Thursday, January 29, 2015

Republicans Differ on Spending Priorities


For John, BLUFIt is time for thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Behind a pay wall The Wall Street Journal discusses "GOP Split Over Expected Obama Request for More Defense Outlays:  Party Is Forced to Prioritize Among Two Top Goals: Boosting National Security and Curbing Spending".
President Barack Obama will send Congress a fiscal year 2016 budget next week proposing both military and domestic spending at levels surpassing the limits lawmakers agreed to in a hard-fought 2011 deal.

After pledging to use their new congressional majority to rein in federal spending, many Republicans are likely to criticize Mr. Obama's plan to ignore the curbs known as the sequester on nondefense spending.  But on military spending, GOP lawmakers are divided over whether the Pentagon should absorb more cuts.

The debate forces Republicans to prioritize among two of the party's top goals: bolstering national security and curbing government spending.  And GOP lawmakers say minimizing either issue could pose long-term threats to the nation.

I expect Democrats in Congress will have similar differences, but perhaps being in the minority will cause them to band together.  Either way, it should be an interesting year in Congress.

Regards  —  Cliff

Destroying Western Culture, One College Class at a Time


For John, BLUFIs higher education about feeling good or is it about feeling challenged?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Professor Althouse, looking at an OpEd in The Daily Californian, headlined "Occupy the syllabus", focuses on the last question in the last paragraph:
So, if you have taken classes in the social sciences and humanities, we challenge you: Count the readings authored by white males and those authored by the majority of humanity.  Then ask yourself:  Are your identities and the identities of people you love reflected on these syllabi? Whose perspectives and life experiences are excluded?  Is it really worth it to accumulate debt for such an epistemically poor education?
I challenge the author, count the number of free and democratic cultures you can find and then ask yourself:  Are there good alternative writers to those on the syllabi who love and respect your cultural values?  Then ask yourself if your cultural values are compatible with the American Democracy, flawed as it may be?

What are they thinking, or aren't they thinking?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse, who give a hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where is Oil Going?


For John, BLUFFor the time being the price of oil favors the American consumer and the American Foreign Policy makers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Bloomberg News yesterday had an article, "Oil Falls to Lowest in Almost Six Years on Global Glut".  The article talks, on the one hand, about OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri talking about how low prices could drive out investors and then oil might rebound to $200 a barrel, up from the current price for West Texas Intermediate for March delivery of $45.15.

As an aside, our snow storm, Juno, was mentioned, "A blizzard that may dump 2 feet of snow from New York to Boston bolstered diesel, often traded as a proxy for heating oil."

A surprising thing is:

U.S. inventories climbed to the highest level for December since 1930, the American Petroleum Institute reported Jan. 23.  Supplies increased 7.4 percent from a year earlier to 383.5 million barrels in December, the Washington-based API said in a monthly report.  Production accelerated 16 percent to 9.12 million barrels a day, the highest level for any month since February 1986, according to the industry group.
1930.  December of 1930 would be The Great Depression, which kicked off with Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929) and was worldwide by 1930.

I am not saying this is a sign of the Apocalypse, but it is an indication that fracking has upset the world oil markets to some degree and changed power relationships across the globe.

Regards  —  Cliff

ISIL vs US


For John, BLUFApparently we can't get no respect.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is from two days ago, but it is interesting in its apparent disdain for America and our President. From Fox News we have "ISIS threatens Obama, Japanese and Jordanian hostages in new online messages".  This is from a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translation on Tuesday, based on an ISIL released video.
“Know, oh Obama that will reach America,” says one of the fighters, clad in black and wearing a balaclava, in a translation from Arabic provided by MEMRI.  “Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.”
OK!  The ISIL guys (and occasional gal) are talking big, talking trash.  But, it shows their orientation with regards to the US.  They are going to reclaim all the lost territories of former Muslim Empires nd the Americans, and Europeans, will be reduced to paying tribute or worse.

May be time to get serious about Dive Toss.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PC Is A Problem


For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



At New York Magazine is a look at Political Correctness run amok.  The title is Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say.  The sub-title is "How the language police are perverting liberalism."  the author is Mr Jonathan Chait.

The story starts out discussing Mr Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan (Mr Chait's alma mater), who was harassed over a column he wrote for a school newspaper.  No the protestors were not anti-minority or anti-Muslim.  They were the politically correct bien-pensant of the campus.

His column, published in the school’s conservative newspaper, had spoofed the culture of taking offense that pervades the campus. Mahmood satirically pretended to denounce “a white cis-gendered hetero upper-class man” who offered to help him up when he slipped, leading him to denounce “our barbaric attitude toward people of left-handydnyss.” The gentle tone of his mockery was closer to Charlie Brown than to Charlie Hebdo.
As a side note, The Michigan Daily, which employed Mr Mahmood, fired him for not writing a letter of apology to a fellow student staffer, who felt "threatened" by the column.

Mr Chait the goes on to talk about the pushing, in Academe, of "Trigger Warnings" as a way of helping The overly sensitive.

Trigger warnings aren’t much help in actually overcoming trauma — an analysis by the Institute of Medicine has found that the best approach is controlled exposure to it, and experts say avoidance can reinforce suffering. Indeed, one professor at a prestigious university told me that, just in the last few years, she has noticed a dramatic upsurge in her students’ sensitivity toward even the mildest social or ideological slights; she and her fellow faculty members are terrified of facing accusations of triggering trauma — or, more consequentially, violating her school’s new sexual-harassment policy — merely by carrying out the traditional academic work of intellectual exploration. “This is an environment of fear, believe it or not,” she told me by way of explaining her request for anonymity. It reminds her of the previous outbreak of political correctness — “Every other day I say to my friends, ‘How did we get back to 1991?’ ”
Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I wonder of the use of the term "run amok" would be non-PC, if the PC Police understood it?

"Mistake"


For John, BLUFA reason to be "conservative" in one's political choices.  "It seemed like a good idea at the time" can take a while to work out of the political system.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From the blog Neo-Neocon the Blog Mistress gives us Being Wrong. She talks about 9/11, the outbreak of WWI and the ascension of Hitler to Chancellor and an addendum on the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran.  she ends (before the addendum):
I have also known that feeling of “I was wrong about something extremely important.”  My political change was based on a realization that I’d been wrong.  More recently I’ve been wrong about what the American people will tolerate and accept in a president.

I wonder what else I’m wrong about.

A good question to ask.

Reminds me of that TV Advertisement.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Republicans Out and About


For John, BLUFI favor looking amongst the Governors for a candidate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Ms Amy Davidson, of The New Yorker, serves up some 2016 Presidential Politics with "The G.O.P. Bubble vs. Democratic Stagflation".  My late Mother would have been thrilled by the idea that political activity had come to Rancho Mirage.  Even if it was Republican activity, sponsored by the Koch Brothers, my Mother being a Democrat.

Besides giving us a look at a couple of Republican cotillions she also talked about the Democrats, but without the same level of detail and breadth of field.  On the other hand, I don't believe many Democrats think that the nomination could go to E Warren by the Convention.

Yes, I am still interested in Governor Scott Walker, Governor Bobby Jindal and, as my dark horse, Governor Nikki Haley.

I disfavor dynasties.  And,the Instapundit thinks that Governor Mitt Romney is thinking of a Senate run, in Utah.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Amy Davidson is a New Yorker staff writer.  She is a regular Comment contributor for the magazine and writes a Web column for The New Yorker, "in which she covers war, sports, and everything in between."  What do you think is in between?
  In a different forum I believe I said the Democrat Convention would be before the Republican, but it is a week after, on the 25th of July 2016, venue TBD.  The Republican convention, to be held in Cleveland (upper right corner, on Lake Eire, in Cuyahoga County) will be from 18 July through 21 July.  The informal rule, "since 1956 the incumbent party has held its convention second."  I should have remembered that.  Wikipedia did.