URLs du Jour


  • Well, the primary is coming up in a few days and, as a registered RINO, I already have one fewer choice. The Federalist has the story: Joe Walsh Drops Out Of GOP Primary, Backs Socialism.

    Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh ended his longshot presidential bid Friday after only receiving a mere 348 votes in the Iowa Republican caucuses Monday.

    “So you’re going to try to help elect the Democratic nominee, is that what you’re saying?” CNN’s Josh Berman asked Walsh.

    “Any Democrat,” Walsh said without hesitation. “John, Donald Trump is a dictator. He’s a king… Any Democrat would be better than Trump in the White House.”

    Give me a break, Joe. But if it makes you feel any better, I was not leaning toward voting for you anyway.

    Looking back at my overview of my seventeen possible choices, we have:

    • 1 dropout: Walsh.
    • 5 unacceptably crazy and/or "eccentric": Merrill, Boddie, Gyurko, Locke, Maxwell
    • 5 unacceptable/unserious stance on issues: Murphy, Ardini, Comley, Ely, Horn
    • 1 unacceptable unprincipled weasel: Weld
    • 1 completely unknown: Payne
    • 1 completely known: Trump

    Leaving four possibles: Matern, Kraft, De La Fuente, and the Dave Barry write-in. I actually got a mailer from Matern. Sketchy, but I'm leaning that way.

  • The perhaps-paywalled WSJ asks Barton Swaim to describe The Bernie Sanders Experience. He came up to Milford to check it out:

    When you ask Mr. Sanders’s supporters what it is about him they find attractive, you often get something about authenticity. “I don’t know if I’d say ‘authentic’ or ‘honest,’ ” [a guy reading the book Why Buddhism is True] told me, “but it’s something like that.” “With some of them,” one woman said, speaking of the other Democratic candidates, “you’re just not sure what they really believe. With Bernie, you know.” The social-justice campaigner Shaun King, who spoke before Mr. Sanders at the Milford rally, put this question to the crowd: “Who’s more authentic, more real than Bernie Sanders?” Somebody behind me muttered, “Nobody, man.”

    When you have Shaun King vouching for your authenticity, not much more needs be said.

  • Just because you're a fancy-pants New Yorker writer, it doesn't mean you can't trot out a hoary LFOD cliché. Rob Fischer dares to try: In New Hampshire, Pete Buttigieg Makes the Case for Moderation. Not once, but twice. But in his defense, the second time he's quoting Mayor Pete:

    In the course of five campaign stops on Tuesday, Buttigieg went on to make broad appeals to the possibility of national consensus. “God does not belong to a political party in the United States of America,” he said, but, in a state with the motto “Live Free or Die,” everyone should support “insuring that the government stays out of the business of dictating to women what their reproductive health-care choices ought to be.” When it comes to gun violence, he said, “there is a powerful American majority that spreads across both parties insisting that we no longer allow the Second Amendment to be transformed into an excuse to do nothing at all.” Perhaps his most charming line, which comes at the close of his stump speech, is also willfully cloying. “This is no time to walk away,” he said, suddenly serious. “This is no time to let the cynics win by stepping away from the process.” But, while Sanders promises a political revolution, Buttigieg assured his audience that he is running for President “as an expression of hope.” In fact, it’s perhaps not an accident, he said, that the word “hopeful” has become a synonym for “candidate.” He flashes a star-pupil grin, grabs his lapel, and bounces on his heels as he said, “I’m a 2020 hopeful.”

    So Pete invoked LFOD to say the government shouldn't get involved in "reproductive health-care choices", but (as we know) he's also in favor of forcing taxpayers to pay for those "choices".

    And then later that same paragraph he forgets all that silly LFOD stuff while arguing that the government should totally get into the business of dictating what sort of people get guns of whatever type.

  • Harvard econ prof Greg Mankiw is no Trump fan, but he has a Note to Dems: The Economy is Doing Great.

    As the Democratic candidates get ready for tonight's debate, let me offer some advice: They should refrain from their tendency to disparage the current state of the economy. As the graphs below show, the employment-population ratio for prime-age workers is at its highest level in about 20 years. Real wages for production and nonsupervisory workers (that is, excluding the more highly paid bosses) are at an all-time high. There are plenty of good reasons to remove Donald Trump from office, but a poor economy is not one of them.

    I'll do the same graphs here, first the Employment-Population Ratio:

    [Employment-Population Ratio]

    And real wages:

    [Real Wages]

    Again, I'm not a Trump fan but I'm in agreement with Mankiw on the facts.

  • Mark Hemingway writes at Real Clear Politics about a little Iowa-related sideshow that illuminates how tricky this whole "disinformation" thing can be: WashPost Tries to Stop Fake News, Becomes Part of the Problem.

    On Monday evening, just as the Iowa caucuses were heating up, the Washington Post published a story with this unambiguous headline: “Conservatives spread false claims on Twitter about electoral fraud as Iowans prepare to caucus.” The story was damning in tone and unequivocal in its assertions. “The claims of electoral fraud were false, proved untrue by public data and the state’s top election official,” it began. “That didn’t stop them from going viral, as right-wing activists took to Twitter over the weekend to spread specious allegations of malfeasance on the eve of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.”

    While concern about “fake news” influencing elections is a legitimate concern, in its rush to debunk a false claim going viral, the Post itself may be spreading fake news. Even more worrisome, the Post’s bad reporting was used to scrub information from social media.

    Click through for the details, but it's pretty clear that the ostensibly non-partisan jihad against disinformation has been, is, and will be used as a weapon against conservatives.

  • And finally, Jonah Goldberg sounds a recurring theme: Our Political Parties Are In Decline, and That's a Problem.

    One of my favorite running jokes on the internet is, “You had one job.” It’s a staple of Twitter and YouTube, with images of signs reading, “Turn Left” with an arrow pointing right, or supermarket shelves demarcating where you can buy “Poop Tarts.”

    Well, the Iowa Democratic Party rolled out a new line of Poop Tarts this week.

    The Iowa Democratic Party may have other responsibilities in non-presidential election years, but it’s only important function every four years is to run the Iowa caucuses. It’s the only time the eyes of the nation are on it, and the eyes of the nation this week saw a screwup of biblical proportions. It was like watching a team put screen doors on a submarine and confidently take it out to sea, even though they’d been warned from the beginning that screen doors are a bad idea.

    The parties could be useful as institutions working to calm mob passions, instead they are committing suicide,