Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dispatches from the Nerd Prom

I turned on "Face the Nation" this morning and everybody on the panel voiced regret and a little disgust at the previous night's White House Correspondents' Dinner.  Whoa - what happened?  Well, it sounds like the comic relief did just about everything in her power to solidify people's mistrust and perceptions of bias in the national media.

Politico put it this way: "Journalists distance themselves from Correspondents’ Dinner after Wolf routine" and Mediaite noted that it's pretty much OK to make fun of a woman's appearance if she's the wrong kind of woman.
"That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter, a feeling many of her colleagues echoed. 
It was a big laugh for the Coastal Elite, not so much for journalists working in Flyover Country:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

How do you solve a problem like Korea?

Twitter feed on Imgur of "couple of ideas why North Korea is ready for negotiations."

There's about a 1% chance of anything meaningful coming out of these talks.  But who knows?

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Southern Poverty shakedown

Tablet: "The Southern Poverty Law Center: From Klan Hunters to Multimillion-dollar Smear Machine" - "By bizarrely going after Sam Harris, Majid Nawaaz, and others, the once venerable organization has abandoned its core mission, focusing instead on dirty partisan politics."

Harper's magazine (!) had their number a long time ago:
I also agreed to the invitation because, much like CIS, I feel that the Law Center is essentially a fraud and that it has a habit of casually labeling organizations as “hate groups.” (Which doesn’t mean that some of the groups it criticizes aren’t reprehensible.) In doing so, the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.
That pile is nearing half-a-billion dollars, mostly to help the SPLC alone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crazy in Turkey

WashPost: "Turkey is succumbing to collective insanity."
Our nation’s self-lobotomy starts at schools and extends through state institutions into every corner of society. Roughly 70,000 students are in jail in Turkey, but the figure doesn’t include those that have been kicked out of schools over the past few years on – what else? – terrorism charges. Then there are the academics on trial for signing a peace declaration, professors who have fled abroad, teachers who are unemployed.
A couple weeks back, AskReddit had a question of "What conspiracy theory do you 100% believe?" and the one I thought striking was that President Tayyip Erdogan staged the 2016 "coup" to consolidate power. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

President Snow sets the 12 districts

Unintentionally funny social planning from Bernie Sanders: "Weirdly, the plan also includes dividing the country into 12 separate "districts" within the United States, each with a specialized area of industry, that would develop service projects and major infrastructure job plans, which they would then forward to the Department of Labor for approval."

Katniss was unavailable for comment.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

CNN: Democrats lawsuit "100% stunt" to fundraise

I can't believe they believe this is a good idea.  Wikileaks is all but begging for a fight.

Extra - Michael Goodwin: "The trashy suit is their way of trying to keep impeachment and Russia, Russia, Russia alive for the midterms in case Mueller’s probe comes up empty."

Running a-fowl of the law

Some German news site: "Switzerland: Duck snapped twice for speeding in 30km zone - A duck or pair of ducks have been caught by the same speed camera flying at more than 20 kilometers per hour over the limit. The feathered felons are still at large."

Friday, April 20, 2018

Against the gun narrative

Hit and Run: "CDC, in Surveys It Never Bothered Making Public, Provides More Evidence that Plenty of Americans Innocently Defend Themselves with Guns - CDC surveys in the 1990s, never publicly reported, indicate nearly 2.5 million defensive uses of guns a year. That matches the results of Gary Kleck's controversial surveys, and it indicates more defensive than offensive uses of guns."

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The unquestionable, glaring, unequivocal problem we sorta gotta figure out

I heard this story this morning on NPR and here's the moment I rolled my eyes: "Starbucks Stores To Close For An Afternoon Of Racial-Bias Education."  An NAACP representative was asked about the kind of training that would be offered to Starbucks employees:
KING (NPR): But let me ask you about the training 'cause I imagine people are very curious. You've got a whole tens of thousands of Starbucks employees who will be going through this training. Give us some specifics. What will they be learning?

IFILL (NCAAP): Yeah. Unfortunately, it's very early.


IFILL: I can't give you, and wouldn't at this point, give you the specifics because I think one of the things that I think is really important is for us to make sure that we have all of the information we need to provide the kind of advice that we can.
Hmmm...I wonder what additional details they need to unveil to complete the training packets.  For example, can a business that depends on paying customers kick out people who are essentially loitering?  These are the questions that need answers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A legendary American

Fox News: "Barbara Bush, former first lady, dead at 92."

As you'll no doubt hear many times, the only woman to marry and give birth to a President since Abigail Adams.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Andrew McCarthy of the National Review has written long and convincing articles about there's virtually no evidence of Russian collusion or obstruction of justice in the Trump campaign.  This latest foray into hush-money payments is another story.

The shoo-in

The Atlantic: "James Comey Is No Hero."  Why did Comey decide to re-open the Hillary email investigation only a few days before the election?
Why did Comey make that decision? His book, A Higher Loyalty, will be released on Tuesday. But accounts of its contents and excerpts published by outlets that have obtained copies of the book make clear that he concedes that he believed Clinton was going to win. “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president,” Comey wrote, “my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”

This is an astonishing admission. Justice Department guidelines bar officials from making important disclosures related to investigations close to elections to avoid influencing them. Comey took it upon himself to decide that, based on his concern that keeping the news confidential could call the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency into question, he had to announce that the investigation was being restarted. But that was not his decision to make; the role of the FBI is to investigate crimes, it is not to use its authority to protect or harm the legitimacy of a given politician. 
So Comey made the decision because Hillary was going to win anyway.  This was exactly the same rationale the Obama administration gave (after the election) for failing to address Russian interference:
The Obama administration didn’t respond more forcefully to Russian hacking before the presidential election because they didn’t want to appear to be interfering in the election and they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and a potential cyber war with Russia wasn’t worth it, multiple high-level government officials told NBC News.

"They thought she was going to win, so they were willing to kick the can down the road," said one U.S official familiar with the level of Russian hacking.
This is how you got Trump.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Michael Flynn: "Remind me again why I'm indicted"

Fox News: "DOJ IG releases explosive report that led to firing of ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe."

He lied to the FBI under oath.  End of story.

Billy Mitchell hammered like a rolling barrel

If you've ever seen the documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters", you know about the epic battle between science teacher Steve Wiebe and video-game guy Billy Mitchell to claim the top score on Donkey Kong.  And if you pay attention, you would have that feeling that Mitchell is a jerk and possibly a liar.

Well, just this past week, there was some justice in the world: "Famed gamer stripped of ‘Donkey Kong’ records over cheating."

The genesis of Mitchell's downfall had to be this video posted on YouTube two months ago.  This guy did the legwork to expose Mitchell as a jerk and a liar.  Good for you, Apollo Legend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

If you'll excuse me, I have some candy to crush

Hot Air: "Mulvaney To Congress: Thanks To You, I Don’t Have To Answer Any Of Your Questions — Ever."

That's the way you wanted it, Elizabeth Warren.  Ace:
Best part: Elizabeth Warren demands answers, and Mulvaney tells her to f--- off -- he invites her to experience some of the same frustration he felt when trying to get answers from a rogue agency entirely insulated from oversight by the people's representatives.
That some righteous petard-hoisting there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Paul Ryan exits

A good review of his career in Congress at NPR: "'No Regrets': House Speaker Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-Election."

There's so many things I could say about Paul Ryan but foremost is this: like me, he believed that entitlements need to be reformed since we can't keep piling on to our mountain of national debt.  My guess is that the recently-passed budget is where the conservative Ryan threw in the towel.  There will never be reform, we'll just keep spinning up the spending and the debt until the merry-go-round breaks down.

I'd be heading home to spend time with my indebted kids, too.

Extra - From Instapundit, who needs this?

More - The Corner: "Ryan’s great insight, which he preached at every opportunity, was that the biggest fiscal threat to the country — and the biggest contributor to runaway debt — was entitlement spending, which grows on autopilot and is not constrained by the availability of money to pay for it, either in terms of government revenue or the private-sector economic growth that produces government revenue. Our current trajectory of entitlement spending is unsustainable, and no amount of fixes to anything else government does (including taxes) is going to solve that."

Monday, April 09, 2018

Seems like kind of a big deal

Hot Air: "Oh Boy: Feds Raid Michael Cohen’s Office, Seize Material Related To Payments To Stormy Daniels."  Long review with updates.

The main upshot I gathered from the analysis is that it's highly unusual for the Justice Department to go after a lawyer unless there's significant evidence of covering up a crime.  To go after the President's lawyer, well, that's another chapter in this unprecedented Presidency.

Extra - Popehat: "This is a big deal."  Once again, the intrusive measures indicate they have something and were afraid Cohen was going to hide evidence.  Hmmmm.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Funny coincidence

I pulled into the car wash this morning just as "Wash Away" came on my CD player:

Friday, April 06, 2018

Here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts

Hit and Run: "Second Amendment Does Not Apply to 'Assault Weapons,' Says U.S. District Judge" - His obsession with Justice Scalia's aside in Heller about "weapons...most useful in military service" ignores Scalia writing of weapons "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes."

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Winding down?

Washington Post: "Mueller told Trump’s attorneys the president remains under investigation but is not currently a criminal target."  "Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III informed President Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions."