Thursday, April 28, 2016

Does it matter who's President?

Charles Lane says no, since the federal government is going to be on autopilot: "Entitlements reform, RIP."
Seventy-five percent of planned federal spending between now and the end of the next two presidential terms is mandatory: Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, plus interest on the national debt, according to Congressional Budget Office forecasts. That money is going out the door no matter who’s president.
Neither Trump or Clinton are proposing anything to stop the bleeding from these programs and super-panderer Clinton is talking about expanding them.  Let's double that national debt again.

We'll always have Canada

NY Post: "Ted Cruz is crumbling before our very eyes."  He coulda been a contender.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

White hat/black hat

I just finished Season 2 of "Silicon Valley" and it reminded me of this clever puzzle:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Bizarro world of Obamacare

The Chosen One, perfect in every way, said this recently:
WALLACE:  Best day in the White House?

OBAMA: The day that we passed health care reform.
Here's Marc Thiessen in the WashPost laying bare how Obamacare has done exactly opposite of what was promised: "Obamacare disaster will be Obama’s enduring domestic legacy."
The president promised Obamacare would provide “more choice, more competition, lower costs.” Instead, Americans have less choice, less competition and higher costs.
. . . . .
The president promised “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But commercial insurers who stay in Obamacare are responding to massive losses by narrowing provider networks, with fewer doctors and hospitals to choose from. And those that quit are being replaced by Medicaid HMOs with even less doctor choice.
The president promised Obamacare would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” But insurers are raising premiums instead to cover the massive losses, and even Marilyn Tavenner — the former Obama administration official who ran Obamacare — has predicted premiums will rise even further next year.
Soon, very soon, we'll stop calling it Obamacare.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Using the State department as an ATM

Legal Insurrection: "Hillary's paid speech problem just got worse"  From the AP report:
The AP’s review of federal records, regulatory filings and correspondence showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton’s speeches have actively sought to sway the government — lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.
Which is why those speeches will never be released due to the moral and legal impact.  There will be a shifting and evolving series of new excuses to keep them out of the public eye.  Of course, that doesn't mean the FBI hasn't been looking into public corruption charges.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Let it go belly-up

Federalist: "How We’ll Fix Social Security By Not Fixing It - Doing nothing about Social Security is the overwhelmingly popular position. And it may well constitute its own kind of reform."

One quibble: this author believes that once Americans see their promised benefits cut by 21%, it will spur them to take control of their own retirement by maxing out 401(k)s or other savings plans.  I'm not so sure, given that almost half of America can't muster up $400 to pay for a sudden expense.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nobody told me that labor costs money

MassLive: "Haymarket Cafe in Northampton eliminates table service six months after ending tipping, increasing wages."

In my younger (childless) days, I used to frequent the Haymarket Cafe where one book section was "Marxism" and "Labor Struggles."  So it didn't surprise me a bit when the owner of the cafe raised everybody's pay to $14/hour rising to $16 in 2017, but eliminated tipping.  Guess what happened?
Simpson made the shift in an effort to address inequities between waitstaff and back-of-the-house workers, He said that overall, the cafe is doing well but the novel system has put pressure on labor costs.
Do tell.  So they cut table waiting leaving only counter service and the mostly part-time staff will see a couple hours cut from their schedules.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Virtually nobody trusts the mainstream media

Associated Press: "Poll: Vast majority of Americans don't trust the news media."
Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions. In this presidential campaign year, Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents.
I'll bet they do, given they're a division of the Democratic party.  If I could offer up just one recent example: the Democrats recently had their ridiculous Equal Pay Day in their "war on women" narrative and major networks followed their marching orders.  Virtually nobody outside of the conservative blogs reported that Hillary pays her female staff much less than male staffers.

Looking back at the Obamacare debate: is there a single warning by those opposed to this law that has not come true?  (No, you can't keep your insurance.  No, your premiums will not go down by $2500.  The way the mandates are set up will send the insurance companies into a death spiral.)  But the narrative back then was "Republicans want you sick."  Media bias is real and it's about time that Americans noticed; if only the media could be so introspective.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Charity begins at the home

USA Today: "In a statement, Hillary Clinton noted the family had given $15 million to charity since 2007. The tax returns show $14.8 million of that went to the Clinton Family Foundation."

And what a charity!
The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
That's not a charity.  It's a slush fund for the Clintons.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Count me out

"Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together." - Barney Frank

"I'm not paying for that." - Bernie Sanders' supporters

Premium rush

The Hill: "Insurers warn losses from ObamaCare are unsustainable."

You'll never see those transcripts, America

Huffington Post: "Release of Clinton’s Wall Street Speeches Could End Her Candidacy for President."
Release of the transcripts would therefore, it appears, have three immediate — and possibly fatal — consequences for Clinton’s presidential campaign:

1.) It would reveal that Clinton lied about the content of the speeches at a time when she suspected she would never have to release them, nor that their content would ever be known to voters.
2.) It would reveal that the massive campaign and super-PAC contributions Clinton has received from Wall Street did indeed, as Sanders has alleged, influence her ability to get tough on Wall Street malfeasance either in Congress or behind closed doors.
3.) It would reveal that Clinton’s policy positions on — for instance — breaking up “too-big-to-fail” banks are almost certainly insincere, as they have been trotted out merely for the purposes of a presidential campaign.
Can she carry her excuses through to the general election?  What if the GOP nominee says: here's all my speeches - then what?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hillary hates women

NY Post: "Why Hillary never makes Equal Pay Day pay off"
Turns out the Clinton Foundation has a “Mad Men” era wage gap of its own: Male executives made 38 percent more than female executives. Yep, apparently, the Clinton family foundation exemplifies the things Democrats say they hate: the Foundation drastically short-changes the female help.
This isn’t the first time Hillary Clinton has been exposed as an equal-pay hypocrite. In August, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that women on Clinton’s campaign staff make less than the men, and her Senate office staff also had a pay gap larger than the national average.
Live by the narrative, die by the narrative.

Extra - Patterico: "The annual nonsense on the pay gap and hypocrisy from the Clinton Foundation."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Umass students engage in epic demonstration of hypocrisy

MassLive: "More than 200 students occupy UMass' Whitmore Administration Building; dispersal order anticipated."
More than 230 University of Massachusetts students are occupying the halls on the third floor of the Whitmore Administration Building on the third day of their occupation as they demand the university commit to divest from all fossil fuels.
The picture attached to this story shows an unending line of white wannabe hippies, each of them Facebooking their struggle on Macbooks.  In other words, they're tapping away on their devices formed from petrochemical plastics, in a warm university hallway, while charging their Iphones on electricity provided by burning coal.

"We shall overcome" this school's mediocre Wi-Fi coverage!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stuff you find on the internet

National Review: "Harry Reid: No Senate Duty to Give Nominees a Vote"
"The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say that the Senate has a duty to give Presidential appointees [sic; he means "nominees"] a vote. It says appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That is very different than saying every nominee receives a vote."
And now this via PJ Media: "Lyin’ Biden: We Found a THIRD Time He Fought Passionately for ‘Biden Rule’"

Shut up in the name of the law

Glenn Reynolds writing in USA Today: "Dear attorneys general, conspiring against free speech is a crime."  "Liberal law enforcers shouldn't break the law to shut up climate change dissenters."

Saturday, April 09, 2016

The JV team

Reuters Investigates: "How Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger – and richer."  "One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes at the local port."

Thursday, April 07, 2016

A most New England headline

MassLive: "100 gallons of Vermont maple syrup go missing."

This won't end well

Daily Caller: "More Than 40 Percent Of Americans Aren’t Paying Their Student Loans."  "More than 40 percent of Americans with student loans aren’t currently making payments on them, raising the specter of massive loan defaults in Department of Education’s gargantuan $1.2 trillion student loan portfolio."

The government stepped in to "help" the "problem" of private banks funding education, kids loaded up on low-interest loans to go to for-profit schools, then they walked away sticking the taxpayers with the bill.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Now living longer is "unfair"

Although Social Security is considered a universal entitlement, there is a fair amount of progressivity built into the system.  As the CBO reports, Americans in the bottom fifth of the earning distribution will receive benefits in ratio to taxes paid three times higher than the top fifth.

So now we have this.  CBS News: "As the poor die earlier, Social Security isn't paying off."  Yes, because richer recipients live longer and collect benefits for a longer period of time, that's "unfair."  Sure.

If the problem is that Americans are not living long enough to collect their Social Security benefits, isn't this exactly the argument made by certain libertarian types for personal accounts?  I think it is!  Let Americans take control of their own finances, earn better returns, and maintain a balance that can be passed on to family after death.

But no: the government hates giving any kind of control to the masses.  We'll hold on to your money and maybe - maybe - we'll give it back.  Or not.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Bender Bending Rodriguez would be pleased

Governor Jerry Brown has signed the "Accelerated Robot Development Program."  Hit and Run: "Gov. Brown Admits $15 Minimum Wage Does Not Make Economic Sense, Approves It Anyway."

Thank you for noticing!

Yes, I am using an Ad Blocker on my browser.
No, I won't disable it.
You can keep your stupid content...I didn't want to read it anyway.

Aw, snap. We forgot to add basic security to our server.

Pretty damning report via the Volokh Conspiracy: "Was an Asian government reading Hillary Clinton’s emails in February 2009?"
I continue to be fascinated by the very early chapters of the Hillary Clinton homebrew email saga. For one simple reason:  the server apparently didn’t have the digital certificate needed to encrypt communications until late March 2009 — more than two months after the server was up and running, and after Secretary Clinton’s swearing-in on January 22.
There now seems to be a very real probability that Hillary Clinton rushed to install an encryption certificate in March 2009 because the U.S. intelligence community caught another country reading Clinton’s unencrypted messages during her February 16-21, 2009, trip to China, Indonesia, Japan, and S. Korea.
If you've been following this scandal as I have, you'll remember that Hillary tried to "disappear" the first two months of her email server operation and now we can guess why: there is likely evidence of foreign hacking in the open season before encryption was installed.

Related - Hot Air: "Former DOJ Lawyer: Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted over email handling."

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Things that can't go on, don't

Zero Hedge: "Stanley Druckenmiller: "This Is The Most Unsustainable Situation I Have Seen In My Career"."
The disaster that Druckenmiller sees coming for the United States is all about changing demographics and entitlement spending. They don’t add up to a sustainable situation.

In 1940, entitlement payments, which include everything from disability payments to Social Security to Medicare, amounted to just over 20% of annual government spending in the United States.

Today, entitlement spending has swelled to nearly 70% of the annual federal budget.
Emphasis in original.  It's remarkable that in this political season where candidates are putatively talking about the future, nobody is talking about the state of entitlement spending except to expand it (looking at you, Bernie.)  Republicans have finally learned that pointing out the parlous state of the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds is a ticket to Loserville.  Better to let them collapse under their own insolvency and then pick up the pieces later.

A classy affair for the class war

MassLive: "Bernie Sanders' campaign blasts $353k-per couple Hillary Clinton fundraiser with George Clooney."

It's funny how Bernie Sanders was sick of hearing about Hillary's emails but he goes into full attack mode when she gathers up cash from oil companies or Hollywood phonies. I guess that's his wheelhouse.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Yes, do go on

Matthew Continetti: "How to Dump Trump - Deny him the delegates and call his third-party bluff."  Please save us Wisconsin.