Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Supreme Court pick tonight

Independent Journal Review says it's going to be Neil Gorsuch.  IJR calls him a "firm Constitutionalist."  Works for me.

Tough times for the Bard

Headline of the day via MassLive: "William Shakespeare arrested for 2016 Mattapan killing."  Alas!

Listen to Vox!

Twitchy: "This could be the best idea Vox has ever had: ‘Cancel the Oscars’ to protest Trump."

Insubordinate Sally Yates

Politico: "Why Trump had to fire Sally Yates".  I think this paragraph says it all:
Second, the president did not order his principal officer to violate the law. Yates acknowledged that there was a credible argument that the executive order was constitutional—she said only that she was not convinced by the OLC’s determination that it was lawful, hinting at the president’s campaign-trail calls for a “Muslim ban.” But many laws of dubious constitutionality are routinely, and zealously, defended in court by the Justice Department. Her objection, instead, was that the order was unwise or unjust. These may be valid points for a public citizen to raise, but the attorney general has a statutory duty to “[r]epresent the United States in legal matters generally,” regardless of her personal proclivities.
I'm conflicted about the wisdom of this Executive Order but only one person had the statutory duty to follow it.  Now she's gone.

Extra - Lawfare: "Quick Thoughts On Sally Yates’ Unpersuasive Statement."

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cato on the refugee ban

I generally agree with the libertarians on most issues so let me add this link from the Cato Institute: "Five reasons Congress Should Repeal Trump’s Immigrant & Refugee Ban."

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we wouldn't be in this predicament (I think) if Mr. Phone and Pen hadn't decided to run roughshod over traditional executive limitations, while liberals cheered him on.

Well, this was totally expected

Hot Air: "Report: Senate Dems preparing to filibuster Trump’s SCOTUS nominee — no matter who it is."

Democrats are still butt-hurt that they were hoisted by their own petard on the topic of Supreme Court nominations made in an election year.  I suspect their paramount interest in re-establishing a "full" Court will fall by the wayside.

This seems foolish to me, at least in the context of replacing one conservative Justice (Scalia) with another.  Better to keep your powder dry and save the real battle for the seat that will swing power in the Court.  But nobody said the Democrats operate on logic.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Twitchy: "NY Times WH correspondent asks for fact check on terrorism claim, tweeters oblige."  Ladies and gentlemen: the vaunted Paper of Record.

#MuslimBan is trending

Legal Insurrection: "Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading."

Extra - David French on the Corner: "Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria."

Chuck Todd tells us what we knew

Red State: "Chuck Todd Admits Media Ignored Stories, Avoided Criticism Of Hillary Clinton In Election Coverage"
Chuck Todd basically just told us that the Mainstream Media didn’t report certain things to avoid appearing Sexist, and didn’t report the “story” of middle America as there were others that interested them more, personally. This is what Conservatives have been saying for years. Literally, years. That their own bias impacts the coverage they give. Chuck Todd just confirmed it.
I wonder how many Americans, upset with the Obama Administration, were so tired of being called "racist" they voted against Hillary to avoid being called "sexist" for 4-8 years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Hot Air: "Deadspin spars with Ted Cruz on Twitter, gets KO’d."  Seriously, what is wrong with these guys?  Is it because Ted Cruz, of all people, got the better of them?  I think so.  At some point it would be much better to just admit defeat, take your lumps, and live to laugh about it later.

Paul Krugman = sad!

Do you remember when the former Enron adviser said the markets would "never recover" from Trump's election?  Twitchy: "This Paul Krugman-related shot & chaser is one for the ‘prediction fail’ time capsule."

A Krugman prediction is like the economic version of the Gore Effect: the exact opposite is likely to occur.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Concentration of power

Glenn Reynolds writing in USA Today: "Elections matter too much."  "There's now an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to restrict executive power."

Let's give identity politics another try

That seems to be the theme of this transparent piece in Time by Keith Ellison who is vying to become DNC chair.  Oh, sure, he nods his head towards economic issues but that's wrapped up in the tortilla of civil rights.  As I was reading it, I was ticking off all the protected groups; the required LGBT mention came in the 10th paragraph.

Related - Grabian News: "DNC chair candidates bash white people in racially-charged forum."  Keep it up, guys, great stuff.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Schumer sets the stage

Do you want the nuclear option, Chuck?  Because this is how you get the nuclear option.  After backing out on an agreement to move on Mike Pompeo's nomination to the CIA, Mitch McConnell is not going to rely on gentleman agreements anymore.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oh, yeah, you liked "selective enforcement" too

It looks like Trump is using all of the tricks-of-the-trade of the Obama Administration: "Trump may not enforce individual health insurance mandate: aide."

Flashback - "President Trump can do whatever he wants, using Obama's example as a guide."

Live and die by reconciliation

Politico: "How Trump can use Obamacare to kill Obamacare - The same executive authority the Obama administration used to implement the law may now be used to dismantle it."
Conservatives who railed against Barack Obama's vast powers to build up the Affordable Care Act declared vindication Saturday with President Donald Trump’s executive order to tear it apart.

"For me, it’s a mix of irony and schadenfreude," says Josh Blackman, a law professor who's written two books that criticized the Obama administration's implementation of the law. "I’ve warned for years that, with a new president in the White House, the exact same powers could be used for different purposes. That’s what we’re seeing now, to a T."
This is why Obama's legacy is written on an Etch-a-Sketch: he couldn't be bothered to do the hard work of building legislative support.  Without the smoke and mirrors of executive orders and reconciliation tricks (remember "deem and pass?") everything from Obamacare to the Iran Deal to the Paris Accords can be wiped away with the wave of Trump's pen.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Off to a good start

CNBC: "The White House website's page on climate change just disappeared."

As WUWT comments: "You can hear the heads exploding already."

Update - So it was just a transition to a new "America First Energy" page.  Conspicuously missing: renewable energy.


Fox News: "President Trump takes office."

Was anybody else unnerved when a bunch of military officers walked down the stairs behind Trump?  I thought maybe there was a security issue.

Inauguration day

Explain like I'm 5: "Why do we have separation of church and state, but still have people swear on the bible for government events?"  Short answer: it doesn't have to be a Bible.

Flashback fun

Did Oliver ever write that check?  I'm skeptical.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Donald sharpens the axe

Back in July, I linked to an article: "Neither Clinton Nor Trump Would Reduce the National Debt" indicating that neither candidate was really serious about reducing spending and living within our means.

Well, maybe that is changing.  Via the Hill: "Trump team prepares dramatic cuts."
The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
I'm with Ace on this one: I'll believe it when I see it.

Drug convictions voided

It looks like Obama isn't the only one letting people convicted on drug charges out of prison today.  Via Hit and Run: "Mass. Supreme Court Orders D.A. to Vacate Cases in Massive Forensics Scandal" "A corrupt crime lab tech tainted one in six drug cases in Massachusetts. The state high court just ordered prosecutors to drop thousands of those cases."

Fish gotta swim, NYT gotta lie

If I remember correctly, the New York Times said they were going to review the way they cover the news after Trump's surprising victory.  But some things never change.  Washington Examiner: "That New York Times hit piece on Perry was unsubstantiated garbage."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Prediction: Obama will pardon Ethel Rosenberg

You heard it here first.

In case you missed it, Obama commuted much of Bradley Manning's sentence yesterday, a move opposed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, because...why not?  As Sean Davis noted: "Giving classified info to Wikileaks is good as long as it only endangers national security and not Democrat careers."

Why did Obama give comfort this traitor, particularly during this time when the Democrats are whining about the Russians "stealing" the election?  Maybe we'll find out in today's press conference in one of his filibuster-lengthed responses.  But I have a theory: Obama is addicted to the "history" thing.  He wants everything to be "historical" from kneecapping health care to giving Iran the bomb.  What was the rationale for reversing long-standing policy and opening up to Cuba?  History, baby, history.

So I think you'll see him make a last-minute splash and pardon Ethel Rosenberg despite all the evidence that she indeed spied for the Soviets.  All that stuff is so fifty years ago.

Best buddies no more

National Review: "Is the real Cory Booker now standing up?"  "If he opposes Betsy Devos, his former ally on school choice, he’ll reveal himself as a garden-variety partisan."  I think we know which was this is heading: get ready for a case of "serious concerns" such as the kind he had for his great friend Jeff Sessions.

Couldn't print to wireless printer from Windows 10

I know there were thousands - maybe millions - of readers wondering: "Why are there no new posts?"  Well I spent the better part of yesterday trying to get my HP wireless printer to print from my relatively-new Windows 10 Lenovo laptop.  It was working fine then suddenly it wasn't.

Let me take an interlude here to say that all the troubleshooting guides and "Print Doctor" programs are equally useless.  The HP programs in particular exist solely to sell ink and they will be purged later.  No matter what I did (updated drivers, toggle Wi-Fi, manually enter TCP/IP address), the printer would announce it was connected but there was always an error.

Long story short: eventually I went into McAfee, disengaged the firewall, and printed.  So something had updated to block my print spooler, for some reason.  I reset firewall defaults and I'm going to try again today but at least I know where the problem lies.  I'm writing this as a service to anybody else who might have seen a recent problem with their McAfee-protected computer.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Media re-discovers purpose

Daily Caller: "Liberal Journalists Rediscover Mission As Obama Leaves Office."  It's almost like they've been in a daze for eight years but now the real accountability starts!

Extra - From Instapundit.


Hit and Run: "Even the Feds are Warning that California's Bullet Train Is a Disaster in the Making."  "Just days after California Gov. Jerry Brown warned that the state was slipping back into deficit spending ($1.6 billion by next summer), the Los Angeles Times got its hands on a confidential internal report from the Federal Railroad Administration that points the fingers right back at the governor when it comes to wasteful spending."

Friday can't come fast enough

Obama still can't fathom the "severity of partisanship" in Washington.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Speaking of the circus shutting down

Hot Air: "The Clinton Global Initiative is closing its doors for good."  It couldn't continue if Hillary got elected but now it can't survive because the Clintons' political influence has dried up.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The day the clown cried

Associated Press: "Ringling Brothers circus to close after 146 years."
After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on "The Greatest Show on Earth." The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.
Wow, that's sad.  My folks took me to Madison Square Garden when I was a kid.  I guess the circus was a kind of throwback to a time when, if you wanted to see exotic animals and live shows, the circus coming to town was a cause for excitement.  Now it's all on YouTube, I suppose.

Get it together, Fox

The feed for the Seattle-Atlanta football game is so choppy the game is unwatchable.

No problems with the commercials, though!  Those are smooth as silk.

Good news everyone

The First Amendment lives again!  Legal Insurrection: "Dissent is patriotic again week in higher education."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fake news and the NY Times

But I repeat myself.  Minuteman: "Fake news (ongoing layup drill)."  "My guess as to the dynamic in play? Every NY Times news meeting opens with "What is our Trump outrage du jour?". The staffers want it and their readers need it, so stories are bent to fit the desired narrative."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Enough already

WSJ: "How Can We Miss a President Who Won’t Go Away?"
Every former president probably believes in his heart that he can do the job better than the guy in there now. But living in Washington, Mr. Obama is likely to think those thoughts more often than his distant counterparts have. That’s why it is unlikely he will stay silent for long once he departs the White House on next week.
There's another reason why I can see Obama chiming in on a regular basis: he's just about all the Democrats have left on the national stage.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Unintentional sincerity

At the tail-end of Samantha Bee's show, she said "This may be the last time I get to criticize Obama...which would also be the first time."

We know, Sam, we know.


Hot Air: "If you thought Cory Booker’s testimony against Jeff Sessions would be all about grandstanding for 2020, collect your prize."  "As the saying goes, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at a performance this shameless."

Extra - Powerline: "It proved precisely one thing: the utter shamelessness of Booker’s ambition."

Philly soda tax update

Remember this story about how Philadelphia raised the soda tax so that it almost equals the cost of the product itself?  The mayor is outraged that businesses are passing the cost on to customers.  Hit and Run: "Philly Mayor Blames ‘Price Gouging’ for Outrage Generated by City’s New Soda Tax - Businesses are passing along the cost of the tax to consumers, because that's how taxes work. Someone get Jim Kenney an economics textbook."

You can go now

This pretty much sums it up.  Washington Examiner: "Obama's farewell address longer than Reagan's, Clinton's and George W. Bush's combined."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Countdown to ecstacy

A little bright piece of news today.  Ace: "Clock Boy's Defamation Lawsuit Against Broadcasters Who Reported On His "Cool Clock" Dismissed."

Since the judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, it opens the door for the defendant to counter-sue for legal fees.  This will cut into Clock Boy's budget for old Radio Shack components.

They're a terrible bunch

Powerline: "Why America hates Hollywood, or should."

Executive power

Hit and Run: "If You're Freaking Out Over Donald Trump's Presidential Powers, Thank a Liberal! - Where were Democrats when Obama was going power-mad? Egging him on, mostly."
People are quick to forget that when Obama won election, he had large congressional majorities too and got everything he asked for during his first two years. Besides tripling troop strength in Afghanistan, expanding and extending TARP bailouts, passing a stimulus plan, and shoving Obamacare through, all that netted was a Repbublican Congress in the 2010 midterms. Suddenly, the guy who was fond of saying "elections have consequences" was singing a different tune, one about having "a pen and a phone" and how he wasn't just "going to be waiting around for legislation." And he didn't.
Thank heaven we're turning over these expanded executive powers to somebody with a great temperament.  This will end well.

Monday, January 09, 2017

They know so much that isn't so

The Democrats are holding a talkathon in the Senate tonight to talk about Obamacare.  I just saw my idiot Senator Markey on C-Span and his theme is that the Republicans are going to do away with preventive care that saves money and lives.  Well, that's not the case, but Markey has his story and he's sticking to it.

Soon it will be over

Jeff Jacoby: "At home and abroad, Obama's trail of disasters."  "In almost every respect, Obama leaves behind a trail of failure and disappointment."

To this long list of commission, let me add a crime of omission.  The looming insolvency of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security are not going away and this President has done nothing - nothing at all - to address the problem.  For the past decade, the Trustees of these programs have submitted an annual report with the same message:
Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.
Emphasis added.  Instead of amending the programs to ensure they survive, Democrats get drunk on their biannual spree of scaring Grandma.  Oh, well, they'll be out of office before last call, so it will be somebody else's problem.

The MSM cries "uncle"

Look who's getting branded as "fake news" nowadays.  Margaret Sullivan in the WashPost wants it to stop: "It's time to retire the tainted term 'fake news'."

This guy called it: "'Fake news' as shorthand will almost surely be returned upon the media tenfold."  You sowed the wind, now reap the whirlwind.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

So the Golden Globes are on tonight

Hot Air: "On the “absurd” notion of a Hollywood liberal agenda."  Jimmy Fallon started out with four Donald Trump jokes tonight (he's just like Joffrey from GOT) but, so far, the actors have been more restrained during acceptance speeches.

Update - Hugh Laurie, who played a psychopathic billionaire in "The Night Manager," accepted his award on the behalf of psychopathic billionaires.  That was kinda funny.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

It's possible

Scott Adams: "Is the Onion advising Democrats now?"  The Dilbert creator never wavered during the election cycle that Trump would win, so maybe he knows something.

Saved you a click

Saw this on Reddit.  World Economic Forum: "Rich and poor teenagers use the web differently – here's what this is doing to inequality."

They hate them for this weird trick!  Rich kids are using the Internet to look up news or information while poor kids use the web to play games and Facebook.

Soon to be a memory

Weekly Standard has a review of Jonathan Chait's book: "Courtiers in Denial - Obama's rapidly shrinking legacy."  "Chait writes about politics for New York magazine, and in the crowded imperial court of Obama's journalists he stands apart—the courtier's courtier, the boot-licker against whom all boot-licking must be measured."

The book review was cringeworthy; the book itself must be excruciating.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Symbols - how do they work?

This is pretty funny.  Powerline: "The most epic "Epic media fail" of all time?"

Heck of a job, Colorado

Hot Air: "Feds: CO ObamaCare exchange misused almost $10 million."

A lot of that was in the form of performance bonuses.  Here's what they performed: "Colorado health-insurance rates to jump 20 percent on average for individual buyers in 2017."  Bonus: "...for the first time, residents in 14 counties will have the choice of only one carrier offering plans in their area via the state health insurance exchange."

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Let freedom ring

This story is crazy.  Zero Hedge: "Masses Shocked By Philly Beverage Tax Impact."  Sugary drinks in the city of Brotherly Love are hit with a huge "Philly Bev Tax."

Keep your eye on this latest effort to tax Americans for their "own good."  It's not like we haven't seen this show before.

Cui bono?

Who benefits?  That's how the NY Times determines which side they're on when it comes to legislative principles.  Patterico: "New York Times prints op-ed supporting filibuster (unexpectedly!)"

Y U no understand?

Twitchy: "POTUS takes responsibility for Obamacare suckage (but there’s a catch)."  The catch is that - gosh darn it - you Americans didn't comprehend.  Shame on you.

Life in the bubble

Federalist: "Watch A Bunch Of Journalists Freak Out After Being Asked If They Know Anybody Who Drives A Truck - If you thought what happened in 2016 might teach the Panem progressives of American journalism to be a little more circumspect, you'd be wrong."

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Live by reconciliation...

...die by reconciliation.  Here's what I wrote in November:
The original [Obamacare] 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.
Instapundit (because I won't link Vox): "Senate Republicans just introduced an Obamacare repeal plan Democrats can't stop."

Harry Chapin hardest hit

Boy, that may be an obscure reference.  Fox News: "NYC's taxi fleet could be replaced by 3,000 ridesharing vehicles, MIT study says."

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Missing from the narrative

"60 Minutes" just showed a segment about murder rates in Chicago rising while arrests have dropped.  Not once during the story did anybody say "Ferguson effect."