Betteridge's Law of Headlines Applies…

… to this headline on Andrew Heaton's (very funny) (but also sad) (and also anger-inducing) video: Is Greed Causing Shrinkflation?.

But if you would prefer print to standup-comic videos, Dan McLaughlin has you covered, with a general observartion: Elizabeth Warren Isn't Actually Very Smart. (A gifted link.)

I’m a great believer in the “show, don’t tell” school of political commentary, and I try to discipline myself against the cheap temptation to insult political opponents instead of taking on their arguments. Liberals and progressives have a particular addiction to insisting that all of their opponents are dumb. But sometimes, you have to draw the conclusions out loud. This week’s flap over Warren’s comments on Israel and Gaza is the latest proof of something that’s been clear for quite some time: Warren isn’t a smart person with wrong ideas; she’s consistently incapable of logical reasoning.

That’s not her image, of course. Warren was an Ivy League law professor (she taught at UPenn and Harvard), carries herself like a teacher, and brands herself as the person who always “has a plan for that.” If you asked a lot of Democratic voters which current officeholder was the intellectual leader of their party, I suspect Warren would be the top vote-getter.

Warren may be glib, but her arguments are routinely shot through with transparent logical fallacies. This goes back to how she first made her national reputation, with academic research claiming that medical debts were a major driver of bankruptcy because lots of people who filed for bankruptcy had medical debts. Her original 2005 paper claimed that “more than 40 percent of all bankruptcies in America were a result of medical problems.” In 2009, with the Obamacare debate ramping up, Warren and her co-authors “updated that research with an even more startling number: Medical bills were responsible for more than 62 percent of all American bankruptcies.”

Massachusetts has a proud history of sending dim bulbs to the US Senate. Warren replaced Teddy Kennedy, no Mensan himself. In the other seat, Ed Markey is routinely dubbed an thuggish idiot. And he replaced John Kerry. 'Nuff said.

Also of note:

  • Where's your Messiah now, Moses? Jonah Goldberg writes on The Messianic Temptation.

    So back in the Obama years, I had great fun with the idea that Barack Obama was the messiah. 

    No really, this was a thing, and some cynics suspected he encouraged it. The New York Times reported that Obama’s volunteers were instructed at “Camp Obama” not to discuss issues when proselytizing for their leader, but instead to “testify” about how they “came to Obama” the same way Christians testify about how they came to Jesus. Michelle Obama played into it too, promising that her husband would mend America’s “broken souls.” And of course, Obama himself leaned into the Messianic hype. “We are the hope of the future. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” he proclaimed at the conclusion of the Democratic primary. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

    The admittedly ironic website “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” is still up, and it’s still a fun compendium. Some people, uncomfortable with the—duh—formally religious connotation of the word “messiah” opted instead to call him a “lightworker” or “secular redeemer.” Oprah fell back on simply calling him The One, while Deepak Chopra dubbed him a “quantum leap in American consciousness.” Ezra Klein wrote:

    Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.

    And Eve Konstantine, the leadership guru, assured us that “Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings. … He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.” 

    But these days, as Jonah shares…

    This is why the kids find "SMH" to be such a useful acronym.

  • Sophie goes to the car dealer. George Will isn't impressed with Biden’s impossible dream: Any car you want, as long as it’s an EV.

    Government’s language often radiates contempt for the governed, as when the Environmental Protection Agency recently said limits on automobile emissions in model years 2027-2032 will “give drivers more clean vehicle choices.” The regulations are, of course, explicitly intended to restrict consumers’ choices by forcing manufacturers to produce fewer cars that have tailpipe emissions. Drivers will be able to choose any vehicle they want — from the “clean” category government prefers. As Henry Ford reportedly said, the Model T would be available in “any color” the customer wants, “as long as it’s black.”

    The Biden administration’s costly and coercive crusade to replace internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) with electric vehicles (EVs) is disproportionate to its minuscule climate impact. The American Enterprise Institute’s Benjamin Zycher says the EPA’s own assumptions project that the new regulations will mitigate global warming by 0.023 degrees Celsius by 2100. Because the standard deviation of the Earth’s surface temperature record is 0.11 degrees Celsius, “that effect would not be detectable.”

    As Maggie Thatcher didn't actually observe: At a certain point, you run out of people willing to demonstrate their moral superiority.

  • The Juice has no excuse. I checked, and I've only made some glancing references to O. J. Simpson over the years. Jeff Maurer provides: O.J.'s Obituary, But With Jokes.

    O.J. Simpson, the last comedy reference that everyone got, died yesterday at the age of 76. The cause was Norm Macdonald’s mean, mean jokes.

    Orenthal Jazzhands Simpson was born in a blighted part of San Francisco back when blighted parts of San Francisco were unusual. He wore leg braces as a child but eventually became a powerful runner, making him sort of a Forrest Gump figure if Forrest Gump had an EXTREMELY different third act. Mr. Simpson attended the University of Southern California and decided to play football when he could no longer tolerate his classmates’ shitty student films. He won Chekhov’s Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player who most needs a totem that can be revoked later in life to symbolize his downfall.

    Mr. Simpson was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in what would turn out to be the worst punishment of his life. He broke records, including becoming the first running back to amass 2,000 venereal diseases in a single season. Blessed with good looks and a warm smile, he earned endorsements and no-bullshit had more movie roles in the ‘80s than Sidney Poitier (look it up!). And the important thing to process here is: People liked this guy. He was practically the last person who would be the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy. If I said “the police are out to get Paul Rudd,” would that make sense to you? Just file that away.

    I did get a chance to review some of those Norm Macdonald jokes.