URLs du Jour

2018-11-15

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  • At NR, George Will relates Harvard’s Admissions Policy Problem.

    In the hierarchy of pleasures, schadenfreude ranks second only to dry martinis at dusk, so conservatives are enjoying Harvard’s entanglement with two things it has not sufficiently questioned — regulatory government and progressive sentiment. The trial that recently ended in Boston — the judge’s ruling might be months away, and reach the U.S. Supreme Court — concerns whether Harvard’s admissions policy regarding Asian Americans is unjust, and whether the government should respond.

    Practically, the case pertains only to the few highly selective institutions that admit small portions of their applicants. But everyone, and especially conservatives, should think twice — or at least once — before hoping that government will minutely supervise how private institutions shape their student bodies.

    Mr. Will has a point there. Of course, Harvard (and other elite schools) were perfectly happy to support Federal dictation of higher-ed institution policies as long as they supported Progressive goals that they were supporting anyway.

    But what (indeed) is the difference between a college that discriminates against people of African descent and a college that discriminates against people of Asian descent? Does it make any sense to prohibit one and allow the other?


  • At Reason, Peter Suderman ponts out/asks: The Republican Tax Cuts Were a Political Failure. What Does That Mean for a Party That Agrees on Little Else?.

    When Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December of last year, they expected it to be the centerpiece of their midterm campaign. "This was a promise made. This is a promise kept," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said at a news conference celebrating the bill's passage. "If we can't sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Judging by last week's midterm results, Republicans may need to update their résumés.

    The tax law permanently cut corporate tax rates and reduced individual income taxes through the middle of the next decade while increasing the deficit by more than $1 trillion. Republicans initially talked it up, tying it to a wave of corporate bonuses for workers. But the party quickly abandoned that argument in congressional races across the country. Polls found support dwindling, even among Republicans, while the already strong opposition increased among Democrats. A Gallup survey found that a majority of Americans said they saw no increase in their take-home pay.

    If Republicans can't make a convincing case for tax cuts, they might as well fold up their tents and go sit in a corner. They deserved to lose.


  • At Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Jacob T. Levy writes on Bombs, rhetorical and otherwise.

    Political speech inspires belief, and action.

    This shouldn’t be controversial, but it is. Assassination attempts against public figures who have been singled out for abuse by President Trump, and the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, have refocused attention on Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. He dismissed the idea that he might have any reason to “tone down” his language amidst the violence, suggesting that he might “tone it up” instead. And he has continued to attack some of those targeted by the mail bombs, including CNN, George Soros, and Tom Steyer. The president’s apologists have duly returned to their mantra that the president’s rhetoric is just a sideshow. Extremist political violence is written off as either radical evil or sociopathy, having no causes, and the president’s language is minimized as having no effects. He can’t possibly have made people so much worse.

    But he can have set out a horrifyingly false vision of calling them to be better.

    Yes, there's been incendiary rhetoric and violence on the other side too. And some of these guys were just ticking bombs waiting to go off anyway. Doesn't excuse Trump from making things worse.


  • Oh, hey, that was pretty somber. Sorry. But someone posted this on Facebook, and I laughed, so here you go: