U.S.A. fact of the day

The U.S. doesn’t have a Politburo, but if you calculate the median age of the president, the speaker of the House, the majority leader of the Senate, and the three Democrats leading in the presidential polls for 2020, the median age is … uh … 77.

Here is more from Timothy Noah.


Sounds like Old Man Cowen is trying to prove he's not too old to be president. Maybe he ain't . . .

77 is the new 47, especially if you are the same health plans of the Congress, SCOTUS, or POTUS.

If you have an Obamacare plan you'll be dead by then. In order for the Dems to give free health care to illegal aliens and fake refugees we are going to have push some old fogies off the end of the wharf.

Now hun, you know not to get agitated like this. Go take your heart medication and lie down for a spell.

No need for meds - I was laughing throughout. ;)

Sure you were, EdR. Don't be a cuck and take your medicine.

Every member of Congress is on Obamacare.

A member of the GOP argued that if Obamacare was so great, why wasn't Congress covered by it.

So the bill was quickly amended to eliminate Federal health benefit coverage for members of Congress and their staffs. The implementation is by giving "vouchers" to buy coverage on the local insurance exchange they qualify for.

The GOP objected to losing their government run health plan, but after the switch, I haven't seen much from the GOP.

No ads claiming John McCain was killed by an Obamacare death panel, for example.

Of course, John McCain ran against Obama promising to take away everyone's health insurance. Employer health insurance gone. Medicaid gone. Medicare gone. All existing private insurance gone.

Replaced by everyone mandated to buy a personal private insurance plan which you keep no matter where you work, live, no matter your health, with a tax cut rebate to make it affordable no matter your income.

I like the analogy to the old Soviet Politburo. When Eisenhower was elected President he was 62! And he'd fought a world war!

Would you vote for Beto?

Against Trump? What sane person wouldn’t?

Gab, you are part of the problem.

Let's see... Who would I be happier with having control over the United State's nuclear arsenal? President Donald Trump or some random US politician I've never heard of? I'll go for random, unknown politician, thanks.

The guy is pretty much anti-war, compared to the average. Who is it that you want to see nuked?

On my list he's still a better President then George W. Bush because he hasn't started a large and wasteful war, but I don't think his genius is bigly stable enough to be trusted with nuclear weapons.

Clinton might have been the safest then.

Interesting. We always wondered if the secret instructions in UK nuclear subs that were to be opened if government no longer existed to give orders said "Retaliate and may God have mercy on our souls," or "Screw it. Go to Australia."

Cowen has my vote. #CowenTabarrok2020

You mean #TabarrokCowen!!!!!

Tabarrok is Canadian born, he cannot run.

77, eh? I suppose it may end up Young Trump vs Slightly Younger Warren.

How old will the Law Squaw be when she finishes her (hypothetical) second term?

Low energy!

On the other hand, the average age of the Squad is what? 39? And they don't exactly inspire confidence with their leadership skills.

They aren't trying. They are showcasing attention getting skills. One could almost say trolling.


A great reminder of why we need younger candidates, like Kennedy running to unseat the current Mass Senator.

They are leading, obviously, not to mention they are the leading figures of the Justice Democrats. They’re helping to unseat incumbent conservative Democrats in the Midwest, they successfully pushed Amazon out of NYC, they reoriented the conversation about Israel and AIPAC in Congress, they’re leaders of the resistance movement against Trump, the list goes on.

Only a wealthy old white male would refer to 4 freshman congresswomen of color as ‘basically trolling.’


The Resistance was an inward looking left-wing thing.

People like Tom Nichols matter more in mainstreaming things.


Best of luck in your 384th attempt to find something to pin on Orange Man.

Plenty of things have been pinned, in the Mueller Report and elsewhere. Senior Democrats have just made the cynical decision that, since the Republicans will always ignore them, and pick Trump before the Constitution, impeachment is a loser.

The counter argument is that even if Republicans are this corrupt, force them to go on record, and not just free ride.

As Nichols says, at some point Democrats impeach, or they too admit that they have abandoned the Constitution.

I think you would find that the Republicans would love to "go on the record" for a vote on impeachment. I personally hope the impeachment Democrats and their #NeverTrump butt-kissers get the trial they so desperately want. I'd love to hear them explain outside the confines of their sound bites, op-eds, and committee pressers precisely what high crimes and misdemeanors they have evidence POTUS has committed other than interfering in their plan to elect a new people.

One is completely easy. Trump and Michael Cohen were partners in a crime for which Cohen is now serving time.


Uh oh, the walls are closing in. Big if true! etc. But seriously I'm pretty sure you guys are only supposed to focus on one breaking bombshell smoking gun at a time and the topic du jour is the whistleblower who heard half a collect call to the Ukraine. I guess? I haven't read much news today so maybe there's a new one out.

That one is only interesting to everyone because it is the exact scenario laid out by the founding fathers to justify impeachment.

Are these the same Founding Fathers that couldn't possibly have intended to include AR-15s in the Second Amendment?

I wonder what their policy was on fraudulent FISA warrants. Or private email servers. (I won't ask about "for ourselves and our posterity".)

Of course one of the benefits of a geriatric ruling class is that they are much closer to the Founding Fathers than we are, so perhaps we ought to trust them on this.

I'll just leave that there as your best answer.

Cucks. Lots of cucks.

I'm a cucks! All of them!

So twitter is supposed to disseminate information quickly, but the Ukraine story that imploded a few days ago is still alive and well yesterday? It's almost like they're not honest.

What a bizarre sequence of thoughts. Twitter isn't a person, or even a group. It is a communication network with 126 million daily users.

Why on Earth should anyone try to say when they all turn their attention to, or from, something?

"What a bizarre sequence of thoughts." Try reading more slowly.

Twitter is a communication platform that is said to disseminate information quickly. The users are being dishonest, like you, in keeping a story alive that's known to be false.

But since you are basically asking what's fresh,


Or here is an interesting one, using Twitter as a medium to propagate an 1787 meme:


Right, but less than three years ago the president was relatively young. And the leading Republican candidates in 2016 included some young ones.

There may indeed be something that tilts the nomination process and primaries in favor of old Democrats, but if so that's a new phenomenon and it's far from clear that there'd be a tilt in favor of old Republicans.

Demographics. Boomers are still the dominant generation of voters. Millennials should outnumber Boomers by now but they don't vote like old people do.

Paul Ryan was pretty young for a leadership post but left many people unimpressed. Al Gore seemed young and dynamic for a VP but turned out to be a hack. If you are young and dynamic, cable TV might be a better career choice than politics anyway. Do politics just enough to establish some lobbying cred

The difference is that the Politburo isn't elected by the citizens in the state or district of the Senator or Representative.

The problem is that seniority is rewarded by campaign contributions in both Houses, making difficult to unseat persons.

Sounds like good ol' campaign finance reform will solve some of this, but that's probably not what this post is all about.

Campaign finance reform in practice is incumbent protection. Challengers generally need more resources than incumbents but incumbents--the people who make the laws--will demand parity.

So, money to committee chairpersons must be an urban myth.

From a Stanford Research paper:

"Corporations and political action committees (PACs) flood congressional elections with money. Understanding why they contribute is essential for determining how money in- fluences policy in Congress. To test theories of contributors’ motivations we exploit committee exile—the involuntary removal of committee members after a party loses a sizable number of seats, and the losses are unevenly distributed across committees. We use exile to show that business interests seek short-term access to influential legislators. Industries overseen by the committee decrease contributions to exiled legislators, and instead direct their contributions to new committee members from the opposite party. Partisan interests, in contrast, attempt to influence electoral outcomes—boosting con- tributions to exiled members. Together, we provide evidence that corporations and business PACs use donations to acquire immediate access and favor—suggesting they at least anticipate that the donations will influence policy." http://stanford.edu/~jgrimmer/money.pdf

How you cuck bitches doing today?

Ready for a good cucking, I'd say!

This article has a bunch of charts over time.


They say that we are all getting older, so no big?

Not really. If voters and representatives are living longer with cognitive impairment, the combined effect is even worse.

One of my early/best observations was that Trump didn't just appeal to crazy old men watching Fox, he was one.

Boy has that one been bourne out.

So what you're saying is, in an era where people are living longer than ever, the positions at the absolute top of power are dominated by people who have been doing things like this for a really long time?

It all seems a bit like the problem of aging rock stars grimly holding on rather than letting the next generation take the spotlight. By the way, happy birthday Joan Jett -- just a mere kid at 61.

The median age between those 6 and 5 random babies is 70.

Mr. Trump, open this gate. Mr. Trump... tear down this wall!

Mandatory retirement for elected officials, judges, and senior executives in government would be an agreeable policy. The these officials are old is not a problem. That some insist on holding on when they are old old is a problem. Another problem is their deficit of experience outside political life. Steny Hoyer and Richard Durbin practiced law > 40 years ago, Charles Schumer worked for Kaplan (intermittently) during the same era, Patty Murray was once a supervisor at a day care center, and Nancy Pelosi spent a brief run of years as an elementary schoolteacher. Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise don't admit to any pre-political occupation in their capsule biographies. Another curio is that the Speaker of the House and the President pro tem of the Senate are offices listed in the Presidential Succession law. The occupant of the latter position is usually ancient and you'd have to scrounge to find an occupant of the former with any history in executive positions.

Our political leaders would never make it in real jobs. They might be measured on their performance instead of their rhetoric. Good intentions, never good results. The way of the politicians. No one one is ever held accountable. In Illinois, we call it the Chicago Way.

Their jobs are real enough, if odd. The gatekeeper positions in Congress seem occupied by people who've hardly done anything else in their life. Rank and file members are more variegated. In my neck of the woods, the Congressional delegation has included a number of duds, but also people from other walks of life. Among them have been a couple of small practice lawyers (one was in elected office for < 6 years while he was around retirement age), an elderly businessman, a young entrepreneur, a real-estate developer, a couple of career military (one with a phD), and the front man for the band Orleans.

You get some interesting people in there, but they stay for a few terms then go. The scum is what rises.

My hometown congresstwerp abruptly died about a year and a half ago. To replace her, the district had a choice of a retired doctor (who has other things to do with his life) and a 62 year old pol who has held public office continuously since he was 28 and had no career prior to that. They elected super-hack. He one 58% of the vote. NB, Republicans have held the county executive's job in that district for 27 years, but they never seem to be able to unload the yo-yos the Democrats nominate for Congress. One reasons we have so many jerks in Congress is that jerks are what people are satisfied with.

My hometown congresstwerp abruptly died about a year and a half ago. To replace her, the district had a choice of a retired doctor (who has other things to do with his life) and a 62 year old pol who has held public office continuously since he was 28 and had no career prior to that. They elected super-hack. He one 58% of the vote. NB, Republicans have held the county executive's job in that district for 27 years, but they never seem to be able to unload the yo-yos the Democrats nominate for Congress. One reasons we have so many jerks in Congress is that jerks are what people are satisfied with.

Looks like you go under two names: Art Deco and A Caning for Mercatus...Interesting.

Ever since I went outside and someone had painted "Cock Piss Partridge" on my car I haven't been able to use my real name!

Whatever name "Art Deco" wants to come in with? He's always welcome.

I don't have to tell you, "
Art Deco" is a super bad-ass

yelp up puppies, you have no idea, ...

Art Deco is/was this site's biggest cuck. Legendary cuckold.

said the "Cuckster" a blow-job specialist

I see msgkings and the rest of the intern cohort are busy again.

There are at least two problems here

1) You have a lot of politicians in powerful posts some of whom are almost certainly too decrepit to do their jobs properly.

2) You have a political system that chose people who are not the best candidates for their jobs and which (in an arena of politically motivated leaks) is apparently hiding what must be obvious signs of their frailties.

You have suggested a reasonable fix for (1) which will leave (2) in place, but less obvious.

Most of the denigration of the older are in terms of left-of center goals, like gun control and more immigration. The age issue is just the skeleton he builds his argument on. Such are the travails of worn out professional writers.

For example, for gun control he goes no further than the usual falsification of what the second amendment plainly says by arguing the only justification for guns there is the need for a now nonexistent militia ("The Second Amendment frames the right to bear arms within the context of “well-regulated” state militias that no longer exist, an ambiguity that the Supreme Court interpreted in 2008 to mean the Constitution protected the right to bear arms, after holding for the preceding seven decades that it did not."

By law (US code 246 IIRC) all male US citizens 17-45 are members of the militia, plus all male and female members of the national guard.

Wait. I’m a member of a “well-regulated militia” ? Why wasn’t I told about the meeting?

The first rule of a well-regulated militia is you don't talk about the well-regulated militia. That's how people get Ruby Ridged.

This militia is so secret that no one knows when they are actually a member. It prevents foreign infiltration. The fact that Colt just announced they will no longer sell AR-15s to the public is a real problem for us.

If you don't remember the past, you are condemned to repeat it. Youngsters today don't remember anything except the new rock song. They want to repeat the mistakes of the welfare state and the Great Society programs of the 1960s which were complete government failures and wasted trillions of dollars and destroyed numerous families and social values along the way. Liberals, progressives and leftists will never apologize for these failures and try to cover up these disasters with terms like racism, white privilege, women's rights and greedy capitalism. Our entire society is infected with these ideas and the left wants to shame us into submission. Well, some people remember how to fight. Read up on Pyotr Stolypin. We are in the same struggle today.

Evidently, the Con-servative Revolution was a success because the American worker is no better off than his counterpart in 1973, but the rich got much, much more richer. Entire regions were crushed by joblessness, but it OK because exporting American jobs to China is one of our moral values now.

"Read up on Pyotr Stolypin."

Crazy old guys who model themselves on Russian Czarism... How the old saying goes? "First as tragedy, then as farce."

Old? It's Marx, not Groucho, Karl.

Karl died in 1883. Grouch died in 1977.

Baby Boomer have run both parties for a long time, especially the Democrats. The boomer have crowded out the younger generations, as is evidenced by the lack of (non-70+) viable candidates for 2020.

Kamala won the Senate with minimal opposition, as even California couldn't find few decent non-boomer candidates.

This is totally a generational thing. GenX is too small compared to Baby Boomers and Millennials and will probably get squeezed out of ever having a major voice in any major political party in the US.

Just a few years ago, California's top five politicians were all elderly Bay Area Catholic or Jewish Democrats: Jerry Brown, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Chair John Burton.

There's not that much political talent in California these days: 22 million Hispanics and Asians (mostly East Asian) haven't provided much of a challenge to old-time Democratic pols who can remember Woodstock.

The Democratic Party seems to be much more disciplined and resistant to challenges to established leadership than the Republican Party. Before, the Republicans had the Tea Party insurgency and now they have Donald Trump.

I don't know what explains this but younger Democratic officials of all races have complained about the old guard leadership and the way they are clinging on to power.

Hmmm... Was Obama an outside or insider?

Be careful of recency bias - even though the Dem base skews younger, young challengers within the Dems today tend to be SJWs (like "the Squad") and so less popular with most people than the established leadership, adjusting for generational affinity. They're more ideological and their ideology is generally less appealing to normal folk. (Unlike Trump, who was, despite attempts to paint him as a continuation of Republican ideology, a de-ideologized break towards a One Nation agenda which sets better with the pragmatic, broadly nationalist tendencies of most of their base).

Seems like if he was he'd be aware of Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris and their relative youth. Oh well.

It was seven years ago.

Much preferable to Sweden where 2 percent of the members of the parliament are older than 65.

Maybe having lived through 70's, the inflation era and what it took to slay it, the near death and resurgence of New York, the emptying of the inner cities due to crime could give a certain perspective on things. One perspective is the utter uselessness of experts; see criminologists.

As world war II is passing out of living memory, with the horrors of war and the holocaust it is interesting to see the resurgence of anti-semitism.

Lots of reasons to keep the old guys and gals around.

The old guys and gals bear a lot of responsibility for the current state of affairs. Term limits in Congress should be mandatory.

Experience is when you have made all the mistakes. The younger generation doesn't even know the mistakes that they will make, but they will make them nonetheless.

For example the Squad and Pelosi. I don't like either of them, but Pelosi knows what happens if the Democrats move too far to the left. So do they have to learn it again, or can Pelosi through her experience have some important information to add to the arguments?

It would be especially wise to keep some experienced people around considering how useless colleges and universities are at teaching history and how society actually works.

Term limits have not been the panacea. All they do is shift the power and institutional workings to unelected party staffers. The elected representatives are gone before they can gain the experience and wherewithal to accomplish anything other than what they are told, and they are utterly dependent on the party money and organization for their election.

If you don't like someone, get them voted out. There has been concerted efforts with quite a bit of success to get rid of the more egregious seat warmers by primary challenges. If they aren't removed it is a pressure and discipline that they are forced to respond to.

All they do is shift the power and institutional workings to unelected party staffers.

That's the case even if there are no term limits. Staffers maintain, for good or ill, the continuity of the institution.

Of greater concern is the hereditary aspect of electoral politics. A well-known surname, Kennedy, Gore, Trudeau, etc. gets lots of votes, regardless of the talent involved, should there be any.

I was born one year after the baby boom. I've had to watch them my whole life. A generation of narcissists will keep insisting they have all the answers (despite decades of evidence to the contrary) until half of them have dementia, and the other half are dead. More importantly, they'll keep voting for each other, and in a democracy, demographics matter.

This is about 10 years younger than the average age of all the leaders of sub-Saharan African nations.

77 means they graduated college before 1965. That would be when American universities were still run by old school academics rather than the refuse that took over the faculties starting in the late 1960s. It is not that there aren't well-educated graduates out there, but that they are fewer and further between with other opportunities than politics.

Perhaps politicians of the next generation will have a shorter shelf life since it's becoming so easy to find embarrassing career-threatening stuff about them in cyberspace

Probably the most influential person of the 20th century, Deng Xiaoping, took the reins at age 72 and set China on a path where it is now a legitimate political, economic and military rival to the United States.

Only Nixon can go to China, and maybe only old men can successfully enact sweeping changes.

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