Explaining The Kavanaugh Freak-Out

Unlike plenty of other bloggers, I somehow have not felt the need the past couple of days to spend hours watching the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Kavanaugh nomination.  After all, the chance that these hearings will change anyone's mind is about zero.  But I do admit to being surprised that the hearings have gone well beyond the usual tiresome repetition of rehearsed talking points, and into something fairly described as a freak-out, complete with frequent interruptions from paid protestors in the audience, and shouted and overtly hostile demands and questions even from many of the Senators.  Clearly the opposition to Kavanaugh, despite lacking the votes to block his confirmation, cares deeply about doing everything possible to stop him.

Well, I guess that's what you get when the Supreme Court has been politicized.  But for readers who may not understand what it really means for the Court to be "politicized" -- and even for some readers who do, but don't know all the details -- I thought it would be useful to lay out in one place some of the main issues at stake.  Here's the fundamental question:  Will the progressive project to create a world of perfect justice and fairness through government action march forward unimpeded, or will it meet a series of obstacles set up by the Constitution and enforced by the Supreme Court?

The first issue is the most obvious, namely using the Court as a vehicle for enacting into law some current priority of the progressive left that Congress or state legislatures seem unwilling to pass, at least at the moment. . . .

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Good Riddance To Obama's CAFE Standards

On Thursday the U.S. EPA and DOT announced a new proposed rule on automobile fuel efficiency standards.  The proposed rule would halt after 2020 the ongoing increases in required "Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency," or "CAFE" standards applicable to new vehicles sold.  Previously, under a rule promulgated by the Obama administration in 2012, automobile companies were supposedly going to achieve a "corporate average" fuel efficiency of their new vehicles of 54.5 mpg by 2025.  Does anything bigger than a moped actually get 54.5 mpg?

Call me crazy, but I struggle to understand why the American people are not capable of figuring out on their own how fuel-efficient of a vehicle they should buy.  This is called "freedom."  Obviously, a less-fuel-efficient vehicle costs more per mile to operate.  People are always looking to save a buck, so then obviously wouldn't they buy the most fuel-efficient vehicles available?  It turns out that sometimes they do, but mostly they don't.  Undoubtedly, although they value fuel efficiency, they also value other things in a vehicle.  In recent years the most popular vehicles for consumers have been pickup trucks -- the Ford F series and Chevy Silverado -- which are relatively large and fuel-inefficient compared to sedans and compacts.  Car and Driver rates the Ford F-150 at 16 mpg city, and 22 mpg highway, which is nowhere near the 54.5 mpg average that the Obama administration was trying to impose on Americans.  Maybe the people value the ability to carry large amounts of "stuff" around from place to place.  Maybe they also think that larger and heavier vehicles are safer in a crash.  Are these advantages worth the extra fuel cost?  I'd say that's up to the people to determine on their own.  

Let's calculate the difference in fuel cost between a vehicle that gets an average of 20 mpg and one that gets an average of 30 mpg. . . .

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Brett Kavanaugh And The Administrative State

Last night's announcement that D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be the Supreme Court nominee has brought forth much frenzy and gnashing of teeth among the progressive left.  The main focus of the frenzy has been the alleged threat to continued viability of Roe v. Wade.  (From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statement:  "Judge Kavanaugh’s long history of opposition to the full, fundamental right of every woman to make her own decisions about her body, family and health care poses a grave threat to women’s rights."  I don't know what "long history of opposition" Pelosi is talking about there, but maybe we'll find out soon.) 

Anyway, I doubt that Kavanaugh poses much threat to Roe.  Meanwhile, I'd like to focus on a different subject on which he actually has some record that is important.  That subject is the Administrative State.

First, some background.

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At Pravda, Touching Faith In The Perfection Of Government Bureaucrats

You knew it would come sooner or later, and then yesterday, there it was:  the New York Times lead editorial loudly calling for a world-wide ban on "trans fats."  The headline was "Making Trans Fats History," or, in the online version, "The World Doesn't Need Trans Fats."   Obviously, these things are evil -- poisonous, really -- foisted on us by the massive industrial corporations sometimes known as "big food."  Excerpt:

Trans fats are responsible for about 540,000 deaths around the world every year — deaths that could be avoided if countries banned the use of industrially produced partially hydrogenated oils, which can be replaced with healthier options like vegetable oil. Beyond the United States, countries like Canada and Denmark have taken action against the use of trans fats, but lawmakers and regulators in many other places haven’t — because they are either unaware of the health risks or they are reluctant to take on the food industry.

The link about the "540,000 deaths" goes to one of those very dubious epidemiological studies, this one from the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2016.  Are you sure that you've got the real cause right this time, guys?  Well, nobody ever got ahead in nutritional science by showing a lack of self-confidence.  

So, on to the world-wide ban.

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Who Is The Worst Member Of President Trump's Cabinet?

I don't know about you, but overall I've been generally impressed with the quality of President Trump's cabinet appointments.  Sure, I could find something to disagree about with pretty much every one of them.  But the change from the Obama days has been dramatic, and dramatically positive -- from advancing an endless list of brain-dead progressive power grabs, to pushing back against the bureaucracy and rescinding many of the worst of the Obama-era regulations.

Is there any one of them who stands out as particularly bad?  I have a nominee, and it may not be the guy you would expect. 

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The Real Scandal In The NCAA

The NCAA is a naked antitrust conspiracy with the number one purpose and intent of preventing college basketball and football players -- both groups predominantly black, although basketball players even more so than football players -- from earning a nickel from doing the thing they are best at.  Have you ever heard the slightest protest about that?  I sure haven't.  And now here we have the FBI once again adding to their stellar reputation by joining the NCAA in cracking down on any side payments to the athletes, some as small as just a free lunch!  And the FBI/NCAA gang claims the moral high ground!

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