URLs du Jour

2019-04-18

[Amazon Link]

  • Apparently the Mueller Report is being released as I type! Fortunately, Instapundit supplies my own take:

    I’M JUST GOING TO GET AHEAD OF THE SPIN AND ANNOUNCE THAT THE MUELLER REPORT SUPPORTS EVERYTHING I ALREADY THOUGHT. And if the redactions were removed, it would support everything I already thought even more.

    The Amazon Product du Jour is appropriate, although if you want one that doesn't say "2016", go here.


  • Veronique de Rugy answers the question you didn't know you had: who does bipartisan support for electric vehicle handouts betray? I bet you saw it coming: Bipartisan Support for Electric Vehicle Handouts Betrays Taxpayers.

    Excessive partisanship and endless acrimony are common complaints lodged against the political class. There's a lot to be said in favor of this narrative, but bipartisanship isn't always what it's cracked up to be, either. As evidence, consider the latest attempt to extend corporate handouts for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers.

    The Driving America Forward Act was recently introduced to extend the existing EV tax credit well beyond its current limits. Unsurprisingly, its sponsors include both Michigan Senators, Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, as well as Republican Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine. A companion version was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dan Kildee, also a Democrat from a district in Michigan.

    At issue is the $7500 tax credit that applies to "only" the first 200,000 vehicles sold by a manufacturer. The legislation says: "eh, let's add on 400,000 more to that."


  • Also piling on: the esteemed George F. Will, who says (obviously): The electric vehicle tax credit is another example of government foolishness.

    Some government foolishness has an educational value that compensates for its considerable cost. Consider the multibillion-dollar federal electric vehicle tax credit, which efficiently illustrates how government can, with one act, diminish its already negligible prestige while subtracting from America’s fairness. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Jason T. Smith (R-Mo.) hope to repeal the tax credit, which probably will survive because it does something that government enjoys doing: It transfers wealth upward by subsidizing affluent individuals and large economic entities.

    Where are all the lefty critics of wealth inequality and corporate welfare when you need them?


  • Well, if you need a reason to cheer up, NR's Kevin D. Williamson looks at the "Stop Sanders" movement among Democrats: Democrats Worry Bernie Sanders Can’t Win in 2020.

    The clever people in the Democratic party have turned their attention to Senator Bernie Sanders, the creepy Brooklyn red who for some reason represents Vermont in the Senate, functionally as a member of the Democratic party, an equally creepy political organization to which he does not belong but whose presidential nomination he nonetheless is seeking a second time.

    Stop Sanders! is the cry of the moment from Cambridge, Mass., to Tiburon, Calif., and everywhere that clever Democrats gather. The worry is that Senator Sanders’s grumpy-Muppet shtick will not discreetly charm the bourgeoisie, that his disheveled populism and his unmade bed of a mind will not be a smash hit with well-heeled swing voters in the moneyed suburbs of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida — which, the clever people inform us, is where the real action is going to be in 2020. They aren’t out there screaming “A vote for Sanders is a vote for Trump!” just yet, but they are scheming behind the scenes, and the moneymen of the party already are so alarmed that they are making approximately the same sound that Donald Sutherland makes at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    As I type, the only candidates with over a 10% shot at winning the 2020 presidential election are Trump (42.9%) and … the grumpy-muppet Bernie (13.3%).


  • You know who's given no chance whatsoever? Matt Welch at Reason looks at him. It’s Official: Bill Weld Announces Primary Challenge to Donald Trump. Here's my sticking point:

    One challenge Weld faces among Republican and libertarian-leaning voters alike is his track record of slippery political allegiances and policy positions. In May 2016, during a contentious two-round ballot fight to become the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee, Weld was repeatedly asked by the then-dropping out V.P. challenger Alicia Dearn to promise never to "betray" the L.P., as many believe he had done during a botched New York gubernatorial bid in 2006.

    "I'm a Libertarian for life," Weld said, trying to make the awkward moment go away without precisely answering the question. Dearn pressed him, saying that "betray," to her, just meant leaving the party, to which Weld declared: "Libertarian for life means not going back to any other party."

    Unsurprisingly honest Weld has made a weasel his campaign mascot.


  • James Lileks writes at the Bleat about (among other things) a song that I hated back in the sixties.

    Let's go right to scripture:

    Back in the early 1960s, Malvina Reynolds wrote a song called “Little Boxes,” inspired by a drive past rows of lookalike pastel-hued houses in a new suburban housing tract in the Bay Area. (Her friend Pete Seeger had a hit with the song in 1963.) Reynolds saw the cookie-cutter houses as both symbols and shapers of the conformist mindset of the people who lived in them—doctors and lawyers who aspired to nothing more than playing golf and raising children who would one day inhabit “ticky-tacky” boxes of their own.

    Right. And the smugocracy has held that disdain in their gas-filled noggins for decades.

    I lived (1961-69) in a suburban housing tract, and it was great.


  • Charles Sykes takes a break from Trump-hating, and turns his attention to the blog-pointing tweet from the Library Journal:

    Charles notes: First They Came for the Books.

    The good news here is that Leung cannot be described as a thought leader in the librarian tribe. In her article, she describes her epiphany about the “whiteness” of libraries in a discussion with a colleague:

    One of the mind-blowing things she shared was this idea of how our library collections, because they are written mostly by straight white men, are a physical manifestation of white men ideas taking up all the space in our library stacks. Pause here and think about this.

    Yes, let’s pause here. Leung regards the idea that books are written by straight white men (many of them dead) as “mind blowing,” when, in fact, that has been a hoary, tattered, clichéd fixture of academic leftism for nearly half a century. Her innovation here is moving from the identities of the dead white guys—Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, Plutarch, Freud—to the offensive nature of the physical space that their books occupy.

    Dude, the barbarians aren't at the gates. We've already let them inside, whence they tweet and blog.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert takes us to the Peoria Journal Star and an LTE from Emma Schnerre of Seaton, Illinois (population 204). Emma asks: With seat belts, are we losing freedom for safety?.

    Seat belt laws were enacted to provide safety to the driver and passengers while in vehicles. For most people it is routine to put on a seat belt when in a vehicle; however, seat belt laws are relatively new to the United States. It was not until 1984 that seat belts became mandatory.

    New Hampshire is the only state in America that does not have a seat belt laws pertaining to adults. Significantly, according to a New Hampshire Public Radio article by Ben Henry, “Despite New Hampshire’s loose seat belt laws and correspondingly unbuckled drivers, the state’s traffic fatality rate is actually below the national average.” It is true New Hampshire is a small state so people travel smaller distances and therefore there is less chance for fatality in vehicle accident; however, the quotation still insinuates that perhaps seat belts should not be a mandatory law but rather just be provided in vehicles allowing for an individual to choose freely whether to wear one or not.

    There is even grounds for questioning if it should be in the government’s jurisdiction to mandate seat belts. Also, there is a lack of logic in seat belt laws due to the fact that motorcyclists are not mandated to wear seat belts. Lastly, it is time to consider as a country how much government interference we the people want. Should we follow New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” or should we continue down the path we are on? That is, losing freedom to gain safety?

    Good for Emma. I'll just restrict myself to pointing out that according to the latest numbers from the Federal Highway Administration:

    • New Hampshire drivers average 12,931 miles yearly, while Illinois drivers average 12,921. (So Emma's wrong to guess that we travel smaller distances.)
    • NH recorded 1.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, and IL racked up 1.38. Despite their paternalistic seat belt law.


Last Modified 2019-04-18 1:54 PM EDT