From August, 2013

An Open Letter

TO: Allison Benedikt FROM: Pejman Yousefzadeh RE: Activities of Your Arch-Enemy Dear Ms. Benedikt: Someone who truly despises you appears to be hellbent on trashing your reputation in the punditry world by having written this preternaturally awful piece under your name. As you are doubtless a significantly intelligent and educated individual, I am sure that you join me in cringing at the words attributed to you by whatever mortal foe is possessed by an Ahabesque hatred of your illustrious person. Words like the following: You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad…

The Audacity of Concern

Really, how dare anyone be alarmed by this: Republicans have long blamed President Obama’s signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the “Unaffordable Care Act.” Turns out, they might be right. For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act. Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices…

From the Department of Simple Solutions to Problems that Never Should Have Existed in the First Place

I see that there are complaints in various and sundry places regarding the dearth of Republicans at the 50th anniversary commeration of the March on Washington. May I suggest that in the future, if one wishes to get certain elected officials to a particular gathering, one ought to give them plenty of advance notice by way of invitation? Not a single Republican elected official stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday with activists, actors, lawmakers and former presidents invited to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — a notable absence for a party seeking…

What Justice Ginsburg Gets Wrong

Her disparagement of the Roberts Court notwithstanding, it is not an activist Court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes the Roberts Court is “one of the most activist courts in history,” according to a widely cited interview with the NYT‘s Adam Liptak.   ”Activist” is a slippery label, often indicating nothing more than disagreement with a Court’s decision in a given case.  fortunately Justice Ginsburg provided Liptak with a definition.  Specifically, Ginsburg told Liptak that “if it’s measured in terms of readiness to overturn legislation, this is one of the most activist courts in history.”  This is one way to define judicial activism, but…

This Again?

We appear set to have yet another debt ceiling fight, so let me repeat what I have said in previous situations when a debt ceiling fight was pending: Having a debt ceiling fight is a terribly dumb idea. It brings about financial uncertainty, it flirts with yet another downgrade of America’s credit rating, and failing to raise the debt ceiling only serves to make our country a deadbeat. We are not, after all, raising the debt ceiling in order to have money for new spending, rather, we are raising the debt ceiling in order to have money to pay for…

Some More Stray Thoughts on Syria

In no particular order: Unless there is some serious head-faking going on–and I doubt that there is–maybe it’s not such a great idea for our government to leak its operational plans. Of course, the leaking shouldn’t surprise us; the Obama administration continues to believe, apparently, that telling national security secrets out of school is a bad thing unless it is being done to make the president look good in the eyes of the general public. Like all good dissents, this one will likely turn into a majority opinion relatively soon. All of the sudden, illegal wars are all the rage. I…

Once Again, Please Don’t Be Alarmed

I am sure that this news is of absolutely no significance whatsoever: The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources. Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains “on track…

And Now, Military Action in Syria?

The Obama administration seems set to attack the Syrian regime with approximately two day’s worth of air and cruise missile strikes in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels. In the immortal words of Demi Moore, “I strenuously object!”1 Here’s why: We have no strategic interest whatsoever in entering as military actors in the midst of the Syrian civil war, lest we want to prolong the conflict in order to bleed Iran (a Syrian ally) dry. (And yes, there are some very real moral qualms associated with such a move.) Two day’s worth of air and cruise…

The New Nobility?

I am pretty sure that I don’t agree with Glenn Reynolds’s theory that allowing special privileges for government officials may serve to violate Art. I, Sec. 9 of the Constitution. I do believe, however, that allowing government officials to have special privileges to begin with is fundamentally offensive on a number of levels. And hey, if the advocates of a “living, breathing Constitution” are forced to have their interpretive principles used to curb the growth of government–and the power of governmental bureaucrats as well–I guess I might be able to learn to live with that outcome.