Codger on Politics

Friday, September 19, 2014

Well Said

Well Said

""Neil Tyson is adored by people who want the sweet feeling of smug, intellectual superiority without all the baggage of actually being intellectually superior in any way. They love math and science up to the point at which one of them needs to figure out a restaurant tip, and then out comes the iPhone calculator. The more self-aware ones will just round up to the nearest dollar and then pretend it's because they're generous. But overall, we're dealing with people who love science so much that they picked college majors just to avoid the subject they allegedly love so dearly.""

I believe I have expressed this idea previously but not nearly so effectively

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who Would Have Thought That Democrats Think?

Who Would Have Thought That Democrats Think?

""These examples could be multiplied many times over—including in foreign policy. While foreign policy is beyond the scope of this essay, it is worth noting that here, too, Democrats are guilty of creating alternative realities. The early outreach to the Iranian mullahs, the Russian reset, President Obama's Cairo speech, the premature departure from Iraq, the early dismissal of ISIS, and the moral equivalence granted to Hamas and Israel all depend on seeing despotic leaders not as they are, but as the administration wishes them to be.

Because the left wishes to eliminate poverty by redistribution, it assumes reality can be made to conform. Because it judges fossil fuels bad, they must be allowed no future. Because it insists on human causation for global warming, dissenters must be hounded. Because the left favors unrestricted access to abortion, a woman's right to choose must be enshrined. 

The words of today's political left are much like ancient incantations. They are magic. But there is one difference: Ancient incantations reflected an underlying belief in an external world that was difficult to control, a world in which humans had at best a modest measure of influence.

Liberals have long favored the notion of a command economy; today they operate in nothing less than a command reality. For the modern liberal, we humans have the power to deconstruct and reconstruct reality as we please. In this brave new world, words are all that is required for a new reality to leap into existence. To speak about an issue is to resolve it. Good intentions suffice. If the results of programs created with good intentions disappoint, it doesn't matter. Disastrous policy results do not reflect a misunderstanding of reality, but the evil machinations of political opponents.

This of course is not reason; it is hubris. The great power of modern science arises from the understanding that we gain a degree of mastery over natural forces and ourselves only by conforming our thoughts and actions to the nature of reality itself. The incantations of the modern left notwithstanding, reality is not easily bent by words alone""

The arguments presented by the mainstream press and Democrat candidates is often so poor, I can't understand why they think it would be persuasive. It appears to persuade the talking heads of the left. What could they be thinking? Are they thinking?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Give ObamaCorp a chance

Give ObamaCorp a chance

There are 10 to 15 million undocumented immigrants in the US who want regular status. President Obama's greatest success is as a community organizer.    Mexico and central America is causing an immense flow of people from their inept governance.

What if a corp was set up to train the immigrants in community organization, and provide a stipend to return to their countries of birth and fix the problems. There would be plenty of overly rich to bring down and with US citesenship as a reward, the best will become contributors in the US and the others will raise the competence in their home countries.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Kill People, Break Things

kill people and break things, no prisoners, no occupation
"" l NEW YORK -- If there were any doubts about whether Henry Kissinger, at the age of 91 and having undergone heart surgery in July, has kept his edge, he dispatches them almost as soon as he sinks into a sofa in his high-rise corner office in midtown Manhattan.
News that a second American journalist has been beheaded in Syria has just broken. But the former US secretary of state — who helped to bring the Vietnam War to an end, initiated a rapprochement with China and led the policy of detente with the Soviet Union — is already clear about what should be done.
"We should launch an all-out attack on them," he says, adding that it should be "of limited duration as a punitive measure". He describes the actions of Isis, also known as Islamic State, as "an insult to our values and to our society" that demands a "very significant retaliation".
"There can't be any debate any more about fighting them."
Under President Barack Obama, he charges, "we have made ourselves bystanders" in the Middle East until now.
"This could be very substantial — on most known targets — and I would not make any distinction between Syria and Iraq. In my view this should have happened already."  ""
The Romans had two modes of war, conquest and retribution. It is time for #2

Where is the proof?

Where is the proof?
Everyone has—or should have—a list of the commentators they disagree with fundamentally but nonetheless admire. When it comes to foreign policy, Robert Kagan tops mine. First, because Kagan knows the difference between being a hawk and being a Republican. His worldview is consistent but his view of the two parties is not. In the mid-1990s, for instance, he supported Bill Clinton's war in Bosnia and harshly criticized the GOP Congress for not offering more support. Second, because Kagan knows far more American history than your average Beltway pundit. Several years back, he even took a semi-sabbatical from current affairs to get a Ph.D.     
But Kagan's essay for The Wall Street Journal this weekend illustrates the danger of being so entranced by historical example that it blinds you to contemporary reality. Kagan's basic point is that today, as after World War I, the West's war fatigue is leading it to appease dangerous adversaries. "As we head deeper into our version of the 1930s," he writes, "we may be quite shocked, just as our forebears were, at how quickly things fall apart."
If that sounds familiar, it should. For Kagan, the 1990s were "our version" of the 1930s too. "At the end of this bloody century, we all should have learned that appeasement, even when disguised as engagement, doesn't work," he wrote in a 1998 critique of Clinton's China policy. "The word that best describes Clinton administration policy," he wrote in an editorial with William Kristol the following year, "is appeasement." ""
""There's only one sense in which American elites have "come close to concluding … that war is … ineffective." They're far more reluctant than they were in 2003, or even 2009, to wage land wars. But does that really constitute appeasement? "".  

Democrats are constantly demanding proof, except when we are supposed to connect the dots. Democrats have appeasement in their DNA. When Obama assured he would be flexible to Putin's man " after his reelection" he was talking appeasement.
Proof needed to conduct a prosecution would be hard to find with the whole of the federal government in stonewall mode. To be safe our standards of proof are different on the world stage. Being paranoid is a requirement. Assuming the worst (even while hoping for the best), is required for survival. Are the Democrats appeasers? It is a safe assumption.

In conclusion, says the author ""

And why shouldn’t Americans be more skeptical of land wars after the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan? Kagan doesn’t say. For a man so keen that Americans learn from the experience of the 1930s, he’s strikingly uninterested in the experience of the last decade. He doesn’t defend the Iraq or Afghan wars. He doesn’t even suggest that the U.S. should send ground troops into Iraq, Syria, or Ukraine today. He simply suggests that Americans who oppose new land wars because of our recent, painful experience are latter-day Neville Chamberlains. ""

That is: we are appeasers and damn proud of it

Friday, September 05, 2014

What a Twisted Web We Weave

What a Twisted Web We Weave
""The lawsuits' architects claim that Obamacare authorizes the federal government to help people pay for private insurance only in those states that have taken it upon themselves to reorganize and operate new insurance markets. The basis for that claim is some ambiguous language in one key section of the law. The law's supporters, including just about everybody who worked on the legislation or followed its journey through Congress, say that's nonsense—the ambiguity is merely a drafting error, the kind that happens all the time in complex legislation. The law's supporters also point to prevailing legal doctrine, under which courts defer to executive agencies when legal language is ambiguous. ""

"Legal doctrine" above leads to the following:

""1) Administrative Law 101: The administration doesn't need to prove intent, just ambiguity

Lost in the back-and-forth about what Congress did or didn't intend is a key fact: the administration doesn't actually need to prove intent to defeat this Obamacare challenge.

Sure, the White House is trying to prove intent. Their primary argument is that a plain-text reading of the law suggests that federal and state exchanges are understood as perfectly equivalent. When Section 1321 of the Affordable Care Act directs the HHS secretary to establish "such Exchange" if a state doesn't create their own, "such Exchange" is understood to be "an Exchange established by the State under 1311".
But they have a fallback argument, too: If you don't agree with them on the plain-text reading, you should at least believe that the text at issue is ambiguous when read within the context of the entire statute. Under a legal doctrine called Chevron deference, ambiguous statutory language is punted to the agency implementing the law. It's a legal tie, but the tie goes to the government.
What is "Chevron deference" :,_Inc._v._Natural_Resources_Defense_Council,_Inc.

""Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.,467 U.S. 837 (1984), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court set forth the legal test for determining whether to grant deference to a government agency's interpretation of a statute which it administers. Chevron is the Court's clearest articulation of the doctrine of "administrative deference," to the point that the Court itself has used the phrase "Chevron deference" in more recent cases.[1]

Under the Supreme Court's ruling in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803), United States federal courts have the authority to judicially review the statutes enacted by Congress, and declare a statute invalid if it violates theConstitution. But the Constitution sets no express limits on how much federal authority can be delegated to a government agency. Rather, limits on the authority granted to a federal agency occur within the statutes enacted by Congress

The Court, in an opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, upheld the EPA's interpretation. A two-part analysis was born from the Chevron decision (called the "Chevron two-step test"), where a reviewing court determines:

(1) "First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court as well as the agency must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress."

"If the Court determines Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court does not simply impose its own construction of the statute . . . Rather,

(2) [I]f the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific question, the issue for the court is whether the agency's answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute." Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837, 842–843 (1984).""

In the case under consideration, rule 1. Applies. Not taken in context, the law is clear. Context may not be considered. The defenders of ObamaCare would have us believe that if the precise  combination states not setting up an exchange and the federal government having set up an exchange, the law is ambiguous. If this is so, all law is ambiguous. You can't include all hypotheticals, thus leaving all control to the bureaucrats. 

Consider also that this is new and untested

Also, Article 1, section 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The constitution trumps convention. Being wrong in 1984, does not bind us to be forever wrong.

Legislation which delegates lawmaking to the executive, is unconstitutional, whether the supreme court holds that or not.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Don't Expect Reason From A Progressive

Don't Expect Reason From A Progressive
"" Their argument is merely that if you read a poorly drafted section of the statute out of context, it appears that the law doesn't contemplate subsidies in states that availed themselves of the federal government's backstop, Millions of people would lose their health insurance in service of teaching Congress a lesson about the importance of legislative draftsmanship.""
If a law is poorly drafted, here means it says something the backers don't want to hear. If the meaning is clear until context is added which is supposed to change its meaning, isn't the law invalid? That millions are effected by a poorly drafted law that is therefore invalid, does not change the wording of the law. Generally there is a provision that says that one section being invalid does not allow the balance of the law to be declared invalid. The poor drafters forgot that, also, putting the whole law at risk.
"" That's not a very becoming political argument, though, so the Halbig supporters have stapled a grandiose claim to their core challenge. Because many of the people who would lose their insurance would also qualify for an exemption from the law's insurance coverage mandate, they frame it as a principled campaign for liberty.""
This isn't true, it is a straw man argument the GOP has not made. " not a very becoming political argument,"? How is that relevant? Laws are words carefully selected to define unambiguously what is required. If politics is involved it is no longer the rule of law but of men. Men, as we have seen are corruptible. The most adversely effected are the poor and powerless.
"" These are the people whose liberty conservatives claim to be fighting for—the people who were only able to purchase insurance because the subsidies made it affordable. The people who, as Bagley writes, would "be free to decline coverage that, without tax credits, they can't afford anyhow."""
This is getting ridiculous. There will be no private coverage and government coverage is designed to put doctors out of business. What good is insurance that is not accepted?
"" This kind of post hoc appeal to liberty long predates the Affordable Care Act, but it has become particularly salient in the fight against Obamacare as enrollment has grown and weakened traditional tools of opposition""
Do you remember, "you have to pass ObamaCare to see what is in it"? All arguments are therefore post hoc. But wait, the argument predates! It isn't post hoc. The author contradicts himself in 5 words after the assertion.
""But there's something conspicuous about the Obamacare opponents posing as tribunes for liberty, too. They're nearly all affluent white people, who take their own health insurance for granted and probably wouldn't consider themselves liberated if a court or legislature took aim at it for any reason. And though their rhetoric suggests otherwise, they're waging the final Obamacare battles against poor people and minorities, not on their behalf.""
No one is or should be taking health insurance for granted. All private health care will be eliminated and government health will be worthless. It will be cash to the doctors who remain that is the one choice. So right, only the rich will have health care. Maybe we can import the barefoot doctors form China, they work cheap.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Dark Opinion of " Editorial Board"

The Dark Opinion of " Editorial Board"

""WELCOME TO the 2014 fall congressional campaign finance bus tour. We hope you're comfortable because what you are about to witness is breathtaking, and more than a little unsettling. Rivers of fat-cat money are pouring into our political system; the peaks of hidden finance soar ever higher. It promises to be a wild ride.""

Is " fat-cat money " (ie Dark Money) worst than Dark Opinion?  Can't anyone take credit for this opinion? I can understand why they wouldn't, since it a snarly collection of progressive "dog whistles". No thought required, nor attempted.


Who are our "National Leaders"

Who are our "National Leaders"

""Islamic State's self-righteous cruelties have led to widespread slaughter, regional instability and realistic threats to U.S. interests and allies. U.S. military strikes have slowed the terrorist army's advance, but it's clear that a more robust response will be needed. The world waits. The president is back in Washington, but Congress is still in vacation mode. There remains a let's-take-this-day-by-day feel to the response by our nation's leadership ... and that feels uncomfortable.""

The excerpt seems to to imply congress is responsible for leadership, but misses the normal assertion that the house is responsible for the disfunction. The president it seems needs only to be present, though he increasingly seems to be not present. The most influential leader is Harry Reed, who has single handedly stopped all progress. The House really should have passed appropriation bills to support the federal government but is there any doubt Harry would fail to bring them up?

Could this be Said of the US Federal Bureaucrat

Could this be Said of the US Federal Bureaucrat

""Men like Putin are not brilliant, but they are cunning. (The Soviet system excelled at weeding out genuinely creative people while rewarding excessively clever people. There's a difference.) Seeing the writing on the wall in the late 1980s, Putin did what many older and less able Soviet men could not do: he jumped from the crumbling Soviet state to the new democratic movement. Better to be on the train than standing in front of it.""

Men in the federal government of the US and those of the Russian government may share a trait of all isolated bureaucrats, one first seen in ancient Persia. Cunning men who game the system. As the the creative are forced out by the cunning, the bureaucracy fails to function. With total control however, there is no consequence for failure. Not until the rot progresses to the whole nation does the whole nation crumble

The US system, anticipating this, is broken into coequal branches. It is hoped when the rot consumes one, consequences can be enacted by the functioning portions.  There is further division into federal and state governments which can survive the general rot.

Today the coequal branches are in collusion, which is allowing the rot to effect the whole federal government. What is needed is an association of surviving states and citizens to down size the clever in the federal government. The creative of the nation can  bring the new structures into place replacing  dysfunctional parts.