Democrats and New Deal Principles


It’s not surprising that the Democrats are nostalgic about The New Deal. It changed the country’s relationship to the government in a way that cemented their dominance in Congress for a couple of generations. They now have their hands around the House of Representatives, and they’re looking to add the Senate in 2020.

The New Deal also locked in Progressive domination of the Supreme Court for many years. FDR’s threat of expanding the court by packing it with additional justice who would rule in his favor effectively slowed judicial opposition to The New Deal so that the appointments during the 20 years of the Roosevelt/Truman administration could remake the balance of the judiciary.

Politico has a post up about 2020 Democrat presidential candidates starting to talk about packing the Supreme Court. Pete Buttigieg (who?) and Beto O’Rourke have said that they might expand the court. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand also have said they might favor such an expansion.

“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” said Harris (D-Calif.). “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”

Gillibrand said in an interview that she believes that Justice Neil Gorsuch essentially possesses an illegitimate seat after Garland was denied even a committee hearing. The New York Democrat added that the Senate should move swiftly to impose strict ethics rules on the Supreme Court.

“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” said Warren (D-Mass.), who mentioned bringing appellate judges into Supreme Court cases as an option.

Again, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Left has lost confidence in a court that has become more originalist in its outlook and less supportive of a living constitution that morphs into whatever Progressive cause du jour demands, and we should expect some of them to try to sell the idea of court packing through expansion during the coming election cycle.

Stay tuned.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up titled Sanders Aide Who Used ‘Dual Allegiance’ Smear Against Jews Is an Illegal Alien.

Belén Sisa is an illegal alien “who says she was brought to this country illegally from Argentina by her parents at age six [and] is currently protected from deportation under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.” So whose “allegiance” is really at issue here? Doesn’t her defiance of American law bring Belén Sisa’s “allegiance” into question?

Hmmmmm.

There’s Good News, and There’s Bad News


The Foundation for Economic Education has a post up explaining how the rich could pay for that list of Progressive freebies: $47 billion on free college tuition; $1 trillion for new infrastructure; $1.4 trillion to write off student loan debt; at least $7 trillion on a Green New Deal; $32 trillion on “Medicare for All.” We can simply adopt tax schemes similar to those used in countries such as France, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.

If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Warren want the federal government to collect European shares of national income, they will have to adopt European tax systems. That means higher income taxes on the middle class, higher payroll taxes, and higher consumption taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office, raising $32 trillion in tax revenue would require adding 36 percentage points to the marginal tax rate of every federal income taxpayer in the United States. Not just the rich—everyone. The single woman earning $82,500 and the couple earning $165,000 would see their rates soar from 24 percent to 60 percent.

To borrow from P. J. O’Rourke, the good news is that the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that you’re rich.

Finland collects about 43 percent of GDP in taxes, and that isn’t enough. Fuzzy Slippers reports at Legal Insurrection that Finland’s government has collapsed because of the cost of universal health care: #Bernie2020 hardest hit.

Finland has long been touted by American socialists as the socialist Nirvana, where everything is free and everyone is happy, happy, happy.  Sadly, fiscal reality hit Finland’s government as it collapsed Friday due to the rising costs of its universal health care.

The warning signs were on the wall last spring when Finland … ended its experiment with “universal basic income.”

Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has been hanging his socialist mantle on the “success” of Finland’s socialist structure, may be the hardest hit.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

First Amendment News


Last month, Judge Paul Grim granted a preliminary injunction preventing the State of Maryland from enforcing some campaign advertising reporting laws while the lawsuit filed by a group of Maryland Newspapers and the Washington Post is proceeding in the U. S. District Court. The newspapers assert (correctly in my view) that the law which affects their websites violates the freedoms of press and speech protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendment.  You can read more about the suit here and here. It turns out that I have a dog the fight, because Hogewash! sometimes has enough traffic to be subject to the law as well.

This week, the State filed notice of an appeal of the injunction to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Stay tuned.

The Warpath Comes to Fauxcahontas


I noted yesterday that Elizabeth Warren appears to be among the people served with document preservation demand letters by a lawyer representing the Sandman Family of Covington, Kentucky. It looks like a defamation lawsuit is in the works.

IANAL, and I’m not familiar with the Kentucky Rules of Evidence, but I can imagine that if Warren were sued and tried to testify in her own defense, the plaintiff’s counsel would try to impeach her credibility by showing the jury that she has a documented history of playing fast and loose with the Truth. For example, he might seek to introduce this—

Hmmmmm.

Politics Ain’t Bean Bag


¡Ocasio! She Guevara has come on rather forcefully in her new role as a Congresscritter. Her gaffes have been a marvelous source of pointage, lagughery, and mockification from the Right, but they been a real irritant to many on the Left. She and her chief of staff have made comments about recruiting candidates to run in the 2020 primaries against sitting Democrat politician who don’t toe her political line. As Jeff Dunetz reports over at The Lid, establishment Democrats are talking about recruiting a primary challenger for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

The newbie’s involvement with a group called Justice Democrats, an extreme leftist PAC that believes in primarying any Democrat who disagrees with their platform is setting her up for failure. Recently Ocasio-Cortez was featured in a Justice Democrats promotional video pushing a program to recruit other far-left progressives to run for Congress.

So far their biggest faux pas was to go after the #4 person in the House Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries did not please the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ah, the problems of Intersectionality and competing identity-based power struggles complicated by issue-based demands …

Any internal party fight against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be interesting. And if she is sent back to whence she came, she will become a textbook example of how leftist extremism is creating a Democratic Party civil war.

I’m buying more popcorn futures.

Kamala Harris and Willie Brown


Some people have extramarital affairs. Generally, the cheating spouse(s) tries (try) to keep such an affair secret. Why? Well, the adjective cheating explains their motivation. Regardless of the outward cultural trends, most of us still have a core view of marriage as a monogamous partnership, and we still have moral qualms about one partner treating the other unfairly. That moral unease also attaches to the third party whether or not he or she is also cheating on his or her spouse as well. But that’s not exactly the issue I’m trying to address in this post.

Joan Walsh has a piece over at The Nation titled Kamala Harris Deserves Better Than Sexist Criticism About Her Personal Life. It’s tagged with the line

The 2020 presidential candidate has faced down creepy gossip about a past relationship for 20 years. It should stop—now.

I disagree.

I have no particular interest in any politician’s sex life per se. However, any information about a person’s behavior can have relevance on his fitness for a given job. Someone who has risen the ranks because of demonstrated competence is probably a better candidate for hiring or promotion than someone who advanced through unearned favoritism.

The Left’s neomarxism posits that all politics (indeed, all of life) is a struggle for power between opposing groups and that hierarchies use the false measures of competence as a means of oppression. Of course, most Leftists don’t really live their lives that way. For example they generally prefer to have their surgeries performed by successful graduates of medical schools. When push comes to shove, most people prefer competence.

The issue that Kamala Harris has placed before us is whether she is the best, most competent, candidate for President in 2020. All of her life, certainly all of her public life, should now be open for inspection and evaluation. Did she rise through the Bay Area and California political systems on her own competence? Or did she receive an unearned boost because she was someone’s “girlfriend”? If she purposefully engaged in such an affair to boost her career, how is that morally different from the corrupt predatory behavior exposed by the #MeToo movement? Does her career, taken as a whole, display competence or corruption?

Those are nontrivial questions, and a public discussion of them is now in order because of her candidacy.