Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Here's a handful of links from today's National Review Online.

Victor Davis Hanson thinks Obama makes Warren Harding look good.

The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized - or both - largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency's mission.

The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding's Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison.

Kevin Williamson warns Connecticut homeschoolers. Here's a snippet, but the whole piece really needs to be read to be fully appreciated.

Malloy's committee on the Newtown shootings is recommending that Connecticut require home-schooling families to present their children to the local authorities periodically for inspection, to see to it that their psychological and social growth is proceeding in the desired direction. For anybody even passingly familiar with contemporary government schools, which are themselves a peerless source of social and emotional dysfunction, this development is bitterly ironic. [. . .]

If you have not followed the issue closely, it is probably impossible for you to understand how intensely the Left and the government-school monopoly hate, loathe, and distrust home-schooling and home-school families. Purportedly serious scholars such as Robin West of Georgetown denounce them as trailer trash living "on tarps in fields or parking lots" and write wistfully of the day when home-schooling was properly understood: "Parents who did so were criminals, and their kids were truants." The implicit rationale for the heavy regulation of home-schooling - that your children are yours only at the sufferance of the state - is creepy enough; in fact, it is unambiguously totalitarian and reduces children to the status of chattel. That this is now being framed in mental-health terms, under the theory that Lanza might not have committed his crimes if he had had the benefit of the tender attentions of his local school authorities, is yet another reminder of the Left's long and grotesque history of using corrupt psychiatry as a tool of politics.

Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven report that a government lawyer is about to destroy the entire franchise business model.

And that's what the latest missive from the NLRB is all about: making it easier for labor unions to turn hundreds of thousands of individually owned small businesses into one giant union hall - and making it easier for trial lawyers to sue the deep-pocketed parent company for the mistakes of individual owners.

That's good news for the union bosses and trial lawyers, but bad news for franchisors, franchisees, and a big chunk of the American economy.

Franchising supports over 18 million U.S. jobs and adds more than $2 trillion to the national economy. Millions of jobs would be put at risk by this ruling, and the value of hundreds of thousands of small businesses could potentially be harmed.

John Hart on how much power Harry Reid has accumulated as Senate Majority Leader:

Pryor's private complaint and public inaction points to the real story of 2014. The reality is that there are no red-state Democrats in the Senate. There are only Reid-state Democrats. Reid alone sets the agenda of every state represented by a Democrat or liberal independent. He is, in effect, the third and most senior senator in each of those states. The implication for voters is this: If you want Harry Reid to be your senator, vote for the Democrat or independent (i.e., in Kansas, Greg Orman). [. . .]

Reid is concerned with power, not progress. He believes he has the right to pick not only the minority's amendments but his own party's amendments as well. He has caged or tamed the old liberal lions and ridicules his supposedly moderate colleagues who flirt with bipartisan deals. When a group of senators tried the revive the Simpson-Bowles debt-commission report, he derided the bipartisan discussions as "happy talk."


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