Patterico's Pontifications

1/13/2023

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:38 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

$500,000 bounty for freedom fighter:

Former NBA center Enes Kanter Freedom has had a bounty put out on him by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government worth up to 10 million Turkish lira, or about $500,000, for information leading to his capture.

Freedom is on the country’s 2023 most-wanted terrorists list as he has been famously outspoken regarding Turkey’s human rights abuses through Erdogan’s government. He told the New York Post that he found out about the bounty a week ago.

“Before the bounty, Turkish intelligence were after the people on the list, but now everyone is after them because they want the money,” Freedom told the Post.

Kanter Freedom said that he is considering suing the NBA, as he believes he was blackballed for speaking out against China and the genocide of the Uyghur people.

Second news item

I don’t even recognize today’s once-Party of Reagan:

Shortly before the 2022 election, now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) issued a striking warning: Were Republicans to win control of Congress, Ukraine might not be able to count on the United States’ continued financial support.

A new CBS News/YouGov poll this week – the first to test the issue since Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke before Congress in December – is the latest to illustrate that drift. And despite Zelensky’s plea for American resolve, it shows that a slight majority of Republicans want their member of Congress to oppose further Ukraine funding, by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.

But saying we should do less isn’t the same as saying we should do nothing. And now a significant number of Republicans say that’s their position.

What the polls have also shown – and is likely related to the declining numbers – is more pessimism among Republicans about Ukraine’s ability to win the war and more desire to make concessions to Russia in the name of ending it.

Third news item

Special counsel appointed:

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an unsecured office in Washington dating from his time as vice president.

Robert Hur, a onetime U.S. attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump, will lead the investigation and plans to begin his work soon. His appointment marks the second time in a few months that Garland has appointed a special counsel, an extraordinary fact that reflects the Justice Department’s efforts to independently conduct high-profile probes in an exceedingly heated political environment.

Both of those investigations, the earlier one involving Trump and documents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, relate to the handling of classified information…

Related: Both of these can’t be true:

…President Biden’s two responses to the discovery that he had been keeping Obama-era classified documents at his personal residence have been:

I didn’t know I had them until December 20, 2022, and I still don’t know what’s in them.

Don’t worry, because the documents were safely stored in my “locked garage.”

But both of these cannot be true — at least not deliberately so. If Biden didn’t know he had classified documents in his garage, he cannot have knowingly secured them. Which means that, if his garage was, indeed, locked, it was locked for other reasons, and thus that the classified documents that it contained were secured by dumb luck…As for “locked”? Hardly. There are videos online showing Biden’s garage door being left open, and we know that people other than Biden — including his son, Hunter, the textbook definition of a security risk — had access to the house…

Fourth news item

Trump Organization fined:

The Trump Organization was hit with $1.6 million in fines Friday when a New York judge sentenced it for running a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said top executives at the company orchestrated out of pure greed.

Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. — both subsidiaries of the Trump Organization — were convicted last month on 17 counts, including conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass had urged acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to fine each company the maximum allowed under the law.

“The sheer magnitude of the fraud calls for the maximum possible fine for falsifying business records and helping senior managers evade taxes as they defrauded the tax authorities. The crimes were deep, wide and long, lasting for decades,” Steinglass said. “The conduct can only be described as egregious.”

Fifth news item

There is much to agree and disagree with in this essay:

There’s been a viral story making the rounds over the past week about a truly egregious incident at Hamline University, a small liberal arts college in Minnesota. In a course on global art history, adjunct professor Erika López Prater showed an image of a 14th-century painting that depicted the prophet Muhammad. On the class syllabus, she noted that the course would include images of religious figures, including Buddha and Muhammad, and that students could reach out if they had concerns—none did. Before showing the image, she told students that she was going to show it, and gave them the option to opt out—none did.

And yet for showing the image, she was essentially let go.

The Hamline University story is a shocking one, and it deserves the outrage and attention it’s getting. But before we dig into what exactly happened, I’d like to note that it’s only one in a larger body of troubling moves to cater to the authoritarian impulses of religious tyrants—those who want to shut down the kind of intellectual inquiry, academic freedom, and general excellence that make universities what they are, in favor of kowtowing to religious fundamentalism.

I realize I sound like a crotchety old conservative here, but college classrooms should not be “safe spaces.” They can’t be safe spaces. They should be respectful spaces, and professors and students alike should treat each other with consideration, but “cause no emotional harm” is not, in fact, a value to which academic institutions should aspire, or an ideal they can ever realistically reach—especially when “this is harmful” has become an easy cudgel to use in order to get one’s way.

Sixth news item

Discovery of Biden classified docs dividing Democrats:

Biden faces weeks, if not months, of legal probing, speculation and bad headlines over his handling of the material. Not to mention the very strong likelihood of additional House GOP probes into the matter. He also found himself deprived, for the time being, of a clean-shot talking point against his archnemesis former President Donald Trump — who is facing a separate special counsel investigation into his own handling of classified materials kept at his private club and home in Florida.

But some Democrats privately concede that their coexistence gives the president’s critics a chance to denounce him as negligent, hypocritical or careless right at a time when things were moving Biden’s way.

“I think it takes the whole Trump scandal off the table,” said one Democratic Party operative, granted anonymity to speak freely about the delicate situation unfolding around the president.

“Most polls show that voters don’t give a fuck about this stuff,” they added. “But the media momentum is real.”

Elected Democrats have largely rallied behind the president, with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries telling reporters that he has “full faith and credit in President Biden” on the documents matter. Biden, Jeffries told reporters, “is doing everything to take appropriate steps and how to move forward in a responsible fashion.”

But Capitol Hill Democrats have called for briefings and more information surrounding the former vice president’s document storage. And some have started to privately worry that the ordeal will distract from their collective priorities and could begin to help validate GOP investigations they dismiss as politically motivated headaches.

Seventh news item

Iran protests go underground:

Iran’s hanging of protesters — and display of their lifeless bodies suspended from cranes — seems to have instilled enough fear to keep people off the streets after months of anti-government unrest.

The success of the crackdown on the worst political turmoil in years is likely to reinforce a view among Iran’s hardline rulers that suppression of dissent is the way to keep power.

The achievement may prove shortlived, however, according analysts and experts who spoke to Reuters. They argue the resort to deadly state violence is merely pushing dissent underground, while deepening anger felt by ordinary Iranians about the clerical establishment that has ruled them for four decades.

Executive Director at the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Hadi Ghaemi said the establishment’s main focus was to intimidate the population into submission by any means.

“Protests have taken a different shape, but not ended. People are either in prison or they have gone underground because they are determined to find a way to keep fighting,” he said.

Eighth news item

This ought not to be:

A recently enacted income supplement for low-ranking U.S. troops, put in place primarily to alleviate food insecurity in the ranks, will help less than 1 percent of the estimated scores of thousands of hungry U.S. military families, according to Pentagon figures…Fully 24 percent of active-duty servicemembers recently experienced “low food security,” meaning they sometimes lacked quality meals, according to the latest Pentagon survey of troops in late 2020 and early 2021 — before the recent inflation surge. Of those, 10 percent periodically experienced “very low food security,” meaning they sometimes ate less at mealtime, missed meals entirely or lost weight due to inadequate food intake in the previous year.

MISCELLANEOUS

Elected officials at work…

First: The issue in Idaho’s House was women’s health how women are like cows:

Representative Jack Nelsen, who was elected to his first term in the state’s lower house in November 2022, told a meeting that he has “some definite opinions” about “the women’s health thing.” However, two days later, he said his comments were “inappropriate.”

In his introductory remarks, Nelsen told the first meeting of Idaho’s Agricultural Affairs Committee on January 10: “I’m a lifelong dairy farmer who retired, still own part of the dairy; grew up on the farm. I’ve milked a few cows, spent most of my time walking behind lines of cows, so if you want some ideas on repro and the women’s health thing, I have some definite opinions.”

Second: The issue in Missouri’s House was shoulders, or no shoulders:

Lawmakers in the Missouri House of Representatives this week adopted a stricter dress code for women as part of a new rules package, and now requires them to cover their shoulders by wearing a jacket like a blazer, cardigan or knit blazer…The amendment was passed in a voice vote and the rules package was later adopted by the GOP-controlled legislature in a 105-51 vote, but not without pushback and debate from House Democrats…“Do you know what it feels like to have a bunch of men in this room looking at your top trying to determine if it’s appropriate or not?” Democratic state Rep. Ashley Aune proclaimed from the House floor…Republicans altered their amendment to include cardigans after Democratic state Rep. Raychel Proudie criticized the impact requiring blazers could have on pregnant women.

Third: Punishing lawmakers who lie about their backgrounds:

A pair of Democratic lawmakers from New York introduced a bill that would punish candidates for lying about their background while running for office — legislation that targets their Republican colleague, Rep. George Santos (R-NY).

Reps. Dan Goldman (D-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) introduced the “Stopping Another Non Truthful Office Seeker” Act in the House on Thursday, targeting the Republican freshman as he faces widespread criticism and calls to resign after he fabricated several details of his resume. The bill would require candidates to submit additional biographical information when filing for office, and it would impose penalties for those who are caught lying about their background.

The SANTOS Act seeks to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1972 to include a requirement that all congressional candidates submit data about their educational, employment, and military background. Any candidate who knowingly provides false information would be subject to a $100,000 fine, one year in prison, or both.

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

466 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Which means that, if his garage was, indeed, locked, it was locked for other reasons,

    Of course, and Biden didn’t imply anything else.

    But what among his possessions was not locked behind closed doors? A welcome mat? Benches? Maybe a basketball hoop? (to come up with some ideas)

    Sammy Finkelman (f430cc)

  3. What the polls have also shown – and is likely related to the declining numbers – is more pessimism among Republicans about Ukraine’s ability to win the war

    It’s almost as if the CIA’s plan to bleed RU and UKR by giving UKR just enough to keep the war going but not enough to end it or leave UKR in a strong position post war isn’t popular. Which is odd since making POL the regional power while making UKR a failed state with energy companies in dire need to leadership by the sons of US politicians seems like such a good investment. At least for US politicians.

    “Most polls show that voters don’t give a f0ck about this stuff,” they added. “But the media momentum is real.”

    When Trump voters don’t care, and can’t be made to care by the non-stop media propaganda, it’s a sign they’re in a cult. When Biden voters don’t care the real problem is that the media is creating an issue.

    And some have started to privately worry that the ordeal will distract from their collective priorities and could begin to help validate GOP investigations they dismiss as politically motivated headaches.

    The irony here is mind numbing. Especially since those collective priorities are themselves politically motivated headaches.

    frosty (aad926)

  4. FAA: Outage to NOTAM system may have been human error

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The FAA now blames human error for the computer meltdown Wednesday that grounded air traffic nationwide. Officials believe the system failure was caused by personnel who did not follow procedure while accessing the Notice to Air Missions System. They say the error damaged a data file. A government source told CNN the system is more than 30 years old, and a planned update is at least six years away. – cbsnews.com

    30 years old… but hey, let’s blow billions in U.S. tax $ and give it to the damn Ukrainians instead of fixing AMERICA FIRST. =sarc=

    Storm the castle.

    DCSCA (7d80a6)

  5. This is interesting. It’s a voter fraud case with a fairly large impact as such things go. The wife of an official running for local office fabricated ballots for 50~ votes.

    It’s not a huge number as such things go, but does illustrate how hard it is to commit fraud and get away with it.

    Time123 (011d28)

  6. frosty (aad926) — 1/13/2023 @ 11:19 am

    3. It’s almost as if the CIA’s plan to bleed RU and UKR by giving UKR just enough to keep the war going but not enough to end it or leave UKR in a strong position post war isn’t popular.

    I don’t know that it is CIA’s plan. It’s probably nobody’s plan. It’s the default that Biden is tending to fall into.

    To him, the defeat and conquest of Ukraine is unthinkable, but getting closer to victory is dangerous and risks nuclear war. (what he really wants is for somebody to depose Putin without U.S. help)

    He’s slowing edging toward more and more help for Ukraine. Salami tactics.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  7. Which is odd since making POL the regional power while making UKR a failed state with energy companies in dire need to leadership by the sons of US politicians seems like such a good investment. At least for US politicians.

    No, that’s over with.

    The New York Times had a whole report yesterday on Hunter Biden

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/11/us/politics/hunter-biden-investigations.html

    It’s actually true that:

    The real Hunter Biden story is complex and very different in important ways from the narrative promoted by Republicans — but troubling in its own way.

    But they still did leave a few questions out.

    Like why did that LA lawyer Kevin Morris lend Hunter Biden $2 million to pay his taxes. (it had to be a loan – otherwise might have been construed as income)

    I learned a few things. Like one thing Mykola Zlochevsky, (unofficial) owner of Burisma, wanted Hunter Biden’s help was restoring his U.ZS> visa, or at least helping him get into Mexico. Or that Hunter Biden was apparently not aware of the corruption problem with Burisma when he signed on. Or that Hunter Biden told the NYT that the reason he told the building manager of a place in Washington he had offices that father was involved with CEFC because he had smoked crack with a homeless person in the building and thought that would make it less likely she’d try to evict him. You can tell that Hunter Biden and his lawyers talked to the NYT. (maybe not because they wanted to but because the NYT was researching a story. The NYT does not like that George Santos is avoiding them – usually maybe that doesn’t happen)

    The NYT says his drug problem from 2000 was alcoholism. But it was lots of things. It may be that his brother kept putting him in rehab but after he died he spiraled down somewhat.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  8. Shortly before the 2022 election, now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) issued a striking warning: Were Republicans to win control of Congress, Ukraine might not be able to count on the United States’ continued financial support.

    No, he didn’t.

    Notice that no McCarthy quote to back up this statement is offered, cuz there is none. He simply said there would be no “blank check”, which of course is just code for “Putin lover.”

    JF (d3f8db)

  9. Latest new moral (and legal) crusade that some “progressives” are attempting to put people through:

    No gas stoves for cooking. Originally maybe because natural gas adds some carbon dioxide to the air, but now because it can cause asthma.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/11/well/live/gas-stoves-health-risks.html

    Mounting evidence of the potential health risks of gas stoves, including a link to childhood asthma, ignited a debate in Washington this week, after a commissioner of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested that his agency might move to regulate these kitchen appliances.

    Responding to the firestorm, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, the agency’s chairman, issued a statement on Wednesday saying, “Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the C.P.S.C. is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the C.P.S.C. has no proceeding to do so.”

    Biden vetoed that idea.

    A study published last year found that families who use gas stoves in homes with poor ventilation, or without range hoods, can blow past the national standard for safe hourly outdoor exposure to nitrogen oxides within just a few minutes; there are no agreed upon standards for nitrogen oxides in indoor air. Rates of nitrogen oxide emission levels were in direct proportion to the amount of gas the stove was burning, said Eric Lebel, a senior scientist at P.S.E. Healthy Energy, a nonprofit science and policy research institute focusing on energy and the environment, and the lead author on the study.

    Based on a scientific study

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740397/#:~:text=Background%3A%20Gas%20stoves%20release%20respiratory,has%20been%20difficult%20to%20establish.

    And you thought it could only suffocate people – that’s why they added a smell and switched from carbon monoxide about 1953. And cause fires.

    Go all electric instead they say. Never mind that cooking is not as good and people can burn themselves because they are not used to it..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  10. Korean War memorial errors etched in stone — almost on purpose

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/09/us/korean-war-memorial-wall-names.html

    …Before the carving started on the new wall of names, the Barker brothers repeatedly warned planning commissioners, military officials and eventually even the White House about problems with the list, records show. But the process lumbered forward.

    “No one bothered to check it before they set it in stone,” said Edward Barker Jr., who goes by Ted….

    … Even with the best proofreading, any attempt to recognize all who died in as complex an event as a war will inevitably involve hard decisions.

    For that reason, the National Park Service repeatedly opposed adding the Korean War memorial wall when it was proposed. The service had already waded through controversy over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, just across the Mall’s reflecting pool, where factions faced off over who deserved to be listed. Years of arguments and lobbying led to the addition of more than 380 names to that granite wall, including one man who died 28 years after he was wounded in Vietnam…

    …Around 2010, a group of veterans running the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation began lobbying to add a memorial wall to the existing monument. When the foundation asked the Barkers for names, the brothers said they could supply a list but warned that a lot of correction work would still be needed.

    The foundation pushed ahead, and in 2016, despite National Park Service opposition, Congress authorized the wall. Tucked in the legislation, though, was something the park service insisted on. Because the park service feared that a protracted public process like the one for the Vietnam memorial would yield another divisive mess, the law required that the office of the Secretary of Defense decide on and issue the list of names, all at once with no outside input.

    Errors on purpose.

    In a statement, the park service said the accuracy of the list was the responsibility of the foundation and the Defense Department. That statement concluded, “We will continue to work with those organizations to ensure that the names engraved on the memorials are as accurate as possible.”

    The National Park Service’s legislative provision created a problem: All the Pentagon had were its old, error-ridden records, without the Barkers’ corrections. The brothers say they emailed the Defense Department repeatedly to offer their services, but the department was largely unresponsive.

    Was this the fault of a provision added outside of regular order?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  11. Arguments about interest rates not being related to money supply growth

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-japan-kept-inflation-rates-low-yen-ultra-tight-money-supply-friedman-interest-bank-tokyo-monetary-policy-11673295943

    Of course this reverses cause and effect. Low inflation causes low monetary growht and high inflation causes high monetary growth. Milton Friedman also attributed the end of inflation in 1948 to tight money – low interest rates was tight money in that case he wrote.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  12. McCarthy says he’s willing to look at expunging a Trump impeachment
    ………
    Asked at a news conference about the prospect of an expungement now that Republicans control the House, McCarthy said, “I would understand why members would want to bring that forward.”
    ……….
    He wasn’t explicit about whether the House might consider expunging one or both impeachments but expressed sympathy for Trump regarding allegations of colluding with Russians in his 2016 campaign and other things Trump “went through.”
    ……….
    Last week, Trump urged Republicans to back McCarthy’s candidacy for speaker as he struggled for days to win the vote. Trump personally spoke to some GOP defectors.

    In the last Congress, (Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and then-Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) backed a resolution to expunge Trump’s impeachment over Jan. 6.
    ………
    Mullin, now a U.S. senator, had sponsored a similar resolution to strike Trump’s first impeachment.
    ……….

    The price of Trump’s endorsement?

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  13. Once party of reagan. As Malcolm X said chickens coming home to roost! For the umpteen time. Starting with nixon’s southern strategy that recognized the republican party base was being overwhelmed by democrat party that buckley conservatives and wealthy and upper class lacked votes. The only readily available source of votes were southern white trash democrats upset with racial progress. Abortion would bring in working class catholics as east coast moderate republicans and goldwater libertarians would wither on the vine. Why do you think reagan gave his first speech after he got the nomination in philadelphia mississippi in 1980 where the three civil rights workers were murdered trading black republicans for the ku klux klan! Populist took over the republican party but were countered by the wealthy donor class money until trump came along and defeated the 16 dwarfs donor money. The populists out breeded you. Most younger republicans are populists not young buckley conservatives. Never trumpers accelerated the take over. 80% of the party are now populists are vote with the populists over crime and abortion not tax cuts for the rich or getting rid of soc. security and medicare. How many times doe the monster have to return to the castle before you never trumpers get the message???

    asset (7c8b1b)

  14. The Santos act, better know as the Sen Lieawatha act, or President top of his class act, or …

    NJRob (4fdeab)

  15. Any word on the $40,000,000 from China given to Biden’s center where classified documents were laying around?

    NJRob (4fdeab)

  16. Rip Murdock (e9a37d) — 1/13/2023 @ 1:07 pm

    TrumpWorld thrilled:

    <blockquote This could be part of a deal Trump made with McCarthy. Nevertheless, this would make liberals and their lapdog media pundits go into shock. …….. Which serves what purpose? Waste of political capital for senseless victory……… Consider? What do you mean consider? DO IT D#MN IT!! That’s why we gave you the majority…slim as it may be, but still the majority! ……..

    ……… JUST DO IT! ……. Frankly, I would like to see that done for historical purposes. Because the Democrats impeached for historical purposes. They were just itching to impeach for SOMETHING. Only Democrat presidents had been impeached (Nixon resigned) and that stuck in their craw! ……. This would be justice, finally. ……..[“Do something actually useful – not senseless gestures.”] I’ll bet that’s not a senseless gesture from Prez Trump’s point of view. ……..

    ……… I’ll give the old RINO bastard, McCarthy, some credit as well. He must have gotten the message after needing 15 votes to become Speaker. …….. McCarthy seems to be initially moving toward making good on his quid pro quo commitments. But after awhile he will slide right back into the McCarthy of old. ………
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  17. Shortly before the 2022 election, now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) issued a striking warning: Were Republicans to win control of Congress, Ukraine might not be able to count on the United States’ continued financial support.

    No, he didn’t.

    Notice that no McCarthy quote to back up this statement is offered, cuz there is none. He simply said there would be no “blank check”, which of course is just code for “Putin lover.”

    JF (d3f8db) — 1/13/2023 @ 12:30 pm

    “[M]ight not be able to count on the United States’ continued financial support” is a plausible inference from “no blank check.” And considering the broad hostility to Ukraine from GOP aligned media, and the ensuing shift away from Ukraine by GOP rank and file, it looks more plausible by the day.

    Here’s the reaction from an erstwhile Republican well known in these parts:

    “The party I once belonged to is now a garbage party.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  18. Damn. Another week gone by.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  19. The party of Reagan is the walking dead. We need a new party, even if that gives the Democrats free rein while the Gutted Old Party dies for good. Requirement for membership: Clearly state that you oppose Donald Trump and all his works, preferably on video.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  20. “[M]ight not be able to count on the United States’ continued financial support” is a plausible inference from “no blank check.”

    Lots of things are “plausible inferences” and most of them are lies.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  21. BOOM:

    New York Times Confirms Another Key Detail Of Censored Hunter Biden Bombshell

    ‘The New York Times on Wednesday confirmed another detail about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and President Joe Biden’s meetings with Hunter Biden’s business partners that were initially reported by the New York Post.

    Then-Vice President Joe Biden attended a 2015 charity dinner for the World Food Program USA with his son, Hunter Biden, and Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi, one of his son’s business associates, The New York Times confirmed. The confirmation echoes a revelation first reported by the New York Post in a bombshell story later censored by social media companies, while Joe Biden has denied knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business activities…’- NYT.com

    Bust the bastard.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. I don’t even recognize today’s once-Party of Reagan…

    Becausr it’s not; as Trump said, ‘Reagan was a very, very long time ago.’ Reagan left office 35 YEARS AGO — and died nearly 19 years ago. It’s Trump’s party now.

    Anybody recall the Ds chattering dreamily about FDR 35 years after he died 1945which was in 1980?? Nope.

    Any pol waxing wistfully about Reagan [as Gingrich learned the hard way] these days has been around too damn long– just as Squinty’s been around before the Polaroid SX-70 and Sony Betamax hit the market– and now sit in tech museums.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. Good news:

    From the majority opinion, by Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, in Cargill v. Garland:

    ………

    This appeal concerns a regulation promulgated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, purporting to interpret the federal prohibition on machineguns as extending to bump stocks. …… When ATF first considered the type of bump stocks at issue here, it understood that they were not machineguns. ATF maintained this position for over a decade, issuing many interpretation letters to that effect to members of the public.

    But ATF reversed its longstanding position in 2018, subjecting anyone who possessed a bump stock to criminal liability. ATF reversed its position to a great extent in response to the tragic events that occurred in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. ……..

    …….. Multiple bills to that effect were introduced in both houses of Congress. But before they could be considered in earnest, ATF published the regulation at issue here, short-circuiting the legislative process……….

    …….. A plain reading of the statutory language, paired with close consideration of the mechanics of a semi-automatic firearm, reveals that a bump stock is excluded from the technical definition of “machinegun” set forth in the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act.

    But even if that conclusion were incorrect, the rule of lenity would still require us to interpret the statute against imposing criminal liability. A rich legal tradition supports the “well known rule” that “penal laws are to be construed strictly.………

    As an initial matter, (the ATF regulation) purports to allow ATF—rather than Congress—to set forth the scope of criminal prohibitions. Indeed, the Government would outlaw bump stocks by administrative fiat even though the very same agency routinely interpreted the ban on machineguns as not applying to the type of bump stocks at issue here. Nor can we say that the statutory definition unambiguously supports the Government’s interpretation. As noted above, we conclude that it unambiguously does not. But even if we are wrong, the statute is at least ambiguous in this regard. And if the statute is ambiguous, Congress must cure that ambiguity, not the federal courts.
    ……..

    The vote was 13-3. No doubt this will go to the Supreme Court.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  24. Good news from the American Cancer Society, by way of the BBC:

    Death rates from cancer in the US have fallen by 32% over the three decades from 1991 to 2019, according to the American Cancer Society.

    The decline is thanks to prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment of common cancers, including lung and breast cancer.

    The drop has meant 3.5m fewer deaths.

    Some of that progress has been due to changes made by individuals, for example, stopping smoking; some of it is due to changes made by governments, such as decreased air pollution; and some of it is due to research institutions, funded in various ways.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  25. The Trump Organization was hit with $1.6 million in fines

    https://youtu.be/l91ISfcuzDw

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  26. We shouldn’t have the Bidens anywhere near the White House. They are political grifters of the worst kind. But they were fortunate to run against an ever worse political grifter in Trump. I hope the Republicans realize this and look for someone better.

    DRJ (78044b)

  27. Even worse. But maybe ever worse works, too.

    DRJ (78044b)

  28. @24: Detection and treatment are better. Several simple tests during a routine physical can find a variety of cancers before they get too far. And many Stage I cancers are quite curable. And some still aren’t.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  29. Here are the basic numbers on the federal deficit:

    Since 2001, the federal government’s budget has run a deficit each year. Starting in 2016, increases in spending on Social Security, health care, and interest on federal debt have outpaced the growth of federal revenue.

    From FY 2019 to FY 2021, federal spending increased by about 50 percent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    (Link omitted.)

    One thing that shows up starkly is the immense cost of the COVID epidemic. We are going to be paying for that for decades — if all goes well.

    (Reminder: US fiscal years begin on October 1st, and, by convention, are named after the year they end. So we have been in fiscal year 2023 for more than 3 months.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  30. I expect to find out that the Trumps were using inside information to trade stocks. They had incredible opportunity to do so, and even had a handy hedge fund to hide it all.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  31. More good Second Amendment News:

    ………
    In a sharply worded decision, Judge Renée Marie Bumb of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey concluded that a half-dozen restrictions in the legislation, adopted less than three weeks ago, were “so extensive and burdensome” that they rendered the right to “armed self-defense in public a nullity.”
    ……….
    Judge Bumb’s order at least temporarily blocks New Jersey from enforcing much of the new law, and immediately permits licensed handgun owners to carry weapons in nightclubs, theaters, arenas, concert halls, racetracks and museums, among other places, pending further court action.

    “As plaintiffs lament, the challenged provisions force a person permitted to carry a firearm in New Jersey to ‘navigate a veritable minefield,’” wrote Judge Bumb, who was nominated to the lifetime position in 2006 by President George W. Bush.

    “The court knows of no constitutional right that requires this much guesswork by individuals wanting to exercise such right,” she added.

    Portions of the law that were not challenged in court, including rules that make it illegal to carry weapons into schools, day care centers and hospitals, remain in place.
    ………
    Judge Bumb’s order also unraveled provisions in the New Jersey law that made it illegal to transport an unsecured, loaded handgun in a vehicle or carry one into any private establishment that had not posted signs explicitly stating that weapons were permitted.
    ……….

    She also wrote that the state had “presented no historical support to permit New Jersey to restrict concealed carry in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served.”
    ……….
    Before New Jersey adopted its revised law, for example, applicants for so-called carry permits needed to demonstrate a justifiable need for a gun in public places, a policy that eliminated most people other than law enforcement officers.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  32. Jim, note that the interest on the federal dept is no longer at 0 percent.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  33. But they [biens] were fortunate to run against an ever worse political grifter in Trump.

    A half-century of ‘grifting’ American taxpayers through their government ops is a helluva lot worse than a few years of a fella who played the grifting game in the private, ‘let-the-buyer-beware’ sector w/ other grifters in the marketplace of NYC real estate.

    DCSCA (50586f)

  34. You would think that an “unreasonable burden” test would be the very minimum standard on an enumerated right.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  35. I expect to find out that the Bidens were using inside information to trade on the American people for half-a-century. FIFY.

    He’s got 50 years of poop to ‘sniff’ through. It’s a safe bet they’ll unearth more fertilizer. Wait ’til they dig arou8nd in his Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees files… bound to be classified stuff in those papers.

    DCSCA (50586f)

  36. The Hamline University story is amazing…and even more so, when you read the response written by the president of that institution.

    I have been in academia for many years, but this is the first time I have seen the mask dropped, completely. Not even the slightest trace of subterfuge.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  37. Keeping it classy.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  38. Keeping it classless:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADDrSvNyqEY

    Fact Check: Did a Child Shout ‘Shut the F*** Up’ During a Jill Biden Book Reading?

    https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-did-child-shout-shut-f-during-jill-biden-book-reading-1654386

    Seems so.

    DCSCA (50586f)

  39. Pennsylvania’s GOP-Controlled Legislature Trying to Impeach DA Larry Krasner Failed to Show ‘Misbehavior in Office,’ Court Finds

    A Pennsylvania court found that the commonwealth’s GOP-controlled legislature supplied no “constitutionally sound” reason to proceed with impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D).

    …….. Pennsylvania lawmakers found him in contempt a day after a federal judge found that his office made “false” claims in court in order to free a man from death row. Krasner is an opponent of the death penalty.

    On Nov. 16, a little more than two months after that scathing ruling, the Keystone State’s legislature passed a House resolution with seven articles of impeachment, each alleging various forms of “misbehavior in office.”

    On Thursday, however, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania — an intermediate court of appeals — flatly disagreed, finding that “none” of those articles “viably allege” that Krasner “has acted in a manner that constitutes ‘any misbehavior in office.”
    ……….
    “………. Each of the House’s concerns in Article I pertains to discretionary determinations made by District Attorney in his role as Philadelphia’s district attorney, but are not supported by allegations that those determinations were the product of an improper or corrupt motive.”
    ……….
    “Therefore, in sum, none of the Amended Articles viably allege that [the] District Attorney has acted in a manner that constitutes ‘any misbehavior in office,’” the ruling states. “As such, the Amended Articles do not comply with the requirements imposed by article VI, section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and cannot serve as the basis for a constitutionally sound impeachment trial.”
    ………
    As the order does not explicitly state that the impeachment proceedings must stop, it is unclear what its effect will be. ……..
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  40. Lawsuit Reveals Trump Can’t Stand Being Compared to Hitler
    ……….
    Since October, Trump has been waging war against the Cable News Network over the way it has increasingly drawn comparisons between his Make America Great Again movement and the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

    But in the latest court filings, Trump’s lawyers paradoxically argued that now is the “perfect” time to peel back First Amendment protections for American journalists by asking courts to review legal precedent established in a 1964 case called New York Times v. Sullivan.

    “The sustained defamation of falsely linking President Trump to Nazis provides a perfect vehicle for Supreme Court reexamination of Sullivan,” lawyers wrote in their Dec. 30 filing.
    ……….
    The Dec. 30 court memo mentions “Hitler” 29 times and “Nazi” 21 times in a breathless screed that claims Trump was unfairly treated by the network. The memo largely hinges on something that CNN anchor Don Lemon said during a morning program when he asked whether journalists should reconfigure their news coverage of billionaire Elon Musk the same way they did with Trump—taking a hardened stance that recognizes a powerful individual as a threat to American values and norms.
    ……..
    The court filing then goes on to attack CNN for repeatedly drawing comparisons between Trump’s right-wing, nationalist, and anti-democratic MAGA movement and Adolf Hitler’s right-wing, nationalist, and anti-democratic Nazi Party. Trump’s lawyers say that “being compared to Hitler in this manner causes and did cause reputational harm.”

    “Some CNN’s audience members have been unjustly led to believe that [sic] plaintiff literally is a fascist leader,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “CNN’s statements seriously attempt to falsely state that the plaintiff intentionally used a Nazi-like propaganda technique to preserve his political power.”

    However, they refused to explain why the allusion doesn’t hold up, noting in a footnote that “there is no case law requiring a plaintiff to plead facts that show why a false statement is, in fact, false.” They wrote that their original lawsuit “clearly states” Trump “is not Hitler-like nor would be Hitler-like in any future political role.”
    ………
    Trump takes issue with the way American journalists have come to regard his concerted effort to stay in power by peddling 2020 election conspiracy theories as the “Big Lie.” Court papers criticize how CNN in particular has broadcast historical imagery of Nazis as anchors discuss Trump’s insistence that he did indeed win the election, despite plain evidence to the contrary. …….

    “Under these circumstances, the correlation between the ‘Big Lie,’ and Nazism is unmistakable,” Trump’s recent court filing states.
    ………

    Some people just need to when to quit.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  41. Simon Jester,

    This really bothered me about the president’s letter is that it dishonestly equates Muslim bigotry with her following the course syllabus showing an image of a 14th-century painting that depicted the prophet Muhammad. Really disgraceful.

    Dana (1225fc)

  42. https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/01/12/not-just-misinformation-emails-white-house-facebook-admits-suppressing-often-true-content-covid-19-vaccines/

    So many 1st Amendment violations. But it was for “the cause” so it’s all acceptable, right?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  43. And yet for showing the image, she was essentially let go.

    At least she wasn’t shot to death… lest we forget how easy- or accidental- it is to offend other cultures and religions in these times… recall the cartooning of Muhammad and the massacre at Charlie Hebdo in Paris…

    “On January 7, 2015, two French Muslim terrorists and brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with rifles and other weapons, they murdered 12 people and injured 11 others. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which took responsibility for the attack…. Charlie Hebdo is a publication that has always courted controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders. It published cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 2012, forcing France to temporarily close embassies and schools in more than 20 countries amid fears of reprisals. Its offices were firebombed in November 2011 after publishing a previous caricature of Muhammad on its cover. It published cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 2012, forcing France to temporarily close embassies and schools in more than 20 countries amid fears of reprisals. Its offices were firebombed in November 2011 after publishing a previous caricature of Muhammad on its cover.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting

    DCSCA (50586f)

  44. https://dailycaller.com/2023/01/12/buttigieg-refused-key-meetings-during-parental-leave-despite-saying-otherwise-docs-show/

    While the country’s transportation system was melting down and our foodstuffs rotting, this guy couldn’t be bothered.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  45. I don’t even recognize today’s once-Party of Reagan

    If McCarthy floated the idea of selling arms to Iran to pay for Ukraine aid, would you recognize it better?

    JF (9e0f25)

  46. He was on parental leave. *This is what it means to be on parental leave* — you aren’t working, you’re staying home and taking care of your kid.

    Do you object to parental leave in general, NJRob? Or just for government employees? Or just for men?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  47. Do you object to parental leave in general, NJRob? Or just for government employees? Or just for men?

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/13/2023 @ 6:05 pm

    A “true” conservative would be glad that an AMERICA-DESTROYING DEMOCRAT like Buttigieg was on leave. Does less damage that way. 😛

    norcal (862cdb)

  48. Dana, when you have a moment, I suspect a comment I just posted may have gone to the moderation file. Thanks.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  49. 33. That’s hilarious. And I think you actually believe it.

    DRJ (78044b)

  50. Lurker,

    It looks like it went into moderation because you hyperlinked the entirety of your comment. Can you recompose it hyperlinking a single word word instead of the whole thing?

    Dana (1225fc)

  51. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/01/13/covid-pandemic-deaths-hospitalizations-overcounting/

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing around 400 covid deaths every day. At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths a year.

    But are these Americans dying from covid or with covid?…

    Two infectious-disease experts I spoke with believe that the number of deaths attributed to covid is far greater than the actual number of people dying from covid. Robin Dretler, an attending physician at Emory Decatur Hospital and the former president of Georgia’s chapter of Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with covid are actually in the hospital for some other illness.

    “Since every hospitalized patient gets tested for covid, many are incidentally positive,” he said. A gunshot victim or someone who had a heart attack, for example, could test positive for the virus, but the infection has no bearing on why they sought medical care.

    About those current COVID deaths.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  52. Sure. Thanks and sorry for the bother.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  53. He was on parental leave. *This is what it means to be on parental leave* — you aren’t working, you’re staying home and taking care of your kid.

    Do you object to parental leave in general, NJRob? Or just for government employees? Or just for men?

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/13/2023 @ 6:05 pm

    It’s a job that requires dedication during a critical moment. But I see where your priorities lie. Now why is it you’re desperate to defend him?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  54. A “true” conservative would be glad that an AMERICA-DESTROYING DEMOCRAT like Buttigieg was on leave. Does less damage that way. 😛

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 6:15 pm

    When you cannot defend the terrible you’ll just pound the table. Thanks for sharing.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  55. This really bothered me about the president’s letter is that it dishonestly equates Muslim bigotry with her following the course syllabus showing an image of a 14th-century painting that depicted the prophet Muhammad.

    Dana (1225fc) — 1/13/2023 @ 5:02 pm

    … a painting created to honor Muhammad. (link omitted to mollify spam filter)

    As Christiane Gruber, a professor of Islamic art at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, reminds us, Muslim artists since the 14th century have depicted Muhammad visually — images that were painted “by Muslim artists for Muslim patrons in respect for, and in exaltation of, Muhammad and the Quran.” Such images were, “by definition, Islamophilic from their inception to their reception.” Far from being forbidden, many Muslims, even today, appreciate such figurative representations. While more common among Shia Muslims, even Sunnis are known to have made such images. (In fact, the painting the professor showed was commissioned by a Sunni king in the 14th century.) (2d link omitted. Fingers crossed.)

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  56. For some reason, the filter won’t let me post the first of those deleted links, so let’s try the second.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  57. OK, so that works. Good. Apparently there’s something the filter considers untoward about the first link. It won’t even let me post it as text. So if you want to see the source of my block quote that mentions Christina Gruber, it’s from Amna Khalid’s substack, and the post is titled, “Most of All, I am Offended as a Muslim.
    On Hamline University’s shocking imposition of narrow religious orthodoxy in the classroom.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  58. Some things you’re better off learning on your own. I dropped the one Philosophy class I signed up for in college after one day. All I cared to learn about the Ottoman iconolaters and iconoclasts, I learned from My Name Is Red by Orhun Pamuk.

    BTW, the professor was not fired-fired. She taught the class to the end of the term. But she was not asked back. I wish I could say that resulted in a commensurate reduction in Pell Grant, federal student loan, and other tax dollars to the school but I kind of doubt it.

    nk (dc2f5d)

  59. https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/01/12/not-just-misinformation-emails-white-house-facebook-admits-suppressing-often-true-content-covid-19-vaccines/

    So many 1st Amendment violations. But it was for “the cause” so it’s all acceptable, right?

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/13/2023 @ 5:25 pm

    From your link, the complaint is about “the Biden administration’s blatant disregard for the First Amendment and its collusion with Big Tech social media companies to suppress speech it disagrees with.”

    Government coercing a company to suppress speech on its social media site would violate the First Amendment. Colluding with it does not.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  60. @49. ‘Here’s the deal, folks- I’m serious, I’m not kidding…’ “Let the buyer beware!” 😉

    DCSCA (0b5d93)

  61. As a recovering Mormon, I was excited to finally find a spirit I could enjoy straight (without it being mixed with something else). An employee at Trader Joe’s recommended Old Forester 1920. She told me to use one ice cube at most, so that’s what I did. Just one. Wow. It was delicious.

    Feeling adventurous, I went on to try a couple other bourbons, including one made here in Nevada. They weren’t as good.

    I read about fancy stuff like Pappy Van Winkle, which can go for thousands of dollars a bottle. I guess some people have money to burn. $57 for the Old Forester seemed like a splurge to me.

    norcal (862cdb)

  62. From your link, the complaint is about “the Biden administration’s blatant disregard for the First Amendment and its collusion with Big Tech social media companies to suppress speech it disagrees with.”

    Government coercing a company to suppress speech on its social media site would violate the First Amendment. Colluding with it does not.

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/13/2023 @ 7:55 pm

    Goebbels and Goering agree with you.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  63. NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/13/2023 @ 8:53 pm

    I agree that what the government did with Big Tech is troubling, but I’m not sure how much of the motivation was genuine concern versus power-play politics.

    norcal (862cdb)

  64. It’s almost as if the CIA’s plan to bleed RU and UKR by giving UKR just enough to keep the war going but not enough to end it or leave UKR in a strong position post war isn’t popular.

    I think it’s more that Biden is afraid of angering Putin.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  65. I read AllahNick’s piece on the Hamline inquisition. My first thought was: the adjunct professor needed to preemptively cover her butt by clearing the racy exercise with, at minimum, her boss, but likely with the Dean as well. Trying to clear it with her students is good, but ultimately as this case shows, students love to become drama stars and are too shortsighted and immature to see the awful consequences. Will the student feel ashamed in time for costing the adjunct her job? Sure the adjunct wasn’t fired outright, that might have led to a wrongful termination suit. So a non-renewal of contract gave the mob their desired pound of flesh without legal blowback.

    In hindsight, was the Muhammad illustration a worthy intellectual inquiry or was it just a stunt to be provocative? Maybe it’s both. Students should be exposed to things that will make them uncomfortable or be around people who are uncomfortable and be confronted with how to talk about the matter. To me, that’s getting them ready to engage in a pluralistic society and process other perspectives. It’s unclear why the complaining student did not object beforehand or seek to discuss the matter privately, but the prof should have considered that it was a possibility that a student would file a complaint afterwards.

    This is the awfulness of academia squabbles and the curious case of the Heckler’s veto winning the day. I hate that the aggrieved student wins and that the Hamline administration abandoned their faculty member so profoundly. There should have been some accommodation here. I wonder if the Dean would have reacted like she did if she was brought in to fashion that accommodation before hand. I wonder if the Dean anticipated the story going mainstream and whether there is any regret…..

    AJ_Liberty (583f3a)

  66. AJ_Liberty (583f3a) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:24 pm

    Great comment, AJ.

    Institutions will always make asses of themselves when they become too insular and like-minded. It’s like a law of nature or something.

    norcal (862cdb)

  67. In hindsight, was the Muhammad illustration a worthy intellectual inquiry or was it just a stunt to be provocative? Maybe it’s both. Students should be exposed to things that will make them uncomfortable or be around people who are uncomfortable and be confronted with how to talk about the matter. To me, that’s getting them ready to engage in a pluralistic society and process other perspectives. It’s unclear why the complaining student did not object beforehand or seek to discuss the matter privately, but the prof should have considered that it was a possibility that a student would file a complaint afterwards.

    This is the awfulness of academia squabbles and the curious case of the Heckler’s veto winning the day. I hate that the aggrieved student wins and that the Hamline administration abandoned their faculty member so profoundly. There should have been some accommodation here. I wonder if the Dean would have reacted like she did if she was brought in to fashion that accommodation before hand. I wonder if the Dean anticipated the story going mainstream and whether there is any regret…..

    AJ_Liberty (583f3a) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:24 pm

    BS. When I attended college, I had to deal with a racist black muslim professor that declared white men were the devil. He cited Francis Fanon as his evidence in class and I read independently to counter his racism. It worked as I got an A in the class and accolades from many classmates. The only one that hated me was a bigot that was raised by a black panther.

    This leftist bigotry has existed for a long time. By not speaking out you are supporting them. Call them out on their hatred. Don’t be a coward.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  68. I agree that what the government did with Big Tech is troubling, but I’m not sure how much of the motivation was genuine concern versus power-play politics.

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    It doesn’t matter. They spit on the Constitution.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  69. They spit on the Constitution.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:39 pm

    Trump wants to terminate it. Did you call him out on that?

    norcal (862cdb)

  70. @66. It’s a certainty to keep the borrowed $ flowing to the MIC.

    Storm the castle.

    DCSCA (50b52d)

  71. Trump wants to terminate it. Did you call him out on that?

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:42 pm

    Your hyperbole is noted. Trump didn’t do that. Leftists did.

    Now deal with what’s actually happened instead of your hatred.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  72. Honestly, NJRob, while I think buttigueg is a master communicator, I don’t agree with him on policy much, didn’t vote for him in 2020, and think he’d be the wrong direction from r the party.

    I’m not defending him, I’m defending the concept of parental leave.

    The entire point is that you ignore work to focus on your family.

    When my coworkers go out on parental leave, they disappear. No email, no slack messages, no phone calls.

    That’s what is expected of them, and it’s what was expected of buttigieg.

    You either don’t understand parental leave, don’t support it, think government officials should not be allowed to use it, or think it should be for women and not men –+ otherwise you’d find some other reason to criticize buttigieg.

    So which is it?

    aphrael (127fbd)

  73. Trump didn’t do that. Leftists did.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:01 pm

    I guessed you missed Trump’s tweet where he said he wanted to terminate the Constitution.

    norcal (862cdb)

  74. > A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution

    This is Trump clearly saying that the “fraud” of the 2020 election “allows for” the termination of all rules in the Constitution.

    The natural reading of that is that he is saying some or all of the Constitution should be terminated as a result of the fraud.

    Why are you so eager to defend that, NJRob? Do you agree the situation would allow for the termination of all rules including those in the Constitution?

    aphrael (127fbd)

  75. So which is it?

    aphrael (127fbd) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:02 pm

    I don’t think it matters to him. Buttigieg is on the wrong team. If somebody on his side were taking parental leave, I doubt he would mention it.

    norcal (862cdb)

  76. From your link, the complaint is about “the Biden administration’s blatant disregard for the First Amendment and its collusion with Big Tech social media companies to suppress speech it disagrees with.”

    Government coercing a company to suppress speech on its social media site would violate the First Amendment. Colluding with it does not.

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/13/2023 @ 7:55 pm

    Goebbels and Goering agree with you.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/13/2023 @ 8:53 pm

    You got me, Rob. Delineating the boundaries of the First Amendment totally makes me a Nazi.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  77. NJRob’s comments are so Manichean that I sometimes wonder if he’s just trolling.

    The world isn’t that stark and simple.

    norcal (862cdb)

  78. Buttigieg is another Dukakis.

    DCSCA (50b52d)

  79. Buttigieg is another Dukakis.

    DCSCA (50b52d) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:26 pm

    Much livelier than Dukakis, and a better speaker by far.

    I agree with aphrael about his policies.

    norcal (862cdb)

  80. Santos’s Lies Were Known to Some Well-Connected Republicans

    In late 2021, as he prepared to make a second run for a suburban New York City House seat, George Santos gave permission for his campaign to commission a routine background study on him.

    Campaigns frequently rely on this kind of research, known as vulnerability studies, to identify anything problematic that an opponent might seize on. But when the report came back on Mr. Santos, the findings by a Washington research firm were far more startling, suggesting a pattern of deception that cut to the heart of the image he had cultivated as a wealthy financier.

    Some of Mr. Santos’s own vendors were so alarmed after seeing the study in late November 2021 that they urged him to drop out of the race, and warned that he could risk public humiliation by continuing. …….
    ……….
    It remains unclear who else, if anyone, learned about the background study’s contents at the time, or if the information made its way to party leaders in New York or Washington. …….
    ……..
    The existence of the vulnerability study underscores one of the most vexing questions still surrounding the strange saga of George Santos: How did the gate-keeping system of American politics — Republican leaders, adversarial Democrats and the prying media — allow a fabulist who boasted about phantom mansions and a fake résumé get away with his con for so long?
    ………

    Free link to full article.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  81. @45 right on!

    asset (acfd21)

  82. Any word on the $40,000,000 from China given to Biden’s center where classified documents were laying around?

    To Biden’s center? No. To the university after the center was established? $30 million. But no ChiCom money was “<a href="given to Biden’s center”.

    There is no evidence that the Penn Biden Center received any of the Chinese money, nor is there any reason to believe that Chinese foreign agents were granted access to the documents in exchange for a donation.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  83. @83 Santos opponent acts and looks so slimy republicans and AOC backed candidate democrats wouldn’t vote for democrat corporate establishment stooge. Kevin M you legally can’t require those things to register let a lone join a poltical party on the ballot.

    asset (acfd21)

  84. AJ_Liberty (583f3a) — 1/13/2023 @ 9:24 pm

    To me, this is more a free speech and academic freedom issue, that a professor should have the freedom to disrespect an aspect of Islam just as much as disrespecting an aspect of Christianity.
    But instead, academics who criticize Islam face the fear of being stigmatized as Islamophobic, which is bullsh-t. We should be able to freely and rationally criticize any religion, but instead folks are subject to Islamophobiaphobia, the fear of being labeled an Islamophobe. Why does Islam get a break?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  85. Who dropped a dime on biden to chicago reporter about classified material? Republican how would they know? Democrat who doesn’t want biden to run in 2024. I will bet that! Probably supporter of another candidate. Possible DNC democrats worried about biden losing or self destructing. 80% of democrats don’t want biden to run again in 2024 worried AOC might pull a Gene McCarthy knocking out another humpty dumpty. There are no bobby kennady unless you count michelle obama.

    asset (acfd21)

  86. @87 they might kill you and you are not allowed to bomb mecca in retaliation. It would be bad for the big oil companys.

    asset (acfd21)

  87. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/13/2023 @ 11:12 pm

    We have a generation of snowflakes in college now.

    That’s why I respect Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana, and now the president of Purdue. He flatly said that Purdue will respect academic freedom, and I believe he has followed through.

    norcal (862cdb)

  88. norcal, I’ve supported Mitch Daniels as a presidential candidate for a decade. He’s been an excellent executive in both government and academia.
    Also, given Biden’s and Trump’s age, he’s not too old to throw his hat in.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  89. Paul,

    He’s too excellent. I don’t think he’ll get in the mud as long as there’s a significant MAGA contingent in the country.

    It’s like casting pearls before swine.

    norcal (862cdb)

  90. aphrael (127fbd) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:02 pm

    You are defending him and the rest of the remarks are just a fig leaf to give the semblance of nonpartisanship. If it was Trump or someone equivalent on the other side, you’d be bashing him.

    My response is simple. The higher up in the decision making process you are, the less opportunity you have to disconnect from your responsibilities. Your coworkers are replaceable. The head of the transportation system isn’t supposed to be. He filled while our nation burned and we still haven’t recovered.

    He should just resign as the job is well beyond his abilities. There’s a reason we didn’t know who ran that department before him. Incompetence has made him visible.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  91. The world isn’t that stark and simple.

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:19 pm

    Sure it is. You just want to make excuses for why things are turning out so poorly. It was plain for all to see.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  92. I guessed you missed Trump’s tweet where he said he wanted to terminate the Constitution.

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:05 pm

    I saw the tweet that leftists jumped on. I took it as his usual hyperbolic remarks and had no bearing on reality. I do notice that the groups that are actually trashing the Constitution are currently in power, but you are silent on that. Why is that?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  93. https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1131213/just-how-bad-was-2022s-stock-and-bond-market-performance

    Historically bad stock market. Record high energy costs.

    Thanks Biden voters.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  94. I also cannot fathom why Buttigieg is in the Cabinet.

    nk (dc2f5d)

  95. nk: he is in the Cabinet because he is not in the closet.

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  96. Ha, ha, ha! Today’s Wordle in two (starter word, solution) with TOKEN as my starter word. Honest, I’m not kidding.

    nk (dc2f5d)

  97. I don’t think this is intentional satire:

    Facebook parent Meta is subleasing its 6-story space at the Arbor Blocks 333 building near downtown Seattle, as well as Block 6, a 325,000 square-foot space at the Spring District complex in Bellevue, Wash., east of Seattle.

    “The past few years have brought new possibilities around the role of the office, and we are prioritizing making focused, balanced investments to support our most strategic long-term priorities and lead the way in creating the workplace of the future,” Meta spokesperson Tracy Clayton said in a statement.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clayton’s statement in a Dilbert cartoon.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  98. 95,

    It’s hard to imagine norcal takes his standard seriously. Otherwise he’d be asking team Biden because NeverTrump why they aren’t calling out JB’s lie’s every time they get spun up on something DT said.

    frosty (254adb)

  99. House Republicans prepare emergency plan for breaching debt limit


    ……….
    The plan, which was previously unreported, was part of the private deal reached this month to resolve the standoff between House conservatives and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over the election of a House speaker. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.), a leading conservative who helped broker the deal, told The Washington Post that McCarthy agreed to pass a payment prioritization plan by the end of the first quarter of the year.

    The emerging contingency plan shows how Republicans are preparing to threaten to not lift the nation’s debt ceiling without major spending cuts from the Biden administration. ……..
    ………..
    ………..(T)he GOP proposal would call on the Biden administration to make only the most critical federal payments if the Treasury Department comes up against the statutory limit on what it can legally borrow. For instance, the plan is almost certain to call on the department to keep making interest payments on the debt, according to four people familiar with the internal deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. House Republicans’ payment prioritization plan may also stipulate that the Treasury Department should continue making payments on Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits, as well as funding the military, two of the people said.

    ………. A hypothetical proposal that protects Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits and the military would still leave out huge swaths of critical federal expenditures on things such as Medicaid, food safety inspections, border control and air traffic control, to name just a handful of thousands of programs. Democrats are also likely to accuse Republicans of prioritizing payments to U.S. bondholders — which include Chinese banks — over American citizens.
    ………..
    “We agreed to advance a debt prioritization bill through regular order by the end of the first quarter of 2023,” Roy said in a text message to The Post. “Now, the contours of that were not specified (there are different versions).”
    ……….

    Good luck getting such a plan through the House, let alone the Senate and President Biden. I’ll bet Speaker Roy (I mean McCarthy) won’t have the full support of his fellow Republicans (he can only lose four), because the Democrats won’t help him.

    Free link to article.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  100. Judge Orders Cruise Companies to Pay More Than $436 Million for Docking at Seized Terminal in Cuba
    ……….
    A federal judge in Miami on Dec. 30 ordered Carnival Corp. , Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and MSC Cruises SA to pay about $109 million each in damages plus attorney fees to (Havana Docks Corp., owner of the Havana Cruise Port Terminal before the Cuban revolution) to settle claims the cruise companies used its port to conduct business between 2016 and 2019, according to court documents.
    ……….
    Despite an initial expectation of hundreds of lawsuits based on claims, only 44 have been filed against 82 companies and their subsidiaries since the Trump administration ended the suspension of Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act in May 2019, according to data from the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council Inc., a New York-based trade group. ………one settled with plaintiffs in 2021 and 10 others are going through the courts of appeals, while six others have been dismissed in appeal……..
    ………..
    Spokespeople for MSC Cruises, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean said in separate statements this week that they disagreed with the rulings and intended to appeal.
    …………

    Free link.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  101. More docs found:

    Five more classified documents from President Biden’s time as vice president were found at his Wilmington, Del., residence on Thursday, the White House said Saturday.

    “While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.”

    Dana (1225fc)

  102. It was found adjacent to Biden’s garage.

    Dana (1225fc)

  103. Biden months ago: “How that could possibly happen, how one anyone could be that irresponsible. And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods. By that, I mean, names of people helped or et cetera. And it’s just totally irresponsible.”

    Every NeverTrump accusation is a confession.

    JF (9e0f25)

  104. 105,

    Correction; adjacent to Biden’s locked garage with a very important classic car in it. This new area probably also had something valuable, like a stash of fine wine, that can be used to assure everyone that it was Super Secure ™ (c).

    frosty (872b2f)

  105. I’ve written a letter to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, offering him a small present — with a condition.

    I am offering him a colorful “Free Tibet” bumper sticker — if he will promise to display it prominently.

    I have three of them, and plan to offer them to other prominent people who depend on the ChiComs. I don’t expect to run out of them before the end of this year. And, if I get any replies, I’ll share them, publicly.

    (The Nike CEO is, tentatively, next on my list of recipients. I haven’t decided who will be third, though LeBron James comes to mind. I welcome suggestions.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  106. I’m enthusiastic about disqualifying from elected office Hillary, Trump, and Biden. One big flush. Plunger as necessary. Military members and DoD contractors understand that they can lose their clearance, their job, and potentially their freedom if they mishandle classified documents. The electorate should decide that none of these individuals should have their trust. Biden should announce that he will not run for re-election. Trump will never do the honorable thing, so the GOP base should move on to the position of anyone-but-Trump.

    AJ_Liberty (583f3a)

  107. The fourth news item didn’t mention the fate Trump Organization’s fall guy:

    Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, will be trading his office in the glitzy Trump Tower for a cell in one of the most scandal-beset prisons in the country after pleading guilty to a series of financial crimes in connection with his work for the former president’s real estate empire.

    New York Judge Juan Manuel Merchan on Tuesday sentenced the 75-year-old Weisselberg to five months in prison to be served at Rikers Island immediately. ……
    ……..
    “Were it not because I made that promise, I would not be imposing a five-month sentence. I would be imposing a much greater sentence,” Merchan said in court. “Most significantly was the $6,000 payroll payment to Mr. Weisselberg’s wife and the reason I find that so offensive is that it was driven purely by greed.”

    Merchan explained how Weisselberg was “earning upwards of seven figures” and clearly “did not need that money.” However, he still “found a way” to make sure that his wife received sufficient payroll income so she could “one day benefit from social security payments she was not entitled to.”
    ………
    In addition to the time in prison, Judge Merchan also sentenced Weisselberg to five years of post-release probation and ordered him to make full repayment of taxes, penalties, and interest due to New York City and New York State tax authorities totaling $1,994,321.
    ……….
    ………. Weisselberg in August pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree grand larceny, three counts of third-degree criminal tax fraud, one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, one count of fourth-degree conspiracy, one count of fourth-degree criminal tax fraud, four counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, and four counts of first-degree falsifying business records.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  108. Kevin Williamson back in August:

    Where I disagree with some of my friends and colleagues is in the fact that I want heightened attention to politically connected crimes across the board. I think that those who argue that we should be gingerly about investigating such figures as former president Donald Trump because such investigations are bound to produce political convulsions are wrong on the merits: Former presidents should be subjected to a higher degree of scrutiny when it comes to illegal actions, not a lesser degree of scrutiny. If some nobody takes a bunch of classified documents home without going through the proper channels, that nobody is liable to go to prison. If we really mean what we say about equality before the law, then we must not refuse to investigate a former president for a similar offense because we are afraid that doing so will upset some people.

    “prison” “equality before the law” LOL

    jolly time, or redenbacher?

    JF (4d157f)

  109. Not the brightest of bulbs:

    ……..
    Photographers and videos taken during the Jan. 6 riot showed (Joshua Matthew Black of Alabama) standing on the floor of the Senate chamber and two days later he posted two videos on YouTube in which he admitted entering the Capitol and bringing a knife with him.
    …….
    “Once we found out Pence turned on us and they had stolen the election, like officially, the crowd went crazy,’’ said Black. “I mean, it became a mob. We crossed the gate…We just wanted to get inside the building. I wanted to get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it. That was my goal.”

    On the video, Black described approaching the door to the Senate chamber. “I just felt like the spirit of God wanted me to go in the Senate room, you know. So I was about to break the glass and I thought, no, this is our house, we don’t act like that. I was tempted to, I’m not gonna lie. ‘Cause I’m pretty upset. You know? They stole my country.”

    He admitted to bringing a weapon with him, saying that he “wasn’t planning on pulling it” but carried a knife because he was used to doing so in his work with a lawn service and “you’re not allowed to carry guns in D.C. and I don’t like being defenseless.”
    ……..
    After a trial in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, Black was found guilty of “entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings; entering and remaining on the floor of Congress; and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building,” according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
    ……….

    According to the DOJ, Black faces substantial jail time:

    The charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon carry a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years.

    The charge of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years.

    The charges of entering and remaining on the floor of Congress and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building carry up to six months.

    All charges carry potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
    ………
    .

    He won’t be back to Sweet Home Alabama for a long time.

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  110. Keeping it classy.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d) — 1/13/2023 @ 4:25 pm

    For Trump that may BE classy. Remember, this is a guy who orders a Wagyu ribeye well-done, then smothers it with catsup.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  111. Lawsuit Reveals Trump Can’t Stand Being Compared to Hitler

    I don’t think I’d take it very well either. And for a president or presidential candidate, this is pretty much the same as having people saying his assassination would be for the greater good.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  112. Hamline: Well, then, we should have the same intolerance for things WE don’t like:

    * Economics classes that teach socialism and Marxism
    * History classes that teach America is evil and always has been
    * Pronoun demands
    * Rules limiting smoking to marijuana and crack
    * Rules against keggers in the dorm quad.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  113. I don’t think I’d take it very well either. And for a president or presidential candidate, this is pretty much the same as having people saying his assassination would be for the greater good.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/14/2023 @ 11:23 am

    The problem is that by suing CNN it allows the news media to continually report on the claims with every new filing. He doesn’t have a chance of winning,

    The U.S. Supreme Court has said that a statement is an opinion that merits protection when it is (1) about a matter of public concern, (2) expressed in a way that makes it hard to prove whether it is true or false, and (3) can’t be reasonably interpreted to be a factual statement about someone. (The Supreme Court case is Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990).)

    It’s good to know that his lawyers acknowledged that Trump “is not Hitler-like nor would be Hitler-like in any future political role.”

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  114. But are these Americans dying from covid or with covid?…

    You need to separate cause and effect. If a diabetic gets Covid, develops pneumonia and dies, the cause is Covid, not diabetes and not pneumonia. Same with any co-morbitity. Calling it anything else is “juking the stats.”

    Similarly, if a blind person steps in front of a bus and is killed, “Blindness” is not what killed him, the bus is.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  115. It’s good to know that his lawyers acknowledged that Trump “is not Hitler-like nor would be Hitler-like in any future political role.”

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d) — 1/14/2023 @ 11:37 am

    The voters should hold him to that statement.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  116. Government coercing a company to suppress speech on its social media site would violate the First Amendment. Colluding with it does not.

    You are going to have to tell me where a government colluding with tech on whom to muzzle is not violating 1A. Even absent the fact that government controls regulations, mergers and can waive, or fail to waive restrictions on businesses and has great prosecutorial discretion on what laws it will enforce and against whom, government getting involved in censorship decisions is way out of their lane.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  117. @116: Sorry, was this about Trump being an idiot, or simply taking umbrage at reckless poo flinging? I may have missed the context.

    Also, in this case it doesn’t matter what is or is not opinion, if that opinion may set a crazy person on a dangerous path, whether it’s the clown who attacked Focus on the Family, Rep Scalise or Justice Kavanaugh, or has seen a number of abortion doctors murdered.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  118. Kevin M you legally can’t require those things to register let a lone join a political party on the ballot.

    The LP requires the following declaration: “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  119. Kevin M.: you missed the worst punishment of all; having the company’s CEO hauled in front of some congressional committee and asked really stupid questions while he pretends the questions are really insightful.

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  120. @116: Sorry, was this about Trump being an idiot, or simply taking umbrage at reckless poo flinging? I may have missed the context.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/14/2023 @ 11:57 am

    Both. Trump has sued CNN over comparisons between himself and Hitler.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  121. As far as Santos is concerned, GOP politicians have been burned by false accusations before. Ted Stevens lost his final re-election campaign after being falsely convicted of a crime later shown to be gross prosecutorial misconduct by withholding exculpatory evidence and suborning perjury. Even Sarah Palin told voters to vote for the Democrat.

    Stevens always maintained his innocence, but he lost by 1.3% in a state where he had always won big. Had he won, there were enough votes in the Senate to expel him.

    A few months after the election, the conviction was vacated. But Ted Stevens was not in the Senate and Obama had his 60th vote to pass Obamacare.

    Now, Santos is no Ted Stevens, but I can understand the desire to let the drama play out.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  122. @105. Per The Hill, ‘Five more classified documents from President Biden’s time as vice president were found at his Wilmington, Del., residence on Thursday, the White House said Saturday.

    VP docs!! Wholly unauthorized to possess; and they’ve been exposed to possible unauthorized scrutiny for at least 6 years… and conveniently not mentioned at the Friday presser. So mucxh for transparency.

    It was found adjacent to Biden’s garage.

    …. the Biden family ‘reading room’ no doubt… aka an outhouse.

    Bust the bastard.

    DCSCA (5b2a56)

  123. Good luck getting such a plan through the House, let alone the Senate and President Biden

    They will try to hold the debt limit frozen until they get some number of program cuts. Obviously there are places to cut and agencies that we no longer need.

    And they will get some cuts. How many? Hard to say when the Democrats will get the GOP votes they need. I doubt that the Democrats will refuse to vote for the increase, because that’s the kind of “game of chicken” that no one wins.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  124. @125 and AOC, gavin newsome and many others smiled.

    asset (b020d6)

  125. House GOP tempts fall government shutdown with impossible spending demands

    House Republicans are vowing to put Don Quixote to shame by tilting at a huge windmill: slashing federal spending by at least $130 billion without cutting defense.
    ………
    ……… While lawmakers had always expected appropriations would be a struggle this term, the spending concessions negotiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative foes have raised members’ blood pressure. Those House GOP demands could set the stage for a government shutdown, unless conservatives relent or enough moderate Democrats come to other Republicans’ rescue.
    ………
    ………House Republicans say they’ll refuse to negotiate with the Senate until the upper chamber passes its own spending bills, which hasn’t happened in years. Typically, Senate appropriators have instead entered into bipartisan talks with their House counterparts, only burning valuable floor time on a package they’re certain would pass both chambers.
    ………..
    “You really believe that Republicans are going to embrace a government shutdown?” said (Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee) during a press conference with Democratic leaders earlier this week. “How have the politics of that situation worked out for them in the past? … They have lost every showdown over shutting down the government.”
    ……..
    Defense hawks and top spending leaders have been quick to tamp down talk of slashing the Pentagon’s budget, insisting that their deal would instead pare back total discretionary spending and instead slice heavily into domestic programs. Still, Pentagon boosters are out in force, warning they won’t back cuts to the defense budget.

    Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior appropriator who also chairs the House Rules Committee, warned steep cuts to the military are “not something I, nor a majority of my colleagues on the committee, will ever support.”
    ……….

    Like the debt ceiling, I doubt the House conservative budget plan has the support of a majority of the Republican caucus. It certainly wouldn’t pass the Senate and signed by President.

    I’ll bet Kevin McCarthy won’t be speaker a year from now (though he’s already exceeded the shortest tenure on record-one day.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  126. It’s good to know that his lawyers acknowledged that Trump “is not Hitler-like nor would be Hitler-like in any future political role.”

    Besides, Hitler dressed better: had a snazzy high end tailor:

    Hugo Boss, Hitler’s tailor: Luxury fashion house once designed Nazi uniforms using forced labor

    In 1997, per a New York Times report, a spokeswoman for Hugo Boss AG, confirmed that the clothing manufacturer designed uniforms for the Nazis. The company only became aware of its supposed Nazi affiliations after the name of its late founder Hugo Ferdinand Boss was etched on a list of dormant Swiss Bank accounts, that the investment bank had released earlier that year. Boss started his eponymous label at the age of 33 in the Swabian town of Metzingen, Germany in 1931, prior to the Nazi party’s rise as the governing body of the country. Even before setting up an office for his fashion brand, which was then a family-run business, he had already worked with a number of Nazis and produced police and postal uniforms since 1923 in a factory that he had purchased.

    https://meaww.com/hugo-boss-hitlers-tailor-nazi-government-menswear-fashion-designed-schutzstaffel-brown-uniforms

    Trump was tailored by a local:

    Mr. Trump has indeed been wearing Brioni as Election Day draws near, and he also favors suits by the Brooklyn label Martin Greenfield Clothiers, “among others,” according to Hope Hicks. Mr. Greenfield is perhaps best known as the tailor to President Obama. Other fans of Greenfield suits include the former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the former New York City police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Jay Greenfield, a son of Martin and the co-owner of the company, confirmed that it had made several suits for Mr. Trump before the start of his presidential run. –
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/fashion/mens-style/donald-trump-brioni-martin-greenfield-suits.html

    DCSCA (5b2a56)

  127. They will try to hold the debt limit frozen until they get some number of program cuts

    Freezing the debt ceiling will result in the US being in default. US debt is maturing all the time.

    Rip Murdock (e9a37d)

  128. Ha, ha, ha! Today’s Wordle in two (starter word, solution) with TOKEN as my starter word. Honest, I’m not kidding.

    That’s amazing. Although I can see that as a guess given that start.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  129. Freezing the debt ceiling will result in the US being in default. US debt is maturing all the time.

    Eventually. They can borrow from themselves for a while, pay contractors/hospitals/etc with scrip, or late, or both.

    The SHTF when they have to delay Social Security checks.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  130. 128,

    It’s a bit ridiculous to start from the position that cutting $130B is impossible. It’s also a bit ridiculous to claim that the game of chicken isn’t “we need to keep spending or we’ll burn it all down and try to blame you for holding us accountable.”

    This is all an elaborate version of the sheriffs scheme at the beginning of blazing saddles.

    frosty (254adb)

  131. Impossible? The United States of America could have saved $100 billion easily; Ukraine is not an Amefican problem to pay for:

    https://news.yahoo.com/us-getting-ukraine-100-billion-213700721.html

    DCSCA (bb91f8)

  132. Iran protests go underground

    When the regime falls, Iran will be importing cranes.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  133. When it comes down to it, we’ll find if not defaulting on our debt is more important than the Department of Education, which gets $88 billion in the coming year.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  134. more important to America:

    [ X ] the Department of Education

    [ ] Ukraine

    DCSCA (5ec3f7)

  135. 136,

    This is how the logic will go. We’ll be expected the pretend that it’s about the entire DOE budget and not just part of it. And we’ll do that a piece at a time, eg “you want to take $130B from the FAA?!?”. Then we’ll have to pretend that not only can we not find a way to shrink spending but that it must, in fact, increase. Otherwise, we default on the debt and it’s the end time with cats and dogs living together.

    frosty (7119cc)

  136. It’s a bit ridiculous to start from the position that cutting $130B is impossible.

    That may be but if four Republicans disagree then the plan goes nowhere. We’ll see. I bet we will see a debt default (no matter how short it will result in a US credit rating cut, higher interest rates, a sharp drop in stock markets) and a government shutdown.

    Good times!

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  137. The military R&D budget by itself is 130 billion and congress gave the military many more billions this year (every year, ever increasingly) than it even asked for. You aren’t going to get to 130 without addressing ever increasing military spending.

    Nic (896fdf)

  138. Somedebt default history:

    Even brushing up against a federal government default would be a major market event. On the day before Republicans finally agreed to lift the borrowing limit during the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff, the S&P 500 was down 6% from its high that year. Three days later, S&P downgraded the United States’ credit rating, sending stock prices tumbling further.

    The 2011 debacle sent economic confidence down to levels not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis. It also drove up interest rates, costing taxpayers $1.3 billion in 2011, according to the Government Accountability Office, with the Bipartisan Policy Center putting the cost at around $19 billion over a ten-year horizon.

    While coming uncomfortably close to default would be bad enough, an accidental, temporary default would be even worse. And such accidents can indeed happen. In the spring of 1979, Congress reached a debt-ceiling deal at the last minute, but a subsequent computer glitch meant that the Treasury was late in making payments on maturing securities to individual investors and in redeeming Treasury bills. As a consequence, interest rates rose and taxpayers were on the hook for billions in additional payments. A computer glitch – or something similar – is a possibility this year, too.

    If the US defaults, any resulting economic chaos would move the blame from Bidenflation to the Republicans. But hey, give it a try.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  139. 140,

    It shouldn’t be that hard to find it in the military budget either. If the YouTube videos are correct the UKR is using basic commercial drone tech to attack RU troops and tanks. If that’s correct we’re spending way to much fighting RU.

    It also sounds like we’re spending way to much trying to keep track of top secret info based on the return we’re seeing.

    frosty (0ba222)

  140. more important to America:

    [ X ] the Department of Education

    [ ] Ukraine
    DCSCA (5ec3f7) — 1/14/2023 @ 2:16 pm

    The job of the DoEd is to provide a reason for all those local school bureaucracies. They just push paper back and forth and study stuff.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  141. This is how the logic will go.

    When it comes time to cut city government they always put the cops and firefighters on the line. I would LOVE to see the bureaucrats go out on strike.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  142. If the US defaults, any resulting economic chaos would move the blame from Bidenflation to the Republicans. But hey, give it a try.

    The people who refuse to cut their pet federal programs are the ones to blame. But sure, go on with that hostage drama, also from Blazing Saddles. Can’t possible cut the Rural Electrification Agency or sell off Amtrak.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  143. Biden clan now keeping things classified AND… classy:

    Hunter Biden asks court to stop love child from taking his sullied surname

    ‘He doesn’t want to give her his bad name.

    Hunter Biden asked a judge to deny his 4-year-old daughter from taking his surname — claiming it’s a lightning rod for criticism and would rob the child of a “peaceful existence.”

    The first son’s request on Jan. 6 came amid an ongoing paternity case against him in Independence, Ark., where Biden is fighting to lower his child-support payments to baby mama Lunden Roberts for their love child, Navy Joan Roberts.

    Roberts, 31, asked Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer on Dec. 27 to allow their daughter to take the Biden name, claiming it would benefit their daughter because it is “now synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute and politically powerful.” But the president’s erratic son — who was being probed for shady foreign business deals, battled crack addiction, and been filmed waiving a gun around in the nude with a prostitute — disagreed about the value of his sullied surname.

    His lawyer fired off a motion the following week to ask the judge to deny Roberts’ request, arguing that his daughter should decide for herself once “the disparagement of the Biden name is not at its height.”

    Biden, who became the center of national controversy after emails and records on his laptop allegedly revealed a scheme to sell his father’s influence for millions of dollars to American adversaries, cited criticism from his ex as proof that his family name is being dragged through the mud.

    Biden pointed to court filings from Roberts that reference the federal probe into his tax affairs and his dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma in response to his request to lower his child support payments. Roberts’ motivation is now “political warfare” against the Bidens, the first son claims, and reverses her efforts in late 2019 to redact their daughter’s name and any other identifying information about her from the public court record.

    Her “disparaging comments in various other motions and responses, in this Roberts says the Biden name will open opportunities for the girl “just like it has for other members of the Biden family.” She also claimed that the name change would make things right while her daughter remains “estranged” from the first family.

    “To the extent, this is misconduct or neglect, it can be rectified by changing her last name to Biden so that she may undeniably be known to the world as the child of the defendant and member of the prestigious Biden family,” Roberts said in her filing.

    After Hunter Biden initially denied having sex with Roberts, a DNA test conducted in 2019 confirmed he is the father. Biden met Roberts, a former stripper in Arkansas, while she was working at a club in Washington DC, around the same time Hunter was dating his older brother’s widow. The dispute was settled outside of court in 2020 after the DNA results came in but was reopened in September after Biden sought to lower his child support payments, citing a “substantial material change” in his “financial circumstances.” Lunden Roberts declined to comment on the court proceedings, and her attorney, Clinton Lancaster, did not return requests for comment. Brent Langdon, Biden’s attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.’

    https://nypost.com/2023/01/14/hunter-biden-asks-court-to-stop-love-child-from-taking-his-sullied-surname/

    ‘Nobody f*cks with a Biden’ – Joe Biden, 10/5/22

    Except hookers, eh Joey…

    I’m proud of my son.” -Joe Biden, 12/11/20

    ‘Flushed with pride,’ eh, Joey??

    Guess you’ve never heard of Thomas Crapper.

    DCSCA (29519f)

  144. You aren’t going to get to 130 without addressing ever increasing military spending.

    Nic (896fdf) — 1/14/2023 @ 3:03 pm

    In FY09, DoD spending was $638 billion. In FY22, it was $727 billion.

    In the same time frame, outlays for Medicare and Medicaid services went from $972 billion to $2.06 trillion. That’s not a typo, all those figure are in the September Treasury statements.

    Cutting DoD spending back to FY08 levels won’t even cover the gap being discussed here. Doing that with Medicare and Medicaid would give us a surplus. In top of that, the military is critically undermanned across the board–any cuts would immediately go into MORE manning cuts instead of in the Pentagon we’re they should go, and basically break the enlisted force and FGOs.

    A big part of this is because the Joint Chiefs don’t have the balls to tell the President and Congress that they’re crippling the National Defense Strategy and harming the force with their blinkered focus on machines rather than people, but technocrats have always seen people as sacks of cement to throw around.

    Factory Working Orphan (128226)

  145. When was it ever a political winner for the GOP to risk the full faith and credit of the US government?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  146. A debt default would be worse than a market crash (something that would happen, too, but would be lesser news). It would probably end the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency, something that would be even worse than default.

    Just the same, we are again told “raise the limit or [Sheriff Bart] gets it.” Who are the real culprits? The ones who actually don’t give a crap about the US economy and would just as soon seem us all broke, so they could help us recover.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  147. When was it ever a political winner for the GOP to risk the full faith and credit of the US government?

    Paul, why do you put this on the GOP? Why is the problem with the people who won’t stop using their credit card?

    Things that can’t go on, won’t. And this can’t go on. We should stop it on our terms rather than on China’s terms.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  148. * Why ISN’T the problem with

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  149. @FWO@147 Congress isn’t just willy-nilly giving medicare more money, what happened between 2009 and 2022 is that a bunch of baby boomers retired, increasing the number of people drawing on medicare by 33% and increasing medical costs during that time as well. It costs hadn’t gone up, even just paying straight for the increased number of people, it still would’ve gone up to 1.3 billion. However, costs did go up, causing a significant part of the rest of the increase. If you reduce Medicare you will reduced the effective benefit level for the currently elderly in comparison with the 2009 elderly. The primary GOP voter is over 50. (this is not, BTW, me arguing from personal concerns, all my elderly relative would be qualified and able to purchase other kinds of insurance if that had to. frex both my parents and surviving grandparents would qualify for tricare because retired military)

    My suggestion on the military spending, as you saw, was to draw down some of the R&D spending- that wouldn’t effect procurement, personnel, or readiness.

    Nic (896fdf)

  150. Paul, why do you put this on the GOP?

    Because the GOP is the party that’s actually doing these debt-ceiling showdowns, Kevin. C’mon.
    Actually, I’ll answer my own question. The only time it ever worked was in 2011 when Harry Reid (Deutschebag-Nevada) agreed to the sequester deal. The Dems aren’t going to repeat that, even though it did help reduce our annual deficits.
    The GOP runs the House. They could simply pass a budget or an appropriations bill with spending cuts, without taking to us to the brink of default.
    One other thing. The GOP has shown no seriousness about restricting spending for well over a decade, and only when a Democrat is president. We do need a return to fiscal conservatism, but it’s not going to come from this party or and this group of House members. A serious proposal to fix our structural deficit imbalance should include entitlement reform and selective tax increases, along with cutting spending or capping spending increases. After all, 70% of our spending is mandatory, and almost half of our discretionary spending goes to national defense.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  151. @me@152- gone up to 1.3 trillion.

    Nic (896fdf)

  152. The GOP runs the House. They could simply pass a budget or an appropriations bill with spending cuts, without taking to us to the brink of default.

    Debt default has nothing to do with the budget. If the debt limit ceiling is not extended, the US would be unable to pay bond holders for debts already incurred and incur new debt for current operations, which would result in a government shutdown.

    Failure to enact a budget would also result in a government shutdown.

    Of course, some may see that as a good thing.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  153. NJRob’s comments are so Manichean that I sometimes wonder if he’s just trolling.

    The world isn’t that stark and simple.

    norcal (862cdb) — 1/13/2023 @ 10:19 pm

    Ya think?

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  154. Rip, I’ve seen this political loser too many times. They’re doing this ploy to lever spending cuts and pander to the Trumpist base. Raising the debt ceiling shouldn’t even be controversial if we had elected representatives who were serious about fiscal discipline.
    Also, I don’t agree with “enact a budget would also result in a government shutdown”, because we haven’t passed a budget, scarcely put forward a budget, since Reid was Senate Majority Leader.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  155. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/14/2023 @ 4:42 pm

    Since the Republicans want to return to “regular order”, that means no omnibus appropriation bills and no continuing resolutions.

    Rather than passing one massive bill, they’re calling for individual votes on the dozen appropriations bills that set annual budgets for different agencies, a more time-consuming but transparent procedure that recent Congresses have struggled to complete.

    They’re also planning to allow an amendment free-for-all, which is all but certain to further drag out or trip things up.

    Additionally, House Republicans say they’ll refuse to negotiate with the Senate until the upper chamber passes its own spending bills, which hasn’t happened in years. …….

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  156. We’ll see what it looks like on September 30, 2023.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  157. Third Circuit Will Consider En Banc Whether Nonviolent Felons Lose Second Amendment Rights

    The panel opinion, which has now been vacated (as is always done when the court agrees to hear a case en banc) is here (Range v. (US) Attorney General); here’s a quick summary of the result of that panel opinion:

    [In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” enshrined in the Second Amendment, is an individual right. 554 U.S. 570, 595 (2008). While the precise contours of that individual right are still being defined, the Court has repeatedly stated that it did not question the “longstanding prohibition[ on the possession of firearms by felons.”

    Appellant Bryan Range falls in that category, having pleaded guilty to the felony-equivalent charge of welfare fraud under 62 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 481(a). He now brings an as-applied challenge to 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1), contending that his disarmament is inconsistent with the text and history of the Second Amendment and is therefore unconstitutional under New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022). We disagree.]

    Based on history and tradition, we conclude that “the people” constitutionally entitled to bear arms are the “law-abiding, responsible citizens” of the polity, a category that properly excludes those who have demonstrated disregard for the rule of law through the commission of felony and felony-equivalent offenses, whether or not those crimes are violent. Additionally, we conclude that even if Range falls within “the people,” the Government has met its burden to demonstrate that its prohibition is consistent with historical tradition. ………

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  158. Sixth Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Biden Administration COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

    (On January 12, 2023) a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a district court injunction against the Biden Administration’s order that federal contractors ensure their employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The opinion in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Biden was written by Judge Larsen, and joined by Judges McKeague and Siler. …….

    ……….

    A fundamental tenet of our constitutional order is that the President’s authority “must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself.” Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 585 (1952). The critical question in this case is whether the President heeded this rule when he ordered all federal agencies to include in their new contracts a provision obligating contract recipients to require their employees to wear face masks at work and be vaccinated against COVID-19. The President has claimed no inherent constitutional power here; instead, he maintains that the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 authorized his order. The district court and a motions panel of this court concluded that the President likely exceeded his powers under that Act. We agree. We therefore affirm the district court’s decision to preliminarily enjoin the federal government from enforcing the mandate, but we modify the scope of the injunction.

    The primary legal quesiton in this litigation concerns the scope of the President’s authority to impose conditions on federal contractors under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, generally known as the “Property Act.”

    ………(T)he leading cases on this question are from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which construed the President’s authority under the Property Act quite broadly. The Supreme Court has not addressed the question, and there are reasons to doubt whether the D.C. Circuit got this issue right.

    Whereas the prior Sixth Circuit opinion tried to distinguish the D.C. Circuit caselaw, Judge Larsen explained why that caselaw did not, and should not, control, as it adopted an unduly expansive notion of the President’s authority. As she explains, the federal government’s position relies upon assuming the Property Act confers broad authority to pursue the statute’s purposes, despite the lack of any such delegation of authority in the law’s operative provisions.
    ……..
    While the court rejected the federal government’s defenses of the contractor mandate, it agreed with the Biden Administration that the lower court’s injunction was overbroad insofar as it bound nonparties in the plaintiff states [Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee].

    …….
    Because an injunction limited to the parties can adequately protect the plaintiffs’ interests while the case is pending disposition on the merits, the district court abused its discretion in extending the preliminary injunction’s protection to non-party contractors in the plaintiff States.

    ……….

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  159. If the debt limit ceiling is not extended, the US would be unable to pay bond holders for debts already incurred and incur new debt for current operations, which would result in a government shutdown.

    No, it just means the government can’t spend more than it takes in at that point. It can raise taxes to pay for its obligations, and/or cut programs to match incoming revenue. But from a mathematical standpoint, there’s no reason it has to raise the debt ceiling all the time.

    I realize we haven’t paid down the national debt on an annualized basis since 1957, but anyone who thinks we can go on incurring debt forever is, to put it bluntly, dumber than a sack of hammers, because the eventually the debt service is going to accumulate beyond our ability to cover it.

    No worries, though, the GOP will job out in the end because the press are Democrat shills and will blame them for it regardless, and Lord knows the Democrats won’t bother coming up with anything, because they know the press have their back.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  160. @FWO@147 Congress isn’t just willy-nilly giving medicare more money, what happened between 2009 and 2022 is that a bunch of baby boomers retired, increasing the number of people drawing on medicare by 33% and increasing medical costs during that time as well.

    So what? And this isn’t just Medicare, this is Medicare AND Medicaid–and when you look at the outlays, Medicaid is just as expensive as Medicare.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  161. @FWO@163 My point was twofold

    1. This isn’t some random useless expense that has been frivolously expanded over the last 14 years.
    2. The political likelihood of Republicans removing money from a majority of their own voters seems very unlikely.

    Nic (896fdf)

  162. No, it just means the government can’t spend more than it takes in at that point. It can raise taxes to pay for its obligations, and/or cut programs to match incoming revenue. But from a mathematical standpoint, there’s no reason it has to raise the debt ceiling all the time.

    Not quite.

    What happens if the debt ceiling is hit?

    Once the government hits the debt ceiling and exhausts all available extraordinary measures, it is no longer allowed to issue debt and soon after will run out of cash-on-hand. At that point, given annual deficits, incoming receipts would be insufficient to pay millions of daily obligations as they come due. Therefore, the federal government would have to at least temporarily default on many of its obligations, from Social Security payments and salaries for federal civilian employees and the military to veterans’ benefits and utility bills, among others.
    ………..
    A default, or even the perceived threat of one, could have serious negative economic implications. An actual default would roil global financial markets and create chaos, since both domestic and international markets depend on the relative economic and political stability of U.S. debt instruments and the U.S. economy. Interest rates would rise, and demand for Treasuries would drop as investors stop or scale back investments in Treasury securities if they are no longer considered perfectly safe, thereby increasing the risk of default. Even the threat of default during a standoff increases borrowing costs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that the 2011 debt ceiling standoff raised borrowing costs by a total of $1.3 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, and the 2013 debt limit impasse led to additional costs over a one-year period of between $38 million and more than $70 million.

    If interest rates for Treasuries increase substantially, interest rates across the economy would follow, affecting car loans, credit cards, home mortgages, business investments, and other costs of borrowing and investment. The balance sheets of banks and other institutions with large holdings of Treasuries would decline as the value of Treasuries dropped, potentially tightening the availability of credit as seen most recently in the Great Recession.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  163. 1. This isn’t some random useless expense that has been frivolously expanded over the last 14 years.

    Yeah, it was. There’s no reason for medical spending to be over $2 trillion a year.

    2. The political likelihood of Republicans removing money from a majority of their own voters seems very unlikely.

    Nic (896fdf) — 1/14/2023 @ 8:02 pm

    Well, sure, that’s part of what makes a complex society collapse.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  164. Rip Murdock (469d8e) — 1/14/2023 @ 8:31 pm

    Nothing in that paper refuted what I said. In fact, it even admits it: “At that point, given annual deficits, incoming receipts would be insufficient to pay millions of daily obligations as they come due.”

    So Congress can either raise taxes, cut spending, or both, to meet its actual obligations and not hit the debt ceiling.

    Just because we’ve lived with annual deficits our whole lives doesn’t mean we should continue to do so. And if we’re simply going to keep raising it, what’s the point in having it in the first place? Maybe I’ll get lucky enough to see $100 trillion in debt during my lifetime.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  165. Since Janet Yellen has said the US will hit the debt ceiling on January 19th, and that the Treasury’s “extraordinary measures” (and cash on hand) will last only to early June, there isn’t much time.

    It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  166. So Congress can either raise taxes, cut spending, or both, to meet its actual obligations and not hit the debt ceiling.

    Of course most of the debt was incurred by prior administrations and Congresses long gone and has nothing to do with the current budget.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  167. @FWO@166 It’s 1500 per month per person. For insurance for the elderly, that’s not a bad price. As for the poor, I don’t know if it’s cheaper to pay for poor people to get vaccines and preventive care and actual doctor visits for sick kids, or if it would be cheap to pay for ER visits for sick kids or septic injuries but looking at what medical treatment costs if you wait for something to get bad before you take care of it, I’d think the first would be cheaper and since we get stuck with the ER bills when poor people can’t pay, I’d rather take the first option.

    Nic (896fdf)

  168. And it’s not just debt held by bond holders. It includes all Federal obligations, such as pensions, SS payments, etc. that would need to be covered.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  169. Once the government hits the debt ceiling and exhausts all available extraordinary measures, it is no longer allowed to issue debt and soon after will run out of cash-on-hand…

    This is madness; start by stop giving it freely to the goddamn Ukrainians!

    DCSCA (818b9f)

  170. So Congress can either raise taxes, cut spending, or both, to meet its actual obligations and not hit the debt ceiling.

    That is a theoretical option, but I think politically it’s a non-starter. Republicans won’t raise taxes, and Democrats won’t back severe program reductions. And given the thin 4-vote margin in the House, it may not even pass there.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  171. First news item:

    ……….
    The $20 billion arms package for Turkey would include 40 new F-16 fighter jets and 79 upgrade kits to refurbish the country’s existing fleet of aging F-16s. Greece is asking to buy at least 30 F-35 fighter jets, the most modern planes in the U.S. arsenal.

    The Greek request is uncontroversial and very likely to be approved. But while Turkey is a NATO ally of more than 70 years, that package faces skepticism from members of Congress who are exasperated with the country’s autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including over his violation of civil liberties and his refusal so far to approve NATO membership for Sweden and Finland. The two long-neutral Nordic countries applied to join the military alliance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    …….. (T)he chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey and a longtime critic of Mr. Erdogan, issued a stinging statement.
    ………
    “President Erdogan continues to undermine international law, disregard human rights and democratic norms, and engage in alarming and destabilizing behavior in Turkey and against neighboring NATO allies,” Mr. Menendez said. “Until Erdogan ceases his threats, improves his human rights record at home — including by releasing journalists and political opposition — and begins to act like a trusted ally should, I will not approve this sale.”
    ………
    ………(M)any experts on Turkey believe that Mr. Erdogan will not approve the NATO expansion, which Mr. Biden has called a major strategic defeat for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, unless he is confident the new and upgraded planes are in hand. Mr. Erdogan faces an election this spring amid economic turmoil in his country.
    ……….
    Hungary is the only other NATO member not to approve the new applicants, but its leaders have said they will do so early this year.

    ………. Mr. Menendez and others have sharply criticized Mr. Erdogan’s autocratic governing style, which in recent years has included a harsh crackdown on media outlets, opposition parties and other sources of dissent.

    They have also denounced Mr. Erdogan’s relatively friendly relations with Mr. Putin.……..
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (469d8e)

  172. Interesting Supreme Court petition: Netchoice LLC v Paxton

    Paul Clement for the plaintiff. Ken Paxton, Respondent

    The question regards Texas’ law imposing 1st Amendment type rules on private websites, restricting their ability to delete third-party content, which a trial court held to be invalid, but the 5th Circuit reversed.

    From the plaintiff’s brief (pdf) (citations omitted)

    Introduction:

    House Bill 20 (“HB20”), no judicial opinion in our Nation’s history had held that the First Amendment permits government to compel websites to publish and disseminate speech against their will.1 If allowed to stand, the Fifth Circuit’s opinion will upend settled First Amendment jurisprudence and threaten to transform speech on the Internet
    as we know it today. This Court has already prevented Respondent from enforcing HB20 against Petitioners’ members.

    It should do so again. HB20 infringes the core First Amendment rights of Petitioners’ members by denying them editorial control over their own websites, while forcing them to publish speech they do not wish to disseminate. As the Eleventh Circuit explained when invalidating Florida’s similar law, “social-media companies . . . are ‘private actors’ whose rights the First Amendment protects, . . . their so-called ‘content-moderation’ decisions constitute protected exercises of editorial judgment”—and any laws “that restrict large platforms’ ability to engage in content moderation unconstitutionally burden that prerogative.”

    Footnote: HB20 regulates “social media platforms,” which generally encompasses “an Internet website or application that is open to the public, allows a user to create an account, and enables users to communicate with other users for the primary purpose of posting information, comments, messages, or images.”

    This Petition will refer to HB20-regulated entities as “covered websites” or just “websites.”

    As it stands now, websites within the jurisdiction of Texas are denied arbitrary editorial control over third-party content with respect to viewpoint, content or speaker. In the 11th Circuit it is different. A similar law was passed in Florida. It seems likely that the Court will have to take up this question now, or in the near future..

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  173. That is a theoretical option, but I think politically it’s a non-starter. Republicans won’t raise taxes, and Democrats won’t back severe program reductions. And given the thin 4-vote margin in the House, it may not even pass there.

    In a vacuum, yes, this is true. With the sword of Damocles hanging overhead? Something will give. Most likelt it will be 6 GOP House members voting to raise the debt ceiling.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  174. But they will get at least a few ounces of flesh first.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  175. What is the point of a debt ceiling? Every year or so we create this faux spectacle of trying to constrain spending. We play this game of chicken that compromises trust in the U.S. economy so some Russian-Roulette-threatening congressmen can look tough before predictably caving. Tough decisions have to be made. Unfortunately it has to be made by short-term politicians who would rather play games to fund raise instead of dealing honestly with their constituents. There is no simple way to cut the deficit. Someone will get fewer benefits, services, or subsidies or someone will pay more taxes. That’s it.

    People are living longer and we can’t find our way to a health care system that is more efficient. Rogue actors in the world have to be matched by someone. How much do we sacrifice to authoritarian dictators? This debt-ceiling theater is not the way. We need an electorate that wants to do right by the next generation. An electorate that understands that some personal sacrifice is needed….and empowers its representatives to make the hard choices. Right now we enjoy our political toxicity more than we care about the generations ahead who we are literally screwing. The problem is getting harder and harder.

    Hard decisions require political trust. We engage in too much that errodes that trust with little to show for it. We should reward adults and those willing to buck the partisan divide. Instead we double down on more of the same, then complain about the “establishment”. What are you willing to sacrifice to put us on the path to fiscal sanity? It just seems like it’s the other guy that is suppose to sacrifice….where’s the courage in that?

    AJ_Liberty (559aac)

  176. It’s 1500 per month per person. For insurance for the elderly, that’s not a bad price. As for the poor, I don’t know if it’s cheaper to pay for poor people to get vaccines and preventive care and actual doctor visits for sick kids, or if it would be cheap to pay for ER visits for sick kids or septic injuries but looking at what medical treatment costs if you wait for something to get bad before you take care of it, I’d think the first would be cheaper and since we get stuck with the ER bills when poor people can’t pay, I’d rather take the first option.

    Nic (896fdf) — 1/14/2023 @ 9:02 pm

    Funny how much cheaper medical care was when we mostly paid cash for it. 60 years ago, a regular birth and two nights in a private room in the hospital was about $1,000, inflation-adjusted. When our kids were born, the hospital charged $25K apiece ($10K for the delivery, $15K for the room), and insurance knocked the negotiated price down to $18K. My mother-in-law found an old emergency room bill from when her brother broke his wrist on a vacation in the early 70s, and they charged $25, total, for an x-ray and cast.

    I’d rather have just dropped the $1,000 on a cashier’s desk if it would have meant cheaper hospital bills overall. Every time you start injecting additional vendors into the process, real costs tend to get a lot more expensive.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  177. That is a theoretical option, but I think politically it’s a non-starter. Republicans won’t raise taxes, and Democrats won’t back severe program reductions. And given the thin 4-vote margin in the House, it may not even pass there.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e) — 1/14/2023 @ 9:14 pm

    Sure, the politics makes it practically impossible, but the people inferring that this isn’t actually an option are either ignorant or being dishonest.

    The post-WW2 generations want a lot of nice stuff, and they want someone else to pay for it. That’s why Bernie is so popular with dumb college students, and the Republicans only start acting fiscally responsible when a Democrat is President.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  178. the generations ahead who we are literally screwing.

    AJ_Liberty (559aac) — 1/14/2023 @ 10:30 pm

    The grooming I of course knew about, but this is news to me. Did I miss a meeting?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  179. Trump got elected on not touching soc. security and medicare. Republican party is populist not conservative economic libertarians. The democrats along with soc. security and medicare recipients will be ready to act. Democrats may say we have no money to protect republican house members if the people march or the corporate establishment deep state will just declare martial law and start arresting republican law makers as they did with the copper heads. Military will get upset with republicans preventing them from funding and getting paid. As has been said here many times democrats don’t believe in the constitution so it wouldn’t get in the way of them “dealing” with the situation. Republicans don’t have the majority and gain power by gerrymandering states that have more congress people then their population warrants. In the senate 18% of the population in 26 states control 52 senate seats. Republicans have only won the popular vote for president once since 1988. This could be the chance to change the system with republicans neutralized. Old chinese curse Be careful what you wish for you might get it! The conservative economic libertarian philosophy is based on force not being used against them. Do you think armed 2nd amendment gun owners will be protecting republicans cutting off their soc. security and medicare. Hospitals only take indigent patients because they take medicare. If medicare cut off they wont take them. The esoteric debate here assumes an absence of force. Only in conservative dream world is the steel fist of power absent!

    asset (25a3ea)

  180. https://townhall.com/columnists/larryoconnor/2023/01/13/a-botched-abortion-is-the-birth-of-a-child-n2618256

    Every Democrat in the House voted for infanticide. Every Democrat in the Senate will prevent this bill protecting living, breathing children from becoming law.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  181. Sure, the politics makes it practically impossible, but the people inferring that this isn’t actually an option are either ignorant or being dishonest.

    I prefer to deal with political realities, not fantasies. That why, despite multiple reasons Biden should be impeached, it won’t happen. I don’t think the votes are there in the House, except among the Freedom Caucus fanatics. And certainly not in the Senate to convict.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  182. UMass-Amherst National Poll:

    ………..
    In a one-on-one matchup, DeSantis edges Trump among Republicans in the new national poll, 51-49, which is within the poll’s margin of error. When both are included in a larger field that includes potential candidates such as former Vice President Mike Pence (7%), former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (3%), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (3%) and others, Trump leads the field with 37% of Republicans choosing him as their preferred choice for the party’s nomination, with DeSantis close behind at 34%. No other candidate received double-digit support.
    ……….
    “DeSantis appears to be the choice among the more establishment-oriented Republicans,” says Raymond La Raja, professor of political science at UMass Amherst and co-director of the poll. “In a head-to-head matchup between DeSantis and Trump among Republican voters, the outcome is basically even. However, older people, the more educated and the wealthy prefer DeSantis by solid margins. Men also prefer him – 57-43 – compared to women, who favor Trump, 54-46.”

    “The fact that support for Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions comes disproportionately from older, wealthier and more educated Republicans is good news for him – and bad news for Trump,” says Jesse Rhodes, professor of political science at UMass Amherst and co-director of the poll. “These are the people who are most likely to vote, make political contributions and participate in campaigns. If DeSantis is able to hold these voters, he will be in a very formidable position in the GOP primary.”

    “……… A mere 10% of Republican respondents blame Trump for the Party’s lackluster midterm performance, attributing it instead to old-standby rationalizations like mainstream media bias (30%) and voter fraud (21%), and most Republican voters still don’t believe it would be better for the GOP – or the nation – if Trump stepped away from politics.” [said Alexander Theodoridis, associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst and co-director of the poll.]
    ………..
    The new poll also asked respondents about their views on what the new Republican-led House of Representatives should prioritize. While 63% of those surveyed said the House GOP should compromise with House and Senate Democrats and President Biden to pass legislation, 55% believe they should push bills that reflect Republican priorities – even though they likely wouldn’t become law – and an equal percentage want the GOP to investigate the business dealings of Hunter Biden. Nearly six in 10 (58%) want investigations into the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s handling of immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
    ………..
    Among all respondents, expectations that Biden will be impeached have fallen from 44% in a May 2022 UMass Amherst Poll to 38% in the latest poll. Meanwhile, those who say Biden should be impeached has increased from 34% in May to 40% in the current poll.

    ……… The desire to impeach Biden is strictly along partisan lines – 72% of Republican voters think he should be impeached compared to 15% of Democrats and 37% of Independents. These figures have not budged in more than a year.” [said Professor La Raja.]

    ………. While we have seen a decrease in the number of Americans who believe that President Joe Biden should be impeached, many among those who continue to believe that President Biden should be impeached point to the alleged criminal business dealings of his son Hunter Biden, his withdrawal from Afghanistan, the immigration crisis on the southern border and the president’s age and mental acuity as the central reasons why Biden should be impeached. Whether these supposed offenses rise to the level of impeachable offenses remains to be seen but given the slim majority enjoyed by the GOP it is unlikely that we will see Articles of Impeachment approved by the House of Representatives.” [said Professor Nteta].
    ………..

    Poll cross tabs and toplines

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  183. Better link for UMass poll in post 186.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  184. Here’s some biased reporting by The Guardian, trying to make the death of Keenan Anderson into a George Floyd situation, but the bodycam and video footage tells a different story, of a guy who was clearly incoherent, paranoid, hopped up on cocaine, ignoring police commands and resisting arrest. And unlike Floyd, he died nearly five hours later in hospital, and I’m guessing it’s from the drugs, not the tasering.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  185. In pandemic’s wake, churchgoing takes a hit, survey indicates
    ……….
    “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of American society, including religious worship,” said a January 2023 report on the survey “Faith After the Pandemic” from the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life.

    “Rather than completely upending established patterns, the pandemic accelerated ongoing trends in religious change. Young people, those who are single, and self-identified liberals ceased attending religious services at all at much higher rates than other Americans did.”
    ………
    The groups most likely to attend religious services, and to attend regularly, are political conservatives, adults age 50 and older, women, married adults, and people with a college degree. Their frequency of attendance was “largely similar” to before the pandemic and spring of 2022, the AEI report said.

    Young people, political liberals and moderates, and Americans without a college degree were the most likely groups not to attend religious services before the pandemic and as of spring 2022.
    ……….
    Nineteen percent of adults changed religious affiliation between March 2020 and March 2022, 6% were unaffiliated before the pandemic but are now affiliated, and 5% had a religious affiliation but now are not. Twice as many adults decreased religious attendance than increased attendance.

    The observed changes could mean that religious affiliation tells us less about Americans and their religious beliefs and theological commitments, the AEI report said. The changes could mean more polarization between regular attendees of religious worship and their self-identified co-religionists.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  186. I prefer to deal with political realities, not fantasies.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9) — 1/15/2023 @ 6:44 am

    I read your comments during the Trump times. I don’t think this statement about yourself is consistent with reality.

    frosty (0ba222)

  187. More Voter Fraud:

    Perry County (AL) Commission Chairman Albert Turner Jr. has been indicted on voter fraud charges.

    Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Michael Jackson, along with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, announced the two-count indictment Wednesday.

    Turner, the son of civil rights activist Albert Turner Sr., is charged with voting more than once, which is a misdemeanor, and harvesting ballots, a felony.

    Jackson said Turner is accused of “stuffing” ballots into a voting machine in the May Democratic primary election.

    “He was there most of the day stuffing filled out ballots in favor of the candidates he was supporting,’’ Jackson said. “Witnesses came forward, and we felt we had enough to present to a Perry County grand jury.”

    In the November general election, he said, Turner is accused of mailing an undisclosed number of absentee ballots.

    ……….. Turner’s parents were unsuccessfully prosecuted for voter fraud by then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions in the 1985.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  188. I prefer to deal with political realities, not fantasies.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9) — 1/15/2023 @ 6:44 am

    I read your comments during the Trump times. I don’t think this statement about yourself is consistent with reality.

    frosty (0ba222) — 1/15/2023 @ 7:38 am

    Unless you have a specific quote from me personally (as opposed to an article I posted) I’m not sure what you mean. I have always said that what I post is for discussion purposes and doesn’t necessarily reflect my personal views.

    And who is to say we are past the “Trump times”?

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  189. Effectiveness of the Bivalent mRNA Vaccine in Preventing Severe COVID-19 Outcomes: An Observational Cohort Study
    ………..
    ……….. This retrospective cohort study included all members of Clalit Health Services (Israel), aged ≥65, eligible for a bivalent booster. Hospitalizations and death due to Covid-19 among participants who received the bivalent vaccine were compared with those who did not……..

    Findings: A total of 622,701 participants met the eligibility criteria. Of those, 85,314 (14%) received a bivalent-booster during the 70-day study period. Hospitalization due to Covid-19 occurred in 6 bivalent recipients and 297 participants who did not, adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 0.19 (95% CI, 0.08-0.43). Death due to Covid-19 occurred in 1 bivalent recipient and 73 participants who did not, adjusted HR 0.14: (95% CI, 0.02-1.04).

    Interpretation: Participants who received the bivalent vaccine had lower hospitalization and mortality rates due to Covid-19 than non-recipients up to 70 days after vaccination.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  190. More Election Fraud:

    ……….
    According to a DOJ press release, Kim Phuong Taylor faces more than 50 felony charges, including 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration, and 23 counts of fraudulent voting.
    ……..
    Phuong Taylor is married to Jeremy Taylor, a former Iowa House member and current Woodbury County supervisor. Taylor, who is not identified by name or accused of wrongdoing in the press release, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination to replace Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
    ………..
    After Taylor was defeated in that race, Phuong Taylor is accused of doing so again in his general election campaign for county supervisor. Among other things, according to the press release, she wrongly signed documents on behalf of other voters or told people they were allowed to sign documents on behalf of relatives who weren’t present.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  191. Hard decisions require political trust. We engage in too much that errodes that trust with little to show for it. We should reward adults and those willing to buck the partisan divide. Instead we double down on more of the same, then complain about the “establishment”. What are you willing to sacrifice to put us on the path to fiscal sanity? It just seems like it’s the other guy that is suppose to sacrifice….where’s the courage in that?

    So, I’ve just received a book that suggests that we are in a post-journalism information regime, where news sources are no longer 1st providers of news (that comes from social media and other background sources).

    The Amazon blurb reads:

    Hundreds of thousands of today’s students have never even touched a newspaper. The market is already ready to drop newspapers, but society is not yet. The last newspaper generation’s habits will preserve at least some demand for newspapers for a while. Newspapers will exist as an industrial product for no longer than the mid-2030s. Some vintage use of newspapers may remain afterwards, but it will be a matter of arts, not industry.
    The least obvious and yet most shocking aspect of the newspapers’ decline is the fact that it reflects the fate of journalism, not just a carrier. This is neither a cyclical crisis nor a matter of transition; this is the end of an era.

    “Postjournalism and the death of newspapers” unveils the economic and cultural mechanisms of agenda-setting in the news media at the final stage of their historical existence. As advertising has fled to the internet and was absorbed there almost entirely by the Google-Facebook duopoly, the news media have been forced to switch to another source of funding – selling content to readers. However, they cannot sell news because news is already known to people from social media newsfeeds. Instead, the media offers the validation of already-known news within a certain value system and the delivery of the “right” news to others.

    This business necessity forces the media to relocate the gravity of their operation from news to values. Media outlets are increasingly soliciting subscriptions as donations to a cause. To attract donations, they have to focus on “pressing social issues”. The need to pursue reader revenue and therefore the dependence on the audience, with the news no longer being a commodity, is pushing journalism to mutate into postjournalism. Journalism wants its picture to match the world; postjournalism wants the world to match its picture.

    The ad-driven media manufactured consent. The reader-driven media manufacture anger. The former served consumerism. The latter serve polarization.

    The only positive take-away I see here is the possibility that the monopoly- or dominant-newspaper towns will see a rebirth of competition in viewpoint, even if it’s balkanized by belief.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  192. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 8:58 am

    Your link doesn’t work.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  193. @191

    It’s possible signers lied about where they lived (I do that with a fake name and address when signing petitions for issues I oppose, technically a misdemeanor, but how would they know? ID is not required)
    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/27/2022 @ 2:39 pm

    JF (71d4f9)

  194. I think this may be Kevin M’s link.

    DRJ (78044b)

  195. JF (71d4f9) — 1/15/2023 @ 9:10 am

    As I said before, I’ll post the notice of my arrest. 🤪

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  196. So what? And this isn’t just Medicare, this is Medicare AND Medicaid–and when you look at the outlays, Medicaid is just as expensive as Medicare.

    Yes, but just looking at outlays is not correct because one of the programs has direct taxes (prepayment), premiums and co-pays and the other does not.

    Half of Medicare outlays are covered by payroll taxes and premiums. There are also co-pays that reduce outlays. The idea of Medicare was this: most if not all medical insurance would exclude the aged due to some condition or other, and since premiums are keyed to age, even those who qualified for programs would have to have substantial assets (remember, they’ve retired) to pay the premiums.

    Data point: The unsubsidized 2018 cost for a Covered California catastrophic policy (no payments whatsoever until after $7000 out-of-pocket) was about $1500/married couple/month at age 64. And the network was narrow, with no insurance out-of-network. Insurance comparable to what they had while employed was over $3000/month. Damn few retired people can pay that kind of money.

    It because of this kind of thing, where older folks were basically cast out of the hospitals and into the snow, that Medicare happened. Over time, the cost has grown (as all medical costs have grown). This may be in part due to Medicare, but employer-paid (or subsidized) insurance covers more than half of medical expenses nationally, so it’s just as guilty.

    Now, is this a burden on working folks? Is this a huge federal outlay? ($750 billion in 2022). Yes, of course it is. But a similar amount is being paid in to the system by taxes and premiums, so it’s not a dead-loss expense. It is quite likely that there will be an adjustment to cut the net expense, which has risen faster than receipts.

    Any “fix” for Medicare will involve higher payroll taxes and somewhat higher premiums. They’ve already removed the base pay limit for Medicare tax, added a Medicare tax on capital gains, boosted premiums for seniors entering the system, and even more so for those with substantial income (and may do a bit more of that, too). They may also require higher deductibles, bump the co-pays past 20%, and reduce some infrequent but expensive benefits (e.g. lifetime limit on skilled nursing). Wealthier seniors will make up for these cuts with higher supplemental program expenses.

    It is ironic that they guy who really had a plan for rolling Medicaid, Obamacare and Medicare up into a HMO/PPO style plan was opposed like the Devil Himself by the House Freedom Caucus.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  197. Here is a hidden benefit for younger folks who are paying Medicare taxes: you are funding lots and lots of research into drugs and treatments for delaying the effects of age. What you will get out of that is unclear, but folks my age have benefited from things that manage cholesterol, blood-pressure, heart disease and a host of other ailments of older people. They’ve extended our life expectancy by something like a decade. The biologicals that are now just coming out (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) are curing diseases and helping conditions previously untreatable. Just not those on Medicare as yet — too expensive.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  198. I think this may be Kevin M’s link.

    Yes, sorry. I dropped the last character getting id of the referrer info.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  199. I’ve been reading about ways to control health care costs. In the process, I learned that we have a growing doctor shortage, which can’t help. Apparently, the number of residency positions is strongly influenced by Medicare funds with the amount capped by Congress. Some hospitals will fund their own residency positions but it’s out of pocket and so they are otherwise incentivized. So our patient-to-doctor ratio is much higher than many of the cheaper international systems.

    I also found that average doctor salaries are much higher in the U.S., with Germany and the UK trailing considerably (over $100k) behind. Now in part it’s understandable given the high cost of entry into the field. It’s not unusual to accumulate $400k in debt while also deferring much income through a 3-6 year residency. I’m sure some of this disparity is driven by the allure of specialization, but I wonder if this is what the health care system needs?

    I’m the last to propose wage controls or the government introducing some other perverse incentives, and begrudge no one anything for their hard work, but wonder about the sustainability of it all. With an aging population (especially with the glut of boomers) there is a stress on the system that can’t be magically cut away by only defunding. We need more ideas and less grandstanding. The GOP’s alternatives to Obamacare were less than mind blowing. The party needs to get back to innovating and fixing problems instead of whatever the priority of late has been…..

    AJ_Liberty (ea4fa1)

  200. Interpretation: Participants who received the bivalent vaccine had lower hospitalization and mortality rates due to Covid-19 than non-recipients up to 70 days after vaccination.

    Not quite accurate. A better statement is this:

    Interpretation: Participants who received the bivalent vaccine had lower hospitalization and mortality rates due to Covid-19 than non-recipients for the 70 days after vaccination that the study covered.

    That they have no data after 70 days does not mean that this protection did not last far longer than 70 days. “Up to” is misleading at best.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  201. AJ,

    I cannot speak for national trends, but what I’ve seen in New Mexico (which has a noticeable doc shortage) is that nurse practitioners and Physician Assistants are used for physicals, checkups and most routine care. Specialists take up much of the rest. Since CNPs and PAs are lower paid, this brings down health costs and reduces the need for MDs. I also see that most of the intake and prelims are done by staff rather than any certified provider.

    Obamacare seems to have done two things. By reducing the number of uninsured and/or Medicaid patients, they have taken a dead weight off hospitals and emergency rooms. They have also reduced the overall cost of providing to patients who no longer allow a mundane treatable condition to become an expensive (and unreimbursed) emergency.

    BTW, I think that medical costs and expenses for 2020-2022 are probably not a very good baseline for analysis.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  202. I also think that the dearth of doctors in NM may have something to do with the affinity of the state legislature for the plaintiff bar. It is no accident that the highways are littered with billboards for personal injury law firms. “Better Call Saul” is right at home in ABQ. As, it seems, are car washes.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  203. Putin, having failed to win against Ukraine’s military, is, more than ever, targeting Ukrainian civilians..

    For more details, follow the Twitter link.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  204. @Kevin, I’ve seen a PA for my last 2 or 3 physicals, so I’m seeing a similar trend, but I agree that anything in the past 2 or 3 years might be skewed. Producing more CNP’s and PA’s is probably a good thing, but I’d prefer my GP for anything beyond the routine.

    AJ_Liberty (ea4fa1)

  205. #207 follow-up: Here’s a photo that — I believe — shows the rescue of the woman trapped by that attack by “Czar” Putin.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  206. Well, most folks with ongoing conditions find a specialist for that condition. Which brings me to another insurance- and Medicare-driven trend, the growth of hospital-based networks.

    Here in NM, there are three major hospital groups (UNM, Presbyterian and Lovelace). Inside one of these systems, you are guaranteed that the same insurance will work for everything, which is almost never the case with independent practitioners, and that common medical records will be available. With Medicare this isn’t all that important, but with a private carrier, or Obamacare, it certainly is and it allows one to have a good idea of what insurer will best serve your needs, and that you are covered if you have to go to hospital in a hurry.

    This consolidation does lower costs but it also brings a bureaucracy and the attendant overhead, which is often charged in a facilities fee over an above the doctor. Hard to say if this helps the cost but — so long as the network covers your needs — it’s easier for the patient to navigate.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  207. One of the reasons for the shortage of doctors in the US is the shortage residencies:

    Every year, there are medical students who don’t match. In 2021, there were more than 42,500 applicants for just over 38,000 residencies. That’s more than 4,000 would-be doctors who don’t — initially — get a spot. By some estimates, there are even more than that. And without a residency, you can’t get a license to practice medicine.

    Does that residency shortage increase the incomes of those who have licenses?

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  208. Putin, having failed to win against Ukraine’s military, is, more than ever, targeting Ukrainian civilians..

    I keep hearing about how we have to walk on eggshells to avoid driving Mad Vlad into thermonuclear spasms. But he has no problem with hobnail boots through the nursery. Crew this. Give Ukraine weapons that will reach well into Russia. The chickens need to come home to roost.

    One of the main issue I have with Biden’s approach is that he falls into the standard Democrat mistake of incremental escalation, instead of the overwhelming response usually favored by the military. Incremental escalation failed utterly in Vietnam, since there was never an “Oh sh1t!” moment for the North. Eventually we will get to all the places that he’s refrained from getting, but by the time he gets there it will just be part of a continuum. Eventually using “just a little nuke” will seem reasonable, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  209. Does that residency shortage increase the incomes of those who have licenses?

    Marginally. That’s not why it happens though. And those not getting residencies are not “would-be” doctors. They are MDs the moment they graduate from medical school. They need the residency to get licensed, but they are “doctors.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  210. The top 10 Republican presidential candidates for 2024, ranked
    ………
    10. Gov. Kristi L. Noem:

    ……..One thing did catch our eye recently, though: the South Dakota governor’s staff picking a fight with DeSantis. While responding to a National Review reporter’s inquiry on transgender issues, her spokesman offered what that publication described as a “an unprompted diatribe about the contrast between Noem’s and DeSantis’s records on the issue of abortion.” ………. That should probably be understood as a pretty significant statement of intent from Noem. (Previous ranking: n/a)

    9. Gov. Chris Sununu:

    ……..One of the emerging potential arguments against DeSantis is that he’s too eager to use the heavy hand of government to wage the culture wars. And Sununu offered such an argument this week. ………Well, the government is never useful at coming in and fixing a cultural issue.” (Previous ranking: 9)

    8. Nikki Haley:
    …….. (Previous ranking: 7)

    7. Mike Pompeo:
    …….. (Previous ranking: 8)

    6. Sen. Ted Cruz:

    ……..(He) has sought to align himself with Trump and focus on the large conservative market for Twitter trolling. What would he even run on in 2024, though? …….. (Previous ranking: 6)

    5. Gov. Glenn Youngkin:

    …….. Youngkin is just more than a year into his term as Virginia governor, yes, but politics is often about striking while the iron is hot. …… . (Previous ranking: 4)

    4. Mike Pence:

    ……….(His) stock is arguably rising, as the party flirts with the at least partial break with Trumpism that Pence so badly needs. (Previous ranking: 3)

    3. Sen. Tim Scott:

    …….(We) can certainly see an argument for the senator from South Carolina having a shot to catch on in a way others like Pompeo, Cruz and Pence might not, given his personal style and compelling biography. ……. (Previous ranking: 5)

    2. Donald Trump:

    It hasn’t gotten any better for Trump since the 2022 campaign left him at perhaps his weakest political point in years. He continues to trail DeSantis in most head-to-head polls. No, the race won’t really be one-on-one — at least not initially — but those surveys still mean something: They suggest Trump could at some point run into a ceiling of support. ………(Previous ranking: 2)

    1. Gov. Ron DeSantis:

    You know you’re the — or at least a — front-runner when your would-be opponents start coming for you even before the campaign begins. But how effectively can those Republicans actually prosecute the case against him? ……. Sununu and others …….. can argue for a more limited governmental role in the culture wars, but there’s a reason few are making that case; the fervor for those culture wars is obviously very strong. Despite Trump’s political decline, his ethos of fighting with any tool available — even if it’s the government — appears to live on.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  211. Link in post 214 is free.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  212. https://notthebee.com/article/the-university-of-minnesota-is-out-here-trying-to-bring-back-witch-doctors-fun

    Maybe if medical schools got back into the business of medicine it would help.

    NJRob (2e8195)

  213. U.K. Is First Country to Agree to Send Western Battle Tanks to Ukraine
    ………
    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain aimed to send Challenger 2 tanks and extra artillery systems to allow “Ukraine to press their advantage, win this war and secure a lasting peace,” according to a summary of their call published by Downing Street.

    In a statement later Saturday, the prime minister’s office said a squadron of 14 tanks would go to Ukraine in coming weeks, which is expected to be followed by around 30 AS90 large, self-propelled guns. It also said the U.K. will start training Ukrainian armed forces on the tanks and guns in coming days.
    ………..
    Officials in Poland, Finland and other European nations are thinking about supplying Leopards to Ukraine, but they need permission from the German government to do so. A top German official said Germany would follow up on its pledge to send main battle tanks if other Western allies do so.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  214. RIP historian Paul Johnson (94).

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  215. RIP Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway of Diamond and Silk (51).

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  216. @214. The top 10 Republican presidential candidates for 2024, just ‘rank.’

    FIFY

    10. Gov. Kristi L. Noem:

    Another Brando; wants to be a contender.

    9. Gov. Chris Sununu:

    The new Sununu… ever driven one?

    8. Nikki Haley:

    Right gender, ethnicity, fine family story for the times; proven domestic & int’l experience; a confident woman; projects professionalism and looks great in a dress; not so insecure as to need to wear pantsuits in a man’s world full of double-breasted suits. Conclusion: common sense chances dwindling.

    7. Mike Pompeo:

    Another West Point military drone.

    6. Sen. Ted Cruz:

    Stale loaf. And even less likeable o palatable when toasted w/ham and cheese. Ask his kids.

    5. Gov. Glenn Youngkin:

    Fresh bread always smells good.

    4. Mike Pence:

    One POTUS a century who calls his wife, ‘Mommie’ is enuf.

    3. Sen. Tim Scott:

    Articulate; been there; done that.

    2. Donald Trump:

    His party and the star of the show.

    1. Gov. Ron DeSantis:

    A contestant for The Apprentice

    DCSCA (18d2a7)

  217. No one closely associated with Trump will be the nominee. Nor will anyone associated with #neverTrump. DeSantis, Tim Scott, Youngkin or Haley have a shot.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  218. RIP historian Paul Johnson (94).

    Rip Murdock (e993d9) — 1/15/2023 @ 12:14 pm

    Anyone who calls themselves a conservative owes it to themselves to read “Modern Times.” His other works like “Intellectuals” are decent, but MT is a magnum opus that punctures several left-liberal narratives that have been conventional wisdom for decades.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  219. No one closely associated with Trump will be the nominee. Nor will anyone associated with #neverTrump. DeSantis, Tim Scott, Youngkin or Haley have a shot. Especially since she has no real base to turn out for her.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 1:07 pm

    If you’re polling consistently at 3% (like Haley) and have TrumpWorld against you (like Haley) you haven’t a chance in the primaries.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  220. I’ve wondered out loud before here about the GOP’s isolationism stance on Ukraine. I think it is a combination of things.

    1. Some hate Ukraine and it’s “Ukrainian I, America II” WH call mole/snitch Vindman, because it led to Trump impecahment

    2. The Democrats are kept in line and are voting for Ukraine. So in this era, and in the eras spirit of bi-partisan cooperation, it is something they can have passing hallway sex over. “FU” – “FU II”

    3. GOP is not held as tightly by the leadership as we see from the Democrats. The GOP has an isolationist wing and they remain stubborn and rebellious and McCarthy isn’t yet the man to force them to go along

    4. McCarthy may have isolationist tendencies as well, or he may have taken a lesson from Trump and would like Germany to shoulder more of the load. Germany is financially cynical where the US is concerned and is not going to put more in the pot as long as we keep the pot topped off.

    5. Despite the bombshell book by a Trump disliker who has Trump wanting to bomb North Korea with a nuke and blame it on another unnamed country which seems incongruent with his fairly consistent stance on no new wars, no new adventurism, Bolton begone. I don’t think that particular Trump led influence was bad because we needed to wrap up Afghanistan- its rapid fall showed us Afghans tribalists were not interested in a unified Afghanistan and to me it showed that Trump was right.
    GOP isolationist took “Make Europe pay for its own security” seriously

    6. I think this war is a good chance to wean Europe off of Uncle Sugar and if we don’t work fast and smart at us, Germany, Belgium and France will be happy to let us shoulder the load into the next century. They seem to have taken the Franklin Roosevelt Doctrine/ current Democrat stance of “America is the arsenal of democracy” as being in perpetuity

    steveg (efb01b)

  221. Please forgive typos

    steveg (efb01b)

  222. Haley is not “NeverTrump”. At best she is a ”Trump Waffler”.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  223. steveg (efb01b) — 1/15/2023 @ 2:58 pm

    Great post.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  224. Of course most of the debt was incurred by prior administrations and Congresses long gone and has nothing to do with the current budget.

    Rip Murdock (469d8e) — 1/14/2023 @ 8:54 pm

    This is just excuse-making, and a really bad effort at that. “Oh, that’s all in the past, it doesn’t mean anything now!” BS. A lot of the people who incurred those costs are still sitting in their chairs.

    And it has EVERYTHING to do with the current budget–because we have to pay the interest on that debt. Unless you honestly do think that we can print money infinitely, forever; there’s a lot of degreed morons in the punditocracy who believe that very thing.

    I prefer to deal with political realities, not fantasies.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9) — 1/15/2023 @ 6:44 am

    Yes, and that’s why, when the US finally falls apart, it’s going to be precisely because the people in charge put political expediency above mathematics.

    In pandemic’s wake, churchgoing takes a hit, survey indicates
    ……….
    “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of American society, including religious worship,” said a January 2023 report on the survey “Faith After the Pandemic” from the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life.

    That wasn’t the pandemic’s fault–attendance was consistently around 70% in the decades after World War II, and began a steady decline since 2000 to around 50% today. The reason is because Gen-Xers and Millennials were a lot more likely to become either atheist or agnostic, and simply didn’t see a need to go to church anymore. To the extent that church attendance is still strong, is mostly due to religious conservatives and church-going immigrants.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  225. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 11:25 am

    I don’t think the incrementalism is about nukes. That’s just the most convenient excuse. They don’t want to put too much equipment into a failed state. They want UKR to win but they don’t want them to win and also still have a lot of fancy equipment and ammo.

    There’s also a lot more opportunities for graft with an extended conflict. Also morechances to destroy UKR infra that will need to be rebuilt, with some graft.

    frosty (0f7df1)

  226. I think this war is a good chance to wean Europe off of Uncle Sugar and if we don’t work fast and smart at us, Germany, Belgium and France will be happy to let us shoulder the load into the next century.

    Where have you been???? They already are: $100 billion worth. Plus we pay billons to protect the damn continent after muitiple kinetic conflicts in 115 years. 21st Century America cannot afford this crap anymore.

    Ukraine is NOT an American problem: never has been; it has been a disputed region in Europe for a thousand years and their mess to manage… the Yankee Doodle Imbeciles in Congress and the WH who are pushing involvement are lobbied and doing it simply to keep feeding the MIC gravy train $$$ in their various constituencies while America’s infrastructure and systems crumble around us. U.S. interests are at risk in Taiwan, not Ukraine. Tough crap on them– it’s up to them to deal with regional power Russia now. The castle needs stormed again and again until these irresponsible Royalists get it through their living on borrowed bucks heads that like all bankers tell you: you pay yourself first. Fix America.

    .

    DCSCA (dd3497)

  227. No one closely associated with Trump will be the nominee.

    Except they will; if not the king himself, he’ll be the king maker: it’s his party.

    DCSCA (dd3497)

  228. If you’re polling consistently at 3% (like Haley) and have TrumpWorld against you (like Haley) you haven’t a chance in the primaries.

    Yeah. SHe just served him loyaly, but wouldn’t stand for J6. Damn commie! I suppose her being brown has no effect.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  229. Near as I can tell, the dead-ender Trumpworld is filled with racist incel high-school dropouts who are propelled solely by their hate.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  230. They want UKR to win but they don’t want them to win and also still have a lot of fancy equipment and ammo.

    Why not? Why do you call Ukraine “a failed state”? Failed states don’t put up this kind of firm response to an invasion. They act more like France in 1940. Of course, they found a leader, which they never had before. That makes a difference. If there is any “failed state” in the region, it’s Russia, which has never really recovered from the Soviet Union’s fall.

    Now, it may be that we don’t want Ukraine to have weapons after we force them to take a deal they don’t want. So we shouldn’t do that.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  231. Just so you can see what “Czar” Putin is doing, and what DCCCP is supporting, here are the first two photographs I linked to (#207), and here is the third (#209).

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  232. And it’s time to repeat this old joke:

    A Russian gets drunk and begins marching around the Kremlin, shouting, over and over, “Putin is a madman!”

    The man is quickly arrested, tried, and sentenced to 11 years in the Gulag.

    Why 11 years? One year for insulting Russia’s leader, 10 years for revealing a state secret.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  233. One of the best ways to compare different nations’ efforts in supporting Ukraine is by percentages of GDP.

    While not directly participating in the war in Ukraine, countries around the world have been contributing to the defence of Ukraine via financial, humanitarian and military aid. In absolute terms, the largest supporter as of October 3 – by a very large margin – was the United States, with a total of €52.3 billion made up of €27.6 billion in military aid, €9.5 billion humanitarian aid and €15.2 billion in financial aid.

    As this infographic using Kiel Institute for the World Economy data shows though, when it comes to a country’s commitment in relative terms, the U.S. didn’t come close to Latvia [and] Estonia in the first eight months of the war. Latvia’s contribution of €350 million equates to 1.01 percent of the country’s GDP. The United States’ financial input up to this point was equivalent to 0.25 percent of its economic output.

    By that measure, as of October, the US was tied for 7th, with the Czech Republic.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  234. Not our problem. Lol. When has a genocidal tyrant rampaging through Europe swallowing up his democratic neighbors ever been our problem?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  235. @237. I linked that data here a couple of weeks ago. If past is prologue, DCSCA will be along any time now to tell you “pffft” or “except it’s not” because his old, superceded data from the same source says otherwise.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  236. “If past is prologue, DCSCA will be along any time now to tell you “pffft” or “except it’s not” ”

    It’s a pointless rabbit hole. Your data will just give DCCCP another opportunity to perform. Nothing will dissuade him or give him pause…he’s a Russian mouthpiece…paid or otherwise.

    AJ_Liberty (807fb1)

  237. #239 – Have you ever seen it criticize “Czar” Putin? Even for the terrible damage he has done to Russia? Or for his incompetence as a military leader?

    If it has, I’ve missed that comment or comments.

    Meanwhile, here’s another related story:

    Former Russian commander Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, also known as Igor Girkin, recently warned of “civil war” in Russia that could result in “millions of casualties” as the country continues to fight in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  238. @238.Hmmm. Seem to recall one declaring war on America — and Uncle Sam allied with another– and in two separate conflicts selling WAR BONDS to finance fighting the Hun and the Nazis … not to mention the Marshall Plan freebees as well as the 70 years of protection racket $ spent in the 20th century. But you go ahead and keep pitching 21st century freebees to non-taxpaying countries while Americans and their infrastructure go wanting and collapse around you while debt ceiling battles rage… and U.S. borrowing and indebtedness accelerates American decline and fuels the rise of the PRC.

    … and Jinping smiled.

    DCSCA (c21cd1)

  239. #241 AJ_Liberty – True, but Orwell’s famous quote about the “first duty” reminds me not to give up.

    “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.”

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  240. @242. Have you ever seen it criticize “Czar” Biden? Even for the terrible damage he has done to America? Or for his incompetence as a military leader?

    FIFY. But then, you do seem to like to play buttinski a lot and want to mess with other people’s problems, rather than confront the more difficult issues of managing and financing repairs for the problems at home.

    “Never mind what I told you. I’m telling you!” – Captain Morton [James Cagney] ‘Mister Roberts’ 1955

    DCSCA (c21cd1)

  241. @244. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.”

    Accordingly, you may not want to hear this, Jimbo: Orwell wasn’t his real name. It was Blair. Eric Blair.

    DCSCA (c21cd1)

  242. One of the things that suggest a foreigner, or a bot, is the misuse of American idioms, for example, “protection racket”.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  243. @247. Apparently the MIC, financed and supported by Congressional crooks, liars and lobbyists ripping off U.S. taxpayers isn’t criminal to you. Then again, Capone ran soup kitchens while running liquor in depression Chicago, didn’t he.

    DCSCA (c21cd1)

  244. Here’s a good description of the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last November.

    Late Friday, November 5th, the House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The bill now goes directly to President Biden’s desk, where it will certainly become law. America finally has a generation-defining infrastructure bill—and if the reconciliation budget comes through, too, America will begin a building spree larger than what happened during the New Deal.

    One of the most striking failures of the Trump administration is its inability to get a signficant infrastructure bill through Congress.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  245. ……….(Haley) just served him loyaly, but wouldn’t stand for J6. ……..

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 4:35 pm

    More waffling:

    As for Haley, the former South Carolina governor had to put some ideological distance between herself and her blistering comments about Trump in a February (2021) interview with Politico.

    At the time, Haley predicted Trump would “find himself further and further isolated” and diagnosed “he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” effectively ruling out a reelection effort by the former president.

    “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she told Tim Alberta. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”

    Haley said Trump “went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

    Her cleanup efforts began in April, when she said she would not run if Trump ran. By the time of her Tuesday interview with the Wall Street Journal’s John McCormick, all criticisms of Trump were gone.

    “He has a strong legacy from his administration,” Haley said. “He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  246. No one closely associated with Trump will be the nominee……..

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 1:07 pm

    Yeah. SHe just served him loyaly, ……..

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 4:35 pm

    By serving Trump “loyally” Darling Nikki became closely associated with him. So I guess she’s off the list……..

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  247. Yes Jim.
    But where is Germany on that list of yours? Missing to the right because they ran out of room for all the freeloaders
    Hint: slightly more than half of what the Czechs and USA provide, by GDP

    Answer 0.14
    Deutchland behind everyone should be their new theme song

    steveg (4bf7c1)

  248. @Rip Murdock.

    The Yated ran an article this week on page 52 about the Israeli health ministry concealing adverse effects from the Pfizer vaccine, (which was given a monopoly in Israel in order to guarantee delivery and to act as a clinical trial)

    Both prevention and adverse effects can be true, and how one weighs against the other, you don’t find easily.

    There was a leak of a secretly recorded Zoom meeting in June 2022 between the research team hired to report on side effects and the ministry.

    This might date back a few months

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEL6HzVql_g

    Start at 7 minutes in.

    These adverse effects logically would have something to do with stimulating the immune system – and maybe stimulating it in general, so it could depend on previous infections.

    Sammy Finkelman (6e98a0)

  249. Not our problem. Lol. When has a genocidal tyrant rampaging through Europe swallowing up his democratic neighbors ever been our problem?
    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/15/2023 @ 5:22 pm

    how many democratic neighbors has Putin swallowed up?

    do you have enough fingers to count?

    JF (f4ab60)

  250. @252. That’s old data. According to the latest update, Germany is ahead of the US in its per capita share of GDP support for Ukraine.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  251. The effects might be mostly in young children, and the vaccine has strong effects,

    Video with subtitles start at 14:45

    If there’s something wrong with the reporting system, that has to be explained.

    Sammy Finkelman (6e98a0)

  252. 254. So far just parts of two, damn those pesky Ukrainians for slowing Putin’s efficient removal of nations with no right to exist. But only a leftist like me would think that should concern us, right?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  253. 24.

    Death rates from cancer in the US have fallen by 32% over the three decades from 1991 to 2019, according to the American Cancer Society.

    The decline is thanks to prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment of common cancers, including lung and breast cancer.

    More accurately, it’s caused by overdiagnosis and treatment of cancers that weren’t going anywhere. That’s especially true of breast cancer.

    To measure lives saved, you must use the death rate, not the percentage who survive a diagnosis.

    Sammy Finkelman (6e98a0)

  254. The deficit is nit financed by China, and China won’t lose confidence in the dollar, and the 14th amendment only applies to borrowed money – paying bills late is nit a default, and deficits are too ingrained to stop, and the president, if worst comes to worst, can always mint a few trillion dollar coins, and a drop in the credit rating of Treasuries will not cause a rise in the interest rate the U.S. government pays because short term interest rate are set by the Federal Reserve Board, and long term rates by expectations of what the Fed will decree, and not by any market. And the reason the debt limit exists is to increase the power of Congress by creating must pass and must sign bills.

    Sammy Finkelman (6e98a0)

  255. lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/15/2023 @ 7:24 pm

    so, exactly zero have been swallowed up

    were you comparing Putin to Franco? Or, someone else??

    JF (c0d1c4)

  256. @260: I said swallowing, not swallowed. Pardon me, Patterico, Dana, AJ, Jim, Paul, Rip and pretty much everyone else around here who isn’t anti-anti-Trump for thinking we should help Ukraine interrupt him mid-swallow. And I was obviously referring to Prince Rainier of Monaco. His cherries are outrageously overpriced.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  257. @260. You have to chuckle… a regional European power now w/nukes and an aging space program pedding seats going no place, fast- still spooking 20th century pols in Washington, making MIC K Street lobbyists richer and suckering the sheep that follow them as if it was still a global superpower circa 1980. Putin loves it. How does he do it? =sarc= Bound to make Pakistan, India and Israel.. even NorKo jealous of ‘Svengali’ Putin. He’s Xi’s b-tch, now. America best leave ’em to the Europeans to slap around and mop up as the first quarter of the 21st century nears an end and focus on the number one adversary in this century: the PRC.

    DCSCA (dd2ba1)

  258. @260. He uses different metrics; perhaps annexed Crimea is counted as a separate nation and not part of Ukraine… the land of snow cones. Send them some surplus orange and raspberry flavoring. That outta satisfy the General Foods lobby.

    DCSCA (dd2ba1)

  259. @244, Hear, Hear!

    AJ_Liberty (807fb1)

  260. I said swallowing, not swallowed. Pardon me, Patterico, Dana, AJ, Jim, Paul, Rip and pretty much everyone else around here who isn’t anti-anti-Trump for thinking we should help Ukraine interrupt him mid-swallow. And I was obviously referring to Prince Rainier of Monaco. His cherries are outrageously overpriced.
    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/15/2023 @ 8:31 pm

    looks like you’re sticking with “rampaging through Europe”

    and, I said nothing about your position

    JF (e3d838)

  261. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCitZJD_nn4&t=3s

    Congrats to Elon Musk and all the kids at SpaceX on the classified USSF-67 liftoff of Falcon Heavy.

    Absolutely magnificent launch, stellar audio and video going uphill– w/side boosters sticking the landing back at the Cape.

    DCSCA (dd2ba1)

  262. Sammy, didn’t they specifically say death rates have fallen where you ask that they use death rates?

    Nate (1f1d55)

  263. how many democratic neighbors has Putin swallowed up?

    He’s killed quite a few. Do you have the stomach to look at their bodies?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  264. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.”

    Not on college campuses, not on Facebook. OF course Liberty is one of those Old White Men things.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  265. Deutchland behind everyone should be their new theme song

    So, Germany is run by a Putin crony who is trying to pretend he isn’t. We deal with him after.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  266. More accurately, it’s caused by overdiagnosis and treatment of cancers that weren’t going anywhere. That’s especially true of breast cancer.

    Bollocks. Cancers that used to kill everyone in 1950 are now quite curable. They may be detecting cancers earlier, but that’s part of the process of improving the cure. Cancers that aren’t going anywhere are often left alone. This is particularly true with prostate cancer, as most men are unwilling to have unneeded prostate surgery. Breast cancer diagnosed early might also stand a bit or watchful waiting, but maybe women feel more proactive about that.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  267. OF course Liberty is one of those Old White Men things.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCF6_l8gtdA

    DCSCA (f4620d)

  268. @184 Good! @272 liberty to have an abortion? Not our problem S.S. ST. Louis turned away from ameriKKKa in 1939.

    asset (c6fbcb)

  269. There are two kinds of people:

    1. Those who know that Russia has been our worst enemy, holding the threat of nuclear annihilation at our throats, for most of our lifetime; and
    2. Those upset that since Biden closed our ports to Russian shipping, they have had to learn to call out “Hello, sailor!” in other languages instead of Russian.

    nk (bb1548)

  270. @210

    Well, most folks with ongoing conditions find a specialist for that condition. Which brings me to another insurance- and Medicare-driven trend, the growth of hospital-based networks.

    Here in NM, there are three major hospital groups (UNM, Presbyterian and Lovelace). Inside one of these systems, you are guaranteed that the same insurance will work for everything, which is almost never the case with independent practitioners, and that common medical records will be available. With Medicare this isn’t all that important, but with a private carrier, or Obamacare, it certainly is and it allows one to have a good idea of what insurer will best serve your needs, and that you are covered if you have to go to hospital in a hurry.

    This consolidation does lower costs but it also brings a bureaucracy and the attendant overhead, which is often charged in a facilities fee over an above the doctor. Hard to say if this helps the cost but — so long as the network covers your needs — it’s easier for the patient to navigate.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/15/2023 @ 11:14 am

    The easiest, less drastic way to drive down healthcare cost is more socialism in the insurance market.

    I’m not kidding.

    We ought to go single payor.

    This current system we have, is basically the worst of both worlds. It tries to be a free market product (it isn’t) and at the same time tries to be a safety-net to protect everyone (it doesn’t).

    Pick a system, then maximize it’s beneficial structure to the nth degree so that the downside of such plan is palatable.

    whembly (0a8536)

  271. RIP Gina Lollobrigida (95).

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  272. lurker

    Can you please give a link to current contributions made to Ukraine by GDP so I can educate myself?
    The study I found was dated as written in January, but used data from November. They update in February so it looks like their numbers are updated on a rough quarterly system

    steveg (a06fff)

  273. RIP, Gina Lollobrigida

    Often named one of the most beautiful women in the world…

    Picture perfect: to, and with, a camera.

    DCSCA (f4620d)

  274. Hundreds of thousands of today’s students have never even touched a newspaper.

    It’s a minority who have, but it was a minority 30 years ago.

    But I no longer see newspapers in the subway or in buses, except for the free am newspaper occasionally, and maybe a Chinese newspaper.

    I don’t know if anyone else in the building gets newspapers delivered. There used to be two or three others (out of circa 84) 20 years ago. The newspapers were calling up people re=repeatedly offering home delivery.

    The problems outside of New York 20 to 40 years ago was monopolies or near monopolies. That cut down the number of eople who got them.

    A grocery store gets two copies if the new York Times every day and maybe more of the Daily News and sometimes doesn’t sell out the NYT or even has both — a Rite Aid has the NYT NYP Daily News and WSJ – just a few copies. There’s some newsstands in places – I mean stores with newspapers outside,

    The market is already ready to drop newspapers, but society is not yet.

    If there’s no hardcopy nobody will know about the online version, Who reads the New York Sun? And advertisements in printed papers are read more.

    There are lots of free weekly newspapers, and some that charge – at keast 3 weekly Jewish newspapers with a charge and 4 free ones – two of the free ones really based in Long Island. Colleges have their free student newspapers,

    The last newspaper generation’s habits will preserve at least some demand for newspapers for a while. Newspapers will exist as an industrial product for no longer than the mid-2030s

    Not so soon. But a rapid decline, when it comes, may take place over the space of two or three years/

    They won’t go away any more than radio went away when there cane television, or that cable TV will go away. There are always some needs fir it.

    Some newspapers have taken to printing more puzzles, for which you need (or can use) paper – although they also offer puzzles online for subscribers,

    Sammy Finkelman (6e98a0)

  275. @272 liberty to have an abortion?

    As always, liberty/privacy/freedom to do WHAT? The disconnect here is that you don’t believe that harm is done to another.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  276. I had to smile at that photo of Gina and Rock. He was a very good actor, apparently.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  277. No visitor logs exist for Biden’s private home, where classified documents found, White House says

    After House Republicans demanded the White House turn over a log of visitors from President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, where classified documents have been discovered, the White House said Sunday that such a record does not exist.

    “Consistent with past precedent of every President across decades of modern history, his personal residence is personal,” a White House counsel’s office spokesperson said in a statement. “But upon taking office, President Biden restored the norm and tradition of keeping White House visitors logs, including publishing them regularly, after the previous administration ended them.”

    U.S. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News that they also do not maintain visitor logs of private residences, though the Secret Service does provide security screenings for visitors.

    The agency has access to the visitor logs of official government buildings such as the White House and the vice president’s residence, Guglielmi said. Those visitor logs are kept by the National Archives.

    In a letter to White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Sunday, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the new House Oversight Committee chairman, requested visitors logs at the Wilmington residence dating from Biden’s inauguration to the present, with a deadline of Jan. 30.
    ………

    Flashback: Secret Service: No visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  278. Pick a system, then maximize it’s beneficial structure to the nth degree so that the downside of such plan is palatable.

    The problem with socialism in medicine is that medicine benefits from constant progress in procedures, drugs, training, facilities, etc. But those things generally only happen in Adam Smith’s world. The object of most socialized systems is to reduce costs by externalizing them.

    So, you have many countries where drug prices are capped, but no worries as the US market is sufficient to attract the needed capital. So, Canada doesn’t have to subsidize drug development or scanning machines or any of that — they externalize all that work to us and utilize the results as parsimoniously as they can.

    So, I am on Medicare, which purports to be single-payer, but isn’t really. There is quite a bit of private participation (Parts C and D, plus supplement plans). It suffers a bit from inflexibility (e.g. no coverage for obesity, dentistry, vision) and is too generous in others, particularly wrt expensive drugs.

    There is a better way than we do it, with our hodge-podge of systems and payers, but socialism, with a single payer isn’t it. That gives total control over everyone’s medicine to bureaucrats and bean-counters with no opportunity to vote with one’s feet.

    HERE IS THE BETTER PLAN:

    Everyone has guaranteed-issue personal health insurance, with costs related to age, but capped at some hard percentage of income. They can select from a smorgasbord of privately-offered plans within certain guidelines. Employers may choose to subsidize the employee’s choice, but they cannot control it or condition the PLAN on employment. Government can choose to subsidize the plan as well, which it might do for the poor or the aged. But the plan itself is private, individual and portable.

    Obamacare had part of this right, but their insistence on burden-moving from some participants to other participants, and limiting the entire system to 10% of the population made voter feedback weak to non-existent and allowed all kinds of progressive experimentation on the backs of the unsubsidized captives of the program.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  279. McCarthy has been speaker for a week and has already broken this promise.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  280. It’s a minority who have, but it was a minority 30 years ago.

    Maybe 20 years ago, but 30 years ago predates HTML, the public Internet, or really any electronic way of getting non-video news. CNN was in its infancy (although much better than it is now). College student lounges had newspapers available every day.

    If it was a minority 30 years ago, it was that only a minority cared much about the news. OF that minority, most of them got information from printed media, including newspapers and news magazines.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  281. @286: I note that, as far as premiums are concerned, I pay somewhat more for the private add-ons to Medicare than I do for Medicare itself. That doesn’t include the 40 years of taxes I paid or the current general fund support, of course, but it is a measure of how the system is NOT “single-payer” even now.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  282. Hi Rip

    Thanks for the links and the research.

    I read these studies and used them in the post that lurker responded to.
    Lurker correctly pointed out those studies have old data.

    Two of the studies used data from 11-20-2022 and the third was written on 10-21 2022 and couldn’t have used the November 20 2022 data.

    I was hoping lurker would show me the way to current data

    steveg (a06fff)

  283. It’s easily found by searching “Ukraine aid GDP”.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  284. Since the aid is a moving target November 2022 is pretty current. The data in the link in post 280 will be updated next month.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  285. United States Aid to Ukraine: An Investment Whose Benefits Greatly Exceed its Cost
    ……….
    Much of this rising U.S. opposition to continuing aid to Ukraine does, however, come from only considering its cost and ignoring the strategic benefits it provides to the U.S. It is developing because far too much of the reporting on the Ukraine war ignores the fact that the U.S. has already obtained major strategic benefits from aiding the Ukraine, and that such aid it is one of the best investments the U.S. can make in competing with Putin’s Russia and in advancing its own security.

    Focusing on the price tag of aid. instead of the value of what it buys, ignores the fact that the war in Ukraine has become the equivalent of a proxy war with Russia, and a war that can be fought without any U.S. military casualties…….. It ignores the fact that costs of such aid are low in grand strategic terms, and seem likely to be far lower than the cumulative cost of the fighting to save an Afghan government that never began to approach the Ukraine’s unity and national commitment to defend itself.

    ……. It ignores the fact that Russia is already paying far more of its Gross National Product and economy to fight the war in the Ukraine than the U.S. and its partners, and that Russia has suffered massive losses of weapons, war reserves, and military personnel.……..

    It ignores the practical benefits of the message that sending such aid to the Ukraine has sent to our strategic partners and allies about American capability and resolve. ………

    It ignores role that the key allies like Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Poland, other NATO and EU states – and nations outside of Europe like Japan – are also playing in providing aid to the Ukraine. It also ignores the relative economic cost to such nations in providing such aid and joining with the U.S. in sanctioning Russia. ……..
    ……..
    (The US) must allocate its limited aid funds and efforts according to their strategic value to the U.S. and how effectively the money will be used. But it must also consider the cost of not providing aid, and the probable end result, and the grand strategic benefits of continuing to provide such aid.
    ………
    ………. U.S. aid to Ukraine is still probably the most cost-effective investment the U.S. and its strategic partners have recently made in national security, and an investment whose benefits will still outweigh its costs.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  286. Kevin: “but socialism, with a single payer isn’t it”

    I agree with this. Portability, reasonable caps, and severing the tie to employment are all good suggestions. The single-payer advocates are just not self critical enough. There’s nothing inevitable about it.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  287. asset: “The esoteric debate here assumes an absence of force.”

    I think asset needs a hug…and a red flag.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  288. @293: Focusing on the price tag of aid. instead of the value of what it buys, ignores the fact that the war in Ukraine has become the equivalent of a proxy war with Russia, and a war that can be fought without any U.S. military casualties

    such a glowing analysis rests on the assumption that Russia hasn’t figured out there’s a proxy war being waged against them and they decide to be one of the few countries in history to not do anything about it

    JF (e7bc4a)

  289. To avoid getting sacked, the German Defense Minister–a person with zero military experience–resigned, but it’s Scholz who’s not pulled his weight in providing aid to Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  290. They were already waging a proxy war against us in online spaces and have been for at least a decade. Putinism has as an underlying assumption that the long-term national strategic interest of Russia requires breaking both the EU and NATO and knocking out American domination of the world order, and they’ve been working to achieve that.

    aphrael (c8a94f)

  291. > You are defending him and the rest of the remarks are just a fig leaf to give the semblance of nonpartisanship. If it was Trump or someone equivalent on the other side, you’d be bashing him.

    Bull—-.

    I’m defending family leave being available to *everyone*, and defending it being used by everyone.

    aphrael (c8a94f)

  292. This current system we have, is basically the worst of both worlds. It tries to be a free market product (it isn’t) and at the same time tries to be a safety-net to protect everyone (it doesn’t).

    We could take a serious look at how Australia does it, which is universal coverage. The quality of their healthcare is 6th best and their costs are 59% of ours.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  293. If paranoids don’t have real enemies, they often make them:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin was so worried about a conflict with the West that he basically wound up creating one by proxy through his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a former US Army general said.

    Putin, who first ascended to the presidency in 1999, has had a long-standing “fear” about a “coming war with the West” and that worry “encouraged” him to “start that war in a battle that he thought he could win,” retired US Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan told Insider on Wednesday, pointing to the war in Ukraine.

    I don’t know whether we could have prevented Putin coming to that conclusion, but I do think Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump could have tried harder.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  294. So much socialism. Get government out of healthcare. Pay out of pocket. Require procedure costs to be publicly posted. Don’t allow the same procedure to cost several amounts depending on the insurance (medicare/medicaid/private/Obamacare/no insurance)

    NJRob (0299d2)

  295. I’m pretty sure that most people would hate that.

    Kevin M (edc7de)

  296. @300. Their costs are lower because they piggyback on us

    Kevin M (edc7de)

  297. @302 Before medicare I went with my family to the county hospital because profit hospitals weren’t required to treat poor. There were over a thousand people inline waiting to get into emergency room. I didn’t see anyone die in line ;but I was told in regularly happened waiting to be seen. I do not make personal attacks ;but people would die needlessly under what you advocate.

    asset (27557f)

  298. @302. IIRC back to my childhood in the pre-1965 Great Society days, routine and foreseeable medical & dental services were paid out-of-pocket, while something called “major medical” insurance (maybe? primarily Blue Cross/Blue Shield?) was available for the unexpected, unforeseeable, and/or emergency health care. Also, out-of-pocket payments for services were itemizable deductions for taxpayers (no floor, no ceiling for itemization.) Religious and/or charity and/or community-supported hospitals & clinics provided medical services to the low-income or indigent.

    I suppose that HSA/HD insurance is the closest analogue to those erstwhile days of personal responsibility (instead of gov’t responsibility), with the added benefit that HSA accounts are funded pre-tax a/o/t taxable-but-deductible dollars. That switch does preserve some tax benefit in these “modern” days of limited itemized deductibility.

    ColoComment (c11dab)

  299. Can you please give a link to current contributions made to Ukraine by GDP so I can educate myself? The study I found was dated as written in January, but used data from November. They update in February so it looks like their numbers are updated on a rough quarterly system

    steveg (a06fff) — 1/16/2023 @ 9:24 am

    The December 7, 2022 update in the link I posted above (here it is again) contains the most current data I’ve seen on contributions by GDP.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  300. I’m defending family leave being available to *everyone*, and defending it being used by everyone.

    aphrael (c8a94f) — 1/16/2023 @ 1:05 pm

    Sorry, but being the head of a Presidential cabinet brings certain responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is not being persona non grata when the things he has to deal with as part of that job are going pear-shaped. There are plenty of service members who missed out on family leave the last 20 years due to deployments, and they went in there knowing it was part of the job. Plenty of government employees cut their vacays short when emergencies crop up, not beg off that they “deserve” that time due to the left’s typical emotional manipulations. That’s part of the whole “dedicated public servant” thing that your side so loves to trumpet–you’re sometimes obliged to serve when it’s inconvenient, too, not just for fanny pats.

    He’s tired from late-night feedings? Boo-f***in-hoo. I did plenty of late-night feedings for three kids and still went into work on 3-4 hours of sleep and did my job. He’s not going to get any sympathy from me in that regard, especially since he has a spouse at home who can take care of things, and his position is a lot more impactful than mine ever was. I’ve been there, and what he was doing isn’t anything so special that he gets to ignore transportation crises, even if it gets in the way of his Iberian getaway that he’s been planning for months.

    The reason “Mayor Pete” is getting spotlight shined on him is because a Secretary of Transportation is typically one of the most invisible in the Cabinet when things are going right. If they’re in the news, it means that things AREN’T going right. Now, while Buttigieg is basically another member of this Peter Principle administration who have failed upwards into their current positions, the very reason he’s in that seat to begin with was due to the expectation that it was within his capabilities. He’s been marked as the future of the Democratic leadership (he’s basically a gay version of the same political template the DNC’s been running since Clinton), and it was thought that running the department would help set him up for a Presidential run in 2028, which is why he jobbed out after Clyburn endorsed Biden, despite still running a relatively viable campaign.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  301. Rip
    Again, thank you, but the links you provided are using data from two to three months ago. I did the Google search you describe when writing my original post and have not found numbers using current end of the year data. Most recent data in your three sample are about two months old

    steveg (a06fff)

  302. Where’s the line, FWO? Are CEOs and heads of companies also not allowed to take parental leave? How far down the hierarchy do you have to go before it’s an acceptable thing to do?

    Everyone who works has people who are relying on them, and whose work performance will be impacted by their being out. So how and where do you draw this line between people who are allowed to take parental leave uninterrupted and people who don’t?

    What i’m getting at here is your rhetorical position *implies* that parental leave just isn’t ok in general, and that *nobody* should take it, ever.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  303. #308. Apart from your usual tribalism, I agree with that comment.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  304. > If they’re in the news, it means that things AREN’T going right. Now, while Buttigieg is basically another member of this Peter Principle administration who have failed upwards into their current positions, the very reason he’s in that seat to begin with was due to the expectation that it was within his capabilities. He’s been marked as the future of the Democratic leadership (he’s basically a gay version of the same political template the DNC’s been running since Clinton), and it was thought that running the department would help set him up for a Presidential run in 2028, which is why he jobbed out after Clyburn endorsed Biden, despite still running a relatively viable campaign.

    Sure. I have not been impressed with Buttigieg’s performance and it has reduced my interest in voting for him, which was in some ways the point — he looks good on paper and he talks a good game, but before supporting him for higher office I wanted to see him perform in some lesser office. His performance hasn’t been good enough for me to think he’d do a good job as President.

    But that’s *not* because he took parental leave. He took parental leave, that’s something I think *more people* should do, and there was nothing objectionable about him doing so. There’s more than enough to criticize in his performance without criticizing him for *this*.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  305. What i’m getting at here is your rhetorical position *implies* that parental leave just isn’t ok in general, and that *nobody* should take it, ever.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/16/2023 @ 2:55 pm

    That may or may not be his opinion, but I don’t read it as a necessary implication of his comment. What I take him to be saying, or at least what I would say, is that the virtues of parental leave notwithstanding, exigent circumstances can require changing one’s plans. In high responsibility jobs, e.g., cabinet secretary, it’s a given that you answer the bell in a crisis unless you’re physically incapacitated, and sometimes even then. (See John Ashcroft hospital bedside meeting.)

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  306. Where’s the line, FWO? Are CEOs and heads of companies also not allowed to take parental leave? How far down the hierarchy do you have to go before it’s an acceptable thing to do?

    Leaving aside the fact that a lot of CEOs and company heads sacrifice family time to run their business, and are generally workaholics to begin with, this is just misdirection. Buttigieg is a Cabinet secretary for Transporation. That brings with it a massive amount of responsibility that even Tim Cook or David Geffen don’t have.

    Everyone who works has people who are relying on them, and whose work performance will be impacted by their being out. So how and where do you draw this line between people who are allowed to take parental leave uninterrupted and people who don’t?

    Not everyone is the Secretary of Transportation.

    What i’m getting at here is your rhetorical position *implies* that parental leave just isn’t ok in general, and that *nobody* should take it, ever.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/16/2023 @ 2:55 pm

    My rhetorical position doesn’t “imply” anything. I’m flat-out stating that Buttigieg has a responsibility, as a Cabinet secretary, to be fully engaged with his job. A lot of these people don’t even make it 4 years because of the massive imposition the job has on their lives, and he should have known that when he took the position. When things like this crop up, he has a duty, as the top transportation official in the country with massive enforcement and discretionary powers, to not beg off that responsibility simply because it’s inconvenient.

    If he can’t do that, he needs to resign and find something else to do, not hide behind his allies in the press every time an emergency crops up and the next game of “Where’s Waldo” takes place.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  307. @284. Their best film together: Come September.</em

    She was radiant. A genuine beauty.

    DCSCA (6bb313)

  308. But that’s *not* because he took parental leave. He took parental leave, that’s something I think *more people* should do, and there was nothing objectionable about him doing so. There’s more than enough to criticize in his performance without criticizing him for *this*.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/16/2023 @ 2:57 pm

    The man’s not the first person in government to be on leave when a crisis has erupted at their position, and work called them in to deal with it and try to put out the fire. I had commanders during my time in the military who ended up answering emails and talking on the phone for even relatively mundane matters well into the late-night hours and on the weekends. I’ve seen them cut leave short to deal with unexpected emergencies. It’s why they always acknowledge the sacrifice of their families when they hand over command of the unit. I don’t expect anything of Buttigieg that I didn’t see from them.

    If he doesn’t want that amount of responsibility, that’s fine, but he needs to resign if that’s the case, because otherwise he’s just treating the job as another credential for his resume rather than a position with very specific duties and a lot of time demands.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  309. IIRC back to my childhood in the pre-1965 Great Society days

    Also, in the good old days, people who had heart attacks mostly died. Cancer was a death sentence, and usually found long after it had metastasized. Children born more than a month premature had little chance, and babies were delivered with forceps. Vaccines were largely unavailable, chronic conditions were hard to treat, and almost no drug you take now existed. Oh, and black folks couldn’t use white people’s hospitals.

    But sure, the price was the same for everyone and if you couldn’t pay it you got whatever they had at County General.

    I don’t even have the heart to talk about dentistry in 1956.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  310. If you are under 50, the drug that will save your life when you are 70 is being developed now, courtesy of Medicare funding.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  311. The problem with “family leave” (and now non-family leave) is the same with the whole progressive agenda: There is always some unmet need.

    Simply stating the need does not justify the expense.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  312. Colo: “IIRC back to my childhood in the pre-1965 Great Society days, routine and foreseeable medical & dental services were paid out-of-pocket, while something called “major medical” insurance (maybe? primarily Blue Cross/Blue Shield?) was available for the unexpected, unforeseeable, and/or emergency health care. Also, out-of-pocket payments for services were itemizable deductions for taxpayers (no floor, no ceiling for itemization.)”

    This kind of takes us back to insurance vice how we pay for all medical care (e.g. car insurance does not handle oil changes or brake changes). I wonder if we apply that system to our current life expectancy, cost of drugs, and income distribution, how it shakes out. My first suspicion is that many of the poor will avoid out-of-pocket preemptive care, which will lead to more insurance-covered emergency care…which will be more expensive…and tend to push high deductible plans to higher costs. So there might have to be some sort of capping and incentives in there, though I think the net effect is the lower middle class and below will see worse results. I’m speculating obviously. It might control costs. A careful accounting would be interesting.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  313. But that’s *not* because he took parental leave. He took parental leave, that’s something I think *more people* should do, and there was nothing objectionable about him doing so. There’s more than enough to criticize in his performance without criticizing him for *this*.

    Well, I have to agree with this as Buttigieg’s performance on family leave was not noticeably different than before family leave. The classic “empty suit.” No points plus or minus for his private life, but his public life was a huge zero.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  314. AJ,

    There is also the issue of communicable disease, public health measures, etc. Part of the public expense of Medicaid is to protect everyone, not just those on the program. Even if you are fabulously rich, it just will not due to have your waiter struggling with cholera.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  315. @317, et al.
    Are all y’all suggesting that medical advances in cancer, neonatal, etc., care & treatment since, say, 1965, would not have happened absent govern-funded healthcare? You believe that innovation depends solely on government impetus? You think all the medical device & pharmaceutical startups funded by private equity over the recent decades would never have existed w/out, what? Medicare? Obamacare ? LOL

    I neglected to add to my initial comment a suggestion that a federal subsidy could be added, something like pre-funding an “HSA-type” account in an amount up to $xxxx, to be used solely for health care expenses (used similarly to an EBT card?)

    Maybe, too, subsidizing state-administered insurance pools, for a “high deductible” type of insurance plan for the low-income, & indigent.

    All y’all are very bright people. I’m sure your imaginations could conceive of plans, outside of the federal gov’t, that would be far more medically effective, efficient, and economically sustainable than either single-payor or the god-awful & wasteful programs we have now.

    ColoComment (c11dab)

  316. *absent government-funded*

    ColoComment (c11dab)

  317. @302 Before medicare I went with my family to the county hospital because profit hospitals weren’t required to treat poor. There were over a thousand people inline waiting to get into emergency room. I didn’t see anyone die in line ;but I was told in regularly happened waiting to be seen. I do not make personal attacks ;but people would die needlessly under what you advocate.

    asset (27557f) — 1/16/2023 @ 1:39 pm

    People die needlessly under what you desire and it stifles innovation. Look no further than England and Canada when it comes to waiting for an MRI, cancer treatment, transplants, etc.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  318. R.I.P. Gina Lollobrigida

    Icy (7a93eb)

  319. I don’t know whether we could have prevented Putin coming to that conclusion, but I do think Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump could have tried harder.

    Jim Miller (f29931) — 1/16/2023 @ 1:17 pm

    I wouldn’t have included Trump in that list. At best Trump subconsciously aided Putin with his pressure campaign on Ukraine to open an investigation into the Bidens (his “perfect phone call”); his withholding of Congressionally approved aid; repeating Russian disinformation that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the election (and denied that Russia did); and his threats to withdraw from NATO.

    These actions explain why Putin didn’t attack Ukraine while Trump was President, Trump was doing his dirty work to destabilize the West.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  320. The reason “Mayor Pete” is getting spotlight shined on him is because a Secretary of Transportation is typically one of the most invisible in the Cabinet when things are going right. I

    That and he’s a gay parent. If he was straight nobody would care.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  321. That and he’s a gay parent. If he was straight nobody would care.

    Rip Murdock (e993d9) — 1/16/2023 @ 7:08 pm

    That pretty much describes his entire political career.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  322. The reason “Mayor Pete” is getting spotlight shined on him is because a Secretary of Transportation is typically one of the most invisible in the Cabinet when things are going right.

    The disintegration of America’s infrastructure is accelerating on his watch… ‘Butt’ we know where his head is truly at—lest you forget:

    Pete Buttigieg calls for new Marshall plan to rebuild Ukraine

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/20/pete-buttigieg-says-us-backs-new-marshall-plan-to-rebuild-ukraine

    DCSCA (242d51)

  323. @293. Bull. The CSIS is selling perpetual $ for the MIC; it’s a classic lobbiests poop shop bristling w/MIC contacts and lobbyists associated w/it– not to mention past incompetents like Antony Blinken and worse, Madeleine Albright, who literally bought her way into the MIC club w/donations and financing.

    DCSCA (242d51)

  324. Sore Loser:

    A failed New Mexico state House candidate described by police as an “election denier” was arrested Monday in a string of shootings at the homes of regional Democratic leaders.

    Republican Solomon Pena is accused of conspiring with and paying four men to carry out four shootings at the Albuquerque-area homes of two Bernalillo County commissioners and two state legislators, Albuquerque police said.

    Pena might have been motivated by anger over his November loss, police said. Police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said at a news conference early Monday evening that Pena alleged his defeat was the result of election fraud.

    Pena lost his state House challenge to incumbent Democrat Miguel P. Garcia by 5,679 to 2,033, or 74% to 26%.
    ……….
    Pena was a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, who claimed voter fraud in his 2020 election loss, a claim that is unfounded. The suspect was photographed during his campaign last year wearing a red “Make America Great Again” sweatshirt with a stitched, gold-colored signature of the former president.
    ……….
    The Albuquerque Journal describes Pena as an unsuccessful candidate for New Mexico House District 14, which represents the Albuquerque area’s South Valley.

    The newspaper reported during his campaign last year that Pena has a criminal record. He served nearly seven years in prison for burglary, it said.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  325. Madeline Albright is a monster: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8
    1996 interview, the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth “it”. what a callous, awful, immoral, witch. I may have spelled that last word incorrectly.

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  326. Hopefully a new trend:

    A former commander with the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group has claimed asylum in Norway after deserting from the mercenary outfit.

    Andrey Medvedev, 26, crossed the border into Norway last Friday, where he was detained by border guards.
    He is currently being held in the Oslo area where he faces charges of illegal entry to Norway, his lawyer Brynjulf Risnes told the BBC.
    ………
    ………(T)he Russian human rights group Gulagu, who helped Mr Medvedev leave Russia, confirmed his identity. His escape is believed to be the first known instance of one of the group’s soldiers defecting to the West.
    ………
    (Gulagu’s founder Vladimir Osechkin) said that Mr Medvedev is a former soldier in the Russian army and that he later served time in prison between 2017 and 2018 before joining the Wagner Group.

    He was placed in charge of a Wagner division in Ukraine, where the mercenary group supplied him with around 30-40 troops every week, Mr Osechkin said.

    In a video posted by Gulagu to its social media channels, Mr Medvedev said he fled Ukraine in November after being informed that the group intended to extend his contract indefinitely.
    ………..
    Mr Risnes said his client had also witnessed a host of war crimes while fighting in Ukraine, including seeing “deserters being executed” by the Wagner Group’s internal security service.
    ………
    He added that he believed Mr Medvedev had taken some evidence of war crimes with him to Norway and that he intends to share his information with groups investigating war crimes in the coming weeks.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (e993d9)

  327. Solomon Peña, an unsuccessful Republican candidate in the last state House elections,” is a domestic terrorist.

    Of note: Peña’s arrest follows that of another suspect on Jan. 9 in connection with the six shootings that police believe targeted the Democrats.

    What we’re watching: Peña is accused of conspiring with and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators, per a tweet from Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina.

    Maybe Kevin can chime in.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  328. You think all the medical device & pharmaceutical startups funded by private equity over the recent decades would never have existed w/out, what? Medicare? Obamacare ? LOL

    No, but I think that advances in treating the elderly and rolling back old age are ENTIRELY due to Medicare funding as without it the elderly cannot afford much medical care.

    It’s also easy to show that increases in medical spending have correlated with medical advances, and Mr Adam Smith could easily explain why. Now, maybe private medical insurance through your employer might have done this alone, but you DO realize that that is ALSO government subsidized through tax law, don’t you? If those benefits were taxed as income far fewer people would accept the largess.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  329. Maybe Kevin can chime in.

    He was a candidate for the (part-time) state legislature, and he lost roughly 70-30, but claimed he’d actually won. He had previously gone to the homes of the county officers who were to credential the results, demanding they investigate his stolen victory.

    Later, he apparently decided to hire some folks to get even. One of the people he hired appears to have been caught up in a much different federal investigation. Not clear if they rolled over on him or what.

    Local story here: https://www.abqjournal.com/2565117/solomon-pena-arrested-in-shootings-targeting-new-mexico-democratic-politicians-homes.html

    NM is a weird state. Half the population lives within 20 miles of ABQ, the rest of the state is full of folks who don’t trust anyone who lives within 20 miles of ABQ.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  330. @306 You dismiss the poor with charity, religion or community treatment. Oral roberts sent a letter to a person I know who was dying of cancer telling him not to show up at his hospital without insurance or money thinking god would provide and said the police would escort them off the property. On a TNT movie tonight it showed what happened to fred hampton and mark clark when the black panthers set up a free clinic for poor blacks. Before medicade I stood in line at county hospital with a thousand other people waiting for room in the emergency room. It took many hours wait. Not when I was there ;but was told people died in line waiting and were set aside to make room in line for the living. I don’t make personal attacks ;but I wish you would consider what would happen to poor sick people if you had your way.

    asset (afa342)

  331. @325 Az did not join in medicade it has access years later which is know as inaccessable. For years before there would be a can to put your change in with a picture of a child begging for money for an operation to save his life. No medicade at the time in az. Years later A woman got in my cab from a hospital er. They said she needed a gall bladder operation or she would die ;but it wasn’t an emergency so access wouldn’t pay. All my life I have seen this crap happen to poor people. You may not consider this violence against the poor :but I do.

    asset (afa342)

  332. Why they fire doctors. A doctor at a hospital in az (many years ago) fired for refusing to falsify a death certificate saying the baby died of pneumonia when it had died of hunger. Because we don’t have babies starving to death in az! Az supreme court sided with the hospital saying there was no penalty for falsifying death certificate so the doctor had no case. In the 1970’s a little boy needed an operation (one of many children) Because he was a photogenic white boy the media put pressure on the state legislature to adopt medicade so boy could have the operation. Conservative republican controlled legislature refused saying it was socialism. At a meeting with the a couple of news media people on another subject he got a call on his speaker phone. It was republican senate majority leader asking the doctor to tell him when the boy was to far gone to have the operation so he could tell the media it was to late to have the operation! Because the press was there and embarrassed the majority leader republicans on maricopa county board of supervisors were pressured into firing doctor or else! That conservatives don’t consider stuff like this violence against the poor forces the deep state to make sure corporate establishment stooges like clinton and biden keep control of the democrat party base and people like Bernie Sanders.

    asset (afa342)

  333. Great piece on how-to and how-not-to tackle the deficit at the dispatch. https://thedispatch.com/article/how-republicans-can-get-serious-on-spending/

    Here’s a sample

    “The classic challenge for fiscal conservatives is that, while restraining spending and deficits is broadly popular—so are most federal programs. Over the next decade, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, veterans’ benefits, and interest payments will account for 75 percent of federal spending. And Social Security and Medicare shortfalls—projected to top $100 trillion over three decades—will drive nearly 100 percent of rising deficits over the long-term. Unless Republicans are prepared to significantly and immediately pare back those popular programs, the ambitious calls for a balanced budget or trillions of dollars in short-term spending cuts are just empty rhetoric.”

    The BLUF is that too much of the GOP’s response has been performative and unrealistic. That it is more committed to tax cuts and its own spending priorities than doing anything substantive…and it only desperately acts when a Democrat is President. That’s a tough critique. The piece also lays out modest measures that can garner popular support that aren’t as eye popping but put us on a stabilizing path. It also emphasizes the centrality of social security and medicare reforms that are now tough with so many baby boomers entering the retirement window.

    Instead of endlessly playing politics and electing faux leaders, the GOP needs to get back to being serious and offering meaningful solutions. Trying to shut down the government…yet again….is not the answer.

    AJ_Liberty (1c2564)

  334. whembly (0a8536) — 1/16/2023 @ 6:53 am

    We ought to go single payor.

    We need a system of checks and balances.

    Otherwise it deteriorates, like the british NHS (which is also single provider, with the possibility of private paying)

    This current system we have, is basically the worst of both worlds. It tries to be a free market product (it isn’t) and at the same time tries to be a safety-net to protect everyone (it doesn’t).

    That prevents it from being the worst of both worlds.

    I came up with a not fully worked out complicated system. Basically you give everyone a small fixed sum, which disappears witth time so it can’t be indefinitely saved except in the form of medical gift cards, and you pay for catastrophic, but you need choice of physicians and repeated visits to different doctors to obtain a diagnosis, and competition and it has to matter how much something costs to the point that they advertise on price,

    Pick a system, then maximize it’s beneficial structure to the nth degree so that the downside of such plan is palatable.

    Sammy Finkelman (b38067)

  335. Something doesn’t add up.
    China has reported only 5,272 Covid deaths, yet their population dropped by nearly a million. Sure, there are other factors, such as fewer births and more deaths due to an aging demographic, but Xi hasn’t been locking down his regime for no reason.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  336. AJ, The part of the GOP coalition that cares about fiscal discipline is probably the weakest of any major movement. The last politician of any significance that I can think of that’s demonstrated anything beyond rhetorical support was Paul Ryan.

    Every politician would like to cut spending on things they oppose or don’t care about and are somewhat willing to use budget concerns as a tool to drive that. But today there’s no movement that has it as a primary concern and is wiling to cut spending on things they care about, or make other concessions as a means to get that.

    Paul Ryan was Trump’s COS and he got nothing done on it. He’s spent his career focused on it so I know t wasn’t for lack of a legitimate concern about the issue.

    But while controlling both houses of congress and the White House the GOP make zero progress on the budget. I see little reason to believe this is an actual priority for the GOP.

    Further, I don’t like the tactic of using the debt ceiling as a tool for political advantage. I understand neither party wants to give up a pressure point. But i can’t remember the last time it was used to accomplish anything I care about and the downside risk is huge.

    Wish I had a solution ,but at this point I don’t. We probably need to significantly cut spending and raise taxes to resolve this. Neither party is interested in doing either.

    Time123 (6eb9c8)

  337. One correction, Time. Ryan was Speaker, not COS, which I take to mean as Chief of Staff. But you’re right, Ryan has been a deficit hawk throughout his career yet has been treated with disdain by the Trumpist Wing.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  338. Something doesn’t add up.
    China has reported only 5,272 Covid deaths, yet their population dropped by nearly a million. Sure, there are other factors, such as fewer births and more deaths due to an aging demographic, but Xi hasn’t been locking down his regime for no reason.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/17/2023 @ 6:49 am

    The long term consequence of their 35-year one-child policy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  339. Paul, you’re right. I was thinking of Reince Priebus. He was another good guy and was close to Congressman Ryan. Thank you for the catch.

    Time123 (6eb9c8)

  340. The long term consequence of their 35-year one-child policy.

    And now that they’ve abolished that policy, families are not having lots of children anyway. Some of it is economic, some of it is conditioning, and some of it is a reluctance to bring kids into Xi’s world.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  341. Ryan has been a deficit hawk throughout his career yet has been treated with disdain by the Trumpist Wing.

    In particular, Ryan had a coherent plan for transitioning medical entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and VA) to a single system based on a private-sector PPO/HMO model, with government subsidies to the poor and aged.

    The HFC killed it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  342. Where does Paul Ryan stand now?

    American Renewal

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  343. In a nation of 1.42 billion people, that’s China, a one million person decrease in the populated could be accounted for by a popular new late night TV show.

    nk (bb1548)

  344. Okay, GOP: What’s the ‘ask’ on the debt showdown?
    ………
    Congressional Republicans will triumph if they can agree on a few reasonable demands; make those demands specific, understandable and public; then repeat the demands again and again on every television set and over every radio show and podcast. This is about messaging. Any set of compelling and well-articulated demands from the GOP will create pressure on the administration to fold.

    These showdowns come down to a contest of credibility. Voters punish the party that seems to be playing games, risking America’s credit and the markets that rely on it. With a tiny majority in the House and a minority in the Senate, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)will have their hands full finding unanimity around a small list of popular demands.
    ……..
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) argues that the debt-ceiling legislation traditionally includes measures to control spending. The “sequestration” of the 2011 BCA is widely regarded as having been a disaster for Pentagon preparedness and national security, so a replay of that is off the table. But a rollback of nondefense discretionary spending to pre-pandemic levels? That makes sense.

    Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.), a leading debt hawk, would go further and give the Pentagon a budget haircut as well, rolling defense spending back to 2019 levels. GOP defense hawks will not agree. They think it is 1938 again, with mortal threats rising in Europe and Asia. They won’t budge.
    ……….
    The specifics matter less than the timing for Republicans. The party’s difficulty in choosing a speaker of the House has seeded questions about GOP efficiency in the public mind. Moving quickly to formulate a unified plan for the debt showdown will do much to put those doubts to rest.
    ############

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  345. Reagan enshrined deficit spending. Clinton managed to bring in a balanced budget. Hollywood values versus Hot Springs values.

    Hollywood values: Put up a good front even if it’s with borrowed money.
    Hot Springs values: Pay your way so you won’t have to pay the vig.

    nk (bb1548)

  346. populated population

    nk (bb1548)

  347. More on the ABQ political shootings (NYT possible paywall)

    Solomon Peña, 39, who lost his race for state representative to his Democratic opponent in November, was arrested Monday, Albuquerque, N.M., police said. Before the shootings, Mr. Peña showed up uninvited at the homes of some of the Democratic lawmakers, claiming to have evidence of election fraud, they said.

    Investigators said there is probable cause to believe he conspired to commit these shootings soon after his unsuccessful political campaign.

    “Solomon provided firearms and cash payments and personally participated in at least one shooting,” the arrest warrant said. “Solomon intended to seriously injure or cause death to occupants inside their homes.”

    He was arrested for conspiracy to commit a felony, attempted aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, four counts of shooting from a motor vehicle, four counts of shooting at an occupied dwelling and one count of being in possession of a firearm as a felon.

    Mr. Peña had been sued by his Democratic opponent in August 2022, who argued that Mr. Peña was ineligible to serve in the state legislature because he is a felon.

    He was convicted in 2008 of commercial burglary and larceny charges, according to state court documents. A judge ruled in September that Mr. Peña could remain on the ballot.

    According to New Mexico’s department of corrections, Mr. Peña served about seven years in prison before being released in March 2016.

    The district in question is just west of downtown ABQ and is heavily Hispanic.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  348. Reagan enshrined deficit spending.

    This is pretty simplistic. Reagan used deficit spending to drive an arms race that bankrupted the Soviet Union. They had to match our credit with their hard cash and eventually ran out.

    To get his military budgets, Reagan had to sign off on Tip O’Neil’s domestic budget and the resulting deficits became hard to contain, at least for GHWB. Clinton managed to balance the budget only because the GOP COngress wanted to do so, and the Long Boom that started in 1982.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  349. Sometimes I think that SDI (“Star Wars”) was the finest swindle since the Trojan Horse.

    The Russians feared US technology and this drove that fear to “11.” Since it could not work, and many of our people knew it could not work, pushing the Soviets to try to “match” our magic weapons drove them over the economic cliff. At the time of their collapse, the Soviets were spending over half of the GDP on their military.

    I’m sure that Schultz knew, but maybe Reagan didn’t.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  350. “Reagan enshrined deficit spending. Clinton managed to bring in a balanced budget.”

    He balanced it because the Cold War ended and there were a lot of bipartisan defense cuts. Add in some welfare reform and a new 39.6% top tax rate….when the economy was humming along…. and the result was positive. Reagan’s GOP never controlled the House, and barely held the Senate by 3 or 4 votes. It’s hard to say Tip O’Neill had no voice in what budget made it to the President’s desk.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  351. “Reagan enshrined deficit spending. Clinton managed to bring in a balanced budget.”

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 1/17/2023 @ 11:12 am

    He balanced it because the Cold War ended and there were a lot of bipartisan defense cuts. Add in some welfare reform and a new 39.6% top tax rate….when the economy was humming along…. and the result was positive.

    No. the budget was balanced because there was economic growth, and there was economic growth because interest rates were low and stayed low.

    Clinton knew what did it but he wanted to keep it a trade secret for the Democratic Party, or maybe just himself and his proteges.

    Back in 1992, he had concocted an economic plan, endorsed by Goldman Sachs, (and he ran a commercial showing him working on it) which he promptly discarded when he was elected president.

    He then came up with a budget which raised taxes slightly, and he maneuvered it so that it got not one Republican vote and passed by one vote both in the House of Representatives and the Senate. This was in order to be able to argue that the Republican Party was more partisan, and that every election counted.

    The public at large, however, figured out that it was the Democratic Party that was more partisan because they were not used to Republicans voting in lockstep, and they concluded, that the reasaon that all Republicans voted against it could only be if the plan was bad.

    The upshot was that the Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1994 election (The threat of so-called Hillarycare also did that, but the threat had some punch to it because of the perception that Democrats would be a rubber stamp and pass bad legislation)

    Bill Clinton had outsmarted himself. Not the only time he did that. He later did that in 2008 (by promoting Obama as a foil for Hillary) and in 2016 (by quietly encouraging Donald Trump to run for president)

    The budget bill was bad in theory, so that Republicans from Rush Limbaugh on down were predicting recession, but in reality it was not too bad. Clinton knew what really worked – money growth, and he knew any negative effects would be outweighed by what the Federal Reserve Board did..

    Then as the economy grew during the 1990s, and the deficit shrank and finally vanished, , he pretended he economy it would grow less than it was set out to do (that was a factor in bringing on the California electricity crisis toward the of the 1990s because California underpredicted electricity demand as a result)

    Clinton wanted perpetual budget crisis, so there would be big bills, and things could be put into the bills that wouldn’t pass on their own.

    To maintain budget crisis Al Gore proposed that Social Security taxes be put in a lockbox. A bill doing just that actually passed the House during the 106th Congress. (But never made it through the Senate)

    https://www.wcpinst.org/source/social-security-lockbox-approved-by-house

    The whole concept was nonsense. You can’t “save” the money in the Social Security trust fund.

    https://www.latimes.com/business/la-xpm-2011-mar-08-la-fi-hiltzik-20110305-story.html

    But here’s the dirty little secret about the “lockbox”: The very notion is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how the program works. You can’t lock away a trust fund amounting to about $2.5 trillion from the rest of the economy — nor would you want to.

    What’s at the center of all this discussion is the Social Security trust fund. The fund began to build up after 1983, when the government jacked up the payroll tax to cover a looming deficit and sock away money for the coming wave of baby boomer retirements. Over the last decade or so, the fund has grown by $150 billion to $200 billion a year…

    …Of course, when you buy a Treasury security, what you’re doing is lending the money to the government, which spends it on whatever Congress and the president deem necessary — building bridges, deploying an army division, sending a shuttle into space, even paying off old T-bonds.

    Gore wasn’t proposing anything different when he talked about the lockbox — his plan was to use the Social Security surplus to pay down the national debt, then pay the program’s future expenses from general government revenue. One way or another, Social Security taxpayers (who are disproportionately middle- and working-class) would still be lending the government money.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  352. the deficit problem will get solved when Democrats get blamed for creating unsustainable programs and Republicans get credit for trying to fix them

    in other words, never

    JF (24a745)

  353. FWO:

    you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    I’m saying that the way you are explaining that is not bounded and implies that *any person who works* has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work if the right conditions are met.

    I have point blank asked you where the boundary on this is, and you have refused to answer, and claimed that even asking the question is ‘misdirection’.

    I no longer believe you are discussing in good faith.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  354. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/17/2023 @ 9:54 am

    Moving quickly to formulate a unified plan for the debt showdown will do much to put those doubts to rest.

    Kevin McCArthy wants to legislate (and for this you don”t really need legislation) prioritizing in what order funds will be expended if the Treasury does not have enough cash.

    The Democrats (like in 2011) won’t play ball. They want to argue that the Treasury has no right to prioritize who it will pay.

    But you know, besides paying vendors with script, they could arrange with banks for banks to lend their depositors an advance on Social Security payments — due but not paid.

    There’s always the trillion dollar coins.

    Both parties are set on a course to play chicken.

    Democrats talk of a discharge petition. It’s misleading. First a discharge petition can only to a bill which has passed a committee. It only avoids the House Rules Committee. Second, it takes time.

    No, both parties are threatening to play chicken with the debt ceiling. And the Republicans are really serious, and Kevin McCarthy cannot remain Speaker if he doesn’t play chicken.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  355. aphrael (4c4719) — 1/17/2023 @ 12:37 pm

    FWO:

    you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    If not, he wants him to resign.

    If he resigned, would he then be available to work?

    The Department of Transportation would have to get along without any input from him probably for at least six months.

    He may believe that leave unlimited by any exceptions is crazy or dereliction of duty but resigning isn’t better unless he wants to claim that few people would take his alternative of resigning (or declining the job.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  356. Msdnc just ripped biden a new one on classified materials saying he is lying that he can’t talk about what happened which is the defense of criminals. Msdnc he works for us and owes us explanation. When use lose msdnc ane the late night comics its just about over. And AOC, Gavin Newsom and many other democrats planning to run in 2024 smiled.

    asset (b998a5)

  357. Something doesn’t add up.
    China has reported only 5,272 Covid deaths, yet their population dropped by nearly a million. Sure, there are other factors, such as fewer births and more deaths due to an aging demographic, but Xi hasn’t been locking down his regime for no reason.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/17/2023 @ 6:49 am

    The umber of Covid hospitalizations in some provinces was greater than that of the country as a whole. China has cut down on the release of statistics.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/12/25/1145472905/china-stops-publishing-daily-covid-data

    This is what it said about births and deaths in calendar year 2022:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/16/business/china-birth-rate.html

    The government said on Tuesday that 9.56 million people were born in China last year, while 10.41 million people died. It was the first time deaths had outnumbered births in China since the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong’s failed economic experiment that led to widespread famine and death in the 1960s…

    …Births were down from 10.6 million in 2021, the sixth straight year that the number had fallen, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. China’s overall population now stands at 1.41 billion. By 2035, 400 million people in China are expected to be over 60, accounting for nearly a third of its population….

    …The data on Tuesday showed a small increase in mortality last year, to 10.41 million deaths, compared to around 10 million in recent years, raising questions about how a recent Covid surge may have contributed to the numbers.

    Last week, officials unexpectedly reported the Covid death figures for the first month after reporting single-digit daily deaths for weeks. But experts have questioned the accuracy of the new numbers — 60,000 deaths between Dec. 8 and Jan. 12.

    China may already have been overtaken by India. It should do so about now.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  358. About recent Chinese Covid statistics:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/14/world/asia/china-60000-covid-deaths.html

    China said on Saturday that it had recorded nearly 60,000 fatalities linked to the coronavirus in the month since the country lifted its strict “zero Covid” policy, accelerating an outbreak that is believed to have infected millions of people. The disclosure was the first time China has provided an official measure of the Covid wave now sweeping the country, and represents a huge spike in the official death toll.

    Until Saturday, China had reported a total of just 5,272 Covid deaths since the pandemic began in the city of Wuhan in late 2019. That measure was narrowly defined as deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure caused by Covid. The new figure released Saturday included those who had Covid, but also died from other underlying illnesses.

    China has faced mounting criticism from other countries and from the World Health Organization for not providing reliable data about the extent of its Covid outbreak and about the number of deaths across the country despite widespread scenes of overflowing hospitals, morgues and funeral homes in recent weeks.

    Before the announcement, China said that only 37 people had died of Covid since Dec. 7, the day it ended its “zero Covid” policy.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  359. The Daily Caller says Buttigieg lied about being available

    Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Oct. 17 that “when you take a job like mine, you understand and accept that you’re going to have to be available 24/7,” in response to questions about why he did not publicly announce his paternity leave when his twins were born in August.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  360. If it was a minority 30 years ago, it was that only a minority cared much about the news. OF that minority, most of them got information from printed media, including newspapers and news magazines.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/16/2023 @ 11:24 am

    I don’t know how many cared, but there was also radio and television,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  361. Kevin McCArthy wants to legislate (and for this you don”t really need legislation) prioritizing in what order funds will be expended if the Treasury does not have enough cash.

    Actually you do need legislation if you want Treasury to do something. Without Congressional direction, Treasury can do anything they want. What is the basis for your conclusion?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  362. Buttigieg told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Oct. 17 that “when you take a job like mine, you understand and accept that you’re going to have to be available 24/7,” in response to questions about why he did not publicly announce his paternity leave when his twins were born in August.

    Does anyone know for certain that Buttigieg refused to conduct government business while on parental leave?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  363. Buttigieg, had he been an executive at a private company, would probably have been deemed an essential employee. That means, basically, that the company could require him not to take family leave. If B found it important to take leave when supply chain issues were popping up everywhere, he could resign and give Biden the chance to replace him quickly.

    The Biden folks decided not to take the political heat for making a move like that. Well, fine, that subjects them to political heat for having a Secretary of Transportation available and accountable during a critical emergency.

    Appalled (3f4fd5)

  364. you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    He does.

    DCSCA (c65e47)

  365. @361

    FWO:

    you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    I’m saying that the way you are explaining that is not bounded and implies that *any person who works* has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work if the right conditions are met.

    I have point blank asked you where the boundary on this is, and you have refused to answer, and claimed that even asking the question is ‘misdirection’.

    I no longer believe you are discussing in good faith.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/17/2023 @ 12:37 pm

    The “boundary” is the fact the he’s the Secretary over a department that has obligations to step-up and be a leader to handle the crisis of the day.

    From what I’ve read of FWO, I don’t think he’s advocating the Buttigieg to quit, but had a better plan in his absence.

    When you’re in that high leadership position, even in the private sector, you better have a cognizant plan of transition while you’re out, and I think it’s safe to say, Buttigieg failed that miserably.

    whembly (d116f3)

  366. @371. That’s ’cause there’s no accountability in government. Otherwise Wolfowitz and assorted Vulcans would be in prison. Pull the kind of crap Pothole Pete does in the private sector and ‘butts’ get fired. Look up his bio… a failure in the private sector; a ‘go-fer’ intern… who survives now on government work.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Buttigieg

    He’s another Dukakis.

    DCSCA (c65e47)

  367. The “boundary” is the fact the he’s the Secretary over a department that has obligations to step-up and be a leader to handle the crisis of the day.

    Yep. But per his bio, he has a rep as a ‘delegator.’ In other words, a buck passer.

    DCSCA (c65e47)

  368. Google Didn’t Show Bias in Filtering Campaign-Ad Pitches, FEC Says
    …….
    The Republican National Committee and others contended that the alleged benefit amounted to unreported campaign contributions to Democrats. But in a letter to Google last week, the FEC said it “found no reason to believe” that Google made prohibited in-kind corporate contributions, and that any skewed results from its spam-filter algorithms were inadvertent.

    “Google has credibly supported its claim that its spam filter is in place for commercial reasons and thus did not constitute a contribution” within the meaning of federal campaign laws, according to an FEC analysis reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    The RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee complained to the FEC last year, citing an academic study that showed that nearly 70% of emails from Republican candidates were sent to spam compared with fewer than 1 in 10 from Democrat candidates from 2019 to 2020.

    The RNC and other campaign committees argued that Google’s “overwhelmingly disproportionate suppression of Republican emails” constituted an illegal corporate contribution to Democratic candidates.
    ………..
    The academic study cited by the GOP committees was conducted by North Carolina State University and determined that for one baseline group, Gmail marked 67.6% of emails from Republican candidates as spam compared with 8.2% of emails from Democratic candidates, the FEC noted.
    …………
    “Though the NCSU Study appears to demonstrate a disparate impact from Google’s spam filter, it explicitly states that its authors have ‘no reason to believe that there were deliberate attempts from these email services to create these biases to influence the voters,’” the FEC said.
    ##########

    Free link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  369. @372

    you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    He does.

    DCSCA (c65e47) — 1/17/2023 @ 1:47 pm

    I’m sympathetic to the idea that some in leadership need to temporarily step way.

    A sign of a good leader, is being able to delegate and empower your deputy(ies) to enact good policies while away from your position. I know Buttigieg has some deputies under him and I’m sure there are administrative policies to temporarily empower deputies in case the Secretary is unable to. (I know for sure it’s like that at the DOJ, so logic seems that other administrative depts works similarly).

    whembly (d116f3)

  370. The “boundary” is the fact the he’s the Secretary over a department that has obligations to step-up and be a leader to handle the crisis of the day.

    Another reason to impeach Buttigieg, in addition to mishandling the air transportation crisis over the holidays. In fact, the entire Biden cabinet should be impeached for not triggering Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  371. Post 378 is sarcasm of course.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  372. The Democrats (like in 2011) won’t play ball. They want to argue that the Treasury has no right to prioritize who it will pay.

    This goes back to Nixon and “Impounding.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  373. @377. Or it’s a dodge– which, per his bio, is a persistent ploy of his. A good leader steps up to shoulder responsibility before delegating authority. South Bend’s Pothole Pete doesn’t have a rep for that.

    DCSCA (68ba93)

  374. @aphrael: I don’t know that there’s a clear boundary, just factors on a continuum, namely the severity of harm if the matter isn’t handled timely, and the necessity of the person in question to handling it. As a law partner I’m responsible for assuring that no balls drop in my absence, but some balls are more urgent than others, and some are easier to delegate than others. I can’t count how many phone calls, texts, faxes and emails I’ve received while on vacation (and one medical leave) for matters I had delegated to others I trust. And they’ve almost always been right to interrupt me with those problems. When competent people step in, part of that competence is recognizing when someone whose interests we represent will suffer if input from the person intimately familiar with the matter isn’t obtained. I’ve reviewed documents while bedridden, taken client calls while in traction, and conducted a negotiation from a bath tub. It comes with the job, and no one I know with that responsibility questions it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  375. he has a rep as a ‘delegator.’ In other words, a buck passer.

    DCSCA (c65e47) — 1/17/2023 @ 1:54 pm

    That’s so dumb. Delegating isn’t buck passing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  376. BTW- at two public events today, Squinty looked unusually terrible; drawn and pale… like he was down a few quarts of oil… or blood.

    Might be near time to set up a ‘head of lettuce vs., head of state’ website for ol’Squinty.

    DCSCA (68ba93)

  377. May be of interest to some…

    “As indicated in the Motion to Clarify, the existence of Seth Rich’s work laptop has been known to Mr. Huddleston for some time. And Mr. Huddleston fully expected that laptop – like almost any other laptop – to contain information of some kind. The real surprises are as follows:

     After years of denials, the FBI has finally admitted that Seth Rich is directly linked to the “hack” of the Democratic National Committee email servers in 2016.

     The FBI has been in possession of a report about Seth Rich’s work laptop for nearly five years, yet purportedly it did not discover that report until after Mr. Huddleston filed his Motion to Clarify.

     The FBI had yet another technique, heretofore undisclosed, for hiding records from FOIA requesters.

    The second revelation is particularly noteworthy. The existence of a forensic report on the contents of Seth Rich’s work laptop has been something of a “holy grail” among those who question the official narrative about Seth Rich and his possible involvement in leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Renowned journalist Sy Hirsh first disclosed his knowledge of the report in early 2017, see Rusty Weiss, “Journalist Seymour Hersh Claims Seth Rich Was Wikileaks Source,” August 2, 2017 The Political Insider (https://thepoliticalinsider.com/seymour-hersh-seth-rich/) (attached as Exhibit 1),1 and the Fox News scandal surrounding its reporting on Seth Rich, that culminated in a public retraction of its Seth Rich story, was based on the network’s inability to satisfy journalistic standards that the report was real.”

    https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txed.197917/gov.uscourts.txed.197917.92.0.pdf

    Colonel Haiku (5edb68)

  378. @383. Except it is.

    Ask Kamala.

    DCSCA (68ba93)

  379. Memo to Capone:

    Bug Moran is asking for more tommy guns while the Feds juggle w/debt ceiling issues.

    Lock and load, Al.

    DCSCA (68ba93)

  380. Good News:

    ……..
    …….. [S]ocial media users are suggesting that the (Large Hadron Collider) has a different purpose. A Facebook post shared July 5 shows a TikTok video of a woman who claims that CERN scientists are using the machine to open a doorway for demons.

    “If y’all don’t know about cern it’s a demonic/Evil machine that opens up portals to other dimensions/Hell/other spiritual worlds(not Heaven/or bosom of Abraham)and it brings in demons wicked spirits/High Evil Principalities,” reads the caption of the post.
    ……..
    There is no truth to the claim that scientists at CERN are communicating with demonic entities and using the collider to open up a portal to hell, Dejan Stojkovic, a physics professor at the University at Buffalo, told USA TODAY in an email.

    “To create a black hole or a wormhole, even microscopic ones, with our current technology, in the context of our standard theories of gravity, we need an accelerator as big as the whole universe,” Stojkovic said. “So there is no chance whatsoever to create such a portal at the [Large Hadron Collider].”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  381. Isn’t the Buttigieg parental leave story from like more than a year ago? How did it become new news now?

    nk (bb1548)

  382. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/woke-medical-schools-are-a-threat-to-your-health/ar-AA16o522

    What does this poison have to do with treating patients or saving lives?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  383. Thanks Haiku.

    Good to see you around.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  384. he has a rep as a ‘delegator.’ In other words, a buck passer.

    DCSCA (c65e47) — 1/17/2023 @ 1:54 pm

    How do you say “I’ve never had employees or a job with management responsibility” without saying “I’ve never had employees or a job with management responsibility”?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  385. Hey, Rob. Thanks for your focus and pushback on the disinformation! The chickens have been coming home to roost for quite some time now, not that there’s much recognition of it here.

    Some don’t embarrass easy.

    Colonel Haiku (5edb68)

  386. Appalled (3f4fd5) — 1/17/2023 @ 1:46 pm

    If B found it important to take leave when supply chain issues were popping up everywhere, he could resign and give Biden the chance to replace him quickly.

    That’s never done quickly for any position requiring Senate confirmation. It’s taking longer and longer to staff up with each administration.

    But, yes he could have designated a deputy to make decisions.

    If anything was done wrong in the shutdown of all takeoffs in the United States it would have been not overruling the decision to shut it down. Overnight they were relying on telephone notification but thrn the line got more traffic than it could handle..

    The system was supposed to alert pilots to a few problems, like closed airspace or icing conditions. Pilots are supposed to check it before takeoff. But is this too complicated a solution?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  387. A Facebook post shared July 5 shows a TikTok video of a woman who claims that CERN scientists are using the machine to open a doorway for demons.

    “If y’all don’t know about cern

    Yup. It would be a woman who says “y’all”.

    nk (bb1548)

  388. nk (bb1548) — 1/17/2023 @ 3:14 pm

    Isn’t the Buttigieg parental leave story from like more than a year ago?

    It’s from August and September 2021

    How did it become new news now?

    A group just (?) recently obtained an answer to its Freedom of Information Request, which contradicted, they say, what he said in an Oct 17, 2021 interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, (also over a
    year ago) and the Daily Caller publicized it..and maybe tried to imply some connection to the issue right now.

    https://dailycaller.com/2023/01/12/buttigieg-refused-key-meetings-during-parental-leave-despite-saying-otherwise-docs-show

    Watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Transportation (DOT), according to PPT. Buttigieg was reportedly using his parental leave status to delay key meetings, including a call with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, according to newly released public records. Grassley’s office requested a meeting with Buttigieg about a Buy American waiver request for the I-74 bridge connecting Iowa and Illinois.

    Here’s some of the Jake Tapper interview:

    https://transcripts.cnn.com/show/sotu/date/2021-10-17/segment/01

    TAPPER: This is the first time you have been on the show since you and your husband, Chasten, welcomed twins Penelope and Joseph into your family.

    You just returned from paternity leave, which Congress is debating right now. Some conservatives have been citing your experience in an effort to mock the very idea of paternity leave. Take a listen.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child, paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breast-feed.

    No word on how that went.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    TAPPER: What’s your response?

    BUTTIGIEG: As you might imagine, we’re bottle-feeding, and doing it at all hours of the day and night. And I’m not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature newborn infant twins.

    [09:10:00]

    The work that we are doing is joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work. It’s important work. And it’s work that every American ought to be able to do when they welcome a new child into their family.

    I campaigned on that. So did the president. The Build Back Better agenda includes provisions for paid family leave. And, by the way, we’re pretty much the only country left that doesn’t have some kind of national policy for paid leave.

    I think it’s down to us and Papua New Guinea. It is long past time to make it possible for every American mother and father to take care of their children when a new child arrives in the family.

    TAPPER: We’re thrilled for your family. And we’re happy that parental leave is a reality for so many in the U.S.

    Looking back, as a Cabinet secretary, why didn’t you or the Department of Transportation make an official announcement when you went on parental leave? And why did you not appoint an acting secretary while you were away?

    BUTTIGIEG: Well, so, the way this works is, there is a deputy secretary, Polly Trottenberg, who’s doing phenomenal work and who, as deputy secretaries do, can fill in when a secretary is not available.

    Now, look, even though I have been on maternity leave, [error in transcript?] and I’m proud of it, obviously, given the nature of my job, when you take a job like mine, you understand and accept that you’re going to have to be available 24/7, depending on what’s going on, and you’re going to have to engage.

    And I did, even if that meant taking a phone call or making a decision from a hospital room. But I am so thankful for the phenomenal work that my colleagues at the Department of Transportation have done and are doing. And I’m thankful to be part of an administration that is walking the walk on our family values.

    TAPPER: Well, congratulations again to you and Chasten on Penelope

    and Joseph. I know you’re going to find you have ability to love that you probably didn’t even know you had before.

    The Daily Caller ran a rebuttal, so maybe they were worried about malice, or their reputation

    https://dailycaller.com/2023/01/12/ron-klain-pete-buttigieg-axios-report/

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  389. 369. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/17/2023 @ 1:20 pm

    Without Congressional direction, Treasury can do anything they want. What is the basis for your conclusion?

    You don’t need legislation, because, as you said, Treasury can do anything they want. They don’t have to pay all bills in order as they come due nor do they have to be malicious.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  390. 83. This was the lead front page story in the Sunday New York Times even though the time is from Friday..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/13/nyregion/george-santos-republicans-lies.html

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  391. There’s a reason FoxNews paid a financial settlement to the family of Seth Rich, thanks to Hannity.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  392. Is George Santos that big an embarrassment that they have to dig back years and years for deflection and distraction? Or is it the entire Republican clown show?

    nk (bb1548)

  393. Isn’t the Buttigieg parental leave story from like more than a year ago? How did it become new news now?

    The FAA mess last week; the airline issues over the holidays; the endless supply chain issues from rail to pipelines to shipping… more, too… it’s his hard luck America’s crumbling infrastructure problems fall- sometimes literally- under the purview of the DOT he is supposed to be managing– and it is a Cabinet post.

    As head of the DOT, he’s ultimately responsible, as the top dog, for some critical agencies:

    Federal Aviation Administration
    Federal Highway Administration
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Federal Transit Administration
    Federal Railroad Administration
    Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
    Maritime Administration
    Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
    Office of the Secretary
    Office of the Inspector General

    And w/t new infrastructure project proposed, he’s supposed to be managing and overseeing a department w/a hefty budget: $159.7 billion – https://www.usaspending.gov/agency/department-of-transportation?fy=2023

    Not quite the same as dealing with pot holes in the roads of South Bend, Indiana.

    Hence, the Peter Principle fits this particular Pete. Spotlighting the incompetents in this administration is coming home to roost- starting at the top with sticky-fingered Joey and his classified docs stash; the fish rots from the head down. Doesn’t help Mayor Pete’s optics taking the luxury of a government financed ‘family leave’ amidst these festering and worsening problems. Nor for expressing overt concern for Ukrainians rather than Americans:

    Pete Buttigieg calls for new Marshall plan to rebuild Ukraine

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/20/pete-buttigieg-says-us-backs-new-marshall-plan-to-rebuild-ukraine

    His bio is prologue: he’s another budding Dukakis.

    DCSCA (6e7da8)

  394. Here’s another George Santos tale, or is it an Anthony Devolder tale.

    It’s pretty low to scam $3,000 in GoFundMe funds which should’ve been used to pay to remove a tumor from a veteran’s dog.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  395. Santos was in too big a hurry for such a young person. If he had kept it on the QT for a couple of decades, he could have become Mayor of New York City. Two terms.

    nk (bb1548)

  396. FWO:

    you’re claiming that Buttigieg has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work.

    I’m saying that the way you are explaining that is not bounded and implies that *any person who works* has a responsibility to give up family leave and go back to work if the right conditions are met.

    I have point blank asked you where the boundary on this is, and you have refused to answer, and claimed that even asking the question is ‘misdirection’.

    I no longer believe you are discussing in good faith.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 1/17/2023 @ 12:37 pm

    Sorry, you don’t get to claim someone is discussing in bad faith while putting words in their mouth in the very same post. You’ve asked what the boundary on it is, because you’re very clearly trying to pin me down on a supposed universal standard that you can then knock down as a strawman.

    But you don’t want to accept that there is no universal standard, and that’s why you’re getting so frustrated. Someone who’s a Cabinet secretary has a lot more responsibility, and a lot more power, than a worker at Best Buy. If battalion-level military commanders and even management-level executives can put their family time on hold to deal with emergencies when they crop up, so can the freakin’ Secretary of Transportation.

    This is a major job with significant responsibilities, and it doesn’t take much to come out looking bad when you’re in charge of it. It’s one that impacts the backbone of what enables the nation to function on a daily basis. If you’re doing your job, you’ll end your tenure and no one will even remember you were in the seat. That Buttigieg is getting dragged for his job performance isn’t a right-wing conspiracy, it’s because he took a position that requires a lot more than just going on media yak shows and spouting platitudes.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  397. This is a major job with significant responsibilities, and it doesn’t take much to come out looking bad when you’re in charge of it. It’s one that impacts the backbone of what enables the nation to function on a daily basis. If you’re doing your job, you’ll end your tenure and no one will even remember you were in the seat. That Buttigieg is getting dragged for his job performance isn’t a right-wing conspiracy, it’s because he took a position that requires a lot more than just going on media yak shows and spouting platitudes.

    … you mean like the mayor of South Bend, Indiana would.

    Yep. Not a good fit for the DOT gig in present circumstances.

    DCSCA (6e7da8)

  398. More on the Solomon Peña shoorings in ABQ.

    The NM Governor is now asking the legislature (in session through Feb) to ban assault weapons. This in a state where you don’t currently need any permission from the state to buy one and keep it in your truck while you drive. The only gun regulations are 1) a permit needed for CCW and 2) a new and very unpopular ban on unlicensed transfer of guns.

    I don’t think they will go for it and even trying it will cause deep resentment.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  399. [Reposted to proper thread.]
    The Hamline University art history professor is suing. The University is backtracking.

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Attorneys for an adjunct art professor said Tuesday she is suing the Minnesota university that dismissed her after a Muslim student objected to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a global art course, while the university admitted to a “misstep” and plans to hold public conversations about academic freedom.

    nk (bb1548)

  400. @407, The benefit of sunlight. It was a bad look for the school. Hopefully they make it right.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  401. New Yorker article about the friendliness of New York mayor Eric Adams toa con man (perhaps because he’s well dressed says Curtis Sliwa)

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-local-correspondents/how-eric-adams-started-mentoring-a-con-man

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  402. 142. frosty (0ba222) — 1/14/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    It also sounds like we’re spending way to much trying to keep track of top secret info based on the return we’re seeing.

    The Department of Justice declined an invitation to supervise the searching of Biden’s home.

    If it makes any sense, it would seem that if they did that they could be accused of protecting Biden — it would be difficult later to accuse Biden of hiding something and not co-operating.

    There’s a great deal of difference between ordinary people and high level people. When ordinary people access classified information, it is always limited to a need to know basis (albeit sometimes the authorization is vast) and whatever they take has a place and when they are finished with it they are supposed to return it. High level officials are never finished till the day they leave office.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  403. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/17/business/economy/debt-limit-wall-street-plan.html

    But prioritization could prove tricky both logistically and politically. The systems used to send out payments are not finely calibrated enough for the government to quickly and surgically adjust who receives checks, Mr. Lew said. If Treasury could pull it off, he added, the trade-offs could be crushing, forcing government personnel to decide between paying financial markets, disability rosters or health care systems.

    Quite a bit of contingency thinking went on in 2011 and 2013. The Fed could also have to reverse some of its policies

    And the Fed’s staff suggested in 2013 that the central bank could purchase defaulted Treasury bonds outright — or swap them for healthier ones — in a bid to keep markets functioning.

    But such intervention would plunge the carefully apolitical central bank into the center of the partisan fray. If the Fed succeeded at mitigating the financial fallout, it might make it easier for the debt ceiling fight to continue. Plus, the Fed would be imperiling its independence to pursue its own policy goals — most notably stable prices — if it abruptly reversed its current policy of reducing its bond holdings in order to save the broader government….

    Jerome H. Powell, who is now the Fed’s chair, called the possibility of purposely buying defaulted Treasury debt “loathsome” during that meeting.

    “It’s a world of contrasts that’s indefensible,” Mr. Lew said.

    The Treasury is often encouraged to consider other alternatives, like minting a $1 trillion coin and depositing it at the Fed, exploiting a legal loophole to raise money to keep paying the bills.

    “It’s been taken seriously,” Mr. Singh, the former Treasury official at PGIM, said of the coin-minting idea. But such maneuvers would reduce the government to “silly gimmicks and cheap legal tricks, and that’s only slightly better than default.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/18/business/economy/us-debt-limit-extraordinary-measures.html

    Mr. Frost added that the Treasury Department usually has a daily cash balance of $600 billion to $700 billion, but that during the 2021 debt limit standoff, there were days when it grew painfully close to zero. Such situations can force the Treasury Department to undertake risky moves such as issuing same-day cash management bills or conducting buybacks.

    “There were several instances when we didn’t have sufficient cash on hand to meet even our next-day obligations,” Mr. Frost, who spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Annual Primary Dealers Meeting, said. “During the course of that impasse, Secretary Yellen wrote eight separate letters to Congress regarding the importance of acting to address the debt limit.”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  404. 366. China’s Covid death statistics for 2022 do not include any figures for December they said.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  405. If you stop the spiral in medical costs somebody has to lose: Doctors, hospitals, nurses, pharmaceutcal companies..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  406. I was also told in 1997, in response to a a FOIA request that the Secret Service does not keep records of visitors (to the White House)

    They said those records were kept by the White House counsel (not subject to FOIA)

    Clinton later released a list of visitors to the Lincoln Bedroom but this was all voluntary and designed to fool people about what was generally available.

    This was later changed in the Obama Administration.

    I had wanted to know if Prince Bandar’s secret unscheduled visit to the White House, leaked to Fred Barnes of the New Republic with a patently false explanation of the visit and published on page 10 of the March 14, 1994 issue (right at the time of known Foster case leaks) was on July 20, 1993 during the missing hours.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  407. A few years ago cbs news asked what is the oldest top secret document you have? They were told it was from 1917 and was about troop movments on the western front in world war I. Number one of one billion secret documents.

    asset (a19fa3)

  408. @415. They classify too much and keep it classified too long, because… information is power. You have tro be brain-dead– or a bureaucrat– [if there’s even a difference] top believe anything the U.S. government tells you today. Especially after the costly and deadly deceptions perpetuated and revealed in the Pentagon Papers.

    DCSCA (65ecc9)

  409. 30% national sales tax? Really congressional republicans? Really?

    Nic (896fdf)

  410. 30% national sales tax? Really congressional republicans? Really?

    Only eleven of them. It was part of the deal service McCarthy offered them under the street lamp to get their votes for Speaker.

    nk (bb1548)

  411. A long time ago, the local precinct captain told me that “politics is a ‘hoor’s’ [his word] game”. After all these years, I feel he had no call to insult all those poor unfortunate girls like that.

    nk (bb1548)

  412. 30% national sales tax? Really congressional republicans? Really?

    Nic (896fdf) — 1/18/2023 @ 6:32 pm

    Since the end of World War II, no matter the income tax rate, actual revenues have only averaged about 18 percent of GDP in a very narrow range. It’s only gone over 19% five times, and one of those was during the early 80s recession. Outlays as a percentage of GDP have averaged over 20 percent in that same time period. The annual figures are in the OMB historical tables.

    Considering we haven’t actually paid down the debt on an annualized basis since 1957 (even the Clinton-era surpluses went into the SS Trust Fund), no matter where the tax rate has been, maybe it’s time to get rid of the income taxes and try something different, since Congress seems bound and determined to not match spending to revenue.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  413. After watching almost a year of Wagner in Ukraine, Erik Prince and Blackwater deserve a UN Humanitarian Award

    steveg (60ff79)

  414. I would like to see how a 30% national sales tax along with a 20 % state sales tax assuming they did away with state income tax along with cities would go over with populist republicans. It would be great for the rich and corporations. Rich only spend a small percentage of their income on purchases.

    asset (2c3c8c)

  415. Kevin Williamson had a sober piece at the dispatch regarding our stark choices with regards to deficits and debt. It’s worth the read. I posted this comment there:

    The problem is that there isn’t any feedback to the average voter as the deficit and debt grows. There’s no sense of ownership or shame over what we are leaving future generations. The Left just wants to pile on more benefits: free college, child care support, housing subsidies. The Right wants to out spend the world militarily, hire more border agents, and keep cutting taxes. No one wants to get serious about retirement and health care costs for an aging society. We’re stuck with ridiculous notions of “taxing the rich” or cutting “wage, fraud, and abuse” as feeble solutions. Kevin is exactly right.

    Our toxic politics has disincentivized taking on hard problems and speaking the truth. We’ve chased away moderates and made “compromise” a bad word in order to have our tribal entertainment bubbles. The only way this works is if both sides come to the table willing to sacrifice something. And the only way that happens is if the infotainment media steers the massive herd in that necessary direction, rather than just having roundtables mocking the other side. The media has to create the environment for politicians to be able to act beyond their own short-term interest and address our common enemy, unconstrained debt.

    Retirement and health care systems cannot change on the dime. Whatever we do will consist of gradual change. We will all have to pay more taxes, accept fewer benefits, and finance fewer government workers….all while not driving our economy into recession, letting authoritarianism win abroad, or letting our most vulnerable suffer. It’s a sober ask when we can’t even seem to close the book on obviously ridiculous politicians. It’s almost like something will have to break to snap us out of our current mode. But we can’t give up….

    AJ_Liberty (3961b6)

  416. I would like to see how a 30% national sales tax along with a 20 % state sales tax assuming they did away with state income tax along with cities would go over with populist republicans.

    Lol that any blue state or urban cesspool would get rid of its income taxes.

    Factory Working Orphan (9235ba)

  417. Via this tweet, Murray Waas got into Trump’s efforts to declassify documents at the end of his term, the ones he authorized by EO. Turns out quite a few documents didn’t make it into the binder because of potential Privacy Act violations (and perhaps also for statutory reasons), but it can explain why Trump may have took them to his beach club. The part about John Solomon bothered me because I doubt he had the security clearance to view classified materials.

    John Solomon, the conservative journalist close to Trump, claimed to have read all of the classified records, which he said were “a foot, a foot and a half stack tall of documents from the FBI and Justice Department, the disclosure of which, Solomon promised, would include “bombshell allegations.”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  418. Not gonna happen:

    To make (a national sales tax) work, though, Republicans would need to do more than just abolish the IRS. The Fair Tax proposals before now required a repeal of the 16th Amendment, in order to strip the federal government of authority to impose personal income taxes. Otherwise, even if by some miracle one could “abolish” the IRS in one cycle and replace income taxes with a consumption tax, a future Congress could create a new IRS and federal income tax to add to a federal sales tax.
    ……..
    This may have two potential points of political liability for Republicans. If the proposal votes on the consumption tax before a vote to repeal the 16th Amendment, it looks like a vote for a tax increase. And if the tax rate is set at 30%, as has been reported, it’s a very high tax rate, higher than any I dimly recall from past Fair Tax proposals. That’s a huge bite at the cash register, and it hits immediately rather than passively every couple of weeks on paydays and once a year while filing tax returns. That may be a salutary change long term as people would be constantly reminded of how large a bite the federal government takes, but in the short run would be a very tough pill to swallow — even with a repeal of the 16th Amendment, which would take two-thirds of the House, Senate, and three quarters of the states to accomplish.
    …….
    Republicans would need to get out front of this and explain the policy. But when you’re explaining, you’re losing, and the mechanisms here are so complex that it’s going to be tough to explain them, let alone sell them.
    ………

    Repeat: Not gonna happen.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  419. It oughta learn that Cyrus Johnson! Always buying that wife of his a new dress and rushing the baby to the doctor every time it gets a little colicky.

    nk (bb1548)

  420. This sounds right:Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting

    nk (bb1548)

  421. Because we don’t hear a lot of news from the Kiwis, an update.

    BREAKING: New Zealand’s president, Jacinda Acorn, has just announced that she is resigning. Since New Zealand is an Australian province rather than a country and must answer to Sydney, she can only do this if Australia lets her. But big news nonetheless.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  422. 30% national sales tax? Really congressional republicans? Really?

    I think that the idea is to make taxes hurt, as Reagan said they should. The Left wants confiscatory income taxes (Biden would have marginal rates at 70% if he ever got a sizable majority). I think that 30% is extreme, but it does have the proper shock value. If we need taxes, and not spending cuts, to close the deficit, this is as good a proposal as any. It would be better if it was constitutional, but that flaw doesn’t stop the wealth tax proponents.

    The tax game is to tax the other guy but not your constituents. This makes taxes hard to avoid. It would be far better to cut spending, which is the point I think they are making.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  423. A tax change that should be welcomed:

    Raise the top marginal rate back to 39.6%, and at the same time restore the SALT deduction.

    The top rate was dropped to 37% as a compromise to allow the elimination of the SALT deduction, but the only people who benefited from that trade were those paying the top rate (the cut made up for their lost state tax deductions).

    However the deal was a tax INCREASE for much of the upper middle class (disallowing 10s of thousands in deductions, even in no-income-tax states). It allowed a sizable tax deduction for those who took the standard deduction, without pissing off rich campaign donors.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  424. This sounds right:Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting

    I blame the armorer more. Still, firing a gun you think has blanks while pointing it at someone is not something one should do unless absolutely necessary. Most scenes can be shot without actually doing that, through camera cuts.

    For rehearsals, the gun should have been unloaded. Baldwin should have looked upon receiving it, too. But I can see him being guilty of simple negligence in the situation. The armorer though (and the director or producer if the armorer wasn’t qualified) really fracked up.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  425. Oh, wait. They want to repeal the 16th? Good luck with that.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  426. #429

    There’s a joke here. Not sure if it is the person tweeting or the tweet itself.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  427. Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ movie set shooting

    can’t wait to see the SNL skit

    JF (f71542)

  428. I think that the idea is to make taxes hurt, as Reagan said they should.

    He’s dead. What should ‘hurt’ is Congress critters only paid $40,000/yr., mandatory staff of 5, bills no longer than two pages and forced sessions year ’round w/t time off only for holidays and two week vacations.

    What truly hurts is the complete and utter waste and misappropriation of resources and priorities by the the bought and paid for jackasses in both parties. The waste is disproportionate and massiver

    Actually, the government need to cease and wasting billions NOW on this kind of crap: example: aircraft carriers:

    -United States: 20 commissioned; 2 in reserve;1 under going trials 3 under construction; 2 ordered; 12 more planned.

    -China only has 5 w/1 under construction and 7 planned.

    -And the ‘big, bad bear’ known as Putin’s Russia =sarc= ???

    -1 commissioned w/2 under construction and 1 planned.

    This is frigging madness– Ike was right nabout the MIC; Worse governments have been overthrown for less.

    Storm. The. Castle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers_in_service

    DCSCA (e34b10)

  429. @436. … you get what you pay for; lost track of files, can’t find a leaker– or their car keys… but the Berobed Bureaucrats have pricey government drivers in big black SUVs, don’t they. … and Alito smiled.

    Take the bus. Flay a cab. Risk an Uber.

    Storm. The. Castle.

    DCSCA (e34b10)

  430. can’t wait to see the SNL skit

    They didn’t mock Ruby banana-creaming Oswald until 1977 😉

    http://willrabbe.com/microblog/2010/10/1/portraying-oswald-jack-ruby-on-snl.html

    DCSCA (e34b10)

  431. President Biden and Democrats who control the Senate say they won’t allow Republicans to pressure them to cut federal programs, pointing to recent agreements to raise the debt limit that didn’t include spending cuts.

    Gotta love this argument.

    “You let us run amok blowing our money on wimmin and booze for years, and now you say we have to pick just wimmin OR booze!? No deal! And if we default, it’s YOUR fault!”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  432. What do we think, DCCCP “pants on” or “pants off” while he’s posting?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  433. Supreme court we have investigated everyone but sam alito and the thomas’es and have not found the leaker.

    asset (645bd3)

  434. Supreme court we have investigated everyone but sam alito and the thomas’es and have not found the leaker.

    You really need to post a link for something like that. Right now I’m guessing some asshat on DU pulled out from under their hat.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  435. What do we think, DCCCP “pants on” or “pants off” while he’s posting?

    Pants off, all the time. The real question is a little finer.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  436. Something the software writer didn’t think of:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lights-massachusetts-school-year-no-one-can-turn-rcna65611

    WILBRAHAM, Mass. — For nearly a year and a half, a Massachusetts high school has been lit up around the clock because the district can’t turn off the roughly 7,000 lights in the sprawling building.

    The lighting system was installed at Minnechaug Regional High School when it was built over a decade ago and was intended to save money and energy. But ever since the software that runs it failed on Aug. 24, 2021, the lights in the Springfield suburbs school have been on continuously, costing taxpayers a small fortune…

    …Paul Mustone, president of the Reflex Lighting Group, said the parts they need to replace the system at the school have finally arrived from the factory in China and they expect to do the installation over the February break.

    “And yes, there will be a remote override switch so this won’t happen again,” said Mustone, whose company has been in business for more than 40 years.

    https://www.newser.com/story/330525/high-school-is-unable-to-shut-its-lights-off.html

    …The problem is a software failure. The school had a 7,000-light system installed more than a decade ago, but the entire system went kerflooey during a 2021 power outage, according to the Smoke Signal, the online school paper that first reported on the story. The lights are supposed to dim during the day and turn off overnight, but the server failure reset everything to default mode—meaning all the lights burn brightly 24/7, and they can’t be manually adjusted…..A slew of factors explain the delay in fixing things: For example, the company that installed the system changed hands a few times, and supply chain issues have slowed replacement parts. However, the lighting company that now owns the original installer says everything needed has finally arrived, and it plans to make the fix next month.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  437. T-Mobile Says Hackers Stole Data on About 37 Million Customers (WSJ) (paywall)

    Carrier says addresses, birth dates and other personal records were exposed, but not financial records. T-Mobile said that it was working with law-enforcement officials and cybersecurity consultants.

    US Inc. said hackers accessed data, including birth dates and billing addresses, for about 37 million of its customers, the second major security lapse at the wireless company in two years.

    The company said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it discovered the problem on Jan. 5 and was working with law-enforcement officials and cybersecurity consultants. T-Mobile said it believes the hackers had access to its data since Nov. 25 but that it has since been able to stop the malicious activity.

    The cellphone carrier said it is currently notifying affected customers and that it believes the most sensitive types of records—such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and account passwords—weren’t compromised. T-Mobile has more than 110 million customers.

    The company said its preliminary investigation indicates that data on about 37 million current postpaid and prepaid customer accounts was exposed. The company said hackers may have obtained names, billing addresses, emails, phone numbers, birth dates and account numbers. Information such as the number of lines on the account and plan features could have also been accessed, the company said.

    I’m thinking that those annual privacy notices should list “Data which we will make available to hackers.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  438. @441/@444. Translation- neither have no defense to defend the excessive waste on defense.

    DCSCA (ff077e)

  439. R.I.P. David Crosby

    Crosby stilled; not so young… 81.

    DCSCA (ff077e)

  440. A meeting of the minds; Biden visits CA w/oil-beads-in-his-shadow-Newsom…

    President Joe Biden said Thursday there was “no there there” following the discovery of classified documents and official records at his home and former office. “We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said to reporters during a tour of the damage from storms in California.

    “We”??? Who is ‘we’????

    Americans have been saying ‘there’s no there there’ about Squinty McStumblebum for 50 years.

    Corn Pop said it, too.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/biden-says-theres-no-there-there-following-continued-scrutiny-over-classified-documents

    DCSCA (61e360)

  441. 440. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/19/2023 @ 1:13 pm

    “You let us run amok blowing our money on wimmin and booze for years, and now you say we have to pick just wimmin OR booze!? No deal! And if we default, it’s YOUR fault!”

    Why are the Republicans demanding that the Democrats pick what to cut without putting anything on the table themselves?

    In order not to have any of their proposed budget cuts criticized.

    In the final analysis deficits are more popular than any proposed budget cuts..

    They could argue that the way to find out what is necessary spending and what is not id for the federal government to run out of money.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  442. @Factory Working Orphan Buttigieg didn”t stay completely ot of contact with everything

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  443. More discoveries abot George Santos.

    By the way, in a way his name was not really George Santos. He went with the name Anthony Devolder for years before 2019.

    His criminal case in Brazil was easily findable, apparently, in social media used by Brazilians (in the United States? In Portuguese?)

    While he claimed to rescued 2,500 dogs and cats, he really did raise money for at least two people — neither of which he turned over the money to. One a Go Fund Me page to raise $3.000 for an operation on a dog –he shut it down once he reached the goal, became hard to contact and then sent the pet owner to a vet in Queens (the owner lived in a tent in New Jersey) who told him nothing could be done and Santos said in that case he was going to use it for other pets.

    The second was in conjunction with a legal charity – (a $50 admission fundraiser) he collected the money and never turned it over to the woman whose pet he raised the money for.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  444. A helicopter crashed in Ukraine killing an original member of President Zelensky’s cabinet and a few subcabinet officials – The Interior ministry.. They were going to visit a war zone but crashed into or near a kindergarten in Kyiv.

    The United States is gradually edging into approval of helping make possible a threat to Crimea — they say they want to create a fear of it in Putin’s mind not necessarily that it should really happen.

    They’ve also seen that a few super secret attacks on places inside Russia have been done without Russia escalating. There are p probably a few super secret American personnel inside Ukraine – and it also keeps Zelensky quiet from asking for more

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  445. Santos claimed on JAn 5 2021 that hiiis election in 2000 had been stlen from him too

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  446. RIP David Crosby (81). A waste of a good liver.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  447. By the way, in a way his name was not really George Santos. He went with the name Anthony Devolder for years before 2019.

    “So?” as Daddy Darth would say…

    -“Born Rafael Edward Cruz, the presidential candidate wrote in his book, A Time For Truth, that he was originally known as “Felito.” After being teased throughout his childhood, Cruz began answering to the nickname “Ted” at age 13.

    -The 38th president of the United States was once known by another name: Leslie Lynch King Jr. However, Ford’s parents split after his birth, when Ford’s father threatened to kill him and his mother. Ford then later changed his name to Gerald Rudolff Ford Jr, after his stepfather, when Ford’s mother remarried. The name change was not made official until Ford was 22 years old.

    -The 42nd president of the United States was born William Jefferson Blythe III, after his father. However, Clinton’s father died and his widowed mother remarried Roger Clinton. The former president didn’t formally adopt the surname “Clinton” until he turned 15.

    -The former Republican presidential candidate’s real name is Piyush Jindal. According to The Daily Beast, Piyush became Bobby after a 4-year old Jindal “became mesmerized” by an episode of hit ’70s TV series The Brady Bunch.

    -Nikki Haley’s full name is Nimrata Randhawa Haley. Upon entering the political arena, the governor told the Charlotte Observer that she shortened her name to Nikki because her maiden name “wouldn’t fit on a yard sign.” However, questions arose about her ethnicity when in 2011, the Associated Press reported that the Republican governor identified herself as “white” on her voter registration card in 2001. Some critics believe that Nikki Haley may have an underlying reason for hiding her racial identity. “Given the racism inside her party, and the hostility toward non-white immigrants in so many places in the U.S., it’s no wonder that Nimrata Randhawa would find it easier to maneuver the political terrain as Nikki Haley, that the Sikhism she was born into would be much more difficult to navigate than a conversion to Christianity,” Eesha Pandit wrote in Salon in June.

    -In 2012, 32-year-old Eddie Gonzalez legally changed his name to “VoteForEddie.com” in an attempt to improve his campaign by drawing headlines to his name change. Confirmed by the Florida secretary of state, Gonzales’ name appeared as “VoteForEddie.com” on the ballot.

    https://www.mic.com/articles/132538/nikki-haley-s-real-name-and-other-politicians-who-changed-theirs

    DCSCA (61e360)

  448. tribal entertainment bubbles

    AJ_Liberty (3961b6) — 1/19/2023 @ 5:24 am

    I love that phrase, AJ. I plan to use it on my friend who watches Tucker Carlson like a daily sacrament.

    norcal (862cdb)

  449. “You let us run amok blowing our money on wimmin and booze for years, and now you say we have to pick just wimmin OR booze!? No deal! And if we default, it’s YOUR fault!”

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/19/2023 @ 1:13 pm

    Funny and illustrative. Well done!

    norcal (862cdb)

  450. SNL Weekend Update, March 1978

    Comedian Bill Cosby, opera star Beverly Sills, country singer Johnny Cash, and L.A. anchorperson Connie Chung got together this week and formed a new singing group. However, they can’t think of a name for the act. If you have a suggestion, send it to “Cosby, Sills, Nash, and Chung”, in care of “Weekend Update.”

    RIP “Cosby”.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  451. I wonder what’s going to be in the post for the next weekend open thread?

    frosty (88eec3)

  452. RIP David Crosby (81). A waste of a good liver.

    Why do you say that? It served him for 28 years.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  453. The United States is gradually edging into approval of helping make possible a threat to Crimea — they say they want to create a fear of it in Putin’s mind not necessarily that it should really happen.

    This is the kind of gradual escalation that made it so the eventual bombing of dams in North Vietnam didn’t seem like much of a deal.

    CJ Cherryh wrote a novella called “The Scapegoat” illustrating the necessary failure of incremental escalation — there is never a point where the adversary sees that they must lose.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  454. Off-topic:

    5th Circuit decision upholding social media users free speech rights to be free of content censorship. Certain to be a high court case in the near future.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  455. 5th circuit synopsis:

    A Texas statute named House Bill 20 generally prohibits large social media platforms from censoring speech based on the viewpoint of its speaker. The platforms urge us to hold that the statute is facially unconstitutional and hence cannot be applied to anyone at any time and under any circumstances.

    In urging such sweeping relief, the platforms offer a rather odd inversion of the First Amendment. That Amendment, of course, protects every person’s right to “the freedom of speech.” But the platforms argue that buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech.

    The implications of the platforms’ argument are staggering. On the platforms’ view, email providers, mobile phone companies, and banks could cancel the accounts of anyone who sends an email, makes a phone call, or spends money in support of a disfavored political party, candidate, or business. What’s worse, the platforms argue that a business can acquire a dominant market position by holding itself out as open to everyone—as Twitter did in championing itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Blue Br. at 6 & n.4. Then, having cemented itself as the monopolist of “the modern public square,” Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1737 (2017), Twitter unapologetically argues that it could turn around and ban all pro-LGBT speech for no other reason than its employees want to pick on members of that community, Oral Arg. at 22:39–22:52.

    Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say. Because the district court held otherwise, we reverse its injunction and remand for further proceedings.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  456. Funny how much cheaper medical care was when we mostly paid cash for it. 60 years ago, a regular birth and two nights in a private room in the hospital was about $1,000, inflation-adjusted. When our kids were born, the hospital charged $25K apiece ($10K for the delivery, $15K for the room), and insurance knocked the negotiated price down to $18K. My mother-in-law found an old emergency room bill from when her brother broke his wrist on a vacation in the early 70s, and they charged $25, total, for an x-ray and cast.

    I’d rather have just dropped the $1,000 on a cashier’s desk if it would have meant cheaper hospital bills overall. Every time you start injecting additional vendors into the process, real costs tend to get a lot more expensive.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d) — 1/14/2023 @ 10:36 pm

    I was looking for this.

    I thought I had seen this in a newspaper letter to the editor – either in the WSJ or NYT

    Sammy Finkelman (2efd08)

  457. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xqGu66D6VU
    Interview with Comey
    Fast forward to minute 13

    steveg (7d71c9)

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