Saturday, August 30, 2014

You keep using that word "consensus"

I do not think it means what you think it means.  Watts Up With That: "A psychologist’s scathing review of John Cook’s ‘97% consensus’ nonsensus paper."

Message mismatch

Geez, maybe the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of State should have a meeting once in a while.  Minuteman: "Save It For The Funny Papers, Or, The Long Slow Flip-Flop Into Light."

Let's have an open conversation about race and now shut up

Here's a story via the Volokh Conspiracy about a woman who had the temerity to discuss a double-standard in reporting and outrage when race roles are reversed and was demoted: "Speech at work complaining about alleged anti-white bias in the context of the Trayvon Martin matter = ‘hostile work environment’ harassment."
If you were advising someone, not as a politician but as a lawyer or as a friend, would you really recommend that she have “a discussion [about race] … around … water coolers” at the office, even “in a truthful and mature and responsible way”? Or would you warn her that she might get fired or demoted for it, both because of employer concern about coworker morale, and because of employer worry that statements such as hers (perhaps aggregated together over several months) could lead to an expensive lawsuit?
There is little upside and significant downside for whites in a so-called "open" conversation on race.  So the heavy lifting is left to the handful of black conservatives:
According to the Left, the economic hardships blacks face are largely due to latent racism. According to Ben Carson, and many other conservatives (Larry Elder also comes to mind), big-government policies, not racism, are the primary force suppressing black advancement.
History shows Ben Carson is right, and Jesse Jackson is wrong.
I'm sure that this distinguished neurosurgeon will be treated with the appropriate respect for his apposite if unpopular opinions.

Related - Mark Steyn on the consequences when people fear being branded "racist."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Checking that box

In case you missed it, and good for you, Obama said some stuff: "Obama Enters Briefing Room to Say Absolutely Nothing."  Well, he did manage to communicate to our enemies that "we don't have a strategy" so they must be relieved.

This is all bad theater, a desultory drive-by for the press to mouth some words before getting back to his regular job: "After Grueling Golf Vacation, Obama Finally Getting Back to Fundraising."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sign me up

Fox News: "If They Can Do It: 'Reality' show challenges contestants to balance the budget."
Here's the set-up: Carroll and his team took eight ordinary people from Albuquerque, N.M., and challenged them to balance the federal budget in a single weekend. The group, made up of four Republicans, three Democrats and one Democrat-leaning independent, was forced to fight it out until they came up with a way to solve Washington's biggest head-scratcher.
Spoiler alert: the group was able to balance the budget.
I'm of the mind that drastic cuts that are optional now should be done before they're mandatory later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sea of red

Veronique de Rugy: "The CBO’s New Budget Outlook: Debt Ahoy!"  "If government mismanagement of public finances goes unchecked for too long, then at some point in the future Americans will face the dual burdens of high interest payments and economic stagnation."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pay your taxes, patriot!

Fox News: "Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown calls for Burger King boycott over Tim Hortons deal."

You know who else really hates paying taxes?  This guy:
Ohio Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown was more than four months delinquent in paying taxes on his Washington, D.C., apartment and had to pay a penalty and interest last week.
This was not the first time, records show.
Brown also was delinquent in 2006 and 2007 and paid penalties and interest, according to tax records from the District of Columbia.
Seems like he got his tax advice from this other guy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's good to be the king

Hot Air: "Burger King: Enemy of the People."  It looks like Burger King is trying to make a royal inversion by taking over Canada's iconic Tim Horton's.  Can we take a moment to consider the rationality of a corporation trying to reduce its tax burden like any deduction-grabbing American?  Probably not.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rilo Kiley - "Does he love you?"

I stumbled across this song on some Elvis Costello compilation and it's really good.  Great vocals and soaring violins at the outro....nice.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tensions rising in Kashmir

Maybe it's just me, but I get a little nervous when nuclear powers start shooting at each other:.  CNN: "Exchange of fire on Pakistan-India border; deaths reported."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The minor victories of trivia

I play an all-night trivia game twice a year although, frankly, it's really hard to stay up all night.  (After all, I'm not in college anymore.)  But several times during the Williams College Trivia game, there's a sublime little moment that I equate to a surfer catching a perfect wave.  It arrives at that tipping point, that beautiful fulcrum, where you just can't quite remember the answer to a question...but then you can!

There was one game we played where the question was: what fragrance was pitched to Troy McClure on the Simpsons?  I chewed on this then blurted out: "Smellin' of Troy!"

So I really enjoyed this WashPost article about the elite of trivia players: " The coolest, weirdest Internet community you’ll never be able to join."  (We'll see about that...we'll see)
There is zero need to know the kind of information LearnedLeague tests. “There’s also no need to be able to throw a wad of paper into a wastebasket 20 feet away,” says Bushfield, but “it feels awesome when it goes in — in a totally meaningless but still fulfilling way.” The comparison is apt; there are truly few sensations so gratifying as knowing the correct answer to a LearnedLeague stumper.
Yup.  I went 2/8 on the sample quiz, so my victories were few and fleeting.  Still cool.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My son is off to college

So today I drove a heavily-laden car to New York and dropped off my firstborn at college.  I know I should be happy for him but, well, this is how I feel:

Who is running the show in Philly, Detroit and San Francisco?

In "Who Lost the Cities?" Kevin Williamson drops this tidbit about Nancy Pelosi's hometown:
The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black. The most pronounced economic inequality in the United States is not in some Republican redoubt in Texas but in San Francisco, an extraordinarily expensive city in which half of all black households make do with less than $25,000 a year. Blacks in San Francisco are arrested on drug felonies at ten times their share of the general population. At 6 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested for homicides. Whether you believe that that is the result of a racially biased criminal-justice system or the result of higher crime incidence related to socioeconomic conditions within black communities (or some combination of those factors) what is undeniable is that results for black Americans are far worse in our most progressive, Democrat-dominated cities than they are elsewhere. The progressives have had the run of things for a generation in these cities, and the results are precisely what you see.
This is the system that race hucksters like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton wanted.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lip sync battle

Paul Rudd is great.

Artifacts from flyover country

The Federalist: "Reporter Thought Earplugs Were Rubber Bullets. Does It Matter?"

I'm tempted to scold this so-called journalist for failing to employ simple research skills.  Has he never heard of Google Image Search?  But as Ed Driscoll points out, these East Coast snowflakes wear it as a badge of honor that they don't know anything about otherworldly cultures and don't care to find out.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In which I predict the future

Me, last Sunday: "Almost certainly, NASCAR will make a rule change that drivers cannot get out of their cars on the track until they get permission from safety crews (unless, of course, there's a fire or some other safety concern.)."

New York Times, today: "Responding to Death on a Track, Nascar Orders Drivers to Stay in Their Cars."  "Robin Pemberton, Nascar’s vice president for competition, announced Friday that drivers would now be required to remain in their racecars after accidents until safety workers arrived, unless they were at risk from fire or smoke."

In related news, Tony Stewart will sit out another race.

The Wal-mart thing again

Matt Walsh vs. a Walmart employee: "I'm spoiled and lazy but Walmart should pay me more money."

Extra - Legal Insurrection looks into the future of the $15 minimum wage.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Swish - purrrrrr

Flashbak: "6 common sounds of yesteryear we no longer hear."  Number 6 is "the rotary dial."

I actually have a rotary and I love that phone.  It weighs about 50 pounds and the ringing bell is clear and sonorous.  And here's the best part: when you're pissed at a caller (e.g. telemarketer) you can slam down the handset with great force and abandon.

Thus always to entitlements

The Washington Post's Robert Samuelson has a great article about how Social Security has been gradually shifted over the years to the point where it now violates the principles that FDR once insisted upon: "Would Roosevelt recognize today's Social Security?"
Roosevelt would surely be proud of this, and yet he might also have reservations. Social Security has evolved into something he never intended and actively opposed.
It has become what was then called “the dole” and is now known as “welfare.” This forgotten history clarifies why America’s budget problems are so intractable.
Social Security's shift from a kind of savings plan to outright generational theft took decades, starting from an override of FDR's veto over payroll taxes.  The shift from Obamacare's always-specious claim of "budget neutrality" was far, far briefer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Seems legit

The Hill: "Why is Obama returning to Washington?"

This theory seems as good as any.

Inflating the asset bubble for retirement dreams

Zero Hedge: "We're relying on phantom wealth to fund our retirement."  This will not end well: "Perhaps it's time that we face up to the fiscal reality that unprecedented promises can only be paid out of current income and hard assets that can be sold in vast quantities without depressing the price of those assets."

What did Hunter Pence do now?

MLB: "The 11 best signs trolling Hunter Pence."  Example: "Hunter Pence puts ketchup on his hot dog."  Heh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vanity of vanities - all is vanity

I've been trying to lay off the Obama-bashing posts because the blogosphere is already thick with posts, such as these:

Hot Air: "Remember when Obama took credit for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq instead of blaming Maliki for it?"
Twitchy: "Obama counters own claim Iraq troop pullout wasn’t his decision."
Ace of Spades: "Obama Now: It Wasn't My Choice to Pull All Troops Out of Iraq; That Meanwich Stinkburger al-Maliki Made Me
Obama Then: It Was Totes My Decision to Pull All Troops Out of Iraq!!!"

This is why the remainder of Obama's "presidency" is going to be golf and fundraisers: golf is his reward to himself after the dime-store adulation of a fundraiser.  Rinse and repeat.

As public approval of Obama's foreign policy drops into the thirties, you'd think it would invite a little introspection, some self-assessment, maybe a new approach.  Not this guy: he gets a little criticism from his former Secretary of State and he throws a scatological temper tantrum.  This follows a pattern of reaction that Obama usually reserves for Republicans: there is no other valid viewpoint than his and those who oppose him only do so because they're "hatin' all the time."

Everything this guy does is designed to stroke his ego.  Even the vague threat of impeachment is something to be turned into a badge of honor (and - natch - fundraising.)  Instead of viewing his inability to move legislation as a fault, he turns it into a power trip.  Nothing is ever his fault, and he's constantly disappointed by everybody from Putin to the intelligence community.

The midterm elections are often, fairly or not, called a referendum on a President's performance and recent polling indicates it's going to be quite a vote of no-confidence.  But that's not Obama's fault either because, as he never tires of telling his fundraising crowds, Democrats just don't get excited for midterm elections.  Maybe they forgot to get gas for the car.  The football game was on TV.  Something.

Whatever the excuse, it has nothing to do with Obama.  Because he's awesome sauce.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I did not have relations with that foreign policy

Hillary Clinton has an interview in the Atlantic and she wants to make it clear that "‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle."  So the distancing has begun for the former Secretary of State.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Something bad in Baghdad

Twitchy reports early Twitter chatter of a possible coup in Iraq.  Or maybe a coup in the sense that Maliki won't step down from power.  Rumors are flying.

Race track tragedy

This is just an awful story but a young dirt track driver was killed by three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in a race last night.  Kevin Ward Jr. climbed out of his car to confront Stewart who hit Ward while the field was under caution.

This happens every once in a while in NASCAR where a (wrecked) driver will walk right in front of another driver who done-him-wrong.  In fact, here's an angry Tony Stewart back in 2012 throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth:

Almost certainly, NASCAR will make a rule change that drivers cannot get out of their cars on the track until they get permission from safety crews (unless, of course, there's a fire or some other safety concern.)  This is not to exonerate Stewart's actions - nobody's quite sure what happened yet - but when tons of metal are on the move, it's probably best to stay out of the way.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Par for the course

Washington Post editorial: "Obama’s authorization of Iraq airstrikes isn’t connected to a coherent strategy."  "While U.S. airstrikes and drops of supplies may prevent the terrorist forces from massacring the Yazidi sect or toppling the pro-Western regime in Kurdistan, Mr. Obama lacks a plausible plan for addressing the larger threat posed by the Islamic State."

I understand the dilemma the President is in: he ran for office on the pledge to get out of Iraq.  But now that ISIS is on the march to Baghdad, the U.S. is dragged (reluctantly) back into the fray.  As the WashPost notes, it would be nice if Obama didn't just "check the box" again.

Extra - From Nice Deb.

More - Minuteman: "The Man Sans Plan."

Friday, August 08, 2014


I just saw "The Lego Movie" and can't remember the last time I LOL'd so much.  And, without giving away any spoilers, the Duplo addition was hilarious.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Borrowed words

At the suggestion of a friend, I'm reading Rick Perlstein's "Before the Storm" about Barry Goldwater.  It's pretty even-handed even though there are little slights and asides that reveal Perlstein's leanings.  Now there's an allegation that he plagiarized sections of his new book on Reagan.  Here's Tim Cavanaugh at the Corner: "Rick Perlstein: Probable plagiarist, definite jerk."

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Dear Leader wants to hear from you

It was Obama's birthday yesterday - did you know?  Don't you even care?

The Federalist: "Kneel before Zod: On Celebrating Obama's Birthday."

As Twitchy likes to remind us, this is not a cult.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Whole lotta similarities

This list of "Top 10 Rip-off Songs" caught my ear because I recently purchased the Spirit album with "Taurus" which is the - um - "inspiration" for Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".

Saturday, August 02, 2014

ManBearPig update

Darn you, empirical evidence!  Watts Up With That: "Global Temperature Update – Still no global warming for 17 years 10 months."

It's never the dog food

Hit and Run reports: "Survey Shows Massive Spike in Anti-Obamacare Opinion."  "In the last month, the survey reports an eight-point increase in unfavorable views of the health law, rising from 45 to 53 percent, and a two point drop in favorability from 39 down to 37.  Unfavorables are at their highest point ever in the survey, and the gap between positive and negative views of the law is nearly as large as it has ever been."

Could it be the ongoing policy cancellations or skyrocketing premiums?  Nope.  According to the reality-based community, it's stupid Americans.  Daily Kos: "Misinformation still driving Obamacare poll numbers."  By gum, this Administration just can't get their message across!

As they say in the ad biz: it's never the dog food.