Category Archives: Pet Peeves

Animal’s Daily Tax Day News

Before we start, check out Part 3 of The Deal over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  Yesterday was tax day.  Our taxes were filed in February, Mrs. Animal being very efficient and a master at making sure we pay every penny we are required by law to pay, and not one penny more.  But not every family has a Mrs. Animal with her uncanny ability to navigate the complications of filing not only our personal taxes but the also to find her way through the Byzantine corridors of filing for a small LLC.  Most folks have to have professional help, and that costs a lot of money.  Excerpt:

Filing taxes this year is expected to cost taxpayers and businesses about 6.5 billion hours at a cost of $210 billion, a staggering — and record — paperwork burden.

With the deadline to file coming Monday, rules and regulations involved in filling out taxes are choking the nation like never before, according to an analysis by Dan Bosch, the director of regulatory policy for American Action Forum.

“Costs grew dramatically from 2021 to 2022, topping $200 billion for the first time. The $18.4 billion increase is the biggest year-over-year change since 2018, when costs exceeded 2017 levels by $24.3 billion,” said Bosch’s report, Tracker: The Cost of Tax Paperwork.

Here’s the fun bit:

While it wasn’t in his report, Bosch told us that costs to individuals for preparing tax returns were high. “The average tax filer spends $242.96 and 12.5 hours on their return each year,” he said.

Multiply that by the number of individuals filing income tax in the United States today.

This shit just isn’t funny.  It’s a horrible drain on our citizenry, and is criminally complex.  Why?  Because for some time now, the tax code has been a vehicle for rewarding some groups, punishing others, and picking winners and losers in the economy.  Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on how to fix this.

  1. Eliminate withholding.  Everyone, every quarter, has to send money to the IRS.
  2. Eliminate “progressive” taxation.  Implement a single-rate flat tax with no exemptions or deductions for individuals.  Everyone pays something.
  3. I’d be willing to consider exempting the first, oh, $40k from taxation, if that’s what it took to get it done – in return, I’d want major welfare reform, to include lifetime limits and severe restrictions on how public aid is delivered – no more open-ended debit cards.

Who am I kidding, you ask?  Well, sure, in the existing political environment, none of this will happen.  There’s no way either major party will vote to give away the power they now hold.  The power to tax is the power to destroy, and both parties are, honestly, too damn anxious to hold on to that power.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links, and thanks once more to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the story link!

The weekend just past saw us banging back into Daylight Savings Time, an utterly stupid and useless artifact of times gone by.  Recently PJMedia’s Rick Moran had this to say on the topic:

Recent polls show that 63% of Americans want to get rid of altering the clock altogether and maintain daylight saving time year-round.

As of now, 18 states have passed laws or resolutions making daylight saving time permanent, and there are currently 28 states considering the change. But while states can adopt standard time year-round, there would need to be changes by the federal government in order for states to adopt daylight saving time.

Fox Business News:

A bipartisan group of senators, including Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Ed Markey (D., Mass.), reintroduced legislation in March 2021 to make daylight-saving time the year-round standard. The legislation would allow similar laws passed in states including Florida, Georgia, Delaware, Oregon and Louisiana to take effect. But the bill hasn’t made much progress in the past year.

“Switching in and out of daylight-saving time is outdated,” Mr. Rubio said in a video message Thursday, renewing calls for action. “Let’s just lock the clock once and for all and put all this stupidity behind us.”

The reason for the changing clock has lost its significance. Studies have shown that there is little in the way of energy savings from flipping the clock, nor is there a bump in economic activity. The statistical quirk of the increased number of cardiac incidents may have other explanations that don’t have anything to do with the time.

As far as I know Alaska isn’t considering any change, which is too bad, because the whole thing is just stupid.  The clock is an arbitrary measure in any case; just pick one time and stick to it.  Much of the world already does this.

We’re already kind of at odds out here, being an hour behind Pacific time; noon here is 4:00PM on the East Coast, which is where much of the industry I work in is located.  On the other hand, I can take a remote gig with a company in Japan and be fully engaged with their people while basically working a second-shift schedule here.

But messing with the clock twice a year just complicates things.  It’s stupid.  It’s arbitrary.  The reasons for doing it in the first place were bullshit and didn’t work.  It’s time for the whole Daylight Savings crap to end.  I don’t care which time they pick, but pick one and stick to it all year.  Enough is enough.

Rule Five Civil Forfeiture Friday

I’ve written on this topic before, but here from Reason.com’s Billy Binion are a few more egregious examples of the crime (yes, crime, morally if not legally) of civil forfeiture.  Excerpt:

Carl Nelson and Amy Sterner Nelson’s pre-pandemic lives look a lot different than the ones they live now. There are the obvious ways, and then there are the not so obvious ways, like the fact that they sold their house and their car, liquidated their retirement funds, and moved their family of six from a comfortable West Seattle home to Amy’s sister’s basement after the FBI seized almost $1 million from them in May 2020.

“We went from living a life where we were both working full-time to provide for our four daughters to really figuring out how we were going to make it month to month,” Amy tells me. “It’s completely changed my belief in fairness.”

The bureau took funds from nearly every corner of the Nelsons’ world, including, for instance, the savings Amy racked up from her decade as a practicing attorney and her later efforts as head of The Riveter, the co-working start-up she founded. But the FBI never even suspected Amy of committing any crime. It was Carl they were investigating—a probe that has not resulted in a single charge against him almost two years later.

In April 2020, agents showed up at the Nelsons’ home and informed them that Carl—a former real estate transaction manager for Amazon—was under investigation for allegedly depriving the tech behemoth of his “honest services.” In plainer terms, they accused him of showing favor to certain developers and securing them deals in exchange for illegal kickbacks. “That never happened and is exactly why I’ve fought as long and hard as I have,” he says. “It’s that simple.”

Whether or not the FBI has come to that conclusion is still a mystery; its years-long investigation into Carl’s alleged fraud has not yielded an indictment. Yet no such thing was necessary for the federal government to wreck the Nelsons’ lives, costing them their home, their community, their jobs, their girls’ place in their Seattle school, and their security for the future.

I have a laundry list of objections to the very idea of civil forfeiture, but here’s the main one:

Amendment IV:  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Can anyone with enough brains to pound sand deny that the seizure of over a million dollars in assets from a citizen, with no due process and without even an indictment, violates the absolute living shit out of the Fourth Amendment?

But wait!  There’s more!

They’re not alone. There was the Indiana man whose car was seized. And the Kentucky man whose car was seized. And the Massachusetts woman whose car was seized. And the Louisiana man whose life savings were seized. And the Texas man whose life savings were seized. And the countless Californians whose money and random personal possessions were seized. Sometimes the money is returned—often only when a defendant manages to lawyer up for a civil suit. Sometimes only part of it is. Sometimes none of it is. “Civil forfeiture is quite common,” says Dan Alban, an attorney at the Institute for Justice (IJ), a public interest law firm that often litigates similar cases. “The fact that the government can do this can obviously ruin lives, and it can ruin lives without anyone being convicted of a crime, without anyone even being charged with a crime.”

This isn’t the kind of a thing that is supposed to happen in a free country, a country where the citizens have rights, where the people are supposed to be secure in their property.  So why haven’t we seen the very idea challenged in the courts?  How would the Supreme Court rule on this issue?  We know how they should rule, but how would they rule?

I’m baffled that this practice is allowed to go on.  But allowed it is, and while ruining the lives of innocent citizens, it sure is enriching attorneys and quite probably the agencies doing the seizing – I mean, where else do these assets go?

But what gets me now, right now, about this practice is how it could be expanded – say, asset forfeiture for wrong think.  Think it couldn’t happen here?  Think it couldn’t happen in a Western country, where people have rights?  Yeah?  Look north, True Believers, to Canada, a supposedly liberal Western democracy, where it’s happening right now.

Dangerous ideas like this should be strangled at birth, because killing them is much harder when they’re full-fledged.

Animal’s Daily Corruption in Government News

Before we start, check out the latest in my series North Country over at Glibertarians.

Now then; for the latest in corrupt government officials, we bring you Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is facing charges of perjury and making false statements.  Excerpt:

Mosby, 41, is charged with falsely claiming to suffer financial hardship from the coronavirus to obtain an early withdrawal from her retirement savings to purchase the homes. In addition, federal prosecutors allege she lied on a mortgage loan application by hiding an outstanding federal tax debt. And they accuse her of entering into an agreement to rent out a home she bought in Kissimmee, near Disney World, while at the same time promising not to rent the property — all to obtain a lower interest rate.

The cloud of indictment has loomed over Mosby for nearly a year, since federal prosecutors issued subpoenas in March for a wide range of financial records from her and her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby. Marilyn Mosby is now charged with four felonies that could bring prison time, even as her election for a third term looms in June.

Federal prosecutors have not accused Nick Mosby of wrongdoing,

The indictment alleges Marilyn Mosby sought a $40,000 withdrawal from her city retirement account in May 2020, citing financial hardship she had experienced due to the pandemic. In fact, her salary that year had increased by $10,000 to $248,000, according to the charges.

“Mosby had not experienced adverse financial consequences stemming from the coronavirus as a result of ‘being quarantined, furloughed or laid off’ or ‘having reduced work hours’ or ‘due to lack of childcare’ or ‘the closing or reduction of hours of a business I own or operate’” — all prerequisites for obtaining the loan, which Mosby attested to under penalty of perjury, federal prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

Here’s what she was buying:

Mosby purchased the eight-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot Kissimmee property in September 2020 for $545,000 and was using it as a rental property. She sold it in November for a $150,000 profit, to a buyer from Baltimore County.

And:

Federal prosecutors accuse Mosby of making a second withdrawal from her retirement savings, this one in December 2020 for $45,000, and again falsely claiming financial hardship related to the coronavirus. She used that money as a down payment for a $476,000 condominium on a barrier island in Longboat Key, Florida, according to the indictment. She bought the condo last February.

Wait, wait – Florida?  Ron DeSantis’ Florida?  The unmasked, unmandated, Kung Flu-ridden Florida?  Wonder of wonders.

The point is, there seem to be two major ways people view the law.  Some people understand that things like perjury and fraud are illegal because they are wrong.  Those people don’t obey the law from fear of punishment; they behave the way they do because it’s the right way to behave.  Then there are people who believe that things like perjury and fraud are wrong because they are illegal, and all too often people like that – like Mosby – will attempt something if they think they can get away with it, because they don’t see the act as wrong in and of itself.

And she’s a prosecutor.  One, I remind you, who oversaw the descent of Baltimore into a crime-riddled shithole.

And she’s running for re-election.  Unbelievable.

Rule Five Terms You Shouldn’t Use Friday

I ran this about three years back, and thought it was time to trot it out as a reminder.

English is a language that’s forever changing; it’s been said that while other languages adopt words and phrases, English chases other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.  (This observation is made more poignant for yr. obdt. as this Friday finds my own dear Mrs. Animal and me in Japan, where I am functionally illiterate and struggle to make myself understood because I don’t savvy the lingo.)

But even English has standards, and as a popular American talk-radio guy is fond of saying, words mean things.  So here are some words and phrases that people need to stop abusing.

Capitalism

This, like many on the list, is bandied about by plenty of folks who should know better.  Here’s the reason people should stop using this word: “Capitalism,” unlike socialism and communism, doesn’t have an underlying ideology or set of dogma.  There’s no -ism there; it’s just liberty.  What we call capitalism is in fact the free, unfettered, lassaiz-faire of people doing exactly what they choose to do with their own skills, abilities, finances and resources, unfettered by government, unshackled by regulation.  It is people freely choosing what the do with their wealth.  It is the result of free trade, where people exchange value for value by choice, in voluntary transactions in which both parties gain.  It is a market unhampered by any meddling, where the economic trends are not forced from above by fiat but the results of millions of people making trillions of economic decisions, ever hour, every day, in a great freewheeling machine that no person or group of people could ever hope to control without screwing the whole thing up.  This has been demonstrated time and a-damned-gain, see Venezuela, Cuba and Zimbabwe for recent examples.

Gun Violence

Guns are inanimate objects.  There can be no such thing as “gun violence.”  There is only violence, planned and perpetrated by people.

This one is especially egregious as used in policy debates today, because, even though far more people un the United States today are murdered by fists and feet, nobody talks about “fist violence.”  It is only when guns are involved that this term is dragged out.

Whether deliberate or intentional, the term distracts from the real problem – that bad people do bad things – and focuses instead on chunks of plastic, wood and metal that can take no action and possess no moral agency or capacity.  A gun by itself is a moral null; it can take no action and left alone, will never hurt anything or anyone.  It is only when a human being picks up that gun and uses it for good or ill that any judgement of violence can come into the picture.

Privilege

Deriving from a Latin term that translates loosely as “private law,” this is another term that is badly abused in today’s discourse, mostly be people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

American treasure Thomas Sowell noted that “privilege” is the idea that a white coal miner in West Virginia has some unseen advantages over a black Harvard graduate in New York.  As used in such a manner, it trivializes people and assigns them arbitrary categories based on their skin color, ethic background or religious affiliation; in other words, it’s bigotry, pure and simple.  As a middle-aged white male, I am supposed to meekly acknowledge the benefits of “privilege,” even though my Dad was a farmer most of his life, I went to college on the GI Bill and have worked for and earned everything I have.  I guess my privilege isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Decimate/Decimation

Decimation is a term that originated in the Roman army.  When a legion was seen to have failed in courage, one soldier of every ten was executed, pour encourager les autre.  (Voltaire would have loved these guys.)  The literal meaning of the term “decimate” means exactly that – to reduce in number by ten percent.

So, when a vapid talking head on a news program makes that claim that a certain terrorist group has been “decimated” he is saying that they managed to engage a nation-state’s military and only took ten percent casualties.  That’s a pretty good performance by a bunch of illiterates with AK-47s and an absolute cluster-fuck on the part of any modern military.

Democracy

The United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

In fact, our Constitution, probably the most effective governing document in the history of mankind as it was originally written, contains specific safeguards against direct democracy.  The Senate is one of those safeguards.  The Electoral College is another.

Noticed, have you, that those are two institutions that the political Left in this country would like to do away with?

We do not nor should we have government by direct democracy.  That is no more than mob rule or, as Benjamin Franklin was rumored to have said, “two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”  We have a Republic, with a Constitution that clearly defines the roles and the limitations on the various branches of government.  We have a Senate that was originally supposed to represent the interests of their states, and we have an Electoral College to make sure that a few high-population states don’t end up dictating to the entire country.  Let’s keep it that way.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list.  But it’s a good start.

Any suggested additions?

Animal’s Daily Insider Trading News

Before we start, go check out the start of a new series over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  Queen Nancy wants Congresscritters to continue to be allowed to engage in insider stock trading, the likes of which will get any of the rest of us tossed in the pokey.  Why?  Because she’ gotten insanely rich from the practice.  Excerpt:

From 2007 to 2020, the speaker and her spouse raked in between $5.6 million and $30.4 million (the rules don’t even require exact disclosure) from just five Big Tech firms: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

Never mind that the companies’ fortunes depend on laws Congress may or may not pass. As The Post has also noted, for example, Pelosi has been stalling legislation to ban Internet firms from favoring their own products in search results. Maybe it’s a coincidence she and her husband have also bet on Google, but it sure makes you wonder.

Remember, too, lawmakers are privy to info the public doesn’t see, so they may have an edge when trading stocks. (Perhaps that explains why the Pelosis have generally outperformed the market so nicely?)

Letting pols trade individual stocks, rather than investing only in index funds, raises such questions as whether they “have access to insider information” or if their trades will “impact policy-making,” warns the Revolving Door Project’s Jeff Hauser.

Nor does Pelosi’s claim that her stocks are in her husband’s name and that they’ve made no trades with inside knowledge hold up: Former Office of Government Ethics boss Walter Shaub calls that a “red herring”; unless members of Congress are willing to “wear microphones around the clock,” he quips, “the public has no way of knowing what information they intentionally or inadvertently shared.”

By now, most people know that Pelosi considers herself above everyone else. Recall how she repeatedly flouted mask rules? But looking to keep racking up tens of millions, despite the blatant conflict of interest, raises the prospect of outright corruption.

It’s a strong argument for banning stock trades by lawmakers and their families altogether. Let them place their holdings in a mutual fund or blind trust.

Why the hell do we continue to put up with this kind of crap from our elected employees?  This is just a license for corruption and graft.  Imagine the possibilities – insider trading by the very pols who pass legislation affecting the companies whose stock they are trading.

It’s one of a kind (as the article notes) with the concomitant hypocrisy that all these assholes exhibit, every day.  The mask flouting, the hair appointments in Covid-closed salons, the concealed-carry permits held by blue-state pols (see Feinstein, Diane) who argue against such permits for the rest of us.

This kind of crap won’t end until the voters end it.  I’d be in favor of an amendment to the Constitution, stating that “Congress shall be exempt from no law applied to the general population,” or some such – some lawerly types would probably have to work out the exact language.

But I think a comfortable majority of voters would agree that this shit’s gotta stop.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

The bigger they are, the harder they fall, eh?

This was one of my favorite pieces in the weekly news roundup, so I wanted to give it some primacy of place.  Honestly, this couldn’t happen to a more deserving cackling harpy.  Kamala “Heels-Up” Harris is probably the dumbest, least competent person to ever be a heartbeat away from the Imperial Mansion, and considering that this is a position previously held by Andrew Johnson and Al Gore, that’s really saying something.

It’s going to be interesting to see how they squeeze her out before the 2024 campaign season gets going in earnest, because you know sure as hell old Joe isn’t going to make it to another term.  Seriously – are these people the best the Democrats have?

Anyway, with that out of the way…

On To the Links!

Dear President Trump:  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sparing us from having to live through four years of this bitter, besotted, corrupt, wicked old harridan in the Imperial Mansion.

Probably ain’t gonna happen.

No shit, Sherlock.

What should Democrats do about rising inflation?  Resign.

And the money printer goes brrrrrrr.

Nothing.

A modern-day dinosaur.

Dinosaurs may have been colorful.  That’s reasonable, as living dinosaurs – birds – are often colorful.

Remind me again which political party has been running Chicago since the Depression?

How about just getting the government out of the way of the economy altogether?  Honestly, every time government interferes they make things worse.

Civil Disobedience 101 in New York.

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Colorado Gov. Polis finds an acorn.

Cold, dark and hungry – that’s what life will be like if the Dems get their way.

I’ve never read even one word of Harry Potter and never will, but I confess to liking J.K. Rowling these days.

He should, but he won’t, and nobody in the legacy media will ask.

I love a happy ending.

Inflation continues to break records.

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The NY TimesThomas Edsall is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s David Litt is an idiot.

The Hill’s Phillip Wallach is an idiot.

CNN’s Mark Wolfe is an idiot.

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

The Hill’s Maria Cardona is an idiot.

Vox’s Zach Beauchamp is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Charles Blow (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

OK, that’s all I can take for this week.  I actually read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Since last week we mentioned the Sanford Townsend Band opening for Melanie, here is the lady herself.   Melanie (full name Melanie Safka) was a folk/pop singer who had a fair following in the early Seventies.  She had a fun, light, airy style and was easy to listen to.

Her best-known song was Brand New Key, from her 1971 album Gather Me.  Imagine a lady singer today using the line “…some people say I’ve done all right for a girl?”  Brand New Key is a fun little tune you don’t have to take too seriously.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Otteriffic News

Before we dive in to today’s ottery story, check out the first installment of a new fiction series over at Glibertarians! 

Now then:  You can’t beat this headline: Man Minding His Business Gets Mangled by a Gang of Angry Otters.  Excerpt:

Even so, as they say at zoos, anything with a mouth can bite.

Just ask Graham (George Spencer) — he found out the hard way.

Or, the herd way.

The 60-something got sacked by a roving gang of semiaquatic psychos.

From the Post:

[Graham]…was…approaching the visitors center when he spotted around 20 otters crossing a dimly-lit path in front of him. He claimed it was the first time he had seen the mustelids in the area despite taking his morning walks there for five months.

A jogger ran through the group, setting them off.

The otters went “crazy like dogs” and tried to rip into the runner.

When that individual escaped, the animals turned toward you-know-who.

No word on whether they had marshmallows, but the critters crunched into Graham like a cracker.

They attacked and attacked s’more.

The ornery otters reportedly hit him in the ankles, pushed him down and leaped on top of Spencer, then proceeded to bite the prone man around his legs, shoes and buttocks, with one nipping his finger, according to the media reports.

In ten seconds, he was bitten 26 times.

Salvation came after the victim’s friend, who was about “15 paces” away, ran up to him screaming and yelling in an attempt to scare the hairy hooligans away.

Graham hightailed it to the visitor’s center with the vicious weasel-like wackos in pursuit.

This is some funny stuff from a distance, and the article’s punning makes it more so.  But there’s a serious message behind the wacky verbiage:  Wild animals are, you know, wild.  Every year visitors to places like Yellowstone and, yes, here in the Great Land, learn this lesson to their sorrow.

Unfortunately we live in an era where most folks have their lessons on wildlife from Disney movies.  Most of the so-called “environmentalists” you see opining online and in the letters to the editors sections of the few remaining print papers are urban dwellers with no idea of what it’s really like to live out in the actual environment – other than maybe a one-week vacation spent in some expensive chalet with a view.

Jokes aside, Mr. Spencer here didn’t do anything wrong, and got bitten up anyway.  He was fortunate that these were otters and not a bear, but his encounter, while amusing on the surface, lends a lesson that should not be taken lightly:  Treat wildlife with respect and caution.

Rule Five Lying Liars That Lie Friday

One of my pet peeves has always been liars.  My Grandma, a tough old lady with a will of iron, who raised six kids on a 50-acre farm during the Depression and had two sons that fought in World War 2, always said that ‘being honest is like being pregnant, you either are or you aren’t.’  Grandma was honest, sometimes embarrassingly so.

But increasingly these days folks don’t see things that way.  Integrity is an unknown concept to plenty in the political and journalistic ‘professions’ (and I mean ‘profession’ as in ‘world’s oldest’) and these folks spew out whatever helps The Side.

I’ve detailed a couple of examples over the last few years.  One was sack-o-crap Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News, lying about having fired an AR-15.  Another was sack-o-crap Christine Lavin of the San Francisco Chronicle, lying about owning a Glock.  More recently we had a number of ‘journalists’ blatantly lying about the Border Patrol’s treatment of illegal border-crossers.

Now, this week, we have VP Heels-Up Harris putting on a sham of a video where she purports to talk with kids to get them interested in space exploration.  Excerpt:

Vice President Kamala Harris’s widely-mocked video encouraging children to “get curious” about space featured child actors.

The YouTube series called “Get Curious with Vice President Harris,” was filmed this summer and released Oct. 7 for World Space Week. In the video, Harris, who’s chair of the National Space Council, shares her excitement with the children about space. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough also makes an appearance from the International Space Station to lead the children on a remote scavenger hunt to find everything needed to build a telescope.

In one scene, Harris tells the children that they are “going to learn so much,” adding that they will “literally see the craters on the moon with your own eyes. With your own eyes. I’m telling you.”

The kid actors appear to be genuinely excited, and Harris seems to be revealing something to them that they don’t already know. The kids are relentlessly ebullient throughout the video.

Bernardino, a Carmel, California teen who was one of five child actors in the video, told KSBW TV that he submitted a monologue and was interviewed for a role in the series.

“And then after that, like a week later, my agent called me, and he’s like, ‘Hey Trevor, you booked it,’” Bernardino told the outlet.

But here’s the best bit:

Tim Murtaugh, former communications director for Trump’s re-election campaign, pointed out the best part of the project is that it was produced by a Canadian entertaining company called Sinking Ship. 

I swear, you can’t make this shit up.

First of all, there’s nothing anyone can do to make this cackling hag likeable.  She’s abrasive, grating and utterly incompetent, her main purpose seeming to be 25th Amendment insurance for whoever is pulling President Biden’s strings.

But it’s the lies that get me.  Granted the video doesn’t outright claim that these are just ordinary kids off the streets, but hiring actors?  To try to make her seem… somehow slightly less horrible?  That’s dissembling, no matter how you slice it.

These people will lie when there’s nothing to gain by it.  They’ll lie when the truth could literally save them.  They’ll lie to line their pockets, they’ll lie to save their phony-baloney jobs.

President Trump could be boorish at times, and he had a tendency to fly off the handle.  But in general, he said what he really thought, sometimes with alarming directness.  And that, I think, is why the establishment reacted to his election with such alarm – people whose entire success depends on lying are in real trouble when someone comes in and proclaims that the Emperor is naked.

Rule Five Dirty Rotten Bidens Friday

This was out last week over on American Spectator, but I don’t drop by there as often as I used to and missed it until last night.  It’s a good take on the corrupt Bidens.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

The other day I ran across the 1998 movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels while flipping channels and watched it for the first time in years. It’s a lighthearted romp, as they say, about two canny con men played with wit and panache by Michael Caine and Steve Martin. Together, they accumulate riches by bilking dim heiresses in a fictional French Riviera town based on Saint-Tropez or Cannes. Watching the movie, I found myself thinking: hmm, whom does this remind me of? Then it hit me: of course! Who else? Joe and Hunter Biden. 

See this movie, by the way, if you haven’t already; it’s a hoot.  Caine and Martin were brilliant, as was the wonderful Glenn Headley, and the ending was one of the few movies that actually had a twist at the end that made my jaw drop.  But enough of that; back to the Bidens:

Because the Bidens’ crimes aren’t like something out of Scarface or The Godfather or, for that matter, All the President’s Men. Don’t get me wrong: they’re major crimes, far worse than anything Nixon and his cronies ever got up to. But to read accounts of those crimes is to be reminded not of a gangster movie but of farce. 

Farcical, indeed, but the Bidens have raked in millions from these farcical schemes.  They have gotten away with it, and will continue to get away with it, because in the eyes of the media and the equally-farcical agencies that comprise Imperial law enforcement these days, the Bidens have the ultimate Get Out Of Jail Free card – a “D” after their names.

No, unlike the Caine and Martin characters, the Bidens aren’t criminal geniuses. Even at the peak of his powers, Joe Biden was every dumb, oily, empty-suit politician on a sitcom. But he was a hell of a lucky guy, too. Even tiny little Delaware gets two senators, and all it took for him to be re-elected repeatedly from that peninsular speck was absolute fealty to the credit-card giants that basically own it. And Hunter? Hunter is the very apotheosis of the spoiled, useless princeling who can’t stop getting into preposterous scrapes. Of course he smoked Parmesan cheese. Of course he had a fling with his dead brother’s widow.  

Of course he laundered millions in bribe money for his father.  Imagine the reaction from the legacy media and the Imperial City establishment if we were discussing Donald Trump and one of his sons, here, instead.

Separately, father and son are cartoonish enough. But when you put them together, they’re, well, slapstick clowns out of a picture like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. China, Barisma: these shameless pay-for-play operations beat everything else going for sheer brazen sleaziness. If the Democratic Party weren’t itself so crooked, and if the CIA and FBI and mainstream media weren’t so totally in the tank, these two would’ve been locked up long ago. Instead, the Big Guy’s in the White House and Sonny Boy, the con artist, is, suddenly, as of a month or so, the paint-and-canvas type of artist, too. And not just an artist but — surprise! — an instantly successful artist. If there were any justice in America, he’d be drawing on the walls of a cell in Leavenworth. Instead, he’s got a New York gallery that plans to sell his canvases for six or seven figures a pop. 

Read the whole article for a deeper look at Hunter Biden’s “art career.”  It will have you gritting your teeth, I promise you that.

I guess what really chaps my ass about all this is the sheer fucking blatancy of the whole thing.  Reams of Crackhead Hunter’s emails have been released to the public, documenting his grifting, his references to “10% for the Big Guy” (who can only be old Joe), his drug binges and his patronizing of hookers.  One has to wonder if somewhere in upstate New York, smashed on cheap box wine, Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is shouting into a phone at old Bill: “We set up a foundation!  Are you kidding me?  We went to all that effort to cover our tracks, and now the Bidens are just walking away with it?  We didn’t have to do any of that shit!  Dammit!”

And really, that’s the only amusing bit about this whole thing.  Because, thanks to the example of Joe and Hunter Biden, it’s open season for bribery and graft in the Imperial City.  The doors have been thrown open, and as long as you have a “D” after your name – and that name isn’t Trump – everything will be hunky-dory.