Tuesday, June 30, 2015

That religious figure is totally kosher

DC Trawler: "The NYT Doesn’t Publish Religiously Offensive Images, Except When They Offend Christians."  "Baquet can rationalize it all he wants, but he allowed terrorists a veto. He allowed murderers to dictate the content of his newspaper. And once the coast was clear, he forgot all about his high-minded excuses."


Hot Air: "Giant new Obama lie: I’m prepared to abandon these Iran nuke negotiations if we can’t get a good deal."

Nobody's buying it, chief.  Know why?  As is your wont, you've consistently characterized anybody who thinks these negotiations a sham as "wanting war."  Do you want war?  Why do you want war, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tip of the iceberg

You're not going to believe this but Hillary lied about her emails.  I know!  Ace: "Hillary Clinton, Get This, Edited the Emails She Turned Over to State to Delete Embarrassing References to Oil, Terrorism."

In other news, the Obama administration is committed to transparency; this is not one of those times: "Benghazi night call between Clinton and Obama withheld, documents show."

What's going on in Greece

Reddit has a great sub-reddit called "Explain Like I'm Five" (ELI5) where they try to simply explain complex issues.  This one is good: "The Financial Crisis in Greece."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stop calling it a "deadline"

Fox News: "Deadline likely missed in nuclear deal - Hayden says Iran has 'upper hand'."  There is no deadline, only John Kerry's perpetual search for a "historic" deal.  Snap inspection of nuclear installations was once the only non-negotiable requirement of this deal; watch it disappear.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Obvious footnote is obvious

From the Eurogroup statement on Greece:
[1] Supported by all members of the Eurogroup except the Greek member.
Yes, thank you.

The Supreme Court's voting bloc

Andrew McCarthy: "Let’s Drop the Charade: The Supreme Court Is a Political Branch, Not a Judicial One."  On the Court's liberal members:
And it is not so much that they move in lockstep. It is that no one expects them to do anything but move in lockstep — not their fellow justices, not the political branches, and certainly not the commentariat, right or left.

It is simply accepted that these justices are not there to judge. They are there to vote. They get to the desired outcome the same way disparate-impact voodoo always manages to get to discrimination: Start at the end and work backwards. Guiding precedents are for the quaint business of administering justice. In the social justice business, the road never before traveled will do if one less traveled is unavailable.
I was thinking about this too: didn't a single one of these justices, just one out of four, look at the text of the Obamacare law and say: "gee, it says State and 'State' is defined as one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Maybe there's something to this case."  But no.

What's perhaps worse, they didn't even feel like they had to explain themselves:
In the plethora of opinions generated by these three cases, there is not a single one authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor.
And why should they?  As McCarthy writes: they're there to vote, not to provide judicial reasoning.

Extra - From Power Line.

Late night withdrawals in Greece

After the Greek Prime Minister called for a national referendum on Euro membership, they started lining up at ATMs at two in the morning.

One of my favorite things

Every summer the Hampshire Shakespeare Company puts on a great outdoor play.  Last weekend, they opened the season with "Romeo and Juliet" but I didn't go because it rained.  And tonight?  Heavy rain.

If I were them, I'd move the 7:30pm performance to 3pm today.  Well, hopefully we can catch "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in July.

The Purge

Powerline: "The Democrats get their crazy on"
The Democrats, having sown the wind, may reap the whirlwind. After all, they are the party of slavery and Jim Crow. Every one of the the Confederates now being scrubbed from memory was a Democrat. And Thomas Jefferson was a slaveowner who, unlike George Washington, never did free his slaves. Andrew Jackson, the real founder of the Democratic Party, makes Phil Sheridan look like a multiculturalist. But we don’t have to go back into our nation’s history for embarrassing Democrats: Robert Byrd, who served as an honored Democrat in the United States Senate until 2010–two years into the Obama administration!–was an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan. Just about every federal building and highway rest stop in West Virginia is named after Byrd. I look forward to the day when they are all renamed or torn down.
My wife has family around Gettysburg, PA which, as you might expect, pulls in significant tourism dollars from visitors to the Civil War battle site.  She tells me they are not going to sell Confederate flags in the souvenir shops anymore - which I just can't believe.  Look, I understand removing a reviled symbol of the Confederacy from state houses, but doesn't this tip the balance into scrubbing history?  The Civil War happened and the two sides carried different flags.

The great show "Community" is set in a community college and the mascot is the amorphous "Human Being" - a vaguely human shape of no identifiable color.  This is the future:

I wonder how long the University of Massachusetts Minuteman - a white guy with a GUN! - can survive in this environment.  They're coming for you, Ole Miss, UNLV and Washington Redskins.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Banana for scale

Sounds to me like somebody was making up a really bad excuse to get out of work.  MassLive: "Westfield man hospitalized after saying he was struck in groin by banana."
The man was taken to Noble Hospital on his request, after saying he was in pain and needed a doctor's note for his work the next day.

Officers could not find evidence to support his story; in Mazza's words, the search for the offending banana was "fruitless."
Bravo.  [golf clap]

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Something funny that happened during my commute: the Cars song "Let's Go" was on the radio while I was stopped at a red light.  Then the part where it goes clap-clap-clapclapclap-clapclapclapclap "Let's Go!" played and the light turned green in perfect synchronicity.

Heretics, all of them!

Daily Caller: "Dem. Senator Hopes The DOJ Sues Global Warming ‘Deniers’."

Jiggery pokery and pure applesauce

Plaintiffs in King v. Burwell may have lost in the Supreme Court today, but at least we'll have the comic, literary stylings of Justice Scalia.

Extra - Legal Insurrection: "The Humpty Dumpty Court."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

So that happened

I avoid talking about my professional life because there have been stories about people revealing too much information and getting in trouble.  That said.....

I've never - ever - been let go from a job in my life. But today I was informed that our whole company will be relocated and merged into a sister branch.  What this means is that at some time in the near future, I'll be getting an envelope along with some "job transition" counseling.

I suppose I could fall into the Elizabeth Warren mindset and blame the "rigged" system that is crushing my future, but that's not how I roll.  Instead I'm going to blast out my resume and hope for the best, secure in my belief that some corporate entity will trade my talent for cash.  Which helps when you have several degrees in engineering.  Score!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Passive voice follies

Mistakes were made.  Ace: "You're Going to Be Stunned By This, But An Obama Hack Says, Get This, That No Government Workers Are Actually Responsible for the Latest Obama Administration Catastrophe."

No one ever is to blame.  Except for Bush and maybe Congress.

Oh no she di'nt!

Has it come to this that I need to defend Hillary?  Hillary!?!  Well, the most pandering panderer who ever pandered committed the unforgivable crime of telling the truth.  Twitchy: "Racist! Hillary Clinton commits unforgivable outrage: Saying ‘all lives matter’ in a black church."  I mean, the poor woman can't win.

Extra - From Gateway Pundit.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Forget it, Jake, it's Portlandia

This story is crazy.  CNBC: "Oregon dumps cold water on low Obamacare rates."
They wanted their Obamacare prices to be low—but the state said "no."

The state of Oregon reportedly has ordered a number of insurers to raise proposed Obamacare premiums for 2016 after some of those companies asked for rates that were only moderately higher, if not lower than this year.

Now, many Obamacare customers there are looking at likely double-digit percentage rate increases after having experienced some of "the lowest premiums in the nation," the Oregonian noted.
Too low, it turns out, and now the state is insisting higher premiums to keep the insurance companies from going insolvent and hitting up Salem for the shortfall.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Things that can't go on....don't

Washington Examiner: "Pension tidal wave is about to crash down on taxpayers."

Note this line: "At the root of the trouble are government pension systems, which today differ vastly from the way they looked when many were created about 100 years ago."  That's what drives me crazy in the debate over Social Security reform: retirement ages, the nature of work, worker-to-retiree ratios, and life expectancy have changed radically since the 1930's but touching a hair on the head of Social Security is considered heresy.

Hillary literally steals money from disadvantaged kids

Moe Lane: "Moral of the story: get Condoleezza Rice for events, not Hillary Clinton."

The Boys and Girls Club invites speakers and pays a fee for a charity fundraiser.  It seems expected that the invitee will return a certain amount to the Club as a charity gift, after travel expenses.  Hillary kept the cash and her fundraiser pulled in the lowest amount in 25 years, much less than her fee:
So Condi Rice took $60,000 and donated it back. Greedy Grandma kept the $200,000 and donated it to her own Clinton Crime Family Slush Fund. Swell.
Related from the Weekly Standard:
The Hillary Paradox consists of two perceptions that are irreconcilable. The first is that Hillary Clinton is a person of uncommon decency, compassionate and deeply committed to justice. The second is that many of her actions over many years are the work of a person who couldn’t possibly be uncommonly decent. How could someone with a wonderful reputation so often behave disreputably?
I'll give you three gue$$e$ why.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Put down that latte

Maggie's Farm: "The FDA and nanny laws."

Sure, let's expand Social Security

Hill: "CBO: Debt to hit 101 percent of GDP by 2039."  "The harmful effects that such large debt would have on the economy would worsen the budget outlook,” the report said. “At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to meet its debt obligations, requiring it to pay much higher interest costs in order to continue borrowing money."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Everybody owes

Zero Hedge: "We might as well face it - America is addicted to debt."  "Corporations, individuals and the federal government continue to rack up debt at a rate that is far faster than the overall rate of economic growth.  We are literally drowning in red ink from sea to shining sea, and yet we just can’t help ourselves."

Vote the way I want, stupid

George Will on Fox News Sunday, discussing Obama's attempt to get Democrats to vote for the trade bill:
And he told them, he hoped they would play it straight. That's exactly the language he used speaking in Germany about the Supreme Court on the Obamacare, that he hopes the Supreme Court will play it straight. It's not just a verbal tick of his. It's his way of saying that if you don't agree with me, you're not straight, you're crooked. That is, you have bad motives. It's been his theme all along, to insult people by saying you cannot disagree with me honestly and intellectually.
But by Friday morning, there was the president, walking into a closed-door meeting in the Capitol Visitors Center to try to rally House Democrats. Pelosi was by his side. Inside, he implored lawmakers to “play it straight” on the vote.
“We’re not the other party, we’re not the tea party,” Obama said, according to sources in the room. He took no questions, Pelosi said nothing and the pair left the room together.
Once Obama left, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told fellow Democrats that he “was offended by what the president said” in suggesting TAA opponents weren’t playing it straight. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and others echoed Ellison.
Then they voted "no" - just like a Tea Partier would.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's the same as Elizabeth Warren's

Hit and Run: "Hillary Clinton's Dangerous Student Loan Rhetoric - Bill Clinton offered a tradeoff, while Hillary Clinton may be offering a handout."

Related from Zero Hedge: "Should Students Voluntarily Default On $1.3 Trillion In Debt?"  In the logic of Warren and deadbeat Lee Siegel, yes, because they were duped or something:
So according to Siegel, because the free market doesn’t value (in monetary terms) writers as much as it does say, petroleum engineers, that means writers shouldn’t have to repay their loans.
But there’s no inherent injustice in the fact that writers are not, on average, paid as much as petroleum engineers. It is Siegel’s right to choose what he wants to study and thereby what vocation he wants to dedicate his life to. If that’s writing, so be it. That’s great.
It is however, society’s right to determine how much Siegel’s writing is worth. If that determination leaves Siegel unable to service his debt, he does not have the right to punish society for how they valued his work by forcing taxpayers to take a loss on his student loans.
This is part of the reason why I loathe Elizabeth Warren's rhetoric of victimology: it absolves the true believer of any personal responsibility.  Everybody's getting "hammered" and the "game is rigged" so - of course - I don't need to repay my loans for that degree in gender studies.

Meanwhile, as Greece's deeply dysfunctional government heads towards default, they've decided it's a good idea to prod Germany for World War II reparations.  Because, really, isn't it their fault?

Extra - Kevin Williamson: "Student loan deadbeats: fashionable theft."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Old woman cites the Beatles

Philip Klein: "If Republicans can't beat Hillary, they should disband the party."
Hillary Clinton certainly has a flair for the ironic. "There may be some new voices in the Republican presidential choir," Clinton observed in Saturday's re-annoucement that she was running for president. "But they're all singing the same old song — a song called 'Yesterday.'"

Clinton was accusing Republicans of being trapped in the past in the same speech that she began by referencing a speech Franklin Roosevelt gave in 1941. And in doing so, she quoted a song the Beatles released in 1965 — before Republicans Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal had even been born.
Speaking of ironic, I liked her populist criticism against hedge-fund managers as (presumably) her hedge-fund manager son-in-law sat nearby.  Of course the only thing keeping his hedge fund afloat is support from Clinton pals, because Clintons.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spot the staffer

The Hillary people set up a "watch party" for people in Iowa to see the nominee announce her nomination again.  Althouse: "A wan watch party."

A grand total of five people showed up.  Well, six if you include the Clinton staffer.  Can you spot him in the CNN video?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Pundits agree: Obama only calls when he wants something

I don't know what to say about the vote on Trade Promotion Authority.  As a free-trade guy, I suppose I should be for it but the whole secretive nature of the process was disturbing.  Still, Obama wanted it and all his efforts were for naught.  I heard on the radio that Nancy Pelosi pretty much yeah-yeahed Obama until the time of the vote whereupon she torpedoed the whole thing.

Before the vote, VodkaPundit wrote the following:
The first is that Obama is unique in my political lifetime of having no real friends on Capitol Hill. He has ideological allies, in as much as progressives have an ideology beyond legislatively taking whatever they can get their hands on, but he has no friends. Thanks to Obama’s “my way or the highway” attitude, there’s no one in Congress he can call on the phone and say, “This is important to me. This is important to the country. How can we get this passed?” Obama has never cultivated those relationships, and now when he needs friends he finds there’s no one there to take his call, and he has to make an unscheduled appearance at a baseball game just to get some attention.
What makes this insight interesting is that a couple hours later, lefty pundit E.J. Dionne said almost the exact same thing on NPR - something like "you can't just go to a group of people when you want something and say 'I need you now'."

Oh thank you, nanny state overlords

WashPost: "Md. officials: Letting ‘free range’ kids walk or play alone is not neglect."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pioneer valley update

I had not heard about this story but it evokes Rolling Stone and "Jackie".  Minding the Campus: "Amherst College's version of Kafka's 'The Trial'."

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

That's my uncle's boat

When I first heard this NY Times story about Marco Rubio's "luxury speedboat" I assumed it was along the lines of Al Czervik's boat from "Caddyshack"

Instead it's a fishing boat, the exact same kind my uncle had.  Who knew that my uncle - an insurance salesman from New Jersey - was living in the lap of "luxury"?  Ah, I remember the glamorous days of pumping gas from a red can on the floor and the long journey from stem to stern, all five steps.

This is a couple days after the Times called an F-150 truck an "SUV."  It's not: it's the classic American pickup.  I don't think the crowd at the Times has the slightest idea what happens out in flyover country.

Monday, June 08, 2015

A very worthy charity...exactly once

I was reading this story about how the Clintons donated $100K to a New York Times charity in 2008 and the paper just happened to endorse her for President over fan-favorite Obama.  This was one of the larger donations by the Clinton slush fund so it's important to ask how often and to what extent the Clintons contributed to the "Neediest Cases" fund.

Dylan Byers provides the answer:
The Clinton Family Foundation has not given to the Times' Neediest Cases Fund since 2008.
And suddenly, I'm reminded by this line from "A Few Good Men"
"These are phone records from Gitmo for September the 6th, and these are 14 letters that Santiago wrote, in 9 months, requesting, in fact begging, for a transfer. Upon hearing the news that he was FINALLY getting his transfer, Santiago was so excited that do you know how many people he called? Zero. Nobody. Not one call to his parents saying he was coming home. Not one call to a friend saying "Can you pick me up at the airport?"."
That is, there are patterns of behavior you would expect under normal circumstances.  If the Clinton's really felt this was a worthwhile charity, they would have given consistently to this cause even if it was some token amount as Billary were pulling in a half-mil per half-hour speech.

But do you know how much the NYT's "Neediest" are going to get when the Clinton's aren't trying to buy an endorsement?  Zero.

Extra - If you were wondering if this was a bribe or a payoff, it looks like the Clintons tried to bribe first and then settled for a payoff.

More - From Patterico: the NY Times suspended their outrage for "campaign finance reform" to collect up some cash which maybe went to charitable causes - who knows for sure?

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Back from the brink

PJ Media: "Something Marvelous Happened at the Turkey Ballot Box Today: Islamists Lose Parliament."  "In a country where the Islamists have garnered the animosity of all manner of opposition groups, from nationalists to Kurds, good luck forming a coalition.  And to add insult to Erdogan’s injury, the Kurds will have a party in parliament for the first time."

Saturday, June 06, 2015

That was exciting!

Fox News: "American Pharoah wins Belmont Stakes, ending 37-year Triple Crown drought."

The spiraling chaos in the Mideast

First, a flashback:
Critics for decades have accused Saudi Arabia of purposefully fostering a Yemeni government too immature to ever pose a state threat to Saudis. "Keep Yemen weak," King Abdul Aziz is supposed to have told his sons on his deathbed, in one of two such warnings the founder of the modern Saudi state handed down to his sons and grandsons.
Well, Yemen is weak and out of control, and this is the state of events: "Saudi Arabia says it shot down Scud missile fired from Yemen."

Friday, June 05, 2015

Hit job and run

Stacey King: "I'll always remember this as the night that Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points." Said after Michael Jordan scored a career high 69 points and Stacey King scored 1 point against the Cavaliers.

NY Slimes: "Marco Rubio and His Wife Cited 17 Times for Traffic Infractions" - of which Rubio was responsible for 4....since 1997.

The full extent of the Marco Rubio crime spree can now be revealed!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Forgot to carry the one

Everything you need to know about the "global warming" debate can be found in this sentence from - naturally - the New York Times: "Global Warming 'hiatus' challenged by NOAA research."
The change prompted accusations on Thursday from some climate-change denialists that the agency was trying to wave a magic wand and make inconvenient data go away.
That's right: denialists...because we tend to point out that the prevailing data shows no significant increase in warming despite record carbon dioxide levels.  But never mind that now!  Let's embrace the skew:
At the same time, senior climate scientists at other agencies were in no hurry to embrace NOAA’s specific adjustments.

“What you have is a reasonable effort to deal with known biases, and obviously there is some uncertainty in how you do that,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, who heads a NASA climate research unit in New York that deals with similar issues.

Some experts also pointed out that, depending on exactly how the calculation is done, a recent slowdown in global warming still appears in the NOAA temperature record, though it may be smaller than before. 
Maybe, maybe not.  Sounds like a lot of hedging goin' on.  What is the proximate cause of the miscalculation?
Yet the temperature record is plagued by many problems: thermometers and recording practices changed through time, weather stations were moved, cities grew up around once-rural stations, and so on.
Yes, "and so on."  Let's restructure the entire global economy based on this hard evidence of sorta-maybe wacky thermometers and et cetera.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Monday, June 01, 2015

Security theater

Back in 2008, the Atlantic had an article about how airport security is a sham.  The author regularly bypassed TSA checkpoints with indistinct squiggles on his boarding pass and large bottles of "saline solution."

Today it was reported that the TSA failed to detect 95% of test bombs by auditors.

In my last job, I used to love travelling for business.  But one time I was coming back through Frankfurt and it was just a painful series of checkpoints; it was then I decided I just didn't want to travel by plane anymore.  Shoes off, shoes on, lost my wristwatch, "random" search (a male traveling alone), interrogation - forget it.