WSJ On Josh

Recently we evaluated two opinions on Josh Hawley, the GOP junior senator from MO.  We concluded that we were unimpressed with his behavior.  We still see him as a political opportunist.  It is nice to see the WSJ agree with us.

The editorial board of the WSJ compares Josh’s behavior in questioning a prospective judge with Harvard’s action of punishing a law professor for defending Harvey Weinstein.  They give lots of detail that Josh, as a lawyer and former attorney general, should be embarrassed by.  Do read it all.  They conclude:

For many on the right and left these days, principles are merely weapons of temporary convenience in the battle for power. But such thinking breeds contempt for the law, and that is dangerous for all Americans, especially for cultural conservatives who need the law to defend against an increasingly coercive left. Defenders of religious liberty shouldn’t imitate Harvard’s situational legal ethics. [Emphasis added]

We would expand their thought to all conservatives because the rule of law and respect for the law is a big part of conservatism.  We know that politicians often disappoint conservatives and we still support them. Josh is an improvement on Claire McCaskill, who he replaced but not as much as we had hoped.  Josh’s failure is an enormous one and conservatives need to consider looking for an alternative.  He is not the answer in ’24.

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Generational Awareness

Recently The Donald called Pete Alfred E. Neuman.  We thought Pete feigned knowledge of the What – Me Worry kid when he said he had to look it up.  As the cite says, Alfred has shown up in various places in public view.  We have, however, changed our mind about generational awareness.

One of our alumni magazines recently had a cover story on a young woman with the title Fearless Leader.  To us that term only mean one thing, this guy, the dictator of Pottsylvania and employer of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.  The cartoon series about Rocky and Bullwinkle (it had several names) led to several movies.  Fearless Leader was once played by Robert De Niro.  It (now The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle) is even an Amazon Video series.

Sidebar One: We know we are going to go to Amazon tonight to see the new version.  It will be easy to be disappointed because the old version was so great.  Our expectations relate to our cultural awareness.  The original reflected our culture.  It is unlikely that the new one will.  End Sidebar One.

The publication lists lots of alums on the editorial masthead with graduation dates.

Sidebar Two: We were going to say we needed an editor but were  pretty sure that the phase had mast in it.  When we tried editorial mast we got a result.  So we will do without an editor for a little longer.  End Sidebar Two.

Only one person on the masthead (1997) is from the last century.  We have come to the conclusion that cultural memory doesn’t last because culture is so fractured and changes so fast that old stuff goes down the memory hole increasingly quickly.  It is no surprise that recent graduates would make such a faux pas.  We can’t keep up with the current culture.  It is not surprising that Pete and the rest have such little recollection of ours.  We should be understanding of each other’s lack of knowledge.

Opinions On Josh Hawley

Josh Hawley has received some interesting commentary from the right.  For background, Wikipedia tell us Josh:

is an American lawyer and Republican politician, currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Missouri. Hawley previously served as the 42ndAttorney General of Missouri from 2017 to 2019, before defeating two-term Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in the 2018 Senate election. He is currently the youngest member of the Senate at age 39.

Michael Brendan Dougherty at NRO is having a bromance with Josh in Josh Hawley versus the Aristocracy.  Michael concludes his article with

[Josh] staked out new territory for Republican politicians, based on some of the bleeding-edge conservative thinking on issues of tech and labor policy. For the first time in a long while, I’m excited for what’s coming next.

David Bernstein writing at the Volokh Conspiracy has a very different outlook.  David is the University Professor and Executive Director of the Liberty & Law Center at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University.  Both writers have impressive conservative credentials but they couldn’t disagree more.  David’s title is, “Senator Josh Hawley is becoming a first-class demagogue.”  How can two people with such great conservative credentials disagree so completely?

First question: are Michael and David talking about the same thing? The answer is in part.  David limits his discussion to Josh’s questioning of The Donald’s federal judge nominee.  Michael’s brief is more wide ranging but he approves of Josh’s questions:

Hawley also got some conservatives’ attention by blasting Michael Bogren, a Trump judicial nominee to the U.S. District Court in western Michigan. Hawley hammered him for his legal work defending East Lansing’s ban against a Catholic farmer’s participation in a public farmers’ market because the farmer announced his intention on Facebook to continue renting his orchard for weddings, but not same-sex ceremonies. As part of his legal arguments, Bogren had said there was no distinction between the Catholic family running their orchard in accordance with their faith and the Ku Klux Klan persecuting non-whites. Hawley grilled the nominee, saying that his unflattering comparison failed the test that Justice Anthony Kennedy had outlined in the Masterpiece Cakeshopcase, in which anti-religious animus was deemed to be at work in Colorado’s application of non-discrimination law.

Second question: Who wins the argument from a conservative perspective?  David.  Don’t forget that Josh is a lawyer and former Missouri Attorney General.  David doesn’t address Michael Brendan directly but you can see that Michael Brendan has made an enormous error.  Michael, the prospective judge, was working for East Lansing.  His job was to advocate for his employer.  The legal system doesn’t work if one side throws in the towel.  Josh knows that.

Third question: What are the implications?  It is clear to us that Josh wants to replicate The Donald in one of the upcoming presidential elections.  He will be the progressive Republican who will support some conservative positions.

Sidebar One: What makes a person a conservative?  Who gets to decide?  MWG, of course! Seriously, labels can be a problem.  We see conservatives as being more concerned with process than outcomes.  That is why conservatives often disagree more often than the left.  The latter even has a name for it, BAMN.  Thus, conservatives support the Constitution and rule of law.  We see personal and economic freedom as part of that but, unlike libertarians, we don’t see freedom as the only good.  End Sidebar One.

Elections are always about choices and those choices depend on the opposition but it is highly unlikely that we would vote for Josh in the Republican presidential primary.

Sidebar Two: Marco versus Josh would be a tough primary call.  They are two young and pretty Republicans but not reliable conservatives.  End Sidebar Two.

We voted for The Donald in the general and it is highly likely we would vote for Josh in in the general given the folks we see running for the Democrat nomination now.

Agreeing Despite The Insults

One almost got us to the keyboard but two in two days was too much.  Accountants seem to be becoming the conservative version of “old white men” for the left.  See Jay Nordlinger for a discussion of old white men.  Since we are both, we would at least like to stop the friendly fire.

Recently at NRO John O’Sullivan took aim at the Tories and their leader, Theresa May, for their failure over Brexit.  John was worried that Theresa would hang on for a long time but fortunately she has resigned.  We agree with John but we didn’t like his comment about accountants:

That emerged yesterday when she got her new! improved! withdrawal bill accepted by her cabinet colleagues and then revealed it in a speech (and in a mistaken symbolic piece of presentation) to the headquarters of an international accounting company.

It seems he mentions accountants and a major accounting firm as a gratuitous insult.  We are not sure how it is an insult but we took it as one.  Even with the insult we agree with John.  The Tories have damaged their brand greatly by this cock-up on the Brexit front.  Even with Theresa gone we need to ask will they survive?  Should they survive?

Joshua R. Hendrickson is an eco prof who got published at NRO taking Marco Rubio to task for his recent misguided investment report.  We can’t find our earlier comment but we were disagreed with Marco Wants A National Innovation Strategy.  Perhaps we only commented mentally but Josh is right that Marco is confused.  Josh concludes that we might ask:

[A]bout the appropriate policy prescription for declining investment. Yet the report does not take a stand. Instead, it argues for “a renewed emphasis on the business firm as the primary and necessary allocator of capital in the American economy” and “an institutional arrangement order to this end.” The reader is left to imagine what any of that means in practice.  [Emphasis added]

We are worried about the institutional arrangements that we have bolded.  Along with the confusing and leftist stuff that Josh identifies our imagination leads us to believe that the report is looking for methods for the government to become involved in stopping the trend.  The fact that Marco wants a national innovation strategy, cited above, leads us to feel confident in our imagination.

What we don’t like is when Josh says:

None of these questions are asked because the entire analysis is not an exercise in economics, but merely an exercise in accounting. [Emphasis added]

Now we have read Deirdre’s book and understand the rough and tumble nature of economics prose.  We are even guilty of thinking it might be OK if Josh said, “merely an exercise in bookkeeping.”  Still it was a distraction.

We guess the solution is to own the insults.  Josh and John are on target with their analysis.  The confusion that they show about accounting and accountants should not distract us from that.

 

 

Socialism Is Economic Foolishness

David French is off The Donald beat and writing about Bernie Sanders and school choice at NRO.  It makes David sound much better.  He seems almost surprised that Act Naturally would favor public schools.  It is not a misguided attack by the candidate.  Act Naturally is a socialist and he supports lack of choice for deodorants, schools, and everything else.  He, Bernie, always thinks he knows better than the consumer.  David has an almost beautiful conclusion:

Sanders makes his intentions crystal clear. In his plan, he writes, “We do not need two schools systems; we need to invest in our public schools system.” This is exactly wrong. One size does not fit all. Sanders looks at parents and declares that he knows best. Parents should look back at him and respond, quite simply: I know my child, and I want to shape his destiny. Your collective solutions cannot meet my family’s [educational] needs.

It is almost beautiful because it needs one more sentence after we have inserted education above.  The sentence might go like this: Your collective solutions cannot meet my or my family’s needs in any area.

Economic Foolishness Sweepstakes

The economic foolishness sweepstakes is on.  The Donald has planted his flag by raising taxes (tariffs) on Americans to punish China and other countries.  He also failed to allow exceptions to the Jones Act for LNG.

Speaking of natural gas, Andrew Cuomo has stopped a natural gas pipeline so New Yorkers can’t get natural gas by sea (because of the Jones Act) or land.  The WSJ reminds us that it is part of a pattern for Andrew:

He has also banned drilling for natural gas in the rich Utica and Marcellus Shale that lie under the state, and he has blocked another natural gas pipeline upstate. Due to pipeline constraints, the utility Con Edison in March suspended natural-gas hookups in Westchester County north of New York City.

Kamala Harris want to fine companies that don’t achieve [“]pay equality[“].  We can’t have that term without quotes.  Really, we are not making this up.  CNN says:

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, shortly before Harris headlined a town hall in Los Angeles, the California Democrat called pay equity a “really big issue” where “if you lift up the economic status of women, you lift up the economic status of families and communities and all of society benefits.”

We need to give you a long quote to show you what she is saying:

“This will radically change the way we enforce equal pay in America,” reads the plan. “Our current equal pay laws rely exclusively on proving instances of individual discrimination and place the burden entirely on employees to hold big corporations accountable. … Under our plan, for the first time in American history, companies will be held responsible for demonstrating they are not engaging in pay discrimination.”
Under the plan, companies with 100 or more employees will be required to obtain a certification from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within three years of the plan’s passage by handing over employment data to the government. Companies with more than 500 employees will have two years to receive the certification. And each company will be required to display whether they met the certification on their company’s website.
Those companies that do not receive the certification will be met with a stiff penalty: For every 1% gap in pay between men and women that persists after the EEOC accounts for experience and job titles, a Harris administration would fine companies 1% of their daily profits during that fiscal year. [Emphasis added]

With Kamala companies will be guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.

Meanwhile the Morning Jolt tells us that  Pete has called for four tax increases:

A “fairer, which means higher” marginal income tax, a “reasonable” wealth tax “or something like that,” a financial transactions tax, and closing “corporate tax loopholes.”

We have no idea why higher taxes are fairer.  It would have been a good question as would have been why would any wealth tax be reasonable.  We would also like to know what he thinks a loophole is.  If fairer is higher then we would expect him to find many loopholes.

Sidebar: We have not used the word crazy to describe any of these proposals.  We thinks this speaks well for our restraint.  End Sidebar.

We are not sure who will win the economic foolishness sweepstakes.  We are only sure that America will lose.

Be Fast To Beat A Stroke

The stroke folks have a new acronym: Be Fast.  To celebrate it one of the local hospitals had a run walk to raise money for stroke awareness.  As the Lady de Gloves is a stoke survivor we were sure to go.  She got a spiffy red shirt while MWG was stuck with a bland grey one.

Interestingly, there seems to be a minor dispute over the meaning of the last letter.  At our walk, T stood for Terrible headache while the site above has a different T, time:

Balance – Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?

Eyes – Is there sudden blurred or double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble?

Face – Ask the person to smile. Is one or both sides of the face drooping?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward? Is there weakness or numbness on one side?

Speech – Does the person have slurred or garbled speech? Can he/she repeat simple phrases?

Time – Call 911 for immediate medical attention if you notice one or more of these signs. Also, take note of when symptoms began.

We like Terrible headache because Be Fast seems to make the time message clear.  Either way, if you are concerned about the possibility of a stroke time is of the essence.  The main reasons is tPA:

We treat ischemic stroke with a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The drug dissolves the clot [you might think of it as extra strength blood thinner], and blood flow to the affected part of the brain improves. If tPA is given within three hours of an ischemic stroke, the patient has a much better chance of a full recovery. Unfortunately, too many stroke victims don’t make it to the hospital in time for tPA treatment. [Emphasis added].

The Lady de Gloves was one of those folks from paralyzed on one side to a full recovery with tPA in about an hour.  It can be a miracle drug but the time window is small so Be Fast.