Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ferguson Effect, Only Where It Matters

A virulent anti-cop protest movement dedicated to the proposition that murderous, racist cops are the biggest threat facing young black men today will have its biggest impact on policing in black neighborhoods. It is in these neighborhoods that cops will face the most hostility from residents steeped in the Black Lives Matter ideology and where cops will most worry that, if an encounter with a civilian goes awry, they will become the latest racist officer-of-the-week on CNN. It is in black neighborhoods, in other words, where proactive policing—making pedestrian stops, enforcing quality-of-life public order laws—will be most inhibited. And given the already high rates of violent crime in black neighborhoods, any drop-off in policing is going to unleash even more crime, since it is in these high-crime neighborhoods where informal social controls have most disintegrated and where cops alone stand between law-abiding residents and anarchy. Even if the Black Lives Matter movement inhibited proactive policing uniformly in cities across the country, a place like Scottsdale, Arizona, say, will suffer less of an impact if cops back off, because the police are not as essential there to maintaining order as they are in Baltimore and St. Louis.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Liberty? Are You Crazy Like a Koch?

It's nice to find anyone with power who will articulate what liberty is and can explain why it matters.

Whenever we allow government to pick winners and losers, we impede progress and move further away from a society of mutual benefit. This pits individuals and groups against each other and corrupts the business community, which inevitably becomes less focused on creating value for customers. That’s why Koch Industries opposes all forms of corporate welfare — even those that benefit us. (The government’s ethanol mandate is a good example. We oppose that mandate, even though we are the fifth-largest ethanol producer in the United States.)
It may surprise the senator to learn that our framework in deciding whether to support or oppose a policy is not determined by its effect on our bottom line (or by which party sponsors the legislation), but by whether it will make people’s lives better or worse.

Which Do The People Want?

If the American people want a liberal, activist Supreme Court legislating from on high as the supreme branch of power, they'll decide that in November.
And if they want a reserved, more conservative court, one that doesn't dictate to the legislature or goes out of its way to supersede legislative (meaning the people's) prerogative, Americans will decide that too.
All the rest is meat puppet mud wrestling. Yes, President Barack Obama has the right to appoint a successor. And yes, the Senate, now under Republican control, has the right to dismiss it.

It's a meaningless question to ask "what do the people want" as if "we" has a definable meaning.  I want something, you want something, and others want something entirely different.  However, in fight, there has to be some rationale ...

Power Struggles Are to be Won

This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony — brazenly, embarrassingly so.
In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court vacancy until Bush left office. (“Except in extraordinary circumstances.” None such arose. Surprise!) Today he piously denounces Republicans for doing exactly the same for a vacancy created in Year Eight of Barack Obama.
Republicans, say the Democrats, owe the President deference. Elections have consequences and Obama won re-election in 2012.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Multi Felon for Thee, Not for Me

Mrs. Clinton was entrusted with national-defense information and knew that working with such classified intelligence was a substantial part of her duties as secretary of state. Despite this knowledge, she willfully, and against government rules, set up a private, non-secure e-mail communication system for all of her government-related correspondence — making it inevitable that classified matters would be discussed on the system. This was gross negligence at best. And the easily foreseeable result is that classified intelligence was removed from its secure government repository and transmitted to persons not entitled to have it — very likely including foreign intelligence services that almost certainly penetrated Mrs. Clinton’s non-secure system. The penalty for violating this penal statute is up to ten years’ imprisonment for each individual violation. Mind you, there are already 1,600 reported instances of classified information being transmitted via the Clinton server system, and the latest indications are that at least twelve, and as many as 30, private e-mail accounts are known to have trafficked in our nation’s defense secrets. Many of these account holders were certainly not cleared for access to the information — and none of them was permitted to access it in a non-secure setting.
Read more at:

Feminist When Needed

Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.
Seeing Albright, the first female secretary of state, give cover to President Clinton was a low point in women’s rights. As was the New York Times op-ed by Steinem, arguing that Lewinsky’s will was not violated, so no feminist principles were violated. What about Clinton humiliating his wife and daughter and female cabinet members? What about a president taking advantage of a gargantuan power imbalance with a 22-year-old intern? What about imperiling his party with reckless behavior that put their feminist agenda at risk?
It rang hollow after the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. When it was politically beneficial, the feminists went after Thomas for bad behavior and painted Hill as a victim. And later, when it was politically beneficial, they defended Bill’s bad behavior and stayed mute as Clinton allies mauled his dalliances as trailer trash and stalkers.
The same feminists who were outraged at the portrayal of Hill by David Brock — then a Clinton foe but now bizarrely head of one of her “super PACs” — as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty,” hypocritically went along when Hillary and other defenders of Bill used that same aspersion against Lewinsky.
Well said.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hillary - Treason?

Libby eventually was convicted of lying to the FBI and a couple of other things, but Bush commuted his sentence. Anyway, by then it had been learned that a State Department official, Richard Armitage, was the original source of the leak. He had "casually disclosed" Plame's identity at the end of an interview with Novak.
Nevertheless, rage continued to simmer over the disclosure. It was—as The New York Times put it—"a serious offense, which could have put (Plame) and all those who had worked with her in danger." Wilson and Plame called it treason.
hen he was asked if Karl Rove "is guilty of treason," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said, "Yes, I think so." Rachel Maddow and others agreed. The word got tossed around so much Plamegate was sometimes referred to as "Treasongate."
Which brings us to Hillary Clinton.

It was an outrage, it is an outrage, and it looks like she'll more equal than the rest of us pigs.

Obamacare - A Drag on Dems?

On this basis, Avalere estimated that year-end enrollment would actually be roughly 10.2 million in 2016.
This is significantly lower than the 21 million individuals the Congressional Budget Office initially projected the law would signup in 2016, below the downwardly revised 13 million CBO projection, and effectively flat from a year ago.
Perhaps even more significant than the headline number, HHS also revealed that just 28 percent of those who signed up for coverage are between the ages of 18 and 34 – which is the same proportion as last year, and well south of the 40 percent target that HHS said was crucial to the exchanges remaining viable. It's necessary for Obamacare to enroll a critical mass of younger and healthier individuals to offset the costs associated with offering coverage to older and sicker individuals.

Taxes, Remember Those?

But it is hard to see why conservatives wouldn’t be excited about what Cruz and Paul have put forward. It’s what tax filers have been waiting decades for:
First, the Cruz/Paul plans would give America the lowest tax rates since the income tax was devised 100 years ago. For this reason, these plans are estimated by the Tax Foundation to grow the economy by a gigantic $2 trillion extra GDP per year after 10 years. That’s exactly the opposite effect of the Clinton and Sanders plans.
Second, both the Cruz and Paul plans eliminate almost all deductions and credits — which is how they get the rate so low. The IRS could be dramatically shrunk in size. Don’t forget, when there are fewer deductions, there are fewer ways to cheat on your taxes. The lower the tax rate, the less incentive to cheat, which means greater voluntary compliance.
Third, because the Cruz and Paul plans are “border adjustable”: Imports are taxed at the flat rate when they are brought into the U.S., but American products sold abroad are not taxed at all. This would level the global playing field for American manufacturers, tech firms and drug companies and bring these jobs scampering back home. Trump’s tariff ideas could be put back on the shelf, and those who want “fair trade” should celebrate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

They Matter, Yes, All of Them

Drug was casualties:

Without question, police officers must be constantly retrained in courtesy and respect; too often they develop boorish, callous attitudes towards civilians on the street. Some are unfit to serve. Some are surely racists. And if de-escalation training can safely reduce officer use of force further, it should be widely implemented. But the Black Lives Matter movement’s focus on shootings by police should not distract attention from the most serious use-of-force problem facing black communities: criminal violence. In 2014, there were 6,095 black homicide victims, more than all white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the population. The black homicide toll will be even higher in 2015. In over 90 percent of those black deaths, the killer was another black civilian.

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

Of course, nothing happened. Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynchsaid that the U.S. Attorney was using "prosecutorial discretion.” That discretion protected Lerner from the grand jury.
As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized, this sets an ugly precedent. Under the Obama administration, officials are above the law — at least so long as they’re targeting Obama’s political opponents. Accountability? Rule of Law? That’s just for the little people.
And that’s the worst outcome of all. It’s not just that evidence overwhelmingly points to the IRS having been weaponized in an effort to neutralize Obama’s Tea Party opposition. It’s that ordinary Americans can look at this and conclude that there’s no reason to follow the law if they can get away with breaking it since the people in charge of enforcing the law clearly regard it with contempt.