Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cruising the Web

I'm back from a wonderful vacation to San Francisco. What a lovely and interesting city with such great food! We saw so much and it was rather nice to take a break from politics. It does rather seem that not much changed - there is a salutary lesson there for other political junkies.

The city does have a very convenient transportation system, but one thing we noticed is that so many people would board the buses at both the front and in the rear without noticeably paying. We had a week-long pass, but the driver rarely even seemed to look up to notice we were flashing it. We kept noticing this and wondering about it. My daughter did some research and it turns out that this is a feature, not a bug. They figure that it saves time to let people board at both entrances using the honor system. They claim that they have inspectors who randomly check that people pay, but, from our perspective, people either have figured out that they can game the system or they are paying and just not showing their passes. I figure that we could have saved the money and ridden the whole week for free.

NRO's Eliana Johnson has uncovered email evidence that Lois Lerner, the IRS officer now taking the Fifth Amendment to keep from testifying in the IRS scandal, illegally shared confidential information with an FEC attorney about a conservative organization.

Nanny Bloomberg's ban on giant sodas receives yet another setback. Apparently, the mayor and his administration don't have the power to usurp the role of the elected legislature. Sounds like a salutary lesson for overreaching executives everywhere.

No one should regard Bradley Manning as a hero. As a result of his leaks, those in Iraq or Afghanistan who helped Americans. And just because he is gay, he shouldn't be a hero to gays since his leaks endangered the lives of homosexuals in some countries where it can be a risk to one's life to be known to be gay.

The president's advisers interfered with FDA approval of genetically engineered salmon that had been determined to no difference in the salmon's nutritional value or anything else, but would have vastly increased the number of salmon available for consumption and thus lower the price. You'd think that this would be an excellent development for an administration devoted to healthy diets, but not if it would alarm leftist groups paranoid about genetic modification.

Mickey Kaus identifies five disconnects between what Obama says about the economy. By the way, "disconnect" is really a euphemism for lie. What a surprise that Obama's rhetoric is not in accord with reality. He'd prefer to demagogue about income inequality as if he has had nothing to do with the economy over the past four and a half years.

Gosh, how telling is this? Anthony Weiner gives a Clintonesque response when asked if he is no longer sexting.
Q: And it was over a year ago? There’s been nothing else?
A: I mean, oh yeah, all that stuff is behind me. You can quibble about you know, beginnings, middles and ends, but it was basically a year ago.
With his record, would you buy that as an unqualified statement that he's done with sexting young ladies?

Suddenly, the White House no longer believes in infrastructure projects as stimulus for the economy. That's quite a change.

In case you missed this lovely irony from last week - the employee union representing IRS workers doesn't want their members to be covered by Obamacare. Remember that the IRS will be the ones to enforce Obamacare.

And the call center tasked with informing the public about Obamacare has made half its employees part-timers in order to avoid the mandated Obamacare costs.

And, to complete this trifecta of irony, members of Congress and their aides don't want to have to get their health insurance through the exchanges being set up under Obamacare.

David Weigel of Slate does us all a favor by exposing how empty all the praise that Huma Abedin had received prior to this most recent, er, exposure of her husband, Anthony Weiner's continued sexting. She was constantly getting praised for how wonderful she is, but the only thing people had to praise her about was how elegant she is. There was never anything substantive about anything she had done to deserve that fulsome praise except for descriptions of her clothes, hair, etc. In terms of being overrated and being praised without substance, Abedin is just following in the footsteps of her former employer, Hillary Clinton. I've yet to see anyone make a substantive argument in praise of anything specific she accomplished as First Lady, senator, or Secretary of State.

Ron Fournier rebuts the thesis that presidential leadership is impossible in today's politics.

How the GOP primaries will be like the NCAA basketball brackets.

The Trayvon Martin case is not a story about race, but one about the media.

Today would have been Milton Friedman's 101st birthday. Wouldn't it be great to have him around today commenting on economics and other policies, particularly his support for choice in education. He was the best on defending the free-market system. I bet he'd love the charter school movement.