Don’t Miss “2014 New Year’s Policy Resolutions” at Reason’s DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: http://ift.tt/1ce0ftO

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

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Don't Miss "2014 New Year's Policy Resolutions" at Reason's DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: http://ift.tt/1ce0ftO

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1lV20Vb
via IFTTT

Recess Appointment Case Before SCOTUS Serves Up Hypocrisy on a Cracker

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds notes that
there’s “High
Drama At the Supreme Court
” today. Indeed. The case being
heard, National Labor Relations Board v.
Canning,
 involves the president’s ability to make recess
appointments, While there’s no question that the president can
indeed do such a thing, there are serious questions about what
constitutes a break or recess in Senate proceedings. In 2010,
Barack Obama invoked the power to name three people to the National
Labor Relations Board while the Senate was technically still in
session (the specific case arose after Noel Canning lost a decision
made by the NLRB).

As Damon W. Root explained earlier this year:

Senate Republicans were then gaveling the body to order every
few days for the precise purpose of denying the president his
lawful ability to make such appointments. Among the issues before
the Supreme Court is whether Obama’s actions exceed his
constitutional authority to “fill up all vacancies that may happen
during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which
shall expire at the end of their next session.”…

The hubbub is important, says Root, the

arguments in NLRB v. Noel Canning will
feature two competing liberal takes on executive power. One,
originally filed in opposition to George W. Bush, views the Recess
Appointments Clause as a narrow grant of presidential authority.
The other view, filed in support of Barack Obama, sees the clause
as a broad affirmation of the president’s power to shape national
affairs.


More by Root here.

Canning highlights the willingness with which many on
either side change principles based on their preferred outcome. The
whole practice of gaveling the Senate to order to prevent recess
appointments was a Democratic innovation used expressly to screw
over George W. Bush. Back then, Senate Republicans trotted out what
came to be known as the “nuclear option,” or the waiving of Senate
filibuster rules so presidential appointments could quickly proceed
to a simple up-or-down, majority vote. The Democratic leader of the
Senate, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this was worse than an
abomination, of course. Right up until the moment last year when he
did precisely that. And of course, Republicans who were for the
waiving of Senate protocol when it helped their side were
predictably disgusted by the Caesarism of Sen. Reid in 2013.

Here’s the New York Times editorial board
weighing in on the matter:

To be fair, Senate Democrats introduced this tactic in the last
years of George W. Bush’s presidency, but Republicans have blocked
Mr. Obama’s appointments at a far higher rate. They have made an art
of avoiding up-or-down votes on judges, agency officials and even
cabinet members.

Since the Senate finally voted last November to
eliminate the filibuster
 for most presidential nominees,
Mr. Obama should have an easier time getting them confirmed. But
there are still plenty of tricks senators can use to jam the
system, from refusing to conduct hearings to placing holds on
nominees. And if Republicans retake the Senate in November, they
won’t need a filibuster to keep Mr. Obama’s agencies from
functioning.

How can anyone really take governing seriously these days? Each
side in any given matter so clearly only cares about rules when
they serve that side’s immediate purpose.
As I noted last October
, isn’t the whole notion of senatorial
oversight supposed to act as a moderating influence on presidential
appointments? The government, especially the Senate, isn’t supposed
to be a rubber stamp on anything. It’s supposed to slow things
down, throw sand in the gears, a spanner in the works, etc. You can
find that frustrating as hell and even stupid by every measure, but
for god’s sake, when you come out against only when it gets your
partisan panties in a bunch, at least have the common decency to
admit as much. Whether you’re a Republican or conservative or
Democrat or liberal or whatever.

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A.M. Links: Rodman Returns From North Korea, Protesters Shut Down Traffic in Bangkok, Mayor of Fort Lee Believes Christie

  • According to Iranian state media, Iran has come to an agreement
    with the P5+1 countries on how to implement the
    nuclear deal
    agreed to in November last year. Implementation
    will reportedly begin on Jan. 20.
  • Protesters, some of whom are wearing
    “Shutdown Bangkok”
    T-shirts, are shutting down traffic in
    Thailand’s capital as part of their campaign to oust Prime Minister
    Yingluck Shinawatra.  
  • Former NBA player
    Dennis Rodman
    has returned from North Korea and says that he
    “couldn’t do anything” about an American missionary imprisoned
    there.
  • The mayor of the New Jersey town targeted in the lane closure
    scandal that has rocked Gov.
    Chris Christie’s administration
    said that he believes Christie,
    who claims he knew nothing about the plan to close lanes ahead of
    the George Washington Bridge.
  • 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle won the
    top
    Golden Globes
    last night.
  • Two rockets were fired
    from Gaza
    ahead of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s
    funeral.

Follow Reason and Reason 24/7 on
Twitter, and like us on Facebook.
  You
can also get the top stories mailed to
you—
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up here.
 


from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/13/am-links-rodman-returns-from-north-korea
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Steve Chapman on Chris Christie and the Perils of Power

Chris ChristieMany Americans might have learned from watching
Chris Christie’s marathon news conference on Thursday, but none
more than Meryl Streep. If there is anything she doesn’t know about
acting, the governor of New Jersey is the person who could teach
her. No one has ever done a more convincing portrayal of
incredulous innocence than his. This is the same governor who, when
state legislators raised questions about the now-infamous lane
closures on the George Washington Bridge, snorted that “it just
shows you they really have nothing to do.” In December, however,
bridge workers testifying under subpoena before a legislative
committee said the closures were “unprecedented” and “wrong.” A
wise citizenry, writes Steve Chapman, would take this episode as a
warning about the dangers of ceding control over our lives to the
government.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/13/steve-chapman-on-chris-christie-and-the
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Brickbat: The Best of Care

An investigation by the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found that contractors or employees at
167 Veterans Affairs facilities committed 14,215 privacy violations
over a two-and-a-half year period. The violations
affected more
than 100,000 veterans and 551 VA employees
. Some of the
violations included posting photos of the “anatomy” of some of the
victims on social media. In other cases, the personal information
of some victims was used to obtain credit cards. The study found
that privacy violations at the VA very rarely result in the
offender being referred to the Office of Inspector General much
less punished.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/13/brickbat-the-best-of-care
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Brooklyn's Whole Foods Opens in a Location That Sat Vacant for 132 Years. Are Locals "Freaked Out?"

In 2012, Kennedy and I made a video (click above) poking some
fun at the community opposition to the building of a new Whole
Foods grocery store in Brooklyn—an example of the anti-development
impulse taken to the point of logical absurdity. 

A few weeks ago, Brooklyn’s Whole Foods had its grand opening,
which The New Yorker took as an opportunity to
reflect on how gentrification and the opening of high-end
supermarkets are a mixed bag for cities. In an article Brooklyn's busy new Whole Foods |||titled,
“A Whole Foods Grows in Brooklyn,”
Elizabeth Greenspan
wrote: 

Abby Subak, the director of Arts Gowanus, said her group decided
to work with Whole Foods to reach its shoppers, who might include
art buyers and supporters. But she said the group is treading “a
fine line”: it wants to broaden the audience for Gowanus’s artists,
but it doesn’t want to promote big development. “The concern is
that, by collaborating, we are perceived as endorsing development,”
Subak said. “We are not endorsing big-box development or luxury
development.”

She has good reason to be sensitive. As in a lot of communities
Whole Foods is eying, development is already transforming Gowanus.
In addition to the new grocery store, a seven-hundred-unit
condominium building is breaking ground. “People are freaked out,”
Subak said. Residents have protested against both of these
projects, part of a broader debate over how to develop Gowanus
sustainably and inclusively.

Is the value of building a grocery store on an desolate street
dotted with storage facilities, gas stations, and gated
warehouses—on a lot that’s been vacant for 132
years—
really something worth debating? Are
Brooklyn residents “’freaked out’”?  As Kennedy and I
discovered
, not really.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/12/brooklyns-whole-foods-opens-on-empty-lot
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Brooklyn’s Whole Foods Opens in a Location That Sat Vacant for 132 Years. Are Locals “Freaked Out?”

In 2012, Kennedy and I made a video (click above) poking some
fun at the community opposition to the building of a new Whole
Foods grocery store in Brooklyn—an example of the anti-development
impulse taken to the point of logical absurdity. 

A few weeks ago, Brooklyn’s Whole Foods had its grand opening,
which The New Yorker took as an opportunity to
reflect on how gentrification and the opening of high-end
supermarkets are a mixed bag for cities. In an article Brooklyn's busy new Whole Foods |||titled,
“A Whole Foods Grows in Brooklyn,”
Elizabeth Greenspan
wrote: 

Abby Subak, the director of Arts Gowanus, said her group decided
to work with Whole Foods to reach its shoppers, who might include
art buyers and supporters. But she said the group is treading “a
fine line”: it wants to broaden the audience for Gowanus’s artists,
but it doesn’t want to promote big development. “The concern is
that, by collaborating, we are perceived as endorsing development,”
Subak said. “We are not endorsing big-box development or luxury
development.”

She has good reason to be sensitive. As in a lot of communities
Whole Foods is eying, development is already transforming Gowanus.
In addition to the new grocery store, a seven-hundred-unit
condominium building is breaking ground. “People are freaked out,”
Subak said. Residents have protested against both of these
projects, part of a broader debate over how to develop Gowanus
sustainably and inclusively.

Is the value of building a grocery store on an desolate street
dotted with storage facilities, gas stations, and gated
warehouses—on a lot that’s been vacant for 132
years—
really something worth debating? Are
Brooklyn residents “’freaked out’”?  As Kennedy and I
discovered
, not really.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/12/brooklyns-whole-foods-opens-on-empty-lot
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New: The FBI's Ugly Past Reminds Us Not to Trust the Government.

In the 1960s and early ’70s,
the FBI ran COINTELPRO, an unconstitutional program that not just
spied on peaceful anti-government groups but actively pitted them
against one another. The Burglary has got to be about
the last book President Obama wants to see hit shelves now. Writes
Nick Gillespie:

Just 19 percent of Americans surveyed telling
Gallup that they trust government “to do what’s right” just about
always or most of time.

Who can blame us? Barack Obama pledged to create the most
transparent administration ever but has broken his own
vows about appointing lobbyists and mega-donors and lied
about the basics of his health-care reform law. His “secret
kill list,”, a highly controversial if not plainly unconstitutional
measure by which he claimed the right to unilaterally dispatch
individuals he concluded were threats to the U.S., shook the faith
of even his most gah-gah supporters.

In the wake of revelations made possible by NSA leaker Edward
Snowden, Obama’s director of National Intelligence, James Clapper,
has acknowledged dissembling to the U.S. Senate about the extent
and nature of government collection of information on Americans at
home…. Obama has next to no credibility when he or anyone
connected to him speaks on matters of national security or civil
liberties.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/12/new-the-fbis-ugly-past-reminds-us-not-to
via IFTTT

New: The FBI’s Ugly Past Reminds Us Not to Trust the Government.

In the 1960s and early ’70s,
the FBI ran COINTELPRO, an unconstitutional program that not just
spied on peaceful anti-government groups but actively pitted them
against one another. The Burglary has got to be about
the last book President Obama wants to see hit shelves now. Writes
Nick Gillespie:

Just 19 percent of Americans surveyed telling
Gallup that they trust government “to do what’s right” just about
always or most of time.

Who can blame us? Barack Obama pledged to create the most
transparent administration ever but has broken his own
vows about appointing lobbyists and mega-donors and lied
about the basics of his health-care reform law. His “secret
kill list,”, a highly controversial if not plainly unconstitutional
measure by which he claimed the right to unilaterally dispatch
individuals he concluded were threats to the U.S., shook the faith
of even his most gah-gah supporters.

In the wake of revelations made possible by NSA leaker Edward
Snowden, Obama’s director of National Intelligence, James Clapper,
has acknowledged dissembling to the U.S. Senate about the extent
and nature of government collection of information on Americans at
home…. Obama has next to no credibility when he or anyone
connected to him speaks on matters of national security or civil
liberties.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/12/new-the-fbis-ugly-past-reminds-us-not-to
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