URLs du Jour

2020-09-22

[Amazon Link]

  • At Reason, Eric Boehm sees us heading for the rocks: America’s Debt Will be Twice the Size of the Economy by 2050.

    If you're getting tired of unrelentingly bad news about the national debt—well, I have some terrible news.

    Today the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a 30-year budget projection. By 2050, the number-crunching agency now says, the national debt will grow to 195 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). That's 45 percentage points higher than the CBO was projecting last year. What it couldn't foresee, of course, was the COVID-19 pandemic and the expensive federal response to it, which has pushed the national debt to nearly 100 percent of current GDP.

    Rising debt levels will "increase the risk of a fiscal crisis—that is, a situation in which investors lose confidence in the U.S. government's ability to service and repay its debt, causing interest rates to increase abruptly, inflation to spiral upward, or other disruptions," the CBO warns. "It would increase the likelihood of less abrupt, but still significant, negative effects, such as expectations of higher rates of inflation."

    In graphical terms: [Whoa.]

    As The Who said: "Hope I die before I get old."


  • Kevin D. Williamson brings a little welcome anti-hagiography. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Judicial Philosophy Was Wrong: Congress, Not Judges, Should Make Law.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg did a great many interesting and impressive things in her life, but she never did the one thing she probably really should have done: run for office. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t an associate justice of the Supreme Court — not really: She was a legislator in judicial drag.

    You need not take my word on this: Ask her admirers. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a vision for America,” Linda Hirshman argues in the Washington Post. What was her vision? “To make America fairer, to make justice bigger.” That is not a job for a judge — that is a job for a legislator. The job of making law properly belongs to — some people find this part hard to handle — lawmakers. Making law is not the job of the judge. The job of the judge is to see that the law is followed and applied in a given case. It does not matter if the law is unfair or if the law is unjust — that is not the judge’s concern. If you have a vision for America, and desire to make the law more fair or more just, then there is a place for you: Congress. That is where the laws are made.

    If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to check the video of Senator Sasse I posted yesterday.


  • Hot Air posts a pretty good argument from WaPo's Matt Bai: Biden should choose the next Supreme Court justice. Now..

    Even Trump understands this. (And if he doesn’t, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell certainly does.) In the coming days, Trump will nominate another conservative judge, this time a woman, aimed squarely at the hearts of these straying voters.

    And then — mark my words — he will hold that judge up against some theoretical choice on the left: someone (or maybe a few someones) whose record offers plenty of evidence to suggest that the left is coming to eliminate free enterprise and tear down all the town-square statues.

    (There's a link to the full column at Hot Air, but the WaPo is being churlish this morning about letting me see it.)

    Unlike Bai, I can see practical pluses and minuses to Biden saying who he'd choose. Or providing a list. But wholly as a matter of fairness to voters, Biden should be as specific as Trump is apparently going to be.


  • But it appears that won't happen, according to the Federalist: Biden Backtracks On Promise To Release List Of Potential SCOTUS Picks.

    On Sunday, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reversed course on a summer pledge to release a list of names identifying potential candidates for the Supreme Court in the event of a vacancy under his presidency.

    “We can’t ignore the cherished system of checks and balances,” Biden said during a campaign speech in Philadelphia. “That includes this whole business of releasing a list of potential nominees I would put forward.”

    The announcement marks a clean-cut reversal from the former vice president’s pledge in June to unveil a list of black women as possible contenders.

    The campaign has (apparently) made the decision that transparency and honesty are things that will lose them more than gain.


  • Rich Lowry in the NYPost (the good Post): Democrats [sic] answer to anything they dislike is increasingly ‘Burn it all down’.

    Constitutional revolution is going mainstream. After delivering lectures about political norms for the entirety of the Trump era (often with good cause), much of the left is now threatening to kneecap an important institution of American government on a partisan vote in an act of ideological vengeance.

    If the Republican Senate confirms a Trump appointee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat right before or after the election, progressives say Democrats, if they sweep in November, should retaliate by packing the high court.

    My state's senior Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, is running for re-election. Someone should get her position on court-packing.


  • OK, enough politics. Language Log shares some Autological Humor. What's that, you ask. Well, here are a few examples:

    • A verb walks into a bar, sees an attractive noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.
    • A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
    • A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
    • An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

    My contribution: "An autological joke walked into a bar and told this autological joke."

    I think that works.