Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cruising the Web

This is rich: Bill Clinton criticizes Barack Obama for paying too much attention to polls.

This will surprise no one: an academic study "blames collective bargaining for education stagnation."

And this is not at all surprising either: all the lawyers working for the federal government contribute overwhelmingly to the Democratic Party. As taxprof writes,
The political contribution numbers of government lawyers show that the IRS controversy is really a symptom of a larger disease -- the rule by career bureaucrat lawyers. Lawyers as a group are not politically representative of the country as a whole, and neither are government employees, so the combination of the two of them creates a dramatic mismatch with the bulk of America. The result of the mismatch is that government agencies lack the political diversity that is necessary to effectively represent the American people. The idea that the Department of Justice, on which we depend for fair and impartial enforcement of the law, is so overwhelmingly tilted to one side should make everyone uneasy regardless of political viewpoint. Whatever the reason for the disparity,the numbers reveal a severely dysfunctional culture in government agencies, one that does not serve the country well.

The media and Congress have understandably focused on the IRS specifically in sorting out the controversy. The numbers, however, suggest that the problem is not with the IRS in particular, but with the federal government as a whole (and indeed, with state governments as well). The root of the problem is the rule by a class of career government employee lawyers who lack the diversity of opinion that is found in the non-lawyer private sector. The IRS inquiry, rather than focusing narrowly on "who knew what" within the agency, should lead to a top-to-bottom rethinking of who's doing the administration in the modern bureaucratic administrative state.

And here is yet another non-surprise that conservatives warned about. Wal-Mart and other big retailers are hiring more temporary and part-time workers in order to avoid the increased costs of Obamacare.

Jim Geraghty explains why "rote denials" are not enough for the new State Department scandals.

George Will details the partisan and ugly history of how Lois Lerner, when she was at the FEC, tried to intimidate a Republican from running for office ever again. As Will concludes, it is the appearance of such bullying partisans in bureaucratic positions that explain why so many distrust big government.
Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government.....Government requires trust. Government by progressives, however, demands such inordinate amounts of trust that the demand itself should provoke distrust. Progressivism can be distilled into two words: “Trust us.” The antecedent of the pronoun is: The wise, disinterested experts through whom the vast powers of the regulatory state’s executive branch will deliver progress for our own good, as the executive branch understands this, whether we understand it or not. Lois Lerner is the scowling face of this state, which has earned Americans’ distrust.

Apparently some politicians and their aides are thinking of quitting their government work because their health insurance rates will skyrocket under Obamacare.

Jeffrey Lord explains how the IRS scandal is following the pattern of the Keating Five scandal.

Jack Shafer notices the selective targeting of leaks. Some leaks are perfectly fine. And this administration is particularly fond of the favorable leaks that make Obama look like a strong leader.