Monday, June 30, 2014

High court trolling

The funniest part about today's Hobby Lobby ruling was the army of dunderheads sending angry tweets to SCOTUSblog, believing it is the account for the real Supreme Court.

Extra - Hit and Run: "The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Decision Isn't About Corporations—It's About Individuals."  In short, you don't check your First Amendment rights at the door just because you started a company.

Massachusetts rolls the dice on casino revenues

Here in the Bay State, the State House passed a budget but they're counting on revenues that may disappear faster than chips at a blackjack table:
An expected $73 million from casino licensing fees is included in the budget though that may need to be readdressed in the fall if the ballot question seeking the repeal of the state authorizing the casinos passes.
I think there's a very good chance that Massachusetts voters will repeal the casino authorization and that money will disappear, so why include it?  It seems irresponsible but then, hey, Poppa needs slots cash.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

They fought the CalPERs and the CalPERs won

City Journal: "San Bernardino Surrenders - The bankrupt city gives in to California’s public pension giant. Now what?"

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pay for my stuff, misogynists!

DC Trawler: "Sandra Fluke still wants stuff for free."  "A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions. Especially when it comes to refusing to paying for them. You’ll do it and you’ll like it, you woman-haters!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

There - right there - is your problem

Here's WashPost dude Chris Cillizza on "Americans don't trust the media. That's a very bad thing."
Your first reaction to that fact is likely something like this: Damn right. The media is so conservative/liberal/some other ideology that they don't deserve to be trusted.
Really?  Really?  The problem is that, oh I'm just spitballin' here, the media might be too conservative?  That's your problem there, Chris, that you even entertain this Bizarro-world scenario.  The media has been going 24/7 painting Darrell Issa as this nutjob crusader when anybody who has operated a Commodore 64 understands that disk-drive crashes are are exceedingly rare.  I've been around computers since my TI-99/4A and I've never heard of anybody losing all their data in a disk crash.  It's like amnesia or getting trapped in an elevator on a sitcom: it doesn't really happen.

George Will said it best:
"Now we know but not only her hard drive, but six other people intimately involved in this suddenly crashed in an amazing miraculous coincidence religions have been founded on less," Will said.
Yet the media - maybe liberal maybe conservative - treats this like a curiosity.  There's ample evidence that a branch of the government was used to harass conservative groups but, hey, these things happen.  Now let's get back to our 12-part expose on the lane shutdown on the GWB!

Snow crash

At the rate this week is going, I would not be surprised if Bin Laden rose from the dead to engineer a hostile takeover of General Motors.

Zero Hedge: "GDP Disaster: Final Q1 GDP Crashes To -2.9%, Lowest Since 2009, Far Below The Worst Expectations."  "Finally, as a reminder, US GDP has never fallen more than 1.5% except during or just before an NBER-defined recession since quarterly GDP records began in 1947. Good luck department of truth propaganda machine, because even assuming 3% growth every other quarter in 2014 means 2014 GDP will be 1.5% at best!"

The Federalist: "The economy tanked last quarter and it's everybody's fault but Obama's."  Duh!  Tell me something I don't know.  Currently the chief culprit is this period of declined temperatures some are calling "winter."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MA Supreme Court: Let the people speak

In 2011, the Massachusetts State House passed a law legalizing gambling because, hey, we need cash.  Despite my libertarian leanings, I've always been against casinos since they are an immoral pathway to graft, corruption and predation on people who can least afford to gamble.

More recently, anti-casino activists have been trying to get a referendum on the ballot to let the people of Massachusetts vote directly on the question of casinos.  Up until now, that exercise in democracy has been blocked by the Patrick administration as unconstitutional.  The argument from Boston is that now that we've lured casinos to pay fees and advertise (and bribe) to vie for a spot in the Bay State it would be wrong to turn around and say "never mind."  Well, today, the Supreme Judicial Court disagreed:
The Supreme Judicial Court has cleared the way for a showdown on the ballot this fall over the 2011 state law that legalized casino gambling in Massachusetts.
The SJC ruled 7-0 on Tuesday that the question should have a spot on the November ballot, disagreeing with Attorney General Martha Coakley's argument that the law was unconstitutional.
I'm so happy, almost as happy when the nearby town of Palmer turned down a bid by Mohegan Sun.  Sign me up for a "no" bumper sticker.

Heck of a job, Maliki

Over at the Atlantic, Peter Beinart drops the hammer: "Obama's Disastrous Iraq Policy: An Autopsy".
But sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama’s Iraq policy has been a disaster. Since the president took office, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has grown ever more tyrannical and ever more sectarian, driving his country’s Sunnis toward revolt. Since Obama took office, Iraq watchers—including those within his own administration—have warned that unless the United States pushed hard for inclusive government, the country would slide back into civil war. Yet the White House has been so eager to put Iraq in America’s rearview mirror that, publicly at least, it has given Maliki an almost-free pass. Until now, when it may be too late.
As the article notes, a parade of generals, senators and foreign policy experts warned this Administration that marginalization of the Sunnis would invite civil war, Obama pressed ahead with troop withdrawals all while praising Maliki's "inclusive" government.  Then, when things turned bad, Obama turned to his old ways:
For his part, Obama has not spoken to Maliki since their meeting last November.
You see, when you're the only adult in the room, you just can't talk to these people.

And before I get the standard pushback: I understand that comments like those from Dick Cheney are meant to inflame rather than inform.  But this guy has been Commander-in-Chief for going on six years now and he was certainly eager to declare Al-Qaeda "decimated" and Iraq stabilized during the Presidential election.  Back then he was Large and In Charge.  Now the new line is that, hey, Maliki forced me into this - nothin' I can do.  And as ISIS lays siege to Baghdad, we can debate whether they're the best damn junior varsity team ever to take the field.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm gonna start my own train, with blackjack and hookers!

Hit and Run: "Bite My Shiny Metal—SUSPEND TRAIN SERVICE!"  "A child's abandoned school project led the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to suspend service on Metro-North, a commuter rail line that serves New York and Connecticut, for part of early Friday morning. The middle school student fashioned a cardboard box to look like head of Bender, a character in the animated series Futurama."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Walmart responds

NY Times opinion writer Timothy Egan decided to do a hit piece on America's largest employer and Walmart decided to hit back.  (Hat tip: Bookworm Room).

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quote of the day

Jim Geraghty on the U.S. sending 300 "military advisers" to Iraq: "I suppose if there’s a chance you’ll run across Persians, 300 guys is a good number to have."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Perspective on OK Go's latest video

This needs to be watched a couple times to catch everything:

Thought police

Hit and Run: "Hillary Clinton Equates Gun Control Opponents With Terrorists"
"We cannot let a minority of people—and that's what it is, it is a minority of people—hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people." Evidently Clinton's idea of a more thoughtful conversation about gun control involves equating disagreement with terrorism while claiming some opinions are so dangerous that "we cannot let" people hold them.
This is part of a continuing series on the Left's flexible definition of free speech.  No word on whether Hillary hopped into a car sporting a "Tolerance" bumper sticker.

Extra - Hot Air: "Aspiring presidential candidate thinks opposing viewpoints “terrorize” people."

Vox sux

PJ Tatler: "One Reason that Vox is the Most Clownish Site on the Entire Internet."

Twitchy: "Vox throws ‘hanging curveball’ about IRS funding; Iowahawk hilariously hits it out of the park."

The Iraq mess

Believe it or not, I'm going to side with Kirsten Powers here: "Iraq crisis is not Obama's fault."  This guy rose to the Presidency on his promise to get out of Iraq and America voted for him twice.  America tried to stabilize the country and set up a power-sharing government among the competing religious and regional factions, paid for with American lives and treasure.  Maybe it's time to say "no more":
Everyone told Maliki that to keep his country together and peaceful, he had to build relationships with Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds. As Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains, Maliki ignored the advice. He didn’t just neglect the Sunnis. He mistreated and alienated them. That’s a big reason why a Sunni extremist group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now controls much of Iraq’s territory and is advancing on Baghdad.
William Saletan concludes: "For nearly a decade, we tried to manage Iraq. What we got was dysfunction. Maybe it’s time to let Iraq learn to manage itself."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Brave, brave Hillary

Allegedly named after the intrepid mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, the former Secretary of State is going to speak her mind, consequences be damned!  Hot Air: "Famous Clinton courage exhibited in Hillary’s answer to Keystone question: ‘I can’t respond"

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pay heed

Hit and Run: "3 reasons Eric Cantor lost - and why Republicans will continue to lose."

I forget where I saw it but in one of the many post-mortems on Cantor's defeat, there was an anecdote about how he was taking credit for an earmark in his (former) Virginia district.  The constituent he was talking to was not amused since, like me, he believes that government spending is out of control.  When borrowing from China is the path of least resistance - guess what - the national debt doubles in just ten years.


Watts Up with That: "Obama invokes ‘tauntology’ in discussing climate skeptics."  "Wow, grade school level logical fallacy. How…unpresidential."  Uh-oh, we've let him down again.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Speech is free unless you disagree

As part of an ongoing theme from the tolerant Left: "It’s NPR That Ends Up Getting Burned When It Tries To Play Gotcha With Adam Corolla."  Believe it or not, like a good granola-eater, I used to contribute to NPR during their pledge drives.  That is until NPR's fundraising guy revealed his true colors.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's going swimmingly

George Will: “Obama is, in fact, implementing the foreign policy he promised,”  Hillary helped.

Strike that, reverse it

Remember when Chuck Hagel was the decider on the can't-wait-a-minute swap on Bergdahl?  Good times.  The White House wants you to know that it was that guy in the Rose Garden all along: "Never Mind: White House Now Says Obama Is Responsible for Bergdahl/Taliban Swap After All."  "One of the best things about living in the Age of Obama is that every day, if not every hour, there’s a new version of reality. It keeps you on your toes!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Secretary Hagel reports for bus duty

There's an appointment on Obama's schedule today that doesn't involve a sports team:
5:25 pm || Meets with Secretary of Defense Hagel
I think we know what this is all about:

“They indicated [it was] Secretary Hagel [who made the final call],” House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, told reporters following the briefing Monday evening. “It was the president of the United States that came out [in the Rose Garden] with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?”
That's odd since Chuck Hagel himself said Obama made the "ultimate decision" on Bergdahl.  Now that the polls are moving in the wrong direction, well, the wheels on the bus demand sacrifice.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Still checking on that

Free Beacon: "State Department Still Won’t Say If Bergdahl Ransom Was Paid."  I'm sure the State Department flunkies are busy cooking up a press release about how money was wired to Qatar which then immediately sent it to the Haqqani network so, Q.E.D., there were no direct payments.

Phase three of the Obamacare cost projections

Phase one: Obamacare will reduce the budget deficit
Phase two: Obamacare will be deficit-neutral
Phase three: We can't figure out what the costs will be
Phase four: Obamacare increases the budget deficit

Fiscal Times: "CBO Quietly Drops Forecast That Obamacare Will Cut the Deficit":
In April, the agency quietly signaled that it can no longer make that projection; that the law had been changed and delayed so much that there is no longer a credible way to estimate the long-term effects on the deficit of all elements of the program taken together.
A majority of Americans have seen this coming because the history of entitlements suggests that political pressures always lean towards expanding benefits and minimizing penalties, thereby taking the path of least resistance which is expanding budget deficits.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Watterson appears

This is a great story via the "Pearls Before Swine" blog by cartoonist Stephan Pastis.  Pastis contacted legendary (and reclusive) cartoonist Bill Watterson of "Calvin and Hobbes" fame and asked him to do a couple comic strips.  Watterson helped out on the condition that nobody know until the strips ran in the paper.

Friday, June 06, 2014


There's a huge archive of D-Day pictures over at the Brigade.

In "Band of Brothers" there's a scene where Easy Company is shown in the planes heading over to Normandy.  The scene goes on a little too long, showing nothing in particular, except Airborne soldiers sitting and contemplating.  They don't talk, they don't cry or vomit, they just stare.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Feinstein upset by Obama's "enforcement discretion"

Via Hot Air, the Senate Intelligence chairwoman is upset that the White House broke the law by not giving notice before releasing five Taliban terrorists back to Qatar.  Now that Dianne Feinstein is being ignored, it's kind of a big deal.  Where was Dianne's selective outrage during Obama's other flights of enforcement fancy?
But even before he decreed alterations of key ACA provisions — delaying enforcement of certain requirements for health insurance and enforcement of employers’ coverage obligations — he had effectively altered congressionally mandated policy by altering work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform; and compliance requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law; and some enforcement concerning marijuana possession; and the prosecution of drug crimes entailing mandatory minimum sentences; and the enforcement of immigration laws pertaining to some young people.
Whatever, man: nation of laws, nation of whims.  Look, everybody's doin' it:
Qatar has moved five Afghan Taliban prisoners freed in exchange for a U.S. soldier to a residential compound and will let them move freely in the country, a senior Gulf official said on Tuesday, a step likely to be scrutinized by Washington.
Enforcement discretion.  It's all the scrutible rage.

Extra - More "discretion": when you can't convince 'em, tell 'em to suck it up and salute: "White House Overrode Normal Rules of Interagency Debate on Bergdahl Exchange to Get the Answer They Wanted."

Monday, June 02, 2014

Mission accomplished

The Hill: "Bergdahl bumps VA from spotlight."  It was worth five Taliban commanders to take the heat off the Administration and its worst week ever.

Meanwhile, you just can't please some people.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

My excellent ear

I was listening to Prokofiev tonight - because I'm a sophisticated guy - and I heard what I was certainly the Scut Farkus theme song from "A Christmas Story."  And I was right:
Zaza chose Prokofiev’s 1936 children’s classic to accompany the debut scene with Scut Farkus, the neighborhood bully.
“We had to make this yellow-eyed, freckly-faced ugly little kid really mean,” said Zaza. “I didn’t want to start using horror music techniques because we don’t want to scare people. It’s supposed to depict a very mean, bad-spirited person who wants to hurt people. I just loved the Peter and the Wolf thing because it’s got some nastiness in it – but it’s still playful."
Also, there's a good chunk of Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet.