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November 18, 2022

Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from National Review, Victor Davis Hanson, Laura Hollis, and more.


“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction.” —Cesare Beccaria (1735-1794)


“To paraphrase Voltaire after he attended an orgy, once was an experiment, twice would be perverse.” —National Review editors on Trump’s 2024 ambitions

“Former President Barack Obama in 2010 lost 63 seats. Is Biden, therefore, more charismatic or more energetic than Obama? Was his agenda more successful and popular? Given such high Republican expectations, the blame game for the loss is as strident and confusing as was the election itself.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“Election Day voting in most states has been reduced to about 30% of the electorate. What replaced it is an utter mess of early balloting, absentee balloting, mail-in balloting, ranked voting, run-off voting, and endless counting. The Left saw winning advantages with these radical changes, many made under the pretext of the COVID-19 lockdowns. And it has mastered them to such a degree that most Republicans with small leads at the end of Election Day now expect to lose over the subsequent days and weeks.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“Mannered Republicans may have scoffed at how Biden and the Left demagogued the abortion issue, or slandered Republicans as semi-fascists, and un-American insurrectionists. They shrugged at Biden’s hokey efforts at buying off young voters with amnesties for marijuana convictions and student loans or offering slightly cheaper gas by draining the strategic petroleum reserves. But all those low-minded strategies resulted in high left-wing enthusiasm and turnout.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“The Left smeared conservatives as democracy destroyers and violent insurrectionists. So, when the Republicans offered nonstop negative appraisals of Biden’s failed policies without commensurate alternative positive agendas, they unknowingly fed into the Democrats’ false narrative of cranky nihilists. Could not Republicans have offered an upbeat and coherent contract with America that offered uplifting, concrete solutions to each of Biden’s messes?” —Victor Davis Hanson

For the Record

“Remember the raid? Heavily-armed FBI agents showed up at Mar-a-Lago in the early hours of the morning. Dozens of them entered the residence, threw Trump’s aides out of the rooms and searched every ‘nook & cranny.’ They even went through Melania’s closet. They were looking for top-secret documents. In the weeks that followed, the Washington Post, New York Times, and other major media published one article after another, quoting unnamed sources at the Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence services on what they found. Trump had nuclear codes! Trump was going to give classified material to Putin! Trump was going to blackmail his political enemies. Trump took the documents to sell them. On and on it went. Fast forward to November 14th. With virtually no fanfare and no apologies, the Washington Post did a follow-up. Here’s the key quote: The investigation ‘has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump’s possession,’ nor ‘any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets.’ In other words, ‘never mind.’” —Gary Bauer

“[Sam] Bankman-Fried has a lot of company among the global elites in the ‘savior class.’ Take, for example, the guilt-ridden gasbags bloviating about climate change while traveling on private jets, acquiring multimillion-dollar homes and dining on expensive delicacies. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to give up our cars and eat insects. Or, as the World Economic Forum advertised a few years ago, we’ll ‘own nothing and be happy.’ We’ll rent everything, you see — from the ‘savior class,’ of course. Like SBF, they’ll get even richer doing it. But their wealth is OK because it’s all for the good of the planet. … The ‘money handout’ theory of economic development has been definitively disproven… The best way to raise standards of living for the world’s poor is to help them become self-sufficient and productive, their countries free and prosperous. But that requires economic growth, and would result in the real democratization of wealth. Those in the ‘savior class’ — of which Bankman-Fried is just the latest member — can’t have that.” —Laura Hollis

“Democrats benefitted from the FTX scam to the tune of $40 million, and they gave the FTX CEO a seat at the table for making crypto policy. They have a lot of questions to answer.” —Senator Tom Cotton

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