Friday, July 31, 2015

But it's the happiest place on Earth!

Pretty funny trip report: "Disney World is the worst thing ever.  You should definitely go."

How do you solve a problem like DWS?

Debbie Downer answers exactly one question from Chris Matthews in this interview: Bernie Sanders will be allowed to speak at the DNC convention.  Otherwise, she won't answer anything else including "what's the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist?"

This is an interesting theory

In the Washington Times, Monica Crowley says the bad blood between Hillary and Obama will lead to a Joe Biden campaign:
So here’s the likely plan: Mr. Biden will announce that he is running for president (the reported dying wish of his late son, Beau). After a respectable amount of time, Mr. Obama will announce that while he admires all of the Democratic candidates, Mr. Biden has earned his particular loyalty.
Crowley flatly states that "Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee for President" and the Obama coup de grace could be getting his Justice department to investigate Hillary's classified emails.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What else is in the news?

It seems like every time I check the news it's either Trump or Planned Parenthood videos.  I guess I'll link to this article on Social Security sitting on the top of the Drudge page:
I could not believe I was seeing the equivalent of what I was just thinking, but with a new twist, “If I like my Social Security, I can keep 77 percent of it.”
A program so good they had to make it mandatory.

Monday, July 27, 2015

We have to give Iran the nukes before we find out what's in the agreement

What fresh hell is this?  Washington Post: "Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed."  "President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen."

Extra - Vodkapundit: "John Kerry: Rube of State."

More - Breitbart: "Monday on  MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said it is a “big assumption” to think the Iranians will comply with the restrictions and inspections in the nuclear deal recently announced by the Obama administration."  Why do you want war!?!

Great news: no Olympics in Boston

Boston Globe: "Boston’s bid for Olympics is withdrawn."  Here in Western Massachusetts, the desire for the Games ranged from cold to tepid.


The Daily Signal: "The Clinton Emails: Will DOJ Conduct a Real Investigation?"  Can anybody seriously dispute this:
Any other federal employee found to have discussed high-level, sensitive government business in her personal emails, including possibly classified materials, would not have been treated with such kid gloves.
I heard on NPR this morning that some of the emails reviewed by the State Department IG were from either the CIA or the NSA.  Wouldn't any federal employee reasonably assume that anything from these intelligence agencies involve classified data?  They're not exchanging recipes.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Here come the entitlement cuts

WashPost: "A cut to Social Security disability benefits may be around the corner."
The disability trust fund will be depleted by the fourth quarter of 2016, leaving the administration with enough income to pay 81 percent of benefits, according to the report, which is updated annually.

The health of the Social Security program didn’t change by much, and the cut to disability benefits has been expected for years. But now that Congress has still not come up with a compromise for boosting the funding, the shortfall is more imminent.
Yes, there have been some bloggers who have pointed out for years now that automatic cuts are baked into the cake once the various "trust funds" run dry.  I can't wait to hear all the great solutions to be proposed by the Democrats, since Republicans would be crazy to put out proposals just so they can be accused of pushing Granny over a cliff.

Friday, July 24, 2015

For all the world to see

Found this on Voat: "Why the Hillary Clinton email server scandal is a BFD"
If I was able to find all of this out within 20 minutes of passive probing, imagine what someone could do with that was an IT major league all star and had the resources of a government agency behind them. I would be freaking amazed if that server was not compromised within a few weeks of it going online.

That is why it is a BFD.
Basically, this IT guy says that the security on Hillary's private server was shoddy and you can safely conclude that any classified information sent to it was Hoovered up by the Chinese.

Let's see if Loretta Lynch pulls an Eric Holder

NY Times: "Criminal inquiry is sought in Clinton email account"
WASHINGTON — Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.”
I look forward to the affected insouciance of the NY Times editorial page over Hillary's crimes.  Yes, crimes.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Conspiracy theory

I was at a concert tonight so i'm just going to throw up this Ask Reddit thread: "What is your favorite conspiracy theory?"

I had not heard the one about Michael Jordan.  Hmmm.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Race relations meeting goes about as expected

About a week ago, a series of roundtable discussions on race issues held in Worcester under the guidance of the Department of Justice wrapped up.  It was a train wreck:
WORCESTER – "Dear white people," started Joyce McNickles, a local activist who was allowed to share her reflections on the city's seven discussions on race at Monday night's final meeting. "I want you to know the most frustrating thing about these dialogues about race was the reluctance to admit that racism actually exists."
It seems that some of those crackers had the white-privilege nerve to disagree:
Etel Capacchione described mixed reactions with many "painful moments" when comments from people of color were "dismissed, attacked or redirected."

"How can you have a dialogue if you can’t speak open and honestly?" Questioned Wanda Alvarado-Eaton.
Let’s have an open discussion about your hateful comments, whitey.

But wait: it gets better and/or worse depending on your viewpoint.  In 2015, the great threat to civil rights is anonymous bloggers:
In talking about her reactions to Worcester's series of talks on race, Wanda Alvarado-Eaton talks about being attacked online by anonymous blogger Turtleboy Sports.

"We need to address issue of this blog," Alvarado-Eaton said. "The people associated with the blog need to be addressed. He and anyone associated with it need to be prosecuted for libel, defamation of character and inciting a riot or race war, as many of his commenters have talked about. It's inappropriate and ultimately a hate crime."
Uh-huh.  Well, I would dispute that but I don’t want to cause “painful moments.”

After seven meetings of fruitless and circuitous chatter, a big flipboard was set up asking this question: “What action will you take as a result of these dialogues?”  Virtually every answer was some variation of “more dialogue” except for one honest soul who wrote “go on vacation.”

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A brief moment of glory

I got a kick out of this: top 10 ball boy/girl catches:

Chicago-style accounting

Zero Hedge: "Pension Shocker: Plans Face $2 Trillion Shortfall, Moody's Says."

The nut root nation

WashPost: "Activists disrupt forum featuring candidates O’Malley, Sanders."  The Black Lives Matter crew wasn't having any of it.  This is my favorite part:
The Vermont senator faced chants and heckling as well, but Sanders continued talking. Asked what he had done in the Senate to benefit black Americans, he started to talk about the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

We can’t afford that!” heckled Elle Hearns, a 28-year-old Ohio-based coordinator for the LGBT rights group GetEqual.
When you're to the left of Bernie

Another day at the office

Washington Free Beacon: "Clintons Facilitated Donor’s Haiti Project That Defrauded U.S. Out of Millions"
A federal agency rushed to approve funding for a Clinton donor’s sham Haiti recovery project that ended up defrauding the U.S. government out of millions, according to court transcripts and internal government documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Miami businessman Claudio Osorio, who is currently serving 12 years in federal prison on fraud charges, leveraged his relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton to help his company InnoVida obtain a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for a Haiti housing project in 2010.
OPIC is an independent government agency that submits its annual budget requests through the State Department and works closely with the agency.
Bill Clinton helped arrange for a high-powered Florida law firm to represent Osorio during loan negotiations with OPIC, according to court testimony. An internal OPIC memo said Hillary Clinton was prepared to marshal State Department resources to assist with the donor’s project.
Now we know what motivates Hillary to marshal resources in a crisis.

Friday, July 17, 2015

That guy's a real pistol

Tonight we saw "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company.  I hadn't read or seen this play before and there's a comic relief character in it named "Pistol."

I was wondering if this was the origin of the word that has come to mean a "jokester" - a funny guy.  I can't seem to find confirmation on the web but it seems as good an explanation as any.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

America in retreat

Here's Dana Milbank in the WashPost: "Obama’s news conference was a case for American weakness."  "This was an undercurrent of the whole news conference Wednesday afternoon, and of Obama’s overall defense of the Iran deal. He was tough and strong, but in service of the argument that American power is limited — that this is the best deal we could get with our declining leverage. His defenders call it realism; it also may amount to ratifying retreat."

Expensive and ineffective - what a deal

Hot Air: "Just your daily reminder that Medicaid is a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’."

It's a good thing you got coverage for the doctors that won't see you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Queen of hedge

Hot Air: "Hillary starting to inch away from Obama’s terrible Iran deal?"

PJ Media: "She dodges an answer on everything."

A sham of a farce of an "agreement"

Well, they wanted a deal badly and they got a bad deal.  I skimmed down this Fox News story until I hit this precious section:
The last major sticking point appeared to be whether international weapons inspectors would be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. The deal includes a compromise between Washington and Tehran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. However, access at will to any site would not necessarily be granted and even if so, could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Tehran time to cover any sign of non-compliance with its commitments.
Ridiculous.  Inspections was the only part of the deal with any meat on the bone and now that's gone.  Oh, but we have the paper-mache "snap back" sanctions, which nobody believes will stick.  John Kerry and Barack Obama wanted to believe and that bit of self-delusion was good enough.

Congratulations, Iran.

Extra - On the other hand, like a Red Sox batter on a bad hitting streak, maybe Obama is due for a foreign policy success:
And how can we doubt the wisdom and judgment of the man who described ISIS as the "junior varsity"? Who assured us in December 2011 that in withdrawing US troops he was leaving behind a "sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq"? Who held up Yemen as a model of US backed counter-insurgency, until the Iranian-sponsored rebels overthrew the government? Who famously said in 2011 that Assad of Syria must go, although with continued Iranian backing, Assad hasn't? Who agreed to overthrow Qadaffi in Libya, with no credible plan to win the peace?

I suppose supporters of this deal can argue that Obama can't be wrong about everything, but I think he is on a roll.
Peace in our time.  I hear Obama's going to speak this morning; hope he has a paper to wave over his head.

Monday, July 13, 2015

If you like your talking points, you can keep your talking points

The same ones that crash against the rocks of reality.  WSJ: "The Unaffordable Care Act - Premiums are spiking around the country. Obama is in denial."

He's not the only one.

The Greek deal

Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution is not impressed:
I’ll stick with my Twitter prediction that yes there will be another “deal” of sorts, but it will break down rather rapidly, leading to true Grexit.
Can the Greeks agree to this austerity plan, which is much more biting than the one they walked away from, when they just voted overwhelmingly against more austerity conditions?  They may have no choice since they're broke, which is a terrible position to negotiate from.

Extra - Megan McArdle: "That suggests to me that we are now at the make-or-break moment for the Greek-Euro relationship. Either Greece will succeed with a fairly brutal austerity plan to the satisfaction of its euro-zone partners, or the next time they come to the table, the Greeks will be signing divorce papers."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pension reform or GTFO

Zero Hedge: "The Greek "Choice": Hand Over Sovereignty Or Take Five Year Euro "Time Out"."

The recently-resigned Greek Finance Minister was allegedly an expert on game theory.  How did that big bluff work out for you?

Back from Vermont

Went camping this weekend and the weather was just perfect: warm during the day and just a little cool at night.  The campground is in a valley with no cell phone coverage or WiFi, so I'm just getting caught up with all the latest news.  Instead of news, I read the new Neil Stephenson book and learned how to play pitch, which was fun.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Waiting for the press to do its job

Commentary: "Hillary Clinton's lies"
At some point, the political press has to tire of being used and underestimated by Hillary Clinton. Until that time, she will continue to flagrantly mislead the press and the public, making a mockery of the journalistic profession in the process.
And it's not so hard if you ask Hillary "yes or no" questions.  Did you get a subpoena?  No?  Oh, well, look at this.  Oh, a personal email server is permitted?  Let's see what the State Department guidelines say.  And so on.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Prepare to be shocked: Hillary lied

Wall Street Journal: "A Fact-Check of Hillary Clinton’s CNN Interview on Her Personal Email."

I didn't see the interview - and don't plan to - but by all accounts it was a train wreck for both Hillary and the CNN reporter, who didn't follow up and challenge Hillary's falsehoods.  Somebody like Tim Russert would have had the facts ahead of time and pushed back against the predictable and shop-worn responses.

Speaking of the media, here's Patterico:
Democrats think Republicans can’t see media bias unless Republicans are the target. Oh, we can see it. We’re used to seeing it. And on those rare occasions when the bias is directed against a Democrat? I’m not gonna lie. It’s sweet payback.
Oh, yeah, it's great.  I wonder if this is a backlash from the Great Journalist Roundup in New Hampshire.

Extra - Via Moe Lane: "Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton is flat-out lying about us not subpoenaing her."  Once again, I don't blame Hillary for prevaricating - fish gotta swim.  I do blame the media for letting her get away with repeated mendacity like the "one device" lie.  Do your jobs, for once.

More - Powerline: "It’s a shame that Keilar doesn’t keep up with the news. She might have been able to ask a follow-up question or two."  Exactly.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Delay of game

The Hill: "Obama administration likely to block new Redskins stadium."

This is not a trick question

The Atlantic: "Why Won't Hillary Clinton Talk to Reporters?"

Because she has nothing to say.  Duh.


Demographics is destiny: Greek edition

Here's Jim Geraghty: "I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts."
Take a good look, young people. This is where quasi-socialism, with unaffordably generous pension programs and early retirement, runaway borrowing and spending, and a kleptocratic unenforced system of tax collection leaves you: helpless, penniless, and crying in the streets.
Geraghty points out that about 75% of Greeks go on pensions by age 61, which puts a tremendous strain on the government:
Greece is still near the top, though it’s not so far from the eurozone average. Moreover, Greece’s high spending is largely the result of bad demographics: 20% of Greeks are over age 65, one of the highest percentages in the eurozone.
So there a lot of not-so-old pensioners in Greece.  Who is going to pay for this?  As Mark Steyn notes, not Greeks:
The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece, as I pointed out in America Alone, has one of the lowest fertility rates on the planet - 1.3 children per couple, which places it in the "lowest-low" demographic category from which no society has recovered and, according to the UN, 178th out of 195 countries. In practical terms, it means 100 grandparents have 42 grandkids – ie, the family tree is upside down.
As Steyn concludes: "how likely is it that the debts run up by 100 people will be paid off by 42?"  It's not and a responsible government would have trimmed sails a long time ago.  But, as we know from American entitlement reform (or lack thereof), it's much easier to keep the checks printing and pass the debt on to future generations.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

"What violations?"

That's literally a section title in this Reuters report on the Iranian nuke negotiations.  The Obama administration cares far more about getting a legacy-building deal than keeping the Iranians from getting nuclear weapons. That's a problem for other Presidents.

Extra - The Corner: "Beware the legacy seeker."

Drachma bound

Fox News: "Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote."  Not even close.  Everybody is saying that this will roil financial markets tomorrow, but hasn't this scenario been "baked into the cake"?  I mean, I thought the Grexit was inevitable months ago.

Hiding the bad news, New York Times-style

"Hey chief, we have to report that Obamacare premiums are going to soar."
"Let's dump it on the Saturday edition."
"Plus, it's a holiday weekend!"

Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

America!  I love this place.

Legacy shopping

Charles Krauthammer on Iran nuclear negotiations: "The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history."


Kimberly Strassel: "Hillary’s Email Story Unravels - Now that we know she edited the emails before turning them over, the entire record is suspect."

She should be in prison.

Extra - Vodkapundit: "...not one damn thing Hillary as said about her private email server has turned out to be true."

Thursday, July 02, 2015

"Wet streets cause rain" logic

Hit and Run: "New York Times: Shout Loudly Enough, and We Will Succumb to Your Heckler’s Veto - Why will the Paper of Record publish a condom-Pope but not a Mohammed statue? Catholics aren’t loud (or scary) enough."

The NY Times here is suggesting that - all things being equal - it's the nature of the artwork that engenders protests instead of the nature of the protesters.

My favorite part of the Times' specious argument is that, gosh darn it, some people think that Condom Pope is "a piece of significant artwork."  So c'mon artists, let's get some quality paintings of Mohammad and the New York Times will happily share the culture.

Fun new prediction game

Hot Air: "Time to start a pool: When will Bernie Sanders pass Hillary in Iowa or New Hampshire polling?"

I've always said that Hillary's support is a mile wide and an inch deep.  That puddle is drying.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Drip drip drip - more Hillary lies

So many to choose from.  Let's start here: Washington Examiner: "Yes, Clinton lied about her emails."  They were altered by her staff before the paper copies were turned over to State:
But the proof of intent to deceive comes in the fact that Clinton or her staff actually edited some of the emails and turned over censored versions to State before destroying her copy of the originals.
Why paper copies instead of electronic?  Because there are ways to tell if an electronic document has been altered.  Bonus: it slows down the disclosure process.

Next: remember how there were concerns about sensitive State secrets on an unsecured private server?  Well, we were told - relax! - no worries.  And then: "NYT Reporter: State Dept. Redacted Two-Dozen Clinton Emails Despite Her Saying There Was No Classified Information On Them."

Finally, recall how Hillary deleted all the "private" emails, leaving behind only the important work-related emails from her tenure in State?  Well, those printed out pages full of relevant disclosure include decisions over luxury jet rides and requests for iced tea.