Monday, June 18, 2018

The clean energy two-step

MassLive: "Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill."  "The idealistic goal would be reached by increasing the state's renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent every year, instead of the current 1 percent."

It sure worked out for Germany.  Hit and Run: "Germany Flops on Climate Change Goals - Germany won't be able to meet the goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent before 2020. But the attempt caused residential energy prices to double."

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Meathead gets one right

The Hill: "Rob Reiner denounces Robert De Niro, celebrities for anti-Trump remarks."  "You’re helping Trump by saying ‘F--- Trump,’ because he can say 'look at these people, these elitists,' ” Reiner told “Rising” co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Free speech win

Legal Insurrection: "SCOTUS: Minnesota can’t tread on voters’ t-shirts through “political” apparel ban at polling places."

This 7-2 ruling does not allow for campaigning but does permit your "Don't Tread On Me" T-shirt.  This case was first heard back in February and had some humorous exchanges.

Server? What illegal email server?

Federalist: "IG Report Shows Obama Lied When He Said He Knew Nothing About Hillary’s Secret E-mail Scheme."
In 2015, President Obama told America he only learned that his secretary of state Hillary Clinton was illegally using a private email server to conduct public business after The New York Times published a story saying so. Today’s release of a Department of Justice inspector general report shows that was a lie.
Bottom of page 89, y'all.

Extra - Twitchy: "1. Hillary was unbelievably reckless. 2. Scrubbing the reference to Obama was an enormously consequential change."

Emails? What emails? Oh, those emails.

Hot Air: "Did The FBI’s Slow Walk Of The Weiner Laptop Investigation Cost Clinton The Election?"

McCabe and Strzok sat on them for three weeks and then Comey felt compelled to reveal the renewed investigation right before the election.  But what might have been:
Comey told the OIG that, had he known about the laptop in the beginning of October and thought the email review could have been completed before the election, it may have affected his decision to notify Congress.
Something got buried and it was Hillary.

Monday, June 11, 2018

It's official: the Russian collusion story is a dud

How do I know this?  Vox's Matthew Yglesias has a story called: "There’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion."  These are actual quotes to support his thesis:
I would not necessarily call any of this “evidence” of collusion, but it’s certainly grounds for suspicion.
Oh.
That Trumpworld was clearly open to both political collusion and financial dealmaking with the Russian government doesn’t demonstrate that either actually occurred. But it’s unquestionably evidence in favor of the possibility. 
This one made me laugh.  Yes, it's definitely maybe that there's unquestionable evidence of a possibility.  It's right in front of your eyes, America!

Yglesias is so often wrong he invites articles like "Does Matthew Yglesias Ever Tire Of Being Embarrassingly Wrong About Everything?" So if he says that Russian collusion is a thing, you can rest assured it is not.

Thanks, Bobby D

American Conservative: "A Tale of Two Tonys" looks at the Tony Awards and Anthony Bourdain:
I can’t imagine that many Trump voters were watching the Tony Awards last night, so they wouldn’t have seen that virtue-signaling display. But it will enjoy a long life on social media, where it will do Donald Trump a lot of good with the masses, because it will solidify their entirely accurate belief that the cultural elites hate them. De Niro and the standing-ovation-giving audience are so vain that they don’t recognize this.
DeNiro was a profile in courage, delivering his crude attack against Trump to a Broadway crowd in the heart of New York City.  It was like Daniel in the lion's den.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The second half of the NBA championship

Social insecurity

Some cheery analysis from Zero Hedge on Social Security's pending insolvency:
The entire social support framework faces an inevitable conclusion where no amount of wishful thinking will change that outcome. The ONLY question is whether our elected leaders will start making the changes necessary sooner, while they can be done by choice, or later, when they are forced upon us.
Yeah, it's going to be the latter.

"My fight is over."

Sad news: "Fox News star Charles Krauthammer reveals he has weeks to live in heartbreaking letter."

I saw him at the University of Massachusetts in April 2015 where he talked about the "Consequences of American Retreat."  Great guy.  He'll be missed.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Number one, baby

WSJ: "Americans’ Wealth Surpasses $100 Trillion."


No dice

Andrew McCarthy: "Andrew McCabe Seeks Immunity for . . . What?" "Once McCabe realizes the Judiciary Committee will not give him immunity or otherwise interfere with the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute him, he is apt to become a much more forthcoming witness."

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Who could have seen this coming?

Oh, right, everybody.  Hot Air: "Shocker: McDonald’s Will Have Self-Order Kiosks In All Stores By 2020." 

Check it out: Nancy Pelosi lied

I know, I was as shocked as you.  Today the Trustees for Medicare and Social Security said the trust funds were being depleted and we should do something.  Nancy Pelosi sprang into action to scare Grandma:
Responding to the new report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi faulted to the GOP tax bill’s impact on declining tax revenues.

“The GOP tax scam’s massive, unpaid-for giveaways to the wealthiest 1 percent and big corporations have gravely undermined the future of Medicare and Social Security, and now Republicans want America’s seniors to pay the bill,” she said in a statement.
Of course, Medicare and Social Security are paid out of FICA taxes which were not affected by the recent tax reform plan.  Demagoguing entitlements is all Nancy has because she certainly has never advanced a plan to fix the problem despite yearly warnings from the Trustees.

The secret is out

Ace: "Chris Matthews Rips Democrats as "A Party of Attitude and Elitism"."

Monday, June 04, 2018

Russians!

In honor of both the Stanley Cup playoffs and the end of "The Americans":

Saturday, June 02, 2018

There go those Republicans again

Hot Air: "Inspector General’s Report Isn’t Out Yet, But The Washington Post Is Already Worried Republicans Will Seize On It."
This “Republicans seize” trope is what you get when 90% of the reporters in the national media are Democrats. As long as that systemic problem remains, we’ll keep seeing bad news for Democrats repackaged as attacks by Republicans.
Ignore that news harmful to Democrats; let's focus on the GOP highlighting it for political gain, darn them.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

It was also facile and far-fetched

New Yorker: "The finale of 'The Americans' was elegant, potent and unforgettable."

Let's scroll down the garage scene:
A fair amount happened before that Russian denouement, although the crucial sequence began twenty-two minutes in, with a hilariously arch greeting between old friends. “Hey!” the F.B.I. agent Stan Beeman says, cheerfully, to his neighbors, Philip and Elizabeth and their daughter Paige, as they enter a parking garage, preparing to flee the country. “Hi, Paige!” “What . . . what are you doing here?” sputters Philip to Stan, as if they’d all conveniently bumped into one another running errands. Stan holds one finger up and says, calmly, “That’s a great question.”

It was the last moment that Stan would be in control, during a clash of perspectives that should have, by all narrative logic, led straight to prison or, if not, to a shootout, a car chase, or something worse. Instead, ten minutes later, the Jennings were coolly driving away to freedom, as Stan stood by silently, as if paralyzed, watching them go. How did they pull that off?
How indeed?  We're supposed to forget that Philip and Elizabeth killed dozens of people including co-workers and other people close to Stan.  But Philip did some fancy talking and suddenly the Jennings are on the road to Canada.  It just rang false to me. 

When Philip said "we had a job to do" Stan should have responded "and so do I."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Joe and Joel have had this ending in mind for a long time"

Hmmmmmm.  Series finale of "The Americans" is tonight.  For the record, my guess for the final song is "Lawyers in Love" by Jackson Browne.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Democrats are upset about the state of affairs

Hit and Run: "Democratic Senators Who Voted Against Iran Deal Blame Collapse of Iran Deal for High Gas Prices - Having two senators who opposed the Iran deal show up to denounce Trump for pulling out of the Iran deal was only the beginning of the hypocrisy exhibition."

ICYMI, they're also very upset about Trump's immigration policies...in 2014.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I got that reference - NASCAR edition

Near the start of tonight's Coca-Cola 600, announcer Mike Joy commented on the forward progress of racer Erik Jones by exclaiming: "Along came Jones!"  I'm almost positive that there's only a half-dozen fans in NASCAR nation who got that reference to an old Coasters song:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

RIP Alan Bean

Quartz: "Now just four men who walked on the moon are still alive."

Fauxcahontas update

Hot Air (linking CNN): "Elizabeth Warren Quietly Working To Defang Trump’s “Pocahontas” Slur As 2020 Looms."

Pocahontas "slur"?  Let me tell you: I frequent the message boards for the biggest paper in Western Massachusetts and Warren is not popular.  The Indian thing is the least of her problems.  Most she's seen as a do-nothing in Congress who never passes up a chance to pander to some cause.  Like most Republicans, I'm praying she runs for President.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

That is one dedicated civil servant

Hit and Run: "Firefighter Earned $300K in Overtime by Working More Hours Than Actually Exist = Donn Thompson was paid for more than 9,200 hours of work last year. But there are only 8,760 hours in a year."
To earn that much in overtime pay, Thompson would have had to work more hours than actually exist in a single year. Either the highly paid firefighter found a way to stretch the space-time continuum or something fishy is going on.
As the article points out, in 2017 the Los Angeles Fire Department had over 500 employees pulling in over $100,000 in overtime pay.

Letterman in twilight

Decider: "David Letterman’s Netflix Show Is An Endless, Awkward Parade Of Liberal Guilt."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Feed the beast

I often complain about the pitiless search for more revenue in Massachusetts.  In 1989, then-governor Michael Dukakis passed a "temporary" tax increase that has yet to reset to the original rate.  A couple years ago, Beacon Hill legalized gambling to bring in some sweet (consensual) taxation and we're waiting for the pot shops to blaze up.

But governments need money, money, money.  Hit and Run: "St. Louis Town Agrees to Stop Bankrolling Itself by Fining Its Residents into the Poorhouse."
A small St. Louis suburb has agreed to stop trying bankroll its government with a vicious regime of petty fines so excessive that the town has cited more than a third of its population.
...
Pagedale was one of those communities. In the course of a single year, it handed out 2,000 code enforcement citations—almost twice the number of actual households in the city. It tossed out tickets like confetti for a host of really absurd codes, which banned everything from mismatched curtains to holes in window screens to having your pants below your waist to having a barbecue grill or basketball hoop in your front yard to walking on the left side of a crosswalk.

The town's budget depended heavily on these fines. In some years, their proceeds made up a quarter of the city's revenue, according to the Institute for Justice. And the code citations got worse once the state cracked down to stop cities from trying to rake in money from traffic tickets. Eventually, 39 percent of the city's adult population had been fined for some sort of housing violation.
Somebody's going to have to pay for all those pensions.

Meh, we'll get around to it

Fox News: "IG report on Clinton case expected to hit FBI leaders for sitting on emails in 2016."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I'm a problem solver

Problem: Seattle has a lot of homeless people.

Solution: "New Starbucks policy: No purchase needed to sit in cafes."  You're welcome.

Justice is not-so-blind

Great article from Andrew McCarthy about how the Justice Department treated Hillary vs. Trump: "In Politicized Justice, Desperate Times Call for Disparate Measures."

Extreme abridgment: Hillary's email crimes clearly violated the Espionage Act but "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges per mind-reader James Comey.  Meanwhile: "The Logan Act is patently unconstitutional, but no court has had the opportunity to invalidate it because, to borrow a phrase, no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Crossfire hurricane

Federalist: "10 Key Takeaways From The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense Of FBI Spying On Trump Campaign - It's reasonable to assume that much of the new information in the New York Times report relates to leakers' fears about information that will be coming out in the inspector general report."

The rumors are starting: "Report: IG Has Found Possible Violations Of Law In FBI/DOJ Handling Of Clinton Investigation." 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Good luck with that strategy

As Obamacare heads into the death spiral we all predicted a long, long time ago, it looks like the Democrats have congealed around a strategy: this fatally-flawed legislation is all the fault of the Republicans.  Politico: "Democrats run on GOP health care 'sabotage' - Candidates have a unified message blaming Republicans for ‘sabotaging’ the health law."

Here's the totality of the "sabotage":
They will blame the next round of premium spikes on the GOP because Republicans repealed the individual mandate, eliminated a low-income subsidy, and let people enroll in health plans that don’t have the full range of ACA benefits and patient protections.
First of all, the low-income subsidy was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, so this argument is that Trump adhered to the law and ceased illegal funding.

Second, when it comes to the individual mandate, the "young invincibles" were already choosing to pay the tax penalty over expensive coverage.  Repealing the individual mandate only recognized the fact that the young'uns couldn't be coerced into buying something that was a terrible deal

The final sabotage is giving Americans the freedom to purchase insurance plans that align with their individual needs instead of ones larded up with options they don't want.

So there you have it: Republicans gave you the freedom to purchase health insurance options you want - or none at all - and ended illegal subsidies.  Good luck running on ignoring the law and forcing Americans to buy something they don't want.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Gimme some money

Fox News: "Seattle approves ‘head tax’ on large businesses despite Amazon’s opposition."

Can't wait to see how this all plays out: "In the days ahead of the vote, Amazon said it had halted planning on a new 17-story office tower pending the city council’s decision. The Seattle-based e-commerce company employs more than 40,000 workers in Seattle, with plans for further expansion."

Extra - Twitchy: "Seattle is about to get a lesson in economic incentives." 

Liars and their lying transcripts

Ace: "Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey's Congressional Testimony?"

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Shut up and die in New Hampshire

Good gravy, this video is an absolute s--- show.  Turtleboy: "Top 10 Wokest UNH SJWs Who Showed Up To Yell At Socially Liberal Gay Jew Dave Rubin For Being Racist, Transphobic, And Causing Violence."

Dave Rubin of Turning Point USA brought his free speech message to the University of Massachusetts and faced a respectful and engaged audience.  Then he went to the University of New Hampshire and, well, this happened:



Here's Turtleboy:
Anyway, like I said, these people are the reason Trump will win again. It’s a foregone conclusion at this point. As a political moderate I’d like to see a good race. But the fact of the matter is that videos like this and Trigglypuff are widely seen and distributed by millions of people. They see what college campuses have become, and they want to vote for whoever these people don’t want you to vote for. 
These people are trapped in a collective form of insanity.  All Rubin is trying to say is that hate speech exists, and it sucks, but there's nothing the government can do about it.  It just never occurs to them (well, maybe that rambling girl got it) that subjective laws designed to constrain speech you don't like can be turned around to constrain speech you do.

Yeah, probably

Politico: "Hold the Nobel Prize: Kim Is Setting a Trap for Trump - It’s far too early to get excited about the possible outbreak of peace on the Korean Peninsula."

OTOH, we've tried pretty much the same policy for 50 years.  Maybe Trump's chaotic style is the key to a new approach in Korea.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Interpretations du jour

Hot Air: "Pew: Majority Now Says SCOTUS Should Base Rulings On What Constitution Means “In Current Times,” Not Originally."

Sigh.  I just finished reading "Scalia Speaks" which is a collection of speeches by former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  To say the man was obsessed with originalism would not be a stretch: it appears in almost every commencement address and speech he gave.  The general idea is that once you stray from the original text of the Constitution and start guessing intent then anything goes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Spin-off idea for "The Americans"

After the Jennings escape the FBI, a demoted Stan teams up with a new partner and hilarity ensues as they solve crimes.  It's "Stan and Mail Robot!"


Either way, you have no choice

All that is not forbidden will be made mandatory.  Hit and Run: "California Regulators Want to Add $10,500 to the Price of a New Home With a Solar Panel Mandate - But they swear the new regulations will actually save homeowners money."

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

One of us

Hot Air: "Samantha Bee: Hey, I’m Really Sorry For Portraying Eric Schneiderman As A Superhero."

City Journal: "Eric Schneiderman’s Inevitable Fall - The New York attorney general’s dark-side personal life was an open secret in Democratic Party circles."

Samantha Bee lives in New York City and fancies herself as a whip-smart comedian or something, but not so smart to see through the AG's #MeToo hypocrisy. 

Trump nixes the Iran deal

Bret Stephens makes a lot of good points here: "A Courageous Trump Call on a Lousy Iran Deal."  It starts with the fact that this was not a treaty with any binding legal force and (at the time) it was widely unpopular with Americans:
The Obama administration refused to submit the deal to Congress as a treaty, knowing it would never get two-thirds of the Senate to go along. Just 21 percent of Americans approved of the deal at the time it went through, against 49 percent who did not, according to a Pew poll. The agreement “passed” on the strength of a 42-vote Democratic filibuster, against bipartisan, majority opposition.
But Obama and Horseface Kerry wanted their foreign policy "victory" so they were ready to ship pallets of cash to Tehran so that Iran could continue to sponsor terrorism, launch ballistic missiles, and wait out the clock to start up their nuclear program:
The goal is to put Iran’s rulers to a fundamental choice. They can opt to have a functioning economy, free of sanctions and open to investment, at the price of permanently, verifiably and irreversibly forgoing a nuclear option and abandoning their support for terrorists. Or they can pursue their nuclear ambitions at the cost of economic ruin and possible war. But they are no longer entitled to Barack Obama’s sweetheart deal of getting sanctions lifted first, retaining their nuclear options for later, and sponsoring terrorism throughout.
Good.

Flashback: Remember this?  "DOJ objected to $400 million payment to Iran, was overruled by State Department."  Because it was an obvious ransom payment. 

Monday, May 07, 2018

Poison

Federalist: "5 Reasons The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Hate-Mongering Scam - The Southern Poverty Law Center is not a legitimate arbiter of public discourse. It poisons public discourse for profit."

The dream scenario

NY Post: "Rosie O’Donnell’s campaign donations to Dems went over legal limit."
The liberal comedian has regularly broken Federal Election Commission rules limiting the total any one person can give to an individual candidate at $2,700 per election. The limit applies separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.
It would be delicious, condign punishment for Rosie if she was convicted of these crimes...and then received a Presidential pardon.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Thursday, May 03, 2018

For a few dollars more

I think it was P.J. O'Rourke who said that left-wing thinking can be summed up with "Gimme a dollar."  Or, if you're Amazon in Seattle, "take one more hit for the team."

Amazon's response: nah, we're good.  Hot Air: "Seattle Council Member Accuses Amazon Of “Blackmail” Over Class-Warfare Tax Proposal."  Amazon was going to be hit with yet another tax to pay for Seattle's homeless problem and, in response, the company decided maybe they were going to put a halt on a new building and the associated 7,000 jobs.  This statement is amazing:
“If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation. But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street.”
It's never enough.

Make way for the professionals

The Hill: "NBC corrects Cohen story, removes details on wiretapping."

Rudy called it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Grab-ass dies in darkness

Golly, why aren't we allowed to know all the sordid details over at the New York Times?  Vanity Fair: "The paper of record talks the talk on sexual misconduct—but in yet another case, it doesn’t fully walk the walk."
At the same time, the announcement also left Times journalists grappling with the complexity of being a news organization at the forefront of reporting on sexual misconduct, but then not being able to be fully transparent about such matters when they hit close to home.
As somebody noted: "You're not going to like the new rules."  Tom Brokaw agrees.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dispatches from the Nerd Prom

I turned on "Face the Nation" this morning and everybody on the panel voiced regret and a little disgust at the previous night's White House Correspondents' Dinner.  Whoa - what happened?  Well, it sounds like the comic relief did just about everything in her power to solidify people's mistrust and perceptions of bias in the national media.

Politico put it this way: "Journalists distance themselves from Correspondents’ Dinner after Wolf routine" and Mediaite noted that it's pretty much OK to make fun of a woman's appearance if she's the wrong kind of woman.
"That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter, a feeling many of her colleagues echoed. 
It was a big laugh for the Coastal Elite, not so much for journalists working in Flyover Country:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

How do you solve a problem like Korea?

Twitter feed on Imgur of "couple of ideas why North Korea is ready for negotiations."

There's about a 1% chance of anything meaningful coming out of these talks.  But who knows?

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Southern Poverty shakedown

Tablet: "The Southern Poverty Law Center: From Klan Hunters to Multimillion-dollar Smear Machine" - "By bizarrely going after Sam Harris, Majid Nawaaz, and others, the once venerable organization has abandoned its core mission, focusing instead on dirty partisan politics."

Harper's magazine (!) had their number a long time ago:
I also agreed to the invitation because, much like CIS, I feel that the Law Center is essentially a fraud and that it has a habit of casually labeling organizations as “hate groups.” (Which doesn’t mean that some of the groups it criticizes aren’t reprehensible.) In doing so, the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.
That pile is nearing half-a-billion dollars, mostly to help the SPLC alone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crazy in Turkey

WashPost: "Turkey is succumbing to collective insanity."
Our nation’s self-lobotomy starts at schools and extends through state institutions into every corner of society. Roughly 70,000 students are in jail in Turkey, but the figure doesn’t include those that have been kicked out of schools over the past few years on – what else? – terrorism charges. Then there are the academics on trial for signing a peace declaration, professors who have fled abroad, teachers who are unemployed.
A couple weeks back, AskReddit had a question of "What conspiracy theory do you 100% believe?" and the one I thought striking was that President Tayyip Erdogan staged the 2016 "coup" to consolidate power. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

President Snow sets the 12 districts

Unintentionally funny social planning from Bernie Sanders: "Weirdly, the plan also includes dividing the country into 12 separate "districts" within the United States, each with a specialized area of industry, that would develop service projects and major infrastructure job plans, which they would then forward to the Department of Labor for approval."

Katniss was unavailable for comment.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

CNN: Democrats lawsuit "100% stunt" to fundraise



I can't believe they believe this is a good idea.  Wikileaks is all but begging for a fight.

Extra - Michael Goodwin: "The trashy suit is their way of trying to keep impeachment and Russia, Russia, Russia alive for the midterms in case Mueller’s probe comes up empty."

Running a-fowl of the law

Some German news site: "Switzerland: Duck snapped twice for speeding in 30km zone - A duck or pair of ducks have been caught by the same speed camera flying at more than 20 kilometers per hour over the limit. The feathered felons are still at large."

Friday, April 20, 2018

Against the gun narrative

Hit and Run: "CDC, in Surveys It Never Bothered Making Public, Provides More Evidence that Plenty of Americans Innocently Defend Themselves with Guns - CDC surveys in the 1990s, never publicly reported, indicate nearly 2.5 million defensive uses of guns a year. That matches the results of Gary Kleck's controversial surveys, and it indicates more defensive than offensive uses of guns."

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The unquestionable, glaring, unequivocal problem we sorta gotta figure out

I heard this story this morning on NPR and here's the moment I rolled my eyes: "Starbucks Stores To Close For An Afternoon Of Racial-Bias Education."  An NAACP representative was asked about the kind of training that would be offered to Starbucks employees:
KING (NPR): But let me ask you about the training 'cause I imagine people are very curious. You've got a whole tens of thousands of Starbucks employees who will be going through this training. Give us some specifics. What will they be learning?

IFILL (NCAAP): Yeah. Unfortunately, it's very early.

KING: OK.

IFILL: I can't give you, and wouldn't at this point, give you the specifics because I think one of the things that I think is really important is for us to make sure that we have all of the information we need to provide the kind of advice that we can.
Hmmm...I wonder what additional details they need to unveil to complete the training packets.  For example, can a business that depends on paying customers kick out people who are essentially loitering?  These are the questions that need answers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A legendary American

Fox News: "Barbara Bush, former first lady, dead at 92."

As you'll no doubt hear many times, the only woman to marry and give birth to a President since Abigail Adams.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rut-roh

Andrew McCarthy of the National Review has written long and convincing articles about there's virtually no evidence of Russian collusion or obstruction of justice in the Trump campaign.  This latest foray into hush-money payments is another story.

The shoo-in

The Atlantic: "James Comey Is No Hero."  Why did Comey decide to re-open the Hillary email investigation only a few days before the election?
Why did Comey make that decision? His book, A Higher Loyalty, will be released on Tuesday. But accounts of its contents and excerpts published by outlets that have obtained copies of the book make clear that he concedes that he believed Clinton was going to win. “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president,” Comey wrote, “my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”

This is an astonishing admission. Justice Department guidelines bar officials from making important disclosures related to investigations close to elections to avoid influencing them. Comey took it upon himself to decide that, based on his concern that keeping the news confidential could call the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency into question, he had to announce that the investigation was being restarted. But that was not his decision to make; the role of the FBI is to investigate crimes, it is not to use its authority to protect or harm the legitimacy of a given politician. 
So Comey made the decision because Hillary was going to win anyway.  This was exactly the same rationale the Obama administration gave (after the election) for failing to address Russian interference:
The Obama administration didn’t respond more forcefully to Russian hacking before the presidential election because they didn’t want to appear to be interfering in the election and they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and a potential cyber war with Russia wasn’t worth it, multiple high-level government officials told NBC News.

"They thought she was going to win, so they were willing to kick the can down the road," said one U.S official familiar with the level of Russian hacking.
This is how you got Trump.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Michael Flynn: "Remind me again why I'm indicted"

Fox News: "DOJ IG releases explosive report that led to firing of ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe."

He lied to the FBI under oath.  End of story.

Billy Mitchell hammered like a rolling barrel

If you've ever seen the documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters", you know about the epic battle between science teacher Steve Wiebe and video-game guy Billy Mitchell to claim the top score on Donkey Kong.  And if you pay attention, you would have that feeling that Mitchell is a jerk and possibly a liar.

Well, just this past week, there was some justice in the world: "Famed gamer stripped of ‘Donkey Kong’ records over cheating."

The genesis of Mitchell's downfall had to be this video posted on YouTube two months ago.  This guy did the legwork to expose Mitchell as a jerk and a liar.  Good for you, Apollo Legend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

If you'll excuse me, I have some candy to crush

Hot Air: "Mulvaney To Congress: Thanks To You, I Don’t Have To Answer Any Of Your Questions — Ever."

That's the way you wanted it, Elizabeth Warren.  Ace:
Best part: Elizabeth Warren demands answers, and Mulvaney tells her to f--- off -- he invites her to experience some of the same frustration he felt when trying to get answers from a rogue agency entirely insulated from oversight by the people's representatives.
That some righteous petard-hoisting there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Paul Ryan exits

A good review of his career in Congress at NPR: "'No Regrets': House Speaker Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-Election."

There's so many things I could say about Paul Ryan but foremost is this: like me, he believed that entitlements need to be reformed since we can't keep piling on to our mountain of national debt.  My guess is that the recently-passed budget is where the conservative Ryan threw in the towel.  There will never be reform, we'll just keep spinning up the spending and the debt until the merry-go-round breaks down.

I'd be heading home to spend time with my indebted kids, too.

Extra - From Instapundit, who needs this?

More - The Corner: "Ryan’s great insight, which he preached at every opportunity, was that the biggest fiscal threat to the country — and the biggest contributor to runaway debt — was entitlement spending, which grows on autopilot and is not constrained by the availability of money to pay for it, either in terms of government revenue or the private-sector economic growth that produces government revenue. Our current trajectory of entitlement spending is unsustainable, and no amount of fixes to anything else government does (including taxes) is going to solve that."

Monday, April 09, 2018

Seems like kind of a big deal

Hot Air: "Oh Boy: Feds Raid Michael Cohen’s Office, Seize Material Related To Payments To Stormy Daniels."  Long review with updates.

The main upshot I gathered from the analysis is that it's highly unusual for the Justice Department to go after a lawyer unless there's significant evidence of covering up a crime.  To go after the President's lawyer, well, that's another chapter in this unprecedented Presidency.

Extra - Popehat: "This is a big deal."  Once again, the intrusive measures indicate they have something and were afraid Cohen was going to hide evidence.  Hmmmm.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Funny coincidence

I pulled into the car wash this morning just as "Wash Away" came on my CD player:

Friday, April 06, 2018

Here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts

Hit and Run: "Second Amendment Does Not Apply to 'Assault Weapons,' Says U.S. District Judge" - His obsession with Justice Scalia's aside in Heller about "weapons...most useful in military service" ignores Scalia writing of weapons "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes."

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Winding down?

Washington Post: "Mueller told Trump’s attorneys the president remains under investigation but is not currently a criminal target."  "Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III informed President Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions."

Friday, March 30, 2018

Holland pays its debt

I stumbled across this YouTube video about how a water authority in the Netherlands sold a perpetual bond, one with no maturity date, 367 years ago.  The bond has since been acquired by Yale University and it collects about 11 Euros per year interest payment.  There's something noble about honoring a financial agreement even though the costs of administering the debt outstrip the debt itself.  Hey, a deal's a deal.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Oh, no kidding? First time I've heard of this

Washington Post: "A debt crisis is on the horizon."  "For years, economists have warned of major increases in future public debt burdens. That future is on our doorstep. From this point forward, even if economic growth continues uninterrupted, current tax and spending patterns imply that annual deficits will steadily increase, approaching the $1 trillion mark in two years and steadily rising thereafter as far as the eye can see."

Sounds like a problem for the next generation.  Now gimme my check!

Related: OC Register: "How pensions are clobbering small California cities like Santa Cruz."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

It's come to this

Democrats are now suing over the census.  The Hill: "Blue states sue Trump over census citizenship question."
Democratic attorneys general in several states said Tuesday they would bring legal action to stop the Trump administration from adding a question on citizenship to the next U.S. census, a question they said would lead to serious undercounts that could reverberate for years to come.
This was a question that appeared on the census until 1950, so its legality is not really in dispute.  Administration of the census is entirely the responsibility of the Executive Branch, administered through the Commerce Department.  So basically the Democrats' Constitutional objection to the new question is the legal argument of "That's no fair!"

Just don't answer the question.  It's not a deposition.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Here in the Happy Valley

It's been a while since I've written about the liberal nutjobs here in the Five College system.  Usually it's Hampshire College.  Had Enough Therapy?: "The Red Guards take over Mount Holyoke College." 

What happened to the great deals?

The Hill: "Coulter slams Trump: We thought we were getting a negotiator."

What's worse than this deficit-exploding spend-a-thon is that Trump didn't even seem willing to put up much of a fight.  In the end, he decided he didn't want to take heat for a government shutdown.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dear Classic Rock radio station

If you have a promo that plays the opening notes to "Limelight" then - dammit - play "Limelight" and not "Under Pressure" for the umpteenth time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Correction of the day

Oh, Reason Online, you're better than this.  "Congress Is Still Ignoring Its Spending Problem as Deadline Looms for $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill."
CORRECTION: This post erroneously described the omnibus bill as spending $1.3 billion. It will spend $1.3 trillion.
Cha-ching!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Leakers at the FBI

The Hill: "McCabe just made life tough for Comey and the special counsel."  "The Justice Department’s inspector general clearly saw this “interaction” as problematic in seeking answers from McCabe. If the inspector general considered this to be a leak to the media, any approval by Comey would be highly significant. Comey already faces serious questions over his use of a Columbia University Law School professor to leak information to the media following his own termination as director."

Friday, March 16, 2018

Canary in the NASCAR coalmine

Uh-oh.  SB Nation: "Jimmie Johnson losing Lowe’s is another warning for NASCAR."
The news cannot be deemed shocking. In fact, Lowe’s announcing it would cease sponsoring Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports past this season was a move many within the NASCAR industry had foresaw coming for some time.

But while anticipated, it doesn’t blunt the significance any. Instead, it offers another dire reminder about the state of NASCAR in 2018 amidst continually slumping television ratings, flat attendance, and an economic climate where teams are saddled with exorbitant costs but have fewer dollars coming in.
And then I noticed this little factoid on the Jayski Silly Season site for this Sunday's race:
Since only 37 cars are entered [for 40 spots], all drivers will make the race.
I saw two races at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and had a great time.  At the time, I paid for tickets in advance (without knowing the weather forecast) and once I took a tour bus so you could - ahem - "recover" before you got home.  But there aren't enough fans in Western Massachusetts to justify the charter anymore and, well, it's so much easier to avoid the awful traffic and stay home, especially when there's a possibility of a rain delay.

Sorry, NASCAR, but I feel you're slipping back into a regional demographic.

Wheat = Kansas. Corn = Nebraska.

Powerline: "Corn? Wheat? It's all the same to the New Yorker!"  FYI to the New Yorker: there's a NASCAR race set in Kansas, too.

That smell

Federalist: "San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism - The astounding level of mismanagement and general deterioration of public decency will continue to plague the city until reasonable measures are taken to combat vagrancy."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Talk about maximum ambivalence!

National Review: "Dems Prepare To Oust Pelosi if They Take Back the House."  "Top Democrats in the House believe Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) will likely be ousted from leadership in favor of a younger and more inclusive lawmaker should Democrats reclaim the lower chamber in 2018."

Waiting for the collusion fairy

Federalist: "Okay Adam Schiff, Show Us The Russia Collusion."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Winnie the Pooh banned in China

News.com.au: "China’s war on words: Anything — be it a phrase or picture — that can be used to insult Xi has been banned."
Popular children’s character Winnie the Pooh was one of the first victims.

“It would be funny if it weren’t so serious,” says Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) analyst Fergus Ryan. “Behind the gallows humour is growing despair.”

Chinese social media has long seen a similarity between the portly features of the honey-loving bear and Xi Jinping.
Also now banned on the Chinese internet: the word "disagree".

Took a little longer than I expected

Last fall I said: "Rex Tillerson won't make it out of October."

WashPost: "Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo."

No chaos!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Please stay in Fairfield County

City Journal: "Connecticut on the Brink"  (Hat tip: Maggie's Farm).
Connecticut could serve as Exhibit A for the risks involved in trying to run a progressive tax system in an era of high and rising “fixed” costs (entitlements, retirement-benefit costs, and debt service). With each new income-tax hike, the state budget has become more dependent on a smaller number of extremely high earners. In 2015, Connecticut income-tax filers reporting over $1 million in earnings represented less than 1 percent of all filers—but 30 percent of total taxes owed. According to the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, revenue growth in FY15 was “relatively flat . . . in large part” because the top 50 taxpayers earned $3 billion less than they did the year before.
It's crazy how dependent Connecticut is on a handful of hedge fund managers in Fairfield County.  Connecticut can't raise corporate taxes again or risk a repeat of the General Electric fiasco and the effects of that last tax hike are still being felt: "MassMutual Will Close Enfield Offices, Sending 1,500 to Massachusetts, 'The Best Place for Us to Grow'"
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. said it will spend nearly $300 million in Massachusetts and add 1,500 jobs in Springfield over the next four years, expanding the workforce there to 4,500. It also will increase its presence in Boston, adding 1,000 jobs in the coming years. Massachusetts will give MassMutual a package of incentives worth $46 million.
Enfield is right on the Massachusetts border with Springfield just a couple miles up I-91.  MassMutual had just completed a renovation at the Enfield offices (I pass it on my commute) when they announced they were closing up shop.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Just getting started

Hit and Run has been all over this story for years: "California Bullet Train: Now 5 Years Later and $13 Billion More Expensive."

That's just the latest, um, "adjustment."  The boondoggle just gets more expensive from here on out.

The American Triggering

Good essay on how the Left does not want to hear your ideas: "The Psychology of Progressive Hostility." 
This is why conservatives don’t tend to express the same emotional hostility as the Left; a deeper grasp of the world’s complexity has the effect of encouraging intellectual humility. The conservative hears the progressive’s latest demands and says, “I can see how you might come to that conclusion, but I think you’ve overlooked the following…” In contrast, the progressive hears the conservative and thinks, “I have no idea why you would believe that. You’re probably a racist.”
I've mentioned this before but the local PBS station had a "dialogue" on race that was anything but.  The white audience members absolutely refused to offer a comment or question since they knew there was 100% probability of being called a racist.  Why bother?

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Sure, buddy

Fox News: "Amelia Earhart mystery solved? Scientist '99 percent' sure bones found belong to aviator."

Wow!  Can we see the bones?
The bones, which were subsequently lost, continue to be a source of debate.
All we need is to do is check to see if this study was backed by a questionable, self-serving organization to close the book on this investigation. 

Monday, March 05, 2018

As I predicted

Fox News: "ABC star Jimmy Kimmel's 'divisive,' politically charged Oscars were lowest on record."

Golly, I can't believe Americans didn't want to tune in to a lecture on identity politics.

Extra - Minuteman: "I guess the audience for an orgy of Hollywood self-congratulation isn't what it used to be."

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Still a nothingburger

Hot Air: "Condi Rice To Adam Schiff: ‘I Really Hope You Can Wrap It Up’."

In his appearance on "The View", Schiff repeated the same two charges of "collusion" that Jim Himes tried to sell on Fox News Sunday last week:
HIMES: Well, it depends on how you define collusion. When George Papadopoulos hears from somebody associated with the Russians that they're about to release a whole bunch of information and then they do, when Donald Trump Jr. invites Russians into his office in order to get dirt on the Clinton campaign. Chris, you tell me if that crosses your threshold for collusion. But that is hardly really (INAUDIBLE) innocent (ph).

WALLACE: Well, frankly, sir, as long as you asked, no, it doesn't. I mean -- I mean you can say that they were conversations, but that certainly doesn't indicate there was a conspiracy by the Trump campaign and the Russian -- and the Kremlin to -- to interfere.
This is where we are after a year: that drunk college student and the Veselnitskaya meeting?  Wrap it up already.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Tax the rich, ride the rollercoaster

Last year, the Atlantic had an article about the fiscal problems in Connecticut which included this tidbit:
In the last decade, Connecticut’s millionaires have accounted for as much as 30 percent of the state’s income-tax revenue. This is a problem, because the investment income of financiers is volatile. When hedge funds’ earnings falter, as they have in the last few years, Connecticut feels the pain. Indeed, the state’s income-tax revenue ... tracks capital gains ... so closely that Connecticut’s tax coffers are essentially a barometer of the health of financial markets.
The results (which can be seen in the embedded graph) are an extremely volatile revenue stream for the state.  Connecticut has to hope that the "rich get richer" because that's where the tax revenues are.

So if 30% of your state revenue is paid by millionaires, what do you get when your state has half of all taxes paid for by the top 1%?  You get the worst "quality of life" in the United States:
If the stock market shifts from gains to losses, Standard & Poor’s said, the budget could be negatively impacted in a major way because about half of the state’s revenue comes from the wealthiest 1% in California.
They're really hoping that the next Avengers movie can pay the bills in Sacramento.

Darn you, Betsy DeVos!

Federalist: "It’s Time To Disband DC’s Public School System Once And For All - Four decades of mental carnage inflicted on especially vulnerable children need to end now. It's time to disband Washington DC public schools before the system can destroy yet another generation."

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Minnesota nice at the polls

This story made me laugh.  Today the Supreme Court heard a case where Minnesota voting officials sought to exclude somebody from voting if they wore political messages on their clothing.  The case stems from a guy who was turned away for wearing a "Don't Tread On Me" T-shirt.  Here's the relevant exchange between Justice Samuel Alito and the lawyer representing the Minnesota elections official:
Justice Alito: How about a shirt with a rainbow flag? Would that be permitted? 
Mr. Rogan: A shirt with a rainbow flag? No, it would be—yes, it would be—it would be permitted unless there was—unless there was an issue on the ballot that—that related somehow to—to gay rights…. 
Justice Alito: Okay. How about an NRA shirt? 
Mr. Rogan: An NRA shirt? Today, in Minnesota, no, it would not, Your Honor. I think that that's a clear indication—and I think what you're getting at, Your Honor— 
Justice Alito: How about a shirt with the text of the Second Amendment? 
Mr. Rogan: Your Honor, I—I—I think that that could be viewed as political, that that—that would be—that would be — 
Justice Alito: How about the First Amendment? 
(Laughter.)
Heh.  Poor guy.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It gets worse

Andrew McCarthy has a long piece that disembowels the Schiff memo: "The Schiff Memo Harms Democrats More Than It Helps Them."

There's "Heavy Reliance on Steele dossier confirmed" and "Concealing the Dossier’s Clinton-Campaign Origins" but I did not know this part about the rules of the FISA court:
So . . . here’s the question: When Steele brought the FBI his unverified allegations that Page had met with Sechin and Divyekin, why didn’t the FBI call Page in for an interview rather than subject him to FISA surveillance? Lest you wonder, this is not an instance of me second-guessing the Bureau with an investigative plan I think would have been better. It is a requirement of FISA law.
When the FBI and DOJ apply for a FISA warrant, they must convince the court that surveillance — a highly intrusive tactic by which the government monitors all of an American citizen’s electronic communications — is necessary because the foreign-intelligence information the government seeks “cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques.” (See FISA, Section 1804(a)(6)(C) of Title 50, U.S. Code.) Normal investigative techniques include interviewing the subject. There are, of course, situations in which such alternative investigative techniques would inevitably fail — a mafia don or a jihadist is not likely to sit down with FBI agents and tell them everything he knows. But Carter Page was not only likely to do so, he had a documented history of providing information to the FBI.
Emphasis in original.  So why was Carter Page subjected to secret government surveillance through the FISA court?  As McCarthy notes, it seems likely that it was to gather up Page's present and past correspondence with the Trump campaign.  Since the Steele's Russian provocateurs had falsely claimed that Page had engaged in a collusion plot, this fake piece of evidence - paid for by the DNC - was used to spy on Trump by way of Page.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Amazing leadership

Mark Steyn: "A total failure of the State."  Title reference here

Andy McCabe? Never heard of him

The Democrats dropped their rebuttal memo last night to counter the Nunes memo.  The Nunes memo alleged that DNC-funded opposition research, in the form of the phony Steele dossier, was materially used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on an American citizen.

Nothing in this new memo refutes that.  First, there's the Democrat's allegation that, well, the FBI should have "speculated" that Steele's research was politically motivated since it was being funneled through Fusion GPS.  Here's Byron York:
In any case, the fact remains that the Republican memo said the FISA application did not "disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele's efforts." And it did not.
Hillary was wise to stack layers of lawyers and intermediates between herself and Steele but that doesn't change the flow of money from the DNC to Perkins to Fusion GPS to Steele to his anonymous Russian sources, the mystery men upon which this fake dossier depended.

Second, there's the argument that the FISA warrant would not have been issued had it not been for the DNC-funded dossier.  On this, the Democrats have amnesia about FBI deputy director Andy McCabe:
The Democratic memo ignored Republicans’ contention that former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe testified in December that the FISA warrant would never have been granted without the infamous dossier, which was commissioned by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). McCabe’s testimony was a key point in the Republican memo.
Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell claimed earlier this month that Republicans had mischaracterized McCabe’s testimony. However, Democrats declined to directly refute that claim in their own memo.
Must have slipped their minds.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Commercials I loathe

Grandpa: "And the wolf huffed and puffed!"
Grandkid: "Sort of how like you do, Grandpa?"
Grandpa proceeds to give extremely detailed explanation into the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the relative benefits of a certain drug.

A modern-day Gandhi

Hit and Run: "When Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Was Accused of Corruption, He Responded: 'Lions Don't Care About the Opinions of Sheep' - Israel reportedly hired his political supporters to do outreach for the police."

But good intentions

Legal Insurrection: "Paris Climate Accord fails to work as advertised - Over 26 years of international climate agreement failure continue."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Failure

Hit and Run: "Armed School Resource Officer Stayed Safely Outside School While Mass Killing Was Underway - Sheriff on Marjory Stoneman Douglas cop's failure to act: "Sick to my stomach."

Update: "The sheriff said that he suspended Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation, but the officer resigned and retired."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Get woke, go broke

Hot Air: "Evergreen State College Warns Of 18% Drop In Enrollment Next Year."

LA Times: "NFL ratings finish regular season down about 10% from last year."

Ace: "Ratings for NBC's Olympics Continue to Stink on Ice."

On this last point, I don't actually believe it's so much politics as NBC's execrable coverage and the slooooow pace:
And then there are days like Monday. The complete list of medal events that day amounted to team ski jumping, 500-meter speedskating and two-man bobsled. That was it. Not a single medal was awarded before 9:53 p.m.
The slim pickings were symptomatic of a larger problem with the Winter Olympics: They’re way too long.
Just show the biathlon. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Nothingburger

Politico: "Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic - Why I have my doubts about whether Trump colluded with Moscow."

The 2018 NASCAR season starts today

If you're wondering if stock-car racing can maintain its fan base in the post-Junior world...so am I.  Jalopnik: "The Daytona 500 Is Sold Out, But Only After The Track Removed Almost 50,000 Seats."

Green flag is at 3:05pm EST, allegedly.  It looks like there's about a thousand people still on pit road right now.

Time to ban Hollywood shoot-'em-ups

Andrew Klavan: "The Left Is Reaping the Whirlwind of the Culture They Made."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Get happy!

Some nice news for a Saturday: "We've got no idea how much our world is changing. This is how far we've come."

The World Economic Forum has a bunch of graphs on metrics like literacy, democracy and extreme poverty to show how the pace of progress has accelerated dramatically over the last 50 years or so.

Maybe they work like Lisa's rock

Powerline: "Fox Butterfield, is that you?"
CBS Minnesota affiliate WCCO introduces Pat Kessler’s story on gun ownership with this classic of the genre: “More people are carrying guns than ever before, but the crime rate remains relatively low.” Kessler himself reports: “Minnesota’s violent crime rate hit a 50-year low in 2016, according to the FBI. And in 2017, the state set a new record for firearms background checks.”
HT: Instapundit.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Then we came to the end

John Podhoretz: "The Tea Party is dead — it’s the Covfefe Party now."
It is impossible to make a case that there is a Republican Party agenda now in the classic sense of the word. Instead, there is whatever works at any given point of time.

To take one interesting example: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s consuming obsession as a public servant these past decades has been the pressing need for entitlement reform — a reform it’s now unlikely we’ll ever see until we hit the moment of existential budgetary crisis in about 15 years.
Maybe Paul Ryan is just tired of being accused of pushing Grandma off a cliff.  Like Ryan, I've been advocating for entitlement reform for ages, usually adopting the language of the program's Trustees who have - year after year - urged gradual reform spread out over decades to ease the transition.  But now I think worrying about debt is a sucker's game: there's just too much temptation to pay for stuff on credit now and shuffle off the bill to the next generation.  Raise a fuss and you'll be accused of throwing Granny into the gutter.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

By the book

Long but oh-so-good.  Andrew McCarthy: "What Did Comey Tell President Trump about the Steele Dossier? - The Rice email outlines Obama’s strategy to withhold key details of the Russia investigation."

Here's the tl;dr: James Comey purposely misled the President-Elect about the totality of the fake Steele dossier and the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The return of the native

Gateway Pundit: "FAIL=> Elizabeth Warren Responds to Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Jab and it Immediately Backfires."

Elizabeth Warren is like the Schrodinger's Cat of identity politics.  She landed a position at Harvard as a "diversity" hire but whenever she's asked about her putative Cherokee background she falls back on vague statements about family legend that clarify nothing.

I'm less concerned about her fake heritage than her virtually non-existent record as a Senator.  She has done nothing for Massachusetts except to complain about Trump on a regular basis.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Very likely the first time I've typed these words

Make sure you check out this article in The Nation (!?!): "What We’ve Learned in Year 1 of Russiagate - The relentless pursuit of this narrative above all else has had dangerous consequences."
Many of Trump’s political opponents remain tethered to the eventual emergence of proof that his campaign colluded with the Russian government in order to win the presidency. But the evidentiary basis so far for Russiagate is thin, to say the least. Meanwhile, the relentless pursuit of this narrative above all else has had dangerous consequences.
But, wait, we have the Steele dossier, right?
This questionable narrative is perhaps why, according to the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, after one year and multiple investigations, the dossier’s allegations remain neither “proven nor, conversely, disproven”—in other words, not proven. According to Fox News, “when pressed [in recent congressional testimony] to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated…[then–FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow.” It would not have been difficult for the FBI—or Steele—to figure that out, given that it was reported in The Washington Post and Russian media in early July. (Steele reports it only on July 19.)
I like that.  It reminds me of the fact-checking scene in the movie "Shattered Glass":
[after debunking Stephen Glass's New Republic article, Hack Heaven]
Adam Penenberg: But there is one thing in this story that checks out.
Kambiz Foroohar: What's that?
Adam Penenberg: [sarcastically] There does appear to be a state in the union named Nevada.
The author concludes that the Left's Rachel Maddow-style laser beam focus on Russia! has diminished efforts to fight Trump in the policy arena.  You can skip that part.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Hmmmmmm

Daily Caller: "DOJ Official Who Worked On Clinton, Russia Investigations Steps Down For Personal Reasons."
The timing of Laufman’s decision is sure to raise questions because of a Justice Department inspector general’s forthcoming report about the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Strzok’s texts were discovered during the court of that investigation.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Nevertheless, she persisted

Fox News: "House Democratic leader speaks for record 8 straight hours demanding immigration vote."  Poor Nancy: if only there had been a point in time when she was Speaker of the House and there was a Democrat President in the White House, she could have done something for the Dreamers.

Extra - Twitchy: Oh, no, Pelosi!

Debt forever

Hit and Run: "Senate Reaches Bipartisan Deal to Keep the Government Open By Spending More Money On Everything - Both parties agree on more spending and bigger deficits."
So how did the two sides finally come together? They decided to spend more—on everything. And they'll worry about paying for it later (or maybe not at all).
Nobody cares.  That's a problem for the next generation.

Listen to crazy Joe

Hot Air: "Joe Biden: Yeah, Trump Shouldn’t Do An Interview With Mueller."

I suspect that Trump will do the interview in the sense that he'll accept questions from the special counsel's office and then respond to them in written form after a team of lawyers have scrubbed them clean.  After a year of investigation there's no evidence of collusion with the Russians so the only thing that can trip up Trump is a process crime like perjury or obstruction. 

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

I'm going to miss Gowdy

Politico: "Gowdy implies Clinton friend Blumenthal fed information to Steele."  "Rep. Trey Gowdy heavily implied on Tuesday that longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal fed information that was leaked to former British spy Christopher Steele."

There are a couple of videos on YouTube of Gowdy going after witnesses including when he repeatedly asked dimwit Senator Elizabeth Warren to answer a simple question.  When she failed to respond to any questions, an exasperated Gowdy just exclaimed "I give up."

Monday, February 05, 2018

I blame the Philadelphia Eagles' win

Fox Business: "Stock market plunges, with Dow down a record 1,175 points in the Big Board's biggest one-day drop."  Ouch.  The story I heard in NPR suggested that businesses are spooked about rising labor costs with Friday's report showing job and wage growth.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Defense wins championships

Perhaps the Patriots should have got one.

Well, congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles.  I thought going for it on fourth and short showed a team willing to roll the dice to win.

So much winning, sometimes I get tired of winning

L.A. Times: "Patriots vs. Everybody: A look at why New England is the most-hated team."  "But with New England in the NFL's marquee game for the third time in four years, and the franchise on the verge of its sixth Lombardi Trophy since the 2001 season, Patriots fatigue has reached epidemic proportions."

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Politifact's "balance"

Powerline: "Politifact exposed."  The so-called fact checkers, who lied pretty consistently about Obamacare, wants you to know they're committed to balance.  They added a Democrat who hates Trump balanced out with a Republican who hates Trump.  Even-steven.

And now memo regrets

I knew it was best to keep my powder dry on the Nunes memo.  Hot Air: "WSJ, NYT, WaPo: Actually, The DoJ Did Tell The FISA Court About Steele’s Political Connections."

So the old story is that the FBI didn't tell the FISA court that the Steele dossier was a product of DNC opposition research.  The new story is they did tell the FISA court and they approved it anyway.  I don't know which is worse.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Only Brits use the word "discourtesy"

Heard this on NPR and the video is as good as the audio.  Guy's really sorry about being late:

Viva la resistance

Dana Milbank: "Democrats’ behavior at the State of the Union was embarrassing."
It gives me no pleasure to say this, but the Democrats’ behavior at the State of the Union was embarrassing.
I take a back seat to nobody in decrying President Trump’s cynical and divisive performance. ...
But the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait.
They're playing to an ever-shrinking audience of "resisters!" with this non-stop parade of outrage, which is why few people listen to their apocalyptic warnings about tomorrow's FISA memo.

Not even enough to buy a Rolex

Well not a nice one like the the Submariner model, damn you.  Hot Air: "Taxmageddon Update: Surviving Workers Pleased With Extra ‘Crumbs’ In Their Paychecks."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My review of the State of the Union address

Um, I didn't watch it.  The latest episodes of "The Leftovers" came in the mail and, well....

Sounds like fun!  Daily Beast: "Donald Trump’s State of the Union Was Designed to Troll Democrats. It Worked."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Inside man

Hot Air: "DOJ Inspector General Focused On McCabe’s Role In The Final Weeks Of The 2016 Election."

Hey, guess who might be really guilty of obstruction of justice?

Extra - Powerline: "WaPo: McCabe investigation relates to delay on Weiner emails."  And possibly sitting on the Clinton Foundation, too.

Not gonna happen

Atlantic: "There's No Way Mueller Will Indict Trump - Those hoping the special counsel will prosecute the president are engaging in fantasy."

Good article: this guy makes the case that the law indicates that a sitting President cannot be indicted: "These rules bind all Department of Justice employees, and Mueller, in the end, is a Department of Justice employee. More to the point, if we know anything about Mueller, we think we know that he follows the rules—all of them. Even the ones that restrict him in ways he would prefer they not."

Monday, January 29, 2018

NYT - FBI: GTFO

New York Times: "Andrew McCabe Steps Down as F.B.I. Deputy Director Under Pressure."
In a recent conversation, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, raised concerns about a forthcoming inspector general report examining the actions of Mr. McCabe and other senior F.B.I. officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, when the bureau was investigating both Hillary Clinton’s email use and the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. In that discussion, according to one former law enforcement official close to Mr. McCabe, Mr. Wray suggested moving Mr. McCabe into another job, which would have been a demotion.
Instead, the former official said, Mr. McCabe chose to leave.
What was so bad in the IG's report that director Wray decided he just couldn't let McCabe hang out for another six weeks?  Hmmmm.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Maura Healey: wasting Bay State time and money

I've long had a beef with Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey.  The main output of her office is press releases announcing her opposition to some federal policy which has absolutely no basis in law.  This is true whether it's federal immigration policies or illegal Obamacare subsidies; the press release and the ink in the newspaper is the most important aspect.  Constitutional standing is an ancillary consideration.

In today's Sunday Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes about how the Berkshire Museum is trying to maintain its solvency by selling off some pieces including some Norman Rockwell paintings.  Maura Healey had no objection...until it was time to generate an issue for a press release:
Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office oversees nonprofits and charities, was notified of the museum’s deaccessioning plans in June, weeks before it was announced publicly. She rightly raised no objection. Not until four months later, after art-world purists had created a tumult, did Healey’s office go to court. It procured an injunction to halt the auction while it conducted an investigation of the Berkshire’s planning process.

Yet it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Healey’s investigation became a quest to find something, anything, to justify her belated opposition to the Berkshire’s plan. It isn’t only museum partisans who say so. Ruling on the initial request for an injunction in November, Superior Court Judge John Agostini pronounced it “bewildering” that Healey would try to stop the sale when her office “has uncovered no evidence of bad faith, no conflict of interest, [and] no breach of loyalty.”
That the law is a secondary consideration to every action of the AG's office is troubling.