Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Charles Krauthammer at UMass

Tonight, I went to see Charles Krauthammer at the UMass Fine Arts Center on the "Consequences of American Retreat."  It was a mixture of domestic and foreign policy commentary to a mostly-supportive audience, which is odd for Massachusetts.

He took five questions at the end and what struck me was his response to "What do you think about the situation in Baltimore?"  He didn't spend one word on the demonstrations but instead on the actions of the police.  Having seen the video in detail, he believes Freddie Gray's spine must have been severed during the initial encounter with the police.  Krauthammer went on to speculate that whatever damage that was done was exacerbated by the "bumpy ride" in the paddy wagon and only an independent prosecutor could credibly investigate the cops.

Yeah, right, and this year we win Pennsylvania

Hot Air: "Are young people finally giving up on Democrats? Don’t bet on it."

You own Baltimore, Democrats

I've said before that if you want to understand Obama's motivation, look through the prism of his vanity.  If it strokes his ego, he's there.  So when Baltimore exploded, well it was time for Obama to testify to his own terrificness by saying that he wanted to spend more on the city if it wasn't for those darn Republicans.

Michelle Malkin puts this excuse for more social spending in context.  The "if we only spent more!" nonsense works just as well in security policy, also.  It's the Democrats' go-to strategy as we stand poised to double the national debt in the last six years.  Sure let's throw some more stimulus at Baltimore:
Last week, economists from the St. Louis Federal Reserve surveyed more than 6,700 education stimulus recipients and concluded that for every $1 million of stimulus grants to a district, a measly 1.5 jobs were created.
Kevin Williamson lays bare the dysfunction that is Baltimore...and Detroit...and Philly.  You get it: "Riot-plagued Baltimore is a catastrophe entirely of the Democratic Party's own making"
Yes, Baltimore seems to have some police problems. But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project.
There's a blog I used to like called, bluntly, "The Conspiracy to Keep you Poor and Stupid."  This is the policy of Baltimore where kids are condemned to rotten schools and grow up to a rotten economy with no jobs.  The public officials are entrenched and corrupt, yet they keep getting voted into office.  This is your bed, and now you can riot in it.


Ace: "Chelsea Clinton's Claim That An Independent Watchdog Rated the Clinton Foundation As Among the World's Most Transparent Organizations is, Get This, a Complete Lie."

You're not going to believe this but the reason the Clintons are giving for not revealing those 1100 foreign donors?  Another complete lie.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fear and impotence in Baltimore

USA Today: "Major League Baseball makes wrong call in Baltimore."  A baseball game played in front of...nobody.  Sad.

The populist enters

Hit and Run: "Bernie Sanders is running for President - Contain yourselves."

I'm convinced that fake Indian/confirmed airhead Elizabeth Warren will never enter the race, so if the Democrats are looking for their class warfare candidate then Bernie will have to do.  And, brother, if you're in the market for Koch Brothers conspiracy theories well then prepare yourself for a feast.

Monday, April 27, 2015


I don't have much to say about the rioting except this: get ready for the bulletproof-glass, high-price bodegas that are going to replace all the chain stores looted and burned down tonight.

Those are some expensive office supplies

The Federalist: "In 2013, The Clinton Foundation Only Spent 10 Percent Of Its Budget On Charitable Grants - Hillary Clinton's non-profit spent more on office supplies and rent than it did on charitable grants."

It's not a charity: it's a slush fund.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Words with Friends

I was down 30+ points in a game today when I looked down to see FROSTED in my rack, which I hooked across BE(D) to make a bingo and go up by 30.  Then with no tiles left, I played DI on VINED to go out, catching my opponent with a lot of high-value tiles.  This puts me at 32 wins and one loss (to, ahem, my wife.)  It appears there is no man who can defeat me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kind of the reverse of a student paper

Via the Volokh Report, here's a humorous story about a legal brief that was in danger of going over the 14,000-word limit imposed by the Court.  So to keep the word count down, theycrammedabunchofwordstogetherlikethis.  That'sthinkingoutsidethebox.

BTW it snowed yesterday

The Federalist: "Seven big failed environmental predictions."

How US uranium got to Iran and the Clintons got rich

A great bullet-point review from Ricochet.  Also, I like this story:

Clinton flunky: "Bill never met with Kazakh officials in his home!"
NY Times reporter: "We have photographic evidence."
Clinton flunky: "OK, then, he did."


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Things the Clintons want you to believe

The partial list:
  • Large payments to the Clinton Foundation - including a $500,000 payoff for a Bill Clinton speech - was simply coincidental with a uranium deal with Kazakhstan.
  • It's also coincidental that Bill's speaking fee spiked after Hillary became Secretary of State.
  • Six out of eight winners for the State Department award also contributed to the Clinton Foundation - coincidence.
  • The Clinton Foundation reported it received zero dollars from foreign contributions, despite an agreement with the Obama administration to report such contributions, but this was due to shoddy bookkeeping and not a conscious attempt to hide foreign influence.
  • Hillary had a private email server because she didn't want to carry two devices and she erased her server because it just had a lot of yoga workout records.
  • The right-wing media is biased against the Clintons.

And, no, they don't think you're stupid.  Heavens to Betsy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hillary whines

Gosh darn those mean Republicans, they're so focused on her instead of the issues!
It’s bad enough that she’s been bumbling around, robotically reciting the blandest possible talking points because she has no accomplishments to run on. (Unless you consider taking a bribe to be an accomplishment.) Now she’s actually whining because those mean Republicans are saying stuff about her that she can’t deny, because it’s true.
Stop the personal attacks and focus on the issues!
Hillary's content-free website, meanwhile, came in for its own share of derision, with the harshest coming from fellow liberals. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow complained that her four-point platform was so vague "it could have been anybody's." Others noted that there isn't even an issues page on her campaign website.
Those issues are a distraction from the real issue: electing Hillary.  Because uterus.

Know your rights

Hit and Run: "Supreme Court Says Police Violated 4th Amendment When Use of Drug-Sniffing Dog Prolonged Routine Traffic Stop."


Greece raids the piggy banks

Desperate times in Greece: the couch cushions will be next.  Bloomberg: "Greek Mayors to Protest Government Decision to Seize Their Cash."  Those are just "idle cash reserves" says the government, so it's totes OK.

Goin' nuke-ular

Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe: "Danger of Iran deal is not because Tehran lies, but because it doesn’t."  Yeah, they're pretty up-front on what they want to do.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Welcome to Skynet, may I take your order?

Hit and Run: "Will Minimum Wage Protesters Order Fries From Their Burger-Flipping Robot Replacements? - Pricing yourself out of the market is not so smart."

ICYMI Olive Garden is following the lead of Chili's to phase out servers.

This campaign has more shoes dropping than Imelda Marcos' closet in an earthquake

Hey, that's a pretty good title.  Here's the New York Times: "New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation."
But “Clinton Cash” is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author  to pursue the story lines found in the book.
Pure coincidence, the Clinton camp will say:
For instance, one South American donor made a lot of money when Hillary Clinton pursued the free-trade policy with Colombia that her fellow Democrats had spent years blocking during the preceding Bush administration. Chozick notes that Clinton Cash will focus more on money that went directly into their pockets, though, through the speaking tours of Bill Clinton. Eleven of the 13 $550K-plus speeches given by the former President took place during Hillary’s tenure as SecState, Schweizer will document in the book.
Need we question why Hillary wiped clean her email server?  We know what was on there.

Extra - Rand Paul called it.

More - Twitchy: "Now you can panic, Dems."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

That NYT loon

Russ Smith has a acidly humorous takedown of Paul Krugman that ends with this funny comment:
Krugman concludes on a phony note: “One thing is for sure: American voters will be getting a real choice. May the best party win.” That’s simply insulting, as anyone who’s read the far-left Democrat realizes that Krugman considers 99 percent of Republicans as meth-addled hillbillies.
We like NASCAR too.  Bristol tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"These kids can't read"

There's a lot of outrage over the sentences handed down by a judge over the Atlanta cheating scandal, up to seven years for doctoring standardized tests.  If you read a little deeper into the story, however, you can see that the judge was motivated to drop the hammer not because of the crime alone but because the lack of contrition by the convicted.

On top of that, the judge seemed to have concluded that a kind of child abuse had taken place.  These kids are in academic crisis and these teachers filled them with false self-esteem.

Chief Justice in the Court

Not his court: "Chief Justice Roberts reports for jury duty in a Maryland court."
“Sir, good morning. How are you?” [Judge] Rubin asked No 49.  [Roberts]

“Very good, thank you,” No. 49 said.

“I’ve discussed this with counsel. Obviously we know what you do for a living, sir.”

Redistribution machine

Doug Ross: "Tax Day is Almost Done, Here's How the Federal Government is Committing Fiscal Suicide."

War on women's intelligence

Here's another chick who really didn't like Hill's rollout:
Hillary Clinton’s announcement followed by her dark-windowed SUV journey into deepest darkest America was the most inept, phony, shallow, slickily-slick and meaningless launch of a presidential candidacy I have ever seen. We have come to quite a pass when the Clintons can’t even do the show business of politics well. The whole extravaganza has the look of profound incompetence and disorganization—no one could have been thinking this through—or profound cynicism, or both. It has yielded only one good thing, and that is a memorable line, as Mrs. Clinton glided by reporters: “We do have a plan. We have a plan for my plan.” That is how the Washington Post quoted her, on ideas on campaign finance reform.
What difference do the details make at this point?  She has no "Y" chromosome, America!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hillary says stuff

Sounds like somebody has been hanging around with Maureen Dowd.  Here's Ruth Marcus in the WashPost with "Hillary Clinton's insultingly vapid video."
For one, the video was relentlessly, insultingly vapid — a Verizon commercial without the substance. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton said in what passed for a meaty message. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

Seriously, this makes Ronald Reagan’s gauzy “It’s Morning Again in America” commercial look like a Brookings Institution seminar on economic policy.
Get ready for sixteen months of incredibly bland platitudes of towering self-delusion, because virtually everything Hillary says will be contradicted by her own history.  Today, the Hill said we need to get "unaccountable money" out of politics, seemingly unaware of her Clinton Foundation shakedowns and her pending two-billion dollar campaign.

I like Marco Rubio

But, darn it, I don't think I can get behind another smooth-talking, first-term Senator without much experience.  I think the GOP will come to its senses and get behind a governor: somebody with executive experience balancing a budget, working with a legislature, and just general meritocracy.

But not Jeb.  Put me down for Walker and John Kasich.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Your tax dollars at work

Hot Air: "Your tax dollars at work: NY spends $28M to create 76 jobs."

Not to be upstaged, the federal government shows New York how it's done: "But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars and deploying nearly 3,000 troops to build Ebola treatment centers, the United States ended up creating facilities that have largely sat empty: Only 28 Ebola patients have been treated at the 11 treatment units built by the United States military, American officials now say."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Minuteman does the legwork

Paul Krugman has an article about Social Security today and, like virtually everything else published in the New York Times lately, it's all wrong wrong wrong.  Fortunately, Just One Minute exposes Krugman's fallacies and contradictions.  Does the man have any principals that don't shift from year-to-year and political party-to-political party?  The Internet is forever, buddy.

If I could just add one other point to Tom Maguire's commentary: if you read the Krugman article, his call for expansion of Social Security is rooted in the infantalization of Americans and the liberals' role in salvation.  Americans just can't be trusted to invest for their retirement, so we simply have no choice but to guide these poor souls through higher taxation and government intervention.

Super-duper journalism

Federalist: "The New York Times Is Blatantly Lying About Guns At The NRA Annual Convention."
Even if you know nothing about guns or gun laws, a criticism which appears to apply to every member of the New York Times editorial board, these facts were available to anyone with a brain and access to Google three days ago. And yet the NYT couldn’t bring itself to acknowledge these facts.
You would think that when these - ahem - "professionals" venture outside their liberal bubble, they would take extra caution against confirmation bias and double-check their facts.  But...narrative.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Iran: We really want our carrot...

...and we're not fans of the stick either.

Hot Air: "Rouhani: Any deal has to lift all sanctions on Day One."

What, exactly, was agreed to in this "framework" agreement?  I'm starting to believe it was this:

Extra - The Corner: "Krauthammer’s Take: The Obama Administration Never Had A Deal with Iran on Key Issues."  Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Almost made it a week!

Hot Air: "Iranian defense minister: This nuke deal doesn’t allow you to inspect our military sites."
Via Michael Rubin, here’s the first glaring evidence that Iran doesn’t intend to comply with the west’s most important demand, comprehensive inspections of all nuclear facilities. It took six days for this thing to turn into a transparent sham.
Virtually the only thing that John Kerry got out of this great deal was unfettered inspections.  The Iranians can keep all their hardened facilities, they can run thousands of centrifuges, and they can hold onto their uranium.  The inspections were the only meaningful concession and now they're off the table.

But then, in the logic of the Obama Administration, I just want war.

Fixing Social Security

Megan McArdle has a good article here: "The Left gets it wrong about Social Security."

The short synopsis is that the adjustments often proposed are either 1.) an enormous tax increase or 2.) eliminating the universality of the program by breaking the link between contributions and benefits.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Freedom of speech and cake preparation

There were two particularly good blog posts I found today about compulsive speech and cake preparation.  Coyote Blog made this excellent point:
Try as I might, I can only think of two internally consistent positions on this issue:  1.  Businesses have the freedom to accommodate whomever they want; or 2.  All businesses, perhaps as a part of the state business license requirements, must accommodate all comers no matter what.  Number one leads to some ugly, but probably rare, incidents.  Number two causes a lot of friction with other first amendment rights such as speech and religion.
What kind of free-speech friction?  That is reviewed in this equally good piece by law professor Jonathan Turley: "Critics of Indiana’s religious freedom law are trying to have their cake and eat it, too - In their rush to support same-sex rights, they've been too quick to dismiss legitimate questions about free speech and expression."
Consider two cases that both happen to involve bakeries in or near Denver, Colo. In July 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a wedding cake. Owner Jack Phillips said that, due to his Christian beliefs, he could not provide a cake for the celebration of a same-sex marriage. Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission ultimately ruled that the bakery broke the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
Now, the flip side. In March 2014, Christian customer Bill Jack asked Azucar Bakery to prepare two cakes in the shape of Bibles — with an X over the image of two men holding hands. Owner Marjorie Silva said she would make the cakes but refused to include what she found to be an offensive message. Jack filed a religious discrimination claim that’s now pending with the state’s civil rights division.
Two sets of cakes. Two different sentiments viewed as offensive. Can we compel the baker in one case and permit the other to refuse? And should the right to refuse be limited to religious objections? There are an array of messages that offend non-religious persons or violate non-religious values. Glibly saying that you cannot discriminate ignores legitimate questions of forced speech and forced participation.
Colorado has ruled that the bakery who refused to make the anti-gay cakes were A-OK but the poor souls from the other bakery needed to go to re-education camps for their Doubleplusungood Thoughtcrimes.  The brain trust at ThinkProgress thinks that's just dandy because one cake is "discrimination" and other cake is just speech we don't like.  The lawsuits against the Muslim bakers should be proceeding apace.

Unless, and I'm just guessing here, this selective acceptance of speech depends on whether old-school Christians are on the other side of the belief wall.  Onward Catholic photographers.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

A story too good to fact-check

NY Times: "Rolling Stone Retracts Article on Rape at University of Virginia"
The report, published by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and commissioned by Rolling Stone, said the magazine failed to engage in “basic, even routine journalistic practice” to verify details of the ordeal that the magazine’s source, identified only as Jackie, described to the article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
Couldn't happen to a nicer magazine.  They wanted to believe the perfect narrative of women preyed upon by elite, white, Southern frat boys - so they did!  Let the lawsuits fly.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Friday, April 03, 2015

Speak up or shut up

Hit and Run: "New York Times Opposes Corporate Speech in Citizens United, Cheers Corporate Speech Against Indiana RFRA - Corporate speech is problematic for the Times, except when it’s not."
In other words, according to the Times, it is a threat to democracy when corporate power is used to “intimidate elected officials,” but it is both beneficial and applaudable when several of America’s most powerful corporations throw their weight around in the hopes of influencing elected officials to take a particular side in a contentious political dispute.

Got it? Me neither.
A person could become very rich indeed if he/she earned a nickel every time the New York Times was called out for "principals" that were malleable to political persuasion.

Let me guess: the filibuster is a cherished practice of the Senate again, right?

Extra - Hot Air: "The Left's new love of corporate speech."

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Here comes the Grexit

I think I predicted this a couple months ago.  Telegraph: "Greece draws up drachma plans, prepares to miss IMF payment."  And in case there was a question whether to withdraw all your money from Greek banks: "Greece is drawing up drastic plans to nationalise the country's banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands."

Warren Buffett says it won't be so bad for Europe.

Look to the Lone Star State

I'm still confused about the interpretation of Indiana's RFRA but, according to this NPR interview, the answer is to copy Texas:
SIEGEL: Governor Pence of Indiana has requested changes in his state's law. Would there be any meaningful changes other than the provisions you've just cited here about corporations or about nongovernment lawsuits?
EPPS: The governor says he wants the law clarified in order to make clear that it is not, quote, "a license to discriminate." If he wants to do that, there's an easy fix, and it's the one that Texas adopted, Section 110.011 of the Texas code. That says this bill does not apply as a defense in a civil rights action except when such an action is brought against a church in a question of who can volunteer. So churches are protected, but the general nondiscrimination statutes like the ones in Indianapolis will not be affected. That would fix the problem, I think.
There you go.

Extra - Over at Hit and Run, Andrew Napolitano thinks the law in its current form is no good.