Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cruising the Web

Ah, White House competence in action:
The U.S. government has accidentally named the top spy in Afghanistan on a memo given to reporters accompanying President Barack Obama on a surprise visit to Kabul.
The memorandum included an individual named as ‘Chief of Station’ - the title given to the top CIA officer in a given country. It was immediately retracted, and a new memo was issued.
Well, it is certainly obvious that the Obama administration won't get as excited about this as Obama was about the revealing of Valerie Plame's identity. And she wasn't within spitting of the same league of importance and danger as our top guy in Afghanistan is.

After his adultery was revealed and he survived a hung jury in a felony campaign finance case, John Edwards returns to his sleazy roots. Remember this guy was once the pick of the Democratic Party to be vice president.

The Ninth Circuit rules that it is okay for the government to take up to 50% of raisin farmers' crop in order to keep raisin prices high. Thus stupidity continues.
Earlier this month the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture taking 47% of a farmer's harvest does not violate the Fifth Amendment's takings clause as long as the government aims to drive up crop prices. The May 9 decision was the latest absurdity in a decade-long legal battle pitting California raisin growers Marvin and Lena Horne against the USDA's outmoded raisin regulatory regime.

Under current law, the 1930s-era federally authorized Raisin Administrative Committee can commandeer up to half of a farmer's harvest as a "reserve"—to purportedly stabilize markets and prevent gluts. The Hornes were fined almost $700,000 for refusing to surrender control of 47% of their 2002 harvest to the government committee and 30% of the harvest the following year. After judges declared that the Hornes could not sue in federal court for unjust takings—i.e., government confiscation without just compensation—the case landed in the Supreme Court.

Last June the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that California raisin growers have standing to file a takings claim in federal court. Even liberal justices were amazed at the heavy-handed, archaic nature of the regulatory regime. During oral arguments, Justice Stephen Breyer declared: "I can't believe that Congress wanted the taxpayers to pay for a program that's going to mean they have to pay higher prices as consumers." Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the statute authorizing the raisin cartel could be "the world's most outdated law."

Writing as if they were inspired by Justice Kagan's quip, the Ninth Circuit panel reached back a hundred years to justify perpetuating federal control of the raisin business. The decision declared, "Raisin prices rose rapidly between 1914 and 1920, peaking in 1921 at $235 per ton.

Why won't John Kerry act to extend political asylum to the pregnant Christian wife of an American citizen who is woman being held in a Sudanese prison threatened with whipping and execution for refusing to renounce her Christian faith?

Victor Davis Hanson examines why Barack Obama is not getting excoriated in the media for the build-up of scandals in his administration.
If we were living in normal times, the following scandals and failures — without going into foreign policy — would have ruined a presidency to the point of reducing it to Nixon, Bush, or Truman poll ratings.

Think of the following: the Fast and Furious scandal, the VA mess, the tapping of the communications of the Associated Press reporters, the NSA monitoring, Benghazi in all of its manifestations, the serial lies about Obamacare, the failed stimuli, the chronic zero interest/print money policies, the serial high unemployment, the borrowing of $7 trillion to no stimulatory effect, the spiraling national debt, the customary violations of the Hatch Act by Obama cabinet officials, the alter ego/fake identity of EPA head Lisa Jackson, the sudden departure of Hilda Solis after receiving union freebies, the mendacity of Kathleen Sebelius, the strange atmospherics surrounding the Petraeus resignation, the customary presidential neglect of enforcing the laws from immigration statutes to his own health care rules, the presidential divisiveness (“punish our enemies,” “you didn’t build that,” Trayvon as the son that Obama never had, etc.), and on and on.

So why is there not much public reaction or media investigatory outrage?

Some Democrats are already worrying about Hillary Clinton being crowned the Democratic nominee without having to triumph in primary battles.

John Hawkins identifies the "six lamest excuses for failure from the Obama administration."

Explaining the myth of phony stat that 97% of all scientists believe that climate change is a man-made problem and is an urgent and dangerous crisis.

Paul Mirengoff reports on how President Obama is moving towards once more bypassing Congress, this time to recognize a native Hawaiian tribe that has never existed in real life in order to funnel money to ethnic Hawaiians and keep out white Hawaiians.

Obama: spinning or lying?

MSNBC's Ronan Farrow equates his dating life to Schindler's List. How clueless can one person be?

Pat Riley is so smart that he found a way to make money from Michael Jordan's Bulls and is now set to make even more money if the Heat win this year.

This is such a cool video.