The Benefits of Low Expectations

January 12, 2017 at 10:51 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Maureen Dowd's long interview with technology investor and Trump supporter Peter Thiel may or may not be worth your time, but I did find one thought in it from Mr. Thiel that I thought was wise: "I always have very low expectations, so I'm rarely disappointed."

The way I have formulated it in conversations with friends about the presidential transition is that President Obama came in and everyone thought he was the messiah, so disappointment was inevitable. With Trump, everyone thinks he's the devil, so at least there's a potential for a surprise on the positive side.

By "everyone," in the preceding paragraph, I mean the coastal academic and media urban elites, which I do realize (even more acutely than I did before the election) is not actually everyone.

Mr. Thiel's idea is an interesting twist on George W. Bush's campaign, in education, against "the soft bigotry of low expectations." Leave it to the contrarian Mr. Thiel to remind us that even low expectations can have their advantages.

Submit a Comment

 

Not All Interests Are Conflicts

January 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The political furor over the fact that President-elect Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and some incoming members of his administration have assets is the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

1 Reader Comment

 

Levine on Cohen

January 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

At Bloomberg View, Matt Levine has an intelligent take on prosecutors and Steven Cohen:

People mostly think about white-collar enforcement in institutional and symbolic terms. Imprisoning Cohen "would prove that the new billionaires who dominated America's economic and political life were not above the law," writes Kolhatkar. Sure! But there is also, you know, the law, which says that you can't send someone to prison without proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime. You can see why that sometimes makes prosecutors sad! And it's not always great for symbolism. And yet.

Submit a Comment

 

Megyn Kelly, Racist?

January 8, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

My Sunday column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

the idea that Megyn Kelly is basically a Ku Klux Klansman disguised in a sleeveless mini dress turns out, notwithstanding the lack of evidence, to be a widely held belief on the left. It is the latest example of how, in the Trump era, standard liberal anxiety has transmogrified into partisan, paranoid panic, untethered to truth.

Please read the whole thing here.

1 Reader Comment

 

Correcting Cotton on Immigration

January 3, 2017 at 10:54 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Senator Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, is publicly calling for "a large reduction in legal immigration" on the theory that a reduction in the labor supply will drive up American wages. My latest column is an attempt to respond to his argument. Please check the column out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

Submit a Comment

 

Office Pool 2017

January 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

This year's installment of my annual William Safire-style column of predictions for the year ahead appears in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check it out by clicking here.

1 Reader Comment

 

U.S.-Israel Treaty Would Answer U.N.

December 28, 2016 at 11:35 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

It's a bit far afield from the usual topics here (though squarely related to the Constitution, which is right in our strike zone), but I nonetheless highly recommend my column this week, which is probably the best thing I've written all year. It's about the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlements and floats the idea of responding to it with a formal U.S.-Israel treaty. You can check it out at the New York Sun (here) and Newsmax (here).

Submit a Comment

 

In One-Party Rule, Power and Peril

December 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The precedents for presidents whose political party controls the House and Senate — the position Donald Trump will be in — are the topic of my column in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check out the full column by clicking the link here.

2 Reader Comments

 

Jamie Dimon Interview

December 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, has an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek in which he makes some interesting points about infrastructure spending and the tone coming from Washington:

I'm going to oversimplify this, but what happens with infrastructure is that the Democrats say, "Spend money. Just spend money." And, of course, we do a lot of that. A lot of people feel it just goes out to bridges to nowhere. So the Republicans are right to be questioning how the money gets spent. There are a lot of ways to do that. A lot of it, by the way, is to give it back to this mayor who knows how to do it. We don't want Washington to tell the mayor what he needs....

Continue Reading

 

Ray Dalio on Trump

December 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates has some reflections on President-elect Trump:

Regarding economics, if you haven't read Ayn Rand lately, I suggest that you do as her books pretty well capture the mindset. This new administration hates weak, unproductive, socialist people and policies, and it admires strong, can-do, profit makers. It wants to, and probably will, shift the environment from one that makes profit makers villains with limited power to one that makes them heroes with significant power. The shift from the past administration to this administration will probably be even more significant than the 1979-82 shift from the socialists to the capitalists in the UK, US, and Germany when Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Helmut Kohl came to power. ...

Continue Reading

 

Political Family Dynasties

December 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The website Zocalo Public Square asked me for a post-election piece about political families and has published it. The link is here.

1 Reader Comment

 

Trump Versus the Bureaucracy

December 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The coming clash between Trump and the permanent government workers known as "we bes" — "We be here before you're here. We be here after you're here" — is the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at Newsmax (here) and Reason (here).

1 Reader Comment

 

Modern Maccabees

December 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

A Jewish Agency for Israel program that has put young Israelis on 71 college campuses in North America was the topic of my Sunday column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check the column out here.

Submit a Comment

 

Alphonse Fletcher Jr.

December 14, 2016 at 9:52 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

The retirement fund of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority — which pays the pensions of unionized bus and subway train drivers — has lost the entire $25 million it invested in a hedge fund operated by Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr., the Boston Globe reports. The Globe doesn't mention Mr. Fletcher's $4.5 million gift to Harvard to endow the university professor chair held by Henry Louis Gates Jr., but the case of Harvard hanging on to its $4.5 million from Mr. Fletcher while the retirees (or the taxpayers who backstop them) settle for a zero is grist for a Harvard Business School case study, or a philosophy course in moral reasoning, or, at the very least, an Alex Beam column, or something.

Submit a Comment

 

Elite Post-Election Pregnancy Panic

December 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

Send Comment Share: Facebook Twitter

Harvard professor and New Yorker contributor Atul Gawande worries that pregnancy will be unaffordable if ObamaCare is repealed. I respond in my column this week. Please check out the column at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

2 Reader Comments

 

<- Prev 15 items   |   Next 15 items ->

Follow Us On:

Facebook    Twitter    RSS    Join Mailing List

ADVERTISEMENT