Saturday, October 31, 2015

Americans being American

I got around to seeing the Friday edition of the Amazing Race and quietly wept for our country, or at least for the Racers representing us in different countries.  Everybody went to Paris and the Racers had to climb into a World-War II era plane and find the motto of the French Revolution which is "Liberte Egalite Fraternite."

After spotting these words from the plane, the Racers had to recite the words to a French judge and every one of them mangled the pronunciation beyond belief.  One of the Racers got the "liberte" and "egalite" part but missed the last part and, not knowing it, just stood there mute.

Really?  Is "Liberte Egalite Fraternite" that obscure?  I don't know, maybe.  But it kinda confirms my theory that the producers of the Amazing Race purposely seek out people who 1) don't know anything about foreign cultures 2) can't drive a stick-shift and 3) are afraid of heights for the eventual bungee-cord jump.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chris Stevens did not

The Hill: "Ben Affleck had Hillary Clinton's private email address."

Teach me how to journal

This profane screed from Ace on the media has made my top-ten list for 2015.  Here's a semi-clean excerpt:
But Cultural Power is Political Power, and the fact that these imbeciles populate our Idiot Boxes and speak words to us at night puts them in a position where they can serve as the witch-doctors of a heathen, ugly, wicked tribe, if they choose to.
It's the job of journalists, some might argue, to report the news - the first edition of history - accurately and in an objective manner.  From Brian Williams, to Dan Rather, to Jayson Blair (just to name the pure fabulists) it's clear that they can't accomplish this simple task.  So why do we put them in charge of these Presidential debates?  What makes "journalists" more qualified than, as Ace puts it, the next guy sitting on a barstool?

In fact, let's put that guy on the barstool in charge of the next debate.  To paraphrase William F. Buckley, I'd rather have the first dozen names in the Boston telephone directory moderate the Presidential debates rather than the royalty of the American media.

That's a nice oil company you got there.... would be a shame if somebody called for a federal investigation.  International Business Times: "Hillary Clinton Demands Probe of Exxon After Oil Giant Stops Funding Clinton Foundation."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The mask slips, completely

There's not much I can add by way of commentary about the most egregious case of media bias since Candy Crowley actively shilled for Obama in the Presidential debates.

I'll just leave this commentary from media critic Howard Kurtz:
[T]his was an absolute trainwreck for CNBC. Many of the moderators' questions seemed to be snide, hostile, condescending, borderline insulting. And let me just make clear: I'm totally in favor of tough and provocative questions. When you do that, sometimes audience doesn't like it, sometimes the candidates don't like it. But a lot of the questions were not drilling down on facts or record or policy. When John Harwood says Trump, comic book campaign, or do you have the moral authority to be president? When Carl Quintanilla asked Marco Rubio -- who had a good night by the way -- are you a young man in a hurry? Shouldn't you wait a few years to run for president? It just validated what a lot of people think about the mainstream media -- and this channel is affiliated of course with NBC News -- that they cannot be fair to Republicans.
Eyes wide open.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why so secretive?

In case you missed it the other day - and you probably did - Vox excoriated the House Science committee because they were looking for information from government agencies on how they've come to their conclusions on climate change.

Well, in the interest of openness, transparency, and fresh air (pun intended), these agencies have...declined to answer.  PJ Tatler: "NOAA Refuses House GOP Subpoena of Research Denying Pause in Global Warming."

I'm no climate scientist, but this seems suspicious.

Related - Mark Steyn: "The certainty of uncertainty."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 bad

I must have watched this video 15 times.  Hockey player gets called for elbowing (I think) and goes to the penalty box.  He clearly says "bullsh-t" then sees the instant replay.

Politics makes strange bedfellows

I got a chuckle about how talking heads across the political spectrum were rolling their eyes at Hillary's false charge of sexism against Bernie:

National Review Corner: "2016 Officially Begins: Hillary Clinton Calls Critic Sexist."
Hot Air: "Morning Joe hosts (repeatedly) agree: Hillary’s claims of Bernie’s sexism are “pathetic”."

And then there's the left-leaning Cannonfire who laments how the screw of identity politics has turned:
Remember when anyone who called Obama a progressive poseur was considered an unhooded Klansman?
Remember when I was called a "racist" every minute of every hour of every day for weeks simply because I pointed out that Obama had lied about his opposition to NAFTA?
Remember when I was considered kin to George Wallace simply because I dared to mention the easily-proved fact that Obama did not denounce the Iraq invasion during his 2004 convention speech (or at any other time during his senate campaign)?
Yes, you were a racist then but now everyone's a sexist for opposing Grandma.  Who is a woman.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Western Massachusetts update

MassLive: "'Super Troopers 2' filming underway at Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts."  This is just a couple miles from my house.

Fake but awful

Megan McArdle: "If you like the truth, don't watch 'Truth'."

Related, on the journalism front: "Vice President Joe Biden accuses ‘people’ of very bad journalism."  Welcome to the party, pal.

The death spiral, as predicted

Wall Street Journal: "The Decline of ObamaCare."
ObamaCare’s image of invincibility is increasingly being exposed as a political illusion, at least for those with permission to be honest about the evidence. Witness the heretofore unknown phenomenon of a “free” entitlement that its beneficiaries can’t afford or don’t want.
It seems that younger, healthier Americans simply don't want to be coerced into buying expensive policies, even with subsidies.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nobody beats the Wiz!

Tonight I stopped by at the Best Buy in the Hadley Mall - it's going out of business.  (Possibly due to Best Buy's underhanded practices.)  I guess it's just this store and not the entire chain, but it occurred to me that every electronic store I've dealt with in my life has eventually gone bankrupt.  There was:

Crazy Eddie
The Wiz  ("I'm the Wiz, nobody beats me!")
Circuit City
Best Buy (maybe)
Radio Shack (kinda)

It can't just be the Amazon effect since many of these stores were around well before Amazon.  The Wiz, I remember, had a pretty robust mail-order business.  There has to be some reason why these businesses shine bright then flame out.  Well, with the exception of Crazy Eddie, which was destroyed from within by fraud.  And INSANITY!

Rutgers, Rah!

I see the Scarlet Knights game will be televised tonight.  I'm feeling really good about their chances against....

Ohio State?!?  Never mind.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Profiles in tolerance

Williams College: "Hey, we're going to have a lecture series called 'Uncomfortable Learning' to expose students to a wider range of viewpoints."

Students: "That makes us uncomfortable."

Williams College: "Oh, nevermind then."

People died then Hillary lied

Hit and Run: "Hillary Clinton Knew All Along Benghazi Attack Had "Nothing To Do With The Film," Documents Reveal."

I missed the hearings because, you know, I work.  But I had not heard this information about the reaction of State department experts on Susan Rice lying on five Sunday morning news programs:
In a series of e-mails shown by Jordan, experts in the State Department’s Near East Affairs Bureau are shown reacting dubiously to Rice’s claim. “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one,” one wrote. “Off the reservation on five networks!” another responded. Another e-mail said the “WH [was] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.”
It was two months before the election and the narrative was that Al-Qaeda was "decimated" so, in classic Clinton-style, it was time to lie for the greater good.

Clean water and electricity

That's what poverty-stricken nations need.  Bjorn Lomberg: "This Child Doesn’t Need a Solar Panel - Spending billions of dollars on climate-related aid in countries that need help with tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Well, I don't like this article one bit

Ramesh Ponnuru in The Corner (!): "Why Hillary will likely win the White House."
Republicans have very little in the way of popular policy proposals to counter the appeal of liberalism.
There's something to this: the Republicans have done well in the off-years by opposing (unpopular) Obama policies but a Presidential candidate has to have a forward-looking, optimistic vision.  It's not enough to just knock down a terrible candidate like Hillary.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pension crisis, Brazil-style

Hit and Run has an interesting blog post about runaway pensions in Brazil.

Here's the silver lining: there's a powerful incentive for elderly male pensioners to take on young wives.  It's called "the Viagra effect."

Monday, October 19, 2015

The future is coming

Website: Is Today the Day Marty McFly arrives when he travels to the future?

Perpetuating the narrative

Reason Online: "The Media's narrow minds."  ""Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views," William F. Buckley once observed, "but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." He might have been writing about some of the nation's newsrooms."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

This can't be happening

It is snowing in Western Massachusetts.  Snowing.

Sorry, Hillary, the email scandal isn't going away

Althouse has the video of the Saturday Night Live skit of the Democratic debate and I found myself nodding at this comment:
What stuck me most was the audience reaction after hearing him repeat Bernie Sander's comment about nobody caring about Hillary Clinton's emails. I would have expected the same kind of reaction as at the debate. Instead, there was total silence. Not sure what to make of that.
Yeah, no spontaneous applause or even a chuckle.  Just quiet from the New York City crowd.

This is relevant: "Actually, only Democrats are sick and tired of hearing about Clinton’s e-mails."  Drip drip drip.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's (not) getting hot in here

This won't convince the true believers of climate change alarmism since it's a religion to them.  Here's a longish review to bookmark: "What I Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled."

Friday, October 16, 2015

Not lovin' it

The iconic American fast-food company is in trouble.  Yahoo Finance: "McDonald's franchisees say the brand is in a 'deep depression' and 'facing its final days'."

I ate so much McDonalds in high school but it just doesn't appeal to me anymore.  Maybe it's because other players have entered the game (Subway, Chipolte, Five Guys).  The all-day breakfast seems gimmicky and when it comes to healthy choices, McDonalds doesn't come to mind.

Obamacare co-ops are dropping like flies

Last month it was New York.
Yesterday, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Today, Colorado.

Joe ready to go if the FBI sez so

I've hinted at this before, but let me repeat: if Joe Biden enters the race at this stage, it's only because he has inside knowledge that Hillary is about to be indicted for violating the Espionage Act.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Microaggressions at UCLA

This sounds perfect for the blog "Everything's a Problem."  Some students at UCLA had a problem with a "Kanye Western" themed party.

Can you guessed what happened next?

1) They got over it and went on with their lives
2) They confronted the party sponsors and expressed their objections
3) They went running to the school administration demanding the attenuation of First Amendment rights.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Foreign aid prolongs dictatorships

Hot Air: "Nobel winner: Conservatives may have been right all along on foreign aid."  "Government handouts do not solve poverty; they only provide a very temporary stop-gap solution to immediate crises. In the context of foreign aid, they create incentives that undermine and destroy entrepreneurship in favor of cronyist corruption at best, and usually much worse."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Corruption in Chicago? No!

Chicago Tribune: "Ex-CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleads guilty, tearfully apologizes to students."  "Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett faces up to about 7 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to steering multimillion-dollar no-bid contracts to an education consulting firm in exchange for the promise of lucrative kickbacks and other perks."

Pander-palooza at the penny slots

Hot Air: "Senior citizens set for evening of fun in Las Vegas."  Meh...I'll catch the highlights tomorrow - there's baseball on.

I expect it's going to be competition on who can offer up the most free stuff.  Democrats love to say stuff like "Government is the things we decide to do together" but the one thing they never want everyone to do is pay for it.  If bigger government is so great, why not ask Americans to make a sacrifice for it?  Instead it's "tax the rich" and put it on the tab.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Give or take several generations

You gotta love the global warming alarmists: they know how to cover their asses.  For example: this terrifying headline: "Sea level rise will swallow Miami, New Orleans, study finds."

Oh no!  When will this happen?
"Some of this could happen as early as next century," [Ben] Strauss told AFP.
Well, it's 2015 right now so lead author Ben Strauss will be not be around to see his prediction come true, or not.  But, still, it's a frightening future indeed:
"But it might also take many centuries," he added.
I suspect you don't have the slightest idea.

Hey, don't rule out Cuba

Powerline: "Russia and Iran running neck-and-neck in Obama-humiliating sweepstakes."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

First thought of Obama on "60 Minutes"

Obama's inner dialogue: "Hey, Steve, where are the softball questions that I'm accustomed to?"

Kroft is really going at him: "It's an embarrassment: You said yourself you never believed in this [training of moderate Syrians]."  "I feel like I'm being filibustered."  Wow.  And he's knocking down the straw men, too: "Nobody said it was going to be easy."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

This is why we can't have a discussion

Bookworm Room: "Found it on Facebook — What passes for insightful commentary on the Left (part 2, the gun control edition)."
What’s amazing is that every single statement in the above poster is wrong, whether factually or because of the conclusions the poster tries to draw from the statements.
Long, detailed, sourced rebuttal.

This is not a blog post about Syrian policy

There will be plenty of time to discuss that after 60 Minutes airs their interview with an incredulous Steve Kroft.  No, this is about the execrable New York Times and their atrocious editorial page.  Today they criticize Obama's Syrian policy and if you guessed they ran this in Saturday's edition (the least-read of the week), you win a prize:
The initial plan was dubious. The new one is hallucinatory, and it is being rolled out as the war enters a more perilous phase now that Russia has significantly stepped up its military support of Mr. Assad’s forces.
Russia?  Russia is filling the power vacuum that Obama has left behind in the Middle East?  As Neo-Neocon noted, the NY Times once sneered at such delusions:
Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.
Maybe there was a tickle of conscious by this editorial writer, an acknowledgment that he/she should at least make a passing reference to Russia's ascendancy in the region.
That will require the ironing out of stark differences between the United States and Mr. Assad’s chief backers, Russia and Iran. 
Oh, NYT, you so crazy.  The 80s called and they want their foreign policy back.

Friday, October 09, 2015

One more time

Five Thirty Eight: "The 25 Most Rewatchable Movies Of All Time."

The first movie that popped into my mind was "Goodfellas" (#23) but honestly I could re-watch "This is Spinal Tap" forever.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Speaking of clown show

Fox News: "U.S. officials conclude Iran deal violates federal law."  These mumbo-jumbo officials want war - that is the only explanation.

Chaos in the House

OMG what a clown show.  First Kevin McCarthy pulls out of the House of Representatives speaker's position for unknown reasons, leading everybody to Wikipedia to brush up on Bob Livingston.

Then John Boehner goes to his backup Irish, Paul Ryan who said "no no no" and tonight is saying "no comment."  Hmmmm.

At this point, I"ll take anybody who can produce a budget on time for once.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The results from the focus group are in

Federalist: "Hillary Clinton: I Totally Oppose That Trade Agreement I Negotiated In 2012 - Despite referring to it as the "gold standard" for trade agreements in 2012, Hillary Clinton says she now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP."

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Well that sucked

I finally got "Mad Max - Fury Road" from Netflix.  Spoiler alert: there's a chase scene through the desert.

For two hours.

President Fredo

He's smaht!  And he wants respect!  WSJ: "President Mumbo-JumboObama’s preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration."
So it is with this president. It’s not enough for him to stake and defend his positions. He wants you to know that he thinks deeper, sees further, knows better, operates from a purer motive. His preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they’re warmongers. If Hillary Clinton thinks a no-fly zone is a good idea, she’s playing politics: “There is obviously a difference,” the president tut-tutted about his former secretary of state’s position, “between running for president and being president.”

He's an insecure man...with good reason.

It's in the cloud

McClatchy: "Firm backed up Clinton’s server, might still have personal emails."

Don't worry: just because it's in cloud storage doesn't mean it's not secure.  Amirite, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton?

Monday, October 05, 2015

Insider trading

NYT: "Scandal Erupts in Unregulated World of Fantasy Sports."  Well, that didn't take long.  Who would have guessed that a barely legal gambling forum, run by some twenty-something frat boys, would succumb to cheating?  Here's my shocked face.

Hillary: "L'etat c'est moi"

Everybody is up in arms about Hillary declaring that she'll change gun laws in this country by executive fiat.  But I took notice at this little bit of pique at the Benghazi committee:
“This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans,” she said. “I would never have done that, and if I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.”
There you have it: a President Clinton would have "shut down" a Congressional investigative committee because separation of powers is for suckers.  How dare you suggest she's above the law!

By the way, if you missed it, the Benghazi investigation has dragged on by design:
The State Department announced Friday that it is sending the House Benghazi committee nearly 1,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's private account — a batch three times larger than the set of Clinton messages her former agency sent to Capitol Hill back in May.
This Clinton playbook is so old: admit a minor infraction, drag out the investigation, then declare it "old news" because we have "more important issues to deal with."  Now stop asking about my email.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Report the narrative - retract later

The Hill: "Benghazi panel talking point proven false."
The claim that the Benghazi committee had been in existence longer than any other special investigation committee was incorrectly reported by The Hill as well as The New York Times, ABC News and other media outlets.
Of course it was.  By the way, I was reading a story on a local newspaper web site and there was an opening sentence about people lining up for event being "cued" up.  I sent an email to the journalist - Masters of Journalism from Columbia - and it was quietly changed to "queued" sometime later.