Sunday, October 22, 2017

Everybody chill out for a sec

PBS (of all places): "Why your alarmism over Trump is dangerous for democracy."
To state the obvious, Americans, like all citizens of a democracy, have the right to elect bad, even very bad, politicians.
Or, to quote H.L. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Take a hike, fatty

Doug Ross: "Death panels are real: UK’s NHS Bans Surgery for Smokers and the Obese."

Rutgers beats Purdue? Rutgers beats Purdue!

USA Today: "Rutgers is on a two-game win streak, and people cannot believe it."  Some of these tweets are hilarious:


The Counterpuncher

Here's Rich Lowry in the Corner: "The Out that Trump never permits himself."  Regarding the military family that was offended by Trump's phone call:
The normal thing to do in this situation would be for the person who said something that was taken the wrong way — especially when it is the president of the United States and the aggrieved party has just lost a loved one in uniform — to come back and say something like, “I really didn’t meant it the way you heard it and it pains me to think that I’ve in any way added to your distress. Please accept my apology and deepest condolences.”

If Trump could bring himself to do this, it would, 1) be the right thing to do; 2) instantly drain this controversy of much of its power; 3) win him praise, even from some unexpected quarters. But Trump can never give even a little ground, because any disagreement or criticism instantly becomes personal and the occasion for combat, no matter what the circumstance.
I don't know why this guy hasn't developed an emotional maturity that most people acquire by the time they're 15.  My working theory is that something happened when he went away to military school.  But, more and more, you're seeing Republicans like Corker, Ryan, and Bush giving notice that they're getting pretty sick of his...stuff.

The other day, referring to Trump's take-no-prisoners approach, somebody wrote: "We tried nice guys with McCain and Romney."  This is reading way too much into Trump's victory which was an aberration because he was facing a particularly un-liked opponent.  And even if it were true that Trump's combativeness helped him win the Presidency, it's become unseemly for a President.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Awesome sauce

Hit and Run: "Republicans Officially Give Up Trying to Cut Spending - After all that fuss from 2009 onward, Rand Paul is the last Republican left objecting to the continued growth of government."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Always keep your mouth shut

There's a scene that always cracks me up in the otherwise-mediocre movie "Role Models."  A lawyer is meeting with a client who is accused of stealing televisions.  He denies it.  Then he's shown a video of him boosting TVs while saying: "Look at me!  Me, David Garvin, stealing TVs!"

I thought of that when I saw this story on Zero Hedge: ""I Think We Got Away With It": HSBC Trader's Fate Left To Jurors After Damning Phone Recordings Revealed."

Monday, October 16, 2017

This is a Harvard professor writing

Newsweek (online) relays a five-point plan from professor Lawrence Lessig for Hillary to become President.  The plan, unfortunately, falls apart at step #1.  And #2 through #4.  And then it goes completely off-the-rails into Crazytown with #5.  Thanks for wasting my time, jerk.

The comments are the best part of the article: equal parts disbelief and suspicion that this is some next-level trolling of Democrats.

No insurance accepted

Interesting twist over at Hit and Run: "These Doctors Got Fed Up With Insurance. Now They Treat Their Patients Like Valued Customers. - The “direct primary care” movement is attracting physicians sick of red tape. And it’s transforming the doctor-patient relationship."

Mr. Honor and Distinction

Federalist: "Bowe Bergdahl Pleads Guilty For Deserting His Post In Afghanistan."

It only took five Guantanamo prisoners in trade plus six dead Americans.

Extra - Power Line: "The Bergdahl deception."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ugly win

Wow, that Patriots game was...something.  MassLive: "Angry Jets fans convinced NFL is rigged for Patriots after controversial Austin Seferian-Jenkins fumble call."

As a NASCAR fan, it's somewhat of a joke that NASCAR tends to tip the scales to help out Dale Earnhardt Jr., the most popular driver.  This "fumble" call to help the Patriots has the same feel.

Extra - Twitchy: "LOL: Trump to blame for ‘worst call in NFL history’ that favored the Patriots?"  Sure, why not.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Obamacare's illegal subsidies

Andrew McCarthy: "Trump Faithfully Executes Obamacare; Media, Democrats Go Nuts."
The subsidy payments to insurance companies may be “critical” to sustaining the ACA, but they are not provided for in the ACA. The Obamacare law did not appropriate them. No legislation appropriates them. They are and have always been illegal.
To his credit, David Greene of NPR asked Zeke Emamuel about this very question of legality on "Morning Edition" and Emanuel's initial response was that Trump should have just kept on paying these unappropriated funds.  Because Constitution-schmonstitution.

Extra - Red State: "Democrats Sue To Force President Trump To Break The Law And Ignore A Court Order."  "The idea that a president can be sued with the objective of making him break the law is so outrageous that one wonders if “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” really has any meaning to the Democrat party."

Turnabout...is still wrong

Power Line: "Trump supporters shout down liberal speakers."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Take a knee, ESPN

Instapundit: "Toward a Unified Theory of Contemporary Institutional Failure."  "So in ESPN we see an institution that is recklessly alienating its prime customer base, and only now — much too late — beginning to dimly sense that it’s in trouble."

In related news, Roger Goodell asks - pretty please - could you stand for the National Anthem?

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Tax the rich!

I can't believe this story.  It's really true that the those who fail to learn history are condemned to repeat it.  Independent: "Emmanuel Macron to introduce new tax on expensive jewellery, supercars and luxury yachts."

Let's call this the "American Boating Employment Act of 2017."  I remember what happened to the yachting industry when Congress passed something similar here in 1991:
In 1990 there were no luxury excise taxes, all of them having been repealed in 1965. But perhaps every quarter-century or so government--it cannot help itself--must go on a "fairness" bender, the memory of the hangover from similar misadventures having faded.

In 1990 the Joint Committee on Taxation projected that the 1991 revenue yield from luxury taxes would be $31 million. It was $16.6 million. Why? Because (surprise!) the taxation changed behavior: Fewer people bought the taxed products. Demand went down when prices went up. Washington was amazed. People bought yachts overseas. Who would have thought it?

According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues. So the net effect of the taxes was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991, which means the government projection was off by $38.6 million. 
Didn't France just go through a painful lesson on taxing the rich?  Some people never learn.  It's just too easy and politically popular to take somebody else's money.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Thursday, October 05, 2017

It's funny because it's an irony statue

Hot Air: "Company Behind “Fearless Girl” To Pay $5 Million For Pay Discrimination Against Women Executives."

California leads the way

For years, I've been advocating entitlement reform while using the phrase "crowding out" as in spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will overwhelm the entire Federal budget.  If you want to see the future, look first at the Golden State.  Hit and Run: "Like Schools, Parks, Social Programs? Too Bad, Because Retirees Get Paid First - New report shows how California's pension obligations are crowding out spending on other things."

Until, like Detroit, they don't.  Then it's "haircuts" for everybody.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Carving up the districts

The Supreme Court has started its new session and, first out of the gate, is a gerrymandering case.  Politico: "Supreme Court eyes partisan gerrymandering."

I can definitely see both sides of this argument: on the one hand, state legislatures redraw Congressional districts to maximize advantages to their respective parties.  But when you have a splotch of a ketchup stain defining a district, has gerrymandering gotten out of control?  Maybe.

But maybe a better argument is this: the Supreme Court shouldn't be involving itself in a two-century-old practice that is essentially a political fight within a State:
Chief Justice John Roberts, who's known for a desire to safeguard the high court's reputation, was unusually blunt about his concern that opening the door to partisan gerrymandering cases would flood the Supreme Court docket with litigation and drag the justices into a political morass. He said voters will look askance at the notion that districts failed to meet a complex formula that assesses wasted votes and a so-called "efficiency gap."

"You're taking these issues away from democracy and you're throwing them into the courts pursuant to—and it may be simply my educational background, [what] I can only describe as sociological gobbledygook," the chief justice opined. "The intelligent man on the street is going to say, 'That's a bunch of baloney. It must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans.'...That is going to cause very serious harm to the status and integrity of the decisions of this court in the eyes of the country."
Opening the door to gerrymandering cases in Federal Court would politicize the Court as they debate whether a State district should be drawn on one or the other side of the highway.

Extra - SCOTUSBlog adds: "Thirteen years ago, the justices rejected a challenge to Pennsylvania’s redistricting plan, with four justices agreeing that courts should decline to review partisan-gerrymandering claims, because it is too hard to come up with a manageable test to determine when politics plays too influential a role in redistricting." As usual, all eyes on Kennedy again.

Monday, October 02, 2017

What happened to Stephen Paddock?

Nobody can figure out a motive for this guy who apparently was a well-off professional, if a bit of a loner.  The closest analogue I can reach for is Charles Whitman who was found to have had a brain tumor.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Wait, wait, don't tell me

it seems there's been a stabbing at a train station in Marseille, France.
The now-dead suspect has been described as North African and in his late-20s.
He shouted something.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tom Price out

Andy Warhol said that in the future everybody will be famous for 15 minutes.

I think in the Trump Administration, everybody will be Secretary for 15 minutes.  Fox News: "HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns over private plane trips."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Anything goes, Trump-style

Look who has a pen and a phone now.  Washington Examiner: "Trump preparing executive order to let Americans purchase health insurance across state lines."

I didn't think a President could do that but Ace convinced me otherwise:
Is this constitutional? Well, if Obamacare has taught us anything, it's that it's endlessly mutable according to the whim of the president -- and the Supreme Court has blessed this regime of unconstitutional reinterpretations-by-decree at least twice.
So much of Obama's agenda depended on President Hillary.  Oops.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The New York Times sucks

I have to admit that I'm facing a dearth of topics to blog about recently.  I don't want to talk about the past which includes Hillary and Obama.  I'm in the Ben Shapiro camp when it comes to Trump.  The Republicans' recent half-assed attempt to repeal Obamacare was always doomed to failure; these dummies will probably botch tax reform too.  The culture wars are an exhausting marathon of outrage.

Thank heaven there's always the failing New York Times to fill the void.  Don Surber: "It's official: NYT couldn't cover a Dumpster fire in its newsroom."
How lousy is the New York Times today? Its staff is so inept that it would not be able to cover a Dumpster fire in its newsroom.

Here was the set-up. A staffer ("a contributing writer") for the New York Times Magazine wrote a book. The editors assigned another staffer to review the book.

Not only did the book reviewer pan the book, but she made numerous errors in the review, so many that the Times had to issue a lengthy correction -- which only brought further attention to the author getting a bad review.
The reviewer was a recent hire of editorial editor James "I don't read the paper" Bennet.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Steelers not going to play this particular game

MassLive: "Entire Pittsburgh Steelers team will not participate in national anthem, stay in locker room."  From the statement of head coach Mike Tomlin, it sounds like they just want to avoid the whole deal: "We're not participating in the anthem today, not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from this circumstance."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I feel the need to explain this tweet

Mary Katherine Ham was attacked as a "liar" because of her Fox News career.  She responded with this napalm firebombing:




So, according to Twitchy, Mr. Chotiner deleted his embarrassing tweet.  For the record, the New Republic got caught up in "the most spectacular, sustained campaign of fabrication known to American journalism" when it got taken in by Stephen Glass.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Molon labe

Persuasion is kinda an ancient notion for the Left nowadays.  It's all Kimmel's world:
Kimmel doesn't matter. He's just another half-smart big mouth Hollywood multi-millionaire. But they're all Kimmel, all the left. They're all doing the Kimmel Three-Step: 1. Emotion. 2. Hectoring. 3. Violence. Trying to get you to give them and their government your money and your freedom.
Well, come and get it, Jimmy.

Some people just want to graduate

Politico: "Protesters disrupt James Comey's Howard University convocation speech."

What a fun day for everyone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Of course

Federalist: "After Self-Reflection, Journalists Discover They’ve Been Too Critical Of … Democrats."

I understand: you can't fathom that you might have helped elect Trump.  Don't worry, dudes, you're not that important anymore.

Extra - Don Surber: "The whole Russian meddling was a ruse to justify spying on Trump. The mainstream media went along with the gag because they wanted to protect Obama, and they wanted to overturn the election."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Good luck, Andrew Franks

The Miami Dolphins missed their first game of the season because of Hurricane Irma so I didn't find out until this past Sunday that field goal kicker Andrew Franks was let go from the team after two seasons.

The appearance of Andrew Franks was always my favorite part of any NFL game because of the incredulous reaction from the broadcast commentators whenever he appeared on the field.  They would always say something like: "Andrew Franks from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?!?"

That's right: Franks rose to the NFL from a Division III school sometimes described as the "oldest technological university in the English-speaking world."  The recently-unemployed Franks will now have to fall back on his Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.

My offer is this: two bits

This should help settle the selling price for Rolling Stone.  Hot Air: "Appeals Court Revives Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone."



Extra - Hit and Run: "Good luck with the sale, Jann Wenner."

Sounds like a man with something to hide!

Daily Caller: "Manafort Calls On DOJ To Release His Intercepted Communications With Foreigners."
“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.
This whole Russia thing is going to come down to a guy who didn't register as a lobbyist.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Left hates free speech, continued

Megan McArdle: "We Didn't Normalize Trump. We Normalized the Left's Violence." "Every time it happens, we have to remind ourselves that all this security is the price we’re paying to protect ourselves from thieves who want to steal our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The times, they are a'changin'

Daily Dot: "The struggle against Internet overload is real."
Since the dawn of civilization, roughly 12,000 B.C., to 2003 A.D., only 5 exabytes (5,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) of data has been created. Now, with the rise of the Internet’s influence in our daily lives, we produce this amount of data every two days.
Holy cow.  It's probably because we went from Mathew Brady taking a dozen pictures a day to a typical teenager taking that many pictures of his/her lunch.  Plus videos!

Garbage time

Hot Air: "A Chicago Judge Amazingly Rules That Grant Money Can Be Mandatory."

Update: This originally sounded to me like Chicago judge-shopping for a favorable ruling but my go-to legal analysis guide says the judge may have a solid legal basis for the executive branch changing standards originally set by Congress.

I don't know, man, I just work here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

You can have anything you want if you don't care about the cost

This morning, Obamacare cheerleader Sarah Kliff wrote this piece on Vox: "Bernie Sanders's new Medicare-for-all plan, explained."  Here's the tl;dr "explanation":

1) It's going to be awesome
2) We have no idea how much it's going to cost

At no point does Kliff mention rationing of health care but at least she mentioned that single-payer crashed and burned in Vermont:
But Vermont’s single-payer dream fell apart when the state figured out how much it would need to raise taxes to finance its new system. Vermont abandoned the government-run plan after finding it would need to increase payroll taxes by 11.5 percent and income tax by 9 percent.
Unmentioned is that Colorado and California also ran screaming from single-payer plans when the price tag was revealed.  Perhaps sensing that she had overreached in her earlier "explanation", Kliff followed up in the afternoon with "How much is that Medicare-for-all plan in the window?"  Oh, good, we're going to find out the cost of Sanders' plan.

Or not:
Sanders certainly offers a wide array of financing options, and you can read through all them right here. What makes them difficult to evaluate, however, is that we don't know how much he expects his single-payer health plan to cost.
What was the point of these articles, Sarah, other than to keep up the drumbeat for a single-payer plan that will never see the light of day and/or fill your article quota at Vox?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Must be chilly in Hell tonight

I have to say: the NY Times published this?  Hot Air: "NY Times Author Defends Ben Shapiro, Attacks ‘Sloppy Conflation’ Of Conservatives With White Supremacists."

Well, it was an opinion page piece.  The editorials are safely in the hands of James "What's Google?" Bennet.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Discovered de Kooning in New Mexico

This is the craziest story.  In 1985 a Willem de Kooning painting was stolen from the University of Arizona and later found in an antiques store.  The investigation has come to this: it looks like it was robbed by a regular Joe who just wanted to hang it over his fireplace.
It was finally recovered last month, and investigators are focusing on several theories. And one of them is, in its own way, extraordinary: They are trying to determine if the heist was engineered by a retired New York City schoolteacher — something of a renaissance man — who donned women’s clothing and took his son along as his accomplice, and then hung the masterwork in the bedroom of his own rural New Mexico home, where it remained.

In other words, they are examining whether he stole a painting now valued at in excess of $100 million simply so he could enjoy it.
This reminds me of another nutty art story where a friend of Norman Rockwell was afraid he would lose his original painting in a divorce, so he painted a copy and hid the original.  

Saturday, September 09, 2017

College-freude

Legal Insurrection: "Radical fallout: Oberlin College enrollment drops, causing financial problems - Is social justice war coming home to roost at Oberlin, as it did at Mizzou and Evergreen State?"

Journalism

Don Surber: "Anatomy of a sleazy editorial."  It's the ole Russian guilt-by-association drivel.

Al Gore was right!


Friday, September 08, 2017

NY Times, again

Here's John Bolton writing in the National Review: "What ‘News Gathering’ Looks Like at the New York Times."  "The questions, perhaps in response to an article I wrote on the North Korean threat, are utterly one-sided, simplistic, incorporate factually incorrect assertions, and signal that the story is all but written. There is clearly no basis to try to engage such a “reporter” in reasoned dialogue."

Thursday, September 07, 2017

The case against Bob Menendez

The New York Times forgot the Senator's political affiliation and NBC News just assumed he was a Republican because, you know, "layers of fact-checking" in the age of Google.

Anyway, Ace has the lowdown on that Son of the Confederacy and his love for #MAGA hats: "MSNBC Has Some Unwelcome News for Its Zombie Viewers: Case Against Senator Bob Menendez (Republican from Texas or Somewhere "Jesusy") Is "Overwhelming"."

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Hold on to your hat

You're not going to believe this story: it seems that a mainstream media news source went forward with a story damaging to a Republican without proper sourcing.  I know!  Daily Caller: "CNN Pulled Investigative Team Off Trump-Russia Coverage."  "The error was also particularly damaging to CNN’s brand as it occurred as Trump was harshly criticizing the network over charges of biased coverage."

Then there's the other side of the coin: for the first time in 36 years, a sitting U.S. Senator is in the midst of a federal bribery trial.  Political affiliation of this corrupt official: unknown.  The Hill: "NY Times mocked for not mentioning embattled senator is a Democrat."

The "Paper of Record".

Monday, September 04, 2017

Run, Deval, run

The Hill: "Obama team’s 2020 signals spark chatter among Dems."
Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest confidantes, and David Simas, the CEO of Obama’s foundation, have sent smoke signals urging former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to enter the race.
Do it, Deval.  There's two things I know about politics:
1.) President Dukakis, Kerry, and Romney prove that America loves politicians from Massachusetts.
2.) Americans can't get enough of identity politics.  Bring on Kamala, too.

Side note: I love how the Hill included the (D) in this story so you weren't confused about the political affiliation of an Obama-endorsed candidate from Massachusetts.

Friday, September 01, 2017

My favorite Supremes song

Approaching peak Harrison Bergeron

"The year was 2081 2017 and everybody was finally equal."  City Journal: "Peril in numbers - Affirmative-action hiring endangers the FDNY."  The New York Fire Department needs women because of triggering or something:
The results of all this quota-setting and bean-counting were predictable. FDNY insiders say that the department struggles to fill the minority quotas despite degraded hiring standards. Hence Paul Washington dissembles to potential recruits. Hence standards for women have grown so lax under Sifton’s dictum that one female recruit failed entrance exams six times and was hired anyway. Hence nine felons—each a beneficiary of Garafulis’s quotas—graduated in a class of probationary firefighters from the city’s fire academy last November.
The era of Un-hurt Feelings: coming soon to a courtroom and surgical theater near you.

Extra - "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Don't give to the Red Cross

That's the gist of this series of tweets from Pro Publica.  I scrolled through some of their feed and, boy, they do not like the Red Cross.

I vaguely remembered that the Red Cross was accused of driving trucks around in circles after Hurricane Sandy just for visibility purposes.  Found that story.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The NY Times wins!

Hit and Run: "Decision Dismissing Sarah Palin's Libel Suit Is an Embarrassment to the Times - The ruling shows how carelessly the paper peddled nonsense about Republican rhetoric and mass murder."
Although it seems correct as a matter of law, the decision should not be interpreted as a vindication of the Times. To the contrary, the details described in U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff's ruling highlight the journalistic malpractice, magical thinking, and blinkered tribalism that led to this stupid and embarrassing mistake.
As far as I can tell, the judge's ruling was that because the Times said "oopsie!" relatively quickly, there wasn't actual malice.  One can't help to wonder if the subject of attack had been a non-Republican, the editorial staff would have taken an extra 30 seconds to consult Google.

Related - The Newseum is going under.  Good.

Virtue signaling is a hell of a drug

Hot Air: "‘Free Speech Comedy Show’ Canceled After Venue’s Locks Smashed."

Et, tu, Canada?  Land of tolerance and apology?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I've heard this song before

Legal Insurrection: "Obamacare Causes New York’s Largest Hospital Network to Leave Insurance Market" - “It has become increasingly clear that continuing the CareConnect health plan is financially unsustainable.”

Monday, August 28, 2017

Nothingburger on stilts

Is collusion with Russia back in vogue already?  The NY Times, naturally, spilled a thousand useless words to tell us everything that Trump didn't do: "Democrats' Russia story hits another dead end."  "A Russian immigrant who didn’t work for Trump had a vision of making Donald Trump look good (and making himself a lot of money) via a business deal with the Russians, which Trump’s people never followed up on. It’s like a joke with no punch line."

If it's a day ending in a "y", time to fire someone

Hot Air: "Report: Trump “Livid” With Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson."

I never thought Rex Tillerson would last very long: as the former CEO of Exxon, this captain of industry is the very epitome of discipline and goal-oriented management.  His boss, not so much.  Tillerson won't stick around to be insulted by the likes of Trump for a six-figure salary.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Shut up, they explained. Part 1002 - Boston Bugaloo

Andrew Sullivan wrote this: "The Boston Rally Exposed the Left’s Intolerance of Free Speech."  "If their intent was to prove how parts of the left and Boston’s mayor and police department now oppose freedom of speech if they disagree with it, well, they succeeded beyond their wildest imagination."

Let's all be victims!

Hot Air: "Is ‘Identity Liberalism’ Killing The Democratic Party?"  I might have to get Mark Lilla's book.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Newspaper defends First Amendment

Hot Air: "After Months Of Op-Eds Questioning Free Speech, NY Times Publishes A Solid Defense."

Note that this wasn't on the famously dumb editorial page, but in the Book Review.

Western Massachusetts update

The winner of the three-quarters of a billion dollar Powerball jackpot bought her ticket in Chicopee, which is two towns over from me.  So close...so close.

Good for her but, man, she came out to claim her prize awfully quick, clearly before talking to a lawyer, a financial adviser, or security specialists.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Shut up, they explained - Part: I lost count

This gem appeared in the Washington "Democracy Dies in Darkness" Post.  The author is a kook professor from Skidmore College: "When ‘free speech’ becomes a political weapon - Maybe liberals shouldn't be free-speech absolutists after all."

Why does this urge to stifle First Amendment rights always - always - come from the Left?  The easy answer is that they suck at debating so they want to shut down conversation.  I think another explanation is that it's a cheap way to assert power among those who have none.  All you need to do is be offended and now you can claim the power of censorship, like a real dictator.

Extra - From Ace.

More - And Twitchy.  "Democracy dies from dumbasses."

Monday, August 21, 2017

Big fat phony Joss Whedon

I dislike Joss Whedon who wasted no time after Trump's election crying or throwing a hissy-fit or whatever un-masculine kind of action verb you'd like to use.  At the time he was upset about Betsy DeVos who was "declaring a war on children."  Well, not Joss Whedon's children who are safely cloistered in private school.

Imagine my delight that the super-feminist told his now-ex-wife that, gosh darn it, he loves women so much he just couldn't help but have a bunch of affairs.  Ace: "Shock: Superfeminist Walking Pussyhat Joss Whedon Was Cheating on His Wife With Adoring Female Fans, Ex-Wife Says in Blogpost."

Don't worry folks: at least his private jet runs on the green energy of refined condescension.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Boston today

I really like this sign:

Hat tip: This Reddit thread.

Never let a crisis go to waste

Writing in the NY Times (naturally) a UCLA professor says it's time for the government to put some curbs on free speech.  Charles C.W. Cooke agrees: "Yes, let's rethink free speech."
The United States did not fight two global conflicts and a bloody civil war to permit the Bill of Rights to flourish. Nor did countless Americans expend their time, blood, and energy to allow unpopular people to speak without the vigorous superintendence of whoever temporarily commands the public’s support. On the contrary: Those battles were fought for one reason, and one reason only: To permit Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump to shape our society as they in their eternal prudence see fit. If that dream is finally to be realized, the ACLU must dismount its high horse and get the hell out of the way.
Emphasis added.  I'm sold on this argument: since Republicans control all levels of the government, it's time to put some constraints on this harmful rhetoric of the Left.  For the public good.

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

Doubleplusungoodthoughtcrime

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 Change.org 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 told...now.

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.

Choke

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!"

Tribalism

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.