I recommend to readers’ attention the fascinating — and sobering — piece by John Fund over on the homepage. John writes that by denying the Prop 8 plaintiffs standing to defend the law, Chief Justice Roberts is striking a very serious blow against the ballot-initiative process nationwide. Referendums are a recourse for democratic change when elected officials are unresponsive to public demands; if those same elected officials can refuse to defend the referendum results in court, and citizens then are denied the right to defend the referendum themselves, the politicians have essentially been given a veto over the public will. I respect the argument that the United States was not intended to be a pure democracy, and that the main check on the actions of elected officials was to be the opportunity to defeat those officials at the ballot box, not to overrule their judgments piecemeal at that same ballot box. But the ballot initiative has been a part of the life of many states, for long enough, that we should not rush to scrap it without more deliberation.
The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More
One of the biggest intellectual jousting matches last year was between Duke history professor Nancy MacLean, who wrote a slimy, dishonest book about Nobel Prize–winning economist James Buchanan and the whole limited-government movement, and the many scholars who blasted holes in it. If it had been a boxing ... Read More
With the Illinois primary elections mere days away, incumbent GOP governor Bruce Rauner is still slinging attacks at primary challenger Jeanne Ives. The governor’s latest ad has been denounced as inaccurate by several local political analysts. Among other charges, Rauner’s ad claims that Ives is a ... Read More
In the New York Post, Betsy McCaughey says the steel and aluminum tariffs have come under “an avalanche of false criticism.” Let’s check out her arguments one by one, in order. National security I McCaughey writes, Tariff-bashers claim in war, the United States could rely on foreign suppliers. ... Read More
Matt Drudge, the influential founder of the news-aggregating website the Drudge Report, threw more fuel on the fire of a growing feud with Twitter Thursday. "Move over, Twitter," Drudge tweeted along with a graph ranking the top external referrers on the Internet. Move over, Twitter! ... Read More
The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More
At the height of the influx of refugees into Germany in 2015–17, there was little doubt that mixed among the worthy cases were economic migrants taking advantage of the chaos to seek their fortunes in Europe. Perhaps out of instinctive pro-immigrant sentiment, Germany’s Left obscured the difference. Its ... Read More