URLs du Jour


Eye candy du jour is a tweet from spiked.

She's back now, and has a message for Twitter Support:

This could be a result of selection bias, but there seems to be a pronounced political asymmetry in these "innocent errors". I wonder if Wired will be investigating this any time soon? … Nah, just kidding!

  • Catching up with last week's Geraghty, who notes…

    Trump is president, but the world does not really respond to him as if he’s president anymore. He’s just some guy who goes out and says things, either from the White House or on Twitter, that have little impact on what the federal government actually does.

    He’s kept far away from the White House staff’s negotiations with Congress about economic relief. His own staff reportedly “routinely ignores his orders.” After Trump threatened to use the Insurrection Act to send the U.S. military into cities to control riots, Defense secretary Mark Esper publicly disagreed: “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.”

    Even the Republicans in the Senate now ignore Trump’s veto threats.

    There's more. You should subscribe to Geraghty's "Morning Jolt" newsletter, or at least the RSS feed.

  • Another guy I read is Jeff Jacoby. In his latest web-accessible article he looks at (among other things, also worth reading): Sexism and the female running mate. He has a memory stretching all the way back to 2008…

    A standard tactic on the Democratic left these days is to cry "Sexism!" when anyone criticizes a liberal female candidate or points out her political weaknesses. Elizabeth Warren's liberal allies, many of them in the media, routinely deployed the "sexism" card in response to even the mildest negative appraisal during the Democratic primary campaign. So it was no surprise that Joe Biden's choice of Kamala Harris to be his running mate was instantly swaddled in dire predictions about the deluge of sexist attacks to come.

    Indeed, even before Biden had named Harris, a group of prominent women affiliated with such left-wing organizations as Planned Parenthood, Emily's List, NARAL, and the National Women's Law Center fired off a memo to news organizations, warning that they would be guilty of sexism if in the course of the coming campaign they report on the ambition, likeability, electability, temper, appearance, leadership shortcomings, or political relationships of the Democrat's vice-presidential candidate — whoever she might be.

    "We will be watching you," intoned the memo. "We expect change. We expect a new way of thinking about your role in how she is treated and the equality she deserves relative to the three men running for President and Vice President."

    Jeff has plenty of examples of how those rules didn't apply to Sarah Palin. It would be interesting to see how quickly Jimmy Kimmel would be fired if he made the same joke about Kamala Harris today as he did about Sarah Palin in 2008. Would it be measured in minutes or seconds? Would he have gotten to the end of the joke before being wrestled off the set?

  • In our "Don't Worry, I Won't" department, Nick Gillespie at Reason advises: Don’t Blame Donald Trump if the Post Office Loses Your Vote.

    By now you've probably heard that President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy "are sabotaging democracy in plain sight" through a mix of nefarious ploys, ranging from removing "blue Post Office drop boxes" to scrapping mail-sorting machines to allegedly mandating a slowdown in delivering the mail. The upshot of the chatter is that Trump, fearful of losing the election in November, is supposedly doing everything possible to block what is expected to be a historically high level of mail-in ballots. (Meanwhile, the president has been stoking his own conspiracy theories by preemptively declaring the upcoming vote "the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.")

    The truth is far less incendiary, though still troubling. As USA Today concluded in a fact-check of various rumors floating around,

    it is false to say mail is intentionally being slowed, despite reports that a new USPS [United States Postal Service] system might inherently cause delays. The Trump administration said the president did not direct USPS to slow down its deliveries, and USA TODAY found no evidence of that claim being true either.

    In any case, as NPR and other outlets have reported, the president has said he'd sign a bill including more funding for the Postal Service, including aid dedicated to processing any surge in mail-in votes.

    There are any number of problems you can validly blame on Trump, but…

  • On the same topic, Daniel Mitchell writes on The Make-Believe Postal Service Panic and the Tenth Theorem of Government

    Politicians and interest groups periodically fan the flames of temporary panic to push for misguided policy. We’ve already seen three big examples this century.

    • The so-called PATRIOT Act was enacted in the feverish aftermath of 9-11, but many of its provisions simply added bureaucracy and gave government new/expanded powers unrelated to fighting terrorism.
    • The TARP bailout allegedly was needed to save us for financial collapse, but in reality was a substitute for a policy (FDIC resolution) that would have recapitalized the banking system without bailing out Wall Street.
    • Obama’s stimulus scheme had to be enacted to supposedly save the nation from another depression, but unemployment soared beyond administration projections and cronies got rich from boondoggles.

    The same thing is now happening with the Postal Service, which ostensibly is on the verge of catastrophic collapse because of an expected increase in mail-in voting and sabotage by the Trump Administration.

    The real story, though, is that bureaucracy has been losing money at a rapid pace for years and the only sensible solution is privatization. But that would upset the various postal unions and related interest groups, so they’ve created a make-believe crisis in hopes of getting more cash from taxpayers.

    And this has nothing to do with Trump vs. Biden.

    Indeed. But what's the Tenth Theorem of Government?

    Politicians and interest groups fan the flames of panic to obtain goodies that would be impossible in normal circumstances.

    So… well, I was about to type it, but there's an Amazon Product:

    [Amazon Link]
    (paid link)

Last Modified 2024-01-23 5:01 AM EDT