Monday, August 25, 2014

Cruising the Web

It would be nice if the administration would get its story straight. First we have the President's regrettable expression of insouciance about how ISIS is the JV team. Now with that quote being resurrected along with his non-stop golf-playing while ISIS has made progress in Syria and Iraq, his Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes acknowledged that the killing of James Foley "represents a terrorist attack against our country and against an American citizen." He went on to say that the administration regards that execution as "an attack on our country." And now the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey says that ISIS is not a threat to the U.S.
But the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that right now, he still believes the insurgent group is still more a regional threat and is not plotting or planning attacks against either the U.S. or Europe.

A new report by the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia shows how exactly Obamacare has damaged the labor market.
The bank reports that 78.8% of businesses in the district have made no change to the number of workers they employ as the specific result of ObamaCare and 3% are hiring more. More troubling, 18.2% are cutting jobs and employees. Some 18% shifted the composition of their workforce to a higher proportion of part-time labor. And 88.2% of the roughly half of businesses that modified their health plans as a result of ObamaCare passed along the costs through increasing the employee contribution to premiums, an effective cut in wages....

Liberals will dismiss this as merely anecdotal or of minor impact, but it makes sense that ObamaCare's labor effects would be concentrated in some industries with relatively low-wage or marginal workers. The data points also help explain why the number of people employed part-time surged by 12% during the recession but the rate hasn't fallen even as the economy has improved. Or why labor force participation is the lowest since the late 1970s.
And the New York and Atlanta Fed surveys got very similar data.

And to add to that cheery news,
get ready for Obamacare rates to rise again.
Defenders of Obamacare argue that rates typically went up annually before the law went into effect.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it was Obama himself who repeatedly promised that premiums would go down by an average of $2,500 per family. His promise wasn’t that he would overhaul the health care system so that premiums would continue to increase each year, just as they did in the system that existed before he was elected, which he argued was unacceptable.

Additionally, any increases in premiums in 2015 will be on top of the premium increases that occurred during 2014.

Peter Beinart figures out why Democrats don't want to run against Hillary.
As he notes, it is unprecedented in recent history to have "an essentially uncontested race by a non'incumbent for a party's presidential nomination." Even if a candidate doesn't think he or she might win, there is always the opportunity to get one's name out there for the next election or just to build up one's public profile. Beinart hypothesizes that politicians are afraid to anger the Clintons because they hold grudges for a very long time.

One story out of the Perry indictment has been debunked. The Texas Democrats have tried to argue that the Travis County Public Integrity Unit that he had threatened to defund had been investigating Perry before any of this blew up.

Iowa could be the Democrats' Waterloo. It demonstrates the value of running an ad talking about castrating hogs.

Glenn Thrush explains how Al Sharpton has, despite his shameful history of dangerous demagoguery, become the administration's "go-to man on race." For them, he's the non-Jesse Jackson.

This is mighty convenient for Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco constituents if not the rest of California.
The Endangered Species Act has wreaked havoc for decades on rural communities, but a newly filed lawsuit could force San Francisco urbanites like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to share their pain.

A federal complaint filed this week contends that the Hetch Hetchy Project, which supplies water to San Francisco and the Bay Area, has unfairly enjoyed an exemption from the "severe cutbacks" required in rural California in order to save endangered fish species.

Well, this is quite a contrast although it shouldn't surprise anyone.

Peggy Noonan and James Taranto notice that no one is protesting Obama's bombing of ISIS in Iraq. It is rather notable considering that there were protests against bombing Afghanistan a month after 9/11 and that action had nearly unanimous support compared to poll results for the present bombing. Taranto's hypothesis is that the sorts of people who would normally protest this sort of action against ISIS are busy protesting against Israel and in Ferguson.

So Boko Haram has declared its own Islamic caliphate in Nigeria. I guess they had caliphate envy of ISIS. Perhaps, they could wage war against each other for who has the real caliphate.

Maureen Dowd has some fun with Obama's interruption of his golf schedule to say a few words on the murder of James Foley.

More success for Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy charter schools. Take this Mayor de Blasio!
Having already outmaneuvered Mayor de Blasio by getting Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to make sure her charter schools are housed and funded, Moskowitz won’t give her critics a break. The latest test results confirm that, haters notwithstanding, she has a secret sauce for excellence.

Ninety-four percent of the students in her Success Academy network who took state exams scored proficiently on math, and 64 percent were proficient in English.

In the rest of the city, only 35 percent of students scored that high in math, and only 29 percent in English.

Among the top 10 schools for math in the whole state, four were hers. That’s remarkable.

And, to her critics, infuriating.

In a better world, they would follow her around night and day, clipboard in hand, to find out how she does it. Or they could simply ask her, if they really wanted to know.

“Joyful rigor,” she told one interviewer, cleverly puncturing the silly claim that her kids are slaves to numbers and don’t have fun.

The attacks by de Blasio peaked last winter, but the cold war lingers. The mayor insists that closing the racial achievement gap is the key to improving upward mobility for black and Latino children, yet refuses to learn from the person actually doing it. He is so sour that Moskowitz tells me she didn’t even get a simple “well done” from City Hall.

Shame on the mayor for making ideology and pique more important than student achievement.

Now we have the documentary evidence that Democratic DAs launched a witch hunt to go after conservative groups.

Kyle Smith has a lot of fun with the SNL writers' explanation of why they haven't made fun of Barack Obama. Apparently, they couldn't find anything to mock about him. All they could mock was how much everyone adored him. Clearly, they haven't been paying attention.
Got that? The charter Choom Ganger, confessed eater of dog and snorter of coke. The doofus who thinks the language spoken by Austrians is “Austrian,” that you pronounce the p in “corpsman” and that ATMs are the reason why job growth is sluggish. The egomaniac who gave the queen of England an iPod loaded with his own speeches and said he was better at everything than the people who work for him. The empty suit with so little real-world knowledge that he referred to his brief stint working for an ordinary profit-seeking company as time “behind enemy lines.” The phony who tells everyone he’s from Chicago, though he didn’t live there until his 20s, and lets you know that he’s talking to people he believes to be stupid by droppin’ his g’s. The world-saving Kal-El from a distant solar system who told us he’d heal the planet and cause the oceans to stop rising. The guy who shared a middle name with one of the most hated dictators on earth.