URLs du Jour


Can't we all just get along and celebrate Groundhog Day? It's a good day to read (or re-read) (or re-re-read) (or…) Jonah Goldberg's essay on the classic movie.

I once got the idea that I would watch Groundhog Day every year on February 2. But once you've memorized the movie…

Case in point: every time I see Stephen Tobolowsky on screen, I yell out "Bing! Needlenose Ned! Ned the Head!" Mrs. Salad just suffers in silence.

  • Roger L. Simon is "Looking for Mr. Good Anarchist". And failing.

    Okay, I'll come out of the closet. (No, not that way.) These demonstrators -- the Berkeley crew, the ones at the airports, the Women's Marches, violent, non-violent, whatever -- are operating out of world views so old (actually the ghost of the ghost of those world views) they should only be allowed to protest at assisted living centers in slippers and bathrobes while on liquid diets.

    Old. Also convincingly debunked.

  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson wonders: "What Is the Democratic Party?" When it comes down to the interests of the people against the powerful and well-heeled teacher union contributors…

    The Democratic party in reality is the cartoon version of the Republican party stood on its head, with cold-eyed self-serving economic interests using the so-called social issues to stir up the rubes while they go about seeing to their own paydays and pensions.

    Data point: of all Trump's cabinet nominees, Betsy DeVos faces the steepest cliff. Why is that? Because she's the biggest threat to the Democrats' real special interests: government school employees.

  • Jonah Goldberg gets two links today. His theory: "Trump Is Taking the Bannon Way". The chaos surrounding the "Muslim Ban" and the juvenile arguments about crowd sizes seem to bear the mark of Bannon, who "relishes sowing chaos and demonizing the press."

    The Bannon Way might work on the campaign trail, but it doesn’t translate into good governance. It’s possible — and one must hope — that Trump can learn this fact on the job.

    But what if he doesn’t? He could put the country in serious peril.

    Not that it matters, but: I was once a devoted reader at Breitbart, linking to their articles a lot, but reluctantly gave up last year when Bannon turned it into a Trump cheerleading section.

  • A lot of NR links today, for some reason. Charles C. W. Cooke suggests: "On Gorsuch, Democrats Need to Choose a Path". Basically: if you're the type that thinks Trump is going to wield unacceptable levels of executive power, Gorsuch is exactly the kind of guy you want on the SC. Opposing him makes zero sense, unless you don't really believe your own rhetoric. Applicable beyond matters Gorsuch:

    The last 24 hours have made me wonder, once again, whether there isn’t some play-acting going on here. When Adam Gopnik says that Trump might literally be the next Hitler, but then turns around and rails against the Second Amendment, one has to wonder how scared he really is. When the Women’s March casts itself as being in an existential fight but then turns around and rejects potential allies, one has to raise an eyebrow. And when Chuck Schumer says that what America needs is a justice who will “fulfill the role in our democracy as a check & balance on the other branches of govt” — and means it as a criticism of Neil Gorsuch, one has to laugh out loud. Reading the statements of dissent last night I was struck both by now normal they sounded and by how uncrisislike was their context. In almost every anti-Gorsuch release, the focus was on abortion and contraception — issues, that is, that would have been at the top of the list if, say, John Kasich were president.

  • And Jonathan H. Adler (also at NR) looks at the Democratic whining about the political tactics used to "steal Merrick Garland's seat" on the SC, and finds it … inconsistent. Well, incoherent. Also conveniently remembered. Conclusion:

    What the Senate Republicans’ failure to consider Garland indicated was that Senate Republicans were unwilling to uphold prior norms at the cost of unilateral disarmament in the judicial nomination wars. We can lament that it came to this — I certainly have — but we should not accept a revisionist history of how the Senate’s refusal to consider Garland came to pass.

  • At Cato, Lawrence H. White discusses the latest Prohibition target: cash. And, like booze prohibitions, the dramatis personae involved are remarkably similar: "Baptists and Bootleggers in the Organized Effort to Restrict the Use of Cash"

    In a classic account of why prohibitions and other economic restrictions harmful to consumers arise and persist, economist Bruce Yandle noted that such restrictions are often promoted by a coalition between two groups. The first group are morally motivated do-gooders (“Baptists”) who think that the restrictions will promote the public interest. The second group are profit-motivated business people (“bootleggers”) who may adopt the language of the first group but whose aim is to profit by legally quashing potential competition. In Yandle’s example, the prohibition of liquor in the United States during the 1920s was loudly promoted by Baptists and others who considered liquor consumption sinful, and quietly backed by bootleggers whose profits from rum-running depended on the absence of legal liquor.

    Who are the analogs of Baptists and Bootleggers in the war on cash? The answer may surprise you! Or, if you're up on this sort of thing, may not surprise you.