March 28, 2012

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (032812)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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At the Wall Street Journal:

Demand for U.S. Debt Is Not Limitless
In 2011, the Fed purchased a stunning 61% of Treasury issuance. That can’t last.

If it weren’t for the Fed creating money to buy our debt, no one would have bought our debt. It’s difficult to see how this can end well.

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Also at the Wall Street Journal, on the ObamaCare arguments taking place at the Supreme Court, first on yesterday’s individual mandate discussions:

Tuesday’s two hours of Supreme Court oral arguments on ObamaCare’s individual mandate were rough-going for the government and its assertions of unlimited federal power. Several Justices are clearly taking seriously the Constitution’s structural checks and balances that are intended to protect individual liberty.

… they failed to elicit from Mr. (Solicitor General Donald) Verrilli some limiting principle under the Commerce Clause that distinguishes a health plan mandate from any other purchase mandate that would be unconstitutional. The exchanges recalled the famous moment in Citizens United when the government claimed it could ban books to regulate political speech.

If you have access, check out the exchange between Justice Alito and Verrilli about the government’s ability to force young people to buy burial insurance.

On ObamaCare’s handling of Medicaid:

The Court has always balanced federal and state power by distinguishing between pressure and coercion. ObamaCare crosses that line. The conditions of new Medicaid conscript the states into involuntary servitude to the federal government’s policy goals, in this case national health care. They would no longer be independent and autonomous units within the federalist system but agents of Washington.

It would be foolish to build up hope for a ruling tossing ObamaCare, but it looks like there’s at least a possibility.

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At the Daily Caller“Paper: Spike Lee (re)tweeted incorrect George Zimmerman address, possibly putting Sanford woman in danger.” Possibly? The situation was originally noted by Kerry Picket at the Washington Times, who later updated:

9:00 PM EST 3/27/12- The Smoking Gun is reporting that an elderly couple lives at the Edgewater Circle address. It is the residence of David McClain, 72, and his wife Elaine, 70. “The McClains, both of whom work for the Seminole County school system, have lived in the 1310-square-foot lakefront home for about a decade, records show.”

According to TSG, the couple is living in fear since their address was linked to the Trayvon Martin shooting …

TSG notes: “Besides overlooking the different middle initial, perhaps that answer is connected to an old voter record for a “William George Zimmerman” at the Edgewater Circle property. That registration, which dates back to 1995, is for a 41-year-old man. The Zimmerman who shot Martin is 28.”

A lawsuit would appear to be in order against Lee, who apparently did nothing to verify someone else’s tweet before retweeting and gave the false info visibility (240,000 followers) it would never have otherwise had.

Update: Via Fox (original at Orlando Sentinel), almost guaranteed not to be seen at any other establishment press outlet — “Spike Lee Terror Tweet Forces Elderly Couple Out of their Home.”

Update 2: More at Twitchy.com.

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Via Clay Waters at NewsBusters: “As Pope Draws Crowds in Cuba, NYT Suddenly Remembers Big Crowds Are Product of ‘Intimidation,’ ‘Orchestration’”

This is probably the only big crowd which hasn’t been orchestrated since the last time a pope visited Cuba.

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Ace, via PJ Tatler (headline is from the related AP story, the distribution of which appears to be limited to Texas) — “Texas wins latest round with EPA in federal court.” It relates to the EPA’s “War on Texas” discussed here in January 2011.

Texas won big, and the judge ordered the EPA to act “expeditiously.” I’m sure the EPA will drag its feet for at least 7-1/2 months, and expect it to appeal with no basis for doing so as part of their strategy.

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3 Comments

  1. It seems that the judicial system is responding to Obama’s attempts to criminalize all opposition to liberal ideology. The fringe nutjob group, the Hutaree, all charges were dropped.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/key-charges-dismissed-against-michigan-militia-members-charged-with-plotting-war-on-government/2012/03/27/gIQAfUYVeS_story.html

    The court has basically affirmed the idea that 1) you can disagree with the government, 2) you can verbalize your anger at the government to others especially in non public meetings, 3) you can plan and prepare to defend yourself for the event your extreme ideas envision. 4) the line in the sand though is an immanent attack or attempt to engage in violent life/health threatening or property damaging actions. i.e. construct a bomb to use it versus gathering and having the information and ability to construct one.

    It is an important distinction since the presumption by the police/FBI to accuse someone of intending to commit a crime (conspiracy) must have limits and be rebuttable otherwise it is guilt by accusation, therefore everyone is guilty. If everyone is guilty then only those whom the police decide via their discretion are innocent in an arbitrary and capricious atmosphere. Just because you have the ability to do something doesn’t automatically make you guilty of doing it when in fact you didn’t act on it. Just imagine all the people who served in the military, any one of them could easily be found guilty of what the Hutaree were accused of IF there was no limiting factor upon the police. What the Court has done here is very significant in terms of blocking the creation of a potential police state. The power of the police state is centered on the ability to selectively accuse and convict people based on their potential ability to resist it’s power. In a Republic, the existence of resistance/opposition to those in power is the very heart of the government’s legitimacy to govern which is the opposite of an authoritarian state. The refusal to conform and agree is the natural state of a Republic, if there is no opposition and disagreement, then there is no Republic.

    Comment by dscott — March 28, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  2. Inventories still rising:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/durable-goods-miss-inventory-stockpiles-soar-new-all-time-high

    So if the economy is recovering, shouldn’t inventories be dropping due to demand???? If manufacturing is just building inventory to keep the line going then a false GDP # is being represented as economic growth. Look on the bright side, only 8 months until after election day when the MSM starts saying the economy is in recession.

    Comment by dscott — March 28, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  3. The pivot:

    Methane cuts could delay climate change by 15 years

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328583.800-methane-cuts-could-delay-climate-change-by-15-years.html

    An atmosphere containing less methane but more CO2 would encourage forests and other vegetation on land to absorb more carbon. This would happen in two ways. First, the extra CO2 would itself act as a fertiliser for vegetation, so it would grow faster and absorb more CO2. Second, less methane would minimise the formation of tropospheric ozone, which damages plant growth.

    These mechanisms are well known, but Cox is the first person to calculate their collective impact on the amount of CO2 that can be released while keeping global warming below 2 °C – the widely accepted threshold for dangerous climate change.

    He told the conference that a 40 per cent reduction in human-caused methane emissions would permit the release of an extra 500 gigatonnes of CO2 – a third more than previously thought – before we exceeded 2 °C warming. “That is a 15-year breathing space at current CO2 emission rates,” says Cox, who admits there are uncertainties in his calculations.

    Sounds suspiciously coincidental that natural gas is going to be made out as the villain and CO2 recast as the good guy now that natural gas is ernestly being considered as a genuine substitute for diesel in transportation. This is similar to ginning up problems with fracking creating cheaper natural gas and oil all of which undermines very expensive solar and wind power advocated by the Greens. It’s just another foundation to protect the cronyism of Democrat campaign contributors in an attempt to create an individual mandate on the energy they use. They don’t want you to use oil, gasoline, diesel or natural gas, they want you to use electricity generated by wind and solar. Electricity, the one energy medium that is thee most inefficient to transport and thus most environmentally damaging. The irony here is overwhelming.

    Comment by dscott — March 29, 2012 @ 10:00 am

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