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[VIDEO] Pelosi Mic Fail: ‘Is Somebody Going to Deal With This?’ 

pelosi-incandescent

 

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College Encourages Lively Exchange Of Idea

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Students, Faculty Invited To Freely Express Single Viewpoint

“Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.”

BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea.

“As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion.”

“As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time Read the rest of this entry »


Texas Monthly’s 2015 ‘Bum Steer’ Award Winner Announced: Senator Wendy Davis

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Headline of the Day: ‘Breaking: Obama to Delay Immigration Action Until Voters Can’t Punish Democrats for it’

Obamacares-Hierarchy-of-Privilege

From Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey:

…The issue of politicization comes primarily from circumventing Congress, not just the timing of it. However, this makes the entire project look a lot more political now. If it’s the right thing to do, why hasn’t Obama done it already? Isn’t that what “leadership” is supposed to be about? Why would it be the wrong thing to do in early September but the right thing to do in late November?

As far as worrying about the damage it will do to “pass[ing] a broad overhaul,” that’s an argument for not issuing unilateral decrees at all. Does anyone believe that Congress will take the short period of time between now and the election to pass a massive comprehensive-immigration bill? They’ll be lucky to pass a continuing resolution that will take the federal budget to December in that time frame. After the election, attention will return to the rest of the FY2015 budget. Any movement on immigration would have to wait until the next session of Congress, and everyone knows it. Read the rest of this entry »


DEVELOPING: Estonian Counterintelligence Officer Abducted to Russia at Gunpoint

esto

Foreign Ministry Summons Russian Ambassador 

An official from the Internal Security Service (ISS), Estonia‘s national agency for counterintelligence and high-profile corruption investigations, was abducted at gunpoint at Luhamaa border checkpoint this morning where he was discharging service duties, and taken to Russia.

The incident occurred at about 9:00 on the Estonian side of the border and was preceded by jamming of communications and use of a smoke grenade, the agency said; the interference was said to originate from the Russia side.

The ISS said the official was in the process of interdiction of a cross-border crime.

The area is in Võru County, by Russian border post #121. The border is largely demarcated and lacks major fortifications; the area is thinly populated.

The whereabouts of the official are not known, Postimees daily’s online site said.

There was no immediate explanation on the late disclosure of the incident – more than six hours after it occurred – which comes during a period of more tense relations with Russia. Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Obama 39% Job Approval Low-Down

poll-o

Gallup: Result is based on a three-day rolling average

"We're down in Bush territory. Down on the parking lot low."

“Dude is down in Bush territory. Way down low on-the-parking-lot-pavement low.”

via Gallup Daily

Read the rest of this entry »


Law is Obsolete: Revolutionary Justice with the Full Backing of the Administrative State

Victor-NR

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON:  Any particular law at any particular moment can be judged obsolete & an impediment to social justice. natl.re/1kRCLWn

NRO


WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Lack Confidence in the Country Long-Term


GLOBAL PANIC UPDATE: Panic Conditions Appear Likely to Extend into August

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BULLETIN: The expected “International Freakout of August 2014” downgrade has been suspended until further notice, as panic conditions worldwide appear to remain unchanged. According to our sources there are indications that global panic conditions are on track  to worsen, rather than improve, unfortunately, though we remain hopeful that a downgrade is still on the horizon. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience. Stay tuned for further announcements.

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freakout-downgrade-suspended


Sandra Fluke Has a Very Generous Donor: Herself


The 20th Anniversary of the Castro Regime’s ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre

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All they wanted was to escape tyranny and slavery and give their children and themselves a chance to live in freedom. For Cuba’s Castro dictatorship, however, such yearning for liberty is a sin against the revolution. In fact, it is a sin so grave and so heinous that it is punishable by death….(read more)

L.A. Liberty


How Liberalism Became an Intolerant Dogma

a-lot-of-liberals-are-taking-things-very-personally-these-days

Liberals are increasingly religious about their own liberalism, treating it  like a comprehensive view of reality and the human good   

Before we begin, a little housekeeping is in order. Acting on judgement that defies logic, Damon Linker elects to insert “Paul Krugman” as the seventh and eighth words in the following essay–and then, stranger still, leaves them there, thinking it’s a good way to open his article, having bypassed what I assume were multiple chances to change his mind in the editing process. Revealing that he thinks Krugman is relevant, for some reason. Almost killing any chance a non-New-York-Times-reading liberal reader will want to proceed any further.

Or if they do make it to the second paragraph, taking anything in the article seriously. If Linker had buried that digression in the middle of the essay, it might have been easer to charitably overlook.

Funny how that works. By trying to avoid “sounding like Paul Krugman”, Linker succeeds in planting a poisoned seed right at the beginning–and he succeeds in doing what he claimed he wanted to avoidsounding like Paul Krugman. Is this a good thing? I think not!

LouisCK

On the other hand, it might work as a test of his material. It reminds me of a method comedian Louis C.K. described for making sure his material is good. If the audience is in a good mood, giving away laughter too early, too easy, he starts the show by insulting the audience, making them unhappy, right off the bat. Bam. Discomfort. Uncertainty. Then, he knows that if they laugh at his jokes after that, the material must be good. As Louis C.K. concludes, “Okay, now we can get to work”.

So, if you can make it past words seven and eight (or the multitude of times you had to read Krugman’s name in my own annoyingly-long prologue, then you’re medically inoculated!) because the title sounded promising, you’ll find it’s actually a very good article. And it was worth making it past that lapse in judgement, and my unseemly introduction. Read on!

For The Week Damon Linker writes:

At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in my discussion of Hobby Lobby.

My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism’s decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma.

The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. But the cultural shift during the Obama years that has led a majority of Americans to support gay marriage seems to have opened the floodgates to an ugly triumphalism on the left.

The result is a dogmatic form of liberalism that threatens to poison American civic life for the foreseeable future. Conservative Reihan Salam describes it, only somewhat hyperbolically, as a form of “weaponized secularism.”

The rise of dogmatic liberalism is the American left-wing expression of the broader trend that Mark Lilla identified in a recent blockbuster essay for The New Republic. The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls “neoliberalism.”

At its deepest level, libertarianism is “a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice” in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right’s anti-government furies, but it also animates the left’s push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West. Read the rest of this entry »


Nutty Search Terms Revealed

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Mass Immigration: A Policy Intended to “Rub the Right’s Nose in Diversity…”

President Obama Laughs with Aides on Air Force One

Get a Whiff?

Labour-Wiff

Labour aide Andrew Neather

Via The Corner, Jay Nordlinger writes:

…A Labour aide, Andrew Neather, admitted that a policy of mass immigration was intended “to change the face of Britain forever.” He further said that this policy was meant “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”

“To rub the Right’s nose in diversity” — that is one of the most pungent phrases of the modern political age, I think.

National Review Online


Pop Quiz: Who Said That? Schizophrenic Mass Murderer? Or President of the United States?

Rogers-Obama

  1. “I saw myself as a highly intelligent and magnificent person who is meant for great things.”

  2.  “I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though…”

  3.  “Becoming a multimillionaire at a young age is what I am meant for.”

  4. “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.”

  5.  “I am like a god.”

  6. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”

 

Answers after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] What Happens When Anarchists Have a Conference, and One Half Starts Protesting the Other Half? Chaos Ensues

An Incoherent, Self Indulgent, anti-Democratic Spectacle worthy of an episode of Portlandia: Watch as an Anarchist Conference Devolves Into…Anarchy. Video contains strong language.

From metro.co.ukYou could say that the 5th annual Law and Disorder conference was a success as true anarchy won the day, with the panelists forced to abandon the conference room.

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Anarcho-Syndicalists protest get protested at their own conference. A panelist by the name of Kristian Williams was scheduled to speak at the annual Law & Disorder conference, but was thwarted by a protest. No one could actually articulate what their issue is with Mr. Williams.

From the Portland State University website:

“Law and Disorder calls for people, movements, organizations and collectives to present alternative accounts to the political dimensions of civic engagement, mutual aid and revolution as they relate to economics, politics, invention, technology, work, artistic and cultural production, the body, pedagogy and social change. The conference promises to create a provocative space for comparative critical dialogue between activists, revolutionaries, educators, artists, musicians, scholars, dancers, social/cultural workers, doulas, actors and writers. The conference invites panels and workshop on all aspects of social change from the revolutionary to the academic.”

From thelibertarianrepublic.com

A meeting of Anarcho-Syndicalists devolved into chaos at Portland State University last week. The “Law & Disorder” conference presented by the Students of Unity was disrupted by protesters complaining about “survivor trauma” and the “patriarchal society” which is “prioritizing powerful white men.”

Eventually police were called, causing the protesters to flee. Read the rest of this entry »


[AUDIO] NSFW: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Goes Cuckoo-Bananas on Caller, Drops F-Bomb Before Censors Catch It

If your computer volume is up and unsuspecting people are standing nearby, you might want to adjust the volume before hitting “play” on this YouTube clip. Schultz lets it rip.

From NRO‘s Andrew Johnson:

Censors failed to bleep out Ed Schultz’s profane outburst on his radio show when the MSNBC host lashed out at a caller during a heated discussion.

“I hope that they didn’t go out — did we catch that one? I need some direction! Did we catch that one? Yes or no?”

The fiery caller accused Schultz of “fascism” and for “capitulating” to people who are benefiting from the worsening state of affairs, prompting Schultz to say he hoped that caller didn’t “have a stroke…”(read more)

National Review Online


Every Day is April Fools’ Day at punditfromanotherplanet

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Some highlights from today’s prank stories..

Exclusive: Controversial Female Teachers’ Group Dedicated to “Woman-Boy Love” Pledges Legal Support to Meredith Powell

‘Woody Whistle’ Given to Girl Scouts of America members in Manhattan to Help Protect Girls From Woody Allen

Charles Krauthammer Shows Up Drunk on Megyn Kelly’s Set, Unannounced

And here’s a golden oldie, based on a real photo, from late 2013…

Russian President Vladimir Putin demonstrates to reporters how he grabbed Obama’s balls and extracted unprecedented foreign policy concessions

You can usually find the malarky in The Butcher’s Notebook. Find any good April Fools stories today? Send them in, we’ll add them to the collection.

 

 


The Liberal Dream of a Social Safety Net Administrated by State Monopoly

clementine gallot/Flickr

clementine gallot/Flickr

Mike Konczal has an article in The Atlantic with a headline and sub-headline that dazzles at reaffirming statist conventions, congratulating progressive self-righteousness, and preserving liberal comfort zones. As eye-catching ‘screw you’ propaganda, it has a certain charm that begs for correction.

And that’s just the headlines! Who reads articles? Fear not. A good butchering can fix it.

So, with our characteristic zest for counter-programing—and a cheerful middle finger to the lazy critics of conservative ideology—let the rewrite begin.

The Conservative Myth of a Social Safety Net Built on Charity 

The Liberal Dream of a Social Safety Net Administrated by State Monopoly, Fortified by Corruption, Enforced by Violence.

(properly understood, the state is an instrument of force)

 The right yearns for an era when churches and local organizations took care of society’s weakest—an era that never existed and can’t exist today.

The left yearns for a secular utopia where religious charity and private philanthropy is bullied out of existence by academics, bureaucrats, and all-powerful federal administrators — a Marxist fantasy that never existed, and can’t exist today.

See? Isn’t that better?

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] George Will: Conservatives Criticized in Media Whether They’re Unified or Divided

Not the most original insight, but a funny reminder about an unavoidable media reality: the conservative movement faces a lose-lose situation whether they’re getting along or not.

From this morning’s Fox News Sunday:

“If they’re harmonious, the media says, ’stultifying, monochrome, oppressive, no diversity. Then when they argue with each other, they say, ”Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war’ — it’s perfect nonsense.”

The Corner – NRO


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

“Who Will Guard the Guardians?”: Restraining Sovereign Power Using Entrepreneurial Communities

leviathan

At  posts:

Economist Barry Weingast writes, “the fundamental political dilemma of an economic system is this: A government strong enough to protect property rights and enforce contracts is also strong enough to confiscate the wealth of its citizens.”

How then do we restrain the predatory powers of government to an appropriate scope? How do we keep powerful interests from capturing government institutions to use against others? In other words, “Who will guard the guardians?”

Weingast has an easy answer:

The answer concerns the design of political institutions that credibly commit the state to preserving markets, that is, to limits on the future political discretion with respect to the economy that are in the interests of political officials to observe.

The romance surrounding America’s founding and the drafting of the Constitution is the story of this struggle. Unfortunately, actually ‘designing’ these institutions is exceedingly hard. And even if we were able, people disagree over the ideal size of government.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tweet of the Day: Orwell on Journalism

 


Kimmel Mocks Obamacare

Having trouble signing up on HealthCare.gov? Don’t expect Obamacare-Care to be any better

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Jimmy Kimmel took some shots at the health-care law’s ongoing problems by releasing an ad for the spoof program…

[Gold Box Deal of the Day: Order Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] from Amazon]

Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Conservative Acquaintance Annoyingly Not Racist

After bashing The Onion earlier, it seems they’ve unexpectedly redeemed their street creed…

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BROOKLYN, NY—Acknowledging that the man’s right-wing views are more nuanced than one might expect, 36-year-old liberal Diana Hardwick confided to reporters Tuesday that her conservative acquaintance Brady Daniels is, quite frustratingly, not racist. “We got to talking about immigration, and I really wanted him to undermine his argument for stricter border controls by saying something disparaging of Latinos, but apparently his opinions are based entirely on national security issues instead of race—which is super irritating,” Hardwick said of Daniels, who reportedly describes himself as a “strong conservative” on fiscal issues but, annoyingly, exhibits no racial biases. “It would be so much easier if I could just write him off as a bigot, but as far as I can tell he harbors no resentment or disdain toward people of color. For God’s sake, we argued every issue from states’ rights to income disparity but nope, he didn’t say anything even tacitly racist. Not once.” Hardwick later concluded that her acquaintance’s opposition to most of President Obama’s policies meant he was probably “close enough” to count as a racist.

The Onion


Will: Big Government has Big Consequences

“The point of progressivism is to put in front of the American people an increasingly rich menu of temptations to dependency on government in order to change social norms and, eventually, national character…”

Will said.

Kathleen Sebelius at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oct. 30. Associated Press

 ”…The president said ‘I want to fundamentally change America,’ and these disincentives to work are part of that.”

National Review Online


‘Red State Welfare’ Myth Debunked

States-Funding

 

State personal income in the past six quarters has increased mostly in “red” states and states run by Republican governors, TheBlaze reported earlier this month.

However, after TheBlaze noted this trend, a few readers argued that this was because “red” states typically receive the lion’s share of federal funding.

Do they really?

Read the rest at TheBlaze


How Technology Killed the Future

Image: vintagefuture.tumblr.com

Image: vintagefuture.tumblr.com

Douglas Rushkoff   writes:  The crises arrive from everywhere, and all at once. The responses do, too. New allegations about NSA eavesdropping, for instance, pop up on Twitter before the White House has had a chance to fully spin the last set. A Cabinet secretary is presumed ripe for firing over a botched health care website even before the site’s problems are fully diagnosed. The pauses between an event and a response to it—the space in which public opinion was once gauged—is gone, and now the feedback is indistinguishable from the initial action. The verdict, the takeaway, the very meaning behind what is happening is more elusive than ever before. We cobble together narratives and hunt for conclusions. Millions of social media posts per minute are parsed and analyzed as if those vast bits of opinion, conjecture and fancy somehow coalesce into a story.

But they don’t.

Welcome to the world of “present shock,” where everything is happening so fast that it may as well be simultaneous. One big now. The result for institutions—especially political ones—has been profound. This transformation has dramatically degraded the ability of political operatives to set long-term plans. Thrown off course, they’re now often left simply to react to the incoming barrage of events as they unfold. Gone, suddenly, is the quaint notion of “controlling the narrative”—the flood of information is often far too unruly. There’s no time for context, only for crisis management.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pens and Phones are Nice, But…

phone-pen

Boehner


On Marijuana: Get Ahead of the Inevitable

shutterstock_143622214_largeRick Wilson  writes:  National Review’s “Sensible on Weed” piece yesterday got me thinking … not so much about marijuana, but about social movements.

Of late, conservatives are notoriously bad at understanding – to say nothing of exploiting – powerful social movements. Part of this is the essential and desirable nature of conservatism; we like to think of ourselves as grounded by deeper values than those who are susceptible to the faddish and fashionable.

The pessimistic strain of conservatism tends to believe all is lost, civilization has fallen, and the Overton Window opens only to the left. We often misunderstand even our emerging victories. On issues like attitudes toward government, guns, abortion, and education reform we’re in a better position than we’ve been in decades, even if the day-to-day political scrum sometimes distracts us from the upside.

On gay marriage, we were famously tone-deaf to the change in society that finally drove it to into the mainstream, particularly with younger voters. Society changed. It doesn’t matter how and why, and we’re not required to like it. What matters is that the change is real, and has real political implications. As I’ve said before, conservatives lost the gay marriage battle socially long before they lost it politically. The rear-guard action of trying to stop it legislatively is increasingly untenable politically.

Which is why Republicans need to get ahead of the marijuana question, and soon.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cocktail, Anyone? What your liquor preferences reveal about your politics

An irresistible item from The Greenroom

Frivolous “data,” but irresistible content for a slow news week — especially while arguing about vices and prohibitions is all the rage. Via the Washington Post:

In a nutshell, Democrats like clear liquors (gin, vodka), while Republicans tend to go for the brown stuff (bourbon, whiskey, etc).  Rum is bipartisan.  Beer results — from a separate, um, analysis — are here.  Finally, wine consumption is a strong indicator of voter participation rates:

Dube found that 14 of the top 15 brands that indicate someone is most likely to vote are wines…Champagne, as it turns out, is mostly a Democratic drink.

Of course it is.  Smug liberals regularly pop the cork to congratulate one another on their moral and intellectual superiority, spotless intentions, ‘fairness’ fetishism, tolerance, and empathy.  Results and empiricism are such buzz-kills.  Disclosure: As a filthy RINO, my primary alcohol preference is imbibing in the warm cocoon of elite Beltway cocktail parties.  When you’re busy sucking up to snobby liberals, the particular brand of poison is largely irrelevant, amirite?

 


Somebody Tell Democrat Ann Kuster That Her Response About Benghazi Is the Worst We’ve Ever Seen

B. Atkinson writes: The star of this video is Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster, representing New Hampshire’s 2nd District. A few things here…

  • She doesn’t know what’s going on with the issue and looks like an idiot when addressing it (House Resolution 36).
  • She ignorantly rudely hilariously laughably states that she is in her district to talk about the Middle East (to be clear Benghazi is very obviously considered part of the Middle East).
  • Then the crowd is informed by what is presumably an aide of some sort that they are going to “stick to the format” …so no one even gets an actual answer.

Is this who you want making decisions for your country? Remember this in 2014 when she’s up for re-election…

kuster-grimace

Independent Journal Review


Lefties Contemplate the Pain of “Cyberlibertarianism,” Wonder Where They’ll Ever Find a Centralized World to Manage Choice and Behavior

 writes: David Golumbia writing at Jacobin is steamed at the supposed “deletion of the left” by supposedly dominant “cyberlibertarians.”

He starts off going wrong with a rather gross misunderstanding of what being “of the left” in American terms means these days:

The digital revolution, we are told everywhere today, produces democracy. It gives “power to the people” and dethrones authoritarians; it levels the playing field for distribution of information critical to political engagement; it destabilizes hierarchies, decentralizes what had been centralized, democratizes what was the domain of elites.

Most on the Left would endorse these ends. The widespread availability of tools whose uses are harmonious with leftist goals would, one might think, accompany broad advancement of those goals in some form. Yet the Left today is scattered, nearly toothless in most advanced democracies. If digital communication technology promotes leftist values, why has its spread coincided with such a stark decline in the Left’s political fortunes?

What the left really wants is a centralized elite authority that pursues particular ends it claims to desire, often allegedly on behalf of “the people”; people who really want dethroned authority, free flow of information, and decentralization are libertarians.

Why would a left that wants to see a world shaped to its own particular desires–about income distribution, market and personal choice and behavior, and forced change in people’s transportation, energy, and consumption choices, embrace a world of greater decentralization and choice?

Read the rest of this entry »


Economic Means vs. Political Means

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Editor’s Note: We stand on the shoulders of giants. So we have decided to revisit some of these giants for you to experience anew in our new “Vintage” feature. Some of these writings are great little gems from lesser-known classical liberals, while others are digestible pieces from the greats in our tradition. Think of it as akin to finding a great record in the attic, dusting it off, and letting it spin.

Albert Nock writes: There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means. The primitive exercise of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest, confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave economy. The conqueror parcelled out the conquered territory among beneficiaries, who thenceforth satisfied their needs and desires by exploiting the labour of the enslaved  inhabitants. The feudal State, and the merchant-State, wherever found, merely took over and developed successively the heritage of character, intention and apparatus of exploitation which the primitive State transmitted to them; they are in essence merely higher integrations of the primitive State.

Read the rest of this entry »


Liberals’ Love-Hate Relationship With the Law

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Peter Berkowitz writes:  The controversies raging about the merits of two very different Obama administration policies, the Affordable Care Act and addressing Iran’s nuclear program, shed light on the common political outlook that underlies them.

President Obama’s signature domestic initiative and his grandest foreign affairs undertaking alike reflect a defining feature of the progressive or left-liberal mind. Both betray an incoherent opinion, or rather incoherent set of opinions, about politics and law. In both cases, Obama began by exaggerating the primacy of the rule of law. Subsequently, without fanfare, apology, or apparent regret he blithely disregarded the requirements of law.

 It’s not unheard-of for a politician to change his tune to suit changing circumstances — nor should it be. But the left-liberal tendency to exalt the supreme importance of the rule of law and then to nonchalantly set it aside when it is no longer expedient reflects something more than improvised adjustment to the needs of the moment. This attraction to the extremes is fueled by the same deep-rooted source.

The left-liberal mindset endemic on the college faculties and law schools where Barack Obama’s political sensibilities were forged holds that morals and politics are subject to a universal reason to which the left-liberal sensibility is uniquely attuned. This conceit receives expression in a faith that the left-liberal brain trust can embody complex public policy in general rules and regulations, which can then be administered smoothly by well-educated bureaucrats and adjudicated impartially by empathetic judges.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cartoon of the Day: The Law, Faithfully Executed

executing-the-law


Reality Check: Free Market Myths Debunked

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Just as there are timeless truths, there are also timeless falsehoods.

Here are a few of the latter that I’ve recently encountered, but there are, of course, plenty more. Some libertarians may not agree with me (at least at first) on all of them.

1) The free market creates scarcity and higher prices. In any economic system—socialist, interventionist, or free market—the quantity of a good will typically not be enough to satisfy demand when the price is zero. In a free market, in which people trade their legitimate claims to those resources, prices will tend to rise or fall to the level where the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded, and in that way prices help us to cope with scarcity. Not only that, the free market, via a system of profit and loss, gives entrepreneurs an incentive both to supply more of scarce resources and to discover alternatives to them. (But not all “trade” is conducted this way. See No. 4 below.)

2) The free market means the government gives businesses special privileges. This is a very common belief based on the idea that pro-market means pro-business. But the free market is free precisely because it denies special legal privileges to any person or group. People sometimes define “privilege” as any advantage a person or group may have over others. Certainly such advantages exist today and would exist in a free market—you may be born into a wealthy family or have superior drive and resourcefulness—but these advantages are consistent with the absence of privilege in the libertarian sense, as long as you acquired such advantages without fraud or the initiation of physical violence against the person or property of others.

3) The pre-Obamacare healthcare industry was a free market. Actually, it was a highly interventionist market, as John C. Goodman explains. Similarly, the failures of the housing and financial markets were hardly the result of “free-market policies,” and the same could be said for practically every other sector of the American economy. The free market is free of legal privileges and discrimination; it is whatever happens in the absence of aggression and within certain “rules of the game”—for example, private property, freedom of association, and the rule of law. Again, it’s not pro-business, pro-consumer, or pro-anything if that means using political power to intentionally help some and hurt others.

Read the rest of this entry »


Turning Off the Next Generation of Politicians

turnedoffstudent

“…The fact that young Americans do not want to run for office cannot be divorced from their perceptions of the political system, which could not be much worse…”

Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless write:  During the 2012 presidential election, we conducted a national survey of more than 4,200 high school and college students. We asked about their attitudes toward politics and current events, their career aspirations and their political ambition. The results are stark. Only 11 percent of our survey respondents reported that, someday, when they were older, they might consider running for political office.

In one set of questions, we presented these high school and college students with four career options — business owner, teacher, salesperson or mayor of a city or town — and asked which they would most like to be, assuming that each position paid the same amount of money. Nine out of 10 respondents chose a career other than mayor as their first choice. Nearly 40 percent reported that mayor would be their least-desired job.

We also asked which of the following higher-echelon jobs they found most appealing: business executive, lawyer, school principal or member of Congress. Serving as a member of Congress came in dead last, with just 13 percent of young people choosing it. It placed first on the least-desirable list.

Read the rest of this entry »


Seattle Elects Socialist To City Council

CBS Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle voters have elected a socialist to city council for the first time in modern history.

Kshama Sawant’s lead continued to grow on Friday, prompting 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin to concede.

Even in this liberal city, Sawant’s win has surprised many here. Conlin was backed by the city’s political establishment. On election night, she trailed by four percentage points. She wasn’t a veteran politician, having only run in one previous campaign.

But in the days following election night, Sawant’s share of the votes outgrew Conlin’s.

“I don’t think socialism makes most people in Seattle afraid,” Conlin said Friday.

While city council races are technically non-partisan, Sawant made sure people knew she was running as a socialist — a label that would be political poisonous in many parts of the country.

Sawant, a 41-year-old college economics professor, first drew attention as part of local Occupy Wall Street protests…

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The Daily Hammer

The Daily Hammer

“Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.”


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“In explaining any puzzling Washington phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit.”