Friday, July 25, 2014

Can Good Government be Restored?

Three headlines at Real Clear Politics early this morning suggest it will take herculean efforts by a determined Congress to purge political corruption in federal agencies and restore a modicum of good government.
Congressional investigations uncovering corruption are not enough. Desperately needed is a systemic overhaul of federal laws by Congress to strip federal agencies of the administrative powers that have enabled political corruption to grow into malignancy, as Philip Hamburger argues in Is Administrative Law Unlawful?,  and to restore to the states authority that was originally designed to be theirs, as David Corbin and Matthew Parks argue in Is There Enough Courageous Conservatism: Combating the Arsenal of Progressivism.

Good government can be restored, but only by a reform-minded Congress dedicated to revising existing laws to conform to the principle that the best government is that which governs least.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Women Against Feminism Movement

"A social media movement called 'Women Against Feminism' has been making headlines recently both nationally and internationally, generating a wave of backlash and discussion on the definition of modern feminism," reports Anuhya Bobba @ Bobba is a rising junior at George Washington University.
“Women Against Feminism” has garnered more than 17,000 ‘likes’ and followers on Facebook and Tumblr combined, and this number continues to grow along with the outrage of those who see supporters of the movement to be “grossly misinformed.”
Modern feminists are frustrated with the new movement:
“The perceptions that these women have about feminism is [sic] grossly misinformed. ‘Women Against Feminism’ paints feminists as man-haters who like to play the victim,” [Daniel Greinke, a recent grad who considers himself a feminist] says. “Feminism is not about oppressing men or playing the victim. There are real systemic issues with the way women are treated in our society — the effects of which are well documented in academic literature and which are felt by many women in my life.”
'Women Against Feminism' supporters have a very different perspective:
But Hannah Cowan, a rising freshman at the University of Wyoming, says the modern feminist movement is “full of faults” — adding that it is a fight for “entitlements and supremacy” rather than equality, that it shames men and does not take into account how men also have issues, and that feminists are “manipulative people” playing the role of a victim.

Cowan, who will be pursuing a pre-law track, says she finds “Women Against Feminism” to be a positive movement that sheds the truth about modern feminism, which holds up equality and creates an “unnecessary wall of tension” between the sexes.

“I am an anti-feminist, because feminists have attacked me for my political, personal, and religious views more than the ‘patriarchy’ ever did for my gender,” she says. “I absolutely loath the stigma feminism is placing on women as being ‘weak,’ ‘delicate,’ or ‘oppressed by the patriarchy.’ As a female living in the U.S., I am in no way ‘oppressed’ and I pity the women who are dull enough to believe the feminists lies.” [snip]

... She adds that because Western women already have the same rights as their male counterparts, feminists should shift their energies to issues like sex trafficking in Europe and not concern themselves with “ridiculous crap here like worrying about clothes that boys ‘hate'."

Conservative Women Decry War on Women Tactic

"Some women are getting sick of the Democrats' war on women," writes Valerie Richardson @ Washington Times, and they are fighting back in unique ways.
Take Laura Carno, who became so fed up with the nonstop "war on women" political advertising campaign in Colorado that she put together a radio ad of her own. It's aimed at Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat who's pushing the theme in his re-election bid against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

"I have to ask, Sen. Udall, why do you get your underwear all in a bundle about women and birth control?" Ms. Carno, who heads the conservative group I Am Created Equal, says in the spot. "Do you honestly think we need the government to make these choices for us?"   [snip]

"The feedback I'm hearing from women, especially women who aren't involved in politics, is, 'Why do they think I only care about birth control? Don't they realize I'm more complicated than that?'" said Ms. Carno, who lives in Colorado Springs. "Women know how to get their own birth control. We're pretty damn smart."
Missy Shorey, executive director of the conservative women's group, Maggie's List, told Richardson "it's the Democrats who are waging the real war by moving to knock GOP women out of contested primaries."
Ms. Shorey said one way to disarm the Democratic "war on women" claims is to elect more female conservatives.

"Our main focus is let's get women elected to Congress," said Ms. Shorey. "You can't claim 'war on women' when you have outstanding women elected to the House and Senate who are conservative and Republican in nature. You just can't do it. Especially when it's angry males on the left saying this kind of thing."

Want Jobs? Frack

"Fracking in the state of Colorado during the year 2012 created 111,000 jobs, whereas Barack Obama's entire economy has only generated 110,000 jobs for Millennials since 2007," writes Katie Kieffer @
Last week, TIME Magazine reported: “Fracking generated $29.5 billion in economic activity in Colorado in 2012, creating 111,000 direct jobs with an average wage of $74,811, according to the Colorado Petroleum Association.” One month earlier, TIME reported: “Since 2007, there’s been a net increase of only 110,000 jobs held by workers between the ages of 22 and 34, making millennial unemployment nearly flat for the past six years.”

In June, 15.2 percent of Millennials were unemployed according to Generation Opportunity. Over a third of Millennials were “homeless” during the Obama years—living at home with their parents or grandparents against their will. Finally, Millennials are struggling under the weight of historic levels of student loan debt and rising healthcare insurance premiums at a time when good jobs are scarce.

We can recover this economy, but it will take individuals demanding free market solutions. Let’s audit the Federal Reserve. Let’s lower the corporate income tax rate to the lowest, not the highest, in the world. Let’s each opt out of Obamacare as I explain how to do in my new book titled, “Let Me Be Clear.” And, above all, lets frack.

Is the War on Women Tactic Working?

"From the Lipstick on the Pig Department, CNN reports that its latest polling shows “no Katrina moment” for Barack Obama," writes Ed Morrissey @ "That, however, is rather cold comfort, as even CNN allows, because the steady level of the President’s job approval rating puts him underwater by double digits."
As late as May 2013, Obama’s approval rating was 53/45 — in a survey taken right before the exposure of both the IRS and NSA scandals. One month later, it flipped to 45/54 and has been underwater outside of the MOE [margin of error] since, with majority disapproval every poll. The trend on leadership has much fewer data points, but exhibits a similar trend. Independents have his job approval at 34/62, and he’s even estranged women at 45/52 and young voters (18-34) narrowly at 45/49.  [snip]

On the question of whether Obama “generally agrees with you on issues you care about,” Obama dropped to 43/56, narrowly the worst rating ever (was 44/56 in the wake of the ObamaCare rollout debacle). In May of last year, it was 51/47. The relentless focus on issue non-sequiturs over the last several months seems to have taken its toll on Obama, and other Democrats still talking about a “war on women” and income inequality should take notice of that trend in particular. For women, that’s now 45/53, and among independents it’s an abysmal 35/63.

How Do Hard Drives Get 'Scratched'?

The latest news on ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's conveniently vanishing email records is that her computer hard drive was only scratched, reports Patrick Howley @ Daily Caller.
Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was “scratched” and the data on it was still recoverable. But the IRS did not try to recover the data from Lerner’s hard drive, despite recommendations from in-house IRS IT experts to outsource the recovery project.

The hard drive was then “shredded,” according to a court filing the IRS made to House Ways and Means Committee investigators.
CDs get scratched, but how do computer hard drives cocooned inside hard-cased CPUs and protected from human handling get scratched?

Apparently that question is being pondered by members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which noted in its July 22 press release:
It is also unknown whether the scratch was accidental or deliberate ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Problem with the White House and the Media

Ron Fournier @ National Journal writes a thoughtful piece on the declining popularity of Mr. Obama, and his logic could be applied as well to the declining popularity of national media.

He begins with an earlier conversation he had with an unnamed Democrat:
"Who's the hero in the White House narrative?" the Democrat asked.

I shrugged; "Barack Obama." Aren't all elections about the candidate, and all White Houses about the president?

The Democrat shook his head. "That's the problem with this White House. Barack Obama is the hero of their narrative, but he's not supposed to be," he said. "The hero of every political narrative should be the voters."
Fournier thought about that conversation during his vacation in Michigan, "where the dearth of quality jobs gnaws at everybody" and "where financially desperate families are selling second- and third-generation cottages—a tangible loss of 20th-century middle-class vibrancy."
What do these folks hear from the White House and the rest of Washington? Whining, mostly. Obama and his GOP rivals can't seem to tell the story of America without casting themselves as the protagonists.
He argues: 
Even Democrats are starting to tire of their president sounding less like a leader than a kindergartener—whiny ("They don't do anything except block me and call me names"); petulant ("So sue me"); and self-absorbed ("I ... me … my"). [snip]

Pity the president? No. In fact, White House officials, stop talking about him. And, Mr. President, put a muzzle on "I," "me," and "my."

Obama's slide in popularity will be permanent unless he realizes that the story of his presidency is not about him. It's certainly not about the GOP. It's about the people in Michigan and throughout the rest of the country who face enormous obstacles—and struggle heroically to overcome them.
Applying Mr. Fournier's logic to journalism could also explain the declining respect for national media. While American middle class families struggle, many in national media continue to treat every public policy debate—from immigration to energy to economics—as a scoring game between the players of the two political parties.

Yet for many worried Americans, it is not a game.It's not about the political parties, personalities or players. It's certainly not about which leaders scored the most political points on a given day. It is about accurately and honestly reporting the substance of public policy discussions in the quest for solutions to get America and her economy back on track.

The media's slide in respect will be permanent as Mr. Obama's popularity unless it realizes the story isn't about Washington; it's about Americans who live everywhere else.