The Shocking Politically Biased Advice that the NY Times apparently offered Paula Broadwell's Husband about his wife's affair with Gen. Petraeus

In July, Paula Broadwell's husband wrote the NY Times' ethics columnist asking for advice about an affair that his wife was having with a high ranking government official.  Here is part of the advice that the "ethics" columnist offered:
Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. . . . The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. . . . I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.
Are you really only supposed to out affairs when someone supports a "family-values platform"?  How about if the man who is being cheated on values "family-values"?  Can't the values be something noble even if one can't reach the desired goal oneself?  

From the letter to the paper, how can the columnist possibly infer that it "doesn't appear to be the case" that the man doing the affair promotes family-values?  In fact, I would argue that what we know about Gen. Petraeus indicates that he does strongly share these values.  After all, affairs in the military will get you court martialed.  In addition, Petraeus' resignation statement makes it clear that he believes these things.

I suspect that the ethics columnist doesn't share the family-values and thus that makes it OK to discredit them.  This seems like it is only OK to out Republicans.  So making affairs public should only be done against Republicans?  I can only wonder what advice the columnist would have offered if this letter had been sent in during a Republican administration.

UPDATE: Apparently, the Petraeus-Broadwell affair began while Petraeus was still in uniform, when he assumed command of the Afghanistan War.  For better or worse, here are the military rules governing this conduct:
Adultery in the military is actually prosecuted under Article 134, which is also known as the "General Article." Article 134 simply prohibits conduct which is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, or conduct which is prejudicial to good order and discipline. . . .
UPDATE: Jake Tapper reports that the letter in the New York Times is "NOT about the Petraeus affair." That still doesn't justify the bizarre answer that the columnist gave.


While people were talking about Chicago's proposal to tax bullets, they already had a gun tax for the same reason

There has been quite a discussion about Cook County's recent proposal to tax bullets.  But, apparently, there is already a $25 county tax on each gun sold ("The levy represents the first time a major city has used taxation to mitigate the costs of gun-related violence.").  There are already other fees.  To get a gun in Chicago you have to pay for city registration fee ($100 plus $15 for each gun) and the state FOID card ($10).  Of course, there are also training requirements that must be met and I have found one place where you can get that training for only $125 (indeed, it is advertised as "The Best-Priced Chicago Firearm Permit Course in Illinois").  Not including people's time costs, the fees here come to a total of $265.

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Why Odd Even Days for Gas purchases will make gas lines longer

The point is a very simple one, and it is based on economics.  If you can only purchase gas every other day, you will fill up your tank more often just to make sure that you aren't stuck without gas on your no gas days.

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The coming regulatory explosion

Since July I have been warning about the coming onslaught of federal regulations.  Obama obviously didn't want these coming out during the campaign.  I believe that Obama has been delaying issuing new regulations until after the election.  From CNS News:
It’s Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website
In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day. 
The website allows visitors to find and comment on proposed regulations and related documents published by the U.S. federal government. "Help improve Federal regulations by submitting your comments," the website says. . . .
Remember Obama's claim about oil exploration during the Second Presidential debate that he was responsible for increased oil production.  Yet, immediately after the presidential debate we have this new regulation:
The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development. 
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation. 
Related point: "The Top 3 Special Interests Expecting Favors During Obama’s Second Term," the payoffs to labor, environmental groups, and "green" energy companies. 

UPDATE: Finally, the WSJ gets up to speed on this point.  
Since Election Day, the Health and Human Services Department has submitted a raft of key health rules for White House review that it has been sitting on for months. . . . 
Financial services. According to a Davis-Polk analysis, only 133 or 33.4% of the 398 rule-makings the law firm estimates Dodd-Frank requires have been finalized. The law is ambiguous and other reviews suggest the figure could be closer to 500. As of November 1, some 132 rules haven't even been proposed, while the government has failed to meet 61% (or 144) of Dodd-Frank's legal deadlines. . . . 
Energy. In the lead-up to November, the Environmental Protection Agency stood down under White House pressure, delaying rules for ozone air quality and industrial boilers, and deferring carbon standards. Now EPA chief Lisa Jackson has the run of the place. . . . 
Economic potpourri. The National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs are teaming up to rewrite employment, labor and workplace law. The FCC and the FTC are doing the same for the tech industry and Silicon Valley via investigations, audits and "oversight." The Agriculture Department is going after "illegally harvested plants." The Consumer Product Safety Commission has its eyes on . . . table saws. . . .

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Voters moving against government as the solution to our problems?

In 2008, voters said in exit poll by 51-43% gov't should do more to solve problems. This year, same question by 43-51% they said the opposite.

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Illinois counties voting for concealed carry by a combined 69%

UPDATED: I don't have any raw vote numbers for two of the counties (though the initiative passed in those counties with at least 73% of the vote).  In many of the counties this was listed as a Constitutional amendment.

Adams County -- 78 percent in favor to 22 percent against (22,994 to 6,681)

Rock Island County -- 57% of people in favor of conceal carry and 42% against (62,242 to 35,715)
Warren County -- 73 percent in favor to 27 percent against (also here)
Henry County -- 73 percent in favor to 27 percent against (16,526 to 5,974)
Bond County -- 77.8 percent in favor to 22.2 percent against (5,502 to 1,572)
Randolph County -- 75.2 percent in favor to 24.8 percent against (10,071 to 3,319) 
Mercer County -- 78 percent in favor to 22 percent against (6,373 to 1,789).
McDonough County -- 68.4 percent in favor to 31.6 percent against (8,082 to 3,735)
Schuyler County -- 81 percent in favor to 19 percent against
Stephenson County -- 68 percent in favor to 32 percent against (13,067 to 6,140)

The totals for the eight counties that are available are 144,857 to 64,925 and that comes to 69 percent versus 30.86 percent.  Total votes were 
209,670.  Since the two counties that I don't have the raw vote totals for had even higher percentages voting for the initiatives, it is likely that more than 70 percent of all voters voted for allowing concealed carry.

Thanks very much to Tony Troglio for many of these links.  Thanks very much to Brian Wegner for this picture showing were the counties are.


Nine Illinois Counties vote overwhelmingly to support legalizing concealed handguns

The counties are mainly rural and the vote was non-binding, but it just confirms the serious support for concealed carry in the last state that still bans it.
Residents in nine mostly rural counties have sent a message to Illinois lawmakers: Legalize the right to carry concealed weapons. 
Measures supporting concealed carry passed overwhelmingly in all nine counties where they were on Tuesday's ballot — Adams, Bond, Henry, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stephenson and Warren. 
The votes were non-binding because local law cannot override state law. But advocates say they hope to build pressure on lawmakers to support concealed carry. . . .
If anyone knows the exact percentages of the votes, I would appreciate it.  I looked on line briefly, but I couldn't find anything.

Thanks to Tony Troglio for the link.


Obama wins vote in 8 of 10 wealthiest counties

Of the 10 wealthiest counties, Obama averaged getting 56.3 percent of the vote. Better than he did nationwide where he ended up with 50 percent.
In an election that often focused on debates about class warfare, President Barack Obama was favored over multimillionaire businessman Mitt Romney in eight of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties. And his margin of victory in all eight counties was greater than that of the national vote, in which Obama was leading by 50 percent to 48 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting. . . .


Is a Carbon Tax in our future?

So other than raising personal income taxes what does Obama have a mandate for? Does anyone remember a discussion about carbon taxes during the campaign? Of course, during the 2008 campaign Obama promised to cut spending and then claimed a mandate to massively increase spending. Now we have this vague warning being floated.
Barack Obama may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc. . . .

The mixed view from the state legislatures

Prior to the election there were 2,420 House and 874 Senate Democrats and 2,926 House and 1,030 Senate Republicans. After the election there were 2,584 House and 888 Senate Democrats and 2,785 House and 1,017 Senate Republicans. That represents a 6.8% increase in Democratic House members, and their increase in state Senate seats was only 1.6%. But remember, Republicans picked up 675 seats in 2010. So to put it another way, Republicans gave up 178, or 26%, of the 675 seats that they picked up in 2010. In addition, 70 percent of that 6.8% is from just one state (115 of the 164 seats), New Hampshire, and that is because that state has 400 state legislators.  The information is from the NCSL.org.



Can you count the number of over the top political biases in this post from the Weather Channel?

Click on picture to make it larger and more readable.

Post is available here.

1) Smoke coming from smoke stack on Romney side is much darker.  Obviously carbon dioxide is a much darker gas.
2) Picture of dead fish is a nice touch.  Could have gone for the nice picture of dinosaurs for oil, but obviously wanted to imply something more than the source of the fuel.
3) Tax breaks one is also nice.  Obviously accepting the notion that the $4 billion in tax breaks for oil companies involve them getting some special favor as opposed to it mainly being depreciation (like that is somehow unusual).
4) Note the even tiny editorializing such as putting "ALL" in capital letters for "Supports opening ALL federal land for oil and gas drilling."

Anyone else have other biases to nominate?

Of course, even if the Weather Channel thinks that the proposals it supports are so obvious, there is another side to this debate.

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New Op-ed piece: The financial crisis can't explain the current slow recovery

My newest piece is with Jerry Dwyer and James Lothian and starts this way:
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s book, “This Time is Different,” has become the bible of the Obama administration. Their claim that recoveries after financial crises are naturally much slower than other recoveries has given President Obama a lot of cover. Their argument may be widely accepted by the media but has not been so readily accepted by economists. 
Reinhart and Rogoff lashed out at academic critics a couple of weeksago with an opinion piece in Bloomberg and again recently on CNN, attacking economists who disagree with them as blinded by support for Mitt Romney. 
Our current recovery has been the weakest since at least World War II. Thirty-nine months since the recovery started in June 2009, job growth has been only 2 percent. During the average recovery since 1970, job growth over the first 39 months has averaged over 8 percent. The current recovery has failed to keep up with the growth in the working age population. Unlike past recoveries, much of the drop in the unemployment rate simply reflects people giving up looking for work. And there is no doubt there was a financial crisis. 
But the financial crisis is not the explanation for the slow recovery. . . . .

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Some random notes

Mayor Bloomberg: Tax Hikes on Rich ‘Drive Out the 1 Percent’
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it “dumb” to raise taxes on the wealthy, and later pointed out they would leave New York, pointing to France as an example.
“You saw in France people moving out when they raised the tax rates,” Bloomberg said, according to the New York Post on Oct. 13. “Whether you like it or not, the wealthy are mobile.”
A few days prior to that – in a press conference before the Columbus Day parade in the city –Bloomberg was asked about candidates for mayor hoping to succeed Bloomberg who are pledging more taxes on the rich.
“It is about as dumb a policy as I can think of,” Bloomberg responded, according to Capital New York on Oct. 8. . . .
Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder is not going to endorse Obama again as he did in 2008.
"They often note that Obama ran as a moderate — and that is the man they threw their support behind in 2008. But some look back and say that he has governed as a left-of-center liberal who did not keep the focus squarely on jobs and economic recovery. 
"Is that group of independent-minded voters enough to swing Virginia's 13 electoral votes away from Obama on Tuesday? The race is so close, we will have to wait until November 6 for a definitive answer. But for a state Obama may need to win, that uncertainty after almost four years on the job cannot be a great comfort to his campaign operatives." . . .

Reminder that Michael Boskin had this piece at the beginning of the year about the election being a referendum on Obama:
Obama and his congressional allies enacted an $800 billion “stimulus” bill that was loaded with programs geared to key Democratic constituencies, such as environmentalists and public employees; adopted a sweeping and highly unpopular health-care reform (whose constitutionality will be determined by the Supreme Court this year); imposed vast new regulations on wide swaths of the economy; embraced an industrial policy that selects certain companies for special treatment; engaged in borrowing and spending at levels exceeded only in World War II; and centralized power in Washington, DC (and, within the federal government, in the executive branch and regulatory agencies). . . . .



The Dumb way to commit Vote Fraud

The lesson is that if you are going to vote more than once at least pretend to be different people.
. . . A criminal complaint accuses Roxanne Rubin of casting a ballot at an early voting location in Henderson on Oct. 29, then trying to vote again at a polling site in Las Vegas on the same day. 
Miller said poll workers questioned Rubin when they found her name in a database that showed she had already cast a ballot, but she denied having voted and insisted she be allowed to vote. 
The election workers did not allow Rubin to vote and reported the incident to the Clark County registrar, who notified the secretary of state. . . .
If you want to see how to do it right, go to this link.


Newest Fox News piece: "Four years later, Obama's 'recovery' is still around the corner"

My newest piece starts this way:
More bad news for the president, as yet another lackluster jobs report was announced this morning. 
After a severe recession, job growth is normally quite strong. We are now 40 months into a recovery, but job growth is only about a quarter what it has been during the average recovery since 1970. 
Unemployment rose up to 7.9 percent. Jobs are being created, 171,000 of them, but the pace is still just keeping up with the growing working age population. With 209,000 working-age people added to the labor force last month, 133,000 jobs were needed just to tread water and keep the same percentage of the population working. 38,000 net new jobs is good, but it is trivial in a country where the civilian work force amounts to 156 million. 
The unemployment rate is back up to what it was when Barack Obama became president. To put it differently, while 194,000 more people are at work now than in January 2009, our population has grown and there are now 8,822,000 more working-age people. Unfortunately, most of that difference represents people who have simply given up looking for work and now classified as: “not in the labor force.” 
No wonder real median family income keeps falling each year during the “recovery.” . . .