■ A little humor—at least I choose to see it as humor—from the Proverbialist in Proverbs 17:10:
10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
more than a hundred lashes a fool.
I'm pretty sure this observation didn't cause the Ancient Israeli legal system to cease the hundred-lashes punishment. ("He's a fool—it won't help.")
■ We noted Charles C. W. Cooke's observations on the reflexive Trump-hatred exhibited by the WaPo's "conservative" blogger, Jen Rubin, a couple days back. That quickly blew up into a minor finger-pointing firestorm. @JonahNRO makes what would seem to be an uncontroversial observation: Refusing to Be Reflexively Anti-Trump Isn’t Selling Out.
It’s fine to disagree with this position from the pro- or anti-Trump camps. What is unfair is to claim that if you don’t fall in line with one team or another it must be because of corrupt motives, cowardice, or some other mental defect. Indeed, one could argue that it is much more difficult, costly, and risky to not get swept up in either movement.
The comments are … depressing. Many of them show an inability or unwillingness to understand Jonah's argument. But, in doing so, they confirm that argument.
■ Another discussion of the not-quite-passed-yet tax bill from Eric Boehm at Reason: Trump and the NFL Agree: Taxpayers Should Keep Subsidizing Stadiums.
After feuding with the National Football League for months, over
everything from how players act during the national anthem to
whether the games are violent enough, President Donald Trump appears
to agree with the league about at least one thing: Taxpayers should
The Republican-crafted tax reform bill, which is expected to pass both chambers of Congress today, maintains the current federal tax exemption for bonds issued to pay for the construction of stadiums.
An earlier version of the bill, which cleared the House in November, would have done away with that exemption (though public projects such as infrastructure could have been funded with tax-free bonds). The NFL lobbied to kill that change, and the version of the bill that emerged from the conference committee deleted the provision.
To recycle a criticism made here yesterday: this overwhelmingly benefits the already well-off, but the silence from the usual class warriors is predictably deafening.
■ Speaking of the NFL, Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ for the week is up, and even if you're not interested in detailed analysis of the Pats/Steelers and the catch that did not "survive contact with the ground", it's a lot of fun.
Star Wars notes (no spoilers). In The Last Jedi, the plucky rebel space fleet attacks an ultra-enormous Imperial space dreadnaught. The attack is staged by bomber spacecraft that operate like the B-24s and Lancasters of World War II: They fly above the target, then bomb-bay doors open to allow bombs to tumble downward. But there’s no gravity in outer space. The bombs wouldn’t tumble!
What can we do, except regurgitate the headline from the Babylon Bee: Man Complains About Plot Holes In Movie About Space Wizards Fighting With Colored Laser Sticks.
■ The Daily Signal has a New Hampshire focused article, and
New Freedom Caucus Rocks GOP in the Granite State
Eight months ago, David Bates was part of an uprising of
conservatives in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives that
stalled the state budget process until the legislators could reach a
more fiscally responsible standard.
Now Bates, R-Windham, is among several lawmakers in the state’s House Freedom Caucus who are moving from thorn in the leadership’s side to actual leadership during the legislative session that begins in January.
My own representatives are uniformly in the anti-Freedom Caucus (not an actual thing, but might as well be). So I'm cheered by this. Hope it survives the 2018 elections.
■ But there's also bad news for those who despise crony capitalism: Senate Panel Rejects Trump’s EX-IM Bank Leader Nominee.
The Senate Banking Committee has rejected President Donald Trump’s nominee Scott Garrett to run the US Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank after two Republicans defected.
Garrett's sin was refusing to repent his previous heresy:
Garrett would not, however, say he regretted or wished to retract past statements he’d made opposing the bank’s existence. At the time, bank supporters considered Garrett’s unwillingness to do so as a sign he may not be fully committed to his job mandate.
GE and Boeing were opposed to Garrett, and GOP senators Rounds (South Dakota) and Scott (South Carolina) joined with all Democrats to dance to their tune. (Note: The linked article claims Rubio voted to reject Garrett, but he's not even on the Banking Committee.)
But there's a pony: without a leader, Ex-Im can't