Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Can cooler heads prevail in Boston?

Hot Air: "Boston Approves Permit For ‘Free Speech’ Rally."  Here's what the organizers said on their Facebook page:
While we maintain that every individual is entitled to their freedom of speech and defend that basic human right, we will not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry. We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence. We denounce the actions, activities, and tactics of the so-called Antifa movement. We denounce the normalization of political violence…

We are a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents and we welcome all individuals and organizations from any political affiliations that are willing to peaceably engage in open dialogue about the threats to, and importance of, free speech and civil liberties.
Boston mayor Marty Walsh had been trying to block the rally but now he's appealing for calm and reason.  Maybe we can talk to each other instead of yelling past each other.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Save free expression

Katherine Mangu-Ward on Hit and Run: "'No Free Speech for Fascists' Is a Truly Terrible Idea - The ACLU is right: Do you really want Donald Trump deciding who gets free speech?"  Don't cut down the forest to get to the Devil.

It's an explanation of sorts

John Podhoretz: "Explaining Trump's Charlottesville behavior."

There's a scene in Annie Hall where Alvy Singer is recalling his elementary school classmates and one Ivan Ackerman: "Always the wrong answer...always."  That's how I feel every time Trump says or tweets something: it's always wrong or at least tone-deaf then you smack yourself in the head in frustration and disbelief.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Identity politics killed the Left

I think I know a Columbia humanities professor who is going to be shunned at the next faculty mixer.  In this great article in the Wall Street Journal, Mark Lilia explains how liberals have lost a sense of common cause: "The Liberal Crackup - Liberals should reject the divisive, zero-sum politics of identity and find their way back to a unifying vision of the common good."
As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.
What does this bifurcation and compartmentalization mean for the political Left?  There is no call to collective action:
Every advance of liberal identity consciousness has marked a retreat of liberal political consciousness. There can be no liberal politics without a sense of We—of what we are as citizens and what we owe each other. If liberals hope ever to recapture America’s imagination and become a dominant force across the country, it will not be enough to beat the Republicans at flattering the vanity of the mythical Joe Sixpack. They must offer a vision of our common destiny based on one thing that all Americans, of every background, share.
Wrapping up, Professor Lilia writes: "Black Lives Matter is a textbook example of how not to build solidarity."  Uh-oh.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

This is so sweet, so very sweet

Via Twitchy:

"Bill shared these great tips to help my backswing"

Washington Free Beacon: "Justice Officials Sent Talking Points to FBI on Lynch Tarmac Meeting With Bill Clinton - Flurry of emails between Justice, FBI and White House came just days before Comey cleared Hillary Clinton in email scandal."

The golf tips were heavily redacted, of course.

A founding member of OPEC

Even with depressed oil prices, how can an oil-rich country go flat broke?  It ran out of other people's money.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Paper of Record

WashPost: "New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story."  "That correction, which sits at the foot of the story, dutifully straightens out the record. Yet given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise."

You'll be surprised to learn that the premise the New York Times promoted just happened to fit the narrative that Trump's Administration was suppressing information on climate change.

Because everything is political now

Want to watch a football game?  Tough nuts.  Hot Air: "Skip Bayless: If Black NFL Players Sat Out Week One To Protest Colin Kaepernick’s Treatment, It Would Really Have An Impact."

Do it.  It worked out gangbusters for the University of Missouri.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


Ace: "Evil Monopoly Google Fires Engineer for Questioning Monopoly's Ideological Conformity."

Google: "We support diversity here!"
Rogue employee: "I have a contrary thought."
Google: "Not ideological diversity.  Pack your stuff, Hitler."

The nuthouse of North Korea

Hit and Run: "Americans Increasingly Open to War With North Korea, Even As Distrust of Trump Hits Record Highs."  What?  OMG.

The Atlantic magazine (which I recently badmouthed for their Trump obsession) actually had a really good cover story about how the options to deal with North Korea are all bad.

Monday, August 07, 2017

People who don't watch football vow to not watch football

MSN Sports: "Fans launch petition to boycott NFL if Kaepernick remains unsigned."
A group of fans who believe Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL have launched a petition threatening to boycott the league if he isn't signed to a roster this season.
The petition, titled #NoKaepernickNoNFL, has received more than 31,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon.
We'll miss you hippies.  Years ago, I bet a co-worker that the NFL would never allow Michael Vick to play after what he did to those dogs.  This guy's rationale was that Vick was good enough that teams would overlook his transgressions.  (He won a Coke).  Maybe Vick got a second chance because he was willing to put his past behind him for a bigger goal.  I sense that the NFL teams think that Colin can't give himself over to the team.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Culture is crazy

I laughed at this Imgur post: "The hotel I'm staying at in Brazil has a remote that comes with an immediate soccer-watching button."

This option was enjoyed by the Germans in 2014.

It's "satire"

The Onion: "76 Million Baby Boomers Abscond To Fiji After Draining Nation’s Social Security, Medicare Accounts."
According to sources, the entirety of Medicare and Social Security was slowly siphoned off as the post-war generation built trust by assuring the other 240 million Americans that they would collect their share eventually. However, since decamping, observers say the baby boomers have spent the funds on opulent lifestyles in the tropics where they intend to live out the rest of their days relaxing in comfort, all at the expense of the children and grandchildren they reportedly claimed to be concerned about.
Ha ha ha (sob).

Friday, August 04, 2017

I *love* it when liberals have to play by their own rules

Splinter: "Slate's Biggest Enemies Are Donald Trump and Its Staff Trying to Unionize."
Slate has been a solidly liberal voice online for the past two decades. So when its staff decided to form a union earlier this year, they didn’t expect a drawn-out labor fight. Yet Slate management has put up stiff resistance to the effort for months, using rhetoric that anyone familiar with attempts to weaken organized labor will recognize. 
The site’s management declined to voluntarily recognize a union in March, after more than 90 percent of editorial staff signed cards signaling their intent to join the Writers Guild of America-East. Higher-ups, including the site’s editor-in-chief and the company’s chairman, have since tried to dissuade them from unionizing at all, according to internal emails obtained by Splinter.
It's almost like they're comfortable telling everybody else how to run their business.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Trump's in Barney...Barney Rubble...TROUBLE!

Fox News: "Mueller reportedly impanels grand jury in Russia probe."

Hot Air thinks that since Mueller has crossed the "red line" into investigating finances, Trump might fire him.  And then there's another rumor, probably true, that Mueller want to know more about Trump "I love it!" Jr's meeting with the Russian lawyer.

I don't know.  Since it's obvious that nothing stays secret in Washington, it seems unlikely to me that the hottest, juiciest, most Presidency-ending gossip would not have leaked out by now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Lock 'em up!

Daily Caller: "Liberal Writer Questions Whether White Men Should Be Allowed To Vote."

This low-wattage article elides one fact why this scenario would never happen: then white men would be the victims.

Update: Appears to be a hoax.  A damn plausible one, IMO.

Another Obamacare success story

Hot Air: "Molina Healthcare Pulling Out Of Two States, Raising Premiums 55% In Remaining States."
It was all going so well for Molina until it wasn’t. Now the low-cost provider is cutting staff, pulling out of at least two states and jacking up premiums by 55% in the remainder. Even without the possibility of cost-sharing reduction payments being cut off by the Trump administration, Molina would still be requesting a 30% increase in premiums. There’s no way to spin that as a success story.
I'm starting to think we're never going to see that $2500 in savings.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

It's not a law, it's a notion

Hit and Run: "By Propping Up Obamacare With Illegal Payments, Trump Is Eroding the Rule of Law
- The president is using unconstitutional insurer subsidies as negotiating leverage."  What's the point of having a "law" if the executive branch can just ignore statutory deadlines and spend money at will?

Monday, July 31, 2017

So what'd I miss?

Due to certain circumstances, I was out of the news loop most of the day.  This was a welcome update: "Breaking: Trump Removes Scaramucci As White House Communications Director."  This story has everything but mostly it has John Kelly telling the Mooch to GTFO, followed by a couple of White House goons tossing him to the curb.  (I was not a fan.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not surprising at all

Got back from dinner to find out that Reince Priebus has shuffled off the Trumpian coil.  Maybe the Mooch can find a trusted Washington reporter like Ezra Klein to record some profanity about general John Kelly.

We'll be cleaning up this mess for a while

Good review from Noah Rothman: "There's no 'moving on' from health care."

Speaking of clown shows

AYFKM?  I remember reading once that, since the President can't possibly do all the jobs required of him, it's his principal responsibility to surround himself with the best people.  This guy ain't it.

To call the "skinny repeal" token is an insult to tokens

At least tokens have weight and some inherent value.  The Republican's "skinny repeal" of Obamacare was more ghost and spider webbing than legislation.  The GOP clown show couldn't even drag this ephemera over the finish line.  Great job.

Well, John Boehner was right about repeal but I don't think he's correct that Republicans will be "annihilated" in the midterms if only because the greatest generator of GOP seats will still be law of the land.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Never a thought kept to himself

Charles C.W. Cooke: "Please be quiet, Mr. President."
When the government is as big as it is, we will inevitably be forced to care what he thinks. But the attention that this man insists upon bringing upon himself transcends that inevitability, and ranges into the realm of narcissism and vaingloriousness.
I think it's some mental defect from his military school days, the need to climb to top of the pile, thump one's chest, and then kick in the teeth anyone who tries to throw you off.  It's only making the job of governing more difficult for everyone around him.

It's almost like they're biased

Federalist: "So-Called Fact Checkers Keep Butchering The Facts About Obamacare."  "Since its passage, and in a way that is unlike any policy issue in modern American history, the press have rallied to the defense of Obamacare. From day one, there has been almost no light between the average liberal activist and average health-care reporter."

It's a mystery

Legal Insurrection: "Liberals Compare Boy Scouts to Hitler Youth, Still Can’t Understand Why They Lose Elections."

Prepare the remainder bins!

The Hill: "Clinton book to double down on Russia, Comey message."  Why write another book, except as some kind of catharsis?  Who in their right mind would buy it?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A very reasonable response to today's Senate vote

Twitchy: "Sen. Chris Murphy’s warning that thousands will die if GOP health care bill passes isn’t hyperbole, OK?"  I like the tweet that reads: "2000 years ago, 18 trillion people didn't have Obamacare AND THEY'RE ALL DEAD! Coincidence? I think not."

Ah, yes, the famous "Dr. Lucas McGeorge"

Discover magazine: "Predatory journals hit by 'Star Wars' sting."  "A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it."  You would think the discursion into the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise would have been a tip-off.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When "kicked off" means "won't buy"

Hot Air: "Why CBO Projections Of GOP Health Bills All Look About The Same."  It's because all the GOP proposals do away with the individual mandate and the CBO estimates that, without the whip at Americans' backs, a lot of people won't buy health insurance.  It's a choice that Pajama Boy can't reverse.

Friday, July 21, 2017

I survived Action Park

If you grew up in New Jersey in the 80s (like me!), you probably cheated death at Action Park.  Even to a primitive teenage brain with the attendant sense of invulnerability, you had to know this place was a bad idea.  Every ride was a dance with danger but at least you knew your safety was in the hands of (likely) stoned teenagers who were being paid minimum wage.

One time, my cousin and I couldn't figure out how to get to Motor World so we just crossed the highway and then jumped a fence.  Not a single person tried to stop us and, somehow, we made it down to the go-karts.

Oh Katie

Don't think we've forgotten about your little slice of fake news...

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim

Donald Trump has to fire people.  Rich Lowry: "Yeah, Trump is probably going to fire Robert Mueller."  This surprises me not one bit, given Trump's habit of counter-punching anybody who comes at him.   It would be an extremely bad move but Trump don't care.

Extra - Commentary: "Republicans need to prepare for the worst."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The (blissful) sounds of silence

Life Pro Tip: You can watch an entire episode of "The Wall" on mute and avoid all the awful screaming and schmaltzy dialogue.

Scratch a liberal, find a tyrant

I just didn't expect that tyrant to be Pol Pot.  Daily Caller: "Bill Nye Says Old People Must Die For Climate Science To Progress."  Sacrifices must be made: you first, Bill.

Not for the faint of heart

The other night, I heard a loud but indistinct sound which seemed to come from the garage.  On initial inspection, however, I didn't see anything wrong like an fallen shovel.  It was only the next day when my wife said she couldn't get the car out of the garage that I noticed the tension spring on the garage door had snapped.  When the torsion (twisting) force is released, there's a huge twang, so that's what the sound was.

Fortunately, there's a garage door supply shop in the next town, so I went and got a replacement.  But replacing the spring means you have to wind it up with these large metal bars.  So imagine the largest spring in your house bring tightened up a couple of inches from your jugular: if this thing snaps, well, you're gonna have a bad time.

Fortunately, with a little help from my son, everything went fine.  Before winding, I spray-painted a line across the coil; after winding, you can see it went through six full revolutions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Return to sender in Chappaqua

Fox News: "USPS broke law in allowing workers to boost Clinton campaign, watchdog says"
According to the report, 82 percent of the work took place in 2016 battleground states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
So...not much of a boost.

Black Lives Matter defends cop killer

Hot Air: "The Left’s Hero Worship Of Assata Shakur Is Shameful."  More at Twitchy.

We can all laugh about it now

Byron York: "No surprise: On Obamacare, GOP senators don't do what they don't want to do."
The repeal and replace effort did not produce a bill that could pass, but it did produce plenty of dark humor among Republicans.
So we got that going for us...which is nice.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The media willingly played along

Hey look at Wikileaks:
"With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC's opposition to the Magnitsky bill to a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow."
And the Hillary-loving media said "sure!"  Fox News: "Hillary Clinton sided with Russia on sanctions as Bill made $500G on Moscow speech."

The truth can be

The ratchet wins

Hot Air: "Collapse: McConnell Gives Up On BCRA — But Not Repeal."

This is a common trope of conservative politics that once the government expands, it never, ever, will contract again.  People get used to their benefits and the costs are abstract: paid by "someone else" or put on the national credit card, which is why we need to have a semi-annual debate on raising the debt limit.

Oh well: the greatest generator of Republican seats is still the law of the land and Obamacare is still in its death spiral.  Let's see what happens when the spinning stops.

Extra - Ben Shapiro is not a fan of the GOP right now.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trump is mean to us!

Journalist Gary Abernathy in the WashPost: "The media's martyr complex is embarrassing."  "Trump doesn’t deserve favorable coverage. All he deserves is fair and honest coverage. But even liberals can’t argue with a straight face that he’s wrong about mainstream media bias."

This follows her brave tour of Berkshire County

Twitchy: "Elizabeth Warren (Chief Pays Women Less) fights for the ‘little guy’ at Martha’s Vineyard."  Straight into the lion's den!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Social Security still not fixed

From the Social Security Trustees report:
In the 2017 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:
  • The asset reserves of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $35 billion in 2016 to a total of $2.85 trillion.
  • The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2021. Beginning in 2022, the total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed income.
  • The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
“It is time for the public to engage in the important national conversation about how to keep Social Security strong,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “People understand the value of their earned Social Security benefits and the importance of keeping the program secure for the future.”
Geez, whatever, Debbie Downer.  I'm sure that Americans will be totally fine with receiving three-fourths of their promised benefits.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

No Priuses in the NASCAR race

Twitchy: "Advance team of journalists left literally shaking after scouting run for #HuffPoInTheHeartland tour."

Flip the script

Jonathan Last at Weekly Standard: "Meanwhile, on Earth 2 ... - However you might feel about a given Trump scandal, ask yourself how you'd feel if it was President Hillary Clinton facing the same challenge."

He's absolutely correct that if Chelsea had taken that seat at the G20 we never would have heard the end of it.  I think what Trump Jr. did was stupid and scummy, but I can't join the treason mob mostly because there was no outrage for Hillary's team.

Vowels cost $250

Although it looks like she already bought the "I":

"Text and structure" and unicorn wishes

Federalist: "Chuck Schumer Admits Obama Health Payments Violated The Constitution - The Senate minority leader implicitly admitted the Obama administration violated both the U.S. Constitution and federal criminal statutes by spending funds without an appropriation."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 97% consensus myth, back again

I have a news feed on Google that will flag articles for me.  This morning, it forwarded this article from the Weather Channel: "87 Percent of Americans Unaware There's Scientific Consensus on Climate Change."
Nearly 90 percent of Americans are unaware that there is a consensus within the scientific community that human-caused climate change is real and threatens the planet, a new report says.
Here we go again: you just can't teach these rubes and climate deniers anything.  The Weather Channel article directs you to this IOPScience page and a technical article titled: "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature."  Here's the first part of the abstract (summary) for this paper:
We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.
So right from the get-go, we find that of all these papers reviewed, two-thirds do not take a position on AGW.  The report focuses on the one-third that do and, among them, we get our magic number of 97% consensus that mankind is warming the Earth.  You'd think a more honest assessment would say that 31.6% (32.6% * 97.1%) of the papers reviewed endorsed AGW, but that's not quite so dramatic as 97%.

Diving deeper into the paper, we further discover that the authors separated the AGW papers into a classification they called "level of endorsement."  These were "explicit endorsement with quantification," "explicit endorsement without quantification" and "implicit endorsement."  "Great!" I thought, since most of the dispute with those on the other side of the debate is that the quantification of mankind's effect on the environment is both difficult to estimate and critical to any kind of discussion regarding mitigation of AGW inputs.  In other words, if anthropogenic effects account for all of the warming, we have to consider the significant trade-offs of minimizing fossil fuels.  But if it only accounts for, say, 10% of observed warming, then we may want to consider whether adaptation to natural climate change is a better course of action.

So then "level of endorsement" is an important metric.  One, apparently, we're not allowed to see:
To simplify the analysis, ratings were consolidated into three groups: endorsements (including implicit and explicit; categories 1–3 in table 2), no position (category 4) and rejections (including implicit and explicit; categories 5–7).
Oh.  So the authors dumped everything into the same bin labeled "endorsements" whether they said "We're all gonna burn!" or "Maybe, I think possibly, man has some minor impact on warming."  One of the "endorsers" in this study was Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA.  In this Senate hearing, he expressed his surprise to be included in the group:

I think most people see through the hysteria of the 97% myth which purposely conflates some minor anthropomorphic contribution and global catastrophe.  Maybe they'd believe the hype when everybody in Washington decides to turn off the air conditioning.  You know, for Mother Earth.

Welcome to the bottom of the trajectory

Conservative Review: "Yes, Obamacare has ‘stabilized’ … like a dead body is stable."
However, in one sense, the Kaiser study has stumbled upon the truth. The insurance market has indeed stabilized … the same way a dead body is “stable” and no longer in critical condition, the same way someone in a free fall has stabilized at the bottom of the trajectory. There is no longer any private sector left in the insurance market. The few remaining insurers have stayed in the market through a guaranteed flow of government subsidies — a regulation-controlled monopoly that has driven out competitors lacking economies of scale and tripled premiums, with endless rate hikes in sight.
This is your new stable reality, America.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Revenge of the hillbillies

City Journal: "Can Democrats Make Nice with Deplorables?"  "It’s possible that white working-class voters would back a party filled with people who see them as racists and misogynists, with bad values and worse taste, because they all want to raise taxes on Goldman Sachs executives, but it seems a risky bet."

Seattle's latest experiment

The minimum wage hike made Seattle workers poorer, so let's try another page out of the class warfare playbook.  Hot Air: "Seattle Is Taking The Whole “Eat The Rich” Thing To A New Level."

According to the Hot Air analysis, this tax hike on quarter-millionaires and up is illegal under Washington State's constitution.  But we should welcome these experiments which have worked so well from Maryland to Connecticut to France.  Here in Massachusetts, they're discussing getting rid of the flat tax and New Hampshire is salivating on the border.

Our #1 geopolitical foe

Weekly Standard: "The Trump Administration Has Forfeited the Right to be Trusted on Russia."  Key graf: "You don’t need to think that Trump and his campaign aides colluded with Russia to throw the election to believe that Russian government officials tried to manipulate it. There is no doubt, moreover, that the Kremlin has armed Bashar al-Assad’s regime in a successful bid to establish a client state in the Middle East and undermine American interests there, and that the Russian army has waged war inside the borders of Ukraine, an American ally."

Demographics is destiny

PJ Media: "Where do Japanese babies come from?"  Some of the statistics in this article are stunning and, if trends continue, Japan is going to un-breed itself out of existence.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lace up your sneakers, youse guys

I grew up in New Jersey and found these maps to be delightfully accurate: The differences in how Americans say things.

Comey's "Dear Diary" loophole

Here's Jonathan Turley on James Comey's classified memos:
However, the issue was not the writing of the memos but their removal from the FBI and their leaking to the media. There is a reason why “sometimes when things are classified, it tangles them up.” It is called classification review. That does not give you license to transfer the information into a separate document and declare it a “Dear Diary” entry. That is a loose interpretation that Comey as FBI director never afforded to his subordinates and it would effectively gut the rules governing privileged and classified information.

Not surprisingly, The Hill reported that indeed the memos have been declared classified by the FBI. The newspaper maintains that four of the memos had markings indicating they contained classified material at the “secret” or “confidential” level.
Incredibly, the excuse being given is that the memos weren't marked classified.  I've heard that one before.


Politico: "Tom Donilon, former national security adviser, says 'no doubt about it' Obama should have done more about Russia hacking of 2016 election."

Yeah, that's right

What fresh nonsense is this message from assorted websites such as Drudge: "Something interfered with this website loading
This could be a temporary problem with your network, or due to your adblocker."

Oh, I'm sure it's due to my adblocker.  Pound sand, Drudge.

There goes Delaware

PJ Media: "Dem Senator: Lone Insurer Could Exit State's Marketplace."  "Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield could still exit the Delaware marketplace, leaving the state without a health insurance provider, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said Thursday while detailing discussions with company leadership."  Five other states just said: "Welcome to the party, pal."

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Step back: I'm a professional journalist

American Conservative: "Why People Hate The Media, Chapter MDCXIII"
No wonder some leading lights in the national media class hears Donald Trump give an ordinary speech taking a few paragraphs to praise the good things about Western civilization, and declare it to really be a farrago of dog-whistling about white supremacy. Left-winger attempts mass murder of Republicans: it’s the fault of right-wing talk radio. Radical Muslim massacres gays and lesbians, and says in a phone call from the murder scene that he’s doing it for ISIS: it’s the fault of Republicans. So, I guess if you get right down to it, Steve Scalise pretty much shot himself — right, Washington Post? Better get a reporter right on that story. It shouldn’t be too hard to nail down, seeing as how you only need a single quote from somebody willing to speculate on the record.
They have their narrative and, gosh darn it, they're sticking to it.  That's how the NY Times is now in the position of defending its malignant editorial against Sarah Palin by saying: "Ooops...we didn't read our own newspaper."

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Lazy Saturday

Took the dog to the dog park and now she's dozing.

It's occurred to me that I can't watch rerun sitcoms on TV anymore.  There are several channels now showing reruns of "MASH" and the episodes are edited within an inch of their lives.  The opening and closing credits are overlaid, there are jump edits within a millisecond of a delivered punchline, and whole scenes relevant to the plot and/or joke are cut out.

I think I'm learning to like baseball more and more for the simple reason that there's more "show" to watch.  They keep the cameras on and then run a couple minutes of commercials between innings.  At least you know you're not being cheated out of something.

Red Sox versus Tampa Bay today at 4pm.

Friday, July 07, 2017

You can't spell "condign punishment" without CNN

Zero Hedge: "CNN's Ratings Collapse As Primetime Shows Draw Less Viewers Than Re-Runs Of "Yogi Bear"."

Sisters who resist and persist

Fox News: "'She just got here': Feinstein offers subdued response about Harris' 2020 potential."  That would be Kamala Harris, who checks all the identity politics boxes.  Even better, she was interrupted by a white man during a hearing so - you know - instant rock-star status.

She's not going to cover her shoulders for your patriarchy!

Think of the children!

Charles Blahous: "Obamacare's 'People will die' canard."  "In short, the “people will die” argument is premised on an easily-recognized logical fallacy. Don’t use it if you want to convince others to adopt your health care policy views. If you do, the only thing certain to die will be your credibility."

Thursday, July 06, 2017

They really need those copy editors back

Quick question: do people at the NY Times know how to read?  Twitchy: "NYT beclowns itself after criticizing Trump for rounding up from 37.4% to ‘almost 40%’."

The Gray Lady was so intent on throwing shade on Trump - "not clear where Mr. Trump got his 40% figure" - that they couldn't bother to read the next paragraph in their own story.

Extra - Ace: "It's the paper of record, yo!"


Hot Air: "Hot New Democratic Slogan: “I Mean, Have You Seen The Other Guys?

A study after the election revealed that virtually all of Hillary's political ads leading up to the election attacked Trump's character.  So this is more of the same.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

Why are liberals so violent?

It's just like Portland all over again.  Fox News: "California Dems decry 'bullying,' death threats from the left after shelving health bill."  "California Democratic lawmakers are facing a brutal backlash from union activists and others on the left after shelving a universal health care bill – a debate that has grown so intense that lawmakers say they’ve faced death threats and other violent rhetoric."

If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair body armor.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Abby normal

It's times like this that I'm reminded of a quote by conservative columnist P.J. O'Rourke during the election season:
"I am endorsing Hillary, and all her lies and all her empty promises," O'Rourke continued. "It's the second-worst thing that can happen to this country, but she's way behind in second place. She's wrong about absolutely everything, but she's wrong within normal parameters."
Emphasis added.  I really can't wrap my head around the childish behavior of this Administration, this morning demonstrated with a wrestling video of Trump tackling CNN.  What makes it worse, in my opinion, is that this isn't just another one of Trump's ill-advised tweets: somebody in the White House media room must have prepared this video.  He or she shared it with Trump and they all laughed and laughed and thought it was a great idea to tweak those jerks at CNN.

The theory behind "speak softly and carry a big stick" is that you're thoughtful and circumspect, but willing to take action if necessary.  Trump's contra-theory is to swing wildly and let the chips fall where they may.

Extra - Everybody over at Instapundit thinks this is great because screw the media.  I can sympathize: yes, the media maintains a double-standard for Republicans and they overreact to everything and they deserve every bit of criticism.  But is this juvenile display is not the way to do it.  The White House, as an institution, should be held to a higher standard.

Or maybe it is.  I've been so consistently wrong about Trump that maybe this is the way things are now.

Update - It looks like the video was not prepared by somebody in the White House but instead some anonymous Redditor, which means the President of the United States is scrolling through r/The_Donald for material.  Great.

Not a trick question

Politico: "How Liberal Portland Became America’s Most Politically Violent City".

Because of all the violent liberals.

Related - The Hill: "Threats against lawmakers already higher than all of 2016."  Shootings, too.

...but probably not

Washington Examiner: "Why Palin will lose (and deserves to lose) her New York Times lawsuit".  "The New York Times retracted its ridiculous claims and apologized, but Palin contends that remedy was insufficient and insincere. As a matter of law, her case is very weak."

This article goes way too long attacking Palin while giving only a cursory review on how the NY Times ignored its own reporting to make this scurrilous charge.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

I'd like to think so

But I'm not sure since so much depends on getting into the mind of a NY Times editor.  PJ Media: "In Re: Palin v. New York Times, You Have to Like Sarah's Chances."

TV review time

Hit and Run: "Snowfall presents cracked view of drug history."
As history, Snowfall is drooling idiocy.
I was going to watch it until I saw they shoehorned in the CIA-funding urban legend.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Speaking of states heading towards junk status

Zero Hedge: "After 164 Years, Aetna Is Leaving Connecticut For New York."  Wow.

How bad is the business environment in Connecticut that Aetna is going to New York City and General Electric recently moved to Boston?  Goodbye tax revenue.

Junk bond status, here we come!

Chicago Tribune: "Illinois Lottery stops selling Powerball tickets after lawmakers fail to cut deal."  In brief, Illinois will lose $90 million in annual revenue simply because the state can't be trusted to pay off lottery winners.

If Illinois can't reach agreement on this no-brainer, imagine the state of the whole state budget.

At least it's expensive

Federalist: "Let’s Stop Pretending Medicaid Saves Lives."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A really nice protest

This story from Twitchy is kinda funny: some Trump supporters took over a Starbucks because one of their own was disrespected.  But instead of smashing windows, they just sat down, ordered lattes for "Jeff Sessions", and generally were just customers in MAGA hats.

She drove it into the ground with great talent

Hot Air: "Bernie Sanders: My Wife Left Burlington College ‘In Better Shape Than It Had Ever Been’."  That would be ex-college.

When a "cut" is "spending not rising as much as predicted"

Fox News: "Fact Check: Dem claims that Senate bill guts Medicaid ignore billions in new funding."  "According to the latest ‘score’ from the Congressional Budget Office, Medicaid spending would rise from $393 billion in 2017 to $464 billion in 2026—that’s a $71 billion, or 18 percent, increase."

Also, Rich Lowry explains the perverse incentives in the current Medicaid spending that is driving up costs to ever-higher levels.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pick your poison, NYT

Were you purposely malicious or extremely stupid?  Daily Caller: "Sarah Palin Suing New York Times For Defamation."

Back to the echo chamber

Jonathan Turley: "Trump's travel ban victory should force media to examine itself."  "For those of us who have long argued that the legal authority supported Trump, the order was belated but not surprising. However, the order does offer a brief respite for some self-examination for both legal commentators, and frankly, the courts. At times the analysis surrounding the immigration order seemed to drop any pretense of objectivity and took on the character of open Trump bashing."

Like Icarus flying into the sun

CNN has been a bete noire of Trump, a network he continuously derides as "fake news."  So what do they do?  Prove him right: "Three journalists quit CNN in fallout from retracted Russia story."

Maybe a more apt analogue would be Ahab and the white whale, but you get the point.

Monday, June 26, 2017

"Bona dude" is Latin for "good buddy," right?

C'mon, man, this is funny.  Twitchy: "‘This typo ABIDES!’ @SCOTUSblog typo in travel ban tweet wins the Internet."

Stay on Trump's travel ban lifted

Daily Caller: "Supreme Court Allows Travel Ban To Take Effect."  "The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review lower court rulings blocking enforcement of President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugee and migrant entry, and stayed injunctions barring the order’s enforcement."

Well, mostly: it looks like there's a "friends and family" clause but that's a narrow classification.

If only someone had warned them

WashPost: "A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals."
The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.
It's good to have these little social-engineering experiments in place so we can see how claims of "fairness!" stack up against hard economics.

Extra - Fivethirtyeight: "Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far."

"Silicon Valley" title sequence explained

Check out the FBI trucks outside of Theranos:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A playground in Missouri

Big day at the Supreme Court tomorrow.  Reuters: "U.S. top court set to rule on religious rights; travel ban looms."  Plus, there's the whispers about Anthony Kennedy's potential retirement.

Prepare your bookmarks: Scotusblog.  Also from Scotusblog: "And then there were six - the remaining cases."

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Smug and contemptuous

Bret Stephens in the NY Times: "Democrats and the losing politics of contempt."
Whatever their misgivings about Trump, those Republicans weren’t about to give Nancy Pelosi the satisfaction of a national victory. Contemporary liberalism now expresses itself chiefly in the language of self-affirmation and moral censure: of being the party of the higher-minded; of affixing the suffix “phobe” to millions of people who don’t appreciate being described as bigots.

It’s intolerable. It’s why so many well-educated Republicans who find nothing to admire in the president’s dyspeptic boorishness find even less to like in his opponents’ snickering censoriousness. It’s why a political strategy by Democrats that seeks to turn every local race into a referendum on Trump is likely to fail.
I'm one of those well-educated Republicans who did not vote for Trump but is warming up to him only because of the boorish sanctimony of the Democrats.  So keep it up and stick tight to your identity politics and condemnation of the "deplorables."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shut up, they voted

WashPost: "Wisconsin lawmakers advance bill to suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speakers."
Demonstrations like the one that interrupted Shapiro’s speech last fall have become an increasingly common sight at universities around the country as debate has roiled over how to curb hate speech while protecting free expression and intellectual diversity. Some demonstrations have turned violent, like the recent protests and riots in Berkeley, Calif., that shut down a planned lecture by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

After nearly four hours of debate Wednesday night, Wisconsin lawmakers approved the Campus Free Speech Act in a 61-36 vote along party lines, with no Democrats supporting it.
Really?  Not one Democrat supported something as anodyne and uncontroversial as supporting free speech or - as a minimum - allowing speakers to present their views without a heckler's veto?

I thought the brief protest against Julius Caesar in New York City was a little silly but maybe some sauce for the gander is required, as a matter of principle.

Leave Nancy alone!

NBC News: "Nancy Pelosi Faces Heat From Democrats After Georgia Loss."  She's fine.

Extra - Twitchy: "Conservatives rally behind embattled House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi."

Also - DNC chair Tom Perez is doing a great job also: "Democrats Raise Paltry $4.3 Million In Worst May Total Since 2003."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's her turn

Daily Caller: "Woman Wins Election, Democrats Outraged."  "The same people who called you a misogynist for refusing to vote for a woman are angry that another woman won something. It’s almost as if Democrats’ ideals and principles are disposable when they interfere with their political goals."

"Nah, we're good here"

Fox News: "Jeh Johnson testifies DNC rejected DHS help on hack, Russia meddling did not alter ballots."  "Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified Wednesday that the Democratic National Committee last year turned down his agency's offer to help protect its network despite being warned about a hack."

I can't even

Politico: "Sen. Murphy on Dem's Georgia loss: Russia has been a distraction."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The "shy" voter again

Just a word on the polls: going into the Georgia special election, nobody but nobody reported a Handel lead greater than 2% and (as of now) she's up by nearly 7%, cruising for victory in the most expensive House race ever.

Two weeks ago, the Atlantic Journal-Constitution had Ossoff up by 7%.  Oops.

Update - With 100% reporting, Decision Desk has it 52.7% to 47.3% for a 5.4% win.

Denial at MSNBC

I'm watching returns for Georgia-6 and everybody is showing Handel ahead except Rachel Maddow's show which has Ossoff solidly at 51% and Handel at 49%.

Nobody shows this result except them.

With 50% of the results in, Decision Desk shows Handel up by >5%.  (9:33pm EST).

Before they went "all in" with identity politics

Peter Beinart: "How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration."
In 2005, a left-leaning blogger wrote, “Illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.” In 2006, a liberal columnist wrote that “immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants” and that “the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear.” His conclusion: “We’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.” That same year, a Democratic senator wrote, “When I see Mexican flags waved at proimmigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.”

The blogger was Glenn Greenwald. The columnist was Paul Krugman. The senator was Barack Obama.
Don't forget about this guy in 1995:

But Democrats needed the Latino vote so principles had to be subjugated to political expediency.  (Hat tip: Power Line).

That means it's working

Deploy Jonathan Gruber to talk Iowa off the ledge.  Hot Air: "Iowa’s Last Obamacare Insurer Asks For 43% Rate Increase For 2018."  Here's the Iowa insurance commissioner explaining what's what:
"We are concerned that Iowa has hit a point within our market's collapse that a 43% rate increase will drive healthier, younger, and middle aged individuals out of the market. Iowa's individual market remains unsustainable and needs a fix from Congress. Iowa will continue to move forward with the proposed stopgap measure."
But if younger and healthier Americans are driven out of the system that will only drive up premiums even more in the future!  It's like the system is in a terminal downward trajectory, similar to the out-of-control gyrations of a plane going down.

Something like that.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Michelle Carter found guilty

MassLive: "Michelle Carter found guilty by judge in text message suicide case."

I really thought she was going to get off on a freedom of speech defense but I guess the judge found her text messages encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide so beyond the pale, he had no choice but to mete out punishment.  Some of them are so disturbing.

This case reminds me of when Abraham Lincoln exiled a Copperhead Democrat to the Confederacy because Lincoln reasoned that encouraging men to desert the Army was akin to signing a death warrant:
Long experience has shown that armies cannot be maintained unless desertion shall be punished by the severe penalty of death. The case requires, and the law and the Constitution sanction, this punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert?
In this case, freedom of speech took a backseat to martial law.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Illinois is a zombie state

It's dead but it keeps moving....Zero Hedge: "Unable To Pay Bills, Illinois Sends "Dear Contractor" Letter Telling Firms To Halt Road Work On July 1."  They're out of money: "Illinois is essentially bankrupt. Unfortunately, there is no provision for states to declare bankruptcy.  States can default, however, and default is an easy prediction for Illinois’ public union pensions."

The mainstream media is bonkers

Twitchy: "WaPo editorial writer to NYT editorial board: Hold my beer."

The media is as confused as Ricky Bobby who didn't know what to do with his hands.

The New York Times must be bankrupted

As somebody noted, rolling out this old lie is actual malice.  Ben Shapiro doesn't mince words: "The New York Times Runs The Worst Editorial In Human History, Blames SARAH PALIN For Giffords Shooting AGAIN."

Daily Caller: "NYT Uses GOP Shooting To Falsely Attack Sarah Palin With Debunked Conspiracy Theory."  Commentators on the left and right agree:
Ben Dreyfuss, a senior editor with left-wing Mother Jones, called the editorial “stupid,” adding: “Palin didn’t make that loon shoot Gabby Giffords.”

“Unbelievable. The Times is still peddling this despicable lie,” said Wall Street Journal editor James Taranto. He added: “This is shockingly dishonest.”
Finally, there's the Twitchy roundup: "New York Times determined to find political balance in shootings, even if means reviving old lie."

The Pravda on the Hudson must be put out of business, although I'm not sure how to do it.  Maybe a lawsuit from Sarah Palin for defamation is a good start.

Update - The Old Gray Lady corrects to avoid a libel suit:
Correction: June 15, 2017
An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.
Sue 'em anyway, Sarah.

When the shoe's on the other foot

Hot Air: "The Washington Post Has Suddenly Forgotten How The ‘Climate Of Hate’ Works."  "If you want to say that the right is wrong to connect the shooting to left-wing rhetoric, fine. I’m all for blaming the shooter. But you can’t denounce the right for making the “climate of hate” argument without first admitting the left was wrong to make the same sort of argument back then when there was a chance for them to blame it on the right."

Extra - Hit and Run: "Bernie Sanders Links Political Rhetoric to Violence When ‘Right-Wing,’ Not When Perpetrated by His Own Volunteer."

And this - Today's NY Times editorial is its usual drivel, notable only for dragging out this old chestnut: "NYT still peddling trash about Palin and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting."

More - City Journal: "Incitement to ViolenceThe Left has raised America’s political temperature to the boiling point."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congressman shot in Virginia

All sorts of conflicting info with this breaking news: "Steve Scalise, Roger Williams shot in Virginia, aides also hit."

Hot Air: "Shooter Asked If It Was “Republicans Or Democrats” Playing."  That's not what the statement from Rep. Ron DeSantis says.  He said a man asked who was playing and then three minutes later the shooting started.  Coincidental but not proven yet.

Update: Just heard on Fox News that Roger Williams injured himself taking cover but was not shot.

Update 2: The now-dead gunman had issues.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Preaching to the Upper East Side choir

Althouse on Julius Caesar: "It seems to me that theater should disturb, upset, and provoke the audience in the theater, not show them the things they already firmly believe are disturbing, upsetting, and provoking. So I'd say you are not doing your job. You're presenting hatred of Donald Trump in the center of Manhattan. Don't preen, and don't bring God into it. You've got "the mirror." Look at yourself."

Nothing to hide here!

Politico: "Trump surrogates go after Mueller - Many in the president's circle praised the special counsel's appointment last month but have publicly turned against him in recent days."

Sometimes I think Trump is like George Costanza where he decides to do the opposite of everything.  In this case, if logic and precedent indicates you should cooperate and come clean with all the evidence, Trump is going to bluster and stonewall.  It's his modus operandi.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Denmark hates cars

Denmark imposes a 180% tax on combustion-engine cars (not a typo) and now they've phased out government subsidies for electric vehicles: "Denmark is killing Tesla."

I met somebody in Copenhagen on a business trip and she mordantly joked that when you buy a car in Denmark, you buy another one for the government.

Obamacare repeal advances under the radar

American Spectator: "Obamacare repeal moves steadily forward"
Last week, while most of Washington obsessed over the self-serving cavils of a cashiered federal bureaucrat, Senate Republicans focused on a project much nearer to the hearts of the voters — repealing Obamacare. And the GOP made significant progress in that effort. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that repeal can be passed via reconciliation and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracked the process by invoking “rule 14,” which permits the Senate to skip laborious committee hearings that Democrats planned to use for protracted grandstanding. Meanwhile, moderate Republicans are coming around on proposed changes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion about which they had expressed reservations.
Sarah Kliff is an indefatigable cheerleader/propagandist for Obamacare and she's getting nervous: "Obamacare is in real danger."

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hope springs eternal

In the loony left.  Hot Air: "Feinstein: Let’s Get This Obstruction Of Justice Train Rolling Anyway"
During the endless ratings bonanza which was the Comey testimony, you may recall that the former FBI Director was asked multiple times in several variations of wording about what the President said to him about the Flynn investigation and, in a more general sense, all of the Russia questions. Was he asked to drop the investigation? No. Was he told to drop the investigation? No. Was he ordered to drop the investigation? Again and again… no. And did he, after all the inferences and “hopes” allegedly expressed by the President of the United States, actually wind up dropping the investigation? Nope.
If that was a case of obstruction of justice in the legal sense, the would-be obstructionist was really bad at their job.
Yesterday, the Politics subreddit over at Reddit was all a-flutter because somebody found three obstruction cases where somebody had been convicted while using the word "hope".  In one case, it was an unambiguous threat: "I hope you aren't doing what I think your doing because that's unhealthy."  Another case didn't have the word "hope" in it at all and the last one was in the context of hiding evidence.  All this was detailed by one poster in response so, of course, he was downvoted into oblivion.

Friday, June 09, 2017

The blue collars are going to love this

Hot Air: "Democrats, Please Stop Trying To Fake Populist Authenticity By Swearing."  Our children are watching.

Dershowitz on Presidential powers

Fox News: "Comey confirms that I'm right - and all the Democratic commentators are wrong."

I think he may have written this in some haste because he quotes Comey and...I'm not sure he said it.  Still, he makes a valid point about the pardon power of the President: "Just as the president would have had the constitutional power to pardon Flynn and thus end the criminal investigation of him, he certainly had the authority to request the director of the FBI to end his investigation of Flynn."

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Comey bombshell!

Not.  Legal Insurrection: "Comey: Told Trump not personally under investigation, no attempt to interfere in Russia probe."

India's cash grab

Breitbart: "Trump just dodged a $2.5 trillion bullet."  That's how much India expected to be bribed under the Paris agreement.  "In other words, Paris was never really about climate. It was a wealth-redistribution scheme in which rich nations were expected to shower poor nations with free money."

Prepare for disappointment...and cat food

Hit and Run: "A Troubling Number of Young People Expect Social Security To Be a 'Major Source' of Retirement Income" - "Twenty-five percent of young adults anticipate paying for retirement with Social Security benefits. The number should be zero."

Please don't

PJ Media: "Trump May Live Tweet 'If He Feels the Need' During Comey's Testimony."

Sacrifices must not be made

NY Post: "Eco-friendly deBlasio won't give up SUV rides to the gym."  "Mayor de Blasio says all New Yorkers must change their lifestyle to curb carbon emissions — well, all except one man: Mayor de Blasio."

The guy lives in a mansion; can't they carve out a room for an exercise bike and some weights?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Seattle's sweet soda

Hit and Run: "Seattle Passes Regressive Soda Tax - The city will now tax soda at a rate eight times higher than beer."
Several activists who spoke on behalf of the measure acknowledged that the tax is regressive but argued that this would be mitigated by the spending it will allow. "We understand this is a regressive tax," said a dietitian with the group Got Green. "We only support it because we know and are pushing for it to go back and serve the community."
That's the nice thing about our betters: they're willing to take your money and give some of it back.

A pinky-swear cash-grab

The Week: "Don't cry for the Paris agreement."

Monday, June 05, 2017

Can we agree this is a great name?

Too bad she's going to end up at Leavenworth.  Fox News: "NSA contractor accused of leaking top secret report on Russian hacking efforts."  "Reality Leigh Winner, 25, appeared in U.S. District Court in Augusta, Ga., to face one charge of removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet, the Justice Department said Monday."

Update - Here's a shocker: "NSA Leaker Is A Bernie Supporter Who ‘Resists’ Trump."

Grinding noise on Pontiac Vibe

I like to post these stories in the non-so-remote chance that somebody else has a similar problem and they're looking for a solution.  Today my son called me and said he had hit a pothole and now there was this horrible sound that appeared to be coming from the rear of the car, maybe the right wheel.

He had pulled over to the side of the road and we swapped cars so that I could drive the car the mile or so back home.  At very low speeds, there was no noticeable sound.  But once I hit, say, 20mph the racket was deeply unsettling: a kind of metal-on-metal sound that resembled a grinding noise.  Considering he said he had hit a pothole, I thought it may have been a wheel bearing or something in the rear disc brakes.  This made some sense because the sound got louder and more frequent as the speed increased.  But here's the counter-fact: there was no shaking of the wheel, no vibration, and no pulling of the car to one side or the other.  In fact, the car seemed to run fine except for the awful noise.

I came home and jacked the right rear tire then gave it a shake to check the bearing; it was OK.  I pulled the wheel off and nothing really appeared out of the ordinary.  I was stumped so I called my neighbor, who has much more experience than me.

Almost right away, he found the culprit: there is a thin metal heat shield around the exhaust running down the center of the underside.  The pothole must have popped a rivet and it was loose.  When air flowed under the car, it rattled back and forth making a racket but otherwise it didn't affect the drive.

Easy - and cheap - fix with a couple of self-tapping screws.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

We can't quit that thing we never joined

Hot Air: "Newsflash: America never joined Paris Agreement."  That thing "signed" by Mr. Pen and Phone is undone by the next guy.

Stuff *she* said

Legal Insurrection: "How can Ginsburg participate in Travel Order case after her *campaign* statements about Trump?"

We can reasonably infer from RBG's comments that she cannot be objective and impartial in this case, based on her previous statements.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

More terror in the UK

Live Reddit feed is here.  Van attack and stabbings; multiple suspects are being pursued.

Absolutely sickening eyewitness report:
He was at a pub with some mates, decided to leave and get something to eat at around 10pm. Walks in the direction of London Bridge, passing under the train bridge. He saw someone who had been stabbed, then saw 3 "Muslim guys" running up, started stabbing a girl. They then stabbed someone else.
He then started shouting at everyone to run, went back towards the Borough. They then stabbed the bouncer at the Tavern (pub). They were running in all the pubs, bars, stabbing everyone.

Aetna to follow GE out of CT

Wall Street Journal: "Connecticut’s Tax Comeuppance - With the rich tapped out, the state may resort to Puerto Rico bonds."  Anything but cutting taxes.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Bring it to the Senate

The Corner: "The Paris Agreement Is a Treaty. Treat It as Such."

No, 23 million aren't going to be "kicked off" insurance

Daily Caller: "Reports That 23 Million Americans Will Lose Health Care Are WAY Off."
Nineteen million of the 23 million people said to be losing their coverage don’t currently have coverage, according to Forbes. The Congressional Budget Office arrived at that number by assuming many millions of people who don’t have coverage now but are predicted to gain coverage under Obamacare by 2026.

These misguided projections are the result of a combination of factors including an outsized faith in the influence of Obamacare’s individual mandate, overconfidence in the number of states that will seek to expand medicaid in the next few years and a reliance on demonstrably false 2016 projections of future exchange enrollment.
Basically, the CBO estimate of total insured is based on assumptions about the individual mandate, guesses which have been way off target thus far.

Hillary invites ridicule

She invites it with a gold-filigreed RSVP served on a silver platter.  I've never seen anything like it from a Presidential election loser.  I'd like to move on but she won't let it go.  Stephen Green: "If I’m reading this correctly, Clinton’s judgement was sound, but women-hating Russians at the FBI forced her to set up an unsecured email server and prevented her from campaigning in Wisconsin."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We don't need no stinkin' public editor

Daily Caller: "The NYT Justification For Killing The Public Editor Position Is Woefully Inadequate At Best."

Basically, the Grey Lady is getting rid of their ombudsman because it claims it can process concerns and criticism through social media.  Have you ever seen the NYT comments page?  It runs the full gamut of political thought from "A" to "B".

Friday, May 26, 2017

"The decision is ridiculous"

Powerline: "The 4th Circuit's travel ban decision: an affront to the rule of law."  "For a court to say that a presidential order may or may not be constitutional depending on who the president is–constitutional if issued by a Democrat, unconstitutional if by a Republican–is the ultimate repudiation of the rule of law."

Extra - Byron York: "The majority's decision, as laid out by Gregory, suggests a mind-bending possibility: If the Trump executive order, every single word of it, were issued by another president who had not made such statements on the campaign trail, the court would find it constitutional."

Gianforte beats the media

Instapundit has a pretty good roundup of the Montana special election with a focus on the reaction of the media.  They are now Public Enemy #1 but don't seem to think there's a problem.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Heck of a job, Mainstream Media

The Hill: "Poll: Majority says mainstream media publishes fake news."  "Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the mainstream press is full of fake news, a sentiment that is held by a majority of voters across the ideological spectrum."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Katy Perry's wall of love

Katy wants you to know that she has one of those "Coexist" bumper stickers on her Prius:
Pop megastar Katy Perry made an impassioned plea for people to “co-exist” and said that “barriers” or “borders” could detract from that goal...
In completely unrelated real estate news: "Katy Perry buys Beverly Hills mega mansion with infinity pool for $19M"
The property has five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms, covering 2,815 sq ft and is tucked away in a gated community.
Yes, there's a gate, but - as you can see - it's a wall designed to send the message that "we’re just all loving on each other and we should just stay loving on each other."  Can you feel the love?

I'm 100% sure this is a "Law and Order" episode

Ace: "Detroit Female Genital Mutilators Planning to Claim Their Practice is a Right Supported by Religious Freedom"  As Ace quips: "Can't wait to hear all the feminists not talking about this case."  That's the price you have to pay when you'll do anything to avoid being called racist.

As expected

CNN: "Manchester Arena attack: ISIS claims blast that killed 22 at Ariana Grande concert."  Looks like the suicide bomber is one Salman Abedi.  "...known to British authorities prior to the attack."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Explosion at Manchester Arena

Live feed at Reddit.  Attack was at a Ariana Grande concert so most of the casualties are bound to be teenage girls.  Suicide bomber is suspected.

The lesson of Trump's presidency

Here's P.J. O'Rourke:
"The politician creates a powerful, huge, heavy, and unstoppable Monster Truck of a government," P.J. O'Rourke writes in his new book, How the Hell Did This Happen?. "Then supporters of that politician become shocked and weepy when another politician, whom they detest, gets behind the wheel, turns the truck around, and runs them over."
This was exactly the warning made by Conor Friedersdorf back in March 2016: "Tyrant-Proof the White House—Before It's Too Late"
Before moving into a new house, parents of small children engage in child-proofing. Before leaving the White House, Obama should engage in tyrant-proofing. For eight years, he has evinced a high opinion of his own ability to exercise power morally, even in situations where Senator Obama thought that the president should be restrained. At this point, better to flatter his ego than to resist it. You’ll be gone soon, Mr. President, and for all our disagreements, I think your successor is highly likely to be less trustworthy and more corruptible than you were.
This Atlantic piece refers specifically to foreign policy (e.g. drone strikes) but the same can be said for domestic policy.  It's an axiom of conservatism that "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."  Well, now we've built up this gargantuan ship of state and put it in the hands of somebody who does not fit the mold of a traditional President.  Who knows which way we're going?

For those of us who advocated a smaller federal government and a limited executive branch, well, told ya so.