Thursday, March 31, 2011

Libya: The Genesis of a Bad Idea

Victor Davis Hanson tries to understand why Obama attacked Libya.  In part, he was played by the Europeans, who were interested in protecting their oil contracts.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Shark and Shepherd: A Primer on Publication of the Collective Bargaining Law

Here's a good post explaining what's happening in Wisconsin regarding the "publication" of the collective bargaining law.  It sounds like the judge has overstepped her bounds, and misunderstood the process of publication to boot.

I have made clear my view that the attempt to enjoin publication of the collective bargaining law and Judge Sumi's TRO enjoining publication was wholly without merit. Challenge the law if you wish but it seems clear that you must wait until after it's published. The Supreme Court's decision in Goodland v. Zimmerman, 243 Wis. 459, 10 N.W.2d 180 (1943) makes this clear.

In an odd twist, the law was nevertheless published today and will become effective tomorrow. This isn't defiance of the judge's order by the Republicans or Scott Walker. They didn't do it. It's not defiance of the law at all. It seems to have been mandated by the law.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who Are The Libyan Rebels? Doesn’t the President Care? - By Peter Kirsanow

Nonetheless, last night the president failed to devote any time  to credibly addressing the identity, allegiances, and objectives of those on whose behalf he’s committed our military.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Go to Congress First

The Security Council is powerless to “authorize” the U.S. military to do a damned thing. The validity of American combat operations is a matter of American law, and that means Congress must authorize them.

Our Constitution vests Congress with the power to declare war. That authority cannot be delegated to an international tribunal that lacks political accountability to the American people. The decision to go to war is the most significant one a body politic can make. Thus the Framers designed our system to make certain that the responsible officials are answerable to the people whose lives are at stake and who are expected to foot the bills.

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Does US Military Action Against Gaddafi Require Congressional Authorization?

It’s worth noting that then-Senator Obama reached a similar conclusion back in 2007, when he said the following:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

'Unique capabilities' mean virtually all-American war in Libya

What Clinton meant by "unique capabilities" is that the United States has military power that other participating nations don't have, and it is that power, and virtually that power alone, that makes the Libyan war possible.  Clinton's two key statements: 'We did not lead this" and "America has unique capabilities" are not consistent with each other.  Because of America's unique capabilities, it is in fact leading the Libyan effort.

That became entirely clear in Gortney's briefing.  "In these early days, the operation will be under the operational command of General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command," Gortney told reporters at the Pentagon.  "And the commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, which is the name of this operation, is Admiral Sam Locklear, who is embarked on board USS Mount Whitney in the Mediterranean."

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Leiter Side of Union Thuggery

In the letter to Wisconsin businessmen, however, we see why so-called collective bargaining is particularly corrupting to the police. Although the letter explicitly threatens only an economic boycott, when it is written on behalf of the police--of those on whom all citizens depend to protect their safety--it invariably raises the prospect of another kind of boycott. Can a businessman who declines this heavy-handed "request" be confident that the police will do their job if he is the victim of a crime--particularly if the crime itself is in retaliation for his refusal to support "the dedicated public employees who serve our communities"?

Sykes sums up the letter this way: "That's a nice business you got there. Pity if anything were to happen to it if, say, you didn't toe the line and denounce Governor Walker like we're asking nice-like." He's right. "Organized" law enforcement bears a disturbing resemblance to organized crime.

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Reynolds’ Law

Reynolds’ Law: “Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.” It’s easy to see why. If people don’t need to defer gratification, work hard, etc., in order to achieve the status they desire, they’ll be less inclined to do those things. The greater the government subsidy, the greater the effect, and the more net harm produced.

The original post on Instapundit is here:

You might say it's a classic instance of the Law of Unintended Consequences, which applies to most government actions.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Health-Care Waivers and the Courts

As argued in these pages, these waivers are an unconstitutional exercise of the dispensing power, which creates a power above law and thereby threatens equal rights under law. The point here, however, is more basic. The constitutional defense of the health-care waivers has thus far been a defense of waivers in general, without attention to the realities of the health-care statute. As a result, the defense of the waivers not only is wrong on the Constitution but also is irrelevant to the statutory realities.

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William Tucker: Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

None of this amounts to "another Chernobyl." The Chernobyl reactor had two crucial design flaws. First, it used graphite (carbon) instead of water to "moderate" the neutrons, which makes possible the nuclear reaction. The graphite caught fire in April 1986 and burned for four days. Water does not catch fire.

Second, Chernobyl had no containment structure. When the graphite caught fire, it spouted a plume of radioactive smoke that spread across the globe. A containment structure would have both smothered the fire and contained the radioactivity.

If a meltdown does occur in Japan, it will be a disaster for the Tokyo Electric Power Company but not for the general public. Whatever steam releases occur will have a negligible impact. Researchers have spent 30 years trying to find health effects from the steam releases at Three Mile Island and have come up with nothing. With all the death, devastation and disease now threatening tens of thousands in Japan, it is trivializing and almost obscene to spend so much time worrying about damage to a nuclear reactor.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Endgame in Wisconsin

> After an exhausting three-week stalemate, Wisconsin Republicans maneuvered late Wednesday to curb collective bargaining for public-sector workers, passing an amended budget-repair bill by an 18–1 vote in the state senate. The surprise legislative gambit stunned labor activists, who have flocked to Madison in recent weeks, and stymied the 14 Democratic state senators who fled to Illinois on February 17 in protest of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal.
>> “The Senate Democrats have had three weeks to debate this bill and were offered repeated opportunities to come home, which they refused,” Walker said following the vote, which occurred on short notice in the early evening. He hailed the effort as a necessary step toward closing the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

George F. Will - On Libya, too many questions

Some interventionists are Republicans, whose skepticism about government's abilities to achieve intended effects ends at the water's edge. All interventionists should answer some questions:

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Pirates of Somalia

Where's Thomas Jefferson when you need him?

increase the risks of piracy and lower the rewards. That means taking the offensive: killing pirates at sea, in the harbors where they dock their vessels (and those they seize), and in what are now their safe havens and homes in the coastal areas of the northern Somali province of Puntland.

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