URLs du Jour

2019-03-29

[Amazon Link]

  • A bit of good news from Eric Boehm at Reason: Justin Amash Wants To Kill the Zombified Remains of the Export-Import Bank.

    The Export-Import Bank was mostly dead before being resurrected in 2015 as a shell of its former cronyist self, but now Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) is aiming to finish it off.

    With a handful of Republican cosponsors backing him, Amash on Wednesday introduced the Export-Import Bank Terminiation Act of 2019. The bill would permanently close the federal credit agency that boosts foreign sales of politically favored corporations. Aircraft maker Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of the bank's taxpayer-backed largesse, receving as much as 70 percet of all Export-Import Bank loan guarantees and 40 percent of all handouts in some years, while GE, Caterpillar, and the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation are other common beneficiaries.

    Looking for any Democrats who claim to oppose "crony capitalism" on the cosponsor list … nope.


  • The Free Beacon notes at least one Democrat is getting a little tired of activist bullying (and it happened just down the road, in Newmarket NH!): Hickenlooper Reverses Support for 'No Fossil Fuel Money' Pledge: This is an 'Impossible Thing'.

    Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D.), who recently announced he was running for president, signed a "No Fossil Fuel Money" pledge on Sunday during a campaign stop, but then crossed out his name when he learned that he couldn't accept donations from individuals tied to the fossil fuel industry.

    Assailing Hickenlooper was recent UNH graduate Griffin Sinclair-Wingate, who bills himself as an "organizer". He sounds insufferable:

    "Why should anyone vote for you unless you promise them free stuff?"


  • An amusing take from Michael Graham at Inside Sources: N.H. Man Sues Over Medicaid Work Requirement For Interfering With His "Subsistence Lifestyle".

    Last year New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise on expanding Medicaid in the Granite State. Republicans agreed to accept the (potentially large) financial risk of covering the expanded Medicaid pool and Democrats accepted a work requirement for able-bodied adults without issues of child care, physical handicaps, etc.

    Now, however, Granite State progressives are trying to kill the deal by filing lawsuits on behalf of put-upon people who are required to do 100 hours of work or community service a month in exchange for free healthcare.  The National Health Law Program (NHeLP), New Hampshire Legal Assistance, and National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the administration in D.C. district court on behalf of four Medicaid recipients who, they say, would suffer terribly if required to work in exchange for their free health care.

    One of those poor suffering souls is Ian Ludders of Unity, NH. According to the National Health Law Program, Ludders is a 40-year-old man “who lives by himself in a small cabin on a land trust. He has chosen to live a subsistence lifestyle that prioritizes living off the land. Ludders supports himself through seasonal work including working in apple orchards, picking vegetables on farms, and other jobs.” [Emphasis added].

    "Subsistence. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


  • Amidst all the environmental hysteria, Wired sometimes works on the questions that really matter: Free Throws Should Be Easy. Why Do Basketball Players Miss?.

    On paper, the free throw could not be more straightforward. It's a direct, unguarded shot at a hoop 18 inches across, 10 feet off the ground, and 15 feet away. Like a carefully controlled experiment, the conditions are exactly the same every single time. Larry Silverberg, a dynamicist at North Carolina State University, has used this fact to study the free throw in remarkable detail. "It's the same for every single player, so you can actually look at the shot very scientifically," he says.

    An expert in the modeling of physical phenomenon, Silverberg has examined the physics of the free throw for 20 years, using computers to simulate the trajectories of millions of shots. His findings show that a successful free throw boils down to four parameters: the speed at which you release the ball, how straight you shoot it, the angle at which it leaves your hand, and the amount of backspin that you place on it.

    NBA players currently average somewhere north of $6 million annual salary. And (according to this 2009 NYT story, they miss free throws about once in every four shots.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for a torrid tale of legal pot: Marijuana Biz Lobbyist Testifies Against Home Cultivation But Is Reversed By Client.

    The question of whether individuals should be allowed grow their own marijuana in states where it is legal has created discord among those who otherwise agree on broad cannabis reform, with advocates working to expand access while certain companies take an opposing stance.

    The latest example comes out of New Hampshire, where a lobbyist representing the medical marijuana dispensary Sanctuary ATC testified this week against a bill that would allow patients and caregivers to cultivate cannabis.

    Unsurprisingly, there's some conflict between (a) companies that want to sell "medical" marijuana in New Hampshire and (b) home growers who want some of that legal pot loot too. LFOD (of course) is invoked:

    “For the sake of patients who cannot afford to continue waiting, I hope our efforts to persuade the Senate will be successful this year,” [Matt Simon, New England political director at the Marijuana Policy Project] said. “Taking care of your own medical needs should not be a felony in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state.”

    If only that general sentiment were extended beyond the reefer…