Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image We are celebrating an anniversary with Ammo Grrrll: THE COLUMN TURNS 3. She writes: On the previous two anniversaries of this column, I briefly reviewed how the column was born for readers who had joined us recently. I believe that the traditional gift for any first anniversary is paper, but for the third, it’s Special Iran Paper – large bills in a bale and the recipient pretends to promise not »

Civil War on the Left, Part 38: The Beclowning of Science

Featured imageWith the sensational success of the Wymyn’s march a few days after Trump’s inauguration on everyone’s mind (/sarc), the science community decided that it needs a march of its own, because as everyone knows Trump hates science, and as we also know there was no science at all before federal funding. The March for Science is scheduled for April 22, which is Earth Day (also Lenin’s birthday by “coincidence”). And »

Everyone behaving badly

Featured imageOne of my favorite law professors once said, after returning from a conference in Las Vegas, that the place made him wonder not just whether America will survive, but whether it should. America survived the Las Vegas of the early 1970s, and I believe we will survive the Washington of the mid 2010s. But I wonder. Consider the last weeks of the Obama administration. The New York Times has reported »

Trump demands Friday vote on Obamacare

Featured imageMy mantra on health care reform has been that it’s more important to do it right than to do it fast. President Trump disagrees. He insists that the House vote on Speaker Ryan’s (and his) flawed legislation tomorrow. After negotiations broke down today, Trump delivered an ultimatum: Pass the bill tomorrow or I’m moving on from Obamacare repeal. Congress can repeal and replace Obamacare even if the president moves on. »

Trump and Ryan still coming up short on AHCA [UPDATE — vote canceled]

Featured imageNormally, when a new president and a House Speaker engage in heavy-duty arm-twisting over a piece of legislation, and they have a big enough majority to withstand 21 or 22 defections, the legislation passes the House. That’s all the more true if the legislation pertains to a vital issue and the president and the Speaker reasonably perceive that its defeat will have major adverse political consequences for them and their »

Democrats to Filibuster Gorsuch [with comment by Paul]

Featured imageChuck Schumer announced this morning that Senate Democrats will filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This seems like an odd decision, as Senate Republicans will no doubt follow the lead of Harry Reid and Schumer himself, by ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Gorsuch will be confirmed, and the filibuster will have been abolished in a context that is good for Republicans–on behalf of a »

Five dumbest questions to Gorsuch

Featured imageReporter/commentator Brendan Kirby has watched enough of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to identify the “Five dumbest questions put to Gorsuch.” Kirby’s report is current as of 10:19 a.m. yesterday, so it may not be his last word on the subject. However, each of Kirby’s winners is deserving of recognition in its own right. Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar (with one) and Al Franken (with two) account for three of »

We may be the stupid party, but are we that stupid?

Featured imagePolitico reports that “a group of Senate Democrats is beginning to explore trying to extract concessions from Republicans in return for allowing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.” What concessions? The deal Democrats would be most likely to pursue. . .would be to allow confirmation of Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term. »

Breaking News From CNN: We Have No News

Featured imageDemocratic Party operatives are desperately trying to keep their Russia narrative alive. Thus, this CNN headline: “US Officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians.” Sounds like a blockbuster, right? Only the story contains no actual news. The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told »

Sheldon Whitehouse — “dark money” hypocrite

Featured imageSen. Sheldon Whitehouse devoted his first day of questions to Neil Gorsuch to the subject of “dark money.” He meant money that goes to politicians and political causes from contributors who aren’t identified. Whitehouse complained about a $10 million campaign in support of confirming Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. According to Whitehouse, “dark money” is being used to finance this campaign. Whitehouse did not claim that Judge Gorsuch is involved »

So, Were Trump’s Tweets Right After All?

Featured imageToday House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters that, as has long been rumored and reported, one or more intelligence agencies did collect communications of members of President Trump’s campaign during the Fall of 2016: Members of the intelligence community collected “incidental” communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon. House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., »

Among the Claremont crowd

Featured imageWe recently posted a link in our Picks to the article the Chronicle of Higher Education article by Jon Baskin on “The academic home of Trumpism,” but I would like to pause over it here. I take it that the “home” referred to in the headline refers to the Claremont Colleges. The article nevertheless focuses on the the place of our friends at the Claremont Institute and its flagship publication »

Leonard Leo: We’re not that stupid

Featured imageLeonard Leo is President Trump’s adviser for the Supreme Court (on leave from the Federalist Society). Leonard has forwarded a statement reacting to the report that Democrats are looking to cut a deal on filibustering judicial nominations: “Democrats must be delusional to think that Leader McConnell or any of his Republican colleagues would reward Democrats for their awful treatment of Neil Gorsuch by agreeing to a 60-vote threshold for future »

The Democrats Blink

Featured imageCooler heads among the Democrats know that they face disaster if they filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, and I’ve suspected from the beginning that Chuck Schumer is quietly rounding up eight votes from safe Democrats to vote for cloture to prevent the Republicans from getting rid of the filibuster. Politico reports that Democrats are trying to get a deal from enough Republicans—the Gang of 14 redux—to allow Gorsuch to go forward while »

Nunes’s Announcement: Another Take

Featured imageI wrote earlier today about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’s statement that one or more intelligence agencies “incidentally” collected communications of members of President Trump’s campaign during the Fall of 2016. A reader writes to offer another perspective: I think you need to be a bit more nuanced. I think Nunes is leaving the door open for something like this: The communications were intercepted in the normal course of »

“The most powerful person in Washington”

Featured imageThat’s what Eli Lake calls James Comey. Why? Because with the FBI’s investigation of alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Comey “will in a practical sense determine the legitimacy of our elected president.” When President Trump, just a few days after taking office, decided to retain Comey as FBI director, I questioned whether this was a good decision from Trump’s perspective: Comey, independent and stubborn as hell, has »

Why OPEC Is Finished—and Russia Too

Featured imageTracy Alloway (@TracyAlloway) of Bloomberg News points us to this chart from a recent Goldman Sachs presentation on oil production costs, which is being called the “OPEC’s Nightmare” chart, as it shows how the falling production costs of domestic shale oil production costs mean our oil industry is capable of plenty of short-cycle production that will blunt any attempt by the cartel to boost prices by playing with supply: Observations: »