The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 3): Dorian Johnson Speaks

This is a series of posts where I plan to go through all 4799 pages of transcripts and other materials before the Grand Jury in the Darren Wilson case, in order to figure out 1) should he have been indicted, and 2) is he guilty.  Some background.  This is the post introducing the series and giving you many images that have been released.  This earlier piece on Zimmerman also gives you a good primer on the law of self-defense in general, at least in Florida, while this piece discusses how Missouri law deals with self-defense and the unique right of a cop to use force to stop a fleeing suspect (in some cases), and this piece discusses (albeit briefly) the standard for indictment.  I am not going to explain these points of  law twice, so if you are confused, go back and read those.

This post will be updated to link to other posts in the series without notation that it has been changed.

In Part 1, we reviewed to opening remarks by the Prosecuting Attorney, Bob McColloch, and introducing the two attorneys who would be running the show for the most part from then on: Kathi Alizadeh and Shelia Whirley.  We reviewed two witnesses who gathered evidence for others, but didn’t actually analyze it.

In Part 2, we had another detective who merely gathered evidence for others...  at least as far as he testified that day.  That was interrupted by a medical examiner who testified about the autopsy.

Before I dive back into the transcript, I will share more documents I have found digging around on the internet, this time via the New York Times.  And while you can read them yourself via that page, I will embed them myself, here.  Here are the files:

The Ferguson Feel-Good Story of the Day

Seriously, if you are conservative like me, you are going to have a hard time not smiling over this.

So last Tuesday, Ferguson gas station owner Doug Merello was worried understandably that his store might be attacked by rioters or looters.  So did the National Guard come in to help?  Nope, the government didn’t help him.  So then a bunch of black people showed up with guns and...

…protected his store.  That’s right, a bunch of local residents of African American extraction decided to take up arms to protect a local business.

Oh, and did I mention Morello was white?  So we have racial harmony going here, we have regular citizens acting in the best tradition of the militiamen and women of the past, not depending on the government to save them, and certainly not letting the place get destroyed and asking the government to help them get back on their feet.

(That being said, I encourage private citizens to donate generously to help those whose stores were smashed.  I had a post on how you could help, here, and a new fundraiser for another victim of the riots can be found, here.  And I won’t begrudge any victims of the riots looking for government help, but why not make it unnecessary and lend a hand?)

But back to the story at hand, is there a way that this story could possibly make me happier?

Oh, right, the guns they used?  AR-15s, among other things.  You know that much maligned gun that the left thinks is only used by sociopaths.

This is your test...  if you are smiling, now, you are a conservative.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 2): Autopsy

This is a series of posts where I plan to go through all 4799 pages of transcripts before the Grand Jury in the Darren Wilson case, in order to figure out 1) should he have been indicted, and 2) is he guilty.  Some background.  This is the post introducing the series and giving you many images that have been released.  This earlier piece on Zimmerman also gives you a good primer on the law of self-defense in general, at least in Florida, while this piece discusses how Missouri law deals with self-defense and the unique right of a cop to use force to stop a fleeing suspect (in some cases), and this piece discusses (albeit briefly) the standard for indictment.  I am not going to explain these points of  law twice, so if you are confused, go back and read those.

This post will be updated to link to other posts in the series without notation that it has been changed.

In Part 1, we reviewed to opening statement by the Prosecuting Attorney, Bob McColloch, and introducing the two attorneys who would be running the show for the most part from then on: Kathi Alizadeh and Shelia Whirley.

Now before I begin, let me link you to a new piece of information.  I normally embed video, but ABC news has a very bad habit of making videos auto-start, which is just annoying.  But George Stephanopoulos gave what I considered to be a pretty good interview of Darren Wilson which includes an account of his version of events and if you go here you can watch it.  Now, as you know I am trying to figure out the answer to two questions: 1) did Wilson deserve to be indicted and 2) did he commit the crime?  Obviously, this is information that arose after the decision not to indict came down, so it won’t help us with the first question, but it might illuminate the second.  That being said, while he comes off as a pretty credible guy I am not going to put primary credit on his statements.  I am more interested in what the forensics and third party witnesses say, than what he said.  Still, I think he really helped himself with that interview.

The First Star Wars Trailer

Admittedly not much to it, but for what it is worth, you can watch it, here.  I suggest you watch it soon.  I worry that it isn’t supposed to be on the net, and it might get taken down.

Update: here's an embedded version, below the fold:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks, Give Back on this Day

Allergic to Bull is going to be a politics-free zone today, if that can be at all helped.

But as we gather around with family and share our blessings—and yes, even with the difficulties I am facing, I feel blessed, with the help of friends (and occasionally pro-bono attorneys)—and it is appropriate that if you have a couple extra bucks, to suggest you give to a good cause.  Specifically this:

Embedded image permalink

That is the owner of Ferguson Market and Liquor, in that store, surveying the damage on Tuesday morning, after the riots of Monday night.  This store, in a way, is “ground zero” of the entire Michael Brown controversy.  It started there, when Brown stole cigars from this store and pushed one of its employees aside.  And as you can see, it was trashed in the riots.  Whatever you think of the shooting of Brown, this family that owned this business didn’t deserve this.

And now is your chance to do your share to make things right.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to help them out and you can participate, here.

This isn’t the first fundraiser for a store harmed in the riots.  Natalie’s Cakes and More has a GoFundMe page, here, as well.  But at last writing, the first one got like $150 in donations, and the second got over $200,000, so obviously one needs the help more than the other.

If you find out of any similar fundraisers for anyone else harmed in all of this, let me know and there’s good chance I will link to it, similarly.

But of course any discussion of GoFundMe would not be complete without discussing another worthy cause: helping my friend Mandy Nagy out.  As regular readers know, she was afflicted with a stroke in early September.  You can follow the most updated post in blogging history on her progress, here.  Unlike the store owners, I don’t think she has insurance, so her need might be much more acute.  I am not honestly sure, because, well, how much do you know about your friends’ finances?  But please keep her in our thoughts and prayers this day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 1): Setting the Stage

This is a series of posts where I plan to go through all 4799 pages of transcripts before the Grand Jury in the Darren Wilson case, in order to figure out 1) should he have been indicted, and 2) is he guilty.  Some background.  This is the post introducing the series and giving you many images that have been released.  This earlier piece on Zimmerman also gives you a good primer on the law of self-defense in general, at least in Florida, while this piece discusses how Missouri law deals with self-defense and the unique right of a cop to use force to stop a fleeing suspect (in some cases), and this piece discusses (albeit briefly) the standard for indictment.  I am not going to explain these points of  law twice, so if you are confused, go back and read those.

This post will be updated to link to other posts in the series without notation that it has been changed.

So we are starting at the beginning.  Since I am working off the version of the transcript I created, I might as well embed it for you in this post, below the fold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Remembering Brandenburg v. Ohio in Ferguson: Actual and Near-Incitement as a City Burns

Let us start with the actual incitement.  Via The Blaze we have the reaction of Mike Browns’ parents, including his step father, Louis Head, shouting “burn this b-tch down!”  Which we all know is what they proceeded to do.

Watch for yourself, below the fold:

A New Series of Posts: Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Intro)

Here at Allergic to Bull, I don’t typically chase around breaking news.  I don’t try to give you a digest of all the day’s news.  There are many other blogs that do that.  What I try to do is give you an in-depth perspective on whatever randomly interests me, often including something related to current events.  I try to bring a fresh perspective and I try to dig in deep.  A friend, Becca Lower, complained that she didn’t have time to read my material at work and that is sort of the idea.  This is a site you “pick up” when you want to chew on something larger, maybe over a meal, or just before bed.  Maybe you want to read one interesting piece over lunch and so you go to my site.  Stuff like that.

Anyway, last night we learned that a Grand Jury is not going to indict Darren Wilson, which I live-blogged, here.  Riots sprung up immediately afterward, with sad predictability.  And Wilson still faces potential legal challenges.  The Feds are still looking into Civil Rights charges, although that possibility seems remote.  And of course Wilson can be sued for it, too, but I am not sure that will happen.  Judging by what I have seen about the Browns, I doubt that they can afford a long lawsuit—really, bluntly, most people can’t.  Given the failure to even indict, few lawyers looking at this purely from the standpoint of the odds of victory would be likely to operate on a contingency fee.  I could see it being either pro-bono, or “semi-pro-bono” with the possibility of being paid from contingency fees, if a lawyer sees it as a way to become more prominent.  But that seems like the only likely way to see a suit filed, and even then, the fact Wilson won before the Grand Jury suggests he would win before a civil jury, too.

Oh, and here is one other thought.  I wonder if Wilson is thinking of defamation suits against any of the people who made false statements about him?  There is unlikely to be a civil cause of action for perjury in Missouri, but false statements outside of court that harm a person’s reputation is typically handled as defamation.  So if someone said publicly that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in the back as he lay on the ground, and it turns out that wasn’t true, Wilson might have a cause of action against that person—although there is still the difficulty of proving that damage was caused by it.

But, missing from all of that analysis is the vital question: was the Grand Jury correct?  Up until now I have ducked the question of Wilson’s guilt or innocence because I haven’t seen the evidence.  I mean that is elementary—don’t judge until you see the evidence (although I tend to trust juries and I presume they usually get it right).  But now we have the evidence.  All of it has been released.  The transcript of the Grand Jury proceedings alone is 4799 pages.  And there are photos, etc.  So I will be reading through that monstrous thing with an eye toward figuring out: is Wilson guilty of any crime, and should he have been indicted?

Monday, November 24, 2014



In his statement prosecutor McCulloch stressed how much witnesses were caught contradicting prior statements--or the physical evidence.  I.e., lying.

McCulloch notes that there was no question Wilson shot Brown, but the issue was whether it was lawful self-defense.  No mention of right to shoot to apprehend, which is something I mentioned in a previous post.  (Please note that I will be updating parts of this live without making a separate notation.  Basically I am live-blogging this.  Live with it.)

Particularly striking is McCulloch mentioning that several witnesses claimed that Wilson shot Brown in the back, on the ground, which was utterly disproven by forensic evidence.

It is interesting that they don't seem to discuss the right of a cop to shoot to apprehend.  And McColloch reasonably relies significantly on physical evidence because, well... it doesn't lie.  And it sounds like a lot of people were lying to them.  Terrible, if true.

McColloch promises to release some of the evidence later.  He speaks extensively about finding blood in the car, suggesting that there was a struggle in car.  Wound previously reported on Brown's thumb verified.  Wilson also had some swelling on face.  Claim that his eye socket was broken not verified.

McColloch has basically verified every single rumor heard about the autopsy I have heard.  It sounds like Brown was charging Wilson when the final shooting.  And he mentions the video chat that captured all of it.  Says that the evidence and the testimony will be released after this decision.

McColloch can't tell us what the vote break down was by statute.  And they asked if they might go after them for perjury--rules it out.

McColloch, in response to reporter notes that most of the testimony he referred to specifically was from black witnesses.  It used to be a law in many Southern States that a black person cannot testify without a white person testifying first that this person can be trusted.  In this case the rule seems to be reversed: Wilson is not innocent unless a black person can vouch for him.  We are not yet at the point of colorblind justice, unfortunately.

Statement from the Brown family, according to a reasonably reliable source:

Idiot reporter claims that the law does not value the lives of kids like Michael Brown.  The law only ceased to value his life, to the extent it did, when he apparently attacked a cop.

McColloch says the federal investigation is ongoing.  But I told you already that they don't seem likely according to rumors and this outcome suggests it is unlikely.

And the conference is over.  So the live blogging will shut down for now.  Actually no, I am still frequently updating.

(Title change, original title placed after updates, all after the break)

Update (IX): Via Mediaite, we get significant anger from the media from what I saw as a pretty mild description of the realities of a high-profile case.

You can also see video from the announcement at the Mediaite link.

Also statement from the Wilson camp:

Some reports of possible shots fired.  One store window broken with a trash can, other chaos.  Not sure you call it a riot, yet, but it is close.

Obama just finished making a statement that didn't really have much to report on, there.  It is interesting that he blamed the media, too.

Also, this:

Seriously.  Also this:

And this, too:

As I told her, a civil suit seems like a losing proposition, now.  As I have said before, the standard of proof to indict is very low.  If you can't get that, you probably can't win a civil suit, although collateral estoppel will not apply.  Of course the question is, who eats the legal fees?  I suspect that no lawyer will offer a contingency fee.  And I am not sure Brown's family can afford a suit.  So unless it is taken on pro-bono, I don't think it is financially viable.  One reader brought up 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, which deals with civil rights violations.  They can get past a motion to dismiss on that if the complaint is competently written, but the winner get back attorneys' fees, which means if they lose, the Brown family might end up owing Wilson money.

I will add that it looks like it is officially a riot.  Sigh.  I hate being right, sometimes.

Finally, I am trying to track down the actual evidence released tonight.  The prosecutor's site is down (hacking? high demand?).  If you find it, tweet or email me asap.

Update (X): Found a transcript.  Haven't looked at it, but it is embedded below the fold. If you find more, tell me.  Update: It is too large to post to scribd.  Sorry, if you came here for that.  You can read it on the NYT website, here.  And now, this site is uploading fully searchable versions.  I will have my own version to look through, and if I find it interesting enough, I might write a post or twenty on it.

I might attempt to split it up and embed it.

The Elephant in the Room in the Cosby Rape Accusations: There is One Issue in the Story No One Seems to Address

Let me start off by confessing my biases.  I fully admit I don’t want the Bill Cosby rape story to be true.  As I said on Twitter, I feel exactly the same way I would if I heard the accusation leveled against a beloved grandfather.

I will add that one of the problems with this story is that it doesn’t really fit into what we know about Cosby, or into questions hanging out there.  Let me give you a practical example of what I mean by that.  Take the allegations of pedophilia against Michael Jackson.  I don’t know about you, but when I first heard of them, my response wasn’t “this doesn’t make sense!”  It was to realize how much of Jackson’s odd behavior suddenly did make sense when you hypothesized that he was a pedophile, especially just about everything about Neverland Valley Ranch.  I still am not sure if he was a pedophile, but it’s not very hard for me to believe that about him.

By comparison, there is little that this Cosby story would fit into, so...  there is that problem.

But as much as I didn’t want to believe, I figured I was obligated to really look at it and, honestly, right now I don’t know what to think.  Particularly this morning I sat down and took the time to read this excellent piece in the Washington Post on the subject.  It is well researched and correctly leaves it to the reader to decide.

But here’s my major problem with it.  It is not talking about the elephant in the room: the touchy history of black men and white women.  Consider this your “trigger warning” if you are the type who needs that sort of thing.  If you don’t like discussions about some of the really screwed up problems with racism, put this piece down now.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grubergate Proves that Citizens United Was Correctly Decided

So in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech in Citizens United v. FEC.  You can read that decision, here, and my early blog post praising the decision is here.  That old post really has stood the test of time.

One of the arguments made by the dissent went as follows: sure, some corporations had free speech rights: the news corporations!  But, according to the dissent no one else had this right.  They based it on an interpretation of the free press clause where, to them, in that sentence “press” referred to “the institutional press.”

As I pointed out at the time, that was a ridiculously constrained reading of that clause.  Freedom of the press was freedom of expression in the written word.  That’s all.  It protected the New York Times, but it also protected the crank pamphleteer on the street corner.  Any other reading would have the court declare that Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was not protected expression, an outcome the founders obviously never intended.

I would add that such a ruling would also allow the government to regulate many other forms of corporate speech.  Is the Daily Show considered part of the institutional press?  If you were John Stewart, would you want to take the gamble that the courts would say it was?  And certainly there are other comedians besides Stewart who 1) engage in corporate speech, and 2) talk about politics, without seeming to count as the “institutional press.”  One obvious example is Dennis Miller, who recently made a comedy special called “Dennis Miller: America 180.”  I watched it, and basically it was Dennis doing pretty much what you expect from him, standard stand up material mixed with jokes about the news, the only difference being how conservative he had become compared to past years.  Would this be considered protected speech if only the institutional press is protected by the free press clause.  Could a corporation, in this case Epix, be allowed to pay him to engage in that speech if the dissenters won in Citizens United?  If the only corporations that can express themselves freely are the institutional press, and only the institutional press, it is hard to see how Mr. Miller’s speech would be protected, in such a regime.  Or Bill Maher’s HBO show.  Or the ladies on The View...  You get the idea.

The Tea Leaves Seem to Say Darren Wilson Won’t Be Indicted

Now let me start by saying that the merits of the Darren Wilson/Mike Brown case will not be discussed.  I already discussed the applicable law, here, and the evidence is pretty much all over the place.  The only thing to add is that the legal standard is probable cause.  Black’s Law Dictionary (6th Edition, if you are playing along at home) defines that as:

Reasonable cause; having more evidence for than against. A reasonable ground for belief in certain alleged facts.  A set of probabilities grounded in the factual and practical considerations which govern the decisions of reasonable and prudent persons and more than a mere suspicion but less than the quantum of evidence required for conviction.

It is a low standard, especially given that the accused has no right to defend himself—although bluntly, if I was on a Grand Jury, I would at least want to hear the accused side of the story.  There are some who think that the Grand Jury can’t call its own witnesses—that they can only hear what the prosecutor puts in front of him, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.  Still, it is often said that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich.

Anyway, besides rumors to the effect that there won’t be an indictment (here and here) we are seeing other indicia that an indictment won’t occur.  First, you have this little tidbit:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard Monday afternoon ahead of a grand jury decision on whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Obama Grubers Illegal Immigrants

Funny fact.  On Wednesday afternoon, Becca Lower called me and told me that Obama was going to make a speech on immigration and, hint, hint, Aaron you should write a post on his plan.  I confessed to her at that time why I hadn’t: I didn’t feel confident I knew what the plan was, yet.

Well, now we more or less do.  Here is his speech, last night:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Letter to Baltimore School of Law

This will be an email to officials at Baltimore Law School I will send after enough time for the peanut gallery to point out any mistakes.

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Aaron Walker.  I am an attorney and a graduate of Yale Law School.  I say this not to brag but to make you understand that I am not simply a crank.  I know of which I speak.

Recently one of your professors, Garrett Epps wrote a piece in the Atlantic entitled “Imperfect Union: The Constitution Didn't Foresee Divided Government” that argued, remarkably, when discussing the likely confrontations between the President and the newly-Republican Congress:

What’s coming will be painful, frustrating, and dangerous—and it will illustrate a constitutional malfunction unforeseen in 1787. The country will survive, and it’s possible it can even make progress—but at tremendous cost in polarization and missed opportunity. The country is like a car driving with the handbrake on: Any movement forward will be accompanied by smoke and internal damage.

So we might profitably put a six-month moratorium on paeans to the wisdom of the Framers. The problem of divided government is a bug, not a feature, and the Constitution itself provides no guidance on how to work around it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Obama Says He Stole Liberally From Gruber

This is admittedly not quite as damning as the video I put in the update to this post, but it’s one more drip-drip-drip of evidence that this many openly contemptuous of the American people was one of the key architects of Obamacare.  And while from a legal standpoint his comments are irrelevant to the King case coming up, it is increasingly becoming a political problem for the Democrats and this is only the latest example:

Congressional Democrats: Accommodations Only Have to be Provided By the Little People

I have said for some time there is an undercurrent of hostility toward the disabled in the Democratic party.  For instance, when Wendy Davis ran an ad last month featuring an empty wheelchair...

BREAKING: Newly-Discovered Video of Obamacare’s Architect Looking Down on Average Voters (Update: Another Video)

Update: Jump to the end for a new video linking Obama to Gruber’s deceptions.

Another day, another Gruber video drops where he demonstrates what a complete snot he is.  As I said previously on #Grubergate, the man has a fundamental distaste for Democracy, and the #Grubergate chorus has gotten loud enough to force Obama to talk about it.  Via Hot Air:

When asked directly if he or his administration had, as Gruber insisted, intentionally misled the public and oversight organizations like the Congressional Budget Office when they crafted the Accordable Care Act, Obama’s reply was terse and direct. “No,” he said. “I did not.”

Obama was joined on Sunday by Health and Human Services Sec. Sylvia Burwell who appeared on Meet the Press to distance herself and the administration from Gruber.

“I have to start with how fundamentally I disagree with his comments about the bill and about the American people,” she began emphatically.

Do read the whole thing, but, dear reader, you are looking at the website of a Google ninja.  Just as the now-famous Rich Weinstein, a.k.a. @phillyrich1 went through publicly available videos and found the video that kicked off Grubergate, I have found another video previously available that also proves just how much the architect of Obamacare looks down on ordinary Americans, which I will share with you after the break.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Hypothesis on the Story of Exodus

Strap yourself in, because this is going to be a long one.

I don’t speak directly about my faith too often.  For me, faith is like the air I breathe or the sun in the sky.  It is just there, a constant presence, exerting an influence in more ways than I could count or quantify.  It doesn’t need to be talked about, it is just there.

This week I have finally gotten around to watching The Bible on Netflix.  This is the History Channel miniseries dramatizing the Christian Bible.  It is pretty good even if at times it shows its budget.  Also it keeps making me want to play Mass Effect (a joke only gamers will fully get).

But it made me think of a hypothesis I have about the story of Exodus and I thought I would share it with you.

I call it a hypothesis because one should always be careful attempting to know guess any part of God’s plan.  By definition God is omniscient and omnipotent and so we are a bit like cave men trying to understand nuclear physics when it comes to these things.  “Hypothesis,” therefore, is a precisely chosen term: it is an educated guess, and not even raised to the level of theory.  But I think it is a good one.  Maybe.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Time Apologizes For Allowing “Feminist” to Lead Its Dumb Poll

So Time every year engages in a stunning piece of bad journalism by running a poll for what words ought to be “banned.”  The piece is terrible journalism all around.  First, the winner doesn’t get banned because we have a First Amendment, duh.  Indeed, past winners like OMG, YOLO and Twerk didn’t seem to disappear.  At best, it reflects what words its respondents are sick and tired of.

And then there is the fact that the poll is utterly unscientific given that it is one of those “internet polls.”  So it is a survey of those who decide to take the time to answer these polls, which often induces people to try to game the outcome.  Of course it works fine for Time’s advertisers because it means more clicks, but it is simply terrible journalism.

(And don’t get me started on the fact that some of the “words” they are proposing to ban are actually “phrases.”)

And despite all efforts, they managed to make it worse.  This year, they decided to include the word “feminist” on the list of nominees and then, to the anger of many radical feminists, it was far and away the winner.  At last reporting it go 51% of the votes, with the next highest vote-getter receiving 12%.  Which in turn caused radical feminists to freak out, which in turn made Twitchy laugh.  Which in turn led to this bootlicking editor’s note on the poll itself:

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Danger of Shirtgate (to Conservative Pundits)

Let’s start by saying something basic.  “Shirtgate,” as it is being called, is kind of dumb overall.  It is not worth writing about in and of itself, but it is worth talking about for what it says, overall, about social attitudes and similar issues.

It started with the landing of a probe on a comet.  It was supposed to be a “one small step for a man” moment, and it was, but some radical feminists spotted something they really didn’t like: this shirt.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rush Limbaugh’s Legal Threat to the DCCC

So the other day the news broke that Rush Limbaugh was threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee otherwise known as the DCCC.  I remember reading about it at Instapundit and Mr. Reynolds saying “it sends a valuable signal.”  Well, respectfully, I think he is wrong.

But first, you should probably see that letter, below the fold:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On Veteran’s Day, Jesse Ventura Undermines His Own Victory Over Chris Kyle’s Widow

So via Twitchy we learn that Jesse Ventura has proven himself to be a real grade-A schmuck, again.  My language would be stronger, but I avoid cursing on this blog.  But here is what he said:

This is apparently in response to a Salon piece that has stirred up some controversy.  But I want to keep the focus on what Ventura said.

The Definition of Chutzpah

Or perhaps the alternate headline should borrow from John Hoge and say, “I’m not making this up, you know.”

A solar power company gets a $1.6 billion loan from the Federal Government.  Because the Feds suck at picking winners and losers they are having trouble paying it because they suck as a company.  So what do they do?

They ask for a $539 million grant from the Federal Government.  Yes, really:

A renewable energy company touted publicly by President Barack Obama which lists Google as an investor is requesting a $539 million federal grant to help pay off part of a $1.6 billion federal loan it received to build a solar plant in the Mojave desert.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is owned by Google, NRG Energy and BrightSource Energy, uses nearly 175,000 mirrors, called heliostats, and sprawls 3,500 acres in California.


But since going operational in February, Ivanpah has failed to meet its own expectations, generating only 254,000 megawatt-hours of power, about one-fourth of what it predicted, Fox News reported this weekend.

NRG Energy said fewer sunny days than predicted are responsible for the deficit.

To help keep the project afloat, NRG Energy, which holds the largest stake in Ivanpah, has applied for federal grants through the Treasury Department.

In unrelated news, the national debt is about to reach $18,000,000,000,000 or $18 trillion as of this writing.  I just wanted to write out all those zeros to make an impression.

Closing thought: which is more unnerving?  The thought that they would ask a federal grant to pay off a federal loan they probably, on balance, shouldn’t have gotten in the first place?  Or the thought that they asked because they believed they stood a reasonable chance of getting it?  Or the thought that their belief they would get such a grant is well-founded?

Jonathan Gruber’s Contempt for Democracy

So one name that has become familiar in the Obamacare debates is Professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT.  He was, as Reason succinctly puts it:

by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, according to The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill "to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation." He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.

This leads a lot of people to focus on his words during discussions of the intent behind Obamacare, especially in dealing with the issues raised by my previous post of whether the tax credits are supposed to be available if the state fails to create an exchange.  For instance, via Twitchy we get this video comparing his statements about exchanges created by a state, here:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mother Jones Race Baits While Ignoring the Facts

So let’s imagine two different scenarios:

Scenario 1: A SWAT team decided to do a raid on John Smith’s house because they believe he has drugs.  In the early hours, they break down his door, they do not announce they are cops and Smith ends up shooting one of them.  The case is sent to the grand jury on possible murder charges, but they refuse to return an indictment.

Scenario 2: A SWAT team decided to do a raid on Mike Roe’s house because they believe he has drugs.  In the early hours, they break down his door, they announce they are cops and Roe ends up shooting one of them.  The case is sent to the grand jury on possible murder charges, and they indict him, and a trial is pending.

So why do you think we had this different outcomes?  Similar case, but one doesn’t even get an indictment, and the other does?  Why do you think that is?

If you said it obviously because of racism, you are Shane Bauer of Mother Jones:

King v. Burwell is as Test of the Supreme Court, Not Obamacare

So King v. Burwell is going to the Supreme Court.  The news came out Friday, but I figured I would discuss it today.

I haven’t talked very much about the King and Halbig cases, partially because they came down at a time when I was too busy and partially because the correct outcome in both cases was idiotically obvious.  Hey, dear reader, when you see the word “state” in a federal law, what do you think that means?  Well, the average layperson’s guess is pretty much what the law says: the states.  You know, like Virginia, Maine, California, Alaska.  Those things represented by stars on the flag.  The only difference between what a layperson would guess, and what the law typically says, is that often the law defines the District of Columbia as a “state,” and that is the case here.  But here’s what it never means in Federal law: the Federal government.

So it is blindingly obvious that where Obamacare says that an exchange “established by the State,” it is not referring to one set up by the Federal Government.  I try to give fair weight to the merits of the other side’s arguments.  There is none.  Likewise, I tried to come up with a way the other side could honestly believe that their side is right, but the argument is so lacking in merit I cannot believe they all have 1) good information and 2) having good information honestly believe what they are saying.  This is evidenced by the prevalence of people claiming that this was a “typo.”  As a dyslexic man, I am an expert in typos and this wasn’t one of them.