Thursday, August 30, 2018

I shall not do that

Federalist: "If You Want To Know Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Media, Watch CNN - Trump’s hyperbole has currency because the media often live up to conservatives' worst expectations."

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Glass houses time

American Thinker: "17 million reasons why Trump not guilty of campaign violations."
If in fact legal settlements of personal matters are illegal campaign contributions, then the list of guilty politicians certainly is long.  And, as we learned in 2017 about the sexual harassment settlements paid by Congress using a slush fund from taxpayer dollars, the leaders in the House of Representatives of both political parties are implicated by the $17 million in payments over a period of 20 years and at least 268 settlements.
Brother, you know that Trump would relish reading out a dirty laundry list of 268 Congressmen.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

All American

NY Times: "John McCain, War Hero, Senator, Presidential Contender, Dies at 81."

Can't stop talkin' 'bout Trump

Hot Air: "New Dem Strategy: Stop Talking About Trump."

Dateline 2012

Here's a nice find: back in 2012, National Review writer Rich Lowry wrote that the campaign violation charges levied against Democrat John Edwards were a farce:
Even the campaign-finance obsessives at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) consider the case an overreach. CREW points out an absurdity that follows from the government’s argument. If keeping Rielle Hunter quiet is rightly considered a campaign expenditure, as the prosecutors maintain, then the Edwards campaign could have funded her living expenses directly without breaking any rules. “Love child” could have been a legitimate line item in the budget somewhere between “get out the vote” and “phone banks.”
So if keeping Stormy quiet is actually a campaign expense, Trump could have saved his personal money and filled out a campaign expense form. 

Friday, August 24, 2018


Found this on Reddit and, um, read it to the bottom: "Famous examples of not telling the cast what was going on."  It's scenes from televisions and movies where very limited information was given and the actors had to roll with the scene.  Good trivia!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Outside the media bubble

In a generally good article: "Ignore the Noise, Mueller Still Has Nothing", I want to focus on this one section:
I just got back from [Pennsylvania]. Not a single mechanic, trucker, or waitress I met in Pennsylvania ever showed the slightest bit of interest in Mueller’s probe. Most of them probably don’t even know who Mueller is. That the media is staking its demolition of Trump on this gray, little-known ruling-class darling is a measure of its alienation from the American people. They simply don’t care about Trump’s pre-presidential sins, political screw-ups, and minor law-bending, if that even occurred.
Every single day during the Manafort trial, it was the lead (maybe second) story on NPR's news feed.  I could not believe there was anybody, outside of the NY Times newsroom, that cared about the tax evasion charge for a guy who worked on Trump's campaign for three months.  Wait until Joe Sixpack finds out he failed to register as a foreign lobbyist!  Woo-boy, they'll be talkin' about it at the Dew Drop Inn.

By popular demand

2016: Russia!
2017: Russia!!
2018: Failing to file FEC form EXP241 claiming a campaign expense!

Here's your "high crime" for impeachment:
The Federal Election Commission rules examine this through the lens of whether campaign funds have been put to personal use; the commission applies something called the Irrespective Test. The law says that something is personal if it’s "any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign."
By that standard, said Emory School of Law professor Michael Kang, "the circumstances and context here are suspicious," but it’s no slam-dunk that the payment was an expenditure on behalf of the campaign. 
In fact, we know that Trump repaid Cohen from personal funds and the precedent already exists indicating it's difficult to show intent with regard to personal matters versus campaign "contributions."  Unless Cohen has a tape indicating that Trump knew this was designed as a campaign contribution, Trump can claim this was another one of his many NDAs to protect his (lascivious) personal life.

Manafort isn't worth mentioning.  A tax evasion charge from a decade ago.  Nice going, Mueller.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What does this mean?

New York Times: "White House Counsel Has Cooperated Extensively With Mueller’s Obstruction Inquiry."
In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.
I'm not entirely sure what's the upshot of this revelation.  Either Trump is so sure of his innocence that he instructed the White House Counsel to tell Mueller everything or Trump's in real trouble if McGahn describes discussions where Trump sought to obstruct justice.  But on that latter point, the article notes that Trump would be protected by both attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.  The article further states that Trump's lawyers did not object when asked for McGahn's testimony.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Good question

Zero Hedge: "Wall Street Journal Implores "What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?"

Related - Minuteman: "The timing and funding of the Steele dossier is not controversial. How can the Times be mis-reporting this at this late date?"  It's the Times, that's how.

She must be fun at parties

Look up "overwrought" in the dictionary:
The Trump presidency is a time of too many horrors — everything is a distraction from everything else, because it all matters. To some extent we can rely on the division of labor. There’s a reason I didn’t spend the last week writing about deportations and asylum-seekers; there are immigration lawyers and reporters for that. But that also means holding onto a level of humility about the vastness of what we don’t have time to see in full.
Can America survive after wandering through the smoky, apocalyptic landscape that Trump has left behind with his tax cuts and withdrawal from the Paris Accords?  We must soldier on.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Respect for Aretha

Chicago Tribune: "Aretha Franklin: America’s voice."

I saw Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, around 1991.  My then-girlfriend (now wife) and I joined the 20% white audience that night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Harassment, plain and simple

The Supreme Court already ruled that this guy can't be forced to bake a cake.  Why is the Colorado Civil Rights Commission all up in his grill, er, oven again?  Phillips is counter-suing for $100,000.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hilarious article from the NY Times

I knew I was going to laugh and laugh when I saw this headline: "Trump’s Sabotage of Obamacare Is Illegal - A president doesn’t have the right to dispense with laws he dislikes."  He doesn't?!?  Tell us all about it, law professors:
But Mr. Trump isn’t a king; he doesn’t have the power to dispense with laws he dislikes. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes the requirement, set forth in Article II, that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
What a unique position to be taken on the issue of Obamacare:

  • The Labor Department announced in February 2013 that it was delaying for a year the part of the law that limits how much people have to spend on their own insurance. This may have been sensible, but changing a law requires actual legislation.
  • Later that year, the administration announced via blogpost on the eve of the July 4 holiday that it was delaying the requirement that employers of at least 50 people provide complying insurance or pay a fine. This time it cited statutory authority, but the cited provisions allow the delay of reporting requirements, not the mandate itself.
  • The famous pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” backfired when insurers started cancelling millions of plans that didn’t comply with Obamacare. So Obama called a press conference to proclaim that people could continue buying non-complying plans for another year—despite the ACA’s language to the contrary. He then refused to consider a House-passed bill that would’ve made this action legal.
  • A little-known part of Obamacare requires congressional staff to get insurance from health exchanges, rather than a taxpayer-funded program. Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management to interpret the law to maintain the generous benefits.
  • Obamacare grants tax credits to people whose employers don’t provide coverage if they buy a plan “through an Exchange established by the State”—and then fines employers for each employee receiving such a subsidy. No tax credits are authorized for residents of states where the exchanges are established by the federal government, as an incentive for states to create exchanges themselves. Because so few (16) states did, however, the IRS issued a rule allowing subsidies (and fines) for plans coming from “a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and federally-facilitated Exchange.” Yes, we can also blame the Supreme Court for upholding this.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services granted more than 2,000 waivers to employers seeking relief from Obamacare’s regulations. Nearly 20 percent of them went to gourmet restaurants and other businesses in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. Nevada, home to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, got a blanket waiver, while GOP-controlled states like Indiana and Louisiana were denied. Beyond political favoritism, such dispensations violate a host of constitutional and administrative law provisions like equal protection and the “intelligible principle” needed for congressional delegation of authority to cabinet agencies.
  • HHS also continues paying insurance companies to compensate them for losses caused by Obamacare’s ignorance of basic economics. Alas, Congress never appropriated these funds, so the House of Representatives is suing the administration and won in the district court. Now on appeal, House v. Burwell is stayed until the D.C. Circuit hears from the incoming Trump administration.

Indeed, on this last point, here's how law professors Bagley and Gluck characterize Trump's decision to stop payments on a program which was not funded by Congress:
To sow chaos in the insurance markets, Mr. Trump toyed for nine months with the idea of eliminating a crucial funding stream for Obamacare known as cost-sharing payments. After he cut off those funds, he boasted that Obamacare was “being dismantled.”
Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that those payments were not allocated by Congress and were therefore illegal.  Is it the NY Times' position that Trump should ignore a federal judge?  Or is that only the case when it comes to travel bans?

The rest of the article is just whining because Trump has changed insurance rules that were perfectly within his power because Obamacare endowed wide latitude to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  That was a great plan as long as Hillary was a shoo-in.

It's California

Hit and Run: "The $289 Million Verdict Against Monsanto Is Scientifically Outrageous - California jurors misled by activist misinformation."  "I am truly sorry that DeWayne Johnson is suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but years of scientific research has determined that it is exceedingly unlikely, despite the outrageous verdict of a California jury on Friday, that he contracted NHL from using the herbicide glyphosate."

Future of the Democrats

CBS News: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the Sarah Palin of the Left."  "If you're one of the many American progressives cheering on the performance of your new political rock star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, look around: Many of the people cheering with you are Republicans."

Monday, August 13, 2018


Hot Air: "Peter Strzok Fired."  Remember this?
Many of the texts had already been made public after the FBI sent them to Congress. But in a new, inflammatory text revealed in the report, Page wrote Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The inspector general’s report said that exchange “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
Looks like Trump did the stopping, Pete.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The predictable response

Airhead Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is finally getting some attention for her serial lies so guess what: it's all just sexism, ya'll.  We just can't stand to see a strong woman.  Can't stand it!

But on the Kelvin scale, the rise is negligible

Powerline: "The Times does temperature."  "It is always fun to have a laugh at the expense of the failing New York Times, but as we have noted before, there is a more serious point. Reporters and editors try to lecture the rest of us on scientific matters, when in fact their knowledge of science (like their knowledge of history, literature and other fields) is below average."

Tea Party prevails

Washington Times: "Tea party groups get revenge against IRS as judge approves $3.5 million payout."  "A judge late Wednesday signed off on the settlement between the IRS and hundreds of tea party groups, closing out the last major legal battle over what all sides now agree was unwarranted and illegal targeting for political purposes."

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why are you so quiet?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The paragon of journalism

Slate: "Liberals Don’t Have to Defend Sarah Jeong’s Tweets - The impulse to bash “old white men” is satisfying, but it’s also wrong and counterproductive."

I want Sarah Jeong to keep her job as a constant reminder of the NY Times' position on racial discourse:

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Seizing your property

So it's not just in Zimbabwe or South Africa where governments are looking to expropriate your property.  According to the Grumpy Economist, it's the only way that state governments will be able to pay for unfunded pension obligations:
States can try to raise income taxes. And people will move. States can try to raise business taxes. And  businesses will move. What can states tax that can't move? Only real estate. If the state drastically raises the property tax, there is no choice but to pay it. You can sell, but the new buyer will be willing to pay much less. Pay the tax slowly over time, or lose the value of the property right away in a lower price.  Either way, the owner of the property on the day the tax is announced bears the burden of paying off the pensions.
Politicians will shrug their shoulders and say: "We had no choice, now that it's a crisis we knew about for decades."

I've seen this horror movie before

Neo-Neocon: "As Zimbabwe goes, so goes South Africa?"  "Whatever the reasons, it’s dangerous for governments to confiscate the land of citizens without compensation, as the leading party of South Africa is now poised to do."

If only there were some nearby analog we could use for comparison.  The Atlantic: "How To Kill A Country - Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps—the Robert Mugabe way."

Monday, August 06, 2018

This is my favorite story today

Daily Caller: "Twitter suspends Candace Owens - then says it was 'an error' after backlash."  Her crime?  She took Sarah Jeong's old Twitter posts and replaced "white" with either "Jewish" or "black."  Oops.

Extra - From Instapundit.


Yes, dance, dance!  Hot Air: "Dem Gubernatorial Candidates Going All-In On Single-Payer."

They couldn't do it in either Vermont or California, probably because of all the Republicans.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Trump virtually guarantees his re-election

Daily Wire: "Warren Basically Announces Bid For 2020 With Gimmicky Signs."

Elizabeth Warren is the biggest airhead in Congress whose schtick is "fighting" and "the system is rigged."  Delve deep into the sea of platitudes:
"We believe that in America every family deserves a fighting chance, and we’re ready to fight as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, to deliver on that promise," said Warren.
That's our Warren: always fighting and persisting against the rigged system.  Sometimes I wish she were a Senator or something, working to improve the lives of Bay Staters.  Oh well.  Good luck with the nomination, Liz!  I know Joe Sixpack in Pittsburgh is pulling for you.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Don't we all, Sarah?

Via Instapundit: Sarah Jeong hates the New York Times, possibly because of all the white men there.

Extra - Babylon Bee: "New York Times Stands By Recent Editorial Board Hire Joseph Stalin Despite Criticism Of Mass Murder."

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Nuts on the Left, continued

Hot Air: "McConnell To Cory Booker: You’re Quoting Scripture To Justify Blocking Brett Kavanaugh?"
Indeed he is. Carve out seven minutes below as Cocaine Mitch runs through some of the worst examples of Democratic insanity thus far over Kavanaugh, a man whose biggest known scandal at present is taking on credit-card debt to pay for baseball tickets.
Somebody quipped that his biggest sin was being a Washington Nationals fan.  But seriously, when somebody as clean and respected as Kavanaugh is branded as "evil", who can believe these people?

This leads me to something (else) I hate about Elizabeth Warren.  My local paper posts the weekly vote counts from the Senate and Warren votes "no" for every single nomination from the Trump Administration.  Secretary of Veterans Affairs?  No.  U.S. Trade Representative?  No.  I think with the exception of Nikki Haley, she has voted "no" on virtually every nomination.  So she doesn't even care whether a nominee is qualified for a position; it's just "resist" all day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Nuts on the left

Federalist: "Guess What, Brian Schatz? There’s Plenty Of Crazy To Go Around - The idea that one side has all the nuts is absurd. In many ways, our political insanity is symbiotic."
The Hawaii senator’s tweet is fine example of an entrenched self-delusion that infects many on the Left, where all activists cheerily bat ideas about carbon neutrality back and forth but never, ever try to assassinate the entire congressional Republican leadership on a baseball diamond in Alexandria.

For folks like Schatz, the Republican booing of an activist journalist at a political rally tells us everything we need to know about the nefarious underbelly of the Right, but the Women’s March—wherein participants wear p-ssy hats as a form of protest (not crazy at all)—which is led by anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, and extremists, simply reflects the passion and seriousness of the progressive Left.  This is how it goes.
That's right: the Trump fans called Jim Acosta bad names.  It was horrible.