Thursday, July 31, 2014

Watching the Atlantic

It's the middle of vacation season - so it's wise to watch for tropical weather threats.
This tropical wave isn't much yet, but it seems poised to head toward the mid-Atlantic coast by mid-week.
Stay away, Bertha.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fight for fracking

Bearing Drift highlights a Daily Press story on potential fracking in and around Virginia.
The poll on the sidebar is close now.
Let the studies rule, not the fear.

Happy Sharknado Day

It's here.
The second one.
Watch the sharks take a bite out of New York.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Truth on subsidies

Over at Ace, the defense of subsidies for purchasing through the Obamacare federal exchange gets shredded.
Sargent just helpfully informed us that an earlier version of the ACA -- not a draft, mind you, but one that was actually passed out of committee -- included explicit language granting subsidies to people on federal exchanges, language that was later dropped from the final bill.
If Sargent had been an attorney rather than a layman, this is the point where he would have hit "delete" on his draft post and forgotten all about it.
One of most fundamental rules of statutory interpretation used by courts when they are asked to discern legislative intent from ambiguous statutory language is this: if explicit language was in an earlier version of a bill but dropped from the final version, the court will treat that as proof it was removed on purpose.
It was there.
It was removed.
Take that.

Kerry ought to inspect tunnels

John Kerry's efforts at peacemaking have brought anger from the Israelis.
Maybe he could get on their good sides by offering the inspect the tunnels built by Hamas.
He has the suit already.

Can't tell the real story

DaTech Guy examines the slow trickle of truth coming out of Gaza - and why journalists aren't shouting the news.
From Gatestone Institute:
One foreign journalist explained that asking such a question would have “endangered my life.” Another admitted over coffee that he and his colleagues were too scared to report news that would anger Hamas and other radical groups.
“We know that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields,” the reporter, who asked not to be identified, said. “But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rather avoid this project

Megan McArdle isn't impressed by the Dan Rather movie project.
The story of how Rather and Mapes and their CBS team were snookered by fake memos purporting to show that President George W. Bush had been absent without leave is a fascinating case study in how we can overlook the obvious and become wedded to dubious narratives.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound as if you’re making a movie about the fallibility of human nature. Instead, it sounds as if you’re making a movie based on Mapes’s book about it -- an upside-down version in which Mapes is upholding the highest standards of journalism while everyone else caves in to the vast right-wing conspiracy to suppress the truth.
Maybe one day they'll do a story about bloggers taking Rather down.

How to spend the summer

Pat in Shreveport gives some good ideas for the remaining summer days.
We turned the TV off a week ago and as a result, Mr. SIGIS has read two and a half books so far, and I have read the nearly eight-hundred page Pulitzer Prize winning The Goldfinch which I fished out of our Little Free Library on the corner.
It's been a worthwhile experiment and we will likely just leave the blasted thing off for a while.  We really haven't missed it.  And there is so much to be read!

Feel the wave building

Powerline highlights the latest polls on Senate races - more good news for Republicans.
There may be questions about the polling methods, but the message is clear.
Many of the margins are razor thin and, of course, much can happen in the next three months. But burdened by their unpopular president, the Democrats are running uphill, and there is good reason for Republicans to be optimistic about their Senate prospects.

Rebates and rate hikes

Via Dustbury, the celebration of cash received and reality of more cash going out.
Yeah, I got my $36 check with a letter mandated by law to remind me that Obama’s got my back.
Strangely, the letter from my insurer that said my health insurance was going up $200 a month did not mention the ACA.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

30 years ago today

Remember what you were doing July 27, 1984?
It was the day before the Summer Olympics began in Los Angeles, so you might have watched the preview show.
That night, I attended a meeting that led to Grace Community Church.
But I didn't make it to the first service a few weeks later in September.
Because the attendees included a younger brother of the editor of the Georgetown Times in South Carolina. When the first service took place, I was already a professional sportswriter 500 miles from my home.
The church grew and multiplied over the years without me. But I got to see the beginning.

Standing with IDF

For a few days, Israeli women were able to show their support for IDF soldiers on Facebook.
Now it's gone.
Support for the IDF and its mission won't be so easily removed.

Boring is best

Althouse has found a crusade - vote for the boring politician.
I mean hooray for boredom in politics.
It's healthy. These people who are incessantly trying to excite us about politics should feel horribly frustrated by our boredom. Our nonresponsiveness to their proddings and ticklings is the best thing we've got. No amount of money spent on advertising can move us. We've seen it all, and we've got lives to live.

Truth about Gaza

Powerline highlights President Obama and John Kerry's bumbling in dealing with Israel on the Gaza Strip.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cause it's crappy

Nice to hear the simple explanation why the underwear bomber's bomb didn't explode.
He wore his special pants for two weeks.
So he was dumb and smelled bad too.

Great expectations and failed actions

Mickey Kaus wonders if President Obama has himself in a box on immigration.
The problem is that Obama’s I’m-pissed-off theatrics“today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress”– and the euphoric reactions of Latino activists have raised expectations to such a high level that if Obama now goes “small” he might actually offend, disappoint and discourage some Latino voters in the midterms instead of mobilizing them.
Obama keeps betting Republicans will crack. But he faces few good options heading into the elections.

Recycling update

Our local Fishersville recycling site continues to offer 55 cents a pound for aluminum cans.
Collected cans, got some cash, and bought some bagels for breakfast.

Saturday song

Billy Joel will be up in town Saturday - Nationals Park.

Facebook quote of the week

I know who will be getting first dibs at the Internet when it comes back up and it won't be a boy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

"An underground terrorist city"

Via Powerline, we find where the concrete went - tunnels into Israel for potential attacks in September.
Israel has reportedly discovered at least 30 tunnels, and has destroyed several of them by employing bulldozers. IDF excavation of the tunnels has resulted in the seizure of tons of Hamas supplies, as well as the discovery of plans for future operations. Clearly, the network of tunnels -- using hundreds of tons of concrete that might otherwise have been used by the Palestinians for building homes, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and libraries -- indicates that Hamas had been preparing for an ongoing conflict for at least a year. According to the reports, each tunnel has arteries, veins, offshoots, and offshoots of the offshoots in intricate and complex arrangements.

Compelling didn't compel

There's a very simple explanation to the convoluted reasons the Obamacare architect now gives - state exchanges were supposed to compel states to join.
Virginia's debate over Medicaid expansion has taken the same tone - you must do this or you'll lose out on the money.
No matter they're no real money coming from the federal government - just more debt.
Obamacare's compelling just isn't that compelling to many states.

Weekend watchdog

For one last time, the ESPN crew will bring you the final part of the NASCAR season.
The Brickyard 400 Sunday at 1 p.m. starts ESPN's part of its final contract year. In 2015, Fox and NBC will split TV duties.
It's been 20 years since Jeff Gordon won the first Brickyard. He leads the points race going into Indianapolis, with several drivers seeking that first win that might nab a spot in the final 10-race playoff.
Qualifying will be Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN, followed by the Nationwide race Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
On two wheels, the cyclists head for the finish in Paris this weekend. NBC Sports network has stages of the Tour de France Friday and Saturday at 8 a.m., with the final race to Paris Sunday at 9 a.m.
The Nationals host the Reds on MASN starting Friday, with the Orioles in Seattle on MASN2.
FoxSports1 has the Reds and Nationals Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by Indians-Royals. The Yankees host the Blue Jays on TBS Sunday at 1 p.m., and it's Dodgers against Giants on ESPN Sunday at 8 p.m.
CBS has the Canadian Open Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. The Senior Open will be on ESPN2 starting Friday at noon. Coverage continues Saturday at noon, with the final round Sunday at noon.
Toronto battles Saskatchewan in CFL action Saturday at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. The road to the U.S. Open begins in Atlanta, with quarterfinal play Friday at 4 and 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The semifinals are Saturday at 3 p.m., with the final Sunday at 4 p.m.
The Mystics host Tulsa Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and Atlanta Sunday at 4 p.m.
NBC Sports network has Motorcycle racing from Washougal Saturday at 6 p.m.
The World Series of beach volleyball will be on NBC Sports network Friday at 3 p.m.

Riding to Senate majority

Will 2014 be another wave election for Republicans?
Since they have the House already, some political scientists are not putting it in that category.
Doesn't mean Republicans won't win enough to gain the Senate majority.
Which means Democrats can wave their hopes goodbye.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Big and rich

American Glob looks into Michael Moore's housing stock.
According to the Detroit News, anti-capitalism “everyman” filmmaker Michael Moore owns 9 homes. On top of a $2 million, 10,000 square foot lakefront mansion in Torch Lake, Michigan, there is a Manhattan condo that was once 3 condos, and 7 other properties. Moore’s secret role as a land baron was revealed in divorce papers.
Guess he's been bowling for lots of dollars.

Back to kindergarten

NRO's Charles Cooke schools the writer who finds bad messages in "Thomas the Tank Engine."
This is not adult literature, and nor is it a lecture at Berkeley. It is a series of stories aimed at young children, who need to rebel and to play, but who also need – indeed, who crave – rules. Hatt is not capricious or mean or violent. He doesn’t cheat or steal, or abuse his engines. He’s just in charge of the railway, as parents are in charge of their kids. If there is any lesson to be taken from his personality, it is that those in a position of responsibility can often be inadvertently amusing. Awdry himself considered the character to be something of a parody of “‘pompous railway officials” who “gave out plenty of orders, but never actually did anything.”

Sour Cupcakes

Instapundit captures the view of a Cupcake crew that offers a crummy opinion.

Get your gas flowing

The United States keeps finding and using more natural gas.
So there's need to transport that gas.
Will a new pipeline cross southern Augusta County?
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who's going to pay up

Tuesday's ruling on Obamacare subsidies raises the question - who's going to pay?
Will states pay to build their own exchanges for their residents to get money?
Or will those residents have to pay the full freight of their new insurance policies?
The big question is, first, how many states decide to create exchanges? I’ve heard from several people today who thought it was obvious that most of the 36 states now on federal exchanges would simply withdraw and build their own in order to keep the subsidies flowing. This seems quite possible, because voters hate losing stuff, and especially subsidies. And state legislators do love them some free money.
On the other hand, that outcome is hardly inevitable. Law professor Jonathan Adler pointed out in a conference call yesterday that Ohio would have to amend its constitution to allow the government to establish a state exchange, and barriers in some other states are high as well. State exchanges cost millions to build and to run. States can still apply for federal money to build exchanges, Adler said, but the annual operating costs have to come out of either user fees or tax revenue. In lower population states, or poor states, that might be enough to keep legislators on the sidelines.

Filling the coalfield airwaves

Bearing Drift has the latest on the attack ads in the 38th Senatorial District race.
Coal is a big part of the district. Telling voters the Democratic candidate is on the same side of anti-coal politicans doesn't make that side happy.
It’s also comical to see the BV crew get upset about an ad attacking Democrats for being anti-coal when they are the drum majors of the anti-coal parade.  The contempt for voters in Appalachia who keep voting for coal drips from the piece.  Talking down to the folks in Appalachia and telling them they just aren’t smart enough to know what’s good for them . . . well, that’s not exactly the best way to win hearts, minds or votes in coal country.  The last thing my people (my maternal family is all proudly in the 38th) want is being lectured to by Yankees.

Concerned now considered creepy

The Atlantic looks at criminal charges against parents - for not constantly supervising their kids.
What changed from when kids played outside from dawn to dusk?
My own childhood community in Bloomfield was then a well-established one composed of descendants of Irish and Italian immigrants, many of us going to the same church on Sunday. There were a few baseline expectations shared by the community about how children should behave in people's yards or in the streets. People could talk to each other from some shared moral premises.
But today those communities seem rarer, and so, too, those shared premises about how kids should behave. More than that, there's a fear of taking responsibility for kids in the neighborhood. Deliver a short report on a child's behavior and his parents may snap back, "Don't tell me how to parent my child." A neighbor's interest may seem invasive or even creepy.