Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Buh-bye pensions

Washington Free Beacon: "20,000 Union Members, Retirees at Risk of Losing Pension Benefits - Retirement funds seek permission from feds to cut benefits."
In March, four unions filed applications with the U.S. Treasury Department requesting relief under a program established by the Obama administration that allows multi-employer pension plans to cut benefits in order to sustain the long-term health of the plan. The applications from United Furniture Workers Pension Fund, Alaska Ironworkers Pension Fund, Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, International Association of Machinists of Motor City Pension Fund, and Teamsters Local 805 Pension & Retirement Plan are all being reviewed by the department, according to the Pension Rights Center. If the cuts are approved on all four applications, as many as 20,309 union members could see their retirement money drastically reduced.
This is why I favor partial privatization - aka personal accounts - for Social Security.  When your money is in the hands of other people, well, rosy rates of return are promised, benefits start to outstrip revenues, and there are fewer workers in the system propping up a pool of retirees.

Then you go bankrupt, gradually then suddenly.

Shut up, Trump explained

The Hill: "Conservative media figures disappointed with Trump meeting."  "Some conservative media figures invited to an exclusive event with President Trump on Monday night left the White House frustrated and complaining that Trump's staff had intentionally sought to limit what they could report out of the meeting."  Sigh.  What's it all about, Alfie?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shut up, they explained

The Corner: "NYT publishes speech suppression advocacy."  Your ideas stink so we have to "adjust the parameters" of free speech, for your own good.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Elizabeth Warren and the deplorables

Here's an excerpt from a WashPost review of Fauxcahontas's book:
Yet the story Warren tells about the election and America’s anxieties is curiously one-dimensional. She uses standard progressive math to explain Trump voters: Some are racist bigots, some were taken in by a huckster casino owner and some are suffering from intense economic despair. One of the women she follows, Gina, lives in a mobile home in a small North Carolina town. She and her husband barely get by on her hourly wage from Walmart. “We need to tell this story!” Gina tells Warren. “But I really need this job.”

Gina, we find out at the end of the book, “proudly voted for Donald Trump, hoping he would ‘shake things up.’ ” In Warren’s world, the Democratic Party would win the vote of every Gina in America by fighting for a “playing field that isn’t tilted so hard against her.” But Warren never really tells us why America’s Ginas aren’t voting for Democrats now.
Emphasis added.  Warren was on Charlie Rose recently and he asked a version of this question in noting that Donald Trump won those very voters who were angry about the economy.  Warren responded: well they should be angry because things are terrible.  But she never articulated why these voters should look to the Democrats to solve these problems other than to recite her standard list of villains (Wall Street! Goldman Sachs!) that she regurgitates as predictably as the sun rising in the East.

Make no mistake: Warren is fighting and fighting to give you a fighting chance in the battle to win the war.  If anybody can list a single accomplishment from all this fighting other that to sell her books, let me know.

How dare you allow an opposing viewpoint!

The Hill: "Bill Nye criticizes CNN on air for inviting climate change skeptic."  An actual scientist, no less, and not an actor who puts on a lab coat.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Objectivity lesson

Hit and Run: "Scientists’ March on Washington - Do researchers risk becoming just another leftwing interest group?"
Microbiologist Alex Berezow is a senior fellow of biomedical science at a pro-science consumer advocacy organization, the American Council on Science and Health.* I asked him if he thought scientists should participate in the march. "No, scientists and researchers should not participate," he replied. "From the very outset, the march started as an anti-Trump protest. Then it morphed into a solidly progressive movement, embracing all manner of left-wing social justice causes." Berezow added that the march could well end up harming the interests of the scientific community: "For decades, science has received broad bipartisan support. (In fact, Republicans usually funded science better than Democrats.) By biting the hand that feeds them, scientists risk losing funding, as well as alienating taxpayers. That is an awful idea, and it hurts everybody."
Holding this march on Earth Day certainly calls into question its partisan nature.

Friday, April 21, 2017

You're free to listen to OUR speech

Megan McArdle: "Berkeley Once Stood for Free Speech. Now It Rolls Over. - "In the 1960s, students at Berkeley helped change the world by igniting the Free Speech Movement, a seminal moment in the history of 20th-century civil liberties. Fifty years later, Berkeley leftists seem to have decided that free speech was a mistake -- and the administration seems intent on helping them roll it back."

How many houses does a Socialist need?

The correct answer is three.

Old computers

This web site delivers what it promises: Old Computers.

I used to have a TI-99/4A computer that I loved.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Democrats' most popular politician is not a Democrat

Commentary: "The Democratic party: A brand in crisis"
Democrats have so far refused to find an antidote to their brand’s toxicity. They have performed no introspection with regard to how the 2016 election was run and lost to a former game show host, the most unpopular presidential candidate in the modern age. They have not engaged in a critical analysis of how the relatively popular Barack Obama could be replaced with a man who promised in both manner and deed to be everything the former president was not. The Democratic Party is facing a nearly 100-year nadir of its political power. Its representatives were defenestrated at nearly every level. Obama left the GOP with all three branches of the federal government and in total control of the levers of power in fully half the Union. Yet there has been no “autopsy,” and there apparently never will be. Their state of denial is all-consuming.
The strategy appears to be call everyone racist until they come around.

The ultimate swinger

Hot Air: "Grassley: Expect a SCOTUS opening this summer."  The news here is that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not interviewing clerks for the next session, suggesting that his time on the bench is winding down.

Update - Or not.  Thanks random commenter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Youse gonna be working together

Hit and Run: "NYC Mayor Encourages Cigarette Smuggling with Plan to Massively Jack Up Prices - City with highest cost per pack also has highest bootlegging rate. Imagine that."
Today de Blasio announced that he wants to make smuggling an even more financially lucrative option by jacking up the taxes on packs of cigarettes. Right now the lowest price for a pack of cigarettes in the city is $10.50 a pack. Under his proposal announced today the floor would jump to $13 a pack, the highest in the country.

By sheer coincidence (if you are completely ignorant to even the most basic concepts of economics), New York has the highest rate of cigarette smuggling in the country. Though figures are hard to nail down—black markets, being what they are—stats suggest that more than half of all cigarettes are being sold illegally and untaxed in New York.
The mafia and/or New Hampshire thanks you for the business.



Georgia 6th

Real Clear Politics; "Five Takeaways From the Georgia Special Election."  I don't know why certain commentators are saying this is a done deal for the Republicans.  Special elections are always unpredictable.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Crossing the street at the Boston Marathon

Nice logistics here:

How to kill Obamacare: enforce the law

Washington Times: "Trump’s message to Democrats: Negotiate Obamacare, or payments to insurers will be cut."
President Trump is threatening to cut off critical Obamacare payments to insurers unless Democrats come to the table to negotiate a new health care bill, taking a tough negotiating stance that could force Democratic leaders into a government shutdown by month’s end.

At stake are “cost sharing” payments that Obamacare backers say are supposed to be made to insurance companies to cover their losses from low-income customers.

A federal court has invalidated the payments, saying the Obama administration spent the money even though Congress specifically stripped the funds from its annual spending bills.
Up until - let's say January 20th - Obamacare was kept alive by ignoring statutory deadlines and illegally shifting money between government departments.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

You had a good run, Turkey

Foreign Policy: "RIP Turkey, 1921 – 2017 - Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t just win his constitutional referendum — he permanently closed a chapter of his country’s modern history."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I learned it by watching you!

Why, oh why, did I click on that Vox link to that Ezra "Obamacare is great!" Klein story?  Anyway, now that the Supreme Court is open to Republican nominees, well: "How to fix the Supreme Court."

The tl;dr is term limits.

But let's start out here:
In 2016, Senate Republicans responded to Antonin Scalia’s death by inventing and establishing the absurd faux principle that open seats on the Supreme Court cannot be filled in an election year.
AYFKM?  This concept sprang - sui generis - from the mind of Mitch McConnell?  As did the elimination of filibusters for federal judges?  Please.  Reacquaint yourself with the Biden Rule, the Reid Rule, and the Ginsburg Rule.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Alternative banking

Trivia for you: there are more payday lenders in America than there are McDonalds and Starbucks combined, even though they are banned in 13 states.  Really interesting story over at Hit and Run: "How Payday Lenders and Check Cashers Help the Poor - An Ivy League professor went to work in the industry to figure out why so many Americans choose to remain "unbanked."."

Watch the video.  There's a reason there are so many payday lenders and check cashers: for a large number of people there's really no alternative for them at traditional banks.  They can't wait for the "float" of regular banks - they need cash now for a variety of reasons.

Regrets

Washington Free Beacon: "Washington Post Blogger Issues Official Apology for Spreading False Jeff Sessions Story."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fantastic

Hot Air: "Trump took Social Security reforms out of his budget."

I've utterly given up on advocating for entitlement reform: the Democrats demagogue the hell out of the issue and Republicans are tired of being accused of pushing Grandma over a cliff.

And yet - every year - the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare warn that something must be done:
Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.
In other words, time is needed to space out the needed cutbacks and give people time to adjust.  But we won't do that.  Instead, we'll just wait until the ship hits the iceberg:
The OASI Trust Fund, when considered separately, has a projected reserve depletion date of 2035, the same as in last year's report. At that time, income would be sufficient to pay 77 percent of scheduled OASI benefits.
Oh, you were depending on your full benefit?  Sucker: here's three quarters on the dollar.

"Fact-checking" at the NY Times

Jonah Goldberg: "What Rick Perlstein’s Embarrassing New York Times Essay Gets Wrong."  "I’d demand an apology and a retraction, but that would require the Times to understand a perspective outside their bubble. They’ve already demonstrated that’s too much to ask."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

His blood ran cold

I'm sorry, that's tasteless.  However: "J. Geils found dead in Massachusetts home at age 71."  "The J. Geils Band was founded in 1967 in Worcester, Mass., while Geils was studying at Worcester Polytechnic Institute."  This is the closest thing we have to a Western Mass superstar.  Also: WPI!  A very good school.

New York state of college

Legal Insurrection: "New York’s ‘Free’ College Tuition Program is Unworkable."

In addition to all sorts of provisos to get the money in the first place, students are required to stay in New York for as long as they got free tuition.  (Room and board and fees are not included).  Massachusetts has a similar system where students who graduate in the top 10% of their class don't need to pay tuition in a state school such as University of Massachusetts.  To compensate for low/no tuition, the state schools mark up the room and board and other expenses that cannot be avoided.

Senate tradition

Daily Caller: "Tom Daschle: Dems More To Blame For ‘Erosion Of Institutional Pillars Of Senate’."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Your refusal to accept this $400 voucher is disturbing

Joke going around the Internet: New photo of United Airlines asking for volunteers to deplane

Great PR, United

Fox News: "Police violently drag man from United plane after airline reportedly overbooked flight."

You know what?  Hats off to this guy.  United must have assumed that, in the face of a security detail, he would go gently into that good terminal.  Instead, United has a visual for the ages and a trending #BoycottUnited movement.

Update - The officer who dragged the guy has been placed on leave.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

You're right about the "terrible" part

"We're terribly democratic!" say the socialists of Venezuela.  Hot Air: "Venezuela bans opposition leader from running for office for 15 years."  The country is now the apotheosis of Orwell.

Past the red line

Politico magazine: "President Not-Obama - How Trump's strike got even some key Obama advisers cheering."
“I feel like finally we have done the right thing,” Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as Obama’s first-term chief of policy planning at the State Department and long publicly urged a more forceful response to Assad’s horrific attacks on civilians during the six years of war that have wracked Syria, told me. “The years of hypocrisy just hurt us all. It undermined the U.S., it undermined the world order.”
He didn't draw that red line!

Friday, April 07, 2017

The Left hates free speech

College Fix: "Angry mob shuts down Blue Lives Matter speech at Claremont McKenna College."

Gorsuch confirmed

Charles Krauthammer: "Karma, precedent and the nuclear option."  "The Gorsuch nomination is a bitter setback to the liberal project of using the courts to ratchet leftward the law and society. However, Gorsuch’s appointment simply preserves the court’s ideological balance of power. Wait for the next nomination. Having gratuitously forfeited the filibuster, Democrats will be facing the loss of the court for a generation.
Condign punishment indeed."

For the record, I was wrong in my prediction that the Democrats would pull back the abyss and preserve the filibuster for the next seat, the one that will (likely) tip balance on the Court.  It's either sheer madness or just appealing to the fundraisers.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

This seems impetuous

Fox News: "US launches missiles into Syria in response to chemical weapons attack."

If I remember correctly, candidate Trump was against any kind of involvement in Syria.  Rand Paul is not happy.

Extra - A lot of history in this Hot Air post including how Trump was against Syria intervention and wanted Congressional approval for any strike.  Tonight...not so much.

More - WSJ: "U.S. Launches Cruise Missiles at Syrian Air Base in Response to Chemical Attack."
Speaking inside his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, President Trump said he ordered targeted missile strikes at a Syrian airfield as a response to the “barbaric” chemical weapons attack, saying they were in the interest of U.S. national security to prevent and deter the use and spread of such weapons. The Assad regime, Mr. Trump said, “choked out the lives of helpless” people in Syria.
I guess there's something to be said about a show of force in response to the barbaric use of chemical weapons and, so far, this seems to be a pinprick attack on the airbase used to launch the attack.  I'm as conflicted as virtually everybody on this Reddit thread.

Triggered

This account is a hoot.  College Fix: "‘War on Cops’ author Heather Mac Donald shouted down at UCLA by hysterical Black Lives Matter protest."

She's the worst

Twitchy: "Elizabeth Warren goes on warpath against nuke option, steps on rake she dropped in 2013."

Prepare to be shocked

The New York Times had a certain opinion in 2013 on judicial filibusters: "Democracy returns to the Senate."
In a 52-to-48 vote that substantially altered the balance of power in Washington, the Senate changed its most infuriating rule and effectively ended the filibuster on executive and judicial appointments. From now on, if any senator tries to filibuster a presidential nominee, that filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority, not the 60-vote requirement of the past. That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority. 
The only exceptions are nominations to the Supreme Court, for which a filibuster would still be allowed. But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.
Hooray for Democracy!  So you may be puzzled at yesterday's editorial: "The Supreme Court as a partisan tool."
What matters, of course, is not some arcane voting process in the Senate. What matters is that Americans believe they are governed by law, not by whatever political party manages to stack the Supreme Court. That is what Mitch McConnell has driven the Senate to put at risk — a very great risk indeed — and it may, in the end, fall to the court itself to find a way to rise above the steadily encroaching tide of factionalism.
Awww.  So much partisanship and arcane voting processes.  The NYT made sure to include a throwaway line: "Some of the blame rests on the Democrats."  In 2013 they were preserving democracy while in 2017 they're resisting the forces of factionalism.

We remember Miguel Estrada, too

Politico: "McConnell Is Finishing What Schumer Started - Fifteen years ago, Charles Schumer picked a fight over judicial nominees. This week, Mitch McConnell is ending it for good."

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Murkowski is on board

Hot Air: "Push the button: Centrist Lisa Murkowski warns Democrats that she’s ready to go nuclear to confirm Gorsuch."

I don't think the Democrats will go through with it: they'll pull back from the abyss.

Why so quiet, Liz?

Washington Free Beacon: "Elizabeth Warren Goes Silent on Equal Pay Day After Free Beacon Report."

Where's that fightin' fight we're so used to?

Flashback: Schumer poisons the well

Weekly Standard: "Republicans: Schumer Broke His Word on Pompeo Confirmation."
Representative Pompeo will almost certainly be confirmed as CIA Director on Monday. And the CIA will no doubt survive two days without its new leader. But the nastiness of the partisan sniping between top Republicans and Democrats that led to the delay may well have a lasting impact on the Senate - in this Congress and beyond.
According to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo's confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.
"Trust is important, even between adversaries," says Senator John Cornyn, one of the Republicans involved in the discussions. "And that trust has been damaged."
Which is why it was laughable when Schumer floated his ridiculous proposal that the Democrats would "allow" Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court as long as the Republicans maintained the filibuster or else let Democrats help pick a new nominee.  Schumer cannot be trusted.

ESPN aims to drive ratings lower

ESPN Ombudsman: "New ESPN guidelines recognize connection between sports, politics."

Oh goody.  There's nothing that illuminates a Red Sox game like a discussion of Black Lives Matter.  This is why I watch most sports with the volume muted.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

"Let them do it"

Nice find that I can't believe hasn't been unearthed earlier: after nuking the filibuster for circuit court judges, Harry Reid was asked if the Republicans could someday do the same for Supreme Court justices.

Can we all take a breath?

The outrage machine in Washington is exhausting.  I think the National Review (!) has a good piece on the Corner today: "The Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Scoop: We Don’t Know Enough To Be Outraged (Yet)."

The bottom line is that national security officials have wide latitude to review information and there's no evidence (yet) that this was done for political purposes.  I understand that the evocation of the name Susan Rice causes a certain reaction on the political right (with good reason) but we can't go from 0-100 on every issue.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Bombing in St. Petersburg

At least ten killed in a subway bombing.  As usual, Reddit has an army of citizen reporters with updates.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Sunday showdown

The Hill: "Sunday shows preview: McConnell, Schumer face off ahead of Gorsuch fight."

As they say about prison sentences: are they serving concurrently or consecutively?  "Face off" implies they'll be on together.  One thing that always bothers me about these shows is that one side will appear with their talking points followed by the opposite side with their talking points.  Didn't it used to be the standard for these guys to debate each other?  Or am I mis-remembering that?

I, for one, would like to see McConnell throw Schumer's words about judicial nominees right back at him.  And maybe a good "told ya so":
“I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this [the nuclear option],” McConnell, then the minority leader, told them. “And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”
Secretary DeVos thanks you.

Hollywood phonies, redux

I've written before about how Hollywood types love to pontificate against school choice...for everybody else.  Samantha Bee generated some laughs poking Betsy DeVos, while her husband was busy advocating for keeping their kids' school, um, let's say "pure."
One P.S. 452 parent speaking out against the move is comedian and former Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones, who’s married to Samantha Bee. "To portray any opposition as classist or racist is as bad as it can get," Jones told WNYC. And elsewhere: "We are not divided,” he said at a public hearing about the proposal, “we are absolutely united in wanting what's best for our children," then encouraged fellow parents not to talk to the press about the controversy.
Jones (and presumably Bee) wants what's best for their children.  It's just everybody else that's racist.

Friday, March 31, 2017

That's a man, man

Intellectual Takeout: "When a Man in a Women’s Restroom is Finally Seen as Wrong."

This story is something: a dude walked into the women's bathroom at Disneyland and everybody was so terrified of being called intolerant, nobody said or did anything.

Another one bites the dust

And it's a big one.  The Resurgent: "Death Spiral: Anthem to bail on Obamacare."
Insurer Anthem Inc. is looking to exit “a high percentage of the 144 rating regions in which it currently participates.”

Anthem has been single-handedly propping up Obamacare in many states, and its departure would leave some consumers in Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio with ZERO Obamacare insurers available.   Consumers will face fines for failing to buy a product that is not available to them.

According to the article, Anthem lost $374 million in the individual market in 2016, and is pleading with the administration for regulatory relief so they can stay in the market.
This shoddy law was slapped together in such a way that whenever Congress couldn't figure out how to craft the legislation, the Democrats just shoehorned in "The Health and Human Services Secretary will figure it out."  Now we have an Administration disinclined to bend the law with the whim of a bureaucrat.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Democrats demand an up-or-down vote

"No matter who's in power!" said Chuck Schumer....back when President Hillary was a foregone conclusion and Democrats were predicted to take back the Senate.  Good times.

Attacking your own right flank

Hit and Run: "Trump declares war on the Freedom Caucus."
What's the old saw? They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton, the president would declare war against the House Freedom Caucus. And he did!
As somebody who has never had to deal with the give-and-take of politics, Trump is out of his depth.  He energized the base by appealing to Tea Party ideals, and now he wants them gone.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mark your calendar

Hot Air: "McConnell: Gorsuch will be confirmed next Friday."

A "nudge" vs. a "gun to the head"

Hit and Run has a good review on the Constitutionality of the Trump Administration's action on sanctuary cities: "Jeff Sessions Threatens Unconstitutional Action Against Sanctuary Cities - The Attorney General aims to dragoon state and local officials and leave them "no real option but to acquiesce."

It's a little inside baseball (legally speaking) but the federal government cannot compel states to enforce federal policy by threatening to cut off spending.  The Feds, however, can "nudge" the states as the did by withholding 5% of highway funds for states that didn't raise the drinking age.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Russians and American supermarkets

If you're a big fan of the FX show "The Americans" (as I am), you would know that the new season is focusing on food shortages in the old Soviet Union and American shipments of wheat in the mid-1980s.

Reddit's "Today I Learned" has a story about a MiG pilot who defected and became convinced that the CIA was stocking supermarkets to fool him.  The comments in this thread are great.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump's short attention span

A couple of weeks ago, National Review editor-in-chief Rich Lowry gave a talk at Amherst College.  The audience was very respectful (this was in the wake of the Middlebury College incident) and Lowry gave a review of the past election and what Trump means for America.

One story I thought was interesting in hindsight.  Allegedly, Speaker Paul Ryan has a standard presentation to review policy and procedure in Congress but it's a half-hour long.  Concerned that the new President wouldn't be inclined to sit around that long, Ryan abridged the presentation to six minutes.  According to Lowry, Trump lasted all of 90 seconds into the stripped-down presentation and waved it away, saying "I get it, I get it."

That anecdote seems entirely plausible given this Politico report:
Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act—the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible—when Trump decided to cut them off.

"Forget about the little s---," Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. "Let's focus on the big picture here."
This report confirms all the stereotypes and predictions made about Trump: he has no patience for the details of complicated legislation, he is dismissive of his peers, and alienates the very people he needs to advance his agenda.  The meeting with Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows is a perfect example: instead of listening to the Congressman's concerns, Trump indicated he expected his party's support so Meadows better get on board.

Meadows did not.

Friday, March 24, 2017

You had one job

PJ Media: "Paul Ryan Takes the Barzini Meeting."  "If the House GOP had wanted to insult and infuriate their voters, this bill was the best way to do it. Sin in haste, repent at leisure."

Extra - Washington Examiner: "GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is the biggest broken promise in political history."

Not ready to go

The Hill: "Fox's Stuart Varney: 'The Republican Party is a disgrace'."
“I personally believe at this moment in time the Republican Party is a disgrace,” Varney declared during an interview with Juan Williams, a Fox News and The Hill contributor. "I’m serious. I am serious.”

“We elected the Republicans who run the House, the Senate, and the White House and the very, very first thing that comes up on the legislative agenda they vote no, they’re split. They can’t do it. They can’t govern. I am really fit to be tied." 
Hard to argue with that.  I was going to embed "Send in the Clowns" but I already used a YouTube video today.  It would be easy for me to blame Trump who forced a vote in Congress before the requisite support was assembled, probably because he thought he understood how to make a "deal" in Washington.  But Paul Ryan, who certainly understands how hard it is to ratchet back entitlements, never sold the public on this bill and it was easy for Republicans to walk away from both the legislation and a President they don't particularly like.

This whole endeavor has been...the review for this album:


Ready to go

Weekly Standard: "McCain Responds to Filibuster Threat: 'We're Going to Confirm Gorsuch'."

As one of the Gang of 14 members, McCain was on the short list of Republican Senators who would balk at changing the Senate rules for judicial nominees.  Maybe it's a bluff but I suspect not.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Of course they will

Red State: "Democrats Choose Stupidity: They Will Filibuster Neil Gorsuch Nomination."

So this guy was unanimously approved to the Circuit Court, received the ABA's "highly qualified" rating, and has been getting glowing reviews from the media.  But all the Democrats have is "resist!" so resist they shall.  Meanwhile, McConnell waits to pull the nuclear trigger.

Is it too early for a boy to dream what will happen after the nuclear option?  This guy is just dreamy....

Only the Narrative was harmed

Minuteman: "Israeli-American Teen Arrested In Bomb Hoax Calls" to Jewish community centers in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Here we go again

Hit and Run: "Republicans Are Rushing To Vote on a Health Care Bill They Haven’t Read. They Learned Nothing From Obamacare. - The House is planning a vote today on a bill that still isn't finalized."

Considering that Republicans have been waiting seven years to replace Obamacare, it's hard to believe this clown show.  Save us, budget reconciliation!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The problem with hate crimes

Via Ace, there's a story about some kids who committed an unmistakable act of anti-Semitism:
Sometime during the night the Menorah, which is approximately eight feet in height and constructed out of PVC pipe, was reconfigured into a swastika.
And yet these suspects are only being charged with trespassing and vandalism...for some reason.  How does the AG know that these suspects didn't hate Jews and committed this crime out of pure malice?  There must be some method.

Who can watch TV anymore?

i was checking TV listings for tonight and noticed that "Titanic" is on AMC from 5:30 to 10pm.  Four-and-a-half hours for the worst film to ever win Best Picture.  Sweet mercy.

He's referring to the World Champion New England Patriots

C'mon, this was kinda funny.  MassLive: "'I hate the New England Patriots,' says FBI Director James Comey in comparison to Russia supporting Donald Trump."

The way I understand it, Comey was trying to say that Russia/Putin was rooting against Hillary no matter what and that benefited Trump.  But he's a Giants fan, so who knows what that loser was saying.

Let it go man, let it go

Hot Air: "No evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping tweets."
I forgot that Trump is holding a rally tonight in Kentucky, ostensibly to sell the House health-care bill! Odds that he’ll digress to attack Comey, Rogers, and the intelligence community instead: High.
This is no small reason why we have headlines like this: "Poll: Trump job approval hits new low."

SCOTUS bound

Daily Caller: "The Gorsuch Hearings Are Starting. Here’s What To Expect."

Chuck Schumer will make an ass of himself again and Merrick Garland will be invoked ad nauseum.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

CO-2-step

Coyote Blog: "The Continuing Climate Disconnect and the Climate Bait and Switch."

Punish the kids

Politico: "How to fix Obamacare with this one amazing trick - Forcing young, mostly healthy Americans off their parents' coverage could help Republicans make good on their promise to salvage the health care system."

Obamacare re-jiggered the way insurance works by capping the amount older Americans paid for health care by shifting the costs to younger, healthier Americans.  How do you get these kids to buy expensive insurance they probably won't use?  Add the individual mandate.  But, still, they refused to buy.

So, to make Obamacare work, we need to force the kids to buy insurance.  Easy-peasy: throw them off mom and dad's policies!

Friday, March 17, 2017

You can't make this up

From the school that took down the American flag, here's the latest from the Happy Valley: "Hampshire College student denies assaulting Maine basketball players over ‘cultural appropriation’."
A Hampshire College student denied physically assaulting a visiting basketball player over what the student called “cultural appropriation.”

Carmen Figueroa, 20, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Friday morning.

The charges stem from a Jan. 27 incident at Hampshire College’s Robert Crown Center. According to court documents, Figueroa approached members the  Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team and ordered them to remove braids from their hair citing “cultural appropriation.”
These kids are in for a rude awakening once they put down the reefer.

Drop that croissant!

Miami Herald: "Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem."  This is stark 1984 stuff.

A dearth of deference

Lawfare: "The Revolt of the Judges: What Happens When the Judiciary Doesn’t Trust the President’s Oath."

On both sides, to be clear.

Typical Schumer

Hit and Run: "Chuck Schumer's indecent attacks on Neil Gorsuch."  "Make no mistake, though: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) now opposes a potential SCOTUS justice because he promises to be impartial when upholding the Constitution.
Since Gorsuch's confirmation hearing starts Monday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and opponents have found "little to latch onto," according to Politico (which means they've found nothing to spin into accusations of misogyny or racism), Schumer and his allies have launched a ham-fisted effort to paint Gorsuch as a corporate stooge."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The hit job that wasn't

Daily Caller: "NYT Dumped The Biggest Nothing-Burger Yet On Neil Gorsuch."
The real news in the piece comes in its remarkable concession in the sixth graph.

“But it is not clear how well the two know each other,” the Times writes of the judge and the billionaire, as if to apologize for the forthcoming banality.
This is innuendo edging up to the line of fake news, coming right on the heels of Rachel Maddow's Geraldo Rivera moment, which plays into Trump's effort to play the press as a foil.  Why do they feed into further distrust in the media?  I suspect it's because MSNBC and the NY Times play to their audience, despite their earnest statements that "the truth matters more than ever."

Turkey and the spirit of Ataturk

Hot Air: "The Washington Post notices Turkey’s “downward spiral”."
The rapid downward slide of a once very promising democracy in a primarily Muslim nation and the public rise to power of an aspiring tyrant is a very real tragedy playing on the world stage in front of us all. 
This once-secular NATO ally is going the way of the Islamists.  Mustafa Kemal Ataturk formed modern Turkey by abolishing the caliphate and establishing a secular society, to be enforced by the army when necessary.  Bit by bit, Recep Erdogan is reversing those reforms.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

"I tell my children not to go into medicine"

Legal Insurrection: "From the patient trenches: Lies, Damn Lies, and CBO Scoring."  Prof. Jacobson recounts some front-line observations and concludes "things are getting worse" with Obamacare.

Extra - Hot Air: "The GOP’s best hope here may be to remind voters that CBO’s projections on health care have proved to be hot garbage in the past and probably will again this time..."

That Max makes some good points

I turned off SNL the other night when Alec Baldwin was doing another tiresome Trump sketch.  But it looks like I should have stuck around for this one:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kneejerk jerk

Legal Insurrection: "Elizabeth Warren howls over Trump replacement of U.S. Attorneys - Predictable for someone who fancies herself leader of “the resistance”."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Confused old Nancy

Hot Air: "We need to know what’s in the health care bill before we pass it, says … Nancy Pelosi."

Under normal circumstances, I would call this "trolling" but I don't think Nancy is that sophisticated.  Harry Reid, yes, but not Nancy.

Oh do tell

FiveThirtyEight: "There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble."

Heat Street: "Study: Hillary Clinton Ran One of the Worst Campaigns in Years."

What's funny in the Heat Street article are the graphs showing the panicked ad buys in Michigan and Wisconsin literally the day before the election.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Surprise! Labor surcharge

Restaurants who are forced to pay higher labor costs are slipping in a labor surcharge on the bill and hoping you don't notice.

Obamacare 2.0

Veronique de Rugy: "House Republicans' Obamacare Replacement Plan Is a Disaster. Here's Why. - It's health care that matters, not health care insurance."

And I like this trenchant observation from Philip Klein:
2010: Elect us to stop Obamacare.
2011: Can't stop it without Senate.
2015: We need the WH to stop Obamacare.
2017: We can't stop Obamacare.
As the kids like to say: you had one job.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Hillary Trump and Donald Clinton

Hot Air: "Academics swapped gender of Trump, Clinton for restaged presidential debate and the results surprised them."

Pretty interesting: two actors mimicked the words and mannerisms of the candidates but with swapped genders.  People in the audience really liked that crazy "Brenda King" and her direct language.  One guy wanted to punch "Jonathan Gordon" in the mouth.

The entitlement ratchet

Powerline: "Are Republicans blowing it on health care?"

Heavens, no!  They're replacing health care funded by government subsidies with health care funded by government-funded tax credits.  Geez.

Extra - Conservatives don't like per Fox News and Politico.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Craziest story evah

The Lid: "Same NY Times Reporter Said Trump Team Was Wiretapped In Jan., But Said TRUMP Lacked Evidence In March."  "Either the Times editors and Mr. Schmidt are trying to skew the story, or they are all suffering from a form of dementia and have no memory."

Related - PowerLine: "Don't look now, but..." the Russian collusion story is collapsing while the wiretapping story is, well, alive.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

People don't plan to fail. They fail to plan.

I've said this phrase to my kids a hundred times as a signal that life demands deferred satisfaction.  Sure, it's a lot of fun to spend money on a shiny toy, but it's much more fun to live your golden years eating steak instead of cat food.  So this article spoke to me: "Stop taking pride in not knowing how to do basic shit":
“Being an adult” isn’t some really prestigious title we have to be intimidated about, it’s literally what we all are, whether we like it or not. The question is whether you are a cool, collected adult whose life is not constantly on fire, or whether you’re a Carrie Bradshaw, who literally had to go visit her ex-boyfriend at work to ask for money to not be evicted because she bought too many statement accessories.

Choose wisely, and don’t take pride in being the latter.
The Washington Free Beacon had an article recently about how a Teamsters Pension Fund was essentially broke and could only pay about half of promised benefits.  It's a tough situation for people who worked their entire lives for a comfortable retirement.  But the article highlighted one of these workers and my sympathy dissolved when i read the following:
Acosta's monthly pay out will now be $760 after taxes. He told the Washington Free Beacon that his family is struggling to stay afloat. The stress of his four-decade career in manual labor has left him without any employment prospects and he has turned to his construction worker son and Social Security to help him make his mortgage payments, which are roughly $2,300 each month.
This guy has been working for 40 years and he still has a $2300/month mortgage?  The most charitable thing I can say is that Mr. Acosta depended on his Teamster pension to pay for his outlandish mortgage, the one that should have been paid off a decade ago.

When you place your financial destiny in somebody else's control, sometimes things don't work out like you had hoped.

This guy is a kook

Fox News: "Trump accuses Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower phones."

I don't think Trump is "crazy like a fox."  Will somebody please delete his Twitter account?

Update - Via Hot Air.

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Left hates free speech, college edition

Tolerance in Vermont.  Hit and Run: "A Professor Who Attended Charles Murray’s Middlebury Talk Is Now Wearing a Neck Brace. Protesters Attacked Her."  "The principle of free speech was not the only thing to suffer injury at Middlebury College on Thursday: a professor was physically assaulted by members of the mob that shut down Charles Murray's talk."

Outrage then overplay

The Young Turks: "The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation."

Arrest in bomb threats against Jewish community

Shot: From the Intercept: "Trump Can’t Accept That His Allies Are Targeting Jews — So He Blames His Opponents."

Chaser: "Former journalist arrested, charged with threats against Jewish facilities."
Thompson is a journalist who was fired from the Intercept, an investigative journalism website, for fabricating quotes and misleading colleagues to cover his tracks. In an editor’s note last year, the publication said Thompson had engaged in “a pattern of deception” and wrote that he created fake email accounts to impersonate people.
Hangover: Gateway Pundit: "Juan Thompson – Who Threatened US Jewish Centers – Is BIG BERNIE SANDERS Supporter!"

Have fun storming the castle!

Hot Air: "WaPo: Don’t count on a perjury charge sticking against Sessions."

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The truth is important

The NY Times stealth edits a story without correction then demands Jeff Sessions' execution before the trial.

So what's today's Dem freakout?

Question: do we have to bother with Jeff Sessions' resignation if we skip right over to Trump's impeachment?  And did you see what Ivanka wore to the speech?  Tack-y!

This story might have some traction if the Democrats didn't turn every issue, every cabinet nomination, and every Administration press release into the worst thing that has happened ever.  As far as I can tell, Jeff Sessions was maybe less than forthcoming about his meetings with the Russians but that the specific questions he was asked concerned his involvement with the Trump campaign.  So, when asked "about the 2016 election" he responded: "No."  As in, no, we didn't talk about the election, there was no collusion with Russia, and there's nothing more needed to respond to that specific question.

Is that hyper-literal?  Yes, and Sessions should recuse himself and then clarify his remarks.  Just like Claire McCaskill did when she said: "No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador.  Ever."  Then to clarify a couple hours later: "Oh, when I said that, I totally meant as a member of the Armed Services committee.  What made you think "ever" meant "ever."  Geez."  For extra fun, let's go to the Polaroids, Claire.

As cooler heads will aver: "There’s Almost No Chance That Sessions Committed Perjury."  When asked about what he did talk to the Russian ambassador about, Sessions should say "grandchildren and golf."

Extra - Legal Insurrection: "Read the Questions – WaPo creates Sessions media firestorm over nothing."

Update - Sessions recuses.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Because of entitlements

National Review: "Trump's unrealistic budget."  "What is ultimately needed, of course, is long-term entitlement reform. Until Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our host of other unsustainable programs are reconfigured, the country will continue adding to its debt burden."

The state of perpetual outrage

This is a really good article via the Week about the relationship between Trump and the press: "The media should stop playing dumb about Trump."  This is the key graf:
Trump frequently lies. He makes things up. But he isn't always lying or making things up. Sometimes he's just saying things in his very strange speaking style. And usually in such cases, it's pretty easy to tell what he's talking about, if you really listen and think. Instead, the media plays dumb and scores cheap points that ultimately undermine the press. It's bad journalism. Stop doing it.
This echoes something I remember from the election: the press took Trump literally but not seriously while voters took him seriously but not literally.  For example, IIRC, a lot of voters didn't really believe that Trump was going to "build that wall" but took it to mean that he was determined to address illegal immigration.  The press was so ready to pounce on the absence of a discrete event with "last night in Sweden" that they glossed over the larger issue to gain some points.  Then the press wonders why Americans' confidence in the media has dropped so much.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fight for 15 - all is proceeding as foreseen

Hot Air: "As predicted, Wendy’s moves to replace workers with kiosks."  What's $15 times zero hours?

Expand the state

Instapundit: "No, Obamacare has not saved American lives."  "Essentially then, ObamaCare was a wrecking ball aimed at private insurance, and a multi-billion-dollar advertising buy for public assistance."

Standing tall in the echo chamber



Hollywood's big theme last night was immigration.  After the show, everybody headed behind their personal security gates to their walled-in homes.

The Steve Harvey Awards

Fox News: "Oscar disaster: 'Moonlight' wins best picture after Faye Dunaway mistakenly awards 'La La Land."

This was funny because there were a lot of jokes about "fake news" which was super-ironic when the wrong winner for the biggest award of the night was mis-announced.

Update - Also, this person from the "in memoriam" is alive.  Whoops.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Economics - how does it work?

You're not going to believe this but when you raise the tax on something, people buy less of it.  I know!

Remember this story about the huge increase on the soda tax in Philadelphia?  An update via Hit and Run: "With Sales Depressed by Soda Tax, Philly Grocers Look to Cut Jobs as Mayor Blames 'Greedy' Soda Industry - One of the city’s largest beverage distributors is planning to cut 20 percent of its workforce; grocery stores across the city are also planning to shed jobs."

Power mad

I don't understand: usually Democrats can't wait to tell Americans what to do because they know better.  So what happens when Trump hands control back to the States?  Well, they hate that too.  Powerline: "Why is Democratic governor outraged that Trump ceded power to the States?"

Our idiot Attorney General here in Massachusetts is playing the same game.  Stop us before we set our own rules!

I can appreciate a good prank

C'mon, now, this is pretty funny: "Someone passed out Russian flags with Trump's name on them at CPAC."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Truthiness to power

Daily Caller: "Now the NYT has a new slogan too."  "Speaking truth to power took a nice long snooze between, oh, around 2009-2016."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

PBS will survive on the Internet

Hit and Run: "Funding for Public Broadcasting Is Just 0.01 Percent of the Federal Budget. It Should Still Be Eliminated. - Spending $445 million to save—not Big Bird—but the jobs of the people who work in the industry."

Americans are tired of leftward direction

Charlotte Observer: "NASCAR spinning out of control, Wall Street Journal article says."

The WSJ article is behind a pay wall so we'll have to settle for this article.  I like NASCAR...but I used to like it a lot more.  I think the Generation Six car eliminated some of the adjustments that added dynamism to the race and some big names (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon) are no longer behind the wheel.  I've been to a couple races but I've drifted away due to the cost and time involved.

The Supremes

Hot Air: "Ted Cruz predicts new Supreme Court vacancy this summer."  Signs point towards Justice Kennedy but I'd be willing to take RBG, who was almost certainly going to retire for President Hillary.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Courage, WashPost!

In 1986, Dan Rather started to sign-off his evening newscast with "Courage"...until he was ridiculed out of it.  Well, it looks like the Washington Post is itching to invite the same laugh-level with a risible new slogan: "Democracy dies in darkness."  Catchy!  The Photoshop battles have begun.

Ignore the protests

Erick Erickson writes that the perpetually-outraged Left is trying to start a movement modeled after the Tea Party but they should just be ignored.  "The Democrats, however, will not have the same success this time and Republicans should ignore them."

This past weekend, a bunch of environmentalists had a demonstration on the steps of Springfield City Hall, here in the Happy Valley of Massachusetts.  Exactly nobody showed up to watch their puppet show:
The event drew a half dozen members of the local press, but no one else. No supporters, no detractors. Other than one woman who paused momentarily while walking her dog, the event did not attract a single spectator.
Well, that's one way to minimize your carbon footprint.

Good schools for me but not for thee

Daily Caller: "These Senators Opposed Vouchers Backer Betsy DeVos But Send THEIR Kids To Fancypants Private Schools."  Just like those celebrity hypocrites.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shoulda seen it coming

Via Maggie's Farm, the American Conservative has "The meaning of TrumpHe alone perceived America’s status quo crisis."

I never thought he had a chance but then I keep thinking back to an NPR interview with a Bernie Sanders-supporter who said that if he couldn't have Bernie, he'd for for "that fool Trump".  It should have been the firebell in the night that America wanted anything but business as usual.

Socialism in action

Zero Hedge: "75% Of Venezuelans Lose "At Least 19 Pounds" In 2016."  Ladies and gentlemen, this is a founding member of OPEC.

No respite

America magazine: "The Political Gets Personal: Partisanship and consumerism are a dangerous mix."
From the Super Bowl and the Grammys to the pulpit and the mall, the key feminist insight that “the personal is political” has been taken to an unhealthy extreme. When no area of our lives is fenced off from the rancor of hyperpolarized politics, it becomes increasingly difficult to build the solidarity needed to face today’s very real economic and social ills.
The Oscars on Sunday are sure to be a fun time.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hush-hush

Fox News: "Amid Russia concerns, Comey's closed-door Hill visit results in uncanny silence among lawmakers."  Hmmmmmm....

Shut up, they explained

Buffalo News: "Raucous crowds overwhelm Reed town hall meetings."
Huge crowds of raucous progressives and quieter conservatives overwhelmed Rep. Tom Reed's town hall meetings in Ashville and Cherry Creek Saturday morning, with the progressives repeatedly interrupting and shouting down the congressman's comments as he tried to defend Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The crowd in Ashville, in Chautauqua County, was so large that it was moved out of the senior center where it was scheduled and into the parking lot outside. There, Reed  patiently worked - but failed - to maintain order.
"We do not always agree," the Republican Congressman from Corning told the crowd at the outset of the meeting. "As we have disagreement, let's make sure we have it in a respectful, safe way."
This plea was met with more brainless chanting which is the Democrat version of "having a dialogue."

Back in the good ole days

Interesting thread over at Explain it like I'm 5: "In the 50's a single person in the US with a decent job requiring little or even no education could provide a comfortable home, education for their children, etc etc by themselves. Why were they paid so much or why hasn't that pay transitioned to 2017?"

Generally speaking, the combined effects of more people entering the workforce (not just white men) along with automation and globalization has tamped down on wages.  Also, some have pointed out that the "basics" of living in modern society - cell phones, Internet, multiple televisions - was not a standard for that era.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Make me a bouquet

Hot Air: "Washington florist ready to take religious liberty case to Supreme Court."
A Washington florist who refused to participate in a same-sex wedding lost a unanimous decision yesterday at the state Supreme Court. The 9-0 ruling rejected her claim to a First Amendment right to exercise her right to religious liberty in favor of the state’s anti-discrimination law. The next step for Barronelle Stutzman will be the US Supreme Court...
Really?  A unanimous decision for forcing a florist to make an arrangement for a gay wedding?  I'm really curious to read the legal reasoning to force this kind of compulsion, one which raises all kind of additional questions.  Can a Jewish baker be compelled to bake a swastika cake?  How about asking a Muslim photographer to take wedding pictures in front of a drawing of Mohammad?  Too bad, I guess.

Update - Here's part of the explanation from the AP:
Stutzman argued that she was exercising her First Amendment rights. But the court held that her floral arrangements do not constitute protected free speech, and that providing flowers to a same-sex wedding would not serve as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.
"As Stutzman acknowledged at deposition, providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism," the opinion said.
I guess I just don't understand why this explanation doesn't open the door for any kind of compulsion.  Is freedom of commerce just an illusion or is force necessary to make sure everybody plays nice?  I guess Melania Trump is going to get her Tom Ford dress after all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Based on today's press conference, Trump believes this

Axios: "The media IS the opposition party."  I only caught the tail end of Trump's press conference today but I've never seen a politician - much less a President - treat the media with such unambiguous and conspicuous disdain.  He berated the BBC guy and called BBC "another CNN."  It was cuckoo.

In other news, he's never heard of Russia and didn't talk to anybody in Russia except for some guy who called him on Inauguration Day to congratulate him.

Awww...poor baby

PJ Media: "CNN's Jim Acosta: 'The Fix Is In' Trump Ignores MSM Questions."

Meanwhile, the greatest minds in politics and journalism join forces: "Pelosi, Cummings, New York Times fall victim to fake Twitter account."

Extra - From Twitchy.

More - Ace on the Washington Post's vapors: "The National Laughingstock: The Fact That Trump Won't Talk to Our Blatantly Biased Prog Rag Should "Terrify You"."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A nation of laws

I wholeheartedly agree with this analysis by Patterico on reports that Trump will no longer enforce the Obamacare mandate for mandatory healthcare: "All hail the King! Trump's IRS will "turn a blind eye" to enforcement of Obamacare mandate":
I’m sure plenty of Trump supporters will cheer this — because, you know, Trump. But if you’ll recall, conservatives (including myself) screamed bloody murder — with good reason — when Obama unilaterally decided to delay enforcement of ObamaCare provisions like the employer mandate. For me and for many others, this was a genuine and principled concern. But I think we’re about to find out that, for some conservatives, the complaints about Obama’s actions were pure partisanship — and for these unprincipled hypocrites, non-enforcement is about to be cool again.
To paraphrase "A Man for All Seasons", Obama cut a road through the laws to maintain Obamacare, whether diverting money to the risk corridors or ignoring statutory timelines.  And while President Clinton and/or a Democrat-controlled Senate was a sure thing, the political Left cheered it on.  So I understand that the urge to stick it back is strong, but this tu quoque fallacy leaves us without laws, only interpretation by an executive authority which is no law at all.

The death spiral continues apace

Hot Air: "Humana announces it is dropping out of Obamacare in 2018."  Quote: "Further signs of an unbalanced risk pool."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fake news again

Washington Examiner: "More mainstream media mess-ups: The Muslim Olympian 'detained because of President Trump's travel ban' was detained under Obama."

To be sure, this woman misled the press by saying the detention occurred "just a few weeks ago" when it actually happened in December.  Still, the media had their narrative and ran with it - the "when" can wait until later.

Extra - From Gateway Pundit.

The Ninth Circus

Federalist: "The Ninth Circuit’s Stay On Trump’s Immigration Order Is Legal Garbage - It’s clear the judges went through the exercise of writing an opinion so they could get to the outcome they wanted. The problem is, the outcome they wanted is, legally speaking, wrong."

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fauxcahontas update

Ed Rogers in the Washington Post gets right to the point: "Elizabeth Warren is a grandstanding phony."  "I don’t mean to give advice, but these events should suggest something to the Democrats about how egotistical, artificial and selfishly driven Warren really is. She should be embarrassed, and the Democrats should keep looking for someone authentic."

I read MassLive on a regular basis and, even here in Western Massachusetts, a lot of people are getting really tired of Warren's shtick.

Keep it up Hollywood

Any day now - any day now - deplorable America will come to its senses.  Hit and Run: "Meryl Streep Congratulates Herself (Again) for Criticizing Donald Trump - The Hollywood star's self-dramatizing self-righteousness plays right into the president's hands."

Moral vanity is like crack to the entertainment industry.  Make sure you skip the Grammies tonight.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

California crybullies

City Journal: "From Culture to Cupcakes - The once-great University of California at Berkeley continues its descent into victimology."
UC Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion has hung vertical banners across the main campus reminding students of the contemporary university’s paramount mission: assigning guilt and innocence within the ruthlessly competitive hierarchy of victimhood.
Free speech for me, not for thee.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Guess who used to support school vouchers?

You'll never guess: "Vouchers would relieve parents from the terrible choice of leaving their kids in lousy schools or bankrupting themselves."

I guess he did divide us

Slate: "Shia LaBeouf’s Controversial Anti-Trump Museum Installation Has Been Shut Down."  "In unfortunate contradiction with its messaging, the installation became a political battleground, as clashes between Trump supporters and opponents turned violent—an ugly distillation of what’s currently playing out on a much larger scale around the country."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Problem with the Jews

Legal Insurrection: "Mother Jones proves Keith Ellison lying about his Farrakhan history."  Powerline has been covering Keith Ellison's bid for DNC chair and notes that this is the first time somebody in the media has seriously looked into these allegations.

Hollywood phonies are upset about DeVos

Fox News: "Celebrities weigh in on Betsy DeVos confirmation: 'This is murdering' our school system."  Well, not your school system, right?

First on the list is Stephen Colbert who sent his kids to the tony Montclair Kimberley Academy according to this student report.  Tuition: 38 large.  I'll update if I can find anybody on this list who has school-age kids in a public school.  Don't hold your breath.

Update - Joshua Malina sent his daughter Isabel to the Archer School for Girls.  Tuition: 35 large.

Somebody name Ilana Glazer: no kids.

That funny guy from Parks and Rec: no kids.

Seth MacFarlane: surprisingly, no kids.

Connie Britton: has a five-year old who has not started private school yet, presumably.

Josh Gad: two kids, aged 2 and 5, also probably not in private school yet.

That guy from Silicon Valley: no kids.

The hysterical Joss Whedon has two kids aged 12 and 14 but he's really keeping them private, hiding them under his wife's name.

Chelsea Handler: no kids.

The Left hates free speech, continued

Right Wisconsin: "Marquette official who schemed to keep out Ben Shapiro event attendees being ‘reprimanded' - Attempt to keep students out of event unsuccessful."

Monday, February 06, 2017

Talkathon on Betty DeVos

Politico: "Senate Democrats plan to debate all night in hopes of stopping DeVos."

I flipped over to C-Span to watch Patty Murray read a bunch of letters from "everyday Americans" opposed to education secretary nominee Betty DeVos.  OK, I get it: she's been in support of charter schools and the teacher unions control the Democrat party.  But then Murray leveled this complaint: "She doesn't understand public schools and sent her children to private schools."

Really?  Like virtually every politician in Washington?  Puh-leeze.

Not hearing it

Scott Adams: "Sam Harris Induces Cognitive Dissonance in Ben Affleck."  "Watch for the moment Ben has to hallucinate Sam’s opinion from the reasonable position that many Muslims worldwide have non-liberal views to an hallucination about “All Muslims are bad.” Sam and Bill both clarify their viewpoints, with data, but Ben is struck deaf to it. All he can hear is the absurd absolute “all.” He is literally hallucinating."

A gathering of "journalists"

Hot Air: "The media suddenly seems less interested in the Nerd Prom. I wonder why?"

Maybe they're concerned that Trump will read from this list: "16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won."

Sweet mercy, this catch

Julian Edelmans Ridiculous Catch

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Let's go Patriots!

I never get tired of this:



Official prediction: Patriots 34 - Falcons 24
There is nothing in the world one team wants more than having Roger Goodell hand over the Lombardi trophy to Tom Brady.

Update - Holy cow!  I was not far off: 34-28 Patriots win!

Check out this free speech nut!

Minuteman: "The NYT on Gorsuch - With Enemies Like This..."  "If this is what they've got, it's less than nothing."

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017

Welcome Justice Gorsuch

Slate: "Democrats Have No Play on Neil Gorsuch."

Hot Air: "Dem Senate operative: The big Supreme Court fight will be over the next nominee, not Gorsuch."  Namely, the one to replace RBG.

You want to be a winner, don't you?

The Truth about Cars has an absolutely great review of Audi's pending Super Bowl commercial: "The Real Message Behind Audi’s Super Bowl Ad Isn’t Exactly An Uplifting One."  An excerpt:
Well, if you’ve been reading along, I think you’ve figured out what the real message of this Audi advertisement is, but just in case you’ve been napping I will spell it out for you: Money and breeding always beat poor white trash. Those other kids in the race, from the overweight boys to the hick who actually had an American flag helmet to the stripper-glitter girl? They never had a chance. They’re losers and they always will be, just like their loser parents.
If you'll recall, Bud Light tried this silly feminist strategy in their ad campaign with Amy Schumer and it backfired spectacularly.  I know you spent a lot of money on Don Draper, Audi, but pull this ad now.

Let's all laugh at this obvious lie

Daily Caller: "NYT CEO With A Straight Face: We’re Not Liberal."

Happy Friday!