Thursday, February 28, 2019


A few things:

  • I turned off commenting on a thread that seems to have gotten out of control. I've never done this before, but it seemed appropriate. I have not deleted any of the comments, although I always reserve the right to blow away comments that don't meet our minimal standards.
  • What are the minimal standards? Don't be racist, don't be ad hominem, and don't threaten anyone.
  • Remember, everyone who is a listed contributor to this blog is a member of my immediate family. We're nice people, we really are, but don't crap in our cornflakes.
  • I also made this blog secure (no more http, it's https). I should have done that a long time ago. The change should not change the functionality of the blog and if you have a blog of your own (and many of you do) and link to this feature, those links should still work.
  • As far as I can tell, there's not easy way to block abusive commenters on the Blogger platform, although I have a question in to tech support about it. The good news is that, although this blog began over 13 years ago, it's not been necessary to do it. I do have pretty good spam filters, so that's rarely an issue. I will find out how to do it, however.
I appreciate your support and loyalty to this enterprise, and your friendship.

No impact.

I can tell Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress yesterday was ineffective, because my social media feed tells me as much. Had anything that mattered come to light, there would be rejoicing among my old college friends and the other angry Leftist virtue signalers in my acquaintance. But I'm mostly seeing cat photos instead. Better luck next time!

Walk away

No deal with the Rocket Man:
 Talks between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un collapsed Thursday after the two sides failed to bridge a standoff over U.S. sanctions on the reclusive nation, a dispiriting end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global threat.

Trump blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all the punishing sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the North committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained at a closing news conference after the summit was abruptly cut short. He said there had been a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”

“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” Trump said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”
Doing it right is probably impossible, because doing it right would likely mean the end of Kim's regime, at least down the line. If North Korea opens up, the 70 years of privation becomes obvious to those who have suffered it. Kim knows this. Those Samsung phones and Hyundais their cousins drive south of the DMZ will be hard to explain away.

Is it a failure to walk away? No, of course not. If there's not a deal to be made, don't make one. Reagan walked away from Gorbachev and kept the pressure on the Soviet Union. Things changed. It's a long train ride back to Pyongyang and I wouldn't be surprised if Kim hears from his Chinese enablers about what happened before the train reaches its destination. I doubt this show is even close to over.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


It's not complicated. If you are willing to vote for infanticide, your claims about protecting children mean nothing. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith? You're ghouls, both of you.

So. . .

. . . where's the damned Global Warming?

On the bright side, there is no bright side
Definitely need to get out of here for a few days next winter.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Payin' the cost to be the boss

That's really boss:
"Like I just introduced the Green New Deal two weeks ago, and it's creating all of this conversation. Why?" Ocasio-Cortez said. "Because no one else has even tried. Because no one else has even tried."

"So people are like, 'Oh it's unrealistic. Oh it's vague. Oh it doesn't address this little minute thing,'" Ocasio-Cortez continued. "And I'm like, 'You try. You do it. Cuz you're not. Cuz you're not. So, until you do it, I'm the boss.' How bout that?"
So who is our favorite Congresscritter most like?

Or maybe this?

Or is it this?

Or, ultimately, is it this?

If you said it's most like Mussolini, take the cannoli. You doubt that? Consider her response to John Cornyn:

No, Hallmark cards have more thought behind them than your response

Monday, February 25, 2019

Tariffic news

Two Trump tweets from yesterday. Read the bottom one first, then the top one:

Good if true
We don't talk about tariffs much, but they are a big issue for a lot of companies, including one that's near and dear to me. While I understand why Trump has pursued tariffs in general, the uncertainty concerning their duration and overall effect has caused a lot of businesses to struggle with their short- and medium-term planning. If you currently source a product from China, will a tariff apply? For the whole product, or just certain components? If you source the product elsewhere, can the new companies deliver a product of comparable quality to what you're currently getting, at a price that makes sense? If the tariff goes away, do you re-establish your business relationships? Or could the tariffs come back? And if you keep your products in China and pay the tariff, do you pass along the cost to your customers? In whole, or in part?

A company's future can hinge on such questions. I am hoping the answers become more clear in 2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019


As seen on social media:

Have you the wing?

Peter Tork, RIP

I remember watching old episodes of the Monkees television show in reruns, usually on Saturday mornings, but I was a bit too young to see them when they originally aired in the 1960s. Even if you've never seen an actual episode, the music was ubiquitous and you can easily hear a Monkees song any day on an oldies station.

Peter Tork was generally the bassist for the group and would occasionally show up on keyboards. Tork died yesterday, at the age of 77. Tork and guitarist Mike Nesmith were both talented musicians on the L.A. scene; Tork hung out a lot with Stephen Stills and it wouldn't be difficult to construct an alternate history in which Stills passed his screen test and had been a Monkee instead, with Tork becoming a member of Buffalo Springfield.

The Monkees were, as a band, pretty good. They had some of the era's best songwriters at their disposal and often had the services of the Wrecking Crew, the great L.A. session musicians, to help fill out their sound. It's easy to bag on the Monkees for being the creation of television producers, but their music is really a triumph of craft. Consider one of their better songs, "Pleasant Valley Sunday," written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin:

After a while, the Monkees tired of being mostly actors and eventually started doing more of the actual performing. And they did some nice work later in this later period as well:


Was it brilliant? Not particularly, but it was always tuneful and fun. That's an element of 60s music that's often forgotten; even the schlock was often well-done. A contemporary of the Monkees who had a lot of hits in the era was Johnny Rivers. He did a lot of covers, including this cover of a Willie Dixon blues standard, which includes some fun musicianship and a weird milieu of beautiful California girls carrying odd cargo:

At least in my own mind, I tend to add another group of 60s hitmakers to this collection. That would be Tommy James and the Shondells, who came out of Michigan and hit the charts repeatedly, always pressing the fun button:

This music lives on, and will continue to live on, because craftsmanship has its virtues.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


The invaluable John Kass, reminding us of how pursuing #Justice4Jussie leads to other injustices:
Something important has been lost in the embarrassing saga of Jussie Smollett, the tuna fish sandwich-loving actor and anti-Trump activist, and those muscular Nigerian brothers.

And I suppose it’s easy to lose what’s important with all the panic and intersectional hatred and liberal identity politics gone bad in this Smollett story.

What’s been lost is this:

I’m told that two dozen detectives were assigned to the Smollett case.
That's a lot of detectives. And while one can't be 100% sure that these detectives might have been assigned elsewhere had not the now-indicted Smollett decided to get himself some sweet stolen victim valor, the mismatch of resources has a cost beyond the waste of the investigation. Back to Kass:
A few weeks ago, after Smollett began telling his tale — in which he’s the hero fighting oppression and hatred — a 1-year-old child was shot in the head.

It looked like a street gang may have been targeting his mother. She’s been shot before. The child, Dejon Irving, is on life support.

I don’t think there were two dozen detectives assigned to Dejon Irving’s case. But he’s not a star to be used by politicians in pursuit of power. He’s not a symbol.

Politicians don’t tweet his name. He’s just a little boy from Chicago, shot in the head.
What happened to Dejon Irving is real. We don't talk about what's real these days.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

And furthermore, to hell with hate

Yesterday we had Tim Hardin. Today, Joe South:

'Cause you've given up your sanity
For your pride and your vanity
Turns your back on humanity
And you don't give a da da da da da

Which brings us back to Chicago and Jussie Smollett. It's becoming increasingly clear that the hate crimes he reported were fabrications of his own. While that's a problem, there's a larger problem -- in our time, certain hatreds are essentially sanctioned. John Hayward, as always, cuts to the chase:
Why wouldn’t other hoaxers expect similar “fake but accurate” defenses when their phony hate crime reports fall apart? They know they will be given virtually limitless credit for good intentions. The worst media action line they have to fear is: “Okay, maybe everyone involved was wrong and we can all learn something from this teachable moment.” With a little luck, they will be able to argue they were forced into faking a hate crime by the terrible climate of fear President Donald Trump has created.

We can take a step toward fixing that by throwing the book at Jussie Smollett if he’s found guilty of faking a hate crime, which absolutely must be considered as much of a hate crime as the incident he faked. Otherwise, we are reinforcing all of the awful forces that inspire people to invent phony hate crimes, including the poisonous totalitarian idea that some groups are incapable of hatred, while others deserve to be hated, so slandering them is not a serious offense.
Emphasis in the original. I don't pretend to understand the demons inside of Jussie Smollett, but based on the available evidence, his pride and vanity led him to turn his back on humanity. Back to South:

They're gonna teach you how to meditate
Read your horoscope, cheat your fate
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

We give sanction to bad ideas and we're surprised that such sanction leads to bad behavior. Getting on board is more important than thinking. Hate is an incentive right now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A very old song

If I listen long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing, that you lied, straight-faced
While I cried 
But still I'd look to find a reason to believe

-- "Reason to Believe," Tim Hardin, 1966

A very old song, indeed:
The national outrage that simmered after actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by people shouting racial and anti-gay slurs was fueled in part by celebrities who spoke out loud and strong on social media.

But the outrage has now been replaced by surprise, doubt and bafflement as the singers, actors and politicians who came out in support of the “Empire” star struggle to digest the strange twists the case has taken. Some conservative pundits, meanwhile, have gleefully seized on the moment.

The narrative that just a week ago seemed cut-and-dry has become messy and divisive — and it’s all playing out again on social media.
Seizing, or pouncing? I can never be sure. But c'mon, it was so believable:
Smollett, who is black and gay, said he was physically attacked last month by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!”— a reference to the Make America Great Again slogan used in President Donald Trump’s election campaign. Smollett said the attackers looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant.
I lived in Chicago for five years. I remember things like this happening all the time. Well, at least the racial slurs, but the noose is a little edgy. But there's a pattern to the reportage:

But still I'd look to find a reason to believe:
In a statement on Saturday, the Indigenous Peoples Movement identified the man in the videos as Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder, a veteran and the former director of the Native Youth Alliance, a group that works to ensure that traditional culture and spiritual ways are upheld for future generations. Mr. Phillips also holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans in Arlington National Cemetery, the group said.

Mr. Phillips could not be reached for comment on Saturday. He told The Washington Post that he noticed the teenagers taunting participants at the Indigenous Peoples March.

“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’” Mr. Phillips told The Post. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”
If I listen long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true:
The Texas restaurant company which banned a customer after an employee’s story of a receipt scrawled with a racial epithet went viral said that it had parted ways with the employee and learned that the story was made up.

“We have learned that our employee fabricated the entire story,” Terry Turney, the chief operating officer of Saltgrass steakhouses, said in a statement. “Racism of any form is intolerable, and we will always act swiftly should it occur in any of our establishments. Falsely accusing someone of racism is equally disturbing.”

The incident unfolded earlier this month when Khalil Cavil, a 20-year-old waiter at a Saltgrass outpost in Odessa, Texas, posted an image to Facebook that showed a $108 bill with zero on the tip line, and “We don’t tip terrorist,” written in ink at the top.

But still I look to find a reason to believe:
The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC’s Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have “independently confirmed” this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.
Knowing, that you lied, straight-faced
While I cried 
[Lara] Logan said that many journalists have abandoned consistent standards in reporting when it comes to the Trump administration.

“Standards are out the window, I mean you read one story after another or hear it and it’s all based on one anonymous administration official, former administration official,” she said. “That’s not journalism, that’s horses**t.”

“Responsibility for fake news begins with us,” she argued. “We bear some responsibility for that, and we’re not taking ownership of that and addressing it. We just want to blame it all on somebody else.” 
The MSM is a faith-based initiative. Christians look for evidence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit for the MSM is confirmation bias.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Paragraph of the day/il miglior fabbro

Ann Althouse makes a smart observation:
Or did something else happen that drove the [Northam] story out of the news? Was it just big news — Trump's "emergency"? Or something that specifically offset the Northam story — maybe the Jussie Smollett  story: Maybe some people don't want to think about why Northam made himself into a fake black man if we're worried that Jussie Smollett made up some fake white men.

Stand up or give up.

Just run, then

I'd be hard pressed to think of a more irritating local politician than Ron Latz, who buys his sanctimony by the 55-gallon drum, but even he would be an improvement over Ilhan Omar:
As Ilhan Omar’s political star was rising last year on her way to becoming one of the first Muslim women in Congress, several Minnesota Jewish leaders invited her to talk privately about past statements they considered anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Gathering at a state senator’s home, they hoped to get a better sense of her views while expressing their concerns.

Most came away dissatisfied by what they heard.

Those concerns were confirmed this week when Omar suggested on Twitter that members of Congress support Israel for money, igniting a bipartisan uproar in Washington that included criticism from President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“There seems to be a pattern developing which indicates more of an attitude than mistakes,” said Ron Latz, the Democratic state senator who hosted the meeting. “And that’s what’s most troubling. I mean, I’m grateful that she seems to be willing to be engaged in conversations with the Jewish community, but she doesn’t seem to be learning from those conversations.”
Latz is correct about almost nothing, but he's accurate about Omar. So Latz ought to primary Omar. So should half the ambitious DFL pols in CD-5. Start cleaning up the mess.

Memo to local media


Yes, it was news last week when Amy Klobuchar announced she was running for president.

No, it's not news that she's visiting other states. All the candidates do that. We don't need wall-to-wall coverage of her visits to Eau Claire.

Thank you.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

More, please

A good start:
Disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood after an investigation found sex abuse allegations against him were credible, the Vatican said Saturday.

The church is penalizing McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and Newark, New Jersey, with "dismissal from the clerical state," it said in a statement.

He will not be able to appeal the decision.

The canonical investigation found that he was guilty of "sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power." He was also found guilty of "solicitation" during confession.
McCarrick and his henchmen did incalculable damage. The damages remains to this day. The full accounting continues. We need to know it all.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Or don't

At the new Portillo's in Roseville, a suggestion you might not heed:

Image may contain: 1 person


She ran out through the back door
Screamin' in the night
She said I was the devil
I didn't treat her right
The man down at the station
Said "That was her for sure"

Now that train don't stop here anymore

-- Los Lobos

Especially true when the devil is in the details, as Joel Kotkin explains about AOC's high-speed rail fantasies in City Journal:
In her bid to kill the internal-combustion engine, Ocasio-Cortez apparently seeks to eliminate both cars and planes. Her favored solution for cross-continental travel: a massive network of high-speed trains.

Some of this must seem fanciful even to the democratic-socialist heartthrob from the Bronx. In contrast with Western Europe, where several high-speed rail lines operate, the United States has huge distances between cities; its average population density is between three and ten times less compact than that of the European continent. Even on the California coast, a 450-mile high-speed rail trip from  Los Angeles to San Francisco would have taken nearly four hours, compared with a one-hour plane ride. Imagine taking high-speed rail from Los Angeles to Chicago: a three-hour trip by plane becomes a 15-hour or longer trek across vast, empty spaces. During that time, the traveler would cover more high-speed rail mileage than the current length of the entire French system. 
How valuable is your time? If you want, or need, to go a long distance, it's expensive, but most people can afford a flight if they have to. We're in one of the best times of the year to travel; as I write this today, you can get an economy round-trip ticket from Chicago to Los Angeles for under $110. High-speed intercity rail doesn't work even in the places it's purported to work, unless you tax the snot out of the alternatives:
Of the many high-speed rail lines built in the developed world, only two (Tokyo-Osaka and Paris-Lyon) have ever been profitable, and in each case highway tolls for the same routes exceed $80 one-way, making high-speed rail in those cases an economical consumer choice. California, the green heart of the resistance, has met fiscal reality; reality won.  
Reality isn't what AOC is all about, but that ain't stopping her. Mitch McConnell will, though, at least for the moment.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Global warming and sunlight

The best disinfectant:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that he wants the Senate to vote on a massive plan to fight climate change.

"I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal, and we're going to be voting on that in the Senate," McConnell said at a Senate Republican news conference. "I'll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal."
Don't ask, don't tell. That would be my guess. Why wouldn't you want, say, Amy Klobuchar, to go on record with how she feels about this aspect of the proposal:
It also immediately provoked controversy. While some environmental advocates applauded the plan's grand scope, experts said the plan's aim to get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years seemed unrealistic.

Critics also pounced on a blog post from Ocasio-Cortez's office — now taken down — that said the policy assures "economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work."
Those critics are always pouncing. As for Amy Klobuchar, apparently she is down with it:
The resolution has amassed significant but by no means widespread support on Capitol Hill — there are 67 co-sponsors in the House and 11 in the Senate, including several current or potential presidential contenders: Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.
Taking care of people who are unwilling to work is likely a big deal to Klobuchar, given the large number of people who are unwilling to work for her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Most Reverend Horse's Ass

So we get this today from the Diocese of Covington:

See if you can see what's missing
 You might remember this notice from a few weeks back:

So, what about those actions? And what about the underside of the bus, where Bishop Foys threw those kids he now lauds? Read through the letter from Foys. See if you can find the apology.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Bishop is a horse's ass. He owes the students of Covington Catholic as public an apology as the denunciation he previously issued, not the namby-pamby "sorry if you're offended" version he sent out previously, via letter. And if he had any decency, he would resign his position. But he doesn't.

The third-party investigation Foys references may be nice for the historical record, but it's a CYA maneuver. A shameful end to a shameful moment.

Lord have Merced

Train in vain:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Tuesday there "isn't a path" for completing the state's plan for a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles, yet his office insisted he is fully committed to building such a project.

Newsom, delivering his first State of the State address, said he'd shift his focus to completing just a 171-mile segment of the line already under construction in the state's Central Valley. The project is key to the economic vitality of the state's agricultural heartland, he said.
So what go-to destinations are on the path?
Democratic state Sen. Anna Caballero, who represents part of the Central Valley, called the shift to a line only from Bakersfield to Merced "disappointing." But she said she hopes to see that line connected to other state hubs at some point.

"People need to see it move to really feel like it's important," she said.
Move what? Produce? Hey, you can stop in Fresno, too. I'm sure that's appealing. But argument by assertion is always king among California politicians:
Newsom rejected the idea that his plan would create a "train to nowhere" and said building in the Central Valley would help revitalize the economically depressed region. 
How, exactly? Well, he doesn't say.

Ann Althouse notices the herd of elephants standing in the doorway:
Sad and predictable. Awful dissonance with his party's "Green New Deal."
Yes, that. High-speed rail from coast to coast. Ground those airplanes. Trains are better, you see. Sure, you can travel from Minneapolis to St. Louis if you'd like. I'm sure you don't mind going to Chicago first. Gotta save the planet and all that. You understand, right? Well, you'd better. Get on that train.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Good advice

As always, Kurt Schlichter gets right to it, in regards to the continuing yuk-fest among Virginia Democrats:
It’s called “Alinsky Rule No. 4,” pals. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” Cue the sad trombone. Somewhere, Brett Kavanaugh is laughing into his Budweiser.

I know I am, except it’s Dos Equis.

But this hilarity does bring up something serious we need to consider on the conservative side. We need to prepare for the next time some Republican gets besieged by SJW witch-burners, and be ready with our response to their unwarranted demands for his/her/xir’s head.
Our response should be, “Go pound sand.” 
Now, that’s not necessarily the phraseology we should use. Mine would be more colorful, and anatomically challenging, but the point is the same. They don’t get a head for their wall. They don’t get to win. Not over silliness.
And the main point? Fair game might require recent behavior:
So when one of ours has some bonehead maneuver from his frat days revealed by eager Dems smelling blood, that’s what we should say to the calls for resignation and social ostracism. “No.”

Really terrible stuff, by someone of age, done recently? Perhaps a different story. But this bizarre, unspoken assumption that someone can’t change and grow up in a third of a century – especially when the evidence is that he or she changed and grew up in a third of a century – is profoundly destructive. It’s designed to allow the SJWs unlimited power to ex post facto decree someone unfit for society at their whim. They will scour a target’s past, decide something regrettable is unforgivable, and demand his or her head. And you just know that the GOP establishment Fredocons are willing to give it up without a fight.
Online mobs only have power if we allow them to have power. Joining one is, often enough, malicious. Why would you write a negative online review of a restaurant you'll never eat at, anyway?

A story: at this point in 1984, I was editor of The Round Table, the student newspaper at Beloit College. And in that role I did some things as editor that I would never do today, including running a critical Letter to the Editor without fixing any of the punctuation or grammar errors the writer made. While I thought the criticisms the writer provided were baseless (I still do), that was a crappy thing to do. But 20-year-olds do crappy things.

So should we give SJWs and their liberal enablers a pass? No. But we should not take their bleatings seriously. And I do recommend Alinsky Rule Number 5:

 5. “Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.”

And suggesting that these harpies get a life is not only a proper application of Rule Number 5, it's good advice.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Question for the audience

I wrote Thursday about Saint Amy Klobuchar and her penchant for petulance. There was more piling on yesterday, from the always-dubious Buzzfeed, with Vanity Fair serving as a relayer to a larger audience. You can take it for what's it's worth. But there's a more interesting question. It's clear someone is orchestrating all this. Who do you think it is? And why?

Give me your guesses in the comments. There are more suspects than you'd find on the Orient Express.

Friday, February 08, 2019

A Fish Called Alexandria

Most readers of this feature are old enough to recall a late 80s comedy, "A Fish Called Wanda." In a crucial scene, the titular character Wanda (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) explains to her dim compatriot Otto (played by Kevin Kline) that many of the things he believes are stupid (clip is NSFW):

Wanda Gerschwitz: Let me correct you on a couple of things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself.
Otto West: You read...
Wanda Gerschwitz: The London Underground is not a political movement. Those are mistakes. I looked 'em up.

We're now 30 years on. We now have an Otto West-like character stalking Capitol Hill. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is known far and wide as AOC. She would like to offer (but would ultimately like to force) America to take on a Greeen New Deal. And she needs to be corrected on a couple of things, so Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal gets to be Wanda:
It is for starters, a massive plan for the government to take over and micromanage much of the economy. Take the central plank, its diktat of producing 100% of U.S. electricity “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bailey at Reason has noted, a 2015 plan from Stanford envisioning the goal called for the installation of 154,000 offshore wind turbines, 335,000 onshore wind turbines, 75 million residential photovoltaic (solar) systems, 2.75 million commercial solar systems, and 46,000 utility-scale solar facilities. AOC has been clear it will be government building all this, not the private sector.
Neither Aristotle, nor even the technocrat Belgians, would go for that. But there's more:
And that might be the easy part. According to an accompanying fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of combustion engines, “build charging stations everywhere,” “upgrade or replace every building in U.S.,” do the same with all “infrastructure,” and crisscross the nation with “high-speed rail.”

Buried in the details, the Green New Deal also promises government control of the most fundamental aspects of private life. The fact sheet explains why the resolution doesn’t call for “banning fossil fuels” or for “zero” emissions across the entire economy—at least at first. It’s because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast” (emphasis mine).
This is an acknowledgment that planes don’t run on anything but fossil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an acknowledgment that livestock produce methane, which has led climate alarmists to engage in “meatless Mondays.” AOC may not prove able to eradicate “fully” every family Christmas or strip of bacon in a decade, but that’s the goal.
There's nothing green about any of this, of course. It's straight up feudalism shot through with Luddite nonsense. And one can guess that AOC won't be giving up her air travel, even as she demands we all queue up for the Underground. Back to Strassel:
Finally, the resolution is Democratic math at its best. It leaves out a price tag, and is equally vague on what kind of taxes would be needed to cover the cost. But it would run to tens of trillions of dollars. The fact sheet asserts the cost shouldn’t worry anyone, since the Federal Reserve can just “extend credit” to these projects! And “new public banks can be created to extend credit,” too! And Americans will get lots of “shared prosperity” from their “investments.” À la Solyndra.
Solyndra worked quite well, of course. Writing for the Federalist, David Harsanyi provides a few more details:
A government-guaranteed job. The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.

Free education for life. GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.

A salubrious diet. The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).

A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.

Free money. The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
None of this can work. Nor will it go anywhere, because we're not about to turn over the country to a woman who was a bartender a few months ago. But it's frankly alarming that she hasn't been laughed off the stage. Don't call her stupid, apparently.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Must Protect Precious

I've heard rumors about Amy Klobuchar's non-public deportment for years. And now HuffPo is out with a shot at Saint Amy just as she prepares to run for President:

At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s nascent 2020 presidential campaign — and done so in part because of the Minnesota Democrat’s history of mistreating her staff, HuffPost has learned.

Klobuchar, who plans to make an announcement about a potential presidential bid on Sunday in Minneapolis, has spent the past several months positioning herself to run for president. She’s beloved in her state as a smart, funny and personable lawmaker and has gained national attention for her lines of questioning at high-profile hearings.
Beloved is certainly overstating the case, but read on:
But some former Klobuchar staffers, all of whom spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, describe Klobuchar as habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long.

It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as “the worst” briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost.
It's always been tough to get anyone in the Minnesota media to say anything untoward about Klobuchar, who has always worn her father's Star Tribune career as a protective shield. But she won't be afforded such courtesies elsewhere. So how will her courtiers here in Minnesota greet this report? Guess, just guess:
But there's a controversy to the controversy, with some observers — including Tim Dickinson of the Rolling Stone — wondering if the reporting of such rumors reflects a sexist double standard:
White Knight
The views of Tim Dickinson are probative, of course. And if "you've never read this story about a male politician," whose responsibility is that? Unless you are involved in the media yourself, you only read what other people write, and what their editors and publishers send to press. The last time this issue came up was in Politico, which ran this handy chart:

Men and women
You see Saint Amy at the top, but you see men on the list as well. It's especially interesting that the two Republicans on the list are women often accused of being RINOs, but that's another post.

Unless you are actively involved in politics, or are rich enough to buy their attention, chances are you don't really know much of anything about the politicians who purport to represent you. You don't know but you've been told how smart, funny, and personable Amy Klobuchar is. We're more likely to learn the truth about who she really is now, because people who aren't in her thrall will now begin to tell the tale.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Bad blogger

Didn't bother with the State of the Union address last night, since it's easy enough to get plenty of reactions from both sides of the aisle. Beyond that, I had dishes to dry and a chance to talk with Fearless Maria instead, which seemed like a better use of my time, especially following an awful 2-hour commute home through the latest snowstorm. Nonetheless, a few observations:

  • Wearing white was supposed to be sort of political statement, but in the age of Photoshop it's too easy to manipulate the images. I saw at least a dozen pictures where the congresscritters in question were given Klan hoods. Dumb.
  • It also sounds like Amy Klobuchar is going to run for president. I'll have more to say about that when she makes the formal announcement, but she really ought to understand one thing -- no one south of the Iowa border gives a damn who her father was, nor does anyone east of the St. Croix, for that matter. She'll have to stand on her merits, and there aren't many of them.
  • I'm really enjoying the knife fight among the Democrats in Virginia. What an embarrassing lot.
  • Best news of the day? Jason Rarick won the special election for the Minnesota Senate seat, taking away a seat that has been in DFL hands since Father Hennepin trod the land, thus ending the Lourey family fiefdom. Republicans now hold a 35-32 edge in the upper chamber, which will make a big difference in holding off Tim Walz and the Metrocrats in the House. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Doc Zero reminds us where we are

Via Ace, what should be obvious:
I don't understand how anyone who claims to be conservative needed to hear Democrats openly endorse infanticide in order to realize Dems are extremists on abortion and no one with respect for life can vote for them in good conscience.

This stuff about making the infant comfortable while you decide whether or not to kill her isn't a bolt from the blue. It's not a shocking aberration. It's the logical conclusion of Democrat abortion politics. It's not that much different than stuff Obama said about abortion.

It should have been obvious as all hell to any reasonably engaged conservative -- and most definitely to all professional pundits -- that Democrats are all-in on late-term and born-alive abortion. 
Once you accept the premise that someone else's life is expendable, any endpoint is arbitrary. Ralph Northam may get drummed out of the governor's chair in Virginia because he did some blackface 35 years ago, but the issue with him isn't his early adult deportment, but rather the disregard for others that he evinces with his statements on infanticide. There's more, though:
Passive conservatives long ago proved they don't understand GOP voters. This infanticide shock shows they don't understand Democrats either. They don't appreciate the value of what they throw away when they toss Dems electoral victory to score points in GOP power plays. 
Democrats are not your friends, kids. They hate you. Erik Paulsen thought he could keep his distance from people he found distasteful and that his political opponents would give him credit for goodwill. Instead, he got his butt handed to him.

You don't have to like Trump. Really, you don't. But understand this -- if you're a Republican politician or pundit, you'll get nothing for your virtue signaling. You will not be treated better in captivity. The Ralph Northams and Ilhan Omars of the world don't give a damn about your bien pensant posturing. They may or may not make you comfortable, but in the end they will decide and the decision will not be in your favor.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Lightning Round -- 020419

Freezing rain this morning. Yes, it's about 55 degrees warmer than it was a few days ago, but Mother Nature is still trying to kill us. So shake down the thunder:

  • The Super Bowl was dull. Just about everyone (with a few exceptions) is tired of the New England Patriots, but it must be said -- they cracked the code on the Rams. Considering half the league is either already planning to, or will begin shortly, emulating the Rams, Bill Belichick's master class will make things interesting for next season. I hope Matt LaFleur was watching closely in Green Bay.
  • Ralph Northam now says that yearbook photo of his isn't him, although he did pick out all the other images on his page. It's bad enough to be a racist and a ghoul, but being an unskilled liar takes things up a notch. My next prediction -- Northam will reveal he is actually Bill Clinton's half-brother.
  • Super Bowl ads were mostly meh, but the jarring one was the "wait, what?" appearance of Andy Warhol, dead 32 years now, as a pitchman for Burger King. I'm eagerly waiting for the Picasso endorsement of Culver's and the inevitable pairing of Jackson Pollock and Jack in the Box. This one has Top Ten List potential, although having Frida Kahlo saying "Yo quiero Taco Bell" might be beyond the pale.
  • By the way, pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Benster and Pick Your Games -- Super Bowl LIII Edition

Old dude, 17 years ago today the Patriots beat the Rams to start their road to becoming a hated sports team that can't win without cheating. It's also the first Super Bowl I remember watching.

I remember Super Bowl V. Which was a bad game. Most of them were bad until the 1980s, actually.

I think everyone can agree that New England has been around too long, and some diversity in teams would be great.

Sure, but that requires the other AFC teams to get better. Other than Pittsburgh, and the Colts under Peyton Manning, has anyone been equal to that task? And is that Brady and Belichick's fault?

No, but let's be honest, Geritol Fan -- we're tired of these dudes.

Yeah, but it's been amazing to watch.

Maybe it's over, though. Maybe today. Watch me work!

New England Cheatriots (-2.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams. It's eerie how circular this game is compared to Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots are playing the role as favorite and the dynasty talk will be secured further with a win. The Rams have faced a long road back and are starting a young quarterback who nobody seems to trust outside of Hollywood. If that sounds familiar, it does echo back to 2002. The key to this game is going to be the first two full possessions of the second quarter. That sounds random, but hear me out. New England's experience in Super Bowls is that they do not start fast, but play better once they get settled in. I expect the Rams know this, and they tend to play better as the game goes on. Whomever plays better on the first two possessions of the second quarter should win. I think the Rams are a dangerous team and they are too flexible. Rams 35, Patriots 29.

This Patriots team is flawed, but they are playing very well right now. The underrated part of New England's dynasty is how they've been consistently able to take away what their opponents do best. The Rams present a different challenge, though, because the thing they do best, surprisingly, is on defense. Aaron Donald is again the Defensive Player of the Year and he's the closest thing to an unstoppable defensive lineman I've ever seen. And his partner in crime Ndamukong "Hong Kong Dirty" Suh has been lights out for the last month. Tom Brady rarely has to face a team that can get pressure right up the middle quickly, but that's what the Rams will do. The Patriot O-line is good, but it's strength is on the edges, not up the middle. That's the question today -- can Tom Brady win the game if Donald and Suh can put him on his back consistently? If they can, chalk up another Lombardi Trophy for the Pats. I say. . . Patriots 31, Rams 27.

So the Old Dude disagrees with me yet again. I shake my head. And don't worry, I'm sure there will be plenty of HYYYYYYPPPPPPE! in the pre-game show, which began last Wednesday, I think. Ben out!

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Memory hole

You might remember a few months back, when the Democrats were determined to sink Brett Kavanaugh, that his high school yearbook was given a level of analysis befitting a doctoral candidate studying Finnegan's Wake. You don't need to get all that meta to understand Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook:

Nice hood
This was 1984. I remember 1984. I was editor of my college newspaper that year. I did not publish any blackface photos, although I don't remember a whole lot of blackface happening at my school. 1984 was also, of course, the title of Orwell's classic novel, which included the idea of memory holes. I bet Northam wishes he could put this in the memory hole, but it's too late now.

He's going to get the Al Franken treatment. There will be no toughing this one out. And given Northam's campaign went to great lengths to portray his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, as a racist, Northam deserves it.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Home truth

Ramesh Ponnuru, writing for National Review, gets to the nub of the matter in re the current spate of absolutist abortion laws:
Supporters of the country’s expansive abortion regime now fear that the Supreme Court will retreat from it, either by declaring that the Constitution permits states to protect unborn children in general or by letting them offer more protection. That’s why they are pushing legislation in the states to codify that regime. It is an effort that is forcing supporters of abortion to be a little more candid about what they really want: an extreme regime that denies any meaningful protection to unborn children and threatens the protection for born ones.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn't coming back, and the Democrats know this. Roe v. Wade isn't intellectually sustainable. The Democrats know this as well. So now we're getting the truth. There's no such thing as "safe, legal, and rare."