Friday, May 02, 2014

Cruising the Web

Bill Simmons has great column about what it was like to travel on a plane one seat behind Donald Sterling. In this short moment in time, you can really get a feeling for how this guy lived his life.

Ron Fournier, who long worked for the Associated Press, has some advice for today's White House reporters who have surrendered too much control over news coverage to the administration. He recommends that they stop allowing the President and press secretary to demand that their interactions stay "off the record."

Senator Tom Coburn writes today about how some members of Congress are maneuvering to bring back earmarks.

Obama seems to just not care all that much about some of the red-state Democrats running in tough races this year.
Does President Obama even care if Republicans take the Senate in November? It's hard to tell.

The White House is praising a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that upheld the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to limit power plant emissions that blow across state lines. But the decision could hurt Democrats in red states that have to face voters in the fall.

The EPA's Cross State Air Pollution Rule, which was blessed by the High Court, limits smoke-stack emissions in 28 states. Those states include Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, where the president isn't popular and incumbent Democrats are vulnerable.

It's worth noting that Mr. Obama has no problem suspending his green agenda when his own political career is on the line. On top of the cross-state air pollution rule, reports the New York Times, the EPA is preparing to implement additional regulation of coal-fired power plants. "The EPA had been preparing to issue [the additional regulation] in 2011, but President Obama told the agency to delay it after his advisers warned that it could hurt his re-election chances in coal-reliant swing states like Ohio."

No doubt, Democrats like Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas wish Mr. Obama would extend them the same political courtesy. Instead, Mr. Obama, who's not on the ballot in November, continues to hold up red-state priorities like the Keystone Pipeline and unleash the EPA on America's coal-friendly regions.

The White House message to Democrats in states that voted for Mitt Romney? You're on your own.
George Will covers how the IRS seizes private citizens' savings without any warrant or conviction and then forces them to hire lawyers to get their money back.
The civil forfeiture law — if something so devoid of due process can be dignified as law — is an incentive for perverse behavior: Predatory government agencies get to pocket the proceeds from property they seize from Americans without even charging them with, let alone convicting them of, crimes. Criminals are treated better than this because they lose the fruits of their criminality only after being convicted.

Sandy remembers her father exclaiming, “Aren’t we in the United States? We did nothing wrong.” They did something right in discovering the Institute for Justice’s activities against civil forfeiture abuse. IJ, a libertarian defender of property rights and other American premises, says that what was done to Terry is done routinely across the nation — indeed, it was done almost simultaneously to the owner of a gas station near Schott’s Supermarket who deposited his cash receipts whenever he could get to the bank, typically every few days.

Civil forfeiture proceeds on the guilty-until-proven-innocent principle, forcing property owners of limited means to hire lawyers and engage in protracted proceedings against a government with limitless resources just to prove their innocence.
I had no idea the IRS could do something like this. It's really shocking.

Obama's foreign policy has a Punch and Judy aspect to it.

After Eleanor Holmes Norton claimed that the Iraq War was the most catastrophic in the 20th century, people have been having a lot of fun under on Twitter under #eleanorholmesnortonhistory It's fun and easy. Just take two unrelated events in history and make wild claims connecting them. It sounds like the bloopers I've seen from what kids write on A.P. U.S. history exams.

Jonah Goldberg explains how Nature isn't as "natural" as some people might think.

Sharyl Attkisson notes that one of the newly-released government emails from the State Department reveals that the then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton, Beth Jones, reporting on the day after the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi that the Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. suspected that an al Qaeda-affiliated group was responsible for the attack. But administration figures were worried that Congress would use the attack to criticize the State department for ignoring the CIA's warnings about possible impending attacks. And so the cover-up began.

Jim Geraghty wonders why it's taken so long into the Obama presidency for him to seek "competent governmental management." But, hey, at least they're right on top of following reporters' tweets.