Flap’s Links and Comments for June 27th on 14:03

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for June 27th from 14:03 to 14:41:

  • House Subcommittee Expected to Introduce Mandatory E-Verify – A U.S. House subcommittee is expected to discuss a bill that will make the E-Verify, the federal program that verified whether a worker has authorization to work in the U.S., mandatory and permanent. Introduced by the chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Policy Enforcement, Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), the "Legal Workforce Act" is expected to be debated by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. 

    In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Smith and the co-author of the bill, Elton Gallegly (R-CA), said that they were pushing for Congress to expand E-Verify because “while 26 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, 7 million individuals work illegally in the United States. On top of all the challenges Americans face today, it is inexcusable that Americans and legal workers have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs.”

  • Empire State Blues – What’s Next for Marriage? – Maggie Gallagher is the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. But that is only the beginning of the introduction. A longtime and courageous advocate, researcher, and laborer for marriage, she is a nationally syndicated columnist. She spoke with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about the marriage law Andrew Cuomo signed Friday night in Albany.

    KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s your best explanation of what happened in New York on Friday night?

    MAGGIE GALLAGHER: Governor Cuomo pushed hard for something he a) believed in and b) knew would help his national profile and political prospects. The Republican party inexplicably decided to help him, despite knowing its own base disapproved.

  • John Wayne’s birthplace no secret in Iowa – If Michele Bachmann lived in Iowa, she would have known better.

    The Minnesota congresswoman cited John Wayne as an inspiration during her campaign kickoff in Waterloo, Iowa, Monday, saying the actor hailed from the town. In fact, Wayne hailed from Winterset, while serial killer John Wayne Gacy came from Waterloo.

    Continue Reading
    It was a simple gaffe, but a telling one for a candidate whose whole campaign launch played up her childhood in Iowa.

    Wayne's origins are well known to actual residents of the state, said Brian Downes, director of the John Wayne Birthplace Society.

    "You can't go anywhere near this part of the country without seeing signs for John Wayne's birthplace," Downes told POLITICO.  "We've been misidentified before … It happens, but the information is posted on Interstates 80 and 35," two major routes that meet around Des Moines.

    Downes sounded forgiving of Bachmann's blunder, acknowledging that "every last one of us misspeaks" and recalling: "John Wayne himself would mangle names like crazy — longtime friends and co-stars."

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    Simply a gaffe…move on.

  • LA Times story on Michele Bachmann benefitting from federal aid mostly overblown – Liberals are in an uproar over a Los Angeles Times story portraying Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as a hypocrite because she personally benefitted from federal government aid despite campaigning as somebody who wants to rein in spending. While the article does raise several fair criticisms, its central charges of hypocrisy are mostly overblown.

    Here’s is the crux of it:

    (T)he Minnesota Republican and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.

    It’s been a popular theme of liberals for some time, particularly over the past few years, to raise alarms every time any conservative accepts any form of government aid. The problem with this line of argument is that no matter how conservative or even libertarian people are, they still have to live in the world of big government and pay taxes to support it. Therefore, it would be absurd for them to unilaterally decide not to receive any benefits that are going to exist – and that they’ll help pay for – regardless of whether or not they accept them.

    Applying this standard to everybody would mean that libertarians should not collect a penny of Social Security benefits, even if they spent a lifetime sending payroll taxes to Washington. It would mean that if you favor a flat tax, to be consistent, you couldn’t take advantage of any deductions or tax credits when filing returns under the current system.

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 25th on 17:30

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 25th from 17:30 to 17:32:

  • Mitch Daniels: I would have backed Haley Barbour – In a statement sure to stoke speculation about his presidential intentions, Mitch Daniels said Monday that he would have backed Haley Barbour had the Mississippi governor not opted out of a White House bid.

    “Haley Barbour is a great citizen; he’d have made a great president," Daniels, the Indiana governor, said in a statement. "I’d have been proud to try to help him had he chosen to run."

    Continue Reading
    Daniels, who first became friends with Barbour when they served together as 30-somethings in the Reagan White House added: "The Barbours have been close and true friends to the Daniels family, and we will always be 100 percent supportive of any decision they believe is best for them.”

    Daniels has said in the past that he would likely not run if Barbour is in the race.

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    Now, will Haley Barbour reciprocate?

  • Motion to Vacate Judge Walker’s Anti-Prop 8 Judgment for Failure to Recuse – It is important to emphasize at the outset that we are not suggesting that a gay or lesbian judge could not sit on this case.  Rather, our submission is grounded in the fundamental principle, reiterated in the governing statute, that no judge “is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.”  Surely, no one would suggest that Chief Judge Walker could issue an injunction directing a state official to issue a marriage license to him.  Yet on this record, it must be presumed that that is precisely what has occurred.  At a bare minimum, “[r]ecusal is required” because former Chief Judge Walker’s long-term committed relationship, his failure to disclose that relationship at the outset of the case, his failure to disclose whether he has any interest in marriage should his injunction be affirmed, and his actions over the course of this lawsuit give rise to “a genuine question concerning [his] impartiality.” 

    We deeply regret the necessity of this motion.  But as the Supreme Court emphasized earlier in this very case, “[b]y insisting that courts comply with the law, parties vindicate not only the rights they assert but also the law’s own insistence on neutrality and fidelity to principle.…  If courts are to require that others follow regular procedures, courts must do so as well.”  The “regular procedure” here requires adherence to the principles that a judge may not sit on a case when “his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), and certainly not when he has an “interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding,” 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(4).  Proponents ask only that these principles be applied faithfully and neutrally here as in any other case.

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    The failure to disclose will doom this case

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 25th on 10:15

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 25th from 10:15 to 10:36:

  • Boeing and the Wages of Subsidy – Is Boeing to Dependent Upon Obama to Fight? – Is Boeing too compromised by its dependence on Obama administration subsidies to fight a ruling by the administration’s National Labor Relations Board telling it where to build the 787? …  Even if you heroically assume the NLRB is independent of political influence, that doesn’t mean the administration couldn’t retaliate elsewhere if Boeing fights the NLRB too vigorously. Boeing has recently gotten $15 billion in loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank. Is the Ex-Im Bank insulated from political influence too? The Washington Examiner rightly points out that it was just assumed–not even a scandal, no surprise at all–that banks receiving TARP funds were inhibited when it came to contesting their treatment as creditors in the administration’s auto bailout. 

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    If Boeing knuckles under, then you have your answer. But, my bet is that they fight.

  • Supreme Court turns down Va.’s request to expedite review of health-care law – ObamaCare – The Supreme Court on Monday turned down Virginia’s request that it rule immediately on the constitutionality of the nation’s health-care overhaul.

    The decision to reject Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s request for expedited review, announced routinely without elaboration or noted dissent, is not surprising. The court rarely takes up issues that have not received a full review in the nation’s appeals courts.

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    Perfect…. SCOTUS will take up the matter in the middle of the 2012 Presidential campaign.

    Let the repeal begin…..

  • Rep. Dan Lungren on King and Spalding’s ‘Insult to the Legal Profession’ – California Republican Dan Lungren is chairman of the House Committee on House Administration. He just issued this statement regarding King and Spalding and Paul Clement:

     “I want to express my gratitude to former Solicitor General Clement.  I admire his unwavering commitment to his clients and his dedication to uphold the law – qualities that appear to be inconsequential at King and Spalding where politics and profit now appear to come first.

    “King and Spalding’s cut and run approach is inexcusable and an insult to the legal profession.  Less than one week after the contract was approved engaging the firm, they buckled under political pressure and bailed with little regard for their ethical and legal obligations. Fortunately, Clement does not share the same principles. I’m confident that with him at the helm, we will fight to ensure the courts – not the President – determine DOMA’s constitutionality.”

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    Paul Clement has resigned from King and Spalding and now has joined the firm Bancroft PLLC. He will continue to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for the House

  • DOMA’s Erstwhile Defenders – News reports this morning indicate that King & Spalding — the law firm whose partner, former solicitor general Paul Clement, was slated to defend the Defense of Marriage Act — has decided to withdraw. This follows a campaign of intimidation with threats from law schools and activist groups that retribution would follow if the firm continued to defend the law. This tantrum and its seeming success tell us that many on the left believe they have a veto on the principle that everybody deserves to be represented in court. It also suggests that there are few limits on what gay marriage supporters will do to marginalize those with whom they disagree. It’s worth remembering, as Maggie Gallagher says, that this is what “marriage equality” means. Paul Clement’s principled stand, which Kathryn has noted, is a much-needed grown-up decision and a very powerful rebuke to the intimidators.

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    Intimidation worked for the firm but not attorney Paul Clement who has resigned.

  • Paul Clement law firm drops DOMA case because of protests – In a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage — and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes — a major law firm has reversed course and will refuse to represent the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

    King and Spalding Chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr., whose partner Paul Clement was to lead the defense, said in a statement through a spokesman, Les Zuke:

    Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.

    In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.

    The statement is silent on the reasons for the decision, but the firm faced protests at its Atlanta office and a national campaign against it. And now the House majority may have to find a new lawyer.

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    Of course, Paul Clement has now resigned from the firm.

    I thought law firms were to represent the innocent and guilty or disparate interests?

    Guess expedience is OK with King and Spalding

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 18:41

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 18th from 18:41 to 18:49:

  • Speaker John Boehner asks Dem Nancy Pelosi to join him in cutting funds from the DoJ to defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's for her support to cut funds for the Department of Justice and use them to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

    In a letter sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.) Monday, Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote that the funds Justice would have used to protect the law should be used by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to protect the act.

    "The burden of defending DOMA, and the resulting costs associated with any litigation that would have otherwise been born by DoJ, has fallen to the House," Boehner wrote. "Obviously, DoJ’s decision results in DoJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DoJ, defending DOMA."

    The speaker also argued the funds Justice would have used to defend DOMA should be used by BLAG so that taxpayers aren't burdened with the additional expenses.

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    Yeah and pigs fly.

    By the way, Nancy Pelosi represents most of San Francisco where a large gay population resides.

  • Illinois-based Amazon affiliates go dark because of Amazon Internet Sales Tax – JEREMY HOBSON: Today is the day thousands of retailers in Illinois had been dreading. That's because they'll lose their affiliation with online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com, thanks to a new state sales tax for online purchases.

    But as Tony Arnold reports from Chicago Public Radio, Amazon and others have already found a way around the tax.

    TONY ARNOLD: Brad Wilson runs the aptly named BradsDeals.com — a coupon web site based in downtown Chicago.

    BRAD WILSON: Ultimately, Amazon and Overstock hold the trump card in this situation.

    Wilson says after today — Amazon will boycott business with BradsDeals — and roughly 9,000 other retailers in Illinois to skirt the tax. Illinois residents can still go online and get the latest best seller from Amazon, they just won't be getting that book from any Amazon affiliate in Illinois.

    WILSON: We're looking at a lot of options that I wouldn't want to have ever had to think of, unfortunately.

    Wilson says he's considering picking up shop and relocating to another state to make up for the money he'll lose. He wouldn't say how much.

    One Amazon affiliate — FatWallet.com — has already moved its headquarters from Illinois to Wisconsin which doesn't have the online tax. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

    Meantime, Overstock.com's president Jonathan Johnson confirmed his company plans to cut off Illinois affiliates on May 1st. Others like Zappos and Shoes.com are planning a similar move.

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    Just like they will do in California if the California Democrats have their way with imposing a California based Amazon Tax.

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 13:43

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 18th from 13:43 to 13:47:

  • Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner announced that former Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, in the wake of the Justice Department's decision to no longer defend the law.

    "At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court! Paul Clement is a genuinely distinguished lawyer, a former solicitor general of the United States, who we are confident will win this case. Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA is not going to work," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, in a release.

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    See President Obama's pattern?

    Fight like mad for legislation and when you lose either ignore the law with signing statements or refuse to defend it when the Left challenges it on court.

    How Undemocratic, right?

  • Arthur B. Laffer: The 30-Cent Tax Premium – WSJ.com – There is a lot more to taxes than simply paying the bill. Taxpayers must spend significantly more than $1 in order to provide $1 of income-tax revenue to the federal government.

    To start with, individuals and businesses must pay the government the $1 in revenue plus the costs of their own time spent filing and complying with the tax code; plus the tax collection costs of the IRS; plus the tax compliance outlays that individuals and businesses pay to help them file their taxes.

    In a study published last week by the Laffer Center, my colleagues Wayne Winegarden, John Childs and I estimate that these costs alone are a staggering $431 billion annually. This is a cost markup of 30 cents on every dollar paid in taxes. And this is not even a complete accounting of the costs of tax complexity.

    Like taxes themselves, tax-compliance costs change people's behavior. Taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, respond to taxes and tax-compliance costs by changing the composition of their income, the location of their income, the timing of their income, and the volume of their income. So long as the cost of changing one's income is lower than the taxes saved, the taxpayer will engage in these types of tax-avoidance activities.

    A complete accounting of compliance costs would also include the efficiency losses created when individuals and businesses invest in tax-avoidance activities that lower their tax liability at the expense of creating more jobs and economic growth. These lost opportunities are impossible to measure but could be the largest cost of all.

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    Read it all

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 23rd on 15:36

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 23rd from 15:36 to 15:54:

  • Capitol Alert: 9th Circuit denies request to lift stay on Prop. 8 ruling – 9th Circuit denies request to lift stay on Proposition 8 Gay Marrriage Ruling
  • FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Updated with Polls: President 2012: Sarah Palin is UNLIKELY to Run for President? #tcot
  • 9th Circuit denies request to lift stay on Proposition 8 Gay Marrriage Ruling – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion today to lift its stay on a lower court ruling declaring unconstitutional voter-approved Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex marriage.

    The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is representing two same-sex couples challenging Proposition 8, had filed the motion, which would have allowed same-sex marriages to go forward while the 9th Circuit considered an appeal of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.

    That process promises to stretch through this year, as the 9th Circuit awaits an opinion it requested from the state Supreme Court on whether the proponents of the 2008 ballot measure, Protectmarriage.com, can defend Proposition 8 under state law.

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    It would have been unusual had the appeals court lifted the stay. This will take years to eventually be settled in the U.S. Supreme Court.