Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meanwhile back at the outrage factory

Elizabeth Warren is outraged at the rigged system.  If only there was somebody in Washington who could, you know, do something about it.  Hot Air: "Mika: Aren’t we all getting a little tired of Warren’s schtick?"
“This was not helpful during the campaign,” she said. “There’s an anger there that was shrill, a step above what it needed to be, unmeasured and almost unhinged. It’s not going to work."
Bernie Sanders was on "Conan" last night and he wanted you to know that the system is rigged and everybody's a victim of Wall Street and climate change.  He's been in Washington for a quarter-century and has done virtually nothing to un-rig the system.  He and Warren are part of the same shrill chorus that's getting tuned out.

Fight for $15, prepare for $0

IJR: "McDonald’s Fires Back at Minimum Wage Protesters by Detailing Its Newest Plans to Replace Them."  Every eight-year old with an IPad knows how to operate a touch screen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Action and reaction

Do you know how gun sales soar every time a Democratic President is elected?  This must be the flip side of that equation: "New York Times subscription growth soars tenfold, adding 132,000, after Trump's win."

To the safe spaces!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The times they are a changin'

So this happened today here in the liberal wasteland known as the Pioneer Valley: hundreds of people counter-protested Hampshire College's decision to take down the American flag.  Mass Live: "Hundreds gather at Hampshire College to protest school's refusal to fly U.S. flag."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro is dead

Hot Air: "Evil tyrant finally dead at age 90."

What kind of deal with the devil did this guy make to live so long?  Now it we can just get rid of 92-year old Robert Mugabe.

Friday, November 25, 2016


The Federalist: "Paul Krugman Illustrates The Damaged Political Psyches Of The Left."  "The next four years are not going to be kind to Paul Krugman and to people like him: they are going to discredit themselves even more thoroughly than they already have, all under the auspices of an insufferable, smarmy intellectual superiority."

Running out of other people's money

WashPost: "Clinton’s loss is one more nail in the coffin of center-left politics in the West."  "But in at least one critical sense, [Trump's election] couldn’t have been more European: Across the continent, parties of the center-left that have dominated politics for decades — and that have given Europe its reputation for generous social welfare systems — now find themselves beaten, divided and directionless. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are just the latest members of a beleaguered club."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

VW bugs out

The Truth About Cars: "Volkswagen Ditches Diesel Technology in the United States."  "Volkswagen will no longer bring diesel-powered vehicles into the United States, ending speculation that the company may have simply placed the technology on hiatus while the emissions-cheating snafu remained fresh in American minds."

The media still doesn't get it

NY Sun: "A Vanquished Press Fails to Comprehend its Defeat by Trump."  "The national political press has declined even more precipitously than the political class, and the president-elect was elevated despite the animosity of both, a signal achievement whose significance those who have been vanquished show no signs of grasping."

Extra - Observer: "The Media learned nothing from 2016."

I think it was Glenn Reynolds who said years ago that the rise of the blogs would ultimately undermine the mainstream media because they're unaware of their institutional bias.  This year seemed to prove that theory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Arbitrary law

Reuters: "Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers."  A judge appointed by Obama - how ironic.

Holding tight to the narrative

The Hill: "The New York Times, other outlets crying 'wolf' over Trump."  "We've all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. Now we're seeing the story written before our eyes of a media that not only hasn't learned a thing from its election coverage where it completely embarrassed itself to the point it may never recover from an integrity perspective."

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Obama-Trump voters speak

The Atlantic has a great piece with testimonials from Americans who voted for Obama the first time around but for Donald Trump in this last election.  Here's an excerpt from "Aaron":
Shouting down political opponents is nothing new, but for people with modern sensibilities, being called a bigot when it’s unwarranted actually has an effect similar to a racial slur. It creates a sense of shame and anger, and it forces people to remind themselves that they’re fundamentally a good person. Like other slurs, it shuts down the conversation immediately and creates a mutual distrust.

Add in the new culture of safe spaces and trigger warnings, and you create an ideological echo chamber. Little by little, the social justice movement seems to be morphing into an insidious and sometimes subtle form of oppression, where controversial ideas are expunged from the public dialogue—by force of law if necessary.
Kristen says "I am not a Deplorable" and Vince adds the following:
The progressive left seems to have grown more hysterical, more bullying than ever before. It has enacted an illiberal, punitive, terrifying form of politics where everyone is one wrong position or one misunderstanding from being ex-communicated from the world of the decent. You’re either an Angel completely signed onto their endless quest for progressive utopia, or a Devil. While too many grope for the overheated “Marxist” to describe this kind of politics, it is far more apt than the totally inadequate “Political Correctness.”

It has obliterated any serious debate on a host of subjects by vilifying and demonizing some very good, decent people throughout the country. 
Today I read a piece by the Public Editor of the New York Times about the paper's coverage of the election and how complaints are "five times the normal level."  Then I had the misfortune of checking out the comments section attached to this piece and, wouldn't you know it, every single Trump voter is a racist.  Sexist too, but definitely racist.

Well, keep it up, Dems.  Eventually your relentless vilification of everyday Americans will pay off.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hoisted by their own biased petard

Bill McMorris has a masterful article on the Free Beacon exploring the rich irony in the New York Times inveighing against "fake news" in the Presidential election.  Tell us all about the baseless reports, unsupported predictions, and confirmation bias.

Creeping Detroit syndrome

Hot Air: "Thanks to pension funds, Los Angeles is close to becoming a microcosm of Greece."  "The city’s general fund payments for pensions and retiree healthcare reached $1.04 billion last year, eating up more than 20% of operating revenue — compared with less than 5% in 2002."

Embarrassed, NPR adds a time-delay

Big Government: "NPR: After Pollak, no more live interviews for conservatives."  I heard this interview on NPR and Breitbart editor Joel Pollak made a forceful defense for Steve Bannon and Breitbart while questioning "racist" programming on NPR, specifically the show "Code Switch."  Therefore, all future interviews must be processed through the NPR filter to avoid future incidents of accidental truth.

Brexit, Trump, Le Pen?

Populism is on the march.  UK Independent: "Marine Le Pen takes huge lead over Nicolas Sarkozy in new French presidential election poll - Results likely to add to growing fears far-right leader could be on course for victory in wake of shock Brexit and US presidential votes."

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The playground equivalent of "You better run away!"

The cast of Hamilton was honored to have Vice President-elect Mike Pence in the audience last night so, of course, it was time for some grandstanding.
There’s no dialog possible here. It’s not as if Pence could respond or do anything but politely hear them out. This is the kind of national discussion the left loves: the kind where they talk and you listen.
It would have been cool if Pence had said: "I like your guns."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Silent majority

Federalist: "Liberals Should Stop Ranting And Seek Out Silent Trump Voters Like Me - I am an urban, millennial woman, and I voted for Trump. Now, I'm afraid to explain my reasoning to an angry, vitriolic left that will not listen to me."

The Harry Reid precedent

Remember back in 2013 when Harry Reid had "no choice" but to change the filibuster rules on Presidential nominees?  Good times.

Now that the rules have been changed, a new President will reap the benefit:
Democrats feared then that watering down the supermajority requirement could later ease the confirmation of anti-abortion nominees. Now they are confronting that very prospect: After setting the precedent of changing Senate rules, there’s little reason to think Republicans wouldn’t do the same if their hand is forced.

“I mean, [Democrats] set the standard,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the most senior Republican senator and a former Judiciary chairman. “They really screwed up the rules. Frankly, they did it for pure political purposes. The Republicans are not limited now.”
Last month, when Hillary was a shoo-in, Harry Reid suggested that Democrats would extend the filibuster rule to Supreme Court nominees.  You opened the door, chief.

Squirrel Nut Zippers in NoHo

Northampton hosted the jazz-swing fusion band Squirrel Nut Zippers at Pearl Street last night.  I honestly can't remember a more energetic, upbeat, humorous and entertaining small-venue concert.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Donald

Ask Reddit has a question: "People who have met or dealt with Donald Trump in person prior to the race, what was he like?"

I got through half the responses which were - universally - he's a nice guy.

Peak oil

Here's Scientific American trying to scare you back in 2012: "Has Petroleum Production Peaked, Ending the Era of Easy Oil? - A new analysis concludes that easily extracted oil peaked in 2005, suggesting that dirtier fossil fuels will be burned and energy prices will rise."  Hot Air: "USGS announces largest estimate of oil and gas ‘ever assessed in the United States’."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Gray Lady cocoon

Where the facts take a backseat to the Narrative.

Obama personally insulted

Here's Charles Krauthammer: "Historians are going to see him as a textbook definition of a guy who won on hope and change, who won with a wave of goodwill and who completely destroyed his presidency with liberal overreach, beginning with Obamacare."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hate crime in Natick

It appears that police in Natick, Massachusetts are investigating a series of letters indicating that "Natick has zero tolerance for black people."  Wow, that's terrible stuff, and I surely hope the authorities discover who is responsible for such hateful rhetoric.  I'll be sure to update here when the perpetrators are discovered.

The weaponized executive

Hit and Run: "'I've Got a Pen and I've Got a Phone': Obama's Executive Overreach Becomes Trump's Executive Overreach - The dangers of unchecked executive power."

As this article notes, the NY Times condemned executive power when Bush was President but loved it when Obama took over.  Take a guess which way they'll shift on this rollercoaster of editorial consistency.

Extra - Kevin Williamson: "I won."  "The pretensions of the imperial presidency are going to haunt Democrats for the immediate future, but they’ll quickly rediscover their belief in limits on the executive."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Democrats start their autopsy

Here's Frank Bruni in the NY Times: "The Democrats screwed up"
Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused. 
Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago. 
Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.
Conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke had it pegged a quarter-century ago:
The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
Thanks to the opiate of political correctness, you can always feel superior by putting down all those rubes in flyover country who just don't get it:
But the left has work to do, not only on policy and organization but also on attitude. Too many of my progressive friends seem to have forgotten how to make actual arguments, and have become expert instead at condemnation, derision and mockery. On issue after issue, they’re very good at explaining why no one could oppose their policy positions except for the basest of motives. As to those positions themselves, they are too often announced with a zealous solemnity suggesting that their views are Holy Writ -- and those who disagree are cast into the outer political darkness. In short, the left has lately been dripping with hubris, which in classic literature always portends a fall.
President Four-putt is an expert at this approach.  In Obama's mind, there was never any principled opposition to his policies; there are only political opportunists, conservative back-benchers, and bigots.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, George Will echoed O'Rourke's idea that the Democrats treat Americans with condescension and cram policies through because "they know best."  This time, Americans said "enough."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Promises were made this election

And I'm starting to think they won't be fulfilled.  GoFundMe: "Send Lena Dunham to Vancouver."

New York Times: "We suck"

NY Post: "New York Times: We blew it on Trump."  "Had the paper actually been fair to both candidates, it wouldn’t need to rededicate itself to honest reporting. And it wouldn’t have been totally blindsided by Trump’s victory."

Friday, November 11, 2016

You're going to love it, plebes

Neo-Neocon: "Election 2016: It all started with Obamacare."  And our superiors who knew what's what.

The tears flowed down her cookie-dough face

Twitchy: "Lena Dunham’s tale of election night woe brings many to tears (of laughter)."

Her baleful cry of "It's her job!" reminds me of the same entitlement mentality that brought down Martha Coakley when she ran for - what she called - "Ted Kennedy's seat."

Turn the page

Although this feeds into the whole "Clintons are above the law" thing, I tend to agree with Coyote Blog: "Pardon Hillary".
But the optics, and precedents involved, with a winning candidate's administration criminally prosecuting the election's loser are just terrible.  Even if entirely justified, the prosecution smacks of banana republic politics.
The rule of law is seldom helped by ignoring wrong-doing, but in this case I will make an exception.
It's all a big distraction; I would prefer if she just disappeared off the national stage.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Firing blanks

Hot Air: "Obamacare supporters vow ‘total war’ to defend the law."

That's adorable.  The original legislation was passed through a budget reconciliation maneuver after Scott Brown was elected to the Senate; surely it can be repealed under the same maneuver.  Even without repeal, now that Obama has made a mockery of the "Take Care" clause of the Constitution, he has set a precedent for selective enforcement of laws.  President Trump can do whatever he wants, using Obama's example as a guide.

The media discovers flyover country

CBS News: "The unbearable smugness of the press."  "This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.  So much for that."

I was never a Trump supporter and I'm approaching his presidency with cautious optimism, but - sweet Moses - I'm loving this public self-flagellation of the mainstream media.  Keep it comin', pencil jockeys.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Party on

Slate: "The Democratic Party Establishment Is Finished."  "Republicans don’t have a slight edge over Democrats in a decaying political system. Republicans are ascendant. Trump has given them a mission. The country is now theirs."


Conservatives and Republicans: "Gee, the mainstream media is biased."

MSM: "No we're not."

Breaking news!  "The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way."

Extra - Here's Thomas Frank:
Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

Bryan Cranston shall be forgiven

Canada: you can keep Lena Dunham.  The Hill: "Celebs who said they'd leave if Trump won."

Time to eat a bug

Remember this guy?  Oh, I do.

All over but the shouting

The cautious 538 blog says Trump is at 93% for Trump.

Podesta says: "Go to bed"

Hillary's campaign manager just told all of her supporters to go home.

Surely a sign of a winning campaign.  /sarc

Another conversation

A woman from a reliably Democratic state was mortified by Clinton and especially by the idea she should vote for Hill because she's a woman.  She really, really, really didn't like Hillary.

My expat conversation

I have to relate this story: about two months ago I was talking to somebody in a European nation and they asked "How is it possible that Trump could win?"  My response was that, while Trump may be intolerable, "Hillary is such a liar."

I didn't think it was so much an argument as an explanation, but apparently it was correct.

Michigan and Pennsylvania

At 1:15am, Trump leads in both and I'm sure no network wants to call these states because it would mean a guaranteed Trump victory.


At 12:12am, Pennsylvania just flipped to red with Trump up by 0.1%.  Here's what 538 Blog says:
Clinton needs to win Pennsylvania. The problem is that her lead has dropped to about 7,000 with plenty of votes left to be counted in Republican areas. Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia has had almost all of its votes counted.
Well, I've been wrong about everything else.  Why not Pennsylvania too?

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wisconsin goes to Trump

It's over.  That was a critical state to win.

At 11:33pm EST, the 538 Blog has Trump at 77% and the NY Times dashboard is pegged at >95%.

There really was a big, secret vote for Trump.

Tonight's big loser: Merrick Garland.

The Brexit vote again

OK, so I watched a movie until 10pm because I was sure it was going to be a good night for Clinton.

But I was wrong: at this writing of 10:30pm, the NY Times dashboard is showing over 80% likelihood of a Trump victory with 290+ electoral votes.  The 538 blog has just tipped to 55% likely Trump win.

Dow futures are down over 600 points.

At this point, this has all the benchmarks of Britain's "Brexit" vote in the sense that nobody saw it coming.

Right on cue: the Pennsylvania fantasy

Hot Air: "WaPo: Trump ground game in Pennsylvania might produce a surprise."

Or not, just like every election, once the results from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh come in.

Reminder to self: pick up wine.

Monday, November 07, 2016

This is the only consolation I can find in this election

Hit and Run: "This is the least important election of our lifetimes."
If providence (or dumb luck) takes mercy on the Constitution, Washington D.C.'s gridlock—an organic reflection of the nation's disposition—will remain the status quo.
David Harsanyi argues that gridlock will be the order of the day so there will not be any significant policy changes.  My feeling has always been that, without entitlement reform, this country will be slowly constricted by mounting debt.  In other words, there won't be any money left to spend.  Here's the Congressional Budget Office in July 2016:
If current laws governing taxes and spending did not change, the United States would face steadily increasing federal budget deficits and debt over the next 30 years, according to projections by CBO. Federal debt held by the public, which was equal to 39 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2008, has already risen to 75 percent of GDP in the wake of a financial crisis and a recession. In CBO’s projections, that debt rises to 86 percent of GDP in 2026 and to 141 percent in 2046—exceeding the historical peak of 106 percent that occurred just after World War II. The prospect of such large debt poses substantial risks for the nation and presents policymakers with significant challenges.
When debt rises to these high levels, it puts the brakes on the economy:
Those effects include displacing private investment, resulting in lower productivity and reduced income, even as the cost of paying the government's bills soar. That means a poorer, more constrained country.
Yet nobody is willing to even talk about entitlement reform, so that slice of the pie called "discretionary spending" gets smaller and smaller every year.  The next president will have to deal with legitimacy questions, a divided Congress, and a budget constrained by mandatory spending and the debt limit.  There's not much room to maneuver.

Duck tax.

Elvis Costello is (Napoleon) Dynamite

I was away a couple days to visit a friend and see Elvis Costello perform his "Imperial Bedroom" tour at the Beacon Theater.  What a great show: a real fan's show full of mostly older tracks mixed in with some new stuff.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Eulogy for the media

Less than a week before the election, everybody notices the media is in the tank.

Vanity Fair (via Ace): "But this election is different: for the first time in my memory, some of the major media organizations in this country have now abandoned all semblance of objectivity in furtherance of electing Hillary Clinton, or perhaps more accurately, in furtherance of the defeat of Donald Trump."

Don Surber: "The unprecedented prejudice displayed in this election is the final roar of the paper tigers who pledge fealty to the American Imelda Marcos without the shoes -- a female Kim Jong Un without his fashion sense. The WikiLeaks of Hillary henchman John Podesta's emails show reporters as panting puppies nuzzling for that coveted pay on the head from Podesta."

Observer: "This Election Has Disgraced the Entire Profession of Journalism".  "We still don’t know the outcome of the 2016 election, in which our “democratic process” has produced two candidates widely despised by the American people, but we do know the race’s biggest loser: reporters and the profession of journalism, which has been reduced to surrogacy, largely on behalf of Hillary Clinton."

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Then there's all the doctor-keeping

Observer: "ObamaCare’s Chickens Come Home to Roost."  "ObamaCare’s official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, wages war on honesty. The ACA is not affordable. It doesn’t protect patients and certainly doesn’t protect their wallets. It’s lack of affordability and its bureaucratic incompetence ultimately limits and in many cases denies medical care to millions of Americans."

Uh, yeah, never mind

Hot Air: "Cigna: On second thought, we’re not expanding our Obamacare offerings."

Cubs win

I couldn't stay up through the rain delay, so I missed the end.  Good for them: 108 years is just too long.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

All tied up after 8 innings

This World Series:

Clinton News Network

Daily Wire: "CNN (Which Is Hitler) Rocked By 4 Massive Scandals In Just 24 Hours."  "CNN is evil and actively engaged in evil. Period. So anything bad that happens to CNN is, naturally, good for America, and over the last 24 hours, The Hitler News Network was rocked by no fewer than four massive scandals."

This is delightful

Marketwatch: "New York Times profit hurt by 19% ad sale slump."  "Over all, the Times reported a profit of $406,000 for the quarter, or break-even on a per-share basis, down sharply from $9.4 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier."  That won't even cover Dean Baquet's car service bills.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Don Draper shook his head, had a non-Bud Light drink

Great moments in advertising:
"The Bud Light Party" has ended a little earlier than expected.

AB InBev wrapped up its Wieden + Kennedy campaign starring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen a few weeks ahead of schedule. The news comes on the heels of the company cutting its revenue forecast for the year in response to a disappointing third quarter that saw declines in Bud Light sales.
I'm no expert, but isn't the purpose of an ad campaign to increase sales?  The backlash against these insipid ads was so bad they had to disable YouTube comments, especially for the "Equal Pay" spot.  People had the temerity to ask Bud Light if they paid their men and woman equally.  Oops.