URLs du Jour

2017-02-09

Our Proverb du Jour is 29:7:

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

Interesting that the issue is framed as "justice for the poor", and not "making the poor not so poor". Back then, that was not seen as an option. Fortunately, nowadays, we know how to do that.

Exercise for the reader: rewrite Proverbs 29:7 in light of modern developments, while avoiding lightning bolts sent down from above against your heresy.

  • Power Line's Paul Mirengoff notes half of the Granite State's US Senate crew is having difficulty keeping her story straight: "Sen. Shaheen Sends Mixed Signals on a Gorsuch Filibuster". In a speech, she pooh-poohed South Dakota's Senator Thune "suggesting we are going to filibuster" and she advocated "an up-or-down vote" on Gorsuch. But then Ryan Nickel, allegedly "Communications Director" for Shaheen chimed in:

    But, in that case, her denial of Thune's filibuster allegation makes no sense.

    Mr. Nickel has a tough job. He can't say, obviously, that his boss had no idea what she was talking about.

    In the contest for "smartest person in New Hampshire's Congressional delegation", it's a race to the bottom.

  • A couple good articles from the print version of Reason have gone online. Katherine Mangu-Ward: "Is it time to dust off the word fascist to describe Donald Trump?"

    In a technical sense, the word is a pretty good descriptor for what we've seen of Trump's economic policy so far. That is to say, he seems to be embracing the notion, which blossomed in Benito Mussolini's Italy, that the business of government is best conducted where an authoritarian state dominated by a powerful strongman and the leaders of large corporations meet and decide the fate of a nation.

    Don't worry, Trump Fans. Her conclusion is that "we're not quite there with this particular seven-letter word. Yet."

  • And David Henderson notes the five tools that President Trump apparently intends to employ to Make America Great Again: "Bribe Bully Beg Borrow Steal".

    Henderson uses the Carrier "deal" as example, but he differs somewhat from the usual condemnation of it as "crony capitalism".

    But a closer look reveals Trump's up to something a little different, and potentially more damaging. His actions will almost certainly lead to more cronyism than we have now. But his behavior in the Carrier case looks more like President John F. Kennedy's treatment of U.S. Steel in the early 1960s and President Barack Obama's treatment of General Motors and Chrysler bondholders in 2009. And it has disturbing implications both for our economic well-being and for our freedom.

    I.e., it's worse than cronyism. That whole "rule of law" thing is looking shaky, for example.

  • At NR, Jonah Goldberg patiently explains: "The Right Can’t Defend Trump’s Behavior".

    By now you may have noticed the difficulty many conservatives have defending everything President Trump does and says. I’m not just referring to the big policy moves, most of which conservatives can support fairly easily (so far). I mean the whole whiplash-inducing spectacle: the unfiltered, impulsive tweeting, bizarre interview non sequiturs, glib insults, and distractions.

    Trump makes it easy for his critics, and very difficult for his would-be defenders. Jonah's conclusion:

    When a political leader replaces fixed principles and clear ideological platforms with his own instincts and judgment, he gives his supporters no substantive arguments to rely on. Eventually, the argument to just say “Have faith” in our leader, he knows best, is the only safe harbor.

    That's not a healthy attitude.

  • Also at NR, Kevin D. Williamson lets go on Hillary Clinton's video speech to the MAKERS conference. Put on by AOL, or as Kevin says: "AOL, which still exists". He pays attention to the only memorable line in the speech, which was: "The future is female." Wha?

    That line caught the attention of Le Figaro, which breathlessly headlined a report: Hillary Clinton:Oui, l’avenir est féminin!” It is likely that the editors at Le Figaro are better-read than Mrs. Clinton is and recognized the sentiment from the contemporary French novelist Michel Houellebecq, who used the line in his dystopian novel The Elementary Particles. Houellebecq, an aging hedonistic intellectual who writes very sad novels about aging hedonistic intellectuals, imagined a future in which sexual rivalry and unhappiness between the sexes both have been abolished with a single master-stroke: the abolition of the human race and its replacement by an engineered successor species that reproduces asexually and is entirely female.

    KDW, generously, admits: "Perhaps that is not what Mrs. Clinton has in mind." I agree, that seems unlikely. But not impossible.