Rule Five WaPo Gets Real Friday

Remember what they always say about blind hogs and acorns?  The liberal Washington Post recently found a big old whopper of an acorn, as Issues & Insights reports.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post let it slip that all is not well in Bidenomicsville. The deficit, it reports, could end up hitting $2 trillion when the current fiscal year ends in three weeks, which it describes as an “unexpected deficit surge.”

In other words, the deficit will nearly double this year, calling the lie on one of President Joe Biden’s favorite boasts about how he cut the deficit more than any president in history.

But while this apparently comes as a shock to the Post, as well as other liberal news sites that picked up on the Post report, anyone paying attention knew this was happening.

I should say so.  Plenty of folks have seen this coming for a while now; the bill, as the old saying goes, always comes due.

Back in February, for example, we pointed out that Biden’s reckless economic policies had added more than $5 trillion to projected deficits, even as he claimed he’d done more to cut the deficit than “any president in history.”

In early June, we noted that revenues had been plunging this year, despite all the boasts about a strong economy, and that “the projected deficit for the entire year is now close to $1.6 trillion, which is almost $300 billion higher than Treasury projected at the start of this fiscal year.”

In July, we pointed out that Bidenflation was pushing up the cost of federal entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and had resulted in a 37% increase in interest payments on the national debt in the first nine months of this fiscal year. That was the result of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, which were also a result of Bidenflation.

By August, Treasury had upped its projected deficit for this fiscal year to $1.9 trillion. (Treasury will release its updated projection for the year later this month. Don’t be surprised if the new projection for the 2023 deficit is higher still.)

We are, in my not-so-humble opinion, already past the point of no return here.

I’m not sure what the answer here is, other than some kind of major economic collapse.  (We could talk about just repudiating the debt, but that would likely lead to a global economic collapse, so there’s little comfort there.)  A few years back I would have said – and did say – that with strong pro-growth policies it would be possible to grow our way out of the debt, but I’m skeptical of that idea now.

I know I keep repeating this, but there’s only one answer  now:  Cut.  Spending.

There are a whole nest of Imperial alphabet-soup agencies that were not mentioned in the Constitution and therefore prohibited by the Tenth Amendment.  Get rid of them.  Shut them down.  If the individual states want an Environmental Protection Agency, let them set it up and fund it, within their own borders, within their own budgets.  We’ll see then which states rise and fall, and one would hope, adjust accordingly.

Something along these lines has to happen, because we’re on the road to ruin right not.

Animal’s Daily Nork Submarine News

This is downright giggle-inducing; North Korea, that isolated Stalinist dictatorship run by a stunted little gargoyle with bad hair from a long line of stunted little gargoyles with bad hair, that Communist shithole that can’t even feed its own citizenry, claims to have launched a nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

Here’s the funny part:  It’s not nuclear (supposedly it carries nuclear-tipped missiles, but it’s Diesel/electric powered) and it’s based on an old Soviet Romeo-class sub.  The Romeo class was built between 1957 and 1961.  That’s right.  All these subs are older than I am, and I’m no spring chicken.

Kim Jong Un was present for the launch of the North Korean Navy’s (KPN) latest submarine on September 6. The new submarine is actually a rebuilt Soviet-designed Romeo Class boat, but radically modernized. It has been named “Hero Kim Gun-ok” (김군옥영웅) and given the hull number 841.

Significantly, the submarine has a missile compartment added with 10 missile tubes. Given the Hermit Kingdom’s investment in ballistic missiles, it is likely that these are nuclear capable.

But how capable?  The amount of tech savvy demonstrated by the Norks to date has been underwhelming.

The modification to the Romeo class submarine is so extensive that it almost appears to be a new boat. The new missile compartment, with two rows of five missile hatches, is in a section built into the sail. The bow has been shortened, reshaped and the diving planes moved to the sail.

We can speculate that the missiles are the Pukguksong family of submarine launched ballistic missiles. These are between 9.7 and 10.6 meters long and 1.5 and 1.8 meters in diameter depending on the exact version. The missile hatches however appear smaller, either for a shorter ranged ballistic missile first seen in October 2021, or for a cruise missile. North Korea has recently shown the Hwasal-2′ cruise missile which approximates the U.S. Navy’s famous Tomahawk weapon.

Here’s the sub (image from article):

Here’s a drawing of the original Soviet Romeo design:

That new bow they grafted onto this ancient Russian submarine looks like papier-mâché.  One has to doubt the seaworthiness of this abortion; hell, one has to doubt the harbor-worthiness of this thing.

The best thing that could happen to the United States Pacific Fleet would be for the Norks to try to actually take this thing to sea.  I  have a funny feeling it would disappear within a few months.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Housekeeping note:  Since my Wednesday links posts have always been long, and are getting longer, I’m going to try sticking the actual links below a “Click to Read More” tag.  This will help me to keep my already crowded front page a tad less cluttered while I consider how to go about a more involved revamp of the site. I’m still using the 2014 theme for WordPress, and while I like the looks of it, it may be time to update.  It’s been almost ten years since the last major site revamp, so we’ll see.  And, of course, please do let me know in the comments if you like/dislike and changes or have any other comments.

And so…

Continue reading Animal’s Hump Day News

Impeachment Additional

Well, this is a big f***in’ deal.

Whether it proceeds into an actual impeachment remains to be seen, but at least things are progressing.

Animal’s Daily Stupid Idea News

Before I get into today’s topic, check out the first episode of my new series, License to Kill, over at Glibertarians.  And if you like my fiction work, you can find a whole bunch of it here (publisher) or here (Amazon).

I have discussed, from time to time, how stupid the whole idea of “muh reparations” is.  It’s pleasing to see that California voters agree, returning some stunning poll results in reply to the once and former-Golden State’s  idiotic California Reparations Task Force Report.

The majority of California voters oppose offering cash reparations to the descendants of African American slaves, a new poll has found.

Fifty-nine percent of California voters oppose cash payments, while 29% of voters support the idea, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll that was cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times. A total of four-in-ten respondents reported they “strongly” oppose cash reparations.

The poll comes after Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill in 2020 that established the California Reparations Task Force, which was launched to explore how the state could lead the nation on a potential reparations program.

Do I really need to point out that slavery was never legal in California?  Not to worry; America’s own walking “hair products for men” spokesman, Gavin Newsom, has an explanation:

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said at the time. “California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face.”

What an utter and steaming load of absolute codswallop, balderdash, flapdoodle and poppycock.

There is no justification – none – for paying reparations for slavery to people who have never been slaves, after taking the money away from people who have never owned slaves.

Have there been injustices in the past?  Yes.  If not, there’s a good chance I’d be living now in the Scottish Highlands, given that several of my Jacobite ancestors wouldn’t have found it necessary to flee to the New World to keep the English from removing their heads.  Examples abound, but for some reason no one talks seriously about reparations for the Irish for all the years that the English literally treated them as second- or third-class citizens.

Let’s be honest:  California Democrats are, as politicians in general always do, pandering to a certain demographic (which one is left as an exercise to the reader) to implement one of the most transparent and egregious vote-buying schemes in modern history.  Rightly, it seems, California voters are seeing through the scam.

Whether this overstep will result in California voters spewing the Democrat Party out of their mouths is another issue; frankly I’m not too sanguine about that prospect.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale, Bacon Time, Flappr and The Daley Gator for the Rule Five links! As always, if I’ve missed your link, let me know in the comments and I’ll get you added to the rotation.

Now then: Reading the news and opinion pages can be distressing lately, but there are some bright spots.  One of them is my good friend and Townhall Media colleague Stephen Green (Vodkapundit)’s Florida Man Friday posts.  Here is last week’s edition.  A sample of the Florida Man shenanigans documented therein:

Florida Man had a dream. His dream was to construct a human-sized hamster wheel out of buoys and giant red balls and paddles and stuff and then run all the way from Florida to London.

I dunno, maybe he likes the food there.

Nothing would stop Florida Man’s pursuit of his dream. Not the 4,400-mile trip. Not the treacherous waters. Not being entirely sure where London is.

Florida Man claims to have been raising money for charity, but none of the stories I read made mention of any actual charities or donors. Anyhoo, the Coast Guard caught up with him about 70 miles offshore from Tybee Island, Ga. Apparently, there was some kind of issue with the “manifestly unsafe” watercraft he was paddling. There was also a problem with Florida Man’s paperwork for the vessel, in that he didn’t have any.

Florida Man has certainly become an internet meme, and not without some justification.  But Florida or elsewhere, the common thread is “crazy rednecks,” and this is a topic I know something about, having grown up amongst crazy rednecks.  I have, though, and will continue to maintain that you haven’t seen crazy rednecks until you’ve seen crazy Alaska rednecks.

Crazy rednecks and Darwin Awards, by the way, go together like biscuits and gravy.  That’s OK.  The gene pool needs to be cleaned every now and then.

Rule Five Postal Service Friday

Article 1, Section 8, clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution contains only these words:

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

This gives Congress (Article 1) the power to establish a postal service, one of the few actual enumerated powers of the Imperial government.  But the question is this:  Does this clause actually require that the government set up and run the postal service?  Or can that clause’s requirement be fulfilled by a third party?

I found this interesting; at American Thinker, David D. Schein (who clearly doesn’t think much of the postal service) thinks we can do away with the Imperial post offices altogether.  He makes some good points.

The USPS has been an ocean of red ink. A 2021 Forbes article headline pretty much sums up the status quo: “Why The U.S. Post Office Is In Trouble – 678,539 Employees And A $9.2 Billion Loss In 2020.”

There is a saying that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Maybe it is time for real changes at the good old post office. Because Americans are sending dramatically less first-class mail, the USPS is taking in less money. In the private sector, that means time to cut staff, cut services, or increase the cost of the services that make up the volume of services the public is requesting. Increasing the cost of a first-class stamp is sort of like the saying about “rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.”

Proof that the current USPS mess is still controlled by politics is the 2022 Postal Service Reform Act. This is a bipartisan bill that essentially doubled down on what the USPS is still doing wrong today.

For starters, it requires continuation of six-day delivery. Proponents cite appealing, but out-of-date phrases, like “serving rural communities.” But the Internet is available virtually everywhere in America. Given that most mail today is junk mail, regardless of location in America, it’s doubtful anyone is sitting waiting for their mail delivery these days.

Speaking as someone who lives in one of those rural communities, it’s true that we’re not as dependent on the postal service as we would have been in, say, 1775, when the first postal service was established.  While our local post office is something of a community center, as most folks hereabouts aren’t on a route and so have to go into the actual post office to get our mail, there are other outlets for posting bulletin boards, and while we often catch up on local gossip while waiting in line to pick up parcels, there are other outlets for that, too.

But here’s where Mr. Schein and I part ways:  On what needs done.  His plan (abridged for post length; please do go read all of it.)

  1. Bulk rate mail and packages must increase in cost to match the USPS overhead.
  2. Cut delivery to four days a week.
  3. Does the USPS really need to compete with FedEX and UPS? Many do not trust the USPS actually to deliver things overnight.
  4. Stop kowtowing to the postal unions.
  5. Privatizing the USPS is not a likely approach. However, the idea over 50 years ago was to get the politics out of the USPS operation. It’s time to really do that.

My thoughts, on each piece:

  1. This makes a certain amount of sense. There are now alternatives, after all, to the postal service for bulk mail and packages; let the market decide.
  2. Not too sure about this. FedEx and UPS provide six day a week service, and in some locations, seven; why can’t our post offices manage five and a half?
  3. Yes, they should absolutely compete with FedEx and UPS.  Furthermore, make that competition have some teeth; Congress can authorize FedEx and UPS to carry first-class mail, something they are not now allowed to do.
  4. All government unions, everywhere, should be proscribed by law. There is a deep and abiding conflict of interest here, where government unions negotiate their contracts with the very pols whose campaigns they help underwrite.
  5. This is not only a likely approach, but the most efficient one.

Honestly, the post office is a branch of government that, while it is actually described in the Constitution, has outlived its usefulness.  Authorize FedEx, UPS and other third-party companies to carry first-class mail, surround it with (minimal) requirements for said service, and Congress will have met its obligations under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7.  We will have more efficient delivery of mail and packages, and the Imperial government will be shed of an inefficient, bloated, money-losing leviathan.

Seems like a win-win to me.

Animal’s Daily Impeachment News

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – er, it’s beginning to look a lot like Speaker McCarthy is taking the idea of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden a little more seriously, which would be an early Christmas present for many Republicans.

The signals coming from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are that his Republican majority will soon launch a formal impeachment investigation. The final decision hasn’t been announced — and an investigation is still a far cry from a full House vote. But setting up an impeachment committee is an essential first step. Most of his caucus wants to take it.

Most, but not all. The reservations of some Republicans and the calculations behind them are why McCarthy has moved slowly. The speaker’s problem is more than rounding up votes. The other problem is the investigation carries real risks as well as benefits.

An investigation, of course, involves the use of some tools that the House GOP currently doesn’t have at their disposal:

The biggest benefit is a technical, legal one. It gives House investigators the power to compel testimony and documents from all Executive Branch agencies, even the most reluctant, as well as private parties. According to the Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice’s in-house legal advisor, “The House of Representatives must expressly authorize a committee to conduct an impeachment investigation and to use compulsory process in that investigation” in order to compel testimony and document production. With that committee, they can go to court directly to demand compliance. 

As somebody once said, this is a big fuckin’ deal.

Assuming that the investigation reveals what we all think it will, and assuming that the House does go ahead with impeachment proceedings and succeeds, the entire thing will come to a screeching halt once it reaches Chuck Schumer’s sweaty hands over in the Senate.  Unless the impeachment uncovers something horribly egregious (likely) and the Democrats find some last, shrinking vestiges of their integrity and call off one of their members to be Goldwater to Biden’s Nixon and implore him to resign (unlikely), nothing more will happen.

It’s not about propriety any more. It’s not about honesty.  It’s not even about not tolerating overt corruption.  It’s all about The Side, True Believers, and until we somehow deal with that mind-set, everything else matters not a jot.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Last Monday was, of course, Labor Day, and while I tend to shy away from too much serious discussion on holidays, I did come across a good piece on some disturbing trends.  I thought it was worth highlighting here.

Unfortunately, the evidence is clear that working-aged men are not doing well at all. Across the board, they are suffering a generational decline in quality jobs and falling out of the labor force in staggering numbers. These problems have grim consequences, not just for men, but for women, children and our nation as a whole. 

Read the whole thing.  Give it some thought.  Now then…

On To the Links!

What could possibly go wrong?

Biden Family Business Boomed After Joe Attended Key Dinners

Probably not.

Here’s the thing; I don’t think Joe Biden knows he’s lying. I don’t think he’s mentally competent enough to understand the difference.

Of course they are.

Radioactive boars.  Yes, really.  See the full write up at the RedState link below.

I Had a Helicopter Mom. I Found Pornhub Anyway.

Of course they don’t want to solve the problem. There’s too much money to be made perpetuating it.

Navajo Leaders Challenge Chaco Canyon Drilling Ban.

Mark my words: Nothing will come of this.

Likely, yes. Inevitable, no.

MSNBC’s War on Truth.  That’s something of an understatement.

No.  All civilizations are not equal.

The Weekend at Bernie’s Presidency continues.

That’s gonna be one hell of a struggle.

I Left Out the Full Truth To Get Published at Nature

My RedState Stuff:

Note:  Thanks to a really good suggestion that I should have thought of myself, I’ll now start noting here which of these are VIP (pay-walled) stories.

If Biden Backs out of the 2024 Race, Who Can Take His Place?

Nick Begich Announces Another Run for Alaska’s Sole House Seat

The Myth of Nonviolent Crime

Radioactive Boars Threaten Europe

Alaska Board of Education Votes to Exclude Biological Males From Girls’ Sports

Is America Under the Thumb of a Shadow President?

Making Super Potatoes More A-Peeling

Homeless Squatters Trash Closed Motel in Casper, Wyoming

GOP Senator JD Vance to Introduce Bill Banning Federal Mask Mandates

Eric Swalwell to Appear at Juneau Fundraiser for Mary Peltola

VIP Stories (Pay-Walled):

Firearms Researcher Dr. John Lott: FBI Is Deliberately Misleading Americans on Defensive Gun Use

Sunday Gun Day VI – Five Rifles You Should Shoot Before You Die

What Is Labor Day All About?

A 98-Year-Old Nazi, Captured: Who Shall Answer For Evil?

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Heather Parton (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNN’s Nicole Hemmer is an idiot.

The Nations’ John Nichols (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

CNBC’s Scott Cohn is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

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

The daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont (Repeat Offender Alert) is still an old fool, and an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Bob Dylan, America’s Songwriter, has crossed a lot of genres in his sixty-plus year career.  Folk, rock, gospel, even country (see his album Nashville Skyline) and more, the Maestro covers them all.

One of my favorite bits of his work almost takes the form of a hymnal, that being the 1967 song I Shall Be Released.  Here, then, is that tune; enjoy.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.