URLs du Jour

2018-07-11

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 11:24 follows the "good guys win/bad guys lose" formula, but at least is worded entertainingly:

    24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
        another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

    Hey, it sounds like the Paradox of Thrift! But… no, it's probably not. The Proverbialist was no Keynesian.


  • At the Federalist, David Harsanyi cuts through the Kavanaugh hype: Democrats Don’t Fear Brett Kavanaugh, They Fear The Constitution.

    The other day Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in Israel to receive an award for her commitment to tikkun olam (“to heal the world” in Hebrew,) a spiritual concept that progressive Jews have long distorted so that their malleable religious views could better align with leftist orthodoxy. It’s the sort of convenient philosophy that allows traditions to be subsumed by the vagaries of contemporary politics.

    So it is with an increasing number of Democrats and the Constitution: a document they seem believe must bend to the will of their policy preferences rather than preserve legal continuity, limited government, individual liberty, or enlightenment ideals.

    Sure, some of the anger aimed Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is partisan bluster meant to placate the activist base. Still, most Democrats were going to get hysterical about any pick, because any conservative pick was going to take the Constitution far too literally for their liking. For those who rely on the administrative state and coercion as a policy tool — forcing people to join political organizations, forcing them to support abortion, forcing them to subsidize socially progressive sacraments, forcing them to create products that undermine their faith, and so on — that’s a big problem.

    I fully expect our state's Senators to emit more than their fair share of partisan bluster over the coming weeks.


  • Going against the Progressive flow, Jacob Sullum notes that Brett Kavanaugh is Another Surprisingly Subversive Justice.

    Upon being nominated to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh said he had "witnessed firsthand" Donald Trump's "appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary." That claim raised some eyebrows, given the president's tendency to question the authority of judges who reach conclusions he does not like.

    Kavanaugh, by contrast, clearly understands the importance of an independent judiciary as a check on the other branches of government. His readiness to perform that function as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is reassuring, especially since the man who picked him for the Supreme Court seems to know little and care less about the legal principles that protect liberty and thwart tyranny.

    Slam Trump all you want—I've certainly done my share of that—but he's kept his campaign promises on judicial appointments.


  • But you may ask yourself: Will Brett Kavanaugh protect Donald Trump? Fortunately, David French has an answer for you: No, Brett Kavanaugh Won’t ‘Protect’ Donald Trump. The alleged smoking gun trumpeted by Kavanaugh-bashers is a Minnesota Law Review article that argued that Presidents should be immune from criminal prosecution and investigation while in office, and suggested Congress might want to legislate to that effect.

    Study Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence for any length of time, and you’ll note that he’s not a devotee of the presidency. He’s a devotee of the Constitution, and the Constitution separates powers between the three branches of government. In this case, the Constitution gives the power to Congress to protect the president — it doesn’t insulate the president from criminal investigation and prosecution by its own terms. Otherwise, why suggest legislation?

    And what of the other claims that Kavanaugh has been, as Garrett Epps claims in The Atlantic, “deeply shaped by the needs and mores of the executive branch”? They collapse under scrutiny as well. For example, Epps in two paragraphs explains that Kavanaugh “incline[s] toward the ‘unitary executive’ view of presidential power, which holds that Congress cannot set up federal agencies that are not under the direction and control of the president,” but Kavanaugh has also attacked the Chevron doctrine, a judicial rule that has mandated judicial deference to executive-agency interpretations of governing law.

    Of course, as David goes on to say, undoing Chevron deference would decrease arbitrary executive power. Epps misses this.


  • Let's see, we've killed off Han… and Luke… and not sure what's going to happen with Leia… who else is there? Ah! The Hollywood Reporter reports: Billy Dee Williams Reprising Role as Lando Calrissian.

    Billy Dee Williams is returning to a galaxy far, far away.

    The actor, who famously played the galactic gambler Lando Calrissian, will reprise the role for Star Wars: Episode IX, the next Star Wars installment from Lucasfilm.

    Given the current filmmakers' predilections for killing off the old characters we love, I would advise Billy Dee against relying on further appearances.