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.


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


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.

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? 
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


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


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


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


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.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The impossible dream

Politico: "Immigration talks quickly hit a wall."
Senators crashing on a two-week deadline to come up with an immigration plan are already sparring over funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall, what qualifies as border security — even what the scope of the negotiations are.

It was an inauspicious start Tuesday to the bipartisan effort to break the months-long impasse over Dreamers and the budget that crescendoed with last weekend’s government shutdown. That crisis ended quickly, but Congress could be back in almost the same spot in two weeks absent a deal that can get 60 votes.
Here's what I don't understand: Obama and the Democrats had eight years to put in place some kind of legislative remedy to help the "Dreamers."  But despite a promise as a candidate to make immigration reform "a top priority in my first year as president" he did nothing.  Then, once his Democrat majorities were safely squandered away, he flip-flopped on his Presidential authority and launched the illegal DACA program.

That program would have continued, unhindered, once there was a President Hillary.  Instead, Obama handed Trump a powerful tool in the immigration reform battle.  So - guess what? - the guy who ran a campaign by screaming "Build that Wall" at every stop wants...a wall.  I'm not saying he has a mandate and I'm not saying it's even an effective policy.  But the Democrats misread the public mood terribly on this issue and lost all their government-shutdown leverage.

Having sequentially squandered the initiative, the opportunity, the power, and the debate on immigration reform, who do the Democrats think they are setting terms?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mammoth cave

Daily Wire: "Democrats in chaos: Pelosi, Progressives Attack Schumer; Democrats Lose Leverage To Protect Illegal Immigrants."

What a complete rout.  Now the Democrats are trying to convince themselves they've forced a Senate vote on DACA, which they haven't, and anything that passes out of the Senate will die in the House.

At least they got "the potential for momentum" goin' for 'em...which is nice.  Just like the Cleveland Browns!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Trump exception

Bench Memos on the rash of injunctions against Trump alone: "One year later, it is clear that judicial resistance to this administration is alarmingly broad and almost entirely unmoored from the law. In an editorial this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports that “there have been 19 nationwide injunctions against Administration initiatives ranging from sanctuary cities to new rules on contraceptive coverage. Many of these rulings reject longstanding legal understandings or refer to Mr. Trump’s campaign statements rather than the language of the regulation.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Chris Steele might know this Ohr guy"

Powerline: "Simpson tried to deceive Congress on the Fusion GPS/Obama DOJ connection."
This testimony is absurd. Simpson has testified that Fusion GPS has approximately 10 employees, one of whom was Nellie Ohr. His testimony that Bruce Ohr was “someone that Chris Steele knows” was at best deliberately deceptive, at worst outright perjury.
Drip drip.


Ace: "#ReleaseTheMemo: Congressmen, Government Officials Tout Report on FISA Abuse They Say Will Rock Country and Implicate Obama."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Crazy squiggly lines

Legal Insurrection: "Supreme Court halts North Carolina court-ordered redrawing of congressional districts."  There's a map at the link and, brother, North Carolina is a crazy-quilt of districts.  As Dr. Jacobson notes, this stay was not altogether unexpected because traditionally the Supreme Court has been reluctant to step in to address what is widely considered a state issue.

What happened to Newsweek?

I can't believe I used to subscribe.  Hot Air: "More Big News From “News”Week: You’ll Never Guess How Hillary Could Still Become President."  Click to see why BleachBit hates her!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sweet soda sticker shock stings Seattle

I love this story from PJ Media: "Soda Tax Sticker Shock Grips Seattle."  The city needed cash (duh) so they decided to tax sugary drinks at the rate of 1.75 cents per ounce.  The authors of this tax hike told themselves that this tax would be borne by the distributors so it was totally cool.

Instead, Costco listed the prices that they were forced to charge for the new "fee".  A pack of Gatorade that went for $16 now went for $26 and change.  Then they went a step further and directed customer to the Costco outside of Seattle city limits to avoid the tax.  How nice for Costco who has the network to re-route customers.  Sucks for you, local merchant.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Bortles has never lost a playoff game

The Patriots are in trouble:

My favorite topic

Hit and Run: "Start Saving Now, Because Social Security Is Screwed - If Congress doesn't address its insolvency issues, payouts will need to be slashed by a quarter starting in fewer than 20 years."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Steele dossier

Long article from Andrew McCarthy: "Anatomy of a Farce."  As far as I can tell from this story, Trump's crime was that he said he didn't know a real-estate developer named Felix Sater when, clearly, he did.  Or must have. 

Then there's this view

Andrew Klaven at City Journal: "Of crudeness and truth."  (HT: Maggie's Farm)
So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture. History deals the cards it deals; we just play them. Trump is what we’ve got.
I don't think it's just a lack of wit and grace: it's an inability to separate his personal and public personas.  My armchair psychiatry tells me that because nobody ever says "no" to him, he's developed the feeling he can do whatever the hell he wants and leave the "losers" to complain about it.


The Atlantic: "There's No Way Out - Trump’s presidency may be a dysfunctional disaster, but there’s no apparent way to end it."
Trump could resign. It’s clear he isn’t interested in the work and is unhappy with the way he is treated by the press, the Congress, the courts, and foreign leaders. But Trump has had many opportunities to pull out, especially during the campaign, and never took them. His pride would seem to prevent him from resigning.

That means until at least the end of 2020, the situation will remain much as it is, with a president widely acknowledged to be dysfunctional and no way to change that.
Sometimes I just can't believe that a man who has obviously done well in the business world could be so undisciplined.  Maybe he could "declare victory" and leave the field open for Pence.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Hollywood phonies, redux

National Review: "About that Golden Globes fiasco."
In short, when caught up in its most disturbing scandal since (at least) the Communist era, Hollywood’s rebuttal is exactly what Weinstein’s was: But we’re liberal! It may not be the case that liberalism and sexual abuse are linked — though nearly all of the men caught up in the pervnado in the last 90 days are strongly identified with the Left. But it is certainly the case that impeccable liberal and Democratic-party credentials did nothing to save Hollywood from a decades-long regime of sexual tyranny. What’s wrong with the entertainment industry won’t be cured by the quack remedies of Oprah Winfrey.
That Oprah speech was pure awfulness: an amped-up "you go girl!" with nary a soupcon of regret for the Hollywood culture that tolerated decades of sexual harassment.  If Oprah had at any time in her speech said "Shame on us!" it would have been redeemed.  But there's nothing that Hollywood loves more than self-congratulation (see: award shows) so this was red meat for the MGM lions.

Good ole Hollywood.  Here they are in 2003 celebrating Roman Polanski who couldn't attend the Oscars for some reason.  Keep an eye out for Meryl "I don't know nothin' about Harvey!" Streep.

ManBearPig warming the oceans

Very, very, very slightly:
Ocean temperatures have risen only 0.1 degree Celsius over the last five decades, according to a landmark study some scientists argue could change the way researchers measure the ocean’s temperature levels.
This new method focuses on gases in the atmosphere which are expelled proportionally with water temperature, so the accuracy is considered much higher than direct ocean temperature measurements.  Al Gore hardest hit.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

I can't believe people in Seattle are this stupid

Twitchy: "City of Seattle’s response to reports about new soda tax proves prog pols FAILED Econ-101."  The city added a 1.75 cent tax to each ounce of sugary drink and actually believed that distributors and retailers would not pass the cost on to consumers.  But, c'mon - they didn't really believe that.

Godfather quote of the day

Technically, it's "The Godfather, Part 2."  From Hot Air: "Trump: I’m Mentally Stable And, Like, Really Smart — A Very Stable Genius."
One thing you want to do when you’re accused in a bestselling book of being mentally unbalanced is to immediately hop onto Twitter and start sounding like Fredo Corleone with a head injury.
And he wants respect!

Friday, January 05, 2018

"The First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!"

Some funny stuff in this article from the Federalist: "Federal Judge Obliterates Fusion GPS’ Attempt To Hide Info From Investigators - In Fusion GPS' vague telling, they've been nothing but forthright with congressional investigative committees, which came as news to those committees."

Thursday, January 04, 2018

How "grossly negligent" became "oopsie!"

Just breaking on The Hill: "Comey’s original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations."
Ex-FBI Director James Comey’s original statement closing out the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server was edited by subordinates to remove five separate references to terms like “grossly negligent” and to delete mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations, according to copies of the full document. 
Comey also originally concluded that it was “reasonably likely” that Clinton’s insecure private sever was accessed or hacked by hostile actors though there was no evidence to prove it. But that passage was also changed to the much weaker “possible,” the memos show.
The term "grossly negligent" is critical since that's the wording of U.S. law that means a felony occurred:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust.
So here we are a year-and-a-half later and the truth of the true nature of Hillary's crime and the FBI's cover-up finally comes out.  She almost got away with it all.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Monday, January 01, 2018

Forget Carter Page

Andrew McCarthy has a thorough review of the Russian collusion story and how the NY Times shifted their narrative to "Collusion 2.0" when the Carter Page story fell apart.  "As the Dossier Scandal Looms, the New York Times Struggles to Save Its Collusion Tale."  On to the Greek!

A year of Trump

I was going back over some posts I made in the months before the 2016 Presidential election which ranged from general criticism over Trump to openly advocating for his removal by Republican officials before the general election.  A year later, I still hate his undisciplined tweeting, the inability to shake off minor jabs, and his unpredictability.  But in terms of results, I feel like I'm on the receiving end of a speech by Col. Jessep:
"I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way."
What are those results?  The first major tax reform in decades, including a long-overdue drop in the corporate tax rate to put America on par with other nations.  The elimination of the Obamacare mandate.  Neil Gorsuch sits on the Supreme Court which is just the tip of the iceberg in the reshaping of the federal judiciary.  Contra Paul Krugman, the stock market keeps hitting new highs and GDP growth is knocking on 3% growth.  And Trump pulled out of that silly, feel-good, Paris Climate deal.

So, yeah, a lot of issues I supported came to fruition in 2017 in part because Republicans held together and grabbed the opportunity that will almost certainly vanish in early 2019.  I wish somebody would disable Trump's twitter account and tell him to think before speaking (*cough* Charlottesville *cough*) and consider the relationships he needs to foster to get things done.

But this seems like complaining about the blanket.  Trump's going to Trump.

Related - From Powerline.

Happy New Year!

Welp, it's 2018.