Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I will take what is mine with fire and blood

Hit and Run: "Free Speech Review: 22 Significant, Silly, or Otherwise Noteworthy First Amendment Cases From 2014."

The meltdown

In keeping with today's criticism of the media, Hot Air's top 10 posts for 2014 includes several journalistic lapses culminating with MSNBC's objective analysis of the midterm election results.

Speaking of "journalism"

A month ago, I noted that the popular "Serial" podcast was going nowhere and that there was scant evidence to indicate the guy in prison right now was falsely convicted.  Now that the series is over, the Federalist adds this: "‘Serial’ Has One Of Those Big Flapping In The Breeze Red Flags Of Journalism."

And now, just this morning, on the non-mainstream media site "The Intercept", Jay Wilds talks about why he didn't want to talk to the police or the "Serial" people.  And it pretty much confirms what was obvious about halfway through "Serial": Adnan was guilty and the focus on minutiae to heighten suspense was nothing.


Commentary: "Public trust in media at an all-time low."

I blame Ben Trovato.

Extra - Don Surber: "The top 10 failed narratives of 2014."

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gruber's loose lips

Daily Caller: "Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable."

Gee, the media missed that one too.  If there's any question about how damaging Gruber's "stupid" statements will be to the King v. Burwell case before the Supreme Court, take note that the brief filed by the plaintiffs waited only to page 4 to remind the Court.

Monday, December 29, 2014

That darn media

Before going on his wedding-disrupting vacation, Obama sat down for an interview with NPR.  The recipient of the most fawning media coverage in the history of the White House informed us that, gosh darn it, the media just won't report how great everything's going:
It is the media’s fault he is not more popular
But even while touting economic progress and his breakthrough with Cuba, Mr. Obama couldn’t resist what has become like a crutch in his public statements: blaming the press for not communicating his successes to the American people.
It's never the dog food with this guy, it's always a failure of marketing.  The New York Times recently piled on by reporting that Medicaid reimbursement rates will decline by 43% under Obamacare which will certainly lead to even more doctors dropping patients.  Ed Morrissey explains how we came to this bait-and-switch moment:
Doctors initially opposed ObamaCare, though, which is why Harry Reid snuck in the delay in reimbursement cuts (for Medicare in this instance) at the last minute almost exactly five years ago. The “doc fix” dodge had been going on for some time, but Reid took it to a new level in order to fool the CBO into scoring ObamaCare as deficit-neutral. He submitted the Senate-written bill with the cuts to the CBO while winning AMA endorsement with a separate and temporary suspension of those cuts that the CBO didn’t get to see. That and the “temporary” Medicaid reimbursement rates have kept up the pretense of deficit neutrality ever since while pushing off the day of reckoning … until now.
Here's my question: where was the mainstream media then?  While the conservative news outlets were warning that Obamacare was full of questionable policy patches and budget games, the MSM was busy with the low-hanging fruit of showing Republicans pushing Grandma over a cliff.  Where was the investigative journalism back then?

The great mission of husbanding Obamacare into existence now completed, the MSM can now turn their attention on costlier deductibles and premiums, vanishing policies, the dwindling doctor base, and the rising tax penalties.  Obama will have the sads.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Things that bug me

Have you seen the Geico commercial where a guy is walking from the street towards a public (that is, not residential) office building and cannot enter when he pulls on the door handle?  Suddenly Salt-N-Pepa appear and urge him to "Push It."

I'm almost positive that national fire codes require that all public buildings must have doors that open outward.  The reason is that if there's an emergency a crush of panicked people would prevent the door from being opened inward, preventing escape.  Furthermore, I'm pretty sure these changes came about after the Cocoanut Grove Fire of 1942.

That door is in violation of the fire code.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zero Hedge totally called it

Zero Hedge: "Here Is The Reason For The "Surge" In Q3 GDP."  "In short, two-thirds of the "boost" to final Q3 personal consumption came from, drumroll, the same Obamacare which initially was supposed to boost Q1 GDP until the "polar vortex" crashed the number so badly, the BEA decided to pull it completely and leave this "growth dry powder" for another quarter. That quarter was Q3."

They predicted this artificial bump in June.

Headline of the day winner

MassLive: "Nighttime kayaker clinging to Christmas tree rescued from Nashawannuck Pond in Easthampton."

It's like a typing exercise.

Another victim of Obamacare

Bloomberg: "Republicans Block Reappointment of CBO Chief Doug Elmendorf."  "Republican lawmakers who have questioned the office’s analysis were unmoved. They agreed with calls from incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price for a new director who might introduce so-called dynamic scoring to CBO analysis."

I agree with Keith Hennessey that Elmendorf has been been a fair trader at the CBO, particularly with his many warning about the unsustainability of entitlement spending.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nork computers go down. Both of them.

Fox News: "North Korea experiencing widespread Internet outages."  This may affect last-minute Amazon orders.

The city will suffer first

Roger Kimball: "Will Bill de Blasio be forced to resign?"  No, but what will happen is that the NYPD will forget about all the broken windows and instead respond to every call with overwhelming force to prevent the very kind of ambush that took the lives of Ramos and Liu.  All the "petty" crimes like burglary will be ignored while resources are diverted to routine traffic stops.

Extra - City Journal: "A city on the brink." "The city’s progressive elites, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, have accommodated the protestors—offering them aid and comfort in the media, entertaining their wilder claims, and standing silent as they defamed the NYPD as racist killers."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Two cops down in NYC

Hot Air: "The time is past for Bill DeBlasio to resign."  I think he means "past due."

There's a video of DeBlasio visiting the hospital where the slain policemen were taken and virtually all the NYPD officers turned their backs to him.  It was cold.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Social Security endgame

Hit and Run: "Social Security On Track to Go Broke, Says CBO."  "It's no surprise, given the long years of discussion we've had over the financial illogic of the United States' entitlement programs, but Social Security is on track to pay out a lot less than people expect as its costs soar. The latest analysis comes from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which points out that Social Security outlays started to exceed tax revenues for the program in 2010."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

That free speech thing

Good post from Jim Treacher: "Patton Oswalt: A tale of two tweets."

Fellow travelers

Washington Post editorial: "Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout."  "Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Running out of other people's money

Politico: "Vermont bails on single-payer health care."
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday dropped his plan to enact a single-payer health care system in his state — a plan that had won praise from liberals but never really got much past the framework stage.
“This is not the right time” for enacting single payer, Shumlin said in a statement, citing the big tax increases that would be required to pay for it.
Imagine that.  If there was one incubator where single-payer might have worked it is in the politically and demographically homogeneous state of Vermont.  But the governor decided the "economic disruption" of large tax hikes would hurt everybody.

Cuba libre

Noted foreign policy expert decides - gosh darn it - America has had it all wrong for 50 years: "US, Cuba seek to normalize relations after Alan Gross released."

America's enemies will take a lesson: "Rubio on Cuba deal: ‘It puts a price on every American abroad."
“I’m not in favor of the process by which the release was acquired because I think it does set a very dangerous precedent,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News. “It puts a price on every American abroad. Governments now know that if they take an American hostage they can get very significant concessions from the United States.”
In today's speech, Obama all but admitted that the return of Alan Gross was the linchpin to open up relations with the Communist regime.  Of course, lifting the embargo requires Congressional approval and surely the White House was in close discussions with the Foreign Relations committees, right?

Yeah, right:
Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is slamming President Obama over his prisoner swap to release an American held in Cuba.
“President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government," Menendez, known for his tough stance on Cuba, said in a statement.
Like I said: he's the expert.

How about "no"?

Hit and Run: "No Exam Delay for Oberlin Students 'Traumatized' By Grand Jury Decisions."  A student wrote a long and strident email to her professor asking for a test delay and he responded simply "no."  The brevity of his response (and the time stamp) indicates he didn't think this precious snowflake deserved anything more.

They told me if I voted Republican, class inequality would deepen

And they were right!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A judge too far

Although I agree with the arguments put forth by Judge Schwab on executive powers, I don't think he was within his rights to make them:
Conservatives should remain principled in their opposition to President Obama’s misuse of executive power, but they should also remain true in their resistance to the siren song of judicial activism. They should not invite judges to carry out the heavy work of opposing the president, which here is the duty of Congress.
This was a decision based on a narrow case and this judge appointed himself the Constitutional arbiter of the Land.  The lefty blogs are noting that this judge was appointed by Dubya, so beware and (sigh) they may be correct here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

When does the "Captain Phillips" rule apply?

Regarding the terrorist attack in Sydney, there's Ace:
Now we enter the most important phase of a terrorist outrage: Being lectured for a month that Islam is Peace.
And Iowahawk:

I don't know, man, but once the police identified this through-and-through nutcase, I don't see how they would think the situation would end well.  I couldn't stop thinking of this.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hillary Clinton is Martha Coakley

This thought came to me reading Legal Insurrection: "Hillary will crumble if Elizabeth Warren just says yes."

I've always felt that Hillary's support is a mile wide and an inch deep.  The effort to recruit the Left's Barry Goldwater is an acknowledgement that Democrats just aren't that into Hillary.  Are Democrats really going to nominate a first-term Senator from academia who has no experience running a lemonade stand?

Oh, right.  That guy.

Update - I just realized I should explain: Martha Coakley is the Attorney General in deep-blue Massachusetts but she lost a Senate bid to Scott Brown then a governor's race to Charlie Baker.  Why?  As I explained over at Althouse, Coakley just can't connect with voters.  And that's Hillary.

Take this job and shove it

Maybe once the kids move out and your financial situation improves, you can take the step of just up-and-quitting.  But taking two-thirds of your office with you?  That's something else: "Inside the collapse of the New Republic."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stand back, I'm a journalist

Federalist: "Why The Media’s Fact Problems Are Way Bigger Than Rolling Stone."

While we're on the topic: the cheerleaders on the Left and in the media (but I repeat myself) are starting to notice some trouble with Obamacare:
Everything we on the right said about ♡bamaCare!!! has come to pass, and yet the Wankblog goes right on as before as each new “revelation” (predicted by the right well in advance) comes true.
Heads should roll, but instead “explanatory journalism” will go on.
But Ezra told me it was all going so swimmingly.

Extra - The media's darling:
One of the most disgusting details is how the media is praising Elizabeth Warren for attempting to shut down the government. As George Will put it on Bret Baier: When Republicans flirted with a shutdown, they were depicted as hostage-takers and suicide bombers; when ultra-liberal Elizabeth Warren does it, she's hailed as the second coming of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rockin' that hoisted petard

I forget where I saw it but somebody asked: "Why are the conservative blogs obsessed with this Rolling Stone article?"  Well, there are two explanations for me:

1) I dislike the mainstream media
2) I loathe Rolling Stone

This was a magazine that I used to subscribe to for - get this - music.  At some point they decided to be a political magazine and every freakin' week there was a jeremiad against one political party, sometimes offset by an ass-kissing defense of Obama.  Am I loving this carpet-bombing of their credibility?  Oh yes.  Take a look at this minor detail from the WashPost:
The Rolling Stone article also said that Randall declined to be interviewed, “citing his loyalty to his own frat.” He told The Post that he never was contacted by Rolling Stone and would have agreed to an interview. The article’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not respond to requests for comment this week.
We're now reached the tipping point where the default position is that "Jackie" made up this entire story.  Heads will roll at Rolling Stone.

It's gonna be biblical.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Everybody was roller-skating in the 80s

Elizabeth Warren's victimology

You're always a loser with Fauxcohontas: "Elizabeth Warren goes full Orwell."  If you're denied a home loan: victim.  If you can't pay back that loan that you shouldn't have gotten: victim.
This is an argument we can’t win with the left. If the sub prime loans are not made, then we are denying mortgages to low income families (Never mind that the interest rate is higher because of the increased risk to the lending institution). Since they were made, the left argues that they were predatory. And if you suggest that the interest rates should be higher to higher risk borrowers, now you are being discriminatory.
I can't believe this dim bulb is a national figure.  Every speech she gives is to absolve her audience of any kind of personal responsibility and instead insist you're being "hammered" by invisible forces.  Some of these oppressors even gave you a home loan!  Bastards.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Let's all pay our fair share

Via Greg Mankiw: "Who pays for government?"

Lies to support "truthiness"

Matthew Continetti: "Liberalism is a hoax."

And disregards the rest

WashPost: "Rolling Stone’s disastrous U-Va. story: A case of real media bias".  "Under the scenario cited by Erdely, the Phi Kappa Psi members are not just criminal sexual-assault offenders, they’re criminal sexual-assault conspiracists, planners, long-range schemers. If this allegation alone hadn’t triggered an all-out scramble at Rolling Stone for more corroboration, nothing would have. Anyone who touched this story — save newsstand personnel — should lose their job. The “grooming” anecdote indicates not only that Erdely believed whatever diabolical things about these frat guys told to her, she wanted to believe them. And then Rolling Stone published them."  Emphasis in original.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Illinois is the worst

The other day I mentioned that Illinois has pension obligations that will choke the state.  Now it's official:
Illinois is the worst-run state in the nation. Like many other low-ranked states, more people left Illinois than moved there. Illinois lost more than 137,000 residents due to migration between the middle of 2010 and July 2013. A poor housing market may partly explain the exodus. Median home values fell 16.2% between 2009 and 2013, the second largest drop nationwide. Illinois has extremely poor finances by many measures. Just 39.3% of Illinois’ pension liabilities were funded as of 2013, worse than any other state. Further, the state’s reserves are estimated at just 0.5% of its general fund expenditure, the second lowest reserves rate nationwide. Both Moody’s and S&P gave Illinois the worst credit ratings of any state, at A3 and A- respectively. According to Moody’s, the state’s rating reflects its low fund balances and high pension obligations, as well as its “chronic use of payment deferrals to manage operating fund cash.”
Down down down.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Dunham says "rape" and Breitbart says "nope"

Big Hollywood: "Investigation: Lena Dunham 'raped by a Republican' story in bestseller collapses under scrutiny."
After a month-long investigation that included more than a dozen interviews, a trip to the Oberlin campus, and hours spent poring through the Oberlin College archives, her description of the campus remains the only detail Breitbart News was able to verify in Dunham's story of being raped by a campus Republican named Barry.
Whether intentional or not, this opening echoes a line from "Shattered Glass" about discredited New Republic writer Stephen Glass:
[after completely debunking Stephen Glass's New Republic article]
Adam Penenberg: But there is one thing in this story that checks out.
Kambiz Foroohar: What's that?
Adam Penenberg: There does appear to be a state in the union named Nevada.
This falls in line with the unraveling of the Rolling Stone article about rape at the University of Virginia.  In both cases, I believe, a tipping point was reached where the truthiness of the rape story was more important to move some books and magazines.  Who are you going to believe?  Lena Dunham and Jann Wenner or some good ole boy Southern Republicans?

Extra - Speaking of the New Republic and unraveling.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Out of control

WashPost editorial: "President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration has no precedent."  "The White House has defended President Obama’s unilateral decision to legalize the presence of nearly 4 million undocumented immigrants as consistent, even in scope, with the executive actions of previous presidents. In fact, it is increasingly clear that the sweeping magnitude of Mr. Obama’s order is unprecedented."

Almost like they're hopelessly biased

Federalist: "Dear Media: this Elizabeth Lauten Nonsense Is Why Everybody Hates You."

The fuse is burning on the debt bomb

First up, here's Zero Hedge with "5 complete lies about America's new $18 trillion debt level."
FACT: For the last several years, the US government has been spending roughly 90% of its ENTIRE tax revenue just to pay for mandatory entitlement programs and interest on the debt.
This leaves almost nothing for practically everything else we think of as government.
This is almost verbatim something I've been saying on this blog forever with regard to America's intractable entitlement spending.  Well, we don't need to wait to see the effects of mandatory spending crowding out all other government spending.  The future of bankruptcy is in the Prairie State:
Now, to pay off its retirement debt, Illinois needs more than $6 billion a year from taxpayers to make up for the skipped contributions to the pension system, along with more than $1 billion more to pay off its pension bonds. That represents more than one-fifth of the state’s general-fund budget. By contrast, states typically spend no more than 4 percent to 5 percent of their budgets on pensions. The consequences have already been felt by Illinois taxpayers—and workers. Government employment is down by nearly 30,000 workers since its 2009 peak. Local governments, those that deliver the most basic services to taxpayers, have done the most trimming, slicing 20,000 jobs. Meanwhile, rising benefits costs are squeezing out other spending, including pay increases. School districts have been hit the hardest; their budgets are largely made up of personnel costs.
Tough nuts, kids.  Your school budget will be cut now but there will be plenty of missing jobs in Illinois due to the terrible business climate to pay off all the accumulated state and federal debt.  Nice.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Noose reporting

I got a chuckle out of this.  My9NJ: "Only 19 Paterson students ready for college"
“These kids who are now seniors have gone through seven superintendents in their tenor at Paterson public schools and with every administration change, there's a reworking of what the schools are supposed to be doing,” she said.
"Tenure."  But wait...there's more!
However, the Paterson school district said that they no longer use SAT scores to gauge students' success.
Yeah, I'll bet.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Solar eclipse

Hit and Run: "Government-Backed Green Energy Goes Bust"
The recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation filing of the Toledo, Ohio-based solar-panel manufacturer Xunlight Corp. has attracted barely any national attention.
Maybe it’s gotten to the point—after Solyndra, Evergreen, Abound, and Satcon—that the failure of another government-backed alternative energy company is a dog-bites man story. It’d be newsworthy if any of them actually ever succeeded.
Ho-hum.  Good intentions and all that.

Irresponsible and unpatriotic

Zero Hedge: "US Debt In Public Hands Doubles Under Barack Obama."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fading retirement

Today's Boston Globe has a profile/story about Alicia Munnell, the top economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: "Top economist says many face an old age of less money."
Munnell, who has run BC’s retirement research for 15 years, has studied pensions and Social Security since the 1960s. At that time, these benefits provided the foundation for retirement, contributing to a steady decline in the age people stopped working.
Demographic and economic changes weakened the old supports. Birth rates have declined, meaning there are fewer new workers to pay the costs of Social Security. Without changes, actuaries estimate that by 2033 the program won’t have enough money to cover promised benefits, requiring the government to cut payments to recipients or raise taxes.
The Social Security Trust Fund is really just an accounting trick and I suspect that in 2033 the Federal government will just keep borrowing from itself to pay full benefits.  We can always print more money.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ray Rice smacks down his suspension

Fox News: "Ray Rice wins appeal 'suspension vacated'."

You know maybe Rice got a raw deal, maybe he got caught on tape doing something common for professional athletes, and was a handy scapegoat.  But the NFL has been running these insufferable commercials with football players telling us "NO MORE."

Yeah, you can stop showing those, NFL.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Serial podcast

I stumbled across the Serial podcast phenomenon after reading a Mental Floss post on not-so-crazy Serial theories.  I'm all caught up with the episodes and I have to say I'm underwhelmed.  Frankly, I think Occam's Razor indicates - as this Redditor has noted - that Adnan is guilty.

The podcast is focusing on minutiae about the case and searching for alternative explanations.  (Oh, there wasn't a payphone near the Best Buy?  Wow!)  Jay is believable and Adnan is not.  In Adnan, I've never seen a wrongly-accused prisoner so content with his incarceration.

Hold on, I gotta call Nisha.

PBGC going the way of CBGBs

That is: bankrupt.  Vodkapundit: "Return to bailout nation."

We gather together

Hot Air: "Ohio could host both political conventions in 2016."

I like Kevin Williamson's suggestion that the Democrats should pick a city to match their politics:
The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.
The GOP can take Texas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When the Emperor goes off-teleprompter

Weekly Standard: "Obama Admits: 'I Just Took an Action to Change the Law'"
The White House has argued that President Obama's executive amnesty order last week was made well within the existing law. But in remarks in Chicago tonight, President Obama went off script and admitted that in fact he unilaterally made changes to the law.
His words: "I took an action to change the law."  Because that's what Presidents do: change laws.

They don't?!?  Oh man, I gotta re-read that Constitution.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A compelling legal argument

It's the child's argument of "just because."  The Corner: "Obama: ‘Absolutely Not’ Legitimate for Future Presidents to Apply My Logic on Executive Actions."

Extra - Kim Strassel: "The Next Prez and the Obama Way."  Anything goes, baby!

The leaks from Ferguson

At first I thought there would be no indictment but then I thought, well, if that were true, they would never announce it late at night when the darkness would make it more difficult for police to maintain control.

But the Gateway Pundit is splashing that Darren Wilson will not be indicted.  But I'm not sure if that's right: the tweet he refers to says that Wilson has not been notified to turn himself in.  What does that mean?  Probably nothing at all.

I suspect there will be some lesser charge like reckless endangerment but not the big M.

Update - No indictment from the grand jury.

More - Mediaite: "Announcing Grand Jury Decision at Night a Needlessly Reckless One."  Yeah, like I said.

Obama decides at least one Republican in Washington should lose his job

Those midterms were brutal so time to cut Chuck Hagel loose.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hail Caesar

Jonah Goldberg: "Obama to Congress: It’s My Way or My Way - Congress’ placating the president on immigration would establish a precedent for lawless executive action."  "This guy is supposed to be a lawyer. The question of his authority to do X is independent of what Congress does. The executive branch may not write laws. You could look it up."

Extra - Mark Steyn: "Elections matter?"  "But it turns out they don't. Not to him."

The hits just keep on comin'

Hit and Run: "If You Like Your Obamacare Health Plan, You Can Keep It, If HHS Doesn't Pick a New One For You."  "Basically, if you like your plan, but don't go out of your way to intentionally re-enroll, the kind and wise folks at HHS or state health exchanges might just pick a new plan—perhaps with different doctors, clinics, cost structures, and benefit options—for you. And if you want to switch back? Good luck once open enrollment is closed. There's always next year."

If it's Friday night, it's time for another "executive discretion" change to a law.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

All hail the Emperor

Charles C.W. Cooke: "Obama's imperial transformation is now complete - The president has become everything he ran against."
Noting in 2008 that he “taught constitutional law for ten years,” and in consequence took “the Constitution very seriously,” Obama determined that “the biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all.” “That,” the candidate assured his audience, is “what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”
Every Obama statement has an expiration date.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Setting sun

Coyote Blog: "Thoughts on the Japanese economy."  What has government intervention and deep deficit spending wrought?  "And the result of all this has been... 25 years of stagnation."

Extra - Zero Hedge: "Japanese Trade Deficit Streak Hits Record 44 Months, Yen & Stocks Decoupling."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Super executive powers activate!

The Washington Post editorial page warns Obama against opening up Pandora's box: "In Mr. Obama’s own words, acting alone is ‘not how our democracy functions’"
It is 2017. Newly elected President Ted Cruz (R) insists he has won a mandate to repeal Obamacare. The Senate, narrowly back in Democratic hands, disagrees. Mr. Cruz instructs the Internal Revenue Service not to collect a fine from anyone who opts out of the individual mandate to buy health insurance, thereby neutering a key element of the program. It is a matter of prosecutorial discretion, Mr. Cruz explains; tax cheats are defrauding the government of billions, and he wants the IRS to concentrate on them. Of course, he is willing to modify his order as soon as Congress agrees to fix what he considers a “broken” health system.
As the editorial notes, just a couple months ago Obama was telling a crowd (correctly) that he didn't have the power to just ignore the law.  Suddenly, he can.  His buddy Eugene Robinson gives him cover by writing that since Boehner won't call a vote, all that stuff you learned on "Schoolhouse Rock" goes out the window.

What changed?  Well I have a theory and it involves stringing along the Hispanic community for six years.  Obama promised immigration reform in his first year, back when he had filibuster-proof majorities in Congress:
Obama failed to deliver on a promise, and he blamed Republicans instead of acknowledging any real responsibility for that failure.
Imagine that.  I don't think Obama ever wanted to fix immigration, I think he wanted an issue.  He wanted a cudgel to use against the Republicans in 2012 and secure his re-election.  Then he dangled the issue out in front of reform proponents insisting in speech after speech that, since he didn't have authorization, the only way to fix immigration was to elect Democrats.

When the 2014 midterms didn't turn out the way he hoped, it was clear to Obama that he had squeezed out all the political usefulness from the issue.  Time to forget everything that guy said in the past.

Race huckster turns tax dodger

Hot Air: "Uh oh: New York Times creates big trouble for tax-dodging Obama ally Al Sharpton."

I grew up in New Jersey right around that time that asswipe Sharpton was stirring up the obvious lie of Tawana Brawley.  Apparently we need Lois Lerner to get a tax audit of this clown.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The inequality two-step

Hit and Run: "The Latest Liberal Nonsense About Economic Inequality."  "The weakness of Rattner’s data is a clue to what he and many of the other anti-inequality campaigners are up to: using the issue as a cudgel to advance the same old tax-and-spend policies that the left was in favor of long before inequality was rediscovered as a trendy cause."

How can we miss you if you won't go away?

Hot Air: "Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox would appreciate it if you stopped calling her that."  Wow, the self-styled martyrdom of this woman has no bottom.  She's the Sandra Fluke of infectious diseases.

Extra - Neo-Neocon: "Hickox really isn’t the ebola nurse; for one thing, she hasn’t demonstrated that much knowledge about the disease. But she just might be the most detested nurse in America right now."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stuff I just done heard about

Twitchy: "‘Well briefed’ Obama tells Ed Henry ‘I just heard about’ Gruber."

Yeah, I just heard about this stuff.

Obamacare now with sky-high deductibles

Powerline: "If you like your health insurance plan, you must pay more to keep your health insurance plan."  "The IRS defines a high-deductible plan as one with a deductible of $1,300 or more. Many Obamacare plans are better described as stratospheric-deductible plans. And many consumers will be forced to switch to such plans if they wish to keep their premiums roughly the same."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let's see what the NY Times decided to report in its Saturday edition

All the news fit to hide: "Cost of coverage under affordable care act to increase in 2015."
The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.
The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.
And just days after the midterm elections because stupid Americans.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What was I watching?


Last night I was watching "The Da Vinci Code" on AMC and it ran from 8pm to 11:30pm.  Three-and-a-half hours!  I need to read more.

He just wanted his detonators

Nancy Pelosi doesn't know any Gruber:
Pelosi's office told the Washington Post that the minority leader meant that she didn't know Gruber personally.
"She said she doesn’t 'know who he is,' not that she’s never heard of him," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.
Ohhhhhh.  She never had dinner with him and she certainly had nothing to do with the Nakatomi heist.

Extra - From Gateway Pundit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where's your God now, Tom Steyer?

WashPost: "Senate Democrats are weighing plan to approve Keystone — and save Mary Landrieu."  Good luck with that:
Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's re-election race is truly running out of air: She's responsible for a mere 4 percent of all TV spots in the week-old Louisiana runoff.  Republican challenger Bill Cassidy and his friends paid for 96 percent of the spots that have run so far. 
That might explain why Mary gave Chuck Schumer the cold shoulder.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another "speak-o" for Gruber

The Corner: "Gruber Backpedals on Obamacare Comments: Spoke ‘Off the Cuff,’ ‘Inappropriately’"

Keith Hennessey: "Dr. Gruber’s honesty about lying."

Why it's almost as if the media completely ignored all the warnings by those Tea Party nutcases, the ones that turned out to be completely true.  Could they be biased?  Say it ain't so!

Extra - Commentary: "Obamacare lies and democracy."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Negative 2%

Daily Caller: "Millennials Struggling To Save Despite Economic Upturn."  Ah, yes, the "upturn."
Older Americans are saving at a rate of between 3 and 13 percent, but Americans under 35 are saving about -2 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal, leaving them exposed to unexpected economic downturns and events.
“They are truly a vulnerable group,” Annamaria Lusardi, an economist at George Washington University told the WSJ. “They don’t have assets to buffer themselves against shocks, and they also have to manage debt.”
But interest rates are low and they'll stay low forever.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Fauxcohontas wants to let you know you're being hammered

Native American Senator Elizabeth Warren has penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post and it's everything you'd expect from the populist do-nothing.  Here's a sampling of her greatest hits:

"families are getting squeezed hard"
"changes needed if families are going to get a shot"
"this government does not work for them"
"The American people want a fighting chance"
"looking for the chance to rig the game just a little more"
"working families just get hammered"

And so on.  All of Washington is rigged to hammer you working families looking for a fighting chance.  When will somebody stand up for these squeezed Americans looking for a fair shot?

14 Sponsored Bills (Ranks 86 of 100) 0 Made Into Law
284 Co-Sponsored Bills (Ranks 18 of 100) 6 Made Into Law
Oh dear.  Here's Politico's story on her one big idea to hammer the Richie Riches to pay for student loans:
The Senate on Wednesday voted not to move forward on a bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that would have allowed an estimated 25 million people with older student loans to refinance that debt at current, lower interest rates.
That would be Harry Reid's (until recently) Democrat-controlled Senate, and it's a tacit acknowledgement that Warren's legislation to help people is 100% politics and 0% actual help.

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good Koch brothers grilling

Powerline: "Liberals still not giving up on Keystone."

Those darn obstructionists

Hot Air: "Why the Loretta Lynch nomination is absolutely political."  Lather rinse repeat: "Nothing has changed since Tuesday. Nothing."

Friday, November 07, 2014

NAACP entirely invested in victimhood

Townhall noted that the "non-partisan" national organization committed to "advancement" couldn't bring itself to congratulate the first black Senator from the South since Reconstruction or the first-ever black female Republican.  Instead, the NAACP issued a statement about the 2014 election that warmed over the same unfounded allegations of voter suppression.  Better for fundraising that way.

So many good reaction tweets over at Twitchy, but these two are the best:

Heads I win, tails you lose

Here's Chris Cillizza in the WashPost: "Who had the worst week in Washington?  President Obama."
“There’s no doubt that the Republicans had a good night,” he conceded, before pivoting to note that the message voters were sending had nothing to do with him but, rather, was about wanting politicians to get things done.
Except that Obama had said repeatedly during the runup to the vote that his policies were very much part of the election. “Make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot,” he said at Northwestern University in early October. “Every single one of them.”
You don’t get to have it both ways — taking the credit if your side wins and shirking the blame if it loses. Obama said Wednesday that he wouldn’t “read the tea leaves” of the 2014 elections. Of course, he was more than willing to read those same leaves after his 2012 reelection.
You've met Obama right?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Meanwhile here in Massachusetts

I was pretty happy that Charlie Baker won the governor's race here in the Bay State.  Two ballot questions went the way I wanted: eliminating automatic gas tax increases and a "no" on a bottle tax.  But I really wanted Massachusetts voters to repeal the casino law that will place a temple of gambling in Springfield.

Alas, the rest of Massachusetts wanted some easy tax revenues.  The communities around Springfield were not so enthusiastic:
The anti-casino communities include:
A cluster of 17 contiguous towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties, stretching from New Salem in the east to Worthington in the west.
I suppose I should be a good libertarian and let people do what they want, but I just don't think the government should be in the business of casinos.  It creates all kind of perverse, entangling conflicts of interest where the state government will be actively supporting the fleecing of its citizens for a cut of the vig.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Finally, a Keystone vote

Zero Hedge: "Obama May Have To Shut Down Government To Halt The Keystone Pipeline."

Some stats

Legal Insurrection: "Election Day odds and ends."  New York elected the youngest-ever Congresswoman, so that was cool.


Hot Air: "As I’m writing this, tea partier Paul LePage has been reelected governor in bluish-purple Maine. The only race I can think of offhand where the GOP had a real shot and didn’t capitalize was Scott Brown’s loss in New Hampshire. Otherwise it’s a wipeout."

Did I say "eight is enough?"  At this writing, it looks like nine Senate seats will be the basement.

Here's a comment from earlier today:
Only two races need to be watched: Mia Love in Utah, and Scott Walker in Wisconsin. All others are pendulum.
If a black female Republican wins in Utah, and a Union-busting governor wins in a blue state like Wisconsin, it’s Katie bar the door for Democrat Doom.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Thanks, Joe!

Weekly Standard: "Biden Blows Greg Orman's Cover: He 'Will Be With Us'"  Or not.

I'm so happy on this race only because it rejects the Torricelli maneuver.

Eight is enough

I meant to post this earlier but Larry Sabato's analysis of +8 in the Senate for the Republicans is spot on.  The only close race here is Kansas but I think the built-in political structure of the GOP in Kansas will overcome an Independent bid.

Yes, I was wrong about Scott Brown in New Hampshire.  I shook his hand before the special election against Martha Coakley so I have a special place in my heart for the guy.

Extra - I should have known that Brown would lose in New Hampshire but - on the flip side - I should have guessed that Tillis would win in deep-red North Carolina.  And he did!  Nice.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Headline of the year

Business Insider: "Man Immediately Regrets Jumping Onto A Dead Whale Being Eaten By Great White Sharks."  Australia, mate.

The problem with democracy is those dumb voters

The Corner: "The New York Times’ ‘Cancel the Midterms’ Rant Is a Call for Monarchy."  "They don’t want government to be more accountable to the people, because they believe the people are the problem."

What happened to the New York Times?  They have absolutely no values that stay constant, regardless of political bias.  Watch their position on the Senate filibuster swing back again after the midterms.

Extra - Hot Air: "The most depressing thing about it is that it treats the midterms as an unwelcome obstacle to presidential power at a moment when presidential power has arguably never been greater (in peacetime, at least). That’s a Hopenchange view of democracy if ever there was one."

More - Commentary: "Democrats' pitiful premature sour grapes."

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Lena Dunham is messed up

I was trying to ignore this story of Dunham's childhood, um, "curiosities" aptly described by Kevin Williamson this way: "There is no non-horrific interpretation of this episode."  But if pre-pubescent exploration can be explained away as a youthful indiscretion, what explains Dunham's need to recount the event in her book?  Has she no shame, or is she really hard up for autobiographical material?

Then, to compound the problem, she takes to Twitter to express outrage that she would be quoted with her own words.  Yes, Lena, it is disgusting but not for the reasons you think.

Disclaimer: I have never seen "Girls."  That might be a "claimer" now that I think of it.

Because foreign policy is going so great

Hot Air: "An Iran nuclear deal will be the ObamaCare of our second term."  "By which he means it’ll be terrible in practice, enacted though dubious procedures, and defended by liberals unto eternity because protecting Obama’s legacy requires them to keep his biggest turds polished to a glossy sheen."

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Just one

Fox News: "Holder says ‘subpoena’ to Fox News reporter is his one regret."  My bad, almost destroying your career, infringing on your First Amendment rights, and stuff.

Extra - Business as usual at the DOJ: "FBI Announces Investigation of GOP Senate Candidate Days Before Election."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frat house foreign policy

We're in the very best of hands: our enemies march overland while this White House insults our only ally in the Middle East.  The Corner: "The Embarassing, Sophomoric Malice of Obama-Administration Foreign Policy":
The Islamic State rampages, Hamas restocks (with the help of American humanitarian aid), Boko Haram kidnaps, the Taliban advance, Russia owns new/old ground in Europe. And amidst the ruin of their foreign policy, the intellectual and emotional infants in the Obama administration hashtag away, mustering up their anger and fury to sling schoolyard insults at a close ally. All while doing their best to defer the hardest fighting against emerging enemies to the Oval Office’s next occupant.

Bravo. You truly have “reset” American foreign policy. You must feel so proud.
Ed Driscoll piles on John Kerry, our erstwhile Secretary of State, who is doing something I-don't-know-what.  As for me, I look at everything through the prism of Obama's enormous ego: the mystery "high official" who called Netanyahu "chickens--t" was probably echoing the opinion of his boss.  Because if things are spiraling out of control, it's not Obama's fault, oh heaven's no.  It must be the Israelites.  Maybe Dubya.

Sorry for the language, folks.

Extra - The Federalist: "Obama Administration Finally Identifies The Middle East’s Biggest Problem: Israel."

More - Meanwhile, Turkey is drifting away from the NATO alliance.  This is all the fault of that jerk Erdogan, I suppose.

The mission of the Red Cross

I donate to the Red Cross once in a while so that means I'm bombarded with solicitations.  No more, not after hearing this story on NPR this morning: "Red Cross 'Diverted Assets' During Storms' Aftermath To Focus On Image."  It turns out they were much more concerned about public relations = such as providing a backdrop to any politician in front of a microphone - than actual relief activity.

Extra - From Hot Air.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Berkeley hates free speech

An ongoing series on tolerance: "Berkeley Muslims prove Bill Maher's point."  "What was it that Bill Maher said that got him into hot water with leftwingers and Muslims?  Right — he slammed their intolerance, their illiberalism."

Condi Rice sympathizes,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Down to the wire in New Hampshire

Remember the other day when I predicted Scott Brown was going to pull out the upset win in New Hampshire?

Don't look now....

Best headline since "Foot heads arms body"

Saw this on Imgur:

The most popular comment is: "My mom worked for a local paper. They live for chances like this."  I totally forget where I saw this but there was some documentary about working on a newspaper and a bunch of guys were spitballing headlines.  The situation for the front page was that President Clinton was coming to New York City but was pointedly avoiding a meeting with then-mayor Rudy Giuliani.  There were a bunch of variations on "Slick Willie" but then somebody said "The Brooklyn Dodger" and everybody erupted in a show of admiration for the perfect line.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Out of the loop

Charles Krauthammer: "Barack Obama, bewildered bystander."

The hive mind of the mainstream media

Ed Morrissey: "Why a GOP wave election will surprise the media."  The press was positively giddy in 2006 - this sixth-year midterm?  Not so much.

Related - "CNN anchor, liberals give grins and thumbs up to violence against the 'Right' women."

Obama should fire himself

Here's Ron Fournier in the National Journal insisting that Obama should really clean house: "What a real White House shakeup looks like"
For his sake and ours, Obama must fire himself. He needs to recognize that, for all of his strengths as a person and a politician, he's shown an astonishing lack of growth on the job. Obama won't evolve unless he replaces enablers with truth-tellers—advisers unafraid of telling the president he's wrong.
He suggests a new chief of staff: Leon Panetta, who is the only Democrats in Washington willing to state that the emperor has no clothes.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Here in Massachusetts

Shocker from the Boston Globe: "Baker opens up lead over Coakley in new poll."
Republican Charlie Baker has opened up a 9-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley, 45 percent to 36 percent, according to a new Globe poll that depicts a far more comfortable advantage than either candidate for governor has enjoyed in months.
The poll reflects an October surge in independent voters toward Baker’s column. It was independents who provided Governor Deval Patrick with his margins of victory in 2006 and 2010.
Nine. Points.  I have to comment on the quality of television commercials I've seen: Baker's commercials are "jobs jobs jobs" backed with American flags while Coakley...talks about her brother who had mental illness.  Huh?  The negative ads have been handled mostly by outside groups and virtually every one by the Baker supporters shows Coakley awkwardly guessing that the gas tax in Massachusetts is ten cents (it's actually 24 cents).  This election is coming down to an unlikable Democrat against an appealing alternative.

And since I'm already on that theme, this is why I think Scott Brown is going to win in New Hampshire.  The polls there are extremely tight and, just like Coakley, I don't think there's a wellspring of support for Jeanne Shaheen.  If it comes down to turnout, Brown's going to overcome a 1-2% deficit.  IIRC independents broke heavily for Brown in his special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat so maybe lightning will strike twice.

IQ Tunes

Consequence of Sound: "Smart people listen to Radiohead and dumb people listen to Beyoncé, according to study."

Ebola in NYC

Well that's just peachy: an infectious disease in the nation's most populous city.  Ron Klain will be here any moment to tell us there's nothing to worry about.  This man is a doctor and: "Apparently it didn’t worry Spencer enough to self-isolate during the potential incubation period, which raises a whole lot of questions about the CDC’s latest approach to dealing with travelers from western Africa."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No money down

Hit & Run: "Insanity Defined: Feds Unveil Plan to Help High-Risk Homebuyers Take On Massive Debt. Again."

Won't you come home, Bruce Bailey?

Democrats are starting to get wise: ""The ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing," said one Democratic Senate strategist."

Extra - Commentary: "Obama's gift to Republicans."  Keep talkin' chief.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Checking that box

Ron Fournier in National Journal: "Naked Politics: The Ebola Czar Has No Clothes."
1. We shouldn't need an Ebola czar.
2. We already put somebody in charge of corralling federal bureaucracies and coordinating local responses to national emergencies. His name is Barack Obama.
Look, man, he's very busy today.

Extra - Minuteman: "My advice to Team Obama - encourage the Big Guy to take a look around. If he sees a playing field and thousands of screaming fans then he is probably in a luxury skybox somewhere and yes, he is free to cheer and boo like any other spectator. But if he sees a famous desk and slightly curved walls, then he is probably in the Oval Office and might want to remember that he is Chief Executive of the United States and is notionally responsible for the many bureaucracies he purportedly leads."

More - Powerline: "NY Times says: Obama is angry at Administration's incompetence!"  Yes it's the "I'm so mad!" stage of crisis management.

The headline says it all

Obamacare in the New York Times (!!!): "Unable to meet the deductible or the doctor."  Otherwise, what a great program.  That's why nearly twice as many Americans say they've been harmed by Obamacare than helped.

It's OK: we can just print more money

Reason Online: "How much will Obamacare cost?  Bet on 'more than expected'."  With graphic graphics included.

Two Jeremys from Gotham City

Why does everybody want to talk about the Batman?  Geez.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Eleven days later

Ace: "Obamacare Website Won't Reveal New, Higher Premiums -- Until After the Election, Of Course."

I think Republicans should take a page from the playbook of alleged pederast Harry Reid: just say loudly and repeatedly that Obamacare premiums are going to go up 30%.  It's not true?  Who cares: it's truthy enough and there's an election to win.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanks for the weekend, Henry Ford

Interesting post at The Truth About Cars: "Henry Ford Paid His Workers $5 a Day So They Wouldn’t Quit, Not So They Could Afford Model Ts."
While Henry Ford may be unfairly credited with inventing the assembly line, he usually doesn't get any credit for an innovation of his that has made the lives of working men and women much more pleasant, the weekend. Having the weekend off from work is conventionally attributed to organized labor. The labor movement has given workers a lot of things, but not the weekend. That, too, was Henry Ford’s innovation.
So he could run his assembly line 24/7/365.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Present and future value

Marginal Revolution: "How to discount pensions" reviews how the Dutch calculate their pension obligations.  "But all economists now agree. The expected-return approach is a huge economic offense, hurting younger generations.”

Simply put, when future pension payouts are projected to fall short, the pension operator (such as CALPers) is supposed to increase the required contribution percentage.  But they hate to do this because it always causes a huge political backlash.  So instead they just say: "Hey, we project the fund will grow by 20% a year forever" and problem solved...until the future generations come looking for their "guaranteed" pension.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I'm pretty sure lifting another player for a slam dunk is illegal

Did I say illegal?  I meant awesome:

Via Hot Air.

Guess the country

Via Maggie's Farm, a tale of desperate times:
There is “an anti-work mentality, absurd fiscal pressure, a lack of promotion prospects, and the burden of debt hanging over future generations,” [said the government commission chair].
“Young people feel stuck, and they want interesting jobs. Businessmen say the labour code is complex and they’re taxed even before they start working. Pensioners can also pay less tax abroad,” she says.
Anyway, the country is France.  On that last point, though, I've noticed that Belize - we speak English! - has been advertising on television, urging retirees to have their Social Security checks forwarded to their white sand beach houses,

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Murder, south of the border

At my last job, I used to write technical paper for conferences, which was a great way to travel.  One conference was in Mexico and I steadfastly refused to go - with good reason.  Good Lord.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Where's the love?

Gallup: "More Still Say Health Law Has Hurt Instead of Helped Them - Nearly half in U.S. say ACA will make healthcare worse in long run."

Film review: "Divergent" - Stereotypes on steroids

I saw this movie last night and at first I'm like "meh" but the more I thought about it, the worse it became.

In a dystopian future Chicago, everybody is separated into five factions.  The "Amity" faction are a bunch of hippy-dippy farmers, possibly sampling too much of their crop.  The "Candor" faction "always tells the truth" which amounts to be that rude douchebag who says: "Yes, that dress does make you look fat."

But the main story is the conflict between "Erudite," "Dauntless" and "Abnegation."  Make no mistake: the "Abnegation" faction which chooses a simple lifestyle and helps the poor (i.e. "Factionless") is the hero of the story.  This faction runs the government but here comes "Erudite" - the brains of society - to take over.  Because that's what the smart overclass does.  Thanks Citizens United!

But wait: how can these pencil-pushing poindexters take over the government?  Well, they take control of the "Dauntless" faction by literally turning them into mindless drones.  Maybe I'm overreacting but this struck me as a calumny against the military as a whole.

The movie is full of insults to the intelligence, large and small.  There is one annoying character who exists only to bad-mouth the protagonist (Tris); we get it, dude, you're here to introduce conflict.  The Abnegation father, who has clearly never touched a gun in his life, turns into shotgun-pumping Rambo.  The movie closes with our heroes "riding the train to the end" which means something, I don't know what.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The inevitable crisis

This article by WashPost's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt is almost too good to excerpt.  We have an entitlement crisis growing and this President, despite his stated promises, is determined to ignore them: "Obama's false victory over the deficit."
In other words, when it comes to entitlement reform, as far as this administration is concerned: mission accomplished.
Which is fair enough, if your horizon is Jan. 20, 2017.
Anyone looking beyond that date should be alarmed at the satisfaction Obama proclaims despite the prospect of ever-rising government debt. What’s most astounding about his flip-flop on entitlement reform is that the biggest victim will be the progressive causes he claims to cherish.
I've been saying this forever: the debt load will squeeze out all the things we call the "government":
Federal debt has reached 74 percent of the economy’s annual output (GDP), “a higher percentage than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II,” the CBO says, “and almost twice the percentage at the end of 2008.” With no change in policy, that percentage will hold steady or decline a bit for a couple of years and then start rising again, to a dangerous 78 percent by 2024 and an insupportable 106 percent by 2039.
As a result, by 2039 the government will be shelling out interest payments equal to 4.5 percent of GDP, more than twice the average share of the past 40 years.
Meanwhile, with the population aging and costs still rising, payments for Social Security and health programs including Medicare and Obamacare also will soar, the CBO estimates. By 2039 those programs will consume 14 percent of GDP, again double the average of the past 40 years. That’s taking into account the good news that Podesta heralded in his tweet.
Put those together and the government will be spending on entitlement programs and interest alone just about what it spends today on the entire budget. Everything else — schools, pre-K, Pell grants, national parks, mass transit, housing subsidies — will get squeezed, or taxes will soar, or both.
I fear that Americans are so enamored with the road to serfdom, they'll fail to see the danger of government that exists only to tax and send that money to retirees and banks.  At 100% debt-to-GDP, there's virtually no flexibility for a government to respond to major disruptions like the TARP bailout and we become a slave to our creditors.  This was how Eisenhower broke the will of the Brits in the Suez Crisis.  It's not so hard to see how a showdown over Hong Kong or Taiwan would take shape when China floats taking payment on $1 trillion in U.S. bonds.

But, hey, we'll have Obamacare.  Which is nice.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

RFK Jr.: Shut up or it's jail for you

Powerline: "Little Bobby, now in full backtracking mode."  Why he never, ever, said he we should throw "denialists" in jail and throw away the key.

Kinda funny and awful

Buzzfeed: "“Modern Family” Editor Live-Tweets Every Passenger’s Worst Nightmare."  It was a drunk woman on a plane being loud and drunk.

I don't travel as much by plane as I used to but, especially after 9/11, it was always my fear that the flight would be grounded due to the airline's hair-trigger response to jerks like this.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Norway says "nei takk" to the Olympics

Thank you Google Translate!  Anyway, Norway heeded the will of the people and pulled Oslo out of contention for the 2022 Winter Olympics, leaving only China and Kazakhstan in the running.  It seems the Norwegians didn't want the headache and recoiled at some of the IOC's outlandish demands.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Democrats hate free speech: the proof

It's been my long-standing position that Democrats hate the First Amendment and now I have the data.  Hot Air: "Poll 51% of Democrats support criminalizing hate speech."  As long as they can define hate speech, the Dems are ready to censor.

By a 2-1 margin, both Republicans and Independents oppose hate crime laws but by well over a 2-1 margin, Democrats say "shut the hell up".  Because Gaia, racist.

Another article proving it's impossible to talk about Social Security

News flash everybody: there are Republicans out there in the American heartland who are suggesting that all may not be well in Social Security land - just like the program's Trustees:
Neither Medicare nor Social Security can sustain projected long-run program costs in full under currently scheduled financing, and legislative changes are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers.
Crazy talk! sez the New York Times (natch) columnist Gail Collins who has decided it's all a diabolical plot to throw Grandma from the gravy train:
By the way, Social Security is not going bankrupt. In 2033, incoming payroll taxes will no longer be enough to pay for all the benefits. But they’ll still cover about 75 percent of the payments and we could take care of the rest of the problem with a few tweaks — like getting rid of the cap on Social Security taxes. (Currently, all income over $117,000 is exempt from the payroll tax.)
There you go Generation X: you may have an Excel spreadsheet with estimated benefits from Social Security when you retire in 2033 but it's going to be 25% less than you calculated.  Geez, what's the big deal?  Besides, we can just soak those Richie-Riches.

Or can we?  The handshake agreement of Social Security is that it is a universal benefit and everybody gets back a benefit proportional to what was put in.  Raising the income cap means that people like Bill Gates would receive million-dollar Social Security benefit checks every month.  FDR didn't want Social Security to be a welfare program and that's why the income cap exists: the maximum in taxes also caps the maximum benefit.

This important distinction is lost on 98% of the commenters on the NYT opinion page, who are in full torch-and-pitchfork mode.  We shouldn't expect anything different from the paper that puts populist rhetoric above all.