THIS SEEMS RIGHT: Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas.
THIS SEEMS RIGHT: Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas.
I’M OKAY WITH THIS: Report: Hamas Morale Collapsing, Terrorists Flee IDF.
SO I JUST LOOKED UP MY KLOUT SCORE AND IT’S 80. Is that good? Is it good for anything?
NEW FRONTIERS IN KNIFE RIGHTS: New York court sets aside “gravity knife” prosecution.
JIM TREACHER: Why you should carry a camera. “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.”
WHEN YOU PUT A GT-R ENGINE INTO AN INFINITI, you get a fast Infiniti.
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM? OR THREE STRIKES, YOU’RE OUT? John Sexton may have found another Gruber ‘speak-o.’
Meanwhile, The New York Times knows nothing — nothing!
DEEP-STATE DIRTY TRICKS IN WISCONSIN: Wis. police chief pleads no contest in Tea Party flap. “A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he signed a local Tea Party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.”
MARY POPPINS QUITS: The Rebuttal From Remy. “Tell me what do you folks pay? Well, that’s awkward.”
ADVICE FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK: “Smoking is healthier than fascism.”
ANOTHER WINNER? DELICOUSNESS! Everyone Wins When You Buy a Rotisserie Chicken. “Rotisserie chickens have been around for a while. I used to bypass them and roast my own, until I noticed something: The rotisserie chickens were actually cheaper than buying and roasting my own.”
POINTS & FIGURES: Corporate Tax Inversions and Politics.
You want to talk “economic patriotism?” Economic patriotism means not turning the US economy and government into an unAmerican slough of cronyism, graft, and redistribution. President Obama is an economically unpatriotic President.
FRANK J. ONCE AGAIN IS OUTDONE BY REALITY: When the U.S. Almost Nuked the Moon. “Sensing that national morale was low after the Soviets launched Sputnik, the U.S. government coined a plan: they’d nuke the Moon, causing an explosion so big that it’d be visible from Earth. They hoped the explosion would not only boost the confidence and approval of Americans, but serve as a show of power to the Soviets.”
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Model drone finds elderly man, missing for three days, alive.
THEY KNEW, AND THEY APPROVED: Hamas Terror Tunnels: What Did the UN Know and When Did It Know It?
I DUNNO, THEY’RE BETTER THAN ENDLESS MARVEL-COMIC RETREADS: Angry Nerd: For the Love of Zeus, Enough With the Greek Myth Movies.
GUILDS TEND TO BE LIKE THAT: Why Does The Author’s Guild Refuse To Even Acknowledge Views Of Authors Who Disagree With It?
GOOGLE: Lacking in “Economic Patriotism?” Hey, they helped re-elect Obama.
WELL, WELL, WELL: Senate Hearing: Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only. Senator Baucus explains how The Affordable Care Act sets conditions where Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only. The discussion is a bit confusing, but he’s saying that this is under the Finance Committee’s jurisdiction because the tax credits are an incentive to adopt state exchanges. You can read more about that here, in footnote 136. Thanks to InstaPundit commenters R.C. Dean, and ThomasD for pointing this out in the comments to this post.
IT’S NO PICNIC FOR ANYONE: Urban Jungle a Tough Challenge for Google’s Autonomous Cars.
SARAH HOYT’S WITCHFINDER is on sale for $2.99 in the Kindle edition. Snap it up before the price rises.
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE — ME, OR YOUR LYING EARS? Gruber: My 2012 remarks were “a speak-o — you know, like a typo.”
This answer is not a “speak-o” any more than the statutory language on subsidies and exchanges was a “typo.” Gruber explained the coercive policy correctly and in detail, along with the stakes involved in seeing the coercion succeed. It’s not a case of just using the wrong terminology, like “market” instead of “exchange.” Gruber clearly understood the statute at this time — in January 2012 — to provide the arm-twisting needed to get states to launch their own exchanges by stiffing consumers in states without them, which would then create more pressure on those states to get them the federal subsidies that they were funding but not receiving.
That is exactly what the plaintiffs argued in Halbig, and what the court ruled to be the intent of Congress as well as the statutory reality of the ACA. Just because that arm-twisting policy failed in its goals doesn’t mean it wasn’t deliberate, rational, and very much a part of the ObamaCare strategy then, and it doesn’t make it a “typo” now — or a “speak-o” either.
See, the problem with Ezra, Gruber, and these other lefty “wonks” is that a real wonk is supposed to (1) understand the policy better than anyone else; and (2) care about getting the policy right more than about partisan political posturing. Double fail, here. But then, Ezra’s having a bad year.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Still more on Gruber. “I’ll just add that for all the left-wing pundits who called the plaintiff’s arguments in Halbig vs. Burwell ‘ridiculous’ and such, I’ll gladly barbecue some crow for you.”
YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: Is Every Speed Limit Too Low? “Over the past 12 years, Lt. Megge has increased the speed limit on nearly 400 of Michigan’s roadways. Each time, he or one of his officers hears from community groups who complain that people already drive too fast. But as Megge and his colleagues explain, their intent is not to reduce congestion, bow to the reality that everyone drives too fast, or even strike a balance between safety concerns and drivers’ desire to arrive at their destinations faster. Quite the opposite, Lt. Megge advocates for raising speed limits because he believes it makes roads safer.”
IN THE MAIL: From Kurt Schlichter, Conservative Insurgency. A guide to making a difference.
Also, today only at Amazon: 41% Off Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: Phase 1 Collection.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 442.
FRAUD ALL THE WAY DOWN: Ed Morrissey: Obamacare OK’s Fake Accounts and Fake Promises.
JOHN FUND: Moment Of Truth On Corporate Welfare: By choosing to end the Export-Import Bank, the GOP can zero out a destructive government program. “It seems like decades since Republicans have been able to permanently zero out a government program of any size. The tea-party base often doesn’t take seriously the GOP’s commitment to shrinking government and has accused the GOP of ladling out benefits to the elite and well connected. If Republicans in Congress simply do nothing, the New Deal–era Export-Import Bank, which guarantees loans so that American multinationals can sell products overseas, will vanish at the end of September. Last year, the bank backed $37.4 billion in loans, loan guarantees, working-capital guarantees, and export-credit insurance, the vast majority of which went to mega-companies such as Boeing, General Electric, and Caterpillar. . . . Democratic champions of Ex-Im include such self-proclaimed tribunes of the poor as Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.”
It sounds like the systems that are supposed to check identity, immigration status and income simply aren’t working at all; the system just assumes that you are who you say you are.
This isn’t the only major part of the system that’s still missing; as the Official Blog Spouse reported last week, the system that pays insurers still seems to be MIA. Presumably, the emergency team called in to fix the exchanges prioritized the bits that the public could see, leaving everything else for later. Compared to what was described by the Barack Obama administration (and the law), the system still seems to be half-built.
How much does this matter? Obviously, all the GAO can say is that this is possible; we don’t know whether, or how often, such fraud has actually occurred. Even if you get an insurance card fraudulently, how easy would it be to use without ever being asked for picture ID? How many people would go to the trouble of faking or altering documents? And might the subsidies be taken away after review? We simply don’t know.
Still, it’s obviously troubling that people could so easily fraudulently obtain government subsidies, because the incentive to do so is obvious: free money from the government. It’s also troubling because it makes one wonder what other major parts of the system simply aren’t working.
Here’s a hint: All of them, except for those with political angles.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: More Lying By The IRS Before Congress And The Courts.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Gaza War: When Strategies Collide. It’s telling that Hamas is “elated” by . . . getting Obama to shut down flights.
SERVING SOMEONE’S PURPOSES, OBVIOUSLY: What Is Hezbollah Doing Still In Europe?
UPDATE: One thing we talked about is whether Andrew Cuomo should be worried about Zephyr Teachout’s primary challenge. Apparently, he is worried: Why Is A Mysterious Group Of Protesters Chasing A Longshot Candidate Around New York? “Our attempt to discover the origins of the anti-Teachout movement ended with one of the protesters screaming, cursing, and threatening us.”
Cuomo obviously thinks her shot isn’t as long as all that.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S FECKLESSNESS WITH IRAQ: We Saw The Islamic State Coming, Did Nothing. “The testimony raises an obvious question: If the Obama administration had such early warning of the Islamic State’s ambitions, why, nearly two months after the fall of Mosul, is it still assessing what steps, if any, to take to halt the advance of Islamist extremists who threaten U.S. allies in the region and have vowed to attack Americans?” It’s like they wanted Iraq and Syria to go this way.
So, I’m skeptical of the death penalty’s administration because the criminal justice system is a disaster. But, assuming guilt, I don’t really care much about the morality of killing people. The nation-state is all about killing people. Its sole reason for existing is that it’s better at killing people in large numbers than any other form of human organization. If you don’t like the idea of the state killing people, you don’t like the idea of the state. If you don’t realize this, it’s because your thinking is confused.
STAND BY FOR MORE HARD DRIVE CRASHES: Issa asks Holder to turn over docs on mortgage fraud settlements.
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee asked Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday to turn over documents related to the Justice Department’s decisions to settle mortgage fraud accusations against two of the nation’s biggest banks.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants to see documents and internal communications relating to November’s record $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase and this month’s $7 billion agreement with Citigroup.
Both cases involved allegations that the banks helped precipitate the 2008 economic crisis by selling risky mortgage securities to investors who were led to believe the underlying loans were solid.
Holder touted the settlements, announcing that billions of dollars would be directed to programs to help homeowners hurt by the downturn — and stressing that the banks admitted wrongdoing.
But Issa notes that the agency’s handling of the cases was different from others, in which formal charges were filed. In a letter to Holder, Issa cited cases involving the firms Credit Suisse AG and BNP Paribas SA, which each netted billions in penalties.
“The Department’s inclination to enter into settlement agreements with respect to mortgage securities fraud stands in marked contrast to the Department’s litigation strategy in other contexts,” Issa wrote to Holder.
Issa’s review of the DOJ’s litigation policies follows criticism from some Democrats, who say the department should more aggressively pursue criminal cases against bad actors in the financial industry.
Issa spokesman Frederick Hill cited “bipartisan frustration” with the department’s strategy. Among Republicans, he said, that frustration centers on the decision to resolve cases during pre-lawsuit settlement negotiations, before the administration is made to put all its cards on the table.
I’d be shocked, shocked to find there was political favoritism here.
DIDN’T MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY HAVE A BOOK ABOUT THIS? Feds Spending $10 Million to Build Robot Companions for Children. “Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire.”
RUTH WEDGWOOD TO VLADIMIR PUTIN: J’ACCUSE! “Russia’s operatives could be taken to the International Criminal Court for their role in the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine. Even ICC skeptics in America ought to be open to this approach.”
DON’T BE RIDICULOUS: CLINTONS AND THEIR HANGERS-ON CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO WOMEN. War on Women, Clinton Style: Democrats must disavow a Clinton operative’s anti-woman remark.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: The Hill: Regulator assailed for quick ‘spin through the revolving door.’
Still waiting for someone to introduce my revolving-door surtax. Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Mike Lee? Marco Rubio?
Hey, how about you, Elizabeth Warren? You’re supposed to be against regulators who are in bed with industry, right?
K.C. JOHNSON: HuffPost Gets It Wrong on a Campus Rape Case. Well, where “gets it wrong” means “engages in a nasty smear.”
THE LAWFARE GAP: Pro bono law morphs into left-wing lawfare. It would not take many blue-chip clients objecting to these political cases to make the big firms think twice. The law biz is under pressure.
MAN EXONERATED BY DNA — AND HE DIDN’T EVEN REQUEST IT.
Michael Phillips had long ago given up trying to clear his name. At 57, he was a registered sex offender, living in a nursing home, wheelchair-bound from severe sickle cell anemia.
Then in May, two police officers delivered news that Phillips says only God could have ordained: Dallas County, Texas, prosecutors had proved through DNA testing that he had spent 12 years in prison for a rape he hadn’t committed.
Hundreds of people have been exonerated through DNA testing. But on Friday, Phillips will become the first exonerated by DNA through systematic testing by a prosecutor’s office even though he hadn’t requested the testing, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.
“I’m in awe,” Phillips of Dallas told USA TODAY. “At first, I thought I was like, kind of in another time zone or a twilight zone.”
As the news sank in, he says, the Holy Spirit confirmed to him that it was all part of his life’s plan.
The exoneration comes thanks to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, which is testing DNA evidence on decades-old cases even when convicted defendants aren’t proclaiming their innocence.
It’s great that they’re doing this. It’s terrible that a man spent 12 years in prison, and was forced to register as a sex offender, for a crime that he didn’t commit. Let’s not forget about that part.
LIFE ON THE EVE OF WAR.
SOME HOPEFUL NEWS: Anti-Semitic NYC Cupcake Crew Tweets May Be Fraudulent. That would be nice.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: The Odds Of A GOP Wave Are Increasing. Don’t get cocky kids.
NOT SO MUCH “LOSING” AS “DELIBERATELY THROWING AWAY.” Top Marine Speaks Out About Obama Losing the Iraq War: ‘It Breaks Our Hearts.’
“It’s reminiscent of what we saw in Europe in the build-up to the Second World War or the ethnic cleansing witnessed during the Balkans in the early 1990s,” said former British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell. “It’s as if the world is asleep and doesn’t care.”
The world will be forced to care. And it won’t like it. As usual.
JOHN HINDERAKER: The Democrats Try To Shut Their Opponents Up (Cont.). As Jim Treacher says, the left wants the right to shut up. The right wants the left to keep talking . . . .
Interesting trivia: According to the excellent William Paterson Heinlein biography, Robert Heinlein was furious over “The Trouble With Tribbles,” charging David Gerrold with stealing his Martian Flatcat.
SAME AS IT EVER WAS. SAME AS IT EVER WAS. Michael Ledeen: 21st Century Antisemitism: How Did We Get Here? My response: Identify the barbarians. Crush the barbarians. Repeat as needed, and anti-semitism won’t be a problem. It’s when, in some sort of nostalgie de la boue, you instead exalt barbarism, that you’re in trouble.
21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: Outlook grim for orbiting Russian zero-G sex geckos. “To be totally honest, coming up with the headline for this piece was the most fun I’ve had all day.”
DON’T LIKE THE POLITICAL SITUATION? LOOKING FOR WAYS TO FIGHT BACK? Read Kurt Schlichter’s new book.
SOMEBODY ON TWITTER SUGGESTED A SOLUTION: PAY LEGISLATORS WITH ILLINOIS BONDS. S&P threatens downgrade over Illinois budget trouble.
YEAH, I DON’T THINK THE ADMINISTRATION REGARDS THE GRIFTERS AS A PROBLEM: Agents obtained subsidized ‘Obamacare’ using fake IDs. “Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday. The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office told a House committee that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts – even after HealthCare.gov’s much maligned online system flagged some applications as problematic.”
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, WE’D HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO BLOCKED WOMEN’S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Obama’s Motorcade Blocks Pregnant Woman’s Path To Hospital.
WAIT, I THOUGHT THIS SORT OF THING WAS SUPPOSED TO BE JUST AN NRA MYTH: Armed Doctor Shoots Gunman At Hospital, Saving Lives. “A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist’s office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who reportedly shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.”
INSTAVISION: Michael Barone On The Democrats’ Poor 2014 Prospects. But don’t get cocky, Republicans. Plus, is Andrew Cuomo in more trouble than he knows? And a truly horrifying conclusion.
EMILY MILLER LOOKS AT Washington DC’s parking-ticket racket. When I lived there, I watched meter maids ticketing cars that still had time left on the meters. They seemed to focus on cars with non-DC plates.
IT’S NOT THAT HARD. JUST PRETEND YOU’RE COVERING A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. How White House Reporters Can Reclaim Their Beat.
FASTER, PLEASE: New Display Technology Makes Reading Glasses Unnecessary. Okay, I don’t need those yet, but, well, faster, please!
ASYMMETRICAL LAWFARE: BigLaw Fuels The Left.
SHOCKING DISCOVERY: When People Own Things, They Take Better Care Of Them. Actually, to environmentalists it’s news.
VIDEO: Coach Rippetoe Puts PJ Media on Starting Strength. I didn’t know he made housecalls.
LIKE THE SONG SAYS, LUCK DOESN’T LAST FOREVER: The Sun Could’ve Destroyed Civilization Two Years Ago.
SO, PRETTY MUCH LIKE AMERICA THEN: Asia Tells Obama to Take a Hike on His Energy Schemes.
VISIT BEAUTIFUL CHINA, home of fanged insects bigger than a human’s face.
I’VE ALWAYS SAID THAT TYLENOL IS THE PAIN RELIEVER FOR WHEN YOU DON’T REALLY HURT ALL THAT MUCH: Acetaminophen No Better Than Placebo for Back Pain.
JUST READ DAVID DRAKE’S The Sea Without A Shore. Pretty good, but I didn’t think it was quite as good as earlier books in the series.
THIS SEEMS RIGHT: Landmark Legal Foundation Seeks Sanctions on EPA for Destroying Emails, Text Messages. “Landmark Legal Foundation today asked Federal District Judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected Agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election.”
Here’s the Memorandum Of Law in support of the sanctions.
MY ADVICE: MORE ATTENTION ON GERMS, LESS ON GUNS AND SODA POP. Leader of Troubled Lab Steps Down, C.D.C. Says. “The leader of the federal bioterrorism lab in which careless procedures may have exposed dozens of workers to live anthrax has resigned, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 12 Useful Tools You Should Only Buy On The Cheap.
TED CRUZ: Obama Administration Playing Politics With Air Safety. “Was this politics from the White House? Or was this an airline safety decision? And I think the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong arm the nation of Israel.”
IN THE MAIL: From Katie Pavlich, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women.
Also, today only at Amazon: Polk Audio N1 39″ Bluetooth Soundbar – Black, $149.99 (50% off).
IT’S A BIG ONE TODAY: TaxProf Roundup: The IRS Scandal, Day 441.
Plus: Gowdy Grills IRS Commissioner Koskinen Some More. “Maybe it’s just me, but Koskinen’s facade of eerie, arrogant disdain for the proceedings is beginning to crumble.”
MORE ON THE DAN MARKEL MURDER, WHICH IS LOOKING WORSE, IF THAT’S POSSIBLE: Grim Details Emerge in FSU Professor’s Shooting Death. But what kind of contract killer drives a Prius?
OOPS: Sight-Impaired Millionaire Still Not Cleared to Drive: Hillary Clinton flees baby-talking event in five-car motorcade. Nobody trolls better than Andrew Stiles.
NYC CUPCAKE TRUCK sends tweet comparing Israel to Hitler. I’m screenshotting this instead of embedding it because I have a feeling it might be deleted.
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION wants to regulate conservative books. Fat advances to Dems like Hillary? That’s just business.
BECAUSE “THE WORLD” BASICALLY APPROVES WHEN PEOPLE KILL JEWS: WaPo Editorial: Why is the world ignoring Hamas’ depravity? If I were Israel, I’d tell “the world” to go hang, and then go hang Hamas.
TAR. FEATHERS. Busted for Off-Leash Dog, Man Ordered Not to Leave Southern California. “They deal with gangbangers, drug dealers, murderers. And here I am, for a dog leash.”
AT AMAZON, it’s the Off To College Sale.
PAUL RYAN ON how to cut poverty.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Derivatives regulator CFTC’s ‘revolving door’ move to industry group criticized.
An outgoing commissioner of the regulatory agency that oversees derivatives contracts will become the CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a trade group for firms that engage in derivatives transactions, according to a statement from the ISDA Wednesday.
The commissioner, Scott O’Malia, had announced his departure from the Commodity Futures Trade Commission two days earlier. O’Malia, who had previously worked as a Senate staffer for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico, was a Republican nominee to the five-member CFTC.
O’Malia’s move to a trade group involved in CFTC matters drew immediate criticism from financial reform advocates. The group Better Markets wrote in a statement that “O’Malia’s spin through the revolving door is a record setter for influence peddling.”
The Obama era has just been one big advertisement for my revolving door surtax.
SO MAYBE HE CAN BE A SENATOR FROM MONTANA: Kid’s “groundbreaking” science fair project plagiarized?
ELIZABETH WARREN’S STREET TEAM IS MORE CREATIVE THAN I EXPECTED: Mystery: Posters in NYC, D.C. call Clintons ‘America’s Lannisters.’
NEWS FROM THE HOUSING “RECOVERY:” The drought of young California home buyers: Unaffordable housing reigns supreme as first time home buyers squeezed out of market. Of 7,000,000 completed foreclosures since 2005, 1 million occurred in California.
ROBERT HEINLEIN WAS RIGHT — THESE ARE THE CRAZY YEARS. Mom Jailed for Letting Her Kid Play Unsupervised Also Fired From Job.