American Elephants

CATO Scholars Annotate the State of the Union Speech. by The Elephant's Child

When you are writing an important speech, it’s useful to do a little fact-checking, to avoid embarrassment. The CATO Institute is a Libertarian think tank, and there are areas where Republicans disagree, but this is great fun. See where you agree and where you have different ideas.

Does the Left agree with all of this? If they don’t would they say so? My impression is that somewhere, a while ago, they made a rule. Democrats will not publicly disagree on anything nor criticize their own people. Democrats, unlike the quarreling, nasty Republicans stand united. They will portray universal love, and attack Republicans at every opportunity. See coverage of Marco Rubio’s water bottle. How can you not find them amusing.

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Generally, I find the Libertarian’s ideas and analysis to be more appealing than those of the Republican Party. I know several analysts at Cato, and have a lot of respect for them. However, Chris Edwards (Cato’s spokesperson on tax-related matters and a whole lot more), in my opinion, is a … well, I’d better not say at risk of being charged with libel.

@01:11 — People who aren’t policy wonks might not understand Michael D. Tanner when he refers to the “first four months of this year.” Of course wonks will know he is referring to the fiscal year, which starts in October.

@01:30 — Good point by Neal McCluskey.

@02:46 — Nice.

@3:06 — They should have re-recorded Jagadeesh Gokhale and asked him to speak louder. The guy swallows his words.

@04:00 — The fact that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have gone on and on isn’t mainly the fault of the USA. They were close to a deal when Canada and Japan jumped in, demanding to be part of it, yet both insisting on continued protection of their agricultural industries. In any case bi-lateral trade agreements (which is what a US-EU one would be) are generally easier to negotiate than ones involving several countries.

@4:58 — Absolutely!!

@05:19 — I don’t have much of an opinion on this, but I like Alex Nowrasteh’s conciseness and directness.

@06:32 — Well said!

@07:37 — The argument that two cities with strict gun controls, Chicago and Washington, have high rates of gun-related violence ignores the fact that these cities are islands surrounded by counties with very lax gun laws. (The same phenomenon can be seen in the case of dry counties in the South. Drinking in those is not much less than in neighboring counties that allow booze sales.) Given the easy transportability of guns, this argues for more and better co-operation across jurisdictions at the very least.

@08:18 — Interesting info from Julian Sanchez, but it is not clear to me what point he is trying to make. Why “ironic”?

@09:15 — Afghanistan has been a mire, sucking blood and treasure out of America, just at it has to every other foreign power that has tried to intervene in that country. “Unfortunately we cannot resolve Afghanistan’s internal conflicts, and internal politics, and really we can’t resolve also the proxy battlefield that Afghanistan has become.” Exactly, and neither can any other country. Too bad GWB didn’t realize that from the start.

@11:09 — On drones. Yup.

All in all, while I don’t share all of the speakers’ views, I like the video’s professionalism and intelligent presentation.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

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