Distortions

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is upset over his administration’s having been called soft on crime by that impertinent man, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Sessions, after all, said that New York

continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s “soft on crime” stance.

De Blasio’s response?  He transferred the target of the remark to the police themselves, pretending to wonder why the AG has

insult[ed] the men and women who do this work every day, who put their lives on the line and who have achieved so much?

Timidity Is

…as timidity does.  The Japan Times has it, too, as demonstrated in its editorial last Wednesday.  The editorial board is worried about Japan actually achieving an ability to defend proactively itself.  The board’s concern was triggered [sic] by a Liberal Democratic Party proposal that

Japan consider developing the ability to strike enemy missile bases.  …a response to North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches….

The board fretted that

an attempt by Japan to build up the capability to attack enemy bases could result in destabilizing the region’s security environment by giving an imagined enemy an excuse to carry out pre-emptive strikes on our country.

Foolishness

James Capretta and Lanhee Chen of American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution, respectively, have a piece in a recent Wall Street Journal edition that talks about how to “nudge” uninsured Americans into getting health coverage plans.  It’s impressive in its…foolishness…(I’m being polite).

Congress can help these Americans and many others get insurance by enrolling them in no-premium, no-obligation plans from which they could withdraw if they wanted to.

No. Not only no, Hell no. No squared. We’ve enough Big Government intruding into our private lives, arrogantly presuming to make our private decisions for us, without adding this to the steaming pile.

Free Markets

President Donald Trump revived his tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement Tuesday, warning Canada it must stop protecting its dairy farmers from US competition.

Canada’s trade policy, after all, manages dairy production through a quota system (which is anathema in itself to a free market, but that’s mostly a Canadian domestic problem), and it seriously impedes foreign competition with tariffs designed for the task.

Circularly, Canada controls dairy prices by matching them to “average” production costs, and then controls production by setting allowed quotas.  With prices thus under government control, Canada sets tariffs to achieve prices for imports of foreign dairy products that aren’t competitive.

British Snap Election

British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election (early next June), and her public reason was that Whitehall was too divided for her to be able to negotiate effectively with Brussels over the terms of the British departure from the EU.  She wanted a mandate from the people.

Yesterday the British Parliament voted in favor of her call (under a 2011 law, the PM no longer can require a snap election on his/her own initiative; two-thirds of Parliament’s 650 seats must agree) by 522-13, much wider than those two-thirds (the Scottish National Party was among those who abstained from the vote).

Warnings

The just concluded Kansas special election, held to fill the seat left by Mike Pompeo’s departure to become the CIA MFWIC, was much closer than it should have been, with the Republican Ron Estes winning by a narrower margin than originally expected.  Yet the Republican won, and the Democrat James Thompson lost despite the national effort (albeit a lackluster one) by the national Progressive-Democratic Party to get Thompson elected.

The False Premise of a Madboy

Harry Kazianis, writing in The Week Monday, portrayed northern Korea’s weekend military parading not as sabre rattling but as a demonstration of the fruits of development driven by military necessity.

Kim Jong Un—the leader of a nation that has an economy smaller than Ethiopia—knows all too well he has no way to match the United States, South Korea, and Japan ship for ship, plane for plane in a symmetrical sense. The only way he can hope to deter his enemies is to build the ultimate game-changer: nuclear weapons paired with missiles that can strike all the way across the globe.

Deal Outcomes

In a Sunday op-ed, The Wall Street Journal opined about whether President Donald Trump had reached an actual deal with People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping concerning putting an end to northern Korea’s nuclear weapons program and associated threats, or whether an agreement reached during the recent meeting between the two was merely a cosmetic exchange of niceties.

The editors closed their piece with this remark:

Mr Trump needs to make clear what he will do if China won’t make a Korean deal.

A Democrat’s Disagreement

During the recent debate in the Arizona legislature concerning a bill that would allow school vouchers for all Arizona children, Democratic Congressman Jesus Rubalcava wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted to throat-punch one of the sponsors of the bill, Republican Senator Debbie Lesko.  The Arizona Republic captured a screen shot of Rubalcava’s Facebook post:

After Rubalcava’s post began circulating, after the ensuing uproar over his threat of violence against someone impertinent enough to disagree with him, he deleted his post (but not before the Republic had captured that screen shot) and apologized to Lesko.

Spending Our Tax Dollars

The table below is constructed from the table and data provided by Laura Saunders in her piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.  It shows how $100 in our tax monies paid to the Federal government were spent on a range of government purposes.

Item 2016
Social Security $23.61
Medicare $15.26
National defense $15.24
Medicaid $9.55
Interest $6.25
Other spending $4.94
Veterans $4.58
Civilian federal retirement $2.57
Transportation $2.39
Refundable credits* $2.21
Education $2.08
Food stamps $1.89