Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Like Icarus flying into the sun

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

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

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

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

Stay on Trump's travel ban lifted

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

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

If only someone had warned them

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 The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

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

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

"Silicon Valley" title sequence explained

Check out the FBI trucks outside of Theranos:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A playground in Missouri

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

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

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Smug and contemptuous

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

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shut up, they voted

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

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

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

Leave Nancy alone!

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's her turn

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

"Nah, we're good here"

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

I can't even

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The "shy" voter again

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

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

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

Denial at MSNBC

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

Nobody shows this result except them.

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

Before they went "all in" with identity politics

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

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



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

That means it's working

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

Something like that.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Michelle Carter found guilty

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

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

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Illinois is a zombie state

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

The mainstream media is bonkers

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

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

The New York Times must be bankrupted

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

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

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

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

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

When the shoe's on the other foot

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congressman shot in Virginia

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

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

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

Update 2: The now-dead gunman had issues.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Preaching to the Upper East Side choir

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

Nothing to hide here!

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

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Denmark hates cars

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

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

Obamacare repeal advances under the radar

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

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hope springs eternal

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

Friday, June 09, 2017

The blue collars are going to love this

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

Dershowitz on Presidential powers

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

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

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Comey bombshell!

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


India's cash grab

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

Prepare for disappointment...and cat food

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

Please don't

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

Sacrifices must not be made

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

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

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Seattle's sweet soda

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

A pinky-swear cash-grab

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

Monday, June 05, 2017

Can we agree this is a great name?

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

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

Grinding noise on Pontiac Vibe

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 04, 2017

We can't quit that thing we never joined

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

Stuff *she* said

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

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

Saturday, June 03, 2017

More terror in the UK

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

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

Aetna to follow GE out of CT

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

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Bring it to the Senate

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

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

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

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

Hillary invites ridicule

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We don't need no stinkin' public editor

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

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

"The decision is ridiculous"

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

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

Gianforte beats the media

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Heck of a job, Mainstream Media

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Katy Perry's wall of love

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


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

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

As expected

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Explosion at Manchester Arena

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

The lesson of Trump's presidency

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

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


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hampshire College commencement was today

Breitbart: "'Penises cause climate change'; Progressives fooled by peer-reviewed hoax study."

Update - A commenter adds: "...they submitted their penis paper elsewhere and got rejected, before settling for a pay-to-publish academic paper mill."  I was not aware of that and it wasn't made clear in the Breitbart article.  Basically, there's a lot more motivation for these journals to publish your paper than more reputable professional journals.

Thanks for the clarification.  Still kinda funny, but with context added.

Look, I don't like the guy either

This is a post I can get behind, over at Legal Insurrection: "Please stop making me defend Trump."
This is not a new observation by any means. It was almost as bad in favor of candidate Obama in 2008, but a slobbering lovefest was far different a media trying to bring down a presidency without a single shred of substantive evidence to date.
Every major media outlet is breathless with "impeachment" with the outrage meter cranked to 11.  I fear there's going to be a lot of disappointment for these critics, starting with Comey's testimony.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Russia probe heating up

Not just "smoke" anymore?  McClatchy: "Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say"
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.
Hmmm...this sounds at least like something after months of waiting for evidence of collusion.

To the safe spaces!

Yes, it's another one of these stories.  Hot Air: "Farewell free speech: Northwestern students shut down talk by ICE PR spokesman."

The definition of insanity

Wall Street Journal: "Connecticut, Nation’s Wealthiest State, May be Tapped Out on Taxing the Rich."
About $200 million of the drop in receipts came from the state’s closely watched top 100 earners, who are the source of an outsize proportion of the state’s revenue. Many of the state’s richest residents work for hedge funds, which have been hurt by a downturn in the industry.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has twice before bet that taxing the wealthy would help solve the state’s fiscal problems. But neither increase resulted in sustained revenue growth, according to his administration, which says it would be a mistake to do it a third time.
This is what happens when you structure your progressive tax policy to hit only the very rich: when their revenue drops, it's a huge hit for the state.  Interesting that Malloy has finally figured out to stop tapping out the rich, almost like there's a lesson to learn here.

Call the mohel

There's a Weiner that's about to get chopped.  Hot Air: "Weiner to cop a plea in sexting probe."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Somebody broke the law here

Looks like it might be Jim Comey:
Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States.  Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey.  (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361)  He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law. 
So which is it: Trump tried to obstruct justice or he didn't?  The FBI chief can't file away personal memos to use as bargaining chips to exact revenge when everything goes south.

Tendentious jerk

Reddit thread: "I think I'm done with Bill Nye.  His new show sucks."

Update - It's official: "Reddit users brutally destroy Bill Nye’s new Netflix science show: ‘This is absolute dog s**t’."

Because of stuff he said

PowerLine: "It's official: On Trump's travel order, the Left is bonkers."  "Instead, they have to argue that it is “unconstitutional”–in the way in which liberals use that word, having no reference to the actual Constitution–only because it was issued by President Trump. They will eventually lose that argument. If it were accepted, it would effectively render the Constitution irrelevant. We would be living in a realm of pure, unconstrained politics."  

The crocodile at Mizzou

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." Winston Churchill.

Daily Caller: "Mizzou Hemorrhages More Students And Cuts Jobs Because Of Black Lives Matter Protests."  The school just kept giving in to demands and feeding into the very "public perception concerns" that gave pause to prospective students.

Now watch this video on the correct way to handle this situation:

Climate change killed that tree!

A professor at the University of Washington says: "Uh, no."

Cloak and dagger

Well, this is some kind of story.  Fox News: "Seth Rich, slain DNC staffer, had contact with WikiLeaks, say multiple sources."  "The Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., street just steps from his home had leaked thousands of internal emails to WikiLeaks, investigative sources told Fox News."

Monday, May 15, 2017

His own worst enemy

NeoNeoCon: "Trump's unforced errors."  He makes it impossible for even the most stalwart supporters to defend his actions.

Philadelphia freedom

Hot Air: "Fight for 15 champion DNC sued for not paying minimum wage."  Maybe getting paid was contingent on Hillary winning the Keystone State.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Message discipline and lack thereof

Politico: "Trump stokes fears of how he'd handle real crisis - After chaotic, self-inflicted week many fear chaos Trump can't control."

I cannot imagine how this White House could have handled the firing of James Comey in a more inept manner.  There was no unified message and when it looks like one is about to coalesce, Trump comes out and contradicts everybody, while inviting charges of obstruction of justice.  His Twitter feed is one grenade tossed after another.

The White House staff should secretly replace his Twitter account with a dummy Twitter that sends his tweets nowhere.  It's the same strategy that Ryan used to protect the world from Creed Thoughts:

Must be Saturday

Since the NY Times is running a story on the other side of the Obamacare debate: "Why some can't wait for a repeal of Obamacare."  Now the Times can claim they've been balanced on their reporting because they put this story in the least-read paper of the week.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Elizabeth Warren wants you deaf

Warren is taking a break from her book tour/endless fight to advance some legislation.  (I know, I'm as surprised as you are.)  I'm sure she thinks "I'm helping!" but as Reason Hit and Run notes, the end result of the legislation would be to price out low-cost hearing aids:
Far from stripping away regulation to make it simpler and cheaper for people to care for their hearing needs, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 loads on regulation that would, if passed, likely drive low-cost alternatives to hearing aids out of the market.
The big players in hearing aids ("Big Ear"?) are pouring money into lobbying, companies like Bose that make a big markup on prescription hearing aids.  Either Warren doesn't know any better or she's trying to puff up her anemic legislative record.

Oh but that's different

Daily Caller: "John Oliver Benefits Big From A Tax Loophole Initiated By Donald Trump."  When are these one-percenters going to pay their fair share?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The man we need


Exit stage right

Hot Air: "Aetna will completely exit Obamacare exchanges in 2018."

Sunshine is the best disinfectant

The Corner: "Republicans should want the Russia 2016 story out in the open."  "For Republicans outside the Administration, especially on Capitol Hill, the overriding imperative right now should be to flush as much as possible about Russia and the 2016 election out into the open as soon as possible, while pushing the White House to line up a long-term, trustworthy replacement for Comey quickly."

It's a disservice to the new Administration and downright cruel to the Democrats' conspiracy wing to drag this out.  It's been almost a year and there's nothing tying Trump to Putin, a point recently reiterated by James Clapper.  Let's have it out.

Puerto Rico...not so rico

City Journal: "Isle of indebtedness."  "It’s accurate to say that Puerto Rico’s government is the ultimate creator of this disaster. But Washington contributed, by offering all the wrong incentives. We shouldn’t be surprised that Puerto Rico took them."

Why now?

I guess this is as good an explanation as any, although I've also heard that the Comey firing correlated with the installation of Rosenstein at Justice:
But why fire Comey now? The answer is simple. The day before, President Barack Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper repeated, under oath, what he told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on March 5 — that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That gave the Trump administration the breathing room to dismiss Comey — which it simply did not have before.
I heard somewhere that Sean Spicer was asked about Trump's faith in Comey a week ago and Spicer was like: "Oh, I haven't asked him recently."  Which was a weird thing to say, in hindsight.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Out of the blue

NY Times: "F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump."

Everybody's trying to figure out what's going on.  The general feeling is that this was a long time coming because of the way Comey handled the Clinton email investigation:
Mr. Comey broke with longstanding tradition and policies by discussing the case and chastising the Democratic presidential nominee’s “careless” handling of classified information. Then, in the campaign’s final days, Mr. Comey announced that the F.B.I. was reopening the case, a move that earned him widespread criticism.
Of course, the usual suspects are calling this a purge to throw off the Russia probe.  As Charles Krauthammer noted, it took a Democrat less than an hour to make a "Saturday Night Massacre" reference.

Update - Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lays out the case.

Because of bad stuff he said

Powerline: "ACLU makes it official: The only thing wrong with Trump's travel order is Trump."  In a hearing before the Fourth Circuit, the ACLU lawyer pretty much admitted the order would be Constitutional if submitted by a President Clinton, because she was nicer during the campaign.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Democracy dies in darkness but the narrative is immortal

Ace: ""Hate Crime" Reported on By Washington Post 15 Times Turns Out to Be, Get This, a Hoax; Washington Post Refuses to Run a New Story On the Hate Hoax."

To paraphrase a great movie, when the narrative is threatened by fact, ignore the retraction.

You had one job

Politico: "Coming soon: The fiscal cliff to end all fiscal cliffs - President Donald Trump and the GOP Congress will have to avert a debt default and government shutdown — and that's just for starters."

The new normal for budgeting in Washington is to wait for a crisis, pass a continuing resolution, and wait for the next crisis date to hit.  At its most fundamental level, it's the job of Congress to keep the government running by passing appropriation bills.  Do that.

Friday, May 05, 2017

The party that cried wolf

Guess what: we're all gonna die.  Exclamation point.  The Corner:
One of the things that’s most galling about the Obamacare debate is the stubborn insistence from all too many activists on the Left that we can have it all. We can have universal, affordable, high-quality health care, and the reasons why we don’t are due to the greed, heartlessness, and hatefulness of our political opponents. Santa Claus is real, they argue, and the only thing keeping him from shimmying down into your house is that spiked grate the GOP put at the top of the chimney.

But the GOP is used to this by now, and so are GOP voters. When it comes to arguments over health care, there truly is nothing new under the sun.
Somehow, we'll have to struggle through the fields of fire.  Heat Street: "Democrats and Media Go into Hysterics over Healthcare Bill, Just Like Everything Else."  Yawn.

It's because of your Diet Coke, Madison

Hit and Run: "Seattle Mayor Proposes Soda Tax To Fight White Privilege."

Serves you right

The Baltimore Orioles beat up on the Red Sox last night, so this is condign punishment.  Hot Air: "Maryland insurer requests 59% premium hike, says Obamacare in first stages of death spiral."

American Health Care Act

Here's a good explanation via USA Today: "What does the Republican Obamacare repeal bill actually do?"  Among the provisions:
The American Health Care Act would let insurers charge older customers five times as much. That’s intended to draw more younger — and healthier — people into the individual insurance market.
If I remember correctly, the original ratio of older health care recipients versus younger Americans was over 6-1.  In other words (unsurprisingly), older Americans use six-times more health care.  Obamacare perverted the very definition of insurance (risk pools, actuary tables) by setting this to a 3-1 ratio.  The kids realized they were getting a bad deal and stayed away, preferring to pay the tax penalty instead of expensive insurance.  Because of the looming death spiral, the Obama Administration had to launch the pathetic "pajama boy" ad campaign to trick the kids into joining the insurance pool.  But they didn't and insurance companies started to lose billions and here we are today.

The new entitlement

Breitbart: "Krauthammer: 'We'll be in a single-payer system' in 'less than seven years'."  "He added that Obamacare “failed at every level.” Yet despite that, “I think Obamacare wins the day, because it changed expectations."

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The NY Times falls into a trap of its own making

I've been trying to avoid looking backward to the Obama Administration or Hillary's latest excuses why she didn't win the White House.  It's old news.  But this article by Nate Silver has some great analysis: "The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election."

One part I found fascinating was that Silver believes the NY Times played up the letter because they were sure Hillary was going to win anyway.  Plus, the tough reporting was a way to show critics that there's no ideological bias at the Gray Lady:
Why was the Times giving Comey’s letter such blockbuster coverage and at the same time going out of its way to insist that it wouldn’t affect the outcome?

The evidence is consistent with the theory that the Times covered the Comey letter as it did because it saw Clinton as the almost-certain next president — and Trump as a historical footnote. By treating the letter as a huge deal, it could get a head start on covering the next administration and its imbroglios. It could also “prove” to its critics that it could provide tough coverage of Democrats, thereby countering accusations of liberal bias (a longstanding hang-up at the Times). So what if it wasn’t clear from the letter whether Clinton had done anything wrong? The Times could use the same weasel-worded language that it often does in such situations, speaking of the Comey letter as having “cast a cloud” over Clinton.
In testimony before Congress yesterday, FBI chief James Comey said he wishes he could have found a third way between reporting and not-reporting the fact that Huma Abedin had forwarded classified information to Anthony Weiner so they could be printed out.  Either he's be accused of a cover-up, or unduly swaying the election.  The ideological bubble at the Times was so impenetrable, they convinced themselves they could do some tough reporting and it wouldn't hurt their girl.

Oops.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

Worth the wait

I don't know why this gif of a duckling jumping up a wall is so satisfying.  Maybe we've all had days like him.

Cancel my subscription!

Federalist: "Reaction To Bret Stephens’ Global Warming Column Shows Left Isn’t Interested In Debate."

Tolerance

PJ Media: "Study Finds Democrats Least Tolerant of Opposing Views."  To be sure, it's a small sampling of students at Dartmouth but it's funny that the most welcoming are Republicans.  "Get over here, you Commie, and let's hug it out!"

Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's come to this, Starfleet Edition

San Fran Gate: "Man forced to surrender his 'offensive' Star Trek license plate."  "After receiving multiple complaints, Manitoba resident Nick Troller was forced to hand over his license plate that read "ASIMIL8," a reference to the Borg, a popular alien race from Star Trek."  Offensive to minorities, natch.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The settled science

Bret Stephens (now!) in the NY Times: "Climate of complete certainty."  "Perhaps if there were less certitude about our climate future, more Americans would be interested in having a reasoned conversation about it."

Update - Well, the reasonable conversation has begun.

Fake and inaccurate

National Review: "Dan Rather, Fake Newsman."  How can we miss you if you won't go away?

Friday, April 28, 2017

A magazine obsessed

Frontpage: "The Left's culture of contempt."
The Atlantic’s May cover features Alec Baldwin covered in orange makeup holding up a Trump wig. The cover asks, “Can Satire Save the Republic?”

What is satire saving the Republic from? Republicans. While making America safe for Socialism.
I subscribe to the Atlantic magazine but there's 0% chance I'm going to re-up in a couple of months.  Before the election, they ran an editorial - only the third in their history - urging Americans to vote against Trump and, if I remember correctly, I agreed with a lot of it.  Since the election, the Atlantic has been trying to justify its editorial with one hit piece after another.

True story: I decided that if the Atlantic ran another cover story about Trump, I was cutting them loose.  Sure enough, this month's issue came yesterday with an orange-coated Alec Baldwin on the cover.  But wait!  There's more!  There's also: "The plan to end Europe" about how Trump's going to destroy a continent, "Golden State Warrior" ("[California] prepares to battle Trump")  and "The Brilliant Incoherence of Trump's Foreign Policy."

But the letter section.  Oh the letter section.  This includes single-minded missives in response to the cover article from two months ago, the over-the-moon hysterical "How to build an Autocracy."  Here's a portion of a letter from some poly-sci professor at Touro College:
The manifestly authoritarian characteristics of the man and many of his advisers lead me to think that a violent crackdown [against protesters] is highly likely. ... A violent crackdown could be the start of attempts by the administration to curb democracy, and possibly even shut down democratic institutions.
For the "Resistance!" the place is always Kent State and the year is always 1984.

Out of touch

Morning Consult: "Political Media Earns Poor Marks From Americans."  Have fun at your Nerd Prom.

Well, I like Neil Gorsuch

PJ Media: "#NotFondOfTrump After 100 Days."
This is partly, or course, because his purposeful crazy is driving his opponents real-life incoherently, incontinently crazy. From Maxine Waters' on-again-off-again calls for impeachment, to Louise Mensch and the tinfoil hat "it's all Russian spies all the way down" conspiracists, to real anarchists actually on TV actually beating up Republicans, conservatives, and people wearing red hats, the utter loss of all sense of proportion has gone a long way toward discrediting the remaining Democrats with a national platform.
Is that really the measurement we're using to gauge the success of Trump's young Administration: the Democrats are cray-cray?  Eventually they're come to terms with the fact that Hillary lost (or not).  It seems low-hanging and perishable fruit to say that success is tied to your opponents' reaction.

Chalk it up to the surprise of actually winning and an Administration still trying to fill empty seats.  Eventually, Trump needs to put some wins of his own on the scoreboard.

Extra - Hugh Hewitt: "Trump's first 100 days give conservatives a lot to celebrate."  Well, I guess there was some small-bore legislation in there.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

So is Bill Nye

Federalist: "Bill Nye’s View Of Humanity Is Repulsive."  Like most climate nuts (e.g. Al Gore), Nye hates to have to share a stage and actually defend his beliefs.  It sounds like he surrounds himself with like-minded flunkies on this Netflix show.


The heckler's veto wins again

Twitchy: "Tolerance on parade! Portland, Ore. festival’s ‘signature event’ canceled."

Extra - Powerline: "Portlandia: City of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Henry Ford's goon squad

I just started reading the novel "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides and got to the part where the Greek immigrant Lefty starts a job at the Ford automotive plant.  He and his family are visited by two guys from the "Ford Sociological Department" who rummage through his house, checking for hygiene and order, and making suggestions/orders as to how Lefty should run his life.

It's one of those times where I read a book and say: "this can't possibly be true."  But, oh, it is: "When Henry Ford's Benevolent Secret Police Ruled His Workers."

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.