Thursday, May 31, 2018

It was also facile and far-fetched

New Yorker: "The finale of 'The Americans' was elegant, potent and unforgettable."

Let's scroll down the garage scene:
A fair amount happened before that Russian denouement, although the crucial sequence began twenty-two minutes in, with a hilariously arch greeting between old friends. “Hey!” the F.B.I. agent Stan Beeman says, cheerfully, to his neighbors, Philip and Elizabeth and their daughter Paige, as they enter a parking garage, preparing to flee the country. “Hi, Paige!” “What . . . what are you doing here?” sputters Philip to Stan, as if they’d all conveniently bumped into one another running errands. Stan holds one finger up and says, calmly, “That’s a great question.”

It was the last moment that Stan would be in control, during a clash of perspectives that should have, by all narrative logic, led straight to prison or, if not, to a shootout, a car chase, or something worse. Instead, ten minutes later, the Jennings were coolly driving away to freedom, as Stan stood by silently, as if paralyzed, watching them go. How did they pull that off?
How indeed?  We're supposed to forget that Philip and Elizabeth killed dozens of people including co-workers and other people close to Stan.  But Philip did some fancy talking and suddenly the Jennings are on the road to Canada.  It just rang false to me. 

When Philip said "we had a job to do" Stan should have responded "and so do I."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Joe and Joel have had this ending in mind for a long time"

Hmmmmmm.  Series finale of "The Americans" is tonight.  For the record, my guess for the final song is "Lawyers in Love" by Jackson Browne.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Democrats are upset about the state of affairs

Hit and Run: "Democratic Senators Who Voted Against Iran Deal Blame Collapse of Iran Deal for High Gas Prices - Having two senators who opposed the Iran deal show up to denounce Trump for pulling out of the Iran deal was only the beginning of the hypocrisy exhibition."

ICYMI, they're also very upset about Trump's immigration 2014.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I got that reference - NASCAR edition

Near the start of tonight's Coca-Cola 600, announcer Mike Joy commented on the forward progress of racer Erik Jones by exclaiming: "Along came Jones!"  I'm almost positive that there's only a half-dozen fans in NASCAR nation who got that reference to an old Coasters song:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

RIP Alan Bean

Quartz: "Now just four men who walked on the moon are still alive."

Fauxcahontas update

Hot Air (linking CNN): "Elizabeth Warren Quietly Working To Defang Trump’s “Pocahontas” Slur As 2020 Looms."

Pocahontas "slur"?  Let me tell you: I frequent the message boards for the biggest paper in Western Massachusetts and Warren is not popular.  The Indian thing is the least of her problems.  Most she's seen as a do-nothing in Congress who never passes up a chance to pander to some cause.  Like most Republicans, I'm praying she runs for President.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

That is one dedicated civil servant

Hit and Run: "Firefighter Earned $300K in Overtime by Working More Hours Than Actually Exist = Donn Thompson was paid for more than 9,200 hours of work last year. But there are only 8,760 hours in a year."
To earn that much in overtime pay, Thompson would have had to work more hours than actually exist in a single year. Either the highly paid firefighter found a way to stretch the space-time continuum or something fishy is going on.
As the article points out, in 2017 the Los Angeles Fire Department had over 500 employees pulling in over $100,000 in overtime pay.

Letterman in twilight

Decider: "David Letterman’s Netflix Show Is An Endless, Awkward Parade Of Liberal Guilt."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Feed the beast

I often complain about the pitiless search for more revenue in Massachusetts.  In 1989, then-governor Michael Dukakis passed a "temporary" tax increase that has yet to reset to the original rate.  A couple years ago, Beacon Hill legalized gambling to bring in some sweet (consensual) taxation and we're waiting for the pot shops to blaze up.

But governments need money, money, money.  Hit and Run: "St. Louis Town Agrees to Stop Bankrolling Itself by Fining Its Residents into the Poorhouse."
A small St. Louis suburb has agreed to stop trying bankroll its government with a vicious regime of petty fines so excessive that the town has cited more than a third of its population.
Pagedale was one of those communities. In the course of a single year, it handed out 2,000 code enforcement citations—almost twice the number of actual households in the city. It tossed out tickets like confetti for a host of really absurd codes, which banned everything from mismatched curtains to holes in window screens to having your pants below your waist to having a barbecue grill or basketball hoop in your front yard to walking on the left side of a crosswalk.

The town's budget depended heavily on these fines. In some years, their proceeds made up a quarter of the city's revenue, according to the Institute for Justice. And the code citations got worse once the state cracked down to stop cities from trying to rake in money from traffic tickets. Eventually, 39 percent of the city's adult population had been fined for some sort of housing violation.
Somebody's going to have to pay for all those pensions.

Meh, we'll get around to it

Fox News: "IG report on Clinton case expected to hit FBI leaders for sitting on emails in 2016."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I'm a problem solver

Problem: Seattle has a lot of homeless people.

Solution: "New Starbucks policy: No purchase needed to sit in cafes."  You're welcome.

Justice is not-so-blind

Great article from Andrew McCarthy about how the Justice Department treated Hillary vs. Trump: "In Politicized Justice, Desperate Times Call for Disparate Measures."

Extreme abridgment: Hillary's email crimes clearly violated the Espionage Act but "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges per mind-reader James Comey.  Meanwhile: "The Logan Act is patently unconstitutional, but no court has had the opportunity to invalidate it because, to borrow a phrase, no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Crossfire hurricane

Federalist: "10 Key Takeaways From The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense Of FBI Spying On Trump Campaign - It's reasonable to assume that much of the new information in the New York Times report relates to leakers' fears about information that will be coming out in the inspector general report."

The rumors are starting: "Report: IG Has Found Possible Violations Of Law In FBI/DOJ Handling Of Clinton Investigation." 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Good luck with that strategy

As Obamacare heads into the death spiral we all predicted a long, long time ago, it looks like the Democrats have congealed around a strategy: this fatally-flawed legislation is all the fault of the Republicans.  Politico: "Democrats run on GOP health care 'sabotage' - Candidates have a unified message blaming Republicans for ‘sabotaging’ the health law."

Here's the totality of the "sabotage":
They will blame the next round of premium spikes on the GOP because Republicans repealed the individual mandate, eliminated a low-income subsidy, and let people enroll in health plans that don’t have the full range of ACA benefits and patient protections.
First of all, the low-income subsidy was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, so this argument is that Trump adhered to the law and ceased illegal funding.

Second, when it comes to the individual mandate, the "young invincibles" were already choosing to pay the tax penalty over expensive coverage.  Repealing the individual mandate only recognized the fact that the young'uns couldn't be coerced into buying something that was a terrible deal

The final sabotage is giving Americans the freedom to purchase insurance plans that align with their individual needs instead of ones larded up with options they don't want.

So there you have it: Republicans gave you the freedom to purchase health insurance options you want - or none at all - and ended illegal subsidies.  Good luck running on ignoring the law and forcing Americans to buy something they don't want.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Gimme some money

Fox News: "Seattle approves ‘head tax’ on large businesses despite Amazon’s opposition."

Can't wait to see how this all plays out: "In the days ahead of the vote, Amazon said it had halted planning on a new 17-story office tower pending the city council’s decision. The Seattle-based e-commerce company employs more than 40,000 workers in Seattle, with plans for further expansion."

Extra - Twitchy: "Seattle is about to get a lesson in economic incentives." 

Liars and their lying transcripts

Ace: "Who Ya Gonna Believe, James Comey or Two Lying Transcripts of James Comey's Congressional Testimony?"

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Shut up and die in New Hampshire

Good gravy, this video is an absolute s--- show.  Turtleboy: "Top 10 Wokest UNH SJWs Who Showed Up To Yell At Socially Liberal Gay Jew Dave Rubin For Being Racist, Transphobic, And Causing Violence."

Dave Rubin of Turning Point USA brought his free speech message to the University of Massachusetts and faced a respectful and engaged audience.  Then he went to the University of New Hampshire and, well, this happened:

Here's Turtleboy:
Anyway, like I said, these people are the reason Trump will win again. It’s a foregone conclusion at this point. As a political moderate I’d like to see a good race. But the fact of the matter is that videos like this and Trigglypuff are widely seen and distributed by millions of people. They see what college campuses have become, and they want to vote for whoever these people don’t want you to vote for. 
These people are trapped in a collective form of insanity.  All Rubin is trying to say is that hate speech exists, and it sucks, but there's nothing the government can do about it.  It just never occurs to them (well, maybe that rambling girl got it) that subjective laws designed to constrain speech you don't like can be turned around to constrain speech you do.

Yeah, probably

Politico: "Hold the Nobel Prize: Kim Is Setting a Trap for Trump - It’s far too early to get excited about the possible outbreak of peace on the Korean Peninsula."

OTOH, we've tried pretty much the same policy for 50 years.  Maybe Trump's chaotic style is the key to a new approach in Korea.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Interpretations du jour

Hot Air: "Pew: Majority Now Says SCOTUS Should Base Rulings On What Constitution Means “In Current Times,” Not Originally."

Sigh.  I just finished reading "Scalia Speaks" which is a collection of speeches by former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  To say the man was obsessed with originalism would not be a stretch: it appears in almost every commencement address and speech he gave.  The general idea is that once you stray from the original text of the Constitution and start guessing intent then anything goes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Spin-off idea for "The Americans"

After the Jennings escape the FBI, a demoted Stan teams up with a new partner and hilarity ensues as they solve crimes.  It's "Stan and Mail Robot!"

Either way, you have no choice

All that is not forbidden will be made mandatory.  Hit and Run: "California Regulators Want to Add $10,500 to the Price of a New Home With a Solar Panel Mandate - But they swear the new regulations will actually save homeowners money."

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

One of us

Hot Air: "Samantha Bee: Hey, I’m Really Sorry For Portraying Eric Schneiderman As A Superhero."

City Journal: "Eric Schneiderman’s Inevitable Fall - The New York attorney general’s dark-side personal life was an open secret in Democratic Party circles."

Samantha Bee lives in New York City and fancies herself as a whip-smart comedian or something, but not so smart to see through the AG's #MeToo hypocrisy. 

Trump nixes the Iran deal

Bret Stephens makes a lot of good points here: "A Courageous Trump Call on a Lousy Iran Deal."  It starts with the fact that this was not a treaty with any binding legal force and (at the time) it was widely unpopular with Americans:
The Obama administration refused to submit the deal to Congress as a treaty, knowing it would never get two-thirds of the Senate to go along. Just 21 percent of Americans approved of the deal at the time it went through, against 49 percent who did not, according to a Pew poll. The agreement “passed” on the strength of a 42-vote Democratic filibuster, against bipartisan, majority opposition.
But Obama and Horseface Kerry wanted their foreign policy "victory" so they were ready to ship pallets of cash to Tehran so that Iran could continue to sponsor terrorism, launch ballistic missiles, and wait out the clock to start up their nuclear program:
The goal is to put Iran’s rulers to a fundamental choice. They can opt to have a functioning economy, free of sanctions and open to investment, at the price of permanently, verifiably and irreversibly forgoing a nuclear option and abandoning their support for terrorists. Or they can pursue their nuclear ambitions at the cost of economic ruin and possible war. But they are no longer entitled to Barack Obama’s sweetheart deal of getting sanctions lifted first, retaining their nuclear options for later, and sponsoring terrorism throughout.

Flashback: Remember this?  "DOJ objected to $400 million payment to Iran, was overruled by State Department."  Because it was an obvious ransom payment. 

Monday, May 07, 2018


Federalist: "5 Reasons The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Hate-Mongering Scam - The Southern Poverty Law Center is not a legitimate arbiter of public discourse. It poisons public discourse for profit."

The dream scenario

NY Post: "Rosie O’Donnell’s campaign donations to Dems went over legal limit."
The liberal comedian has regularly broken Federal Election Commission rules limiting the total any one person can give to an individual candidate at $2,700 per election. The limit applies separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.
It would be delicious, condign punishment for Rosie if she was convicted of these crimes...and then received a Presidential pardon.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Thursday, May 03, 2018

For a few dollars more

I think it was P.J. O'Rourke who said that left-wing thinking can be summed up with "Gimme a dollar."  Or, if you're Amazon in Seattle, "take one more hit for the team."

Amazon's response: nah, we're good.  Hot Air: "Seattle Council Member Accuses Amazon Of “Blackmail” Over Class-Warfare Tax Proposal."  Amazon was going to be hit with yet another tax to pay for Seattle's homeless problem and, in response, the company decided maybe they were going to put a halt on a new building and the associated 7,000 jobs.  This statement is amazing:
“If Amazon generally wants to engage about how they can be part of the solution, we welcome that conversation. But we need companies that are profitable and making billions of dollars every year to help with the folks that are being forced out of housing and ending up on the street.”
It's never enough.

Make way for the professionals

The Hill: "NBC corrects Cohen story, removes details on wiretapping."

Rudy called it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Grab-ass dies in darkness

Golly, why aren't we allowed to know all the sordid details over at the New York Times?  Vanity Fair: "The paper of record talks the talk on sexual misconduct—but in yet another case, it doesn’t fully walk the walk."
At the same time, the announcement also left Times journalists grappling with the complexity of being a news organization at the forefront of reporting on sexual misconduct, but then not being able to be fully transparent about such matters when they hit close to home.
As somebody noted: "You're not going to like the new rules."  Tom Brokaw agrees.