Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cruising the Web

This is what mush sounds like. Secretary Kerry was asked about why he was holding discussions about the Palestinians' move to introduce a draft UN resolution to end Israeli occupation instead of just vetoing the resolution as the U.S. has always done in the past. See if you can parse what Kerry said in his answer.
Now, coming back to the first part of the questions, right now, what we’re trying to do is have a constructive conversation with everybody to find the best way to go forward in order to create the climate; the atmosphere; the political space, if you will, to be able to go back to negotiations and resolve this politically.
Got that? What a convoluted linguistic path of saying nothing. He wants a "constructive conversation" to "find the best way" to "go forward" to "create the atmosphere" to "go back to negotiations." In other words, he wants to talk about talking about talking about talking about talking some more.

Conservatives might be exultant that a federal judge declared Obama's decision to ignore federal law on immigration is unconstitutional, but the judge's opinion doesn't impress some law professors. Orin Kerr finds it "an exceedingly strange opinion." It does sound as if the judge was reaching in order to express his ire at the President's choice to ignore the separation of powers to legislate immigration policy for himself. Conservatives might be sympathetic to the argument that the President has acted unconstitutionally, but that doesn't mean that we should celebrate when a federal judge stretches his role to issue a judgment that has nothing to do with the case before him. We wouldn't support such an action by a liberal federal judge to chastise a Bush administration action. We need to be consistent.

I see that John Yoo has made the same point.
Conservatives should remain principled in their opposition to President Obama’s misuse of executive power, but they should also remain true in their resistance to the siren song of judicial activism.

After the Pakistani Taliban massacres children at school, can't President Obama even bring himself to condemn them by name?

Mary Katharine Ham notes that the self-indulgent students begging for postponements on their finals because they're so upset about the Grand Jury decisions on the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner have even lost an Oberlin professor. Noah Rothman had this great response to an editor on the Harvard Law Review who demanded exam extensions because students' "cups of endurance have run over."
“Cups of endurance?” Good lord. Do they runneth over into your “saucer of fortitude?” Mayhaps a few of those errant droplets are captured by your “doily of grit.”
I'm not sure how having so many across the country laughing at these very special students who want excuse notes for their indulgence in social protest is going to help either their cause or their future job prospects.

Or as Charles C. W. Cooke titled his post on these precious snowflakes: "Social Injustice Ate My Homework"

Stephen Moore notes that Democrats have decided to double down on their progressivism.
On immigration, energy, climate change, regulatory overreach—Obama issued 3,000 new rules before Thanksgiving—the Democrats have pretended that the election didn’t happen.

Obama’s immediate response to middle- and working-class economic anxiety was a new global warming deal with China and a call to close down coal-burning power plants, both of which will destroy even more jobs. The White House followed up with a new program centered on “gender equity” in the workforce.

Democratic approval ratings have gotten even worse in the month since the blowout election. Some Democrats, like New York’s Chuck Schumer and retiring senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, have rung the alarm that the party is out of sync with working-class voters. But they’re lonely voices. The party’s New Democrat Clinton wing—Bill Clinton, that is—is extinct.

The left is flummoxed that their progressive economic message has fallen so flat. After the election, the seven-figure-and-up donors gathered with Democratic leaders to assess what went wrong. “Many Democratic patrons and party strategists concluded that the White House did not offer a compelling argument about how much has improved on President Obama’s watch and how people’s lives would benefit if congression-al Democrats held their seats, the Washington Post reported. “There’s a strong sense that we weren’t full-throated enough about jobs and economy—both in talking about accomplishments and what we need to do,” one attendee said. “We needed a broader narrative.”
Yes, because it's never about their actual choices on issues, but on the narrative by which they sell those policies. As Moore notes, their doubling down provides opportunities for conservatives. I've been reading Amity Shlaes' excellent biography of Calvin Coolidge and had been struck at how popular Warren Harding's 1920 campaign promise to "return to normalcy" was at the time as people just wanted an end to the runaway progressivism of Wilson's administration during World War One that progressives at the time now wanted to continue and extend after the war. I see a lot of that sentiment today after Obama and the Democrats' control in Congress. People are just saying that we've had enough and want to return to normalcy.

The NYT reports on how the Obama administration delivered favors on immigration to a wealthy family that contributed to Democrats.
The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.

The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.

It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.

The family, which has been investigated by federal law enforcement agencies on suspicion of money laundering and immigration fraud, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to American political campaigns in recent years. During that time, it has repeatedly received favorable treatment from the highest levels of the American government, including from New Jersey’s senior senator and the State Department.
Senator Menendez of New Jersey is involved also in trying to get a visa to reward a campaign donor. Ah, remember what we disliked about the Clintons selling favors for campaign donations. Seems that she continued such behavior in the State Department and the the Democratic Party, including Obama's administration, are perfectly happy to sell such favors in return for donations.

Quin Hillyer has some "random thoughts on politics.
Here are some fairly random things that, it is safe to say, a large majority of Americans would agree with:

Al Sharpton is not in any way a legitimate spokesman for racial “justice,” much less racial healing.

Wendy Davis does not speak for most American women.

Sandra Fluke does not speak for most American women.

Lena Dunham does not even come close to speaking for most American women.

Barack Obama comes across as arrogant — and there are no racial connotations in that statement.

Obama has made a habit of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who don’t agree with him. George W. Bush almost never did so.

The practice of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who disagree creates a tone that, to say the least, is anything but “presidential.”

The idea of EPA agents swooping in on businesses or municipal installments while armed to the gills — which they do, repeatedly — is outrageous, frightening, and completely contrary to American values.

There is no excuse, in a republic with constitutional protections as strong and well observed as ours, for violent riots that harm innocent bystanders and businesses. Those who engage in such riots, if caught, should be shown no mercy, but rather punished to the full extent the law allows.

John Hinderaker explains how, under the Obama's "most transparent administration ever, " the Freedom of Information Act has become virtually worthless. Meanwhile, despite the IRS blocking the release of hundreds of IRS documents is just to give an Orwellian response denying reality.
In response to a question about the case at a White House press briefing earlier this month, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration “has been very rigorous in following all of the rules and regulations that govern proper communications between treasury officials and White House officials and the Internal Revenue Service.”
Well, that's not true, but bravura assertions that are contrary to reality seem to be a specialty of this White House.