The Trouble with Being a Leader

…is that it’s necessary actually to lead.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper [The Telegraph] that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

Independence Day

I posted this in 2012; it bears repeating.

On this day 236 years ago, a group of Americans got together and, pledging their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor to each other while relying on the protection of divine Providence, took our country free from tyranny and set us on a new, wholly experimental course.

These men openly acknowledged both our right and our duty to throw off any government that too badly violates its moral obligations to us sovereign citizens, that for too long abuses our liberties and our individual responsibilities. At the same time, though, they acknowledged that routinely rebelling at every small offense was equally wrong: Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. Yet those light and transient offenses want correction along with those abuses and moral failures.

Microaggression

It’s all the latest rage in the PC fascism that’s running amok in our United States these days.

There are these, for instance, from a list of allegedly microaggressive statements put out by Janet Napolitano, late of DHS and now President of the University of California system:

  • I believe the most qualified person should get the job.
  • Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much—he’s Black!
  • Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.
  • Gender plays no part in who we hire.
  • America is the land of opportunity.

Another Government Has Shut Down

…at least partially, and again over Democrats’ intransigence with fiscal responsibility. Tom Corfman, of Crain’s Chicago Business:

The financial situation in Illinois has been dire for a number of year. What brings it to a head is the election of Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican with a strong agenda to change the state. At the same time, he faces opposition from the Democratic legislature and their constituents.

Indeed. Rauner won’t agree to any tax increases unless the Democrats agree to making the state more friendly to business: which means reducing Illinois’ regulatory environment, reducing spending (including on the Teachers Union’s schools), and reducing taxes generally, especially on businesses.

Obamacare….

…again. The claimed purpose of Obamacare is to get every American covered by a health plan.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with its mandate that all Americans purchase insurance and requirement for businesses to offer employees insurance plans, many small companies provided coverage by directly reimbursing medical costs or for the cost of private insurance plans. Businesses do it because that’s a less complicated process than dealing with an official health insurance plan….

An IRS Rule (remember these guys and their rules?) that took effect on 1 Jul punishes those businesses for helping their employees.

US Access to Space

Last weekend, a SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the Space Station exploded while staging after launch. This follows an Orbital Sciences resupply rocket explosion last fall and a Russian resupply rocket failure last spring.

USAF General (Ret) William Shelton, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, is lamenting legislation barring the use of Russian rocket engines in our launchers, and his concern is sparked by those failures.

A Greek Exit

There is some concern about Greece’s current debt strait causing it to leave the EU, and there is additional concern about “contagion” spreading—that with the precedent set, other members might leave, also. Mark Dowding, BlueBay Asset Management’s co-head of investment grade and a senior portfolio manager, offered this, for instance:

If we get a Greek exit, you have to say the potential for other countries to exit the eurozone is suddenly no longer negligible. That would need to be reflected in bond prices.

Rents and Rental Ownership

New York City is going to do it, again.

Mayor Bill de Blasio appears poised to deliver on a campaign promise to freeze rents for more than one million tenants protected by New York City’s rent-stabilization laws.

Both landlord and tenants leaders said they expect the Rent Guidelines Board to approve the freeze, affecting one-year apartment leases beginning on or after Oct 1, on Monday….

Never mind that

…an annual report showed that landlord operating costs only rose 0.5% due to falling fuel prices. Excluding volatile fuel costs, overall costs rose 3.6%.

Another Reason We Need Regime Change in DC

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy sent their third letter since June calling on the DOJ to reveal its questionable cell phone surveillance policies, after yet another whistleblower allegation of abuse.

Keep doing this, absolutely. But don’t expect any answers for another several months.

We’ll need an administration from the other party before the Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch DoJ can be expected to deliver. And with that change, extended to DoJ, the present DoJ incumbents need to be haled into court and sanctioned for their willful obstruction of these investigations.

Another Faded Pink Line

I think it’s fair to say the parties are planning to stay past the 30th to keep negotiating as we have always said we may have to,” the US State Department official said.

Who needs deadlines?

There’s this killer [sic], too:

The final nuclear agreement is meant to block any smooth Iranian path to nuclear weapons by committing to Tehran to tight inspections and concrete measures to wind back their nuclear program for 10 to 15 years.

Not block Iran from getting nuclear weapons, only to make it more “difficult.”