A hedge fund manager "bets" on Herbalife's failure, then lobbies Congress and recruits activists to help bring it down. It almost reminds me of the cartoon supervillain who "predicts" a bridge will fall, then blows it up. The hedge fund manager in question claims that he's doing America a service by bringing down Herbalife, alleging that Herbalife is little more than a pyramid scheme exploiting Latinos and African-Americans. Depending on your opinion of Herbalife, you might be tempted to say, a la Senator Truman about the Germans and Russians, let them destroy each other. But this kind of power can easily be used for evil, and you don't need it to give the deserving their dose of bad PR. And I oppose concentrated power anywhere -- no one man should be able pull the levers of power the way Mr. Ackman does, especially when these levers belong to the American people. And no, weak regulation does not demand that we accept this kind of power, it demands stronger regulation.
Ho hum, the "liberal" media is ready to declare 2014 a "wave" year for Republicans based on one special election in Florida's 13th district. Just like Bill Owens's victory in NY-21 portended the Great Democratic Wave of 2010, and Kathy Hochul's victory in NY-27 portended the Great Democratic Wave of 2014! Perhaps Alex Sink should have won a district President Obama actually carried in 2014. But the Republican who won, David Jolly, still only got 48 percent of the vote, whereas the late Bill Young received over 57% in 2012. And Democrats still don't know how to sell the Affordable Care Act -- to cast anyone who wants to repeal it as pro-kicking people off for pre-existing conditions and pro-lifetime limits on benefits, for example. Trouble is, when the "liberal" media decides there's going to be a "wave," that makes it all the more likely a wave will actually happen. Perhaps they should get out of the prognostication business and back into the journalism business.
New Jersey effectively banned the electric car corporation Tesla from doing business there last week, by mandating that carmakers must make franchise agreements to sell cars within the state. You might well be tempted to look at this ban and say well, it does protect jobs -- until you remember that it protects the jobs of car salesmen, one of the most unpopular professions in the land. Seriously, though, does this mandate promote the maximum amount of freedom for the maximum number of people? No, it does not -- those who want to explore or promote a new business model cannot do so in New Jersey now. And it's more like a solution in search of a problem -- Tesla's cars still cost in the high five figures, and even when those prices come down, as they ultimately will, most folks are so used to going to car dealerships to buy cars that they'll keep doing that. In short, New Jersey's ban isn't even philosophically conservative -- if, as I expect, online car sales take a couple of decades to slay the car dealership, hasn't everyone had enough time to adjust?
Finally, it's not even April, and Gov. Walker's putative Democratic opponent in Wisconsin's 2014 gubernatorial race has made a terrible unforced error -- she claimed unemployment went up under Gov. Walker, when it's actually gone down, just like it's gone down everywhere, and the Walker campaign has already put up an ad smashing Ms. Burke's original ad over the center field wall. Ms. Burke's excuse was that unemployment had gone up overall since she was state Commerce secretary in 2006, but big whoop -- Scott Walker's only been Governor since 2010, and he's George W. Bush and Karl Rove mashed up into one person, and you can't beat him by stacking arguments. Here's how you can beat him: be a populist, a real populist who slams the untrammeled growth of corporate power in America, and remind everyone -- repeatedly -- that Scott Walker creates crises so he can ram unpopular solutions down the voters' throats, just like Mr. Bush did. You might also want to land some punches that rattle him, though admittedly I've never seen that happen.
UPDATE. I erred in saying last week's special election was in Florida's 13th district; it was in Florida's 12th. I also erred in saying Bill Young represented the district for over 30 years; various Republicans have represented FL-13 during that time. I've fixed these errors in the above.