Friday, April 28, 2017

A magazine obsessed

Frontpage: "The Left's culture of contempt."
The Atlantic’s May cover features Alec Baldwin covered in orange makeup holding up a Trump wig. The cover asks, “Can Satire Save the Republic?”

What is satire saving the Republic from? Republicans. While making America safe for Socialism.
I subscribe to the Atlantic magazine but there's 0% chance I'm going to re-up in a couple of months.  Before the election, they ran an editorial - only the third in their history - urging Americans to vote against Trump and, if I remember correctly, I agreed with a lot of it.  Since the election, the Atlantic has been trying to justify its editorial with one hit piece after another.

True story: I decided that if the Atlantic ran another cover story about Trump, I was cutting them loose.  Sure enough, this month's issue came yesterday with an orange-coated Alec Baldwin on the cover.  But wait!  There's more!  There's also: "The plan to end Europe" about how Trump's going to destroy a continent, "Golden State Warrior" ("[California] prepares to battle Trump")  and "The Brilliant Incoherence of Trump's Foreign Policy."

But the letter section.  Oh the letter section.  This includes single-minded missives in response to the cover article from two months ago, the over-the-moon hysterical "How to build an Autocracy."  Here's a portion of a letter from some poly-sci professor at Touro College:
The manifestly authoritarian characteristics of the man and many of his advisers lead me to think that a violent crackdown [against protesters] is highly likely. ... A violent crackdown could be the start of attempts by the administration to curb democracy, and possibly even shut down democratic institutions.
For the "Resistance!" the place is always Kent State and the year is always 1984.

Out of touch

Morning Consult: "Political Media Earns Poor Marks From Americans."  Have fun at your Nerd Prom.

Well, I like Neil Gorsuch

PJ Media: "#NotFondOfTrump After 100 Days."
This is partly, or course, because his purposeful crazy is driving his opponents real-life incoherently, incontinently crazy. From Maxine Waters' on-again-off-again calls for impeachment, to Louise Mensch and the tinfoil hat "it's all Russian spies all the way down" conspiracists, to real anarchists actually on TV actually beating up Republicans, conservatives, and people wearing red hats, the utter loss of all sense of proportion has gone a long way toward discrediting the remaining Democrats with a national platform.
Is that really the measurement we're using to gauge the success of Trump's young Administration: the Democrats are cray-cray?  Eventually they're come to terms with the fact that Hillary lost (or not).  It seems low-hanging and perishable fruit to say that success is tied to your opponents' reaction.

Chalk it up to the surprise of actually winning and an Administration still trying to fill empty seats.  Eventually, Trump needs to put some wins of his own on the scoreboard.

Extra - Hugh Hewitt: "Trump's first 100 days give conservatives a lot to celebrate."  Well, I guess there was some small-bore legislation in there.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Henry Ford's goon squad

I just started reading the novel "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides and got to the part where the Greek immigrant Lefty starts a job at the Ford automotive plant.  He and his family are visited by two guys from the "Ford Sociological Department" who rummage through his house, checking for hygiene and order, and making suggestions/orders as to how Lefty should run his life.

It's one of those times where I read a book and say: "this can't possibly be true."  But, oh, it is: "When Henry Ford's Benevolent Secret Police Ruled His Workers."

Buh-bye pensions

Washington Free Beacon: "20,000 Union Members, Retirees at Risk of Losing Pension Benefits - Retirement funds seek permission from feds to cut benefits."
In March, four unions filed applications with the U.S. Treasury Department requesting relief under a program established by the Obama administration that allows multi-employer pension plans to cut benefits in order to sustain the long-term health of the plan. The applications from United Furniture Workers Pension Fund, Alaska Ironworkers Pension Fund, Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, International Association of Machinists of Motor City Pension Fund, and Teamsters Local 805 Pension & Retirement Plan are all being reviewed by the department, according to the Pension Rights Center. If the cuts are approved on all four applications, as many as 20,309 union members could see their retirement money drastically reduced.
This is why I favor partial privatization - aka personal accounts - for Social Security.  When your money is in the hands of other people, well, rosy rates of return are promised, benefits start to outstrip revenues, and there are fewer workers in the system propping up a pool of retirees.

Then you go bankrupt, gradually then suddenly.

Shut up, Trump explained

The Hill: "Conservative media figures disappointed with Trump meeting."  "Some conservative media figures invited to an exclusive event with President Trump on Monday night left the White House frustrated and complaining that Trump's staff had intentionally sought to limit what they could report out of the meeting."  Sigh.  What's it all about, Alfie?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shut up, they explained

The Corner: "NYT publishes speech suppression advocacy."  Your ideas stink so we have to "adjust the parameters" of free speech, for your own good.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Elizabeth Warren and the deplorables

Here's an excerpt from a WashPost review of Fauxcahontas's book:
Yet the story Warren tells about the election and America’s anxieties is curiously one-dimensional. She uses standard progressive math to explain Trump voters: Some are racist bigots, some were taken in by a huckster casino owner and some are suffering from intense economic despair. One of the women she follows, Gina, lives in a mobile home in a small North Carolina town. She and her husband barely get by on her hourly wage from Walmart. “We need to tell this story!” Gina tells Warren. “But I really need this job.”

Gina, we find out at the end of the book, “proudly voted for Donald Trump, hoping he would ‘shake things up.’ ” In Warren’s world, the Democratic Party would win the vote of every Gina in America by fighting for a “playing field that isn’t tilted so hard against her.” But Warren never really tells us why America’s Ginas aren’t voting for Democrats now.
Emphasis added.  Warren was on Charlie Rose recently and he asked a version of this question in noting that Donald Trump won those very voters who were angry about the economy.  Warren responded: well they should be angry because things are terrible.  But she never articulated why these voters should look to the Democrats to solve these problems other than to recite her standard list of villains (Wall Street! Goldman Sachs!) that she regurgitates as predictably as the sun rising in the East.

Make no mistake: Warren is fighting and fighting to give you a fighting chance in the battle to win the war.  If anybody can list a single accomplishment from all this fighting other that to sell her books, let me know.

How dare you allow an opposing viewpoint!

The Hill: "Bill Nye criticizes CNN on air for inviting climate change skeptic."  An actual scientist, no less, and not an actor who puts on a lab coat.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Objectivity lesson

Hit and Run: "Scientists’ March on Washington - Do researchers risk becoming just another leftwing interest group?"
Microbiologist Alex Berezow is a senior fellow of biomedical science at a pro-science consumer advocacy organization, the American Council on Science and Health.* I asked him if he thought scientists should participate in the march. "No, scientists and researchers should not participate," he replied. "From the very outset, the march started as an anti-Trump protest. Then it morphed into a solidly progressive movement, embracing all manner of left-wing social justice causes." Berezow added that the march could well end up harming the interests of the scientific community: "For decades, science has received broad bipartisan support. (In fact, Republicans usually funded science better than Democrats.) By biting the hand that feeds them, scientists risk losing funding, as well as alienating taxpayers. That is an awful idea, and it hurts everybody."
Holding this march on Earth Day certainly calls into question its partisan nature.

Friday, April 21, 2017

You're free to listen to OUR speech

Megan McArdle: "Berkeley Once Stood for Free Speech. Now It Rolls Over. - "In the 1960s, students at Berkeley helped change the world by igniting the Free Speech Movement, a seminal moment in the history of 20th-century civil liberties. Fifty years later, Berkeley leftists seem to have decided that free speech was a mistake -- and the administration seems intent on helping them roll it back."

How many houses does a Socialist need?

The correct answer is three.

Old computers

This web site delivers what it promises: Old Computers.

I used to have a TI-99/4A computer that I loved.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Democrats' most popular politician is not a Democrat

Commentary: "The Democratic party: A brand in crisis"
Democrats have so far refused to find an antidote to their brand’s toxicity. They have performed no introspection with regard to how the 2016 election was run and lost to a former game show host, the most unpopular presidential candidate in the modern age. They have not engaged in a critical analysis of how the relatively popular Barack Obama could be replaced with a man who promised in both manner and deed to be everything the former president was not. The Democratic Party is facing a nearly 100-year nadir of its political power. Its representatives were defenestrated at nearly every level. Obama left the GOP with all three branches of the federal government and in total control of the levers of power in fully half the Union. Yet there has been no “autopsy,” and there apparently never will be. Their state of denial is all-consuming.
The strategy appears to be call everyone racist until they come around.

The ultimate swinger

Hot Air: "Grassley: Expect a SCOTUS opening this summer."  The news here is that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not interviewing clerks for the next session, suggesting that his time on the bench is winding down.

Update - Or not.  Thanks random commenter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Youse gonna be working together

Hit and Run: "NYC Mayor Encourages Cigarette Smuggling with Plan to Massively Jack Up Prices - City with highest cost per pack also has highest bootlegging rate. Imagine that."
Today de Blasio announced that he wants to make smuggling an even more financially lucrative option by jacking up the taxes on packs of cigarettes. Right now the lowest price for a pack of cigarettes in the city is $10.50 a pack. Under his proposal announced today the floor would jump to $13 a pack, the highest in the country.

By sheer coincidence (if you are completely ignorant to even the most basic concepts of economics), New York has the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the country. Though figures are hard to nail down—black markets, being what they are—stats suggest that more than half of all cigarettes are being sold illegally and untaxed in New York.
The mafia and/or New Hampshire thanks you for the business.



Georgia 6th

Real Clear Politics; "Five Takeaways From the Georgia Special Election."  I don't know why certain commentators are saying this is a done deal for the Republicans.  Special elections are always unpredictable.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017