All posts by Animal

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I got a chuckle out of this:

Meet Ace Biden.

The Original Lying Dogfaced Pony Soldier now has a new title. Ace Biden – fighter pilot legend equal to Pappy Boyington and Chuck Yeager. It’s a well-known fact in the Air Force that a Chinese Spy Balloon is worth five fixed-wing aircraft. God’s truth. It’s a fact, man.

Cartoon at link.

Reminds me of someone else:

Ace Rimmer, from the great BBC comedy series Red Dwarf, was a parody.  We can’t even say that about the President any more.  He’s gone well beyond parody.  Joe Biden always was a legend in his own mind, and now his mind is going.  It’s downright embarrassing at this point.

Well, it’s been an eventful week, lots of ground to cover, so…

On To the Links!

Bigfoot may be bears.

When looking for causes, you always watch for a common theme.

Fuck off, slavers!

The mistake is letting Biden speak in the first place.

Actual headline from Iceland ReviewPolice Called Out to Investigate Sound of Resident Pounding Pork.

How much is that worth in pieces of silver?  Also, how the ever-loving hell does Biden(‘s handlers) have any authority to offer any part of Ukraine to Russia?

Gotta love the guy.

I have no problem with ugly people wearing masks.

A bit of good news.

The earliest fossilized brain.  As opposed to the fossilized brain that sits in the Imperial Mansion.

Auto insurance costs are another inflation marker.  Honestly, this isn’t one that would have occurred to me; as Mrs. Animal and I are in our late fifties and early sixties, respectively, with stainless driving records and living in rural Alaska, our auto insurance cost is pretty damn low.  Two of our kids live in a small town in Iowa, and there’s still isn’t terrible, but our youngest two live in a suburb of Denver and now that I think on it one of them mentioned to her Mom that their car insurance had gone up noticeably.

I love Japan.

Scientists grow human mini-guts inside mice.  Now if they could only grow some in the RNC.

Speaking of:  Ted Cruz on guts, and President Biden(‘s handlers) lack of them.

Don’t mess with Texas.

Dems have lost hope for Heels-Up Harris.  What, just now?

The U.S. military is literally out of ammo.

Someone broke ChatGPT!  It reminds me of the old Star Trek bit where Captain Kirk talked the androids into shutting down.

Talk about henpecked.

This Week’s Idiots:

David Frum is an idiot.

The Hill’s Brent Budowsky is an idiot.

Salon’s Chauncey DeVega is an idiot.

AOC beclowns herself again.

Ilhan Omar likewise beclowns herself.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

USAToday’s Anna Kaufman is an idiot.

The New Yorker’s Amy Sorkin is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The New Yorker’s Amy Sorkin is an idiot.

Well, the White House is staffed with morons, so…

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

From 1972 to 1979 the Grateful Dead counted among their number Donna Jean Godchaux, their only female member.  Reviews of her singing voice when in support of the guys in the band were mixed, but she had a wonderful voice on her own.

The best example of her work I can find was on the 1977 album Terrapin Station, in which she had the lead vocals role in the great song Sunrise.

But hey, don’t take my word for it – listen for yourself.  Enjoy!

Animal’s Daily 2024 News

Before I get into this, check out the first installment in my new series over at Glibertarians – this time it’s a story about a famous painter in Europe in the 1920s, so go read!

Now then:  As I’ve been saying for some time, the best matchup against whoever the Dems run for the Imperial Mansion in 2024 is inarguable Florida’s own Ron DeSantis.  Now here is some polling that bears that out.  Excerpt:

The American electorate is, shall we say, less than enthused by the prospect of a Trump-Biden rematch, with Democrats decidedly cool on the idea of re-nominating the sitting President of the United States.  Amid the dissatisfaction reflected in the survey, Trump narrowly leads Biden, within the margin of error.  In quite a few polls, DeSantis performs better in hypothetical match-ups.  Here’s one recent example:

Here’s the pro-DeSantis money shot:

A thriving state operating in the black, reinforcing its reserves and emergency funds, and cutting taxes. Imagine that.  This is quite the contrast from, say, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new plan, which proposes huge new tax increases in the fiscal basket case of New York.  It’s no great mystery why people are bleeding away from blue states.  For the first time ever, Florida’s workforce was larger than New York’s last year.  Cause and effect.

Target – fire for effect!

It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads these virtual pages that I’m on Team DeSantis, and have been for some time.  If Donald Trump does win the nomination I’ll vote for him, as he’d be vastly preferable to anyone that the Dems could offer.  But in that case I’d be voting against the Dam candidate.  DeSantis is the guy I could enthusiastically vote for.

His governorship of Florida has been an unalloyed success.  He goes from legislative triumph to triumph.  He deals with the legacy media adroitly, slapping their attempted “gotcha” questions back in their faces and making sure his own message goes out, cleanly and clearly.

Some folks are advocating for a Trump/DeSantis ticket for 2024, which would set DeSantis up as the heir apparent, but I’d rather not see that.  Not only is it historically difficult for a VP to move to the top seat, not only would DeSantis be out of the Governor’s role for four years, not only would we see another four years of hysterical rheee from the Left that would try to tar DeSantis with the Trump brush – not only all of that, but Trump is yesterday’s news.  The time for a Ron DeSantis campaign is now.

I honestly think Ron DeSantis could be the most consequential President since Ronald Reagan.  He’s the best man for the job right now.  I hope he runs; I’ll support him with enthusiasm, and there are a vanishingly small number of pols I can say that about.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, The Daley Gator, Flappr, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Let’s talk for a moment about presentation in this, the digital media.  Specifically, let’s look at the Salem Media group, whose member sites (PJMedia, Townhall, and RedState, among others) I read regularly.  Now, let me start by noting that these sites produce a wide range of content from some fine commentators.  Sometimes I disagree with the points made, most of the time I agree, so I find them worth not only continued reading but springing for a VIP Gold membership.

But boy, howdy, do they ever need to spring for some editors.  Take a look at this headline from last Saturday:

Note:  It was corrected later that day.  But still.  “Fued?”  I presumed at the time that was meant to be “Feud.”  But the fact that this elementary and, let’s be candid, stupid mistake made it onto the headliner page of a major national alternative news media site is bothersome, and adversely affects the reputation of the site.  And it’s not just this; this is a problem that runs across all the sites of Salem Media, and what’s worse is that these mistakes are often pointed out in the comments but are almost never corrected.

Here’s another example from the same article:

Greene continued to call the Democrat Squad member out, saying that before AOC entered fbe political world, she bartender but still couldn’t do that job well enough. 

What the hell?  Did they not even try to edit this?

Now it’s bad enough that so many comments, from across the political spectrum, demonstrate only marginal literacy; those commenters are, of course, not passing themselves off as professional writers.  But I will say this:  Here in the digital world, the only thing we have to judge folks on is their written expression.  If they forgo even an attempt at spelling in grammar, our (or at least, my) estimation of them goes down.

But it’s far worse when a professional news/commentary site like Townhall, or RedState, or PJMedia just has daily mistake after mistake that ends up splashed onto the screen.  Maybe it bothers me more than most folks, being a writer who is married to an editor.

Salem Media desperately needs to hire some copy editors, and fast.

Rule Five 2023 Outlook Friday

The Mises Institute’s put this out a while ago, but I just stumbled across it; it’s worth reading the whole thing.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned about the optimistic estimates for 2023, stating that it will likely be a much more difficult year than 2022.

Why would that be? Most strategists and commentators are cheering the recent decline in price inflation as a good signal of recovery. However, there is much more to the outlook than just a moderate decline in price inflation rates.

Price inflation is accumulative, and the estimates for 2023 and 2024 still show a very elevated level of core and headline inflation in most economies. The longer it remains this way, the worse the economic outcome. Citizens have been living on savings and borrowing to maintain current levels of real spending. But this cannot last for many years.

Politicians all over the world are trying to convince us that an annual inflation rate of 5 percent is a success, when it is a calamity.

The slight reduction in the inflation rate to 5% is being ballyhooed by the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration and the political Left as some kind of victory, which strikes me as a sick joke.  The middle class is being pinched worse of all – too prosperous to get on the Free Shit gravy train, but without the resources to comfortably sit out a significant economic downturn.

The outlook for 2023 is widespread impoverishment while governments continue to spend and raise taxes, which means an even worse destruction of real disposable income.

What is happening in the so-called recovery from the pandemic is nothing else but a global destruction of the middle class at an unprecedented speed.

The worst policies have been implemented and all have decimated real savings and wages. Money printing and tax hikes have not made the rich poorer and they have certainly not damaged the wealthy. The entire negative impact of the widespread increase in taxes has fallen, yet again, on the shoulders of the middle class.

To which I would ask:  “What are the odds that this is deliberate?”  Now, you might say, “Animal, that’s just a little paranoid, isn’t it?”

But is it, really?

Anyone who has read these virtual pages for any length of time knows that I have little patience for nutbar conspiracy theories, but it’s worth reflection that the recent Davos conference that we just discussed last week saw none other than Jane Goodall advocating for a dramatic reduction in Earth’s human population.  While that is perhaps extreme even for the Davos crowd, is it hard to imagine that some of the “elites” would find an impoverished population much easier to control, to coerce, to force into the kind of “green” rabbit warrens they are advocating.

Even if we set aside the hypocritical elites at Davos, it’s easy enough to see how the political Left in the United States has worked for decades to increase the population’s dependency on government, which gives the government more power, which enables them to place further controls on our behavior, which increases dependence still more…  It’s an evil, self-perpetuating cycle, and we may be seeing it come to a head in 2023.  The question is:  Will the citizenry of the USA figure it out and chuck the bastards out?  I’m skeptical; the siren song of Free Shit is very seductive, and plenty of people will react to any serious downturn by buying into that guarantee for comfort, even at the expense of their liberty.

Here’s the onion:

When you demand more government, this is what you get. An extractive and confiscatory view that always blames those who invest and create jobs for the problems yet creates a larger bureaucracy to administer the so-called benefits you never get.

On this point the late Robert Heinlein was prescient when he wrote these words:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Amen.

Animal’s Daily Imperial Spending News

The political gamesmanship over a debt ceiling increase has begun.  Excerpt:

Ahead of debt ceiling negotiations at the White House Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy received a memo from Biden administration officials. 

The memo, sent to “interested parties” by Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and Economic Council Director Brian Deese, details the demands President Joe Biden plans to present to McCarthy during their meeting.

“Will the Speaker commit to the bedrock principle that the United States will never default on its financial obligations, as Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and Jeffries have already done – and does he agree with former presidents, including Presidents Trump and Reagan, that it is critical to avoid debt limit brinksmanship?” the first demand states. 

To his credit, McCarthy responded thus:

Mr. President: I received your staff’s memo.

I’m not interested in political games.

I’m coming to negotiate for the American people.

However, he concluded:

President Biden: I accept your invitation to sit down and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending.

I look forward to our meeting.

I would maintain that there is no such damn thing as a responsible debt ceiling increase.  And let’s be honest, no significant spending cuts – or even decreases in the rate of increase – will be on the table, from either side.  And there can be no fiscal sanity in the Imperial City without discussing entitlement spending; indeed, without cutting entitlement spending.

As of 2020, the most recent year for which we have solid numbers, entitlement spending was almost half the budget; 21% for Social Security, 25% for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace health insurance subsidies.  “Economic security programs” – that is, welfare – comprises another 11% of Imperial spending.

Oh, and 7% goes to servicing the debt.  Not reducing the debt; just paying the interest, on Imperial debt that has been ever-increasing for decades now.  The debt was rising through most of the post-WW2 period.  Barack Obama stomped on the gas, and Donald Trump kept his foot on the accelerator.  President Biden(‘s handlers) have very little idea what’s going on, but they sure know how to keep that spending throttle slammed to the floor.

Whatever negotiating goes on between the Speaker and whoever is actually pulling the strings in the administration, it will be nothing more than window-dressing.  We’re past the point of  no return on the Imperial debt, on Imperial spending, and none of the pols in the Imperial City will be doing anything about that.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This gave me a chuckle.  The business environment in California (see yesterday’s post) has gotten so bad that Jerry Garcia’s Grateful Dead cannabis brand is pulling out of California.  Relevant statement from the story:

Eli Melrod, the CEO and co-founder of Solful dispensary chain, said the brand’s exit from California was a sign that it’s a struggle for even good cannabis brands to make money in the state.

Hell, it’s a struggle for anyone to make money in California!  The state Assembly has been working like hell to make it as difficult as possible to make money in California, and now it’s gotten to the point where you can’t even make a profit selling dope.  This is just rich.

Now then…

On To the Links!

We should be debating every damn penny of government spending.

Things aren’t looking good for China.

The Pelosi Act.  Seriously, read this one; the name really is priceless.

You asked for it, asshole, so suck it up and deal.

Have some answers to questions you never asked.

House GOP opens up the amendment process.  This is a good thing.

War with China in 2025?

I love a happy ending.

Dems  never saw a spending idea they didn’t like.

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson to the Left:  “You’re The Man now.”

Are you really against fossil fuels?

Fuck around and find out!

Consumers are getting skittish.

To be fair, they thought this in 2016, too.

Self-awareness rating:  Zero.

Bawk bawk.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

Idiots gonna idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

Salon’s Heather Digby Parton is an idiot.

Race hustler Dr. Umar Johnson is an idiot.

Salon’s Matthew Rozsa is an idiot.  (I’m sensing a pattern here.)

Van Jones is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

The early Eighties were the glory days of girl bands, and in those years there were few better examples of that genre than the Go-Go’s.  They are, in fact, still around – in 2020 through 2022 they were on a reunion tour, although they are obviously a little longer in the tooth than they were in their heyday (but then, who among us ain’t?)

One of their better known tunes is the 1981 song Our Lips are Sealed, from the album Beauty and the Beat. The video here is typical of the time, just pretty girls doing pretty things with sun and water.  Enjoy!

Animal’s Daily Kooky California News

Before we get into this, check out the final chapter of The River over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  California Assemblyman Alex Lee has proposed something truly stupid, even by the standards of the California government.  Excerpt:

The proposal is, as a matter of economics, foolish beyond belief. In brief, the Democrats who have taken over the state now propose a “wealth tax” on the richest Californians, who are already fleeing the increasingly socialist state in alarming numbers.

A news story pretty much sums the coming disaster up:

Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat from San Jose, filed legislation that would tax an extra 1.5% on Californians with a worldwide net worth of more than $1 billion starting January of 2024, and 1% for those making more than $5o million starting in 2026.

Lee’s proposal aims to tax assets such as stocks and bonds that can skyrocket in value without incurring taxes until they’re sold. He said the tax would apply to the top 0.1% of California earners and could generate about $22 billion.

‘For far too long, we’ve allowed income inequality to deepen and fester in this state and this country while the rich get richer and the middle class shrinks behind,’ Lee said Monday.

The plan is both laughable and tragic because Californians have been fooled into thinking that having billionaires in your state is a bad thing. They do not understand that taxing wealth is taxing investment, and investment means jobs and incomes.

Here’s the onion:

But, as legal scholar Jonathan Turley notes, the proposed tax law is also deceptive, since it’s not really a “billionaire tax” at all.

“The law has a cynical bait-and-switch provision,” Turley writes. “The billionaire tax is just meant for the initial packaging and passage. It can therefore be sold as a ‘billionaire’s tax.’ However, in two years, the threshold drops to a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million. While billionaires would stay at 1.5%, those in the lower tax bracket would be hit by a 1% added rate on worldwide assets.”

This is just staggeringly idiotic.  Never mind the fact that this will cause a 1849 Gold Rush in reverse, as the last few productive people still living in the once-Golden state move their bank accounts offshore and flee the state for greener pastures.  Never mind that California is sucking wind on the state budget, with unfunded liabilities totaling $1.6 trillion – yes, you read that right, a state that is in the hole for a bit over a trillion and a half dollars.  Never mind that the state Assembly is already rheee-ing about the possibility of cutting spending.

What California is considering doing is quite literally killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, and they’ve been building up to this for decades.  This isn’t the kind of stupid one just pops up with – this level of lunacy has to be nurtured over the course of a couple of generations.

There used to be a saying, “as goes California, so goes the nation.”  Let’s hope the nation has retained a little more sanity than this – although, given the last few years, I won’t bet anything on it.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Flappr, The Other McCain, Bacon Time and The Daley Gator for the rule Five links!

Recently, the libertarian Cato Institute released their 2022 Human Freedom Index, and it’s not encouraging.  Excerpt:

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for the 165 jurisdictions fell from 7.03 in 2019 to 6.81 in 2020. Most areas of freedom fell, including significant declines in the rule of law and freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly, and freedom to trade. Based on that coverage, 94.3 percent of the world’s population lives in jurisdictions that saw a fall in human freedom from 2019 to 2020, with 148 jurisdictions decreasing their ratings and 16 improving.

And the United States?  One of the nations that saw a lower human freedom rating.  Cato rates nations on a number of criteria:

This eighth annual index uses 83 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:

  • Rule of law
  • Security and safety
  • Movement
  • Religion
  • Association, assembly, and civil society
  • Expression and information
  • Relationships
  • Size of government
  • Legal system and property rights
  • Sound money
  • Freedom to trade internationally
  • Regulation

And here’s where we, here in the United States, rank:

The countries that took the top 10 places, in order, were Switzerland, New Zealand, Estonia, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Selected jurisdictions rank as follows: Canada (13), Taiwan (14), Japan (16), Germany (18), United Kingdom (20), United States (23), South Korea (30), Chile (32), France (42), Argentina (74), South Africa (77), Brazil (80), Ukraine (89), Mexico (98), India (112), Russia (119), Nigeria (124), Turkey (130), China (152), Saudi Arabia (159), Iran (162), Venezuela (163), and Syria (165).

That’s right.  Cato rates us below Canada, Japan, Germany and the UK.

A reliable Canadian news broadcast.

Now, I haven’t seen their raw data, but I have to say I’m skeptical.  New Zealand was notoriously strict on the COVID lockdowns, and Canada – well, since PM Zoolander has been in charge up there, liberty seems to be taking a beating up in the Great White North.

But here’s the prime takeaway:

Jurisdictions in the freest quartile enjoy more than twice the average per capita income ($48,644) of those in the other quartiles ($23,404 for the second freest). On average, the freest jurisdictions in the world have a much higher per capita income than those that are less free. The HFI also finds a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy.

And there it is:  Free people are more prosperous.  That’s the answer:  To oppression, to poverty, to so many other things.  Free people are more prosperous.  Prosperous people are happier, more generous and more peaceful.  This is just another data point proving that assertion.