Saturday, September 5, 2015

Worthwhile Reading

The case builds for sending Hillary Clinton to the Big House. (And not the one on Pennsylvania Ave in D.C. either).

Jonah Goldberg on Clinton's arsenal of smoking guns.

Charles Krauthammer laments that "Unless she’s indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination." (Says a lot about Democrats, doesn't it?).

(More) evidence that Clinton is as dumb as a post.

In a recently released e-mail from January 3, 2010, (Clinton) personally messaged an assistant, wishing her a Happy New Year, and then offered a demand list to start the year off:

I’d like to work w you to prepare a menu for Jason. Also does he give me a monthly bill for the food he buys and prepares for me? Could you or he buy skim milk for me to have for my tea? Also, pls remind me to bring more tea cups from home . . . Can you give me times for two TV shows: Parks and Recreation and The Good Wife?

Yes, this is the delightful paradox that is Hillary: a woman who claims she will fight for the shrinking middle class but who also happens to employ a personal chef (or Visiting Angel) that she’s not even sure she pays. A candidate who Understands People Like You but apparently isn’t familiar enough with the strange Google machine to look up television listings (I found it in one click after searching “The Good Wife times” and going to the official CBS homepage). A person who was actually in the habit of e-mailing her drink orders to aides at the State Department: “Pls call Sarah and ask her if she can get me some iced tea.”

Ponder that one again for a moment: She e-mailed one person to call yet another person with an order to bring her a beverage. A normal person, incapacitated and laid out in a hospital bed, can usually get beverage service in fewer steps than what Hillary was requesting.

This is reminiscent of Kurt Schlister's recent comment about HRC --

Keep in mind that this is a woman who flunked the District of Columbia bar exam. To do that, you literally have to answer the question, “What is a tort?” by drawing a picture of small cake.

Changing topics -- Goldberg tries again with another forceful attack on Donald Trump and his supporters. Jonah's stuff is almost always fun to read. Today's effort is no exception.

...if it’s true that politicians can disappoint, I think one has to say that the people can, too. And when I say “the people” I don’t mean “those people.” I mean my people. I mean many of you, Dear Readers. Normally, when conservatives talk about how the public can be wrong, we mean that public. You know the one. The “low-information voters” Rush Limbaugh is always talking about. The folks we laughed at when Jay Leno interviewed them on the street. But we don’t just mean the unwashed and the ill-informed. We sometimes mean Jews, blacks, college kids, Lena Dunham fans, and countless other partisan slices of the electorate who reflexively vote on strict party lines for emotional or irrational reasons. We laugh at liberals who let know-nothing celebrities do their thinking for them.
Well, many of the same people we laughed at are now laughing at us because we are going ga-ga over our own celebrity.

...If I sound dismayed, it’s only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because “Trump fights!”

...Ann Coulter wrote of Newt in 2011: “If all you want is to lob rhetorical bombs at Obama and then lose, Newt Gingrich — like recent favorite Donald Trump — is your candidate. But if you want to save the country, Newt’s not your guy.” Now Ann leads a chorus of people claiming that Trump is our only savior. Has Trump changed, or have Ann and her followers? Is there a serious argument behind the new thinking, or is it “because he fights!”?

It is entirely possible that conservatives sweat the details of tax policy too much. Once in office, a president must deal with political realities that render the fine print of a campaign pamphlet as useful as a battle plan after the enemy is met. But in the last month, Trump has contemplated a flat tax, the fair tax, maintaining the current progressive tax system, a carried-interest tax, a wealth tax, and doing nothing. His fans respond, “That shows he’s a pragmatist!”

No. It shows that he has absolutely no ideological guardrails whatsoever. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” Trump is close to the reverse. He’s a mouth at the wrong end of an alimentary canal spewing crap with no sense of responsibility.

In his embarrassing interview with Hugh Hewitt Thursday night, Trump revealed he knows less than most halfway-decent D.C. interns about foreign policy. Twitter lit up with responses about how it doesn’t matter and how it was a gotcha interview. They think that Trump’s claim that he’ll just go find a Douglas MacArthur to fix the problem is brilliant. Well, I’m all in favor of finding a Douglas MacArthur, but if you don’t know anything about foreign policy, the interview process will be a complete disaster. Yes, Reagan delegated. But he knew enough to know to whom to delegate.

If you want a really good sense of the damage Donald Trump is doing to conservatism, consider the fact that for the last five years no issue has united the Right more than opposition to Obamacare. Opposition to socialized medicine in general has been a core tenet of American conservatism from Day One. Yet, when Republicans were told that Donald Trump favors single-payer health care, support for single-payer health care jumped from 16 percent to 44 percent.

In today's Wall Street Journal --

A typically insightful column from Holman Jenkins suggesting appropriate avenues for expressing frustration with government and its bureaucrats. (And they don't involve supporting Trump or Sanders. And certainly not Clinton).

A member of the elite, surely, is the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, who let the cat out of the bag recently, saying subsidies to today’s green energy technology are a waste of money and capable of influencing climate only at a cost that is “beyond astronomical.”

Marketing by definition is selling us ideas that agree with our intuition. The opposite of marketing is making us think. Green energy is marketing. People like Elon Musk are not selling solutions to global warming, they are selling $100,000 T-shirts that say “I’m doing something about global warming.” Even then, he requires involuntary exactions from taxpayers to make his T-shirt business viable.

An interview with the estimable Thomas Sowell. Sowell notes that even though he grew up poor his rise was never hindered by debilitating minimum wage laws.

When looking back over my life, I think of the lucky things that happened to me. And one of the luckiest ones, I just realized recently, is that when I left home as a 17-year-old high-school dropout, the unemployment rate among black 17-year-old males was in single digits,” Mr. Sowell says. “In 1948, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was 10 years old and it hadn’t been changed. And there was huge inflation, and so it was as if there was no minimum wage.” He got a series of jobs—delivering Western Union telegrams, working in a machine shop—that put him on the right path.

And a lengthy essay explaining the Racial Reality Of Policing by a former NYPD cop. Excellent analysis.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 129 instances of black men killed by “legal intervention”—that is to say, by cops. The figure is incomplete because of a lack of national reporting requirements, and it says nothing about the circumstances of the killings or the race of the officers involved. But it gives a sense of the scope of the problem.

By contrast, in that same year, 6,739 black men were murdered, overwhelmingly by young men like themselves. Since 2001, even as rates of violent crime have dropped dramatically, more than 90,000 black men in the U.S. have been killed by other black men. With fatalities on this scale, the term epidemic is not a metaphor. Every year, the casualty count of black-on-black crime is twice that of the death toll of 9/11.

To talk about this vast slaughter isn’t changing the subject from police misconduct. It’s the only way a conversation about reforming police practices can begin.

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