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Quote of the Day

 

“Giving a motorized scooter to a kid is a moronic thing to do. It’s like giving somebody in West Virginia a gun.” — Los Angeles talent manager David Steinberg.

Not a profound quote, but it profoundly reflects on how the liberal blue states on the coast perceive flyover country. West Virginia, ranked fourth in the nation for the percentage of the population that owns guns, has 54% ownership with most owning multiple arms. If we are to take David Steinberg at his word, then more than half of West Virginians are morons.

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Why Wars on the Fed Aren’t Good or Easy to Win

 
President Donald Trump and chairman of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell.

It’s not unreasonable to criticize Fed policymaking. Except maybe if you’re the American president. There’s good reason it’s considered exceedingly bad form and poor governance to do what Donald Trump is doing right now in his escalating critique of the Powell Fed, first on CNBC and then via Twitter. If you value economic stability, then you probably don’t want the president using political pressure to influence the US central bank. It can get really ugly.

In the 1960s, President Johnson went to war with the fiscally conservative Fed boss William McChesney Martin, who worried about the inflationary risk from LBJ’s guns-and-butter economic policies. Johnson saw Martin’s tighter monetary policy as undermining his agenda, even asking the US attorney general if a president could remover a Fed board member from office. After the Martin Fed raised the discount rate in late 1965, LBJ summoned Martin to his Texas ranch to explain himself, leading to the famous confrontation where the president pushed the shorter Martin against a wall and told him that “my boys are dying in Vietnam, and you won’t print the money I need.” Martin stood his ground policywise and is praised for helping maintain Fed independence (although he probably should have tightened more aggressively).

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, Jonathan V. Last and Michael Warren join host Charlie Sykes to discuss the recent reports that Michael Cohen has secret tapes of candidate Trump talking about payments to porn stars, the latest with how the Russia summit is playing at home, how President Trump threw Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats under the bus, the bizarre White House response to Putin’s request to interrogate Americans (including a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul), and how Bryce Harper stole the Home Run Derby crown.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give credit to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for countering Democratic demands for a million pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by suggesting the Senate vote on him may come just days before the election. They also mourn the impending loss of many entry-level jobs at places like McDonald’s due to minimum wage hikes and technological advancements. And they roll their eyes at the NFL’s inability to enforce a policy on kneeling during the anthem just days after the Miami Dolphins threatened to suspend players for not standing.

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Question – How does “concierge” medicine work (with a supplemental rant against a particularly idiotic provision of “Obamacare”)

 

I believe some Ricochetti practice “concierge” medicine (outside the medical insurance system), and others may be cash-paying patients. What does a person who has signed up with a particular doctor for regular medical care on a cash or subscription model do about paying for major not-regular medical care and hospitalization? More

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Presidents Disagreeing with the Fed is Nothing New

 

President Trump, in his usual way of speaking, told Joe Kernan of CNBC that he doesn’t necessarily agree with the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates. This act, known alternatively as “moral suasion” or “jawboning,” has actually been happening for a while. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow did almost the same thing on Fox News three weeks ago.

Criticism has been coming in from many quarters, not all from the usual sources. Keith Hennessey, formerly of the Bush 43 White House, “disagree[s] with President Trump on every aspect of this.” Most of the claims are that this breaks from a long-standing tradition. But for how long? Pres. George H. W. Bush blamed Fed chair Alan Greenspan for his electoral loss in 1992, a theme that his administration began as early as 1989. President Ronald Reagan in 1981 told a group of supporters, “The Fed is independent, but they’re hurting us.” Perhaps the most famous act, done more privately, was when LBJ shoved then Fed chair William McChesney Martin around a room, shouting at him, “Martin, my boys are dying in Vietnam, and you won’t print the money I need.”

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The Urbane Cowboys Podcast: Occupational Licensing, Urban Politics, and Reagan’s 11th Commandment

 

I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new podcast: The Urbane Cowboys,  featuring Josiah Neeley of R Street Institute and Doug McCullough of Lone Star Policy Institute. Episode 1 features special guest, Shoshana Weissmann of R Street, and covers the topics of Occupational Licensing, Urban Politics, the Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination, and […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are amazed that more than 90 percent of House Democrats either opposed a resolution supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement or refused to vote on it at all. They also grumble as deficit projections once again head north of a trillion dollars and the number of food stamp recipients remains stubbornly high in a strong economy. And they denounce Vladimir Putin’s proposal to allow U.S. investigators to interview the 12 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 elections in exchange for allowing the Russians to interview a former U.S. ambassador.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, deputy online editor Chris Deaton and reporter Andrew Egger discuss the fallout and perception of President Trump’s foreign policy, from this week in Helsinki to the effects of his tariff regime.

The Daily Standard Podcast is sponsored by RXBar. Our listeners can take advantage of this special offer of 25 percent off their first order by visiting RXBAR.com/STANDARD and using the promo code STANDARD.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joins host Charlie Sykes from his Senate office to discuss President Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin, his newly introduced bill, the Secure Elections Act, tax reform, the deficit and the debt, NATO, and the Mueller Investigation.

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Maybe the Innovation Boom Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

 

Check out these two charts from a great Wall Street Journal piece, “The Problem With Innovation: The Biggest Companies Are Hogging All the Gains,” on global productivity growth:

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Tommy Robinson

 

Tommy Robinson’s appeal is being heard today (probably getting ready to wrap up for the day) You can get updates at Tommytrial.com and / or follow Ezra Levant on Twitter  More

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for July 18, 2018 it’s the Trump Industrial Complex edition of the show with your suave and fascinating hosts, radio guy Todd Feinburg and, holding down the left coast, AI-guy Mike Stopa.

This week we bring two topics of very intellectual weight and concern. The first involves the military industrial complex, the deep state and the fate of the Republic. The second concerns the nature of Man and the importance of the Will to Power in Man’s survival. Must Man always struggle to be higher in order to still remain, in his essence, a Man?

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The Uninformed Economic Views of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in 2 Charts

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new Democratic darling and self-described democratic socialist, said some odd things in a PBS interview. First, she tried to explain away the current low unemployment rate this way: “Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs.”

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America learn from the late National Review founder William F. Buckley that the left drew a moral equivalence between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War, and they warn President Trump not to make the same mistake. They also compliment Chris Wallace of Fox News for asking pointed questions about election meddling to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they fear the interview and Putin’s weak answers will soon be forgotten. And they fret that the left has taken fair criticism of the Trump-Putin summit to preposterous extremes by labeling it as morally equivalent with 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kristallnacht.

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Progressives Come After Brett Kavanaugh

 

Two different lines of attack have been launched against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, now of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court: one personal and one substantive. On the former I have little to say, except to note Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua’s glowing endorsement of Kavanaugh in the Wall Street Journal. Of far greater importance is the attack on his intellectual orientation, both generally and as it relates to specific issues that have come up already, and that will surely come up again before the Supreme Court.

On these issues, the progressive forces aligned against Kavanaugh have given no quarter. The chief object of their intellectual denunciation is the Federalist Society, with whom I have been actively involved since its formation in the early Reagan years. The great success of that organization, as the New York Times columnist David Brooks has recognized, is its single-minded devotion to a long game in which the study of first principles is the main object of intellectual inquiry. The basic insight is that every political movement needs strong intellectual foundations to insulate it from the passions of the day, and that the free exploration of ideas is the best way to achieve that end. The Federalist Society took off in the early 1980s precisely because the dominant liberal ethos of the time was so sure of its political and moral invincibility that it had not taken the time to develop its own comprehensive view on the fundamental relationship between the individual and the state.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America analyze the California Democratic Party’s decision to endorse California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s rival in the general election, Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon. They also criticize President Donald Trump for his inability to confront Russian president Vladimir Putin about multiple issues, especially election meddling, noting that the president seems more worried about defending his 2016 win than exposing the truth. And they laugh as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, stumbles her way through an explanation about why Israel is an occupying force on “Firing Line.” They also finally resolve the biggest question in film: “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

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