Links for 1-31-2013

Links for 1-30-2013

Links for 1-29-2013

Links for 1-28-2013

  • From the Don’t-Point-Out-the-Hypocrisy-of-Statist-Officeholders Department: Jason Mattera approached New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg outside the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C. and asked, “In the spirit of gun control, will you disarm your entire security team?” Bloomberg didn’t answer, his five NYPD bodyguards screened Bloomberg from Mattera, and then a NYPD goon followed Mattera down the street and asked for a photo ID. The NYPD officer had no authority to do that in Washington, D.C.

  • From the Don’t-Point-Out-the-Hypocrisy-of-Soros-Funded-Organizations Department: Media Matters for America paid one of David Brock’s assistants to carry a concealed handgun – ostensibly to protect him from “right wing assassins” – in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately for Media Matters and the assistant, he didn’t have a permit to do this, thereby committing multiple felonies. Oops.

  • A bipartisan group of Senators (including Marco Rubio) announced the outline of an immigration reform plan today. Mark Krikorian runs through some of the plan’s obvious flaws, such as calling for an entry-exit visa checking system when the Congress has already passed six laws instructing the Executive Branch to implement one – why would should we expect the seventh to work? Moreover this plan would only apply such a system to visitors traveling through airports and sea ports, while the majority of visitors to the U.S. travel over land. The plan also appoints a commission that’s supposed to declare the borders secure as a condition for beginning amnesty, but the commission can only offer an opinion – it’s not legally binding, so it isn’t a real precondition. Hot Air offers more on the border commission.

  • Democrat members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met privately with Obama and asked him not to introduce his own immigration reform bill because doing so would instantly polarize the issue and cause it to fail. Yes, even the Democrats know Obama is that divisive.

  • Joel Pollak lists ten facts conservatives should keep in mind on immigration reform. Republicans who are afraid of demographic shifts need to repeat number six over and over to themselves: “Regardless of what passes, Republicans will still be labeled bigots.”

  • Democrats are offering to fund a Tea Party candidate to run against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Senate primary – they’re hoping to find a Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock candiate who will lose the generate election.

  • Charles Kesler deconstructs Obama’s inauguration speech:

    Thus “equality,” which for Lincoln meant the recognition of our equal humanity and therefore equal freedom, means for Obama the compulsory redistribution of wealth. “Liberty,” in turn, transforms into the right to live out the lifestyle of our choice, free from others’ offensive remarks, and with federal subsidies as necessary or demanded.

    Even as the Declaration’s original meaning fades, so does the Constitution’s. Toward the end of the speech, Obama mentioned that the oath of office he had taken that day “was an oath to God and country,” not so different from the oath a new citizen or a soldier takes. Actually, though all these oaths are sworn before God, they are properly speaking oaths to support the Constitution. The presidential oath is emphatic, and distinctive, in that regard. He alone (unlike new citizens or soldiers) swears to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Obama overlooked the main element of his own oath, which is not so surprising given his allegiance to the living constitution, which is rather different from the written one.

  • Walter Russell Mead published an excellent essay entitled, “Another Road: The Blue Elites Are Wrong”:

    The blue technocrats now influential in the national administration and in many of the country’s most important universities and foundations are reacting to real problems. In the last thirty years the transformation of the American economy has contributed to income polarization. The old industrial middle class, based on mass employment in unionized oligopolies, has been hollowed out, and no comparable source of stable high income employment has emerged. Large groups in America today are living on transfers from the profits of the healthy portions of the private sector recycled through government spending and subsidies. It is easy to see how rational people can conclude that the only hope of preserving mass prosperity in America comes from transfers and subsidies. If we add to this the belief that only a powerful and intrusive regulatory state can prevent destructive climate change, then the case for the blue utopia looks ironclad. To save the planet, save the middle class and provide American minorities and single mothers with the basic elements of an acceptable life, we must set up a far more powerful federal government than we have ever known, and give it sweeping powers over the production and distribution of wealth.

    But what if this isn’t true? What if the shift from a late-stage industrial economy to an information economy has a different social effect? What if the information revolution continues and even accelerates the democratization of political, social and cultural life by empowering ordinary people? What if the information revolution, like the industrial revolution, ultimately leads to a radical improvement in the way ordinary people live and opens up vast new horizons of human potential and freedom?

  • Israeli sources speaking to The Times of London confirmed a report of an explosion at Iran’s Fordo nuclear material processing facility.

  • The U.S. signed a deal with Niger to establish a drone aircraft base to assist with the fighting in neighboring Mali.

  • Chevon’s long-running legal case in Ecuador took a weird turn when the judge who originally presided over the case admitted in a sworn affidavit to a U.S. federal court that he accepted payment from the Ecuadorian plaintiffs lawyers and a subsequent judge to rule against Chevron. Who would have guessed you could buy a court in Ecuador?

Links for 1-27-2013

Links for 1-26-2013

Links for 1-25-2013

  • The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declared Obama’s non-recess recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board unconstitutional. Not only did the court rule that the Senate was in session at the time of the appointments, but it stated that Obama has no business deciding when the Senate is in session. Moreover the court restricted the window in which the President can make a recess appointment when the Senate is truly in recess – only when the position in question is vacated during a Senate recess and the President appoints a new person to that position during the same recess can the President make a recess appointment. The Obama administration will surely appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, but if it holds up, every decision taken by the NLRB while the three recess-appointed members held office will be vacated. It’s nice to see a court decision where the judges actually read and applied the Constitution as it was written – even if the NLRB responded by announcing it’s business as usual for them.

  • U.S. Senator from Georgia Saxby Chambliss will not run for a third term. Chambliss is denying that his decision was motivated by a likely primary challenge from the political right. Uh-huh.

  • Joe Miller is thinking about running for the U.S. Senate again by challenging Democrat Mark Begich in 2014. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah Palin is thinking about this race, too.

  • Speaking of Sarah Palin, she declined to renew her contract with Fox News.

  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered a keynote speech to the Republican National Committee that reads like a call to populist libertarianism. The RNC voted Reince Priebus another two year term as chair anyway.

  • Mark Krikorian did a great job tearing apart a pro-amnesty op-ed by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick in today’s Wall Street Journal. I liked the portion on encouraging immigration of people with high tech skills: “While we certainly should (and do) have a means for genuine Einsteins to move here, most of the skilled workers we admit don’t fall under that category. Such immigration merely provides cheap, docile labor for employers; as George Borjas put it with regard to a piece of this issue, ‘foreign students play the same role in staffing the research labs of American universities that Mexican illegal workers play in staffing the vast agricultural fields of California.’ What’s more, a large flow of tech workers takes the pressure off our own schools to improve, decoupling the interests of American business from the results of our educational system.”

  • Dave Carter’s reaction to Leon Panetta’s decision to allow women in combat contains interesting observations of high ranking Air Force officers: “…I worked directly for literally dozens of colonels, brigadier generals and major generals during my career. Of these senior leaders, there were maybe a half dozen that I felt routinely put the interests of their troops over that of their own careers. Of these half dozen, there were two that I would gladly follow to storm the gates of hell itself. They never made it beyond the rank of brigadier general. The worst of the bunch progressed to three and four-star rank.”

  • The Daily Caller learned that the FBI opened an investigation into Senator Bob Menendez’s habit of flying to the Dominican Republic in a political donor’s plane to have sex with underage prostitutes. They also learned that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and ABC News knew about the story in April/May of last year and failed to publicly report it. Perhaps if they had reported it, Menendez’s re-election bid last November might have turned out differently. Then again, he’s a Democrat, so he might have won by a wider margin.

  • An area of the Australian outback called the Arckaringa Basin contains between 133 billion and 233 billion barrels of shale oil. It remains to be seen how much of that can be extracted.