Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Cohen fallout

David French at National Review: "Trump’s Unacceptable Campaign Conduct and Two Other Takeaways from the Cohen Plea." 

As French and this Twitter chain from Popehat notes: it's not so much that a (then) real-estate guy was trying to ingratiate himself to the Russians, it's that he must have known his lawyer was lying to Congress but did nothing.  Cohen doesn't indicate that Trump told him to lie but I need a lawyer to explain where the line is on obstruction of justice.

Long forgotten: collusion to sway the election.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What media bias?

Federalist: "Manafort/Assange Drama Proves Media Will Buy Any Russia Conspiracy Story, No Matter Its Flaws" - "If this story had been true, it would have been proof of the conspiracy theory the Resistance/Media/NeverTrump has peddled without evidence for years, but being upset about it being false means that you're also guilty!"

Get woke, go broke

Daily Caller: "'Murphy Brown' reboot canceled after 1 season."  The 13-episode run was twelve-and-a-half too many.

I've only seen the show in painful promotional clips and it was a unique blend of political smugness and tight-lipped laughlessness.  For a second, I thought it was true when Ace reported: "CBS said the reason for the cancellation was "creative awfulness."  Buh-bye.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Meh, nobody cares

Hit and Run: "Trump Isn't Serious About Balancing the Budget - "As long as Medicare, Social Security, and the Pentagon can't be touched, it's hard to believe the president has discovered his inner fiscal hawk."
Still, one of the biggest impediments to Trump's interest in cutting the deficit is Trump himself. Publically, the president has promised not to touch entitlement programs such as Social Security or Medicaid—indeed, protecting those programs from supposed Democratic efforts to change them is a prominent message at nearly every Trump rally. And privately, the Post notes, Trump has taken Pentagon cuts off the table.

Of course, entitlement spending is the biggest single driver of America's long-term deficit. Absent any changes to current law, those two programs alone will run a $100 trillion deficit over the next 30 years while the rest of the government will run a slight surplus, according to Congressional Budget Office projections. Military spending, which Trump urged Congress to hike to an all-time high earlier this year, will total $718 billion next year and dwarfs all other non-entitlement spending in the federal budget.

In other words, it's very difficult to be serious about balancing the budget without at least acknowledging that Social Security, Medicare, and the Pentagon will have to be part of the solution.
Almost nobody cares about the national debt: it's paying for stuff right now and no President has ever faced a serious pushback on taxing future generations.  Nobody's going to touch entitlements.  We're just going to have to ride this out until the trust funds run dry.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Money for nothing

Heritage Foundation: "Universal Basic Income Has Been Tried Before. It Didn’t Work."  "These studies also made clear that it was the receipt of unconditional aid, not the phase-out of benefits, which led to the reduced work effort."

Friday, November 23, 2018

My first escape room

For the holiday of the day after vacation, the family headed over to Hadley to try out an escape room.  I've always like puzzles and it was a blast.  Lots of fun.

Sea of red

Fox News: "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending drive our national debt to incredible heights."  The opinion piece points out, correctly, that the trajectory we're on is a future where the federal government collects taxes and then turns around and sends it to pay out entitlements.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Just another left-wing operation now

Volokh Conspiracy: "American Civil Liberties Union, RIP" - "The ACLU no longer even pretends to believe in civil liberties."
First, the ACLU ran an anti-Brett Kavanaugh video ad that relied entirely on something that no committed civil libertarian would countenance, guilt by association. And not just guilt by association, but guilt by association with individuals that Kavanaugh wasn't actually associated with in any way, except that they were all men who like Kavanaugh had been accused of serious sexual misconduct. The literal point of the ad is that Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Cosby were accused of sexual misconduct, they denied it but were actually guilty; therefore, Brett Kavanaugh, also having been accused of sexual misconduct, and also having denied it, is likely guilty too.

Can you imagine back in the 1950s the ACLU running an ad with the theme, "Earl Warren has been accused of being a Communist. He denies it. But Alger Hiss and and Julius Rosenberg were also accused of Communists, they denied it, but they were lying. So Earl Warren is likely lying, too?"
Yeah, during the Kavanaugh hearings is when I thought to myself: "The ACLU's transition to the very thing it once opposed is now complete."

All the way to the top

Wow.  Hot Air: "CIA: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi’s Execution."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Credit must be given

NBC News: "Arrests in GoFundMe homeless good Samaritan 'scam' show perils of crowdfunding."

There's a website here in Massachusetts which is kind of a muckraker site that scours the police blotters.  This guy was unwavering from the get-go that this heartwarming tale was a hoax to skim cash from suckers: "Just Like We Called It: The Homeless Guy In The Gas GoFundMe Scam Was In On It, And If You Donated To Them Like An Idiot You Deserve To Lose Your Money."

Good for you, my cynical friend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jim Acosta of the mighty microphone grab

Federalist: "Everyone Is Wrong About The Jim Acosta, White House Battle" - "Jim Acosta's behavior doesn't just damage his own reputation, it hurts CNN's and the entire journalism profession. The White House should avoid turning him into a martyr."

Yeah, "should" but won't because Trump is a counter-puncher 24/7.  The guy just can't let it go.  Is this thing really going to go to the courts?  C'mon already, what a waste of time.

Let Acosta back into the White House and then move the CNN chair to the back of the room behind the Des Moines Register.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

On not accepting elections

Rich Lowry: "The left’s ‘Jim Crow’ fantasy of a stolen Georgia election."
Every indication is that Stacey Abrams lost fair-and-square in an election where everyone knew the rules beforehand, and they weren’t unreasonable. She’s nonetheless being hailed for not conceding, and her loss will always be taken as an indictment of Georgia rather than the verdict of voters.
I'm so old, I remember somebody saying it was "horrifying" to think somebody wouldn't accept the results of an election.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The trap we've set for ourselves

Hit and Run: "The National Debt Is Coming Due, Just Like We Told You - By 2020, interest on the debt will cost more than Medicaid. By 2025, it will cost more than defense spending. And that's just the start."

Veterans Day

I liked this picture because of the dog.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Florida recount

Good review here via Twitchy: "Charles C.W. Cooke lays out where things stand in Florida as deadline passes."

Osacio-Cortez doesn't understand stuff

IJR: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responds After Fox News Mocks Her for Not Being Able to Afford a DC Apartment."  Which is the fault of the electoral system, you guys, or something.

Alexandria is confused by the exchange of goods and services for legal tender.  This is why she is correctly ridiculed when we say "just pay for it."  Gosh!

Get on with it already

Observer: "Team Mueller is Holding ‘Dozens of Sealed Indictments,’ According to Intel Source."

Prediction: none of them are related to Russian collusion.

The never-ending campaign

Cook Political Report: "Why Aren't Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results"
Again, for the record, reading too much into a midterm election outcome is dangerous and often very wrong. But, we also know that the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination has started. And, I know from my conversations with Democratic activists, that many are uninspired by the cast of potential candidates in front of them now. The 2018 election was supposed to anoint a clear frontrunner. It didn’t. It may have put a renewed focus on midwestern-based figures like Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. What 2018 did do, which is why Republicans aren’t disheartened by Tuesday’s results and Democrats are less than ebullient about them — was show just how similar the Electoral College map looks to the one in 2016. 
I disagree about a Democratic frontrunner: Elizabeth Warren is the woman for the Dems.  Go Liz!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Hawaiian judge syndrome

USA Today: "Federal appeals court rules against Trump administration effort to end DACA program."  Check out this stellar legal reasoning:
"In a world where the government can remove only a small percentage of the undocumented noncitizens present in this country in any year," the panel said, DACA lets it "devote much-needed resources to enforcement priorities such as threats to national security, rather than blameless and economically productive young people with clean criminal records."
Oh, is that how it works?  The court acknowledges that the President has wide latitude when it comes to immigration policy unless he wants to decide how to implement that policy.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Senate popular vote and gerrymandered states

Dude, do you even Constitution?  Federalist: "Joy Behar Claims Democrats Lost Senate Races Due To Gerrymandering."  These dim-bulb media types just latch on to the conspiracy theories that fit their narrative and never look back.

Traitors in our midst

Hot Air: "Progressives: White Women Need Accountability And ‘A Lot Of Learning’ After Failing To Vote Uniformly For Left-Wing Candidates."

Identity politics, all the way down.

A very typical midterm

In the past, I would have stayed up late but I just started a new job...

That said: I think it's fair to say there was no "blue wave" this year.  The typical loss for the President's party in the first midterm is 28 seats in the House and 3 in the Senate.  At this point in the night, it looks like the Democrats will pick up 30+ seats in the House (to gain control) but lose four seats in the Senate.  (AZ still in play).

But as Chris Wallace noted: the Democrats had an unusual number of Senate seats to defend this year so it's not surprising that the GOP picked off a couple of Senate seats in red-leaning states.

So Republicans won in Republican-leaning states and Democrats picked up House seats where the Republicans were vulnerable.  So: expected but not "wavy".

Florida Senate

Nate Silver: "The Upshot’s model shows Scott at only about 60 percent to win, and the ABC News Decision Desk isn’t going to call the race tonight, from what I understand."

What?  It's barely a coin flip for Scott?  Here's the NY Times election page:
Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Rick Scott
4,045,238 50.4%
Bill Nelson*
3,987,787 49.6
8,033,025 votes, 99% reporting (6,101 of 6,111 precincts)
There are 10 precincts left to report; how is it possible to pick up enough votes?

Update: Fox News just called Florida Senate for Rick Scott.  So much for that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

in the People's Republic of Massachusetts

There are so few competitive races here (Baker will win governor and Pocahontas will be Senator) that I think all the voters were showing up for the referendum questions.  We've been absolutely bombarded in the Bay State on Question #1: whether to limit the number of patients that nurses can be assigned at any given time.

The nurses' union has poured a huge amount of money into the race but the hospitals have fought back and it looks like it will be voted down.

Update - Question #1 goes down.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Those darn rich people

Twitchy: "Elizabeth Warren forgot to check herself before she wrecked herself (again)."  "Honest question: Is there any topic on which Elizabeth Warren has even a shred of credibility?"

Before you vote: Remember that the Democrats lied about Kavanaugh

Hit and Run: "False Rape Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh Prove That Due Process Matters - "Judy Munri-Leighton admitted to lying, and Julie Swetnick's story collapsed."

Man, she's dim

When confronted about the cost of their proposals, most Democrats fall back on the ol' "making the rich pay their fair share."  Ditzy Occasional Cortex doesn't even fake it that much.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Women never lie about that, except when they do

Twitchy: "Woman who claimed Brett Kavanaugh raped her now says she made the whole thing up."

I agree with Ace here:
This demands jail time. You cannot just defame people and lodge false accusations to Congress because your Pussy-Hat told you it was okay to lie.
It's now altogether obvious that this nutcase along with Ford and Swetnick just made up the whole story because bearing false witness to derail Kavanaugh's nomination was a more powerful incentive than common decency.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Sauce for the goose

Like so many Democrat-led initiatives (nuclear option, anyone?), the practice of court shopping to find a Hawaiian judge was all the rage just a little while ago:
Democrats were ecstatic when a judge in Honolulu barred enforcement of the Trump administration’s travel ban. They were thrilled when a judge in Chicago halted a policy to rescind grant funding to sanctuary cities. In both cases, the judges extended their ruling beyond the litigants to the whole country, issuing so-called national injunctions.
But now?
For opponents of Donald Trump’s administration, this legal maneuver has seemed like a godsend. Now it may come back to haunt them, as a single federal judge in Texas considers putting the Affordable Care Act on ice—not only in Texas, but anywhere in the country.
Now these two lawyers writing for the the increasingly-left-leaning Atlantic think that national injunctions are a bad idea.  For some reason.

Internet heartbreak

Geez, it's real chaos when the WiFi goes down.  I've discovered how dependent I've become on Google Home.

Currently slumming it on a cell phone hotspot.