Random thoughts and clippings

With so many people voluntarily (and bafflingly) unemployed, I’m not hearing much talk about how Universal Basic Income wouldn’t disincentivize work.


I’m not going to quote much from this short Volokh Conspiracy item. It involves lesbians who are excoriated — sometimes by themselves — for shunning "trans women."

I’m also going to resist the temptation to valorize the relatively sane just because they’re being attacked by the batshit crazies.

But I cannot resist the three-point view of Eugene Volokh:

  1. People who want to have sex with you may indeed try to make you feel bad for not agreeing.
  2. "You owe it to someone to enjoy letting me penetrate you" is a very old story.
  3. It’s just not clear to me how this gives them the moral high ground.

Nothing Says "Free to Be Me" Like Compulsory Pansexuality – Reason.com


In a way Republicans have already won in Virginia. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor and longtime party mover, has been forced to fight for his life in a state Joe Biden won by 10 points. If Mr. McAuliffe pulls it out Tuesday, his not-so-Trumpy challenger, Glenn Youngkin, will still have come close in the age of Trump, and his campaign will have provided a rough pathway for how future party candidates can make their way through: 1. Be a respectable, capable-seeming person who focuses on legitimate local issues (schools, taxes.) 2. Don’t say crazy things. 3. Don’t insult Donald Trump but do everything to keep him away.

If forced to wager I’d bet on Mr. Youngkin. I think he’s done something remarkable. But whatever happens Democrats should stay nervous and Republicans can feel some degree of relief: a template is emerging, at least as to states like bluish-purple Virginia.

Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is very sharp, but I fear she, with her long-term crush on the GOP, has lapsed into wishcasting here about the winning "template."


The "Christian’s" political favorite gives his favorite life advice:

In a 2011 speech, Donald Trump explained his single top rule in life: “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.” He’s repeated the same idea over and over again in speeches, tweets, and books published under his byline. In 2024, the targets of Trump’s revenge are American law and American democracy. At a September 25 rally in Perry, Georgia, Trump excoriated state Republican officials who failed to subvert the state election for him. In Iowa two weeks later, Trump delivered more attacks on the 2020 election process, focusing this time on state Republicans who failed to steal Arizona for him.

In 2016 and through the early part of Trump’s presidency, there was often an edge of Friars Club comedy to Trump’s rally performances: not very nice comedy, a little out of style in tone and sensibility, but comedy all the same. Not in 2021. Now it’s all dark and bitter.

David Frum, ‌Is Donald Trump Already Running for President in 2024?


Most Republicans have wagered that the road to office runs through Mar-a-Loco, where you must walk barefoot across the hot ashes of your incinerated pride to kneel at his throne and feed a bit of your soul to him.

Frank Bruni, ‌J.D. Vance’s hillbilly hypocrisy Vance has made that pilgrimage.


A New York Times Guest Column Saturday:

The Only Way to Solve Our Supply Chain Crisis Is to Rethink Trade

The pandemic has exposed problems decades in the making. We need to fix them.

By Josh Hawley
Oct. 29, 2021

The topic interested me, but Josh Hawley has so beslimed himself that I no longer trust a word he says or writes.

Anyway, I’d eat my hat if he conceded that bringing more production back to the U.S. would result in a lower "standard of living" under our current consumerist models (which live by the fallacy "if we can’t measure it, it isn’t real). Rather, he would perpetuate the delusion that we can have it all, no trade-offs.

The only Republican who has held up fairly well against my initial expectations (yes, I had hopes for Hawley) is Ben Sasse. So far, I’m interested in rookie Pete Meijer, too — who is the current occupant of Justin Amash’s old seat. Southwest Michigan produces some interesting pols these days.


You can read most of my more impromptu stuff at here. It should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.

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