URLs du Jour

2018-10-19

[Amazon Link]

  • Kevin D. Williamson, at NR, asks and answers: Reluctant Trump Voters? Less So, It Seems. (It is billed as an "NRPLUS member article", so sorry if you can't see it, peons.)

    Imagine that you were someone who had had reservations about Donald Trump in 2016 but still preferred him to Herself, being as you likely are a moderate-leaning voter and not especially ideological, perhaps one who found many things to admire about Barack Obama but who thought that he pushed things too far during his administration, exceeding his mandate and causing instability in the process, and that electing Herself was likely to make things worse rather than better. Maybe there were personal things you found distasteful about the Clintons, such as their dynastic ambitions and their jaw-dropping sense of entitlement to national political power. On the other hand, Republicans want to cut taxes and reform regulations, which are things you probably approve of in general; and they’re less likely to create expensive new entitlements (socializing health care, making college “free,” as though those costs weren’t going to be borne by somebody); and their old-fashioned belief that the law pretty much says what it says and judges should stick with that rather than make stuff up on the fly is more appealing than the alternative. You found it relatively easy to imagine President Trump signing those tax-cut bills and maybe putting a leash on the EPA, and you figured that Mike Pence or somebody would whisper the right names in his ear when it came to judicial appointments. Whatever reservations you may have had about Trump, chances are that, if the above is pretty close to what you were thinking in 2016, then you aren’t terribly disappointed.

    What the Democrats needed, it seemed, was a way to get those Reluctant Trump Voters to turn into Regretful Trump Voters and join up, however temporarily, with Team Donkey.

    From the vantage point of October 2018, I have to wonder: Why on Earth would they?

    The Democrats’ outreach to those Reluctant Trump Voters has been peculiar indeed, e.g. insisting that they must have been motivated by racism, that they are closeted (or out-and-proud) white supremacists, that they hate women, that they are motivated by bigotry against Muslims and revulsion against homosexuals, that they are dumb (so surpassingly stupid that they “vote against their own interests,” as the Democratic mantra goes), that they are one moral degree of separation from Heinrich Himmler, if that, etc.

    I was not just "reluctant", I didn't vote for Trump at all. But otherwise, I'm in Camp Kevin: Democrats aren't giving me any reason to vote for them, though.


  • At Reason, J. J. Rich suggests Congress Needs an Opioid Intervention.

    In an effort to "combat the opioid crisis" in America, Congress is calling for a slate of governmental interventions that have been tried, tested, and shown to cause more harm. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed 50 bills, with more to come, that throw billions of dollars at already rich universities, hand responsibility for determining addiction treatment procedures to the federal government, and allow the U.S. attorney general to ban vaguely defined substances, among many other clumsy actions. Too much of the new legislation is grounded in the "overprescription" hypothesis, which blames the current unprecedented rates of overdose on an expansion in the number of opioid prescriptions that began in the 1990s. The consensus around this theory has prompted Congress to further restrict opioid prescription access.

    Judging from the social media posts and campaign ads, pols are proud to point to various pieces of legislation, initiatives, and programs to claim that they've "done something". Usually this involves shoveling money at "professionals" who can (sooner or later) appear in their campaign ads, testifying to their compassion, empathy, wisdom, etc.

    It's a kind of entrepreneurship, I guess: watch for an imminent social crisis, hype it relentlessly, put yourself forward as part of the solution, start applying for grants. Lather, rinse, repeat.


  • At American Consequences, P. J. O'Rourke asks the musical question: What Do Progressives Really Want?.

    Progressive candidates claim to have a platform addressing social and economic issues – a platform to create a more just, fair, and equitable America.

    Which is a nice thought…

    But the Progressive platform is really to create a more political America… to create an America where everything, no matter how intimate and private, is decided by the political process.

    “The Personal Is the Political” has been a leftist slogan for 50 years.

    Why would anyone want that as a slogan? The idea is completely totalitarian. But the completeness, the totalness of the idea – the “inclusiveness,” as Progressives would say – is the point. When politics encompasses not only public life but private life as well, then there’s a lot more politics… politics without end.

    According to Wikipedia, we can blame late 1960s feminists for the slogan.


  • And the Google LFOD alert rang for a very unlikely source, about 10,000 miles from Pun Salad Manor and every other bit of New Hampshire, where "SMH" stands for Sydney Morning HeraldL Sydney Opera House celebrates 45 years as 'Our House'. If you know one thing about Sydney, it's the profile of the Opera House. But did you know…

    For Building Operations Manager, Dean Jakubowski, the graffiti on the concrete segments, and the stories they contain, are some of his favourite secret spots in the building that 10,000 workers of 90 different nationalities helped to construct. There is a cowboy etched in one segment on the western side of the second largest shell that contains the Joan Sutherland Theatre, and another that reads "Live free or die" - the New Hampshire motto in the Green room. And many more names scrawled deep in the shells hidden behind plywood, by the likes of the Brown brothers, builders from Dubbo who moved to Sydney in the 1960s to work at the site.

    Can't imagine how that got there. (I was nowhere near Sydney at the time, and you probably can't prove otherwise.)


  • And (as usual), the Babylon Bee has a scoop: Mafia Requests To No Longer Be Called 'The Mob' Because Of Negative Association With Political Activists.

    At a private event, representatives of various organized crime groups came forward to request that the press stop referring to them as "the Mob" because of the negative connotation of the word thanks to recent political events.

    "When people hear about 'the Mob’,” said Joey "the Ice Pick" Polino, "they now think of people mindlessly screeching about some red versus blue political nonsense. No one even understands what those people want, while we in the Mafia are very clear about what we want: money."

    Because, as Tony Montana (in our Amazon Product du Jour) observed long ago: "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."