Irritants & Outrages du Jour - 2015-08-12

Welcome to Pun Salad. How may we irk you today?

  • Michael Tanner takes to the NR website to outline how the GOP candidates are doing on the crony capitalism/corporate welfare front. Short answer: not well. Mr. Tanner's first example is Scott Walker:

    His support for using $250 million of Wisconsin taxpayers’ money to build a new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team is a quintessential example of crony capitalism. Among those who will benefit from the taxpayers’ largesse is real-estate mogul Jon Hammes, a partner in the investment group that owns the NBA franchise; Hammes has agreed to serve as the national finance co-chairman for the Walker campaign. Walker also flip-flopped on support for the Renewable Fuel Standard and ethanol subsidies, dropping his earlier opposition in order to buy support in Iowa.

    Also bloodied in Tanner's analysis: Rubio, Bush, and (of course) Trump.

  • John Hinderaker draws our attention a case of disparate impact. The Environmental Protection Agency is quoted as "taking responsibility" for the toxic spill into the Animas River:

    Well, sort of. But not the kind of responsibility that Freedom Industries took when it accidentally discharged 10,000 gallons of toxic material into West Virginia’s Elk River last year. In that case, the EPA and the FBI came down on Freedom Industries like a hammer. The company and several of its employees were criminally prosecuted. The company was forced into bankruptcy, and several of its employees went to jail.

    EPA's spill is in the millions of gallons, and (hence) hundreds of times larger than the Elk River spill. Will any EPA officials get jail sentences hundreds of times longer than the Freedom Industries employees?

  • Speaking of Federal employees that should be in jail: Lois Lerner. (Well, ex-employee in this case.) The Federalist digs a gem out of her released e-mail, in response to a friend bemoaning the "pathetic" political atmosphere in Texas:

    Look my view is that Lincoln was our worst president not out [sic] best. He should 'be [sic] let the south go. We really do seem to have 2 totally different mind sets.

    Lois clearly thinks of herself as owning an enlightened mind set! As opposed to Texans. She might think it's genetic, who knows?

    This was released as part of the Senate Finance Committee's report on IRS abuses. The bipartisan report's conclusions reveal plenty of IRS dysfunction; the Republican chair, Orrin Hatch, went further to claim: "The Committee found evidence that the administration’s political agenda guided the IRS’s actions with respect to their treatment of conservative groups."

    Note that one of the things on the docket for Nixon's impeachment was that he tried and failed to use the IRS as a political weapon. Obama succeeded, and … well, as Bob Dole used to say, where's the outrage?

  • But, as Wired points out it just doesn't matter:

    Scientists confirmed that nothing has any meaning in a paper presented at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu on Monday, August 10. A team of researchers compared the energy in the light of over 200,000 galaxies across the cosmos, and the writing in the stars was clear: The universe has about half as much energy as it did 2 billion years ago.

    Ohmigod, we're all doomed! When?!

    That’s right: Everything you know and love, the entire universe of possible things, will be gone in 100 billion years. A trillion, tops.

    That reminds me of an old joke. The punchline being: "Billion? Oh, thank goodness, I thought you said million!"