Monday, February 28, 2022

Boosters forever

Reason: "Two Years To Slow the Spread - Government can't stop moving the COVID-19 goal posts."

It's gotten so bad that even Saturday Night Live is questioning covid policies.

Whoopsie daisy!

Oh look, it's another one of those "honest mistakes" that only go in one direction.  Again.  Hot Air: "NY Times uses same misleading edit of Zimmerman's 911 call got two NBC journalists fired." 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

This is one spectacular backfire

A really interesting analysis about the current state of machinations in Russia: "Is regime change in Moscow the west's new goal?"  Namely, the blowback from Putin's aggression in Ukraine has unified the world against Russia:
The sanctions may ease in exchange for some sort of Russian withdrawal but I think Kelly’s right that Putin will be treated diplomatically going forward more like Kim Jong Un than, say, Xi Jinping. The only way for Russia to regain “normal” status in international diplomacy will be to replace him with a new leader.
Putin won't go willingly and that's where there's danger.

Carry that water, Gunga Din

Fox News: "WaPo slammed for headline saying 'economy appeared ready to surge,' Russian invasion 'could send shockwaves'."

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Ukraine turns into Putin's nightmare

This evening I was listening to the news and they said that Russian forces hadn't gained control of any significant part of Ukraine.  It seems amazing but as this story notes, Putin is losing militarily, economically and in world opinion.  

Live updates are here including:
The U.S. sees signs that Russia is "increasingly frustrated" by a lack of momentum in the invasion of Ukraine, particularly in the north of the country, a U.S. defense official said Saturday.
Military aid is pouring in now...will it be enough?

More - Belmont Club "Putin's Failure": "The crisis in Ukraine, while not over, is likely to evolve into a crisis in Russia. We shall soon see who is more to be feared: a Putin in Kyiv or a Putin raging in the bunker." 

Another empty threat

Federalist: "If Ukraine Survives, It Won’t Be Thanks To Biden’s Sanctions." 

Friday, February 25, 2022

How convenient

It's breathtaking how covid science has been changing since Glenn Youngkin won in Virginia.  Mask mandates are falling left and right because of science.  Now it appears the science is changing just before the State of the Union address: "The CDC To Relax Masking Rules -- Just Before Brandon's State of the Union."

A picture of a masked Congress would be a very conspicuous reminder that Biden did not "shut down the virus" as promised, so this new science is very timely.

Very timely.

Impossible: I've been told Biden is a foreign policy expert

Red State: "Report: Joe Biden Got Absolutely Played by China on Russia and Ukraine."

From the NY Times, no less.

Extra - From Politico: "Putin was playing Biden all along - The U.S. president and his aides thought they could manage Putin. Their calculations were dead wrong."

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

I'm just here for the ratio

Legal Insurrection: "Gaslighting: CBS News Wants You to Think Ukraine-Russia Caused Our Economic Problems" - "CBS News thinks we’re stupid enough to believe inflation, supply-chain issues, and high gas prices started right now because of Ukraine and Russia."

CBS News - home of "60 Minutes" - is getting roasted for this take.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Putin trembles

The Corner: "Those ‘Swift and Severe Costs’ on Russia Look Awfully Gradual and Moderate So Far."

Just you wait, Russia!  We're going to backdate the check for the millions of barrels of oil we buy from you.  That'll teach you a lesson.

95% commentary and 5% events

Associated Press: "Once savvy, NBC’s Olympics deal is shakier after Beijing"
These Olympics were a disaster for the network: a buzz-free, hermetically-sealed event in an authoritarian country a half-day’s time zone away, where the enduring images will be the emotional meltdown of Russian teen-agers after a drug-tainted figure skating competition and a bereft Mikaela Shiffrin, sitting on a ski slope wondering what went wrong.

Many American athletes underperformed, and arguably the most successful — freestyle skier Eileen Gu — competed for China.

Viewers stayed away in alarming numbers, and NBC has to wonder whether it was extraordinarily bad luck or if the brand of a once-unifying event for tens of millions of people is permanently tainted.
I got a kick out of this comment on a Reddit post about the Olympics:
People are no longer captive audiences of the major networks. I can curate whatever I want to watch on my own terms. The Olympics, especially in different time zones, is painful to watch since it's 95% commentary and 5% events. That may even be generous. It's also tiring watching every athlete framed as some down and out individual who overcame the cliché struggles of the day to become something special.
Boring filler and a one-minute bobsled run.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Why NPR sucks

I heard this story this afternoon about efforts to turn a Japanese internment camp into a national park.  Here's how it started out:
On the 80th anniversary of the executive order that sent 120,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visits a camp she wants to include in the National Park System.
Take note of the passive voice on that executive order which sprang into existence like Athena from the head of Zeus.  Which President signed the most racist executive order in the history of the United States?

NPR never says.  Oh, we're treated to a long story about the efforts of certain activists to transform the previous camp into a national monument, but we'll never learn which President engendered this shameful chapter in American history.

It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Democrat FDR.  If you're accustomed to the political bias of the mainstream media, you'll be less-than-astonished to discover NPR omitted this fact.

Individual responsibility is the *real* virus

Twitchy: "WaPo invites physician and UC San Francisco prof to advise us on what to do now that we’re being ‘forced’ to decide whether or not to wear masks."

Can you imagine a world where people made their own cost-benefit decisions?  (shiver)

Here we go again

Hot Air: "Another fake hate crime in California."  This time it was a black, female student who wrote "white" and "colored" on two water fountains at her school.

Just a reminder that the University of Massachusetts is still investigating racist emails sent to students but, gosh darn it, they just can't figure out who sent them.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Unclear on the concept

Matt Taibbi: "Another All-Time Media Faceplant" - "After the Biden administration and the press wrongly predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 16th, they kept compounding the error in spectacular fashion."

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice PIzza"

So I've seen one movie nominated for Best Picture and it's "Licorice Pizza."  Twas good.  Here's a sweet piece of trivia:
None of the younger cast members were aware that Bradley Cooper was involved in the film until he came charging at them in full costume as the cameras were rolling. The final take used in the film where his character Jon Peters introduces himself and asks who is in charge was the first time Cooper Hoffman or Alana Haim saw him.
Haha, imagine setting up a scene and suddenly you're like: "Is that Bradley Cooper?"  The scene was funny because he basically cornered the main actor and threatened him with violence if anything happened to his house while his crew were setting up a water bed.

The movie went a little long with the "will they or won't they" Ross and Rachael thing, but overall it was fun retrospective on life in the San Fernando Valley in the early seventies, complete with the music to go with it.

The science is settled

The Paper of Record: "Researchers Determine The Science Has Changed After Carefully Examining Poll Numbers."  

Related: NY Post editorial: "Ignore the insanely cautious CDC." 

Friday, February 18, 2022

What is the strategy here?

Red State: "Joe Biden Makes a Big Announcement on Ukraine That Only Raises More Questions About His Competency."
I’m not saying Russia won’t eventually invade. In fact, I think it’s more than likely at this point in time. What I am saying is that it makes the United States look weak and incompetent to keep making these predictions and have them not come true. In fact, I’d posit that Putin knows exactly what he’s doing in that respect, and that Biden is playing right into his hands.

Besides, to the extent that Biden’s continual beating of war drums can be considered a strategy, I’m convinced it’s the absolute worst one imaginable if the goal is to discourage Russia from invading Ukraine. By spending almost a month confidently insisting that a Russian invasion is “imminent,” Putin has now been unnecessarily backed into a corner. He almost has to invade now, in order to avoid the embarrassment he would suffer if he doesn’t, at home and abroad.
That's what I don't understand about this approach: Biden is just about daring Putin to invade.  In today's "press conference" (three questions!), Biden made news by declaring that Putin is going to invade but Russia will be subject to sanctions.  I suppose this means we're going to buy slightly less Russian oil.

Conspiracy theory: is Biden hoping for a war so he can blame high gas prices on Russia?  Blaming everybody else is very on-brand for this White House.

This stinks on ice

AP News: "‘I hate this sport!’: Rage, teen tears and Olympic collapse."

The woman's free skate at the Olympics was an epic s--t show last night:
The gold medalist said she felt empty. The silver medalist pledged never to skate again. The favorite left in tears without saying a word.
There is something seriously wrong here and I don't think it's isolated to the Russians.  NBC's coverage just makes it worse by sticking a camera straight into the face of teenagers who don't have great control of their emotions.  Want to know why the ratings for the Olympics are in the dumpster?  This is a contributing factor.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

WaPo: Racism reeks in retraction

Volokh Conspiracy: "WaPo Removes Claim That Justice Thomas's "Rulings Often Resemble the Thinking of White Conservatives." - "This sort of casual racism against conservatives is embedded so deeply in progressive culture. WaPo reporters and editors simply treat these barbs as fact." 

How did this get past an editor?  The answer is they're all complicit. 

Ron Klain ain't gonna fire himself

Hot Air: "Moderate Dems to Biden: Time for some heads to roll." 

Yup, this is journalism today

Another export from the liberal bubble:

Killing respected institutions one at a time

The Corner: "Opponents of Critical Race Theory in Health Care Denigrated as ‘White Supremacists’ in Medical Journal." - "This is the kind of guilt-by-association pedestrian prose one would expect to see in an MSNBC blog post, or perhaps, Mother Jones — not one of the world’s great medical journals."

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A tribute to P.J. O'Rourke

One of the all-time happy warriors of conservatives was P.J. O'Rourke who died today at age 74.  I've read a big chunk of his bibliography which were always insightful and funny.  A couple years ago, I remember seeing a question (maybe on Reddit) that asked "what 3 books would you recommend to bring somebody around to your way of thinking?"  The three I chose were:
  1. The New Testament
  2. "Heaven on Earth" by Joshua Muravchik
  3. "Parliament of Whores" by P.J. O'Rourke
P.J. had bigger game to hunt. In 1991, just a year after his gift to me, he would become the most successful political satirist in America upon the publication of his book “Parliament of Whores.”

The book was and remains an utterly devastating portrait of the US Congress’ mediocrity, mendacity, self-dealing and uselessness — and revealed uncomfortable truths about the way Washington worked that the DC press corps refused to acknowledge or portray. There have been hundreds, thousands of imitations in the decades since. None has come close.
"Parliament of Whores" included a favorite quote of mine:
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
He would later score a #1 bestseller again with "Give War a Chance" with my second-favorite quote:
The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
In case you didn't know, he was (likely) paraphrasing T.S. Eliot:
“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”
One of the best economic books I've ever read is P.J. O'Rourke's "Eat the Rich" where he reviewed economic systems that work versus those that don't.  I'll always remember in a chapter called "How to make everything out of nothing" about Hong Kong.  There's nothing there - no arable land, no resources - but it became one of the richest places on Earth.  How did this happen?  According to O'Rourke, it's because when the British were charge, they basically told the people there "just don't kill each other":
How a peaceful, uncrowded place with ample wherewithal stays poor is hard to explain. How a conflict-ridden, grossly over-populated place with no resources whatsoever gets rich is simple. The British colonial government turned Hong Kong into an economic miracle by doing nothing.
Farewell, P.J.  You'll be missed.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Judge: NY Times editor extremely stupid but not malicious

Hot Air: "Judge rules in favor of NY Times while jury is still deliberating."

I'm not a lawyer but I don't get what's going on here: is it normal for a judge to dismiss the case in the middle of deliberations?  Why let it go to the jury at all if you're going to overrule the case?  And, according to the link above, the judge is going to let the jury decide but they're not sequestered so they'll surely know their opinion is meaningless.

According to Legal Insurrection, the jury had been requesting transcripts of testimony, notably from Ross Douthat who emailed James Bennet to tell him his editorial was wrong.  Take that as you will, but it sure sounds to me like they were considering the "reckless disregard" aspect before the judge short-circuited the whole process.

Well, there you have it folks.  You can print any kind of lie you like but just make sure you send a late-night email expressing concern and you're off the hook.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Fireworks before the Super Bowl

Conservative Brief: "‘No One Told Me!’ Joe Biden Utterly Melts Down When Lester Holt Brings Up Afghanistan Disaster."

"I was out of the loop!" is always a loser excuse in business and it's not a good look for a President.  Biden has fully convinced himself that the Afghanistan withdrawal went as well as it could go and suggesting otherwise is just so much back-biting.

Softball-specialist Lester Holt is doing today's interview.  Next year, the Superbowl will be broadcast by Fox which means Brandon might get a tough question then.  If he makes it that long.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

But good intentions

Reason: "Study: Seattle's Soda Tax Has Been Great for…Beer Sales?

What have they done to my Wordle?

The old web site re-directs to the New York Times portal now.  It looks like my stats have carried over.

Without revealing too much - I hope - I think of today's word as more of a prefix than a word used in everyday conversation.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Another great prediction, Brandon

Shot: December 2021 headline: "Gas prices will tumble below $3 a gallon soon, government forecasts."

Chaser: Average national gas price today: $3.48/gallon. 

The focus groups have spoken!

Ace: "The Same Media That Attacked Virginia For Lifting Mask Mandates Just Two Weeks Ago Now Celebrates Blue States Lifting Mask Mandates -- But Claims This Is All About The Science (TM), Not Politics."

This is a looooong post from Ace, chock full of all sorts of examples how merely a month ago Glenn Youngkin and Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis were killing people but now Blue state governors are bravely listening to their pollsters.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

This post already got more expensive

NY Post editorial: "Biden breaks another inflation record."
Check another economic record off the list for the Biden administration: Consumer Price Index inflation just hit 7.5% for the year ending in January, the highest jump since 1982. 

Fuel oil? Up 46.5% for the year. Gasoline? 40%. Used cars? 40.5%. New cars? 12.2% Meat, fish, poultry and eggs? 12.2%. Breads and cereals? 6.8%. 

Eating, driving and keeping your house warm all saw the biggest price spikes in decades.
At a Biden town hall, a woman asked Brandon about inflation and his response was "hey, remember that covid check you got?"

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

"I don't know what the truth is here"

But - YOLO! - let's run this editorial.  Hot Air: "As Sarah Palin vs NY Times libel trial continues, central arguments come into focus."

There's no conscious malice here but there's certainly the standard of "reckless disregard" to the truth.  James Bennet admitted it.

Back off, I'm a scientist

Battle Swarm: "Midterm Variant Wrecking Flu Manchu Mandates." - "See, Democrats are listening to the science! The science of focus groups." 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Neanderthal thinking breaking out all over

Remember this?  "Biden says Texas and Mississippi guilty of ‘Neanderthal thinking’ over lifting COVID restrictions"
President Biden took a swipe at Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi Wednesday, accusing them of "Neanderthal thinking" following their decision to reverse COVID safety policies, including mask mandates.

Such good timing.  And those blue Democrats are embracing the suddenly changed Science: "Four blue states preparing to ditch mask mandates."  Meanwhile, in Glenn Youngkin's Virginia, the VA Senate voted overwhelmingly to allow parents to make the decision on their kids wearing masks in school. 

Sunday, February 06, 2022

The paper of record

Babylon Bee: "Joe Rogan Agrees To Only Spread CDC-Approved Misinformation

"But plainly, the medical-industrial complex has not earned the right to claim monopoly status on information about this virus or medicine in general," Maher concluded. "Yes, free speech has allowed people to hear misinformation sometimes. And a lot of it was yours."
Mercifully, Anthony Fauci won't be on any of the Sunday news shows today, telling us things that will be wrong in three months.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Grab your popcorn

Hot Air: "Reactions to day one of the Sarah Palin vs NY Times trial."

From a legal standpoint, it appears that Palin's case against the Gray Lady is an uphill battle.  But as a practical or moral matter, it's been a devastating condemnation of the obvious bias of the New York Times. They've had to argue in court - with a straight face - that when they smeared Palin with provably false statements it was just an "oopsie." with that.

Extra - Columbia Journalism Review: "The Washington Post noted that an attorney representing the Times “tried to turn down the temperature of the debate” in his opening statement by “casting the matter as a simple error in presentation that the paper’s editors moved as quickly as possible to correct."

Yes, the threat of a lawsuit will concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Three cheers for Jon Stewart

Finally, somebody who is willing to stand up for free speech instead of picking up a pitchfork and joining the cancel crowd: "Jon Stewart Defends Joe Rogan: ‘Don’t Leave, Don’t Abandon, Don’t Censor, Engage’." 

"Rise up, workers!" --> "Where's my Amazon order?"

My my how the turntables have turned.  Glenn Reynolds: "Truckers are starting a working-class revolution — and the left hates it.

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Failing upwards

Ace: "Brandon: I Can't "Shut Down" Covid Like I Promised, So Now I'm Going to Shut Down Cancer

Say, whatever happened to Brandon's other well-publicized effort to alleviate supply chain issues and lower inflation by getting those Long Beach longshoremen to work around the clock?  This happened: "Major US port hits container record as supply chain disruptions continue to roil US."

Well, at least Kamala is killing it with her action items.