Monday, January 30, 2012

Can Obama's health-care law force Catholics to support birth control? -

Institutions with ties to the Catholic church, such as hospitals and schools, say they are getting no exemption from a rule requiring that health insurance plans cover contraceptive services. The administration announced the rule, arising from the Affordable Care Act of 2010, about 10 days ago.

This past weekend, it became a topic in Catholic parishes across the country, as priests delivered statements opposing the step.

They argue that it amounts to forcing members of the church, which has long opposed birth control, to offer it or pay for it in health plans. The coverage of contraceptive services could include abortion-inducing drugs, the church says.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hollywood Edition

Aaron Klein has a good suggestion for Hollywood:

Since they’re so persnickety about licensing agreements, let’s amend all of our terms of use to require all movie moguls to use a special “Hollywood Edition” of our products.
  • Before you can do a Google search, you have to sit through five minutes of ads for Google Chrome, Chromebooks by Samsung, Android Phones by Motorola, and that amazing straight-to-video blockbuster, Google+. And oh yeah, don’t even think about trying to skip the ads. A cute little red “X” appears in the corner of your screen if you try to do that.
Follow the link for some more ideas.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The European Crack-Up by Theodore Dalrymple

> In short, the incontinent spending of many European governments, which awarded whole populations unearned benefits at the expense of generations to come, has—along with a megalomaniacal currency union—produced a crisis not merely economic but social, political, and even civilizational.

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Obama’s Vision for a Spartan America - Jonah Goldberg

> [Obama quote:] “This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs.”
>> No. Wrong. It is not so with America. This nation isn’t great because we work as a team with the president as our captain. America is great because America is free. It is great not because we put our self-interest aside, but because we have the right to pursue happiness.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sixteen Concerned Scientists: No Need to Panic About Global Warming -

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming." Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Head Start A 50 Year Flop

But a long-suppressed government report finally released by the Obama administration report is shaking the foundations of Head Start, and the news isn’t coming from right wing conservatives but from Joe Klein at Time magazine. As Klein reports,

We spend more than $7 billion providing Head Start to nearly 1 million children each year. And finally there is indisputable evidence about the program’s effectiveness, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services: Head Start simply does not work.

These days, defenders of Head Start say less about what it does for kids (essentially nothing) but about the jobs it creates in poor neighborhoods.  This is blue liberal thinking at its most self-parodic: we can’t develop social programs that will accomplish something worthwhile, but we can at least use the illusion that such programs work to create jobs for people who will then vote for the politicians who give them make work jobs.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Confirmation Bias: A Shameless Flip-Flop on Recess Appointments | The Weekly Standard

But in the course of his analysis, Tribe neglects to mention an important point: in 2004, he co-wrote a legal brief on behalf of Senator Ted Kennedy, in opposition to President Bush's recess appointments—a strongly-worded brief that contradicted (indeed, belittled) the very position he now stakes out in favor of President Obama's power grab.

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Robert Barro: An Exit Strategy From the Euro -

Germany could create a parallel currency—a new D-Mark, pegged at 1.0 to the euro. The German government would guarantee that holders of German government bonds could convert euro securities to new-D-mark instruments on a one-to-one basis up to some designated date, perhaps two years in the future. Private German contracts expressed in euros would switch to new-D-mark claims over the same period. The transition would likely feature a period in which the euro and new D-mark circulate as parallel currencies.

Other countries could follow a path toward reintroduction of their own currencies over a two-year period. For example, Italy could have a new lira at 1.0 to the euro. If all the euro-zone countries followed this course, the vanishing of the euro currency in 2014 would come to resemble the disappearance of the 11 separate European moneys in 2001.

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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Cordray’s Tribe - By John Yoo

John Yoo responds to Lawrence Tribe's article defending Obama's sham-recess appointments.

> First, on the history: All of the precedents cited by Tribe occurred when the Senate was adjourned. The question was when does an adjournment of the Senate become long enough to qualify as a “recess” under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. As far as I know, and Tribe cannot claim to the contrary, no president has ever made a recess appointment when the Senate was formally in session. This is not a question of when does an adjournment become a recess — here, there has been no adjournment.

Tribe's original article:

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Tyrannical Abuse of Power: Obama Attempts to Appoint Cordray to CFPB

The Constitution, in Article I, section 5, plainly states that neither house of Congress can recess for more than three days without the consent of the other house. The House of Representatives did not consent to a Senate recess of more than three days at the end of last year, and so the Senate—consistent with the requirements of the Constitution—is having pro forma sessions every few days. In short, Congress is still in session, and no one in Congress is saying (or can reasonably say) otherwise. It does not matter a wit that most Members of Congress are not in town voting on legislation, because ending a session of Congress requires the passage of a formal resolution, which never occurred.
Under Article II, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution, the President has the power to fill vacancies that may happen during Senate recesses. That power has been interpreted by scores of attorneys general and their designees in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for over 100 years to require an official, legal Senate recess of at least 10–25 days of duration. (There are a few outlier opinions, never sanctioned by the courts, that suggest a recess of six to seven days might be enough—but never less than that.)
The President’s purported recess appointment of Cordray would render the Senate’s advice and consent role to normal appointments almost meaningless. 

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Recess Appointment for Cordray: Unconstitutional?
> Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday condemned President Obama’s decision to make a recess appointment of Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even as the Senate is not in recess.
>> “This recess appointment represents a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer,” said Sen. McConnell, who in a speech on the Senate floor December 17 pleaded with the White House for cooperation on the stalled confirmation of presidential appointments.

> The Constitution gives the president the power to make appointments when the Senate is not in session and able to confirm them. Traditionally, that has been understood to mean when the Senate has adjourned for a recess longer than 10 days, and a Clinton administration legal opinion said a recess must be at least three days.
>> Mr. Obama’s own top constitutional lawyers affirmed that view in 2010 in another case involving recess appointments. Asked what the standard was for making recess appointments, then-Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices the administration agreed with the three-day rule.
>> “The recess appointment power can work in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than 3 days,” Mr. Katyal said.

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Seven Devastating Facts About 2012 - Big Government

Every day, the U.S. government takes in $6 billion and spends $10 billion.  This means that every day the federal government spends $4 billion more dollars than it has.

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George Will: Ringing in a conservative year

In 2011, for the first time in 62 years, America was a net exporter of petroleum products. For the indefinite future, a specter is haunting progressivism, the specter of abundance. Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior.

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