Nov
24
2014
0

‘Werewolves Of London.’

Werewolves Of London, Warren Zevon

I think that I’ll spare you the music video to this one.

Nov
24
2014
3

Book of the Week: ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.’

Ken Hite once (half-despairingly*) called The Case of Charles Dexter Ward the second best horror novel ever written, and he’s correct about both the quality and the half-despair. If you read nothing else by HP Lovecraft, read this one (you should also read other things by HP Lovecraft).

Adieu, The Peshawar Lancers.

Moe Lane

*It almost didn’t get published at all.  And if it had been published in Lovecraft’s lifetime he might have lived longer.

Nov
24
2014
7

The inevitable Ferguson riots. ‘Inevitable’ thanks to the media, of course.

Look, I don’t want to get into the details of this case, largely because I haven’t been following it that closely and I suspect that I’d just blame the whole thing on Jay Nixon, whether he deserved it or not. Which he so totally deserves. Anyway, look at this picture:

You know why that police car is getting flipped over? It’s getting flipped over because there’s a guy with a camera there to put the whole thing on the nightly news. Most of the media has been absolutely salivating over the chance to cover a riot, and it looks like they’re getting their wish. Hope the newsies get their bylines in fast, though: it’s going to get a lot colder tomorrow in Ferguson, and on Wednesday it will snow.

Nov
24
2014
9

Tweet of the day, I. CANNOT. WAIT. edition.

Not that I’ll buy any of the books, of course.

After all: it’s highly unlikely that my name will be in the index, which is pretty much the only reason to buy 99% of all Beltway-themed books.

Nov
24
2014
8

:raised eyebrow: Chuck Hagel stepping down as SecDef.

Well, THAT was quick:

…And the Obama administration’s unstated policy of slavishly (albeit incompetently) imitating the Bush administration continues.

Moe Lane

PS: Oh man but that is going to be an epic confirmation hearing next year.

Nov
24
2014
1

How Terry McAuliffe failed to impose Medicaid expansion on Virginia.

This Washington Post article on Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe’s futile attempt to sneak Medicaid expansion past his own state legislature is fascinating, but it has several flaws in it.  There are things that are not mentioned enough, things that are mentioned too much, and at least one thing that is not mentioned at all.  Unsurprising, given that the WaPo remains a Democratic cheerleader; but still slightly disappointing.

Quick summary of the article: at the beginning of the saga, Terry McAuliffe was faced with a barely Democratic state Senate and a solidly Republican General Assembly.  This meant that if Gov. McAuliffe wanted to get Medicaid expansion through the legislature, he’d need to sweet-talk the Republicans into going along – HAH!  Who am I kidding?  Nah, his team of trained legislation-breakers found a suitable loophole, in classic Democratic party fashion* – and snuck it into the budget.  Alas, Democrat state Senator Phillip Puckett was made a deal (which apparently had nothing to do with any of this) that flipped the state Senate (despite the frantic deal-making efforts of every Virginia Democrat from McAuliffe on down); that, coupled with conservative watchdogs and Eric Cantor’s remarkable primary loss, scuppered the inclusion of language in the Virginia budget that would have permitted said loophole.  Sic transit gloria McAuliffe. (more…)

Nov
24
2014
1

And yesterday was going so well, too.

Right up to the point where my temporary crown came off. The resulting unseemly scramble and rewriting of schedules more or less scuppered my posting plans for the rest of the day. Sorry about that.

Moe Lane

PS: No, no pain, and I’d quite like to keep it that way. Emergency dentist visit this morning.

Written by in: Not-politics | Tags:
Nov
23
2014
8

There will be no place in the Republican party for Jim Webb.

I mention this solely because this article (H/T: Hot Air Headlines) seems to think that former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has any option besides running for President, and ultimately losing even the nomination, as a Democrat.  …He does not.  Either party will accept a convert, readily enough: many people have honorably switched political affiliations over the years, including myself.  But to yo-yo between the parties is pretty much considered to at least suggest a basic weakness in one’s character.  Indecision at best; opportunism at worst.  Neither is thought of as being evidence of Presidential material.

Besides, he’ll look better among the Democrats anyway.  Over there the one-term, undistinguished, nonproductive, and generally ineffectual Senators can really shine.  If Webb tried to run in our primaries all the two-term governors and firebrand Senators would eat his liver and lights – and if Jim Webb doesn’t realize that by now, then I heartily encourage him to try to run in my party’s primary.  The sight of his destruction would be pleasing unto all our eyes…

Moe Lane

Nov
23
2014
3

Will Gov-elect Bill Walker (“I”-Alaska) flunk his first test?

Or did Alaskans elect a stealth Democrat after all?  We may be about to find out:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s ascent to the top of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee is likely to reignite the decades-old debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Alaskans have been fighting for the right to drill in wilderness on their state’s northern shore since 1977, when the government first punted on the question of whether to allow oil exploration.

(more…)

Nov
23
2014
3

There’s actually a pretty big silver lining in that Obamacare cloud.

This AoSHQ piece from a couple of days ago actually makes me a bit chipper.  Why? Because of that Gallup graph.

You see, it’s an interesting thing: since 2000, Gallup has been polling on the question on whether or not Americans think that the federal government has the responsibility to ensure health care coverage. In 2009, the breakdown for that was 54/41; and today the number is… 56/42. Well, more accurately, it’s 42/56. Because back when Barack Obama took office a majority of the American people were happy to have the government involved in ensuring health care access; and now that the government has a majority of the American people would like the government to stop now, please.

…Oops?

Moe Lane

Nov
22
2014
7

Ah, that yearned-for 90% marginal tax rate.

I know that this (via College Insurrection) sounds self-evidently absurd:

Economists at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Bonn argue that the United States would be better off if well-heeled citizens paid the kind of high tax rates not seen since the Eisenhower administration.

According to a working paper by Bonn’s Fabian Kindermann and Penn’s Dirk Krueger published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, going back to the 1950s’ top marginal tax rate of 91 percent could be the elixir to cure the income inequality bug.

Krueger told the Huffington Post a rate “between 85 and 90 percent” makes everybody better off, including people in the 1 percent.

(more…)

Nov
22
2014
5

HHS contemplating rule allowing them to choose your Obamacare plan for you.

At this rate, the 2016 DEMOCRATIC candidate will run on repealing Obamacare:

Here’s a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.

Essentially, this is insurance-determination-via-bureaucracy: Reason argues that the goal here is to cut down embarrassing premium hikes to policies without having to turn off the imposition of auto-renewal rules… OK, let me back up here.  Obamacare currently has auto-renewal enabled on its policies, because without it the signup and membership rate would probably slow, or even decrease.  The problem here is that auto-renewal also means lots and lots of future stories about people signing up for policies and suddenly discovering that their rates have gone through the roof.  Ostensibly the idea to prevent that is to expect consumers to change policies every year – trust a bureaucrat to think that this would be a thing that people would cheerfully do* – and if they won’t do it on their own, well, let the benevolent hand of HHS do it for them**.  What could possibly go wrong? (more…)

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