Goodbye to Haley the Hawk

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No, she hasn’t dropped out. But it’s abundantly clear from the New Hampshire primary results—54.5 percent for Donald Trump, 43.2 percent for Nikki Haley, at the time of publication—that she has no chance, and that Donald Trump is set up to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

“A majority of the Republican Party appears to be consolidating around Trump,” writes Reason‘s Christian Britschgi. “The past couple of days also saw him collect the endorsements of former opponents Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum.” Haley, meanwhile, couldn’t even nab a Chris Christie endorsement, and quite a few of her “campaign surrogates seem disappointed in her performance,” argues Britschgi. “Politico captured some awkward moments where New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Haley backer, had to watch his candidate flub interview questions while he whispered alternative answers to himself.”

Haley struggled to find her footing even in purple New Hampshire, which should’ve been an easier lift for her—though Trump repeatedly (and rightfully) attacked her for being a war hawk. It’s unclear what her plan for dropping out is, since she has truly no shot at winning Nevada and very little shot at performing well in South Carolina, her home state where she served as governor from 2011 to 2017. In that state, Trump is leading by about 30 points, so it’s really not even close.

“If she doesn’t drop out, we have to waste money instead of spending it on Biden, which is our focus,” Trump said of Haley last night.

Democrats vote for same-old: “President Biden did not submit his name for the New Hampshire ballot, after the state refused to comply with a new Democratic nominating calendar that made South Carolina the first primary contest,” reports The New York Times. “Yet a scrappy write-in campaign run by the president’s allies delivered a victory for him nonetheless.”

Can you really call something scrappy if it’s just…a write-in effort for the incumbent? A political shakeup this is not. No underdogs here.

I truly hope Matt Welch’s reading of the tea leaves—”the 2024 presidential election just has too much weird anti-rematch energy to NOT get expressed at some point”—is correct. But the boring write-in results in New Hampshire did not lend much credence to it, and we’ll probably all be worse off due to the fact that voters keep pulling the levers for the same government-growing geriatric losers that have been in power for the last eight years.

Milei and protesters face off: At least 200,000 unionized workers—of the country’s 5 million or so—will be marching in the streets of Buenos Aires today against newly elected libertarian President Javier Milei’s policies. 

Inflation now exceeds 200 percent and about 40 percent of the country is living below the poverty line. Milei is working to implement massive reforms, which include slashing the number of government employees, deregulating many sectors of the economy, and targeting deeply entrenched unions.

“Lawyers are furious about plans to fast-track divorces through the civil registry without requiring their services. Doctors hate a new requirement for them to preferentially prescribe generic medicines. Arty types are protesting about gutted funds and the closure of the national theatre institute. Fishermen are cross about permit deregulation. Sugar producers are railing against plans to remove import tariffs,” reports The Economist. “But no one is more affected by Mr Milei’s shock therapy than Argentina’s trade unions, or more enraged by it. His labour reforms would kneecap them by requiring employees to opt in to union membership, rather than having dues taken automatically, as they are at present. This would leave the unions out of pocket.”

It’s the unions who are leading today’s strikes, and hoping to hobble Milei’s future plans. But the new government does not intend to roll over and take it.

“Milei’s administration had said it will allow protests, but threatened to cut off public aid payments to anyone who blocks thoroughfares,” reported the Associated Press back in December. “Marchers were also forbidden to carry sticks, cover their faces or bring children to the protest.”

People “can demonstrate as many times as they want,” said Patricia Bullrich, Milei’s security minister (who lost to him in the presidential election). “They can go to the squares .. but the streets are not going to be closed,” she added.

The new policy for maintaining public order, which was first tested by mass protests last month, “allows federal forces to clear people blocking streets without a judicial order and authorizes the police to identify … people protesting and obstructing public thoroughfares,” reports the Associated Press. The government “can bill [the protesters] for the cost of mobilizing security forces.”

“La Patria NO se vende!” ???????????????? This Wednesday, Argentina’s workers are striking — and calling for your solidarity. Join the @ProgIntl and trade unions across the world to defend worker rights and defeat @JMilei‘s illegal decree that threatens them. https://t.co/j3fAmmRHYK

— Progressive International (@ProgIntl) January 22, 2024


Scenes from New York:

(Liz Wolfe)

“Run over racists,” says the “share the road” street sign graffiti in Fort Greene (close to the part of Brooklyn I escaped from). I’m sure the people endorsing vehicular manslaughter encounter tons of racists here among their brownstones.


QUICK HITS

  • Around the world, only two high-speed rail lines (Paris-Lyon and Tokyo-Osaka) earn enough money from fares to pay back their infrastructure costs and operating costs, and many can’t even cover their operating costs without government assistance,” writes Brian Potter at Construction Physics.
  • “The Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration on Monday, allowing federal officials to cut or remove parts of a concertina-wire barrier along the Mexican border that Texas erected to keep migrants from crossing into the state,” reports The New York Times. “The ruling, by a 5-to-4 vote, was a victory for the administration in the increasingly bitter dispute between the White House and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, an outspoken critic of President Biden’s border policy who has shipped busloads of migrants to northern cities.”
  • Good thread about sweatshops and organ selling:

A short ????on why we should reject bans on sweatshops, kidney markets, commercial surrogacy, etc.

A standard argument for these bans asserts that no one should be forced to work in a sweatshop (for example) due to economic necessity. 1/

— Chris Freiman (@cafreiman) January 23, 2024

  • “There’s a common belief that people with past addictions should never take any potentially addictive substances for medical reasons—period,” writes Maia Szalavitz in The New York Times. “As a result, some languish in extreme pain because they believe that drug exposure will cause them to lose control and immediately return to active addiction.”
  • Democrats look like they’re gearing up to regulate Zyn nicotine pouches away:

First they came for the Juuls

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Juul user

Then they came for the delta 8 pens

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a delta 8 user

Then they came for the zyns

And there was no left

To speak out for me

— Levi Stode (@ManiacsMidway) January 23, 2024

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