Freedom Studies - Adrift Amongst Internet Flotsam


Jon Reisman

5 a.m. trips to the garden (the black flies are not early/cool morning risers) sometimes clears the head and fuels the column, but when horticultural discipline fails to inspire, careful inspection of the inbox and assorted internet flotsam offers copious column fodder.

Possible People’s Veto of National Popular Vote 

Rep. Laurel Libby reports that a People’s Veto of the National Popular Vote has been filed with the Secretary of State. Advocates would need to collect some 68,000 signatures in very short order to put the NPV Compact on the fall ballot. It is a tall and expensive order. I have not seen any reporting in Pravda on the Penobscot (BDN) or State Media (Maine Public). Go figure.

The NPV will be an issue in the fall, especially in the 2nd Congressional District, whose Trump voters are really the problem as far as the progressives and the 1st Congressional District are concerned. The NPV will be an election issue for Sen. King and Rep. Golden, who likely support the NPV.  Golden voted for it while in the Maine House, and Angus has done an unconvincing Sergeant Schultz “I know nothing” imitation.  The entire delegation, including Sen. Collins and Rep. Pingree, should be prodded to submit legislation authorizing the NPV Interstate Compact as the Compact Clause requires:

Article I, Section 10, Clause 3:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Doing one end run around the Constitution is more than enough; two would be strikingly immoderate. Competent Republican nominees for the Senate and House will make the NPV an issue, People’s Veto or not. I will be asking state legislative candidates to pledge to repeal NPV, and federal candidates to follow the Constitution and either get Congressional consent or kill it.   

Privacy Sausage Engineers Embrace Diversity Based Discrimination

Stewart Baker at the Volokh Conspiracy reports that a swampy bi-partisan “compromise” on privacy is poised to reverse the Supreme Court’s ban on racial discrimination in college admissions (Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College).  The American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (APRA) uses a "disparate impact" test to impose race, gender, and other quotas on practically every institutional decision where federal funds are involved. Republicans have allegedly consented to this woke atrocity in exchange for some preemptive federal standards that corporate America prefers to State level red/blue diversity. If Speaker Johnson shepherds through this swamp thing, I fully expect Marjorie Taylor Greene to file another primal scream vacate the chair motion.

I sometimes wonder which all-powerful Big Tech/AI/national security agency might be monitoring and prodding my data, but when I asked the FBI for their dossier on me, they swore they didn’t have one. I was not sure whether to be relieved or insulted. I do trust the FBI to continually display the same level of honesty and integrity that they have since 2016 or so. 

Jon Reisman is an economist and policy analyst who retired from the University of Maine at Machias after 38 years. He resides on Cathance Lake in Cooper, where he is a Selectman and a Statler and Waldorf intern. Mr. Reisman’s views are his own, and he welcomes comments as letters to the editor here or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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