Friday, August 01, 2014

Cruising the Web

Apparently, the Clintons don't think authors should be allowed to write unauthorized books about them. Politico reports on the spate of books about the Clintons which have elicited this remarkable statement.
In a squeeze on mainstream media, the Clintons added of the authors: “Their behavior should neither be allowed nor enabled, and legitimate media outlets who know with every fiber of their being that this is complete crap should know not to get down in the gutter with them and spread their lies. But if anyone isn’t sure, let’s strap all three to a polygraph machine on live TV and let the needle tell the truth.”
Apparently, there is some special Clinton Sedition Act that outlaws people writing bad stuff about them that the rest of us were previously unaware of. As Ed Morrissey writes,
This isn’t just an academic question or a poke at an off-the-cuff gaffe. Citizens United had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be allowed to publish criticism of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 election cycle after having run afoul of absurd and unconstitutional campaign-finance regulations. Democrats howled at the Citizens United decision and promised to reverse it with more legislation, even after the Supreme Court pointed out that one outcome of the law could be to ban books like those from both Kleins, Harper, and Kessler. Barack Obama scolded the court during a State of the Union address for protecting free political speech.

Perhaps we should strap the Clintons to a polygraph machine and ask what they have in mind from their prepared statement that demands that authors not be allowed to write political books about public figures. It might be rather enlightening.

Nancy Pelosi has given the media their marching orders.
When asked at a press briefing on Thursday why her party's message is "not resonating with the electorate," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a room full of reporters “we need you to be messengers.”
You see why Michelle Nunn's campaign advisers knew they didn't have to worry about the media coverage of her campaign. This is how Democrats regard the media as their willing lapdogs.

Even the Senate is recognizing the influence of George Soros and his merry band of leftist billionaires on our nation's environmental policy.
An "elite group of left wing millionaires and billionaires" fund "the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions," according to a U.S. Senate report released on July 30. The report singled out, among other groups, the secretive Democracy Alliance, a group founded in part by liberal billionaire George Soros....

It also called out President Obama's criticism of "millionaires and billionaires bankrolling whoever they want, however they want, in some cases undisclosed" as "blatant hypocrisy and obfuscation" stating that "the President and his cadre of wealthy liberal allies and donors embrace the very tactics he publically (sic) scorned."

The report by the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is entitled "The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama's EPA."

The report stated that "DA flouts transparency and public participation as the group emphasizes secrecy in all its operations." It also said that the influence of the DA and groups like it could be traced through other liberal groups to environmental regulations mandated by the EPA.

Count in another clueless Senate candidate - this time, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes who is challenging Mitch McConnell.

So just why did Hillary Clinton urge U.S. involvement in Libya but not have any plan for what to do afterwards?

This is how stupid law-making can lead to lawlessness among the bureaucracy.
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has published hundreds and hundreds of rules — on how wheelchairs should be stowed aboard U.S. aircraft, how foreign trade zones should be regulated, how voting assistance should be provided for U.S. citizens overseas, and so on.

There’s a problem, however: Technically speaking, these and some 1,800 other regulations shouldn’t be in effect because they weren’t reported to Congress as required. Yet there is little that lawmakers or the courts can do about it.

The situation illustrates the obscure, Byzantine process used to create federal regulations — and how easily it can go awry....

Under a 1996 statute, most federal rules are supposed to be reported to the House and Senate in paper form and to the General Accountability Office electronically. But since the start of 2012, that hasn’t happened for many of the regulations put out by the Obama administration, either because of bureaucratic oversight or because they were considered too minor to be reported.

Failing to report many of the rules is a “technical violation” of the statute, “and the law says they can’t take effect,” according to Robert Cramer, GAO’s managing associate general counsel.

But there’s another catch: Congress also barred such rules from judicial review. Two federal appeals courts and two district courts have upheld this principle even when the regulation in question was not submitted to Congress as required. That means neither lawmakers nor the courts can step in and demand that agencies submit the required paperwork.
You can blame the Republicans for the poor law-making, but does this stupidity surprise anyone?

Charles Krauthammer explains the depths of John Kerry's blundering diplomacy attempts to arrange a ceasefire in Gaza.
John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis — left, right and center — of his recent ceasefire diplomacy. But that’s only half the story. More significant is the consternation of America’s Arab partners, starting with the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas was stunned that Kerry would fly off to Paris to negotiate with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey in talks that excluded the PA and Egypt.

The talks also undermined Egypt’s ceasefire proposal, which Israel had accepted and Hamas rejected. “Kerry tried through his latest plan to destroy the Egyptian bid,” charged a senior Palestinian official quoted in the Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat — a peace plan that the PA itself had supported.

It gets worse. Kerry did not just trample an Egyptian initiative. It was backed by the entire Arab League and specifically praised by Saudi Arabia. With the exception of Qatar — more a bank than a country — the Arabs are unanimous in wanting to see Hamas weakened, if not overthrown. The ceasefire-in-place they backed would have denied Hamas any reward for starting this war, while what Kerry brought back from Paris granted practically all of its demands.
Which is what provoked the severe criticism Kerry received at home, including from (among others) the scrupulously independent columnist David Ignatius, who called Kerry’s intervention a blunder.

Kerry seems oblivious to the strategic reality that Hamas launched its rockets in the hope not of defeating Israel but of ending its intra-Arab isolation (which it brilliantly achieves in the Qatar-Turkey peace proposal). Hamas’s radicalism has alienated nearly all of its Arab neighbors.
How could Kerry not understand how it benefits the U.S. to not only support Israel, but also to align ourselves with these less extreme Arab entities? Instead Kerry calls for lifting the blockade in Gaza so Hamas could more easily import weapons to attack Israeli civilians.

Speaking of incompetent bureaucrats, just as we all suspected and the GAO's post mortem demonstrates, it was all the HHS Department's fault for all the failures with the rollout of the online health insurance exchange. They rushed things without effective planning or oversight.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't understand the Hobby Lobby decision. And, of course, Katie Couric doesn't know enough to point out the mistaken interpretation Ginsburg put on the decision. It wasn't based on the First Amendment, but on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

So why do people live in unhappy cities?