Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cruising the Web

For everyone convinced that Tom Brady and the Patriots were insidious cheaters who well deserved the ignominy and punishment they accrued due to Deflategate, try explaining why the NFL did nothing when the Steelers' footballs came up with about the same degree of deflation as the Patriots' balls. The NFL shrugged off the Steelers' deflated balls this past weekend after spending millions and a year and a half pursuing Brady with Inspector Javert-like determination. And the media which gleefully jumped all over Brady simply yawned over the contrast between how the two episodes were treated. Sally Jenkins is not similarly indifferent. She opened up an excellent can on the NFL's hypocrisy.
Just listen to those crickets. A conspicuous hush is emanating from the NFL office on the subject of those soft footballs the New York Giants retrieved from the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. Where was the outrage, the treating of ball-inflation and pounds-per-square-inch as more serious than a hijacking? Compare the screams of scandal NFL executives emitted toward Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to this smothered, pillow-over-the-face reaction.

It’s a guilty silence, and it leaves NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell beached and exposed. Goodell has always struggled with the demands of speech, but his wordlessness in this instance has nothing to do with competence but rather dishonesty. Any serious examination of those footballs from the Giants-Steelers game might well show that Goodell owes the Patriots and Brady an apology and material recompense. Which is exactly why the league is shutting the matter down and shutting it down now.
Remember how Goodell and the League treated the report of deflated Patriots' footballs? Well, this time, when it wasn't the hated Patriots, their reaction was basically a yawn.
When the Giants tested air pressure on two footballs they captured against the Steelers and reported them to be below the permissible range of 12.5 PSI, league officials should have leaped into action. They should have told Steelers officials, “You’re in big f------ trouble” and then leaked erroneous amateur-hour data that poisoned the public understanding. They should have triggered a massive multimillion-dollar investigation, complete with footnoted junk science, that tarred a future Hall of Famer and resulted in fines, a forfeited draft pick and a four-game suspension. They should have invoked the words “scheme” and “tamper” and “cheating” and “competitive integrity,” even compared the offense to “performance-enhancing drugs.”

Instead? Nothing. NFL execs were neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed by the report of soft footballs. They weren’t whelmed at all. Instead there was this throbbing stillness. Followed by an attempt at denial and misdirection. After Jay Glazer of Fox Sports broke the news that the Giants had gone to the league with measurements showing loss of air pressure, the NFL replied with a stiff-necked yet ducking statement: “The officiating game ball procedures were followed and there were no chain of command issues. All footballs were in compliance and no formal complaint was filed by the Giants with our office.”

Ahhhhh. No “formal” complaint. As opposed to that by-the-book complaint lodged against the Patriots during the 2015 AFC championship game, when Indianapolis Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson stuck his head into the NFL suite and bawled, “We’re playing with a small ball.” Which set off the most infamously ludicrous investigation in league history.
Actually, as Jenkins notes, the Giants had tested the balls and reported to the NFL authorities that they were low.
Now, there are two things to take from this. The first is obvious. You don’t need a legion of scientists and lawyers to know what anyone with a car knows: Cold weather causes air pressure to drop in footballs, the same as it does in your tires. The only people who don’t know that are hermetically sealed in Park Avenue offices and only travel by soft shoe and NFL limo. If Steelers footballs were underinflated, the most likely explanation is not that someone deflated them by hand but that the game was played in temperatures in the low 40s, with a wind chill of 28. Just as natural deflation is the most likely explanation for what happened in the AFC title game, when the Patriots’ balls measured an average of 11.3 in wet, even colder weather.

The second point is less obvious: Somebody from the New York Giants stuck a needle into two footballs during a game last week to measure them. Which tells you that the NFL’s ball-security procedures are not being followed, even now.

But the NFL doesn’t want to get into that. If it admits it received info from the Giants about low PSI, then it has to admit that maybe weather affected the inflation of footballs in other games, too.

It has to admit that league officials lacked command of seventh-grade science and that Goodell raced to judgment. It has to admit that a few whiffs of PSI aren’t a game-altering factor, much less worth serious penalties. It has to admit that Goodell is not willing to pursue Dan Rooney and Ben Roethlisberger over the air in a couple of footballs with the same energy.

It has to admit that Deflategate was not a fair process but just a ginned-up excuse to punish the Patriots in order to satisfy owner envy and internal politics. It has to admit that it has been covering up PSI data in order to save the last rags of Goodell’s shredded reputation. It has to admit that the NFL under this commissioner has zero credibility left.
Anyone who has truly followed this story knows, as Jenkins reports, that there was actually no scandal with the Patriots' balls. Physicists like MIT professor John Leonard have been debunking the the NFL's theory on youtube for a year. But the NFL is just marinating in their own hypocrisy and dishonesty. Sadly, they'll get away with it because that's what they do. But all those people determined to pile this nothingburger of a scandal onto their reasons to hate Brady and the Patriots should read Sally Jenkins and edit that list.

Dan Wetzel piles on.
That means given the chance to do deflate-gate all over again – the initial situation with the New England Patriots scandal is nearly identical (even considering whatever happened in the Foxborough bathroom, which we’ll get to below) – the NFL chose to do nearly the exact opposite.

In action, if not words, the league is acknowledging it got it all wrong the first time. So now it’s incumbent upon NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and verbalize it with a simple but noble act.

He should apologize to Tom Brady.
Yeah, that's not happening.  Goodell is all about his own power, not the truth.

 If you don't know by now how porous the NFL's story on Deflategate was, read the details that Wetzel summarizes. As he concludes,
The NFL never proved the footballs were deflated that night because the footballs were never deflated. They ran a murder case when no one was killed.

Text messages, cries over a smashed cell phone and Goodell citing Brady testimony that is 100 percent the opposite of what the transcript revealed was his actual testimony were desperate attempts to save face.

The science is the science. It’s been that way since 1834, when Ideal Gas Law was proven. So, welcome to the 19th Century.

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Rich Lowry ridicules the idea that Donald Trump is assembly a military junta within his cabinet because he's nominating people with military backgrounds.
Trump didn’t seize the government by force; he himself is not a general (although he went to the New York Military Academy for high school); and the three generals he has tapped for top posts are all retired and therefore civilians. (Michael Flynn will be national-security adviser, and Trump has nominated James Mattis as defense secretary, and John Kelly as homeland-security secretary.)

The Trump cabinet, in other words, bears about as much resemblance to a junta as the Supreme Court does to the College of Cardinals because it has five justices who are Catholic and wear robes. To call the connection superficial is to understate how absurdly inapposite it is.

If the presence of three retired military leaders is enough to tip an otherwise duly-elected, civilian-led government into quasi-military rule, we already experienced it at the outset of the Obama administration. As the Washington Examiner pointed out, President Barack Obama had three military leaders as part of his initial team, a retired Marine general (Jim Jones as national-security adviser), an Army general (Eric Shinseki at Veterans Affairs) and a Navy admiral (Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence). The republic survived.

Worse, the United States has repeatedly had retired generals not merely as cabinet secretaries, but as commanders in chief — from George Washington, to Andrew Jackson, to U.S. Grant, to Dwight Eisenhower. No one seriously considered their presidencies affronts to the principle of civilian rule.

None of this will dissuade the journalists and analysts who have been throwing around the “junta” charge, though. Much of the Left and the press has taken Trump’s election as a license to suspend rational thought. They like the delegitimizing sound of the word “junta,” and that’s enough for them to use it, never mind that it renders the term meaningless.

The fact is that Trump is a civilian leader who is impressed by people who once served at the top levels of the military. This is understandable, given how the stereotype of the general as the thoughtless, buzz-cut warmonger is — if it ever applied — less relevant than ever. The best generals are worldly, capable, and tend to be realistic about the limits of military power.
Given how the military is the institution that Americans have the most confidence in with 73% of those polled by Gallup saying that have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military compared to 6% support for Congress, and 20 or 21% confidence in TV news or newspapers respectively, perhaps the media and Democratic politicians should just hush up with their worries about a few people from the military serving in Trump's administration.

Bill Gertz recommends that, while we're reviewing the Russian cyber attacks connected to the election, we should also look into the Obama administration's policies on cyber security for the past eight years.
Any intelligence review should coincide with a companion investigation by Congress into why the president and his White House advisers for the past eight years rejected numerous calls from military, intelligence, and national security advisers to take aggressive action against states like Russia and China—action that could have prevented the kind of covert cyber warfare now being linked to Moscow.

Obama repeatedly downplayed the nature and scope of cyber attacks against the United States during his administration, dismissing attacks like North Korea’s hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment as cyber vandalism.

The president also ignored the massive Chinese cyber attacks on the Office of Personnel Management. Those attacks pilfered some 22 million records on federal workers, including personal information on workers in highly sensitive military and intelligence positions.

Obama downplayed the attacks as a “significant vulnerability” and suggested they would “accelerate as time goes by, both in systems within government and within the private sector.”

The president also never invoked a presidential directive calling for economic sanctions on state sponsors of cyber attacks.
Obama's response is basically to downplay the cyber attacks and try to reassure the country while not doing much that is apparent. All we can do is hope that there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes.
But the president made clear he was afraid to take retaliatory cyber action over concerns it would trigger a wider cyber war. “What we cannot do is have a situation where this becomes the wild, wild West, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in unhealthy competition or conflict through these means,” he said.

What the president failed to understand is that the cyber landscape already is the wild, wild West as countries steal American secrets on a grand scale and now are moving to influence the political system. The United States under Obama has been disarmed against Russian, Chinese, and other nations’ cyber gunslingers, who are conducting asymmetric warfare with little or no penalty. The weakness of the U.S. government response will continue to provoke more and increasingly damaging cyber attacks unless there is a change in policy that imposes costs—either by carrying out counter-cyber attacks or other asymmetric warfare means to confront the dangers.

Cyber attacks are becoming ubiquitous. In addition to political hacking, cyber attacks range from constant cyber attacks on banks and financial institutions, to penetrations of critical infrastructure networks like the electric grid, to the theft of defense technology from contractor networks.

A U.S. intelligence official told me that over a period of months beginning in August 2011 several major interagency meeting were held to discuss the escalating danger of cyber attacks against the United States.

The president and his top aides were presented with “tens” of options to counter and deter cyber attacks by the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and Iranians.

“Most of them were shelved, sent to what was called ‘the parking lot,'” said the official. “They were considered too aggressive and Obama responded that he would not engage in those types of activities.”

....The options were discussed in meetings of the White House Interagency Policy Committee, a working group directly supporting the National Security Council. Seated at the conference table were senior officials from the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and Homeland Security Department.

The options ranged from diplomatic talks—favored by the Obama administration—to economic sanctions, legal actions, and cyber operations. Several different plans for counter-cyber attacks were discussed. All were rejected by the president.

“Obama was not willing to take aggressive offensive cyber actions to prevent adversaries from doing harm to us,” said the official. “He failed to act, and he prevented others from taking action.

After centralizing the power to conduct cyber attacks within the presidency, Obama made sure to define down all cyber events by declaring them anything but cyber attacks. Large-scale penetrations and theft of data from both U.S. government and private sector networks were falsely labeled “cyber espionage,” “cyber vandalism,” “cyber penetrations,” and other terms by the president. As long as the incidents were not labeled attacks, Obama ensured there would be no requirement for retaliation by the military or intelligence community.

This policy has resulted in an increase in cyber attacks with no apparent end in sight.

This is the dumbest excuse for how Podesta's emails got hacked.
The hack and eventual release of a decade’s worth of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails may have been caused by a typo, The New York Times reported Tuesday in an in-depth piece on Russian cyberattacks.

Last March, Podesta received an email purportedly from Google saying hackers had tried to infiltrate his Gmail account. When an aide emailed the campaign’s IT staff to ask if the notice was real, Clinton campaign aide Charles Delavan replied that it was “a legitimate email" and that Podesta should “change his password immediately.”

Instead of telling the aide that the email was a threat and that a good response would be to change his password directly through Google’s website, he had inadvertently told the aide to click on the fraudulent email and give the attackers access to the account.

Delavan told the Times he had intended to type "illegitimate,” a typo he still has not forgiven himself for making.

The email was a phishing scam that ultimately revealed Podesta’s password to hackers. Soon after, WikiLeaks began releasing 10 years of his emails.

In late October the firm SecureWorks identified a account and WikiLeaks-released email that appeared to have been used to attack Podesta’s account.

The service shortens web addresses, which can make them easier to share — and less likely to set off malicious website alarms.
Podesta AND his IT guy fell for a pretty simplistic-sounding phishing fraud. And the IT guy now wants to cover his rear end by claiming that he was going to write "illegitimate," but just forgot those two letters "i-l" and then proceeded to tell him to click on it. It's hard to sell your services as an IT specialist if you made a "typo" that led your client to have years of his emails released to the public. So telling everyone that you weren't fooled, but just made a typo is his only defense. Friends, that isn't a typo; it's a mistake and no amount of rear-covering will hide that it was a very big one.

President Obama, who has spent his second term bragging about how he had a pen and a phone and would tackle his policy concerns with executive actions if Congress wouldn't pass the laws he wanted, is now suddenly voicing a new concern about a future executive (hmmm. I wonder whom he could be thinking of?) taking action while circumventing the constitutional series of checks and balances.
Despite his fondness for executive actions in the White House, President Obama recently said he was worried about the American people becoming “impatient with the slowness of democracy.”

“I have not changed Washington the way I wanted to change it,” Obama said in an interview last week with VICE. “And what I worry about in our politics is people getting impatient with the slowness of democracy, and the less effective Congress works, the more likely people are to start giving up on the core values and basic institutions that have helped us to weather a lot of storms.”

Obama made the remarks a month after Donald Trump won the White House.

Obama did not have such patience in 2014, when he declared multiple times, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” suggesting he could use the pen to sign executive orders and use his phone to rally people to his cause when Congress did not act to his liking.

“We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need,” he said on January 14, 2014. “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

Some delicate snowflakes who still don't seem to have emerged from the fetal position they metaphorically assumed after Trump's election are taking their distress even further. Stephanie Land wrote last week in the Washington Post that she can no longer search for a mature and supportive partner because of Donald Trump.
There is no room for dating in this place of grief. Dating means hope. I’ve lost that hope in seeing the words “President-elect Trump.”
Honestly? Just get over yourself. Felicia Wilson at The Federalist has some fun ridiculing Land's whole confession of such deep despair at the election of Trump.
The piece is nonsensical. It’s a purge of bizarre, immature, incoherent non-sequiturs that reads like the diary of a 14-year-old girl. It is illustrative of the Left’s fanatical view on politics: it is their religion. Hillary Clinton was their god. Donald Trump was Beelzebub. In their minds Satan has assumed leadership of the country, resulting in their utter devastation and despair.

If Clinton had won, I would have been disappointed, but I would not pen a piece proclaiming that all hope is lost, so I might as well drink a bottle of Drano. That’s because we on the Right, here in reality, do not pin our hope on a fallible human being. We do not define our relationships and future by the occupant of the White House. We do not believe one man or woman gives meaning to our lives.
I can't conceive an election's result affecting decisions I'd make about personal relationships.
So the true travesty is that The Washington Post published it. By doing so, it applauds and heralds a woe-is-me attitude of flowery jibberish aimed at giving credence to the hysteria of the Left. The editors found value in this woman presenting herself as a beleaguered heroine claiming, “That urge to cling to my family while keeping our foundation strong didn’t mesh well with continuing to date the man I’d been seeing… my focus had to be on my community of friends that are my family.” Oh, the strength. Oh, the perseverance.

Oh the malarkey. To forsake an endeavor that could immensely improve her life is the antithesis of strong. It’s whiny. It’s weak. It’s “I am woman, hear me cry.” Land believed a female president would prove that strength, ambition, and leadership are equal-opportunity qualities, yet she paints herself as faint and feeble flower incapable of handling disappointment.
Noemie Emery writes on the same theme about the self-indulgent despair that some Hillary supporters are still luxuriating in.
Not only do they brag of the length and intensity of their bouts of sobbing —"crying as if someone died" was a common description — but, as New York magazine reported days later, professional women all over the country are making a brave stand to protest Trump's election by doing hideous things to their hair. Because "the election results felt like an attack on minorities, women, and marginalized people in general," a "vegan chef" cut her hair off to send Trump a "message." Others like her got buzz cuts, flat tops or tossed out their extensions, and went platinum, or black.

Unfortunately, there was not a chance in the world that this message would reach Trump, or that he would care if he got it, but somehow the logic of making themselves ugly in the interests of spiting a well-know connoisseur of feminine pulchritude just seemed the right thing to do.
As Emery points out, the Democrats went through the same sort of weepy behavior after the 2004 victory of Bush over Kerry.
"Democrats Shellshocked by Bush Win Over Kerry," ran the piece in World News Daily on November 11, 2004. "The Florida-based American Health Association has released symptoms of what it calls 'post-election selection trauma' or PEST, which include: feelings of withdrawal ... isolation ... anger and bitterness, loss of appetite, sleeplessness ... moodiness [and] endless sulking,' though no mentions yet about hair. "Manhattan psychologist Bonnie Maslin said many of her patients cried about the lost election," Newsday reported days earlier.

"They talked about hopelessness ... the level of devastation is enormous. Patients are saying they feel that the things they cherish and value are under siege." Republicans felt the same things 2008 and 2012, but they went on ticking. Never change, Democrats, we need you, if just as examples of what not to do when things go against you: Grace under pressure, indeed.

Steven Hayward
links to this ridiculous story about a college English department that has endorsed the students removing a portrait of William Shakespeare.
Penn English professor and Department Chair Jed Esty was surprised to find a large portrait of William Shakespeare waiting in his office.

A group of students removed the iconic portrait from the walls of Fisher- Bennett Hall and delivered it to Esty’s office after an English Department town hall meeting discussing the election, which took place on Thursday December 1. They replaced it with a photo of Audre Lorde, a black female writer.

The portrait has resided over the main staircase of Fisher-Bennett — home to Penn’s English Department — for years. The English Department voted to relocate and replace the portrait a few years ago in order to represent a more diverse range of writers, according to an emailed statement from Esty, who declined to be interviewed.

However, despite the vote, the portrait was left in the entranceway until recent events.

“Students removed the Shakespeare portrait and delivered it to my office as a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department,” Esty wrote in the email. He added that the image of Lorde will remain until the department reaches a decision about what to do with the space.
If Shakespeare is no longer acceptable for an English Department, parents and alumni donors should start to wonder if they want their money to go to pay for what one junior English major approvingly called "a cool example of culture jamming." Perhaps these students could benefit from learning some Shakespearean insults to characterize their behavior. Some suggestions:
Henry IV Part 2
“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”

Henry IV Part 1
“Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!”

As You Like It
“Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.”

You abilities are too infant-like for doing much alone.

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I know that the Democrats won't care, but Michael Barone has some good advice for them if they want to recover their former position in the Midwest.
The first thing Democrats need to do is to end the alibi game. Yes, it’s a shattering experience to lose a presidential election that, until the 9 o’clock hour on election night, you seemed sure to win.

But alibis don’t help you win next time. Don’t blame “fake news” when your candidate had lots more money to spend delivering her message. Don’t blame the FBI director when your candidate violated criminal laws and the attorney general had to disqualify herself after the revelation of her secret meeting with the candidate’s husband.

Don’t blame the “racism” of an electorate that twice elected the first black president. Don’t blame the Electoral College when everyone knew beforehand that you need 270 electoral votes, not a popular vote plurality, to win.

Blame instead the Clinton campaign’s “ascendant America” strategy — to reassemble the 2012 Obama coalition of nonwhites and Millennials, on the assumption that the attitudes of other voters, notably white non-college graduates who cast critical Obama votes in the Midwest, would remain static.
As Barone and a lot of others have pointed out, the Democrats are cratering in the heartland.
Democrats are even weaker in heartland down-ballot elections. In races for the House of Representatives, Republicans won more than 200 seats there, compared with only 90 for Democrats. Democrats could win half of the Republicans’ 35 U.S. House seats in coastal America and still fall short of a House majority. In state legislatures, heartland Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly a two-to-one ratio.

My advice to Democrats is the advice Justice Louis Brandeis gave to young New Dealers in the 1930s. “Get out of Washington,” he said. “Go home, back to the states.” Leave the latte-soaked coastal cocoons. Return to your hometown or set down new roots, and run for office in the heartland — and not in university towns but in real America.
When I cover the advantages of federalism in my classes, I point out that our system allows parties to recover when they've suffered major losses in national elections. When some of my students were so depressed after this year's election, I encouraged them to get active in local elections because that is how the Democrats can build back their former dominance in the nation's capital. It takes time, but the time to start for them is now.

Harry Enten points
out at 538 that the Midwest was trending more Republican even before the election.
[T]here’s also reason to think that Clinton’s weak position in the Electoral College was not solely the result of her own campaign and that, instead, the Democratic Party has a problem....

Obama’s approval rating relative to the nation dropped in all the Midwestern states that were key to the 2016 election, including Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. It also fell off in Pennsylvania. The movements in some of these states were not that large, but they didn’t need to be: A number of the states that made up the mythic “blue wall” were never that much bluer than the country as a whole. Pennsylvania, for instance, was less than 2 percentage points more Democratic than the nation in 2012.

The shift in Obama’s relative approval rating isn’t a perfect predictor.6 Obama’s rating was better in Nevada compared to the nation in 2015 than it was in 2012. Yet, Clinton did worse there. Obama’s rating was actually far worse in New Hampshire in 2015 relative to the nation than it was in 2012, and yet Clinton did only somewhat worse than Obama in the Granite State. (She still narrowly won the state.)

Overall, though, the changes in Obama’s approval ratings and Clinton’s performance mostly went hand-in-hand.

William McGurn writes that we should worry less about Trump's purported authoritarianism and start worrying about the authoritarianism of the administrative state.
What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government. This is the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law. The result? Over the Obama years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reckons, Washington has averaged 35 regulations for every law.
Liberals are outraged that Trump is nominating people to head cabinet departments who don't believe in the conventional wisdom that the only way to help the country is to issue mandates and directives that wouldn't make it through the legislative process.
The next best news, however, is that Mr. Pruitt, Dr. Carson, Mr. Puzder and Mrs. DeVos are not beholden to the orthodoxies that drive the rules and mandates these bureaucracies impose.

Mrs. DeVos, for example, has spent her life promoting school choice, and her husband founded a charter school. It is difficult to imagine an Education Department under Secretary DeVos ever sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter to bully universities into expanding the definition of sexual harassment and then encouraging them to handle allegations in a way that has turned many campus tribunals into Star Chambers. Not to mention making a federal case about bathrooms.

Ditto for HUD. Under President Obama, HUD bureaucrats, under the banner of “fair housing,” have taken it upon themselves to decide what the right mix of race, income and education is for your town—and will impose fines and punishments for communities that resist. Anyone remember the people’s elected representatives directing HUD to impose its ideas of social engineering on the rest of America?

Or take the EPA. Whether it’s some Ordinary Joe running afoul of wetlands laws or the department’s deliberate attempt to destroy the market for coal, the EPA needs more than good science. It also needs some honest cost-benefit analysis about the prescriptions it pushes.

And then there’s Labor. Under Obama Secretary Tom Perez, the department has so overstepped the authority Congress gave it (for example, on its overtime rule) that federal judges have stepped in to block it, notwithstanding the courts’ traditional deference. As an employer himself, Mr. Puzder appreciates the fundamental reality of labor: which is that you don’t help workers by making them too expensive to hire.

The good news is that Mr. Trump does not have to fight government by regulatory fiat alone. House Speaker Paul Ryan has a raft of legislation that would reassert the authority of the people’s elected representatives over an unaccountable bureaucracy—including a regulatory budget that would limit the costs an agency can impose each year.
Perhaps with Trump as the head of the executive branch, liberals might suddenly welcome a trimming of the powers of the administrative state.

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mardony said...

Betsy ~
Yesterday I commented on how anti-environment (and pro-oil and -gas) Trump's picks of Tillerson, Perry, and Pruitt are. Add Sessions who has mouthed for years the talking points of climate change deniers. Now, there's Rep. Zinke, Sec. of the Interior nominee, who has said that climate change is "unproven science." These selections were not random and pose a threat to us that cannot be overstated. "Trump is creating a government of, by and for the oil and gas industry."

I have not detected any evidence of environmental concern in your blog. It's your blog and your turf, but I hope you don't stay mute on this topic at this juncture when the chips are all on the table. You may lose a few readers, but your gain will be in credibility (and my greater respect).

george boggs said...

Mardony, I'll grant that your poorly-rendered idiomatic mishmash fairly well describes the waste of the billions spent, public and private, on huckstering climate "science".

There are hundreds of existing climate mania sites available that can provide you with the succor you so desperately seek.

Just so you know, though, with all due respect for Betsy's daily reviews of the news, they are just part of the reason I've become such a devotee of the site. I read many of the same writers she does.

Your ever-entertaining commentary draws me here on a daily basis.

At any rate, I do see that vis-a-vis that famous oxymoron, "settled science", Trump's cards are on the table and the chips are down.

tfhr said...


As the self-appointed quality control officer of Betsy's Page, would you please recommend some changes that I would like. She's not using my favorite font and the shade of green she uses is good but could be better. I know how important "green" is to you so I thought you might want to weigh in on that point with your expert advice.

Also, ask her to include some more of those YouTube Hitler's Bunker videos where the actor mocks sniveling lefties who still cannot come to grips with the simple fact that their utterly miserable candidate lost to a guy that should not have even been in contention!!!

mark said...

Clearly, Brady has not proven himself innocent in deflate-gate. So in accordance with the new Republican rule of law, he must be guilty. Just ask all the trumpkins who are still yelling to "lock her up" and "hang the bitch" ("the bitch" being someone who has not been charged, much less convicted, of a crime). Or just ask those here who throw out insane accusations without a shred of evidence. The Constitution can be such an annoyance at times.

george boggs said...

Speaking of the Constitution,

"[Obama had] 44 unanimous [SCOTUS] losses. For comparison, George W. Bush suffered 30 unanimous losses, while Bill Clinton withstood 31. In other words, Obama has lost unanimously 50 percent more than his two immediate predecessors."

And these unanimous losses were incurred with two of his own appointments, Kagan and Sotomayor.

"These cases have been in such disparate areas as criminal procedure, religious liberty, property rights, immigration, securities regulation, tax law, and the separation of powers."
--- The Federalist

The Constitution certainly was an annoyance to Obama.

And if you include cases where the Regime offered amicus briefs on behalf of another party, the total skyrockets.

Glad you brought it up.

tfhr said...


You sound soooo bitter! Do you think all of the people that voted against Hillary or just didn't vote at all BECAUSE of Hillary are "insane"? What is sane about nominating a candidate that is caught in lie after lie, had a lucrative pay-for-play operation running out of the State Department, and has gone to such lengths to cover her tracks that she installed a privately owned server to dodge FOIA requests?!

Insanity is running that awful candidate in a primary where she nearly lost - if not for "super" delegates - to an ancient socialist! She ran like she was an incumbent, and a successful as well as entitled one at that!

Your attempt at Constitutional humor is ironic given Obama's negative view of the Constitution's limits on government and his administration's shady success at forcing Americans to buy healthcare through the goverment!

tfhr said...

When the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from modifying their uniforms to honor the five Dallas police officers murdered by a BLM lunatic, I was disgusted. When the NFL took no action in response to Kaepernick's repeated on-field insults to millions of viewers, I stopped watching games and related programing and I have not looked back.

It's not shocking to learn that there is a player in the NFL as clueless as Kaepernick. If the league wanted to measure whether Kaepernick's head was under-inflated or over-inflated before it took corrective action, I would understand, but it surprises and disappoints me that the NFL tolerates his insults to fans week after week.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised as sportsmanship has all but disappeared from the game over the years and the behavior that has replaced it seems to get lower every year. Not long ago If a player made an obscene gesture to the crowd, they would very likely receive a fine. Kaepernick's gesture is obscene to millions of Americans.
Kaepernick has a right to free speech and he can say whatever he wants in interviews or "press conferences" and the like, but when he's on the NFL's fields, that's not his protected speech anymore, that's the NFL giving him a forum to flip the bird to anyone that still cares to watch. Whether they realize that this reflects on the NFL doesn’t matter to me, I just know I don't care to watch anymore.

mark said...

The contempt for the Constitution shown by Trump, trumpkins and people on this blog is far more disgraceful, disrespectful and un-American than Kaepernick's protest.

george boggs said...

Far more. Far, FAR, FAR more. Farther than far.


mardony said...

The Founding Fathers didn't anticipate that gerbils would be so insouciant (tks, Betsy) about the Constitution.

stan said...

The Patriots have a long sordid history of cheating. The NFL went after them over deflategate because of that long sordid history.

tfhr said...

marky mark,

You missed the point: The NFL is taking the hit for not respecting its viewers. Kaepernick is too stupid to respect the very flag that symbolizes the country and the people that sacrificed so much for him - only to abuse his right to free speech in a way that disrespects and insults said flag, people and country. There's really nothing for us to do about him. The NFL, however, is a business that is alienating viewers with it's inability to enforce standards or even be consistent with it's own rules. Political correctness is hurting the brand and apparently league leadership, like you, cannot for the life of them, figure out why.

Maybe you guys have your your helmets strapped on too tight.

mark said...

What a sad misunderstanding of the Constitution conservatives here have. Kaepernick may be stupid, and I don't agree with his protest, but it is not an abuse of free speech.
Knowingly making false accusations against others of crimes, as has been done here dozens of times, is an abuse of free speech. In some cases it is a crime.

george boggs said...

So sue me.

tfhr said...


Kaepernick's display is an insult to millions - just like waving a Confederate flag - something I'm pretty sure the NFL wouldn't permit on the field. The NFL won't allow the Cowboys to commemorate the loss of the Dallas Police officers by the murderous acts of one of Kaepernick's political fellow travelers but they'll allow the downtrodden millionaire QB to insult millions of viewers. As I said, it's bad business and as we've seen in the examples provided by Betsy with other NFL rules and standards failures, it has become a pattern.

I think the NFL examples might go to the root problem - believing that some rules don't apply, even some laws may not be enforced, because the offender in question is too high up, so to speak. Most Americans believe double standards are wrong though much of the left seems not to have caught on yet. The NFL is starting to feel the pain at the box office just like Crooked Hillary felt the pain at the polls

Now you're accusing your political opposites here of committing a crime or crimes. Care to be a little more specific or is this just another post election tantrum?

mark said...

Perhaps we can agree that falsely accusing "your political opposites of committing crimes" is cowardly and un-American.
As for specificity, I'd encourage you to look into the definition of "libel" and "slander". I think you and others here who falsely labeled Sen. Menendez a "child-rapist" and the Daily Caller, who accused Obama of beating his wife, might learn something.

tfhr said...


Hillary seems to have facilitated this Russian hack by providing easy access to sensitive and classified materials. Are you saying that crime should go unpunished?

I still don't get why you stood up for Hillary even after her campaign and the DNC ripped off your fellow traveler, Bernie Sanders. I had know idea you were so weak on your "principles". It's kind of like a Stockholm syndrome thing - you socialists dream about Sweden, especially the one that doesn't exist - but it has become part of your current nightmare.

Menendez still hasn't answered up for his illegal flights on his buddy's plane or what he was expecting to get out of it, so you can sue me right after you get done with the Daily Caller because they've not backed down either. When the left makes unsupported charges of racism and call people tax cheats without any proof, then the left can get used to receiving the same. And actually, the Clinton Foundation may be in for some pretty tough times given their new outsider status at the IRS. Let's wait and see.

As for Obama beating his wife - I've never supported that claim as I'm quite certain she could kick his ass. You, on the other hand, are like that proverbial battered wife - Hillary slaps you and Bernie around - and you get in line to ask for more! Sad.