I don’t know about where you are, but Spring has finally arrived to stay in Alexandria, Virginia!
1. Mea Culpa. The first post today made it up without a final proofing and edit, the result of three consecutive computer crashes and an intervening work crisis. Veteran reader Tim Levier flagged the mess, which I cleaned up on Aisle 9 after pulling the post down. This has happened a couple of times before, and makes me want to throw myself in the shredder.
2. Stop making me defend Bernie Sanders! Apparently Bernie spent $444,000 dollars in campaign money in 2015 on his own book, which, of course, put money in his pockets. Some conservative writers have compared this to the scam that has caused the Mayor of Baltimore to go on “leave,” which in her case means “I’m resigning, except that I’ll still be getting my salary.” That’s unfair to Bernie. Pugh’s self-dealing was genuine corruption, using her place on a non-profit’s board to get the organization to buy her book rather than many other options. A candidate’s book is legitimate campaign material: it’s not like the campaign can distribute another candidate’s book.
Purchases like Sanders’ should be scrutinized carefully–Were they properly discounted? Were they used, or did they sit around in warehouses?—and there need to be special election regulations governing this potentially corrupt type of campaign expense. For example, if the candidate is the author, perhaps a law should require him or her to waive royalties, contribute them to charity, or pass them on to the party.
3. But don’t expect me to defend Elizabeth Warren…Ugh, what an awful, opportunistic, intellectually dishonest demagogue she is! Has any state successively embarrassed itself with successive disgraceful Senators like my home state’s Kennedy-Kerry-Warren parade of horribles? I don’t see how it would be possible. In addition to her pathological hypocrisy (most recently having the chutzpa to condemn parents cheating to get their kids into prestigious colleges after she used her fraudulent minority status to jump ahead in line while pursuing her own academic career), she panders as a reflex, assuming that the weak or dishonest arguments she adopts will be enough to con ignorant voters.
On Monday, Warren pledged to cancel almost all student loan debt for 42 million Americans. Each former student’s debt would get a relief of $50,000 in households making up to $100,000. Only those households with earnings of over $250,000 would get no student debt reduction. Cost: $640 billion, but hey, can’t we find a way to cancel the National Dept, growing like a cancer in the nation’s gut?
There are just a couple of things wrong with this proposal. First, she can’t do this unilaterally, so her “pledge” is a lie. No Congress, unless they find a way to clone Ocasio-Cortez, will ever vote to shell out $640 billion to college graduates. More importantly, this is one more example of Democrats wanting to install perverse incentives to be unethical, while punishing citizens foolish enough to plan, be responsible, and meet their obligations.
How does that ethics alarm not buzz, assuming Warren has any. Social media commentators made the simple fairness point quickly. “Do I get a refund for having chosen a cheaper public university so I wouldn’t be riddled with a ton of debt?” one commenter wrote. “I want no part in paying off everyone else’s student loans.” Others stated that equity and justice demand that those who paid back their loans would deserve a refund, if deadbeats prospered by not paying back what they owed. What’s the rebuttal to that? Warren’s proposal is infested with the fallacy of so many socialist policies: the diligent, honorable and responsible are penalized for their virtue.
Is Warren the most unethical Democratic candidate? It’s a tough field.
4. Balanced, irresponsible, or just greedy? Fox News is running impeach Trump” ads by Trump Deranged “resistance” billionaire Tom Steyer. Steyer has been advocating impeachment all along, and citing unimpeachable and fake “offenses” as justification. Essentially hsi argument is the same as Maxine Waters: impeach Trump because we can, and because he Democrats can’t be allowed to be defeated by someone like him. Steyer was counting on the Mueller investigation to bolster his cause, for which he is paying millions, and since it delivered nothing that could be used rationally and legally to justify impeachment, he’s just lying to the public and saying it is. “The Mueller report lays out a roadmap to impeachment,” he says in the ad. The report doesn’t mention impeachment once! It’s not a road map, it’s road block. Such intentional misrepresentation, however, is sufficient to deceive for the majority of Americans, who will not read the report—I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating—wouldn’t comprehend it if they did, and must depend on trustworthy interlocutors, which Steyer isn’t, along with almost all journalists and pundits.
The ad is unethical, and it is unethical for Fox News, or any network, to run it.