URLs du Jour


[Amazon Link]

  • National Review editors weigh in on The Kavanaugh Smear.

    Brett Kavanaugh acquitted himself ably in his confirmation hearings last week, which is surely one reason that Democrats have resorted to a contemptible attack on him as guilty of federal crimes.

    Democrats are smearing the nominee as a perjurer. There are three main allegations, and each is laughably frivolous.

    Fact check: true. The editorial (and associated links) thoroughly debunk the smears.

    The article doesn't even mention Senator Kamala; perhaps too easy a target? Even the WaPo gives her smear effort its full Four Pinocchios, while (even) Politifact goes for False. I assume Politifact's lefty bias is showing; the same thing attempted by a Republican would get "Pants on Fire".

    Which brings us to our Amazon Product du Jour. Go ahead, buy and wear, guys and/or gals. I dare you.

  • Activist anti-Kavanaugh antics are even starting to wear thin on our neighboring state's senator, Susan Collins. The Hill reports: Collins calls crowdfunding to get her to oppose Kavanaugh a 'bribe'.

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) says she is not swayed by crowdfunding aimed at encouraging her to oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, comparing the effort to a "bribe."

    "I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh," Collins told conservative news outlet Newsmax.

    The seat is up for election in 2020. In 2014, she won with 68.5% of the vote.

  • Doesn't it kind of piss you off when businesses that are Constitutionally protected against government meddling turn around and advocate government meddling in other businesses? At Reason Andrea O'Sullivan provides a wise warning: Beware the Press’s Self-Serving Calls to Regulate Social Media.

    In the states and abroad, policymakers and commentators are salivating over the opportunity to regulate social media content. It is easy to understand why governments might want to have more influence on social media platforms. But the legacy media's consistent push for more controls on platforms like Facebook and Twitter has been less scrutinized. There is a reason for this consilience: these policies can ultimately serve as a government-granted privilege that favored media firms use to get an edge over their competition.

    It may sound a little roundabout. It doesn't take a short-sighted partisan to have serious problems with a lot of social media practices. For instance, tech platforms have collaborated, willingly or not, with governments in surveillance and social conditioning campaigns. Then there's the spectral but speculated upon creation of "shadow profiles" that are only discernable through their algorithmic residue.

    But don't be fooled: Some parties who trot out these more reasonable pretexts for enhanced tech scrutiny do so for opportunistic reasons.

    I'm optimistic that most people will see through ulterior motives. Because I love being disappointed and wrong.

  • The New Hampshire legislature is back in session tomorrow to see if it can override Governor Sununu's vetos of earlier-passed legislation. This is (actually) called Veto Day. Two bills especially deserve the death penalty, and Andrew Cline explains why in the Concord Monitor: Sununu was right to veto corporate welfare bills.

    New Hampshire has a booming economy, the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the country and thousands of job openings. Even in the North Country, employment rates exceed the national average. Berlin has a lower unemployment rate than Worcester, Mass., Charlotte, N.C., or Phoenix, Ariz.

    And yet the state’s biggest political fight this summer is whether legislators should force every Granite Stater to pay higher electricity prices for the purpose of subsidizing a few hundred jobs.

    The subsidies come through Senate Bills 365 and 446. SB 365 would by law force utilities to pay above-market prices for electricity they buy from the state’s few remaining biomass power plants. SB 446 would expand a solar industry subsidy scheme called “net metering,” through which – again – utilities are required to pay above-market rates for power bought from certain favored generators.

    Should be a no-brainer. But it's the NH legislature, so …

  • At Law and Liberty, John O. McGinnis describes: How Bill Gates Fails to Understand International Politics. Longest article ever? Nah, it's pretty short. Here's Bill, quoted from a book review in the NYT:

    The point is that today’s competition among nations — whether on an athletic field or the trading floor — “actually represents an astonishing global agreement.” And that global agreement makes it easier to cooperate as well as compete. Keep this in mind the next time you start to doubt whether we can solve a global problem like climate change.

    Patiently, John explains:

    But forging a global structure for a sports competition or a trading floor is fundamentally different from one to address climate change. The first two are win-win propositions. It is true that some individual athletes triumph and others lose at the Olympics, but all benefit in the short term from the opportunity to participate not only because they might triumph, but because they get valuable exposure. Trading between people of different nations is the classic example of an agreement that expands the pie.

    But a global warming agreement has winners and loser nations. Some nations are net beneficiaries from global warming, others net losers. Nations emit carbon pollution at very different rates. The absence of win-win solutions makes agreement much harder.

    That's not too hard to understand, is it, Bill?

  • This is Pun Salad, so I naturally must draw your attention to a recent Mental Floss article: A Small Colorado Town's Punny Signs Are Receiving National Attention

    Indian Hills, Colorado—population 1280—has become an unlikely tourist attraction thanks to one resident’s penchant for puns.

    As spotted by My Modern Met, the town’s community center changes its roadside sign two or three times a week, and the messages will make you laugh or cringe—or maybe a little of both. “Terrible summer for Humpty Dumpty but he had a great fall,” one sign read. “I was struck by a bottle of of Omega 3 pills. Luckily, my wounds were only super fish oil,” read another.

    Those are … pretty darn good. More samples are pretty easy to find out there, for example, Twitter:

    If you hear moans coming from the direction of Rollinsford, NH, you'll know what I'm up to.

Last Modified 2018-12-26 12:28 PM EDT

Love Crazy

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

William Powell and Myrna Loy starred in (it says here) fourteen movies together between 1934 and 1947. They had an undeniable chemistry, and the DVD has a trailer that shows that the studio exploited that chemistry in its marketing.

This one is a screwball comedy from 1941, about the midpoint of their collaboration. Bill and Myrna play happily-married couple Steve and Susan, about to celebrate their fourth anniversary when things start going wrong, led off by an unexpected visit from Susan's meddlesome mother. Who is injured in a freak accident. Which sends Steve out of the apartment where he happens to meet an old flame. Who isn't adverse to a bit of extramarital relations, but they wind up in a stalled elevator (manned by—hey, that's Elisha Cook Jr.). Which… well, you get the idea.

After a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications, Susan decides she wants a divorce. Steve's only recourse is to fake insanity (which, given his basic screwball nature, isn't much of a stretch). Because (for some reason) you can't get divorced if your spouse is nuts.

It has a bit of a slapped-together vibe. Like the moviemakers were saying "OK, what should we do today? Hey, how about putting William Powell in drag?"

Everything's funny, though. For some reason, I liked actor/director Jack Carter's repeated line: "The name's Willoughby, Ward Willoughby." For some reason, it gets more amusing every time it's repeated.

Last Modified 2018-09-12 6:57 AM EDT

Deadpool 2

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Let's see… The MPAA rated this R for "strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material". That understates it a bit. I waited until Mrs. Salad was out-of-house to watch it.

Mr. Pool, played by Ryan Reynolds, gets a quick comedown from the happily-ever-after ending of Deadpool, when Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) gets seriously killed by (yes) a guy that Deadpool let live in a previous scene. Those guys always come back to get you.

After a gruesome suicide attempt, Deadpool joins up with X-Men member Colossus to perform a goody-two-shoes X-Men-style mission: rescue a misbehaving kid from a mutant re-education center. This is complicated somewhat by Cable (Josh Brolin), a visitor from the future, back to avenge/prevent the deaths of his family at the hands of the future kid. And then…

There's a considerable amount of fighting and imaginative special effects. In addition to the aforementioned violence and language, there's a lot of fourth wall breaking and myriad references to other movies. (Someone should count them.) (Should? Some nerds probably have counted them.)

Not recommended for the easily offended. Or even the uneasily offended.