Afternoon Art Break

“In The Rain”
Franz Marc (1912)


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Afternoon Links

Supercut of Planned Parenthood defenders admitting they haven’t watched the videos. CNN’s Chris Cuomo put his ignorance on full display for all to see a couple days ago.


Disgusting. Every agency under this President is thoroughly corrupted and politicized, top to bottom.

Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee. The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, John Roth. “It doesn’t take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here — by dozens of agents in every part of the agency — was wrong,” the report said.

Employees accessed Chaffetz’s 2003 application for a Secret Service job starting 18 minutes after the start of a congressional hearing in March about the latest scandal involving drunken behavior by senior agents. Some forwarded the information to others. At least 45 employees viewed the file…One week later, Assistant Director Ed Lowery suggested leaking embarrassing information about Chaffetz in retaliation for aggressive investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into a series of agency missteps and scandals, the report said. Days later, on April 2, the information about Chaffetz unsuccessfully applying for a job at the Secret Service was published by The Daily Beast, an Internet publication. “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair,” Lowery wrote March 31 in an email to fellow Assistant Director Faron Paramore.

No. No. No. No. No.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will announce next week that it has commissioned translations of all 39 of the Bard’s plays into modern English, with the idea of having them ready to perform in three years. Yes, translations—because Shakespeare’s English is so far removed from the English of 2015 that it often interferes with our own comprehension.

Reading Shakespeare is not that hard to understand if you put in just a tiny bit of effort. He’s especially not that hard to understand when the plays are being performed. But we live in an age in which everything must be dumbed down. God forbid we demand people rise up to the level.

As in the case of Alger Hiss (and I would add, Oswald) the American liberal intellectual class simply cannot bring itself to believe that the villain of any story is one of their own.

Yep. Congressional hearings are pointless because Congressmen just give little speeches/throw little tantrums, rather than ask actual questions. Do better or don’t bother.

Please tell me this is a parody. Oh, who am I kidding, of course it’s not.

You have got to be kidding me with this.

Here’s an obscure sub-genre I’ll have to get into. At one point, I wanted to someday write a book about Marlowe. I’ve always found him fascinating.

Sucks when the government owns your stuff, doesn’t it?

How about you go fuck yourself instead? How about that?

Federal police officer caught having sex on duty gets promoted, then blows up government building while making meth.

All good commies eventually purge the intellectuals.

The Worst Generation

A day late and a quarter million lives short, honey. That ship has sailed…unless you want war with Russia.

Say goodbye to more Illinois businesses. Moving time!

This is glorious. Cooke pushes the “do something!” crowd on what they would actually do to stop these shootings and they can’t come up with a single thing.

These women don’t want to be objectified as women, so they dress up as cats.


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Music Monday

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Afternoon Art Break

“The fading day”
Nicholas Roerich (1902)


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Artwork of the Week

John Everett Millais (1870)


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Afternoon Links

So cool: 100-year-old footage of famous artists.

Obama’s diplomatic fairyland

You’ll never believe it but Trump’s tax plan is – wait for it – idiotic. If we’re going to have an income tax (and we shouldn’t) everyone with an income should have to pay it. Especially the people who keep voting for a welfare state. You want a welfare state? You fucking pay for it. I couldn’t agree more with this Ace post. Here’s an excerpt but go read the whole thing:

I believe it was after Reagan that Republican theorists began justifying his model of tax-cuts-now-spending-cuts-later as the “starve the beast” theory of limiting government — if we cut taxes, therefore cutting government’s resources, we should, logically, force the government to adapt itself to living with fewer taxpayer dollars. Ergo, spending should be forced down by the practicalities of the situation — either you start cutting spending, or else you start running up dangerous, Greece-level of debts. The problem is that this country has always elected the “or else” part of this syllogism: We are racking up dangerous, Greece-levels of debts, and we’re barely even talking about that any longer.

So I no longer believe in the “starve the beast” theory, because the “starve the beast” theory relies upon Americans understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, which they plainly do not. Since Americans are not capable of understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, it seems to me the only way to impose budget discipline and spending rollback is to offer Americans an immediate, as opposed to future, confrontation with reality: that is, if Americans wish to have so much government, they should be forced to pay for the level of government they are choosing, and not defer that payment (as they apparently will choose, every single time) into the future, to be imposed upon their children.

But, instead, they must be forced to reckon with the level of government they are choosing now by paying the full freight and cost of that government now. That is to say: I believe that rolling back spending is only possible when Americans are made to feel the costs of the government they’re choosing, and that will only happen when they’re forced to actually pay for it. If Americans want 21% of GDP to be wasted on government, then we should make them pay 21% of their GDP to pay for this clumsy, murderous goliath. And when they grow tired of paying 21% of GDP for this level of gold-plated, clay-footed government, perhaps they will see the sweet reason of reducing government expenditures down to, say, 19% of GDP, or, dare we dream, 18%.

I don’t see any other way, frankly. And removing ever-more people from the tax rolls altogether — making lower income people not even pay a small amount of tax — accelerates the growth of government, as we create a larger and larger class for whom Big Government has tangible inducements and no visible drawbacks.

Here’s a good Kevin Williamson piece along similar lines. I’ll excerpt a little bit but go read the whole thing, especially for the hedge fund explanation, which most people don’t get.

If you’ve ever met anybody who believes that we can balance the budget by cutting foreign aid, that the Social Security “trust fund” is a real thing rather than a figure of speech, or who is a Trump enthusiast, you know that certain Americans are not about to let their minds be troubled by facts. But here are the facts: One, Americans earning $100,000 or more pay basically all of the federal income taxes, about 80 percent. That is far in excess of their portion of national income (“national income” being another thing that does not exist but which we are obliged to talk about), and they are only about 15 percent of all taxpayers. Households earning $250,000 or more, a tiny group (2.4 percent of taxpayers) pay about half of all federal income taxes, which is, again, disproportionate to their income relative to the rest of the population.

You do have to stop pretending that you can give the American middle class a big income-tax cut when it hardly pays any income taxes, and stop pretending that you can get spending under control without touching the tiny handful of popular programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national security) that constitute the vast majority of federal spending. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just have to cut federal spending from 21.4 percent of GDP to 19.1 percent a couple of years from now, and maybe reform the tax code with an eye toward making revenue meet spending halfway. That isn’t going to make everybody happy, but it isn’t landing on Omaha Beach, either…Voters sometimes look around and wonder, “Who is going to be the adult in the room?” Fact is, it had better be you, citizen.

POTUS should probably invite this girl to the White House. Especially since she was doing an actual science experiment, not just taking the cover off a Radio Shack clock and putting it in a briefcase.

You have got to be kidding me with this.

That is the heart of a case now before a federal court in New York, in a class action lawsuit brought by parents who say that they bought Welch’s Fruit Snacks because they thought it was a healthy option based on the company’s fruit- and nutrition-filled messaging both on the box and elsewhere.

Are you retarded?

“You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco.”

A former spook on Hillary’s payroll was the top intel consultant for CBS News during its coverage of Benghazi. He’s dead now, so there’s a lot we’ll never know.

Victim culture and the death of American manhood.

The 50 CENTCOM whistleblowers are just the tip of the iceberg for this administration.

Oh my god, there are no words. How disgraceful. New York City Council honors Soviet spy who gave Stalin the atom bomb.

Idiot Germans finally come to their senses now that it’s too late.

Farkas joins the long list of competent people who finally had enough of not being listened to and said “fuck this incompetent administration, I’m out.”

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Afternoon Art Break

“The Yerres, Rain”
Gustave Caillebotte (1875)


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