I am a baseball fan who enjoys a well pitched game, especially shutouts. But I rarely see them because managers won’t let their starters go nine innings.
Case in point. Felix Doubront pitched an absolutely beautiful game for the Red Sox tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. Usually, Doubront struggles to get through five innings. I think he’s better suited out of the bullpen. But tonight, Doubront was in total command.
In eight innings, Doubront gave up only three hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk. Doubront retired the last 17 batters he faced. In all, he threw 93 pitches and had plenty left to pitch the ninth inning. The Sox had a narrow 1-0 lead on a solo homerun by Daniel Nava.
At the very least, Doubront earned the opportunity at earning the complete game shutout. In 43 big league starts prior to tonight, Doubront had never thrown a complete game.
And he still hasn’t. Sox manager John Farrell had closer Andrew Bailey warming up in the bullpen in the bottom of the 8th. As soon I saw Bailey, I emphatically told my roommate Christopher, “This is not good. Bailey’s gonna blow it.” I felt it in my bones.
Sure enough, Rays outfielder Kelly Johnson promptly took Bailey deep to tie the game at 1-1. Despite pitching the best game of his career, Doubront would not be credited with the win.
At no point, did Sox announcers Don Orsillo or Peter Gammons question the wisdom of Farrell taking Doubront out of the game. That astounded me.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes launched a walk off two-run homerun into the Monster Seats to give the Sox a 3-1 victory with Bailey getting a vulture win.
Now everything turned out well for the Red Sox, but I am still annoyed. Under normal circumstances if a team has a one run lead in the ninth, they bring in their closer. But if a pitcher is working on a shutout and is dominating the opposing team there is no reason to take him out. Too many teams are preoccupied with pitch counts. It’s not like Doubront’s arm would have fallen off if he had pitched one more inning.
I understand the Red Sox want to protect their investment, but pitch counts don’t prevent arm injuries. Show me a starting rotation on a pitch limit and I’ll show you an overtaxed bullpen. If there was a night for Farrell to give the bullpen off, tonight was it. In 73 games this season, the Sox have a grand total of two complete games. That’s good enough for 4th place in the American League.
It’s entirely possible that tonight was a turning point for Doubront. He could rattle off a string of wins and perhaps one of those wins will be a complete game shutout. But there are no guarantees in baseball. It is quite possible that Doubront might never have another night like tonight. He might never pitch this great again. To paraphrase Jimmy Webb, the cake might have been left out in the rain and he’ll never have that recipe again.
So here’s my advice to big league managers. If your starter has pitched eight scoreless innings, give him a chance to pitch the in the ninth. Let him try to finish what he started.
I realize that with the amount of blood and treasure expended by this country in Afghanistan for more than a decade that the resumption of peace talks with the Taliban is viewed as good news.
The Taliban has pledged to not to use Afghanistan as a base to threaten other countries. Although, at this point, they have not denounced al Qaeda.
When the Obama Administration begins talks with the Taliban in Qatar later this week, it should keep in mind that this is an entity that only a few days ago beheaded two boys, aged 10 and 16.
Now one can argue that the fate of two Afghan boys is not our concern. But keep in mind that old habits die hard. If the Taliban has no qualms about beheading children then who can say that the Taliban would have any qualms about breaking any agreement in enters into with the United States? Who can say the Taliban wouldn’t give al Qaeda or any other Islamic terrorist organization safe harbor from which to launch attacks against this country and our allies? Who can say the Taliban wouldn’t help facilitate an attack that results in the deaths of our children?
The Louisiana governor’s latest op-ed gives the Republican Party a much-needed shot in the arm:
At present it looks as if the entire Republican party needs to go to counseling. It’s really getting embarrassing, all these public professions of feelings of inadequacy. Every day it seems another jilted high-placed Republican in Washington is confessing to the voters; “It’s not you, it’s me…”
Republican political correctness is all the rage, and it’s all roughly the same: we need to stop being conservative… we need to abandon our principles (at least the ones that don’t poll well)… we need to let the smart guys in Washington pick our candidates…we need big data and analytics so we can optimize… we need to be more libertarian…we need to endorse abortion…we need fewer debates…and the list goes on.
The overall level of panic and apology from the operative class in our party is absurd and unmerited. It’s time to stop the bedwetting.
Jindal goes on to explain why Republicans should be optimistic for a change, including their success at the gubernatorial level, their beachhead in the House of Representatives, and the centrifugal nature of popular opinion.
But Jindal forgets one thing: There’s a class of Washington pundit that’s built a cottage industry around tut-tutting the modern Republican Party. Thus the commentariat fired up its cliche machines. Jindal is “the Republican Party’s problem,” has “completely lost touch with reality,” and is “attack[ing] a bunch of straw men.”
Perhaps the most hilarious response comes from the New Republic, which is feeling snarky because one of Jindal’s paragraphs violates some dictum pronounced out by prose stylist William Strunk, Jr., of Strunk and White style-guide fame. Is there a better encapsulation of the modern, staid, technocratic left than smirking at a governor for breaking the clearly promulgated rules of writing? Tom Wolfe must give these people heart attacks. Which, of course, drives up our health insurance premiums. Someone get an armchair and a chart!
Jindal himself has critiqued the GOP before, including earlier this year when he denounced “dumbed-down conservatism” and worried that Republicans were becoming the “stupid party.” But he always made it clear that ameliorating these problems didn’t mean casting out principles. Today that advice is being taken to heart by Republican governors across the country, who have applied conservatism in innovative ways to bring about success in states from Texas to New Jersey. And they’ve done it confidently, without blinking in the face of the mindless finger-wagging.
Politics should consist of clashes between competing ideas, not endless self-flagellation after a single lost election. So quit moaning.
It seems like all of those llama slideshows might be coming back to bite BuzzFeed.
The website, which is known for aggregating images from other sources, is being sued by a professional photographer whose photo was used in a typical BuzzFeed post called “The 30 Funniest Header Faces.”
But in a lawsuit filed in New York, Eiselein accused Buzzfeed of “direct and contributory infringement” and claims he is owed $3.6m after his work was shared widely across the web.
He wants Buzzfeed to pay $150,000 in damages for each of the 23 sites that used his picture after the initial post, plus a further $150,000 for “contributory infringement” by another site, luuux.com.
Copyright law hasn’t caught up with the way images move around the Internet, where credit for the original image is often lost.
BuzzFeed defends its use of others’ images without licenses under the Fair Use exception to copyright. By putting images in lists, BuzzFeed argues that its use of these images is transformative, not derivative, so they are not violating the rights of copyright holders by using them on their website.
The site’s founder, Jonah Peretti, explained the argument to The Atlantic last year:
So, Peretti told me that he considers a BuzzFeed list — its sequencing, framing, etc — to be a transformative use of photos. That is to say, including that unattributed photo of the otter in that list was OK because its inclusion as an “extremely disappointed” animal transformed the nature of the photo.
“It’s a question,” Peretti said, “of when lots of little things add up to a transformation as opposed to a copyright violation.”
Most publications do not construe the Fair Use exception in that way and rely on images that they have paid licenses to use or on images that are free to use under Creative Commons licensing. Critics argue that the act of compiling these images to a list is not transformative and is, in fact, a violation of the law, as Eiselein claims.
There are plenty of other sites that rely on others’ images—often without licensing or even giving credit—such as Pinterest and Tumblr. However, these sites are not subject to copyright lawsuits due to the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. DMCA protects sites whose users upload images they did not create—including Pinterest and Tumblr—but not sites whose staff upload those images, including BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed’s business model is relatively new and it is unclear how copyright law will be applied. This is one of many examples of current law being inadequate for new situations that come up as the Internet continues to permeate our lives. The decision in this case is likely to have a major effect on image sharing on the Internet and the way new sites develop their business models.
Lori Brasnahan was trying to save her daughter’s life when she was stabbed to death in March, prosecutors say. Branashan and her daughter were abducted from the parking lot of Great Northern Mall near Syracuse by a man who brutally raped the 10-year-old girl before murdering Brasnahan, a 47-year-old school librarian.
Prosecutors in Onondaga County, N.Y., say the man responsible for that atrocity, David Renz, 29, had been released from federal custody in January, two days after the FBI arrested Renz on a child pornography charge. Renz reportedly had thousands of illegal sexual images of children on his computer, and also had a juvenile record for a 1999 incident in which Renz, then 15, molested a 9-year-old girl. Nevertheless, U.S. Magistrate Andrew T. Baxter released Renz, ordering him to wear a GPS tracking bracelet.
Barely two months later, Renz managed to remove the tracking device and went to the mall, where prosecutors say he ambushed Brasnahan and her daughter in the parking lot after following them out of a gymnastics class the girl was attending. And for this crime, a Justice Department official and a Democrat member of Congress are blaming budget cuts:
The top official supervising the federal court system, Judge Thomas Hogan, wrote in a letter to the local congressman that the suspect in the March 14 crime, David Renz, “was not supervised in a manner typical of federal probation and pretrial services practices.”
Hogan also blamed federal budget reductions for the carjacking murder of a school librarian, who police say was stabbed to death after trying to save her daughter from Renz.
“Funding for salaries and operations in the probation and pretrial services system has been reduced 14 percent this fiscal year,” Hogan wrote in his letter to Rep. Dan Maffei, New York Democrat, adding that “resources for monitoring, mental health and substance abuse treatment have been cut 20 percent.”
Officials in the Syracuse office charged with supervising Renz after he was released by a federal magistrate in January “have denied that personnel shortages played any role in the Renz case,” according to the Syracuse Post Standard. However, Maffei cited the case Monday in a speech on the House floor, saying that “an innocent woman was stabbed to death [and] an innocent child was sexually assaulted” and that the ability of federal courts “to keep this from happening again is limited because their funding was cut.” …
Monday, the congressman who represents the upstate New York district blamed federal spending cuts for the crime, saying that ending the curent budget sequester — implemented to reduce the federal deficit — is an obligation Congress owes to Renz’s victims. “We owe them a guarantee that this cannot happen again,” Maffei said in his House floor speech. “We owe them an end to sequester cuts affecting our federal probation system.”
So, according to Dan Maffei, congressmen who voted for budget cuts to reduce the deficit are now unindicted co-conspirators in David Renz’s crimes.
Over the past few days, pro-choice commentary on the GOP’s ostensible obstinacy on the issue of abortion has ramped up. “Haven’t they learned from the 2012 election to steer clear of the social issues?” “That’s why women don’t vote for them.” “If they keep talking about these things, they’re just going to keep losing!”
Or so they say.
These criticisms have mounted as Congress prepares to vote on a bill later this week that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. (To clarify, that’s toward the end of the second trimester.) Recent examples include yesterday’s NYT article that unfoundedly asserted that the bill’s purpose is just to “satisfy vocal elements of their base who have renewed a push for greater restrictions on reproductive rights, even if those issues harmed the party’s reputation with women in 2012.” And Irin Carmon over at Salon called this bill a mere “charade, one that turns women’s lives into ritualistic political football.” She also called the whole thing “political theater.”
What the “enlightened” totally gloss over (perhaps willfully) is the glaring fact that abortion is actually a long-term winning issue for the GOP. To use leftist parlance: Republicans are “on the right side of history” on this one, as “progress marches on” for the pro-life position, at least according to statistics.
As has been well-reported, abortion is not in fact the leading cause of the existing gender gap—the reason why more women vote Democrat than Republican. Such a theory is insulting to women by degrading them to a block of voters who all think the same way and who all care about only abortion. What’s more, the numbers just don’t add up. In fact, Gallup polling shows women and men to be about equal in their views on the matter: From 2001-2008, 49% of women and 48% of men self-identified as pro-choice; from 2009-2012, those numbers went down to 45% and 43%, respectively.
These numbers indicate something else that’s important: Self-identified pro-choicers are being chipped away by the increasing palatability of the pro-life position.
Perhaps increased technology has something to do with this shifting trend, as Matt Purple has pointed out in the past. But what’s even more staggering are the numbers on second- and third-trimester abortions. According to Gallup’s latest numbers, sizable majorities think both should be illegal: 64% for the former, 80% for the latter. The bill before consideration in Congress—which only affects third- and some second-trimester abortions—should be therefore be really popular. If the bill does not end up passing, it will only be due to left-wing propaganda labeling it as a set of supposedly “radical” restrictions on reproductive rights.
So it’s a mistake to say that Republicans need to keep away from the cultural crusades. Perhaps on gay marriage, but definitely not on abortion. The mistake runs deep into our language: The entire political class — left, right, and center — engages in this vocabulary of “social issues,” placing gay marriage and abortion in the same boat. The problem is that these are separate campaigns that have taken on separate courses. Their differing trends and divergent trajectories indicate as such, thus defying the accepted notion of there being a box of “social issues.” There are now many people who support gay marriage but who also identify as pro-life.
And Republican leaders are fully aware of this phenomenon. Take, for example, last week’s conference put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, considered potential candidates for 2016, both doubled down on their commitment to the unborn, but neither mentioned gay marriage.
To be perfectly clear, even in the hypothetical case in which being pro-life were politically unwise, that still wouldn’t be enough to change course on abortion. It is a matter of life and death, after all. And as Yuval Levin at NRO puts it, it would be as if “the people struggling to save the lives of innocent children … should be ‘fazed’ into inaction by the 2012 election.”
But the fact is that pro-life GOP leaders have nothing to fear on the matter. For being pro-life is now the politically intelligent choice.
The media would do well to remember that fact.
It is remarkable to read pieces like these.
Time after time moderate Republicanism loses the presidency or wins by the skin of the Supreme Court’s teeth or 100,000 votes in Ohio – and this is held up as a successful way to run a political party.
Gerson, who holds the distinction of boasting that “the Bush (2000) campaign was purposely attempting to alter the image of the Republican Party. And the party — rendered more open to change by eight years in the presidential wilderness — gave Bush the leeway to make necessary ideological adjustments.”
So again: How exactly did this disavowal of Reagan and conservatism work out for the Republican Party? Obviously, to say not well is a laughable understatement. Bush’s own narrow re-election in 2004 over John Kerry, his departure from the White House with an approval rating hovering in the frigid 30’s, and his inability to elect his successor—the similarly moderate John McCain—should in fact serve as an object lesson of what the GOP should not do.
Yet here is Gerson blithely saying that “the GOP needs its own Bill Clinton or Tony Blair — a leader to reposition the party and reinvigorate its political appeal.” He adds that the GOP should resist what he strangely calls “an oversimplified Reaganism.”
What needs to be said here is that, when all is said and done, Gerson is busy advocating the same old moderate Republicanism that has been losing elections since the Days of Dewey. In point of fact, were time travel available, we could pack Michael Gerson off to 1948 and he could write the same things for Dewey that he wrote for Bush and now writes for the Washington Post, and no one would notice the difference.
The GOP needs “its own Bill Clinton and Tony Blair”? You’ve got to be kidding. The reason Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were successful in the first place is because they convinced their respective parties – the American Democrats and the British Laborites – that they had to adapt to the huge successes of conservatives Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher respectively. Who in turn had successfully led the GOP to smashing successes by steering their respective parties away from “Me-Too” Republicanism and “Wet” Toryism. It would seem obvious, then, that the route to political success – the real “modernization” of the GOP – is to go back to future: to the conservative principles of Reagan and Thatcher. It was Reagan and Thatcher who succeeded – not their respective moderate successors George H.W. Bush and John Major, both of who followed precisely the Gerson path and wound up being humiliatingly dumped from office.
Then there’s Mr. Wehner, who has penned a piece titled “The Reckless Rhetoric of Palin and Cain.”
Perhaps I should have titled this reply the “Wimpy Wussings of Wehner”?
But some of us also believe that those who claim to be conservative need to be held to certain standards as well; that to berate only the left for rhetorical overkill is to employ a double standard; and that irresponsible and careless language used by former governors and vice presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and former presidential candidates like Herman Cain helps discredit conservatism and the GOP. It is prima facie evidence of intemperate minds. And it actually helps Mr. Obama when his critics sound apocalyptically detached from reality…..
I’d add one other point: What Cain and Palin are doing damages public debate because it corrupts language and thought. Thinking clearly, George Orwell wrote in his classic essay on the debasement of our language, “is a necessary step toward political regeneration.”
This is amazing.
Once again a reminder that this is precisely the kind of accusation that was routinely thrown at Ronald Reagan is necessary. Reagan was called an “extremist” with regularity, and not simply because of his conservative views (views, as Gerson correctly notes, not shared by the Bushes). Whether giving his famous 1964 televised speech for Barry Goldwater (in which he bluntly referred to the Soviet Union as a “dangerous enemy” and accused liberals of the day of dragging America “down to the ant heap of totalitarianism”), or his various speeches or remarks as president (in which he said of Soviet leaders – to gasps from reporters at a press conference – that “they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat,” and called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”), Reagan was regularly pictured exactly as Wehner describes Palin and Cain. Reagan was regularly depicted…and I’m quoting here…as “deeply reactionary…negative…mean-spirted” (The Nation), a man who was leading the American equivalent of “Nazi nationalism and militarism” (a Claremont College professor). Los Angeles Times cartoonist Paul Conrad depicted Reagan, according to one biographer, as “plotting a fascist putsch in a darkened Munich beer hall.” No less than Gerald Ford told a reporter in the New York Times that Reagan was too “extreme” to even be elected in the first place. (No word on whether Gerson was writing Ford’s speeches.)
In short, both Gerson and Wehner are doing the same-old, same-old moderate Republican schtick. There is not a thing new in their criticisms of the GOP or conservatives in general or, in this latest case, Palin and Cain in particular. Change their names and decades and they could have been right at home in the campaigns of – pick one or any – the vast majority of losing Republican nominees from Dewey to Dole or, yes, unpopular presidencies from Bush to Bush.
There’s nothing personal here. I’m sure both men love their wives, kids, dogs, and the flag. The point is that they are but two of what seems to be an eternal chorus inside the GOP of what one of Margaret Thatcher’s colleagues referred to as “collectivist conservatives.”
They struggle with principle and positively get the vapors over Reaganesque rhetoric. Just as the moderate Republicans – not to mention the liberals – of Reagan’s day did.
Which, not to put too fine a point on it, is why the GOP loses so many presidential elections with moderates or wins by the skin of the Supreme Court’s teeth.
Is Obama losing the young? Dave Weigel once quipped that if a headline is a question, then the answer is almost always “no.” That’s probably true in this case. But Michael Barone is wondering the same thing over at the Washington Examiner, and it’s worth some consideration.
The hailstorm of scandals pelting Washington in recent weeks have left the young generally unmoved. According to a recent CNN poll, only 41% of those aged 18-34 think the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups is “very important,” as opposed to 51% of all age groups. And while young people are more likely to be concerned about NSA privacy abuses than the general population, a Pew survey found that 51% of those aged 18-29 think terrorism investigations are more important than privacy protections, and 55% think the NSA’s sweeping court orders to track phone calls are acceptable.
And yet the president’s approval rating with young Americans is at 48%, down five points from last month, according to a CNN poll this week. What accounts for this?
Why is Obamamania disappearing among the young? One reason: Only 40 percent approve his performance on the economy, slightly less than the 42 percent among all respondents. Many conservatives have been wondering when the economic woes of young Americans — the high rate of joblessness, crushing student loan debt for worthless degrees or no degree — would sour them on Obama. If the CNN/ORC poll is right, the time is now.
One imagines a half-bearded, narcissistic twenty-something in the process of taking a selfie on his iPhone suddenly craning his neck and shouting: “My God, the economy sucks, doesn’t it?!” Why, after four years of evidence-impervious infatuation with the president, are my fellow Millennials finally waking up to the bad economy?
Perhaps because, thanks to the relentless barrage of scandals, the Obama campaign machine is sputtering. Last year, the president kept young people happy by tossing them shiny objects—gay marriage, the “war on women,”—which kept them distracted from their economic woes. But that ability to divert the public’s attention is fading. Joe Biden is currently traipsing about, shouting at innocent bystanders about the need for more gun control—but you wouldn’t know it from the news cycle. The president’s other pet project, immigration reform, isn’t getting much traction either. Without the White House engaging in its usual demagoguery over social issues, and with the press’ eye fixed on the NSA, young people’s political attention is returning to the stagnant economy.
So is President O finally losing Generation Y? Probably not. If Millennials can forgive Obama for the economy for four years, they can certainly do it for another four. But it’s nice to see the ice cracking, however perfunctory the damage might be.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed to House Republicans that he will enforce the “Hastert Rule” for the immigration reform bill, according to reports by The Hill. The announcement came at a closed-door GOP House conference meeting.
The Hastert Rule, named after former speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), requires that a majority of the majority party support a bill in order for the full House to consider it. Currently Boehner would need 118 of 234 House Republicans to show support in order for immigration reform to be considered.
Boehner said that using the Hastert Rule would be the logical thing to do.
“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans,” he said at the meeting.
Boehner’s commitment will no doubt excite many conservatives, who have questioned his previous willingness to ignore the rule (which is actually not an official House rule). It will also likely ensure that the Senate’s bill does not pass the House, heightening the tension between the two chambers.
Recently, many conservatives have pushed for Boehner to enforce the Hastert Rule, with many leaders signing a letter to House Republicans. The letter was written by the Conservative Action Project, a grassroots political action organization.
The U.S. is set to restart formal peace negotiations with the Taliban on Thursday after three years of failed attempts.
After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, and nearly three years of sputtering and unsuccessful attempts at talks, the United States will open formal negotiations with the Taliban this week aimed at ending insurgent attacks, officials said Tuesday.
The new dialogue, with a Taliban delegation that U.S. officials said has been authorized by Taliban leader Mohammed Omar, will begin Thursday in Doha, the Qatari capital. The United States will be represented by senior State Department and White House officials.
It is interesting that the talks are beginning now, a year and a half after U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, following three years of impasse. Restarting the negotiations is only the first step, and it still remains unclear whether they will be able to form an agreement before the U.S. withdraws, and whether the agreement will hold after that withdrawal.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) continues to separate himself from the pack, this time with several common-sense proposals involving immigration policy.
Yesterday he introduced the “Secure the Vote” amendment to the immigration reform bill—S. 744—which ensures that individuals on work visas or who are given legal status under the bill are not allowed to vote in federal elections until they become citizens. It also provides new procedures to enable states to protect against voter fraud committed by these individuals.
Paul is offering other amendments to the “Gang of Eight’s” immigration bill:
“Trust But Verify” Amendment
The “Trust but Verify” amendment requires Congress to write and enforce a border security blueprint instead of relying on federal bureaucracies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to come up with a plan. The amendment also would provide new national security safeguards to track the holders of student visas and those with asylum and refugee status.
“No New Pathway to Citizenship” Amendment
Sen. Paul’s “No New Pathway to Citizenship” amendment removes the new and exclusive visa category and pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and expands existing work visa categories instead of creating a new Registered Provisional Immigrant status. This updated work visa will not give any individual a new pathway to citizenship; rather they will be treated as if they are in line in their home country. No preference will be given to those on a work visa over those who are in line and outside the borders of the United States.
‘Secure the Treasury’ Taxpayer Protection Amendment
Sen. Paul’s “Secure the Treasury” amendment will provide further protections for taxpayers against individuals in a new immigration status becoming dependent on the welfare state, by preventing them from getting access to Obamacare and welfare.
By highlighting the need for ballot integrity and border security, Sen. Paul is applying the right pressure points on a difficult question.
So does this mean that Beyonce and Jay-Z understand such complexities?
Today the Supreme Court struck down, by a vote of 7 to 2, an Arizona law that required proof of citizenship for voter registration.
The case at hand, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc, involving Arizona’s Proposition 200, was ultimately a debate between state’s rights and federal power. The majority opinion, delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia, concluded that federal voting laws such the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) trumped state and local laws in regards to who can register. The NVRA requires States to “accept and use” a uniform form to register voters for federal elections, and it outlined three methods of registration: when applying for a driver’s license, by mail, and in person.
The crux of the debate, according to Scalia, was whether states are “pre-empted” by the NVRA. The controversy lies around the phrase “accept and use.” Arizona viewed the phrase as figurative. Voters passed Prop 200 in 2004 with 56 percent of the vote, agreeing to reject any voter application “that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.” (Sufficient evidence included a photocopy of the applicant’s passport or birth certificate, evidence of naturalization, tribal identification, or in some cases simply a driver’s license.)
The “Elections Clause” in the Constitution (article 1, section 4, clause 1) played a major role in the Supreme Court’s decision. It states:
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of chusing [sic] Senators.
In the majority opinion, Scalia wrote that Congress’ power as described above, combined with the NVRA, proscribes Arizona’s requirement. “Because the power the Elections Clause confers is none other than the power to pre-empt,” he wrote, “the reasonable assumption is that the statutory text accurately communicates the scope of Congress’s pre-emptive intent.”
Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were the dissenters, taking the side of the states.
“I think that both the plain text and the history of the Voter Qualifications Clause, U. S. Const., [article] I [section] 2, [clause] 1, and the Seventeenth Amendment authorize States to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied,” Thomas wrote.
Thomas also noted the NVRA allowed for some customization of mail voter registration forms for federal elections.
Samuel Alito echoed this sentiment, writing in his dissent that “properly interpreted, the NVRA permits Arizona to require applicants for federal voter registration to provide proof of eligibility.”
Just when it seems like things have hit a stride in the Middle East, something new happens and turns everything on its head.
On Thursday, the U.S. announced its plans to intervene in Syria on behalf of the rebels, and many loud voices—including hawkish senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham—who have been calling for the U.S. to implement a no-fly zone over the country.
So right now, the U.S. isn’t going to try a no-fly zone, but it is going to arm the rebels, despite the fact that 70 percent of Americans oppose doing so, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
Assad warned that Europe would “pay the price” for arming the rebels, which he sees as terrorists who would return to the West with “extremist ideologies.” I hate to agree with Assad, but he isn’t exactly wrong. His motivations aren’t pure, but we know that al-Qaeda is in Syria and taking an important role in the opposition.
G8 countries aren’t the only ones getting involved. Saudi Arabia has provided anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to the rebels, and Egypt announced its support for a no-fly zone while cutting all diplomatic ties with Syria.
Iran, which has been Assad’s strongest ally, has even proposed expanding the Syrian conflict to the Golan Heights, which is Israeli territory. If Iran attacks Israel in the Golan Heights, Israel is likely to respond with the full force of the IDF. Such a conflict could escalate quickly.
This news from Iran came right after so-called “moderate” Hasan Rowhani won the Iranian presidential election. The media might be calling him a moderate, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t caught up in the delusion.
The international community must not become caught up in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program
We need to remember that the Iranian ruler [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] at the outset disqualified candidates who were not in line with his extreme worldview, and from among those whom he did allow, the one seen as least identified with the regime was elected.
But we are still speaking about someone who calls Israel the ‘great Zionist Satan.’
Rowhani’s moderate stances are on issues like instituting a civil rights charter, not stopping the country’s nuclear program and opening up relations with Israel. The IAEA chief announced that Iran’s nuclear program continues to make “steady progress” despite sanctions against the country, so it doesn’t seem like Rowhani has any real reason to reverse course.
At this point, it’s tempting to think the Middle East is ready to self-combust, with the West and Russia providing plenty of the dynamite.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?