Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I will take what is mine with fire and blood

Hit and Run: "Free Speech Review: 22 Significant, Silly, or Otherwise Noteworthy First Amendment Cases From 2014."

The meltdown

In keeping with today's criticism of the media, Hot Air's top 10 posts for 2014 includes several journalistic lapses culminating with MSNBC's objective analysis of the midterm election results.

Speaking of "journalism"

A month ago, I noted that the popular "Serial" podcast was going nowhere and that there was scant evidence to indicate the guy in prison right now was falsely convicted.  Now that the series is over, the Federalist adds this: "‘Serial’ Has One Of Those Big Flapping In The Breeze Red Flags Of Journalism."

And now, just this morning, on the non-mainstream media site "The Intercept", Jay Wilds talks about why he didn't want to talk to the police or the "Serial" people.  And it pretty much confirms what was obvious about halfway through "Serial": Adnan was guilty and the focus on minutiae to heighten suspense was nothing.


Commentary: "Public trust in media at an all-time low."

I blame Ben Trovato.

Extra - Don Surber: "The top 10 failed narratives of 2014."

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gruber's loose lips

Daily Caller: "Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable."

Gee, the media missed that one too.  If there's any question about how damaging Gruber's "stupid" statements will be to the King v. Burwell case before the Supreme Court, take note that the brief filed by the plaintiffs waited only to page 4 to remind the Court.

Monday, December 29, 2014

That darn media

Before going on his wedding-disrupting vacation, Obama sat down for an interview with NPR.  The recipient of the most fawning media coverage in the history of the White House informed us that, gosh darn it, the media just won't report how great everything's going:
It is the media’s fault he is not more popular
But even while touting economic progress and his breakthrough with Cuba, Mr. Obama couldn’t resist what has become like a crutch in his public statements: blaming the press for not communicating his successes to the American people.
It's never the dog food with this guy, it's always a failure of marketing.  The New York Times recently piled on by reporting that Medicaid reimbursement rates will decline by 43% under Obamacare which will certainly lead to even more doctors dropping patients.  Ed Morrissey explains how we came to this bait-and-switch moment:
Doctors initially opposed ObamaCare, though, which is why Harry Reid snuck in the delay in reimbursement cuts (for Medicare in this instance) at the last minute almost exactly five years ago. The “doc fix” dodge had been going on for some time, but Reid took it to a new level in order to fool the CBO into scoring ObamaCare as deficit-neutral. He submitted the Senate-written bill with the cuts to the CBO while winning AMA endorsement with a separate and temporary suspension of those cuts that the CBO didn’t get to see. That and the “temporary” Medicaid reimbursement rates have kept up the pretense of deficit neutrality ever since while pushing off the day of reckoning … until now.
Here's my question: where was the mainstream media then?  While the conservative news outlets were warning that Obamacare was full of questionable policy patches and budget games, the MSM was busy with the low-hanging fruit of showing Republicans pushing Grandma over a cliff.  Where was the investigative journalism back then?

The great mission of husbanding Obamacare into existence now completed, the MSM can now turn their attention on costlier deductibles and premiums, vanishing policies, the dwindling doctor base, and the rising tax penalties.  Obama will have the sads.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Things that bug me

Have you seen the Geico commercial where a guy is walking from the street towards a public (that is, not residential) office building and cannot enter when he pulls on the door handle?  Suddenly Salt-N-Pepa appear and urge him to "Push It."

I'm almost positive that national fire codes require that all public buildings must have doors that open outward.  The reason is that if there's an emergency a crush of panicked people would prevent the door from being opened inward, preventing escape.  Furthermore, I'm pretty sure these changes came about after the Cocoanut Grove Fire of 1942.

That door is in violation of the fire code.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zero Hedge totally called it

Zero Hedge: "Here Is The Reason For The "Surge" In Q3 GDP."  "In short, two-thirds of the "boost" to final Q3 personal consumption came from, drumroll, the same Obamacare which initially was supposed to boost Q1 GDP until the "polar vortex" crashed the number so badly, the BEA decided to pull it completely and leave this "growth dry powder" for another quarter. That quarter was Q3."

They predicted this artificial bump in June.

Headline of the day winner

MassLive: "Nighttime kayaker clinging to Christmas tree rescued from Nashawannuck Pond in Easthampton."

It's like a typing exercise.

Another victim of Obamacare

Bloomberg: "Republicans Block Reappointment of CBO Chief Doug Elmendorf."  "Republican lawmakers who have questioned the office’s analysis were unmoved. They agreed with calls from incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price for a new director who might introduce so-called dynamic scoring to CBO analysis."

I agree with Keith Hennessey that Elmendorf has been been a fair trader at the CBO, particularly with his many warning about the unsustainability of entitlement spending.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nork computers go down. Both of them.

Fox News: "North Korea experiencing widespread Internet outages."  This may affect last-minute Amazon orders.

The city will suffer first

Roger Kimball: "Will Bill de Blasio be forced to resign?"  No, but what will happen is that the NYPD will forget about all the broken windows and instead respond to every call with overwhelming force to prevent the very kind of ambush that took the lives of Ramos and Liu.  All the "petty" crimes like burglary will be ignored while resources are diverted to routine traffic stops.

Extra - City Journal: "A city on the brink." "The city’s progressive elites, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, have accommodated the protestors—offering them aid and comfort in the media, entertaining their wilder claims, and standing silent as they defamed the NYPD as racist killers."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Two cops down in NYC

Hot Air: "The time is past for Bill DeBlasio to resign."  I think he means "past due."

There's a video of DeBlasio visiting the hospital where the slain policemen were taken and virtually all the NYPD officers turned their backs to him.  It was cold.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Social Security endgame

Hit and Run: "Social Security On Track to Go Broke, Says CBO."  "It's no surprise, given the long years of discussion we've had over the financial illogic of the United States' entitlement programs, but Social Security is on track to pay out a lot less than people expect as its costs soar. The latest analysis comes from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which points out that Social Security outlays started to exceed tax revenues for the program in 2010."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

That free speech thing

Good post from Jim Treacher: "Patton Oswalt: A tale of two tweets."

Fellow travelers

Washington Post editorial: "Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout."  "Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Running out of other people's money

Politico: "Vermont bails on single-payer health care."
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday dropped his plan to enact a single-payer health care system in his state — a plan that had won praise from liberals but never really got much past the framework stage.
“This is not the right time” for enacting single payer, Shumlin said in a statement, citing the big tax increases that would be required to pay for it.
Imagine that.  If there was one incubator where single-payer might have worked it is in the politically and demographically homogeneous state of Vermont.  But the governor decided the "economic disruption" of large tax hikes would hurt everybody.

Cuba libre

Noted foreign policy expert decides - gosh darn it - America has had it all wrong for 50 years: "US, Cuba seek to normalize relations after Alan Gross released."

America's enemies will take a lesson: "Rubio on Cuba deal: ‘It puts a price on every American abroad."
“I’m not in favor of the process by which the release was acquired because I think it does set a very dangerous precedent,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News. “It puts a price on every American abroad. Governments now know that if they take an American hostage they can get very significant concessions from the United States.”
In today's speech, Obama all but admitted that the return of Alan Gross was the linchpin to open up relations with the Communist regime.  Of course, lifting the embargo requires Congressional approval and surely the White House was in close discussions with the Foreign Relations committees, right?

Yeah, right:
Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is slamming President Obama over his prisoner swap to release an American held in Cuba.
“President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government," Menendez, known for his tough stance on Cuba, said in a statement.
Like I said: he's the expert.

How about "no"?

Hit and Run: "No Exam Delay for Oberlin Students 'Traumatized' By Grand Jury Decisions."  A student wrote a long and strident email to her professor asking for a test delay and he responded simply "no."  The brevity of his response (and the time stamp) indicates he didn't think this precious snowflake deserved anything more.

They told me if I voted Republican, class inequality would deepen

And they were right!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A judge too far

Although I agree with the arguments put forth by Judge Schwab on executive powers, I don't think he was within his rights to make them:
Conservatives should remain principled in their opposition to President Obama’s misuse of executive power, but they should also remain true in their resistance to the siren song of judicial activism. They should not invite judges to carry out the heavy work of opposing the president, which here is the duty of Congress.
This was a decision based on a narrow case and this judge appointed himself the Constitutional arbiter of the Land.  The lefty blogs are noting that this judge was appointed by Dubya, so beware and (sigh) they may be correct here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

When does the "Captain Phillips" rule apply?

Regarding the terrorist attack in Sydney, there's Ace:
Now we enter the most important phase of a terrorist outrage: Being lectured for a month that Islam is Peace.
And Iowahawk:

I don't know, man, but once the police identified this through-and-through nutcase, I don't see how they would think the situation would end well.  I couldn't stop thinking of this.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hillary Clinton is Martha Coakley

This thought came to me reading Legal Insurrection: "Hillary will crumble if Elizabeth Warren just says yes."

I've always felt that Hillary's support is a mile wide and an inch deep.  The effort to recruit the Left's Barry Goldwater is an acknowledgement that Democrats just aren't that into Hillary.  Are Democrats really going to nominate a first-term Senator from academia who has no experience running a lemonade stand?

Oh, right.  That guy.

Update - I just realized I should explain: Martha Coakley is the Attorney General in deep-blue Massachusetts but she lost a Senate bid to Scott Brown then a governor's race to Charlie Baker.  Why?  As I explained over at Althouse, Coakley just can't connect with voters.  And that's Hillary.

Take this job and shove it

Maybe once the kids move out and your financial situation improves, you can take the step of just up-and-quitting.  But taking two-thirds of your office with you?  That's something else: "Inside the collapse of the New Republic."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stand back, I'm a journalist

Federalist: "Why The Media’s Fact Problems Are Way Bigger Than Rolling Stone."

While we're on the topic: the cheerleaders on the Left and in the media (but I repeat myself) are starting to notice some trouble with Obamacare:
Everything we on the right said about ♡bamaCare!!! has come to pass, and yet the Wankblog goes right on as before as each new “revelation” (predicted by the right well in advance) comes true.
Heads should roll, but instead “explanatory journalism” will go on.
But Ezra told me it was all going so swimmingly.

Extra - The media's darling:
One of the most disgusting details is how the media is praising Elizabeth Warren for attempting to shut down the government. As George Will put it on Bret Baier: When Republicans flirted with a shutdown, they were depicted as hostage-takers and suicide bombers; when ultra-liberal Elizabeth Warren does it, she's hailed as the second coming of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rockin' that hoisted petard

I forget where I saw it but somebody asked: "Why are the conservative blogs obsessed with this Rolling Stone article?"  Well, there are two explanations for me:

1) I dislike the mainstream media
2) I loathe Rolling Stone

This was a magazine that I used to subscribe to for - get this - music.  At some point they decided to be a political magazine and every freakin' week there was a jeremiad against one political party, sometimes offset by an ass-kissing defense of Obama.  Am I loving this carpet-bombing of their credibility?  Oh yes.  Take a look at this minor detail from the WashPost:
The Rolling Stone article also said that Randall declined to be interviewed, “citing his loyalty to his own frat.” He told The Post that he never was contacted by Rolling Stone and would have agreed to an interview. The article’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not respond to requests for comment this week.
We're now reached the tipping point where the default position is that "Jackie" made up this entire story.  Heads will roll at Rolling Stone.

It's gonna be biblical.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Everybody was roller-skating in the 80s

Elizabeth Warren's victimology

You're always a loser with Fauxcohontas: "Elizabeth Warren goes full Orwell."  If you're denied a home loan: victim.  If you can't pay back that loan that you shouldn't have gotten: victim.
This is an argument we can’t win with the left. If the sub prime loans are not made, then we are denying mortgages to low income families (Never mind that the interest rate is higher because of the increased risk to the lending institution). Since they were made, the left argues that they were predatory. And if you suggest that the interest rates should be higher to higher risk borrowers, now you are being discriminatory.
I can't believe this dim bulb is a national figure.  Every speech she gives is to absolve her audience of any kind of personal responsibility and instead insist you're being "hammered" by invisible forces.  Some of these oppressors even gave you a home loan!  Bastards.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Let's all pay our fair share

Via Greg Mankiw: "Who pays for government?"

Lies to support "truthiness"

Matthew Continetti: "Liberalism is a hoax."

And disregards the rest

WashPost: "Rolling Stone’s disastrous U-Va. story: A case of real media bias".  "Under the scenario cited by Erdely, the Phi Kappa Psi members are not just criminal sexual-assault offenders, they’re criminal sexual-assault conspiracists, planners, long-range schemers. If this allegation alone hadn’t triggered an all-out scramble at Rolling Stone for more corroboration, nothing would have. Anyone who touched this story — save newsstand personnel — should lose their job. The “grooming” anecdote indicates not only that Erdely believed whatever diabolical things about these frat guys told to her, she wanted to believe them. And then Rolling Stone published them."  Emphasis in original.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Illinois is the worst

The other day I mentioned that Illinois has pension obligations that will choke the state.  Now it's official:
Illinois is the worst-run state in the nation. Like many other low-ranked states, more people left Illinois than moved there. Illinois lost more than 137,000 residents due to migration between the middle of 2010 and July 2013. A poor housing market may partly explain the exodus. Median home values fell 16.2% between 2009 and 2013, the second largest drop nationwide. Illinois has extremely poor finances by many measures. Just 39.3% of Illinois’ pension liabilities were funded as of 2013, worse than any other state. Further, the state’s reserves are estimated at just 0.5% of its general fund expenditure, the second lowest reserves rate nationwide. Both Moody’s and S&P gave Illinois the worst credit ratings of any state, at A3 and A- respectively. According to Moody’s, the state’s rating reflects its low fund balances and high pension obligations, as well as its “chronic use of payment deferrals to manage operating fund cash.”
Down down down.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Dunham says "rape" and Breitbart says "nope"

Big Hollywood: "Investigation: Lena Dunham 'raped by a Republican' story in bestseller collapses under scrutiny."
After a month-long investigation that included more than a dozen interviews, a trip to the Oberlin campus, and hours spent poring through the Oberlin College archives, her description of the campus remains the only detail Breitbart News was able to verify in Dunham's story of being raped by a campus Republican named Barry.
Whether intentional or not, this opening echoes a line from "Shattered Glass" about discredited New Republic writer Stephen Glass:
[after completely debunking Stephen Glass's New Republic article]
Adam Penenberg: But there is one thing in this story that checks out.
Kambiz Foroohar: What's that?
Adam Penenberg: There does appear to be a state in the union named Nevada.
This falls in line with the unraveling of the Rolling Stone article about rape at the University of Virginia.  In both cases, I believe, a tipping point was reached where the truthiness of the rape story was more important to move some books and magazines.  Who are you going to believe?  Lena Dunham and Jann Wenner or some good ole boy Southern Republicans?

Extra - Speaking of the New Republic and unraveling.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Out of control

WashPost editorial: "President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration has no precedent."  "The White House has defended President Obama’s unilateral decision to legalize the presence of nearly 4 million undocumented immigrants as consistent, even in scope, with the executive actions of previous presidents. In fact, it is increasingly clear that the sweeping magnitude of Mr. Obama’s order is unprecedented."

Almost like they're hopelessly biased

Federalist: "Dear Media: this Elizabeth Lauten Nonsense Is Why Everybody Hates You."

The fuse is burning on the debt bomb

First up, here's Zero Hedge with "5 complete lies about America's new $18 trillion debt level."
FACT: For the last several years, the US government has been spending roughly 90% of its ENTIRE tax revenue just to pay for mandatory entitlement programs and interest on the debt.
This leaves almost nothing for practically everything else we think of as government.
This is almost verbatim something I've been saying on this blog forever with regard to America's intractable entitlement spending.  Well, we don't need to wait to see the effects of mandatory spending crowding out all other government spending.  The future of bankruptcy is in the Prairie State:
Now, to pay off its retirement debt, Illinois needs more than $6 billion a year from taxpayers to make up for the skipped contributions to the pension system, along with more than $1 billion more to pay off its pension bonds. That represents more than one-fifth of the state’s general-fund budget. By contrast, states typically spend no more than 4 percent to 5 percent of their budgets on pensions. The consequences have already been felt by Illinois taxpayers—and workers. Government employment is down by nearly 30,000 workers since its 2009 peak. Local governments, those that deliver the most basic services to taxpayers, have done the most trimming, slicing 20,000 jobs. Meanwhile, rising benefits costs are squeezing out other spending, including pay increases. School districts have been hit the hardest; their budgets are largely made up of personnel costs.
Tough nuts, kids.  Your school budget will be cut now but there will be plenty of missing jobs in Illinois due to the terrible business climate to pay off all the accumulated state and federal debt.  Nice.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Noose reporting

I got a chuckle out of this.  My9NJ: "Only 19 Paterson students ready for college"
“These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there's a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.
"Tenure."  But wait...there's more!
However, the Paterson school district said that they no longer use SAT scores to gauge students' success.
Yeah, I'll bet.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Solar eclipse

Hit and Run: "Government-Backed Green Energy Goes Bust"
The recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation filing of the Toledo, Ohio-based solar-panel manufacturer Xunlight Corp. has attracted barely any national attention.
Maybe it’s gotten to the point—after Solyndra, Evergreen, Abound, and Satcon—that the failure of another government-backed alternative energy company is a dog-bites man story. It’d be newsworthy if any of them actually ever succeeded.
Ho-hum.  Good intentions and all that.

Irresponsible and unpatriotic

Zero Hedge: "US Debt In Public Hands Doubles Under Barack Obama."