Thursday, July 31, 2014
This incident should inform the general Republican Party response to any executive action on amnesty and the Left’s other passive-aggressive attempts to divert attention away from the failures of their unpopular, discredited president. Treat him like A-Rod, and don’t throw at .260 hitters.
The problem for Republicans is that if Obama does what he’s apparently planning to do, it really is blatantly illegal and unconstitutional.
Ok, so now I get it. Bait Republicans with talk of "you better not try to impeach me," get Republicans to say "who's talking about impeachment? We don't want to impeach anybody!", then do something that really merits impeachment (just make a bunch of illegal child immigrants US nationals by fiat). Then watch what happens. In all of this, there is a lot of contempt for the law, but I guess its good politics.
The possibility of actual impeachment is not something that keeps Barack Obama up at night. Modern history suggests there’s nothing Congress could do that the American public would hate more. Yet impeachment talk has been bounding around the Republican right for ages. The South Dakota Republican Party passed a resolution calling for impeachment at their annual convention this year. (We all know the famous saying: “As South Dakota goes, so goes North Dakota.”) Sarah Palin brings up impeachment virtually every day. Some members of Congress use it to energize the crazy base.
This is nuts, but I guess it could work. Tell your liberal base that the conservative base is crazy for impeachment. Then you that to raise money, turnout, whatever. If I were Gail Collins I would worry that this made me look like too much of a schill. But I guess she's already lost that battle.
In one of the biggest upheavals in Australian politics in years, a disparate group of lawmakers, advocating everything from souped-up cars to looser restrictions on public nudity and BASE-jumping from city buildings, has taken its seats this month in the country's unpredictable upper house, the Senate. That is good news for satirists who have grown tired of career politicians working their way up through the ranks. But it is less welcome for the country's center-right government and its prime minister, Tony Abbott, a former Oxford University boxing champion whose popularity is waning in the polls.
A 21-year-old man was killed and 13 people were injured after being struck by lightning on Venice Beach in Los Angeles during a freak July thunderstorm on Sunday, CBS Los Angeles reports. The storm formed so rapidly that experts said Monday it was impossible for anyone to predict a lightning strike would turn a day of carefree fun into one of terror.
Just in case you haven’t had enough bad news, here’s a bit more from the domestic-politics desk. With less than a hundred days until the midterm elections, the Republicans now have a very realistic chance of retaking the Senate, which would leave them in over-all control of Capitol Hill for the next two years. (Virtually all the pundits reckon that it is a foregone conclusion that the Republicans will also maintain their majority in the House of Representatives.)
God I hope so. Lesser of evils.
I watched the BBC on the crisis in the Middle East last night (since I didn't have internet service). It was something to see how powerful propaganda can be when you really pull out the stops. By the end of their segment on the Israeli attack on the UN school that left 16 dead, I was ready to sign up to fight for the Palestinians, and I don't even like them. But the technique the BBC uses is pretty simple. They just tell one side of the story. Nary a word about rockets raining down on Israel or about Hamas's tendency to locate their rockets or mortars next to hospitals and schools. Just unwatchable segments showing injured children and grieving or hysterical parents.
I have been without wifi for a couple of days. It's been horrible. I called Cox this morning and we went through the routine with the cable modem. The person of ladyness of the phone said, nope, your modem is fine, it must be your router. Actually, she got to this point pretty quickly. I generally don't have any complaints about wait time at Cox. They get right to your problem, and then don't fix it. She advised me to call the manufacturer of my wireless router. OK, that's what I did. Speaking no doubt to the representatives of this company in India, they walked me through the set up, and confirmed that nothing was wrong with my router. Then, a miracle happened. Somebody at Cox tripped a switch, and my wireless service came back on. This after I had completed the testing of the router. "Oh, that's just Cox, resetting your modem." "But I already called them and they said everything on their end was fine." "It wasn't," the fellow from India allowed.
I find this funny but also really irritating. Is Cox doing this a lot, assuming they did do this, where this is responding to a complaint by denying anything is wrong but then fixing it after the fact? The guy from India seemed to think so; it didn't surprize him one bit. Anyway, I'm back online, ready to waste my time and yours.
This via Instapundit. It reminds me of one of the most unintentionally funny things I ever read. It was by some soc sci professor at Bryn Mawr. She had a little girl and was trying to raise her in a gender neutral (or something) way. Yet, in spite of all her efforts and those of a compliant husband who probably deserves our mockery as well, the little miss still prefered dolls to trucks and exhibited lots of other perfectly normal behavior besides. About two pages of small alumni magazine print handwringing ensued. I forget what her conclusion was; something lame no doubt.
Something is going on here but I don't know what it is. For example, in our household, LWF should be the one who is good at technical stuff. She's in a technical branch of a technical field and she's good at it. Me, not so much. Yet when anything outside of her field comes up (cars, the pool pump, computers, plumbing, etc.) her solutions are often a little, uh, well, displaying of a certain naivite, let's say. Yet my solution to someone who showed up with complicated set of medical symptoms would be something like, drink three shots of whiskey and take a couple of days off. Probably wouldn't work, but what the hell. I don't know what the difference is. Maybe technology is just more of a boy thing.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
But beneath that calm facade, there is growing alarm in Russia that the festering turmoil in Ukraine and the new round of far more punitive sanctions — announced Tuesday by both European nations and the United States — will have an impact on Russia’s relations with the West for years to come and damage the economy to the extent that ordinary Russians feel it.
As for his nuclear abolitionism, Reagan, according to his arms control director, Ken Adelman, was appalled by the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and hated the idea that an American president could wreak immeasurably greater destruction. Thus Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, far from being the cockamamie “Stars Wars” scheme it was promptly dubbed by political adversaries and journalists stuck in the conventional thinking of the era, was the technological expression of the president’s moral conviction that nuclear weapons were a grave danger that ought to be taken off-the-board in international public life.
fter a hectic day yesterday spent in large part seeing off my son, daughter-in-law, and two-year-old grandson on a two-year sojourn in Berlin, I hastened this morning to my keyboard to comment on perhaps the most noteworthy piece of U.S. diplomatic idiocy in the Middle East that I’ve witnessed in several years (which is really saying something). It had been on my mind since expressing the essence of the matter to Richard Aldous on TAI’s weekly podcast in the morning, and repeating it privately over the telephone to a fellow editor (of a weekly) who is not an area expert and so has been calling me episodically but regularly over the past decade to get my take on various matters. So, thus rehearsed, I was ready to let fly at 7:30 AM when, to my shock, I found that I had been beaten into print by, of all people, David Ignatius.
Actually both malice and incompetence.
One of the ongoing debates about policy formation in Washington which has become far more prominent since the passage of Obamacare is the role of the Congressional Budget Office, and the weight given its estimates and predictions for the ramifications of legislation. CBO has always been at the center of a debate about how much we should trust these estimates and how much legislators should rely on them in crafting policy. The larger the legislation, the more moving parts it has, the more difficult it is to calculate the fiscal and economy-wide impacts.
So there you have it. The leader of Hamas says, point blank, it does not want a two-state solution. Yet scores of liberal commentators continue to make arguments like this: “We have to get a solution. And it has to be a two-state solution. And it has to be basically encouraged, if not imposed, I think, from without.”
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Many people in Washington seem to be talking about the prospect of the president unilaterally legalizing the status of several million people who entered the country illegally as though it were just another political question. But if reports about the nature of the executive action he is contemplating are right, it would be by far the most blatant and explosive provocation in the administration’s assault on the separation of powers, and could well be the most extreme act of executive overreach ever attempted by an American president in peacetime.
Yuval Levin is a smart guy.
SHINGLE SPRINGS -- A private drone trying to record footage of a Northern California wildfire nearly hindered efforts to attack the flames from the air, but firefighters made enough progress to allow most of the 1,200 people under evacuation orders to return home Monday.
"Marvel just seems unbeatable at the moment," says Mark Millar, who spent 10 years writing for Marvel Comics and consulted on the first Iron Man movie. "Even my elderly Scottish aunt knows what a Marvel movie is, so those guys are doing something very right."
The volunteers were part of what federal scientists say was the most comprehensive study ever conducted on how marijuana, and pot combined with alcohol, affect drivers. The data now being analyzed ultimately will help regulators decide how stoned is too stoned to drive. It's similar to the studies conducted to develop levels for drunken driving. Volunteers were recruited from around Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator.
Barely a month after federal regulations for school cafeterias kicked in, states are already pushing back.
Specifically, they're fighting nutrition standards that would considerably alter one of the most sacred rituals of the American public school system: bake sales.
Because they're such a problem.
House and Senate lawmakers are running up against an end-of-the-week August recess without a compromise on legislation addressing the border crisis -- potentially playing into the hands of President Obama as he weighs sweeping unilateral action on immigration.
Kerry's error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.
Well, it is his first time on the job.
Gruber then became part of the story on Thursday when a video surfaced in which he espouses the very interpretation of the law he now publicly derides as “screwy,” “nutty” and “stupid.” In 2012, Gruber told an audience: “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
It's almost like they're dishonest or something.
Monday, July 28, 2014
A new CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker estimate finds the Republicans positioned to take the Senate this year, with a likely 51-49 seat edge if the November election were held right now. The margin of error on that current seat estimate, at plus or minus 2 seats, means Democrats still have a real possibility to keep the chamber and that we head into campaign season with control up for grabs -- with a closely-divided Senate surely coming in 2015 in either case.
The GOP doesn't deserve to win but the Dems deserve to lose.
Does this mean President Obama is wrong to describe companies engaging in inversion as “corporate deserters”? Not really — they’re shirking their civic duty, and it doesn’t matter whether they literally move abroad or not. But apologists for inversion, who tend to claim that high taxes are driving businesses out of America, are indeed talking nonsense. These businesses aren’t moving production or jobs overseas — and they’re still earning their profits right here in the U.S.A. All they’re doing is dodging taxes on those profits.
Just to give you a taste of the nonsense. Maybe we should build a fence to keep people in.
This is good. Take a look at the case by linking through. One of the many public costs resulting from this copyright is the truly exerable birthday song adopted by Chucky Cheese some years ago. For those of you who don't know, this is the American phenomenon of a pizza restaurant run by a giant rat. The rat would come out and sing her/his(?) version of Happy Birthday which was actually worse than the original insipid song. The place always struck me as a gold mine for pedophiles and I'm glad my kids are too old for it now.
Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. At the same time, the system has become full of inefficiencies and special-interest loopholes. That is why it is so important that we reform our business tax code to make the U.S. economy more competitive and to accelerate economic growth and job creation. Taking this step will make the United States an even more attractive place to do business and ensure that capital and talent are allocated more efficiently in pursuit of high economic returns, rather than low tax bills.
Why not lower our tax rates enough so that inversions are not so popular? Inversions should take care of themselves.
I have grown increasingly concerned about the risks posed by current monetary policy.
First, we are experiencing financial excess that is of our own making. There is a lot of talk about "macroprudential supervision" as a way to prevent financial excess from creating financial instability. But macroprudential supervision is something of a Maginot Line: It can be circumvented. Relying upon it to prevent financial instability provides an artificial sense of confidence.
Second, I believe we are at risk of doing what the Fed has too often done: overstaying our welcome by staying too loose, too long. We did a good job in staving off the deflationary and depression risks that were present in the aftermath of the 2007–09 financial crisis. But we now risk fighting the last war.
Ingraham hinted that her forays into Republican primary races this year could be the foundation for a political career of her own. "I've been approached by various people to get involved," she said. "I'm keeping an open mind about running for office in the future."
Laura is tough as nails.
Words mean what they say. That's the basis for the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Burwell invalidating the Internal Revenue Service regulation approving subsidies for Obamacare consumers in states with federal health insurance exchanges.