Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cruising the Web

Have some fun trying to complete the Gerrymandering Jigsaw Puzzle. Unsurprisingly, my home state of North Carolina has one of the most ridiculously gerrymandered districts.

The terrible story of the boredom murder in Oklahoma touches on the real discussion we should be having about crime by young men in America.
Then we wouldn't have to focus on a culture that produces teenagers for whom the prospect of shooting an innocent man in the back on a Friday evening apparently raised not a scintilla of conscience. That is the deeper tragedy, and the real scandal, of too much of American life.

That is also an issue of far greater consequence to the future of young black men than the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his awful showdown with Trayvon. If only Mr. Sharpton and his fellow black leaders paid attention to what was missing in the lives of those three teenagers. Maybe President Obama would even care to use it as one of his teachable moments.
And then we could head over to Chicago and talk about what is causing all those murders there.

Jonah Goldberg has some thoughts about what a Biden run in the Democratic primaries might turn into.
Both Clinton and Biden would run as Obama loyalists. That’ll be great with the base, particularly the all-important African-American bloc. But it assumes that Obama’s marginal popularity extends to a general election, where independents matter. Republicans will be giddy to watch Clinton and Biden duke it out over who is the more deserving heir to stagnating wages, the Obamacare debacle, and waning global prestige.

But here’s the really fun part: Biden has a good shot at playing the spoiler. Because there’s a fact that Biden’s detractors and Clinton’s groupies are loath to acknowledge: Biden is the much better politician. It’s not that Biden is a fantastic politician; it’s that Clinton is a very boring one....I’d be stunned if Biden actually beat Clinton in the primaries, but he doesn’t need to win to ruin things for her. Simply by running, Biden would contest Clinton’s claim of entitlement and light a match on the Hindenburg that is her “inevitability.” He would encourage others from outside the establishment to run against them both and to portray them as a pair of old-guard retreads who want the presidency out of a sense of entitlement.

And that has the makings of a divine comedy.
From his keyboard to God's ears.

Would you have known this?
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina recently appeared on ABC's "This Week" and made an observation that may come as a surprise to many abortion-rights advocates. "There are only four countries in the world that have, that legalize abortion after five months," she noted. She identified those countries as being China, North Korea, Canada and the United States.
Remember how liberals are always eager for us to follow the model of other countries when it comes to the death penalty? They nodded approvingly when the Supreme Court made reference to other countries' laws when it came to capital punishment for someone under 18 at the time of a crime. Well, I bet this is one world consensus that the left doesn't want to follow.

Here is the argument from the Southern Poverty Law Center why we shouldn't have school vouchers: SPLC argues that if the law can’t rescue every child from a failing school, then it shouldn’t be allowed to rescue any child.

So some congressional staffers may avoid Obamacare altogether if their offices decide they don't want it. If only we all had a get-out-of-this-mess-free card.

Camilla Paglia is just where I am on Hillary Clinton.
It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party's best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished—beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She's certainly busy, busy and ever on the move—with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying "I take responsibility" for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.

Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It's even a key motif in "King Lear." As far as I'm concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, "What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?" Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood.
If I were a Democrat, I'd find all the talk about Hillary's inevitability very depressing. Paglia says that she'd prefer some young governor, but I'm not sure which Democratic governor would have a successful record to run on. But hey, having a successful record wasn't a requirement for Barack Obama and it doesn't seem to be one for Hillary Clinton. All that seems necessary nowadays is to be a symbol which people can convince themselves they find inspiring.

Michael Mann won a first round fight in his defamation suit against Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg as the D.C. Superior Court judge hearing the case dismissed Steyn and Simberg's motion to dismiss. Jonathan Adler writes why he thinks the judge got this one very wrong.

All the Hillary talk hastens the lame duckery of President Obama.

What we could say to commemorate all of Barack Obama's lies.

Stephen Hayes contrasts Obama's speech about why we had to intervene in Libya and wonders why they don't also apply to Syria.
And what about Syria? In defending intervention in Libya, President Obama boasted that he had “refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” The world has been seeing those images out of Syria for months. Isn’t the slaughter there a challenge that threatens our common humanity and common security? Does the president now find it acceptable, as he did not 18 months ago, for the United States “to turn a blind eye to the atrocities in other countries?” To abide “violence on a horrific scale?” Were the red lines and calls for Bashar al-Assad’s ouster merely “empty words” that threaten the future credibility of those who voiced them? Is our willingness to “brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and—more profoundly—our responsibilities to our fellow human beings” in the face of mass killings no longer a “betrayal of who we are?”
The real difference was that it seemed relatively easy to oust Ghadaffi and much more difficult to get rid of Assad. And our experience in Libya teaches us not to have too much faith that those revolting against these dictators are necessarily groups that we would want as allies. But, of course, the President can't say that out loud to the American people.