URLs du Jour

2017-06-20

Proverbs 24:5 dives again into the difference between wisdom and knowledge:

5 The wise prevail through great power,
     and those who have knowledge muster their strength.

Or does it? Try the King James, which seems to blur the distinction:

5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

So, no, I'm not sure what's going on here. But maybe this is where Faber College got its motto: "Knowledge is Good".

■ At Power Line, David Horowitz asks the musical question: Have the Never Trumpers No Shame?

Horowitz puts all Trump critics ("both left and right" and "Democrats and Republicans") into one big basket, which is problematic in itself. This allows him to conflate (usually) bogus criticism from left-Democrats with (possibly) valid criticism from libertarians and conservatives. And he doesn't specify any particular person or criticism he considers shameless, so there's a strong strawman component.

And other bits of Horowitz's argument are just bizarre. Here's a sample:

Consider also the most frequent lie about Trump – the claim that he himself is an extraordinary and inveterate liar, somehow even worse than his predecessor or his defeated electoral rival. But the “lies” Trump is accused of telling fall mainly into the category of opinions over which the left differs with him, or the exaggerations of a salesman who makes off-the-cuff claims without bothering to check the facts (not the same thing as a lie proper). The most memorable case of such overreach seems to be his claim that he lost the popular vote to Hillary because of voter fraud committed by illegal aliens. Since no one can seriously claim that voter fraud is non-existent, the “lie” consists in the number of fraudulent votes – three million or so – that Trump seems to have plucked out of the air. Obviously, Trump doesn’t know that there were three million fraudulent votes cast in the 2016 election. But neither do his critics know there weren’t, since there has never been a national survey of voter fraud, while Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent a system of voter identification from being put in place. In other words, both sides are sustained by unsubstantiated claims, although it is Trump alone who has proposed to settle the argument through a new commission that will look into voter fraud across the fifty states.

I almost want to take Horowitz by the shoulders, look him in the eye, and say: "David, President Trump is making wild charges about election integrity without a shred of evidence. Do you seriously see no problem with that?"

[Yes, unlike most Democrats, I think investigations and increased vigilance against vote fraud are good ideas. If Trump had just said that, there would be no problem.]

■ If (1) you are wondering whether Voter-ID laws 'suppress' turnout and (2) your name is Hillary, then you should check out Hans A. von Spakovsky and Benjamin Janacek at NR: No, Hillary, Voter-ID Laws Don’t ‘Suppress’ Turnout. (This in response to non-President Clinton's recent allegations otherwise.)

In fact, turnout data from 2012 and 2016 do not show any “voter suppression” because of ID requirements. Nine of the eleven states that have implemented so-called strict ID Laws either saw an increase in turnout or exceeded the national average in turnout in 2016. Two of them, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, finished in the top five nationally. Meanwhile only two of the 17 states plus Washington, D.C., that have no ID requirement finished among the top five.

So: as it turns out, we would have had a President prone to making wild charges without evidence no matter who won the election. Yay!

■ At Cato, Christopher A. Preble describes The Consensus in Favor of BRAC.

Today a broad coalition of more than 40 different scholars from over 30 different think tanks and academic institutions have issued a letter calling on the relevant House and Senate committees to grant the Pentagon authority to reduce excess military infrastructure. Simply, we need another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. The full letter can be found here.

Opposed to a new BRAC are my CongressCritter/Toothache Carol Shea-Porter, and both New Hampshire senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan. Why? Because the beloved sub-destroying Portsmouth Naval Shipyard would definitely be on the chopping block.

■ But there's good news too: In Major Free Speech Victory, SCOTUS Rules for 'The Slants' and Strikes Down Federal Trademark Restriction

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the Asian-American dance-rock band The Slants, holding that the First Amendment protects the rights of the band's members to register a trademark in their band's "offensive" name.

Pun Salad wrote on the case here and here.

■ Which brings me to the tweet du jour from Frank J.:

I'd be OK with a more mild penalty, like automatic expulsion from Congress. And automatic impeachment and conviction for the signing President, if still in office at the time.