URLs du Jour

2019-02-25

[Amazon Link]

  • Hey, kids, what time is it? At the Bulwark, they claim Time For the GOP to Take a Stand.

    Really? Aren't they like, two years behind? But anyway:

    With the House of Representatives expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution overturning President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build his wall, we thought it might be a good idea to re-up our editorial on the subject. As we argued earlier this month: this should not be a difficult vote for Republicans, especially those who (1) were outraged by President Obama’s use of his executive powers, (2) care about the Constitution’s system of checks and balances, (3) wish to protect Congress’s Article I powers, and (4) recognize the dangerous precedent that the declaration of emergency creates for future presidents.

    We do not always agree with Congressman Justin Amash, but he makes a powerful case to his fellow Republicans: “The same congressional Republicans who joined me in blasting Pres. Obama’s executive overreach,” he wrote on Twitter, “now cry out for a king to usurp legislative powers. If your faithfulness to the Constitution depends on which party controls the White House, then you are not faithful to it.”

    Yeah. Do that. Try to ignore the hacks on the other side of the aisle (and in the media) who wouldn't have a problem if the president were a Democrat pushing some progressive wishlist down our throats.


  • Michael Huemer has some philosophical thoughts on the matter. Because OMG, it’s a national emergency!

    After looking into it a little, I find, to my great alarm, that there are currently no less than 32 “national emergencies” going on as we speak! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_emergencies_in_the_United_States) The longest standing is the one President Carter declared in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis. It’s not just a matter of people having forgotten about it, either; a state of emergency has to be renewed by the President every year or it expires. The Iran hostages were released in 1981, but that state of emergency has been renewed every year, by every President in office, along with the 30 or so other “emergencies”.

    Trump's not alone, Michael notes. But "other Presidents just don’t get as much press coverage, because most do not trumpet their most obvious bullshit loudly and explicitly."


  • But Trump doesn't always trumpet obvious bullshit. For example, David Harsanyi notes, Trump Calls The Democratic Party Socialist. He’s Right.

    New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, one of the few left-of-center pundits willing to occasionally criticize Democrats for their collectivist tendencies, recently penned an article headlined, “Trump Calls the Democratic Party Socialist. He’s Lying,” in which he contends that both the leftward lurch of Democrats and the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders have been overstated for political reasons. A number of Democrat candidates, he says, have already rejected the word “socialist.”

    Rebuffing the “s” word doesn’t make you any less socialist than embracing the word “capitalist” makes you a champion of free markets. No, these presidential candidates aren’t latter-day Trotskys, but contemporary Democrats, who have long favored tighter controls and bigger government, are now far more inclined to embrace proto-socialistic policies than they are liberal (in the genuine sense of the word) ones. By any fair reading, their agendas can be described as socialistic.

    Find me a Democrat who isn't advocating—nay, demanding—that the state be in control of an ever-increasing sphere of activity. Hey, I might vote for such a person. Or a unicorn.


  • At the Josiah Bartlett Center, Drew Cline presents Five facts about the minimum wage. A good primer to use against advocates. Sample:

    Nationally, only 2.3 percent of all hourly wage workers earn $7.25 per hour or less, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. “Minimum wage workers tend to be young,” according to the BLS. “Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the federal minimum wage or less.” They also tend to be single. Never-married individuals make up 40 percent of those who earn an hourly wage but 68 percent of hourly wage workers who earn a minimum wage. Married individuals are 44 percent of hourly wage workers but only 21 percent of hourly wage workers who earn the minimum wage or less.

    Then there's the moral case: if someone wants to work for $7.25/hr, and someone wants to pay that person $7.25/hr, what's your justification for saying: nay, thou mayest not?


  • Kevin D. Williamson is unkind. Elizabeth Warren's Presidential Campaign: Akin to Sen. Tracy Flick.

    Senator Warren is a familiar type of character, one that is not necessarily dishonorable: the grinder. I know the grinders when I see them. I went to nerd school — imagine a West Texas high school where everybody knows your SAT score and nobody knows who the starting quarterback is — and you meet a lot of grinders at nerd school. I had a few of them when I used to teach, too: “Tell me exactly what I have to do to get an A in this class.” But, like I said, I don’t think that there is such a thing as trying too hard, and the grinders play to their strengths: brute force. It’s like the two or three times a year I do the dishes: I don’t bring any joy or panache to the task, but I can keep scrubbing until the work is done or somebody tells me to stop because I’m taking the enamel off the Le Creuset.

    Some grinders are my kind of people: relying on work ethic for what they don’t have naturally. Some of them are Tracy Flicks.

    And when I say "unkind", I mean: unkind to Tracy Flick.


  • The New York Times had the great good sense to print an article by the super-great Reason editor Katherine Mangu-Ward: Stop Counting Women. It's about chromosome-counting for the sake of "diversity", and anything that doesn't round to 50% (or more) female is prima facie evidence of invidious sexism.

    The absolute best way to ruin the gradual organic process of moving toward a society where men and women can both pursue the work they want — safely, with fair salaries and equal opportunities for promotion — is to freeze and polarize the conversation by imposing a bunch of rigid laws and policies. California passed a bill last fall that mandates the presence of at least one woman on the board of any publicly traded company headquartered there, with increases in that number under certain conditions.

    “We are tired of being nice. We’re tired of being polite. We are going to require this because it’s going to benefit the economy,” said a co-author of the legislation, Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democratic state senator from Santa Barbara, in a floor speech. This line of argumentation is typical, and baffling. Could it really be true that increasing female board representation is irrefutably good for business yet won’t happen unless companies are forced to do it right now?

    In Norway, where a requirement for 40 percent female board membership became law in 2008, there’s some evidence that strict quotas may be counterproductive. Fewer companies chose to undertake initial public offerings in the period after the policy took effect and there was no measurable change in the affected companies’ performance or improvement in the prospects for women lower on the corporate hierarchy. In Kenya, lawmakers are debating a bill to enforce the so-called Two-Thirds Gender Rule, a constitutional clause prohibiting more than 66 percent of the legislature to be the same gender.

    Someone has to say it. I'm with Katherine: stop.


Last Modified 2019-03-04 7:01 AM EDT