Sunday, October 22, 2017

Everybody chill out for a sec

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

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Take a hike, fatty

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

Rutgers beats Purdue? Rutgers beats Purdue!

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


The Counterpuncher

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

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

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

Awesome sauce

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Always keep your mouth shut

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

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

This is a Harvard professor writing

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

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

No insurance accepted

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

Mr. Honor and Distinction

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

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

Extra - Power Line: "The Bergdahl deception."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ugly win

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

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

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Obamacare's illegal subsidies

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

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

Turnabout...is still wrong

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Take a knee, ESPN

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

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

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Tax the rich!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Thursday, October 05, 2017

It's funny because it's an irony statue

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

California leads the way

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

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

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Carving up the districts

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

What happened to Stephen Paddock?

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

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Wait, wait, don't tell me

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