PowerLine -> Great News On Regulation from the Trump Administration +The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria

AR15.com Newsletter at Hoax and Change.Com

PowerLine -> Great News On Regulation from the Trump Administration +The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria

AR15.com Newsletter at Hoax and Change.Com

AR15.com Newsletter at Hoax and Change.Com

Daily Digest

  • Great News On Regulation from the Trump Administration
  • The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria
  • Is California Starting to Circle the Drain?
  • Maureen Dowd: Down the Memory Hole, and the Grammar Hole, too
  • Weird tales of Winer
Great News On Regulation from the Trump Administration

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 04:11 PM PST

(John Hinderaker)This is simply fantastic news:

The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject, an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations.

Guidance documents offer the government’s interpretation of laws, and often when individuals or companies face accusations of legal violations, what they have really violated are the guidance documents. …

It also advances a goal declared by President Trump in his first days in office: to reduce the burden and cost of federal rules and requirements. …

The new policy, issued by the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, Rachel L. Brand, is significant because federal agencies have issued hundreds of guidance documents on a wide range of laws covering issues like health care, the environment, civil rights and labor.

Many of the Obama administration’s worst actions involved issuance of “guidance,” i.e., a left-wing interpretation of federal law that was often tendentious if not outright untenable. Nevertheless, most companies, universities, etc., were cowed into complying with Obama’s “guidances.” Glenn Reynolds offers the definitive commentary:

Good. “Guidance” is bullshit. Either do a rule making, or stay home.

Rule making under the Administrative Procedure Act requires following an actual process, with public comment and opportunity for appeal. Thus it is inconvenient for leftists. Issuing “guidance” is an inappropriate shortcut that generally just means implementing the administration’s political wish list.

This is another example of one of the Trump administration’s greatest virtues: restoration of the rule of law.

It is also great for the economy. Why did the stock market begin to soar and economic growth accelerate after President Trump was elected, even before he was inaugurated and had any opportunity to implement his policies? Numerous business people have said that Trump’s election meant that for at least four years, they did not have to fear sudden, arbitrary and expensive changes in federal regulation that imposed unreasonable burdens on their businesses, and were hard if not impossible to plan for. Thus companies started to invest in America even before Trump took office. The administration’s repudiation of its predecessor’s “guidance” shortcuts confirms that businesses were right to expect a more normal regulatory regime under President Trump.


The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 03:16 PM PST

(Paul Mirengoff)Yesterday, as Omri Ceren reported, the Israeli air force struck in Syria after Iran sent a drone into Israel. The Israelis lost a fighter jet, the first time in 30 years an Israeli jet has been lost in combat. On the plus side, Israel reportedly inflicted serious damage on multiple air defense batteries and four Iranian positions in Syria including the mobile command center from which the Iranian drone was operated.

For me, the question is whether this fighting marks the beginning of an extended conflict between Israel and its enemies, most notably Iran, in Syria. This report by Anna Ahronheim in the Jerusalem Post suggests that it does. Indeed, Ahronheim argues that Israel is about to become a key player in the next chapter of the Syrian war.

Why? Because the defeat of the Syrian rebels means that Iranian and Hezbollah fighters will likely turn their attention to Israel and, in particular, the Golan Heights. Indeed, it’s difficult to understand why Iran would send a highly sophisticated drone into Israel unless it is seriously considering military action against the Jewish State.

Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military buildup anywhere near its border. Today, Maj.-Gen. Yoel Strick, head of the Northern Commend, said:

Iranian involvement in the region is a disturbing threat to Israel and the entire world. Iran wants to create a front command in Syria – we will not allow it. We are not inclined toward escalation, but we have high-level capabilities and we will not hesitate to use them.

Another Israeli commander warned not only of the Iranian entrenchment across the border, but also of the return of Syrian troops to an area which was relatively quiet for close to six years while under the control of rebels. “We must prepare ourselves operationally and in terms of intelligence for the growing threat: The return of the Syrian army and Iranian forces, Hezbollah and others,” he stated.

Benjamin Netanyahu had a similar message. He said, “Israel wants peace, but we will continue to defend ourselves with determination against any attack on us and against any attempt by Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria or anywhere else.”

In this context, Israel’s attack on Syrian air defenses shouldn’t be viewed simply as retaliation. Rather, it seems like an effort to pave the way for future air attacks if they become necessary.

Following yesterday’s confrontation, witnesses reported seeing a convoy of missile-defense batteries heading north near the Israeli-Arab city of Baka al-Gharbiya. Other witnesses posted photos of several trucks carrying the batteries on central highways in northern Israel.

A senior official in Israel’s defense establishment has gone on record that, given Iran’s intentions, “the next incident is only a matter of time.” His assessment seems more than reasonable.


Is California Starting to Circle the Drain?

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 11:59 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)I recently became a crime victim for one of the few times in my life. My car was burgled while I was up in the Bay Area on my weekly sojourn to the Peoples Republic of Berkeley. I say “burgled” rather than “broken into,” because there was no smashed window, or picked lock, nor did I leave the car unlocked. Rather, I was the victim of a clever gang of organized car burglars in the Bay Area who are using sophisticated scanners to copy and boost the key-fob signal for recent model keyless entry and ignition cars. Once you latch on to the signal, the car door unlocks at the touch of your hand, as people with such models know. (I learned about this security flaw subsequently as I looked into how this could have happened.) All of the restaurants and retail establishments in my neighborhood have posted printed signs saying “leave no valuables in your car; frequent car thefts in the area.” I have taken electronic countermeasures against this happening again.

This kind of activity is epidemic in the Bay Area right now. There were 30,000 car thefts reported in San Francisco last year (much higher in the Bay Area as a whole). The police are doing very little about it.

I recently came across this astonishing Twitter thread from someone named Sharky Laguana, who runs a van rental business in San Francisco, about the incredible indifference of the San Francisco police to this problem. It’s quite long, but I reproduce the whole thing here to make it easier to get through:

Meanwhile, the exploding homeless population in San Francisco (and around the entire state actually) is starting to affect the tourism and convention business. Some convention planners are now avoiding San Francisco because the environs are getting so unpleasant. Forget Trump’s s***hole countries: there’s now an interactive map that alerts you to locations in San Francisco with high amounts of human excrement on the streets and sidewalks.


San Francisco Bay Experiences Mass Exodus of Residents

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – The number of people packing up and moving out of the Bay Area just hit its highest level in more than a decade. . . the number one place in the country for out-migration is now, right here.

[One person leaving] cites crowding, crime and politics as the reasons for her own exodus. “We don’t like it here anymore. You know, we don’t like this sanctuary state status and just the politics here,” she said. She plans to sell her home for about $1 million, buy a much larger place near Nashville for less than half that and retire closer to family and friends.

Nationwide, the cities with the highest inflows, according to Redfin are Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Nashville.

My old pal Mark Perry notes this from U-Haul truck rental:

(UPDATE: I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking what I did in the way of countermeasures. I was leaving that a little vague on purpose, thinking some of my enemies might suspect me of boobie-trapping my car—a tempting idea!—but my main countermeasure was to procure a “Faraday Bag”—look them up online—which blocks RFID signals, into which I put my key the moment I leave my car, especially out and about. My second level of security when at my Bay Area townhouse is then to put the whole thing in my microwave oven, which also blocks electromagnetic signals, of course. Your fridge or freezer also work I am told.)


Maureen Dowd: Down the Memory Hole, and the Grammar Hole, too

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 11:43 AM PST

(John Hinderaker)It has been a long time since I bothered to read Maureen Dowd, but a friend sent me a link to her current column. It is the usual anti-Trump screed. Dowd takes off from the resignation of Rob Porter–a story in which I have little interest–to insult the president in a variety of ways, mostly related to the treatment of women. There is much that could be said, but I only want to comment on three aspects of the column.


Among many, the allure of Barack Obama’s brainy nuance had given way to a longing for a more muscular certainty.

Anyone who can still refer with a straight face to “Obama’s brainy nuance” is writing only for true believers.

Second, the main point of the column:

We don’t want to countenance abusive behavior. And we certainly don’t want men like Rob Porter who have punched, kicked, choked and terrorized their wives to be in the president’s inner circle, helping decide which policies, including those that affect women, get emphasized.
We want our president to be a moral beacon, not a ratings-obsessed id. We want a president who understands that sexual and physical abuse are wrong.
We don’t want a president who bends over backward to give the benefit of the doubt to neo-Nazis, wife beaters, pedophiles and sexual predators — or who is a sexual predator himself.

The funny thing about this is, we have had at least one president who–unlike Donald Trump–actually was a sexual predator. We had an administration where it wasn’t just an obscure aide who allegedly abused a woman, years ago, far from the White House. Rather, it was the president himself who assaulted at least one woman, Kathleen Willey, in the Oval Office itself. And for all the talk about abuse, respecting women, and so on, we have had only one president who was, in all probability, a rapist who should have been serving a long jail term, not running the Executive Branch.

His name was Bill Clinton. I’m so old, I can remember when Maureen Dowd criticized Clinton heavily for his abuse of women. But her vitriol then was nothing compared to what she unleashes on Trump–not a rapist, not an abuser of women–today. Why the double standard, Maureen? Party loyalty, I suppose.

Third, wasn’t there a time when newspaper columnists were expected to be familiar with the rules of grammar? And didn’t the New York Times, at one point, employ editors whose job it was, in part, to make sure that the paper’s content was grammatically correct? I have written before that, given the obvious mistakes the paper so often makes, I question whether the Times actually employs any editors at all.

Dowd’s gaffe:

And now, thanks to our barmy president and his staff meltdown, we are finding out fast who we are and whom we don’t want to be.

Maureen, if you send me an email at [email protected], I will give you lessons in both politics and grammar, at a very reasonable price.


Weird tales of Winer

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 10:20 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)The reemergence of Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal — this time from the crypt of the dodgy Steele Dossier — reminds me of Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th franchise or Dracula in the Bram Stoker classic. There is, however, at least one difference. Jason and Dracula have slightly more charm than Blumenthal.

So long as the Clintons remain on the scene, Blumenthal lives. Paul faced up to the reemergence of Blumenthal in “A bad penny turns up again.” The Weekly Standard’s Eric Felten manages to extract humor of a sort from this horror story in “The weird tales of Jonathan Winer.”

As reconstructed by Felten, the tales don’t admit of excerpts. I have to urge you to read the whole thing (which you can do thanks to the arrangements made for Power Line readers by the editors of the Standard).

I will just add this. The story implicates Christopher Steele and his dossier. It implicates the Obama administration. In age-old fashion, the teller of the tales requires us to suspend our disbelief. (Felten declines.) The Washington Post provides the forum for Winer to disseminate his tales. The Post serves it up in the confidence that their readers will perform as required. Like their peers in the Democratic Party’s media adjunct, the Post has made itself instrumental to the Democrats’ efforts to remove President Trump from office by hook or by, well, crook. The Post is part of the scandal.


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