Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Cruising the Web

Gosh, one might have thought that stories about Mayor Filner couldn't get any worse, yet he has plumbed new depths.
Vocational nurse Michelle Tyler and U.S. Marine Katherine Ragazzino spoke Tuesday about a meeting with Filner in which the mayor implied that he would help solve Ragazzino’s issue with the VA only if Tyler agreed to attend a public event with him or have dinner with him.

Ragazzino suffered a traumatic brain injury and PTSD while serving in Iraq.
It's hard to imagine how the stories about this jerk could get any slimier. The tote board is now up to ten women he made advances to. The guy is in his 70s. I find it hard to believe that he just started acting this way since he became mayor. I would bet that if we wait long enough, we'll start hearing from more women. A guy like this doesn't just up and decide to start harassing women when he hits the big seven-o.

Does Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro even believe this nonsense or think that other Venezuelans believe it?
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday compared Hugo Chavez to Christ and said that the late president, just like Jesus, “came to protect those who had nothing,” in a tribute to the fallen leader on the fifth-month anniversary of his death.

“Christ the Redeemer became flesh ... became truth in Chavez,” said Maduro from the Cuartel de la MontaƱa in western Caracas, where Chavez’s remains rest, in a ceremony broadcast carried on all radio and television networks.
I would think that a religious people would be offended, but I would have thought they'd have felt that Chavez and Maduro crossed the line long ago.

What a charmer! First Anthony Weiner tells an angry heckler to "beat it" and now, when challenged by an elderly man at an AARP-Univision forum, "What are you going to do about it, grandpa?" Things are tough at the old Weinermobile these days.

Jonah Goldberg explains why the Republicans shouldn't be criticized for trying to get rid of a law that they didn't vote for and which they think will be disastrous for the country.
Trying to repeal a law you didn't vote for and think will be bad for the country is entirely legitimate. Sometimes, it's morally compulsory. One needn't cite the fugitive slave law to demonstrate this fact. In a mid-presidency conversion, Barack Obama decided that he would do whatever he could to nullify the Defense of Marriage Act. In 1989, after a backlash from seniors, Congress repealed a Medicare reform law that didn't work as planned.

Right to fight

There's also something just plain weird about criticizing politicians for trying to get rid of a law that is, has been and continues to be unpopular with Americans. If ObamaCare were wildly popular, the demonization of Republicans as out of touch and radical would have a bit more plausibility.

Also, the fact that activists won't give up may be annoying to supporters of the law, but just talk to any one of them and they'll be the first to tell you that so far they've failed utterly. Similarly, asking the NFL to stay out of a bitter political controversy may be unseemly, but such actions haven't done anything to stop ObamaCare. Indeed, the GOP governors who've declined to sign up for Medicaid expansion aren't obstructing the law; they're exercising their discretion under the law.

In fact, the only person openly defying ObamaCare is Obama himself. His Department of Health and Human Services declared it would delay the implementation of the business mandate, despite the fact nothing in the law empowers it to do so.

And that's just the most egregious part. The administration has been issuing thousands of waivers — including to favored constituencies — exempting various parties (such as congressional staffers) from complying with the law because it turns out ObamaCare can't work as written. That conclusion isn't mine; it's the administration's. That's why, for instance, HHS and the IRS won't bother with verifying whether applicants for insurance subsidies are eligible under the law.
I agree that it is a mistake to threaten a government shutdown over defunding Obamacare. They can't win with that and it would be terribly unpopular. They shouldn't go down a path that everyone knows will lead to failure. But they can keep arguing against the law and pointing out all the ways it's already harming the economy. And they should search out every opportunity to reform the law and chip away at it. They're not going to succeed while Obama is president and the Democrats control the Senate. But they can establish the foundation for their ultimate goal. This is a time for playing long ball.

Bret Stephens has a great line as he contrasts what the administration is saying now about al Qaeda and what Obama said back in May.
"Which brings us to the shortest distance in Washington: the one that runs between an Obama speech and the media's memory of it."
And this observation by Thomas Sowell is so true:
Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.

Why should the Attorney General take personal trips on a government-funded jet?

The Washington Post labels Obama's approach to terrorism as "wishful thinking."
Mr. Obama is right to worry about the corrosive effect, for example on civil liberties, of perpetual war. But like all wars, this one will end only if one party is defeated or both agree to lay down their weapons. Neither appears likely any time soon, and the president’s eagerness to disengage, while understandable and in sync with U.S. public opinion, may in the end lengthen the conflict. His hope of fighting the bad guys as antiseptically as possible, with drone strikes and a minimal presence, may prove as forlorn as President Clinton’s similar effort in the 1990s, when the equivalent weapon at his disposal was cruise missiles.

While Mr. Obama is also right that military tools aren’t enough in a conflict like this, his promise of “patiently supporting transitions to democracy in places like Egypt and Tunisia and Libya” through non-military means — the proper strategy — is not being kept. The resulting vacuum will be filled, and not to the United States’ liking.
Now we're supposed to be impressed that they've filed criminal charges for three of the people involved in the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi. Yeah, I'm sure that has all the terrorists trembling in their boots. And even if we were somehow able to get CNN to help us find these guys, are we really going to bring them back to face trial here in the U.S. and present enough evidence tying them to the crime to bear up in American civilian court?

I love this story about the 72-year-old former teenage boxing champion who took out a burglar who broke into his home wielding a knife.

Jonah Goldberg explodes the myth that the Republicans are traditionally isolationist. Some have been, but not as much as they have been portrayed as. And so have some Democrats. It's always good to have a historical corrective.

Since the Obamas like to claim credit for anything good that has happened, it's no surprise that Michelle Obama is now patting herself on the back for a decline in childhood obesity that began back in 2003.

I shouldn't laugh since I've had students confess that they have a hard time remembering which historical details relate to which world war, but it is rather dismaying to see the state of ignorance of some Britons about the world wars. Britons especially should not be so confused about the wars that played such a big part of their own history.
Some appear to find it difficult to tell the two world wars apart, with more people (19%) thinking Britain declared war in August 1914 because Germany invaded Poland - as was the case in 1939 - than Belgium, chosen by 13%.

The same number (9%) thought that Winston Churchill was prime minister at the start of the 1914-18 conflict as correctly chose Herbert Asquith. Fully 1% of the 1,955 adults quizzed by YouGov for thinktank British Future - and 7% of those aged under 24 - even told the pollsters that Margaret Thatcher was PM in 1918.

While a large majority (81%) knew that Germany was an enemy of Britain in the war, 14% said they did not know and 3% - rising to 8% among under-24s - thought that the two nations were allies.
How does anyone grow up today thinking that Britain and Germany were allies in either world war?