Flap’s Links and Comments for April 28th on 17:10

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 28th from 17:10 to 17:17:

  • Paul Ryan’s Plan Would Not Remotely End Medicare – In light of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s shameless ad saying that the Paul Ryan-authored House Republican budget would “end Medicare,” it is worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office says that, in 2030, the Republican plan would give the average senior $18,276 in premium support to help purchase private health insurance ($15,000 in 2022, increased by 2.5 percent annually, to keep up with inflation). In addition, lower-income seniors would get another $9,504 to put into a medical savings account (an MSA) to use for additional medical expenses, bringing their annual tally of taxpayer-funded support to $27,780.  

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    Read it all

    Not even close to ending Medicare.

  • Mark Steyn on The Royal Wedding’s Invite List – Steady on, Jonah, old bean. I yield to no one in my contempt for the wretched state of depraved contemporary London but tomorrow’s shindig will be one of the least unwholesome gatherings held in the metropolis in recent years. For a start, it’s not a “state” occasion, because Prince William is not the Heir to the Throne. So it’s what Buckingham Palace regards as “family.” See here: Minor royals like the Earl of Ulster and Lady Gabriella Windsor; viceregal eminences from the Queen’s realms such as the Governors-General of Canada and Belize; Commonwealth Prime Ministers and their spouses such as Sir Michael and Lady Somare of Papua New Guinea; colonial premiers such as the Chief Minister of Montserrat. Nothing to frighten the horses.

    There are no foreigners — ie, the President of the United States or France — except members of other royal houses, most of which are distant kin of the Queen — the King of Norway, the Queen of Spain. The rest are from monarchies more or less installed by London when they were under British protection, which is why various Bahraini, Omani, and Kuwaiti princelings will be swanning about. The entire Middle East is a giant clogged septic tank of toxic waste, but, if you’ll forgive a rough generalization, the least fetid despots in the region are the toytown monarchs promoted by the Brits — and most of them were at the Queen’s Coronation, too.

    Let’s keep a sense of proportion here. If you want revolting guest lists, try the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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    Mark Steyn is a classic…..

  • Simon Ledger arrested for ‘racism’ after performing Kung Fu Fighting – A pub singer has been arrested on suspicion of racism for singing the classic chart hit Kung Fu Fighting.

    The song, performed by Simon Ledger, 34, is said to have offended two Chinese people as they walked past the bar where he was singing.

    The entertainer regularly performs the 1974 number one hit, originally by disco star Carl Douglas, at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight.

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    WTF?

    Political correctness has reached a new low……

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 5th on 05:49

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 5th from 05:49 to 05:57:

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham Responds to Steyn, Stuttaford – In response to the criticism by Mark Steyn and Andrew Stuttaford about his weekend comments on free speech and Koran burning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) called me this afternoon to flesh out his thoughts on the matter.

    Here is the transcript:

    NRO: Some of my National Review colleagues are being pretty rough on you today. What is your response to some of the outrage on the right about your comments regarding free speech?

    GRAHAM: General Petraeus sent a statement out to all news organizations yesterday, urging our government to [condemn] Koran burning. Free speech probably allows that, but I don’t like that. I don’t like burning the flag under the idea of free speech. That bothers me; I have been one of the chief sponsors of legislation against burning the flag. I don’t like the idea that these people picket funerals of slain servicemen. If I had my way, that wouldn’t be free speech. So there are a lot of things under the guise of free speech that I think are harmful and hateful.

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    Read it all and vote Graham out of office at the next GOP primary election.

  • Lindsey Graham & the First Amendment – By Andrew Stuttaford – Lindsey Graham’s reaction to the barbarous murder of U.N. workers by an Afghan mob “in response” to the (admittedly idiotic) deeds of Florida’s most incendiary preacher shows a rather poor grasp of the First Amendment. This, quite remarkably, is what Graham said:

    I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy.

    Well maybe you did, but I suspect that they were aimed at stopping people from publicly proclaiming the virtues of the Adolf Hitler crowd. An over the top condemnation of all things German would, I reckon, have been highly unlikely to trigger the wrath of the law.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Jones’s actions were ill-judged and unhelpful to what the U.S. is trying to do in the Islamic world. Nevertheless, if we start allowing Muslim mobs to dictate the limits of American free speech, this country will have sunk a very long way down.

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    Read it all

  • Mark Steyn: Lindsey Graham and the First Amendment – Andrew, ever since I ran into a spot of bother in Canada, I’ve found myself giving speeches in defense of freedom of expression in Toronto, London, Copenhagen, etc. I did not think it would be necessary quite so soon to take the same stand in the land of the First Amendment against craven squishes of the political class willing to trade core liberties for a quiet life. I have no expectations of Harry Reid or the New York Times, but I have nothing but total contempt for the wretched buffoon Graham.

    A mob of deranged ululating blood-lusting head-hackers slaughter Norwegian female aid-workers and Nepalese guards — and we’re the ones with the problem?

    I agree with the Instaprof: Lindsey Graham is unfit for office. The good news is there’s no need for the excitable lads of Mazar e-Sharif to chop his head off because he’s already walking around with nothing up there. And, as for his halfwitted analogy with World War II, he’s too ignorant to realize it but he’s singing the dhimmi remake of an ancient Noel Coward satire.

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    Unfit for office is mild treatment.

    Lindsey Grahamnesty needs to be primaried out of the U.S. Senate

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 22nd on 09:10

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 22nd from 09:10 to 09:12:

  • Can California tax Internet purchases? – California's severe budget squeeze and a stagnant economy have rekindled a political war over how Internet purchases should be taxed – if, indeed, they could be taxed.

    California already has one of the nation's highest sales tax rates, approaching 10 percent in some communities. But it's applied only to transactions inside the state or to mail order and Internet sales when the seller has a "physical presence" in the state.

    The latter condition – decreed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 – is the rub.

    Technically, Californians who buy from distant sellers are supposed to pay an equivalent "use tax" on state income tax returns. Few do, and enforcement is virtually impossible.

    That would seem to be that, but the potential revenue gain – officially at least a few hundred million dollars a year – and pressure from brick-and-mortar merchants about untaxed competition have sparked efforts to mine the Internet and mail sales vein.

    The situation's bête noire is Amazon, the huge Internet seller of almost everything. New York seized upon Amazon's use of affiliated sellers as the "physical presence" or "nexus" that would require it to collect sales taxes. But the New York law is tied up in the courts, and Amazon has threatened to cancel affiliate relations in any state that follows suit.

    Some California legislators want to emulate New York, prompting Amazon to issue a declaration that it not only opposes four pending taxation bills as violating the Supreme Court decision, but "would be compelled to end its advertising relationships with well over 10,000 California-based participants in the Amazon associates program." Overstock.com issued a similar warning.

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    Read it all.

  • Levin 1, Wehner 0 – Advantage, Levin. Even if you don’t believe the seemingly apocryphal stories about Reagan regretting the 1986 bill, it clearly failed. (The amnesty part worked. The border enforcement part was blocked.) It’s one thing to say Reagan supported this policy the first time. It’s another to claim he would have supported making the same mistake a second time–and that this is the “conservative” approach. … P.S.: It’s particularly disingenuous for Wehner to claim that Bush “never supported” a Reagan-like “amnesty.” The main difference between Reagan’s approach and Bush’s is that Reagan was honest enough to call it what it was (“amnesty”).  Bush and his apparatchiks preferred poll-tested confections like “path to citizenship.” …  Also, Bush’s amnesty was bigger. …

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    Bush's Amnesty Plan or Path to Citizenship would have been a MAJOR disaster.

    Reagan's "Amnesty" was bad enough – Mark Levin was correct.

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 18th on 18:23

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 18th from 18:23 to 18:25:

  • President 2012: Ronald Reagan & George W. Bush – Re: Sarah Palin – My friend Pete Wehner took my criticism of President George W. Bush and some of his most senior staff as a challenge to compare Bush to President Ronald Reagan. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/17/answering-mark-levins-challenge/ Comparing Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush is like comparing Margaret Thatcher and John Major. That's not to put down Bush or Major, both of whom were fine leaders, but they were not the historical figures their former staffers and supporters insist.

    Who said? "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system." Well, those words would never have passed Reagan's lips. It was infamously said by Bush, in defense of his massive spending spree in the last weeks of his presidency. There's nothing conservative about it. But it sums up Bush's lack of confidence in the free market system, and his repeated and excessive use of government intervention in American society.

    Bush never claimed to be the conservative Reagan was, nor did he spend his early political career challenging GOP orthodoxy, which, until Reagan won in 1980, was mostly incoherent mush of the Rockefeller-Scranton-Nixon-Ford-Bush/41 kind. George H. W. Bush and other mainstream Republican primary challengers sought to thwart Reagan because, they insisted, his conservatism would be rejected by the voters. Now, Pete insists that as president, Reagan's record, in virtually all respects, is inferior to George W. Bush's, in advancing conservative principles. This is not only counter-intuitive, it is factually defective. As I proceed with this discussion, I believe it will become evident.

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    Mark Levin's response to Peter Wehner.

    Read it all

  • President 2012: Answering Mark Levin’s Challenge – Re: Sarah Palin – On his Facebook page, Mark Levin takes exception to some of us who have said critical words about Sarah Palin.

    In his response, Mark groups Karl Rove, David Frum, and me, all of whom served in the Bush administration. While having gracious words to say about me, Mark argues that “Bush’s record, at best, is marginally conservative, and depending on the issue, worse.” He raises this point not to compare Bush to Palin, he says, but “to point out only a few of the situational aspects of the criticism from the Bush community corner.” He adds parenthetically that “If necessary, and if challenged, I will take the time to lay out the case in all its particulars, as well as other non-conservative Bush policies and statements. No Republican president is perfect, of course, but certainly some are more perfect that others, if you will.”

    The gold standard for Levin is Ronald Reagan, which got me to thinking: from a conservative policy perspective, how does Bush’s record stand up to Reagan’s?

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    Read it all.

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 18th on 18:23

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 18th from 18:23 to 18:25:

  • President 2012: Ronald Reagan & George W. Bush – Re: Sarah Palin – My friend Pete Wehner took my criticism of President George W. Bush and some of his most senior staff as a challenge to compare Bush to President Ronald Reagan. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/17/answering-mark-levins-challenge/ Comparing Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush is like comparing Margaret Thatcher and John Major. That's not to put down Bush or Major, both of whom were fine leaders, but they were not the historical figures their former staffers and supporters insist.

    Who said? "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system." Well, those words would never have passed Reagan's lips. It was infamously said by Bush, in defense of his massive spending spree in the last weeks of his presidency. There's nothing conservative about it. But it sums up Bush's lack of confidence in the free market system, and his repeated and excessive use of government intervention in American society.

    Bush never claimed to be the conservative Reagan was, nor did he spend his early political career challenging GOP orthodoxy, which, until Reagan won in 1980, was mostly incoherent mush of the Rockefeller-Scranton-Nixon-Ford-Bush/41 kind. George H. W. Bush and other mainstream Republican primary challengers sought to thwart Reagan because, they insisted, his conservatism would be rejected by the voters. Now, Pete insists that as president, Reagan's record, in virtually all respects, is inferior to George W. Bush's, in advancing conservative principles. This is not only counter-intuitive, it is factually defective. As I proceed with this discussion, I believe it will become evident.

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    Mark Levin's response to Peter Wehner.

    Read it all

  • President 2012: Answering Mark Levin’s Challenge – Re: Sarah Palin – On his Facebook page, Mark Levin takes exception to some of us who have said critical words about Sarah Palin.

    In his response, Mark groups Karl Rove, David Frum, and me, all of whom served in the Bush administration. While having gracious words to say about me, Mark argues that “Bush’s record, at best, is marginally conservative, and depending on the issue, worse.” He raises this point not to compare Bush to Palin, he says, but “to point out only a few of the situational aspects of the criticism from the Bush community corner.” He adds parenthetically that “If necessary, and if challenged, I will take the time to lay out the case in all its particulars, as well as other non-conservative Bush policies and statements. No Republican president is perfect, of course, but certainly some are more perfect that others, if you will.”

    The gold standard for Levin is Ronald Reagan, which got me to thinking: from a conservative policy perspective, how does Bush’s record stand up to Reagan’s?

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    Read it all.