Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cruising the Web

How nice. A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recognized that bloggers have the same First Amendment protections that professional journalists do. Excellent. The Founding Fathers recognized that anyone who took to putting out their opinions whatever the technology of the time was engaging in journalism even if they weren't being paid by a recognized newspaper. Tell that to some of the Democrats in Congress such as Diane Feinstein who resist the idea that bloggers deserve rights.

David Harsanyi explains why America isn't going to become more liberal. Just the public is becoming more liberal on social issues doesn't mean that they are adopting the entire liberal agenda.
But like many folks on the left, Rosenthal is forced to make a big leap. He contends that a shift on social issues and the electoral success of (a now-unpopular) Barack Obama proves that the entire progressive buffet is destined for widespread approval. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. Support for gay marriage does not mean support for unions. (Unions, one of backbones of political progressivism, have never been less popular in practice.) Pot legalization does not mean we’re ready for nationalize energy policy. And support for immigration reform doesn’t mean people are prepared to “Make Everything Owned by Everybody.” And while I certainly don’t believe we’re about to privatize Social Security, to believe that the philosophy of the electorate is on a fixed leftward arc — which seems to be conventional wisdom these days — is premature.
Perhaps, Americans are becoming more liberatarian. The question for Harsanyi is what issues are people more likely to vote on. If more and more people are willing to vote solely on social issues, then that is what will matter in elections.

North Carolina's NAACP president looks to keep black politicians down on the ideological plantation. He calls Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina a "ventriloquist's dummy" because he supports arguments of the tea party. Classy, eh?

Timothy Carney explains why establishment politicians disliked and feared Senator Tom Coburn. He was really a different breed from most of our leaders in Washington.

Thomas Sowell reminds us of how many of Barack Obama's proposed policies have already been tried and have proven failure. But historical evidence won't trump ideology and politics for Obama.

New York City's human rights commission loses one to Hasidic Jews who had dress codes for their businesses who posted signs saying "No Shorts, No Barefoot, No Sleeveless, No Low Cut Neckline." When will such groups recognize that religious freedom protects even those religious beliefs with which they don't agree?

Ramesh Ponnuru argues the importance of limiting the risk corridors promising bailouts to insurance companies. Harry Reid will prevent any such limiting legislation from coming to the floor in the Senate, but he may not be in charge this time next year. Meanwhile, support for ending the bailouts is a question that should be asked of every candidate this year.

Another result of Obamacare - Target is ending its health care coverage for part-time employees and throwing them on Obamacare. This just makes sense from the company's point of view and expect other companies that previously offered part-time employees insurance to make the same decision. But remember, if you like your plan you can keep least until your company decides to dump you onto the federal or state exchanges and you have to deal with that mess.

Terry Eastland explores the huge jump in expanding its regulatory powers to judge whether or not housing are practicing racism by alleging disparate impact. They've been trying to avoid court challenges to their power grab, but time may be running out for them.

Oregon's state-run health-care exchange is even worse than the federal one.

I've been reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. It is extremely interesting as she presents parallel biographies of Roosevelt, Taft, and the crusading journalists of the era. I especially am enjoying learning more about what a good man Taft was. And I hadn't been aware of the close ties between TR and journalists as he used them to investigate government corruption and to gain their support for his policy debates with the New York legislature and US Congress. I heartily recommend the book. This quote from a letter from Roosevelt to Ray Stannard Baker, one of the journalists writing for McClure's Magazine, highlighted the difference between the Roosevelt presidency and today's liberals. Baker was urging Roosevelt to work for government ownership of the railroads. TR was quite vehement in his rejection of the idea that public support for such a takeover was enough to justify the action. "I do not represent public opinion: I represent the public. I must represent not the excited opinion of the West but the real interests of the whole people." He then added that he didn't have faith in government employees saying that he knew "better than anyone else could how inefficient & undependable" they were. If only today's progressives recognized that basic truth!

What a shame that MLK Day has become an occasion for partisan attacks and politicking.

Things look bleak for Governor McDonnell and his wife. In this day and age, why are politicians this stupid? Are the perks that great that that they lose all sight of the line between corruption and honesty? ABC takes a look at the gifts that the McDonnell's were receiving from a wealthy supporter. I guess being governor and living off the taxpayers of Virginia just wasn't enough when there was so much bling to acquire.