• ZipDialog Roundup for Tuesday, March 14

    Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
    Linked articles in bold purple

     CBO projects Trump/Ryan Obamacare replacement would save money but that 24 million fewer people would be covered  (Washington Post)

    The analysis, released late Monday afternoon by the Congressional Budget Office, predicts that 24 million fewer people would have coverage a decade from now than if the Affordable Care Act remains intact, nearly doubling the share of Americans who are uninsured from 10 percent to 19 percent. The office projects the number of uninsured people would jump 14 million after the first year –Washington Post

     CBO ignites firestorm with ObamaCare repeal score, reports The Hill

    Democrats highlighted President Trump’s campaign promises to provide “insurance for everybody,” saying the bill falls woefully short.

    “The CBO’s estimate makes clear that TrumpCare will cause serious harm to millions of American families,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. –The Hill

    How does the CBO get these numbers?

    The CBO estimated that 24 million people would become uninsured by 2026 under the bill, largely due to the proposed changes to Medicaid. Seven million fewer people would be insured through their employers over that same time frame because some people would choose not to get coverage and some employers would decline to offer it. –The Hill

    Comment: The numbers create obvious political problems for Republicans, and the Democrats will exploit them.

    Here is how I figure Republicans will respond, at least publicly:

    1. The basic problem with the CBO score is that it compares the new program to Obamacare, as if the ACA will continue to exist and cover people. But it won’t. Obamacare is collapsing financially, so those people will actually lose coverage if we don’t repeal it and replace it with something sustainable. Even if Obamacare totters on for another year or two, insurers are dropping out and, as they do, monopoly providers will raise rates, forcing more people off Obamacare insurance.
    2. CBO projections are often wrong, and they certainly have been about healthcare costs and coverage.
    3. Even if 24 million fewer are covered, some of them may choose not to buy coverage since, unlike Obamacare, it is not mandated.
    4. By law, the CBO can only score the bill in front of them. For technical reasons (related to Senate reconciliation rules), we cannot include key measures that will reduce insurance costs and thus attract some of those 24 million to purchase insurance. The main measure will be sale of insurance across state lines and, secondarily, reform of costly tort laws.

     A quote to celebrate spring training: Bob Uecker’s thoughts on catching Phil Niekro’s knuckleball:

    The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up. –Bob Uecker

     The “progressive left” makes a regressive argument for stamping out speech…and they get to decide which speech.

    Here’s Slate’s cover story:  “The Kids Are Right: There’s nothing outrageous about stamping out bigoted speech

    Comment: The article is an artful scam, making its argument by allusion and demonization, without confronting serious counter-arguments.

    It says some speech is bad and “informal rules” ought to limit it, without explaining who gets to set those rules and what criteria should be used. Then, it notes that our Constitution does permit some restrictions on speech. That’s right, but it is a good reason to say, “Let the First Amendment set the restrictions, not Slate magazine writers.”

    The article goes on to attack Trump, Bannon (whom it explicitly calls racist), William Buckley (too religious), and others loathed by Slate readers.

    It concludes, “The purveyors of logic, of facts dutifully checked and delivered to the public, lost big league in November.”

    Why is that an argument for shouting down Charles Murray? It’s not. 

     Two airlines cancel routes to Cuba. Too little demand. Other airlines are cutting back flights and using smaller planes  (Miami Herald)

    Comment: Fortunately, one airline is still flying to Cuba, and doing it on their terms.

     EU’s top court rules employers may prohibit staff from wearing visible religious symbols, such as Islamic headscarves, at work (Reuters)

     Democrats cannot figure out how–or whether–to oppose Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch (Politico)

    Comment: He’ll win easily in the Senate and go onto the Court. The only question is how quickly Sen. leader McConnell will move.



    zd-hat-tip-facing-inward-100px-w-margin♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
    ◆ Ed Vidal
     for the airlines cancelling flights to Cuba and the story at Slate favoring speech suppression.


  • A Federal Judge, formerly Yale’s General Counsel, worries his university has lost its commitment to free speech

    Without that open expression, he says, it cannot remain a great university

    The Ivy League has led the way in speech suppression, all in the name of “social justice.”

    The key idea, which comes out of the Frankfurt School (cultural Marxism), is that only “liberating” speech should be permitted. Who decides what is liberating? Ah, there’s the rub.

    At universities today, who decides? The social justice vigilantes who bully everyone who disagrees.

    Yale has been among the worst at speech suppression, but it has plenty of competitors in this race to the bottom.

    Now, its former chief counsel, José A. Cabranes, has openly criticized Yale’s sinking ship of politically-correct speech suppression.

    What gives Cabranes’ views special weight, beyond his long, close association with Yale, is that he is now a highly-respected Federal judge. A native of Puerto Rico, raised in New York, he was appointed by Bill Clinton to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where he is Chief Judge. So, his words carry weight.

    Writing in the Yale Law and Policy Review, Judge Cabranes offers a somber view of Yale’s failure to protect free expression on campus.

    We have good news and bad news today. The good news is that we are printing in hard copy the (1975) Woodward Report on Freedom of Expression at Yale. The bad news is that we need to reprint the Woodward Report. We are dealing today with interrelated developments at Yale that threaten freedom of expression and the institutions that protect it, including faculty due process rights, sometimes described as academic tenure. Many writers on this subject understandably focus on the fate of students. But it is important to recognize that today’s developments are also redefining the rights of faculty—and the role of faculty in the governance of this University. These are developments that, if not addressed, ultimately threaten Yale’s place among the great universities of the world. –Judge José A. Cabranes

    The Woodward report to which Judge Cabranes refers was written in 1975 by one of Yale’s greatest scholars, C. Vann Woodward, a pathbreaking historian of the American South in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When Dr. Martin Luther King led the Selma March to Montgomery, he quoted from Woodward’s on the Jim Crow South.

    Cabranes rightly calls Woodward “an old-fashioned liberal,” and says the report reflects those values, which were then widely-held in the University.

    Woodward’s report parallels one written a few years earlier at the University of Chicago by Law Professor Harry Kalven, Jr. The difference, Cabranes says, is that Chicago has stayed with those principles and renewed them, most recently with a report written by Law Professor (and former Provost) Geoffrey Stone. Meanwhile, Yale’s “Woodward principles of free speech” have fallen into disuse and decay. To quote Cabranes again:

    As Professor C. Vann Woodward said in 1974: “The University is in danger of sacrificing principle to expediency.” We cannot let that occur. –Judge Cabranes

    Cabranes lays out a “parade of horribles” at the university he loves. His analysis deserves quoting:

    Some of the developments of which I speak are already familiar to you. Each may seem minor in isolation, but together they form a larger pattern threatening the academic enterprise. These include:

    ♦ The shaming of community members who hold “uncivil” views, or who invite speakers embracing “distasteful” causes, under the purported banner of free-speech rights—combined with the University administration’s perfunctory genuflections before the Woodward Report with the absence of any meaningful effort to protect freedom of expression on campus;

    ♦ Vocal demands for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” lest students be exposed to ideas other than their own, combined with the hand-wringing apologies of university officials unable, or unwilling, to defend the institution they claim to lead;

    ♦ Yale’s adoption of a system of surveillance and anonymous reporting, designed, in part, to track and punish behavior that deviates from various campus orthodoxies. Call it the emergence of the Surveillance University; and

    ♦ Perhaps most troubling of all, the combined efforts of governmental and university sexual misconduct bureaucrats to eviscerate, in the name of nondiscrimination, the due process protections of faculty that have long underpinned academic freedom.


    Judge Cabranes’ parade of horribles is all too real and so is the price it entails.

    He is right, too, in saying that free-speech principles are being sacrificed for expediency.

    But he is only partly right, in my opinion.

    Yes, some university administrators cave in to student demands because they want to avoid confrontation. They lack backbone and a sense of what universities should be about.

    But many others are not seeking expediency but rather advancing principles they think more important than free speech and open inquiry. For them, the issue is not just expediency; it is that principles of social justice, as they understand them, ought to override free speech. They would never say they are sacrificing high principles for low expediency. They would say they are sacrificing a lesser principle (free speech) for a higher one (their view of social justice).

    But who decides what is social justice and who gets to suppress what speech in the name of that value? That is the chasm they cannot cross.

    If any speech can harm me, and if I alone determine that I have been harmed, then there is no lower bound to speech suppression. None.

    In practice, of course, there are bounds. Students from some groups are given strong protections against any speech or actions they don’t like. Others, with less favored viewpoints, are not only give no protection, they are often accused of violating others’ “safe spaces.”

    Indeed, the term “safe spaces,” which seems innocuous, has expanded from meaning a place that should protect students, staff, and faculty from physical harm and threats of coercion into intellectual cocoons, where seldom is heard a discouraging word–or a thought that goes against the herd.

    In this oppressive environment, the powerful, the most organized, or the loudest voices decide what is “social justice,” an ambiguous concept at best. They will suppress alternative views, as they are now doing on campus.

    Unless they are stopped, they will corrode the basic purposes of universities, and the cry of “social justice” will join history’s long list of reasons to crush other people’s views–and then the people themselves.  (Comment by Charles Lipson [email protected])

  • DePaul’s Latest Suppression of Free Speech

    DePaul University deserves special attention because it is specially dreadful on free speech.

    This is the university that

    • took away the students’ chalk after one wrote “Trump 2016” last spring,
    • routinely prevents conservative speakers from coming on campus, and
    • prevented one student group from putting up a poster that read “Unborn Lives Matter.” Their rationale: it did not reflect DePaul’s Catholic values.

    DePaul is proud of these achievements.

    And it does not want to sit on its PC laurels. It runs hard to remain the laughingstock of higher education.

    Here’s what happened on Tuesday night, November 15.

  • ZipDialog’s Roundup of News Beyond the Front Page . . Tuesday, Sept. 27

    Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
    Linked articles in bold purple

    ♦ FBI reports a 10% increase in murders this year over last, 3% increase in overall violent crime. (Daily Mail)

    ♦ The Supreme Court after Scalia. Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and the New Yorker, states the obvious truth:captain-obvious-thanks-labeled-200px-margins-on-left

    For the first time in decades, there is now a realistic chance that the Supreme Court will become an engine of progressive change rather than an obstacle to it. “Liberals in the academy are now devising constitutional theories with an eye on the composition of the Court,” [law professor] Justin Driver said. The hopes for a liberal Court will begin—or, just as certainly, end—with the results on Election Day.   –Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker

    Comment: Well, duh.

    ♦ BlueCross drops all Obamacare coverage in Tennessee’s three biggest markets: Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga. (Times Free Press, Chattanooga) These shoes will continue to drop, alongside premium increases, and will become an election issue.

    ♦ Stock market is high, but are valuations unprecedented?  Nick Kalivas, Senior Equity Product Strategist at Invesco comments:

    Stocks may seem expensive at the moment, but valuations seem less troubling when taking into account interest rates. Clearly, low interest rates have tended to buoy valuations. But there are also other forces at work. The sharp drop in energy and commodity prices in 2015 weighed on corporate profits. –Nick Kalivas, Invesco

    Cubs logo w baseball 201px♦ Chicago Cubs win 100 games for the first time since FDR was in his first term. (CBS Sports) After so many woeful years, the Cubs are a great team, built by Theo Epstein and his staff, managed by a savvy Joe Maddon. You never know how deep into the playoffs a team will go, but this team is not a fluke.

    ♦ SnapChat, now renamed “Snap,” tries to succeed where Google glasses failed. Their new glasses-camera photographs a wide angle, more like human vision, and can record brief video. The company plans a slow roll 0ut. (WSJ)

    alicia-garza-blm-labeled-200px♦ Black Lives Matter co-founder, Alicia Garza, promotes the idea of “police-free communities” (Daily Caller) It’s just a guess, but I don’t think this plan will work out well.

    Garza argued that the United States gives too much respect to police officers, explaining that when police do wrong, a few bad cops are blamed, rather than a “corroded and corrupt system.”

    “Quite frankly, many of our [Black Lives Matter] members are continuing to investigate what it would mean to have police-free communities

    Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter
    quoted in the Daily Caller

    depaul-free-speech-nope-200px-margin-left♦ DePaul to student socialists: pay for multiple police or you cannot hold your first meeting of the school year. DePaul again shows why it is one of the worst universities for free speech. (FIRE) 

    Comment: Well, at least the Thought Police are free at DePaul. FIRE, which reported this maltreatment, is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. It is genuinely unbiased, supporting campus free speech from all viewpoints. It represents what’s best about voluntary organizations in America. (Charles Lipson comment)

    chicago-teachers-union-labeled-200px-margin-right♦ Chicago teachers vote to authorize a strike.  The union will have to decide if they really want to go through with this and pick a date. (Chicago Tribune)

    Comment: This could quickly turn into a trainwreck because there is no money to meet the union’s demands.  The cupboard is bare at the school system, the city, and the state. Chicago residents know that, so I’d be surprised if there is much public support for the strike. That won’t stop the teachers from going out, but it will stop them from achieving any financial demands.


  • Best Alumni “Class Note” I’ve Ever Read

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    If you graduated in 1941, you don’t expect many people to show up at your 75th college reunion.

    If you are named “Jerry A. Cohen, class of 1941” and you do show up, you probably don’t expect to be the only one in the class. Makes for sketchy dinner conversation in the class tent.

    Still, you are pleasantly surprised to find out the name of the speaker. Jerry Cohen, class of 1951.

    So, there are only two people in the room, Jerry Cohen and Jerry Cohen.

    Somewhere in heaven, the people who used to run the Yale admissions department are smacking their heads and saying, “This is exactly what we said would happen, and this was before we eliminated the quota.”