A New AUMF?

Or, perhaps, an additional one. The editors at The Wall Street Journal have an idea.

The Administration could quietly push a narrow Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that gives Mr Trump power to strike Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq as needed.

That’s too narrow; any new AUMF should authorize the President to strike Iran-backed militias—not just Shiite ones, and not just in Iraq.

More than that, though, the Pentagon…drawing up plans to eliminate Kataib Hezbollah and such an AUMF are not mutually exclusive. Both should be done.

Teachers Unions and Online Education

Oregon’s public schools are closed down due to the Wuhan Virus situation, as are most of our nation’s school systems.  As a result of that, parents started flocking their children to online charter schools so as to continue their education.  The Oregon Education Association, among others, object to that, though. They’d rather the kids sit around at home (because Oregon, like many States, has instituted a stay-home policy for all the State’s citizens and others living there) twiddling their thumbs, making pests of themselves, and otherwise being bored out of their minds rather than continue their schooling. So:

Where Were the FISA Court Judges?

DoJ’s Inspector General is finding yet more, yet more rampant, miscreancies in and done by what used to be our nation’s—the world’s, even—premier law enforcement agency.

DOJ’s new assessment indicated that FISA problems were systemic at the bureau and extended beyond the Page probe. In four of the 29 cases the DOJ inspector general reviewed, the FBI did not have any so-called “Woods files” at all, referring to documentation demonstrating that it had independently corroborated key facts in its surveillance warrant applications. In three of those applications, the FBI couldn’t confirm that Woods documentation ever existed.
The other 25 applications contained an average of 20 assertions not properly supported with Woods materials; one application contained 65 unsupported claims. The review encompassed the work of eight field offices over the past five years in several cases.

Government Aid and Government Stakes

The current version of the Federal assistance to American airlines contemplates the government taking stakes—in the form of warrants convertible to (voting) common stock—in return for sending money to the airlines to help tide them over the disruptions resulting from the current Wuhan Virus situation. There are a number of objections to such a condition, most of them valid. Flight attendant unions have their own objection. They’ve

urged federal officials not to make grants to airlines contingent on government stakes, saying they believe executives would refuse—costing jobs in an industry hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

What Are They Going to Do?

Cut us off?

The chairman of Huawei Technologies Co warned the US to expect countermeasures from the Chinese government if it further restricts the technology giant’s access to suppliers….
Eric Xu, Huawei’s chairman, said he believes Beijing would respond with restrictions of its own on American companies operating in China if the US.

In addition to the draconian restrictions already inflicted on American companies—and other nations’ companies—operating in the People’s Republic of China. These restrictions include demands for government-controlled backdoors into companies’ operating software and transfer of companies’ technologies to domestic partner companies—which are required for most foreign companies in order to operate in the PRC.

Death Panels or Triage?

A New York City hospital has explicitly instructed its ER doctors to “withhold futile intubations” and that they have the sole discretion for that decision and the decision to use a ventilator on any particular patient.

What draws my attention to this order is that ER doctors have always had triage authority in their decisions regarding use of limited resources when potentially lethally injured or sick patients arrive in numbers that could overwhelm those resources.  New York State’s triage guidelines, in particular, were established in 2015.

What are this hospital’s administrators hinting at?

Resistance to Change

Matthew Hennessey, writing in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal commented extensively on the current Wuhan Virus (my term, not his) situation and its impact on education, specifically the forced switch to a measure of home schooling.

Many families have found themselves running pop-up homeschools. Most students will return to traditional classrooms when the crisis passes. But some families—perhaps many—will come away from this involuntary experiment with a new appreciation for home-based education. They may even decide that homeschooling is not only a plausible option, but a superior one.

It’s that last bit, coupled with the article’s subheadline, that drew my attention. That subhead was

Making the Case

Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) decried journalists’ touting America’s Wuhan Virus death rates as being greater than the People’s Republic of China’s.  “Grotesque,” he tweeted about it.  And he’s being generous, I say.

Naturally, journalists’ feelings were hurt by that, and they bellyached loudly.  Michelle Goldberg, for instance:

Journalists are concentrated in cities that are being ravaged by a plague that could have been better contained with a competent president. They’re lonely and scared and reporting while homeschooling their kids. No one feels glee or delight. Some of us feel white hot rage[.]

State Governments and Socialism

A current government move to control the means of production—classic socialism when the controls are widespread—is this, involving what’s left of our nation’s insurance industry, at the State level.

In at least three states, lawmakers have proposed legislation to force insurers to pay billions of dollars for business losses tied to government-ordered shutdowns.

Never mind what already agreed policies say. To Hell with signed contracts. Government men Know Better, and being above petty commitments themselves, can’t conceive the idea that commitments actually matter in a free society, in a free market economy.

Some regulators have declared moratoriums on cancellations and nonrenewals of policies.

Progressive-Democrats and the Law

And contracts.  Since the SARS epidemic of some years ago, insurers have declined to cover losses related to virus or bacteria damage, and they wrote their policies to that effect. State regulators—who controlled and still control the structure of insurance policies and the premiums allowed to be charged for those policies outside Obamacare—agreed.

However.

New Jersey Assemblyman Roy Freiman, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would retroactively rewrite interruption coverage contracts and force insurers to foot some losses for any policyholder with fewer than 100 full-time employees.

Contracts be damned. They don’t fit the Progressive-Democrat agenda, so by Progressive-Democrat-run Government fiat, they must be tossed.