November 26, 2014

IN THE MAIL: From Gregory Zuckerman, Up to 50% Off Toys from Mattel and Fisher-Price.

And, also today only: Photive Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker, $39.95 (71% off).

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 566.

WHY UVA COULDN’T WIN:

I’ve spoken at length about the troubling impact that campus adjudication with limited due process can have on the lives of accused men. I’ve spoken less, however, about the other problem, which is how it can leave predators free to commit more rapes. Helping victims focus on their own healing may well be better for the victims; I’m not an expert, so I couldn’t say. But it’s probably worse for the future victims. Expelling a man may be a pretty big burden on him, but we’d really like to put an even bigger burden on people who gang-rape 18-year-old girls; we’d like to lock them up where they can’t get at any more 18-year-old girls. I’m at least open to arguments that a college disciplinary hearing is what we need to combat “non-consensual-kissing.” But it is ludicrously inadequate as either a punishment for, or a deterrent to, what allegedly happened in that fraternity house.

Do victims have a right to stay home and focus on themselves, while leaving the predators who did it at large to rape again? Do administrators have a right to focus on the victims, rather than the risk to the community? These are hard questions, and I’m not sure I have good answers. But I do worry that by bundling gang rape into the catch-all category of sexual assault, in the hopes of raising the offensiveness of groping women and otherwise forcing your unwanted attentions on their bodies, we are also reducing the seriousness with which we treat gang rape.

When a currency is inflated, it loses value. That applies to moral currency, too.

AUSTIN BAY: As The World Burns, Obama Fires Hagel. “Gates and Panetta demonstrated a commitment to U.S. defense, a commitment beyond dramatic gesture. Their post-Pentagon assessments of the Obama administration are both scathing. They see Obama as a political leader focused on his own political welfare. Obama is fixated on two figurative battlefields: domestic U.S. social justice/identity politics and the next news cycle. He is very good with words. He is very good at winning presidential election, but as for other deeds? Not so much. . . . A SecDef serves at the president’s pleasure. Contradicting your boss has risks, especially a boss with a brittle ego. Hagel is gone. The Islamic State, however, remains. The Islamic State will have to be convinced it’s a junior varsity. Vladimir Putin is a big-league player; he persists in waging an imperial war in Eastern Ukraine. China probes its Southeast Asian maritime border. Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons continues. Syria bleeds. Libya fragments. North Korea builds ICBM’s. Unless backed by demonstrated capabilities and the demonstrated will to act, dramatic gestures and words in the Washington Beltway do not affect these circumstances a whit.”

Related: Middle East Policy: The Other Huge Obama Disaster Of The Week.

CHANNELING YEATS. WELL, KINDA. James Delingpole: These Cambridge buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Western Civilisation.

AT AMAZON, countdown to Black Friday deals. Browse and save!

Plus, deals galore in Health, Beauty & Grooming.

And, today only: Just Dance 2015, $24.99.

And please do me a favor: When you shop at Amazon, just click through one of my links first. You’ll support InstaPundit at no cost to yourself. I appreciate it, especially this time of year!

ROGER SIMON: The New York Times and Other Members of the Ferguson Hall of Shame. “That the photograph of Walter Duranty — the New York Times Moscow correspondent who deliberately whitewashed Stalin’s 1930s forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians and won the Pulitzer for it — still is on the newspaper’s wall of fame with their other prize winners is apparently no aberration. The New York Times has no moral center. In fact, it’s despicable. On November 24, they published the home address of Officer Darren Wilson.”

Plus: “Not quite cancer but pretty bad is Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri. Not only did he attempt to prejudge the case, calling for Wilson’s head like some minor league Robespierre months before there was any evidence, but then, on the night of the grand jury announcement, after having brought in the National Guard, he goes completely AWOL and doesn’t use the Guards at all, leaving the poor store owners of Ferguson to fend for themselves, not to mention the police. Everyone got to watch the results on TV.”

WHO WANTS TO BE THE LAST CAREER TO DIE FOR A MISTAKEN PRESIDENCY? Hagel successor, with limited room to maneuver, will face quandary in Iraq, Syria. “The next defense secretary will also have to contend with a sometimes-tense relationship with the White House. Both of Hagel’s predecessors, Leon Panetta and Robert Gates, have criticized Obama’s handling of national security matters since leaving office and have complained of White House micromanagement of the military.”

The White House isn’t competent. But it is involved.

UPDATE: John Fund: Why Obama Is Finding It Hard to Get a New Defense Secretary.

IT’S NOT A CURE-ALL, BUT IT’S DEFINITELY SOMETHING I FAVOR: Brown Family Statement Vows Campaign for Police Body Cameras.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Student Mugged, Says He Deserved It Because of His ‘Privilege.’

HEY, REMEMBER WHEN HE HAD CONTROL OF BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS? Roll Call: Obama Wants Middle Class Aid Before Corporate Tax Breaks.

Meanwhile, I have a few proposals of my own.

HEY, I WAS SAYING THAT BACK IN 2009. Schumer says Democrats erred by passing ObamaCare. “Schumer says Democrats ‘blew the opportunity the American people gave them’ in the 2008 elections, a Democratic landslide, by focusing on healthcare reform instead of legislation to boost the middle class.”

Do tell. It’s almost as if helping the middle class wasn’t a priority.

HIGH-TECH LYNCHING: Ohio students want to ban fraternity based on anonymous social media posts.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Why College Is Necessary But Gets You Nowhere.

NO SURPRISE: Most Businesses Destroyed in Ferguson Minority Owned.

KURT SCHLICHTER: America, You’ve Been Grubered!

AT AMAZON, Black Friday Deals Week Deals. Browse and save!

Plus, coupons galore in Grocery & Gourmet Foods.

REDACTED: How the NY Times whitewashed their Hagel coverage.

LEFTIES ALWAYS WANT TO ELIMINATE ALTERNATIVE POWER CENTERS IN ANY SYSTEM THEY CONTROL: UVA Faculty Want Abolition of Greek System, Emails Reveal.

REVIEW: David Lat’s new novel, Supreme Ambitions.

NOTHING SHADY ABOUT THAT: New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Address.

THOUGHTS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: “Domestic violence is not a gendered issue. When it comes to violence in the family, women are just as violent as men, and until we stop acting like this is a men’s problem and start treating it like a problem women and men alike face, as both victims and perpetrators, we can never make things better. The ones who suffer most are the children who grow up in environments where hitting and other forms of abuse are how you solve problems or resolve frustrations. . . . I think our problem as men is our inability to see women as dangerous and violent, as if women are not fully grown adults capable of as much violence and abuse as we are. I’ve seen time and again, not just in myself but in other men, an almost complete inability to label a woman acting violently as an abuser.”

NOAH ROTHMAN: More evidence that the left wants to get into your bedroom.

The American right was at once mocked and feared by liberals for the scrutiny they devoted to the sex lives of average Americans. This impulse among conservatives culminated in George W. Bush’s administration’s unsuccessful attempt to enshrine heterosexual marriage into the U.S. Constitution.

The critiques of social conservatism in the last decade as prudish and meddling were well-founded, but that seems like a generation ago. As American conservatism continues to embrace a more libertarian view on those policies which relate to the policing of consensual relationships, the left has become consumed with supervising sexual activity and defining more and more of it as unconventional.

Mrs. Grundy self-identifies as feminist now.

A LIFESAVING TRANSPLANT for coral reefs.

ELIANA JOHNSON: Henry Waxman’s Republican Heir: Jason Chaffetz hopes to land the kind of blows that Darrell Issa hasn’t been able to. To be fair, Waxman always had a lot of help from the press.

LUCY JEWEL: Indie Lawyering: A New Model for Solo and Small Firm Practice.

AT AMAZON, fresh deals on Bestselling Products, updated every hour.

Also, check out the Kindle Daily Deals.

ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE: Europa Is Stunning In Close-To-True Color.

DO STATINS protect people from air pollution?

FASTER, PLEASE: Remotely controlled magnetic nanoparticles stimulate stem cells to regenerate bones.

HERE’S MY RECIPE FOR Thanksgiving Leg Of Lamb. And here’s a review!

INSIDE RUSSIA’S Baikonur Cosmodrome.

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Treasury: 2,500 documents ‘potentially’ show IRS sharing taxpayer data with White House.

ROBERT MERRY: Obama’s Big Ferguson Failure.

Related: Flames of Ferguson Illuminate Age of Obama. “When history remembers the Obama administration, the flames of Ferguson will light up our memories. It wasn’t just an AutoZone and Jade Nails burning up in the fires of Ferguson, it was also the ‘Hope’ of 2008 going up in smoke. Instead of hope, the age of Obama has been characterized by racial division and discord.”

UPDATE: “Communist agitators stirring up a civil rights protest sounds like a bad ‘60s flashback, but that’s just what happened last week in Ferguson, Missouri.”

WELL, SOMEBODY’S NOT HAPPY:

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 565.

WELL, WE CERTAINLY DON’T WANT MORE WHITE HOUSE IN IT: The Case for More Congress In American Foreign Policy.

At the same time, with our Libyan policy, like the country itself, in ruins, one has the sense that the Benghazi investigation missed the larger point. The United States participated in the overthrow of the Qaddafi government, largely on humanitarian grounds, but we were utterly unprepared for the aftermath. Libya is in chaos today, radical jihadi groups have proliferated in the ruins, Qaddafi’s arms and fighters have fanned out across North Africa and the Middle East, and arguably more Libyans have died as the result of the intervention than would have perished had we stayed home. On top of this, there are credible allegations that the U.S. had guaranteed Qaddafi’s safety when he gave up his WMD program. Did our intervention in Libya break a pledge, or did it reduce our ability to persuade other countries to abstain from WMD programs? Did the decision to intervene in Libya also mean that the U.S. was less ready and able to respond appropriately to the much greater humanitarian and strategic crisis that holds Syria in its grip? . . .

A review of our policy failure in Libya (or earlier ones in Iraq and elsewhere) isn’t just about second guessing and assigning blame. It is about making sure that the nation’s foreign policy infrastructure is up to the tasks that our turbulent century has set for us.

This is the investigation we needed after the Libya fiasco. Unfortunately, unless something changes we are unlikely to get it.

What we need to do at this point is begin to rethink the role of the Congress in American foreign policy. If there is one thing that has become clear since the end of the Cold War, it is that the United States needs to raise its game in foreign policy.

Yeah, that’s pretty obvious.

HE WAS A LOUSY CANDIDATE, BARELY CONFIRMED, BUT STILL SMARTER THAN HIS BOSS: Bumbling Start, White House Micromanagement Doomed Hagel. The big news is that you’re hearing this from the National Journal.

AT AMAZON, deals galore in Black Friday Deals Week. Browse and save!

Plus, check out the Kindle Daily Deals.

And, today only: Up to 40% Off Select Coleman Camping Gear.

DANA MILBANK: With Chuck Hagel’s departure, Obama is turning into George W. Bush. Most of Bush’s flaws, none of his virtues.

Plus: “Obama went on at great length about the ‘class and integrity’ of the ‘great friend’ he was pushing out the door, praising Hagel for everything from drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan to working to reduce sexual assaults. Only in passing did Obama mention the war that threatens to dominate the last two years of his presidency.”

Yeah, winning the war is job number one. Obama’s failure here will come to dominate his portrayal in history. The other stuff, not so much.

UPDATE: The New York Times Changes Its Story Deleting The Most Remarkable Thing About Chuck Hagel’s Firing.

Taken as a whole, the original New York Times story paints a pretty damning picture of the White House’s national security policy setting. Mr. Hagel, so long as he was a loyal foot soldier for the President, was okay even if he was on the outside of the White House cool kidz team.

But the moment Hagel spoke up on ISIS, contradicting the White House, it was game over.

In other words, Chuck Hagel was not fired for incompetence. He was fired for telling the truth on ISIS — calling it an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” thereby forcing Barack Obama to deal with a threat he very much would like to ignore.

It’s only made more interesting by the New York Times’s decision to complete delete that bit explaining the motivation for his firing.

Someone from the White House called them, presumably.

CHANGE: Great Lakes ice cover developing; Earliest in over 40 years.

But Fallen Angels was just a science fiction novel, you guys. Right? Guys?

HOW DO YOU SPELL SCAPEGOAT? H-A-G-E-L. “So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let’s be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he’s been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses). So why has he been fired? Because the Obama White House needs a scapegoat. President George W, Bush fired Don Rumsfeld in connection with a change in strategy (the surge) and to bring in someone of independent stature. That’s not the case today. President Obama continues to want a Pentagon with weak leadership and little independence. There’s therefore no reason to expect the next two years of Obama foreign and defense policy to be any better than the past two.”

ED DRISCOLL: Season’s Greetings From Ferguson.

Note that The ACLU’s statement doesn’t criticize the Grand Jury’s decision.

Related: Ferguson Witness Told Investigators That Michael Brown Charged Cop “Like a Football Player. Head Down.” “The witness’s account of the unarmed Brown charging Wilson–even after he had been shot in the hand during a struggle at the cop’s patrol car–supports the officer’s contention that he fired a series of shots as Brown bore down on him.”

UPDATE: So, Hillary’s been awfully quiet. This, via Facebook, may explain why. I’d guess that Today Show viewers are her core demographic.

10402968_10203206361695147_5394958091270693787_n

Yeah, the margin seems huge, but it’s an online survey of Today viewers, not a poll. I suspect it would be a lot narrower if people hadn’t awakened to images of burning and looting, too.

Meanwhile, I went to the Today site to see if the number has updated, and now I can’t find the survey at all. I found a clip encouraging people to come to the site and vote, but either I’m just missing it or it’s been taken down.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, that’s not too far from this online poll at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. My guess is that this means the media coverage will drop off sharply.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.59.41 AM

MORE: And here’s a poll at NJ.com:

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.30.09 PM

POLL: Latino voters want more, more, more.

THE HILL: How Obama and Chuck Hagel reached the end of the line.

While aides described the departure as a mutual decision based on shifting priorities at the Department of Defense, there are signs that tensions between Hagel and the White House contributed to the personnel change.

Hagel struggled to break into the president’s tight-knit inner circle, and clashed with influential White House officials on key policy initiatives. His frequent rhetorical missteps contributed to perceptions he was out of sync with the West Wing.

Ultimately Hagel believed the pivot to combating ISIS represented a dramatic change from the types of reforms he had hoped to accomplish during his tenure at the Pentagon, aides said.

White House and Defense officials said Hagel was tapped to spearhead efforts like combating sexual assault in the ranks and trimming the Pentagon’s budget to deal with sequestration.

Yeah, I think their priorities were off a bit. Plus:

The steady stream of stories in recent weeks that suggested Hagel was having a difficult time penetrating the president’s inner circle carried echoes of Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, two past Defense secretaries who went on to write tell-all books critical of the president’s handling of defense policy.

Former Democratic aide Brent Budowsky said Democrats across the Capitol saw Hagel’s ouster as the latest example of “unprecedented” drama created by “too tight and too controlling of an inner circle.”

Translation: Valerie Jarrett.

IN LIGHT OF THE BILL COSBY STORIES, ANOTHER PROPOSED LAW: I suggest the Casting Couch Act of 2015. This would make it a felony to promise anyone an entertainment-industry position in exchange for sexual favors. Also, statutory damages of at least $100,000 per offense, and legal fees. Like campus sexual assault, this is a War On Women that must be stamped out with the Power Of The State!

Perhaps Kurt Schlichter can offer some related suggestions.

November 24, 2014

SOME OF US FIGURED THIS ALL ALONG; OTHERS ARE JUST FIGURING IT OUT NOW. Yes, Obama Is A Phony On Torture. He used to indicate otherwise as a means of brand differentiation, but he doesn’t need that anymore. And I think that some kind of deal has been cut.

UPDATE: Related: “How did the man who was supposed to tame the imperial presidency become, in certain ways, more imperial than his predecessor?” Because you were sold a pack of lies, and you were dumb enough to believe it.

AT AMAZON, fresh deals on Bestselling Products, updated every hour.

Also, check out the Kindle Daily Deals.

MANAGEMENT: Getting fired is Mission: Impossible for federal bureaucrats in the Obama era.

Federal managers have fired fewer bad employees each year since President Obama took office.

Fewer than 4,900 career civil servants were fired in fiscal year 2013 out of 1.4 million — about one out of every every 300 employees — according to Office of Personnel Management data.

The figures were 5,700 in 2010, 5,500 in 2011, and 5,200 in 2012. Only partial data was available for fiscal 2014, but it was on track for 4,800, the lowest in recent memory.

There are also about 7,700 senior executives in the federal government, who are held to a higher standard than those in the General Schedule rank and file.

But only five in the Senior Executive Service were fired in 2012, seven in 2013 and none in the first half of 2014.

Well, Romney said he liked firing people who wouldn’t do their jobs. And then the voters picked the other guy.

VIDEO: The William F. Buckley Legacy.

REPORT: No Indictment In Ferguson Case.

Background: The Grand Jury. Fiat justitia ruat caelum.

PLUS: NB: this DA is a Democrat, as is the County Executive and the governor.

RELATED:

Here’s an Obama Truth Squad flashback, for those who don’t remember 2008.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Obama talks as, on the other side of the screen, Ferguson burns.

NO INDICTMENT IN FERGUSON CASE, USA Today reports:

A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.

“The jury was not inclined to indict on any charges,” Crump said after being informed of the decision by authorities. Prosecutors scheduled an news conference to announce the decision.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, called for calm after calling up National Guard troops to stand by in case of unrest. Speaking before the decision was announced, he urged that “regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint.”

Much more from Glenn, shortly.

WELL, THAT’S GOOD: The Michael Brown grand jury materials will be made public … if no charges are filed.

YES, BECAUSE RICHARD DAWKINS IS ALWAYS CALLING FOR HIS FOLLOWERS TO BEHEAD THE BELIEVERS: “British fears about Islamists and Saudi fears about atheists are two sides of the same coin.” If they’re two sides, at any rate, they’re two very different sides.

FOR A BRIEF WHILE, Virginia Postrel’s The Substance of Style is just $1.99 on Kindle. It’s well worth reading.

PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME: Employee Fired After Posting Pictures Of DHS Vehicles Parked In Hotel Parking Lot. Well, if a company has promised to keep government presence secret, and an employee breaches that promise, firing might be okay. But I’m not entirely clear if that’s what happened here, and certainly the threat of arrest made by the DHS was bogus and unconstitutional.

SOMEHOW, I THINK THIS ROBERT HEINLEIN QUOTE IS WORTH REPEATING ONE MORE TIME:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

You know?

ADVICE FROM OUR BETTERS: Vivienne Westwood: People who can’t afford organic food should eat less.

AT AMAZON, Black Friday Deals Week in Toys & Games.

Plus, CD Deals Starting At $6.99.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Most Heavy Drinkers Are Not Alcoholics.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire is unimpressed with their definitions:

Talk about defining deviancy down! A guy who has two beers a night and cuts loose on Saturday by having a third is an excessive drinker? Even though he never even gets tipsy? But, fortunately, he is not an alcoholic! Imagine my surprise.

Well, I suppose their classification scheme can be justified if the available categories are “No health consequences” and “Possible adverse health consequences”. But I think most people would consider there to be a large grey area between “Not bad for your health” and “Doing real damage to your health”. And I would guess that fifteen drinks in a week (or one wild night of five drinks during a month) is well within most people’s conception of that grey area. Or put another way, someone who drinks too much once a month won’t be considered by anyone to be an alcoholic.

What does Stephen Green say, anyway?

Yeah, the medical establishment seems to be of two minds on alcohol. But I’m sure they’ll come down on the nanny side, because that’s where the federal funding is.

REPORTS: Ferguson Grand Jury Has Reached A Conclusion.

FASTER, PLEASE: Potential New Flu Treatment Would Starve the Virus, Limiting Resistance.

SHOT: Under The Fourth Geneva Convention, “Collective Punishment” Is A War Crime. “Article 33. No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

CHASER: U-Va. president suspends fraternities until Jan. 9 in wake of rape allegations. “Faced with mounting pressure from students, faculty and alumni, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan suspended all campus fraternities Saturday, an action prompted by a searing magazine account of an alleged 2012 gang rape inside a fraternity house at the school. The suspension, which includes sororities and other Greek organizations, will continue until Jan. 9, the Friday before the spring semester is to begin, Sullivan said in a statement posted on the university’s Web site.”

Snark aside, let’s remember what the University did here. It knew about this for quite a while, but didn’t do anything until there was an article in a magazine. Then it boldly and dramatically took action — against people who didn’t have anything to do with the alleged crime. As Ashe Schow says, another argument why universities shouldn’t be involved in prosecuting rape. Plus, while there’s showy collective punishment for the innocent, the actual accused were helped by the University’s mishandling: “In Jackie’s case, Eramo eventually told her that ‘all the boys involved have graduated.’ This meant the case was no longer in the university’s hands and if Jackie wants justice, she’ll have to go to the police, only now it will be more difficult as the attack was years ago, meaning evidence and witnesses may no longer be available.”

UPDATE: In the comments below, much skepticism about the Rolling Stone report. Well, I guess you can’t expect Rolling Stone to get it right every single time.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Number of College Students Taking Remedial Courses Explodes. “The number of college students taking at least one remedial course rose to 2.7 million in the 2011-2012 academic year from 1.04 million in 1999-2000, federal data show. During the same span, the amount of federal grants spent by undergraduates enrolled in at least one remedial course rose 380%, after inflation, Education Department figures show. There was also a drastic rise in remedial students taking on student debt. . . . Now, the high dropout rate among remedial-education students—along with a sharp rise in student debt—is fueling debate about whether the government should be more stringent in awarding student aid. Critics—ranging from some think-tank academics and conservatives to a trustee of a community-college system in Texas—say aid should be targeted toward students who are better-prepared.” These are students who shouldn’t be in college. Colleges are letting them in because they want their money.

WELL, ACTUALLY, THIS PROBABLY IS SMART DIPLOMACY: John Kerry Advised Russian Foreign Minister ‘Just Ignore Obama.’ At least, it’s probably good advice for most everyone these days. Forget what he says, and watch what he does.

ASHE SCHOW: UVA gang-rape allegation shows why universities shouldn’t arbitrate sexual assault.

Related: Peter Thiel: Thinking Too Highly Of Higher Ed. The “church” metaphor isn’t just a metaphor. Universities descend from clerical institutions, and have adopted poses, and enjoyed privileges — like internal disciplinary procedures and semi-immunity on their campuses from ordinary law enforcement — that descend from those institutions, too. But that’s problematic in today’s world, and the contradictions are becoming more apparent.

JOSH BLACKMAN: The Constitutional Limits Of Prosecutorial Discretion. Also, Prosecutorial Discretion With Rubber Stamps.

Josh’s discussion also reminds me of MCI V. AT&T, 512 U.S. 218 (1994), in which the Supreme Court held that the FCC couldn’t stretch a statutory provision allowing it to “modify” tariff requirements into a general rule eliminating the need for most of the industry to file tariffs at all. That seems fairly analogous to what Obama is doing with immigration, and possibly a better fit than Heckler v. Chaney.

On the contra side, though, there’s the case I always bring up when people suggest that executive power has exploded in recent years, U.S. v. Spawr Optical. (Also discussed here.) Spawr is a Court of Appeals case, not a Supreme Court case, and turned on some particularly sweeping statutory delegations, but still. . . .

Meanwhile, some thoughts from Ilya Somin.

I also think that if the Supreme Court wants to hear this in a hurry, it can. If it takes it in the ordinary course of business, we’ll probably see a decision in June of 2016. Could Obama — already seen as passively aggressively undermining Hillary in other ways — have put a long-range torpedo into the water that will explode around the time of the Democratic Convention?

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

IN THE MAIL: The Baen Big Book of Monsters.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 65% Off Select Singer Sewing Machines.

And, also today only: Up to 65% Off Select ProForm Cardio Equipment. Two big markdowns on high-dollar items. Browse and save!

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 564.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Obama’s Big Miscalculation.

Frank Fukuyama, no howling partisan, has tagged President Obama’s decision to circumvent Congress on immigration as a “bad call,” and while the President’s limited offer of a three-year temporary work authorization for people in the country illegally was not the worst or the most radical step he could have taken, Frank is right. This was the wrong step at the wrong time. At the very minimum, the President should have given the new Congress ninety days to act before going it alone. Failing to do so isn’t just a slap in the face of his Republican opponents; it is a slap in the face of the voters who no longer trust the President and his party on the big issues of national life.

If the new Congress proved unable or unwilling to act, the President’s step would have had at least an element of political legitimacy to it. As it is, this half-hearted, hobbled amnesty will likely join President Obama’s flawed health care law as a toxic legacy that will haunt the Democratic Party for years to come. Just as the President’s poor reputation was a millstone around the neck of many Democratic candidates in 2014, future Democratic candidates are going to run away from Obama’s memory, and their opponents will work to tag them with the heavy burden of a presidency that most Americans will want to forget. As a political brand, the name “Barack Obama” now risks drifting into Jimmy Carter territory and becoming a label that blights the prospects of the Democratic party and its candidates for years.

Moreover, as with the health care law, the President’s immigration policy doesn’t solve the underlying problems it addresses and makes the task of real reform more difficult. As often happens with our careful and deliberative President, he’s balanced so many concerns so nicely and split so many hairs so finely that the final product doesn’t get much done.

It’s almost as if he’s just not all that good at this Presidenting stuff.

WELL, WITH HILLARY IT’S MORE LIKE BEN-GAY AND GIN: Can any 2016 Democrat have that ‘new car smell’?

REPORTS THAT HE’LL BE REPLACED BY JONATHAN GRUBER ARE UNCONFIRMED: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel To Resign. I’m no Hagel fan, but he’s been one of the less-incompetent members of the team. There have been signs that he was being marginalized for quite a while.

Perhaps as a favor to Hillary, Obama will offer the job to Jim Webb. Or maybe it would be a favor to Elizabeth Warren. . . .

GOOD: Criminal Justice Reform Brings Together Liberals, Conservatives.

AT AMAZON, Black Friday Deals in Movies & TV.

Plus, deals on Bosch Tools.

And, today only: up to 40% off on Baby Essentials.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

ELIANA JOHNSON: Rand Paul Hires McConnell Finance Director. Paul seems more comfortable with inside game than his father was, which is a big boost for his chances of being elected, of course.

WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE DUMB: Michael Barone: Nobody is pushing Thomas Piketty’s policies to combat economic inequality. “America already has lots of economic redistribution. American voters evidently sense that more redistribution more would sap economic growth. They’re willing to throw a little to minimum wage earners, but they don’t want to kill the geese laying the golden eggs. Americans are not alone in feeling that way. You don’t see much demand for Piketty policies in other countries either.”

THIS IS SAD. Evelyn Rotier, matriarch of Rotier’s, dies at 94. I had lunch there the last time in was in Nashville, back in August.

SCIENCE: Women with workplace power are more depressed. Men, not so much.

Women with job authority — ones who have the ability to hire and fire people and influence over paychecks — also have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this kind of power. At the same time, having job authority slightly decreased these symptoms in men.

The findings come from a study to be published in December’s Journal of Health and Social Behavior, authored by University of Texas at Austin sociologist Tetyana Pudrovska. While over the past few decades, there’s been an emphasis on getting more women into leadership roles, “surprisingly little empirical attention has been devoted to women’s experiences after they have obtained authority, and whether women automatically enjoyed the benefits on par with men,” Pudrovska said.

Hmm. We’ve already learned that women are on average less happy than they were in 1970. So perhaps this whole feminism project is about remaking society to suit the minority of women who are feminists, at the expense of the much greater number of women who are not.

UPDATE: From the comments:

I’ve seen many women succeed in the workplace, and it’s often because they married late or kids never happened (despite them wanting children). The long, uninterrupted career path is good for advancement but not necessarily happiness.

Likewise, this study was performed on Baby Boom women – the first wave to go into the workforce. The question is whether modern women would be just as depressed with leadership roles as previous women were, in an era wherein both men and women were not used to having woman bosses.

Good point — though on the female boss angle, preference for male over female bosses — especially among women — hasn’t declined.

Plus: “Feminism is a political herding mechanism for insecure women. It’s thus no surprise that (1) feminists tend to be insecure; and (2) they send messages that tend to enhance insecurity in other women.”

IF POLAND HAD NUKES, IT COULD SERVE AS A STABILIZING REGIONAL POWER IN THE FACE OF U.S. WEAKNESS: Finland feeling vulnerable amid Russian provocations.

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A MAN A FAILURE, EXCEPT IN REGARD TO WHAT HE’S TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH. Iran: Obama’s Biggest Failure Fails Again.

TMZ POLITICS SEEMS TO BE COVERING STUFF THAT OLD MEDIA WON’T:

Others are catching on:

Background here. I wonder how well he knows Bill Clinton?

Plus, Nancy Pelosi.

And a challenge:

Note: Not a verified TMZ account. . . .

MODERN MEDIA: Report: Bill Cosby’s Fixer at NBC Comes Forward. When it was Arkansas State Troopers, nobody believed this kind of story.

A COUPLE OF IDEAS FOR THE GOP IN RESPONDING TO OBAMA’S IMMIGRATION INITIATIVE: These would be embarrassing for Obama to veto, popular with the public, and a good idea anyway.

First, a much stricter prevailing-wage law for H1B visas, with big damages designed to make plaintiffs’ attorneys zero in on this area. You can import foreign help if you want, but you have to pay those Indian or Chinese software engineers the prevailing wage for American software engineers in Silicon Valley, rather than paying the pittance most companies pay now. (In one case, a Silicon Valley firm was paying $1.21 an hour.) There has been a lot of cheating on H1 visas, and this should help. The tech companies’ excuse for hiring immigrants is that they can’t find enough qualified Americans, not that they just want to pay sweatshop wages, though that excuse is bogus. Companies also draw out the H1B application process to keep workers under their thumbs and away from competitors, something called “handcuffing.” Maybe shortening the fuse on the application process there would be a good idea, too, or — again — creating damages that trial lawyers can exploit. (Most GOP types reflexively hate trial lawyers, but, like Kurt Schlichter, I think it’s better to have them working for you than against you). For more fun, make CEO’s and HR heads personally responsible for violations, a la Sarbanes-Oxley. . . .

Tech companies will hate this, but I don’t see any downside for Republicans in siding with employees against the super-wealthy of Silicon Valley. It might even split off some tech-industry support, dividing the Silicon Valley worker bees from the oligarchs. I have Democratic friends who work there and this is a really big issue among them. And who could be against paying a “living wage?” For added fun, have some hearings where fatcat Silicon Valley oligarchs are grilled about worker exploitation.

Second, a tax on remittances to Mexico and other countries from which we get a lot of illegal immigrants. Make it equal to the tax bracket of the average working American. Since they’re not paying taxes, it’s only fair for them to chip in while they’re earning money here. 25% sounds like a good number. And how can Obama veto a tax? Make him.

DAVID RIVKIN & ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY: Obama’s Immigration Enablers: The administration’s Office of Legal Counsel endorsed a view of executive power never imagined by the Founders.

A few hours before announcing his new immigration policy, President Obama received an opinion blessing its legality from the Office of Legal Counsel. Regrettably, the OLC’s made-to-order legal analysis is shockingly flawed in five major respects.

First, the OLC justified the policy as a prioritization of government’s “limited resources.” But the executive order does more than prioritize. It rewrites existing law. Illegal immigrants won’t be deported if they aren’t a threat to national security, public safety or border security. Beyond these three categories, deportation may be pursued only if it serves an “important federal interest.”

Under current law, by contrast, anyone entering the U.S. illegally is a “deportable alien” who “shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed.” The president’s policy transforms an entire category of aliens deemed deportable into two different categories, whereby some are deportable and some aren’t. This is a shift in kind, not merely degree.

A president prioritizing resources would do what previous presidents have done: enforce the entirety of immigration law, while allowing prosecutors to make case-by-case determinations. By announcing a global policy of nonenforcement against certain categories, Mr. Obama condones unlawful behavior, weakening the law’s deterrent impact, and allows lawbreakers to remain without fear of deportation. As he puts it, “All we’re saying is we are not going to deport you.” These individuals are no longer deportable, although Congress has declared them so. . . .

The OLC’s memo endorses a view of presidential power that has never been advanced by even the boldest presidential advocates. If this view holds, future presidents can unilaterally gut tax, environmental, labor or securities laws by enforcing only those portions with which they agree. This is a dangerous precedent that cannot be allowed to stand.

Well, we shall see.

November 23, 2014

STEPHEN MILLER: Memo To Reince: Enough is Enough. Boycott NBC and ABC. “ABC and NBC have instituted a three-week blackout — on network broadcasts, websites and social media pages — of the devastating admissions of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The ACA architect repeatedly boasted of deceiving the American public about legislation that cost six million people their family doctor. This should be the final straw in any relationship the GOP and RNC leadership has with these networks, period. No more debates, no more appearances on ‘Meet The Press,’ ‘Morning Joe,’ or ‘This Week’ on ABC. . . . Boycott both NBC and ABC over failing to report on Gruber’s revelations and put CBS on final notice over the revelations that they coordinated with the Obama administration to tank Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi reporting. Network news is a dying religion becoming more ideologically rigid, forgoing any attempt to stay relevant in a media landscape that no longer needs them. Leave them behind. We’ve already shown that it works. Marginalize them and label them progressive news outlets and make them live by it. MSNBC came out of the progressive closet fully earlier this year and their ratings and web traffic got worse. Air America is no more and Current TV is now an unloved stepchild Al Gore gave away for oil money.”

UPDATE: A reader points out that ABC News did cover Gruber, though, of course, not in the saturation-bombing way they would have covered it if parties were reversed.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Man in Prison 19 Years Freed After Claim Recanted.

A man who had been in prison for nearly two decades was released from custody Thursday, two years after his supposed victim recanted allegations that he molested her.

Jerry Lee Brock, 55, had been in prison since his conviction for first-degree molestation in 1995. In 2012, the alleged victim, Regina Rush, came forward to say she made the whole thing up, partly as a way to get more attention from her mother.

Good grief.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

JUSTICE: Wrongly convicted man released from US prison after 39 years. “Jackson spent more time behind bars than any other exonerated inmate in US history: 39 years. His brother, also exonerated, served 27 years.”