Administrative state

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 »

What’s Wrong with American Foreign Policy in One Embassy

Featured image Sometime in the middle of our unfolding Iraq agony beginning 20 years ago, the State Department decided it needed to build a new embassy compound in Baghdad at a total cost approaching $1 billion. No one seemed to ask why our mission in Iraq, which we assumed wouldn’t last forever, needed what looked like an outpost for a permanent colonial empire rather than a mere security necessity. What security necessity—both »

Trump’s Good Idea

Featured image Trump doesn’t seem to have the same clear central focus for his agenda and campaign messaging so far, partly because he can’t seem to decide whether to attack Biden and Democrats more than his GOP rivals, despite his clear front-runner status. But one of his good ideas that is front and center is civil service reform, aimed at bringing the administrative state back inside the Constitution. Our permanent government rules »

A Twitter Files footnote (17)

Featured image Tucker Carlson has tweeted two brief video clips of his interview with Elon Musk. The clips are a preview of coming attractions. The interview is to be broadcast tonight and tomorrow night. In one of the clips, Musk reveals what he has learned from his perch as the new owner of Twitter: “The degree to which various government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on at »

A time for charging

Featured image The Biden administration’s effort to impose electric vehicles on the car-buying public should at least be noted. It is taking place under power delegated to the Environmental Protection Agency by Congress under the regime of administrative law that controls so much of the way we live now. Forgive me for citing my own review “A new old regime.” Politico called on six reporters to celebrate the regulatory diktat intended to »

Gleichschaltung, Biden style

Featured image The Biden administration is taking a whole-of-government approach to torturing new Twitter under Elon Musk into silence. Those damn Twitter Files have gotten under someone’s skin and the FTC is on the case, demanding that Twitter “identify all journalists” who have had a look. That should get someone’s attention. The FTC demand is part of a broader investigation on which the Wall Street Journal reports here (“The FTC is also »