Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cruising the Web

Mary Katharine Ham finds the similarities between Venezuela and Bloomberg's New York as Venezuelan lawmakers are deciding whether to ban bottle-feeding of babies. Mayor Bloomberg has also been pondering ways that make sure fewer new mothers use formula. MKH concludes by pointing out that the country has a chronic shortage of toilet paper,
Visit Venezuela: All of the overbearing, petty intrusiveness of New York City, none of the prosperity.
I so very well remember spending a summer in the Soviet Union in 1979 and being amazed at the alternatives used in public bathrooms for TP. It was not uncommon to see Pravda cut into squares for our bathroom use - a fitting repurposing if ever there was one. And I did occasionally encounter wax paper used for toilet paper. Wax paper is not known for its absorbency. I remember writing my husband that no modern country that failed supplying its citizenry with toilet paper was going to win the Cold War. Apparently, I had more insights to the state of Soviet power than our own CIA at the time.

Veronique de Rugy talks about how really bizarre our federal farm program is.
Imagine you have a business and I’ve guaranteed that you receive a higher price than you’d otherwise be able to obtain from your customers, shielding you from competition. Then I lend you money, directly or indirectly. But even with these privileges, you are still struggling to make a profit and may end up defaulting on your loans.

What should I do? If I’m using my own money, I suspect I would take losses on my loans and get out of the business of supporting you. But if I am using someone else’s money, I may think that it’s a good idea to buy some of your stuff, to artificially increase the demand for your product. I would then resell the goods (at a loss, to give the buyer an incentive to buy from me) and then I would restrict the buyer’s ability to buy the same good from a foreign suppliers in the hopes that it would force prices up even further, allowing you to pay me back. While that sounds crazy to me, that’s exactly what the federal government is doing for sugar producers in the U.S.
Death by beheading seems to be catching on in England.

Bobby Jindal demonstrates once again why he's one of my favorite possible 2016 candidates as he publishes a column telling the GOP to stop the navel-gazing.
But excessive navel gazing leads to paralysis. At present it looks as if the entire Republican party needs to go to counseling. It’s really getting embarrassing, all these public professions of feelings of inadequacy. Every day it seems another jilted high-placed Republican in Washington is confessing to the voters; “It’s not you, it’s me…”
Republican political correctness is all the rage, and it’s all roughly the same: we need to stop being conservative… we need to abandon our principles (at least the ones that don’t poll well)… we need to let the smart guys in Washington pick our candidates…we need big data and analytics so we can optimize… we need to be more libertarian…we need to endorse abortion…we need fewer debates…and the list goes on.
The overall level of panic and apology from the operative class in our party is absurd and unmerited. It’s time to stop the bedwetting.
Now there's a slogan! Vote for me because I'm not wetting the bed! I hope the steps that he's taken recently to write such columns are a sign that he will throw his hat into the ring for 2016.

The National Journal summarizes Obama's defense of the NSA surveillance program: "Trust Us, Because ... Trust Us." And, as James Taranto points out, what Obama is really saying is "Trust us because we're not Bush and Cheney" as if partisan appeals are the way to convince the American people of the righteousness of what has been a policy implemented by both Bush and Obama. But then, Obama isn't above trying to claim credit for the FISA court system even though it was established in 1978.

Two top officials of the Diplomatic Security Service within the State Department may well have committed perjury.

Obama is under even more pressure from his fanatical environmentalist supporters to veto the Keystone pipeline. Postponing the decision until after the election has just given him more problems.

Hillary Clinton has a history of feeding into conspiracy theories that are politically fortuitous for her.

Why would anyone care that Claire McCaskill is endorsing Hillary in 2016? This is a woman who only survived reelection because the GOP ran a real doofus against her who put his foot and entire leg into his mouth. Otherwise, McCaskill would be retired in well-deserved obscurity now. Instead she's in the Senate putting a one-person hold on a perfectly reasonable Obama nominee for her own PC reasons. James Taranto has the details.