November 20, 2016 at 10:37 am
Nothing like impending Republican control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives to make the left suddenly become believers in what Newt Gingrich called devolution — allowing decisions to be made at the state and local levels of government. Good. That's the topic of my latest column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check it out by clicking here.
November 17, 2016 at 9:35 pm
The Wall Street Journal has an editorial headlined "The Trump Family Political Business," recommending that President-elect Trump liquidate his holdings to eliminate concerns about conflicts of interest.
The editorial doesn't really get into the question, but it's certainly conceivable that Mr. Trump could take the position that if he goes ahead and does what the Journal is recommending, both he and his children would qualify for an exemption from capital gains taxes under 26 USC 1043, "Sale of property to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements."
A Forbes article from 2006 documents the way various cabinet officials in previous administrations have used the provision to avoid capital gains taxes.
November 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm
ObamaCare, devised by out-of-touch academics betting on "the stupidity of the American voter," was a part of the reason Hillary Clinton lost. That's the topic of my column this week. Please check it out in the New Boston Post (here), the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).
November 13, 2016 at 5:32 am
"Don't Blame Racism, Sexism For Trump's Win" is the headline over my latest column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please check the column out in full by clicking here.
November 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm
A lot of left-of-center friends of mine are on Facebook complaining that racism and sexism cost Hillary Clinton the election. I'll have more to say about that general complaint elsewhere, soon. But in the meantime, it's worth mentioning, in response to the "sexism" accusation, that in at least two states with a total of 26 electoral votes, Michigan and Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton's margin of defeat appears to have been smaller than the number of votes won by Jill Stein, a woman who ran for president as the nominee of the hard left Green Party.
Results are still unofficial, but as of this writing, Mr. Trump leads Mrs. Clinton in Michigan by about 12,000 votes. Jill Stein won about 50,000 votes in the state. If the Stein voters had simply voted for Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Clinton would have won the state.
Similarly, in Wisconsin, Mr. Trump's margin of victory over Mrs. Clinton is about 27,000 votes. Jill Stein won about 31,000 votes in the state. If the Stein voters had simply voted for Mrs. Clinton, Clinton would have won the state.
November 12, 2016 at 9:01 pm
Hillary Clinton never tired of reminding voters that "The stock market does better when you have a Democratic president in the White House."
That statistic is truer than ever after the past week. As CNBC put it, "U.S. equities closed mostly higher on Friday, with the three major indexes posting their best weekly gains of the year on the back of a surprise Republican sweep....For the week, the Dow rose around 5.4 percent, marking its best weekly performance since December 2011....The S&P 500 underperformed, falling 0.15 percent, with energy falling 1.68 percent to lead decliners. The index, however, ended the week about 3.8 percent higher, posting its highest weekly gain since 2013."
Think about it: If any politician deserves credit for those gains, is it the "Democratic president in the White House," President Obama? Or is it the Republican president-elect, Donald Trump?
November 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm
Absolutely terrific, must-read column in the Washington Post by Asra Q. Nomani. A fine rebuttal to anyone claiming the election result was all about racism, sexism, or anti-Muslim bigotry.
November 10, 2016 at 8:43 am
From Bloomberg News:
What the Bloomberg article doesn't mention is that (as I reported back in September):
November 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm
Here are some post-election reasons to be optimistic, even if, like me, you have had or still have your reservations about Donald Trump:
Trump the tax-cutter. If taxes are headed in a direction, it's downward, rather than upward, both at the corporate and the personal levels. That should be good for economic growth and for prosperity. Trump campaigned as a tax cutter, and part of Hillary Clinton's reason for losing is she had no corporate tax reduction proposal and no one believed her pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning $250,000 a year or less.
November 9, 2016 at 9:22 am
As you can tell from some of my recent work — "A President-Elect Hillary Might Miss Justice Scalia," or "The Post-Trump GOP" — I got the ending of this election wrong. So did lots of other people on the coasts who relied on polls, though that is no excuse. Some other pieces I wrote held up better (Five Ways Trump Could Win, from August 13).
But overall it is a fail. Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, a Harvard pal of mine who now runs a yeshiva in Manhattan, asked on Facebook this morning, "What else are we totally convinced of yet are 100% wrong about?"
It brings up talk of Kaelism — the phenomenon named for the New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who supposedly reacted to President Nixon's election by wondering how it was possible, since she didn't personally know a single person who had voted for him.
November 7, 2016 at 8:06 pm
"Crooked" Hillary is no reason to revive the independent counsel statute, I write in my column this week. Please check it out at the New Boston Post (here), New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here). (After my column posted, William McGurn weighed in with a similar piece in the Wall Street Journal that is also worth a look.)
November 6, 2016 at 7:05 am
It's the regulation that causes the corruption, I write in my Sunday Las Vegas Review-Journal column, which looks at how many of the Clinton Foundation donors and Teneo clients mentioned in the Douglas Band Wikileaks memo had business interests subject to government interference. Please check the column out here.
November 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm
David Brooks had a recent New York Times column making the case for Hillary Clinton for president. It included this argument, which was a new one to me:
There may be good reasons to support Hillary Clinton for president, but this strikes me as a really weak argument. First of all, there were plenty of other people — Michael Bloomberg, Senator Schumer, Governor Pataki, George W. Bush, and Nita Lowey come to mind, and there may be others, too — who played just as important a role, probably more important, in winning post 9/11 funding for New York. If winning post 9/11 funding were an achievement that makes it worth voting for someone for president, why Clinton rather than Schumer, Pataki, or Bloomberg? Plenty of that funding went to basically corporate welfare for projects and companies that weren't particularly adversely affected by September 11, anyway.
November 4, 2016 at 9:10 am
A fine (or terrible, depending on how you look at it) example of how journalists and journalism shape perception of reality by using the technique of "framing" comes in today's New York Times business section, which carries a dispatch from Noam Scheiber about an employee who was apparently fired by a Trader Joe's food store.
From the Times article:
November 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm
Last month got kind of busy and I missed posting a link to this column I wrote. It appeared under the headline, "Think college is expensive now? Wait till Clinton makes it 'free.'" You can read it by clicking here.
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