We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, May 22. 2013
My photo: student detritus in dorm hallway after the kids have decamped in their parents' vehicles.
The Average Salary of a Military Helicopter Pilot
I'd pay them to do it
Sperry Topsiders: Made in Maine
Nearly 19 feet! Longest Burmese python captured in Florida
Remarkable footage of the big tornado
Wallace Stegner is a wonderful wordsmith
Homeownership, Unemployment and Economic Growth: Looking at the Trends
Obama and Elizabeth Warren Feed the College Beast
Cost of Coverage – The Real Measure of Health Reform Impact
Rand Paul Stands Up Against Government Greed
Blue State CT: State Revenue Surge A Bad Reason To Spend More
Unions break ranks on ObamaCare
Top IRS official will invoke the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearing about tea party targeting program
Time for a team huddle: Lefty bloggers/journos head to the White House
The Arab collapse - Middle East a vulture’s feast
Driscoll's Quote of the Day:
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"Blue State CT: State Revenue Surge A Bad Reason To Spend More"
I was tempted to make one of my 'sister state' comments, but in this case I think the word "Connecticut" could be replaced with "(fill in blank)". Pretty much every state is going through such shortsightedness. No sense in singling any one of them out.
And Ed Driscoll's quote was spot on. A number of right-wing bloggers are trying to blame the whole mess on Obama, not understanding the concept of 'plausible deniability'. Even if the White House directed/told/hinted to the IRS that they should focus on Tea Party groups, Obama most likely wouldn't have been told a thing, just so later he could truthfully say, "I wasn't told a thing."
As for the DoJ and the AP reporters, that was an investigation over a possible security breach and had nothing to do with the White House. Ditto Benghazi, which is solely a State Department issue. Obama certainly pitched in, blaming the YouTube video something like six times in his UN speech, but while that makes him a pawn, it doesn't make him complicit.
"Russia: Playing a Losing Hand like a Winner"
As these things go, that was quite the insightful piece.
This all smacks of David Axelrod -- tactics he's used for years to do dirty work while protecting his clients.
Driscoll's quote is right on and the fact that two of the scandals are at the heart of the left (IRS and press) helps.
I would go further though. It should be more than the fact that the IRS can be manipulated but also that the IRS is way too powerful and how it is an affront to the freedom even liberals (as opposed to the left) values.
And this from Taranto which, IMHO, is spot on:
"Noonan's use of the metaphor was entirely apt. Jaded political observers listened to Candidate Obama and heard (depending on their leanings) either a viciously desperate politician or a feisty fighter. Agents of the government heard President Obama, their ultimate boss, urging them to turn their attention toward evildoers.
As we've repeatedly argued, if that is the extent of Obama's involvement in the scandal, it is much more worrisome than if the persecution of dissidents was carried out under his direct orders. It would mean that the government itself--the permanent institutions of the state, not just the administration currently in office--has turned against the citizenry and the Constitution."
BD - re: your photo of student detritus....
At my younger daughter's commencement (several years ago) the honored speaker was a typically left leaning news person of some sort. I forgot her name immediately. Naturally she heaped enormous praise on these wonderful and unique young people who were, finally, the unique generation that would save the planet from not only racism and sexism and all the other isms but would save the environment as well. They would, her words, "reduce, reuse, recycle".
The speech ended and we were all eager to get our incredibly unique and graduated young people packed up and on the road. I watched in amusement as the graduated horde and their families and friends proceeded to build a mountain of debris, most of it perfectly serviceable stuff that nobody wanted to haul home and place into storage. TVs, area rugs, fans, air-conditioners, refrigerators, furniture, mattresses, and on and on and on. And this was happening at not one site at one college. It was going on at multiple sites at each of hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.
What a shameful waste. This generation will not save anything. I did not endear myself to anyone present as I walked about pretty much chanting "reduce reuse recyle".
I have no doubt that, fortunately, there are enterprising people who salvage the vast wealth thrown into those piles. But it probably isn't and enterprising recent college grad.
Congress on musical-chairs days presents hallways clogged with brand new top dollar fine wood office furniture --wish i could find the picture. Hope at least the stuff doesn't go to the garbage scows --
There is fine money to be made in salvage and junk selling. Oddly, it is not considered a proper occupation for a college graduate. Who will struggle along trying to make ends meet while doing something big.
All the while, the junk men/women do the back breaking work, have dusty shops and warehouses, but also wads of cash and sometimes large bank accounts.
They can't knock rings but they can hear the ring of the cash register and the knock of opportunity from miles off.
Odd that no one reports these students arranging to have their unwanted junk picked up by a charity? Instead they leave it out for someone else to clean up or pay to have cleaned up.
I would never have imagined this happening in the USA until now.
"As we traveled the public hallways of the building – watched over by security cameras – an armed uniformed police officer with the Federal Protective Service followed us. We were looking for a particular office—of someone who would not want to be seen talking to reporters--but chose to bypass it because of our official babysitter.
Asked why we were being escorted in a public building, the officer identified himself as Insp. Mike Finkelstein and said he was only trying to make sure that the newsmen were not a "nuisance." He brushed aside further questions. The cop said a supervisor would call to explain.
One of the reporters wanted to know if the act of following the journalists was an effort intended to scare off any federal employee who might have considered speaking to the press. That's sure what it looked like; and, even if that wasn't the goal, it was the effect.
As of Friday night, no supervisor had called back."
CT: Oh, yeah, the sequester makes a diff at the fed level. Riiiiiiiiight.
Unions now checking out the underside of the bus. Works for me.
Journolist is BACK, and rarin' to GO!
The # of pages in the 1040 booklet--that they don't send automatically anymore; got to request it.
Ralph knows the A-Rabs. "Come on in, the quicksand is fine!"
Yes, the Russkies are smarter than HorseFace and Benghazi Barry. They have been practicing for a long, long time.
RE: Wallace Stegner
I don't read much fiction, but on the recommendation of Wendell Berry I read two of Stegner's books - Angle of Repose and All the Little Live Things. The latter was especially important to me. Great book.