Administrative state

Can we be saved from SAVE?

Featured image The Biden administration has fashioned another program of student debt relief forgiveness. The so-called SAVE plan was promulgated by regulation last year. It takes the load off the fanny of beneficiaries of certain federal college loan programs and puts it right on the back of taxpayers. Politico reports that Biden is emailing 153,000 student loan borrowers that he’s canceling their debt. “I hope this relief gives you a little more »

The Spy Who Came in for the Gold

Featured image Ten years ago this month, “climate expert” John Beale, the EPA’s highest-paid employee, was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison. His crime was like something from Ian Fleming on LSD. [You can see Power Line’s coverage of this story from the time starting here.] In 1994, Beale told his EPA bosses he was actually a CIA spy working in London, India and Pakistan when he was actually kicking back »


Featured image Back in July, the MidValley Times reported, officials in Reedley, California, discovered an illegal laboratory harboring mice, blood, tissue and bodily fluid samples, along with “thousands of vials that contained unlabeled fluids.” Closer inspection revealed “bacterial and viral agents, including: chlamydia, E. Coli, streptococcus pneumonia, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 5, and rubella” along with “samples of malaria.” An outfit called Prestige Biotech had had been operating the »

Nixon’s the One?

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s Chris Rufo is blazing a wide trail of destruction through critical race theory and wokism these days, but along the way he produced the 10-minute video below making the case that President Nixon was the first significant political figure to grasp the essence of the modern administrative state along with the determination to fight it. Alas, despite some early successes, Nixon’s larger plans were undone by the »

Hillary Clinton Goes With the Pho

Featured image Hillary Clinton recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that supporters of Donald Trump were “cult extremists” and “at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members.” (See video below.) In its report on the exchange, Fox News recalled Clinton’s statement that Trump supporters were a “basket of deplorables. . . They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.” If the deplorables wonder »

Memo to GOP Field: Does No One Have the Wit to Attack the Bossy State?

Featured image In conversation over the weekend with a set of smart folks, someone raised the sensible question: why is no one in the Republican presidential field (except Trump very briefly recently) attacking a government that is forcing us to buy electric cars we don’t want, toilets that have to be flushed twice (to save water!), dishwashers and laundry equipment that don’t clean dishes or clothes very well, expensive light bulbs that »

Nixon forever?

Featured image I didn’t see this coming. Christopher Rufo draws his map for the counterrevolution we need from Richard Nixon. He starts with Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, to which my mentor Jeffrey Hart contributed the line: “Ramsey Clark is a conscientious objector in the war against crime.” Well, Rufo has got me thinking. Rufo advocates his plan in the Summer 2023 City Journal essay “Bring on the counterrevolution” and in his Manhattan »

The “Biden brand” racket

Featured image Andrew McCarthy’s weekly NRO column eludcidates “The ‘Biden brand’ racket.” It is educational and biting. He deserves a Pulitzer Prize for commentary of this quality week after week. The only problem is that it is kept behind NRO’s paywall. Somebody really ought to arrange with NRO to let McCarthy’s columns run free. As the kid says in A Thousand Clowns, “And that’s my opinion from the blue, blue sky.” What »

America’s decline follows a familiar arc: ‘gradually, then suddenly’

Featured image You’ve likely never heard of Scottish mathematician John Napier, but his invention of logarithms in 1614 revolutionized the scientific world by making complicated calculations a thing of the past.  In a recent essay, Simon Black, the founder of financial/political website Sovereign Man, discussed Napier’s concept of logarithmic decay, which he noted “models many real world phenomena.” According to Black:  [S]omething [a society or even one’s bank account] declines very, very »

A Kinsley Gaffe

Featured image A Kinsley gaffe, of course, is when a politician inadvertently tells the truth. So, a footnote to yesterday’s IRS whistleblower hearing: Congressman Kweisi Mfume of Maryland denounces the Republicans’ criticisms of the Department of Justice, the FBI and the IRS. Why? Because it is the job of those agencies to “keep this democracy in check.” That is perhaps, in a single sentence, the clearest statement of the difference between the »

Biden Gets Two Black Eyes from the Courts

Featured image The Biden Administration has suffered two setbacks in federal courts this week. Both are significant. The first is the decision released today allowing Microsoft to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the video gaming platform. The Biden Administration, which wants to take us back to 1950s-era antitrust madness, had sought to block the acquisition. The Wall Street Journal reports: Microsoft can close its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a »

Take that, Big Brother

Featured image Matt Taibbi posted “Take that, Internet censors!” last week to comment for his paid subscribers on Judge Doughty’s ruling in Missouri v. Biden. As we have reported, Judge Doughty’s ruling preliminarily enjoins the federal government’s censorship regime and is on appeal to the Fifth Circuit as of yesterday. Big Brother is not happy. Taibbi has now made his “Take that” post available in video and podcast form with narration by »

Censorship emergency declared

Featured image In “Walk away, Joe,” I tried to provide legal background on likely next steps in Missouri v. Biden — the most important free speech case to come down the pike since I don’t know when. Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry Doughty has entered a preliminary injunction limiting the communications of the federal censorship regime — President Biden and designated officials/agencies — with social media companies. Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction »

Walk away, Joe

Featured image President Biden is not going to walk away from the extensive censorship regime he has implemented in the executive branch. The censorship was preliminarily enjoined on Independence Day by Chief Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana in Missouri v. Biden. Judge Doughty’s injunction order is posted online here. It is supported by Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum here. I commented briefly on the injunction in “Enjoining Mr. Joe” »

Is administrative law unlawful?

Featured image Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author of several books including Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (2014). Steve Hayward mentioned the book earlier this week in “Will the Supreme Court dismantle the administrative state?” Professor Hamburger argues that administrative law is unlawful, unconstitutional, and illegitimate. Drawing on English legal history, he contends that the regime of agency government resurrects the »

Will the Supreme Court Dismantle the Administrative State?

Featured image As I have written more than once, the government we live under is not the one described in the Constitution. The ubiquitous and powerful arm of our government, found nowhere in the Constitution, is the Fourth Branch, the plethora of federal agencies, the administrative state. The administrative state has assumed much of the power that the Constitution assigns to the legislative and executive branches, a development that has progressed now »

The High Cost of “Covidization”

Featured image John wrote yesterday about how the case for the lab leak hypothesis for the origin of COVID is now more firmly locked down than a university president’s brain. Now we come to add a brand new paper, circulating in pre-print form on SSRN (Social Science Research Network) that is devastating about the collateral costs of our COVID policy madness, especially the lockdowns. The paper is titled “How Did the COVID »