Friday, July 19, 2013

Cruising the Web

Peggy Noonan describes the bombshell from yesterday's House hearings on the IRS - the orders to hold up the approval of non-profit status for conservative groups came from the office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS, one of the only two political appointees in the whole organization. The defense of the Democrats at this point is that President Obama himself never called anyone in Cincinnati to order this behavior. Yeah, as if anyone thought that was what happened.

Heather MacDonald refutes the idea that our criminal-justice systems discriminates against blacks.

David Freddoso presents the statistics behind Detroit's path to bankruptcy. It's all very depressing and it's been going on for decades. As Walter Russell Mead writes, what is wrong with Detroit represents the ultimate endproduct of what he calls the "blue model."
Progressive politicians, wonks, and activists can only blame big corporations and other liberal bogeymen for so long. The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one-party system devoted to the blue social model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair. The sooner blues come to terms with this reality, the greater chance other cities will have of avoiding Detroit’s fate.
Ha! Six major retailers tell the D.C. mayor that they would rethink building more outlets in the District if the stupid living-wage law recently passed becomes law. Six major retailers including The Home Depot, Target, AutoZone, Lowe's, Walgreen, and Macy's, wrote Mayor Gray saying that they would "revisit" any plans to expand in Washington if he signs the law. They stated what anyone could figure out - they could just build in Maryland or Virginia instead of Washington. Good for them.

Well-respected expert on constitutional law Ronald Rotunda explains why Obama's decision to suspend enforcement of the employer mandate in Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional. This is a precedent that both sides of the partisan divide should oppose.
If the president has the discretion to ignore laws that he prefers not to exist, the constitutional limits of presidential authority have the restraining power of air. President George H.W. Bush argued, unsuccessfully, that Congress should lower the capital gains rate. Under Obama’s faulty interpretation of presidential power, he should have simply instructed the Internal Revenue Service not to tax capital gains at a rate greater than 10 percent, regardless of the tax code. The Supreme Court held in 1998 that it was unconstitutional to give the president a line-item veto that Congress could override. Obama’s newfound “power” is much greater than that, because there is no procedure to override a presidential decree.

Going forward, why should lobbyists urge Congress to create, extend or change a tax deduction when all they have to do is persuade the president? Obama, a proven fundraiser, could outdo himself over the next several years with this new “power.” Nixon might have salivated at such power — which simply isn’t part of the president’s authority.
The only question now is who will have the legal standing to challenge this unconstitutional action.

IBD describes 10 ways that Obamacare is not working as it should be.
But what Obama didn't say is that he himself has signed three bills that dismantled chunks of ObamaCare. Nor did he mention that his administration has had to issue hundreds of waivers and delay key features that weren't working. Or how the Supreme Court found a major provision unconstitutional. Or that many Democrats want other parts of the law thrown out.

Obama also failed to mention the growing opposition from unions that once backed ObamaCare. One has called for its outright repeal, while saying the law will hurt middle class families.

Indeed, the closer ObamaCare gets to its official start, the more it appears not to be working at all in the way it's supposed to.
Kmart is having some fun with their ads. Check out how they're using "Yo Mama" jokes to sell Kmart. I'm not sure that these ads would convince anyone to shop there, but they would get people's attention.

Larry Sabato takes a look at state political ads that are worthy of being imitated (or avoided) by candidates in upcoming elections. There are some quality ads here.

Obama is not exercising a "hidden hand" presidency such as Eisenhower's presidency, but rather a "visible foot" presidency.

Wow, the NEA and its affiliates are bleeding membership.

This is depressing - police think a woman may have burned stolen masterpieces by Picasso, Monet, Matisse, and others to protect her son who was one of the thieves who stole the paintings from a Rotterdam museum.

Here is how to understand the debates over health insurance rates.