URLs du Jour

2019-09-18

[Amazon Link]

  • Veronique de Rugy notes the Export-Import Bank is up to its old tricks: Ex-Im “Reform” Documents Look Like More of the Same Crony Capitalism.

    It has been disheartening, though not completely surprising, to watch the Republican party move from being the driving force behind terminating the crony capitalist agency known as the Export-Import Bank to a party that will do anything to not step on the toes of the president. Mr. Trump used to think Ex-Im was corporate welfare too, but he now would like to use the Bank as a national security tool to compete with China.

    What has been surprising is just how acquiescent Republican senators have been to the president’s pivot to embrace Ex-Im. Take a look, for instance, at the list of those who voted in favor of the nomination of Kimberley Reed as the new Ex-Im head. That vote effectively brought the agency back to life after a four-year hiatus. You will find the names of senators who supposedly are opposed to Ex-Im.

    Unfortunately, only 16 Senate Republicans (and Bernie Sanders) voted against Reed's nomination. That's how unpopular principled opposition to cronyism is in today's politics.


  • At the New York Post, Betsy McCaughey has easy pickings finding Democrats’ biggest health care lies. She lists four whoppers, and here is…

    Whopper 1: ObamaCare is affordable. Joe Biden’s running a television ad in Iowa pledging to stand by ObamaCare because “every American deserves affordable health care.” Iowans aren’t going to buy that. They’re not hayseeds.

    Truth: In Iowa, 90% of ObamaCare customers who paid their own way in 2014 have dropped their coverage. ObamaCare is affordable only if you qualify for a subsidy. Middle-class people who earn too much to get taxpayer-funded help can’t afford to stay enrolled.

    They “have taken it on the chin,” reports Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Why is the number of uninsured in America suddenly rising again? Blame ObamaCare for pricing the middle class out of insurance.

    To be fair, another good reason to drop "coverage" is that you are no longer getting fined for not having it.


  • At the Washington Free Beacon, Cameron Cawthorne added to the Pun Salad "Of Course He Did" department. Specifically, he noticed Joe Biden: Child Tax Credit Will 'Put 720 Million Women Back in the Workforce'.

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday made the incredible claim that his proposed child tax credit would "put 720 million women back in the workforce."

    The former vice president was speaking at the Workers’ Presidential Summit in Philadelphia when he made the remarks about his proposal for an $8,000 child tax credit. He said his words made him "sound like a wonk."

    Joe, I'm pretty sure "wonk" is not the word you were looking for there.

    But the article also made me think about the journalistic niche job of "listening carefully to every politician's speeches, remarks, and public conversations to catch gaffes, illiteracies, and general incoherence." That sounds like it could be a dreary, soul-deadening job in most cases. But if you're assigned Joe Biden? That could be entertaining.

    It also allowed me to fantasize about a couple punchlines:

    • "When asked to clarify, Biden said: 'Did I say 750 million? Sorry, I meant 750 billion.'"
    • "Asked to comment on Biden's assertion, Kamala Harris responded: 'Shit. I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.'"


  • The Democrat-controlled New Hampshire Legislature is attempting to override some of Governor Sununu's vetoes; one is of HB 183, which is generating an odd alliance of cranky libertarians (me) but also, according to Michael Graham's Inside SourcesEnvironmental Groups Urge NH Legislators to Sustain Sununu’s Veto of Biomass Bailout Bill.

    Several local, state, and national environmental groups sent a letter to New Hampshire state legislators today urging them to sustain Governor Sununu’s veto for HB 183, legislation that would require an estimated $20 million in ratepayer bailouts each year to six wood-burning biomass power plants. According to the latest EPA data (2017), four of the six biomass plants are among the top 10 air polluters in the state.

    The groups, which include the New Hampshire Sierra Club, Toxics Action Center Campaign, and Partnership for Policy Integrity, called the bill “harmful to our health, our environment, our wallets, and our climate.”

    I was unaware that in addition to the usual damage Democrats do to the operation of markets, the bill would also assist in degrading the environment. You'd think that would be a deal-breaker for Democrats, but we'll see.

    The article caused me to do something unusual: (1) look up my state representatives' e-mail addresses; (2) make a contact list; (3) send them mail asking that they vote to sustain the veto.


  • I noticed that a group of Arizona Democrats are upset with Senator Kyrsten Sinema for being occasionally independent-minded, not mindlessly anti-Trump. Not too interesting; who cares what a bunch of Arizona Democrats do? But the news article did point me to an interesting page on Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight site: Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump. Slick and easy to use, you can see how your state's senators and your own Congresscritter stacks up with their peers as far as supporting Trump's positions. In my case:

    • My own Congressman Chris Pappas has a "Trump Score" of 4.4%; this is near-bottom. Only 11 other Congresscritters have a lower score. Ilhan Omar has a higher score (6.7%) fer goodness' sake.

    • On the Senate side, Jeanne Shaheen clocks in with 30.5% Trump support; Maggie Hassan is at 29.2%. In comparison, Kyrsten Sinema is at 54.5%.

    You can also split things up by congressional session. I'm not sure what that means, but…