“Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” Petula Clark sings.
“Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” Petula Clark sings.
Posted at 11:03 AM | Permalink
Remember the reform a few years back whereby Congress would publish draft legislation online so that citizens could read it and comment before a vote? There shall be none of that:
On the even of a major vote on the House health care plan, Republicans, fearing that the bill lacks enough support to pass, have apparently settled on a new plan: Rewrite the bill overnight, and then vote on it the next day, without time to read and debate it.
You’d think that Donald Trump, Man of the People, would refuse to sign such a bill.
Posted at 10:51 AM | Permalink
There isn’t yet a machine that writes like Kevin Williamson, but Williamson won’t bitch about it:
Funny thing about American manufacturing: The good news about what’s happening at American factories often sounds like bad news to politicians.
American factories are one of the wonders of the world, and, in spite of what President Donald Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other lightly informed populists claim, they are humming. U.S. manufacturing output is about 68 percent higher today in real terms (meaning inflation-adjusted terms) than it was before NAFTA was enacted; manufacturing output is about double in real terms what it was in the 1980s and more than three times what it was in the 1950s. As our factories grow more efficient, output per man-hour has grown, too, which is what troubles the populists and demagogues: Our factories employ a much smaller share of the U.S. work force than they once did.
But it is important to keep in mind: That growth in manufacturing output did not come in spite of the decline in factory employment but partly because of it. Automation not only makes current production more efficient but also makes it easier to improve efficiency in the future: More heavily automated factory processes are much easier to upgrade than are those heavily dependent on human labor.
The purpose of an automobile factory is not to “create jobs,” as the politicians like to say. Its function is not to add to the employment rolls with good wages and UAW benefits, adding to the local tax base and helping to sustain the community — as desirable as all those things are. The purpose of an automobile factory is not to create jobs — it is to create automobiles. Jobs are a means, not an end. Human labor is valuable to the extent that it contributes to human prosperity and human flourishing, not in and of itself as a matter of abstraction.
Posted at 09:38 AM | Permalink
Obama overheard the Trumpkins:
Members of the intelligence community “incidentally collected” communications from the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.
House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.”
He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower -- as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.
Gosh, how could the all-American Trumpkins end up getting in a position like this?
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned.
The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort that he never worked for Russian interests.
Manafort proposed in confidential strategy plans as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.
With Manafort it was the Russians, but this latest disclosure suggests other Trumpkins were rubbing elbows with other targets. Do we have any enemies that Donny’s minions don’t chat with?
Posted at 04:37 PM | Permalink
And a reporter wrote it, and an editor edited it:
One of the two suspects accused of raping a 14-year-old student at Rockville High School was picked up by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas seven months ago, determined to have illegally entered the country, and issued a notice to appear in immigration court, federal officials said Monday.
The suspect, Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, arrived in Montgomery County around that same period, according to records filed at Montgomery County District Court. He was placed in ninth grade at Rockville High School, as was the other suspect, Jose O. Montano, 17, according to a court hearing last week.
Montano has been charged as an adult in the case.
Montano is accused of pushing the 14-year-old student into a boys’ bathroom during school hours Thursday morning and then forcing her into a stall as she tried to hold on to a sink, according to police affidavits filed in court. Inside the stall, he and Sanchez-Milian, whose name also is spelled as Sanchez in court records, took turns attacking the girl, according to court records.
Both teenagers have been charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sex offense. The crimes carry possible sentences of life in prison.
The suspects’ accounts of the events have not yet been presented in public filings.
Montgomery Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said Monday the allegations are “horrible and unacceptable.”
As part of a broader effort to review security measures, schools officials said Rockville High School staff were taking steps to more closely monitor hall passes and students coming in and out of class.
“Notice to appear.” “Hall passes.” Putting these people in camps until they are deported isn’t up for discussion. Enrolling them as high school freshmen at age 17/18 isn’t either.
Posted at 12:14 PM | Permalink
That was Chuck Barris’s prediction of his epitaph. Now, sadly, we’ll find out if he was right. The creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show will receive his parting gifts. He was an original thinker with a deep connection to the American temperament. His shows worked on the gut—and the funny bone—not the mind. The New York Times obituary connects The Gong Show to American Idol, but there had been earlier TV talent shows. I think a lot of today’s reality TV can be traced back to The Newlywed Game, which pioneered the entertainment value of the embarrassing revelation of ordinary lives. RIP.
Posted at 11:33 AM | Permalink
House Republican leaders, trying to lock down the votes of wavering upstate New York Republicans, inserted a last-minute special provision in their health care bill that would shift Medicaid costs from New York’s counties to its state government.
The move — one of a number of late changes designed to gain more votes — would affect New York State only. It could save county governments outside of New York City $2.3 billion a year. But it could shift costs to state taxpayers or deny New York that same total in matching federal aid if the state continues to require those counties to contribute to the cost of Medicaid. Upstate New York Republicans, backed by local government officials, pressed for the measure over the angry opposition of New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.
“The more we learn about the repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the sicker New York gets,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement Monday night.
Republican leaders were in no position to oppose the demands of back-bench House members as they scrounged for a majority of votes. Democrats used such targeted provisions to push the Affordable Care Act over the finish line in 2009 and 2010 — to the angry cries of Republicans who accused them of kickbacks and buyoffs.
The federal government singling out one state where the balance between county and state spending was to be decided by itself, and not by that state’s citizens, is not what the Founders had in mind.
Posted at 12:19 PM | Permalink
The Brits invented the expression “all tits and teeth” for women like Tomi Lahren, but her employer isn’t much smarter:
Tomi Lahren has reportedly been suspended from TheBlaze following pro-choice comments she made on Friday’s episode of “The View.”
Multiple media reports claim Lahren has been suspended at least a week. The star seemed to confirm the news on Monday evening on Twitter.
She retweeted an article about her suspension that was posted along with the comment “The left bans speech. We shouldn't.”
On Friday’s episode of “The View,” she told the audience she was pro-choice.
“I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies,” she said. “I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”
You can suspend someone for making a regrettable outburst or slur on air. This was something else: a calmly expressed, facially sincere statement of a sophomoric view of human life. (It was a new view; Lahren was previously anti-abortion.)
TheBlaze has a right to air what it wants—and that’s not a “ban” of anyone’s speech—but it can’t pretend that Lahren has again changed her mind just by benching her for a week.
Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink
Our government is going after things now:
The ban on all electronic devices larger than a cell phone being brought into the cabin of passenger aircraft coming from several Middle Eastern and African countries is indefinite and applies to nine airlines and 10 airports in eight countries, a source told Fox News Tuesday.
Senior administration officials are calling the measure an active-emergency amendment based on “evaluated intelligence” that terrorist groups continue to target aviation and consumer items for use in an attack. However, the decision is not based on any specific intelligence or imminent threat.
The federal judges who have thwarted Trump’s travel bans are now being invited to beclown themselves further.
Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink
It’s always the last place you look, Mexico:
Tom Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl LI has been found in Mexico, along with the jersey the New England Patriots quarterback wore in the Super Bowl two years earlier, Houston police chief Art Acevedo told reporters on Monday.
The NFL said in a statement that investigation from the FBI, NFL security and Texas law enforcement officials discovered the jerseys in the possession of a “credentialed member of the international media.” Acevedo said efforts are underway to authenticate the jerseys, which are “in the hands of the NFL and FBI” in Boston.
Executive Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Lowery told USA TODAY Sports “there have not been charges or an arrest in the matter involving the recovered jerseys” since the authentication process has not been completed.
Let’s hope this doesn’t go all Shroud of Turin on us.
Posted at 11:29 PM | Permalink
Forget about March Madness, the College of Charleston is holding its annual commemoration of the founder of modern economics—and, I learned today, of social psychology. In preparation for today’s lectures, I read about half of Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which laid out some fundamental stuff regarding human behavior. One favorite was this:
Our sorrow at a funeral generally amounts to no more than an affected gravity: but our mirth at a christening or marriage, is always from the heart, and without any affectation. [Questionable punctuation in downloaded version.]
Say, doesn’t this explain the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in one line?
Posted at 11:08 PM | Permalink
Barnard College in New York City isn’t a religious school—unless you count the usual genuflections at the altars of diversity, feminism, environmentalism, and the like. Nonetheless, The Scrapbook is proud to bestow upon Barnard—with all due fanfare—the first-ever Weekly Standard St. Augustine Award for Virtue Postponed.
Early this month, Barnard’s board of trustees succumbed to student and faculty demands that the school divest from its $286 million endowment “fossil fuel companies that deny climate science or otherwise seek to thwart efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.”
Just not quite yet.
The board’s task force on divestment had as one of its key findings: “A decision to divest must be balanced with the need to protect and grow the endowment.” The school’s chief operating officer, Robert Goldberg, told trustees before the vote that it would take time to sort through the details, because however much Barnard may want to sell those soiled energy stocks, “we don’t want to sell at a discount.”
Which is a shame, because if Barnard had just been willing to make its move a little quicker, it could have invested in celebrated Oakland-based solar energy company Sungevity. Alas, the green-tech darling just filed for bankruptcy. But goodness knows there are plenty of sustainable-energy plays that can be made by our friends, the savvy and moral investors of Barnard College. Yes, such as putting money into the environmentally friendly saltwater battery startup Aquion. They’ve raised some $190 million from investors such as Bill Gates and—what’s that? Oh. The Scrapbook regrets to announce that Aquion has also filed for bankruptcy.
So maybe the college is right to take its time with all that purity jazz. Which brings us back to St. Augustine. Eventually reformed and canonized for his piety, Augustine revealed in his Confessions that as a bawdy young man he would pray, “Grant me chastity and self-control, but please not yet.” Congratulations, Barnard!
Posted at 11:20 AM | Permalink