Presty the DJ for Oct. 2

Today in 1953, Victor Borge’s “Comedy in Music” opened on Broadway, closing 849 performances later. (Pop.)

Today in 1960, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs released “Stay,” which would become the shortest number one single of all time:

The number one single today in 1965:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 2”


Today’s season

The Washington Post:

The Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers have opposite approaches to the question of how best to win with pitching. The Nationals will start ace Max Scherzer on Tuesday and hope he goes as deep into the National League wild-card game as he possibly can. The Brewers will start Brandon Woodruff, their ace on the mend, and probably lift him after around 40 pitches — at which point the bullpen will become a revolving door. The Brewers match up with relievers as much as any team in baseball.

“It’s basically like we’re starting in the sixth inning with their pitching staff,” Nationals right fielder Adam Eaton said. “There’s nothing we can do to prepare for that.”

The contrasting philosophies on display for the one-game playoff reflect the heart of these organizations. The Nationals, principally owned by the richest family in baseball, committed $525 million dollars to three starting pitchers — Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Scherzer — and rode them here. The small-market Brewers cobbled together one of the sport’s better bullpens on largely inexpensive deals and deployed it liberally to string together 18 wins in their last 23 games and eke into the postseason. The Brewers paid their entire pitching staff $39.2 million this season, according to Baseball Prospectus, which is only slightly more than Strasburg ($38.3 million) and Scherzer ($37.4 million) will earn this year alone.

The answer to which approach works best — quality or quantity — could play an outsize role in who advances to the National League Division Series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams expressed confidence in their way, but Brewers Manager Craig Counsell didn’t believe one was better.

“Playoff teams should be different; I think that’s cool,” he said. “Teams have to play to their strengths [and take advantage of their personnel]. . . . Our depth and our numbers are what makes our pitching good, and that’s how we’re going to treat games.”

If Counsell had the Nationals’ roster, he would manage accordingly. He called Scherzer a probable Hall of Famer and intimated that if Woodruff were further along in his return from injury he’d probably lean more heavily on him, too. The Brewers’ star right-hander tossed six stellar innings against the Nationals in May, but he missed two months with an oblique strain and has thrown fewer than 40 pitches in each of his two starts since. Counsell seemed pessimistic Gio Gonzalez, a former National, could be available for the game because he started Saturday.

Whether Scherzer can get into the sixth or seventh inning and deliver an ace-caliber start is unclear. He has been shaky since returning from injuries of his own — a balky back sidelined him for several weeks — though he has had seven straight starts since and feels 100 percent. Manager Dave Martinez will apparently afford him some leeway; he intimated Sunday that he wouldn’t lift his starter at the first sign of trouble.

But Scherzer could need relief early. If he does, Martinez must make hard decisions. He could go with regular relievers, who said they will be available from the first inning on, or Strasburg or Corbin. Even if this doesn’t happen, the Brewers said they would feel more confident the longer Scherzer stays in.

“If he’s throwing well, he’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the game,” Brewers infielder Travis Shaw said. “But if you can get multiple shots at a pitcher, it benefits the hitter.”

Nationals hitters stressed the key against the Brewers is to find a balance between aggressiveness and patience. Hitters often try to attack early against relievers because they know the pitcher has little margin for error and prioritizes efficiency to be available the next day. But when every pitcher functions as a reliever, they must weigh the usual approach against seeing more pitches and stressing top-shelf arms. Eaton sees his role in the lineup as a taxer, and he preached the need for balance. Early, hard-fought at-bats might force the Brewers to face difficult decisions.

“If you can get some of their really good arms out of the way, I think it’s only going to benefit us,” Eaton said. “Patience and grittiness will go a long way.”

Whenever the Nationals go to the bullpen, they forfeit any advantage Scherzer might have given them. The Brewers’ bullpen is a well-conditioned machine, refined by the fire of their playoff push. It features three versatile, dominant lefties in Josh Hader (one of baseball’s toughest matchups for years), Brent Suter (NL reliever of the month for September) and Drew Pomeranz (a once-struggling starter who went to the bullpen and became Hader-lite.). Their top high-leverage right-handers are Junior Guerra and Jay Jackson.

The Nationals’ bullpen is still undefined. Washington doesn’t have the left-handed specialist it acquired at the deadline (Roenis Elías, out with a hamstring injury), and its relievers aren’t locked into definite roles. Strasburg, seemingly the Nationals’ first option in relief, has never appeared out of the bullpen. Their second choice, Corbin, has but not regularly in three years.

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman said Strasburg could get the job done in the must-win game but cautioned against changing habits developed over a six-month-long season. He joked: “Oh, just go out and get three outs in the big leagues against one of the better teams in one of the biggest moments, and it’ll be exactly the same.”

“You have to be careful doing too much of that,” he added. “I think people get carried away with it and just assuming we’re not humans. If you’re used to doing something, it’s hard to do it in that situation.”

Closer Sean Doolittle proposed normalizing the situation for starters-turned-relievers as much as possible by only using them to start innings. If Scherzer, for example, departed with two on and one out, let a reliever familiar in those spots “clean that up.” Doolittle emphasized that he felt confident the team will have three pitchers who will receive Cy Young Award votes available but that it’s all about what button to push and when.

“These are the questions that you have to think about,” he said. “You want to use your strengths, but where is that line where you’re putting somebody too far outside their comfort zone?”

These are the questions with which the Nationals must grapple as their season hangs in the balance.

The Brewers could have played a one-game division playoff had they won, instead of lost, two extra-inning games this weekend. Their play this weekend suggested a team that, after having had to charge from behind because of mediocre play in the first five months of the season, has run out of gas. What will end the Brewers’ season — because they have to play a one-game playoff on the road followed by, in the less-than-likely event they win tonight, followed by a trip to 106-win Los Angeles — is a poor record against the National League West (15–19) and in interleague games (8–12), of all things.

The only way the Brewers can win this game is if Scherzer is not on and the Nationals have to go to their bad bullpen (as in the worst ERA of any playoff team by far) early.  Pitchers like Scherzer and their postseason experience is why you pay them the big bucks, unless, like the Brewers, you can’t develop long-lasting starting pitching and can’t afford to purchase starting pitching and instead must cobble together a pitching staff.

You probably can tell I’m not optimistic about tonight. Remember, I was right about last year.


How white liberals kill poor people

Ryan McMaken:

[Last] Monday, celebrity climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a speech to the UN Climate Action summit in New York. Thunberg demanded drastic cuts in carbon emissions of more than 50 percent over the next ten years.

It is unclear to whom exactly she was directing her comments, although she also filed a legal complaint with the UN on Monday, demanding five countries (namely Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey) more swiftly adopt larger cuts in carbon emissions. The complaint is legally based on a 1989 agreement, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, under which Thunberg claims the human rights of children are being violated by too-high carbon emissions in the named countries.

Thunberg seems unaware, however, that in poor and developing countries, carbon emissions are more a lifeline to children than they are a threat.

It’s one thing to criticize France and Germany for their carbon emissions. Those are relatively wealthy countries where few families are reduced to third-world-style grinding poverty when their governments make energy production — and thus most consumer goods and services — more expensive through carbon-reduction mandates and regulations. But even in the rich world, a drastic cut like that demanded by Thunberg would relegate many households now living on the margins to a life of greatly increased hardship.

That’s a price Thunberg is willing to have first-world poor people pay.

But her inclusion of countries like Brazil and Turkey on this list is bizarre and borders on the sadistic — assuming she actually knows about the situation in those places.

While some areas of Brazil and Turkey contain neighborhoods that approach first-world conditions, both countries are still characterized by large populations living in the sorts of poverty that European children could scarcely comprehend.

But thanks to industrialization and economic globalization —  countries can, and do, climb  out of poverty.

In recent decades, countries like Turkey, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, and Mexico — once poverty-stricken third-world countries — are now middle-income countries. Moreover, in these countries most of the population will in coming decades likely achieve what we considered to be first-world standards of living in the twentieth century.

At least, that’s what will happen if people with Thunberg’s position don’t get their way.

The challenge here arises from the fact that for a middle-income or poor country, cheap energy consumption — made possible overwhelmingly by fossil fuels — is often a proxy for economic growth.

After all, if a country wants to get richer, it has to create things of value. At the lower- and middle- income level, that usually means making things such as vehicles, computers, or other types of machinery. This has certainly been the case in Mexico, Malaysia, and Turkey.

But for countries like these, the only economical way to produce these things is by using fossil fuels.

Thus it is not a coincidence that carbon-emissions growth and economic growth track together. …

We no longer see this close a relationship between the two factors in wealthy countries. This is due to the fact many first-world (and post-Soviet) countries make broader use of nuclear power, and because high income countries have more heavily abandoned coal in favor of less-carbon intensive fuels like natural gas.2

It is thanks to this fossil-fuel powered industrialization over the past thirty years that extreme poverty and other symptoms of economic under-development have been so reduced.

For example, according to the World Bank, worldwide extreme poverty was reduced from 35 percent to 11 percent, from 1990 to 2013. We also find that access to clean water has increased, literacy has increased, and life expectancy has increased — especially in lower-income areas that have been most rapidly industrializing in recent decades. In spite of constant claims of impending doom, global health continues to improve.

Just as carbon emissions track with economic growth in middle income countries, child mortality tends to fall as carbon emissions increase. …

Industrialization isn’t the only factor behind reducing child mortality, of course. But it is certainly a major factor. Industrialization sustains modern health care amenities such as climate controlled hospitals, and it increases access to clean water and sanitation systems.

Thunberg, unfortunately, ignores all of this, mocking the idea of economic growth as a “fairytale.” But for people in the developing world, money and economic growth — two things Thunberg apparently` thinks are contemptible — translates into a longer and better life. In other words, economic development means happiness for regular people, since, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out, “Most mothers feel happier if their children survive, and most people feel happier without tuberculosis than with it.”

Thunberg’s blithe disregard for the benefits of economic growth is not uncommon for people from wealthy countries who are already living in an industrialized world built by the fossil fuels of yesteryear. For them, they associate additional economic growth with access to high fashion and luxury cars. But for the billions of human beings living outside these places, fossil-fuel-driven industrialization can be the difference between life and death.

And yet, Greta Thunberg has seen fit to attack countries like Brazil and Turkey for not more enthusiastically cutting off their primary means to quickly deliver a more sanitary, more well-fed, and less deadly way of life for ordinary people.

The Chinese know the benefits of economic growth especially well. A country that was literally starving to death during the 1970s, China rapidly industrialized after abandoning Mao’s communism for a system of limited and regulated market capitalism. But even this small market-based lifeline — sustained by fossil fuels — quickly and substantially pulled a billion people out of a tenuous existence previously threatened regularly by famine and economic deprivation.

Today, China is the world’s largest carbon emitter — by far — with total carbon emissions double that of the United States. And while the US and the EU have been cutting emissions, China won’t even pledge to cap its emissions any time before 2030. (And a pledge doesn’t mean it will actually happen.) India meanwhile, more than doubled its carbon emissions between 2000 and 2014, and its prime minister refuses to pledge to cut its coal-fired power generation.

And who can blame these countries? First-world school children may think it’s fine to lecture Chinese factory workers about the need to cut back their standard of living, but such comments are likely to fall on deaf ears if climate policy means destroying the so-called “fairytale” of economic growth.5

As one Chinese resident said in response to Thunberg on China’s social media platform Weibo: “If the economy doesn’t grow, what do us people living in developing countries eat?”

Advocates for drastic cuts in emissions might retort: “even if our policies do make people poorer, they’d be a lot worse off with global warming!”

Would they though?

At the UN, Thunberg thundered, “People are suffering. People are dying [because of climate change.]” But that isolated assertion doesn’t tell us what we need to know when it comes to climate-change policy.

The question that does matter is his: if the world implements drastic Thunbergian climate change policies will the policies themselves do more harm than good?

The answer may very well not be in the climate activists’ favor. After all, the costs of climate change must be measured compared to the costs of climate change policy. If economic growth is stifled by climate policy — and a hundred million people lose out on clean water and safe housing as a result — that’s a pretty big cost.

After all, the benefits of cheap energy — most of provided by fossil fuels — are already apparent. Life expectancy continues to go up — and is expected to keep making the biggest gains in the developing world. Child mortality continues to go down. For the first time in history, the average Chinese peasant isn’t forced to scratch out a subsistence-level existence on a rice paddy. Thanks to cheap electricity, women in middle income countries don’t have to spend their days cleaning clothes by hand without washing machines. Children don’t have to drink cholera-tainted water.

It’s easy to sit before a group of wealthy politicians and say “how dare you” for not implementing one’s desired climate policy. It might be slightly harder to tell a Bangladeshi tee-shirt factory worker that she’s had it too good, and we need to put the brakes on economic growth. For her own good, of course.

And this has been the problem with climate-change policy all along. Although the burden of proof is on them for wanting to coerce billions into their global economic-management scheme, the climate-change activists have never convincingly made the case that the downside of climate change is worse than the downside of crippling industrializing economies.

This is why the activists so commonly rely on over-the-top claims of total global destruction. One need not waste any time on weighing the options if the only choices presented are “do what we want” or “face total global extinction.”

But even climate change activists can’t agree the Armageddon approach is accurate.  Last year, for example, Scientific American published “Should We Chill Out About Global Warming?” by John Horgan which explores the idea “that continued progress in science and other realms will help us overcome environmental problems.”

Specifically, Horgan looks at two recent writers on the topic, Steven Pinker and Will Boisvert. Neither Pinker nor Boisvert could be said to have libertarian credentials, and neither take the position that there is no climate change. Both assume that climate change will lead to difficulties.

Both, however, also conclude that the challenges posed by climate change do not require the presence of a global climate dictatorship. Moreover, human societies are already motivated to do the sorts of things that will be essential in overcoming climate-change challenges that may arise.

That is, pursuing higher standards of living through technological innovation is the key to dealing with climate change.

But that innovation isn’t fostered by shaking a finger at Brazilian laborers and telling them to forget about a family car or household appliances or travel at vacation time.

That isn’t likely to be a winning strategy outside the world of self-hating first-world suburbanites. It appears many Indians and Brazilians and Chinese are willing to risk the global warming for a chance at experiencing even a small piece of what wealthy first-world climate activists have been enjoying all their lives.


When money talks

Thomas Franck:

Investors shouldn’t worry about what a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump could mean for his current term or even his reelection chances, Wall Street investment banks advised clients.

But what they really should be worried about, Washington policy analysts said, is what the impeachment inquiry means for a potential trade deal with China and an already agreed-upon deal with Canada and Mexico. Investors also can forget about any new legislation like a drug prescription policy, they said.

Several brokerages rushed to assure clients on Tuesday and Wednesday that while it’s unlikely the Republican Senate will ever convict the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to move forward with the impeachment inquiry could mire several of Trump’s key trade initiatives, including the passage of the USMCA and talks with Beijing.

Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday as a growing number of Democrats concerned over the president’s alleged abuses of power overwhelmed her initial reluctance. The most recent Democratic outcry comes amid accusations that the president tried to coerce Ukraine’s president to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump released on Wednesday notes of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and stocks showed little reaction.

The investigation endangers the ratification of the landmark United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the rehashed trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“Legislating is dead. As we previously said, impeachment will lead to Congress doing nothing except that which it must do by established deadlines (like funding the government),” wrote Raymond James policy analysts Ed Mills and Chris Meekins.

“The idea of bipartisan action on drug pricing, infrastructure, and potentially the passage of the USMCA (the new NAFTA) are dead until after the 2020 election,” Mills and Meekins continued.

The U.S. sent about $300 billion in goods to Canada last year, more than to any other country, and about $265 billion in products to Mexico, its second-largest market. But the impeachment inquiry, at the very least, complicates that timeline, according to Dan Clifton of Strategas Research Partners.

“In the short run, it means it’s unlikely that NAFTA’s going to get through,” Clifton said Wednesday on CNBC, referring to the USMCA. “If you remember last week, Nancy Pelosi went on Jim Cramer’s show, saying that she wanted to get the ‘yes’ on NAFTA. That’s probably going to move away.”

The legislation, shortened to USMCA and pitched as a replacement to NAFTA, is one of the administration’s major economic achievements. The accord makes changes to the trade relationships between the U.S. and its two largest trading partners, including stricter rules on the country of origin for auto parts and better enforcement of wage rules.

One of Trump’s top trade advisors, Peter Navarro, told CNBC earlier this month that the deal is so important that he was 100% sure Congress would ratify it this year. That seemed even more likely as recently as last week, when Pelosi told CNBC’s Cramer that Democrats “hope that we’re on a path to yes” on approving the USMCA.

Wall Street also turned its attention to the odds of a U.S.-China trade deal in light of the new impeachment debate.

The entrenched trade war between the Washington and Beijing remains one of the market’s major headwinds both due to the imposition of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods as well as the uncertainty felt by CEOs trying to protect supply chains and other infrastructure.

Despite persistent calls from Wall Street to settle for partial concessions, the White House has toed the line on demands for a comprehensive agreement, complete with remedies for alleged intellectual property theft.

“From a China trade perspective, the debate will be about a Trump pivot towards a win via a ‘mini deal’ or doubling down to cater to his base,” Raymond James’ Meekins and Mills wrote.

“Trump doubled down in his criticism of China in his speech before the UN … and did not sound like someone on the verge of a ‘mini deal,’” they added. “However, the path forward remains very uncertain. We have repeatedly seen President Trump turn towards positive developments in trade disputes at times of political and stock market uncertainty.”

Though the two nations appeared to be close to a deal in the spring, negotiations broke down after China reneged on certain promises, according to U.S. trade officials. As the dispute intensified, the U.S. placed Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on a blacklist that barred the company from purchasing parts from American suppliers.

Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. and Japan had reached a limited trade deal as they push for a broader agreement. The first stage of the deal will open markets up to $7 billion in U.S. products, the president said while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the U.N. in New York.

Retaliatory responses by China against U.S. farmers sent American soybean exports to China tumbling, with total shipments to the Asian economic giant expected to end this marketing year some two-thirds lower, according to industry experts.

“On the one hand, the inquiry could fortify President Trump’s trade stance as he tends to retrench and redirect when attacked. On the other hand, the inquiry could cause the president to look for victories beyond the water’s edge to bolster his case for reelection,” wrote Compass Point analyst Isaac Boltansky.

“We continue to believe that a de facto detente will materialize by the end of the year as we view the December tranche of tariffs on Chinese consumer goods as a motivator.”

But in terms of how the impeachment inquiry will affect Trump’s tenure in the White House, or even of reelection, remains a matter of debate.

Some, including Strategas’ Clifton and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Washington researcher Brian Gardner, argue that opening an impeachment query poses a significant risk not to Trump, but to Democrats up for election in 2020.

When “the Republicans chose to impeach Bill Clinton, they were headed for a 40-seat win in that midterm election and the Democrats ended up winning five seats,” Clifton recalled. “So impeachment actually hurt the Republicans 20 years ago and that’s the risk the Democrats are taking by entering this fight.”

Gardner noted Trump’s uncanny ability to leverage political drama and said the recent news likely hurts Biden’s odds of securing the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Mr. Trump has a unique ability to manipulate these kinds of situations to his advantage and if the House moves to impeach him we think it could backfire on Democrats and help Mr. Trump’s reelection prospects. Democrats could easily overplay their hand and create a backlash that will unite Republicans,” Gardner wrote.

What about 2020? Brian Schwartz:

Democratic donors on Wall Street and in big business are preparing to sit out the presidential campaign fundraising cycle — or even back President Donald Trump — if Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins the party’s nomination.

In recent weeks, CNBC spoke to several high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community and found that this opinion was becoming widely shared as Warren, an outspoken critic of big banks and corporations, gains momentum against Joe Biden in the 2020 race.

“You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump,’” said a senior private equity executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in fear of retribution by party leaders. The executive said this Wednesday, a day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.

During the campaign, Warren has put out multiple plans intended to curb the influence of Wall Street, including a wealth tax. In July, she released a proposal that would make private equity firms responsible for debts and pension obligations of companies they buy. Trump, meanwhile, has given wealthy business leaders a helping hand with a major corporate tax cut and by eliminating regulations.

Warren has sworn off taking part in big money fundraisers for the 2020 presidential primary. She has also promised to not take donations from special interest groups. She finished raising at least $19 million in the second quarter mainly through small-dollar donors. The third quarter ends Monday.

Trump, has been raising hundreds of millions of dollars, putting any eventual 2020 rival in a bind as about 20 Democrats vie for their party’s nomination.

Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have raised over $100 million in the second quarter. A large portion of that haul came from wealthy donors who gave to their joint fundraising committee, Trump Victory. In August, the RNC raised just over $23 million and has $53 million on hand.

The Democratic National Committee have struggled to keep up. The DNC finished August bringing in $7.9 million and has $7.2 million in debt.

Biden, who has courted and garnered the support of various wealthy donors, has started to lag in some polls. The latest Quinnipiac poll has Warren virtually tied with the former vice president. Biden was one of three contenders that saw an influx of contributions from those on Wall Street in the second quarter.

A spokeswoman for the senator from Massachusetts declined to comment.

The business community’s unease about Warren’s candidacy has surged in tandem with her campaign’s momentum. CNBC’s Jim Cramer said earlier this month that he’s heard from Wall Street executives that they believe Warren has “got to be stopped.” Warren later tweeted her response to Cramer’s report: “I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message.”

Some big bank executives and hedge fund managers have been stunned by Warren’s ascent, and they are primed to resist her.

“They will not support her. It would be like shutting down their industry,” an executive at one of the nation’s largest banks told CNBC, also speaking on condition of anonymity. This person said Warren’s policies could be worse for Wall Street than those of President Barack Obama, who signed the Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.

Yet before Obama was elected, his campaign took over $1 million from employees at Goldman Sachs, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

A hedge fund executive pointed to Trump’s tax cut as a reason why his colleagues would not contribute or vote for Warren if she wins the nomination.

“I think if she can show that the tax code of 2017 was basically nonsense and only helped corporations, Wall Street would not like the public thinking about that,” this executive said, also insisting on anonymity

Presty the DJ for Oct. 1

I present the number one single today in 1977 to demonstrate that popularity and quality are not always synonymous:

The number one single today in 1983:

Today in 2004, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne officially opened AC/DC Lane, named for the band, to the bagpipes from …

Birthdays begin with actor Richard Harris, who “sang” …

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Oct. 1”

Great moments in media management

John Gage:

The Des Moines Register fired a reporter who targeted a local hero for tweets from his teenage years, after the discovery of posts in which the reporter himself used the N-word.

“I want to be as transparent as possible about what we did and why, answer the questions you’ve raised and tell you what we’ve learned so far, and what we’ll try to do better,” Carol Hunter, the paper’s executive editor, said Thursday in a note to readers. “For one, we’re revising our policies and practices, including those that did not uncover our own reporter’s past inappropriate social media postings. That reporter is no longer with the Register.”

Aaron Calvin, the now-fired reporter, wrote a profile of local hero Carson King, who found overnight fame for a viral video in which he held a sign at a football game soliciting beer money. King, 24, decided to use his newfound fame to help donate over a million dollars to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The Des Moines Register decided to write a profile of King, but during the process found two tweets from King’s teenage years that the paper deemed offensive.

The paper approached King, forced him to apologize, and Anheuser-Busch then cut off a partnership with King that they had planned because of his charitable deed.

National reporters and activists sent thousands of angry messages directed at the Des Moines Register over their attack on King. Soon after, Twitter users found that Calvin had two tweets in which he used the N-word.

The Register responded and said they were investigating before eventually announcing they had fired Calvin.

That prompted Logan Dobson to post:

King became an online sensation over the weekend after holding up a sign on College Gameday‘s telecast in Ames, Iowa that asked for Venmo donations for his Busch Light supply. After receiving a flood of money on the mobile payment app, the 24-year-old decided to donate to the University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Hospital instead of buying more beer. Venmo and Anheuser-Busch joined in with the football fan’s cause by matching every donation he received for the impromptu charity campaign, which netted $1.12 million.

Despite the positive aspects of the story, Iowa’s largest newspaper opted to sift through King’s social media profiles — an action the Register described as “a routine background check” — and found racially offensive tweets King posted in 2012, when he was 16 years old. After being notified of the old posts, King profusely apologized, said the tweets made him feel “sick,” and took them down. But the Register went forward with publishing the tweets in their profile. King said the comments are “not something that I’m proud of at all” and explained that he is “embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old.”

But the damage was already done.

While Anheuser-Busch InBev honored their promise to match King’s charity donations, the beverage company cancelled their official partnership with him.

After the Register‘s report was widely condemned as a hit piece and critics described it as representing the worst of so-called “cancel culture,” the paper’s executive editor was compelled to release a statement defending the publication’s editorial decisions.

“Should that material be included in the profile at all? The jokes were highly inappropriate and were public posts,” wrote the Register‘s Carol Hunter. “Shouldn’t that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated money to King’s cause or were planning to do so?”

Hunter also noted that King came forward to apologize for the posts before the Register published their report; though, it appears that King only came forward in an attempt to get ahead of the story after the paper had already approached him for comment.

Ironically enough, Aaron Calvin, the Register reporter who found King’s tweets and reported them out, has his own history of old racist remarks on Twitter. In tweets from years ago that were deleted shortly after Twitter sleuths unearthed them, Calvin used the N-word numerous times and mocked gay marriage by joking that he’s “totally going to marry a horse” after the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges case. Calvin made his Twitter account private on Tuesday night and issued an apology: “Hey just wanted to say that I have deleted previous tweets that have been inappropriate or insensitive. I apologize for not holding myself to the same standards as the Register holds others.”

What, you may ask at this point, is cancel culture? The Western Free Press:

Cancel culture refers to digging up offensive statements a person has made years ago and trying to stifle such person’s career. Cancel culture is targeting a wide array of people, so long as they say anything the left does not like. An important example of this vile trend happened in late 2018 with comedian Kevin Hart, who rarely mentions politics. Hart was chosen to host the 91st Academy Awards, but the leftist mob went after him for alleged ‘homophobic’ remarks he made in 2010 and 2011. Hart apologized, but leftists claimed he was insincere. He backed out of the Awards due to this messy situation. …

We can see that despite all the good a person can do, the outrage mob will not tolerate one area of imperfection. However, there was a silver lining for King after this controversy. On Wednesday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring Saturday, September 28, 2019 as Carson King Day in Iowa. Instead of condemning King for offensive jokes in his past, the Governor recognized the good he was doing for society.

Within the far left’s ideology, there is no forgiveness. Even if someone apologizes, leftists will not welcome him or her back into polite society. Some conservatives used the left’s standard against it by digging up New York Times writers’ old posts. The left demonstrated its hypocrisy by saying how terrible this action was. Cancel culture is a terrible blight on our society. It is causing too much divisiveness, and can stifle peoples’ careers who are not even political. In reality, no human being is perfect. We have all said things we regret, or did not know were offensive at the time. Furthermore, the left keeps changing the standard for what is offensive, and could potentially ‘cancel’ anyone outside their small bubble.

A column appropriate for whatever happens

Nick Gillespie:

As the impeachment process gets underway—and grows more partisan and frenetic with every passing minute—it’s important to keep our eyes on the big picture that actually affects all Americans. For decades, the presidency has been getting more and more imperial, with Oval Office occupants openly flouting constraints on their exercise of power and Congress abdicating its role in doing anything other than spending more money and acting out of partisan interests. This process didn’t begin with President Donald Trump and it won’t end even if he is removed from office. From this libertarian’s perspective, impeachment is a distraction from the far more important—and daunting—problem of a government that costs more of our money and controls more of our lives with every passing year.

Does Trump deserve to get the hook? There’s no question that he has acted abrasively since taking office, always pushing the envelope of acceptable behavior, decorum, and policy, whether by issuing travel bans specifically (and illegally) targeting Muslims, staffing the White House with his manifestly unqualified children and their spouses, or redirecting money to build his idiotic fence against the phantom menace of Mexican hordes bum-rushing the southern border. Is any of that, or his actions regarding Ukraine, impeachable? As Gerald Ford said in 1970, an impeachable offense “is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” So we’ll be finding out soon enough.

But except for sheer coarseness and vulgarity, none of this is new or shocking. Barack Obama was mostly polite and more presentable to the public, but he similarly evinced nothing but contempt for restraints on his desired aims. His signature policy accomplishment, Obamacare, was built on the novel idea that the government couldn’t just regulate economic activity but could actually force individuals to buy something they didn’t want. Given such a break with tradition, it’s unsurprising that it was the only piece of major legislation in decades that was pushed through on the votes of a single party. Even then, it took the fecklessness and rewrite skills of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to make it constitutional. On other matters, Obama famously ruled with his “pen and phone,” issuing executive orders and actions to implement policies for which he couldn’t muster support from Congress. When it came to war and surveillance, he simply ignored constitutional limits on his whims or lied about his administration’s commitment to transparency even as he was spying on virtually all Americans.

It’s needless to say but always worth remembering that George W. Bush was not particularly different. Though Bush conjured bipartisan majorities for awful and budget-busting programs such as wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Medicare prescription drug plan, and No Child Left Behind, his administration also implemented secret torture programs overseas and mass surveillance programs domestically, all while being “pathological about secrecy,” even to the point of urging federal agencies to slow down or deny Freedom of Information Act requests.

To such executive branch flexes we must add the brute reality that Congress has been mostly AWOL for all of the 21st century, apart from taking nakedly partisan jabs at chief executives from the other party. Democrats mostly went along (at least at first) with George W. Bush’s big-ticket, disastrous foreign and domestic policy priorities. They only cared about limiting government when their guy wasn’t sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On the road to becoming the first female Speaker of the House after the 2006 elections, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised she would oversee federal budgets with “no new deficit spending,” a pledge that lasted until she actually became Speaker of the House and pushed a budget-busting farm bill.

Republicans spent like drunken sailors and regulated the hell out of the economy when they controlled the purse strings and got to pick winners and losers in the economy. They only talk about cutting spending and limiting government when a Democrat is in charge. Back when Obama was president, GOP representatives and senators were constantly going on and on about “Article I projects” and the desperate need to revitalize the separation of powers and tame the presidency. That all ended the minute it became clear that Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton.

This is the essential context for the impeachment of Donald Trump. The size, scope, and spending of the federal government won’t change regardless of his fate. Like his predecessors, he has arrogated more power to himself while also driving up deficits and diminishing trust and confidence in the ability of government to perform basic functions. All of the Democratic candidates for president have pledged to spend trillions of dollars on an ever-proliferating series of new programs such as Medicare for All, free college tuition, the Green New Deal, a universal basic income, and more.

All of that is why I’m less concerned with the fate of Donald Trump per se than I am about the persistence of an expansive federal government whose spending is suppressing growth and whose programs are typically inefficient at best and counterproductive at worst. Without addressing the bigger picture, the battle over Trump’s fate will be an exercise in futility, a partisan plot climax that will thrill one set of partisans for a while but give no relief or release to the plurality of Americans who identify as independents.

Presty the DJ for Sept. 29

The number eight song today in 1958, one week or almost a month after the end (depending on your definition) of summer:

Today in 1967, the Beatles mixed “I Am the Walrus,” which combined three songs John Lennon had been writing. The song includes the sounds of a radio going up and down the dial, ending at a BBC presentation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Lennon had read that a teacher at his primary school was having his students analyze Beatles lyrics, Lennon reportedly added one nonsensical verse, although arguably none of the verses make much sense:

The number 71 …

… number 51 …

… number 27 …

… number 20 …

… number eight …

… number six …

… number three …

… and number one singles today in 1973:

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