URLs du Jour

2021-01-26

[Amazon Link]

  • Kevin D. Williamson asks the musical question: ‘America First’ or Biden First?

    The Biden administration is going to be a lot more like the Trump administration than you may have been expecting, especially when it comes to “America First” business policies, which are corporate welfare in patriotic drag. To wit: Biden’s executive order expanding on the Trump administration’s buy-American procurement rules.

    The rules developed under the Trump administration have not exactly been sitting there for years, growing outdated — the rules were finalized on the day before Donald Trump left office. The new rules developed under the Trump administration raised the “domestic content” requirement for most products from 50 percent to 55 percent — and raised them to 95 percent for goods made mainly of steel or iron; ended an exception for commercially available off-the-shelf iron or steel products while continuing an exception for fasteners such as nails and screws; and, most significant, they jacked up the “price preferences” for domestic goods.

    The last of these, the “price preferences,” are what really matter most. Washington doesn’t just order federal agencies to source products from U.S.-based providers — instead, there is a complex system of procurement rules that favor domestic producers unless the imports are a great deal less expensive. Price preferences specify how much more government will pay for the same goods provided by a U.S.-based company when they could be had at a lower price from a non-U.S. firm. Under the Trump-era rules, which are now the Biden rules, the U.S. government will pay as much as 20 percent more for goods procured from large firms and as much as 30 percent more for goods procured from small businesses.

    They're also going to need a lot more bureaucrats to enforce those rules. And those bureaucrats will need to have places to park. And in those parking lots, I bet we'll see a lot of Infinitis, Acuras, BMWs, Lexuses (Lexi?), …


  • Jeffrey A. Tucker may be a tad cynical in this celebration: All Hail the Reopening! He looks at our neighboring state:

    Let’s start in the most locked down state on the mainland: Massachusetts. Governor Charles Baker, whose pandemic management has wrecked so many businesses in his state, has decided it’s time to open up restaurants and businesses. 

    A hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center admits that the lockdowns didn’t achieve their goal. Shira Dorn said: “Businesses and restaurants have not been shown to be a significant source of spread of infection, and it’s not clear that the additional measures that were instituted in November and December actually helped.”

    So sorry we ruined your holidays and lives. 

    I have given up on trying to keep track of the edicts from our own Governor Sununu.

    But we have scheduled our initial Covid shots for February 2.

    I'm still banned from the UNH Library, though, since I am not "part of the UNH COVID testing protocol". Boo.


  • David Harsanyi notes Deceptions.

    President Joe Biden contends there is “nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months,” which is the exact opposite of what presidential candidate Joe Biden promised voters during the 2020 campaign. And by “exact opposite,” I mean the president’s alleged plan to beat coronavirus literally said that “the trajectory of COVID-19 in America is headed in the wrong direction” and only he could fix it.

    The Biden “plan” amounted to a slew of nebulous promises that would be implemented to correct the “Trump fiasco,” such as accelerating the development of a vaccine, producing more masks, and pressuring governors to sign mask mandates. Biden repeatedly promised to alter the trajectory of COVID. In a platitudinous October 23 speech, Biden pledged to “immediately put in place a national strategy that will position our country to finally get ahead of this virus and get back our lives.”

    “Immediately” is an adverb meaning at once, instantly, without any intervening time. It does not mean waiting around to take credit for when the Trump-era vaccines kick in.

    Well, Biden will (at some point) claim that he's "gotten the virus under control". And Politifact will rule that a "Promise Kept".

    Don't bother them with "semantic details".

    Except that "semantic details" are exactly how you tell truth from lies.


  • Ed Whelan notes the latest effort to breathe life into a dead parrot: The Zombie-ERA Farce Continues.

    There was no more ardent advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment than the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But Justice Ginsburg had the elementary honesty to acknowledge the simply reality that Congress’s deadline for ratification of the ERA expired decades ago and that any effort to adopt the ERA would therefore require “starting over again.”

    Unfortunately, despite their own recent professions about their oaths to the Constitution, Democratic senator Ben Cardin and Republican senator Lisa Murkowski announced last week that they are again cosponsoring a joint resolution that purports to retroactively override Congress’s deadline and somehow resurrect the long-dead ERA. (Nearly 200 House members are sponsoring the same resolution.)

    Unsurprisingly, both New Hampshire Congresscritters are two of the 200 cosponsors of the House-side version.


  • Yesterday, I reported on SCOTUS's cryptic statement re our state's lawsuit against Massachusetts, and admitted I had no idea of its import. Fortunately, Ilya Somin comes through: Update on New Hampshire v. Massachusetts.

    On Saturday, I provided an overview of New Hampshire v. Massachusetts, an important "original jurisdiction" state vs. state case currently before the Supreme Court. At that time, I noted that we might know as soon as today how the Supreme Court intended to handle case, because this is the day when the Court would issue orders related to cases that went to conference on Friday, January 22 (including this one).

    In reality, the only step the Court took on the case today, was issue an order inviting the acting Solicitor General "to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States." Obviously, this is only a very modest step. But it does suggest the Court is taking the case seriously, and is unlikely to dismiss the case out of hand, as it did with a number of previous original jurisdiction cases, such as last month's "Texas Turkey" attempting to overturn the election results in some key swing states.

    Although I wouldn't be directly impacted, I tend to cheer for my fellow Granite Staters against the sticky-fingered apparatchiks from the south.


  • The Washington Examiner reports on the latest wokeness: Public radio backs ending ‘objectivity,’ admitting racism, paying ‘reparations’. Suggested alternate headline: "Commie Radio Employees Complain That Commie Radio Isn't Commie Enough".

    A number of public radio outlets and staffers have endorsed a new “vision” statement that calls for ending objectivity, paying reparations, and endorsing “statements of belief,” including “Climate change is real” and “Black Lives Matter” in a bid to create an “antiracist future.”

    They signed on to a new “call to action” that demands public media atone for past racism and hire “black, indigenous and people of color,” or “BIPOC.”

    The document published by “Current,” the publication for public media workers, declared, “White supremacist culture and anti-blackness shape the policies, norms, and standards of public radio.”

    NPR (and PBS) should decline government funding. Or, better, government should just decline to provide funding.