Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cruising the Web

Yet more improper behavior at the IRS as we find out that IRS officials were improperly looking at the tax records of some political candidates and donors. And, of course, the Justice Department chose not to prosecute anyone. We don't know which politicians were targeted, but the point is that some workers in the IRS took advantage of their position to do so. We shouldn't have to be wondering what else that IRS officials were doing with all that confidential information they have access to.

So what's a little more debt? The Obama reelection campaign is still about $3.5 million in debt.

Officials of the Justice Department say that it would be difficult to bring charges against Zimmerman for a hate crime because they don't have any evidence that he was motivated by race. Isn't that the sort of conclusion that would be useful for the DOJ to make quite public so as to calm down racial tensions that have been stirred up by all those who wish that they could turn this into some sort of repetition of the Emmett Till murder. In fact, it's hard to see which federal law that George Zimmerman may have violated. Being full of himself as a self-appointed neighborhood watch officer who made a terrible and tragic mistake is not a federal crime no matter how much all those trying to gin up some sort of racial crime would like it to be.

Apparently, the New York Times editorial writers don't even read their own reporting.

Of course, the NYT does seem to have, as James Taranto identifies it, a "perverse nostalgia for pervasive racism."

This is an odd and sad story that sounds like the plot of a bad novel: a man woke up with amnesia and speaking Swedish.

Michael Munger wipes the floor with a column in the New York Times lamenting that there are so many poor children in North Carolina. Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School for Social Research wrote:
Let’s look at North Carolina. It is the 39th richest state, and yet it ranks 12th for the percentage of children living in poverty – only 11 states fare worse.
Munger replies:
Um, ma’am….if it is the 39th richest state, that means it's the 12th poorest state. That means there are 11 states that are poorer. And if it is the 12th for percentage of children living in poverty….then again there are 11 states that are poorer. It’s exactly the same proportion, not out of line at all. What's with this "And yet..." thing you got going?

Here is the history of the filibuster and how it is used to protect the rights of the minority in the senate. And what Harry Reid doesn't tell the public is how he's been overusing the power of the Majority Leader to make sure that no one can offer amendments to bills which thus leads the minority to have to filibuster more. The problem is that each new adjustment in rules leads to an escalation as future majority and minority leaders will just keep on increasing the use of whatever tactics their predecessors had used. And Robert Dove, a former parliamentarian of the Senate, also writes to explain the role of the filibuster in how our government is structured.
The aim was always the same: to encourage debate but never to permit simple majority rule of the Senate. Opponents argue that Rule 22 fosters an inefficient and cumbersome process. Less commonly noted is the fact that such brakes on the system are exactly what was intended and have served the country well.
And please don't bring in poll results showing that a majority of the American people want filibuster reform. That just proves the entire point. The filibuster is to protect the minority, not the majority. And since both parties have a chance to be in the minority, there are good reasons for both sides to preserve that protection. Democrats might want to ponder analyses, such as that by Sean Trende and Philip Bump in The Atlantic. that are seeing improved chances for the Republicans to take the Senate back next year. Of course, the GOP has a history of blowing such opportunities, but perhaps they'll show an unusual for them ability to learn from past mistakes.

However, it is still true that there are "fault lines in the Democratic Party."

Mortimer Zuckerman ponders our jobless recovery.

Jason Riley has some statistics to discuss if we're going to have a "national conversation' about race.