The Excommunication of Liz Cheney: Another sign the GOP has become a cult of Trump

Source: The Nation
by John Nichols

“When neoconservatism was still the favored faith of elites in the Republican Party, Liz Cheney was a high priestess. She worshiped at the altar of defense budgets and surveillance schemes. She preached a gospel of tax cuts for the rich, giveaways for corporations, and austerity for the masses. Intensely ambitious and always on message, she rose rapidly in the ranks of the party that extended from her father’s reign as the initiator of forever wars. Then the Grand Old Party adopted a new religion (Trumpism) and the representative from Wyoming proved to be insufficiently delusional. Faced with a choice between the oath she swore to protect the Constitution and the authoritarian mandates of Donald Trump and his minions, Cheney remade herself as a small-d democrat.” (11/23/21)

An Inconsistency

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Imagine, for the purpose of this post, that Covid-19 is a disease that would have overwhelmed any health-care system that is humanly possible. Imagine also an alternative universe in which Britain had no NHS but, instead, relied for its citizens’ health-care provision exclusively on free-market forces. What would the reaction of intellectuals be to reports of this free-market health-care system encountering the problems that are now, in reality, being encountered by the NHS? Is there any doubt that these problems would be trumpeted as indisputable evidence that free-market health care is unworkable — a failure — a curse and danger to humanity — conclusive proof that governments should nationalize health-care provision, or at least play a much more active role in this provision?” (11/23/21)

Biden Needs an Enemy

Source: The Atlantic
by Molly Jong-Fast

“After Donald Trump, you’d think the American people would just enjoy having a normal president who doesn’t use his Twitter account to threaten neighboring countries or corporations. But they don’t. Take one look at national polling numbers and you’ll see that Americans are unhappy with Joe Biden: According to FiveThirtyEight, 51.7 percent of Americans disapprove of his job performance. … To improve Biden’s popularity, earnest consultants might tell him to work on the fundamentals. But the fundamentals are actually good: The economy is getting better. Americans have both cash and jobs. Sure, inflation is an issue, but it’s a global phenomenon and not unexpected, because we’re coming out of a pandemic. The disconnect between the facts and the polls suggests that Biden’s true problem is a narrative one. Specifically, he doesn’t have an enemy, a punching bag to absorb Americans’ anger (rational or irrational).” (11/23/21)

Bees by the watercooler?

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by staff

“For some employees who worked at home during the pandemic — perhaps rediscovering nature and a different rhythm of life — a return to the office may come with a surprise. Forward-looking companies are trying a new way to attract and retain workers: workplaces where nature transforms former cubicles and meeting rooms into tranquil alcoves and flexible communal spaces. The idea is not new. Think spider plants near office windows. And it builds on a deeper concept called biophilia, a term coined by social psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm in 1964 that assumes an innate human connection to and love for nature and all living things.” (11/22/21)

Biden’s Inflation Malarky

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Government officials have been inflating the money supply for centuries as a way to finance out-of-control federal spending. It’s actually a fantastic way to plunder the citizenry. When prices start rising, public officials can blame greedy, profit-seeking entrepreneurs in the private sector, just as Biden is now doing. … When public officials were sending people those stimulus checks, they were saying that it was ‘free money.’ Here at FFF, we rained on that parade by saying that it wasn’t going to be free in the long run. Today, with prices soaring at the gas pump, the grocery store, and most everywhere else, people are figuring out that we were right — that those stimulus checks weren’t free after all.” (11/23/21)

Does the House Build Back Better Bill Violate the Limits on Conditional Spending?

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Jonathan H Adler

“Among the provisions of the House-passed “Build Back Better” spending bill are provisions that cut federal health care funding in states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. In the Wall Street Journal, Chris Jacobs argues that this violates conditional spending holding of NFIB v. Sebelius. … On the one hand, just because the federal government has funded something in the past does not mean it has to fund something in the future. Congress must have the ability to change its spending priorities over time. On the other hand, the Court held in NFIB that Congress may not use prior state acceptance of federal funding as leverage to induce state cooperation with new programs, and on this basis held that Congress could not condition continued receipt of pre-existing Medicaid funds on acceptance of the Medicaid expansion.” (11/23/21)

Eight reasons why the US should ditch Turkey as a military partner

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Doug Bandow

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has transformed his country and its relationship with America — but not for the better. President Donald Trump’s personal ties to Erdogan may have disguised the widening divergence in interests, but a chasm has now truly opened between the two governments, requiring a much tougher approach toward Ankara than in the past.” (11/23/21)

We Need a Little [sic] More Milton Friedman Right About Now

Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“Not long ago, President Joe Biden made an offhanded comment that ‘Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.’ This president has seldom spoken more valid words. And that’s where the trouble has begun. If you were to rate the three most influential economic minds of all time, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better trio than Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Friedman. I’m a little too young to have known Keynes or Smith, but I am old enough to have gotten to know Friedman, and I’m proud to have called him a friend. … Few academics have done more to advance human freedom than Friedman. He was the leading apostle for the free enterprise system.” (11/23/21)

Mead’s Conspiracy Theorizing

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“[Walter Russell] Mead is suffering from the ideologue’s affliction of trying to force world events to fit his preconceived notions. Many things are happening at the same time, and so he decides to link them all together and to assert that the governments in different parts of the world must be working in concert with a common goal in mind. Nothing has happened in the last year that requires us to subscribe to this paranoid view of the world. Mead is attributing made-up motives to the leaders of these governments because it is convenient for his argument and easier than doing the work of trying to understand why these things are happening.” (11/23/21)

Is Fentanyl-Tainted Marijuana “Something Real” or “Just an Urban Legend?”

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Taken at face value, recent reports of fentanyl-tainted marijuana in Connecticut highlight the hazards inherent in the black market created by drug prohibition. Consumers who buy illegal drugs rarely know for sure exactly what they are getting, and the retail-level dealers who sell those drugs to them may be equally in the dark. But even in a market where such uncertainty prevails, opioid overdoses among drug users who claim to have consumed nothing but cannabis — like earlier, better documented reports of fentanyl mixed with cocaine — raise puzzling questions about what is going on. One thing seems clear: The official warnings prompted by those reports are more alarming than the evidence justifies.” (11/23/21)