URLs du Jour

2017-09-12

Chinese Choir Episode 9

■ Since I am, technically, a Lutheran, Proverbs 21:27 goes into a familiar area

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
    how much more so when brought with evil intent!

Our attitude toward "good works" performed by the wicked isn't just neutral—such works are detestable. Rough news for the wicked who occasionally do nice things. Got me thinking on Martin Luther's attitude toward Good Works.


■ Of course, the wicked don't usually do nice things. It's safe to bet they're up to no good. For example, as Joe Albenese asks at NRO: Is Big Ice Cream Trying to Hijack Our Democracy? Well, more accurately, they're trying to shut some of us up:

It may shock you to learn that the multimillionaire co-founder of a global ice-cream empire has been meeting with elected officials in the hopes of fundamentally altering our Constitution. This individual proposes amending the Bill of Rights for the first time to give Congress nearly unlimited power to limit political speech.

That's Ben Cohen, the more-wicked half of Ben&Jerry's. He's awful, and this almost makes me want to keep away from their Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. Almost.


■ At Cato, Michael F. Cannon examines Congess’ Illegal ObamaCare Exemption and Its Nixonian Defenders.

Thousands of members of Congress and congressional staffers are benefiting from an illegal scheme that gives Congress special treatment both by exempting them from the harshest part of ObamaCare and by providing them each up to $12,000 in benefits that federal law prohibits them from receiving. Last week, the Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm and I furnished additional evidence that the government officials who implemented this scheme violated federal criminal laws. (Malcolm is a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.) Few government officials or legal scholars are willing to defend this scheme. Those who are nevertheless have been unwilling to comment on these new revelations or to offer a legal basis for this scheme. At least one seems to suggest that, because the executive branch did it, it must be legal.

My Progressive friends on Facebook sometimes post memes demanding that Congress be subjected to "the same healthcare they give us".

Yes, I know, but that's their mindset: government "gives" us healthcare.

Still, I'm pretty sure they would be surprised to find themselves in bed with Cato on this issue.


■ Yet another Obamacare outrage is described by Peter Suderman at Reason: Obamacare Repeal Is Dead. Here Come the Bailouts. You'll see the bailout proposals euphemized as "stabilization". But there's a mild improvement in the works:

Today [actually yesterday], Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are expected to release draft legislation that would essentially convert Obamacare into a system of block grants to states. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped kill the last GOP health care legislation in a dramatic late night vote in July, has already said he is willing to support it. Like previous GOP health care legislation, the new plan would eliminate Obamacare's individual mandate but maintain its rules requiring insurers to cover everyone. It would also eliminate Obamacare's system of health insurance subsidies. Instead, it would take most of the funding now used to pay for Obamacare and allow states to use it as they saw fit, meaning that the subsidies could be retained or altered. The block grants would be constrained from growing, so that a decade from now the total amount would be much less than under Obamacare.

Suderman notes that this would leave Obamacare mostly in place, but in terms of federalism and fiscal sanity would be an improvement over the status quo.


■ Patterico's 9/11 post recalls Donald Trump After WTC Collapsed on 9/11: Now I Have the Tallest Building in Downtown New York! Yes, he really did say that, quote at the link. I concur with Patterico's comments:

Let’s assume he followed that up with something about how horrible the collapse of the World Trade Center was, and how sad the loss of life was, and all that was edited out by the partisan who created this video. Assume all that to be true, Trump defenders. We don’t know it, but assume it anyway.

I don’t care. His first reaction was to gloat about how he now had the tallest building in downtown Manhattan.

Donald Trump is a pathological narcissist and a complete dick. This is the way he has always been. This is the way he will always be.

He may end up doing some policy things that are OK, and if so I will acknowledge that. But he is a terrible, awful, immoral human being with no positive traits whatsoever.

Emphasis in original.


■ Robert Tracinski at the Federalist has related news: The Schadenfreude Phase Of The Trump Administration Is Hitting Already.

Those of us who opposed Donald Trump from the beginning have passed beyond the #NeverTrump phase, past the “take what we can get” phase, and even past the cringing embarrassment that he’s the leader of our party. Now comes the cackling-maniacal-laughter schadenfreude stage. Yes, that’s right. This is so big that we need a really nasty German word to describe it.

This is the stage some of us have been waiting for since the beginning: the stage when Trump tacks back to the Left and makes nice with Democrats—and not just any Democrats, but the worst of the swamp creatures. It’s the point where he wrecks every part of the supposed Republican agenda and sells out his core supporters, even as they struggle desperately to convince themselves that it’s all a super-smart feint to Make America Great Again.

It's also the "we told you so" phase.


■ American academia is insane mentally unstable, part CXXVII: Title IX coordinator under investigation for screening video disputing 1-in-5 campus rape stat.

Fordham University has launched an investigation into its Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Christopher Rodgers after several RAs reportedly left a sexual assault training in tears because he screened a Prager University educational video that uses facts to dispute the stat that one-in-five women will be sexually assaulted or raped during their college years.

You would have thought the RAs might have found that to be good news.

It's not as if debunking the "one-in-five" assertion is new. It was dubious way back in 2011 when then-VP Joe Biden invoked it at the University Near Here in support of the "Dear Colleague" letter.


■ I happened on this YouTube mashup (do people still say that?) of Emma Peel + Cake. Works for me:

Emma Peel would not have left a sexual assault training session in tears.