From February, 2014

Fearless Prediction of the Day

Oh yes, there will be one. But before I give it, read this: Armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea on Thursday and raised the Russian flag, alarming Kiev’s new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around. “I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet,” said Olexander Turchinov, acting president since the removal of Viktor Yanukovich last week. “Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be…

How Bill de Blasio Addresses Inequality

Andrew Rotherham and Richard Whitmire discuss the fissure that has occurred within the Democratic party regarding the issue of education reform. There is a Bill de Blasio camp when it comes to education policy, and the duo describe that camp’s “contribution” to the formulation and implementation of principles and programs that shape how kids are schooled: With charter schools, de Blasio has singled out a special foe, fellow Democrat Eva Moskowitz, who runs 22 Success Academy charter schools that educate 6,700 students. The mayor cites Moskowitz as the kind of charter operator who needs reining in. Classroom and office space that…

The Dirty Little Non-Secret about the IRS Scandal

Bradley Smith points out that for anyone wondering about the genesis of the IRS scandal–and yes, it is a scandal–wonder no more; the scandal is easy to understand when you remember that Henry II had a lot to do with it taking place. When you have a host of Democratic politicians–including the president of the United States–attacking conservative 501(c)(4) groups, and you have IRS bureaucrats wanting to make sure that they get in good with the powers that be, it ought to surprise precisely no one that conservative groups will get targeted by the IRS. Lestrade could tell you this just…

The First Amendment Wins a Round

I am happy to report that passing out the Constitution on Constitution Day has been deemed protected speech “in all ‘areas generally available to students and the community,’ which include ‘grassy areas, walkways, and other similar common areas.’” I was worried that perhaps the law, in its majestic equality, might forbid the Constitution from falling under the protection of the First Amendment, but fortunately, we appear to have been spared this absurdity, at least in part. Hooray for small victories; they seem to be in short supply these days. Additionally, all hail the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which does…

Your “Nothing to See Here, Move Along” Post of the Day

I am really tired of linking to stories like this one, but it’s necessary to do so, given the fact that some people are pretending that the implementation of Obamacare is going just as planned: In a colossal “oh by the way” revelation, last Friday afternoon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency under the United States Department of Health and Human Services (that would be the executive branch run by President Obama), quietly released a report exposing the fact that under Obamacare, two-thirds of Americans who work at small businesses will see their insurance premiums increase.…

Newsflash: Both Parties Struggle with Science

It is a shopworn cliché that Republicans are anti-science, and to be sure, I do wish that more Republicans would accept that evolution is the best explanation out there (by a lot) regarding the origins of life. But while Democrats are more than willing to make fun of Republicans regarding evolution, they are a whole lot less willing to poke fun at themselves over this: Only 32 percent of Republicans believe in evolution. And most Democrats (51 percent) don’t know both that the Earth goes around the Sun and that it takes a year to do so. These are just some…

Clarence Thomas Behaves Admirably at Oral Argument, Thank You Very Much

Following up on this blog post, I want to note Ilya Somin’s observations of Clarence Thomas’s behavior at oral argument. To be sure, one swallow does not a summer make, and the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” but I hardly imagine that the following is an exception to the rule where Justice Thomas is involved: For what it is worth, I saw nothing to support Toobin’s claim that Thomas is disengaged and “not paying attention” during oral arguments. During the course of the argument (which was on a relatively prosaic statutory interpretation case), I saw Thomas confer with liberal justice…

Quote of the Day

Another lesson of Mr. Sestanovich’s book is that diplomatic engagement with U.S. enemies is a fool’s errand unless it’s aimed at achieving a deeper strategic purpose. Take Ronald Reagan’s personal diplomacy with Mikhail Gorbachev. Progressives today point to that diplomacy to defend their own concessions to U.S. adversaries. But such thinking, Mr. Sestanovich suggests, misses the essence of Reagan’s strategy. For Reagan, the author writes, the purpose of engagement “was to get others to see issues at hand ‘though my eyes.’ Until they did so, he was not prepared to compromise America’s competitive position. (Once they did, of course, compromise became less…

Quote of the Day

It’s a thought experiment I often present to the Western Chavista, one that usually ends up demonstrating that sympathizers of the regime, both in this country and in Europe, have something of a colonialist attitude towards Venezuela. Because one wonders the reaction of these faux progressives if Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel–pick your the imperialist lackey!–arrested an opposition leader who had organized peaceful street protests? Or if the CIA shut off the internet in politically restive cities like Berkeley and Brooklyn; blocked Twitter traffic it found politically suspect; and took over PBS, forcing it to…

Republicans Need Better Tech Talent

So it is nice to see that they are working to become more technologically proficient, thus giving Republicans a better chance of actually winning elections. Now, if Republicans also work to get better and smarter campaign managers–not to mention getting better and smarter candidates–they might actually give Democrats a run for their money in future races. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye on Patrick Ruffini. If Republicans do indeed close the talent gap with Democrats, they will have people like Ruffini to thank.