Posts Tagged ‘Proposals’

Daniel Henninger: Obama as authoritarian

by John Lott on Monday, August 12th, 2013

This is article 899 of 1015 in the topic Obama

Dan Henninger has a piece that I think is clearly correct in the WSJ:

. . . The second-term over-and-over, elevated in his summer speech tour, is the shafting of the middle class. But the real purpose here isn’t the speeches’ parboiled proposals. It is what he says the shafting of the middle class is forcing him to do. It is forcing him to “act”—to undertake an unprecedented exercise of presidential power in domestic policy-making. ObamaCare was legislated. In the second term, new law will come from him. . . .

Please don’t complain later that you didn’t see it coming. As always, Mr. Obama states publicly what his intentions are. He is doing that now. Toward the end of his speech last week in Jacksonville, Fla., he said: “So where I can act on my own, I’m going to act on my own. I won’t wait for Congress.” (Applause.)

The July 24 speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., has at least four references to his intent to act on his own authority, as he interprets it: “That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I’ll use it.” (Applause.) And: “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.” . . .

The U.S. has a system of checks and balances. Mr. Obama is rebalancing the system toward a national-leader model that is alien to the American tradition.

To create public support for so much unilateral authority, Mr. Obama needs to lessen support for the other two branches of government—Congress and the judiciary. He is doing that. . . .

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Bill Gates offers grant for ‘next generation’ condom

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

This is article 405 of 699 in the topic Healthcare

A condom manufactured using specs approved by the guy who green-lit Windows ME? Count me out.

From ABC News:

Gates will give a $100,000 grant to whoever can invent the “next generation condom” through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. The estimated 80 grant recipients can then apply for a follow-up grant worth up to $1 million.

“Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?” the Grand Challenge prompt asks. ”If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs [sexually transmitted infections]?”

Aside from being a contradictory phrase, what exactly is a “next generation condom”? Is it solar powered? One that doesn’t leave an annoying circular imprint on the outside of your wallet because it’s been in there since 1987? (asking for a friend)


The proposals must have a “testable hypothesis … an associated plan for how the idea would be validated … and would yield … an unambiguous data plan in Phase I, to be considered for Phase II.”

Of course, the condom should also be easy to use and include ground-breaking design.

Officially ruled out as a possible name for the winning product: Microsoft.

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Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Slams Obama’s Gun Control Push as ‘Way in Extreme of What I Think Is Necessary…’

by Donald Douglas on Sunday, January 6th, 2013

That’s freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, clearly way outside of the Beltway mentality. She’s a pretty standard Democrat but obviously smart about the politics of gun control. She hammers the administration’s — and by extension Dianne Feinstein’s — gun-grab agenda. See: “Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: Reported Obama Gun Proposals ‘Way in Extreme’” (via Memeorandum).

Also at the clip is freshman GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, a war veteran and Harvard Law School graduate. And there’s vapid Texas freshman Rep. Joaquín Castro, an affirmative action Democrat if there ever was one.

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What if Republicans gave the Democrats what they wanted?

by John Lott on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This is article 108 of 116 in the topic Unemployment

Democrat’s plans would increase unemployment and reduce growth rates.  For Republicans opposing the Democrat’s proposals help the Democrats because the economy is better than it otherwise would have been.  At the same time, Democrats beat up on Republicans for being mean.

Take the unemployment insurance benefits.  It is pretty clear that higher benefits both increase the number unemployed and increases the length of time that people are unemployed. From The Hill newspaper:

Republicans are cool to a White House proposal that federal unemployment benefits be extended for another year.
Extending the benefits would cost $30 billion and was included in the first deficit-reduction proposal that President Obama sent to GOP leaders this week.
With talks to avoid the “fiscal cliff” seemingly at a standstill, Republicans are suggesting that the cost of extending the jobless benefits program could prove problematic.
“After spending $215 billion and adding $180 billion to the debt, more spending on federal unemployment benefits, above and beyond what the states already spend, would have to be carefully considered during fiscal cliff talks,” said a House GOP aide. . . .

The same is also true for the higher tax rates that Obama is pushing.

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How We Can Win

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, November 12th, 2012

This is article 331 of 377 in the topic Elections
Let’s begin with what this isn’t. It isn’t a final statement on anything. It’s the opening to a discussion and the discussion is a look at how we can win.

The proposals and ideas that follow are not in compliance with any dogma. They do not call for abandoning principles, but they do call for pragmatic action in the here and now in order to secure the victory of those principles. That’s a tricky line, but that’s also how political battles are won.

Plenty of readers will have philosophical objections to some of what follows and I respect that, but you can either wait for the public to come around or retreat to high ground and wait for everything to collapse. Neither is a very useful strategy and it behooves us to remember that the left did not go up into the hills and wait for us to come around. They used these strategies to win.

1. We Are Going to Take Care of You

Laying out grand arguments. The romance of the open marketplace and the responsibility to our children are big ideas. Breaking them down into bite sized pieces and hitting people directly on the impact it will have on them is far more useful.

But the bigger problem is that we no longer have a united electorate that can be spoken to as if there is one America. A big argument for the future of the nation does not resonate with many people. It has no impact at all on many minority groups and even on many non-minority groups by class who think in terms of how something will affect them locally, not nationally.

Obama did not bother with big arguments. He made small arguments to different groups and those groups turned out for him.

Romney tried to talk to Americans about responsibility and his turnout ended up being lower than the turnout of those looking out for their own group interests.

Big arguments fracture into someone else’s responsibility. Small arguments zero in on local fears that “my group” will lose out. And that makes them more potent.

What does all this mean? It means that we will have to become community organizers. We will have to find and engage people who often don’t even bother to vote by tying their economic interests to our policies. And we will have to narrow that focus as much as possible, organizing at the bottom in sync with a larger argument.

We will not be making one big argument, but a thousand little arguments that fit a common theme. That means organizing coal miners against the EPA, organizing doctors against ObamaCare and similarly organizing workers and owners in every field, focusing on narrow issues that directly affect them, taking an item of legislation, a specific regulation, an omission that bothers them and turning it into our issue and packaging that issue within the larger program.

If we can do this, if we can make our politics bottom up, instead of top down, then we will be able to bring out a partisan tribal vote that is just as committed to voting Republican as welfare voters are to voting for free phones.

The Democrats have a simple appeal.

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Can you count the number of over the top political biases in this post from the Weather Channel?

by John Lott on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

This is article 1224 of 1298 in the topic 2012 Elections
Click on picture to make it larger and more readable.

Post is available here.

1) Smoke coming from smoke stack on Romney side is much darker.  Obviously carbon dioxide is a much darker gas.
2) Picture of dead fish is a nice touch.  Could have gone for the nice picture of dinosaurs for oil, but obviously wanted to imply something more than the source of the fuel.
3) Tax breaks one is also nice.  Obviously accepting the notion that the $4 billion in tax breaks for oil companies involve them getting some special favor as opposed to it mainly being depreciation (like that is somehow unusual).
4) Note the even tiny editorializing such as putting “ALL” in capital letters for “Supports opening ALL federal land for oil and gas drilling.”

Anyone else have other biases to nominate?

Of course, even if the Weather Channel thinks that the proposals it supports are so obvious, there is another side to this debate.

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Why the “Fact Checkers” are wrong about Obama’s welfare reforms

by John Lott on Thursday, September 6th, 2012

This is article 35 of 53 in the topic Social Services/Welfare

Mickey Kaus has this:

. . . the oft-cited CNN-”fact check” of Romney’s welfare ad makes a big deal of HHS secretary Sebelius’ pledge that she will only grant waivers to states that “commit that their proposals will move at least 20% more people from welfare to work.” CNN swallows this 20% Rule whole in the course of declaring Romney’s objection “wrong” . . .

Turns out it’s not as big a scam as I’d thought it was. It’s a much bigger scam. For one thing, anything states do to increase the number of people on welfare will automatically increase the “exit” rate–what the 20% rule measures–since the more people going on welfare, the more people leave welfare for jobs in the natural course of things, without the state’s welfare bureaucrats doing anything at all. Raise caseloads by 20% and Sebelius’ standard will probably be met. (Maybe raise caseloads 30% just to be sure.) So what looks like a tough get-to-work incentive is actually a paleoliberal “first-get-on-welfare” incentive. But the point of welfare reform isn’t to get more people onto welfare. . . .

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Push for more gun control in New York

by John Lott on Friday, August 10th, 2012

This is article 218 of 603 in the topic Gun Rights
Here are some of the proposals.  My question is a simple one: Does anyone believe that these proposals would have done anything to have stopped the recent attacks that supposedly justifies them?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, supported tougher gun control measures during his campaign in 2010, but, facing a divided Legislature, he has not made it one of the central elements of his legislative agenda. Asked about the newly proposed gun measures, his spokesman, Josh Vlasto, said Monday, “While there are many proposals that will be considered during the legislative session, everyone agrees that something must be done to stop the violence.” . . .

Here are some proposals:

State Senator José R. Peralta, Democrat of Queens, would limit ammunition sales to 500 rounds per customer each month. . . .

The Colorado killer planned his attack at least four months in advance.  Could he have planned it so as to spread out his purchases?  On the other hand, what about a Boy Scout troop that wants to go out for a shooting trip?  Believe it or not, 500 rounds is not a lot.

Senator Gianaris, the lawmaker seeking to limit firearm purchases to one per month, said the measure would cut down on gun trafficking, in which a person buys a large cache of guns legally and then resells them. . . .

Same answer as above.

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“France’s proposed tax hikes spark ‘exodus’ of wealthy”

by John Lott on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

This is article 168 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

So how short will France’s tax revenues be From the UK Telegraph:

The latest estate agency figures have shown large numbers of France’s most well-heeled families selling up and moving to neighbouring countries. Many are fleeing a proposed new higher tax rate of 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros. (£780,000) The previous top tax bracket of 41 per cent on earnings over 72,000 euros is also set to increase to 45 per cent. Sotheby’s Realty, the estate agent arm of the British auction house, said its French offices sold more than 100 properties over 1.7 million euros between April and June this year – a marked increase on the same period in 2011. Alexander Kraft, head of Sotheby’s Realty, France, said: “The result of the presidential election has had a real impact on our sales. “Now a large number of wealthy French families are leaving the country as a direct result of the proposals of the new government. . . . Gilles Martin, a Swiss tax consultant, reported the same trend. “Since the socialists came to power in France, I have been deluged with inquiries from rich French people who would rather pay their tax in Switzerland,” he told Switzerland’s 20 Minutes newspaper. . . .

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Obama: Extending Unemployment and Payroll Tax Break Will Create More Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

by Doug Powers on Friday, December 9th, 2011

This is article 56 of 116 in the topic Unemployment

The Labor Secretary nods in agreement.

From the Washington Examiner:

President Obama said that he will delay his vacation and keep Congress in session until the passage of his desired payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits extension — two proposals that Obama said would create more jobs than the Keystone XL pipeline that his administration recently delayed.
As Obama called for passage of those bills, he also responded to a recent Republican push to require him to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. “However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline,” he said, “they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.”

Look for the White House to propose a compromise that would be acceptable to both labor unions and environmentalists while creating more jobs than anybody can possibly imagine: The construction of a 1,600 mile pipeline through which would flow economy-boosting unemployment checks.

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