Recently in Off Topic Category

Insomnia Is for Our Enemies

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This is off topic, but too good to pass up.

Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis let one journalist know how accurate his fearless reputation apparently is.

In a wide-ranging interview with CBS' John Dickerson, Mattis was asked, "What keeps you awake at night?"

Without a second to consider, Mattis responded: "Nothing. I keep other people awake at night."

I've been in Washington for over forty years, and that's the best answer I ever heard.

How To Find Out What's In Legislation

This is off topic but too good to pass up.

A few years ago, Nancy Pelosi notably told the country that the best way to find out what was in President Obama's health care bill was to pass it.  I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this remark became a world-wide joke.

A few days ago, with no known sense of irony, Ms. Pelosi insisted that the country must first know what's in the replacement for President Obama's health care bill in order to pass it.

See the third sentence in her letter to Speaker Ryan.
I prefer to read transcripts rather than watch video of events.  It saves a lot of time to skip over the parts I am not interested in and use word search to find the parts I do care about.  Unfortunately, there aren't enough transcripts on the Net.

The problem, though, is that the transcripts that are out there are generally produced by voice-recognition software, and anyone who has ever used voice recognition knows it can get things very wrong.  That is why we still have humans preparing trial transcripts.  The WaPo has this transcript of Donald Trump's press conference this morning, annotated by its not particularly even-handed staff.  The part about colleges costs has an example.

The Culture Hits a New Low

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This is off topic, except to the (considerable, in my view) extent that the basics of criminal law cannot survive swimming upstream in a culture of casual rot.

This is the news of the day in Washington, DC:  "Holocaust Museum to Visitors: Please Stop Catching Pokemon Here."

Anti-Suicide Pact

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Ted Cruz and John Kasich have entered an agreement to prevent the Republican Party from committing the mass suicide of nominating a candidate disliked by 2/3 of the American people.  James Taranto has this column at the WSJ.

Deflategate Ruling

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Off-topic, but for those who are interested the 2-1 decision of the Second Circuit reversing the District Court and reinstating the NFL ruling is here.  Jacob Gershman has this post at WSJ Law Blog.

Emancipation Day

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On April 16, 1862 (154 years ago tomorrow) President Abraham Lincoln signed a law that Congressman Abraham Lincoln had proposed 13 years earlier.


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Ryan Knutson has this article in the WSJ on the dangers of Texting While Intoxicated.  There's an app for that.

Simian Selfie Update

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For those who can't get enough of this off-topic topic ... 

Monkey See, Monkey Sue

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Eugene Volokh at VC quotes extensively from the motion to dismiss in the simian selfie copyright case.  See also prior posts here and here and here.

And Now, a Shaggy Dog Story

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Sometimes there's nothing to do but smile and shake your head.  The story is here.

Fatuousness Unbounded

CJLF is not a political organization.  The blog entries here support Republican policies more often than Democratic ones, but that is not uniformly the case.  CJLF (and I, as a guest contributor) support policies designed to suppress crime and create fewer crime victims.  If those policies originate with Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch (an opponent of pot legalization), so be it; in some ways, so much the better.

It is thus with no political bent that I report the unbounded stupidity of an idea floated by Republican Congressman Charlie Dent:  To elect the next House Speaker as a "bi-partisan compromise."

The Republican Party is having a war with itself.  (So are the Democrats, to a lesser extent, as the crony progressivism of Hillary Clinton battles it out with the acknowledged socialism of Bernie Sanders).  But, for either party, while the way to resolve internal differences might be elusive, the way not to resolve them is crystal clear: By handing power to the other party.

A little less than a year ago, voters gave the Republicans more House seats than they have had since the 1930's. They did this after a Republican campaign against the policies of President Obama.  The notion that what voters actually wanted was to re-empower the party they just rejected by an historic margin is way beyond Twilight Zone territory. Or, as one Congressman put it,  "When Republicans have the biggest majority in 90 years, they'e going to give more power to the Democrats?" asked Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) sarcastically. "That sounds like a great idea."

Simian Selfie Update

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Totally off-topic.

Thank God for Editing

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I often find the book reviews in the WSJ to be entertaining reading over Saturday breakfast, even when I have no intention of ever reading the books reviewed.

A Belated Royal Funeral

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Karla Adam has this story in the WaPo, giving us another segment of the story that won't die, though its subject did over five centuries ago.

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