If it Feels Good, Don’t Do It

If it isn’t permitted under the law.

Our president is doing what he wants to about immigration because it feels good–or more likely because the adulation of the masses is a remarkable boost to his ego. I get it. It’s nice to be liked. It’s wonderful to be loved. And it’s mind-blowingly awesome to be worshiped.

But being worshiped is not a sign that one is a god, or demi-god, or even on the side of the angels. In fact, dictators (of the non-benevolent stripe) since the dawn of time have regularly been worshiped by those who either love them or fear them, or both. Oh, and dictators are not really picky about the source emotions of the worshipers. They just need to feed.

Which is why the government of these United States was not set up as a dictatorship, why Washington turned down a legitimate offer to become the King instead of a president, why it would be in our best interest to stop the insanity which has come with generations of politicians following each other to the great feeding trough in the District of Columbia.

But, I’m getting off the track a bit. Back to the President (with a word from P&R):

Those who try to defend this tyrannical usurpation should have a care. What if the next president decides to use “prosecutorial discretion” to alter the tax rates via executive order? What if the next president decides to use executive orders on the flimsy basis of such discretion to open ANWR and other national parks, refuges, and public lands to energy development? There is, theoretically, no limit to presidential actions in defiance of congress, voters, and the democratic process if this something done by our would-be dictator and erstwhile president is not challenged. If you would give this sort of power to an Obama, you must be prepared to see a Nixon wield it, too.

Truth. The real reason we restrict the power the presidency by checking it, by moderating it, through the power of the House and Senate, and yes, even the Supreme Court (and the other courts) is that our form of government is built upon the give and take of a representative republic.

If the President believes that going it alone, in contravention to the laws which established this republic, is what he must do, then he has crossed the Rubicon. All that remains is to see if the citizens of the republic, including the legislators, are so enamored of Caesar and all that he promises that they will throw off that which is left of the republic and proclaim him savior.

3 Things The President Got Wrong on Guns

Our peripatetic president shared a few thoughts yesterday on shootings, violence and gun laws. In the space of less than 2 minutes, he managed to get at least the following completely (empirically) wrong. No, this is not a question of politics or perspective. It is a matter of hard data.

  • Strike 1: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts.” Except that the country’s own
    Department of Justice has noted that gun violence levels were at a 20-year low last year. No reasonable person would find that view that as “off the charts.” Gun-related homicides dropped by 39% and gun-related crimes of other sorts dropped by 69%. Just what kind of chart are you talking about, Mr. President?
  • Strike 2: “[We need everyone to wants to buy a gun to] go through a fairly rigorous process so we know who you are, so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon.” Mr. Obama obviously borrowed that shotgun, rather than buying it, or he would be intimately familiar with a 4473: a form that everyone who purchases a gun from a dealer (aka “store”) must fill out before having a background check run on him/her by the federal government.
  • Strike 3: “[Since they put a number of tough gun laws in place, Australians] haven’t had a mass shooting.” Well, the new laws went into force in 1996. In the time-honored tradition of the Clintons, we could argue about the definition of “mass.” Or, we could talk about the murders at a college in 2002. And another in 1999. Not to mention the mass slayings by non-gun methods (the most common seeming to be by fire).

Other than that, I though the president presented a well-thought out, cogent argument against citizens owning guns.

Divorce Is the Answer. But What’s the Question?

An employer determined that several of its employees were doing work at a level beyond what was anticipated. As a result, the employer decided to reward those employees with raises. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, not to everyone:

The raises would lift the pay of several junior employees above that of more senior union members. Instead of celebrating its members’ recognition, Local 23 filed a grievance.

The arbitrator sided with the union and ordered the pay increases rescinded. Courts upheld the ruling on appeal.

Local 23 got what it wanted — a uniform contract treating everyone the same.

Treating everyone the same, and yet treating a goodly number of the employees inequitably. Why? Because if the employees figure out that the employer is the actual setter and payer of salaries, then the value of the union is largely dissipated. Only if the union can hold on to its position of patronage for the workers (and that’s exactly what it is) will it be able to continue to be funded by those same workers.

As long as there are humans on both sides of employee and employer relationships, there will be problems. After all, the one side (employer) wants to get as much as possible for as little as possible, while the other side (employee) desires to get as much as possible for as little as possible. And yes, I realize that I’m painting with a very broad brush here. However, adding in a union which desires to get as much as possible out of both the employer and the employee does little to help, and much to hurt.

It is time for the labor unions of the 19th and 20th centuries to give way to the realities of the 21st. I may be a conservative, but that doesn’t mean I keep every old thing around just because it’s been around for a really long time.

Unintentionally Ironic Statement on ObamaCare?

The numbers for ObamaCare are out. And, they don’t lie. Lots of people have done something on a website. Even people who apparently didn’t know how to internet. And some of them have done something not on a website. Yes, they have called other people on the telephone. Word is that some of these telephone calls were made without visible wires being attached to the phones.

No word, however, on how many of the people saved by ObamaCare were the same ones who were thrown overboard when their previous plans were sunk by the passage of the aforementioned bill.

Plasma TVs and 1010 Pennies

Quick. Without looking at the links, please identify the presidents who said/promote the following:

“We will guarantee everyone has a plasma television.”

Everyone should get a minimum wage of at least $10.10.

One of them is the socialist leader of a country which increasingly relies on force to ensure that its citizens comply with the latest rules and regulations handed down from the President’s office. The other one is too.

IRS Says Audit Will Take Years

Surely I am not the only one who sees a rich irony in this:

Years will pass before congressional investigators can review all of the documents pertaining to the inappropriate targeting of Tea Party groups, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen told a House panel Wednesday.

“What they want is something that’s going to take years to produce,” Koskinen told Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in reference to Republican requests for IRS documents.

When the IRS comes to one of us (or a group of us, in the case of a corporate audit) we don’t have years to assemble our documents–we have days or weeks. Anything beyond that, in most cases, will result in claims of obstruction, fines, etc.

Now, this organization is being audited and claims that it will take years to get the documents together. Forgive my cynicism if you can, but that would seem to indicate one or more of the following:

  1. The IRS is so poorly organized that it cannot easily lay hands on any particular information.
  2. There is so much information which is included in the request that the bureaucrats are simply overwhelmed by the task at hand.
  3. The organization has never considered releasing the easy stuff first (what requires minimal redaction, etc).
  4. Delaying the discovery of this information will benefit the the current administration.

In theory, the IRS works for us. In practice, it does not. If employees no longer work for the employer, one would think that it’s time they were fired.

The sooner we gut the federal tax code, the better.

Oh, Brother!

It’s going to be just fine, everybody. The federal government has a new plan to help those who cannot help themselves. And its being proclaimed by the biggest federal helper of all. The government is going to coerce encourage organizations to fund a program to help “boys and young men of color.” To make sure that the whole thing is positively biblical, this initiative is being called “My Brother’s Keeper”. Of course, the President knows something about brothers:

Obama’s theology is no better than his policy analysis. As many have noted, he himself has a brother–not a figurative “brother,” but an actual brother, the son of his father–living in poverty in Africa. But Obama, a wealthy man, has never done anything to help his own brother.

And, as the writer of the article notes, Cain’s statement when God asked him for Abel’s whereabouts was an attempt at misdirection. The President’s usage of this term and the program it represents is also an attempt at misdirection. The problem with his target demographic is that they are suffering the results of generations of government interference in their families. More of the same will net them, well, more of the same.

Go and read the whole article.