American and British politicians at the highest level appear to be engaged in a competition to see who can utter the most defiantly ill-informed, aggressively ignorant statements about precisely the issues that governments have traditionally regarded as life-and-death matters. Somehow, this brazen guilelessness – the shameless display of the failure to understand even the basic meanings of significant words – seems to be offered as a bond with the common man, as if not understanding complicated things was a measure of authenticity.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Every so often RC readers mysteriously fall silent. I grow a bit morose. Is it me? Is it them? Are things so bad there's nothing to say? Then I remember the nature of typepad. Comments just stop working sometimes, for no reason I can fathom. It's sort of a good news/bad news thing. I'm on it.
DEVELOPING: A U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship fired three warning shots at an Iranian ship that sailed within 200 yards in the Northern Persian Gulf Wednesday in the second close call this week involving U.S. and Iranian vessels, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.
Time for another ransom payment, I guess.
One does not need to be an aggressive Fed skeptic to see how dangerous the practice of the Fed returning "profits" to the Treasury could become. In recent years, the Fed has bought large amounts of Treasury securities (using funds effectively created through an expansion of the monetary base), thus reducing the need for the Treasury to secure funds from other sources. The Fed then earns returns on these Treasury holdings, which it returns to the Treasury to lower the apparent size of the government's budget deficit. It's certainly a novel way to pay for government activity.
At this point, there are economic and fiscal risks in every direction. If the economy remains sluggish, and demand suppressed, then interest rates are likely to remain low for some time, easing federal borrowing costs in coming years. But a slow growth economy is also disastrous for the federal budget, as revenue growth is below what it should be and enrollment in expensive benefit programs is higher than it needs to be. Moreover, if the economy were to slow precipitously, the Fed is in a very difficult position. The targeted federal funds rate is already extremely low (between 0.25 and 0.50 percent), and the central bank already owns far more in assets than ever before in its h
Hooray for the rare lights of common sense in courts. On Sunday, Judge Reed O’Connor, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, blocked the Obama administration from enforcing its so-called transgender bathroom initiative, which welcomed the Peeping Toms in the bathrooms.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As a pharmaceutical company run by US Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter faces scrutiny for hiking prices on life-saving allergy injection pens, Manchin is remaining mum.
This is the kind of juicy but irrelevant tidbit you get only from the tabloids.
Because none of this adds up to a coherent explanation, I believe we are still in the dark about a hidden bombshell. There must be a secret Unholy Grail that explains her self-destructive behavior of stonewalling and lying.
I won’t speculate on what the Clintons are hiding because my gifts of imagination are no match for theirs. They always had a knack for pioneering new ways of selling access. No president had ever thought of renting out the Lincoln Bedroom until they did it.
SDCTA opposes City of San Diego Proposition C, the Chargers' "San Diego Integrated Convention Center Expansion/ Stadium and Tourism Initiative." Even with optimistic and likely unrealistic assumptions and projections, overall revenue would fall significantly short of the estimated $1.15 billion, not including interest on public debt, needed by the City of San Diego to construct this integrated facility. The City of San Diego would likely have to service debt from the General Fund, which funds street repairs, programs for citizens, and other public services, in order to maintain its credit ratings and avoid higher financing charges for future debt.
SD Chargers are attempting to hold up the city with the stadium deal. With poor turnout they'll probably get away with it. But hey, it's NFL football. Link to the report. We can drive on crappy, potholed streets to a shiny, new stadium, where we watch millionaire athletes on drugs knock each other senseless, while grandees in skyboxes chuckle over democracy in action.
Cook got a whopping 700,000 shares that vested Wednesday, capping a series of annual awards over the past five years that bring his total ownership in the company to 980,000 shares.
With Apple’s shares closing Wednesday at $108.03, that chunk of stock was valued at $105.9 million.
That unanimous decision, reinstating lawsuits against the IRS for its targeting of righty groups, noted that there’s “little factual dispute” about the targeting and the “unequal treatment” of conservatives. More, it’s “plain . . . the IRS cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits.”
Tribe read that, plus a key Inspector General report, and tweeted, “I confess error [with regard to] IRS ideological targeting. The IG report and the [DC Circuit] decision seems right to me. Inexcusable abuse.”
As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday on Thursday, the Department of the Interior is taking a step back to reflect on the story of America’s history and the importance of preserving the diverse cultures that the service is striving to portray.
Gosh, I hadn't realized there was now a Cesar Chavez National Monument. I'll have to make a special trip to check that out! Maybe they have a brochure.
"This is intended to better reflect the diversity in our communities and encourage more Muslim women to consider the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a career option," Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Canada's public safety minister, told the Canada-based Global News.
Another symbol of our ancient liberties bites the dust.
Nearly everyone with a media credential from a major news outlet in the United States was in Rio. So you spend the month before the Olympics telling us how corrupt this police force is, but only one media outlet bothers to check a story spoon-fed them by the chief of that force? Now we know the swimmers were never, not once, questioned about the alleged vandalism. Weird, right?
But the narrative already had been chosen by the media – Lochte is an arrogant jerk, party boy – so why bother seeing if he was telling the truth before ruining his life? And ruin his life they did.
Welcome to the marketplace of ideas.
Johnson bills this as a “free market” solution. Good to know he’s got our back on small government.
To complete the circle, back at Reason, Ronald Bailey says this is no big deal, because “Johnson’s thinking that a carbon tax might be a useful way to handle the open access problem of climate change is in line with that of some groups who are part of the larger free market intellectual movement.”
Well, I'm for religious liberty, against abortion, against a carbon tax, for the Second Amendment . . . I guess I shouldn't vote for Gary Johnson either. I suppose what I should do is start looking for a *real* libertarian. But at some point, probably long since passed, this becomes such an exercise in futility. Voting for Johnson is already a protest vote. It's fast approaching to point where it's not worth the 15 minutes it takes to stop at my local polling place. Maybe if they handed out free brownies?
'Blunt discrimination' by police and 'crisis levels' of racism: A senior U.N. official reflects on America - LA Times
In direct response to that protest, Open Carry Texas carried clocks in favor of Campus Carry. They say students shouldn’t waste their time protesting instead they should focus on getting to class on time.
So you can privately carry a gun at UT. If you disagree with that, you can openly carry a sex toy ("adult" seems a bit redundant). If you disagree with the disagreement, you can openly carry a clock, urging students to get to class on time. I'd try to come up with what's next but I'm terrible at this sort of wordplay.
The college student caught biting a victim's face after stabbing and beating the man and his wife to death in a random attack may have ingested "caustic" chemicals from the couple's garage, Martin County Sheriff Snyder said.
He made a poor decision.
By packing his Carolina Reaper with capsaicinoids, Currie inadvertently concocted a very, very hot pepper. “When you bite into it, the initial taste is sweet. You go, wow, that wasn’t so bad. And then immediately, that vast amount of capsaicin takes over, and it’s kind of like eating molten lava. That’s the best way to put it,” Currie says.
No, it's not the Brazilian diver pepper.
According to reports in Brazilian media, 20-year-old Ingrid Oliveira and 17-year-old Giovanna Pedroso have ended their diving partnership after Oliveira booted the teen out of the room they were sharing at the Olympic Village in Rio so she could enjoy a “marathon sex session” with Brazilian canoeist Pedro Gonçalves.
After an apparently sleepless night for both divers – albeit for very different reasons – the two finished in last place in the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform dive, a performance described as "pathetic" by local outlets.
It's just so . . . tragic.
As politics has become more polarized, the electoral map has changed very little from election to election. But because Trump is such an unusual candidate, it seemed possible there would be states in play this year that usually aren’t. Trump himself said he would compete in deep-blue states like California, New York, Oregon and Washington. So far, however, the 2016 map looks a lot like the 2012 map. Some reliably red and blue states are a tad more competitive this year, relative to the country overall, than in recent elections, but Trump has not reshaped the political landscape. And with Clinton leading Trump nationally by about 7 percentage points, the typically uncompetitive states that seem most likely to flip are red, not blue.
I bet this will go down in history as a moment when the Stupid Party was unaccountably, really, really stupid.
Back in July, Democratic presidential nominee and former
Secretary of State Hillary Clintonsaid, "there is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.”
On Monday of this week, ABC’s Liz Kreutzer reminded people of that statement, as a new batch of emails reveal that there was a connection, and it was cash. As the emails, recovered by the public-interest law firm
Judicial Watch, demonstrate, people who made donations to the Clinton Foundation got preferential treatment, and access, at the State Department when Hillary was Secretary of State:
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
"The more a female is bullied by a particular male, the more that male gets to mate her. Sad but true," says Wrangham. "And we know it leads to him having more babies with her."
Clearly chimps need to be introduced to campus gender equality committees.
In recent days, a series of particularly cogent and well-delivered Donald Trump speeches prompted media speculation about his “change of course” and the new direction of his campaign. Though they seem more like distillation than departure to me, it is true that the seriousness and the clarity of the speeches is striking and a welcome improvement in performance. Many Trump supporters and skeptics have worried that his inclination to extemporize was too often taking the campaign off in directions it did not need nor want to go. These speeches set forth his political principles and provide the rationale for his candidacy in clear terms, for skeptics and supporters alike.
FYI. I don't buy it myself.
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, the country seems to be split in half in terms of how often people get to services. Roughly 51 percent of Americans say they go to church or another worship service somewhere between once a month and multiple times per week, while 49 percent said they go rarely or never. But within that 51 percent, more than half of people said they go more often than they used to—in other words, about quarter of Americans have gotten more active in their religious communities in recent years, not less.
Give Mr. Trump credit, however, for not doing something that too many Republican presidential candidates before him have done, only to have it blow up in their face. When the NAACP asked Mr. Trump to address its annual convention last month, he declined. Good for him. Giving speeches to civil-rights groups like the NAACP isn’t effective black outreach. It’s a setup. Blacks open to Republicanism aren’t likely to be found at NAACP gatherings, which are thinly disguised Democratic political rallies. And younger blacks who might be interested in hearing out the GOP have little use for the NAACP. Republicans who try to reach black voters by going through the civil-rights establishment have nothing to gain, unless they like to watch footage of black people booing them on CNN.Advertisement
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
People often ask me how I – a so-called conservative intellectual and author of “The Book of Virtues” - can support and vote for Donald Trump. I have many good reasons, but nothing on the home front is more important than the Supreme Court.
Our country can survive the occasional infelicities and improprieties of Donald Trump. But it cannot survive losing the Supreme Court to liberals and allowing them to wreck our sacred republic. It would reshape the country for decades.
Delicate Mix of Compassion and Politics as Obama Visits Louisiana Flood Victims - The New York Times
Officials should come in and roll up their sleeves and help, not just stay for a photo op, she said. “I’m thankful that they’re here,” she added of the presidential visit, but of the three hours scheduled, added: “That doesn’t seem like much.”
The headline is priceless.
Obama tours flood-damaged Louisiana and tries to brush off criticism that his visit was delayed - LA Times
President Obama tried to set aside politics Tuesday in favor of pointing to the plight of victims of the devastating floods in Louisiana as he underscored the importance of an effective and quick federal disaster response.
His vacation was over.
In the aftermath, both proponents and opponents of “let it burn” blamed the others’ philosophy for the conflagration. But the superb postmortem done for the Park Service by naturalist Mary Ann Franke came to the conclusion that in that particular fire season, at least, there wasn’t a whole lot human beings could have done anyway.
“In 1988, a combination of conditions never before seen in the park’s history led to the burning of nearly 800,000 acres in just one summer,” she wrote. “One of the lessons of those fires was that there is a threshold between a very dry year and an extraordinarily dry year, and once that threshold is crossed, there’s no closing the door on fire.”
Barack Obama went out of his way to court Mr. Erdogan in his first term, but strongmen always have an instinctive contempt for feckless moralists. There’s a reason Turkish newspapers—all of them organs of the state—are whipping Turks into an anti-American frenzy with allegations that retired American generals were behind July’s failed coup. Mr. Erdogan is rapidly Iranianizing his regime on the Khomeini model. Turning the U.S. into a Great Satan is a necessary part of the process.
Then there’s China.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Looks like Rio police were the biggest liars in the Lochte drama… if anyone still cares about the truth « Hot Air
USA Today has done a thorough and extensive investigation of the security videos from the gas station in question and they’ve done something Matt Lauer and Bob Costas sure haven’t done. They interviewed the actual witnesses who were there the night of the incident. Their report today paints a very different picture of the media narrative Americans have been fed since Friday morning:
But a narrative of the night’s events – constructed by USA TODAY Sports from witness statements, official investigations, surveillance videos and media reports – supports Lochte’s later account in which he said he thought the swimmers were being robbed when they were approached at a gas station by armed men who flashed badges, pointed guns at them and demanded money.
Where I come from (Detroit) when someone points a weapon at you and will not let you leave until you give them money, it’s called “armed robbery.” Yes, even in Detroit. Now maybe the standard for “armed robbery” is different in Brazil.
America is not like that: in the United States, you can incite hatred against a gay gypsy Muslim bureaucrat, even specifically because he is a gay gypsy Muslim bureaucrat, and you will not be thrown in jail. In America you can say just about any offensive thing imaginable, directed at just about any group or person imaginable, and you’ll be okay. Add to that the strong protections for political speech that statute and Supreme Court precedent have established, and America is almost unique among the nations of the world in terms of freedom of expression. We have it good.
But that might not always be the case. In fact in the very near future American free speech may be sharply curtailed. It is not a sure thing—Supreme Court precedent regarding the First Amendment is robust enough to present would-be censors with something of a challenge—but nevertheless there is a good chance that American enemies of American free speech will shortly mount a sustained and eventually successful effort to drastically reduce American speech freedoms.
Who are these enemies? There are three of them: Hillary Clinton (backed by a Democratic Party that is rabidly anti-free speech), Donald Trump (unchallenged by a weak and useless Republican Party), and, most tragically, the American people themselves.
It's true. It's bad. Say whatever you have to say now, while the sun shines.
2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is seeing a surprising amount of support among Indian-American voters — Quartz
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, cast the move as a civil rights victory in a state whose constitutional ban on voting by ex-felons has disenfranchised roughly one in five African-Americans. In a post on Twitter, the governor said, “We will continue to fight to ensure that our fellow citizens are not marginalized forever.”
Especially if they're Democrats.
"They were basically using him for his money," Stock alleges. "His bank account was emptying and his credit card bills were going up." Although Geier was living with Bettig at the time of his death, "he was going to cut ties with them and kick her out of the house."
Sounds like a failure of communication.
As millions of students head back to school for a new academic year, a Texas judge’s decision has school administrators focused on a vexing question: Which bathrooms are open to transgender students?
I can't remember if I mentioned I came across my first transgender bathroom day before yesterday in SD's airport. It was locked. The guy cleaning the men's room looked at me dubiously, then moved the cone out of the way so I could use the regular men's room. Regular, you know, whatever. I was disappointed not to be able to use the gender neutral room. I find the whole idea extremely funny, but that's probably cis-heteronormative or something.
As Ukraine prepares for the 25th anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union this Wednesday, the ongoing war in the Donbas highlights how the post-Soviet country is still fighting to establish its freedom from Russian vassalage.
Under New Philippine President, Nearly 1,800 Have Died In Extrajudicial Killings : The Two-Way : NPR
Rodrigo Duterte, the new president of the Philippines, campaigned as a tough-on-crime candidate, threatening death for drug dealers.
And in the seven weeks since he took office, nearly 1,800 alleged criminals have died — at the hands of police or under mysterious circumstances. The wave of extrajudicial killings has prompted outcry from human rights watchdogs, the Catholic Church and the United Nations.
New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors - Judicial Watch
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.
This is very important and yet probably doesn't matter.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
This Canadian just swam by riverboard nearly 2,000 miles down the Yukon River - Alaska Dispatch News
Hillary Clinton raises $1.5 million at Martha's Vineyard party while Obamas dine elsewhere - LA Times
The leaders of Germany, France and Italy will meet on Monday to discuss how to keep the European project together in the second set of talks between the premiers of the euro zone's three largest economies since Britain's shock vote to leave the bloc.
When asked by the FBI about her email use at the State Department, Clinton reportedly told investigators that former Secretary of State Powell had advised her to use a personal email account at a private dinner.
But Powell, who had said last week in a statement that he had no recollection of the conversation, told Page Six at Saturday’s Apollo in the Hamptons event, “The truth is she was using it (her personal email) for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did [during my term as Secretary of State].
“Her people have been trying to pin it on me.”
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he will be voting for a third-party candidate over the Republican and Democratic nominees for president.ADVERTISEMENT
"I'm uncomfortable with the nominee of both of the major political parties," Hayden said on John Catsimatidis's radio show, "The Cats Roundtable," on Sunday.
"A lot of my friends are saying that's nice, Hayden, but you have to vote for one of them, but I'm not so sure I do."