Dec
17
2014
1

Visas, Hillary Clinton, and the Ecuadorean ‘alien smuggler.’

I wonder if the New York Times is not entirely comfortable with the idea of a Hillary Clinton candidacy: “The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.” Specifically, the woman (Estefanía Isaías) got a visa from Clinton’s State Department (the Times was very careful to note that) despite involved in, and I don’t know why I’m so surprised here, what was called ‘alien smuggling.’  Apparently the Isaias family is made up of very rich people with severe entitlement issues and at least two fugitives from Ecuadorean justice; but perhaps I’m being unfair about the ‘entitlement’ bit.  The article makes it clear that the Isaias family has bought a time-share in US Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ)… and I have to admit that if I had this kind of access I’d be severely tempted to use it to fix parking tickets (or extradition requests), too.

Via @NoahCRothman, who feels that this news is ‘explosive.’ And, honestly, it should be.  But if it’s going to be explosive that’s going to be in the context of a primary campaign, and not, say, a federal corruption investigation.  The odds of that happening to Bob Menendez and Hillary Clinton during the current administration are somewhere between ‘not a chance’ and ‘are you high?’

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Dec
17
2014
9

Tweet of the Day, #P2 Will Parrot Obama’s Cuba Policy Or Else It Gets The Hose Again edition.

I feel that my title is stark, but true.

And you can imagine the depths of my sympathy.

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Dec
17
2014
3

Sure, let lame duck Barack Obama normalize relations with Cuba.

Better him than somebody who still has a meaningful political career.

Since John F Kennedy, Presidential foreign policy towards Cuba can be summed up in one sentence: Let my successor be the one who has to be the guy that let Fidel Castro win.  Well, guess what: Barack Obama volunteered to be the poor, stupid sad sack that has to eat the pavement on that. CNBC reports: “The U.S. is starting talks with Cuba to normalize full diplomatic relations and open an embassy, according to U.S. officials. The expanded relationship would also open imports of Cuban cigars somewhat, according to a CNN report.”  We get cigars and some political prisoners released; Cuba gets to win. (more…)

Dec
17
2014
1

‘Clinton allies’ think voters hate current voter-imposed gridlock situation.

I keep getting told this.

Clinton allies also think that a bigger movement that the anti-Wall Street camp favors her candidacy: the anti-gridlock movement.

Voters are tired of a dysfunctional Washington and want leaders who can make the government work.

…and yet, every trend in American politics since November 5th, 2008 has been in support of a dysfunctional Washington.  I know that the Beltway hates hearing this, but the voters keep telling us at the ballot box that they never want to see the horrors of the 111th Congress – the mutant, deranged poster-child for ‘functional’ government – ever again.  That’s why we flipped the House in 2010, and the Senate in 2014.  That’s why we took so many governorships in 2010 and managed to keep them in 2014.  That’s why state legislature after state legislature has fallen to the Republican party.  Do the people love the GOP? No, of course not. They merely find us useful tools for promoting gridlock. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Dec
16
2014
0

The 113th Congress is done.

And with it, I’m switching over to a holiday schedule for the rest of the year. There simply isn’t enough political stuff going on between now and the 114th to justify the regular output; I’ve been spinning wheels trying to come up with half-assed meaningful copy. So… semi-vacation.

I leave you with this cheerful note:

And God bless us, every one.

Dec
16
2014
4

Greenpeace must help the Peruvian authorities put some white dudes in jail.

Yeah, I know that ain’t gonna happen.

I’m going to break a rule and tell you to go read a ThinkProgress piece, largely because whoever wrote it probably had to fight down a wave of nausea afterward.

The article, for those who don’t want to read even a sick-to-its-stomach TP piece, pretty much it’s one long exercise in trying to explain to its readers just how badly Greenpeace wrecked a portion of the Nazca Line site in Peru* (see here for background).  There’s no real defense to the facts on the ground, as it were: the Nazca site IS incredibly fragile, to the point where special shoes are worn to prevent footprints – and Greenpeace DID illegally enter the site and permanently mark it up with their heavy-sneakered tread.  The question then becomes: how can Greenpeace make this up to Peru?

Easy – and impossible: they can start by giving up the people who did the crime. (more…)

Dec
16
2014
2

Sony’s ‘The Interview’ problem.

It’s basically this: the Democrats won’t come down on the Sony hackers like a ton of bricks and the Republicans don’t give two sh*ts if Hollywood implodes into a dot of pure smugtonium. Understand, we’re not happy with the North Koreans [scare quotes] ‘allegedly’ sending off their pet hackers to harass a major motion picture company; but that’s on general principles, not because we really like Sony.  We don’t.

How’s all that money you pumped into the Democratic party doing at earning for you right now, Hollywood?  Are you getting a good ROI? I don’t think that you’re getting a good ROI.

Moe Lane

Dec
16
2014
3

Obama administration waging tariff war over… solar panels?

Wait. What?

The Obama administration will set duties on solar products from China and Taiwan that combined could exceed more than 200 percent, adding fuel to a renewable-energy clash between the U.S. and China.

The Commerce Department also finalized today its plan to include in the tariffs any solar panels assembled in China, no matter the origin of the cells.

Protectionism, of course: there’s an Oregon plant that can’t compete with Chinese/Taiwanese solar cells, and Oregon is a reliably Democratic state, so here comes the tariff. Standard practice – never forget; ‘free trade’ is an increasingly dirty phrase to Democrats – but it is a little surprising that the administration isn’t taking into account the objections of the environmentalists. Then again, what are the environmentalists going to do?  Vote Republican? (more…)

Dec
16
2014
2

You know, MY mother is happy to see me during the holidays.

And it’s not because she agrees with my politics: she doesn’t.  Mom is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and Obama supporter.  But we don’t fight over politics over the Thanksgiving or Christmas tables.  Not coincidentally, my mother’s also someone who has never felt the need to embarrass and berate her children on CSPAN:

Brad and Dallas Woodhouse are now the champions of awkward CSPAN calls, after the politically divided brothers ended up taking a call from their mom.

[snip]

She’d called to take issue with something her kids said on air: That the brothers’ political bickering — you see, one is liberal, and the other is conservative — is typical of most families. “I don’t know many families that are fighting at Thanksgiving,” she said. “I’m hoping you’ll have some of this out of your system when you come here for Christmas. I would really like a peaceful Christmas.”

(more…)

Dec
16
2014
1

Tweet of the Day, Let’s Have A Little Bit Of Perspective On The Definition Of Emotional Trauma edition.

Dan McLaughlin, upon hearing that people were complaining about being mocked for their ‘need’ to delay their law exams because of emotional trauma inflicted upon them by hearing about the Ferguson riots (NO. REALLY):

Here’s my take on it. I expect children to act like, well, children: and yes, I’m calling a bunch of Ivy League law students ‘children,’ because I’m twice their age and they’re all acting half of theirs.  But never mind that right now: kids will, in fact, be kids.  Their teachers, on the other hand, should know better; and it’s in fact said teachers’ obligation to help make their students grow the heck up.

Because here’s the thing: eventually those kids will in fact go out into the big, bad world; and they will get smacked around. And nobody will care.  Best to learn how to walk it off now.

Moe Lane

Dec
15
2014
8

Terry Branstad wishes to destroy the Ames Straw Poll.

Nice thought, but

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is pushing to end the state’s Republican straw poll, but the state party chairman says the event may still go on next year.

Branstad said Monday that the poll – traditionally held in Ames the summer before a contested presidential caucus – is a turnoff for many candidates and could diminish the power of the state’s caucuses.

…yeah, the rest of us kind of hate the Iowa caucuses, too. And the ethanol subsidies.  And, yeah, I will admit it: the Ames Straw Poll. On the other hand: I’d probably hate all the essentially meaningless rituals that we’d see come out of whichever state replaced Iowa as first in the primaries.  And on the gripping hand: we’re probably going to pick up Iowa in the 2016 Presidential election, so let me just shut up now.

Dec
15
2014
1

The Racket certainly sounds like it was. Why can’t *I* get in on one?

I gotta admit, Erick’s reaction to this piece (on something that was going to be called The Racket) is pretty spot-on:

(more…)

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