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What Part of ‘No’ Does HHS Not Get?

By 4.20.15

The Supreme Court has again thwarted the Obama administration’s illegal crusade to coerce employers into violating their religious convictions. Late last Wednesday, Associate Justice Samuel Alito stayed an order secured by the administration in a lower court that would have forced several Catholic organizations to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Despite a high-profile Supreme Court defeat last June in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, President Obama’s HHS bureaucrats and lawyers have continued their attempts to bully obviously exempt entities into obeying the mandate. Justice Alito’s action constitutes the fifth time SCOTUS has been compelled to rein the government in.

Car Guy

The End of AM/FM Radio?

By 4.20.15

A new car without a radio?

It sounds as unthinkable as a new car without floor mats or a heater. But there is a real danger that your next new car might come without an AM/FM receiver.

Or, might cost you extra.


As unthinkable as it sounds — and as undesirable as it would be (based on known consumer preferences; more on that in a minute) — there is chatter in Detroit that the car industry is giving thought to retiring the AM/FM receiver in favor of music piped into the car via subscription-based satellite radio, iPods, smartphones, and various mobile apps.

Rather than these technologies supplementing AM/FM radio — as they do right now — they would replace it.

Leaving you in the dark.

Well, in the quiet.

Unless you opened up your wallet and paid for the satellite radio hook-up.

Lifestyles Left and Right

Confit and Blood Sausage in the Hub of Social Justice

By 4.20.15

San Francisco is foodie heaven. If you want to eat out, you will never lack for options. That’s the plus side. On the downside, Ess Eff menus are getting so precious they take the fun out of eating.

You practically need a doctorate to read a menu in this town. I studied Latin and speak some Italian, and still I was stumped at the menu at a high-end Italian eatery. Friends had invited us to join them for dinner and had put down a $50 deposit for the reservation. I peeked online at the menu beforehand. Alas, the big foodie trend is to overcomplicate and over-describe meals. The first antipasto: “chicken liver mousse, spiced pear marmellata and balsamic gelatina.”

“Are there really people who want to eat liver with pear jam and vinegar Jell-O?” I asked my esteemed colleagues, who were trying to work. Comrade Caille Millner, who is far more sophisticated than I when it comes to matters of the palate, said she happily would eat the dish.

A Further Perspective

The Manufactured Drought

By 4.20.15

California is in the third or fourth year of a drought. It is not the first one. There was one in the early ’90s that lasted about the same length of time.

Restrictions were placed on watering lawns, washing cars and so forth, but that was before Climate Change had been invented, so people took it in stride and, in time, the rains came again.

This year’s drought drew national attention when governor Jerry Brown called for a 25 percent reduction statewide in water use. Alas, the drought is unevenly distributed. On the north coast, rainfall is close to normal and there is enough water stored not only for this year, but also for another year or two. Where there is not enough water storage—and it is aggravating the effects of the drought—is the state’s great Central Valley. 

There has not been a new reservoir built as part of the statewide system in 35 years, thanks to the organized opposition of environmental zealots who claim that dams prevent salmon and trout from spawning. That is a diversionary argument. No dams means a reduction in economic activity such as agriculture. This is a goal the environmental zealots pursue non-stop.

Among the Intellectualoids

Tugging Hillary to the Left

By 4.20.15

The “progressive” (or ultra-liberal) wing of the Democratic Party is trying to push Hillary further to the left. They do this in a number of ways: by urging Elizabeth Warren to get into the presidential race; by threatening to support Bernie Sanders if he runs for president as an independent; by telling Hillary that they will not be able to support her with their work, wealth, and wisdom until she demonstrates that she has a truly progressive agenda.

For instance, Bill de Blasio, the progressive mayor of New York, an old friend of hers who was her campaign manager when she ran successfully for the U.S. Senate in 2000, was on Meet the Press recently and said he would not be endorsing her until she laid out a progressive “vision.”

Amelia’s Kitchen

RECIPE: Rand Paul’s Kentucky Bourbon Chicken

By 4.17.15

Rand Paul has officially entered the ring, battling for the title of 2016 GOP Nominee. Can we see our Kentucky ophthalmologist taking the title? Is there blue grass in his future? A real run for the roses?

Or will he fade down the stretch, with only an old-fashioned to offer Southern comfort as he falls behind?

On that sobering note, I give you the latest installment of Amelia’s Kitchen: Rand Paul’s Kentucky Bourbon Chicken.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/3 cup of your favorite Kentucky bourbon.
1/3 cup of frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted.  
1/3 cup soy sauce.
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar.
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste.
1 teaspoon ginger.
Chicken breasts.


Here what you do:

Campaign Crawlers

Hillary’s Fatal Conceit

By 4.17.15

Even if you were naïve enough to believe that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was actually listening to anything through her mercifully brief “listening tour” to Iowa — during which she met with a handful of hand-selected and bused-in Democratic activists — the whole adventure demonstrates what Nobel prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek called “the Fatal Conceit.”

Special Report

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom of Night

By 4.17.15

A postman took a flight from Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., bypassing the obligatory digital-rape from the TSA. He eluded not only handsy feds and naked-body scanners but three imaginary barriers restricting flight in and around the capital. For such offenses, a lawmaker believes law enforcement should have summarily executed the perpetrator of the victimless crime midair.

How soon until the flight of a paper airplane over the gates of the White House elicits a z-pattern of machine gun fire?

“He should have been subject to being shot out of the sky,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told Hugh Hewitt on his radio program. The solon’s hindsight was not the foresight of his fellow federal employee. Professional letter carrier/amateur aviator Doug Hughes told the Tampa Tribune, “I don’t believe that the authorities are going to shoot down a 61-year-old mailman in a flying bicycle.”

The experience of 9/11 surely makes a shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach not terribly unreasonable. But as the gone-postal letter carrier notes, he commanded a flying bicycle and not a 747.

A Further Perspective

Solution to Atlanta Cheating Scandal Is Education Freedom Accounts

By 4.17.15

Public reaction to eight Atlanta educators being sentenced to jail time has generated a separate controversy over whether the sentences are fair or excessive. I believe we should focus attention not on these adults, but on the truly injured parties — the students. The Atlanta cheating scandal is but a small part of a much larger scandal, the $600 billion spent annually in the U.S. by the governmental monopoly known as traditional public schools, which effectively cheats millions of students, especially low-income minority students, of an equal opportunity to a quality education.

At Large

Nigeria’s Democracy Gets a Boost

By 4.17.15

It may be to Muhammadu Buhari’s advantage that his All Progressives Congress party did not take Rivers state in the gubernatorials that followed Nigeria’s presidential election last week.

Riding the general's coat-tails in his landslide victory last month, his party won a majority in the Senate and may come out even in the governorships of the nation's 36 states when the votes are all counted. State governments are powerful institutions in what is still a federal republic, with big bucks in their coffers. The Nigerian currency unit is the naira and it is broken down into kobos. A kobo is not worth much these days, nor is a naira, so it may be a good time to go short on it. The Nigerian economy’s bulls are a-snorting in the stables and it is likely a boom’s coming.


If the federal structure stays solid, basically. The key to Nigerian success at present is: federation and union, now and forever. If he were not such a hard-nose, the president-elect might be something of a Henry Clay, devoted to the national idea but respectful of regional differences requiring patience on all sides. That is why it is, arguably, better his party did not make it in Rivers.