ENOUGH WITH THESE HUGE “GANG” BILLS THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS: Sessions: Even the Gang of Eight Don’t Really Understand Their ‘Disastrous’ Immigration Bill.
ENOUGH WITH THESE HUGE “GANG” BILLS THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS: Sessions: Even the Gang of Eight Don’t Really Understand Their ‘Disastrous’ Immigration Bill.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why I got my CCW Permit and Why You Should Too.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: N.Y.U. Gives Its Stars Loans for Summer Homes.
Its most interesting feature, however, is not architectural, but financial. The house, which is owned by John Sexton, the president of New York University, was bought with a $600,000 loan from an N.Y.U. foundation that eventually grew to be $1 million, according to Suffolk County land records. It is one of a number of loans that N.Y.U. has made to executives and star professors for expensive vacation homes in areas like East Hampton, Fire Island and Litchfield County, Conn., in what educational experts call a bold new frontier for lavish university compensation.
If nonprofits were regulated like for-profits, this might get more scrutiny.
SEXISM, OF COURSE: Why Does No One Care That A Young Don Draper Was Raped?
CAN OF WORMS: NSA’s Role in Two Terror Cases Was Concealed From Defense Lawyers. “When a senior FBI official told Congress the role the NSA’s secret surveillance apparatus played in a San Diego terror financing case today, nobody was more surprised to hear it than the defense attorney who fought a long and futile court battle to get exactly the same information while defending the case in court.”
REPORTER MICHAEL HASTINGS has died.
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RAYMOND IBRAHIM: Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral To Become A Mosque. Now if you converted a mosque to a cathedral, someone would probably blow it up.
BARACK WHO? Obama’s Disappearing Act. “Obama practically disappeared from the scene (no calls to Cabinet officials, no convening in the Situation Room) on the night of the Benghazi, Libya, attack. He seems more concerned on the NSA flap with distancing himself from conservatives whom he loathes (‘I am not Dick Cheney’) and in Syria on protecting his self-image (he ends wars, doesn’t start them) than in taking the heat from Democrats. When coverage is not glowing, he becomes cranky with the media (as does his spokesman). He is most at ease campaigning before a crowd (whether it is an election or not) when he can accuse opponents of ill-will and flail away at straw men with no interruption.”
FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS: The Ethical Flap Over Birdsong Apps. “The ethics of using recordings to attract birds has been controversial since the days of clunky cassette machines. Now, anybody with a smartphone and a few dollars has instant access to the songs and calls of every species in the United States, and in quite a few foreign countries, too.”
EMPLOYMENT AND WAR: Adapting To Automation.
RAND SIMBERG WONDERS what the scandal endgame will look like.
THE 21ST CENTURY ISN’T TURNING OUT AS I’D HOPED: Woman Charged In Second Buttocks-Enhancement Death.
AT THE COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM IN CALIFORNIA THIS WEEKEND: Script Reading: A Computer Simulation of God.
AT AMAZON, Bestsellers In Military History.
#1 on the list is Jack Levin’s George Washington: The Crossing.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: University programs that train U.S. teachers get mediocre marks in first-ever ratings. “The vast majority of the 1,430 education programs that prepare the nation’s K-12 teachers are mediocre, according to a first-ever ranking that immediately touched off a firestorm.” This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.
WHO KNEW THAT IN THE 21ST CENTURY, people would be excited over ethanol-free gas?
MICKEY KAUS: Rubio Doubles Down Into Disaster. “Shorter Rubio aide: There’s a reason unemployed Americans are unemployed. They aren’t star performers. Screw ‘em. We’re bringing in workers from abroad! This is what opponents of the Gang of 8 have been arguing is the philosophy behind its proposed giant increase in the immigrant work force. Good to have confirmation.”
CATHY YOUNG: No Simple Answers on Security and Freedom.
RICHARD EPSTEIN: In Defense Of The NSA.
IN THE MAIL: From P.C. Hodgell, Honor’s Paradox.
IS THAT MS. MAGAZINE My Month With A Gun column a hoax? I don’t know, but I got an email from reader David McKissack, “I followed your link and commented that I couldn’t find a state which had the concealed carry regs and fee she mentions. I asked which state it was and thanked her in advance. My comment went into ‘moderation’ and this morning it’s gone, unanswered.” I wrote the Ms. people to ask about it, then followed up twice, but so far no answer. Anybody out there know more? Is there a state that matches her description?
UPDATE: Bryan Preston: Ms. Magazine’s ‘My Month with a Gun’ Story Shooting Blanks? “According to this bio, Yewman lives in Washington State. But Ms. Yewman’s experience obtaining a concealed carry permit do not exactly match the regulations in Washington State. The concealed carry fee in Washington State is $52.50, not the $56.50 that Yewman states. In Washington State, applicants must undergo a background check separate from the background check they undergo when they purchase a firearm, which by regulation can take up to 30 days, not the seconds it takes to undergo a NICS check at the point of sale. Yewman mentions the second background check but states that she got the permit quickly, with no mention of any wait at all. That’s possible, but the fee doesn’t match. Also, wait times have been skyrocketing in Washington State this year. . . . There is a state that charges $56.50 for concealed carry permits. That state is Iowa. But Iowa requires more than just the fee. Concealed carry applicants have to provide proof of familiarity with firearms, in the form of a certificate from a hunter safety course or NRA safety course. Heidi Yewman doesn’t live in Iowa and says that her state required nothing in the way of proof of familiarity with firearms.” This doesn’t prove that the story is a fraud, but you’d think her editors would be asking her questions.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Heh.
I.R.S. SCANDAL UPDATE: What Did Holly Paz Tell Congressional Investigators?
SADLY, ALL IS PROCEEDING AS I HAVE FORESEEN: Egypt Shoots Tourism Industry in the Foot.
Handing over control of a tourist hotspot to a party that loathes tourists is asking for trouble, but that’s exactly what Egypt has just done. On Sunday, President Morsi appointed Adel al-Khayat of the Gamaa al-Islamiyya party as Governor of Luxor, a region home to the ruins of two temples and several monuments, widely known as the “open air museum.” The party, Gamaa al-Islamiyya, not only holds conservative views against sunbathing, women wearing shorts, and alcohol, but is also responsible for the 1997 attack in Luxor that killed 60 tourists. . . . This is a boneheaded move for a country that relies so heavily upon tourism for its economic well-being.
When you import half your calories, and tourism is your main source of foreign exchange to buy food, you want to make the tourists happy. I doubt this will do that.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: How Poor Students Subsidize Unworthy College Sports.
In the 2010-11 academic year, the 227 public institutions in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association collected more than $2 billion in athletic fees from their students — or an average of more than $500 per enrollee — according to research by Jeff Smith at the University of South Carolina Upstate.
These fees, which can exceed $1,000 a year, are often itemized as a “student activity” or “general” expense. That may explain why separate research, by David Ridpath of Ohio University, found that students were only dimly aware of the extent of the fees, and weren’t pleased once they found out how much they were paying.
Worse yet, institutions with high proportions of poorer students carrying substantial education debt appeared to be charging the highest fees.
UGLY MOCKERY IS AT THE CORE OF MOST LEFTY ARGUMENTS: “This is getting a fair amount of attention from pro-abortion rights bloggers, and I’d just like to say — and note that I support abortion rights — that this mockery is very ugly.”
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MORAL CAPITAL DEPLETION: My USA Today column: Government compromises our trust.
UPDATE: Ron Fournier: Obama’s Credibility Crisis. “There is a common element to the so-called Obama scandals—the IRS targeting of conservatives, the fatal attack in Benghazi, and widespread spying on U.S. journalists and ordinary Americans. It is a lack of credibility. In each case, the Obama administration has helped make controversies worse by changing its stories, distorting facts, and lying.”
NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Democrat-Controlled Senate Intel Committee Blocks Former Staffer From Talking To Press About Oversight Process.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 40.
HARDENING INFRASTRUCTURE: Lights out: House plan would protect nation’s electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb. “Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.”
JAMES TARANTO: Moonlight Serenade: Whom does Mrs. Weiner work for?
New York’s Daily News reports that white-knight Weiner “defended his wife” during a Saturday campaign appearance. “I’m proud of my wife and I’m proud of the work she’s done,” he said, adding that “she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department.”
That may well be true–in which case the scandal here may be what’s above board rather than what’s below it. The Post reports that an unnamed State Department official “noted there were 100 such consultants at the agency.”
A hundred Abedin-size salaries would add up to $13.5 million–presumably not counting benefits–being paid to people whose work for the department has to compete with their outside gigs for their time and attention. Are they thoroughly screened for conflicts of interest? If so, that’s an addition expense for the taxpayers. If not, we can’t rule out the possibility that some State Department workers are trading on their access to what Grassley calls “political intelligence.
ROGER KIMBALL: James O’Keefe Is Back. “I’ve only just dipped a toe into the book, but already I can see that this intellectual heir to Andrew Breitbart has produced a devastating attack on the smary leftist establishment. I don’t expect to see it reviewed in The New York Times, but I’l wager it will rocket up that paper’s bestseller list. Don’t miss it.”
The book is Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy. I will note that, like a lot of anti-Obama folks who achieved success earlier, O’Keefe was conveniently sidelined for the 2012 election. A coincidence, I’m sure.
BYRON YORK: Rise in illegal crossings roils immigration debate. “What Schumer conceded, perhaps in an unguarded moment, is that the border remains quite porous, and the U.S. can expect “lots of millions” to cross illegally in coming years if nothing more is done. The disagreement on Capitol Hill, of course, is over what should be done, but Schumer’s off-the-cuff analysis provides a lot of material for Republicans pressing for a guarantee of greater security measures before millions of illegal immigrants are given legal status.”
A. BARTON HINKLE: Citizens and the State: The Problem Is Bigger Than You Think.
ED DRISCOLL: The Bonfire Of The Journalistic Vanities.
ANOTHER INTERVIEW WITH THE INSTA-WIFE regarding her new book, Men On Strike. “I believe that we should not view men as ‘defective girls’ which is what our society is trying to do. We are trying so hard to go away from traditional gender norms that we are demonizing masculinity. That will not end well.”
SHOCKER: Hidden camera catches wireless company employees passing out ‘Obama phones’ to people who say they’ll SELL them for drugs, shoes, handbags and spending cash. “The ‘Lifeline’ free-cell-phone scheme cost $2.2 Billion last year alone, all of it from fees added to the phone bills of paying customers. The biggest beneficiary other than low-income consumers is billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, whose TracFone has collected $1.5 Billion to date.”
TOM BLUMER: Harassment and Intimidation: The Goals of Obama’s Information Dragnet. “It may be working.” Well, he managed to cripple the Tea Party for 2012.
THE HILL: Obama doubles down on NSA defense as poll numbers slip. “The president went on to defend the NSA spying as ‘transparent,’ while defensively acknowledging that many on the left and right had compared his anti-terror policies to those of his predecessor, former President George W. Bush.”
Oh, he’s transparent all right. More and more people are seeing through him.
INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE: Suspension won’t be removed for five-year-old grilled over cap gun who then peed his pants. “School officials in Calvert County, Maryland have denied a request to expunge the suspension of the kindergartener who brought a plastic cap gun on a school bus last month and then wet his pants during a subsequent interrogation.”
J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Left Loses Big in Citizenship Verification Supreme Court Case. “In the last year, I’ve litigated five NVRA cases and worked on the preemption issues for years, and there is more to cheer in today’s opinion than bemoan. Those complaining about the opinion don’t understand what the Left’s goals were in this case: total federal preemption, and on that score, Justice Scalia foiled them. On that score, the decision today was a huge war won, even if the small Arizona battle was lost.”
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NIXON: I AM NOT A CROOK! Obama: I’m not Dick Cheney.
SUGGESTION TO MICHAEL GERSON: “Tone down the rhetoric a bit.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Working Way Past 65. “At the height of the financial crisis, it was unclear how diminished 401(k)s and general economic uncertainty would impact retirement trends for baby boomer professors. But new data suggest that professors are either significantly – or indefinitely – putting off retirement, and not just for financial reasons. Experts say the trend is forcing institutions to rethink traditional faculty models. . . . And there’s the rub, said experts in higher education faculty retirement trends. With no maximum retirement age for college and university professors, thanks to the 1994 end of the exemption of higher education from mandatory retirement laws (previously, colleges could require retirement at 70) and tenure, a happy professor could ostensibly keep working forever.”
CHANGE: Protests build in Brazil as discontent spreads. “Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a growing protest that is tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.” So, basically, a Brazil version of the Tea Party.
ARAB SPRING UPDATE: Tunisia Faces Political Struggle Over Islam.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Dr. Ben Carson, In Retrospect.
The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.
Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”
Fedenisn life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.
Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment.
The State Department hasn’t exactly been covering itself with glory.
MORAL CAPITAL DEPLETION: My USA Today column for tomorrow: Government compromises our trust.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Graduates from low-performing D.C. schools face tough college road. “Past valedictorians of low-performing District high schools say their own transitions to college were eye-opening and at times ego-shattering, filled with revelations that — despite taking their public schools’ most difficult classes and acing them — they were not equipped to excel at the nation’s top colleges.” And yet DC’s per-pupil spending is enormously high.
THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF A MASS SHOOTING EPIDEMIC.
It may seem self-evident that the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary ought to be classified as a shooting event, or as a school shooting or a mass shooting. Of course we classify events into categories that make sense to us, and it is easy to take familiar categories for granted. We learn of terrible crimes and we are accustomed to commentators talking about incidents as instances. But the ways we make sense of the world—the terms we use to describe that world—are created by people, and they are continually evolving, so that specific categories come into and fall out of favor. In fact, in recent decades, Americans have understood events like the Newtown killings in a variety of ways.
Read the whole thing.
THE HARD-HEADED UTILITARIANISM of Jonathan Kent.
NOT SO HOT: The State Of Male Birth Control.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 3 Beer-Based Recipes for a Home-Brewed BBQ.
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I DUNNO. IS IT TIME FOR MEN TO RECLAIM THE WORD “CREEP?” Is It Time For Women To Reclaim The Word ‘Slut’?
TENNESSEE WAS ONE OF THE LAST STATES TO PUT PHOTOS ON DRIVER’S LICENSES, and people who objected were called paranoid. But now: State photo-ID databases become troves for police. “The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that state officials assembled to prevent driver’s-license fraud but that increasingly are used by police to identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders in a wide range of criminal investigations. The facial databases have grown rapidly in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for ‘law enforcement purposes.’”
WOMAN ASKS: Do My Rape Fantasies Make Me A Weirdo?
WHEN I SEE STUFF LIKE THIS, I’M REMINDED of James Scott’s Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes To Improve The Human Condition Have Failed. And if the Chinese planners had read it, they’d see certain hazards that they’ve probably missed.
“China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years…”
UPLOAD YOUR MIND: Russian tycoon wants to move mind to machine. Of course, then the NSA could read your thoughts.
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS DESTROYING JOBS. Yeah, but it’s also being substituted for workers because of over-regulation, including ObamaCare.
SATELLITES MONITOR aquifer depletion.
IN THE MAIL: Data Points: Visualization That Means Something.
BRUCE SCHNEIER: Blowback from NSA scandal will lead to more ‘Internet Nationalism,’ undermining U.S. diplomatic initiative for global Internet freedom. “Now, when countries like Russia and Iran say the US is simply too untrustworthy to manage the Internet, no one will be able to argue. We can’t fight for Internet freedom around the world, then turn around and destroy it back home. Even if we don’t see the contradiction, the rest of the world does.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Barack’s Best Friend Erdogan Not Looking Pretty.
Violence in Istanbul is threatening President Obama’s relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. What started out as a protest against the development of a park has morphed into a show of much wider discontent. Over the weekend, more than two weeks after the protests started, police used tear gas and water cannons to clear Gezi Park of its protesters and spent most of Sunday chasing protesters and looters into shopping malls and upscale hotels.
To most outsiders, this looks like an excellent time for some soothing words and calming speeches in Turkey. Erdogan has a solid majority in parliament and his core supporters don’t seem fazed by the protests in Istanbul. (Think of Erdogan as the George W. Bush of Turkey, and the protesters are secular liberals who hate him as much or more than the American left hated W. The more the left protests, the more Erdogan’s base rallies to its man.) Making a few concessions, pulling the police back except where violence or looting actually occurs, and calming things down were the actions most of us would advise at a time like this.
But Turkish politics has its own rhythms, and Erdogan has his own priorities—and temperament. In response to the protests, he’s toughening his rhetoric and promising a crackdown.
Actually, Obama and Erdogan have similar approaches. Obama is just more constrained.
SITTING ON THEIR HANDS IN MASSACHUSETTS: Salena Zito: GOP not seizing chance to stun Dems.
Republicans have talked about pursuing a different kind of candidate since what seems like forever. Heck, the national party even convened a special, secret task force just for that purpose late last year, after losing key demographic groups such as women and Hispanics.
Yet, given exactly the kind of candidate they hire people to find out in the hinterlands, Republicans are oddly not engaged with helping him cross the finish line in a special election that would significantly stun Democrats.
Gabriel Gomez is a Massachusetts Republican running to fill John Kerry’s vacated U.S. Senate seat; the 47-year-old political newcomer is within striking distance of wounding Democrats right where it hurts.
Gomez, a first-generation American whose parents came here from Colombia, has a compelling life story that includes an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and service as a Navy SEAL and fighter pilot. He is Roman Catholic, personally pro-life; fluent in Spanish; a father of four who met his wife when he was deployed as a SEAL in Grenada, where she was a Peace Corps volunteer.
His opponent, Congressman Ed Markey, began his Washington career the same year that Apple Computer was founded in Steve Jobs’ garage, “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” was Billboard’s No. 1 song and the United States celebrated its bicentennial. . . .
Republicans have spent 10 years telling themselves their problem with Hispanic voters on Election Day is fixable because those same voters share so many Republican values. But that will be just theory until they start electing Latinos to high-profile offices as Republicans.
Special elections present special opportunities; winning one as a surprise does more to reboot a party than a dozen blue-ribbon commissions, task forces and post-mortem conferences ever could.
Democrats know they have a problem; privately, they worry about Markey’s long, unremarkable Washington career. So they have called in the two best reinforcements they could think of: outside money and some speechifying by Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, crickets.
I guess a Gomez victory wouldn’t generate enough revenues for consultants or something.
ED DRISCOLL: Hollywood ‘Completely Broke.’ But That’s Good News, Right? “Last weekend, my wife and I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, a Paramount movie, at the theater in Santana Row — our local Northern California holodeck recreation of a fin de siècle European village. It’s fascinating to watch a movie made 30 years ago — after the cultural revolution of the late ’60s and ’70s, in which Hollywood had its first go-around at burning down traditional American values — and realize it probably couldn’t be made today; PC would transform those ’30s characters into oblivion.”
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: We’re Prepared To Prevent Another Holocaust. “The leaders of the Allies knew about the Holocaust in real time. . . . They understood exactly what was happening in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not. To us Jews the lesson is clear.”
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THEY’LL BE LIVE-BLOGGING SUPREME COURT ORDERS TODAY at ScotusBlog.
THIS STILL SEEMS TRUE: 5 Ways The Immigration Bill Is Like ObamaCare.
Can we have a simple bill, put through in regular order with no “gangs” meeting behind closed doors?
Also, why aren’t some GOP folks pushing amendments like an end to taxing Americans on income earned abroad, a repeal of the provisions punishing Americans who give up their citizenship, and a requirement for reciprocity regarding U.S. citizens’ rights to own property, participate in politics, etc., in Mexico?
CHANGE: States Aim To Arm Teachers.
FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL GERALD WALPIN: Why the IRS IG Stopped with an Audit: Probably in part because the Obama administration intimidates inspector generals.
WELL, YOU JUST DID, DUMBASS: “‘There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,’ a Rubio aide told me. ‘There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.’”
Rubio has killed himself with his base through a classic example of hubris and Freshman overreach. He could have gotten behind an immigration bill, but getting behind this immigration bill, another cooked-up-in-a-backroom you’ve-got-to-pass-it-to-find-out-what’s-in-it monstrosity was a mistake. His second mistake, and the really fatal one, has been expressions of contempt toward his base. Suggesting that people who don’t support his bill are racist, and that American workers are dumb, is political poison. And his staff should know better than to say this kind of thing to any journalist, however friendly-seeming. All in all, a really disappointing performance from Rubio.
MORE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes:
Rubio’s staff, in instances like this, don’t reflect well upon his organization. He has since denounced the comments you quote. That said, I believe two things: First is that despite his Tea Party support, Rubio strikes me as instinctively a Bush-type moderate when it comes to the role of the federal government: compassionate conservatism take two. Second is that he is firmly convinced that he can carry moderates and a significant minority, if not the majority, of Hispanic voters in a general. He’s moving away from the base that elected him in hopes of enlarging his base for a national run. Unlike Paul or Cruz, he is explicitly courting the establishment of the Republican party. That tack has not hurt candidates running for the party’s presidential nomination. So his actions may alienate the base that first elected him, but he’s probably made the calculation that this base won’t get him the nomination in 2016.
P.S. He’s also courting the MSM constituency with his support of the current immigration bill: McCain is the model here.
And that worked out so well for McCain in the general election.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Obama puts up dukes and blunders into Syria. “President Obama’s decision to provide weapons to rebels in Syria has the potential to become another foreign policy blunder at a time when the Nobel Prize winner’s second term is mired in scandal. Obama had been saying for months that he would not send troops into the region, but has now stationed 300 troops just outside Syria on its border with Jordan. Obama attributes the abrupt escalation in U.S. involvement to the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But another factor could be Obama’s desire to appear tough on the issue during the G8 summit this week and to divert attention from the IRS, NSA and Benghazi scandals.”
UPDATE: Investor’s Business Daily: Syria: Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s Next War.
THEODORE DALRYMPLE: Erdogan’s Majority Rule. “Recent events in Turkey ought remind us, if we needed reminding, that freedom and parliamentary democracy are not identical, though many people mistake the one for the other.”
AT LEGAL INSURRECTION, A REVIEW of James O’Keefe’s Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy. “If today’s reporters found themselves in revolutionary France, they would be endorsing the head choppers, and their audience would cheer as each head hit the basket.”
ROLL CALL: Congress Craters in Poll Question That Matters Most. “The new poll suggests something more worrisome about the workings of our democratic society. Whether the people are confident the legislative branch is functioning properly, an admittedly vague concept, sounds like a more reliable gauge of the institution’s long-term viability than whether they like what’s being served up at the Capitol at the moment. . . . In the first four days of June, only 10 percent of 1,529 people surveyed described themselves as having a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress, ranking it last on a list of 16 societal institutions for the fourth consecutive year. No institution has scored lower since Gallup started asking in 1973.”
THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: On Europe trip, Obama will face a continent frustrated by his actions and inaction.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The New American Enemies List. “Of all the legacies of Barack Obama, the most pernicious will be the creation of a rogue government that has cut off and terrified half the population — and for no other reason than that they seem to represent things that Mr. Obama simply does not seem to understand.”
MICKEY KAUS: Immigration: The Search For The Magic Fig Leaf.