California’s legislature tackles the greatest problem facing the state: bovine flatulence

September 2, 2016
"He who smelt it, dealt it, chump!"

“He who smelt it, dealt it, chump!”

This is what happens when a once great state falls into senility. Instead of dealing forthrightly with our decaying infrastructure and poor state finances, and rather than do those things that would make California’s economy golden again, our professional, full-time, compensated in six figures legislators spend their time and our money dealing with the threat of cow farts:

California’s Legislature has approved regulations on cow flatulence and manure – both blamed for releasing greenhouse gases.

The measure was approved shortly before the end of the legislative session Wednesday after its author, Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, agreed to give dairy farms more time to comply.

Long time readers will recall that I am rather… “skeptical,” shall we say? …of the threat or even existence of anthropogenic global warming. As far as I’m concerned, this is more pointless virtue-posturing by the environmentalist left and those politicians who want their donations. It’s a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist, and voters should demand to know why their legislators engaged in such nonsense.

But, let’s say there’s something to all the warnings about catastrophic man-caused global warming. Let’s say the danger of irreversible climate change is real. If so, then California’s contribution to what would be a global problem is minuscule, and any serious reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, even to zero, would be meaningless when compared to pollutants poured out by other nations, such as China and India.

Again, it’s progressive virtue-signalling. Results don’t matter: you just have to be seen doing the “right thing.”

With all the problems and challenges facing California, *this* is what they choose to tackle.

As Instapundit would say, “We’re in the best of hands.”  smiley headbang wall

via Sister Toldjah


FBI won’t recommend charges against @HillaryClinton. R.I.P. Rule of Law

July 5, 2016
Above the rules.

Guilty as sin, free as a bird.

This is a very depressing moment:

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that his agency would not recommend criminal charges against anyone involved with Hillary Clinton’s private email network, even after finding that Clinton’s team was “extremely careless” in handling classified emails.

“We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges,” he told reporters in Washington. Comey added that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges.

Still, he said Clinton sent or received dozens of emails that were classified at the time they were sent and noted the former secretary of state did not turn over thousands of work-related emails to the State Department.

Comey said 110 emails contained information that was classified at the time they were sent, including eight emails that were top secret. That finding marked a direct contradiction to Clinton’s previous statements, in which she said she never sent any information that was classified at the time it was sent.

Comey said the investigation focused on whether Clinton violated federal statutes prohibiting the removal of classified information from secure areas, which is a crime whether that is done intentionally or inadvertently.

I have to agree with attorney Gabriel Malor:

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This is the statute in question:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer-
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

How, I ask, is Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server, which was in her mansion in Chappaqua, in any way, shape or form a “proper place of custody?” And how in God’s name do any of her actions while in charge of national secrets as Secretary of State constitute anything other than “gross negligence?” General Petraeus was prosecuted for less. The information that passed through her servers is likely in the hands of the Russians and Chinese — and who know who else? Clandestine human and technical sources were almost certainly compromised by her “gross negligence.” Intent is immaterial: the existence of the unauthorized server itself is the smoking gun here.

Mere words aren’t enough to convey my disgust.

The Rule of Law may not be dead in this country, but it is gut-shot and bleeding.

RELATED: One small smidgen of good news. While declining to prosecute, Director Comey’s statement point by point demolished all Hillary’s claims of innocence. Not that anyone seems to care that she’s a congenital liar.

 


Shamefully exploiting an atrocity, Donald Trump displays his megalomania

March 27, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

The only man to solve the problem of jihad?

Today is Easter, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar. It was marred by news of a massacre in Pakistan when a Muslim suicide bomber attacked a park that was a favorite for local Christians and killed scores of women and children:

A suicide bomber killed at least 65 people, mostly women and children, at a park in Lahore on Sunday in an attack claimed by a Pakistani Taliban faction which said it had targeted Christians.

More than 300 other people were wounded, officials said.

The explosion occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park close to children’s swings. The park is a popular site for members of Lahore’s Christian community, many of whom had gone there to celebrate the Easter weekend holiday.

Witnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast.

These women and children were targeted because of their religion by someone who believed he was acting in accord with his religion in furtherance of a 1,400-year old war of domination. It is a war that has cost thousands of lives here in America. One would expect anyone running to be our Chief of State and Commander in Chief would at least have the decency to express sympathy with the victims.

That “anyone,” however, does not include Donald Trump, who tweeted the following:

I alone can solve.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is called “megalomania,” and that came straight from Trump’s verified account. No need to analyze all the ways it’s wrong. Res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself.

How any rational American  considering the candidates can look at that and think Trump is in any imaginable way qualified to be president and fit to command the most powerful armed forces the world has ever seen is beyond me. He makes Hillary Clinton look positively statesmanlike, while Barack Obama is a picture of humility and self-awareness by comparison.

He doesn’t need to be sent to the White House. He should be sent to the madhouse.

PS: In case Trump comes to his senses and deletes that tweet, here’s a capture:

Trump Pakistan megalomania

 

I’d say “unbelievable,” but these days that’s all too believable. And appalling.


I hope @JimGeraghty will forgive me, but you need to read this. #NeverTrump

March 16, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Anyone but.

As penance, I suggest –nay, I implore you!– to subscribe to his Morning Jolt newsletter.

And it’s from this morning’s edition that I copiously excerpt the following, which anyone who seriously thinks Trump is a reasonable choice or that he has a chance of beating Hillary in November needs to read:

All the polling indicates Rubio would have crushed Hillary Clinton in a general election. Cruz looks like he’s got a shot — not a great shot, but a shot. Donald Trump’s general-election numbers are sinking like a stone. (If you can stand him, John Kasich matches up quite well.)

Trump’s fans walk around with great confidence about his general election strengths for which there is no real evidence. They’re convinced he will win over traditional blue-collar Democrats. So far, he doesn’t. They’re convinced he will win over African Americans. Polling in February puts his support among African Americans between 4 and 10 percent. (Romney won 6 percent.) They’re convinced he’ll win a lot more Latinos than everyone thinks. (He’s currently at less than half Mitt Romney’s level of support.) They’re convinced he’ll win Democratic states like New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. (He trails by 18 to 23 points in those states in the most recent polls.)

Trump fans gleefully point to his 7.5 million votes in the primary so far, and forget that the universe of voters in the general election will be on a completely different scale — probably 130 million voters. (Mitt Romney won 10 million primary votes.)

When you mention Trump’s awful head-to-head polling with Hillary Clinton, you hear a lot of references to Ronald Reagan’s trailing Jimmy Carter in March 1980. Ronald Reagan never had the unfavorable numbers Trump has now.

When everybody says, “Oh, the pundits and the elected officials and the other campaigns didn’t see the GOP grassroots embrace of Trump coming . . .” well, yeah; the pundits and the elected officials and the other campaigns thought better of the GOP grassroots.

 

People who support Trump like to say that not backing him guarantees a Hillary Clinton presidency. To the contrary, nominating The Donald almost certainly guarantees a crushing Republican defeat.

But there is still time to derail the “Trump train.”

Trump plays to fear, resentment, and anger. Instead of channeling it in a positive direction, he brings out the worst in people. He is a con artist who poisons everything he touches.

Ask yourselves, what evidence, what smidgen of a hint of proof, is there that Donald Trump would make a good president, or even a mediocre one? You think Trump will “hire good people” and take their advice? When has he in his colossal egotism ever shown that he listens to anyone but yes-men?

Electing Hillary Clinton would be a disaster, but choosing Donald Trump would be a catastrophe — first for conservatism, then for the nation if he’s elected.

We have a good choice. Take a deep breath, let go of your anger, and make it.


Did Hillary Clinton consider fomenting unrest against Israel in 2011?

January 11, 2016
Above the rules.

You can trust me.

That is, did our then-Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner for the presidency contemplate inciting Palestinian unrest as a club against our closest ally in the region?

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the answer is yes:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.

In a Dec, 18, 2011, email, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.

Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.

“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.

“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”

Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.

“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”

Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.

Gee. Oh, gosh. I do so wonder why the might think the Israelis might object, just because we had a hand in inciting demonstrations against them with utterly unpredictable consequences and with a huge potential to blow up in everyone’s face?

This is one of those revelations that shows how dangerously incompetent Clinton and her team of clowns is, and why she should come nowhere near the presidency.

Just what in Heaven’s name were they thinking? This was near the start of the so-called “Arab Spring,” with demonstrations against secular dictatorships launched in the name (ostensibly) of liberal reform. Instead, what we got was a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, the most important Arab state and a key US ally, which had to be removed in a military coup. Other countries fell into turmoil and even civil war. It has, so far, been an almost-unmitigated disaster for the region, with consequences spreading globally.

And yet Clinton and her advisers thought they could safely harness this to “shame’ the Israelis into making peace? (Newsflash: It’s not Israel that’s been the big obstacle to peace, here.) Did they seriously think for one moment that such demonstrations wouldn’t be hijacked by radical organizations? Did it not occur to them that an “honor and shame” culture such as the Arabs’ could never let their women take the lead for long? That violence would be almost inevitable and that implementing this cockamamie plan risked a new intifada — or worse? Did they think they could control all the forces they would be stirring up?

Against an ally??

How well did the Clinton-Obama war in Libya go, again?

Who’d they get this plan from? The Underpants Gnomes?

PS: Homework question for the House and Senate foreign relations committees — Was any part of this plan ever implemented?


From the farcical to the surreal: Putin endorses a grateful Trump

December 17, 2015
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Endorsed by dictators

When did I cross into Bizarro World?

Russia’s strongman took time out from bumping off political adversaries, putting his muscle in Iran’s service, and annexing other countries’ territory to praise GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump as “an outstanding and talented personality.”

A grateful Trump reacted: “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

So, the currently leading Republican candidate is honored to be endorsed by a man intimidating and dismembering the countries around him, having opponents and critics assassinated, and generally acting like a global thug.

Analyst Tom Nichols offered this apt analogy:

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I won’t go as far as Tom did in another tweet and call Trump a “traitor,” but I do think he is a contemptible buffoon — and a dangerous one, should he win the nomination and the presidency.

Are we sure Rod Serling didn’t introduce this story?


Donald Trump won’t rule out religious identification cards

November 19, 2015
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

No. Not just no, but Hell, no.

Yahoo News asked Trump whether his push for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures.

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

This is the kind of crap that can only come from someone either woefully ignorant of History or suffering from a painfully tin ear.

I take a backseat to no one in my dislike for Islam and my wariness of jihad infiltration; I do not think we should be admitting Syrian refugees because, among other reasons, our ability to vet them for ties to jihadist groups has significant weaknesses. Just ask the FBI Director. To let them in is to take unconscionable risk with the safety of the American people.

But religious ID cards? Even to have that tossed out without immediately dismissing it, to include it in a range of reasonable possibilities, should disqualify him as a serious candidate for dog-catcher, let alone the presidency.

Not only is the idea offensive in itself (1), but I can already imagine the Democrats making hay out of this, whether he wins the nomination or not:

“We condemn the outrageous and racist suggestion of the Republican front-runner that Muslims should carry special identification.”

And picture Clinton, Obama, Wasserman-Schultz, Schumer, and every other Democrat intoning that over and over again in every venue they could find.  Imagine every single Jewish group in the US rightfully denouncing this, even if they loathe the Democrats’ treatment of Israel. Pity the poor serious Republican candidates who will likely have to answer question after question about what this moron said, rather than focusing on the crucial issues of the campaign.

Are we sure Donald Trump isn’t a deep-cover agent provocateur for the Democrats?

Via Jonah Goldberg, to whom I give the last word:

Now, I’ll bet Trump walks some of this back in the next 48 hours, just as he did with his initial call to admit Syrian refugees and other statements that have departed his posterior before his brain could catch them. But let’s be clear, getting the federal government involved in tracking and labeling citizens’ religious affiliations is abhorrent on the merits and a huge invitation to profound mischief down the road. Creating databases on all members of any religion is a terrible idea as well.

(…)

But I have little interest in going so far … that we actually resemble the straw men the Left has been screaming about all along.

Exactly.

Footnote:
(1) What else, Donald? Shall we make them wear green crescents on their clothing?

 


(Video) Saudi sheikh gets hot and bothered about the virgins of Paradise

November 18, 2015

I linked to this yesterday, but it really needs to be an entry of its own. A Saudi sheikh, one Yahya Al-Jana’, tells his followers why one should abstain from chasing slutty, uncovered women in this world: because in the afterlife they’ll get slutty virgins who really dig guys who blow themselves up, slit kuffar (1) throats, and burn people alive.

via MEMRI

Do you get the impression Sheikh Yahya thinks about this a lot?

He’s not alone. Go through Memri’s archives, or those of PalWatch, and you’ll find plenty of Islamic preachers waxing lyrical about the sexual rewards awaiting those who kill in Allah’s name. In one of the most sexually repressive cultures on Earth, this is one way they recruit young men for the jihad — “God will give you women!”

Freud would have a field day.

Footnote:
(1) The plural of the word “kufr,” meaning “unbeliever.” That’s us.


Remember kids, when you say someone is “hard-working,” you’re a racist

October 27, 2015

Liberal tolerance racist

For progressive racialists like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, everything is seen through the lens of victimization and race, while every descriptor is really a code-word for racism.

In today’s example, Harris-Perry was interviewing Latino conservative activist Alfonso Aguilar about Rep. Paul Ryan, who will likely soon be Speaker of the House. When Aguilar described Ryan as “hard-working” (which anyone who’s followed Ryan knows is true), she interrupted him to ramble on about how this was somehow possibly unfair to slaves and working mothers:

Harris-Perry cut in to tell Aguilar that the use of the term “hard worker” was problematic since she had a picture of slaves working in cotton fields on her office wall to remind her of when to really use that term. Her rambling response also included an attack on Republicans for demonizing working mothers.

“I just want to pause on one thing,” she said. “Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker,’ because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do.

“But in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working. But, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.”

She then went on, over Aguilar’s protests, to slag all Republicans as being the demons she was conjuring in her imagination.

This from a woman who once wore tampons as earrings on national television:

Melissa Harris-Perry tampon earrings

Yep. I’m going to take her seriously. You betcha. Gravitas, man.

More seriously, Harris-Perry, far from being an intellectual, is herself intellectually trapped within the racialist framework the Left has built over the last 60 years. She can’t conceive of any other way of seeing the world other than through a lens of victimization and structural racism, so she employs a common weapon of the Left to browbeat and dominate her guest: deconstruction. Aguilar’s words don’t have their common meaning and they don’t mean what he intended they mean: Harris-Perry will instead tell him what they “really mean” –or at least mean to her, relativism making all opinions equal, no matter how asinine– thus implying that he and his fellow Republicans are racists, however unconsciously. Most targets of this, including, I admit, your humble host, will likely be taken aback by such an unfair imputation and stumble through lame denials, instead of cogently counterattacking. Thus the Left time and again wins the cultural battle.

At least in this aspect, they really are hard-working.


San Francisco middle school principal disrupts student election for not being “diverse enough.”

October 21, 2015
Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

If California is leading the way toward the nation becoming a banana republic, then San Francisco is the drum major at the head of the parade. Case in point: the Everett Middle School there recently held elections for student government. Great! The kids learn public speaking skills, how to hold office, and participate in a democratic process. One small step in the creation of future good citizens.

Except in progressive San Francisco, where the principal of Everett withheld the election results because the outcome wasn’t racially diverse enough.

The results had been withheld immediately after the election because the principal felt that the winners weren’t diverse enough.

We’ve learned that the majority of the winners were white, despite the fact that the student body is 80% students of color.

The incident happened at Everett Middle School in San Francisco’s Mission District. The voting was held Oct. 10, but the principal sent an email to parents on Oct. 14 saying the results would not be released because the candidates that were elected as a whole do not represents the diversity that exists at the school.

The email went on to say they were thinking of ways to value the students who won, while increasing the diversity of the group.

In other words, the candidates all went out and campaigned, and the voters made their choices. That should be the end of it, right? Content of character, per Martin Luther King, mattering more than the color of one’s skin, right? The student body, 80% of which are “students of color,” freely chose a student government that’s majority White. But ethnicity shouldn’t matter, right? RIGHT??

Wrong answer, class. Just ask the principal:

According to Principal Lena Van Haren, Everett Middle School has a diverse student body. She said 80 percent of students are students of color and 20 percent are white, but the election results did not represent the entire study body.

In other words, democracy and personal preference be damned, it’s the color of skin that really matters. One cannot truly be represented, unless it’s by someone of the same genetic background. Just as the Founders intended, of course.

Some parents, unsurprisingly, were incensed:

Todd David, whose son, Noah, is an eighth-grader at the school, said the principal undermined the democratic process in the name of social justice.

“I think it sends an unfortunate message to students when you say that the people you elected, they’re not representative of you even though you’re the ones who chose them,” he said.

Yeah, such as “the will of the people is important only so long as it delivers results acceptable to progressive elites,” such as middle school principals and other victims of modern teacher-training programs.

More Van Haren wisdom:

“That is concerning to me because as principal I want to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds,” Van Haren told KTVU.

Call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but isn’t that what participating in an election does? Again, the minority-majority of the school apparently freely voted for the winners, who just happened to be White. The voters’ voices were heard. And those who didn’t vote expressed their voices, too: they didn’t care.

Message to the administration of Everett Middle School: San Francisco is part of California, and California is a state in the United States of America, not Venezuela. When election results happen, you announce the results and live with it. And you never, ever teach American children that they can be fairly represented only by their own “race.” Leave that racialist, tribalist garbage on the ash heap of history, where it belongs.

And, as for Principal Van Haren, I’m not going to call for her firing, but she definitely needs re-education in democratic politics, Civics, and the rule of law.


California Screaming: Welcome to drive-up voter fraud

October 11, 2015
Send help

Send help

I’m sure you’ve got one in your life, too: that person you love for all he or she has done in the past, the good times you have together, but who still drives you bat-sh… er… drives you batty for all the stupid and self-destructive things they do. Sometimes it even gets to a point where you think you want to end the relationship and move on, but you can’t. You keep hoping your loved one will come to their senses, but you know in your heart they never will.

Like me and my beloved California:

After a record low turnout in last year’s election, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed legislation on Saturday designed to increase electoral participation by automatically registering eligible state voters when they obtain a driver’s license.

The law, which allows Californians to opt out of registering at the Department of Motor Vehicles, was the most prominent of more than a dozen bills relating to elections that Mr. Brown signed on Saturday. It puts California at the forefront of efforts across the country to increase electoral participation at a time when many states have added new hurdles, like voter identification laws. (1)

The new law will “help improve elections and expand voter rights and access in California,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

Pardon my language, Governor, but your bald head has been out in the sun too long. Are you forgetting that other bill you signed a while back?

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill that will allow hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Let’s see. “Hundreds of thousands illegal immigrants” will be given driver’s licenses. And now the state will start registering people to vote automatically when they get their licenses. Does anyone really expect the ponderous, bloated, inefficient California state government –through its DMV, no less!– to keep illegal aliens off the voter rolls?

Don’t bother with the show of hands; we all know the answer.

This is an extension of the “motor voter” nonsense enacted federally in a 1993 bill that has turned into a godsend for groups seeking to rig elections by registering people who shouldn’t vote. As election law expert Hans von Spakovsky wrote on ACORN and the 1993 Motor Voter Act:

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the registration list in Indianapolis/Marion County still has large numbers of ineligible voters – people who have died or moved away, are registered more than once, are not citizens or perhaps don’t even exist given ACORN’s activities there. After all, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law this year, it cited the lower court’s finding that Indiana’s voter rolls were inflated by as much as 41.4% in 2004. One of the main reasons for the inflated voter rolls was the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or Motor Voter, which was the first legislation signed into law by newly sworn-in President Bill Clinton. As the Supreme Court recognized, Motor Voter has provisions “restricting States’ ability to remove names from the lists of registered voters.” In fact, its restrictions and notice provisions are so strict that many states simply stopped doing anything to clean up their voter rolls after Motor Voter became law.

I predict California will see Indiana’s experience on steroids. There will be no push here to clean up those lists, or to challenge the eligibility of those being automatically registered. And the whole shebang will become ripe for fraud, probably to the benefit of progressive Democrats, desperate to regain their two-thirds majority in both houses of the legislature so they can raise taxes to their hearts’ content without asking for public approval.

Keep it up, California. I love you, but you’re making Idaho look awfully tempting by comparison.

Via several people on Twitter, all of whom knew how I’d react.

RELATED: More at Hot Air from Jazz Shaw, who writes:

The second highlighted section of the bill should be a major red flag as well. Under traditional paths to voter registration it has been accepted that the aspiring voter would proactively prove that they are an eligible citizen. This new system is precisely the opposite. The default condition will be the registration of the document holder and it is then incumbent upon the state to prove that they are not eligible. Given the already strained resources of agencies in every state, how carefully do you think they’ll be scrutinizing them?

Read the rest.

Footnote:
(1) What the heck is this guy talking about? How does this new law in anyway ameliorate the “problem?” States that require voter ID (we don’t) generally require a driver’s license, a state ID (for those who don’t drive), or some other form of easily obtainable ID. So how, then, is going to get a driver’s license or state ID (often obtainable at that same DMV) in any way burdensome or an insurmountable “hurdle?” How does that suppress the vote? Someone discouraged from voting every two or four years by having to spend an hour or so in their local DMV and paying a few bucks probably isn’t that motivated to participate in the “democratic process” anyway.


In which Meryl Streep incurs the wrath of the Social Justice Warriors

October 6, 2015

streep

Or perhaps the “Cultural Appropriation Cops.” I can never keep them straight.

Either way, Michael Walsh (1) learns a lesson: No matter how stupid the Leftist cause of the moment, they can always find something stupider.

A promotional campaign for the new Meryl Streep film Suffragette has become a PR nightmare thanks to T-shirts worn by Streep and her co-stars, which some say appear to lump the plight of white women in with the horrors endured by slaves. The shirts – worn by Streep, Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff and Romola Garai (all white women)–bear a quote from the suffragette Streep plays in the film, Emmeline Pankhurst: ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.’

Critics have called the campaign tone deaf, in part because the T-shirts inevitably bring to mind the Confederacy by pairing the words ‘rebel’ and ‘slave’, but also because of the uneasy history between the feminist and black civil rights movements.

There’s more glorious politically-correct nonsense to be seen; click through for the details.

I was at dinner the other night with some dear friends, one of whom is a committed liberal. I was caught by surprise when he started complaining to me about the tyrannical depths the modern anti-Free Speech movement has sunk. Sensing an opening, I mentioned how even liberal and progressive columnists, such as (If I recall right) Jonathan Chait, were criticizing the new PC Police for going too far, for attacking even their allies. I thought perhaps we were having a breakthrough moment to the realization that Leftism itself is the source of the problem, but, alas, not yet. Still, I have hopes.

Perhaps I should get him a t-shirt.

Footnotes:
(1) Coincidentally the author of a recent book you should read.


Is it possible to die from an overdose of White House chutzpah?

September 4, 2015
No way!!

He said what?!?!

Because, man, Press Secretary Mouth of Sauron Josh Earnest is putting me at risk.

A little background: in the wake of the Obergefell ruling by the Supreme Court that forces the entire nation to permit same-sex marriages, there’s been some push-back by state governments and local officials who claim with some justification that this violates the religious liberty of local officials who view same-sex marriage as sinful. And, as a nation that often has granted exemptions for strongly held beliefs (conscientious objectors and military service, for example), a debate has grown about whether and how to accommodate these people. A county clerk in Kentucky brought the matter to a head recently:

A Kentucky county clerk who has become a symbol of religious opposition to same-sex marriage was jailed Thursday after defying a federal court order to issue licenses to gay couples.

The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, Ky., was ordered detained for contempt of court and later rejected a proposal to allow her deputies to process same-sex marriage licenses that could have prompted her release.

Instead, on a day when one of Ms. Davis’s lawyers said she would not retreat from or modify her stand despite a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Judge David L. Bunning of United States District Court secured commitments from five of Ms. Davis’s deputies to begin providing the licenses. At least two couples planned to seek marriage licenses Friday.

(Good on the NYT for mentioning later in the article that Davis is a Democrat, though they did bury that fact a bit.)

To be brief (and I’m sure you want me to get to the point), I think Ms. Davis is in the wrong here, even though I sympathize with her concerns about her religion. (1) I think the judge, who himself disagrees with Obergefell, was left with no choice but to jail her for her obduracy. It may be a small case, but the rule of law was at issue here. Granting her an exemption while letting her deputies issue licenses to gay couples would not have been sufficient; she is, after all, en elected official sworn to uphold the law and, like it or not, Obergefell is the law. That is her obligation as a public servant. The correct action would have been for her to resign in protest and in her resignation letter make her objections clear.

So, naturally, this became a national brouhaha –that NYT article was front page, for Pete’s sake– and, where there is national attention to be had, the White House has to weigh in. And they did so with this jaw-dropper:

The White House said today that the Kentucky county clerk taken into custody over her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses should obey the law just as President Obama does.

Press secretary Josh Earnest, asked at today’s briefing about the jailing of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for contempt, said “ultimately I think that this is something that the courts will weigh in on.”

But, he said, “the question of the rule of law” is at stake.

“And every public official in our democracy is subject to the rule of law. No one is above the law. That applies to the president of the United States and that applies to the County Clerk and Rowan County, Kentucky, as well,” Earnest said. “And that’s a fundamental principal of our democracy. In terms of how that applies to this particular case? That’s obviously something that a judge will have to decide. And I would not second guess it from here.”

I’m amazed that he didn’t choke to death from trying to keep from laughing here. I actually agree with Josh Earnest that the rule of law is at issue here. It’s a shame his boss doesn’t know the meaning of the words. Let’s consider just a few examples:

  • Obamacare waivers
  • Multiple far-reaching regulations (EPA, NLRB, FCC) issued with no statutory authority
  • Racially biased enforcement of our civil rights laws on voting
  • The Libya war, in violation of the War Powers Act
  • Operation Fast & Furious
  • Failure to produce budgets by the statutory deadline — or at all
  • Non-enforcement of our immigration laws
  • Ignoring the treaty clause of the Constitution
  • Ignoring congressional demands for information in violation of Congress’ oversight powers

All of this just screams “respect for the rule of law,” and I’m sure you can come up with others.

How Earnest avoided a lightning bolt from above for this one, I don’t know. I guess even God was gobsmacked.

via PJMedia

Footnote:
(1) For the record, I both support allowing same-sex marriage and I think Obergefell was a terrible decision.


I’m sure Wesleyan University has offended someone by leaving a letter or two out

August 30, 2015
x

“Wait? Which letter am I?”

There have been plenty of silly moments in academia’s race to be offensive to none, inclusive of all, and apologizing to everyone for anything, but this really crosses into the realm of self-parody. Via Kat Timpf at National Review:

Weslyan University in Connecticut is now offering “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” housing, because apparently “LGBT” — or even “LGBTTQQ” — wouldn’t have been inclusive enough. For the culturally ignorant among us, “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, flexual, asexual, genderf**k, polyamorous, bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism.”

The name of this super-inclusive, social-justice-hero of a dorm is “Open House,” and it is meant to be a “safe space” for self-identified LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM students, according to the university’s official website.

In case your particular self-identification isn’t covered in that alphabet soup, Wesleyan assures you that your “sexually or gender dissident” lifestyle will still be welcome.

And probably have its own diversity counselor, pronouns, and safe rooms.

I wonder if a straight male student at Wesleyan could apply, claiming to be “sexually and gender-dissident” against the dominant LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM culture?

Nah. Too radical.


Ten things you didn’t know were RAAAACIST, you racists

August 23, 2015

Liberal tolerance racist

I had already heard of the folderol over hoop skirts at the University of Georgia and how saying “the most qualified person should get the job” is a microaggression at my alma mater, but some on this list are new to me, and almost all are head-shakers. Below is my favorite. Did you know your favorite Thanksgiving food shows you’re a racist?

Liking white meat is racist. Writer Ron Rosenbaum said in Slate that racism accounts for the popularity of white-meat turkey over more flavorful dark meat. “White meat turkey has no taste,” he explained. “Despite its superior taste, dark meat has dark undertones for some. Dark meat seems to summon up ancient fears of contamination and miscegenation as opposed to the supposed superior purity of white meat.”

The deuce you say, Ron. I think this perhaps says more about the author and his possible fixations than anything about the attitudes of the diner. If I like both white and dark meat, does that make me enlightened, or do I have to actively denounce “white-meat privilege,” too?

Read the rest here, and laugh at the folly.


Seattle: #RaiseTheWage, choose to work less

July 26, 2015
Didn't pay attention

Seattle economics adviser

Okay, I have to admit it: I was wrong about the choices facing business owners when a jurisdiction mandates a minimum wage increase. On several occasions, I’ve written something like the following:

Labor is a cost, because the business owner has to provide wages and, often, benefits that cost him more money. When a government mandate increases that cost, the business owner has three choices: pass the cost along to the customer, who may decide it’s too much and stop shopping there; cut employee hours and stop hiring to save on labor costs, thus costing potential jobs and putting a burden on workers still employed; and, finally, just decide it’s not worth it anymore and close up shop. In the low-margin bookseller business, Borderlands’ owner chose the last course as the only one viable.

Well, it seems I didn’t figure on one other possibility: employees demanding to work fewer hours.

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

“If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people,” said Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz show on 97.3 KIRO-FM.

And…

The notion that employees are intentionally working less to preserve their welfare has been a hot topic on talk radio. While the claims are difficult to track, state stats indeed suggest few are moving off welfare programs under the new wage.

A minimum wage is a form of economic redistribution and welfare, taking money from business owners and giving it to the employees in the name of “fairness” and “justice.” The idea, as averred in the last quoted paragraph, is to help get people off government aid. Good intentions, no?

Well, we all know what’s said about using good intentions as paving material. Like so many welfare programs, the minimum wage creates a perverse incentive to not increase one’s income, for fear of losing desirable benefits. Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has a wonderful chart and post explaining this very problem, what he calls a “poverty trap.” By raising the minimum wage, in addition to all the other problems it causes, Seattle is creating its own poverty trap, one that encourages people to work less.

Now how, I ask progressives, is that “progress?”

PS: Read the whole article for other problems caused by Seattle leftists’ good intentions arrogant, economically ignorant self-righteousness.


Could Planned Parenthood be any more ghoulish? @ppact

July 14, 2015

They’re killing unborn infants by the carload and getting taxpayer money to do it. It’s for women’s health, you know, and therefore our progressive betters have told us it’s a-okay. Don’t fret. No worries.

I mean, what’s a little organ trading among friends?

In shocking video obtained by the Center for Medical Progress and first reported by Live Action News, a top Planned Parenthood executive is seen attempting to sell body parts from aborted babies.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director for medical services, is caught on video bragging about how she aborts babies in such a way that their body parts and organs can later be sold for profit.

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part,” Nucatola tells actors posing as organ traffickers. “I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

“I’d say a lot of people want liver,” Nucatola continued. “And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”

Somewhere in Hell, Dr. Mengele laughs and smiles in approval.

Remember ACORN? They lost their government funding and went out of business when they were caught engaging voter fraud. (1)

But this? This is something I’d expect under a totalitarian regime, such as China; not here.

This is just evil.

ACORN lost its funding for mere voter fraud. It seems like it should be a no-brainer to cut off Planned Parenthood for harvesting organs from aborted babies. Beyond that, there should be one or more criminal investigations. At the very least, beyond the laws cited in the video, the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act (PDF) forbids the sale of human organs. Hello, FBI? That’s your cue.

Beyond that, think about Dr. Nucatola calmly discussing dismembering humans and selling their remains over wine and lunch.

And then get sick.


Climate Craziness of the Week: Center for Biological Diversity petitions EPA to list CO2 as a ‘toxic substance’

July 1, 2015

Right. We’d better ban Humans now, since we all breathe out poison. And I wouldn’t be surprised if EPA got right on that one.

Watts Up With That?

thescream-co2From the “everybody breathes out poison” department. WUWT reader “Hell_Is_Like_Newark” writes:

The Center for Biological Diversity has issued a petition to get CO2 listed as a toxic substance.  CO2 will join the ranks of dioxin, cyanide, etc.

For Immediate Release, June 30, 2015

Contact: Miyoko Sakashita, (415) 632-5308, miyoko@biologicaldiversity.org

Legal Petition Urges EPA to Save Sea Life, Regulate CO2 as Toxic Substance

WASHINGTON— With the world’s oceans and sea life facing an unprecedented crisis from ocean acidification, the Center for Biological Diversity and former Environmental Protection Agency scientist Dr. Donn Viviani today formally petitioned the Obama administration to regulate carbon dioxide under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. The first-of-its-kind petition under the toxics act seeks widespread reduction of CO2 because it contributes to ocean acidification, driving the destruction of coral reefs and threatening nearly every form of sea life, from tiny plankton to fish, whales and…

View original post 391 more words


King v Burwell: The SCOTUS saves #Obamacare, again.

June 25, 2015
x

These guys would probably do a better job.

Sigh.

The Supreme Court decision most everyone was waiting for, a ruling in King v. Burwell about the legality of Obamacare subsidies for insurance purchasers on federal exchanges, has just come out (PDF).

Spoiler: the administration won. The anti-constitutional monstrosity lives on.

I haven’t much to add to a legal analysis of this decision. For that, I recommend you read William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, whose post on the decision will be updated as the day goes by.

I will say, however, that this is the second time a majority lead by Chief Justice Roberts has twisted and tortured the plain meaning of words and the processes of reason in order to achieve a desired result –preserving the Affordable Care Act. In the first,  he beat the square peg of the Obamacare penalties for not having insurance into the round hole of constitutional logic by declaring them simultaneously a tax and a fine. The goddess Reason wept.

Now, however, he and his colleagues on the majority have magically decided that the obvious meaning of the plain language of the law, that subsidies are only available through an exchange established by a state, is somehow ambiguous. To top it off, they ignored the unambiguous evidence offered by Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architects of the ACA, that the intent was to use the lack of federal subsidies to coerce states into establishing exchanges. Law and legal reasoning be damned, the Court’s role was to save Obamacare:

Given that the text is ambiguous, we must turn to the broader structure of the Act to determine the meaning of Section 36B. “A provision that may seem ambiguous in isolation is often clarified by the remainder of the statutory scheme . . . because only one of the permissible meanings produces a substantive effect that is compatible with the rest of the law.” United Sav. Assn. of Tex. v. Timbers
of Inwood Forest Associates, Ltd., 484 U. S. 365, 371 (1988). Here, the statutory scheme compels us to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid. [at 15]

In fact, we know this is not true. The text is not ambiguous, and the Democrats knew the “death spiral” was in there. Reasoning from Gruber’s own words, they designed things so it would be a Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of opponents of the ACA. “Nice insurance industry you have there. Be a shame if you didn’t agree to set up an exchange and the whole thing crashed for a lack of subsidies.” Trouble is, more states than expected refused to set up an exchange, so it was the Fed that had to illegally provide subsidies to prevent a death spiral. As Professor Jacobson said on Twitter:

This is disgusting and disheartening, but not wholly unexpected. After the last Obamacare decision, it wasn’t likely a Court majority would cut the legs out from under the ACA, no matter what. That is left for us to do in 2017, when a Republican Congress has a Republican president — and us ready to hold their feet to the fire to repeal this damned thing.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Justice Scalia’s flaming dissent, per Legal Insurrection:

“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”

Indeed.


Lacking enough ships of our own, US Marines will serve aboard foreign ships

June 23, 2015
"You're not welcome."

“Good thing we could catch a ride here!”

This is embarrassing:

Faced with a shortage of U.S. Navy ships, the Marine Corps is exploring a plan to deploy its forces aboard foreign vessels to ensure they can respond quickly to global crises around Europe and western Africa.

The initiative is a stopgap way to deploy Marines aboard ships overseas until more American vessels are available, said Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.

The Marines will be able to respond quickly to evacuate embassies or protect U.S. property and citizens, a need highlighted by the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“There’s no substitute for U.S. amphibious” vessels, Cooling said. “We’re looking at other options” in the meantime, he added.

The Marines have been working with Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and other close allies to determine the suitability of the foreign ships for U.S. personnel and aircraft.

Hey, at least these are allies. What’s left of our space program has to hitch a ride with the Russians.

I can just see it now: an emergency somewhere in the Middle East, and US Marines have to run onto some boat in Sicily asking “Hey, buddy! Can you give us a lift?”

This is what happens when you have a Socialist (1) president and his party is dominated by progressives: through budget cuts and initiated by the White House and a budget process in Congress so screwed up by the then-majority Democrats under Harry Reid that the sequestration meat-ax was inevitable, our military has been starved of funds to the point that it’s having an effect on operational capabilities. And that, in turn, will further affect stability around the globe, which has relied since 1945 on US power.

None of this has to be, of course, but it’s the tragic consequence of electing a government more interested in fundamentally transforming America at home than in protecting her interests abroad. A government that, in fact, views American interests and American power as a problem and views our decline as a positive choice for the world.

I hope they’ve at least budgeted for cab fare for our Marines.

via Tammy Bruce

Footnote:
(1) This is beyond doubt. The only question is what kind and to what degree.