URLs du Jour

2020-11-21

[Amazon Link]
I like the Amazon Product du Jour a lot. You can (if you are far braver than I) get the yard sign at Etsy.

  • P. J. O'Rourke at American Consequences tells us about Beautiful Losers.

    Voter turnout was huge. But almost everybody was voting against a candidate – because they were hugely opposed to him (or him + her). And every voter was right. The vote was a great big “No thank you” to Trump and Biden.

    I’m glad to see the back of Donald Trump. (Although I’m already sick of looking at the front Biden puts up.) It’s not that I disagree with Trump’s policies. I mostly don’t, except for his stupid Wall and the xenophobic crap that went with it.

    I’ve traveled the entire border, from Brownsville/Matamoros to San Ysidro/Tijuana, on both sides of the boundary. The Wall is about as conceivable as a hiking trail across the Atlantic. The only sane reaction to the idea is, “Go long on the Mexican ladder industry.”

    Closing quote: "Partisan politics is a minor team sport – somewhere in importance between beach volleyball and curling."


  • Jonah Goldberg was never a Trump fan, and his disgust has, if anything, ratcheted up a few notches in the past couple weeks: This Was Always the Plan.

    The thing is, I am very angry.

    The president of the United States is trying to steal an election he clearly and unequivocally lost.

    Even liberals frame this fact wrong. They keep saying that Trump is undermining the legitimacy of the election. He is certainly doing that. But the undermining isn’t the end he most desires—it’s the means to that end. The man is literally trying to steal an election.

    I'm not angry, because I'm too old for that. But it's difficult not to be disgusted. And saddened to see people I generally like being taken in by the con.


  • Back in Realityville, Reason provides Steven Greenhut with the good news: Voters Wisely Chose Divided Federal Government.

    At some point when his bruised ego allows it, President Donald Trump will quit acting like the spurned dictator of Belarus and curtail his civically destructive effort to overturn a legitimate election. At that point, we can embrace a satisfying reality, regardless of our presidential preference: America will have a bitterly divided government that won't accomplish very much.

    Being libertarian, I rarely enjoy election night. It's like watching a football game between the Patriots and the Raiders. Is it possible for both teams to lose badly? Fortunately, that result is entirely possible in our political system—and is what took place on Tuesday. Democrats had hoped for a blue-wave election that would throw Trump to the curb, provide a Senate majority and expand their numbers in the House.

    I'm of the cautious opinion that the GOP might have an excellent election night in 2022. If they can manage to avoid doing stupid things between now and… oh, shit, what am I thinking?


  • Drew Cline at the Josiah Bartlett Center does a little home state boosterism: Economic freedom has made New Hampshire an international marvel.

    New Hampshire is a small, remote, mountainous state with no major port or trade hub. Considering only natural economic resources, it has more liabilities than assets. Yet its economy is legendary. Its economic growth has been the envy of New England for decades.

    How did this happen?

    The simple answer is that New Hampshire unleashed the power of human ingenuity by systematically pursuing economic freedom for its people. The human mind being the greatest economic asset, New Hampshire leaders freed it from unnecessary constraints. Tremendous prosperity followed.

    What we call “The New Hampshire Advantage” is not merely the absence of a broad-based sales or income tax. It is the result of a consistent, decades-long strategy of leaving individuals and businesses largely free to trade with each other as they see fit.

    In short, the state’s economic strategy is to not have an economic strategy, other than to leave people and businesses free. It has worked beautifully.

    Statistics at the link. Now if we could just do reforms of occupational licensure and onerous land use/zoning regulations…


  • Robert Graboyes and Charles Blahous write at Discourse magazine on The Rattler’s Tail and Snakebit Pollsters.

    There are countless, conflicting interpretations of 2020’s election results, but one fact is indisputable: across the board, polls failed miserably. Several reasons have been offered for this failure, but one explanation is especially compelling and worthy of further attention, namely, the fraying of social trust in America. It is not possible to produce accurate public opinion surveys where there isn’t tolerance of opposing viewpoints—even those we detest.

    In 2020, poll after poll foretold a “blue wave,” with Democrats easily recapturing the White House, toppling several Republican incumbents to retake the Senate and swelling their majority in the House of Representatives. Instead, Republicans may retain their Senate majority, holding at least 50 and possibly as many as 52 seats. Republicans may also end up only a few seats short of a majority in the House.

    The "shy Trump voter" thesis is mentioned, and debunked: it doesn't explain why every poll showed Senator Susan Collins losing in Maine, only to win handily on Election Day.

    My thesis: Democrats/progressives/leftists are only too willing to yak to anyone who will listen about their political opinions. Including pollsters. The rest of us are (increasingly) saying: why should I tell you anything?


  • David Henderson (Library of Economics and Liberty) provides a Great Line from T.S. Eliot. Which I will do as well:

    Eliot could not have found a kinder, or more effective, way of putting me at ease. As we sat down, he said, “Tell me, as one editor to another, do you have much author trouble?” I could not help laughing, he laughed in return–he had a booming laugh–and that was the beginning of our friendship. His most memorable remark of the day occurred when I asked him if he agreed with the definition that most editors are failed writers, and he replied: “Perhaps, but so are most writers.”

    And maybe we could add bloggers to that.