Times Claims Trump Ruined Baseball Caps

August 14, 2018 at 7:28 pm

As far as I can't tell it doesn't show up online, but the print edition of my Tuesday New York Times included, on page A3, a feature headlined "Here To Help: Vanessa Friedman Answers Your Style Questions." In response to a reader "seeking a hat to wear out on the weekends that would provide sun protection and doesn't scream 'beach,' 'cowgirl,' or 'fedora,'" the Times chief fashion critic, Ms. Friedman, replies in part:

I know the hat you're after exists, this is because after years of using a baseball cap as a fallback (mostly because I live with three children and a husband with a shaved head and thus there are many in our house), I have also been wondering about other options, since that look has been somewhat ruined by MAGA and all its associations.

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Chris Collins and the Law

August 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm

The "insider trading" case against a Republican congressman from New York, Chris Collins, is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here), Newsmax (here), and Reason (here).

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Library Mission Creep

August 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm

A startup company offering air-conditioned, internet-connected doghouses for use by businesses where dogs are not allowed attracted "seed money" from the Brooklyn Public Library, a New York Times news article reports.

The article is about the doghouses and does not explore how the public library got into the business of providing seed money to startup companies. If it's true, though, it made me wonder why that's an appropriate role for the library. The Brooklyn Public Library became one of my favorite New York institutions because of its role in making books available to the public. Maybe it would also be good at startup investing, but maybe not, too. One wonders whether the library takes equity in exchange for this "seed money," and what expertise and track record the people allocating capital have. It looks like there may be some answers at the library website.

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Perjury Trap

August 12, 2018 at 5:45 am

Former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy (at National Review Online) and Randall Eliason (at National Public Radio) both tackle the topic of the "perjury trap," which has been in the news because President Trump's legal team cites it as a reason not to have Mr. Trump submit to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Judge Dismisses Qatar From Broidy Hacking Lawsuit

August 10, 2018 at 6:11 am

A column I wrote last month focused on whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act protects foreign governments from being sued for hacking into the email of Americans. It the Democratic National Committee suing Russia and Elliott Broidy's lawsuit against Qatar. "If courts rule that foreign hackers or their American hired hands are immune from American civil suits under current law, don't be surprised to see Congress step in to try to close the loophole," I wrote.

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Arrested For Bounty To Kill ICE Agents

August 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm

A Cambridge, Mass., man has been arrested for a Twitter post offering a $500 bounty for killing a U.S. immigration agent.

A press release from the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, says the man, Brandon J. Ziobrowski, 33, "was charged in an indictment unsealed today with one count of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat to injure another person."

From the release:

On July 2, 2018, Ziobrowski allegedly tweeted: "I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let's make this work."

I'm troubled by the Trump administration's separation of children and parents at the border, but demonizing or attacking immigration agents — many of whom also served in the Obama administration, and who in any event are mostly enforcing laws that Congress passed — seems a response that is not just illegal, but also just awful.

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What World Order?

August 8, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Of the many criticisms hurled at President Trump, one of the most frequently heard is the complaint that he is leading a dismantling of something called the international "order."

"Liberal World Order, R.I.P.," was the headline over a post by the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, on the CFR website. Haass writes that, "The weakening of the liberal world order is due, more than anything else, to the changed attitude of the US. Under President Donald Trump..."

A New York Times "news analysis" ran under the headline, "Postwar Global Order Is Attacked From Within."

A Washington Post headline reports, "In Trump, some fear the end of the world order."

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California and the Commerce Clause

August 7, 2018 at 11:44 am

Schumer, Sanders, and Schwarzenegger discover states' rights, at least when it comes to California, President Trump's "Make Cars Great Again auto emissions standards, and the Clean Air Act, the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Reason (here), the New York Sun (here), and Newsmax (here).

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A Non-Liberal Buys a Newspaper. You Can Guess What Happens Next.

August 6, 2018 at 2:13 pm

"When a Local Paper Gets New Owners, Partisan Strife Hits Its Doorstep," is the online headline over a New York Times article covering the inevitable grumbling that ensues whenever someone who is not a lock-step liberal purchases a newspaper. The Adelson family got similar treatment from the Times when they bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal. As did Rupert Murdoch when his company bought the Wall Street.

The California paper that is the subject of the article on the front of the Times business section has a circulation of 8,000.

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Senate Candidate John James

August 4, 2018 at 9:02 pm

The New York Times has an interview with a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan, John James, a 37 year old, black, West Point graduate who is president of his family-run business:

There's a massive disconnect. People here in Michigan feel disenfranchised and disillusioned with the situations that are going on the coasts.

I actually heard on the trail somebody say Donald Trump is Rust Belt Robin Hood. And I took that to mean that we finally have a president that's listening to the people in the Midwest...

The reason why he won in Michigan, despite what everybody said, is because people went to the polls in a secret ballot and voted for someone who they believed would take care of their personal economy, would help their economy grow, would help their job.

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Compliance Time Drain

August 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Reading the left-wing press can sometimes make it sound as if the Trump administration and the Republican Congress have already succeeded in rolling back all the burdensome regulations that afflict small businesses. Alas, just this week I spent hours on behalf of FutureOfCapitalism, LLC responding to the Department of Commerce's "2017 Economic Census" and the "2017 Annual Business Survey."

You sometimes see reporters on Twitter making comments like "I don't get why Republicans hate the census." The reporters work for companies that are large enough that the reporters don't have to fill out those census forms by themselves. But for a small business, it is a hassle.

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Kudlow and the Incredible Shrinking Deficit

July 31, 2018 at 11:43 am

How economic growth is shrinking the federal budget deficit as a percentage of GDP is the topic of my column this week,. It suggests that some of the press "fact-checkers" could use a fact-check of their own. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun (here) and Newsmax (here).

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Who Killed Catholic Schools?

July 27, 2018 at 9:14 am

Enrollment in Catholic schools has plummeted, Alia Wong reports in the Atlantic:

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Minimum Wage Increase, Tariffs Force a Newspaper Out Of Print

July 27, 2018 at 7:11 am

The NPR and WBUR program "Here and Now" has an interview with the publisher of the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo., Jay Seaton, explaining why his newspaper is retreating to publishing in print five days a week instead of seven.

Part of the issue, Mr. Seaton said, was increased paper prices related to President Trump's tariffs on imported newsprint.

Another problem, he said, was statewide minimum wage legislation that imposed the same uniform minimum wage in Grand Junction as in more urban, high-cost Denver. The minimum wage in Colorado is now $10.20 an hour, and it will increase to $12 an hour in 2020.

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Walsh's Wisdom

July 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh — a somewhat rare example these days of a Democrat who can connect well with Trump voters, or at least with blue collar, non-college-educated white guys — suggests that Democrats seeking a presidential candidate in 2020 maybe look in a different direction than Elizabeth Warren. Politico reports:

Looking ahead to 2020, he talks up fellow mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Mitch Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, though he said the first name that comes to mind as a candidate who can take on Trump is the man Walsh invited to swear him in for his second term as mayor: "Joe Biden gets it."

Further: "he won't take a swing at [Republican] Gov. Charlie Baker, whose popularity and election chances remain extremely high."

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