Once again, nobody offered to pay me to watch the State of the Union speech. Instead, I watched The Disaster Artist on Amazon Prime. (I'll blog it on the movie page later.)
No, the movie was not about the software developer behind the Iowa caucus app.
It's easy to laugh at Iowa, but at National Review Kevin D.
Williamson kicks the tires on
Democrats’ Clown Car. And doesn't find that much to laugh at.
How, he asks, is such a clusterfark possible?
Because the intellectual titans who insist that they can (if only we give them sufficiently uncontested powers of official coercion) impose expert rational “scientific” management on everything from health care to global energy markets in reality cannot organize a two-car parade in Toeterville. Our would-be managers and planners are, in fact, useless as teats on a boar hog.
How incompetent are the 2020 Democrats? Incompetent enough to make the 2020 Republicans look . . . sort of okay by comparison — and that is saying something.
Click through for a KDWian take on the importance of political parties.
I was going say that "Toeterville" was a typo, but no, it's an actual place, 2010 population of 48 souls, only about 40 miles east of where my folks grew up.
Oh yeah, the Senate's vote to acquit Our Impeached President
is coming up later today.
At Reason, Jacob Sullum offers
and Bad Reasons for Acquitting Trump. A safe bet:
zero senators not named "Rand" will read it.
Impeachment has always been and will always be a largely partisan process. But an impeachment cannot be credible if the public believes it is driven solely by political or personal animus.
As someone who does not feel at home in either of the two major parties, I was persuaded that Trump committed a serious abuse of power by pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate a political rival, partly by withholding congressionally approved military aid. But the House's case, which suffered from an arbitrary, self-imposed deadline, was not strong enough to convince a single Republican that impeachment was warranted.
The only interesting thing about the vote is how many Democrats will vote to acquit.
Daniel J. Mitchell offers
Best-Ever Tweet about Inequality. So without further ado:
Compassionate people care about poverty.— Jon Stewart Mill 🏛 (@Jon_StewartMill) February 2, 2020
Envious people care about inequality.
I usually dislike speculating on the underlying psychological motives for peoples' ideological positions. But my Bayesian credible interval for the truth of Jon's observation is high enough to make an exception here.
Daniel comments further:
I’ll close with some speculation about why some people fixate on inequality. What makes them focus on trying to drag down the rich instead of finding ways to build up the poor?
I’m not sure, though there is polling data to suggest that some people really are motivated by envy and resentment of success.
But I suspect that politicians who play the class-warfare card simply think it’s a way of maximizing votes.
I'm not quite as sure about that last assertion, but … it's unfortunately pretty credible as well.
And the Google LFOD News Alert is ringing off the hook these days,
as more lazy journalists refer to our motto on their filed stories.
("As the 'Live Free or Die' state prepares to vote…")
But sometimes the stories are interesting anyway. Here's a look at our situation from the Forex folks, their analysis of New Hampshire Economy Heading into the Primary.
An aging population and sluggish labor force growth are two defining features of New Hampshire's economy. Its 2.6% unemployment rate is the sixth lowest in the nation, but this is largely a function of the stagnant labor force, rather than strong employment growth. New Hampshire was one of only four states that had more deaths than births in 2019, which means its population would be contracting if not for the 6,400 people who chose to move there from other states and countries. New Hampshir does have a few notable strengths: its population is highly educated (36.5% with a bachelor's degree vs 31.5% nationwide), and it has the nation's highest median household income ($81,300 vs $63,200 nationwide). Proximity to Boston is another major plus, as is the state's historic individualist character, personified by its motto, ‘Live Free or Die.'
I've interacted with some of the more stagnant members of our stagnant labor force lately, and it's sad. But, hey, at least they have jobs.
And Manchester Ink Link reports on some folks who haven't
forgotten what LFOD means:
Huge turnout against bill to require motorcyclists wear helmets.
“Freedom” and “choice” were two often-heard words at the public hearing Tuesday, along with the state’s motto “Live Free or Die.”
And for good measure, a local pol did a Nancy Pelosi imitation:
Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier also opposed the bill citing the state motto “Live Free or Die.”
“If this bill passes,” Grenier said, “this is what you will do to the state’s motto” as he ripped a copy of the bill in two.
But in the interest of equal time:
But another bill sponsor, Rep. Jerry Knirk, D-Freedom, said the bill deals with public health and health economics, noting the primary cause of death on a motorcycle is head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are very expensive medically.
Yes, Rep. Knirk is from Freedom, New Hampshire. As Buck Murdock observed: Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.
We noted Rep. Knirk just a couple weeks back advocating that the state "ban the sale of all flavored vaping products, except tobacco flavors." Maybe the town of Freedom should change its name to Coercion?