Monday, July 31, 2017

So what'd I miss?

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not surprising at all

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

We'll be cleaning up this mess for a while

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

Speaking of clown shows

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Never a thought kept to himself

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

It's almost like they're biased

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

It's a mystery

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

Prepare the remainder bins!

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A very reasonable response to today's Senate vote

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

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

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

I survived Action Park

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

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

Oh Katie

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

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim

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

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The (blissful) sounds of silence

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

Scratch a liberal, find a tyrant

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

Not for the faint of heart

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Return to sender in Chappaqua

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

Black Lives Matter defends cop killer

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

We can all laugh about it now

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The media willingly played along

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

The truth can be

The ratchet wins

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trump is mean to us!

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

This follows her brave tour of Berkshire County

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

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Social Security still not fixed

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

No Priuses in the NASCAR race

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

Flip the script

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

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

Vowels cost $250

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

"Text and structure" and unicorn wishes

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 97% consensus myth, back again

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the bottom of the trajectory

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Revenge of the hillbillies

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

Seattle's latest experiment

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

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

Our #1 geopolitical foe

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

Demographics is destiny

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lace up your sneakers, youse guys

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

Comey's "Dear Diary" loophole

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

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


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

Yeah, that's right

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

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

There goes Delaware

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

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Step back: I'm a professional journalist

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

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Lazy Saturday

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

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

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

Red Sox versus Tampa Bay today at 4pm.

Friday, July 07, 2017

You can't spell "condign punishment" without CNN

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

Sisters who resist and persist

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

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

Think of the children!

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

Thursday, July 06, 2017

They really need those copy editors back

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

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

Why are liberals so violent?

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

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

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Abby normal

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

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

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

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

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

Not a trick question

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

Because of all the violent liberals.

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

...but probably not

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

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

Saturday, July 01, 2017

I'd like to think so

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

TV review time

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