Category Archives: Government

Attack Rabbit Presidency

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President Obama doesn’t have a strategy. The Washington Post editorial board calls him the “can’t do president“.

One thing the president can do is raise funds. He’s spending his holiday week-end doing just that for Democrats. He’s not alone on the fundraising circuit.  Jimmy Carter will be hosting Hamas at a dinner in Detroit with the Islamic Society of America.

Beware the Attack Rabbit

Jimmy Carter’s troubled presidency jumped the shark when an attack rabbit evaded security and tried to whack him in a fishing boat. John Kass in the Chicago Tribune thinks Obama has reached the bunny hop threshold. (Here’s a link  but you may have to subscribe.)

Climate Shame

140829-climate-shameThe president is going it alone on a climate plan. Well, not exactly alone. He’s working it out with the UN. It’s just that Congress won’t be involved.

Name and Shame

The idea is to hammer out a plan for carbon reduction for the entire “international community”. But without Senate approval the agreement won’t have the force of law (see Kyota). If the plan isn’t legally binding what keeps it from being a toothless piece of paper? It will be a “politically binding” agreement. International Community members will be shamed into compliance.

Economic Patriotism

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President Obama’s favorite billionaire is making a run for the border. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will finance Burger King’s purchase of Canadian donut dynamo, Tim Hortons.

Economic Patriotism

As a Canadian operation, Burger King will still have to pay US corporate taxes on earnings inside the United States. But earnings outside the US will only be taxed at the rate of the country where they occur. US companies have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and also must pay IRS the difference between those rates and the US rate. The Obama administration calls this economic patriotism.

Burger King’s move is called a tax “inversion”. Matt Levine gives a great explanation in this Bloomberg article.

The US corporate rate, including state and local taxes comes to about 40%. That’s the highest in the world outside the Islamic State jizya. Roberto A. Ferdman provides a nice chart in the Washington Post showing the tax rates of the 34 OECD countries.

The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada’s, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.

National Guard in Ferguson

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Governor Nixon called in the National Guard to quell the violence in Ferguson, Missouri. The local police aren’t trusted by looters in Ferguson. It turns out the looters aren’t local either. Most of those arrested were not from Ferguson.

Why Ferguson?

Victor Davis Hanson wonders why some shootings spark violence and others don’t.

On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years.

The violence usually begins with a white man killing an unarmed black man. In Trayvon Martin’s case the NYT described his killer as a “white hispanic”.

The media almost invariably distort the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year-old who was much taller than (George) Zimmerman (Martin’s killer)… In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a “gentle giant” who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop… NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist.

Next up for blame are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther party.

Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Jackson just called the Brown shooting a “state execution.”

Then come the politicians cashing in for advantage.

…usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.

Finally we get racial finger pointing.

Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism, and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.

And the country becomes more divided.

Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world — Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo — it usually has failed spectacularly.

 

Rick Perry is not a Ham Sandwich

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If you can indict a ham sandwich I guess you can indict Rick Perry.

The indictment by a special prosecutor criminalizes the intent of a political act. The act in question is the Texas governor’s use of his veto power as a threat against a political opponent.

That’s what governors do. They veto stuff. And it’s usually stuff their political enemies want. In this case that would be Rosemary Lehmberg’s job. She runs the Public Integrity Unit and Perry wants her to step down since she was convicted of drunk driving. As a prod he vetoed her $7.5 million budget.

The indictment is being mocked by some people who are unlikely to vote for Perry if he runs for president. Alan Dershowitz , Johnathan Chait, and the New York Times editorial page, all make that list.

Perry on Rye

One holdout, Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker, says prosecutors have broad discretion and Perry may just be out of luck. Mustard or mayo?