Now it’s Hilda

Last week we had Guillermo threatening us. This week it’s Hilda. At 5:00PM HST she was

  • 540 miles SE of Hilo
  • 595 miles ESE of Kailua-Kona
  • 555 miles ESE of South Point
  • 665 miles SE of Kahului
  • 715 miles SE of Kaunakakai
  • 685 miles SE of Lanai City
  • 760 miles SE of Honolulu
  • 855 miles SE of Lihue
  • 900 miles ESE of Niihau
  • 1415 miles E of Johnston Atoll
  • 2085 miles ESE of Midway


This is pretty rich

Erick Erickson, who is one of the leaders of the very conservative and influential Red State website, has disinvited Donald Trump from an upcoming gathering the website operators plan to host. Why?

His comment was inappropriate. It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong.

I have invited Megyn Kelly to attend in Donald Trump’s place tomorrow night.

Why do I say this is rich? Here’s Erickson, tweeting on the occasion of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States David Souter’s retirement announcement:

Erickson’s post said: “The nation loses the only goat —-ing child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.”

He followed up that comment with this one: “Lefties really get offended when you point out what David Souter does in his spare time with goats and kids.”

I don’t know what prompted Erickson to disinvite Trump. Despite his “chivalrous” claim about Megyn Kelly, he’s got no real sense of decency in him. I doubt that his constituency at Red was clamoring for Trump’s head either. Maybe he’ll write his memoirs someday and tell us the truth.

Guilt at the market

Oahu has recently joined the other counties in the state in instituting a plastic bag ban at retail stores (not at restaurants, which puzzles even some restaurateurs I’ve spoken with). Most big retail stores have printed up their own logoed takeaway bags which they sell to their customers.

I do most of my daily grocery shopping at Safeway, but I have bags from Foodland and Longs Drugs and from Buzz’s Steakhouse. I actually have a small twinge of guilt when I hand over my bag from one of those other places to a Safeway cashier.

Now that’s a First World problem!

Kansas TANF bank withdrawal limits rescinded

But not by politicians. Nope. The deed was done by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). It comes after

federal officials advised DCF that the withdrawal limit appeared to violate some tenets of the federal law that funds the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

This is something I wrote about here and here.

The latest injury is a law the Kansas legislature wrote and the Governor signed which limits the amount of money welfare recipients (who aren’t getting huge sums from the state anyway) can withdraw using their welfare debit card at an ATM to $25 a pop. This presents several problems for the poor recipient: first, the idiot legislators themselves seem never to have used ATMS, or they’d know the machines don’t distribute money except in $20 increments. No $5 bills are stocked. Second, each usage of the card in the machine generates a fee for the bank that owns it. The more cash is required (know anyone whose rent is $20? I didn’t think so), the more fees are generated, which means less money for the recipient to spend on food and shelter.

Yesterday, the secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the Feds objected to the limit, saying it limited recipients’ access to the cash assistance they’d been allotted.

Fortunately the Kansas legislature is not in session any longer this year so it can’t write any more stupid mean-spirited laws targeting the poorest members of their state.

Planned Parenthood avoids first bullet

The Dems blocked this attempt in the Senate, but more threats will follow.

This claim from the defunders struck me, though:

Republicans say community health centers and other providers will be able to accommodate the women served by Planned Parenthood’s roughly 700 affiliated clinics. Opponents of defunding say there is no way to smoothly accommodate the group’s 2.7 million annual clients in other settings.

Those community health centers would be the ones Republican budgets don’t fund at either the Federal or State level. One suspects some of the ones those people cite are in fact Medicaid-funded, so a whole lot of red-state citizens are denied access even to those since the Governors and legislators there refuse to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.

I wonder how many of them even believe the BS they spout.

An NYT reporter learns something

And she publishes a long long paper about it.

The reporter is Jackie Calmes, and the paper is entitled “They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing” with the subtitle “Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party.” It’s published by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center.

Vox’s David Roberts has read it and has some thoughts about her conclusions. (I’ve read about one-fifth of it so far. As I said, it’s long.)

For one thing, Roberts says, Calmes expresses her surprise at how voluminous the conservative media is. She obviously wasn’t reading the left blogosphere in the early 2000s, when one of its constant complaints was that the Mainstream Media continued to believe that the Republican party had lots of moderates who could pull the party back from the right and govern in a bipartisan fashion long after it was entirely clear that those people were no longer welcome in that party. There were thousands of blog posts written excoriating the New York Times, the Washington Post and the major networks for their inability to understand that.

Calmes quotes recently-retired Republican US House Representative Tom Latham (R-IA) talking about the conservative media and its consumers:

“They will not take 80 percent – it’s got to be 100 percent or you’re not pure,” Latham said. “They don’t give a damn about governing, or about anything than being pure themselves. And it’s causing more people to be concerned about primaries than ever before. I just don’t see – with continual pounding of the drums in the media and these outside groups – I don’t know how you function, I really don’t. I don’t know how you pass appropriation bills this year.”

One hopes some of Calmes’ colleagues read her paper and learn from it. They need to.