Archive for April 11th, 2010

Behavioral economics, the governing theory of Obama’s nanny state. — Andrew Ferguson

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Among the many transformative experiences President Obama says he has planned for us, one in particular has gone relatively unnoticed. He has vowed to remake the methods by which the federal government regulates our homes, our offices, our roads and brooms and thimbles, our roller skates and garden tools and tortilla chips and sunglasses-nearly everything. The federal government regulates nearly everything already, of course, but now the new administration wants to regulate by different lights. A few days after taking office last year, Obama signed a presidential memorandum to set our new transformative experience in motion.

Health care act’s two ticking bombs

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

(Fortune) — A week ago, a good friend — let’s call him Anthony — related a remarkable story about shopping for health insurance in two states, New York and Arizona.

For Anthony and millions of other consumers, New York represents the ultimate nightmare for finding affordable coverage, pairing outrageously high prices with a tiny roster of offerings. By contrast, Anthony found fabulous bargains and a rich variety of policies in Arizona’s desert sun.

Sherman Frederick: Tax man comes for half of us. American-style socialism

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

For me, the worst problem might have been summed up in an Associated Press story that hit the wires last week:

“WASHINGTON — Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it’s simply somebody else’s problem.

“About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009.”

This, folks, is socialism, American-style. If not corrected, it threatens to end America as we know it.

New Hampshire Union-Leader editorial — Islamic extremism: It is the enemy, Mr. Obama

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

But the Obama plan to be more politically correct by formally adopting a security policy that ignores “militant Islamic radicalism” is itself ignorant of the real situation.

President Bush’s national security policy had said specifically that “the struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological confrontation of the early years of the 21st Century.”

Lieberman: Not enough votes in Senate to ratify new START treaty

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

“I don’t believe that there will be 67 votes to ratify the START treaty unless the administration does two things,” Lieberman said on “Fox News Sunday.” “First, commit to modernize our nuclear stockpile so as we have less nuclear weapons we know they’re capable, if, God forbid, we need them; and secondly, to make absolutely clear that some of the statements by Russian President Medvedev at the signing in Prague that seem to suggest that if we continue to build the ballistic missile defense in Europe that they may pull out of this treaty — they’re just unacceptable to us.

Facing Up to a Pension Crisis — George Will

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

The 1935 Social Security Act established 65 as the age of eligibility for payouts. But welfare state politics quickly becomes a bidding war, enriching the menu of benefits, so in 1956 Congress entitled women to collect benefits at 62, extending the entitlement to men in 1961. Today, nearly half of Social Security recipients choose to begin getting benefits at 62. This is a grotesque perversion of a program that was never intended to subsidize retirees for a third to a half of their adult lives.

Rasmussen: 66% Say America Is Overtaxed

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans believe the nation is overtaxed. So do 73% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Democrats are evenly divided on the question.

Among those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, 96% believe the nation is overtaxed, and only one percent (1%) disagree.

These figures help explain why candidate Barack Obama promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans during Election 2008. Shortly after the election, Scott Rasmussen wrote a Wall Street Journal column noting how Obama won the White House by campaigning like Ronald Reagan. Currently, only eight percent (8%) believe their taxes will be cut during the Obama presidency, while 46% expect a tax hike.

Rasmussen: 39% Say Supreme Court Too Liberal, 25% Too Conservative

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

As President Obama prepares to nominate a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, 39% of voters nationwide believe the Supreme Court is too liberal. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 25% think the high court is too conservative, and 27% feel the court’s ideological balance is about right.

At the same time, 45% believe that justices nominated by Obama will be too liberal, while 41% believe the nominees will be about right.

Overall, 35% of voters believe the Supreme Court is doing a good or an excellent job. Just 22% say the court is doing a poor job. Those figures are little changed from a month ago.

Would Goodwin Liu Sink the Left-Leaning 9th Circuit? — Debra J. Saunders

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

One: “We had an election. A Democrat won. And the president can pick who he likes.” To wit: Liu — a Rhodes scholar and graduate of Stanford and Oxford universities and Yale Law School who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — is highly qualified. Republicans should not use delay tactics and the filibuster to thwart a full-Senate up-or-down vote on Liu.

Two: “Because federal judges receive lifetime appointments and often serve through the terms of multiple presidents, it behooves a president — and benefits our democracy — to find moderate nominees who can garner some measure of bipartisan support.”

That is: The opposition party has an obligation to fight extremists. Note: The National Journal’s legal authority, Stuart Taylor Jr., estimates that Liu’s writings put “him markedly to the ideological left of all 41 Senate Republicans, at least half of the Democrats, and 80 percent or more of voters.”

Here’s the tricky part. The first quote comes from a phone conversation with John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law prof reviled by the left because he wrote the 2002 memos that authorized the CIA to use enhanced interrogation techniques.

The latter quote comes from Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” in defense of Senate Democrats’ use of the filibuster against President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. By Obama’s precious standard, Republicans are within their rights to try to torpedo Liu’s nomination.

Rasmussen: Just 20% support federal Internet taxes; Obama administration proposed plan for government regulation of the Internet, including federal taxes on digital goods and services

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 20% of Americans favor the federal government taxing goods and services on the Internet. Sixty-one percent (61%) oppose such taxes. Another 19% are undecided.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of those who use the Internet every day or nearly every day oppose such taxes, while 22% of that group think they’re a good idea.

The administration’s regulatory efforts ran into trouble last week, however, when a U.S. federal appeals court rejected a Federal Communications Commission move to impose “net neutrality” rules on Internet providers which would force them to treat all Web traffic equally. But some Internet providers have been attempting to slow the traffic of major downloaders, arguing that they slow Internet service for other customers.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of adults do not believe the FCC should regulate the Internet the way it does radio and television.

AP: GOP promises ‘whale of a fight’ if court pick too liberal

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Leading candidates are said to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 49, and federal appellate judges Merrick Garland, 57, in Washington and Diane Wood, 59, in Chicago. All three were considered last year as well, and Obama interviewed Kagan and Wood before choosing Sonia Sotomayor for the high court.

AP: Obama leaves WH without press, breaking protocol

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

About two hours before reporters were supposed to be in position to leave with the president, Obama left the grounds of the White House. Members of the press were told he was attending one of his daughter’s soccer games in northwest Washington, D.C.

Iran to complain to U.N. over Obama nuclear “threat”

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will lodge a complaint with the United Nations about what it sees as U.S. President Barack Obama’s threat to attack it with nuclear weapons, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

Britain: Polls suggest election too close to call

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Link.

Poland mourns president, elite killed in crash

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

(Reuters) – Poles were in deep mourning on Sunday after President Lech Kaczynski and many of the country’s ruling elite were killed in a plane crash.

UK Times: Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre’ fear CIA stalkers

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Activists behind a website dedicated to revealing secret documents have complained of harassment by police and intelligence services as they prepare to release a video showing an American attack in which 97 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.

No curtailed cursing in Tiger tantrums at Masters

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Link.

Apple Fights Rival Google on New Turf: WSJ

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Apple Inc. is stepping up its rivalry with Google Inc. by adding its own advertising system to the next version of software that will power its iPhone, iPad and other mobile gadgets.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Thursday the new operating system will include an advertising capability, dubbed iAd, that allows developers of the programs available in Apple’s App Store-many of which are free or cost 99 cents-to include ads in their software.