URLs du Jour

2020-10-12

Happy Columbus Day! Let's start it out with some Eye Candy:

[Not Chris]

Pun Salad Fact Check: True. But the linked article from David Marcus at the New York Post doesn't do the bait-and-switch:

Happy Columbus Day. There, I said it. And I mean it. I don’t wish you a solemn Columbus Day, nor a mournful one, nor still a guilty one. No, I wish you a happy Columbus Day.

It’s a day to celebrate the contributions of Italian Americans to our nation’s history. That was the original intent behind the holiday, after all, to elevate Italians at a time when they still faced marked bigotry. But more than that, it’s a day to celebrate a man whose example of courage and determination we need, as they say, now more than ever.

Shame on my fellow Norwegian-Americans for not coming up with making Leif Erikson Day a Federal holiday. Although President Trump did (indeed) issue the yearly proclamation.

Still not gonna vote for him though.

  • Since this is Pun Salad, I will note that Peter Suderman at Reason could not resist the pun: Debt Reckoning.

    It's a difficult time to be a deficit hawk.

    In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, named to show what lawmakers on both sides of the aisle wanted to be seen to be doing in the wake of the economic devastation caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. They cared to the tune of about $2.2 trillion, all of it billed to the deficit, making it the single biggest legislative care package in history by a wide margin. It was the first time Congress had ever passed a bill with a trillion-dollar price tag. As a point of comparison, the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health law that would be known as Obamacare, which was viewed as unusually costly, had to be whittled down during the legislative process so as not to technically exceed the trillion-dollar mark. Its 10-year price tag, at the time of passage, came in around $940 billion.

    But any real worries about those sky-high figures appear to have melted away in the face of the pandemic, which has exposed the underlying unseriousness of Washington's approach to budgeting. For nearly 40 years, federal lawmakers have been trying, or at least pretending to try, to reduce the deficit. But when asked to make tough budgetary choices, they consistently buckle under the pressure of partisan politics. This, in turn, has given rise to simplistic economic theories designed to justify whatever outcomes are most convenient.

    Peter provides the recent history, and see if he can't convince you that we're in a heap of trouble.

    One lousy reason for conservatives/libertarians to cheer for Democrat victory next month: they'll get blamed when the results of fiscal insanity are made manifest.


  • Speaking of which, George F. Will asks the musical question: Republicans, are you tired of winning yet? It's kind of an interesting grab-bag of fact and speculation, here are the final two paragraphs:

    Trump, whose reading of constitutional law has convinced him that Article II, properly construed, means “I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” has now taken to speaking reverently about “law and order.” “Nothing,” wrote George Orwell, “is gained by teaching a parrot a new word.”

    Joseph Stalin — like God, in the book of Genesis — looked upon his work and saw that it was good. Hence Stalin’s March 2, 1930, Pravda article “Dizzy with Success.” Trump told Americans they would get tired of all the winning he had in store for them. They are indeed tired. Promises made, promises kept.

    Mr. Will's link goes to Wikipedia, but it includes the link to Uncle Joe's Pravda article.


  • Counterpoint to Mr. Will from Paul Mirengoff at Power Line: Not tired of it, but there has been plenty of winning under Trump. After a pluses-and-minuses analysis:

    If, on this record, Will wants to taunt Trump for saying we’d tire of winning under his administration, that’s his right. However, it would have been better if he had bothered to analyze the record.

    It would also be nice if he would compare the amount of winning conservative Republicans can expect in a second Trump administration to the amount that’s likely to occur if Joe Biden wins. The latter amount is approximately nil.

    Instead, we can expect non-stop losing, including, quite possibly, a packed Supreme Court and the end of the Senate filibuster. These measures would give Democrats almost limitless ability to enact left-wing legislation with virtually no hope of having the unconstitutional portion of that agenda struck down by the courts.

    It’s futile to ask most Never Trumpers to recognize this reality. To most of them, it’s more important to signal their distaste for a distasteful president than to focus on the policy implications of defeating Trump. And the worst of them have already switched their positions on key policy matters, anyway.

    In one way or another, they have sold conservatism down the river.

    Also selling conservatism down the river: lots of Republicans, including Trump.


  • Hey, I've occasionally mentioned that it would be nice to get Jeanne Shaheen, our state's probably-gonna-be-re-elected Senator, on the record about court packing. Here you (sort of) go: Shaheen Joins Dems Claiming Filling Vacancies is 'Packing the Court'.

    During a Facebook Live Q &A session hosted by WMUR’s Adam Sexton, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen told viewers she did not support packing the U.S. Supreme Court. She does, however, support Democratic efforts to label filling judicial vacancies as “court-packing,” a notion rejected by virtually every legal scholar and political historian.

    “I don’t support packing the court, although I have to say I think that’s exactly what [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have done,” Shaheen said. “But no, I don’t think expanding the number of judges on the Supreme Court is a good thing to do.”

    That's not an ironclad commitment to vote against court-packing legislation, but we'll take what we can get. When she votes in favor of it anyway, sometime in 2021, she'll probably be in her final term, and can afford to thumb her nose at the suckers voters who believed her.


  • But note her silly rhetoric, trying to redefine "packing the court" with "Constitutionally nominating and confirming justices Democrats don't like". An interesting Twitchy article that asserts ‘Americans aren’t idiots!’.

    Well, that's your opinion. But at issue is an AP article containing the following:

    Why it's almost as if the AP is in the pocket of the Democratic Party. (Much like my local paper.)