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Wednesday Open Thread

On this date in 1789, George Washington took the first oath of office of a President of the United States under the current Constitution in New York City. It has been downhill ever since.

All (Violent) Options

President Obama’s “smart diplomacy ” in the Middle East is paying dividends once again. From the AFP:

The Palestinians are considering “all options” in response to Israel’s decision to halt peace talks and punish the Palestinian Authority over its unity deal with Hamas, an official said Thursday. “The Palestinian leadership will look into all [...]

Same As It Ever Was (Tax Edition)

Somewhere in Hell is an especially hot place for these bureaucrats of a bygone age (and perhaps their institutional descendants). The AP has the story on when Holland collected back taxes from Jewish Holocaust survivors returning home and a young woman’s fight to return the money:

Charlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college [...]

What? We Were Members of the Insertion Team!

Let it be known… that it will soon be against the law for cops in Hawai’i to use the services of a prostitute. Hawai’i House Bill 1926 — the description of which says:

Prostitution; Sex Crimes

Description: Amends the offense of prostitution to clarify that a law enforcement officer shall not be exempt from the [...]

What’s Worse Than Having an Empire?

Robert Kaplan, of Stratfor, wrote an interesting piece for The Atlantic — In Defense of Empire:

In June 1941, during the festival of Shavuot, a mob of Arab soldiers and tribesmen led a pogrom in the Jewish quarter of Baghdad, murdering well over 180 men, women, and children. The pogrom, known locally as the [...]

Free Speech Battles

RT'd an essay on PC censorship by @MarkSteynOnline. Now getting accused of agreeing w/Steyn on EVERYTHING, which proves Steyn's point.

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 16, 2014

I know Patton Oswalt is not well-liked around these parts… Heck, apart from his role as Remy in Ratatouille and his epic Star Wars rant on Parks [...]

In Class With Floyd — Judicial Appointments

Tonight in my Judicial Process course we will be discussing, among other things… the politics of judicial appointments… A little of this: And this:

And this:

And this for judicial elections…

European Kleptocracy

Everyone’s favorite British Member of European Parliament, Daniel Hannan is at it again… tilting against his favorite windmill. From the Daily Mail UK:

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses crisis looks Lilliputian. Call that a scandal? Bath plugs and massage chairs, patio heaters and lightbulbs? How paltry. How quaint.

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses [...]

Still Hypocritical

Vote Dry… cuz your Congressman was going to wet his whistle anyway… serf. From The Atlantic:

In a yet-to-be-gentrified area of Northeast D.C., a nondescript warehouse was unusually lively last Saturday afternoon. Inside? A spirited bottling party.

The Ivy City warehouse is home to New Columbia Distillers. Started in 2012 by Michael Lowe, New [...]

HHS Secretary Sebelius Resigning

This is what passes for accountability these days. A good, if long overdue, start. From ABCNews: The president will nominate Budget Director Sylvia Burwell to replace her.

Sebelius approached President Obama about a month ago and asked to step down after the health care sign-up numbers were released, two senior administration officials and a confidante [...]