URLs du Jour


Just for the record, no matter how sorely I'm tempted by clickbait, I have (so far successfully) sworn off clicking. Today's example (seen at The Daily Wire: "Anna Kendrick Refuses To Do Nude Scenes & It's Pretty Clear Why".

Listen up Daily Wire: I assume the answer is something like "Anna Kendrick is a talented and successful actress, who has her pick of movie roles without needing to flash her boobies. And anyway, it's none of my business how the Pride of Portland, Maine chooses her roles. And anyway, I'm not sure I'd get the true answer from clicking on your stupid link."

Clickbait must work, because sites continue to host it. But, geez, it's a bad look. Doesn't it make you feel a little ashamed? It makes me a little ashamed to frequent sites that use clickbait ads.

  • I'm usually in broad agreement with the Federalist, but I have to Disagree Strongly with David Marcus's latest: Please Stop Calling NeverTrumpers Conservatives.

    For nearly five years most of our nation’s largest and most powerful news media outlets have given so-called NeverTrump conservative pundits an outsized voice in our political landscape. Figures such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, Tom Nichols, Jennifer Rubin, Ana Navarro, and Rick Wilson do their turns on TV creating the illusion that there is some huge constituency of anti-Trump conservatives. There is not. In fact, these people are no longer conservatives in any real sense.

    Almost all of these pundits are now mainstream Democrats. They support Joe Biden, and many support voting a straight Democratic ticket. Many are involved with the Lincoln Project and its bizarre psychological warfare TV ads that they are certain get under Trump’s skin. And they almost never wholeheartedly support anything that the vast majority of American conservatives do.

    I think David manages to ignore the specific complaints a lot of conservatives make about Trump. Of the people he specifically mentions, he's right that a lot of them have imbibed Democratic Kool-Aid. But there are also a lot of pundits who look at Trump and Biden, and say "No thanks" to both.

    Also, your humble blogger is in that camp.

  • Friends, do you suffer from Stockholm Syndrome? Kevin D. Williamson will straighten you out:

    One of my little pet theories in life is that the Republican Party has been one of the most effective advocates for socialism that our country has seen since Jack London. It works like this: Republicans look at other liberal democracies abroad and denounce the ones that have higher tax rates or larger welfare states as “socialism,” and then young Americans visit Stockholm or Copenhagen or Amsterdam, discover that these are charming and generally well-governed cities in affluent happy countries with much to recommend them, and say, “Well, then, give me some of that socialism!”

    There are three errors at work there: The first is that those “socialist” European countries that give Republicans the willies are nothing of the sort, and many of them have economic regimes that are in fact more robustly capitalist than our own. The second is that tourists generally see cities and countries at their best, and there’s a lot more to Amsterdam than the Rijksmuseum and the White Room — and not all of it is glorious. The third error, related to the second, is a kind of confirmation bias, in which our understanding of a foreign country, often vague and based on very limited experience, causes us to treat Denmark or Switzerland as a screen upon which to project our own desires and anxieties.

    It is a different kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

    Also observed: New Zealand has a new Prime Minister who is "a former president of the International Union of Socialist Youth". And yet, "she has foresworn implementing a capital-gains tax, which puts the New Zealand socialist to the right of Senator Marco Rubio on at least one issue."

  • Phillip W. Magness asks at AIER: Wait, So We Now Can’t Say ‘Human Capital’? The occasion for that query being…

    Referring to the ongoing reopening process, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett offered an off-the-cuff observation in a television interview with CNN: “Our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed, our human capital stock is ready to get back to work, and so there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises.”

    Some people freaked. Phillip notes (among many others), the "Vox commentator" who deemed Hassett's term "a racially charged, dehumanizing turn of phrase that conjured up images of livestock."

    Bogus, of course. Phillip's good, but the ultimate refutation of the Voxer was done by the WSJ this morning, which quoted an authority:

    In the business world, people are a company’s most valuable resource. An individual can be the difference between closing a deal or losing a customer, for example, or they might boast a robust network of helpful contacts. In short, people possess intrinsic social and business currency.

    One way to assess this personal value and impact is by considering human capital. In simple terms, human capital is the sum total of a population’s health, knowledge, and skills; and it’s bolstered by ensuring people have sufficient and consistent access to healthcare and education.

    That authority being… a Vox Creative article from 2018.

  • In our occasional "So What Else Is New?" department, Patterico notes an impeachable offense: Trump Violates First Amendment with a Tweet.

    President Trump today threatened a private company with governmental retaliation for its speech. The threat was vague enough, in terms of what would happen and what it would be a response to, that his defenders will argue that critics are overreacting. However, threats of government action for speech are themselves a First Amendment violation. The President actually violated the First Amendment this morning, just by tweeting.

    And that tweet was:

    He's a schmuck. Even after 3 Years, 4 Months, and 8 Days on the job, he's still ignorant and abusive of the Constitution.

  • Speaking of the WSJ, the probably-paywalled Todd Myers is properly disconcerted When Covid ‘Science’ Is a Smokescreen. And his punching bag is Washington Governor (and failed Presidential candidate) Jay Inslee:

    On Feb. 27 the governor tweeted: “I just received a call from @VP Mike Pence, thanking Washington state for our efforts to combat the coronavirus. I told him our work would be more successful if the Trump administration stuck to the science and told the truth.”

    Mr. Inslee didn’t say what he meant by “the science.” In fact, at the time of his tweet, there wasn’t yet much science regarding the virus at all. We’re still learning it. What is the true mortality rate? What is a safe social distance? How contagious is the virus? What percentage of carriers are asymptomatic? We still don’t know any of these facts with certainty.

    When the governor and other politicians refer to “the science,” they rarely point to actual science. It is a bluff designed to imply that their chosen policy is based on more than guesswork and politics.

    Fine, except I'd add "… and general ass-covering, and the desire to be seen as 'doing something'" at the end there.