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You Can Have It Both Ways

April 11th, 2014 - 2:51 pm

But it’s gonna cost you:

Freelance journalist Emily Magdij went undercover last August to set up a dating account for a bisexual on Match.com and is finally affecting change to a policy she considered discriminatory.

Magdij discovered that the site, similar to many others, charges bisexuals for two profiles, one to view women and another to view men, since being open to both sexes was seen as “double dipping.”

So to speak, I’m sure.

The Sorry State of the Washington Post

April 11th, 2014 - 1:45 pm

So WaPo finally corrected their egregious Koch Brothers/Alberta oil sands hit piece — but “critics remain unsatisfied,” says Jonathan Adler.

Well, yeah. Here’s how WaPo’s Jonathan Adler kinda-sorta wriggles his paper free:

The charges against the Post’s Juliet Eilperin for an alleged conflict-of-interest on this story are overwrought as well. Eilperin covers energy and environmental issues, and her husband works on climate policy. Big deal. Unless she’s actually covering his work, I don’t see the problem. I believe the Post’s policy on conflicts is sufficient and have no reason to believe it’s been disregarded here.

No? Really? After a story so shoddily reported and sourced as Eilperin’s, she really ought to be given a different beat, or to have her future stories given a great big asterisk and an explanation for who her husband is and what he does for a living. The level of public-private incest in Washington would be absurd if it hadn’t become so obscene. Worse yet is the tolerance for it displayed by Adler and so many others.

The Post barely corrected the story — which in fact should have been retracted — and had to be dragged kicking and screaming for nearly three weeks just to do that. A competent editor, or at least a non-ideological one, would have facepalmed immediately upon learning of Eilperin’s sources and lousy numbers, and issued a correction immediately.

But in this case sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

April 11th, 2014 - 12:40 pm

Ready for some weird ♡bamaCare!!! factoids? Of course you are! Because, habit, I suppose. Scott Paulson has them for you:

Both Gallup and RAND are saying that the decrease in the number of uninsured Americans in recent times has not been because of the Obamacare health care exchange enrollments. Instead, the increase in the number of uninsured Americans is for two other reasons. First and foremost, unemployed Americans are signing up for Medicaid – the government program which gives unemployed or financial-flailing Americans health care coverage. Secondly, more and more persons are getting health care insurance from their employers.

We need to break this habit — media and Administration indoctrination, really — of calling Medicaid expansion “increased coverage.” Because it isn’t. Medicaid expansion means increased welfare cases who add nothing to ♡bamaCare!!!’s solvency and subtract from the nation’s fiscal health. We can debate whether doing so was morally or politically correct, but those benefits-gobbling folks have zero to do with insurance, per se.

And it’s curious, isn’t it, that workplace coverage has increased? ♡bamaCare!!! was designed (implicitly if not explicitly) to eliminate employer-based coverage and throw everybody onto the four-sizes-fit-all exchanges. But instead it’s achieved the opposite result, at least in the short term. What’s that mean? Hell if I know, except that people getting insurance at work aren’t busting the Medicaid budget or receiving subsidies on our dime. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

If we were designing a system from scratch, as they say, we never would have had employer insurance in the first place. But that’s a bad and unintended result of WWII wage controls, enshrined by unions and by Washington — two institutions where bad ideas go to live forever and ever and ever.

The real problem is that ♡bamaCare!!! attempts to design a new system from scratch, without having courage enough to actually come right out and destroy the old system. Worse of course is this Progressive itch to design any human system “from scratch.” People willing to throw out the bathwater with no concern for the baby are at heart Jacobins or Communists. And if not, then their successors will prove to be.

What we can say for sure is that while the exchange websites might be patched well enough to appear to function, the train wreck continues to unfold in unknowable ways.

Has Hollywood Found God?

April 11th, 2014 - 11:35 am

Trifecta Goes to the Movies: Has Hollywood Found Religion?

Remember Nanking — But Not Too Fondly

April 11th, 2014 - 10:29 am

The virtual ink is barely dry on this morning’s Senkaku post, when this shows up in my Google Alerts:

In one of the many frank exchanges U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had in China this week, General Fan Changlong told him how one of his uncles died as a slave in a Japanese mine during World War Two.

Fan, deputy head of China’s powerful Central Military Commission, spoke about the lessons of history, signaling Beijing’s concerns that the United States was siding with Japan against China.

Hagel replied by saying his own father had helped fight Japanese forces in World War Two.

“The secretary made it very clear that we should be informed by history but not driven by it,” a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity to recount a conversation on Tuesday that he described as terse.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that China does have legitimate grievances against Japan, and that we forget them at our peril. But that doesn’t mean allowing (or perhaps “inadvertently encouraging” would be more apropos) those grievances to be used as justifications for bad behavior.

Brave Sir Robin

April 11th, 2014 - 9:23 am

I’m spinning my favorite Monty Python track this morning for Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, for ducking (once again) a few tough questions about his mal-Administration. Colorado Peak Politics has the details, which are just too juicy and too many to excerpt for you here.

Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Fiver Too?

April 11th, 2014 - 8:17 am

George Will describes the Balanced Budget Amendment proposed by Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and perhaps other states under Article V of the Constitution:

Total federal government outlays shall not exceed receipts unless the excess of outlays is financed exclusively by debt, which initially shall be authorized to be 105 percent of outstanding debt on the date the amendment is ratified. Congress may increase the authorized debt only if a majority of state legislatures approve an unconditional, single-subject measure proposing the amount of such increase. Whenever outstanding debt exceeds 98 percent of the set limit, the president shall designate for impoundment specific expenditures sufficient to keep debt below the authorized level. The impoundment shall occur in 30 days unless Congress designates an alternative impoundment of the same or greater amount. Any bill for a new or increased general revenue tax shall require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress — except for a bill that reduces or eliminates an existing tax exemption, deduction or credit, or that “provides for a new end-user sales tax which would completely replace every existing income tax levied by” the U.S. government.

A balanced budget, a repeal of the income tax amendment, and something akin to the Fair Tax — all in one amendment? It sounds too good to be true, but I’m getting behind it, anyway. Because of this next bit:

Article V says Congress has no discretion — it “shall” call a convention “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states.” A convention called in accordance with the institute’s compact would adopt its limited agenda with the force of federal and state law, any deviation from which would render the convention — which is limited to a 24-hour session — void. The compact designates as the sole delegates to the convention the governors of participating states, officials who will not run the political risk of wrecking the convention by ignoring the law.

I’m not saying an Article Five convention wouldn’t be without its risks, but we know with a cold certainty where the path leads that we’re already on.

Will says members of this “nascent movement” call themselves Fivers. Well, call me a Fiver, too.

Required Reading

April 11th, 2014 - 7:11 am

Victor Davis Hanson:

For all the policy blunders and moral hypocrisies of the last 70 years, American strategy mostly worked and thus created the present globalized world. American foreign policy ensures its continuance. At times, isolationists unduly prevented U.S. police action; at other moments, nation-builders naïvely thought they could remake the Third World into the image of the West. Sometimes interventions worked, at other times not so well; there would be no Hyundai or Samsung without the Korean War, even as Vietnam was lost to Communism. Iraq was finally freed from a genocidal monster who turned oil money into death for his own people and his neighbors; but it was not firmly set on the path of constitutional government after the abrupt American pullout.

Over the last five years, those long-held strategic principles have largely been ignored or rejected by the Obama administration. There is real doubt today that the U.S. would risk coming to the aid of South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan. If Putin tomorrow sent a division into Estonia to deliberately provoke an Article V NATO response, he might well not get one — and therefore may well try. If Iran tested a bomb next year, the U.S., for all its now-trite “unacceptable” and “outrageous” talk, would likely shrug and assume that a nuclear Iran was analogous to a nuclear Pakistan or Israel and thus no big deal. Our allies assume that since 2009 American friendship is mostly rhetorical or ceremonial, but no longer exists in the sense of any serious guarantees.

As Churchill wryly noted, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing–after they’ve tried everything else.” In the decades since, our allies have understood, and usually shown great patience with their often-bumbling but always well-meaning American friends. Judging by their current actions, I’m not sure things are as bad as Hanson says — but how much longer until they are?

Stickin’ IT to the Man

April 11th, 2014 - 6:06 am

I love love love love love this story:

It was without a doubt a big moment for Pat Gelsinger: in the mid-2000s, while he still a senior executive with Intel, his firm won had won the business to put its chips inside Apple’s MacBook Pros. Around that time, he sat in a meeting with the late Steve Jobs to talk about the possibilities.

“We said something like, ‘Steve, we’re going to work with you to make Apple’s computers better for enterprise customers,’” Gelsinger, now CEO of VMware, recalled during a visit to Toronto on Wednesday. “Steve just sort of looked at us and said, ‘Why would I do anything to help the orifice that is the CIO? I’m going to make something so compelling for consumers that CIOs will just have to figure out how to deal with it.’”

That’s exactly what Apple did, too — and not just with MacBooks, but with iPhones and iPads, too. It’s sweet revenge for all those craptaculent Dell Optiplex machines unfortunate office workers were saddled with for so many years.

Stupid Party Is Stupid

April 11th, 2014 - 5:01 am

It was easy to miss this one, baking the haze basking in the glow of Colorado’s (so far) successful experiment with pot legalization, but Jacob Sullum has got you covered:

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled once again about his response to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. He correctly responded that the Justice Department has “a vast amount of discretion” in deciding how to enforce the Controlled Substances Act and argued that his decision to focus on eight “federal enforcement priorities” in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or general use is “consistent with the aims of the statute.” Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) was not buying it. “Federal law takes precedence” over state law, Smith said. “The state of Colorado is undermining…federal law, correct? Why do you fail to enforce the laws of the land?”

This is the position that many Republicans, despite their supposed belief in federalism, have staked out with respect to the crumbling of pot prohibition. They not only accept the fanciful notion, which is no less absurd for having been endorsed by the Supreme Court, that interstate commerce includes marijuana that never crosses state lines, down to a plant in a cancer patient’s yard or a bag of buds in her dresser drawer. They also argue, as Smith does, that “state law conflicts with federal law” if it does not punish everything that Congress decides to treat as a crime. Hence the feds must step into the gap, raiding and busting state-licensed marijuana growers and sellers. According to Smith (and Ted Cruz, among others), Holder is obligated to crush the experiments in Colorado and Washington.

It’s disappointing to see Cruz among the statists on this one, unwilling to even permit any sort of state-level experimenting. There’s a battle coming between the Cruz and Paul factions of the grassroots/Tea party wing of the GOP, and it’s going to be bruising.

Journalistic Razzie for White House

April 10th, 2014 - 4:02 pm

I suppose this is something:

The White House and the federal government have won the dubious honor of a “Jefferson Muzzle” for snooping on the news media and limiting access.

The censorship-shaming awards announced Wednesday by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression are intended to draw a harsh light on people and institutions that engage in the most egregious affronts to the First Amendment.

A bigger and better something would be consistently challenging reporting on the Administration, its policies, and its increasingly-lawless activities.

We can dream, right?

Foreign Policy Comes Home

April 10th, 2014 - 2:56 pm

John Kerry blistered at Senator Jim Risch’s suggestion that our foreign policy is “spinning out of control.” Read:

“When you say, you know, something like our foreign policy is spinning out of control, those are great talking points, they make for good, you know, sound bites on TV nowadays but I have to tell you senator, that’s just not true,” he said.

Kerry listed U.S. achievements in conflict zones in central and north-eastern Africa, pressure on China to change its policy towards North Korea and the denuclearization drive, engagement in the South China Sea with regard to territorial disputes with China, leading the humanitarian assistance push in Syria, “leading the effort” in the Israeli-Palestinian talks, and others.

“I just don’t agree with you – we’re living in a complicated world,” he said, citing rising sectarianism and religious extremism, and the need to provide increasing numbers of young people with job opportunities and a future so they don’t become extremists.

Is it safe to assume then that Administration’s domestic policy represents a desire to turn America’s youth toward extremism on purpose?

Take My Gun, Please

April 10th, 2014 - 1:50 pm

The gun-grabbers are getting especially grabby in Vermont:

A bill that passed the Vermont House without controversy is now in doubt after gun-rights advocates exposed provisions allowing police to take guns during domestic disputes.

“It’s a highly illegal confiscation bill,” Gun Owners of Vermont president Ed Cutler told Vermont Watchdog.

“H.735 is a forfeiture bill that tells police if a person gets a temporary restraining order, they have to come into the house and take all weapons — not just firearms, but all weapons.”

At first glance H.735 appears to propose fee updates on mundane items — from lottery ticket sales to license renewals. Yet tucked away in the bill are provisions for the storage of firearms confiscated during domestic disputes

Sneaky bastards.

I’m thinking now of the almost de rigueur claims of domestic abuse during many divorces, and how they might be even further abused to disarm unlucky exes.

Sign “O” the Times

April 10th, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing. At other times, the worst thing you can do is nothing. On rarer occasions the worst thing you can do is claim you’re doing something while actually doing nothing. But it takes a special kind of incompetence to do nothing while achieving the opposition of what you claim to be doing. But “a special kind of incompetence” has become the hallmark of the Wiggleroom Administration’s foreign policy:

U.S. intelligence agencies now have detailed information that Russia has amassed the kind of forces needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But the Obama administration hasn’t shared with Ukraine the imagery, intercepts, and analysis that pinpont the location of the Russian troops ready to seize more Ukrainian land, The Daily Beast has learned.

President Obama has repeatedly and publicly expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people—and warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences if he takes over any more Ukrainian territory. Yet Obama’s administration has so far been reluctant to hand over the kind of intelligence the Ukrainians could use to defend themselves.

I’m sure the White House rationale is that they wouldn’t want to do anything to “provoke” the Kremlin. But if Vladimir Putin is the hungry customer, then Ditherton Wiggleroom is the helpful waiter assuring him that Crimea was merely the amuse bouche.

Biggest Android Scam Yet?

April 10th, 2014 - 11:38 am

red_tick_story

Would you spend four bucks to change the icon on the left to the icon on the right? Thousands of Android owners already have:

Virus Shield claims it is an antivirus that “protects you and your personal information from harmful viruses, malware, and spyware” and “Improve the speed of your phone,” and it does this all with one click. It also claims to have a minimal impact on battery, run seamlessly in the background, and if that wasn’t enough, it also acts as ad-block software that will stop those “pesky advertisements.” This app costs $3.99, has been on the Play Store for just under two weeks and has already had 10,000 downloads with a 4.5 star review from 1,700 people. 2,607 people hit the Google “recommend” button. This means that the app must be doing something right… right?

Unfortunately for the buyers, Android Police has discovered that all the app does is change a red “X” graphic to a red “check” graphic. Literally. The 859kb app doesn’t protect, secure, or scan anything. More work went into the Settings menu than the actual “security” portion of the app, and it appears that thousands of users have been scammed out of their money.

The fact that you might have a phone requiring virus protection says more than the actual scam does.

Thought for the Day – NSFW Edition

April 10th, 2014 - 10:32 am

That’s Not Funny

April 10th, 2014 - 9:26 am

BACON

A bacon shortage? Is nothing sacred?

Megan McArdle is still on the case of the mysterious numbers inside the recent RAND study on who’s enrolled and who isn’t:

OK, so why is this puzzling? Well, umm, what’s all that employer-sponsored insurance doing there? Why did so many people with “other” insurance lose it? There is nothing in Obamacare that should have caused either outcome; the employer mandate hasn’t even taken effect.

I mean, I could tell a story about how the exchanges make a trivial contribution to solving the problem of the uninsured, but a lot of uninsured people who are afraid of the individual mandate bite the bullet and sign up for that employer-sponsored insurance they’ve been declining because their share of the premium is $150 a month. Where the existence of the exchanges causes a lot of companies to dump their retirees onto the individual market in order to pick up some subsidies. Where people who already had individual policies take one look at the new premiums they have to pay and decide it’s better to just sign up for their spouse’s insurance, even if they have to pay the whole premium for the additional coverage. It’s not a particularly flattering story for Obamacare, but it’s a story you can string together from these data.

A riddle wrapped in a media fog inside a stonewalling Administration.

Required Reading

April 10th, 2014 - 7:14 am

Deepthink piece from Daniel M. Rothschild on “noncommercial capital” and the future of economic growth:

If the key economic trend of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was the growth of economies of scale—factories, big firms, multinationals—we are now seeing the opposite. And nowhere is the discontinuity with the industrial past more evident than with the new firms using smartphone apps and online markets to meet consumer demand for services ranging from physical storage space to urban transportation—a list that continues to expand and may soon impact virtually every corner of commercial life.

Libertarians have risen to the defense of these new firms against local regulators whose attitudes towards innovation run the gamut from apathetic to thuggish. But they have largely missed the most interesting part of the story: America is seeing what Peruvian development economist Hernando de Soto calls “dead capital” come to life.

The real trick might prove to be not being so successful as to attract Leviathan’s notice — and what a shameful thing to have to say in the United States of America.

Anyway, do please read the whole thing.

War on Women: The Walmart Front

April 10th, 2014 - 6:08 am

Lenin loved his agitators and the American Left needs theirs, too:

Walmart alleged in a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board that protesters affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers stormed one of its stores in Dearborn, Mich., in November, chased an employee into a ladies’ room and “coercively interrogated” her. At least one of the protesters involved was a man.

As a result of the charges, the NLRB’s regional director for Michigan filed a cease and desist order against UFCW on March 31. The union has until April 14 to respond to the charges.

The complaint involves an incident Nov. 23. A UFCW Local 876 organizer reportedly entered a Dearborn store without permission with 50 to 80 other protesters. The group remained in the store and blocking off its electronics section for 10 to 20 minutes before leaving.

My first job exposed me to the Teamsters and their antics, so none of this shocks me at all. The current makeup of the NLRB doesn’t give one much hope that law and order will win the day on this one.

Oh, hell — any incarnation of the NLRB.

Who’s Next?

April 10th, 2014 - 5:02 am

How do you say Crimea in Japanese? Senkaku:

If Chinese troops were to seize the Senkakus, might they also wrest the nearby Ryukyu Islands from Japan? It’s not so far-fetched: Japanese strategists fret about how to forestall a doomsday scenario in the Ryukyus, the southwestern island chain that arcs from Japan’s home islands southwest toward Taiwan.

Americans should worry as well. The southern tip of the Ryukyu Islands sits only about 80 miles east of the Senkakus. Unlike the uninhabited Senkakus, the Ryukyus host not only roughly 1.5 million Japanese residents, but also the U.S. Marine and Air Force bases that anchor the U.S. presence in the East China Sea. Occupying the Ryukyus would fracture the U.S. strategic position in East Asia — separating U.S. forces based in Japan (to the north) from those at Bahrain, the other permanent U.S. hub in Asia, far to the west. At a bare minimum, U.S. ships and aircraft would have to detour around Chinese-held islands, waters, and skies — incurring the additional time and costs longer voyages entail.

What I described as Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s “petulant impotence” in the face of Russian aggression must surely be tempting the Chinese.

Cooler heads have mostly governed Beijing’s international actions, but that’s become less true over the last few years.

Welcome to the 99%, Comrades

April 9th, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Diana Olick has some depressing — but not unsurprising — news about the housing market:

Demand is high, prices are higher, but the housing numbers this spring are just not adding up. Mortgage origination volumes hit their lowest recorded level since at least 2000, according to a report released Monday from Black Knight Financial Services.

The biggest volume drop is in refinances, which have fallen steadily since rates rose a full percentage point in June, but that’s not the full picture. It is really about who qualifies for a loan and who does not.

“The refinances are burning out a lot faster than anticipated, but the real culprit is purchase,” said Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “The purchase market has not picked up at all. It’s not that the buyers are not there, it’s that there is nothing to buy, and everyone is trying to figure out why.”

There’s no mystery about this whatsoever. The simple truth is that you do not make things more affordable and you do not make a nation richer, by making things more expensive. The solution to the housing crisis was to let the damn thing bottom out, and unentangle Washington from the mortgage market — along with debt relief for those who had been stupid/smart enough to have taken “advantage” of Washington’s previous largess.

Instead, we clamped down on credit while pumping prices back up.

I told you five years ago it was a recipe for failure, and here we are.

Scary-Ass Chart of the Day

April 9th, 2014 - 3:09 pm

Slide1

Those are prices in the individual market for health insurance.

Say — didn’t something happen, some law or something go into effect, in the last quarter or 2013? Something with “Affordable” in the name?

For those with employer-based coverage happy to dodge the individual market premium spike, just remember that none other than ♡bamaCare!!! architect Ezekiel Emanuel says that the law will eventually mean “the end of employer-sponsored insurance.”

Required Reading

April 9th, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Austin Bay compares Putin 2014 to Milosevic 1991:

Putin has a strategic savvy Milosevic lacked. He also possesses nuclear weapons — this is a major advantage. In 1994 Ukraine signed the Budapest Accord and gave up its nukes in exchange for territorial security assurances by Russia, the U.S. and Great Britain. In 2014, Putin’s nuclear Russia ignored the Budapest Accord and seized no-nuke Ukraine’s Crimea. Hey, peaceniks — no nukes!

Though well-supplied with ammunition, Serbia had limited fuel reserves and no money. The Serb-Croat war stalemated; economic weakness contributed to the stalemate.

Shrewd Putin controls vast energy reserves on which his Ukrainian enemy and European critics depend. Last week, Russia jacked by the price it charges Ukraine for natural gas; one source reported the jack was 80 percent. Forget creeping? That’s a gouging war of economic aggression.

Also, the West could (and did) afford to dither before taking action in the former Yugoslavia. We were also lucky to have a statesman of Richard Holbrooke’s stature to broker a peace deal.

Against a continental power like Russia, there are fewer avenues for obstructing a determined expansionist, and neither of them (expanded ballistic missile defense, expanded energy production and exports) are palatable to the current Administration.

But enough from me — go read all of Austin’s column.

Follow the Money, MD

April 9th, 2014 - 12:57 pm

Whoa:

Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.

Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

Topping Medicare’s list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., made headlines last year after news broke that the lawmaker used the doctor’s personal jet for trips to the Dominican Republic. Medicare paid Melgen $20.8 million.

AP’s analysis found that a small sliver of the more than 825,000 individual physicians in Medicare’s claims data base — just 344 physicians — took in top dollar, at least $3 million apiece for a total of nearly $1.5 billion.

It’s almost as if Medicare were just a scam to funnel money at politically-connected doctors.

Well:

The university said in a statement posted online that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.

“She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world,” said the university’s statement. “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

At least we know where they stand.

News You Can Use

April 9th, 2014 - 10:45 am

FLOOD

Whoever is in charge of the Universe sometimes has a wicked sense of humor.

The War on Small Business Rages On

April 9th, 2014 - 9:39 am

pay_discussion

Here’s Tom Dougherty’s perspective on the 51%:

As a business owner for more than 25 years, I’m quite honestly surprised that 51% number is not higher, and if it is correct then I’d be damn accurate if I guessed that 51% of men would also report they are forbidden from discussing their wages.

Why, you ask, Mr. President? Because every business owner I know has strict policies against any employee discussing their pay with another employee, and it has nothing to do with gender or race. In fact, if it did it would be illegal under existing laws.

Why do we have these policies, you ask, Mr. President? Because smart business owners base pay on one principle variable, and we are also sensitive to protecting the privacy of our employees, and what they earn falls under that umbrella.

There are multiple levels of Progressive dishonesty going on here.

• SQUIRREL! to distract from ♡bamaCare!!! in particular and the economy in general.

• Motivating the base. November is looking bad.

• Sowing discord. (Divide and conquer; unite and rule.)

• Graft. Moving control of pay from the most basic level — employer/employee — to Washington.

That last point is the end goal, of course, and the only part that really matters to the Democrats.

More Smart Car Tippers

April 9th, 2014 - 8:31 am

TIPPED 2

TIPPED

It’s juvenile and destructive and I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I keep coming across these Smart-tipping stories — with pictures.

You and Your Kitty Cat Knows

April 9th, 2014 - 7:25 am

The Administration has a powerful new critic of its foreign policy, and if you find yourself nodding along with John McCain — well, you already knew the end times were upon us, yes? Read:

“I think you’re about to hit the trifecta,” McCain declared.

“Geneva II [a Syrian peace meeting] was a total collapse, as I predicted to you that it would be. … The Israeli-Palestinian talks, even though you may drag them out for a while, are finished,” McCain said. “And I predict to you that, even though we gave the Iranians the right to enrich, which is unbelievable, that those talks will collapse too.” . . .

The tough talk from McCain, a fellow Vietnam War veteran whom Kerry considered asking to be his vice presidential running mate, underscored the difficulties the former senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate is now enduring.

Since taking office last year, he has dived into a series of challenges with the attitude of someone who knows he is in his last job, racking up frequent flier miles shuttling between the Middle East and Europe to convince the Israelis and Palestinians to start talking; stop Russia from a further invasion of Ukraine; resume nuclear talks with Iran; and try to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons as agreed.

Republicans are skeptical that Kerry is making progress on any of those issues, and there have been whispers that in his pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, he has his eye on a Nobel Prize.

Whispers? Whispers the Cat knows Kerry is just gunning for a Nobel.