URLs du Jour

2019-10-15

[Amazon Link]

  • Is there no limit to the damage a President Warren would do? At Law & Liberty, Greg Weiner discusses another "plan": Elizabeth Warren’s “Accountable” Court.

    Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from Harvard Law School, has a plan—of course she does—for guaranteeing an “impartial and ethical judiciary” based on “the basic premise of our legal system,” which is “that every person is treated equally in the eyes of the law.” Shortly before its unveiling, she tweeted a promise to nominate “a demonstrated advocate for workers” to the Supreme Court.

    In other words, she seeks a justice who would violate Canon 3 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which requires jurists to disqualify themselves from cases in which they have “a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.” The Code does not apply to the Supreme Court, but buckle up: The aforesaid “plan for that” would extend the ethical rules to the Supreme Court, which means Warren is promising to appoint justices whose conduct she will seek to classify as unethical.

    Why, I'm old enough to remember when having "litmus tests" for judicial nominees was seen as a bad thing.


  • Scrooge
Swimming in his Money Bin At the (possibly paywalled) WSJ, Andy Kessler asks the musical question: What’s a Wealth Tax Worth?.

    The most preposterous part of the wealth-tax plans is their supporters’ insistence that they would be good for the economy. Only in an upside-down world could anyone think “a wealth tax is pro-growth,” as a New York Times columnist has claimed.

    Start with the spending side. If the Democrats gain the presidency and Senate, the wealth tax would help fund a phantasmagoria of new mandates, like the Medicare free-for-all and the blingy Green New Deal. The candidates will say most of the revenue would go toward education and infrastructure—both areas in which unions have overwhelming control over employment. C’mon, Liz and Bernie, we’re not that dumb.

    The revenue side is even worse, as a wealth tax would suck money away from productive investments. Of course liberals in favor of taxation always trot out the tired trope that the poor drive growth by spending their money while the rich hoard it, tossing gold coins in the air in their basement vaults. As the Times put it, wealthy Americans supposedly have “more money than they know what to do with.” So just tax the rich and government spending will create great jobs for the poor and middle class.

    This couldn’t be more wrong. As anyone with $1 billion—or $1,000—knows, people don’t stuff their mattresses with Benjamins. They invest them. Sure, you might have some in a checking account that doesn’t pay interest; you don’t even get a toaster anymore! But if money’s in an account, it’s being invested.

    I'm somewhat happy that Andy makes the observation I've also made a few times here at Pun Salad: "Why do liberals think rich people have money just lying around, like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a giant pool of gold coins?" I've deployed my usual image.


  • Nick Gillespie at Reason thinks it's a problem that The New York Times, NBC, and Other Outlets Don’t Trust You To Handle the Truth. Specific examples cited by Nick: (1) the New York Times refusing to embed the tacky "Church of Fake News" video; (2) NBC's Meet the Press noting that Trump "attacked" Hunter Biden at his recent rally, but the video? "We cannot in good conscience show it to you."; (3) New Zealand's ban on "owning or sharing" the Christchurch mass-shooter's "manifesto".

    Just to show I'm slightly less craven than the New York Times:

    The actions of the Times, Meet the Press, and the New Zealand media will not slow the loss of confidence and trust in the media. On the contrary, such behavior will accelerate it as readers continue to rebel against such paternalism by searching out alternative sources of information (including many shady, conspiracist sites). There's already a widespread belief, some or much it justified, that powerful elites hold most Americans in various forms of contempt. Simultaneously telling those same readers, viewers, and listeners that big, important, scary things are happening and then withholding primary sources is a perfect recipe to increase cynicism and anger toward the media.

    I'm already maxed out on cynicism toward the media; I suppose I could get angrier than I am, but I'd prefer not to.


  • And sometimes the media just makes it so easy for their critics. The Washington Examiner reports: ABC News ‘slaughter in Syria’ footage appears to come from a Kentucky gun range.

    ABC aired supposedly shocking footage Monday and Sunday purporting to be from the frontline battle between the Syrian Kurds and the invading Turks. The only problem is, the footage appears to come from a nighttime machine gun demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky.

    Which reminds me of…


  • From our "Unintentional Consequences That Anyone With An Ounce Of Sense Could Have Predicted" file, National Review notes the news: Target Cuts Workers' Hours after Vowing to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 By 2020.

    Workers at Target stores are struggling to pay their bills after the company cut the total amount of employee working hours in preparation for raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, according to a report from CNN.

    “I got that dollar raise but I’m getting $200 less in my paycheck,” said Heather, who works at a Florida branch. She began working 40 hours per week but is now offered less than 20.

    “I have no idea how I’m going to pay rent or buy food,” she continued.

    Target committed to raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 in a statement on September 25, 2017.

    That last link goes to Target's press release that bragged of its "long history of investing in our team members" and how it "care[s] about and value[s]" its workers.

    Today's footnote: "But not that much."