Links for 8-14-2012

  • Vice President Joe Biden had a great day on the campaign trail today. Speaking in Danville, Virginia, he assured the crowd that “We can win North Carolina.” He went on to mock the sign language interpreter who was working the event: “…she’s gonna have tendonitis by the time she finishes this.” Then the speech came to a tremendous crescendo when Biden told the audience, many of whom were black, that Romney and the Republicans are “…going to put y’all back in chains.” Free advice to the Obama campaign: Put Joe Biden on the campaign trail 24×7, from now until November 6. You won’t regret it.

  • Karin McQuillan wrote an interesting article on “Obama’s Strange Dependence on Valerie Jarrett”: “Every insider in Chicago told [Edward] Klein the same thing: Jarrett has no qualifications to be the principal advisor to the president of the United States. She doesn’t understand how Washington works, how relations with Congress work, how the federal process works. She doesn’t understand how the economy works, how the military works, how national security works. But she understands how Obama works. The president turns to Valerie Jarrett for definitive advice on all these issues. She has given him terrible advice over and over, and still he turns to her.”

  • Stanley Kurtz wrote an article for Forbes that summarizes the main points of his new book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

  • CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was caught on the air flipping through a print out of a Talking Points Memo blog post as she discussed Paul Ryan’s budget with Virginia House of Delegates member Barbara Comstock. O’Brien didn’t cite the blog post but she did see fit to quote from it. It’s one thing to suspect that mainstream media personalities are taking their talking points from the left wing blogosphere; it’s another thing to see them do it on the air.

  • Next year middle class taxpayers will see federal, state, and local taxes consume 50% of their income, which is insane.

  • Daniel Horowitz offers another view on Paul Ryan’s not-so-extreme budget proposal. The cuts are small and government spending still increases at a 3% annual rate starting in 2015.

  • Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked about yesterday’s shooting near Texas A&M University and offered a weak defense of the Second Amendment.

  • The voter fraud case in Miami expanded to include the uncle of former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina. Sergio Robaina was charged with two felony counts of voter fraud and two misdemeanor counts of possessing more than two absentee ballots.

  • The ACLU and the League of United Latin American Citizens sued Iowa to stop implementation of a program that compares the state’s voter rolls against state and federal databases of foreign nationals living in the state.

  • The U.K.’s Standard Chartered Bank agreed to a $340 million settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services over charges that the bank laundered $250 billion for Iran; Standard Chartered admitted that it violated U.S. sanctions, but said the transactions involved totaled only $14 million.

  • A Russian Akula class attack submarine operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for a month.

  • Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, ran a twenty year influence peddling scheme in Washington, D.C. via Ghulam Nabi Fai, who is now serving a two year prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

Links for 8-13-2012

Links for 8-10-2012

Links for 8-9-2012

  • Andrew Grossman and Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation argue that the Department of Health and Human Services cannot legally waive welfare’s work requirements. Mitt Romney’s campaign produced another video that uses clips of Democrats praising welfare reform’s work requirement to criticize the Obama administration’s action to waive it.

  • The New York Times published an article about a Mitt Romney investment that’s almost pleasant, if not complementary.

  • The Inspector General for the Department of Justice created a new position in his department, the “Whistleblower Ombudsman.” Among other duties, this person is supposed to monitor investigations of retaliation against whistleblowers, such as the alleged retaliation against the ATF agents who helped expose Operation Fast and Furious.

  • The Department of Justice will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or its employees over claims that they failed to fully inform investors about the risks associated with collaterized mortgage obligations.

  • The world’s oldest shipping company is going out of business. Stephenson Clark Shipping, which is based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, started in 1730. They sold their last vessel in July. (via Ed Driscoll)

  • The U.N.’s carbon credit scheme offers perverse incentives that encourage companies to manufacture large amounts of an ozone-depleting refrigerant so they can destroy a by-product gas that’s considered even more detrimental to the atmosphere.

Links for 8-8-2012

Links for 8-7-2012

Links for 8-6-2012

  • True the Vote used the National Voter Registration Act to notify 160 counties across the country that they have more people registered to vote than they do residents of voting age, at least according to the 2010 census.

  • The Wall Street Journal editorializes on the inevitable outcome of RomneyCare (and ObamaCare): “Under the plan, all Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure – that is, permission to practice. They’ll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics… An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017, and 0.5 percentage points lower thereafter… In other words, the commission is empowered to control the practice and organization of medicine.” Hello, Death Panel.

  • The New York State Department of Financial Services accused Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank of laundering money for Iran for nearly ten years. The regulators are demanding that Standard Chartered explain why they shouldn’t revoke their license to operate in New York; based on the internal communication cited in the complaint, that could be difficult.

  • Good news: The Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior want to encourage energy development on DoD land. Bad news: Only if it’s “renewable” energy – solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and other expensive systems that kill birds and bats, cause small earthquakes, and pollute the air more than burning natural gas. You didn’t expect anything else from this White House, did you?

  • Al Armendariz, the regional EPA administrator who talked himself out of his job by comparing enforcement actions to crucifixions, is now working for the Sierra Club. The goal of his new job? Destroying the coal industry in Texas. I don’t see how this is any different from the goal of his old job.

  • Sean Penn is campaigning for Hugo Chavez. Yes, really.

  • A factor that probably contributed to India’s blackouts: 15% to 30% of all power generated is lost to “illegal hookups, bill fraud, or nonpayment.”

  • The Curiosity rover’s Entry, Descent and Landing Operations team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses a lot of Macs.

  • The Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter captured an image of the Curiosity rover as it parachuted toward the surface of Mars.

  • The Obama administration was quick to congratulate the Curiosity rover team, but Obama’s proposed 2013 budget (the one that received zero votes in Congress) cut about $300 million from NASA’s planetary science budget.