From January, 2014

Spare a Thought for Nancy Pelosi

She is only the House minority leader, and the former speaker of the House. And she was speaker when Obamacare was passed. How could she possibly have known that there would be implementation failures? I mean, it’s not as though she was, or is a powerful political official with access to information, or anything. Recall as well that Pelosi famously told us that we had to pass Obamacare in order to find out what is in it. Well, we did, and I suppose that she is in the process of learning the contents of the legislation. So, let’s give her…

Quote of the Day

We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work before they were even installed. Not long after the Underwear Bomber incident, all TSA officers at O’Hare were informed that training for the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners would soon begin. The machines cost about $150,000 a pop. Our instructor was a balding middle-aged man who shrugged his shoulders after everything he said, as though in apology. At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines. “They’re [EXPLETIVE DELETED–ed.],” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be…

MSNBC: The Shock-Jock Network

MSNBC sees it as its mission in life to rile conservatives and outrage people. We have seen this tendency play itself out in Martin Bashir’s comments about Sarah Palin, in Melissa Harris-Perry’s–and friends’–comments about one of Mitt Romney’s grandchildren, and now we see it anew in a tweet that all but outright states that all right-wingers are racists. As such, MSNBC is–and should be viewed as–a network of trolls, by trolls, for trolls. And we know the standard rule when it comes to trolls: Don’t feed them. But of course, MSNBC is not your run-of-the-mill troll. It is a vast…

Obamacare Is Supposed to Help the Uninsured . . .

So, I guess that it is interesting to note that the uninsured don’t seem to like it all that much. I recognize that it is fashionable for port-side pundits to tell us that the problems with Obamacare have come to an end, and that it is smooth sailing from here on out when it comes to registration and getting coverage, but maybe the problems associated with the programs implementation–problems that are continuing–have turned a number of people off, and maybe there will be a political price to be paid by supporters of Obamacare as a consequence. And maybe none of…

Still More on the American Studies Association and Its Boycott of Israeli Universities

A fine statement against the boycott by UCLA chancellor Gene Block. And all hail Stephen Harper. (I presume that there will now be claims that AIPAC is exercising its well-known insidious influence on Canadian prime ministers.) Incidentally, the universities engaged in the boycott may be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I would not be surprised if they were, and a lawsuit regarding this issue would be downright hilarious.

Quote of the Day

Other things being equal, income equality is better than inequality. But other things are NOT equal. The easiest way to make incomes more equal in the short run is to have a recession. Much has been made of growing income inequality since 1979, but very little attention has been paid to which of the four presidental administrations preceding Barack Obama increased income equality and which ones reduced it. In short, the two presidents whose terms involved improving income equality were the two George Bushes and the two whose terms were associated with worsening after-tax income equality were Ronald Reagan and…