Monday, December 10, 2018

California recognizes the pension threat

The San Francisco Chronicle (!) says maybe we should reform public pensions: "California’s golden pension rights need fixing."
Between the lines, [Governor Jerry] Brown is offering a different thought: You can’t promise money that isn’t there. The California’s public pension pool is tens of billions short of being fully funded, with cities feeling the same pinch. Pension promises made with the best intentions or from political loyalty may prove impossible to deliver.
This is a compliant I've made constantly about Social Security in that it has overpromised benefits it cannot possibly pay and obscuring that fact will lead to a cruel conclusion for retirees.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The ending of that Patriots-Dolphins game

Hush hush

Andrew McCarthy: "Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney."

This is concerning the "campaign finance violation" of perfectly-legal non-disclosure agreements and allegations settled with a fine to the FEC, if you're a Democrat.  But if payouts are now illegal, we can start prosecuting Congressmen who have been paying out victims from the secret slush fund, since this clearly represents an in-kind campaign contribution.

Extra - Journalism, via Instapundit.

Friday, December 07, 2018

The Cohen fallout, part 2

David French on the Corner: "The Special Counsel’s Cohen Sentencing Brief Is Ominous for Trump."

It seems that we're circling back to an obstruction of justice charge because Trump either actively sanctioned Cohen's false testimony to Congress or did nothing to correct the record afterwards.

OMG you guys I was JK

Man, she's dim.  Hot Air: "Ocasio-Cortez To Trump Jr: Keep Trolling Me On Twitter And You Might Get Subpoenaed."

Twitchy: "Uh-oh! Looks like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be in BIG trouble with the House Ethics Committee."

Scratch a liberal and find a dumb tyrant.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

She'll never apologize

Ace: "NYT: Elizabeth Warren Stands By Her DNA Test. But Everyone Else Think She's an Stupid Old Prune-Idiot Sourcrotch."  He then quips: "Not fully the original headline."

To quote Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose: it's too late to turn back now.  Warren went all-in on her 1/1024 heritage and it's impossible for her to backtrack and hand Trump a yuuuge victory.

Extra - From Legal Insurrection.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Speaking of those super-smart Dems

Daily Caller: "Hirono says Dems can't connect to voters because they're too smart."  Plus they're busy clinging to their guns and religion.

Here's P.J. O'Rourke:
I wonder how many of the people who profess to believe in the leveling ideas of collectivism and egalitarianism really just believe that they themselves are good for nothing. I mean, how many leftists are animated by a quite reasonable self-loathing? In their hearts they know that they are not going to become scholars or inventors or industrialists or even ordinary good kind people. So they need a way to achieve that smugness for which the left is so justifiably famous. They need a way to achieve self-esteem without merit. Well, there is politics. In an egalitarian world everything will be controlled by politics, and politics requires no merit.
Let's throw in this C.S. Lewis quote for good measure:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono famously said that men should just "shut up" when it comes to allegations of sexual assault.  Interesting that super-smart people always want to prevent other people from speaking.

Why is everybody picking on AOC?

Oh, yeah, she's an idiot.  Hot Air: "WaPo: Four Pinocchios To Kickstart AOC’s Congressional Career."  Not even sworn in yet.

Extra - Twitchy: "People are wondering why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t getting the Dan Quayle treatment."

Monday, December 03, 2018

Is it over yet?

The Week: "The crisis Mueller is sowing"
At this point the most obvious fair-minded explanation of the Russia investigation is that it exists to paralyze the Trump administration. It certainly monopolizes the president's attention. When he is abroad he broods over the latest media talking points from his suite. When he is in Washington, he fumes in front of the television and tweets his favorite tidbits from Fox News. The special counsel has taken his attention away from diplomacy and the other ordinary business of the presidency. Mueller has failed to deliver the goods not simply because there are no goods to deliver but because delivering them is not the point. The point is to hurt Trump.
I try to be fair-minded about the Mueller investigation but my conclusion is that the whole thing had its genesis in the fruit of the poisoned tree, namely the phony Steele dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign.  (This was the actual collusion with Russians to collect dirt on a Presidential candidate.)  And here we are two years later with indictments handed down for process crimes of lying to the FBI or evading taxes from a decade ago.

Every article I read is some variation of "look at all this smoke!  There must be fire somewhere."  At least Watergate started with a break-in and Benghazi had four dead guys.  The big "crime" here is that Hillary lost.

How to tweet like Alexandria

Twitchy: "‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah’: Thread on how to tweet JUST like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez WINS Twitter."

I've been trying to stay away from that low-hanging fruit, but she makes it just too easy.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Cohen fallout

David French at National Review: "Trump’s Unacceptable Campaign Conduct and Two Other Takeaways from the Cohen Plea." 

As French and this Twitter chain from Popehat notes: it's not so much that a (then) real-estate guy was trying to ingratiate himself to the Russians, it's that he must have known his lawyer was lying to Congress but did nothing.  Cohen doesn't indicate that Trump told him to lie but I need a lawyer to explain where the line is on obstruction of justice.

Long forgotten: collusion to sway the election.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What media bias?

Federalist: "Manafort/Assange Drama Proves Media Will Buy Any Russia Conspiracy Story, No Matter Its Flaws" - "If this story had been true, it would have been proof of the conspiracy theory the Resistance/Media/NeverTrump has peddled without evidence for years, but being upset about it being false means that you're also guilty!"

Get woke, go broke

Daily Caller: "'Murphy Brown' reboot canceled after 1 season."  The 13-episode run was twelve-and-a-half too many.

I've only seen the show in painful promotional clips and it was a unique blend of political smugness and tight-lipped laughlessness.  For a second, I thought it was true when Ace reported: "CBS said the reason for the cancellation was "creative awfulness."  Buh-bye.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Meh, nobody cares

Hit and Run: "Trump Isn't Serious About Balancing the Budget - "As long as Medicare, Social Security, and the Pentagon can't be touched, it's hard to believe the president has discovered his inner fiscal hawk."
Still, one of the biggest impediments to Trump's interest in cutting the deficit is Trump himself. Publically, the president has promised not to touch entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicaid—indeed, protecting those programs from supposed Democratic efforts to change them is a prominent message at nearly every Trump rally. And privately, the Post notes, Trump has taken Pentagon cuts off the table.

Of course, entitlement spending is the biggest single driver of America's long-term deficit. Absent any changes to current law, those two programs alone will run a $100 trillion deficit over the next 30 years while the rest of the government will run a slight surplus, according to Congressional Budget Office projections. Military spending, which Trump urged Congress to hike to an all-time high earlier this year, will total $718 billion next year and dwarfs all other non-entitlement spending in the federal budget.

In other words, it's very difficult to be serious about balancing the budget without at least acknowledging that Social Security, Medicare, and the Pentagon will have to be part of the solution.
Almost nobody cares about the national debt: it's paying for stuff right now and no President has ever faced a serious pushback on taxing future generations.  Nobody's going to touch entitlements.  We're just going to have to ride this out until the trust funds run dry.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Money for nothing

Heritage Foundation: "Universal Basic Income Has Been Tried Before. It Didn’t Work."  "These studies also made clear that it was the receipt of unconditional aid, not the phase-out of benefits, which led to the reduced work effort."

Friday, November 23, 2018

My first escape room

For the holiday of the day after vacation, the family headed over to Hadley to try out an escape room.  I've always like puzzles and it was a blast.  Lots of fun.

Sea of red

Fox News: "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending drive our national debt to incredible heights."  The opinion piece points out, correctly, that the trajectory we're on is a future where the federal government collects taxes and then turns around and sends it to pay out entitlements.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Just another left-wing operation now

Volokh Conspiracy: "American Civil Liberties Union, RIP" - "The ACLU no longer even pretends to believe in civil liberties."
First, the ACLU ran an anti-Brett Kavanaugh video ad that relied entirely on something that no committed civil libertarian would countenance, guilt by association. And not just guilt by association, but guilt by association with individuals that Kavanaugh wasn't actually associated with in any way, except that they were all men who like Kavanaugh had been accused of serious sexual misconduct. The literal point of the ad is that Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Cosby were accused of sexual misconduct, they denied it but were actually guilty; therefore, Brett Kavanaugh, also having been accused of sexual misconduct, and also having denied it, is likely guilty too.

Can you imagine back in the 1950s the ACLU running an ad with the theme, "Earl Warren has been accused of being a Communist. He denies it. But Alger Hiss and and Julius Rosenberg were also accused of Communists, they denied it, but they were lying. So Earl Warren is likely lying, too?"
Yeah, during the Kavanaugh hearings is when I thought to myself: "The ACLU's transition to the very thing it once opposed is now complete."

All the way to the top

Wow.  Hot Air: "CIA: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi’s Execution."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Credit must be given

NBC News: "Arrests in GoFundMe homeless good Samaritan 'scam' show perils of crowdfunding."

There's a website here in Massachusetts which is kind of a muckraker site that scours the police blotters.  This guy was unwavering from the get-go that this heartwarming tale was a hoax to skim cash from suckers: "Just Like We Called It: The Homeless Guy In The Gas GoFundMe Scam Was In On It, And If You Donated To Them Like An Idiot You Deserve To Lose Your Money."

Good for you, my cynical friend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jim Acosta of the mighty microphone grab

Federalist: "Everyone Is Wrong About The Jim Acosta, White House Battle" - "Jim Acosta's behavior doesn't just damage his own reputation, it hurts CNN's and the entire journalism profession. The White House should avoid turning him into a martyr."

Yeah, "should" but won't because Trump is a counter-puncher 24/7.  The guy just can't let it go.  Is this thing really going to go to the courts?  C'mon already, what a waste of time.

Let Acosta back into the White House and then move the CNN chair to the back of the room behind the Des Moines Register.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

On not accepting elections

Rich Lowry: "The left’s ‘Jim Crow’ fantasy of a stolen Georgia election."
Every indication is that Stacey Abrams lost fair-and-square in an election where everyone knew the rules beforehand, and they weren’t unreasonable. She’s nonetheless being hailed for not conceding, and her loss will always be taken as an indictment of Georgia rather than the verdict of voters.
I'm so old, I remember somebody saying it was "horrifying" to think somebody wouldn't accept the results of an election.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The trap we've set for ourselves

Hit and Run: "The National Debt Is Coming Due, Just Like We Told You - By 2020, interest on the debt will cost more than Medicaid. By 2025, it will cost more than defense spending. And that's just the start."

Veterans Day


I liked this picture because of the dog.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Florida recount

Good review here via Twitchy: "Charles C.W. Cooke lays out where things stand in Florida as deadline passes."

Osacio-Cortez doesn't understand stuff

IJR: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responds After Fox News Mocks Her for Not Being Able to Afford a DC Apartment."  Which is the fault of the electoral system, you guys, or something.

Alexandria is confused by the exchange of goods and services for legal tender.  This is why she is correctly ridiculed when we say "just pay for it."  Gosh!

Get on with it already

Observer: "Team Mueller is Holding ‘Dozens of Sealed Indictments,’ According to Intel Source."

Prediction: none of them are related to Russian collusion.

The never-ending campaign

Cook Political Report: "Why Aren't Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results"
Again, for the record, reading too much into a midterm election outcome is dangerous and often very wrong. But, we also know that the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination has started. And, I know from my conversations with Democratic activists, that many are uninspired by the cast of potential candidates in front of them now. The 2018 election was supposed to anoint a clear frontrunner. It didn’t. It may have put a renewed focus on midwestern-based figures like Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. What 2018 did do, which is why Republicans aren’t disheartened by Tuesday’s results and Democrats are less than ebullient about them — was show just how similar the Electoral College map looks to the one in 2016. 
I disagree about a Democratic frontrunner: Elizabeth Warren is the woman for the Dems.  Go Liz!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Hawaiian judge syndrome

USA Today: "Federal appeals court rules against Trump administration effort to end DACA program."  Check out this stellar legal reasoning:
"In a world where the government can remove only a small percentage of the undocumented noncitizens present in this country in any year," the panel said, DACA lets it "devote much-needed resources to enforcement priorities such as threats to national security, rather than blameless and economically productive young people with clean criminal records."
Oh, is that how it works?  The court acknowledges that the President has wide latitude when it comes to immigration policy unless he wants to decide how to implement that policy.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Senate popular vote and gerrymandered states

Dude, do you even Constitution?  Federalist: "Joy Behar Claims Democrats Lost Senate Races Due To Gerrymandering."  These dim-bulb media types just latch on to the conspiracy theories that fit their narrative and never look back.

Traitors in our midst

Hot Air: "Progressives: White Women Need Accountability And ‘A Lot Of Learning’ After Failing To Vote Uniformly For Left-Wing Candidates."

Identity politics, all the way down.

A very typical midterm

In the past, I would have stayed up late but I just started a new job...

That said: I think it's fair to say there was no "blue wave" this year.  The typical loss for the President's party in the first midterm is 28 seats in the House and 3 in the Senate.  At this point in the night, it looks like the Democrats will pick up 30+ seats in the House (to gain control) but lose four seats in the Senate.  (AZ still in play).

But as Chris Wallace noted: the Democrats had an unusual number of Senate seats to defend this year so it's not surprising that the GOP picked off a couple of Senate seats in red-leaning states.

So Republicans won in Republican-leaning states and Democrats picked up House seats where the Republicans were vulnerable.  So: expected but not "wavy".

Florida Senate

Nate Silver: "The Upshot’s model shows Scott at only about 60 percent to win, and the ABC News Decision Desk isn’t going to call the race tonight, from what I understand."

What?  It's barely a coin flip for Scott?  Here's the NY Times election page:
Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Rick Scott
Republican
4,045,238 50.4%
Bill Nelson*
Democrat
3,987,787 49.6
8,033,025 votes, 99% reporting (6,101 of 6,111 precincts)
There are 10 precincts left to report; how is it possible to pick up enough votes?

Update: Fox News just called Florida Senate for Rick Scott.  So much for that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

in the People's Republic of Massachusetts

There are so few competitive races here (Baker will win governor and Pocahontas will be Senator) that I think all the voters were showing up for the referendum questions.  We've been absolutely bombarded in the Bay State on Question #1: whether to limit the number of patients that nurses can be assigned at any given time.

The nurses' union has poured a huge amount of money into the race but the hospitals have fought back and it looks like it will be voted down.

Update - Question #1 goes down.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Those darn rich people

Twitchy: "Elizabeth Warren forgot to check herself before she wrecked herself (again)."  "Honest question: Is there any topic on which Elizabeth Warren has even a shred of credibility?"

Before you vote: Remember that the Democrats lied about Kavanaugh

Hit and Run: "False Rape Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh Prove That Due Process Matters - "Judy Munri-Leighton admitted to lying, and Julie Swetnick's story collapsed."

Man, she's dim

When confronted about the cost of their proposals, most Democrats fall back on the ol' "making the rich pay their fair share."  Ditzy Occasional Cortex doesn't even fake it that much.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Women never lie about that, except when they do

Twitchy: "Woman who claimed Brett Kavanaugh raped her now says she made the whole thing up."

I agree with Ace here:
This demands jail time. You cannot just defame people and lodge false accusations to Congress because your Pussy-Hat told you it was okay to lie.
It's now altogether obvious that this nutcase along with Ford and Swetnick just made up the whole story because bearing false witness to derail Kavanaugh's nomination was a more powerful incentive than common decency.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Sauce for the goose

Like so many Democrat-led initiatives (nuclear option, anyone?), the practice of court shopping to find a Hawaiian judge was all the rage just a little while ago:
Democrats were ecstatic when a judge in Honolulu barred enforcement of the Trump administration’s travel ban. They were thrilled when a judge in Chicago halted a policy to rescind grant funding to sanctuary cities. In both cases, the judges extended their ruling beyond the litigants to the whole country, issuing so-called national injunctions.
But now?
For opponents of Donald Trump’s administration, this legal maneuver has seemed like a godsend. Now it may come back to haunt them, as a single federal judge in Texas considers putting the Affordable Care Act on ice—not only in Texas, but anywhere in the country.
Now these two lawyers writing for the the increasingly-left-leaning Atlantic think that national injunctions are a bad idea.  For some reason.

Internet heartbreak

Geez, it's real chaos when the WiFi goes down.  I've discovered how dependent I've become on Google Home.

Currently slumming it on a cell phone hotspot.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Stay classy, LA

Seriously, though.  This was a nice move by the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Almost like there's no story to be found

Federalist: "Why Did Media And Democrats Abandon Their Investigation Into Brett Kavanaugh?" - "If Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is really a rapist and sexual assailant, as Democrats and media claimed, shouldn't the story continue to be covered?"

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Blame game

Hit and Run: "Trump's Rhetoric Is Divisive, Contemptible, Un-Presidential. It's Also Not Responsible for the Synagogue Shooting." - "Killers are responsible for their actions and the leap from rhetoric to action, along with all the blood they shed, is on their hands alone."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Red Sox win!

And Manny Machado fell on his ass swinging ether on a Chris Sale third strike.  Wicked pissah.

Extra - Show us the letter "K", Manny!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Democrats with bylines, continued

Twitchy: "‘You got caught’: NBC News’ Kate Snow, who interviewed Julie Swetnick, adds some ‘important context’."

The context is that NBC News ran with an uncorroborated (and, frankly, unbelievable) account against Brett Kavanaugh for the ratings.  The fact that it played into the media's liberal bias was just icing on the cake.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Also: Thanos did nothing wrong


Monday, October 22, 2018

Hide the bias

This is a remarkable opinion piece from Axios: "4 ways to fix "fake news."  This is one of them:
Media: News organizations should ban their reporters from doing anything on social media — especially Twitter — beyond sharing stories. Snark, jokes and blatant opinion are showing your hand, and it always seems to be the left one. This makes it impossible to win back the skeptics. 
So the article straight-up admits that the media has a liberal bias and the answer is for the media to hide it; furthermore, social platforms should assist with the deception.  Yes, that will fix the "fake news."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

American firearms

Federalist: "The Five Most Important Guns In American History."

As an amateur Civil War historian, it's interesting to note that the Spencer Repeating Rifle was just coming into use around the Battle of Gettysburg and some believe the war could have ended in that battle if the Union had adopted the rifle just a little earlier.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Utterly unbelievable

Fox News: "Jamal Khashoggi, missing activist and writer, killed in fight, Saudi state media reports."
Jamal Khashoggi, the missing activist and writer last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2, was killed in a fight, state media reported on Friday.

“Discussions between citizen Jamal Khashoggi and those who met him while he was in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul led to a brawl and a fist fight, which led to his death,” a statement provided on state television said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Do you know how you know this is a load of B.S.?  The Saudis don't do manual labor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Atlantic: "Why Won’t Turkey Release the Khashoggi Tapes? - If Turkish officials really have the grisly recordings, they must share them—and soon."

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fauxcahontas lies again

Hit and Run: "The Complex, Childish Identity Politics of Elizabeth Warren’s Native Heritage."
No amount of plaintive claiming from Warren that to question her Native roots is to "call my mother a liar," is going to change the fact that saying you are Native American does not make it so.
Warren claimed that her paternal grandparents did not approve of her mother's Native American heritage and that's why her parents had to elope (they didn't.)  For this story to make sense, based on Warren's own DNA report, that means her grandparents were so racist they didn't want their son marrying a woman who was 1/512 Indian.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Can a person die from schadenfreude?

Washington Post: "Judge throws out Stormy Daniels’s defamation lawsuit against Trump"
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit from adult film actress Stormy Daniels that claimed President Trump defamed her when he suggested she had lied about being threatened to keep quiet about their relationship.

Federal District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles had indicated during a late September hearing that he was skeptical of Daniels’s claim on First Amendment grounds. The ruling ordered Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay Trump’s legal fees.
I don't normally watch the Fox News lineup but I have to watch tonight.

We are all Cherokee now

James Freeman in WSJ: "Did Elizabeth Warren Just Kill Identity Politics? - If the Massachusetts senator is now a person of color then the term has no meaning."

Fauxcahontas makes it worse

Elizabeth Warren, desperate to get the fake Indian charge behind her, released her DNA test results.  Everybody laughed.

Federalist: "Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Proves She Was Lying - Acting as if the results of the senator's DNA test are a vindication of her initial claims is an assault on reason."

Turtleboy: "Elizabeth Warren Using Ancestry Test Showing She’s 1/512 Indian To Prove She Didn’t Lie About Native American Ancestry Is the Most Liz Warren Thing Ever."

National Review: "Native Americans React to Warren’s DNA Test"  "Many in the Native American community reacted angrily Monday after Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test showing that she has a distant Native American ancestor."

Powerline: "To make matters worse for Warren’s claim, the study was based not on Native American DNA from within the U.S., but rather on Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian DNA."

And, of course, Professor Jacobson: "Elizabeth Warren DNA test does NOT prove she’s Native American, contrary to the hype."

Old 1/1024 thought this was going to help but instead it's going to open up a whole new line of ridicule.  Good.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

(No longer workin' at the) Car Wash

Interesting mini-documentary on Reason about how unionization and the minimum wage is pushing more car washes in New York City towards automation and the black market: "The $15 Minimum Wage Is Turning Hard Workers Into Black Market Lawbreakers - An in-depth look at New York's car wash industry, and the real world consequences of politicians interfering with a complex industry they don’t understand."

The Russia probe is back in vogue

Guess who is answering questions.

Guess who is taking the Fifth.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The clown show media

Long piece by Becket Adams: "Confirmation bias: Brett Kavanaugh and the major media's worst moment."
From the smaller errors to the more egregious ones (like NBC's decision to air the Swetnick interview), there’s only one thing that ties all the awful reporting together. Every single story worked against Kavanaugh, as if with a unity of purpose intended to ensure that he would never be given a fair chance to clear his good name and reach the Supreme Court.
Whether through bias or the politically-correct culture that says #BelieveAllWomen, the media never bothered to push back on these stories that - even today - have no corroborating evidence whatsoever.  It was so much easier to pick sides and develop the preferred narrative.  Shame on them.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Conspiracy

Kevin Williamson: "Kavanaugh Was Pizzagate" - "A thing that has been not entirely appreciated about the Kavanaugh affair: This was the Left’s version of Pizzagate. And the Democrats’ Pizzagate wasn’t carried out by fringe nutters on obscure conspiracy sites: It was carried out by Senate Democrats and leading progressive activists on well-known conspiracy sites such as the New York Times opinion section."

Word salad

Alexandria is the gift that keeps on giving:


Hat tip: Victory Girls.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Creepy porn lawyer

Hit and Run: "Brett Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed, and Liberals Should Blame Michael Avenatti - Sen. Susan Collins called the Swetnick story "outlandish." It might have given her cover to confirm the judge."

Friday, October 05, 2018

Suck an egg, NY Times

The tired old Gray Lady: "F.B.I. Review of Kavanaugh Was Limited From the Start."  How strange!  This just happens to align with Democrat talking points.

Here's the bottom line: after all the sound and fury, there isn't a single corroborating witness to support any of the women who have accused Kavanaugh.  Not one.  And there's not a single bit of contemporaneous evidence to support these claims.  Not one.

One more day

David French: "The Complete Case for Kavanaugh."

Not to belabor this point but the mainstream media has really beclowned themselves.  Even this morning on NPR, the host corrected a White House spokeswoman who said there is "no evidence" to support Ford's claims.  Nuh-uh, he countered: there is Ford's testimony.  That's the "evidence."
KUPEC: It made complete sense that he was upset. And considering the many, many women who have come out in his defense, saying what an incredible person he is, not just as a judge, but his treatment of women - and these are women who start in high school.
INSKEEP: Let me just be clear, very quickly, on two things you said. No evidence - we have to note there is sworn testimony by a person who says she's the victim, so we can't truthfully say no evidence.
At this point, I wanted the White House rep to say: "Steve Inskeep stole my purse!" and it would be true that Steve Inskeep is a purse-snatcher because #Believeallwomen.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Into the arena

Abraham Lincoln on Ulysses S. Grant: "As early as 1862 when Grant received criticism for the heavy losses at Shiloh, Lincoln responded, "I can't spare this man, he fights!"

Bret Stephens in the New York Times (!): "For Once, I’m Grateful for Trump."
I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I’m grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying. I’m grateful because he’s a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger.
The mainstream media fell to their fainting couch again: "But his temperament!" they sobbed, "so unpresidential."

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Saturday vote

Legal Insurrection: "McConnell Files Cloture to End Kavanaugh Date, Confirmation Vote Could Come on Saturday."

From Sheila Jackson Lee's office

Politico: "Ex-Democratic staffer charged with posting senators’ private info."  A.k.a. "doxxing."

The idiot mainstream media

Here's Jonah Goldberg yesterday: "You Idiot Reporters Are Making It Worse."  "Every 15 seconds, you’re demonstrating why millions of people love it when Trump calls you the fake news."

And here he is today with a follow-up:
Every profession, class, and group is prone to tribal thinking (technically: the coalition instinct), but the press is one of the very few that takes profound offense at the suggestion this observation applies to them. This haughtiness invites rage at times like this. And, while you can complain about Trump fueling that rage, responding to it with even more haughtiness just perpetuates the cycle.
Yeah, sure, it all started with Trump.

Extra - Instapundit: "Modern journalism in one tweet."

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Your objective and professional mainstream media

Twitchy: "SCOOP! New York Times obtains 1983 letter from Brett Kavanaugh admitting to hanging with ‘prolific pukers’."

Wow!  Teenage boys are jerks!  Who knew?

On a side note, I was listening to NPR this afternoon and one of the hosts, after some audio of somebody questioning Christine Ford's version, added: "But Ford has been able to provide some details of that evening."

O RLY?  Besides the allegation against Kavanaugh, she remembers she had one beer and the house she was in had a narrow staircase.  I guess those are "details."  Otherwise, she doesn't know who invited her, whose home it was, where it was, the date, how she got there, how she got home, and the four people she identified at the party all said it never happened.

She remembers that one beer, though.  That's a detail.  Good on you, NPR.


That was quick

WSJ: "FBI Probe of Kavanaugh Is Expected to Wrap Up Very Soon."
GOP aides on the Hill and another person familiar with the process said they were expecting the bureau to conclude its report as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Agents had interviewed at least four key people as of Tuesday in its background investigation of Judge Kavanaugh. The White House had given the bureau until Friday to wrap up the probe.
As we know from the Mueller probe, lying to the FBI is a crime.  I bet this focused the attention of certain witnesses.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The case against Kavanaugh is collapsing

David French in the National Review:
A very strange thing happened over the weekend: If you follow Twitter closely, you’ll notice that the debate over Brett Kavanaugh moved significantly from the central question of last Thursday’s hearing — did he commit sexual assault? — to a raging debate over whether he lied about high-school slang, college drinking, and inside jokes, and whether he was just too “angry” to be a Supreme Court judge.

This torrent of commentary (most of it silly, including competing, furious arguments about how people described anal sex in 1982) obscures an important development: The sexual-assault claims against Kavanaugh are in a state of collapse.
If the media was anywhere near objective and fair in this process, it never would have gone this far.


The Fake News Media

Know how the mainstream media complains about bloggers?  They're not professionals, they run with rumors, they don't check sources, stuff like that.

Today NBC ran an interview with Julie Swetnick and actually prefaced the story by saying it was complete B.S.  But, hey, let's run this unsubstantiated smear anyway!  Because journalism.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

She needs help to pay for her pro bono lawyers

Turtleboy: "Christine Blasey-Ford Has Raised Over $500K With GoFundMe Scam And She’s Obviously Lying About Not Remembering Who Drove Her Home That Night."

Time to move the goalposts again

The Democrats have been unified in their call for an FBI investigation (the 7th, I guess) for Brett Kavanaugh and today they got it.  It won't last more than a week because as they told us, ad nauseum, the Clarence Thomas investigation only took three days.  So a week should be plenty of time for the FBI to investigate a party, somewhere in Maryland, maybe in 1982 that nobody except Chrissy Ford remembers.

With this hard-won victory in hand, it's time to shift those goalposts.  First, a week isn't long enough:


Second, even if the FBI clears Kavanaugh, he's still just the worst:
After spending two weeks demanding an FBI investigation in the hope/belief that the GOP would never allow one, only to have Jeff Flake force the issue at the last moment, the minority party suddenly shifts to Plan B. Time now to start downplaying the value of the forthcoming FBI investigation that’s likely to find nothing incriminating against Kavanaugh.
Like Ace, I totally want a portion of this investigation to look into GoFundMe princess Chrissy Ford who can't fly (unless it's on a vacation) and has no idea who is paying for all these polygraphs and trips to Washington.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

This is news

Red State: "BREAKING. Collins, Murkowski, And Donnelly Make Their Decision."  For Kavanaugh.

Catching up

I'm totally getting caught up on the Kavanaugh hearings after a long day of end-of-fiscal-year madness at work.  Seen at Ace:
I'm so old, I remember when Democrats were telling us about the dignity of John McCain's example. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A decree from the Mayor

CNBC: "Dunkin' makes it official: It's dropping 'Donuts' from its logo."  For those of you outside of the New England area, Dunkin' Donuts is a coffee chain separated by 300 yards in every direction.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ford Escape

As I predicted.  Twitchy: "Now Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team is pushing back on hiring of “experienced sex crimes prosecutor”.

She won't testify under oath.  Not going to happen.

Meh, we'll run a correction later

National Review: "Jane Mayer: Accuser Told Ronan Farrow She Wasn’t Sure of Story."

Strangely, the first thing I thought of was this piece of trivia from the movie "Bright Lights, Big City":
"Gotham", the fictitious New York magazine for which Jamie Conway works as a fact-checker, is clearly an unflattering caricature of "The New Yorker", where author/screenwriter Jay McInerney had also worked as a fact-checker.
Perhaps the New Yorker should have hired a coked-out fact-checker for this dumpster fire story.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

This will be the pretense for Ford to back out

Breaking news from the Judiciary Committee:


Judge, have you ever done a keg stand?

Washington Examiner: "Democrats poised to grill Brett Kavanaugh on drinking, partying in high school."  It's pretty much all they got.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

All over but the shouting

Erick Erickson: "BREAKING: Christine Blasey Ford's Female Witness Doesn't Remember Anything."

So Ford has identified three eyewitnesses at this party (not counting Kavanaugh) and all of them have now provided sworn statements to the Judiciary committee saying this never happened.  Are we done here yet?

Extra - Reaction from Twitchy.

Spoiler alert: Godot didn't show up either

Hot Air: "Christine Ford Meets Deadline By Not Agreeing To Terms."

The "acceptance" is just another delaying tactic.
The "negotiation" is just a means to eventually decline to testify.

She cray-cray

New Neo: "It’s like having an argument with your crazy girlfriend: the latest from Ford."
Most of us have had the experience of arguing with a person like this. Give an inch? They take a mile. Make concessions? They want more. They are the poor suffering victims. They don’t like your tone of voice. They don’t like the expression on your face. If you try to be calm, you’re cold. If you try to be sympathetic, you’re condescending. Nothing you do is okay, and everything they do is okay.
Meanwhile, Dianne Feinstein (among others) is complaining that the Republicans are being stubborn and uncooperative what with their requests and extended deadlines.

McCarthyism 2018

Wall Street Journal: "The Presumption of Guilt - The new liberal standard turns American due process upside down."

Friday, September 21, 2018

Do you remember the 21st night of September?

NPR: "The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains."
"The, kind of, go-to phrase that Maurice used in every song he wrote was 'ba-dee-ya,' " she says. "So right from the beginning he was singing, 'Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember / Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September.' And I said, 'We are going to change 'ba-dee-ya' to real words, right?' "

Wrong. 
I've always kinda liked this version from "Get Over It":

Tick tock

Grassley says: tell us if you're testifying by 10pm or we're voting Monday.

Good.

Extra - Powerline has Grassley's statement which includes the (obvious) observation that, here in America, there's the accusation and then the defense - not the other way around.

I have a regret

When I was making my prediction last night, I toyed with the idea of making another prediction: that the Kavanaugh accuser would claim she's afraid to fly and, darn it, I just can't make it from California to Washington D.C. in time.

But then I said: "nah, that is too crazy and desperate a dilatory move."  I was a fool!  Ace: "Literally Un-believable: "Dr. Ford" Doesn't Want to Come to DC to Testify, Because She Doesn't Want to Fly, Now."  As Ace notes, Ford should get some of the Pussyhat Resisters! to pile in an RV and drive day and night to protect birth control, or something.

Oh, that's different

Hot Air: "Hmmm: Only 5% Of MN Democrats “Believe The Woman” When It Comes To Ellison."

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Avoiding the perjury charge

David French: "Do Democrats Really Believe Christine Blasey Ford Doesn’t Have to Prove Her Claims?"  Nope.  They just want them out there:
As of this moment, they are actually seeking to derail a Supreme Court nomination and impugn the nominee’s character without a single piece of sworn evidence. Indeed, all the legally binding statements on the matter contradict the accuser.

This cannot stand. Ford’s team has to either reverse course or drop its complaint. Yes, of course, testifying before the committee would be “partisan.” No, the members of the committee are not “neutral.” But that’s not just the reality of the Senate, it’s the fundamental reality of the justice system itself. It is an adversarial system. If you seek to prove your claim under any standard, you have to expose yourself to the most partisan possible scrutiny — cross-examination by a lawyer trained to find flaws in your testimony and paid to work relentlessly until he discredits your case.
It's notable that even the letter sent to Dianne Feinstein hasn't been entered into evidence.  The Democrats desperately want the Republicans to overreact to this nothingburger, but they refuse to take the bait.  It must be infuriating. 

Prediction: Ford will never testify under oath. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hmmmm....

Hot Air: "NRO’s Ed Whelan: “Much More” Is Coming To Show That Kavanaugh Is Innocent."

For the record, I predicted this debacle would "seal the deal" for Kavanaugh.  It's all over but the shouting and the inevitable cries of "sexism!"

Extra - Federalist: "The Kavanaugh Allegation Process Is A Miscarriage Of Justice For Everyone."  Certain members of the media have declared the nomination "donezo" for...reasons.  Probably #MeToo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Matthew Rhys wins for "The Americans"

I was flipping back and forth from the Emmys and "Monday Night Football," only to see if my favorite show - "The Americans" - would finally win something.  The Emmys were just awful and I muted every stilted speech before the awards were announced.  But Matthew Rhys won for Best Actor in a Drama and his speech was adorbs:

Well, that souffle collapsed

Fox News: "Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford demands 'full investigation' by FBI before testifying, in letter from her lawyers."

I've seen this movie before: make outrageous demands in the interest of "justice" that you know will never be accepted then run away.  Just call the vote already.

Extra - Ace: "Breaking: Kavanaugh's Accuser Says She Won't Testify Until The FBI, Which Has Already Declined to Investigate Her Non-Federal-Jurisdiction 37 Year Old Allegations, Completes Its Investigation, Sometime After a Democrat is President."

Talk it out

Powerline: "Senator Collins's good idea."  She proposes that counsel for Kavanaugh and Hope question each other's clients.  "But I have a hunch that if Sen. Collins’s proposal is embraced, Prof. Ford will withdraw from the hearing."

Related - Minuteman: "Disingenuous Level Max."

Monday, September 17, 2018

Turn off the cameras

Hot Air: "Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Public Hearing Monday With Kavanaugh And Accuser."  They'll be televised:
If you thought the grandstanding from 2020 contenders like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris was overbearing the first time around, it’s almost unfathomable how obnoxious it’ll be this time. Booker will cry. A lot.
OMG, why does this need to be a public hearing?  Spartacus will be insufferable.

I'm convinced that this eleventh-hour stunt will seal the deal for Kavanaugh.  What kind of message would the Republicans be sending if they allowed this uncorroborated to derail a nominee?  Even Susan Collins came out and called it unfair.  Nobody's changing their vote at this point.

Extra - Well: "Kavanaugh's accuser's lawyer: It's not her job to corroborate her story."  Oh.  I guess she's just here to make allegations.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Segregation now, segregation forever!

A couple months ago, a black female working the summer at Smith College was either eating her lunch or sleeping in a closed building.  A Smith employee, following college policy, saw her and notified campus police who did a check.  And there it would have ended except for all the racism.

You would have thought Smith would have learned the lessons of Mizzou or Evergreen College, but no.  They suspended the reporting employee pending an investigation and generally did everything you'd expect from a liberal, Western Massachusetts, Northampton-based college.  Still - unbelievably! - it just wasn't enough.  Here come the demands: "Woman at center of controversial Smith College incident pens letter on ACLU website calling for 'affinity housing' for students of color."
In Kanoute's letter, she makes several "demands" for reform at the school -- including a call for a controversial practice called "affinity housing" for students of color.
That's right: it's come to this.
"The supposed 'integrated housing' system currently on campus forces (people of color) into unsafe spaces," alleges one post on the group's Facebook page. "It does nothing to uphold principles of equity or justice. While affinity housing is not a perfect solution, students of color have expressed their need for a house that truly values their labor."
It's going to be a tough world for these womyn after graduation.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fake news

Tell me again how media bias is all in my head.  Ace: "NYT: Whoopsie! I Guess We Shouldn't Have Suggested That Nikki Haley Was Responsible for a $50,000 Expenditure for Curtains That Was Actually Made During the Obama Administration." 

The Paper of Record, ladies and gentlemen. 

The Kavanaugh circus

Hot Air: "Report: Feinstein Forwarded Letter About Kavanaugh To The FBI — With The Accuser’s Name Redacted."

For the record, I believe the "virtuous" version of Feinstein in this article.  I think Democrat Senators such as Feinstein and Leahy believe in the Senate as an institution, unlike crazy Kamala and Spartacus, who view it as a platform for grandstanding.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Evidence not needed

Since Adam Schiff hasn't found any evidence in the phony-baloney Russian collusion charge against Trump, he swears the Democrats will move on to the phony-baloney money laundering charge.

This is their entire agenda.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By golly, this fellow tells some untruths!

Now safely out of office, the Associated Press re-discovers the fact check for Obama: "AP Fact Check: Obama doesn’t always tell the straight story."

Remember when Politifact rated Obama's claim about keeping your health plan as "half-true" only to name it "Lie of the Year" in 2013?  Then the media wonders why Americans think they're biased:


Steele trap

Conrad Black: "The Mueller Charade"
When the Mueller charade is finally out of the way, everyone involved in the false applications for a FISA surveillance warrant against junior Trump campaign helper Carter Page will face the music, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and very prominent members of the Obama administration. Whatever happens in November, all this will unravel. The combination of the jungle ruthlessness of high American politics with the idealism of the Constitution occasionally creates bizarre and sordid dramas. Eventually, just when the pious claptrap about no one being above the law becomes almost insufferable, the puritanical conscience of America rises like a cobra and strikes the wrongdoers. The twist here is that the hunted president, who has broken no laws, will make the kill. It’s reality politics, wending toward a surprising climax.
Somebody wrote the other day that Americans "don't like to be pushed around."  And this is what motivates my defense of Trump: here's a guy whose entire Presidency so far has been under a cloud because of this phony Steele dossier paid for by Hillary's campaign and the DNC.  Trump committed the unpardonable sin of beating Hillary and for this he must suffer a thousand cuts from CNN and Stephen Colbert.  Why?  Because he's intemperate and not particularly articulate.

But there's no crime.  It's bizarre that whenever I bring this up the standard response is "you don't know what Mueller knows!"  Yeah, that's right, the critical, earth-shattering, Presidency-ending information is just lying dormant, waiting for its moment to appear.  Won't we be surprised?

It's much more likely we'll see Hillary go to prison.  After all, she's the one who actually hired Russian agents to create the Steele dossier to sway the election.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Avoiding the title of "Mayor Bankruptcy"

Zero Hedge: "A More Likely Reason Rahm Emanuel Dropped Out: The Chicago Time Bomb."
Rahm knows the risks of collapse are rising. He’s passed property tax hikes, emptied the reserves and employed every budget trick he can to make the numbers “better.” He’s even sold off public assets – the city’s future sales tax revenues – to “shore up” the city’s finances, and yet Chicago is still junk rated by Moody’s.
Chicago's pension obligations are staggering and, by far, the worst among major cities.  Rahm knows there are no more levers to pull; he's out of options so it's better to leave the mess to the next guy.

Even Paul Krugman?

The Hill: "Economists agree: Trump, not Obama, gets credit for economy."

Awww...don't be sad, "new normal" Obama.  Trump found that magic wand.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Fishing expedition

Andrew McCarthy: "Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?"  "For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?  It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question."

Friday, September 07, 2018

Tweet of the day


NFL down

Hot Air: "Ratings For NFL Season Opener Down Double Digits From Last Year."

I don't think this one game is a good indicator for one reason: they were supposed to start at 8:20pm but postponed due to lightning in the area.  So I imagine a lot of people turned the channel and never went back.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Cory Booker is a clown

Hot Air: "Please, For The Love Of God, Let This Be The Last Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing."

This response follows in the wake of New Jersey senator Cory Booker's hysterical grandstanding and deep desire to make himself a martyr to the TRUTH!  First he bravely - bravely! - announced he would reveal confidential documents on Kavanaugh that, um, weren't confidential and contained no bombshells.

I heard Booker explain himself on NPR this afternoon and I wish I had a transcript.  The man is absolutely zonked out on his own sense of self-importance.

What's all this then?

NPR: "Grand Jury Looking Into Case Of Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe."

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Resist

David French: "The Democrats’ No Good, Frivolous, Ridiculous Day."

I'm so old, I remember Democrats at John McCain's funeral urging civil debate and dignity.

The deep state strikes back

Hit and Run: "Anonymous Tell-Alls in The New York Times Are More a Threat To the Republic than Trump - The president may well be unprincipled, ignorant, and awful, but he was, well, elected fair and square."

Extra - Roger Simon: "New York Times' 'Inside' Attack on Trump Unbelievably Cowardly."

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

What media bias?

Hot Air: "Chuck Todd Declares War On The Idea That ‘Media Bias’ Exists."  Why are we listening to this high-school graduate?  These guys always think only Fox News is guilty of bias.

Murders and debt

Yeah, I'd run away from this job too.  Hit and Run: "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Won't Run for Re-Election - The Windy City will be left drowning in debt, despite the high taxes and vicious money-grubbing fines."

Cruz hits a home run

Hot Air: "Ted Cruz: Confirmation Theatrics Are An Attempt To Relitigate The 2016 Election."  I was particularly impressed when he noted that Democrats were seeking documents that had nothing to do with Kavanaugh and were only being sought because the Democrats know they are protected by executive privilege.  Let's get this "Resist!" charade over with already.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Willingly, the Boston Globe played along

Washington Times: "Warren mounts PR blitz insisting Cherokee claims never helped her career."


The headline in question originally noted that it was "complicated" whether Warren used a claim of Native American heritage to advance her career.  Then, as Instapundit speculates, the Boston Globe "got a call" and fixed the headline.  Now the new narrative is Warren lied about her heritage but Harvard didn't believe her anyway, so it's kosher.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I shall not do that

Federalist: "If You Want To Know Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Media, Watch CNN - Trump’s hyperbole has currency because the media often live up to conservatives' worst expectations."

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Glass houses time

American Thinker: "17 million reasons why Trump not guilty of campaign violations."
If in fact legal settlements of personal matters are illegal campaign contributions, then the list of guilty politicians certainly is long.  And, as we learned in 2017 about the sexual harassment settlements paid by Congress using a slush fund from taxpayer dollars, the leaders in the House of Representatives of both political parties are implicated by the $17 million in payments over a period of 20 years and at least 268 settlements.
Brother, you know that Trump would relish reading out a dirty laundry list of 268 Congressmen.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

All American

NY Times: "John McCain, War Hero, Senator, Presidential Contender, Dies at 81."

Can't stop talkin' 'bout Trump

Hot Air: "New Dem Strategy: Stop Talking About Trump."

Dateline 2012

Here's a nice find: back in 2012, National Review writer Rich Lowry wrote that the campaign violation charges levied against Democrat John Edwards were a farce:
Even the campaign-finance obsessives at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) consider the case an overreach. CREW points out an absurdity that follows from the government’s argument. If keeping Rielle Hunter quiet is rightly considered a campaign expenditure, as the prosecutors maintain, then the Edwards campaign could have funded her living expenses directly without breaking any rules. “Love child” could have been a legitimate line item in the budget somewhere between “get out the vote” and “phone banks.”
So if keeping Stormy quiet is actually a campaign expense, Trump could have saved his personal money and filled out a campaign expense form. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

TGIF

Found this on Reddit and, um, read it to the bottom: "Famous examples of not telling the cast what was going on."  It's scenes from televisions and movies where very limited information was given and the actors had to roll with the scene.  Good trivia!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Outside the media bubble

In a generally good article: "Ignore the Noise, Mueller Still Has Nothing", I want to focus on this one section:
I just got back from [Pennsylvania]. Not a single mechanic, trucker, or waitress I met in Pennsylvania ever showed the slightest bit of interest in Mueller’s probe. Most of them probably don’t even know who Mueller is. That the media is staking its demolition of Trump on this gray, little-known ruling-class darling is a measure of its alienation from the American people. They simply don’t care about Trump’s pre-presidential sins, political screw-ups, and minor law-bending, if that even occurred.
Every single day during the Manafort trial, it was the lead (maybe second) story on NPR's news feed.  I could not believe there was anybody, outside of the NY Times newsroom, that cared about the tax evasion charge for a guy who worked on Trump's campaign for three months.  Wait until Joe Sixpack finds out he failed to register as a foreign lobbyist!  Woo-boy, they'll be talkin' about it at the Dew Drop Inn.

By popular demand

2016: Russia!
2017: Russia!!
2018: Failing to file FEC form EXP241 claiming a campaign expense!

Here's your "high crime" for impeachment:
The Federal Election Commission rules examine this through the lens of whether campaign funds have been put to personal use; the commission applies something called the Irrespective Test. The law says that something is personal if it’s "any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign."
By that standard, said Emory School of Law professor Michael Kang, "the circumstances and context here are suspicious," but it’s no slam-dunk that the payment was an expenditure on behalf of the campaign. 
In fact, we know that Trump repaid Cohen from personal funds and the precedent already exists indicating it's difficult to show intent with regard to personal matters versus campaign "contributions."  Unless Cohen has a tape indicating that Trump knew this was designed as a campaign contribution, Trump can claim this was another one of his many NDAs to protect his (lascivious) personal life.

Manafort isn't worth mentioning.  A tax evasion charge from a decade ago.  Nice going, Mueller.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What does this mean?

New York Times: "White House Counsel Has Cooperated Extensively With Mueller’s Obstruction Inquiry."
In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.
I'm not entirely sure what's the upshot of this revelation.  Either Trump is so sure of his innocence that he instructed the White House Counsel to tell Mueller everything or Trump's in real trouble if McGahn describes discussions where Trump sought to obstruct justice.  But on that latter point, the article notes that Trump would be protected by both attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.  The article further states that Trump's lawyers did not object when asked for McGahn's testimony.

Hmmm.....

Friday, August 17, 2018

Good question

Zero Hedge: "Wall Street Journal Implores "What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?"

Related - Minuteman: "The timing and funding of the Steele dossier is not controversial. How can the Times be mis-reporting this at this late date?"  It's the Times, that's how.

She must be fun at parties

Look up "overwrought" in the dictionary:
The Trump presidency is a time of too many horrors — everything is a distraction from everything else, because it all matters. To some extent we can rely on the division of labor. There’s a reason I didn’t spend the last week writing about deportations and asylum-seekers; there are immigration lawyers and reporters for that. But that also means holding onto a level of humility about the vastness of what we don’t have time to see in full.
Can America survive after wandering through the smoky, apocalyptic landscape that Trump has left behind with his tax cuts and withdrawal from the Paris Accords?  We must soldier on.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Respect for Aretha

Chicago Tribune: "Aretha Franklin: America’s voice."

I saw Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, around 1991.  My then-girlfriend (now wife) and I joined the 20% white audience that night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Harassment, plain and simple

The Supreme Court already ruled that this guy can't be forced to bake a cake.  Why is the Colorado Civil Rights Commission all up in his grill, er, oven again?  Phillips is counter-suing for $100,000.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hilarious article from the NY Times

I knew I was going to laugh and laugh when I saw this headline: "Trump’s Sabotage of Obamacare Is Illegal - A president doesn’t have the right to dispense with laws he dislikes."  He doesn't?!?  Tell us all about it, law professors:
But Mr. Trump isn’t a king; he doesn’t have the power to dispense with laws he dislikes. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes the requirement, set forth in Article II, that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
What a unique position to be taken on the issue of Obamacare:

  • The Labor Department announced in February 2013 that it was delaying for a year the part of the law that limits how much people have to spend on their own insurance. This may have been sensible, but changing a law requires actual legislation.
  • Later that year, the administration announced via blogpost on the eve of the July 4 holiday that it was delaying the requirement that employers of at least 50 people provide complying insurance or pay a fine. This time it cited statutory authority, but the cited provisions allow the delay of reporting requirements, not the mandate itself.
  • The famous pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” backfired when insurers started cancelling millions of plans that didn’t comply with Obamacare. So Obama called a press conference to proclaim that people could continue buying non-complying plans for another year—despite the ACA’s language to the contrary. He then refused to consider a House-passed bill that would’ve made this action legal.
  • A little-known part of Obamacare requires congressional staff to get insurance from health exchanges, rather than a taxpayer-funded program. Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management to interpret the law to maintain the generous benefits.
  • Obamacare grants tax credits to people whose employers don’t provide coverage if they buy a plan “through an Exchange established by the State”—and then fines employers for each employee receiving such a subsidy. No tax credits are authorized for residents of states where the exchanges are established by the federal government, as an incentive for states to create exchanges themselves. Because so few (16) states did, however, the IRS issued a rule allowing subsidies (and fines) for plans coming from “a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and federally-facilitated Exchange.” Yes, we can also blame the Supreme Court for upholding this.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services granted more than 2,000 waivers to employers seeking relief from Obamacare’s regulations. Nearly 20 percent of them went to gourmet restaurants and other businesses in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. Nevada, home to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, got a blanket waiver, while GOP-controlled states like Indiana and Louisiana were denied. Beyond political favoritism, such dispensations violate a host of constitutional and administrative law provisions like equal protection and the “intelligible principle” needed for congressional delegation of authority to cabinet agencies.
  • HHS also continues paying insurance companies to compensate them for losses caused by Obamacare’s ignorance of basic economics. Alas, Congress never appropriated these funds, so the House of Representatives is suing the administration and won in the district court. Now on appeal, House v. Burwell is stayed until the D.C. Circuit hears from the incoming Trump administration.

Indeed, on this last point, here's how law professors Bagley and Gluck characterize Trump's decision to stop payments on a program which was not funded by Congress:
To sow chaos in the insurance markets, Mr. Trump toyed for nine months with the idea of eliminating a crucial funding stream for Obamacare known as cost-sharing payments. After he cut off those funds, he boasted that Obamacare was “being dismantled.”
Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that those payments were not allocated by Congress and were therefore illegal.  Is it the NY Times' position that Trump should ignore a federal judge?  Or is that only the case when it comes to travel bans?

The rest of the article is just whining because Trump has changed insurance rules that were perfectly within his power because Obamacare endowed wide latitude to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  That was a great plan as long as Hillary was a shoo-in.