Saturday, December 31, 2016

I guarantee you won't get answers

Ezra Klein announced that he'll be "interviewing" Obama on Obamacare January 6th.  Many, many people have suggested questions that will never be asked.  Here comes the filibuster.

You loved your executive power when your guy was in charge

Now, not so much.  New York Times: "If Donald Trump Targets Journalists, Thank Obama."
If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.
Criticism of Mr. Obama’s stance on press freedom, government transparency and secrecy is hotly disputed by the White House, but many journalism groups say the record is clear. Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.

Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.
Instapundit loves to run a tweet of dour White House staffers and the caption "That face when you spend 8 years weaponizing the federal government only to hand it over to Donald Trump."  Well, you set the precedent Obama-ites and now you're going to get an undisciplined guy who loves throw roundhouse punches at every perceived problem.  Enjoy your IRS audits.

Extra - From Althouse: "If you exaggerate your power, your successor will have exaggerated power."

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Don't agitate the people from that cult

Scott Adams: "The Climate Science Challenge"  "So today’s challenge is to find a working scientist or PhD in some climate-related field who will agree with the idea that the climate science models do a good job of predicting the future."

Monday, December 26, 2016

Crazy professor gonna crazy

Fox News: "Drexel professor draws ire after posting 'White Genocide' tweet on Christmas."

I tend to believe you can plumb the depths of American academia on any given day and find some nutjob statement.  It's getting exhausting to gin up the outrage at these professors.  If the mindset at Drexel or Oberlin is appealing to you, kids, then go for that oppression studies major.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas

I'm so grateful to spend the holidays with my family to talk and eat and sing.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The greatest scene in cinematic history

"The Bad News Bears" was on yesterday and the scene where Lupus makes the catch is just great.  Such a good movie on so many levels.

That's adorable

Roll Call: "Top Senate Democrats List Requirements for Trump Nominees."

Thanks for weaponizing the White House

Hit and Run: "Trump Has a Blank Check on Executive Power. Thanks Obama!"  "Trump already looks like a thought experiment you'd make up to scare liberals straight about the concentration of executive power," says the Cato Institute's Gene Healy, who has a cover story in the current issue of Reason arguing that Obama's "most lasting legacy" will be to "leave to his successor a presidency even more powerful and dangerous than the one he inherited from Bush."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Clock boy all over again

The Hill: "Delta: YouTube star was kicked off flight for disruptive behavior."

Twitchy has more on the YouTube hoaxer who isn't talking to the media about his awful mistreatment until he speaks to a lawyer.  Good idea, kid, since the Delta countersuit will ruin you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Fox News: "Blame the messengers: Dem boss Schumer fires staffers after November rout."

Blast from the past

I'm posting this New York Times editorial from 2013 in full anticipation they'll be doing a 180-degree about-face any day now:
Republicans warned that the rule change could haunt the Democrats if they lost the White House and the Senate. But the Constitution gives presidents the right to nominate top officials in their administration and name judges, and it says nothing about the ability of a Senate minority to stop them. (The practice barely existed before the 1970s.) From now on, voters will have to understand that presidents are likely to get their way on nominations if their party controls the Senate.
Yeah, voters, get to understanding.

Extra - Fox News: "Slate switches from defense of Electoral College to calling it a tool of white supremacy."

Monday, December 19, 2016

Broken monocles

Commentary: "‘Fake’ News and the Victorian Gentleman."

And now Berlin

What is going on today?  Fox News: "Report: Truck drives into crowded Christmas market in Berlin."  No suspects reported yet but, c'mon.  You know.

Russian ambassador killed in Turkey

This is crazy: "Photographers captured the chilling moment a Turkish special forces police officer-turned-terrorist opened fire inside an Ankara art exhibit Monday, killing Russia's ambassador to Turkey and wounding at least three others as he shouted jihadi propaganda before being killed."

Coincidentally, just last night I was saying that I would like to visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul someday.  Now, I don't think so.  Turkey appears to be transforming into a full Islamic state.

Dang, these voters are dumb

Zero Hedge: "Obama Admits Hillary "Lost Badly" By Failing To "Make An Argument" That Inspired People To "Show Up"."
Of course, when pressed on whether the electorate understood the democratic argument and simply chose to reject it, Obama assured NPR that that simply couldn't be the case.  As Obama has told us many times, if anyone disagrees with his position on a certain policy then it is simply because they must not fully understand it. 
Pretty much.

What's the over/under on faithless electors?

My guess is one attention-seeking defector.  One.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

This is why people hate the mainstream media

I finally got around to leafing through the latest issue of the Atlantic today.  In the back of each issue, they have a feature called "The Big Question" where they ask "experts" (or just people who return their calls, I don't know) who answer a general question.

This month the question is "Who is the worst leader of all time?"  Of all time throughout history, keep in mind.

The answers from experts were as follows:
Jefferson Davis (Hitler mentioned)
George W. Bush
Romulus Augustus
The Devil (with a subset of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Adolf Hitler)
Ronald Reagan

Then Atlantic readers added:
Neville Chamberlain
Napoleon Bonaparte
Czar Nicholas II
Kaiser Wilhelm II

So if you're keeping score, it's Republican Presidents: 2 and Communists: 1 (Pol Pot under "The Devil").

The knock against Reagan was that he was insufficiently responsive to the AIDS crisis and let gay men to be "wiped off the map."  This is worse than Mao Zedong systematically starving tens of millions of Chinese during the Great Leap Forward.  Or Stalin sending millions to the Gulags.  Or Fidel Castro's rule that compelled Cubans to launch rowboats to Florida.  Or Kim Jong Il and his family who have created a modern-day prison country.  I would have even taken that drunk Russian Khrushchev who took the world to the brink of nuclear war.

You would think that the editors of the Atlantic would find some new "experts" or at least realize they're beclowning themselves with the conspicuous and ahistorical bias in this list.

Heartless corporation refuses raises for workers

Don't we love stories like this, where reality intrudes?  WashPost: "Huffington Post union blasts management over talks on pay."

Friday, December 16, 2016

You can go now

Washington Free Beacon: "Liberal Media Turns on Obama."


Legal Insurrection: "NBC News: Obama didn’t get tough with Russian hacking because thought Hillary would win anyway."

And here's a little history via Power Line: "Remember when Russians hacked the White House's computers?"  But that was October 2014 and there was a narrative to protect before the midterm elections.

Now John Podesta is whining in the Washington Post that - gosh darn it - the FBI didn't drive down to the DNC and force their way into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's office.  By several accounts, the DNC IT department ignored multiple warnings from the FBI, fell for obvious phishing scams, and appeared to scan for intrusion using anti-virus freeware.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Oh do tell

Twitchy: "PolitiFact deserves extra-large ‘pants on fire’ for this B.S. claim."  That risible claim is: "We're neither liberal or conservative."  Yeah, I know.

Some of us still remember their factual coverage of Obamacare: "PolitiFact rewrites its own history in Obamacare 'Lie Of The Year' decision."
In an impressive display of chutzpah, the Tampa Bay Times' fact-checking organization PolitiFact has designated President Obama's promise that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it" as their "Lie of the Year" for 2013 while simultaneously distancing itself from its own years-long record of failing to identify it as a lie.
Politifact: "better late than never."

Pajama Boy gets results

Instapundit: "ObamaCare was sold in part as the only way to “save” private insurance, when it fact its only real success was massively expanding the welfare state."

A really futile and stupid gesture

Zero Hedge: "Hollywood Celebrties Urge Electors Not To Vote For Trump."

I actually support this since it will throw the election to the House of Representatives...who will vote for Trump.  So let's prolong the agony.

Title reference from:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fake news update

As the web address of this Slate article indicates, the original title was "NY Subway Riders Stand By as Three Men Verbally Assault Muslim Teenager."

And now if you go to that link: "NYPD Says Story About Muslim Teenager Being Verbally Assaulted on Subway Is a Hoax."  And yet the original article leaves little doubt that the incident really happened, because narrative.

Extra - From Power Line.

The important thing is that he went to the briefings

Maybe he zoned out, thinking about the back-nine at Augusta.  Weekly Standard: "Obama Was Briefed on Russian Hacking But Did Nothing."

Update - Soviet hacker exposed.

This won't end well

For the current Department of Energy staffers.  NBC News: "Energy Department Refuses to Provide Names to Trump Team - Trump's transition team asked for identities of staffers who worked on Obama administration climate policy efforts."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is it really hacking when it's so easy?

Ace: "Podesta's Emails Got Hacked Because His IT Guy Misspelled "Legitimate"."

That's right: he meant to say "illegitimate" to warn Podesta he was being hacked.  Despite the typo, the second sentence of the email warns Podesta to change his password which, of course, he didn't.  But remember that despite their technical sophistication, the Russians probably didn't penetrate Hillary's bathroom server.

Extra - Minuteman: "Call In The Forensic Grammaticians!"

Bernie Sanders said that?

Hit and Run: "Bernie Sanders: Donald Trump Won Because People Are Tired of Political Correctness"
"One of the arguments as to why Trump won," Sanders continued, "is the belief that most or many of his supporters are sexists or racists or homophobes. I happen not to believe that's the case. I think what he did do is he said, 'You know what, there's a lot of pain in this country, people are scared and people are worried.' People are tired of status quo politics. He broke through that."
I know I've said this before, but I was struck by a story on NPR where a Democrat voter said that if he couldn't vote for Bernie, he would probably vote for Trump in the general election.  That should have been the tip-off that people didn't want to vote for an establishment candidate like Clinton.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Russians and their mind-control tricks

Hot Air: "Krugman: Trump’s victory tainted and ‘illegitimate’."  Paul Krugman is very, very angry at the Russians and maybe James Comey too for swinging the election by one percent in certain states.  But as John Sexton notes, nearly anything under the sun could be the cause for such a minor swing.

Of course, there was no talk of "tainting" when the media was actively working to get Obama elected and re-elected.  That's the kind of intervention that Krugman's ilk supports.

Not his fault

McClatchy: "Obama mocked Romney over Russia, but now he blames Russia for Trump."

Obama blames _________ for _________ is the hallmark of his Presidency from the terrible economic record (Bush's fault) to the Syrian "red line" (I didn't draw that!)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The first one wasn't great shakes either

Jim Geraghty: "Obama’s Second Term Was a Complete Failure."  And poor Hillary couldn't distance herself from it.

A little less universal, a little more progressive

Although Social Security is supposed to be a "universal" program - your benefit is proportional to your contribution - it's always had a bit of progressiveness for lower-income Americans.  It looks like the Sam Johnson plan is designed to shift towards more means-testing.  Andrew Biggs does an excellent job of unpacking some parts of the reform proposal:
Safety net: While benefits would be reduced for higher-earning retirees, Johnson’s plan introduces a stronger safety net component to Social Security. For a low-earner who worked a full career, a new minimum benefit would boost monthly benefits by about 10 percent over current benefits. For a very-low earner with a full career, benefits would rise by over 20 percent. There also would be a bump up in benefits for individuals after their 20th year of retirement, a policy designed to offset some of the effects of lower COLA payments.
The Democrats will reflexively spin this as pushing Grandma off a cliff.  It's what they do.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Let the lies and hysteria begin

TPM's main hack Josh Marshall leads with this headline: "GOP Plans Major Social Security Cuts" then follows up with nearly nothing of substance before shifting to a cut-and-paste job of old proposals.  But that headline caught your attention, right?

In fact there are no "major" cuts planned unless you count a slight reduction in cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) phased in over decades and hitting mostly affluent families.  Meanwhile the actual and factual major cut in Social Security (see figure 2 on the SSA's review of Johnson's proposal) are just something we have to live with.  Here's Marshall at peak insouciance:
The big picture is that the current Social Security Trust Fund is predicted to be exhausted in the mid-late 2030s. So roughly in 20 years. People often refer to this as 'bankruptcy'. But that's not really accurate. At that point Social Security would only be able to pay 79% of benefits recipients will be entitled to in those years.
Gosh, why's everybody throwing around these inaccurate terms like "bankruptcy?"  So remember this important semantic lesson: when current law cuts your benefits by 21-25% that's a "fairly stable drop-off."  But when benefits are slowly reduced over decades, that's a "major cut."

Fake news update

Mediaite: "Newsweek Writer Kurt Eichenwald Falsely Reports That Trump Supporters Booed John Glenn."

There's a reason why Newsweek went belly-up and was sold for $1.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

An American hero

Fox News: "Former astronaut and US Senator John Glenn dies at 95."

I know everybody is going to say this but "The Right Stuff" is a great book about the Mercury astronauts.  Movie's pretty good too.

Obamacare foe to Labor

I've recognized this guy's name right away because he's written a bunch of articles in the Wall Street Journal on Obamacare and minimum wage laws.  Hit and Run: "Andy Puzder, Trump’s Pick for Labor Secretary, is a Fast Food CEO Who Has Criticized Obamacare and the Minimum Wage."

Mafioso punching bag speaks

After weaponizing the Senate for Donald Trump, the Senate's outgoing minority leader wants everyone to know that this is fine.  "No big changes needed" - oh, and those darn Koch brothers.

Extra - Harry Reid tweet.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Suddenly substandard

Hot Air: "Now that Trump’s won, media suddenly notices that a lot of new jobs are crappy."

This is a topic that Zero Hedge brings up with every monthly unemployment report: "Since 2014 The US Has Added 547,000 Waiters And Bartenders And Lost 36,000 Manufacturing Workers."

So the great Obama recovery has brought us low unemployment rates through: 1) record low participation and 2) a surplus of crummy jobs.  ("Shovel ready" anyone?)  Not to worry: now that President Four-putt is leaving the issue of "McJobs" will be all the rage again.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

It's too late, baby, now it's too late

Federalist: "Why The Mainstream Media Can’t Hold Trump Accountable - The mainstream media have lost credibility. Under Obama, they were compliant. Under Trump, they're hysterical. So who will hold Trump accountable now?"

Mafia beatdown forces Harry Reid out of the Senate

Washington Examiner: "Harry Reid wants to stay, says blind eye forced retirement."  He's sticking to the "exercise accident" story, just like Fat Tony told him.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The mainstream media has beclowned itself

I'm usually a big supporter of Reason Online's blog Hit and Run but this post runs off the tracks: "Why Trump’s War on the Media Matters - Most presidents distrust the news media. Trump wants to undermine it as an institution."

Yes, Trump is stirring the pot on some well-earned criticism on the media for political gain.  But his tactic would fall flat if Americans maintained trust in the media which they most definitely have not:
Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.
The post discusses the political polarization of the media but the Gallup data indicates that faith in the press has dropped steadily among independents, whose views are more closely aligned with Republicans than Democrats.  In the most recent poll, Democrats have a 21% gap over independents and a 37% gap over Republicans when it comes to faith in the media.  And why not?  They like what they see.

They should teach Chris Wallace's moderation of the final Presidential debate in journalism school.  That would be a good place to start.


Megan McArdle: "The Left's Doomed Effort to Coerce the Right."  She start out reviewing the hit-job against the HGTV couple Chip and Joanna Gaines: "Those of us who are worried about the parlous state of our country’s politics may, however, remain worried that this faux scandal could ever have led someone to write an article and some outlet to publish it."

Friday, December 02, 2016

This "music" is awful

Pandora has an end-of-year list of songs called the "Top Thumb Hundred 2016" including the songs that got the most "thumbs up" on their rating system.  Dear Lord, these songs are horrible.  They're all repetitive computer-generated drumbeat and percussive shuffle accompanied by unintelligible lyrics.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

But...Fox News!

Victor Davis Hanson: "Beware the law of unintended consequences."  "Almost every major initiative that Obama pushed has largely failed. Obamacare is a mess. He nearly doubled the national debt in eight years. Economic growth is at its slowest in decades. Reset with Russia, the Asian pivot, abruptly leaving Iraq, discounting the Islamic State, red lines in Syria, the Iran deal -- all proved foreign policy disasters."

Picking winners and losers

The Federalist: "Donald Trump’s Carrier Deal Is Just Cronyism as Usual - The Carrier deal shows that Donald Trump isn't going to 'drain the swamp.' He's just going to favor a different set of swamp creatures."
But you can make the same case for somebody else’s business, or for the customers who won’t benefit from cheaper goods that might have been made elsewhere. Somebody has to choose the winners and losers in this contest. And that’s how we got the swamp in the first place. There’s always an excuse for why your gang’s favor-trading is in the public interest, while the other guy’s favor-trading is cronyism.
This is Solyndra all over again where Washington forces the invisible hand.  All the competitors of Carrier are suckers for not announcing their own "movin' to Mexico" plans.

Extra - Hmm...maybe it was a Mike Pence arm-twisting.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meanwhile back at the outrage factory

Elizabeth Warren is outraged at the rigged system.  If only there was somebody in Washington who could, you know, do something about it.  Hot Air: "Mika: Aren’t we all getting a little tired of Warren’s schtick?"
“This was not helpful during the campaign,” she said. “There’s an anger there that was shrill, a step above what it needed to be, unmeasured and almost unhinged. It’s not going to work."
Bernie Sanders was on "Conan" last night and he wanted you to know that the system is rigged and everybody's a victim of Wall Street and climate change.  He's been in Washington for a quarter-century and has done virtually nothing to un-rig the system.  He and Warren are part of the same shrill chorus that's getting tuned out.

Fight for $15, prepare for $0

IJR: "McDonald’s Fires Back at Minimum Wage Protesters by Detailing Its Newest Plans to Replace Them."  Every eight-year old with an IPad knows how to operate a touch screen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Action and reaction

Do you know how gun sales soar every time a Democratic President is elected?  This must be the flip side of that equation: "New York Times subscription growth soars tenfold, adding 132,000, after Trump's win."

To the safe spaces!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The times they are a changin'

So this happened today here in the liberal wasteland known as the Pioneer Valley: hundreds of people counter-protested Hampshire College's decision to take down the American flag.  Mass Live: "Hundreds gather at Hampshire College to protest school's refusal to fly U.S. flag."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro is dead

Hot Air: "Evil tyrant finally dead at age 90."

What kind of deal with the devil did this guy make to live so long?  Now it we can just get rid of 92-year old Robert Mugabe.

Friday, November 25, 2016


The Federalist: "Paul Krugman Illustrates The Damaged Political Psyches Of The Left."  "The next four years are not going to be kind to Paul Krugman and to people like him: they are going to discredit themselves even more thoroughly than they already have, all under the auspices of an insufferable, smarmy intellectual superiority."

Running out of other people's money

WashPost: "Clinton’s loss is one more nail in the coffin of center-left politics in the West."  "But in at least one critical sense, [Trump's election] couldn’t have been more European: Across the continent, parties of the center-left that have dominated politics for decades — and that have given Europe its reputation for generous social welfare systems — now find themselves beaten, divided and directionless. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are just the latest members of a beleaguered club."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

VW bugs out

The Truth About Cars: "Volkswagen Ditches Diesel Technology in the United States."  "Volkswagen will no longer bring diesel-powered vehicles into the United States, ending speculation that the company may have simply placed the technology on hiatus while the emissions-cheating snafu remained fresh in American minds."

The media still doesn't get it

NY Sun: "A Vanquished Press Fails to Comprehend its Defeat by Trump."  "The national political press has declined even more precipitously than the political class, and the president-elect was elevated despite the animosity of both, a signal achievement whose significance those who have been vanquished show no signs of grasping."

Extra - Observer: "The Media learned nothing from 2016."

I think it was Glenn Reynolds who said years ago that the rise of the blogs would ultimately undermine the mainstream media because they're unaware of their institutional bias.  This year seemed to prove that theory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Arbitrary law

Reuters: "Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers."  A judge appointed by Obama - how ironic.

Holding tight to the narrative

The Hill: "The New York Times, other outlets crying 'wolf' over Trump."  "We've all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. Now we're seeing the story written before our eyes of a media that not only hasn't learned a thing from its election coverage where it completely embarrassed itself to the point it may never recover from an integrity perspective."

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Obama-Trump voters speak

The Atlantic has a great piece with testimonials from Americans who voted for Obama the first time around but for Donald Trump in this last election.  Here's an excerpt from "Aaron":
Shouting down political opponents is nothing new, but for people with modern sensibilities, being called a bigot when it’s unwarranted actually has an effect similar to a racial slur. It creates a sense of shame and anger, and it forces people to remind themselves that they’re fundamentally a good person. Like other slurs, it shuts down the conversation immediately and creates a mutual distrust.

Add in the new culture of safe spaces and trigger warnings, and you create an ideological echo chamber. Little by little, the social justice movement seems to be morphing into an insidious and sometimes subtle form of oppression, where controversial ideas are expunged from the public dialogue—by force of law if necessary.
Kristen says "I am not a Deplorable" and Vince adds the following:
The progressive left seems to have grown more hysterical, more bullying than ever before. It has enacted an illiberal, punitive, terrifying form of politics where everyone is one wrong position or one misunderstanding from being ex-communicated from the world of the decent. You’re either an Angel completely signed onto their endless quest for progressive utopia, or a Devil. While too many grope for the overheated “Marxist” to describe this kind of politics, it is far more apt than the totally inadequate “Political Correctness.”

It has obliterated any serious debate on a host of subjects by vilifying and demonizing some very good, decent people throughout the country. 
Today I read a piece by the Public Editor of the New York Times about the paper's coverage of the election and how complaints are "five times the normal level."  Then I had the misfortune of checking out the comments section attached to this piece and, wouldn't you know it, every single Trump voter is a racist.  Sexist too, but definitely racist.

Well, keep it up, Dems.  Eventually your relentless vilification of everyday Americans will pay off.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hoisted by their own biased petard

Bill McMorris has a masterful article on the Free Beacon exploring the rich irony in the New York Times inveighing against "fake news" in the Presidential election.  Tell us all about the baseless reports, unsupported predictions, and confirmation bias.

Creeping Detroit syndrome

Hot Air: "Thanks to pension funds, Los Angeles is close to becoming a microcosm of Greece."  "The city’s general fund payments for pensions and retiree healthcare reached $1.04 billion last year, eating up more than 20% of operating revenue — compared with less than 5% in 2002."

Embarrassed, NPR adds a time-delay

Big Government: "NPR: After Pollak, no more live interviews for conservatives."  I heard this interview on NPR and Breitbart editor Joel Pollak made a forceful defense for Steve Bannon and Breitbart while questioning "racist" programming on NPR, specifically the show "Code Switch."  Therefore, all future interviews must be processed through the NPR filter to avoid future incidents of accidental truth.

Brexit, Trump, Le Pen?

Populism is on the march.  UK Independent: "Marine Le Pen takes huge lead over Nicolas Sarkozy in new French presidential election poll - Results likely to add to growing fears far-right leader could be on course for victory in wake of shock Brexit and US presidential votes."

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The playground equivalent of "You better run away!"

The cast of Hamilton was honored to have Vice President-elect Mike Pence in the audience last night so, of course, it was time for some grandstanding.
There’s no dialog possible here. It’s not as if Pence could respond or do anything but politely hear them out. This is the kind of national discussion the left loves: the kind where they talk and you listen.
It would have been cool if Pence had said: "I like your guns."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Silent majority

Federalist: "Liberals Should Stop Ranting And Seek Out Silent Trump Voters Like Me - I am an urban, millennial woman, and I voted for Trump. Now, I'm afraid to explain my reasoning to an angry, vitriolic left that will not listen to me."

The Harry Reid precedent

Remember back in 2013 when Harry Reid had "no choice" but to change the filibuster rules on Presidential nominees?  Good times.

Now that the rules have been changed, a new President will reap the benefit:
Democrats feared then that watering down the supermajority requirement could later ease the confirmation of anti-abortion nominees. Now they are confronting that very prospect: After setting the precedent of changing Senate rules, there’s little reason to think Republicans wouldn’t do the same if their hand is forced.

“I mean, [Democrats] set the standard,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the most senior Republican senator and a former Judiciary chairman. “They really screwed up the rules. Frankly, they did it for pure political purposes. The Republicans are not limited now.”
Last month, when Hillary was a shoo-in, Harry Reid suggested that Democrats would extend the filibuster rule to Supreme Court nominees.  You opened the door, chief.

Squirrel Nut Zippers in NoHo

Northampton hosted the jazz-swing fusion band Squirrel Nut Zippers at Pearl Street last night.  I honestly can't remember a more energetic, upbeat, humorous and entertaining small-venue concert.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Donald

Ask Reddit has a question: "People who have met or dealt with Donald Trump in person prior to the race, what was he like?"

I got through half the responses which were - universally - he's a nice guy.

Peak oil

Here's Scientific American trying to scare you back in 2012: "Has Petroleum Production Peaked, Ending the Era of Easy Oil? - A new analysis concludes that easily extracted oil peaked in 2005, suggesting that dirtier fossil fuels will be burned and energy prices will rise."  Hot Air: "USGS announces largest estimate of oil and gas ‘ever assessed in the United States’."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Gray Lady cocoon

Where the facts take a backseat to the Narrative.

Obama personally insulted

Here's Charles Krauthammer: "Historians are going to see him as a textbook definition of a guy who won on hope and change, who won with a wave of goodwill and who completely destroyed his presidency with liberal overreach, beginning with Obamacare."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hate crime in Natick

It appears that police in Natick, Massachusetts are investigating a series of letters indicating that "Natick has zero tolerance for black people."  Wow, that's terrible stuff, and I surely hope the authorities discover who is responsible for such hateful rhetoric.  I'll be sure to update here when the perpetrators are discovered.

The weaponized executive

Hit and Run: "'I've Got a Pen and I've Got a Phone': Obama's Executive Overreach Becomes Trump's Executive Overreach - The dangers of unchecked executive power."

As this article notes, the NY Times condemned executive power when Bush was President but loved it when Obama took over.  Take a guess which way they'll shift on this rollercoaster of editorial consistency.

Extra - Kevin Williamson: "I won."  "The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future, but they’ll quickly rediscover their belief in limits on the executive."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Democrats start their autopsy

Here's Frank Bruni in the NY Times: "The Democrats screwed up"
Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused. 
Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago. 
Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.
Conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke had it pegged a quarter-century ago:
The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
Thanks to the opiate of political correctness, you can always feel superior by putting down all those rubes in flyover country who just don't get it:
But the left has work to do, not only on policy and organization but also on attitude. Too many of my progressive friends seem to have forgotten how to make actual arguments, and have become expert instead at condemnation, derision and mockery. On issue after issue, they’re very good at explaining why no one could oppose their policy positions except for the basest of motives. As to those positions themselves, they are too often announced with a zealous solemnity suggesting that their views are Holy Writ -- and those who disagree are cast into the outer political darkness. In short, the left has lately been dripping with hubris, which in classic literature always portends a fall.
President Four-putt is an expert at this approach.  In Obama's mind, there was never any principled opposition to his policies; there are only political opportunists, conservative back-benchers, and bigots.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, George Will echoed O'Rourke's idea that the Democrats treat Americans with condescension and cram policies through because "they know best."  This time, Americans said "enough."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Promises were made this election

And I'm starting to think they won't be fulfilled.  GoFundMe: "Send Lena Dunham to Vancouver."

New York Times: "We suck"

NY Post: "New York Times: We blew it on Trump."  "Had the paper actually been fair to both candidates, it wouldn’t need to rededicate itself to honest reporting. And it wouldn’t have been totally blindsided by Trump’s victory."

Friday, November 11, 2016

You're going to love it, plebes

Neo-Neocon: "Election 2016: It all started with Obamacare."  And our superiors who knew what's what.

The tears flowed down her cookie-dough face

Twitchy: "Lena Dunham’s tale of election night woe brings many to tears (of laughter)."

Her baleful cry of "It's her job!" reminds me of the same entitlement mentality that brought down Martha Coakley when she ran for - what she called - "Ted Kennedy's seat."

Turn the page

Although this feeds into the whole "Clintons are above the law" thing, I tend to agree with Coyote Blog: "Pardon Hillary".
But the optics, and precedents involved, with a winning candidate's administration criminally prosecuting the election's loser are just terrible.  Even if entirely justified, the prosecution smacks of banana republic politics.
The rule of law is seldom helped by ignoring wrong-doing, but in this case I will make an exception.
It's all a big distraction; I would prefer if she just disappeared off the national stage.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Firing blanks

Hot Air: "Obamacare supporters vow ‘total war’ to defend the law."

That's adorable.  The original legislation was passed through a budget reconciliation maneuver after Scott Brown was elected to the Senate; surely it can be repealed under the same maneuver.  Even without repeal, now that Obama has made a mockery of the "Take Care" clause of the Constitution, he has set a precedent for selective enforcement of laws.  President Trump can do whatever he wants, using Obama's example as a guide.

The media discovers flyover country

CBS News: "The unbearable smugness of the press."  "This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.  So much for that."

I was never a Trump supporter and I'm approaching his presidency with cautious optimism, but - sweet Moses - I'm loving this public self-flagellation of the mainstream media.  Keep it comin', pencil jockeys.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Party on

Slate: "The Democratic Party Establishment Is Finished."  "Republicans don’t have a slight edge over Democrats in a decaying political system. Republicans are ascendant. Trump has given them a mission. The country is now theirs."


Conservatives and Republicans: "Gee, the mainstream media is biased."

MSM: "No we're not."

Breaking news!  "The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way."

Extra - Here's Thomas Frank:
Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

Bryan Cranston shall be forgiven

Canada: you can keep Lena Dunham.  The Hill: "Celebs who said they'd leave if Trump won."

Time to eat a bug

Remember this guy?  Oh, I do.

All over but the shouting

The cautious 538 blog says Trump is at 93% for Trump.

Podesta says: "Go to bed"

Hillary's campaign manager just told all of her supporters to go home.

Surely a sign of a winning campaign.  /sarc

Another conversation

A woman from a reliably Democratic state was mortified by Clinton and especially by the idea she should vote for Hill because she's a woman.  She really, really, really didn't like Hillary.

My expat conversation

I have to relate this story: about two months ago I was talking to somebody in a European nation and they asked "How is it possible that Trump could win?"  My response was that, while Trump may be intolerable, "Hillary is such a liar."

I didn't think it was so much an argument as an explanation, but apparently it was correct.

Michigan and Pennsylvania

At 1:15am, Trump leads in both and I'm sure no network wants to call these states because it would mean a guaranteed Trump victory.


At 12:12am, Pennsylvania just flipped to red with Trump up by 0.1%.  Here's what 538 Blog says:
Clinton needs to win Pennsylvania. The problem is that her lead has dropped to about 7,000 with plenty of votes left to be counted in Republican areas. Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia has had almost all of its votes counted.
Well, I've been wrong about everything else.  Why not Pennsylvania too?

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wisconsin goes to Trump

It's over.  That was a critical state to win.

At 11:33pm EST, the 538 Blog has Trump at 77% and the NY Times dashboard is pegged at >95%.

There really was a big, secret vote for Trump.

Tonight's big loser: Merrick Garland.

The Brexit vote again

OK, so I watched a movie until 10pm because I was sure it was going to be a good night for Clinton.

But I was wrong: at this writing of 10:30pm, the NY Times dashboard is showing over 80% likelihood of a Trump victory with 290+ electoral votes.  The 538 blog has just tipped to 55% likely Trump win.

Dow futures are down over 600 points.

At this point, this has all the benchmarks of Britain's "Brexit" vote in the sense that nobody saw it coming.

Right on cue: the Pennsylvania fantasy

Hot Air: "WaPo: Trump ground game in Pennsylvania might produce a surprise."

Or not, just like every election, once the results from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh come in.

Reminder to self: pick up wine.

Monday, November 07, 2016

This is the only consolation I can find in this election

Hit and Run: "This is the least important election of our lifetimes."
If providence (or dumb luck) takes mercy on the Constitution, Washington D.C.'s gridlock—an organic reflection of the nation's disposition—will remain the status quo.
David Harsanyi argues that gridlock will be the order of the day so there will not be any significant policy changes.  My feeling has always been that, without entitlement reform, this country will be slowly constricted by mounting debt.  In other words, there won't be any money left to spend.  Here's the Congressional Budget Office in July 2016:
If current laws governing taxes and spending did not change, the United States would face steadily increasing federal budget deficits and debt over the next 30 years, according to projections by CBO. Federal debt held by the public, which was equal to 39 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2008, has already risen to 75 percent of GDP in the wake of a financial crisis and a recession. In CBO’s projections, that debt rises to 86 percent of GDP in 2026 and to 141 percent in 2046—exceeding the historical peak of 106 percent that occurred just after World War II. The prospect of such large debt poses substantial risks for the nation and presents policymakers with significant challenges.
When debt rises to these high levels, it puts the brakes on the economy:
Those effects include displacing private investment, resulting in lower productivity and reduced income, even as the cost of paying the government's bills soar. That means a poorer, more constrained country.
Yet nobody is willing to even talk about entitlement reform, so that slice of the pie called "discretionary spending" gets smaller and smaller every year.  The next president will have to deal with legitimacy questions, a divided Congress, and a budget constrained by mandatory spending and the debt limit.  There's not much room to maneuver.

Duck tax.

Elvis Costello is (Napoleon) Dynamite

I was away a couple days to visit a friend and see Elvis Costello perform his "Imperial Bedroom" tour at the Beacon Theater.  What a great show: a real fan's show full of mostly older tracks mixed in with some new stuff.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Eulogy for the media

Less than a week before the election, everybody notices the media is in the tank.

Vanity Fair (via Ace): "But this election is different: for the first time in my memory, some of the major media organizations in this country have now abandoned all semblance of objectivity in furtherance of electing Hillary Clinton, or perhaps more accurately, in furtherance of the defeat of Donald Trump."

Don Surber: "The unprecedented prejudice displayed in this election is the final roar of the paper tigers who pledge fealty to the American Imelda Marcos without the shoes -- a female Kim Jong Un without his fashion sense. The WikiLeaks of Hillary henchman John Podesta's emails show reporters as panting puppies nuzzling for that coveted pay on the head from Podesta."

Observer: "This Election Has Disgraced the Entire Profession of Journalism".  "We still don’t know the outcome of the 2016 election, in which our “democratic process” has produced two candidates widely despised by the American people, but we do know the race’s biggest loser: reporters and the profession of journalism, which has been reduced to surrogacy, largely on behalf of Hillary Clinton."

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Then there's all the doctor-keeping

Observer: "ObamaCare’s Chickens Come Home to Roost."  "ObamaCare’s official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, wages war on honesty. The ACA is not affordable. It doesn’t protect patients and certainly doesn’t protect their wallets. It’s lack of affordability and its bureaucratic incompetence ultimately limits and in many cases denies medical care to millions of Americans."

Uh, yeah, never mind

Hot Air: "Cigna: On second thought, we’re not expanding our Obamacare offerings."

Cubs win

I couldn't stay up through the rain delay, so I missed the end.  Good for them: 108 years is just too long.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

All tied up after 8 innings

This World Series:

Clinton News Network

Daily Wire: "CNN (Which Is Hitler) Rocked By 4 Massive Scandals In Just 24 Hours."  "CNN is evil and actively engaged in evil. Period. So anything bad that happens to CNN is, naturally, good for America, and over the last 24 hours, The Hitler News Network was rocked by no fewer than four massive scandals."

This is delightful

Marketwatch: "New York Times profit hurt by 19% ad sale slump."  "Over all, the Times reported a profit of $406,000 for the quarter, or break-even on a per-share basis, down sharply from $9.4 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier."  That won't even cover Dean Baquet's car service bills.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Don Draper shook his head, had a non-Bud Light drink

Great moments in advertising:
"The Bud Light Party" has ended a little earlier than expected.

AB InBev wrapped up its Wieden + Kennedy campaign starring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen a few weeks ahead of schedule. The news comes on the heels of the company cutting its revenue forecast for the year in response to a disappointing third quarter that saw declines in Bud Light sales.
I'm no expert, but isn't the purpose of an ad campaign to increase sales?  The backlash against these insipid ads was so bad they had to disable YouTube comments, especially for the "Equal Pay" spot.  People had the temerity to ask Bud Light if they paid their men and woman equally.  Oops.

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's in their nature

Here's Ann Althouse on the recently fired Donna Brazile, who shared questions for a CNN town hall with Hillary:
It was a debate in Flint, Michigan, so it was completely predictable that there would be questions about Flint's water problem. The help isn't even that helpful. Why cheat for so little reason? It suggests cheating means just about nothing to you.
Exactly right.  Aesop's fable reference in title.

Extra - The Hill: "Poll: Public overwhelmingly thinks media is in the tank for Clinton."  No kidding.

Happy Halloween

Hit and Run: "Political Correctness and Cultural Appropriation Panic Are Killing Halloween = College campuses must stop humoring the idea that offensive costumes should be banned."

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Whelp, they lost my bag again

I just got back from a trip and it's a funny feeling when you finally make it down to the baggage carousel and you have to make a mental calculation of how long it would take for a bag to make a complete circuit.  And then you "benchmark" a certain distinctive bag so you know that's the sign of a full revolution so your bag should be found before that grey one with Sharpie graffiti comes around again.

But it's not there.  And if you're Logan airport in Boston, you want to twist the knife a little bit, so you start up the conveyor belt and disgorge a couple more late bags.  It's just enough to make you think: "oh, well, another baggage cart is sending up my bag."  But it's not there.

Now it's time to schlep your way down to baggage services where they'll take down all your personal information so that, if the bag shows up, they can bring it to you.  But probably not Sunday because, you know, that's the weekend dude.

This has happened to me at least twice before and they'll likely find the bag that I verified was marked BOS when I checked in.  In some weird way, this is a clarifying moment: I'll never check a bag again.  I'm going to be one of those people that used to annoy me, the kind that brings their ridiculously oversized bags on board to defy the laws of packing physics by cramming them into overhead bins.

Hurry up before the news gets out

When James Comey declined to pass along a recommendation to the Justice Department a few months ago, I concluded then that Comey didn't want the FBI to sway the Presidential election.  How do I now square that with events of the past 24 hours?

I'm inclined to believe this won't change the outcome but then...I don't know.  But the fact the Comey came out at this late date perhaps suggests the evidence could not be suppressed.  At least that's what Carl Bernstein believes:
We don't know what this means yet except that it's a real bombshell. And it is unthinkable that the Director of the FBI would take this action lightly, that he would put this letter forth to the Congress of the United States saying there is more information out there about classified e-mails and call it to the attention of congress unless it was something requiring serious investigation.
And as Bookworm Room notes, maybe Hillary knows what's coming since she'd really like you to vote right away quick before the truth comes out.

Suspicions confirmed

CBS News: "Poll: National Anthem Protests Leading Cause For NFL Ratings Drop."  Can't you guys just run up and down the field with a football?

Friday, October 28, 2016

October super surprise

The Hill: "FBI reopening Clinton email investigation."

Congratulations, Director Comey.  You delayed just long enough to (probably) make a new investigation irrelevant. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CBS anchors on Obamacare: "What just happened?"

This clip, via Hot Air, encapsulates everything I hate about the mainstream media.  It was the media's job to report on the trainwreck known as Obamacare in an objective manner, weighing the cost and benefits, and the likely long-term effects.  Now they're bewildered at the consequences predicted years ago by people who understand economics and human nature.

Monday, October 24, 2016

There's no talking to this guy

Bloomberg: "Why Obama Won’t Listen to Reason on Obamacare."  "One of President Obama’s cherished conceits is that disagreement with him can have no rational basis, and it was the theme of his most recent speech in defense of his health-care law."

A while ago, I wrote that if you want to understand Obama, look at everything through the prism of his ego.  His signature legislation cannot be failing and the fault must lie somewhere else.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Garbled message

Hot Air: "Obama: ObamaCare is like a defective cellphone, or something."  Ed Morrissey retorts:
In other words, this is the Samsung Note 7, only worse. Imagine that the Affordable Cellphone Act had mandated that all cellphones operate like the Note 7, but the prices increased from $700 in Year One to $1,292 in Year Four without any improvement in quality or service. Now imagine that consumers have to pay for the first 5,000 minutes out of pocket before getting free coverage, and that if they actually try to use it, the phone has an almost-even chance of catching fire in their pockets, but that the only response from the White House is to try to get Congress to offer a subsidy for Neosporin. Now we have an actual analogy to ObamaCare.
Don't forget that you won't be able to actually make a phone call.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Man, you Republicans really screwed up Obamacare

Twitchy: "Wow, Obama’s REALLY desperate to get Republican fingerprints on O-care train wreck."

Yeah, I was

I was less-surprised that no real answers were offered.  Hot Air: "Was anyone else shocked when the deficit was actually mentioned in the debate?"  "If we get a fresh chance to do this again in two or four years, perhaps we could get back to a serious discussion of the fact that our country is going bankrupt. Both parties have contributed to this sorry state of affairs and neither is putting a serious proposal on the table to change that reality."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Winner of the debate: Chris Wallace

I thought he was, to coin a phrase, fair and balanced.  I was very happy to hear - for once - a question about runaway entitlement spending and the effect on the national debt.  I was less thrilled with the answers which did not address the problem at all.  And away we go....

Iran wants more untraceable cash

Fox News: "Iran seeking 'many billions of dollars' in ransom to free US hostages."

Whatever gave them the idea we would pay ransom for hostages?  Oh, yeah, that $1.7 billion delivered on shipping pallets.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

HuffPost is gonna HuffPost

From "Social Security Beneficiaries Are Getting A Modest Raise — But Many Say It’s Not Enough"
Some seniors react to the COLA as if it were a policy crafted by lawmakers, expressing anger at elected officials when, as was the case this past year, they do not get a yearly increase.
In reality, the size of the COLA is not in politicians’ hands. Designed to keep inflation from eroding benefits, the COLA is automatically based on growth in the consumer price index designed for wage earners and clerical workers, a metric known as the CPI-W. A year-over-year rise in the CPI-W means an increase in benefits for Social Security recipients.
However, that doesn’t mean progressive groups are engaging in empty political posturing. To be sure, they are using the meager COLAs to advance their larger argument that Social Security benefits are too modest, particularly in light of the growing role the program plays in providing retirement security.
So there's this government program and the rise in benefits is dictated by the current law which is based on the inflation rate.  The inflation rate has been historically low, so the rise in benefits is low.  But that's no fair!  And it's not political posturing - perish the thought.

The answer, of course, is to raise the Social Security tax rate so that seniors can receive more generous benefit hikes.  And since SS is universal program with a flat tax rate, this tax hike would apply equally to all income.  What do you say, Bernie Sanders?  Let's have a tax hike for everyone.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Everybody act surprised, election-year edition

Hot Air: "Surprise: 96% of campaign contributions of more than $200 by people who work in news media have gone to Clinton."

Don't worry: unlike you mortals, journalists have the super-human ability to act objectively and put personal feelings aside in the interest of the free press.

Extra - You'll get whiplash from this Chris Cillizza turnaround.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sorry, Canadians

There's a guy in the stands of tonight's Toronto Blue Jays/Cleveland Indians game holding up a sign reading: "85 Blue Jays chokers."  I confess that I'm not a big enough baseball fan to know what that means, but Wikipedia never forgets.

I like this headline. It gets right to the point.

Federalist: "The United Nations Is Run By A Bunch Of Depraved Totalitarians, Villainous Barbarians, And Anti-Semitic Scum."

Kinda like "Snakes on a Plane."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Milhouse wins one

Hollywood Reporter: "'The Simpsons' Predicted Yesterday's Nobel Prize in 2010."

This and $2 will get you a cup of coffee

Fox News: "FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider."  "The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved in the year-long probe telling that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged."

Cool story, bro.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

I just can't watch

I've been a political animal all my life but I'll be watching baseball then the Giants-Packers game.  Hot Air has it right: "If you’ve got anything made of Kevlar lying around the house, you might want to wrap that around you too. Trump is a loose cannon even under the best of circumstances; a Trump who sees his grand project crumbling around him under the biggest spotlight of his life will lose all restraint."

It's a double-double

The NASCAR race got rained out last night, so they'll be running both the Sprint Cup and XFinity races back-to-back.

Then it's the ALDS doubleheader where the Boston Red Sox will make an epic comeback at Fenway.

Better load up on the salsa.

An awful man

Here's John Podhoretz in Commentary: "Unfit".  "Trump is unfit to be president of the United States–and has been since he traveled down that gilded escalator in June 2015–for reasons having nothing to do with policy. Simply put, he is an unspeakable human being, as we have learned yet again in the past 24 hours. He takes everything he touches or wants to touch and reduces it to a pornographic puddle. I don’t just mean the way he talked about a woman on that disgusting tape released yesterday, though that’s the straw that may have broken the camel’s back. I mean the way he talks about everybody and everything."

To wit: Trump feels the need to throw counter-punch haymakers at everybody who makes the slightest jab.  I thought his comment about John McCain was revealing since it shows Trump doesn't have the discipline to think about the consequences of his statements before he opens his gaping maw.  The interceding months have not shown that he has the capacity to learn or adapt.

What it must be like to work on this guy's campaign.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Bring in Mike Pence

I'm going to link to a post I made back in August, suggesting that the RNC choose somebody - anybody at all - instead of this certain loser.

Once again: thanks Republican primary voters!  I think we'll still win Idaho, so we got that goin' for us.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

My dog's sensitive, floppy ears

After Cleveland took the lead in the ALDS tonight on two third-inning home-runs, I yelled out an expletive.  My dog got up and left the room as if she was offended by my outburst.

Update - Now three home-runs in the inning.  C'mon Boston!

Obama's blame/credit when things are bad/good

WashPost Fact Checker: "Clinton, Kaine airbrush out inconvenient details about U.S. troop departure from Iraq."  These two paragraphs say it all:
When the negotiations collapsed, Obama was happy to make the withdrawal of U.S. troops a key part of his 2012 reelection campaign. “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did,” he declared at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
When the growing power of the Islamic State forced Obama to send troops back to Iraq, the spin changed. The president in 2014 acknowledged that “we had offered to leave additional troops” but said the blame for the United States leaving Iraq rested on the Iraqi government.
He didn't draw that red line...unless it worked, then he did!  Also, Obamacare is the Republican's fault.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Monday, October 03, 2016

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Undisciplined, part 2

Here's Jonah Goldberg on why candidate Trump can't reel it in:
And that’s Trump’s Achilles’ heel: He can’t resist punching down. He can no more stop himself from “counter-punching” the little guy than my dog can agree not to chase rabbits. (“It’s just so hoppy! I must kill it!”)

Everyone knows this. Hillary Clinton knew it and she baited him. She almost literally could have said, “Donald, I’m going to bait you. You would be a fool to take the bait. But I know you will.” And he still would take the bait. In fact, I think he would be more likely to take the bait if she said she were baiting him, because he would want to prove that he could take the bait and win.
There's a scene in "Mad Men" where one of the "creatives" is angry at Don because he didn't pitch his idea to a client.  He criticizes Don and then concludes: "I feel bad for you."  Don responds flatly: "I don't think about you at all."

Trump can't do that.

Friday, September 30, 2016


The "WTF" moment for me in the first Presidential debate was when Trump went on (and on) about how he was "extremely underleveraged."  He had already made it obvious that he had done virtually no preparation for the debate and, at this nadir, he was going to wing it through any and all topics and fall into Clinton's traps over and over.  I cannot agree with this commentary from Jim Geraghty more: "You can't save the candidate from himself"
Why should anyone be emotionally invested in this man’s victory, if he refuses to learn, refuses to improve, and refuses to avoid making the same mistakes, over and over and over and over again? I’d love to see Hillary Clinton defeated. I just have no faith that Donald Trump is capable of doing that. Every now and then, he gains some traction, the polls get closer… and then he goes and does something stupid. And all of his supporters insist it doesn’t matter, and that we should all avert our eyes, and that we’re betraying something good and righteous by noticing what just happened right in front of us. And then they insist it’s not stupid, that there’s some brilliant nine-level chess going on that we can’t possibly understand from the outside, and if we just wait and see, Donald Trump will win in the end. Unless he doesn’t, because the election is rigged.
That’s not a campaign; that’s a cult.
Thanks a bunch, Republican primary voters.  Before the debate, I spoke to a friend and said that Trump had two things he needed to do: 1) focus on the economy and 2) not look nuts.  Instead, he threw up one word salad after another culminating in Miss Universe.  The audience made a gasp/laugh when he said he had a "great temperament" and with good reason.

Related - Powerline: "Does Trump really want to win?"  "Because once again the Trump presidential campaign is looking more like a college frat prank that got out of hand."

Extra - Debate prep is for chumps.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The bestest President evah

Here's Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe: "Obama has shed his vanity. Just ask him."
Nothing oozes hubris like Barack Obama putting on a humble act.

“There’s a point where the vanity burns away and you’ve had your fill of your name in the papers, or big adoring crowds, or the exercise of power,” the president tells historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in an “exit interview” published by Vanity Fair. “And for me that happened fairly quickly.” Since he no longer revels in his own grandeur, he explains, he won’t fall into the trap of making decisions out of ambition or “thirsty” attachment to the prerogatives of high office.

Do tell.
Jacoby then details how a guy who put himself in the same class as FDR, LBJ and Lincoln has left a trail of wreckage around the world from Syria (he's "haunted") to the security vacuum filled by ISIS.  The Globe's token conservative doesn't even get into Obama's domestic record of low growth, Obamacare and national debt.  You're welcome, America.  You've been blessed.

After Arnold Palmer died, a lot of wags on the Right were wondering how long it would take for "the bride at every wedding" to post a selfie with Arnie.  They were not disappointed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We are deep in debt

Here's a favorite of mine, Veronique De Rugy on last night's debate and the rest of the election season:
I think, in the end, what is so depressing is how substance free this debate was. No mention of Obamacare, no mention of reforming entitlements, no mention of cutting government spending, or no mention of how Clinton’s minimum wage and paid family leaves would make the labor market even more rigid than it already is. The truth unfortunately is that neither candidates want to reform entitlements. Even though Trump talked about our huge debt, he won’t touch the driver of our future debt, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare subsidies. Both of them have talked about raising the minimum wage, and we know that neither of them have a good solution for Obamacare. And both of them are awful on trade.

Overall, this election continues to be substance free. It continues to be a choice between two very unpopular candidates. It continues to be a choice between big and bigger government. 
Emphasis added.  Trump had his soundbite about doubling the national debt but both candidates are talking about record levels of spending on top of soaring mandatory spending on entitlements and debt service.

The smart set

Hit and Run: "Why Obamacare exchanges are collapsing"
The architects of Obamacare could have foreseen today's crisis, says NYU Law Professor Richard Epstein, except they were intellectual "super jocks" with a "superior Ivy-League sneer," who knew so much better than anyone else "how to run this Rube Goldberg contraption" designed to "defeat the law of gravity."
Sounds about right.  It's just Jonathan Gruber, top to bottom.

Update - There goes Tennessee.

Monday, September 26, 2016

After the debate

Who dug up a sacred graveyard and/or pissed off a dark wizard to curse America with these two candidates?  Good gravy, that was awful.

The first debate

Good background review by James Fallows in the Atlantic: "When Donald meets Hillary."  "The most accurate way to predict reaction to a debate is to watch it with the sound turned off."  Optics.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Immunity for everyone!

NY Observer: "The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham - NSA Analyst: We now have incontrovertible proof the Bureau never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Good question, Huma

Politico: "Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal"
"Once informed that the sender's name is believed to be pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: 'How is this not classified?'" the report says. "Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president's use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email."
Well, it wasn't marked classified so of course Hillary wouldn't know if communication from the President of the United States to the Secretary of State would be classified.  Who could determine such a thing without a big red C on the page, which is probably just a paragraph identifier anyway.

Obamacare fades

Hot Air: "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska drops out of Obamacare exchange."

Obamacare reminds me of the Sorites paradox: how many exchanges have to collapse before we can declare the whole program a failure?  At this stage, it's just Medicaid with higher premiums.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My favorite things

On tonight's season finale of "Mr. Robot", there was a song playing in the background as Darlene was led through the FBI headquarters.  It was a cover of Aimee Mann's "The Moth" from her excellent album "Lost in Space."

Monday, September 19, 2016

BleachBit Bingo

This timeline on Reddit reveals how the computer tech tasked with erasing Hillary's emails went ahead and deleted emails even though there was a Congressional subpoena...and then deletes his entire Reddit history when the Internet detectives started to close in.

Extra - How about this:
It should also be noted, that the House select committee on Benghazi reached an agreement with the State Department on the 23rd to produce records.
And the next day the Server tech was asking questions about how to alter/remove header information.
I question the timing.

Follow-up hypothetical - If this Reddit "Stonetear" account can be definitively linked to Paul Combetta, who was deleting emails for a VERY VIP, doesn't this resurrect the issue of intent?  After all, cui bono?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim

The Corner: "Clinton's pointless lies."  "But she couldn’t help herself. She couldn’t level with the public — even when it would have helped. She seems to have a pathological determination to mislead."

This guy is on to something

Scott Adams of "Dilbert" fame has been writing for months that Donald Trump will win by a landslide and I dismissed him as an entertaining, contrary crackpot (Adams, not Trump).  But as reality has turned inside-out, I'm starting to believe Adams has the long vision.

The Clinton slush fund

Daily Caller: "Just 5.7 Percent Of Clinton Foundation Budget Actually Went To Charitable Grants."

Trump wins again

Yesterday, Trump held a press conference where he said the following: "Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy."  The media predictably revealed their bias and rushed into the fold to declare this statement false.

But, oh-ho, what's all this?  McClatchy: "2 Clinton supporters in ’08 reportedly shared Obama ‘birther’ story."
Two supporters of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign reportedly shared the claim that then-rival Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus was not eligible to be president.

One was a volunteer in Iowa, who was fired, Clinton’s former campaign manager said Friday. The other was Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, according to a former McClatchy Washington Bureau chief.

In fact, there were several people publicly pushing the theory, which was repeated extensively on conservative news outlets. There were the two Clinton supporters, but there is no evidence that Clinton herself or her campaign spread the story.
Yeah, that's what a hatchet-man like Sid "The Shiv" Blumenthal is for, to keep Hillary's hands nice and clean.  Here's a guy so toxic that the Obama White House banned him from contact with the Clinton State Hillary set up her private email server to keep up communications.  He's denied the story, so of course it's the word of a known Clinton partisan versus a veteran journalist with nothing to gain.

Extra - Also, don't forget that a Clinton campaign staffer spread the birther conspiracy in 2008 but it's OK because he/she was fired really quick.

More - There's this 2011 Politico piece:
Then, as Obama marched toward the presidency, a new suggestion emerged: That he was not eligible to serve.
That theory first emerged in the spring of 2008, as Clinton supporters circulated an anonymous email questioning Obama’s citizenship.
"First emerged."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Feelin' alright!

MassLive: "San Diego 'hid players' medical information'."
The San Diego Padres hid medical information of their players from the Major League Baseball database, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Padres could face discipline after team officials "instructed their organization's athletic trainers to maintain two distinct files of medical information on their players — one for industry consumption and the other for the team's internal use," Olney reported.
The different medical files were a way for the Padres to hide information about players' health from potential trade partners.
Can you believe that somebody would conceal health information for personal gain?  It's unseemly.