Fiscal Management

In Tuesday’s Progressive-Democratic Party primary debate, Joe Biden made the claim that he couldn’t afford child care in 1972 on his then-income of $42,000/year.

Jan Brewer, ex-governor of Arizona, had a thought on that via Twitter:

“Jan Brewer @GovBrewer · 12h
“Biden just said he couldn’t afford child care in 1972 when he was making $42,000/yr. Today, that’d be $256,000/yr.  Really Joe?  If you can’t run your own household efficiently, I don’t think you can run our country!

“Vote @realDonaldTrump!”

Empty Rhetoric

More of it, this time from European signatories of the failed-at-birth Iran nuclear weapons deal. Iran has announced that it’s going to disregard entirely the deal’s limits on Iran’s production of weapons grade uranium, and in response, Britain, France, and Germany have said they’re going to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism that’s written into the deal.  That mechanism, on a finding of serious violation, involves getting the UN Security Council to reimpose UN-originated sanctions on Iran.

Private Charity

Readers of this blog know that I’ve long championed private charity as better suited to working our social ills than Government welfare—better economically, better for individual liberty, better for personal responsibility/morality.

Karl Zinsmeister, Editor in Chief of Philanthropy Magazine, offered some ways in which this is shown empirically to be true in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, which was adapted from his piece in the magazine’s winter 2020 issue.  One statistic that jumped out at me is this one:

77 million citizens volunteer time and labor [annually]

Bar Them

It turns out the hacks into various cloud-based services and cloud providers by the People’s Republic of China was far more extensive in depth and breadth than heretofore reported.

They came in through cloud service providers, where companies thought their data was safely stored. Once they got in, they could freely and anonymously hop from client to client, and defied investigators’ attempts to kick them out for years.
Cybersecurity investigators first identified aspects of the hack, called Cloud Hopper by the security researchers who first uncovered it, in 2016….
A Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the attack was much bigger than previously known. It goes far beyond the 14 unnamed companies listed in the indictment, stretching across at least a dozen cloud providers, including CGI Group Inc, one of Canada’s largest cloud companies; Tieto Oyj, a major Finnish IT services company; and International Business Machines Corp.

Reduced NBA Viewership

The TV ratings of National Basketball Association games are down by 15% compared to last year.

Some folks ascribe this to fewer folks subscribing to television generally. Others blame it on geography:

Many of the league’s best teams are on the West Coast, meaning their games end after some viewers in the East have already gone to bed.

Yet others assign at least some of the blame to injuries, especially to marque players.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver blames in on a “broken” pay-TV system.

All of those would seem to be factors in the public’s decreasing interest in the doings of the NBA.

“Circle Games” and Losers

One last thought on this, and then I’ll depart from the foolishness.  Recall the cadets and midshipmen who made the OK sign as part of a so-called circle game and whose academy management teams then were cowed into investigating those cadets and midshipmen.

In the circle game, you try to trick someone into looking at your hand while you make an “OK” sign, usually below the waist. If the mark falls for it, you’re awarded a free punch.

Impeachment And Trial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) is continuing to refuse to deliver her caucus’ Article of Impeachment to the Senate for trial.  Leave aside the premises that by withholding her Articles, she is confessing that her caucus has no case to present for trial or that she is functionally absolving President Donald Trump of any impeachable wrong-doing.  As The Wall Street Journal noted, her move only trivializ[es] a serious constitutional power and process. As the WSJ further noted,

There’s nothing in the Constitution that says impeachment requires a formal transmittal of the articles to the Senate, whether by sedan chair or overnight FedEx, or that the House must appoint impeachment managers.

The FBI and Surveillance

DoJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has produced a report that’s pretty damning of the FBI and its surveillance practices.  This has raised concerns about how far the FBI goes, and whether it exceeds the spirit, even the letter, of our laws governing FBI surveillance.

Monday’s report…also faulted the bureau for its “failure to adhere to its own standards of accuracy and completeness when filing applications” to conduct electronic surveillance on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign staffer, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Privacy advocates said the report’s findings validated their belief that surveillance practices under the FISA law…lacked adequate oversight and transparency.

It Doesn’t Matter

Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t think it’s a done deal that the Progressive-Democrats have the votes in the House to impeach President Donald Trump.

He’s operating from a misunderstanding of the Progressive-Democrats’ purpose. Their move has nothing to do with impeachment—they know they have no case based on what they’ve leaked from their secret hearings and what’s been exposed in both their committees’ public hearings—and everything to do with smearing Trump and poisoning the upcoming election.

As Al Green (D, TX) has made clear.