Whenever there’s a war on, the vast complexities of the whole wide world become suddenly simple. There’s Our Side over here, and Their Side over there, and Their soldiers are trying to kill Our soldiers; and so, They are The Enemy. If Our soldiers didn’t fight back, they’d get killed, and worse they’d get other people killed; and so it would be cowardice, or even rank treachery. There’s a time for questions like Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong, and that time is not now, because right now there’s someone with a gun and he’s trying to shoot you, and the best you can do is react; thinking will distract you, and that sort of thing will get you killed.
So even posing the question, “Which side is the right side, really, when you come right down to it?” when you’re at war is a form of treason; it’s Letting Your Side Down.
In the preceding article, we discussed different kinds of gun violence, organized by cause. Most gun violence is suicide; only a very few mass shootings ever occur in classrooms. Ideally, none would; ideally, people also wouldn’t ever want to kill themselves, guns notwithstanding.
Mommy and daddy are sitting in the courtroom, contentiously splitting up the old Lionel Ritchie records and bickering over every meaningless detail. Two lawyers are each buying a new Porsche out of our college funds before this is done. And our only purpose for being in the room is to act as another token to be battled for.
At 2 p.m. today, the NBER will release the monthly Treasury update of debt relative to credit. (Here’s a spoiler: It won’t be anything we didn’t see a month ago. We’re up to our ears in debt.) Meanwhile, Congress is rushing back into emergency session for a quick fix to stave off default as our spending continues to increasingly exceed our income. At a time when every politician is casting blame about the rapidly ballooning national debt and the continual political struggle surrounding raising the debt limit, it’s worth our while to examine the larger picture: Whose fault, really, is the precarious condition of our national finances?
It’s tempting for partisans to each blame the other party; it’s easily done, too, as government waste has become proverbial and inefficiency is automatically assumed without the bother of proving it. It’s equally simple for a certain class of people to throw up their hands and blame all politicians, as though they themselves would do better if they were in charge. But even a little brief reflection will show that, while these are satisfying accusations, they can’t possibly have much merit.
Someone I respect took the position that mask mandates by governors are government overreach.
Trouble is, he’s not wrong. Technically.
The role of an executive is to make on-the-spot decisions within certain boundaries. If there’s an immediate emergency, the president can send the Marines; he’s got thirty days before Congress has to step in. If a governor needs to activate the Guard, it’s the same thing. And mask mandates are only justifiable under emergency conditions, same as a “police action”; the legislature needs to get involved if it’s going to be broadly enforced long-term. That’s their job.
A bill has been passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress making Juneteenth (June 19th) a national holiday. President Biden then signed it into law in record time, leaving government offices scrambling to shut down on a moment’s notice. (Fortunately, most of them have had practice.)
For those of you who don’t understand the holiday: This date marks the anniversary of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. It doesn’t mark the end of lawful slavery in the U.S., mind; that took another year or two. But it was enough to start a regular celebration in Texas — Jubilee Day, first celebrated in 1866 — which gradually spread to other states.
President Obama had his detractors — some focusing on policy, others for far less admirable reasons — but he did have two qualities that I’m missing dearly right now: First, he was incredibly charismatic, capable of inspiring people; second, he was not merely capable of complete sentences but remarkably well-spoken.
It’s been decided: This November, our ballots will feature Biden/Harris for the Democrats; presumably, they’ll be facing Trump/Pence* for the Republicans. This settles one of the oft-repeated questions from past weeks, “Who will he pick?”, leaving us with… well, with rather more questions. These include “What will the electoral map look like?”, “How do the candidates stack up against each other?”, and the all-important “Who should I vote for?”
At present, the editorial staff here at The Not Fake News has mixed feelings ourselves on that last question, so we’re not inclined to opine. (more…)
The first major candidate to drop out of the Democratic Primaries, Senator Harris was nevertheless in the race long enough to eviscerate Uncle Joe in the debates and to get spanked by Tulsi in her own turn. Her fundraising was legendary but her polling was abysmal (particularly after the Gabbard debacle), and she dropped out not only before New Hampshire and Iowa but actually before 2020 — on the 3rd of December 2019, in fact, before even such notable losers as John Delaney and Marianne Williamson.
As a result, we never profiled here alongside the other candidates — a deficit we mean to make up for now. So who is she really, and what was she before? (more…)