URLs du Jour

2019-10-26

[Amazon Link]

  • P. J. O'Rourke has a damn fine idea at the WaPo: We need a bar exam for politicians.

    Politicians should be licensed. Nearly every other profession has some form of accreditation or certification. In the District, more than 125 occupations require a license.

    We license lawyers, doctors, teachers, accountants, plumbers, real estate brokers, marriage counselors, dental hygienists, cosmetologists, beauticians and barbers. But a politician has the power to cause more damage and expense than even the worst hair stylist.

    Licensing is no cure-all, as the behavior of Washington law firms shows. Most politicians are lousy, and a license to practice won’t make them better. But creating complicated and time-consuming regulatory barriers to becoming a politician might, at least, limit the number of louses.

    I've previously suggested that presidential candidates should be subjected to an array of quizzes on a variety of subjects, the results made public. Peej's idea is similar, maybe better. Demand some sort of qualifying exam.

    Only problem is: the politicians would set the licensing rules.


  • George Will believes that Elizabeth Warren [is] not suited to push swing voters away from Trump. But there's also Bernie stuff:

    Along New York’s East River, which is not really a river (it is a 16-mile-long tidal estuary), perhaps 20,000 people actually chose to spend a gorgeous autumn afternoon Saturday listening to socialist Bernie Sanders, who is not really a socialist — he just wants to confiscate capitalism’s bounty to fund his promises of free stuff. This might seem counterintuitive, but: It bodes well for the republic that so many were eager to hear yet another of Sanders’ harangues about the inequity of all existing social arrangements.

    The rally was Sanders’ announcement that he, like the Young Man in Longfellow’s poem, is “up and doing, with a heart for any fate.” His message was: Never mind my heart attack. He is 78, and, in his second run for the nomination, is no longer a novelty, which Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a sprightly 70, is. Her persona, that of a hectoring schoolmarm, can be grating, but is less so than his. Sanders fluctuates between anger and indignation. Besides, it is entertaining to count how many times Warren plans to spend the same revenues from her wealth tax before it is declared unconstitutional (see Article I, Section 9).

    I like the image of a fake socialist speaking next to a phony river.


  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson suggests, nay demands, some due process on the Trump Impeachment: Nancy Pelosi, Bring It into the Light.

    Republicans and Democrats, partisans of Donald Trump and those looking to impeach him, should speak with one voice about at least one thing: It is time for Nancy Pelosi to bring the impeachment process out of the shadows, out from behind closed doors, and into the light and air, such as it is, of the people’s house, where the people may oversee it.

    The power and the responsibility in this matter are expressly Pelosi’s in her role as speaker of the House. If you doubt for a moment that this blessed republic has entered a penitential stage in its history, then behold the fulcrum of the U.S. government’s credibility and her wan, conniving aspect. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

    As I've stated ad nauseam, I no longer care what happens to Trump. But we might care, just a little, about too-secretive impeachment process.


  • Cato's Jeffrey A. Singer notes the latest stupid tactic in the Opioid Panic: DEA Is About to Demonstrate “How Little They Know About What They Imagine They Can Design”. At issue is a recent proposal from the Drug Enforcement Agency to establish various new (and, obviously, reduced) quotas on prescription opioids.

    The rationale behind the production quotas is to reduce the amount of prescription opioids that can be diverted into the black market for non-medical use. But last month’s DEA quota proposal stated (Federal Register page 48172):

    As a result of considering the extent of diversion, DEA notes that the quantity of FDA-approved drug products that correlate to controlled substances in 2018 represents less than one percent of the total quantity of controlled substances distributed to retail purchasers.

    Therefore, it appears that diversion of prescription opioids into the black market is now a rare event. An obvious question then is why tighten quotas even further? Is the DEA on a mission to reduce or eliminate the use of opioids based upon this law enforcement agency's belief that it knows best how health care practitioners should engage in pain management?

    Well, it's an idiotic idea, meaning nothing more than a signal saying "Hey, we're doing something!"

    David Henderson comments sagely:

    To be fair, I think the DEA knows very well how to design a drug cartel.

    And note that, unlike most people use the term “drug cartel,” I’m using it correctly.


Last Modified 2019-10-26 6:24 PM EDT