to my groin.  My actions would not be praiseworthy.  Quite the opposite, of course.

    Yet when politicians in grand buildings commit essentially the same sorts of aggressions against innocent people, we tolerate their criminal actions – and we also tolerate such actions being described as praiseworthy, noble, and helpful.  Political titles, buildings, and ceremony mask the underlying coercive reality of what politicians do, and it deafens us to the lies – such as that Bill Clinton gave people raises – told about their predations.

    I would like to think that a prevaricating pol like Hillary whose only guiding principle is her lust for power would be doomed to political failure. Hope I'm right, fear I'm wrong.

  • Jed Babbin analyzes the recent call by the (Democrat) Vice Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to begin scrutinizing political-advocacy speech on the Internet, the way it currently monitors broadcast and print media. And comes to the obvious conclusion: the FEC is a clear and present danger to the First Amendment and should be dissolved.

    Congress has limited the amount of political speech, and the courts have only fine-tuned the limits to suit the political atmosphere. The only limit on political speech should be that foreign individuals, companies, and government should continue to be prohibited from donating to campaigns. Their political speech isn’t protected by the Constitution. Ours is. We are going to have to stand up to defend it again and again.

    Also see Noah Rothman at Hot Air.

  • Speaking of things to shut down: Chris Edwards makes the case for terminating the Department of Homeland Security:

    [President Bush's 2002] promise of creating a lean and efficient DHS did not materialize. The department’s spending doubled from $27 billion in 2004 to $54 billion in 2014. Its workforce expanded from 163,000 employees in 2004 to 190,000 by 2014. And far from being efficient, DHS agencies are some of the most poorly managed in the federal government.

    My recollection is that Dubya was stampeded into creating DHS post-9/11. He should have followed his initial instinct there.

  • On a lighter note, Wired has a beautiful article: "Regular Guy From Boston Decides to Map the City’s Entire History". That almost sounds like something from the Onion, but it's about Ed McCarthy, a Beantown EMT and ambulance driver who, in his spare time, puts together gorgeous information-filled maps. Pictures included.