Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Instead of Actual Content: Saturday Edition

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

I slay me…

What a “Sober” South Texas Democratic Judge Looks Like

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

For all the justified talk of Republican gains in the Rio Grande Valley, it’s still overwhelmingly Democratic at the county level. So it’s no surprise that when a Democratic 13th Court of Appeals Justice Nora Longoria got arrested for DWI, the charges were dismissed by Democratic Judge Rolando Cantu.

You can take a look at what a “sober” South Texas Democratic judge looks like below.

Texas Democrats: The Party of Drunk Drivers.

Mary Landrieu Loses

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

So it was foretold, and so it has come to pass. Congratulations to Bill Cassidy for being elected to the United States Senate.

But hey, she only lost by 12 points. Given some polls had her down by as much as 24 points, she still beat the spread…

Texas vs. California Update for December 4, 2014

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

It’s another Texas vs. California update!

  • The real reason the University of California system is raising taxes: “The real driving force behind the tuition hike is the university’s woefully underfunded pension system, which currently serves 56,000 retired employees. It’s a generous system, despite some reductions the university made for new hires in recent years. An Associated Press analysis found 2,129 retired UC employees collect pensions of more than $100,000 a year; 57 receive more than $200,000; and three receive more than $300,000.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Here’s the rare Texas vs. California item where both Texas and California get dinged: “Calpers holds about 75% of its portfolio in stocks and other risky assets, such as real estate, private equity and, until recently, hedge funds, despite offering benefits that, unlike IRAs or 401(k)s, it guarantees against market risk. Most other states are little different: Illinois holds 75% in risky assets; the Texas teachers’ plan holds 81%.”
  • A look at the relative pension costs of three bankrupt California cities: San Bernardino, Stockton and Vallejo. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Magpul, is moving its headquarters from newly gun-hostile Colorado to Austin. This is on top of moving its manufacturing facilities to Wyoming.
  • “Something is happening in California. An unstoppable movement for reform is building, attracting support from conscientious Californians.” Much as I’d like to believe it, I remain skeptical that real education and pension reform can happen in California as long as it remains a one-party Democratic state… (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • How California’s three-decades old Proposition 65 is threatening to bankrupt small businesses and enrich trial lawyers.
  • California: Roads? We don’t need no stinking roads. 57% of San Diego County’s projected infrastructure spending is on mass transportation…and critics are saying that’s not enough.
  • I’m surprised that I stumbled on this piece on the Newport Beach Police Department before Dwight did:

    In recent years, daily examples of faithful public service inside the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) have been overshadowed by alarming corruption. City officials ignore or downplay the misconduct, but NBPD bosses turned the agency into a darker, stupider version of Animal House. Court records and internal documents show the city’s boys in blue have accepted gratuities in exchange for favors, gotten frat-boy drunk at work, lied under oath, passed out confidential information to pals, encouraged oral sex from female job applicants, committed wild adultery on duty, doctored official reports, hurled feces, dished out horrific domestic violence against wives and girlfriends, engaged in intoxicated bar fights, issued criminal threats, vandalized property, converted powerful agency spy equipment to personal use, and rigged promotion systems to ensure mostly see-no-evil, management-loyal employees rise–and let the hijinks continue.

    Plus open war against whistle-blowers.

  • Speaking of public employees behaving badly, from Dwight comes this story of LA firemen being investigated for faking certifications.
  • Texas home sales reach their highest level in five years.
  • The headquarters of national buyer’s co-op NATM Buying Corp. is moving from Long island, New York to Irving, Texas.
  • Finally, in case you missed it a few days ago, three Texas budget links from the Texas Public Policy Foundation:

  • A detailed call for greater transparency in the Texas budget
  • A look at what an actual conservative Texas budget would look like; and
  • A real Texas Budget Worksheet, with historical budget data.
  • Now I Know What To Get Dwight for Christmas

    Saturday, November 15th, 2014

    Or rather I would, if it were available anywhere in Texas, and it wasn’t made in a country currently occupying parts of Ukraine:

    Yes, Red Army Vodka in a bottle shaped like an AK-47. It’s much classier than their previous bottle:

    And Now News of Another ObamaCare-Related Rate Hike: My Own

    Monday, November 3rd, 2014

    I’ve been covering ObamaCare since before it was even passed. Along the way I’ve documented numerous ObamaCare-related insurance cancellations and rate hikes. But now I have a special insurance rate hike to report on: my own.

    Humana Hike 2014

    Yes, my monthly rate will be going up by $100, a hefty 27.33% hike.

    Background: As a contractor, I currently pay for my own health insurance. I have a Humana HMO Platinum Plan for myself only, with a fairly low deductible and solid prescription drug coverage (I’m not on any truly budget-busting medication, but I am on one slightly pricey one that essentially makes the pricier plan more cost effective than the cheaper ones.) I bought my plan through the private insurance market and not the ObamaCare website. (And the children’s dental is on there only because it was a buck more and I didn’t want to go through the bother of the paperwork hoops necessary to get it taken off.)

    It’s not that I’ve never seen an insurance hike before, but before ObamaCare I never experienced one so breathtaking. Judging from results, ObamaCare seems designed to fatten both the bottom lines of insurance companies and to force people on affordable plans that Democrats disapprove of onto Medicaid.

    I think I may have gotten my hike notice early only because I’m on a private, non-employer plan. If you’re on an employer-covered plan, there’s a good chance your rate hikes will be coming down the pike after the election

    LinkSwarm for October 10, 2014

    Friday, October 10th, 2014

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. I think i may have to stop watch Houston Texans games for the sake of my health…

  • The American MSM may be reluctant to tell the truth about Obama’s many manifest failures, but UK’s Telegraph isn’t.
  • Most Americans see Obama as a failure.
  • I’m shocked, shocked to discover that the IRS is auditing the producer of an anti-ObamaCare movie.
  • One in five Americans will have medical bills in collections this year. Thanks, ObamaCare!
  • How do you know your foreign policy sucks? When even Jimmy Carter is dissing it. And he’s right!
  • Even Piers Morgan calls Obama’s governance as marked by “lethargy and complacency.”
  • Why Harry Reid is attacking Koch: Big money Democratic donors will spend more in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa than all RNC spending across the country combined.
  • Democrats 2014 = Republicans 2006.
  • Democrats pull out all the stops to save Kay Hagen’s North Carolina senate seat. If she wins, I’m sure her family will appreciate the opportunity for more graft in the coming years…
  • Michael Barone says that trends, with so many Democratic incumbents still polling below 45%, indicate the Harry Reid-controlled Senate is still toast. “Rewind back five years: The Obama Democrats expected their major policies to be popular. They expected that most voters would be grateful for the stimulus package, for Obamacare, for raising the tax rate on high earners. They aren’t.”
  • Obama slams billionaires while attending while attending fundraiser at the home of billionaire Rich Richman. Yes, that’s his real name. If I put that in a novel, editors would reject the symbolism as too heavy-handed…
  • Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes won’t even admit to voting for Obama.
  • While the New York Times has gotten around to talking abut American children dying from Enterovirus D68, they’re still refusing to talk about how Obama’s illegal alien influx might have helped bring it here. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten reports from SE Asia: “Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.” Except for the stupid propaganda loudspeakers…
  • Philadelphia’s deeply indebted public school system actually cancels it’s contract with the teacher’s union. “The move, in which the Philadelphia School Reform Commission invokes emergency powers, comes after the teachers’ union spent more than a year resisting concessions that the commission was seeking even though rising personnel costs have crippled the budget.” How crippling? “The schools’ budget projects spending $44,100 a year in benefits for every $68,700 in wages earned by the average teacher.”
  • NYC School therapist helps handicapped student launch successful Kickstarter. Reward? 30 day suspension.
  • John Kerry spent Wednesday consulting with allies on ISIS and Ebola. Ha, just kidding! He toured a wind turbine.
  • Islamic State supporters threaten to behead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And by “soldiers” I mean “elementary school children” and by “Iraq” I mean “Rhode Island.”
  • Remember when Bill Clinton ginned up an “epidemic” over a dozen random church burnings? Boko Haram has torched 185.
  • Brett Easton Ellis on Generation Wuss.
  • Iranian professor jailed for associating with “known Zionists.” Like Noam Chomsky. To Islamists, not even an actual hatred of Israel is enough to remove the taint of your Jewishness…
  • “That’s 21st-century U.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.”
  • Top aide to Al Sharpton and boyfriend of top De Blasio adviser in trouble with the law? Inconceivable!
  • An inside view of feminist groupthink and #GamerGate from a former social justice warrior.
  • Random meme pic I made:

  • Random Twitter exchange with Michael Quinn Sullivan:

  • BattleSwarm extends best wishes for a speedy recovery to Borepatch, who wiped out on his motorcycle to the tune of “7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung.” Ouch…
  • University of Michigan Makes It A Crime Not To Have Sex

    Friday, September 26th, 2014

    Reason brings us word that victimhood identity politics efforts to redefine campus sexual assault have now reached some perfect Bizarro World conclusion: It’s now “sexual violence” to withhold sex.

    From the UM official page:

    Sexual violence
    Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways; withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or threats to back up demands for sex.

    If withholding sex is now “sexual violence,” just think of the lawsuit possibilities! Under this definition, I could sue just about every woman in America!

    Finally, feminism has succeeded twisting logic so far that just about the entire population is guilty of “domestic violence.”

    Except those who have never been asked for sex. Hmm, who might that be?

    Democrats Pull Out The Knives for Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Thursday, September 18th, 2014

    There’s nothing quite so entertaining as Democrat-in-Democrat mud fights, so take a few minutes to enjoy Edward-Isaac Dovere’s takedown of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. It’s something of an clinic on the insider hit-piece form, full of anonymously sourced catty slams and putdowns of DWS from fellow Democrats, who only now seem to have noticed her ongoing manifest incompetence.

    And it has the Obama White House’s fingerprint all over it.

    Some samples:

    The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

    In 2012, Wasserman Schultz attempted to get the DNC to pay for her clothing at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, multiple sources say, but was blocked by staff in the committee’s Capitol Hill headquarters and at President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign headquarters in Chicago.

    She asked again around Obama’s inauguration in 2013, pushing so hard that Obama senior adviser — and one-time Wasserman Schultz booster — Valerie Jarrett had to call her directly to get her to stop. (Jarrett said she does not recall that conversation.)

    I’m guessing that little walk-back at the end is to distract you from the possibility Jarrett orchestrated this entire hit piece. Probably in vain, given often describes Jarrett at furious over various DWS decisions.

    Many expect a nascent Clinton campaign will engineer her ouster. Hurt feelings go back to spring 2008, when while serving as a co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Wasserman Schultz secretly reached out to the Obama campaign to pledge her support once the primary was over, sources say.

    Nicely done, that paragraph, since it accomplishes three goals: 1.) Suggests Hillary blesses tossing DWS under the bus as well (a lot more in the final third of the piece), 2. Paints DWS as a backstabber, and 3. Reminds you that DWS ran Hillary’s disasterous 2008 campaign.

    Overall the piece paints a picture of DWS as using the DNC to garner perks and further her own political ambitions rather than focusing on the party. “’People know she works hard,’ said another House colleague. ‘But there’s this sense that she only works hard for herself.’”

    It’s a shame that Democrats are finally catching on to what I’ve been saying since 2010: Debbie Wasserman Schultz simply isn’t very good at running political organizations. She does a poor job giving interviews, she doesn’t have good camera presence, she comes in at .2 Bidens in the Walking Gaffe Derby, she’s poor at recruiting candidates, and she doesn’t seem to know how to run a large organization like the DNC or the DNCC. Her incompetence was probably worth a good 3-5 seats in 2010.

    I, for one, will be very sad to see her go…

    Raining on the Viking Women Warrior Parade

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

    Last week a story made the rounds claiming that a new archeological examination of graves showed almost as many female Viking warriors as male Viking warriors.

    There’s just one tiny problem with these claims: they’re bunk..

    This paper absolutely does not conclude that these women were warriors, or that the army had an even split of male and female fighters:

    These results, six female Norse migrants and seven male, should caution against assuming that the great majority of Norse migrants were male, despite the other forms of evidence suggesting the contrary.

    Note the use of the word “migrants,” not “warriors” or “fighters.”

    So this is a case of feminists taking good science and turning it into bad reporting by distorting what the original paper actually said.

    An academic reading the actual paper comes to the same conclusion: “Whenever we read second hand information, it is essential that rather than instantly spreading what may be misleading information, that we try to discover if it’s accurate first.”

    Eric S. Raymond expands on the theme:

    Reality is, at least where pre-gunpowder weapons are involved, viciously sexist….

    There is only very scant archeological evidence for female warriors (burials with weapons). There is almost no such evidence from Viking cultures, and what little we have is disputed; the Scythians and earlier Germanics from the Migration period have substantially more burials that might have been warrior women. Tellingly, they are almost always archers….

    If a pre-industrial culture has chosen to train more than a tiny fraction of its women as shieldmaidens, it would have lost out to a culture that protected and used their reproductive capacity to birth more male warriors. Brynhilde may be a sexy idea, but she’s a bioenergetic gamble that is near certain to be a net waste.

    Firearms changes all this, of course – some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot). So much so that anyone who wants to suppress personal firearams is objectively anti-female and automatically oppressive of women.

    (Hat tip Instapundit.)