Romney’s Choice of Ryan

I feel like I have read sev­er­al times on lib­er­al blogs that Rom­ney now has to car­ry Ryan’s bag­gage as well as his own. I do not think so.

The Ryan pick does indi­cate that Rom­ney was not com­plete­ly con­fi­dent of enthu­si­as­tic sup­port from his base (which amounts to the Tea Par­ty). Choos­ing Ryan makes the base feel a lot bet­ter about Romney.

To win the gen­er­al, Rom­ney has to move to the cen­ter at least some dis­tance, but with­out a Tea Par­ty approved run­ning mate, he could not afford to do that.

Back to the bag­gage. My mem­o­ry is that when the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date picks a run­ning mate, it is the run­ning mate that must con­form to the can­di­date’s posi­tions. Ryan’s job is to take Rom­ney’s con­ser­v­a­tive mes­sage to the base while Rom­ney mod­er­ates him­self for the gen­er­al electorate.

Democ­rats will do every­thing they can to hang Ryan’s pre­vi­ous posi­tions around Rom­ney’s neck. Rom­ney’s long record of being on every which side of every issue will make that a lot eas­i­er. But any­where where Rom­ney’s con­ser­v­a­tive posi­tion dif­fers from Ryan’s, we can expect that Ryan will be talk­ing up Rom­ney’s posi­tion, not his own.

I still believe that in the end, Oba­ma wins with a sol­id margin.

UPDATE: “Well, first of all, Con­gress­man Ryan has joined my cam­paign and his cam­paign is my cam­paign now. And we’re on the exact­ly the same page,” …the page being Rom­ney’s page, not Ryan’s.

What George Zimmerman Is Guilty Of

Although I have nev­er blogged on this sub­ject, I have gone on the record else­where that, giv­en the facts as they were being pre­sent­ed, George Zim­mer­man is guilty of the mur­der of Trayvon Mar­tin…prob­a­bly sec­ond degree murder.

I have nev­er argued that he would be found guilty in a court of law. Giv­en the facts that have come out, Mr. Zim­mer­man has the law on his side.

In an arti­cle in today’s Orlan­do Sen­tinel, Zim­mer­man’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, explains why he expects to get the judge to throw the case out. It will not sur­prise me if he suc­ceeds. It will sur­prise me if the case goes to tri­al and Zim­mer­man is found guilty.

But Zim­mer­man is guilty. How? The con­fronta­tion between the two men was ini­ti­at­ed by Zim­mer­man’s fol­low­ing Mar­tin. Yes, the bet­ter response by Mar­tin to being fol­lowed would have been to call the police. But this is where the con­cept of “white priv­i­lege” affects per­cep­tions of the case.

Yes, I would call the police. Just about every­one I know would have called the police. In my uni­verse, the police present no threat to me. Except­ing one time, when I have been pulled over there was a rea­son for it. The one time there was not a rea­son, the offi­cer, upon real­iz­ing he had pulled over the wrong car, apol­o­gized and sent me on my way with­out even look­ing at my license or registration.

When I was in mid­dle school, I was out in the mid­dle of the night with two friends just goof­ing around and the police showed up. We got a lec­ture (“a neigh­bor might shoot you by mis­take”) and sent home. Not tak­en in, not escort­ed home, sent home.

For many African Amer­i­can males, the police rep­re­sent some­thing very dif­fer­ent. It is not dif­fi­cult to imag­ine that “call­ing the police” is not the first thought that went through Mar­t­in’s head.

To fol­low some­one is to ini­ti­ate a con­fronta­tion. Zim­mer­man fol­lowed Mar­tin. He did so with­out cause or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. He had already called the police, the dis­patch­er told him they did not need him to follow.

The con­fronta­tion was end­ed with the killing of Mar­tin by Zim­mer­man. Zim­mer­man is guilty of murder.

Zim­mer­man will be exon­er­at­ed by the legal process because the legal process does not rec­og­nize that to fol­low some­one is an aggres­sive threat­en­ing act.

An Indi­ana judge recent­ly demon­strat­ed that being fol­lowed is a fright­en­ing expe­ri­ence.

Alternate Future Presidential Press Conference

Reporter: Mr. Pres­i­dent!!! Mr. President!!!

Pres­i­dent Rom­ney: What? Oh, right! What is your question?

Reporter: Sir, you are the duly elect­ed Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, correct?

Pres­i­dent Rom­ney: Yes, that is correct.

Reporter: And that means you are also the Com­man­der in Chief, right?

Pres­i­dent Rom­ney: Yes, that is cor­rect, the Con­sti­tu­tion itself makes it so.

Reporter: And you draw a salary as Pres­i­dent and Com­man­der in Chief?

Pres­i­dent Rom­ney: Why, yes. I believe there is a statute to that effect.

Reporter: Very good, sir. Giv­en that, could you please explain why the US mil­i­tary has attacked Iran?

Pres­i­dent Rom­ney: Oh! I see your con­fu­sion. No, at the time that attack took place, the First Lady and I were doing a tour of our man­sions, we do not like to leave them to the staff for too long with­out check­ing up on them. You nev­er know when the oppor­tu­ni­ty to fire staff will arise!

So, you see, I was on a kind of sab­bat­i­cal from the Pres­i­den­cy when the attack took place. I can­not be held respon­si­ble for the actions of the peo­ple I left in charge while I was away.

Next ques­tion, please

Update: I added the line “You nev­er know when the oppor­tu­ni­ty to fire staff will arise!”

The War on the Postal Service

What is the Repub­li­can Par­ty at peace with?

There is the War on Women.

There is the War on Voting.

There is the War on Entitlements.

There is the War on Science.

There is the War on Pub­lic Schools.

I’m prob­a­bly for­get­ting something.…

But who knew there was the War on the Post Office? Quite a stealth war, with the main offen­sive push tak­ing place back in 2006 when the Repub­li­can con­gress passed the Postal Account­abil­i­ty and Enhance­ment Act which was then signed by Pres­i­dent Bush.

Sec­tion 803 of Title VIII of the act

Estab­lish­es in the Trea­sury the Postal Ser­vice Retiree Health Ben­e­fits Fund, to be admin­is­tered by OPM. Requires the Postal Ser­vice, begin­ning in 2007, to com­pute the net present val­ue of the future pay­ments required and attrib­ut­able to the ser­vice of Postal Ser­vice employ­ees dur­ing the most recent­ly end­ed fis­cal year, along with a sched­ule if annu­al install­ments which pro­vides for the liq­ui­da­tion of any lia­bil­i­ty or sur­plus by 2056. Directs the Postal Ser­vice, for each year, to pay into the above Fund such net present val­ue and the annu­al install­ment due under the amor­ti­za­tion schedule.

The act includes this:

‘(3)(A) The Unit­ed States Postal Ser­vice shall pay into such Fund—
‘‘(i) $5,400,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2007;
‘‘(ii) $5,600,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2008;
‘‘(iii) $5,400,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2009;
‘‘(iv) $5,500,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2010;
‘‘(v) $5,500,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011;
‘‘(vi) $5,600,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2012;
‘‘(vii) $5,600,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2013;
‘‘(viii) $5,700,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2014;
‘‘(ix) $5,700,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2015;
‘‘(x) $5,800,000,000, not lat­er than Sep­tem­ber 30, 2016

That’s $55.8 bil­lion dol­lars over ten years.

And you thought the Postal Ser­vice was in finan­cial straits because it was not run efficiently.

Why would the Repub­li­can Par­ty be at War with the Postal Ser­vice? I have no idea. But my guess would be that UPS and FedEx would pre­fer to not have to com­pete with the Postal Ser­vice. In defense of UPS and FedEx, I sus­pect the Postal Ser­vice does enjoy the advan­tage of the lega­cy of tax­pay­er sup­port in that many of the build­ings were con­struct­ed with tax­pay­er funding.

But note that nei­ther UPS or FedEx or any­one else wants to do what the Postal Ser­vice does: deliv­er mail to 150 mil­lion address­es through­out the country.

Or it could be the Repub­li­can Par­ty has it in for the Postal Ser­vice because

The Postal Ser­vice has been named the Most Trust­ed Gov­ern­ment Agency six con­sec­u­tive years and the sixth Most Trust­ed Busi­ness in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

We must not have the pop­u­lace trust­ing a gov­ern­ment agency.

Here is the post­ing I first read of this (I was referred to it on Facebook).

Here is anoth­er I found when I Googled. It is from six months ago, but it ref­er­ences H.R. 1351: Unit­ed States Postal Ser­vice Pen­sion Oblig­a­tion Recal­cu­la­tion and Restora­tion Act of 2011, which still sits in com­mit­tee for almost a year now.

Let Us Help You Imagine the Future

And that, to me, ful­ly sums up the Repub­li­can case against Barack Oba­ma, or at least one weird vari­ety of it. Oba­ma is about to do all sorts of hor­ri­ble things: bank­rupt the nation, induce hyper­in­fla­tion, con­fis­cate guns, bring back the Fair­ness Doc­trine. About to do them.

That is Jonathan Bern­stein over at A plain blog about pol­i­tics dis­cussing San­to­rum’s new ad against Oba­ma (I guess he has no hope of beat­ing Rom­ney…), Oba­mav­ille.

It is amus­ing that the right is begin­ning to fall back on what Oba­ma is about to do (at this point it is get­ting dif­fi­cult to run against what he has done). I sup­pose there may be some item or few that Oba­ma has done in his first term that he did not talk about dur­ing the cam­paign, but I have no mem­o­ry of such. Based on that track record, there is no rea­son to think that Oba­ma is going to do things in his sec­ond term that he has not talked about doing.

Unless one wants to use cur­rent Repub­li­can office­hold­ers as the exam­ple. Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor Walk­er did not cam­paign on the issue of strip­ping pub­lic employ­ees of col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights. But once elect­ed, he did so. Indi­ana Gov­er­nor Daniels did not cam­paign on the issue of mak­ing Indi­ana a Right to Work state (in fact, I am rea­son­ably sure that he specif­i­cal­ly denied any inter­est in doing so). But once elect­ed, he did so. I sus­pect there are plen­ty exam­ples of late.

It does seem (at least to me) that the right tends to be most ener­get­i­cal­ly against that which they them­selves do and most sus­pi­cious of oth­ers doing the same thing they do (not that the right has a monop­oly on this).

And yes, I under­stand that the right believes that Oba­ma has already start­ed bank­rupt­ing the coun­try and induc­ing hyperinflation.

Not the Most Embarrassing Thing I’ve Ever Done

Gen­er­al­ly, though not always, the laun­dry around here is accom­plished by the fol­low­ing process. My wife, Deb­by, sorts it and puts it into the wash­er and moves it into the dry­er. Once the dry­er buzzes, I get it out, fold it and deliv­er it to the bed­room (or wher­ev­er it goes). Some­times when I am emp­ty­ing the dry­er I see that there is a load in the wash­er wait­ing to go into the dry­er and I will put it in.

Yes­ter­day that is exact­ly what hap­pened. I emp­tied the dry­er, grabbed the clothes out of the wash­er and tossed them into the dry­er and turned it on (after clean­ing out the lint trap). Then I car­ried the dried clothes from the base­ment to the sec­ond floor bed­room and com­menced to fold.

After a cou­ple of min­utes Deb­by was at the bed­room door ask­ing me why I was dry­ing dirty clothes that were cer­tain­ly dry when I put them in the dryer.

In my defense, weak though it may be, the base­ment is cool and damp. The clothes felt cool and damp.

On the oth­er hand, as I moved them over the fol­low­ing thoughts went through my head:

Gee, this was a small load.

Gee, this stuff is hard­ly wet at all, I’ll have to be sure to get back down here pret­ty quick ’cause these will be dry in short order.

I knew this front load­ers spun the water out good, but this is excep­tion­al, I won­der if it is due to the small load.

Live and learn.

It Does But It Does Not

In the con­tin­u­ing saga of the GOP House efforts to undo the Afford­able Care Act, the House is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a repeal of the Inde­pen­dent Pay­ment Advi­so­ry Board (IPAB).

Speak­er of the House John Boehn­er’s office:

The House will act this week to repeal anoth­er part of Oba­maCare: IPAB, which empow­ers a board of unelect­ed bureau­crats to deny care and raise costs.

If the IPAB will raise costs then repeal­ing it will save mon­ey, right?


Tea Par­ty activists are upset about some­thing else entire­ly. GOP lead­er­ship has opt­ed to fund the $3.1 bil­lion cost of repeal­ing IPAB with leg­is­la­tion writ­ten by Rep. Phil Gin­grey (R‑GA) that would reform med­ical mal­prac­tice laws.

So repeal­ing the IPAB will cost 3.1 billion.

The bill has to have a “pay for” ele­ment to off­set the costs of repeal­ing IPAB. Boehn­er’s office sim­ply makes ref­er­ence to the IPAB rais­ing costs. Which to believe.…

Disney World

When my daugh­ter was the cutest lit­tle girl ever, she walked back to me after a cou­ple of min­utes talk­ing to San­ta Claus and, beck­on­ing me to lean down close, qui­et­ly said with much con­vic­tion “He’s a fake.”

I was remind­ed of this event when my wife and I recent­ly spent a few days at Dis­ney World. It’s a fake.

I have spent my entire life not going to Dis­ney World for that exact rea­son. I end­ed up there because it rep­re­sent­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to spend many hours with the grand­son while his par­ents attend­ed the Day­tona 500 (twice!).

We stayed at River­side in Port Orleans (and I believe there was a fur­ther sub­di­vi­sion of Riverside…but it seemed mean­ing­less and arbi­trary). The “riv­er” is real­ly a, I sus­pect man made, chan­nel. There is no cur­rent, one end is at a lake, the oth­er end is just an end.

At River­side is a large water wheel in the riv­er that does not flow. Water is pumped up into a sluice which runs sev­er­al feet and dumps the water on the wheel. The wheel, via a cou­ple of gears, turns a large axle that reach­es into the cen­ter of the din­ing hall and, again via a cou­ple of gears, turns an large umbrel­la that sets just beneath the ceil­ing. Much ado for noth­ing. But the turn­ing wheel is an impres­sive sight.

We spent time in Down­town Dis­ney, just an out­door mall real­ly; a day in the Ani­mal King­dom, which is a mediocre zoo; and a day in Epcot, most of which is also an out­door mall.

For much of my life var­i­ous peo­ple have told me that I had to go to Epcot Cen­ter. That I would like it. Well, not so much. The Space­ship Earth ride was inter­est­ing, but I would much more enjoy going through it with the lights on to see how it is laid out inside that golf ball.

Dis­ney is expen­sive, but at least one can see where a lot of the mon­ey is going. There are the free bus­es, the free water taxis, the fire­works, the exten­sive grounds, the numer­ous swim­ming pools, the end­less fake.

This is not to say that I did not have a great time. I was with great peo­ple that I love. Time in hell would have been pleas­ant. Dis­ney was a blast.

Where Do Babies Come From?

As the war on women con­tin­ues, the lat­est sal­vo is issued by the North Car­oli­na Hanover Coun­ty Board of Com­mis­sion­ers. They have unan­i­mous­ly turned down

a state fam­i­ly plan­ning grant that would cov­er con­tra­cep­tive sup­plies along with oth­er med­ical ser­vices relat­ed to fam­i­ly planning.

If these young women are being respon­si­ble and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t have this prob­lem to begin with,” Davis said.

Com­mis­sion­er Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those absti­nence guys” and agreed with Davis’ comment.

There you go. The prob­lem seems to be that the local women are all hav­ing sex with each oth­er and get­ting pregnant.

Note that the com­mis­sion­ers are all men.
Hat tip: TPM

Rush’s Low Point

It has been a few days now since Rush Lim­baugh insult­ed the George­town law stu­dent for three days run­ning and then gave the non-apol­o­gy apol­o­gy. And spon­sors have been dump­ing him in response to the social media tsuna­mi (I can not believe I spelled that right the first attempt).

I am still see­ing blog posts about the trou­ble Rush is in (now the music group Rush has demand­ed that Lim­baugh stop using their music on his show.)

Rush is not in trou­ble. He knew he was going low when he went there. He under­stood there would be an out­sized reac­tion to what he said. This is inten­tion­al on his part. The reac­tion proves his con­tin­ued rel­e­vance (which makes one won­der if he was begin­ning to doubt his con­tin­ued relevance).

There will still be spon­sors. His show will con­tin­ue. His audi­ence will remain.

The best response would have been to ignore his state­ments, but even if every­one man­aged that it would sim­ply result in Rush say­ing even worse things.

What he said was bad enough. I sus­pect he will say some­thing as bad or worse some­where down the road. It is what he does.