Current Affairs

"The Trump Growth Machine"

Richard Epstein, no less. (Not exactly an over-enthusiastic Trumpster.)

I discovered my genuine confidence in the sustainability of the current economic growth cycle when I recommended to my 27-year-old Uber driver that he invest some portion of his wages in a diversified index fund. Although the stock market will surely ease off its current pace, it nevertheless should prove far more profitable than standard money market funds with their puny returns. The good news is that the current trend likely will not fizzle out anytime soon thanks to several key factors, including lower taxes and deregulation.


"Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay"

If this was taking place in the private sector, some people would probably charged with felony fraud.

Asked about the program last year, Riordan said: “Oh, yeah, that was a mistake.”

Riordan said he supported DROP to appease the police union during a tumultuous period in city politics, but that it had been dogged by rumors of abuse from the beginning.

Told that nearly half of all DROP participants who entered the program had subsequently gone out on disability leaves, Riordan, now 87, said he remembered hearing the number was even higher. “Either way, it’s total fraud.”


"Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now"

Unhappiness supposedly increases during Obama's second term. Cell phones? Coincidence? Or maybe the increasing claim that the U.S. is a hellhole of sexism and racism?

The researchers, echoing findings elsewhere, found a steady uptick in self-esteem and happiness among teens throughout the 1990s and 2000s. But they also found that since 2012, teens’ overall psychological well-being has noticeably declined. In 2012, for instance, the average happiness rating of 10th graders hovered around 2.06; by 2016, it had dropped below 2.00. The deceases were relatively modest and never fell below the ratings seen in the dark days of the early 1990s, but they were also abrupt and larger than any other momentary decrease seen in the preceding years.


So if you want to understand a bit about the memos . . .

. . . but don't want to spend a whole lot of time and don't want to read a lot of terrible screaming and shrieking, I can offer two suggestions.

For a restrained and seemingly careful analysis of Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler's newly released memo--the supposed refutation of the Nunes memo--see former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy's piece.

If you want a summary of what the Numes memo is and what it means, see Roger Kimball. (And in the fourth paragraph, Kimball links to four other summaries.)

Note that I make absolutely no case for the last few paragraphs of Kimball's piece in which he presents "scraps of advice for the President". My advice--not that anybody has asked--would be, assuming that the Republicans really have the goods, and we are some way from knowing that yet, to find a Democrat to step up. In the only situation remotely analogous to the current situation--Watergate--a couple of people with integrity and patriotism from the party under attack helped enormously. Think of Goldwater going to the White House to tell Nixon his time was up. Think of Howard Baker working with Senator Irvin in the famous televised hearings. And think even of Nixon who, just like in 1960, didn't fight until the bitter end. Again, if what unfolded is as bad as it seems to be, we need someone senior from the Democratic Party to stand up and say, "This was very bad. We in this country must not tolerate this."

But who would be that person? I don't see any likely candidates. And we could well be in for a simply awful time.