The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, September 19, 2014

Super-rich make last stand against California drought - Telegraph

"We cut back. We don't water anything any more," he said. "The polo field is brown. We are still able to play but it doesn't play as good."

via www.telegraph.co.uk

September 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scotland Rejects Independence in Vote - WSJ

"The people of Scotland have spoken. It is a clear result," British Prime Minister David Cameron said. "They have kept our country of four nations together. Like millions of other people, I am delighted."

via online.wsj.com

I told you so and I am relieved.

September 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Mole Inside Assad's Embassy Aided Syrian Rebels - WSJ

"I need to ask you something," the regime opponent, Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, said as they trundled through Washington in a rusty Audi 2000. "There are these activists, and they need passports."

via online.wsj.com

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Man gets 14 years for hatchet attack in El Cajon robbery | San Diego 6 | Local News

El Cajon police said Kelley attempted to buy merchandise from Hamlin Jewelers at 2234 Fletcher Parkway just before 3:30 p.m. Jan. 22, but the credit card he used was denied, and he became enraged.

via www.sandiego6.com

Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

BBC News - Europeans drawn from three ancient 'tribes'

Blue-eyed, swarthy hunters mingled with brown-eyed, pale skinned farmers as the latter swept into Europe from the Near East.

via www.bbc.com

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

BBC News - Murder 'comes naturally' to chimpanzees

These parameters link the violence to natural selection: killing competitors improves a male chimp's access to resources like food and territory - and crucially, it will happen more frequently when there is greater competition from neighbouring groups, and when the males can patrol in large numbers, with less risk to their own survival.

via www.bbc.com

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz - Edward-Isaac Dovere - POLITICO.com

The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

via www.politico.com

Hohoho.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Residents Near Marysville Golf Course Upset Over Topless Outing - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

"All you could see was her thong but nothing else on top, and I wasn't sure what was going on and why she was hanging off the golf cart the way she was and two men were driving, and then my son noticed, but I still wasn't quite sure what was going on, but you could see her top and everything I mean there was nothing on" said Wenger.

via www.nbc4i.com

Eeeee Chihuahua!

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blog | The Weekly Standard

First, the good news. Initial unemployment claims, which were expected to come in at 305,000, came in at 280,000 good deal less than that. More people working might mean that, in time, wages will rise and families that have never seen their financial situations improve since the Great Recession, will begin to recover.

Then, the bad news.  Housing starts, which were expected to decline modestly (by 5.2 percent, to be precise, and one wonders at the certainty behind that figure right of the decimal point) tanked at -14.4 percent

Housing is essential, of course, to the overall economy.  And construction jobs are critical, especially for men.  

The overall picture remains one of uncertainty.  At best.

via www.weeklystandard.com

Eeeee Chihuahua

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: Obama will require military to get his personal approval for U.S. strikes in Syria « Hot Air

A man who’s a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better political director than his political directors, and who knows more about policy than his policy advisors must surely also be a better general than his generals, no?

via hotair.com

O is not really going to be thumbs up or down on the bombing targets. Some idiot in the WH just thinks it sounds good to say that, and it probably does to low information voters.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

3-year Study Charges UCLA Department With 'Antisemitic Activity and Anti-Israel Bias' (VIDEO) | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

In a just-released three-year study (2010-2013) covering “Antisemitic Activity and Anti-Israel Bias At the Center for Near East Studies (CNES)” at UCLA, AMCHA Initiative researchers said they have found “CNES events disproportionately focused on Israel and the Israeli-Arab conflict, with 93% of events on Israel being anti-Israel, and 75% displaying antisemitic discourse.”

via www.algemeiner.com

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brent Budowsky: GOP peaked too soon | TheHill

The danger to a political party when pundits almost unanimously predict a nation-shaking victory for that party is that, quietly and thoughtfully, voters concerned about the future of their families and country ask themselves: Will we be better off if this party wins complete control of Congress?

For many days, the bastions of Republican power in Washington have gloated with triumphalism about a coming GOP wave. Pundit race-callers and statistical prognosticators have told voters the election is over. The Drudge Report has regaled its readers with echo-chamber links to tales of demonic Democrats; GOP columnists have written about what Republicans should do after they inevitably seize power; and neoconservatives have promised a return to the glory days of former Vice President Dick Cheney. 

ADVERTISEMENT

But then, what happened?

via thehill.com

Unless they didn't.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama's 'Year of Action' Becomes a Year of Fear - NationalJournal.com

September 17, 2014 Americans are afraid. The White House is afraid. Democrats are afraid.

via www.nationaljournal.com

I still think the Dems will keep the Senate, however.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama's 'Year of Action' Becomes a Year of Fear - NationalJournal.com

September 17, 2014 Americans are afraid. The White House is afraid. Democrats are afraid.

via www.nationaljournal.com

I still think the Dems will keep the Senate, however.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The View From Hell: Nicole Wallace And Hostility To Conservative Women

Let’s get the Nicolle Wallace business out of the way. Basically there were two staffers on the John McCain for President campaign back in 2008 that leaked unhelpful information to pliant media like broken sieves. If various accounts are to be believed, these individuals were Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace. You can look at some of the evidence for those now-widely accepted claims here. Stuff like:

In a nutshell, the controversy centers on this sentence from the VF profile: “Some top aides worried about her mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old.)”

Now, I’ve been around enough campaign operatives to know that at some point on flailing campaigns, many of them start worrying about whether they’ll be blamed for the results of the election. So they start positioning themselves as smarter, better, wiser, whatever, than everyone else, most importantly the candidates themselves. There is nothing new about this.

via thefederalist.com

The only I link to this is because I remember meeting Steve Schmidt back in the day. He struck me as a reasonably nice fellow, although he did rather lecture me on how now that Bush (1 -- I'm that old) was running for president, he was . . . something or other. The idea that Bush was going to be president was just so depressing, I left government. Well, for that and other reasons. He drove a big Mercedes, but it was several years old, and had a bunch of kids though he was young. Was he Catholic?, I wondered.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scottish referendum: Alone, Scotland will go back to being a failed state - Telegraph

But what I encountered in Scotland last week was not just a tale of two campaigns. It was a tale of two countries. My Scotland – as proudly British as it is Scottish, imbued with a sense of our unique historical contribution – is still there, but it has fallen silent. Another Scotland has sprung up alongside it that is quite different. It pretends to be multicultural but is in truth subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) anti-English. It could not care less about Scotland’s past, except as something to be distorted for political ends. And this other Scotland is very, very noisy.

via www.telegraph.co.uk

I think it would be a shame if Scotland broke away. Maybe it would have been better had it not unified in 1707, but that's another story. But I doubt it will break away. It sounds like a textbook case of polling under a certain kind of pressure. I think a lot of people in the privacy of the election box will have Come to Jesus moments. Through the magic of the google we learn that "bampot" is just a crazy person or idiot.

September 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Election forecasters bearish on GOP? Senate models looking more Democratic by the day « Hot Air

The state-level polling, however, is telling a different story. As more surveys of key battleground races are taken, election forecasters are revising their predictions. Probability models from a variety of respected analysts are now indicating that the race for control of the Senate is, at best, a tossup. Some are even leaning toward the notion that Democrats will retain control of the chamber.

via hotair.com

It's the end of the world.

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanford professor wins MacArthur 'genius grant' for racial awareness studies - San Jose Mercury News

She has found that skin color prejudices the perceptions of jurors, police officers and even the ordinary student who volunteers in research at Stanford University.

Black people, especially those with very dark skin and kinky hair, are more likely to be linked to crime, handed stiffer punishments or even sentenced to death than lighter-appearing individuals, according to her research.

via www.mercurynews.com

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elmo in handcuffs after Times Square bust | New York Post

A Times Square Elmo was busted in a sting operation by cops looking to combat overly aggressive panhand­ling by costumed creeps, sources said.

via nypost.com

never liked elmo

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low - Yahoo Finance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low for a considerable period because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar.

via finance.yahoo.com

o boy

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

GOP Candidate Takes 10-Point Lead in Colorado Governor’s Race | National Review Online

National media types have gone into overdrive to focus on the Kansas governor’s race where GOP incumbent Sam Brownback is struggling to win re-election after enacting a conservative agenda. But Brownback is within the margin of error in recent polls. That might not be the case about another governor in a larger state who is trouble for enacting a liberal agenda. The latest Quinnipiac University Poll finds Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper trailing his opponent, former GOP congressman Bob Beauprez, by 10 points.

via www.nationalreview.com

So there.

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Media Bias and the Benghazi Scandal « Commentary Magazine

Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, writing in the Daily Signal, tells the story of former State Department official Raymond Maxwell, a well-respected 21-year diplomat who personally contributed to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Mr. Maxwell has told lawmakers that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides–including her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan–privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the Accountability Review Board, the independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.

via www.commentarymagazine.com

RTWT

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rush Limbaugh is one of the Left's biggest assets - Liberty Unyielding

Now, Limbaugh has done it again. He spouted off stupidly after I publicized Ohio State University’s strange definition of “sexual assault.” That definition requires an “agreement” manifesting “affirmative consent” not just before sex but also before “touching” deemed sexual (does anyone ever ask “may I touch your breast” or “may I massage your cl__” while making out?  How awkward and unpleasant!). It also contains commentary saying you have to agree on “why” you are having sex.

via libertyunyielding.com

September 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Holman Jenkins: ObamaCare and American Decline - WSJ

This connects to another Obama legacy, a more dangerous and disorderly world. A world in which America needs to tighten up and toughen up. A world in which rising powers (e.g., China) no longer can be expected to finance endless American deficits so Americans can spend somebody else's money on health care. Election 2016 can't come fast enough for an America that needs a radical change of direction to cope with a changing world.

via online.wsj.com

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Insiders: Is there a mutiny brewing around Obama? - The Washington Post

Maybe Democratic leaders in Congress and a few members of the Obama team have had it. Could it be that, after President Obama briefed Democrats in Congress on the immigration plan, they balked? Maybe the president was told that, if he waved in millions of new illegal immigrants before November, there would be an open revolt against him within the party.

Similarly, a few members of this administration who have independence, stature and an adult disposition may have told the president he must act on the Islamic State or else they were out. I’m thinking of at least Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Is it possible they could not stomach doing nothing any longer and told the president that they would quit in protest if he did not take action?

via www.washingtonpost.com

Rush made much of this. But he admited he didn't know who Ed Rogers was. Not know who Ed Rogers is? He's living in his own bubble.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

'No' narrowly leads as Scotland campaign enters final day - The Times of India

EDINBURGH: New opinion polls indicated Scotland could narrowly reject independence as the rival campaigns battled into Wednesday, the final day before a historic vote that could split the United Kingdom.

via timesofindia.indiatimes.com

I would think a lot of people would say yes on the polls and vote no.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Read slowly to benefit your brain and cut stress - WSJ

Once a week, members of a Wellington, New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink and shut off their cellphones. Then they sink into cozy chairs and read in silence for an hour.

The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. The group calls itself the Slow Reading Club, and it is at the forefront of a movement populated by frazzled book lovers who miss old-school reading.

via online.wsj.com

"Solitary reading is as much a vice as solitary drinking." Some British wag said that. I spend more of my time reading than I do anything else. I seem to forget a great deal of what I read. Then I read it again. I get excited about getting a new book on Amazon and then find that I already bought it, three years ago. Then I get to search for it amongst my many books. Books are a vice. Kindle is great though because you can indulge the vice without anyone knowing. I agree it's good for stress and who knows, maybe for your brain as well.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop

Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

via dailysignal.com

That's tall paper.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war - The Week

Last week, two aircraft took off from the an air base in western Russia, just east of the Russian city of Saratov. The aircraft, Tu-95 strategic bombers code-named Bear by NATO, flew northwest, skirting Iceland, Greenland, and Canada.

Once beyond Canada, the two lumbering, propeller-driven bombers settled on a heading straight toward the United States. Their goal was a "launch box" off the coast of the U.S. from which, during wartime, they would fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles towards American cities and military bases.

via theweek.com

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dear Prudence: Celebrity ex’s worm fetish tapes as blackmail.

Blackmailing a Celebrity: I used to be in a relationship with somebody who is now a well-known celebrity, years before he became famous. He has a bizarre fetish involving worms, and there are video recordings. He emailed me a while ago (while he was engaged to his wife) asking if I wanted to meet with him and implied strongly that he wanted to engage in his fetish one last time. Now that he is extremely famous, I am tempted to get in touch with him and offer to sell him the clips for a large sum of money. The amount I am thinking of is a small portion of his net worth and probably the equivalent to an average person paying, say, a parking fine. Is it truly evil to blackmail a person if I’m only going to do it once? This guy is a jerk anyway, and I’m not asking for an amount of money that is significant to him. It is a small figure to him but would make a big difference in my pocket.

via www.slate.com

Blackmailing worm-fetishists is wrong.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Study: Liberals and conservatives sniff out like-minded mates by body odor - The Washington Post

Conservatives and liberals do not smell the same to potential mates. According to a study published this month in the American Journal of Political Science, people can literally sniff out ideology — and this may explain why so many couples share political beliefs. Or, as the study’s title says, “Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues.”

via www.washingtonpost.com

I'm not sure I believe this.

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

PHOTOS: Pets eat the darndest things - The Washington Post

Marilyn Iturri, Veterinary Practice News editor and the contest’s creator, said: “This year’s entries featured some of our old standards, such as cats eating hair ties and hair bands, threaded sewing needles and other shiny objects … Dogs often seem to eat golf balls, small rubber balls, rubber ducks and clothing items, plus a variety of metal objects not meant for consumption.” What stood out to Iturri this year was the amount the animals has consumed:  “One dog had swallowed five duckies and one of our top three winners ate 43.5 socks … That broke our socks-eaten record. And a pug ate a package of sewing needles, which previously we saw only cats do.”  

via www.washingtonpost.com

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Milky Way as you’ve never seen it, featuring no fewer than 219 million stars - The Washington Post

The above photo does not do justice to the extraordinary density-map of the Milky Way constructed by scientists at the University of Hertfordshire over a 10 year period using the Isaac Newton Telescope in the Canary Islands, so click here to get a better look, though it’s a mere segment of the entire image.

via www.washingtonpost.com

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Interview: Dinesh D'Souza on Jail Time, Intellectual Conservatism | New Republic

DD: My lawyers tell me that there is no one in the United States who has received a substantial sentence for doing what I did under similar facts. Hopefully, it will be just community service and a fine, but we don’t know. The judge has guidelines that would allow him to sentence me to up to two years.

via www.newrepublic.com

September 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Multiculturalism and Rape in Rotherham - NYTimes.com

What has gone wrong in Rotherham, and what is wrong with its Pakistani community, are questions much asked in recent weeks: How could this small, run-down town in northern England have been the center of sexual abuse of children on such an epic and horrifying scale?

via www.nytimes.com

Via instapundit: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Where To Stream John Waters’ Filthiest Films | Decider | Where To Stream TV & Movies on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, HBO Go

Last night saw the close of Film Society at Lincoln Center’s career retrospective of the revolutionary director John Waters. Celebrating his five decades of exploring bad taste — and pushing as many boundaries as possible — the film series offered screenings of Waters’ filthiest and most infamous pictures. If you didn’t get the chance to go, don’t worry: plenty of Waters’ films are available to stream online, giving you the privacy of your own home to check out his most disgusting and revolting movies.

via decider.com

I don't like Waters.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hillary isn’t popular anymore, and the campaign hasn’t even begun « Hot Air

Among those who have a positive view of Clinton, 21 considered it a “very positive” view while another 22 percent said it was only a “somewhat” positive opinion. Meanwhile, among those who hold a negative view of the former secretary, 26 percent said it was a “very negative” view while only 15 percent were lukewarm on their distaste for the likely Democratic presidential standard-bearer.

via hotair.com

Yup.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A virus hunter faces the big one: Ebola - The Washington Post

“This is the big one no one expected,” Fair says.

via www.washingtonpost.com

I read The Hot Zone and was afraid to leave my house for a week.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yes, Carl DeMaio Is a Gay Republican - NationalJournal.com

If DeMaio unseats Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in California’s bellwether 52nd District, he could become the first openly gay Republican to be voted into Congress—or he might have to share that title. Two other candidates for the House in 2014, Dan Innis of New Hampshire and Richard Tisei of Massachusetts, are gay, Republican, and making the same direct appeal to the country’s increasingly libertarian politics. They have said in recent interviews that voters don’t care about sexuality anymore; what matter are fiscal issues and fixing a dysfunctional political system.

via www.nationaljournal.com

This is an old story about Carl Demaio, whose campaign for Congress I'm thinking of covering, to the extent the RC covers anything. He seems like an interesting guy. The right people don't like him.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shifting his views, Rand Paul seeks broader appeal — but may risk his outsider image - The Washington Post

Sen. Rand Paul wanted to eliminate aid to Israel. Now he doesn’t. He wanted to scrap the Medicare system. Now he’s not sure.

via www.washingtonpost.com

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Wider War, A Weaker Case - NYTimes.com

To date, America’s military re-engagement in Iraq — which officially began a month ago, when the president decided to support Kurdish forces in their battle with ISIS, and to hold out a carrot of military support to the central government in Baghdad in return for the defenestration of Nouri Al-Maliki — has gone about as well as could be reasonably expected.

via douthat.blogs.nytimes.com

Yawn.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium? - NYTimes.com

One could make a case that lithium is the Cinderella of psychotropic medications, neglected and ill used. Reported by an Australian psychiatrist, John Cade, in 1949 to be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder (it was approved as a drug by the Food and Drug Administration in 1970) its efficacy in mood disorders and suicide prevention has been documented as well as or better than virtually any other psychotropic medication. But it retains a grim and undeserved reputation, perhaps because it was originally associated in the public mind with serious mental illness and because, like many medications, lithium can have serious side effects if not monitored properly. As a psychiatrist, I can tell you that because of its stigma, lithium as a medication is a hard sell to patients with serious mood disorders who could clearly benefit from treatment. But there are undoubtedly other reasons for its neglect. Pharmaceutical companies have nothing to gain from this cheap, ubiquitous element.

via www.nytimes.com

I'm Up for it.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to Get It Wrong - NYTimes.com

But the failings of economics were greatly aggravated by the sins of economists, who far too often let partisanship or personal self-aggrandizement trump their professionalism.

via www.nytimes.com

Herr Doktor Professor Krugman, behold the beam in thine own eye!

I admit the Doktor is writing these things himself now. All I can say is, if inflation ever does come back, and/or if the market crashes again, someone is really going to have to hold his feet to the fire. And secondly, I really think it is beholden of him to tell us what's in his portfolio, as least by category. He is so sure about inflation, he can't justify having any hedges against it. If he does, well, that just goes to show.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution - NYTimes.com

BERLIN — PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.

via www.nytimes.com

Glad to see Professor Ackerman has discovered the Constitution. No doubt it came to him, in a moment, that Prez O was betraying it.

September 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Don't Like That Israel Has the Bomb? Blame Nixon.

Packard's memo, among others, exposes the contours of a policy debate that has been hidden for years. By now, Israel's nuclear weapons are the world's worst-kept secret, universally accepted as well-established fact, and yet Washington still respects Israel's nuclear opacity stance, keeping up the charade that the U.S. government does not comment on Israel's nuclear status. Recent unofficial estimates published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (but which are based on U.S. intelligence leaks) suggest that Israel may possess 80 warheads and also an unspecified amount of weapons-grade fissile material in reserve. (Although the National Security Archive first submitted its declassification request to the Defense Department in 2006, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals panel only released the documents in March 2014.)

via www.foreignpolicy.com

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Libertarian mood in GOP wanes as Mideast concern rises - LA Times

The latest evidence of the shift comes from a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday that shows, among other things, fewer conservatives are worried that government anti-terrorism activities will lead to violations of civil liberties. Concern over the tradeoff between civil liberties and security had risen sharply after Edward Snowden's revelations of the widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency, for which he had been a contractor.

via www.latimes.com

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution - NYTimes.com

BERLIN — PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.

Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.

via www.nytimes.com

Ackerman doesn't like O anymore.

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gina Raimondo’s primary win in R.I. could transform debate on progressivism - The Washington Post

Raimondo has been that rare public servant who wants to use her office to actually solve major public problems — as opposed to just pretending to solve them, which is, sad to say, what most of American politics amounts to nowadays. She invested tremendous energy in changing public opinion by educating Rhode Islanders on the cost of doing nothing.

via www.washingtonpost.com

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Genocide of Mideastern Christians - WSJ

Evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics who would normally back strong military action were relatively silent in 2013. Why? I think because they were becoming broadly aware, for the first time, of what was happening to Christians in the Middle East. They were being murdered, tortured, abused for their faith and run out of the region. And for all his crimes and failings, Syria's justly maligned Assad was not attempting to crush his country's Christians. His enemies were—the jihadists, including those who became the Islamic State.

In the year since, the brutality against Middle Eastern Christians, and Islamic State's ferocious anti-Christian agenda, has left many Christians deeply alarmed. Jihadists are de-Christianizing the Mideast, where Christianity began.

An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.

In roughly the past 18 months, all this has broken through in Christian communities, largely by way of Christian media, including Catholic news services and the Baptist press. The story has been all over social media. Pope Francis has denounced what is happening; the Vatican is talking about just-war theory.

via online.wsj.com

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Islamists Are Not Our Friends - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — A new fault line has emerged in Middle Eastern politics, one that will have profound implications for America’s foreign policy in the region. This rift is not defined by those who support or oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or by conflict between Sunnis and Shiites and the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is characterized by a fundamental division between Islamists and non-Islamists.

via www.nytimes.com

September 12, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)