Free Food Stamps

The House passed a farm welfare bill that includes a requirement for food stamp recipients to work for their welfare payouts last month, and the Senate passed its version—carefully without that requirement for actual work. Or perhaps just timidly passed, since Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R, KS) was intimidated by Progressive-Democrat Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D, MI) and couldn’t find the backbone to oppose her.

Now the two bills go to conference for resolution, and the outcome doesn’t look promising for work.

In today’s tight employment environment, that work would be easy to find, too, and in light of that, The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board made the comment

In a Contest of Tariffs

In a piece purporting to show Where the Trade Battle Hurts the Most, Julie Wernau and Ira Iosebashvili had this comment:

Renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement are being closely watched in Canada, too. The Trump administration has used threats of auto tariffs to win concessions from Canada and Mexico, a strategy that hasn’t sat well with the two countries.

President Donald Trump also offered them, and the rest of the G-7, a regime of no tariffs at all. Their refusal even to discuss the offer doesn’t sit well with those of us outside the NLMSM.

Gun Control

done right.

A disgruntled customer in a George Webb restaurant took his anger out on one of the women employees, going behind the counter to physically attack her.

He didn’t get far: a fellow employee, another woman, drew her pistol and drove the thug off.  It seems that she has a concealed carry permit to go with her weapon, and George Webb allows its employees to carry on the premises.  With good reason, it seems.

But those on the Left would rather have the good guys—and girls—unarmed, so thugs like this can have their way.  Talk about a war on women.  Geez.

Pick One

Tony James, Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman, thinks his Progressive-Democratic Party needs to become a party of growth and inclusive prosperity.

The problem is that the Party is a Progressive one and becoming a socialist one.  This is not contradictory; the two ideologies are political allies if not siblings, too, and they’re not far apart economically.  The Party’s embrace of the former is demonstrated by Barack Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D, NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA), Senator Kamala Harris (D, CA), newly ascendant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ (D, NY), and a host of others’ loud and enthusiastic embrace of progressivism.  The Party’s embrace of the latter is demonstrated by the strength of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I, VT) and Ocasio-Cortez’ socialism within Party circles.

A Related Note

I wrote recently about the Court’s ruling on Janus v AFCME Council 31, which eliminated public service unions’ ability to collect “agency fees” from non union members.

The dissent by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by her three cohorts in the Court’s liberal wing is instructive, and it foreshadows the kind of government we can expect from today’s “liberals,” should they succeed in gaining control of one or both Houses of Congress and then of the White House.

The Supremes Get One Right

Resoundingly so.  Janus v AFCME Council 31 is a case originating in Illinois concerning a public service union’s ability to collect a per centage of ordinary union dues—agency fees—from non-union members who work alongside the union’s bargaining unit in for a government agency.  A 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent, Abood v Detroit Board of Education, upheld this ability.

The Court’s opinion (a 5-4 majority) is summarized in the syllabus:

The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is therefore overruled.

The Supremes Get Another One Right

Sort of.  Mostly.

A deeply divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s latest ban on travel to the US by people from several Muslim-majority countries, in a ruling Tuesday that hands the White House a victory on one of its most central—and controversial—initiatives.

Small point, and it’s on The Wall Street Journal, not the Supreme Court: it’s not a ban on travel, it’s a moratorium.  The moratorium will be lifted on each of those countries when it becomes possible to accurately vet travelers from those countries.  A ban is broad and permanent.

Protecting US Technology

The Trump administration is moving toward a set of rules that would heavily restrict the People’s Republic of China’s ability to acquire American technology-developing companies and American technology.

Of course, there are objections to protecting our stuff.

Industry groups…are mainly concerned that the export controls could negatively affect their businesses by preventing them from using their technological edge.

If such groups were truly serious about this, they’d be truly serious about hardening their member companies’ facilities against hacking.

And

While many object to the investment restrictions, they are seen as having less practical impact because Chinese investment has fallen off so drastically.

Another Obamacare Episode

The Justice Department has declined to defend Obamacare in the suit against it brought by a large number of States in the aftermath of Congress’ repeal of the Individual Mandate penalty tax.  Recall that Chief Justice John Roberts rewrote the law in 2012 to recreate the penalty as a tax in order to preserve the IM as constitutional, and thereby to preserve all of Obamacare as constitutional because of the inseverability of all parts of the law.

With the repeal of the IM’s…tax…that inseverability should doom the rest of Obamacare.

As a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision not to defend the law,

Italy and the Eurozone

Since the last Italian election all those interminable months ago, which yielded no party with even a serious plurality, the several (and I do mean several) political parties have been trying to form a coalition of some sort so they could form an actual government with which to operate the country.  The coalition most likely to succeed in forming a government, if not in actual governing, consists of the far-left 5Star Movement and the equally far-right League (Lega Nord, Northern League).  What’s of interest to me is less the irony of these two parties trying to govern together and more the impact on the eurozone and the EU if these two parties actually succeed in allying and governing Italy.  They want