URLs du Jour

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas, readers. No, that's not my dog. But he looks like my dog, and Getty takes a far better picture than I would.

On to the show:

  • Virginia Postrel has some tough but on-target seasonal advice: "Merry Christmas. Don't Be Stupid." On people taking offense at the wording of an honest cheerful greeting:

    Whether you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays,” I’ll happily accept your good wishes. Because interpreting the more inclusive “Happy holidays” as a “war on Christmas” is both stupid and rude.

  • Obama's on his way out the door, but took time to deliver a final petulant slap to Israel, with the US's abstention at the UN on an Israel-condemning resolution, reversing decades of policy. Instapundit has a roundup of reactions. So does Ann Althouse (some overlapping). I'm on board with Charles Krauthammer:

    In 2012, running for re-election, Obama spoke at the meeting of AIPAC, the big Jewish lobby. He said, “Is there any doubt that I have Israel’s back?” That’s why he didn’t want do it while he was in office. That’s why he didn’t want to do it in 2016 so it would injure Hillary and show to particularly American Jews, who tend to be Democratic, that it was all a farce. He does it on the way out, and that’s part of why it’s so disgraceful. He didn’t even — he hid it until there would be no consequence. Now he is out the door and the damage is done for years. That resolution cannot be undone.

    So: not only petulant, but also qualifying for Profiles in Cowardice. A book someone should write.

  • But the Israel thing wasn't the only craven thing the Obama Administration was up to. David Harsanyi notes the legerdemain involved in the "permanent" ban on oil drilling that they somehow just noticed was a vital thing that had to be done right now:

    […] Obama's latest executive move, banning offshore drilling in large areas of the Atlantic and Arctic waters, folds neatly into six years of executive control. The ban hinges on a provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a law designed to protect marine sanctuaries. "The seldom used measure" explains NBC News, "allows the executive to permanently freeze offshore drilling in specified regions.

    And unlike the First, Second, Fifth or Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, which Democrats have treated as mere suggestions over the past eight years, a provision from 1953 is eternal and nonnegotiable according to the administration—like a commandment transmitted from the heavens. Well, that is unless Republicans pass another law or amend the existing one, right?

    We're about to endure (probably) years of Democrat griping about Trump's arrogant and dangerous use of executive power. And (also probably) they will have a valid point. But those complaints will be easy to dismiss when they've been silent about stuff like this.

  • If you've been wondering what Rick Perry, Trump's cabinet pick for the Energy Department could do to prevent future Solyndras, you might want to check out "What Rick Perry Could Do to Prevent Future Solyndras" from Nicolas Loris at the Daily Signal. At issue is the department's "loan guarantee program.

    The Department of Energy’s loan program is a double-edged sword for the American economy. Either the government subsidizes likely-to-fail projects, thus throwing away taxpayer dollars, or they provide corporate welfare, keeping politically favored activities alive while diminishing the innovative role of the entrepreneur and private investment. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

    Or there's always Plan A, as Senator Rand Paul implies in one of his Festivus Airing of Grievances:

    (Check the link for more of Senator Paul's grievances.)

  • OK, so it's probably too late for you to go shopping for the libertarian in your life, but enjoy this hilarity from ReasonTV anyway: The Libertarian Holiday Gift Guide!

  • And finally, from the great Michael Ramirez: