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2018-05-25 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 134 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh boy did I get into it with a Libertarian (big "L") friend of mine the other night in the bar over the Twitter court ruling -- that Trump cannot block people on his Twitter feed.

Let's back this up a bit.  My friend's argument is that Twitter is a private company (publicly owned, but private) and thus can make whatever rules it wants.  Mine is simple: Twitter, like most so-called "social media", is a de-facto monopoly in at least some respects and when you become a public figure you give up the right to make policy pronouncements to only select people when said pronouncements impact all.

The court, in my view correctly, drew the bright line in the right place.  It found that the President can "mute" people but not block them.

There's an important distinction here.  If I "mute" someone I do not hear what they say, but they can still see what I say.  If I block someone then they cannot see what I say but I can still look at their words.

So what Twitter is now compelled to do is to prevent any public official from using "Block" -- but not "Mute."

In other words such a person cannot be compelled to listen to your speech but they cannot prevent you from hearing their public speech.

I see this as a correct decision; a public official, when speaking publicly, cannot prevent (for example) certain people from coming to hear his or her speech, cannot prevent a certain group of people from listening to a given radio station at a given time (which incidentally are also privately owned) and, in the world of today's media where audio streams can be and are delivered encrypted (such as with Sirius/XM) it would be entirely possible for such a public official and Sirius/XM (and terrestrial digital stations!) to create and enforce such a policy mechanism should they so choose.

As of now with regard to public officials that's illegal, and IMHO properly so.  A public official when speaking in public cannot control who hears his or her speech.  That's pretty-basic stuff from my point of view, especially considering that you can FOIA any of a public official's official acts in the general sense and any possible redaction reasons they might be able to avail themselves of disappear if said speech was publicly communicated at the time of the original act or at any future point previous to your request.

That I can evade such a "block" by setting up a second account on Twitter that never posts anything (which by the way is trivial) doesn't matter.  The central point remains -- public speech by a public official cannot be selectively banned from certain people hearing it at the mere whim of said public official.

The court reached the correct decision in this case.

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2018-05-19 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 149 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well, you had plenty of warning, and plenty of time to cut the crap -- and the carbs.

Now you're hosed.

Several insurers in Maryland and Virginia are seeking double-digit percentage increases in monthly costs for individual medical plans in 2019. The largest increases are being sought by CareFirst, which wants to nearly double the amount it charges on average for one coverage option in Maryland, and raise the cost of another in Virginia by 64 percent.

But next year you can drop coverage without being penalized.  Of course this only works if you're healthy.

If you're not, well, doing that is going to either bankrupt you or be suicidal.  Pick one.

All the "MAGA" screaming has done nothing to actually address cost, which is where the problem lies -- not in "insurance."  So as people either pay the penalty, suck off the government teat with subsidies or (now) walk off the risk pool gets worse and will continue to deteriorate.

Without putting a stop to the scams, which I remind you would drop the cost of care by 80% or more Trump has gone after the little things that have actually made the health care companies happy, because it will do little to reduce cost but will make sure more of it winds up in their pockets.  The stock prices of those firms is proof of this.

I remind you that under 15 USC Chapter 1 the Executive has plenty of power to put a stop to this crap without one single bit of action out of Congress.  Not that we should let Congress******us like this, but heh, I'm one vote.  You're a lot of votes, and y'all want to fight about gun control while your blood sugar is 350 and you can't feel your toes.

Have at it folks..... good luck.

Oh, the chainsaw is over in the corner if you need to use it to cut your foot off.  Cheaper than the hospital, and you've got a belt for a tourniquet until you sew up the jagged edges, right?  I'm sure you can find some black-market drugs to make the pain bearable.....

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2018-05-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 262 references
[Comments enabled]  

Here it comes.....

Connecticut is poised to commit its electoral votes to whichever U.S. presidential candidate wins the nation's popular vote — regardless of who wins the state.

By embracing the plan, Connecticut's General Assembly gave new momentum to a push to change the way Americans elect their president.

Ten states and the District of Columbia are already in a compact to pool their electoral votes and pledge them to the popular-vote winner. With Connecticut added, the compact's voting power would rise to 172 — fewer than 100 electoral votes away from the 270-vote majority that decides the presidential contest.

This is probably Constitutional, since there's no legal requirement that electors vote for whoever selected them wanted them to vote for.

Of course Congress could refuse to certify such an "en-banc" voting block.  Who knows how that would turn out.

But then there's a bigger problem -- the Electoral College was designed for the specific purpose of guaranteeing minority rights when it came to Presidential elections.  Be very careful what you wish for libtards, because those flyover parts of the nation produce things you need and can't get elsewhere.

Like food and oil, to name two.

What are you going to do if instead of screaming, waving fists and launching investigations those who you disenfranchise tell you to **** off and mean it?

Are you going to try and force someone to plant corn -- or sell it to you?  How about oil?

Gonna use all those guns, right?  Oh wait.... you don't think anyone should have any military-class weapons!  So guess who has them all -- those people in flyover country and no, they're not going to give them up either.

Well, ok, they might -- hot, dirty and empty.

Think long and hard before doing things like this folks.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should, and the lessons can come fast and hard if the people who you screw with have something you need and refuse to go along.

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2018-05-03 07:45 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 136 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is outrageous....

H-2B foreign workers in landscaping were offered nearly 7.5 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in forest and conservation jobs were offered nearly 24 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in housekeeping jobs were offered nearly 6 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in recreation jobs were offered nearly 14 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in meat and fish cutting jobs were offered nearly 19 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in construction were offered more than 20 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in counter attending jobs were offered more than 6 percent less pay
H-2B foreign workers in labor and moving jobs were offered nearly 4 percent less pay

So..... if this is fact pattern stop bull****ting us about these people doing jobs Americans won't do.

If that was true then every one of these categories would show people being paid more than Americans -- because the labor market is so tight that you can't fill the jobs without foreign workers.

Instead, it's exactly the opposite -- these programs are nothing more than a means to destroy American wages, depress the earnings of Americans and impoverish them.

Our Feral Government and everyone involved in this abuse deserve to stand trial and be food upon conviction for having done so and run the lie for decades that these programs are "necessary" because there are no Americans willing to do these jobs at any price.

There are plenty of Americans and the facts are clear -- this program, just like H1b Visas, are used to intentionally and willfully put Americans into poverty and destroy them financially for the benefit of the few at the top.

Wake up and start the political BBQ lest an actual BBQ be held when the Americans who are displaced run out of reasons to continue to take this sort of abuse.

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2018-04-28 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 622 references
[Comments enabled]  

A hundred years ago someone would have been immediately shot had irrefutable proof of this sort of political rigging come out.  Indeed, at least once in the not-so-distant past there was an actual open revolt over vote rigging.  That's why it was done behind closed doors, in a loud saloon somewhere or otherwise in a place where there was zero chance of other than the two people involved hearing it -- and there was no such thing as a recording phone either.

In a frank and wide-ranging conversation, Hoyer laid down the law for Tillemann. The decision, Tillemann was told, had been made long ago. It wasn’t personal, Hoyer insisted, and there was nothing uniquely unfair being done to Tillemann, he explained: This is how the party does it everywhere.

Read the whole article.

It's a rank admission by the Democratic party (oh by the way, the Republicans do it too!) that there is no such thing as an actual clean election in the primaries.  It's all a fraud; the party selects who they want to win and then makes sure they do, or at least does their level damndest best -- including swinging around millions or even billions of dollars from outside the district or state in question.

When I first moved to this area I had a short-lived bromance with the concept of running for US House.  It lasted through all of about 15 minutes of conversation with some of the local Republican party folks who made quite-clear that their view of such an endeavor was rather different than mine.

Mine was that if they wanted me they would basically draft me -- that is, the party would fund the race, I'd have their full support and marketing effort behind it, etc.  Their view was that I'd stick six figures or more of my own cash into the game up front and they'd decide at some point whether they "liked" me enough to come on board -- a decision that could go either way, they were under no obligation of any sort and in fact they might actively oppose me in the primaries, either openly or surreptitiously.  My middle finger went up -- fast -- and that was that.

I remind you that I pointed out back when Sanders was clothes-lined by the DNC in the 2016 election that there is nothing in the law that requires a political party to play fair.  What nobody in the press noted at the time (other than myself) is that the formal name for the Presidential Primaries are Presidential Preference contests.

Read that folks -- preference.

In other words, you prefer.  You don't elect.

The political parties are not required to play fair or be impartial vote-counters for the people in a given state or locale and in fact they never have been.

Exactly zero press attention has ever been focused on this.

Why would someone be a Democrat (or Republican) if their vote literally did not matter because the person(s) to be "selected" for the ballot in their particular jurisdiction was decided by a bunch of goons in a smoke-filled room?

Why would you give them money?

Why would you work on a campaign?

Why would you honor, respect and obey any sort of legislative act that said goons put in place after they rigged the election?

In short why would you consider such a "government" to have any legitimacy beyond that which it enforced at gunpoint?

You're worried about Russian interference?  How about rank political corruption right here undertaken by our own political party leadership?

Well, guess what -- that's what we have.

And former Speaker Pelosi, by the way, thinks that's just fine and endorses it -- in fact her complaint isn't that the party did it, but that someone had the temerity to record the threats.

You're still sitting down, swilling your beer?

That's what I thought.

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