Friday, August 23, 2013

Cruising the Web

Check out six things candidates say when they're losing.

The left has discovered the importance of federalism. This fact explains the beauty of our system.

Charles C. W. Cooke has a very important column on how Congress has been handing its responsibilities over to the executive branch when they write laws giving the executive branch discretion to decide how laws should be enforced.
Obamacare, which makes the Senate’s immigration bill look like an exercise in legislative restraint, contains over 2,500 references to the secretary’s discretion, 700 cases in which the secretary “shall,” 200 instances in which the secretary “may,” and 139 cases in which the secretary “determines.” Its twin, Dodd-Frank, which effectively allows an unelected Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to police the personal-finance sector, is little different, aggregating the power of the three branches into one, stripping Congress of its traditional capacity to set an agency’s budget, and severely limiting the courts’ opportunity to review the CFPB’s legal interpretations. This is law, Jim — but not as we know it.

To ask for a concise explanation of what these new sorts of laws do would be futile, because the only meaningful answer is that they give the president the scope to run certain parts of the economy the way he wants. And what he wants is what Woodrow Wilson wanted in The Study of Administration: a means by which to “open for the public a bureau of skilled, economical administration” that is filled with the “hundreds who are wise” and that thwarts the “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.” Government of the expert, by the powerful, and for the unworthy, in other words.

This, it should not need saying, stands in diametric opposition to the underlying principle — the “all-important English trait,” Orwell called it — that made the Anglosphere exceptional in the first place: that the law is regarded as “something above the state and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate incorruptible.” “The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root,” Orwell claimed of his native England. It has not quite taken root in America, either. But even here, the law, which should be firmly and beautifully dead, is in danger of taking on a life of its own. If it is allowed to do so, Americans will invite in caprice, the half-brother of whim, which, as Christopher Hitchens astutely observed, is the “essence of tyranny.”
This is not how our system was supposed to work. Such a dereliction of responsibility is a violation of the carefully structured checks and balances. Read the rest of what Cooke wrote. If you're not disturbed by this abdication of responsibility to unelected bureaucrats, then you don't really understand how and why our system was structured by the Founding Fathers.

Don't expect Obama's proposals to do anything to stop college costs from rising. His proposals reveal that he doesn't really understand why costs keep rising; he's all about winning young people by relieving them of the worry of paying for their education.
The ballooning federal aid increases schools’ spending. The researchers don’t analyze changes in university spending, but an examination of other evidence suggests that money isn’t going primarily into improving instruction. Colleges have gone on a building spree (financed in part by amassing large debt -- more than $220 billion at schools whose bonds are rated by Moody’s alone), and pay and perquisites for top university administrators has risen sharply.
Obama’s “tough love” on higher education should begin by reversing the financial aid explosion that has contributed to this spending binge and, more importantly, to the system that has produced a generation of young debtors with mediocre job prospects. The president is looking at the tip of the iceberg, not its bigger base.
As Paul Mirengoff writes, his proposals are either unnecessary or pernicious. Or as Yuval Levin writes is the type of data that Obama wants to have made public is actually against federal law to collect.

Kirsten Powers continues her reputation as a liberal who is willing to discuss unappealing truths. Today she writes about the Muslim Brotherhood's war on Coptic Christians.

Bill and Hillary's vacation in the Hamptons tells us something rather unappealing about politics today.

It's not only team mascots and nicknames that refer to Native Americans that are unacceptable. Apparently, having a white male as a mascot is also unacceptable even if that is what the students want.

The HHS has to explain how Obamacare works to HHS employees. It's like the IRS offering tax assistance to its employees.

The left really seems obsessed with hating Ted Cruz. But here is a little fun: "The 17 Most Canadian Things About Ted Cruz."

How refreshing it is when a court gives a brushback pitch to the Obama administration's habit of ignoring the law.

Contrary to what Al Gore is now claiming his "An Inconvenient Truth" did not predict Hurricane Sandy. And we're not going to add a new category to the hurricane scale.