Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
A Lew-dicrous Talent
Some guys have it, and some don’t. I’m referring to that special quality that makes powerful institutions want to throw fistfuls of dollars at them in senseless acts of high-priced beneficence.
Jack Lew has it like nobody’s business. You might think the bespectacled treasury-secretary nominee is just another brainy budget wonk and miss the animal magnetism that makes his employers lose all sense of financial proportion around him, paying him astronomical sums, forgiving his loans, and granting him generous golden parachutes.
Yes, Jack Lew is a rare talent — at the art of getting paid.Good stuff. Read it all.
Madness in the White House
Obama Is Showing 'A Kind Of Madness I Haven't Seen In A Long Time'Which begs the question: When was the last time he saw this kind of madness from a sitting president. Nixon? Carter?
Silva Linings Playbook *
The building is now closed to human habitation.
My print column is up.
* h/t DT editor Joe Hart
UPDATE: Special added bonus... Sunday's print column on how a concealed carry permit helped an innocent man beat a bad rap.
The Sky Isn't Falling
While Mr. Obama may choose to make the cuts ordered by the sequester in the most painful way possible, the best alternative—which is practiced every year to some extent—is allowing federal agencies to transfer funds among individual programs with congressional approval or by rearranging priorities as part of the March 27 resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.
That doesn't sound like a herculean task to Americans who make hard choices every day. Their choices have become harder and more frequent because the country's political leaders seem unwilling to do the same in Washington.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Nice Mug Shot
Cruel but Not Unusual
“Zero Dark Thirty,” a nominee for Sunday’s Oscar for Best Picture, reignited debate about whether the waterboarding of terrorism suspects was torture. This practice, which ended in 2003, was used on only three suspects. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of American prison inmates are kept in protracted solitary confinement that arguably constitutes torture and probably violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments...”
... Supermax prisons isolate inmates from social contact. Often prisoners are in their cells, sometimes smaller than 8 by 12 feet, 23 hours a day, released only for a shower or exercise in a small fenced-in outdoor space. Isolation changes the way the brain works, often making individuals moreimpulsive, less able to control themselves. The mental pain of solitary confinement is crippling: Brain studies reveal durable impairments and abnormalities in individuals denied social interaction. Plainly put, prisoners often lose their minds.Read it all.
The Governor's Speech
Thursday, February 21, 2013
An Oscar Blacklisting Made in D.C.
Suddenly it was a film about waterboarding, rather than what Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal produced: The story of U.S. intelligence officers spending years digesting an incomprehensible flow of half-baked data, making mistakes and wrong calls, some getting blown up themselves by suicide bombers and finally, after three of them ride around teeming Peshawar in a Jeep with some tracking device, they nail the identity of bin Laden's courier. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was dead. That's "Zero Dark Thirty."
But not for Dianne Feinstein or the Hollywood hundreds. Here's her denunciatory letter's best part: "The use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America's values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times. . . . You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right."
It is always comical to be lectured by U.S. Senators like Feinstein about our "moral obligations" when they can't even meet their legal obligations to say... come up with a budget.
Meanwhile, Feinstein has little to say about the president's drone program that kills not only al Qaeda operatives but untargeted and innocent men, women and children. Instead she deems to lecture and marginalize one of the few filmmakers in the business today who is sympathetic to the tough job of protecting the country.
Zero Dark Thirty is not the film Feinstein and company says it is. That a few Hollywood has-beens would side with Feinstein's and her criticisms is hardly surprising. The rest of us shouldn't be so gullible.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Cheaper by an Almost Dozen
"She treats her womb like a clown car."Crude, but she has a point.
Young and Stupid Is No Way to Go Through Life
Monday, February 18, 2013
Veet For Men
I'm talking tears running down my face. I'm ordering a tube tonight and sending it to my second-to- worst enemy. My worst doesn't deserve it.
Professor, Conservative, Farmer: Victor Davis Hanson
Then read this... It's excellent. Here's a taste:
The commercial’s platitudes were cleverly juxtaposed with grainy pictures of un-Botoxed people doing real physical work and in concert with each other, using big machines, and looking the worse for wear from it. True or not, we at least were to believe that no one in those still shots had hair plugs, bleached teeth, or faux tans in the manner of our vice president, who tries so hard to be an oh-so-authentic “Joey.” In that regard, Clint Eastwood’s resonance hinges in part on the fact that his lined and craggy face does not resemble what has happened to Sylvester Stallone’s, and he did not engage in the sort of embarrassing, obsequious fawning about George Bush that a Chris Rock or Jamie Foxx has monotonously done about Barack Obama. Americans still admire authenticity, and that too explains the later YouTube popularity of the commercial.Read it all.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Looking for Answers in Matt White Tragedy
Friday, February 15, 2013
In 1924, after the lingering illness and death of his 16-year-old son from blood poisoning, Coolidge demonstrated — if only our confessional culture could comprehend this — the eloquence of reticence: “When he was suffering he begged me to help him. I could not.”
Coolidge, says Shlaes, thought his office “really was one of ‘president,’ literally one who presided.” And “the best monument to his kind of presidency was no monument at all.” This absence, however, is a kind of admonitory presence for him who said, “It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man.”Read it all.
I think it is fair to say that, at this moment, the country is in peril.
A Murder in Wallingford
Affirmative Action for Crooks
In the late 1970s, the EEOC began stretching Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sue businesses for practically any hiring practice that adversely affected minorities. In 1989, the agency sued Carolina Freight Carrier Corp. of Hollywood, Fla., for refusing to hire as a truck driver a Hispanic man who had multiple arrests and had served 18 months in prison for larceny. The EEOC argued that the only legitimate qualification for the job was the ability to operate a tractor trailer.
U.S. District Judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., in ruling against the agency, said: "EEOC's position that minorities should be held to lower standards is an insult to millions of honest Hispanics. Obviously a rule refusing honest employment to convicted applicants is going to have a disparate impact upon thieves."
The EEOC ignored that judicial thrashing and pressed on. Last April, the agency unveiled its "Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions," declaring that "criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin.Read it all.
UPDATE: I wrote about this nonsense when it was first being proposed a year and a half ago.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Riding Along with the Cop Haters
The incomparable Heather MacDonald lays it out here.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
According to the story, English teacher Ned Walker informed students he had the gun just in case an armed intruder came into the building.
"It made us feel extra protected," said one former student.
Not so, a few parents and administrators. Obviously this man is in the wrong profession, city, and state!
In the real world, Fat Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday and a season of fasting and penance. For the free-spending Barack Obama, Fat Tuesday is followed by Fat Wednesday, Fat Thursday, Fat Friday, fat federal spending the whole way through.
"Kind, Sweet, Gentle," Killer
Coming soon: Mental illness not porn killed Matt White.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Matt White, R.I.P.
For years I played pick up ball with him in Swarthmore where he lived for many years.
At 6-11, he was by far the most talented and dominating player on the court but, knowing that, he rarely shot the ball. He rebounded, set sun-blocking picks, and passed the ball to teammates far less likely to make a shot than he was. When they missed he'd often get the rebound and pass it out to another teammate for them to shoot. He was the consummate team player.
In recent years, I stopped seeing him at the gym where we used to play, only finding out later that he'd had a stroke and didn't play basketball anymore. He was only 55 when he died the other day. His wife is in prison, charged with murder after delivering a bloody note to a neighbor reportedly warning about the end of the world.
She was a instructional support teacher at Nether Providence Elementary School. In other words, a team player herself. This is an awful tragedy.
UPDATE: Forget the "end of the world" warning. I just got a hold of the police report and it says, White's wife stated: "I caught him looking a pornography, young girls, I love kids. I had to do it."
Monday, February 11, 2013
Rush to Injustice
Rank speculation. Innuendo. Subjective opinions. This rhetoric, not objective facts and evidence, forms the core of the Freeh report’s conclusions regarding Joe Paterno. Speculation and subjective opinions are regularly rejected in the American justice system as unreliable and inadmissible in proceedings designed to discover the truth. Mr. Freeh knows these fundamental rules as a former judge, but sadly he ignored them in favor of substituting his personal opinions for objective factual findings and conclusions throughout his report. Although his report is confident in its conclusions, it lacks the careful distinctions, scrupulous weighing of evidence, and fair consideration of relevant information that is expected of a report addressing issues of such importance. In the six months since release of the Freeh report, world-renowned experts, including the former Attorney General of the United States, one of the foremost former FBI profilers of child sex crimes, and a leading physician and psychologist specializing in pedophilia at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine, among many others, have reached similar conclusions: The Freeh report is deeply flawed and incomplete, and its statements specifically as to Joe Paterno are unfounded and unfair.
UPDATE: The Paterno report has changed at least one mind: Nike Founder Phil Knight's. Read his thoughts here.
The central parts of ObamaCare don’t roll out until 2014, but the wheels are already falling off this clunker. The latest news from four federal agencies is that 1) insurance will be a lot less affordable than Americans were led to expect, 2) fewer people than promised will get insurance and 3) millions of people who have coverage through a job now will lose it, thanks to the president’s “reforms.” Oh, and children are the biggest victims.
The Affordable Care Act is looking less and less affordable.
Sunday, February 10, 2013