Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My review of the State of the Union address

Um, I didn't watch it.  The latest episodes of "The Leftovers" came in the mail and, well....

Sounds like fun!  Daily Beast: "Donald Trump’s State of the Union Was Designed to Troll Democrats. It Worked."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Inside man

Hot Air: "DOJ Inspector General Focused On McCabe’s Role In The Final Weeks Of The 2016 Election."

Hey, guess who might be really guilty of obstruction of justice?

Extra - Powerline: "WaPo: McCabe investigation relates to delay on Weiner emails."  And possibly sitting on the Clinton Foundation, too.

Not gonna happen

Atlantic: "There's No Way Mueller Will Indict Trump - Those hoping the special counsel will prosecute the president are engaging in fantasy."

Good article: this guy makes the case that the law indicates that a sitting President cannot be indicted: "These rules bind all Department of Justice employees, and Mueller, in the end, is a Department of Justice employee. More to the point, if we know anything about Mueller, we think we know that he follows the rules—all of them. Even the ones that restrict him in ways he would prefer they not."

Monday, January 29, 2018


New York Times: "Andrew McCabe Steps Down as F.B.I. Deputy Director Under Pressure."
In a recent conversation, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, raised concerns about a forthcoming inspector general report examining the actions of Mr. McCabe and other senior F.B.I. officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, when the bureau was investigating both Hillary Clinton’s email use and the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. In that discussion, according to one former law enforcement official close to Mr. McCabe, Mr. Wray suggested moving Mr. McCabe into another job, which would have been a demotion.
Instead, the former official said, Mr. McCabe chose to leave.
What was so bad in the IG's report that director Wray decided he just couldn't let McCabe hang out for another six weeks?  Hmmmm.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Maura Healey: wasting Bay State time and money

I've long had a beef with Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey.  The main output of her office is press releases announcing her opposition to some federal policy which has absolutely no basis in law.  This is true whether it's federal immigration policies or illegal Obamacare subsidies; the press release and the ink in the newspaper is the most important aspect.  Constitutional standing is an ancillary consideration.

In today's Sunday Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes about how the Berkshire Museum is trying to maintain its solvency by selling off some pieces including some Norman Rockwell paintings.  Maura Healey had no objection...until it was time to generate an issue for a press release:
Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office oversees nonprofits and charities, was notified of the museum’s deaccessioning plans in June, weeks before it was announced publicly. She rightly raised no objection. Not until four months later, after art-world purists had created a tumult, did Healey’s office go to court. It procured an injunction to halt the auction while it conducted an investigation of the Berkshire’s planning process.

Yet it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Healey’s investigation became a quest to find something, anything, to justify her belated opposition to the Berkshire’s plan. It isn’t only museum partisans who say so. Ruling on the initial request for an injunction in November, Superior Court Judge John Agostini pronounced it “bewildering” that Healey would try to stop the sale when her office “has uncovered no evidence of bad faith, no conflict of interest, [and] no breach of loyalty.”
That the law is a secondary consideration to every action of the AG's office is troubling.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The impossible dream

Politico: "Immigration talks quickly hit a wall."
Senators crashing on a two-week deadline to come up with an immigration plan are already sparring over funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall, what qualifies as border security — even what the scope of the negotiations are.

It was an inauspicious start Tuesday to the bipartisan effort to break the months-long impasse over Dreamers and the budget that crescendoed with last weekend’s government shutdown. That crisis ended quickly, but Congress could be back in almost the same spot in two weeks absent a deal that can get 60 votes.
Here's what I don't understand: Obama and the Democrats had eight years to put in place some kind of legislative remedy to help the "Dreamers."  But despite a promise as a candidate to make immigration reform "a top priority in my first year as president" he did nothing.  Then, once his Democrat majorities were safely squandered away, he flip-flopped on his Presidential authority and launched the illegal DACA program.

That program would have continued, unhindered, once there was a President Hillary.  Instead, Obama handed Trump a powerful tool in the immigration reform battle.  So - guess what? - the guy who ran a campaign by screaming "Build that Wall" at every stop wants...a wall.  I'm not saying he has a mandate and I'm not saying it's even an effective policy.  But the Democrats misread the public mood terribly on this issue and lost all their government-shutdown leverage.

Having sequentially squandered the initiative, the opportunity, the power, and the debate on immigration reform, who do the Democrats think they are setting terms?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mammoth cave

Daily Wire: "Democrats in chaos: Pelosi, Progressives Attack Schumer; Democrats Lose Leverage To Protect Illegal Immigrants."

What a complete rout.  Now the Democrats are trying to convince themselves they've forced a Senate vote on DACA, which they haven't, and anything that passes out of the Senate will die in the House.

At least they got "the potential for momentum" goin' for 'em...which is nice.  Just like the Cleveland Browns!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Trump exception

Bench Memos on the rash of injunctions against Trump alone: "One year later, it is clear that judicial resistance to this administration is alarmingly broad and almost entirely unmoored from the law. In an editorial this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports that “there have been 19 nationwide injunctions against Administration initiatives ranging from sanctuary cities to new rules on contraceptive coverage. Many of these rulings reject longstanding legal understandings or refer to Mr. Trump’s campaign statements rather than the language of the regulation.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Chris Steele might know this Ohr guy"

Powerline: "Simpson tried to deceive Congress on the Fusion GPS/Obama DOJ connection."
This testimony is absurd. Simpson has testified that Fusion GPS has approximately 10 employees, one of whom was Nellie Ohr. His testimony that Bruce Ohr was “someone that Chris Steele knows” was at best deliberately deceptive, at worst outright perjury.
Drip drip.


Ace: "#ReleaseTheMemo: Congressmen, Government Officials Tout Report on FISA Abuse They Say Will Rock Country and Implicate Obama."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Crazy squiggly lines

Legal Insurrection: "Supreme Court halts North Carolina court-ordered redrawing of congressional districts."  There's a map at the link and, brother, North Carolina is a crazy-quilt of districts.  As Dr. Jacobson notes, this stay was not altogether unexpected because traditionally the Supreme Court has been reluctant to step in to address what is widely considered a state issue.

What happened to Newsweek?

I can't believe I used to subscribe.  Hot Air: "More Big News From “News”Week: You’ll Never Guess How Hillary Could Still Become President."  Click to see why BleachBit hates her!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sweet soda sticker shock stings Seattle

I love this story from PJ Media: "Soda Tax Sticker Shock Grips Seattle."  The city needed cash (duh) so they decided to tax sugary drinks at the rate of 1.75 cents per ounce.  The authors of this tax hike told themselves that this tax would be borne by the distributors so it was totally cool.

Instead, Costco listed the prices that they were forced to charge for the new "fee".  A pack of Gatorade that went for $16 now went for $26 and change.  Then they went a step further and directed customer to the Costco outside of Seattle city limits to avoid the tax.  How nice for Costco who has the network to re-route customers.  Sucks for you, local merchant.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Bortles has never lost a playoff game

The Patriots are in trouble:

My favorite topic

Hit and Run: "Start Saving Now, Because Social Security Is Screwed - If Congress doesn't address its insolvency issues, payouts will need to be slashed by a quarter starting in fewer than 20 years."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Steele dossier

Long article from Andrew McCarthy: "Anatomy of a Farce."  As far as I can tell from this story, Trump's crime was that he said he didn't know a real-estate developer named Felix Sater when, clearly, he did.  Or must have. 

Then there's this view

Andrew Klaven at City Journal: "Of crudeness and truth."  (HT: Maggie's Farm)
So, when it comes to the Great Shithole Controversy of 2018, my feeling is: I do not care, not even a little. I’m sorry that it takes someone like Trump to break the spell of silence the Left is forever weaving around us. I wish a man like Ronald Reagan would come along and accomplish the same thing with more wit and grace. But that was another culture. History deals the cards it deals; we just play them. Trump is what we’ve got.
I don't think it's just a lack of wit and grace: it's an inability to separate his personal and public personas.  My armchair psychiatry tells me that because nobody ever says "no" to him, he's developed the feeling he can do whatever the hell he wants and leave the "losers" to complain about it.


The Atlantic: "There's No Way Out - Trump’s presidency may be a dysfunctional disaster, but there’s no apparent way to end it."
Trump could resign. It’s clear he isn’t interested in the work and is unhappy with the way he is treated by the press, the Congress, the courts, and foreign leaders. But Trump has had many opportunities to pull out, especially during the campaign, and never took them. His pride would seem to prevent him from resigning.

That means until at least the end of 2020, the situation will remain much as it is, with a president widely acknowledged to be dysfunctional and no way to change that.
Sometimes I just can't believe that a man who has obviously done well in the business world could be so undisciplined.  Maybe he could "declare victory" and leave the field open for Pence.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Hollywood phonies, redux

National Review: "About that Golden Globes fiasco."
In short, when caught up in its most disturbing scandal since (at least) the Communist era, Hollywood’s rebuttal is exactly what Weinstein’s was: But we’re liberal! It may not be the case that liberalism and sexual abuse are linked — though nearly all of the men caught up in the pervnado in the last 90 days are strongly identified with the Left. But it is certainly the case that impeccable liberal and Democratic-party credentials did nothing to save Hollywood from a decades-long regime of sexual tyranny. What’s wrong with the entertainment industry won’t be cured by the quack remedies of Oprah Winfrey.
That Oprah speech was pure awfulness: an amped-up "you go girl!" with nary a soupcon of regret for the Hollywood culture that tolerated decades of sexual harassment.  If Oprah had at any time in her speech said "Shame on us!" it would have been redeemed.  But there's nothing that Hollywood loves more than self-congratulation (see: award shows) so this was red meat for the MGM lions.

Good ole Hollywood.  Here they are in 2003 celebrating Roman Polanski who couldn't attend the Oscars for some reason.  Keep an eye out for Meryl "I don't know nothin' about Harvey!" Streep.

ManBearPig warming the oceans

Very, very, very slightly:
Ocean temperatures have risen only 0.1 degree Celsius over the last five decades, according to a landmark study some scientists argue could change the way researchers measure the ocean’s temperature levels.
This new method focuses on gases in the atmosphere which are expelled proportionally with water temperature, so the accuracy is considered much higher than direct ocean temperature measurements.  Al Gore hardest hit.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

I can't believe people in Seattle are this stupid

Twitchy: "City of Seattle’s response to reports about new soda tax proves prog pols FAILED Econ-101."  The city added a 1.75 cent tax to each ounce of sugary drink and actually believed that distributors and retailers would not pass the cost on to consumers.  But, c'mon - they didn't really believe that.

Godfather quote of the day

Technically, it's "The Godfather, Part 2."  From Hot Air: "Trump: I’m Mentally Stable And, Like, Really Smart — A Very Stable Genius."
One thing you want to do when you’re accused in a bestselling book of being mentally unbalanced is to immediately hop onto Twitter and start sounding like Fredo Corleone with a head injury.
And he wants respect!

Friday, January 05, 2018

"The First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!"

Some funny stuff in this article from the Federalist: "Federal Judge Obliterates Fusion GPS’ Attempt To Hide Info From Investigators - In Fusion GPS' vague telling, they've been nothing but forthright with congressional investigative committees, which came as news to those committees."

Thursday, January 04, 2018

How "grossly negligent" became "oopsie!"

Just breaking on The Hill: "Comey’s original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations."
Ex-FBI Director James Comey’s original statement closing out the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server was edited by subordinates to remove five separate references to terms like “grossly negligent” and to delete mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations, according to copies of the full document. 
Comey also originally concluded that it was “reasonably likely” that Clinton’s insecure private sever was accessed or hacked by hostile actors though there was no evidence to prove it. But that passage was also changed to the much weaker “possible,” the memos show.
The term "grossly negligent" is critical since that's the wording of U.S. law that means a felony occurred:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust.
So here we are a year-and-a-half later and the truth of the true nature of Hillary's crime and the FBI's cover-up finally comes out.  She almost got away with it all.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Monday, January 01, 2018

Forget Carter Page

Andrew McCarthy has a thorough review of the Russian collusion story and how the NY Times shifted their narrative to "Collusion 2.0" when the Carter Page story fell apart.  "As the Dossier Scandal Looms, the New York Times Struggles to Save Its Collusion Tale."  On to the Greek!

A year of Trump

I was going back over some posts I made in the months before the 2016 Presidential election which ranged from general criticism over Trump to openly advocating for his removal by Republican officials before the general election.  A year later, I still hate his undisciplined tweeting, the inability to shake off minor jabs, and his unpredictability.  But in terms of results, I feel like I'm on the receiving end of a speech by Col. Jessep:
"I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way."
What are those results?  The first major tax reform in decades, including a long-overdue drop in the corporate tax rate to put America on par with other nations.  The elimination of the Obamacare mandate.  Neil Gorsuch sits on the Supreme Court which is just the tip of the iceberg in the reshaping of the federal judiciary.  Contra Paul Krugman, the stock market keeps hitting new highs and GDP growth is knocking on 3% growth.  And Trump pulled out of that silly, feel-good, Paris Climate deal.

So, yeah, a lot of issues I supported came to fruition in 2017 in part because Republicans held together and grabbed the opportunity that will almost certainly vanish in early 2019.  I wish somebody would disable Trump's twitter account and tell him to think before speaking (*cough* Charlottesville *cough*) and consider the relationships he needs to foster to get things done.

But this seems like complaining about the blanket.  Trump's going to Trump.

Related - From Powerline.

Happy New Year!

Welp, it's 2018.