The National Basketball Association on Tuesday handed a lifetime ban to the longtime Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, an extraordinary step in professional sports and one intended to rid the league of Mr. Sterling after he was recorded making racist comments.NY Times:
N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would try to force Mr. Sterling to sell the Clippers, fully expecting to get the necessary three-quarters approval from other team owners. It would be a rare, if not unprecedented, move for a North American professional sports league — made even more unusual by the fact that the N.B.A. is punishing Mr. Sterling for comments he made in a private conversation.
In a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate the smog-causing pollution from coal-fired power plants that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast.More politics and policy below the fold.
The 6-to-2 ruling upholds a centerpiece of what has become a signature of President Obama’s environmental agenda: a series of new Clean Air Act regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal.”
A federal judge on Tuesday struck down Wisconsin’s law requiring voters to produce state-approved photo identification cards at polling places, advancing a new legal basis — the Voting Rights Act — for similar challenges playing out around the nation.Keep in mind that WI Gov. Scott Walker (R) wants to be President.
Judge Lynn Adelman, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, found that the state’s 2011 law violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution as well as the Voting Rights Act, which bars states from imposing rules that abridge a citizen’s right to vote based on race or color.
Prior to NBA commissioner Adam Silver banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for recorded racial comments asking his female friend V. Stiviano to stop publicly associating with black people, the Golden State Warriors had planned a complete walkout that they hoped would have included the Clippers players had the punishment not been strong enough, Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News reports.AP:
The Warriors were going to go through pre-game warm-ups and take part in the national anthem and starting line-up introductions. They were going to take the floor for the jump ball, dapping up the Clippers players as is customary before games.Silver decision of a lifetime ban, $2.5 million fine and a plan to force Sterling to sell the team was enough to satisfy the Warriors and the walkout was avoided, which hearkens back to the 1964 NBA All-Star Game in which the players threatened to strike if NBA owners did not recognize the players' union.
Then once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk off. All 15 of them.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called Donald Sterling's purported comments about minorities "abhorrent" while saying he didn't think the NBA could force him out as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.Avik Roy (conservative):
Speaking in Dallas' locker room before Game 4 of a first-round series against San Antonio on Monday night, Cuban said he trusted Commissioner Adam Silver to "operate under the best interest of the NBA."
The outspoken billionaire said it was a "slippery slope" to suggest that Sterling should be forced out as owner over comments made in the privacy of his home.
"What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent," Cuban said. "There's no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with. But at the same time, that's a decision I make. I think you've got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It's a very, very slippery slope."
Most pundits are focused on the likelihood of Republican gains in 2014, fueled by an older, whiter electorate and the unpopularity of Obamacare. But the real prize is 2016. If Republicans can’t retake the White House in 2016, conservatives will have little to no opportunity to shape the future of the health-care entitlement leviathan.WSJ:
And there’s good reason to believe that Republicans will lose in 2016. Here’s my thinking. In the Republican presidential primary leading up to that election, no aspiring GOP nominee will stray from the “repeal and replace” incantation that has become de rigueur among conservatives. To do otherwise will risk being called a RINO: a Republican In Name Only.
So, a repealer-and-replacer gets nominated by the GOP, much to the satisfaction of conservatives. That nominee runs against Hillary Clinton, whose only campaign ad of the year points out that for the 35 million people on Obamacare-sponsored health coverage, you won’t be able to keep your plan under the Republicans. If 70 percent of those 35 million people vote for Hillary, Republicans lose in a landslide.
Republican politicians won’t admit this out loud, but they are well aware of this problem. And they’re trying, with baby steps, to explain that to the voting public.
A Doctor's Declaration of IndependenceTwo reasons the above article, written by an orthopedist, is annoying. Reason #1: Serious Surgical Mistakes: At Least 4000 Annually in US and Reason #2: It's hard to argue that things set up to improve quality are unnecessary, given the number of annual surgical errors, and having that argument made by a well compensated specialist whose salary has gone up and not down in the era under complaint is just galling. Quality is hugely important, and not just a minor annoyance that gets in the way of making money. So he hates electronic records. Anyone want to bet on whether you can read this guy's handwriting?
It's time to defy health-care mandates issued by bureaucrats not in the healing profession.
The American response to Thomas Piketty’s new book on inequality has been rapturous, with reviews comparing the author, a French economist, to Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx.
Oddly, the French’s response to their native son’s book has been considerably more aloof. While French journalists and pundits enjoyed the book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” there was no Beatlemania and, unlike Esquire magazine, no one declared it “the most important book of the century.”
Doug Henwood, a journalist for Left Business Observer, who is writing about the book’s reception in America for a French audience, says in an email that the book’s success in the United States “has the French scratching their heads,” although French sales are starting to pick up. Some found the book interesting when it was published in French last year, others found it lacking, but most French reviewers and intellectuals reacted as they would to any other recent economics book of interest.
We have several hypotheses to explain the more muted French response.