Getting Rid of Federal Government Rules

A couple of random thoughts triggered by a Wall Street Journal article.  The Republican Congress has been using the Congressional Review Act to rescind rules enacted by various Executive Branch agencies.  The Act allows Congress, by simple majority vote (no Senate filibuster) and Presidential signature to rescind rules so long as the rescission is done within 60 days of the rule’s promulgation in the Federal Register or formal reporting to Congress.  There are potsful of rules that haven’t yet passed that threshold, and so Congress can reach back years for rescissions under the Act.

Senate Democrats have insisted the rules have lengthy debate time….

Confusion

The latest whiner pundit to weigh in on President Donald’s tax reform principles, laid out in a concise one-pager.  And yet these pundits pretend to confusion over it.

President Donald Trump’s plan is silent so far on crucial details Americans need to calculate their tax bills, including the personal exemption and the size of the tax brackets.

And

The president’s latest plan for middle-income households…has left tax experts puzzled. That is because his one-page tax outline released in April is silent on essential details, including how the tax code will treat the personal exemption that reduces taxable income depending on family size. It sets tax brackets of 10%, 25%, and 35% without establishing the income levels that divide them.

Hysteria

FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Donald Trump, and the Left is waxing hysterical over it.  Never mind that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (only just confirmed after another example of Progressive-Democratic Party obstructionism in the Senate) laid out the case for Comey’s inability to function as the FBI’s leader.  Rosenstein’s memo can be read here as part of the document chain culminating in Trump’s letter to Comey.  Via Richard Fernandez:

Keith Ellison tweeted “we are witnessing a Consitutional [sic] crisis unfold before our very eyes.”

Law and Trump’s EO Regarding Travel Delays

The 4th Circuit Appellate Court is hearing the Trump administration’s appeal of Hawaii and Maryland Federal trial judges’ preliminary injunctions blocking implementation of the President Donald Trump’s second Executive Order imposing a temporary travel delay of its own on persons from six Middle East nations from entering the United States (with provisions for case-by-case exceptions).  Even though Hawaii is in the 9th Circuit and not the 4th, I’m using the Hawaii ruling as my example here since the Maryland ruling is substantially the same, the Hawaii ruling is more readily available, and I’m lazy.

Is Satire

…a proper style for what’s claimed to be a serious, scholarly journal?  Here, via The Wall Street Journal, is the abstract of Teresa Lloro-Bidart’s When ‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of consumption across southern California [sic] in the journal Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography [also sic]:

YGTBSM

…again.  Grant High School history teacher David Lickey wrote an essay and distributed it to the school’s students and teachers.  In it, he wrote

“I find assertions of rape culture dubious,” and “The very wording of ‘rape culture’ seems to me a bit hysterical.”

And

“Rape culture” is a theoretical construct that is ill defined. What exactly is “rape culture?” I don’t see it in my life or the lives of any of the men and women I have known. I have never met a person who believes rape is anything other than a heinous crime.

Do Big Things Quietly

Which is not the same as doing them secretively.  Just don’t bruit about any wonderfulness about you for doing them.  Let the little things you do do your talking for you.

Morally, do the little things quietly (but not secretively), also; let your efforts speak for themselves.  I’m writing here, though, about practical politics, and two examples illustrate the matter: Obamacare and efforts at managing climate change.

The Durbin Amendment and Price Fixing

Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) added to Dodd-Frank an amendment that mandated the maximum price large banks could charge merchants who process debit-card payments.  The House’s Financial Services Committee, in marking up Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act, included repeal of the Durbin Amendment.

Naturally, Durbin has demurred, and he did so, among other place, in a Letter to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy

Andrew Scurria and Heather Gillers have a piece in The Wall Street Journal that discusses various considerations now that the story of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy is “just beginning for investors.”  One remark in particular caught my eye.

Complicating matters, Puerto Rico hasn’t yet decided which creditors have priority in a restructuring.

This lack of forethought, even of understanding, is illustrative of how Puerto Rico got into this mess in the first place.

The question shouldn’t center on creditors; the order of priority of debt type should be the primary criterion, with creditors within each type treated equally.  This prioritization should have been defined long ago, too.

Handling Classified

FBI Director James Comey had this about Huma Abedin and her role in the ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) classified email scandal:

Somehow, her [Clinton’s] emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information.  His then-spouse, Huma Abedin, appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her, so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.

Comey justified his lack of action with this:

We didn’t have any indication that she had a sense of what she was doing was in violation of the law[.]