Daily Archives: November 11, 2014

The would seem to suggest an obvious avenue for attack

A lady never tells her age, honey

A lady never tells her age, honey

Majority of idiots millennials have no idea how old Hillary Clinton is, with most guessing between 40 and mid-fifties. Do these kids really want to vote for their 67-year-old grandmother?

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Maybe we should bring some Minnesotans down here to call our snow days.

Relax, it will have all melted by Thanksgiving, and we'll never see snow again

Relax, it will have all melted by Thanksgiving, and we’ll never see snow again

Record blizzards, cold strike Minnesota, some school openings delayed “as much as two hours”.

Even a threat of an inch of snow causes Greenwich schools to shut down for the week.

Temperatures were only in the single digits, teens, and 20s across much of the north-central U.S. as of late Tuesday morning. Temperatures Tuesday are forecast to be 20 to 40 degrees below average for areas east of the Rockies into the Great Plains, the National Weather Service warned.

Wind chills were as cold as 20 below zero in portions of western Montana on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, wind chills could bottom out at 35 below zero in some spots, which is enough to cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.

Significant snow fell across Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Monday and more snow was set for Tuesday, especially across Wisconsin and Michigan, where 6-12 additional inches of snow is likely, AccuWeather predicts.

Driving conditions are hazardous amid heavy snow. Titus says roads are in “very poor condition.” Two to 3 inches of snow was falling an hour on Tuesday morning.

“It’s really bad,” said Jonie Magnant, who works at a Walgreens Drug Store in Marquette. “There are thick, whiteout conditions,” she said.

In Minnesota, several school systems had two-hour delays Tuesday morning, including St. Cloud, Princeton and Melrose. The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s website shows that roads and highways in about two-thirds of the state are completely or partially covered with snow.

By the way, there’s this:

The town of St. Augusta, Minn., reported 16.5 inches of snow Monday afternoon, according to the Weather Channel. The official total in St. Cloud was 13.2 inches, breaking the all-time November calendar-day record of 12.0 inches set on Nov. 21, 1898.

Al Gore was unavailable for comment.

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When Twitter collides with the realities of foreign affairs

It takes a Village Idiot

It takes a Village Idiot

Boko Haram terrorists send suicide bomber into school, 48 students blown apart, more wounded.

It was the latest attack by suspected Boko Haram militants muslims who kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls earlier this year.

Soldiers rushed to the grisly scene, spattered with body parts, but were chased away by a stone-throwing crowd angry at the military’s inability to halt a 5-year-old Islamic insurgency that has targeted schools and killed thousands.

The Islamic militants — whose name means “Western education is sinful” in the local Hausa language — have intensified the tempo and deadliness of attacks since the government announced last month that the group had agreed to a cease-fire and that the schoolgirls would be released imminently. Boko Haram’s leader has denied any cease-fire deal and the girls have not been set free.

Monday’s bombing came one week after a suicide attack in Potiskum, the capital of Yobe state, killed 30 people taking part in a religious procession by moderate Muslims.

It’s a horrible thing, but it reminds me that the last time we heard from the Obama regime on these people, they’d sent the First Lady out into the world to express our outrage. How’d that work out?

The country is being run by clowns.

Or two, including Obama's ambassador to Japan

Or two: Obama’s ambassador to Japan

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And the same people squawk about realtor commissions

Giacometti and his chariot

Giacometti and his chariot race to the bank

Greenwich’s own, Steve Cohen, bid $101 million for (one of six) Giacometti’s “Chariot”s  last week, and got it. The usual buyer’s premium will send somewhere between 10-25% of that to Sotheby’s. It’s a wonder that Joe Barbieri hasn’t gone into art sales, instead of mucking around with us plebeians rooting for 2.5% fees.

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Dang, now we’ll have to wait for his next divorce to be titillated by his antics

Let's blow this clambake

Let’s blow this clambake

Sage Kelly settles his divorce case. As the Union learned down in Georgia, sometimes a  scorched earth policy works wonders, as the scorned wife’s tactics in this matter did.

Just as an aside, while they wouldn’t admit any knowledge to his drug and sexual habits, a couple of friends of mine who know, even once worked with Kelly, were not the least bit saddened by his woes: “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy”, was the sentiment.

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GMLS office closed today

But a little more news was reported just at the close of bell yesterday, including 45 Meadow Wood Drive, the highway weigh station home near Belle Haven. It sold for $6 million, which is more than I’d expected, but less than the original price tag of $17.9 million its builders asked for in 2007.

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More hard choices

Stupid is as stupid does

Stupid is as stupid does

ObamaCare’s architect admits they had to lie about its details or those stupid Americans wouldn’t have stood for it.

This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass. 

Remember this as you read the howling from the liberal press that the Supreme Court may strike down ObamaCare because of a “typo” – everything about the law was written with deliberation and care.

Keith Hennessey hs some thoughts on other hidden subsidies and taxes:

  • As Dr. Gruber points out, in ObamaCare the healthy cross-subsidize the sick. He does not point out that embedded within this the healthy subsidize the sick for the portion of their sickness related to unhealthy behaviors. A Congressional floor vote to defend such a value choice, if made transparent and explicit, would certainly fail.
  • ObamaCare also forces young people to subsidize older people by limiting the width of premium “rating bands” for insurance sold in the individual market. This was the result of closed-door lobbying by AARP. This one might pass Congress if voted upon explicitly, but the ACA’s architects hid it to avoid admitting that they were shafting young people.
  • Social Security conflates forced individual retirement saving, insurance programs, and massive cross-subsidies, in part to hide the latter.
  • So does Medicare. The biggest cross-subsidies are across birth year cohorts but there are plenty of others as well. Don’t get me started on trust fund accounting.
  • The employer-side half of FICA payroll taxes that finance most of Social Security and part of Medicare are often framed as if they “are paid by the employer” when their true economic burden is borne by the employee in the form of lower wages. If all FICA taxes were imposed on the employee-side they would be more transparent and less popular.
  • A minimum wage increase forces low-skilled unemployed workers to subsidize the wages of the low-skilled employed. Expanding the earned income tax credit is a more transparent way to help the low-skilled unemployed but it puts the costs on budget and in full view. The Left pushes to hide the costs and lies, claiming it’s a free lunch.
  • CAFE fuel economy requirements are less transparent than a gas tax that would achieve a similar goal. But gas tax increases are wildly unpopular while raising CAFE standards appear only to make things harder “on the auto companies.”
  • A global CO2 cap-and-trade system would have obscured the redistribution of global economic growth from developed economies to developing economies. An explicit and transparent carbon tax imposed only on developed economies would achieve a similar endpoint but would have made explicit this massive proposed global redistribution.
  • For years policymakers used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to subsidize homeowners through hidden credit subsidies. The Left pushed this for low-income homebuyers through affordable housing goals, while elected officials across the political spectrum supported the same thing for all homebuyers through special advantages conferred by government on these two firms.

 

When you strip away all the complexity, economic policy is ultimately an expression of elected officials making difficult value choices. If over time these officials make value choices that do not reflect the values of the people whom they represent, they can, should, and will be replaced.

When these same elected officials, and those who advise them, deliberately construct policies to hide value choices that would be unpopular were they transparent and explicit, we end up with two terrible outcomes. We get policies that do not reflect our values, and we re-elect representatives who are lying to us.

 

 

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Quick, build a wind mill!

Breath easy

Breathe easy – dead coal plant

CL&P to hike electricity rates 26%. The area has shut down most of its nuclear and coal plants, leaving the region dependent on natural gas, but we don’t build pipelines in our beautiful state so… bottleneck, shortages, price hikes.

Choices, always these hard choices! Magical thinking, the sort that says we can have our cake and eat it too, is wonderfully soothing, but sooner or later, winter comes.

In defense of Dear Leader, it should be noted that he suffered under no such illusion, and indeed, promised that “under my plan, electricity rates will skyrocket”. So far, that’s the only campaign promise he’s kept.

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China a threat? Pshaw.

China's new nuclear sub pen, Yalong Bay

China’s new nuclear sub pen, Yalong Bay

Navy intelligence officer transferred after warning of China’s growing naval might.

A senior Navy intelligence leader whose provocative comments this year about Chinese bellicosity stirred an international controversy has been shelved in the wake of an investigation into his conduct, Navy Times has learned.

Capt. James Fanell, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been removed from that position by PACFLT boss Adm. Harry Harris and reassigned within the command, Navy officials confirmed.

Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a “short, sharp war” with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region.

His comments, which ran counter to the Pentagon’s talking points on building ties to the increasingly assertive Chinese navy, were picked up by media outlets from The New York Times and Reuters to London’s Financial Times and Daily Telegraph. Top defense officials, including the 4-star head of the Army and the Pentagon spokesman, were forced to respond to his comment in the following days.

….

“[We believe] the [People’s Liberation Army] has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short, sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected [as] a seizure of the Senkakus or even southern Ryukyu [islands],” Fanell was quoted as saying.

Fanell has also stated that China is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in a blatant land-grab of islands that would enhance their exclusive economic rights to fishing and natural resources.

“I do not know how Chinese intentions could be more transparent,” he said, adding that when Beijing described its activities as the “protection of maritime rights,” this was really “a Chinese euphemism for the coerced seizure of coastal rights of China’s neighbors,” the Financial Times reported.

Fanell’s views have supporters inside naval intelligence, and he has become a high-profile spokesman for a more alarmist view of the rise of China than those espoused by Navy senior leadership, an intelligence source who spoke to Navy Times said. Fanell’s articles on China have been published by Hoover Digest, Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly and the U. S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings.

But his public remarks stirred a major controversy and forced both the Pentagon’s top spokesman and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to repudiate his comments.

Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters that Fanell’s comments were his to express and that they weren’t reflective of the organization’s stance on China.

“What I can tell you about what [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel believes is that we all continue to believe that the peaceful, prosperous rise of China is a good thing for the region, for the world,” he said.

Rear Admiral Kirby toes the company line, as a good officer is supposed to, but it’s probably Captain Fanell we should be listening to.

 

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I want a “plus-size” girl

Fat? Bring me more.

Fat? Bring me more.

Calvin Klein has used a beautiful model,  Myla Dalbesio, to illustrate his “Perfectly Fit” line but some readers are outraged at Elle Magazine, which ran the ads, for describing her as “plus-sized”. I’m with the readers, and Mr. Klein. There’s nothing more disturbing to my morning coffee at Starbucks than watching a parade of lycra-encased anorexic mommies come in for their morning glass of hot water with a squeeze of lemon before heading to their yoga classes – ugh.

The chances of anyone dating me are nil, but as long as I’m dreaming, I’ll dream of  Myla, thank you.

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