The Times Strike and the Pension Issue

December 8, 2022 at 10:21 am

From a Wall Street Journal account of the labor strife at the New York Times, where unionized employees are staging a walkout: "The negotiations have centered around pay, retirement and other benefits. The company recently offered a choice between keeping a pension plan or selecting a new 401(k) plan, a change from its initial proposal of replacing the pension with the 401(k)."

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Juxtaposition of the Day

December 5, 2022 at 6:31 am

From the Harvard Gazette, the university central administration's official publication, November 15, 2022:

Many analysts and citizens believe that the Constitution, more than 230 years old, is out of touch with contemporary America. We asked the scholars Danielle Allen, Sanford Levinson, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Vicki Jackson, and Stephen Sachs to suggest changes for a series running over five weeks. In the second installment, Levinson, a professor at the University of Texas Law School and currently a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, zeroes in on Article V.

We have a radically defective Constitution in many different respects. ...We are trapped inside a constitutional "iron cage" whose bars seem impervious to relaxation even when a majority of the country might agree that change is needed. What contributes to this imprisonment is a grotesquely exaggerated veneration for the Constitution.

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Biden Says New York Redistricting Determined House Control

December 4, 2022 at 8:31 am

The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives is the result of redistricting litigation in New York, I wrote in my column a couple of weeks ago. Now President Biden has come out and publicly echoed that assessment. From Biden's remarks at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee "reception" (that is, fundraiser) in Boston on December 2:

I believed we were going to do just fine this last election. I believed from the beginning we were going to do fine. I thought we were going to win. Matter of fact, but for the fact we had a little change in reapportionment in the state of New York, we'd be up by three, not down.

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Is Randi Weingarten Really the 'Most Dangerous Person in the World"?

November 30, 2022 at 8:32 am

President Trump's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, a 2024 presidential contender, says the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, is the "most dangerous woman in the world." In my latest piece for Education Next, I offer to buy the two of them lunch. Please check the full article out here.

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Vatican Questions Investments in Arms Manufacturers

November 29, 2022 at 9:46 pm

The Catholic Church's new guidelines on investing ethically are the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Newsmax ("Moral High Ground on War Easy, Unless You're Under Attack") and at the New York Sun ("Vatican Cautions on Arms Investments as Francis Calls Ukraine War 'Sacrilegeous'").

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NYT Workplace Columnist Condemns Capitalism

November 27, 2022 at 9:02 am

The New York Times Sunday business section carries a workplace advice column written by Roxanne Gay. Today's column includes this passage:

Marketing is one of those fields that is tightly bound with capitalism. I'm not sure there is an ethical, emotionally satisfying way forward that doesn't involve a big career change. In a capitalist world, we are constantly making ethical compromises while trying to maintain our integrity. Only you can decide what you're willing to compromise and for how long.

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Anonymity and the Harvard Salient

November 26, 2022 at 8:37 pm

The Wall Street Journal has published a letter to the editor I sent in responding to Ruth Wisse's recent article about the revival of the Harvard Salient, a conservative student publication. The headline the Journal put on it is "Fear and Anonymity at Harvard," and you can read it by clicking the hyperlinked headline.

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John Bolton's Blunder

November 21, 2022 at 9:14 pm

John Bolton has long been a conservative foreign policy voice I've respected and paid attention to, so it was surprising to read, in the New York Sun, this passage from a dispatch by Caroline Vik reporting on an interview with Bolton:

Mr. Bolton's "advice to the Saudis" during this tricky period in their relationship with America is to wait out Mr. Biden. "We are gonna have another presidential election," he says. "Just try and look past Biden saying, 'I'm gonna shut your entire economy down because you produce oil.'"

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"Capitalism Threatens to Roast and Flood Our World," Times Claims

November 20, 2022 at 4:38 pm

A favorable New York Times review of a favorable book about the Communist Manifesto declares that the book "belongs to the long, leftist debate over revolutionary action, a debate that has become all the more urgent as capitalism threatens to roast and flood our world, if it doesn't incinerate it in a radioactive cloud first."

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Heroes of the House

November 16, 2022 at 7:26 pm

The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives is the result of redistricting litigation in New York, I write in my column this week. The story involves Ed Koch, Scott Walker, John Faso, Ed Cox, and a collection of other luminaries. Please read the full column at Newsmax ("GOP Gains in House Result of N.Y. Litigation") and at the New York Sun ("If GOP Takes the House, Here's Whom To Thank"). One name I omitted from the list who deserves mention is George Winner, a former state senator who was a member of the redistricting commission and helped to craft the legal strategy in New York.

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New York Cannabis Subsidy

November 13, 2022 at 12:13 pm

"A federal judge has temporarily barred the state of New York from issuing the first batch of retail licenses for recreational cannabis in five regions pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by a Michigan-based company challenging the program's selection requirements," The New York Times reports. It's a challenge by a Michigan company claiming that a preference for New York-based applicants violates the interstate commerce clause.

More interesting in my view than the interstate commerce aspects was the news that "The first licensees are eligible for loans from a $200 million fund the state set up to secure storefronts and cover renovations."

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Samuel Adams Biography

November 11, 2022 at 2:31 pm

"If politics is indeed downstream of culture, then the fight brewing over the American Revolution may wind up being more significant than any result from this week's midterm elections," I write in my latest column for the New York Sun. "Please feel free to discount for the fact that I have a commercial interest here, having written my own biography of Samuel Adams.

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Quotes of the Day

November 10, 2022 at 8:57 am

From a New York Times news article on the sentencing of a U.S. Navy engineer who tried to sell nuclear secrets to Brazil:

In a statement that he read in court, Mr. Toebbe said he had brought shame and trauma to his children and wife by his actions. He said mental health challenges that his family faced and his own stress at work had led to his drinking heavily. He said he then began to think that democracy in America was under threat and that he needed to take action to save his family and get them out of the country.

"I recognize now that I was in the midst of a nervous breakdown," Mr. Toebbe said.

Now where in the world would Toebbe have possibly gotten the idea that "democracy in America was under threat"?

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Midterm Election 2022 Takeaways

November 9, 2022 at 8:56 am

Some votes are still being counted and the final results are not clear, but I've seen enough to draw some conclusions from yesterday's election.

Donald Trump is a drag in a general election in purple states. In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who Trump doesn't like, won about 53 percent of the vote, while Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who Trump likes, was at 48 or 49 percent of the vote. Likewise, in New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu, who has distanced himself from Trump, won with about 57 percent of the vote, while Republican Senate candidate Dan Bolduc, a Trump fan, attracted only about 44 percent of the vote. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Republican success story of the night, won reelection with roughly 59 percent of the vote despite being denounced by Trump as "Ron DeSanctimonious." There are some outliers—J.D. Vance won the Ohio Senate race despite being allied with Trump—but overall, it was not a good night for Trump. Perhaps this realization will make Republican primary voters think twice before choosing Trump-allied candidates, or Trump himself, in primaries in 2024.

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Netanyahu Win Is Victory for Capitalism

November 2, 2022 at 9:37 pm

The November 1 election in Israel was the topic of my column this week. Please read the full column in Newsmax ("Why 2024 Hopefuls Should Pay Attention to Bibi's Victory") or in the New York Sun ("Bibi III: Israel Could Emerge as an Economic Light Unto the Nations") by clicking the hyperlinked headlines.

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