URLs du Jour

2021-04-02

  • Eye Candy du Jour. And on Good Friday, an appropriate religious theme from Michael P. Ramirez: Satan Shoes.

    [Satan Shoes]

    [Amazon Link]
    I have no strong feelings about Lil Nas X. I don't think I've ever listened to "Old Town Road". And I have no idea if this contretemps is related in any way to "Satan's Shoes", on the Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes 2006 album "Messin' With The Blues". (Amazon link at right). The song tells the story of a young loser who takes the devil's footwear offer and has "all kinds of illicit fun". For a while. Final verse:

    Ah, people, now
    We come to the sad part of the story
    They found him face down
    In the mayor's wife's morning glories
    Yeah, he had a good time
    But it didn't last too long
    Now he's somewhere singing
    That old mournful song...

    Here endeth the Lesson.


  • Feds With Too Much Time On Their Hands. At the Federalist, Ilya Shapiro brings equal parts outrage and amusement in reporting the latest: Bureaucrats Keep Legally Harassing The Federalist Over A Twitter Joke.

    In June 2019, around the time staffers at Vox Media unionized, Ben Domenech, the publisher of this website, jokingly tweeted from his personal Twitter account: “FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine.”

    And before you could say "you don't need to make a federal case out of this", lo and behold, someone did make a federal case out of this.

    A Twitter troll named Joel Fleming, who has no connection to The Federalist, filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB), claiming Ben’s tweet amounted to a violation of labor law by parent company FDRLST Media: threatening reprisal against those wishing to form a union.

    And the case is still hanging on.

    But if there's a silver lining in this foul-smelling cloud of bad behavior, it's that the Cato Institute has submitted an amicus brief on the Federalist's side. Among the credited authors are P. J. O'Rourke, Penn & Teller. Excerpt:

    This case can be resolved on the basis of one fact: Domenech’s tweet was a joke, not a threat. We know this because Domenech sent it out to more than 80,000 followers—and anyone else who might find it through retweets or other shares. That’s not the typical modus operandi for breaking federal labor law. If Domenech really wanted to punish employees of FDRLST Media, he would have done it in an email—and if he really really wanted to punish them, he would have done it in a proverbial meeting (now via Zoom?) that could have been an email.

    Why, it's almost as if the NLRB can't take a joke. Or understand a joke. Or (probably most likely) see an obvious joke as an opportunity to harass a conservative media outlet.


  • Or, as Biden Would Say, a 'Big F***ing Deal.' Kevin D. Williamson investigates (in an NRPLUS article) Biden’s ‘Infrastructure’ Scam.

    President Joe Biden is proposing a multi-trillion-dollar “infrastructure” plan that actually isn’t all that focused on infrastructure — because bullsh** is the common currency of this realm — and one of the things high on his agenda is subsidizing broadband Internet connections for areas that don’t have them. By industry estimates, about 93 percent of Americans have access to a broadband connection, and those who don’t mostly live in remote and rural areas. There are many more Americans who have access to a broadband connection but choose not to pay for one. The Biden administration complains that high-speed connections are “overpriced,” based on . . . the careful thinking and analysis that one naturally associates with Joe Biden.

    Lack of broadband connections is not, in reality, much of a national problem for the United States, and it is becoming less of a problem every year as Americans gravitate toward the metropolitan areas where the jobs and the capital are, along with the good broadband connections. But this kind of project presses all sorts of New Deal, TVA, rural-electrification buttons in Democrats of Joe Biden’s generation. Hence the slogan, “Broadband is the new electricity.” These are not super-imaginative people.

    KDW notes that bringing wider broadband coverage to (say) Coos county won't do much for the poor and unemployed there; they'll be poor and unemployed with a faster Internet connection. But it will bring the faster speeds to the "affluent, educated professionals" from Boston spending a week in their comfy Coos country homes.


  • Or, as Biden Would (Also) Say, 'So, What's Your Point?' Chris Edwards at Cato notes Biden Proposes Massive Corporate Welfare. To corporations that know how to curry favor, anyway.

    President Biden is introducing an infrastructure plan today costing $2 trillion. The plan is a combination of subsidies for corporations and subsidies for state and local governments. Both types of subsidies are unneeded and wasteful.

    Biden wants $135 billion for highways and bridges, $111 billion for water supply, $100 billion for schools, $85 billion for transit, $25 billion for airports, $17 billion for waterways and seaports, and much else. State and local governments own these assets and can fund them with their own taxes and user fees. There is no economic reason for federal subsidies for any of these assets. Indeed, federal subsidies for state and local infrastructure creates unneeded bureaucracy and misallocates resources. Obama‐era subsidies, for example, induced California to waste billions on a boondoggle high‐speed rail project.

    Even more troubling is Biden’s proposed money gusher for private‐sector infrastructure. He wants $300 billion for manufacturing, $100 billion for broadband, $100 billion for electric utilities, $174 billion for electric vehicles, $180 billion for research, and much else. Much of this spending would subsidize big corporations.

    Other than that, though, it's fine.


  • We All Live In Orwell's World Now. Charles C. W. Cooke suggests Why AOC’s Border Newspeak Should Be Ditched.

    Dimly aware that the border crisis is taking a toll on its popularity, the Democratic Party has finally resolved to do something concrete: It is going to burn the dictionary.

    Wands outstretched and shouting incantations, prominent Democrats have begun to curse our language. In a livestream performed last night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attempted to change the meaning of the word “surge” in the hope that she might be able to magic away the news from the border. “They wanna say, ‘But what about the surge?’” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Well, first of all, just gut check, stop. Anyone who’s using the term ‘surge’ around you consciously is trying to invoke a militaristic frame.”

    I believe AOC consciously is trying to make my eyes roll clear out of my head. She came close there.


  • And I'm gonna just snip one sentence from this Instapundit post from Stephen Green, recounting another MSM COVID story trying to gin up brow-wrinkling and elevated heartrates among credulous readers.

    Listen, if we’re going to let facts stand in the way of perfectly reasonable panicmongering, then eventually people are going to stop being needlessly afraid.

    To expand on what Lester Holt said the other day ("fairness is over-rated"); the MSM also seems to think accuracy, objectivity, and accountability are over-rated.