URLs du Jour

2021-08-17

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  • Nasdaq wants to kill my retirement. Jeff Jacoby writes on The virtue-signaling stock exchange.

    The world’s second-largest stock exchange is now officially in the quota business.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission this month approved Nasdaq’s new rule requiring the more than 3,000 companies listed on its exchange to meet specific diversity mandates in the makeup of their boards of directors. Henceforth, the companies will be required to have at least “one director who self-identifies as a female” and a second who “self-identifies” as “Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or . . . as any of the following: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or as a member of the queer community.” Companies that fall short of the quota will not be delisted but are required to provide a public explanation for their failure to meet the new requirement.

    Nasdaq first proposed this rule last December, in an SEC filing that contained a half-dozen references to “the social justice movement” or “the racial justice movement.” The purpose of a stock exchange is to maintain an efficient marketplace for trading securities and raising capital, but Nasdaq seemed more interested in virtue signaling and identity politics.

    Google tells me the Nasdaq Composite Index is up about 32% over the past year. That's not bad. Still, their interest in the genetic makeup and sexual behavior of their listed companies seems out of their wheelhouse.


  • People needed. Only a pulse required. Apply within. Most reports on the census results for New Hampshire were rosy. ("We're more diverse!") But Drew Cline makes the downside case: Why New Hampshire's smallest population growth in a century is bad news.

    In the last decade, New Hampshire’s population grew at the slowest rate in a century, signaling that generations’ worth of astounding economic and cultural gains could be put at risk.

    New Hampshire’s population grew by 4.5% from 2010-2020, the lowest growth rate since the state had 2.9% growth from 1910-1920.

    It marked the first time since 1920 that the state’s population growth rate has fallen below 5%.

    Drew points the finger of blame at local governments, who have "successfully" made moving here more expensive by property restrictions.

    This Census.gov page has NH population growing at 4.6% between 2010-2020. That's better than Maine (2.6%), Vermont (2.8%), Connecticut (0.9%), and Rhode Island (4.3%). Amazingly, Massachusetts' population grew at 7.4%. What's up with that?


  • REAL ID requirements should just die, already. Government "programs" are famously immortal. But you'd think they might make an exception for one whose implementation has been delayed so long that its rationale was demonstrably bogus. But as Scott Shackford notes, Even COVID-19 Couldn’t Kill REAL ID.

    It has been more than 15 years since Congress passed the REAL ID Act. Presented as a national security safeguard, the law requires that American citizens and legal residents have a specific type of identification, incorporating proof of not just their identity but their citizenship, to enter federal buildings or board domestic flights.

    Implementation of REAL ID has been a real mess. The National Conference of State Legislatures initially estimated that 245 million government-issued IDs would need to be replaced at a cost of $11 billion. To get these new IDs, applicants have to provide additional proof that they are citizens or lawful U.S. residents.

    The original "deadline" was for compliance was May 2008. It's been repeatedly pushed back, and is currently at May 2023.

    You will have noticed the stunning lack of terrorism caused by people sneaking onto planes with fake IDs caused by this delay.


  • Biden seems not to know what "the buck stops here" means. We'll go with local analyst Michael Graham for the explicit juxtaposition of two themes from Biden's speech about the Afghan debacle: Biden Stops the Buck, But Passes the Blame.

    During a White House speech amid the Afghanistan evacuation fiasco, President Joe Biden looked into the camera with a cold, steely eye and said, “I am President of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me.”

    It’s a powerful line. Or rather, it would have been, if not for the 16 minutes and 39 seconds of buck-passing that preceded it.

    Biden may have been going for a Harry Truman moment, but he sounded a lot more like Bill Clinton. It all depends on what your definition of “chaos” is.

    It's also worth noting:

    When Biden said he had spent the past week “moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every constituency, including the rapid collapse we’re seeing now,” what were voters supposed to think? Was watching desperate Afghans fall thousands of feet to their deaths after clinging to the outside of a U.S. transport plane really “the plan we had in place?”

    He meant "contingency". And this is teleprompter-reading.


  • Assuming you had an illusion of Biden's competence and honesty… Jim Gerarghty will disabuse you, The Joe Biden Illusion Crumbles to Dust. Excerpt:

    A little more than a month after Biden assured Americans that, “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” the president had the audacity to claim that, “We were clear-eyed about the risks.”

    As he made a decision that would leave almost every Afghan man, woman, and child to the tender mercies of the Taliban, and that would see public executions and forced “marriages” return, Biden had the nerve to claim that, “I have been clear that human rights must be the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.”

    Biden denounced the Afghan army that five weeks ago he called “better trained, better equipped, more competent in terms of conducting war.” He contended that, “We paid their salaries, provided for the maintenance of their air force — something the Taliban doesn’t have. Taliban does not have an air force. We provided close air support,” when that is not the case. “In the wake of President Biden’s withdrawal decision, the U.S. pulled its air support, intelligence and contractors servicing Afghanistan’s planes and helicopters.”

    Well, I'm sure this won't have worldwide repercussions about American resolve and trustworthiness. Taiwan and Israel, watch your backs.