Friday, April 19, 2013

Cruising the Web

The response to the Boston Marathon has exposed the limitations of both the MSM and the new media. We saw the mass confusion as major news outlets reported that the authorities had arrested a suspect. And we have seen the limitations and opportunities inherent in the crowd-sourcing capabilities on the internet as people around the world pored over all the available online photos of the Marathon looking for people carrying the bookbag that held the bomb. They zeroed in on two people and searched for more and more pictures of them. Then the New York Post featured those two men on their cover calling them the "Bag Men." Well, they turned out to be totally innocent bystanders but now their photos have been circulated worldwide as suspects. While I think that the crowd-sourcing opportunities of the internet are very exciting, this episode has revealed the dangerous possibilities inherent.

William Saletan has a good article looking at all the times since the beginning of 2012 alone that the FBI and police have uncovered and halted prospective terror attacks. We have indeed been very lucky and the authorities should be receiving much more credit than they've gotten.

Peter Suderman points out that Obama and Obamacare's proponents never really planned for continued Republican opposition once they crammed the bill through. And now one of the bill's progenitors, Montana senator Max Baucus is warning us of a "huge-train wreck" approaching as the bill is being implemented and Republicans aren't going to let Baucus get away with Baucus's attempt to shift blame for the bill's problems.
In response, Rep. Pompeo has released a harshly worded letter to Baucus that basically amounts to the congressional version of Adam Sandler’s endlessly useful Wedding Singer line about “things that could have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!”

“Unless you act before it’s too late, the American people are going to hold you personally responsible for the failings of this law that negatively impact their jobs, their health, and their families,” the letter says. “You drafted it, you twisted arms to get it passed, and, until now, you have lauded it as a model for all the world.” There’s more, but you get the idea.

The law’s supporters are, of course, going to attempt to blame Republicans for its failures—noting, for example, that most Republican governors have declined to implement the law’s exchanges, and that Republicans in Congress have not gone along with Democratic requests to top off funding for implementing the law. This is self-evidently silly.
Robert Costa writes how the House is returning to "regular order." Instead of conducting last minute negotiations with the President, they're going to have bills go through the regular committee process. This will slow down bills coming over from the Senate but it will also help ensure that we don't get these last-minute monstrosities that no one has read or examined. This is a good idea regardless of who is president.

Kathleen Sebelius says that it is "impossible" to tie employers reducing employees' hours to Obamacare. Apparently, she still doesn't understand how people respond to incentives and disincentives. And she missed the story just this week of how Regal Entertainment has cut employees back to 30-hour work week because of Obamacare.

Of course, as we come to see more and more of the prediction of Obamacare's opponents come true, the Democrats are reduced to attacking the facts and those who report on them.

It would be hard to find anyone on TV more full of himself for so little reason than Geraldo Rivera. Now he's claiming that he somehow had something to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Soviet Union because he started his talk show a year before it happened and it was aired in the Soviet Union. Hasn't he heard about rooster claiming credit for the dawn?

The Obama administration likes lecturing European nations that they need to make spending cuts. Right. I'm sure that their "Do as I say, not as I do" approach goes over well.

James Taranto points out that the Gosnell abortion story proves that back street abortions are still going on despite Roe v Wade.

President Obama can blame himself for the failure of any compromise on gun control legislation.

Charles Krauthammer ponders the politics behind Obama choosing or not choosing to use the word "terror" to characterize attacks on Americans.