URLs du Jour

2017-01-27

If 2016 was bad for rock stars, 2017 seems to be shaping up as a bad one for TV actors…

  • Yes, I was a devoted watcher of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But also Mannix. (In fact, when I first joined Netflix, I went through the Mannix DVDs, all eight seasons, in the first few months.) James Lileks has a goodbye for Mike Connors. RIP.

  • Not that it matters, but I'd also like to watch Harry O again. Unfortunately, the DVDs are prohibitively priced, and Netflix doesn't offer them. It's available on Warner Archive, $10/month, first month free, but I'd have to watch on my computer…

    First world problems, right? Why can't I watch anything I want, when and where I want, without spending any more money? Waaaahh…

  • At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux is banging his head against a wall. Specifically, the one President Trump still wants to build between the US and Mexico. And, even more specifically, the one that "will be funded by 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods."

    That's "making Mexico pay for the wall"? Not quite.

    [Update: See Prof B.'s revision and extension.]

    Because only people, not imports, pay taxes on imports – and because the people who pay the bulk of the taxes on imports are the people who buy the imports – and because the people who will buy the Mexican imports that the Trump administration will tax are Americans – the Trump administration’s plan will result in the bulk of the bill for the border wall being paid by Americans.

    We've said a few nice things about Trump in recent days. But his economic illiteracy on trade and immigration is likely to make us all poorer.

  • Another "benefit" of the Trump Administration is that we get to go down some philosophical rabbit holes, unvisited since that class we took as sophomores. For example, we could ask practically every day: "Is it a lie if Trump believes it?" Fortunately, Jacob Sullum has an answer: "It's Not a Lie If Trump Believes It".

    Trump, perhaps the most openly narcissistic man ever to occupy the White House, clearly wants to believe he won the popular vote, just as he wants to believe his historically narrow Electoral College victory qualified as a "landslide." It is therefore plausible that he credulously latched onto crackpot claims about widespread voting by illegal immigrants, just as he credulously latched onto crackpot claims about vaccines and autism. You could argue that his refusal to back down in the face of persuasive debunking shows he is now consciously lying about voter fraud. Presumably that was New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet's reasoning when he approved the use of the word lie. But Trump's stubbornness also can be explained by his emotional attachment to a flattering fiction, a general reluctance to admit error, and a tendency to dismiss information from sources he views as hostile, which seem to include pretty much anyone who questions him.

    Trump and his acolytes are going full John 18:38. You never want to go full John 18:38.

  • Another sensible scribe, David Harsanyi advocates: "Let’s Hold All Politicians Accountable For Lying. Not Just The Ones We Dislike". For example, if the NYT and CNN are going to shout "lie" at Donald Trump, how about…

    Just yesterday, as an example, Sen. Bernie Sanders (most Democrats use the same rhetoric) were telling voters that Republicans who want to cut government funding for the abortion provider Planned Parenthood are seeking to “deny” 2.5 million women “access” to clinics. This is a lie on a number of levels. It is meant to misinform people for political gain. This isn’t a debate about semantics or a dollar’s fungibility, it is wholly untrue. This goes on all the time on all kinds of issues.

    An honest press would… oh, why am I even thinking about what an honest press would do?

  • Christopher J. Scalia had a very funny op-ed in the WSJ yesterday: "Bend It, Don’t End It: Resistance to Anti-Trump Clichés Is Futile". For example, one of the current (heh) clichés sparking (heh) the progressive crowd is "The Resistance".

    The beauty of “The Resistance” is that it connotes scrappy bands of righteous rebels across Europe fighting Nazis and their propagandists at Breitbart. The term’s popularity may also owe something to “The Force Awakens,” the 2015 Star Wars sequel that features a rebel group with the same name. Basically, the liberals are incipient Jedi preparing to take down the heir to Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler.

    In case you don't know (I did not): Christopher is Antonin Scalia's son. Wit runs in the family.

    (The article is probably behind the WSJ paywall. Here is a tutorial on evading paywalls if you need it.)


Last Modified 2017-01-27 8:55 AM EST