Democrats v. Barr


Those of us who live in the DC area can listen to WCSP-FM, the radio station operated by C-SPAN. Yesterday, I had the Barr hearing playing in the background while I was working. It went pretty much as I expected with the Democrats on the committee grasping for straws that might be found in Mueller’s just-released letter complaining about the Attorney General’s initial summary of his report not having a desirable effect on press coverage.

Meh.

Of all the pixels spilled commenting on the Democrats’ behavior, David French’s piece over at NRO may have the best analysis of their real dilemma.

Opinions about Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. While there are significant events that might move the needle between now and the election — a recession, a bungled foreign crisis, irrefutable evidence of major crimes — public opinion is largely set, and each new incremental revelation of dishonesty, impulsiveness, or incompetence simply doesn’t move the needle. If Bill Barr had released Mueller’s summaries instead of his own memo, we’d be having exactly the same debates, impeachment would be just as implausible (and imprudent), and Trump’s approval rating would be unchanged. Trump’s public standing is one piece of stability in our otherwise unstable times.

And it’s driving the Democrats even more crazy.

Better, Faster, Cheaper—Choose Two


That phrase is a rule of thumb that encapsulates a Real Word limitation faced by engineers. When trying to optimize performance across multiple considerations, at least one of them will wind up having to be compromised in order to maximize the performance of the others. It’s clear that whoever wrote Democrat presidential candidate Robert O’Rourke’s climate change plan didn’t understand that Reality requires such trade offs.

Here are a couple of examples of his nonsense.

Strengthen the clean air and hazardous waste limits for power plants and fuel economy standards that save consumers money and improve public health, while setting a trajectory to rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles …

If the vehicles are going to be zero-emission (tail pipe only), then that’s theoretically possible by switch to electric motors, but such a change has the possibility of creating a terrific hazmat problem related to the recycling and/or disposal of the noxious materials in worn out batteries. If the the vehicles are going to be truly zero-emission, then all forms of combustion used to provide the energy in the mining and processing of raw materials and used to build the vehicles will have to be eliminated. Given that systems such as blast furnaces for steel making run 24/7/365, wind and solar power can’t carry that load. Does this mean more nuclear plants? Higher prices? What?

Set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation …

More trees is not a bad idea per se, but I wonder if whoever wrote that understands that the principal reason there are now more trees in the industrialized world than there were two centuries ago is that the economy switched from burning wood (a renewable resource) to coal and natural gas (fossil fuels).

Maybe someone who thinks carbon dioxide is a pollutant should stop wasting his breath.

The Flip Side


Last Friday, I posted about double standards. As I’ve read the comments, it seems that the tweet from The Babylon Bee that I referenced may not have been satire. The standard we hold our side to is sometimes not as strict the standard we require the other side to meet.

And that brings me to something else that has bothered me since I first started following politics—the lies that each side tells about the other. Since I’m on the Right, I’ll use my side’s misbehavior as an example. I’m sure that the Gentle Reader can think of plenty of examples on the Left.

IMHO, Barack Obama was the worst President of my lifetime. He’s certainly in the same league as Carter and Buchanan. There’s enough truthful stuff to be said in criticism of him and his presidency that there’s simply no reason to resort to telling lies about him. We stand on firm ground when we hold any politician to account for his own lies (“If you like your doctor, …”). We stand in quicksand when we slander a politician or anyone else with lies.

The Truth is out there. Which side are you on.

Kamala Harris’ Handgun


Kamala Harris owns a handgun, so Peter Funt has written an OpEd for USA Today declaring that ownership of that gun disqualifies her for the 2020 Democrat nomination. I agree with Funt that she should be disqualified, but for a different reason. It’s not that she owns a gun, but that she’s told conflicting stories about owning a gun. She’s claimed that it was bought for personal protection when she was a prosecutor dealing with violent criminals and that she disposed of it when she left that job. But while campaigning in Iowa she said that she’s a gun owner (present tense), and a campaign aide said that the gun was bough years ago and kept locked up.

OTOH, Funt gets one thing partially correct in his OpEd.

[S]he has given voters a real choice: Back candidates who care enough about gun control to not own handguns, or support the only major Democratic contender who has one and won’t throw it away.

She’s not the only gun owner among the major Democrat contenders. Biden, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg own guns. But she does offer Democrats the choice of a candidate who believes that she is so special that the rules she would inflict on us shouldn’t apply to her. Such a politician would have much less conflict with her colleagues than one who thinks that everyone should play by the same rules.