Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Some Cool Helicopter Photos

"Wingman," which won the US Army Aviation Photo Of The Year award. 

With the approach of the MCAS Beaufort Air Show, that the whole family will be going to, I thought I'd share some aviation-related links in the days leading up to the show. First, we'll start with helicopters.

First: The picture above is a photo of some recently retired OH-58D Kiowa Warriors out in Hawaii. I'm not sure it's totally fair to have Hawaii in your pictures of military aircraft, since Hawaii is so much more scenic, than say...Pensacola.

Second: You've all seen the iconic photos of Marine One, the Presidential helicopter, landing on the lawn of the White House. They typically look like this. However, this is the coolest photo I've seen because it's from Marine One.

Coming in for a landing at the White House

More photos of the inside of Marine One are here.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Thomas Jefferson's 1785 Letter on Differences Between Northerners and Southerners


JEFFERSON ON THE QUALITIES OF NORTHERNERS AND SOUTHERNERS
In the North they are
In the South they are
coolfiery
sobervoluptuary
laboriousindolent
perseveringunsteady
independant [sic]independant [sic]
jealous of their own liberties, and just to those of otherszealous for their own liberties, but trampling on those of others.
interestedgenerous
chicaningcandid
superstitious and hypocritical in their religionwithout attachment or pretensions to any religion but that of the heart.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sorry for the absence, the doctor will see you now.



I've finished guest-blogging for a friend of mine who was on a long trip to Thailand. If you want to see what I've been blogging about for the last two weeks, you can go check his blog out.

But that's all over now. It was actually kind of nice to hear from a few concerned folks who were wondering if I was ok. Rest assured that Permanent Press is still operating and fully functional.

Anyway, since I've been gone a whole lot has happened.

For instance, Obama is trying to give the Iranians a nuclear weapon, and even the French (the French!) are saying that this may not be a good idea. Pro-tip, y'all. If the French are saying that your proposed terms are too favorable to the enemy, you may need to take a time-out and re-evaluate.

Also, it looks like a pilot decided to drive his airplane into the side of a mountain in what appears to be either the most selfish suicide on the planet, or simply mass murder. Either way, it's really bad.

So, it appears that I've left this blog along for just a little while and the entire world goes nuts. Anyway, the doctor is back in.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

I'm guest-blogging for a friend...

...so that means I'll have to divide my blogging time between this place and his blog. However, since I feel more responsibility towards his blog, I'll probably be focusing my efforts there. Don't go anywhere though, I'll still be putting up content daily.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thoughts From Reading the King v. Burwell Transcript

I took a little time to read the transcript from today's Supreme Court oral arguments in King v. Burwell.

If you want to read the transcript, you can find it here. It's always a dicey proposition to read anything into how the Justices will rule from their questions/comments at oral argument, but here are a few of my impressions:

1. Justice Ginsburg immediately jumped on the issue of standing from the get-go. After some back and forth, and with what ultimately seemed like a concession from the Government, the likelihood of kicking the case out on a lack of standing seems extremely remote.

2. Justice Kagan seemed to have gotten the better of Petitioner's counsel with her hypothetical about law-clerks and memo writing, but Alito jumped to the rescue with such a good response that even Kagan remarked of Alito "He's good."

3. The real question seems to be where Justice Kennedy is going to land. He seems to want to say that the Petitioner's argument necessarily requires the conclusion that conditioning subsidies on states setting up the exchanges is coercive, and would therefore be unconstitutional. Obviously, this would result in disruption of everyone who got a subsidy in the states where HHS set up the exchanges, and Kennedy seemed loathe to make that leap. Petitioner's counsel responded to Kennedy by observing that the government hadn't made that that argument, and Kennedy says "Sometimes we think of things the government doesn't".

4. Carrying that last point further, the real question seems to be whether Kennedy is willing to interpret the statute in a manner that avoids having to find the statute to be unconstitutional under the avoidance doctrine. I think that Kennedy wants to say it's unconstitutional, but I think he's concerned with the resulting effects of what happens if he makes that finding. Ultimately, I think he'll avoid doing so, and the Government's position will prevail.

5. The Government's counsel took a little bit of a shot at Congress when Justice Scalia pressed him on why the Congress wouldn't just amend the statute if the Court accepts the Petitioner's position. Scalia says "You really think Congress is just going to sit there while ­­ while all of these disastrous consequences ensue?" and the Government's lawyer responds somewhat tongue-in-cheek with "Well...this Congress, Your Honor? I...I..." to which there's some general laughter at Congress' expense.

Ultimately, I think the Government will win this because I think the easy place for Kennedy to land is that there is a little bit of ambiguity in the statute, so you go with the interpretation that doesn't render the statute unconstitutional. That' just my guess, anyway. I would be surprised if the Court did something radical and essentially forced Congress and President Obama to fix the law.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Really Don't Understand Hillary and the E-mail Thing

Is Hillary Clinton the dumbest person in the world?
Maybe one of y'all can explain this to me.
"Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act."
I don't understand this on any level. Even if you can say that this wasn't illegal, which it clearly appears to be, what's the point of having an unofficial e-mail? I'll tell you: the only reason that you would not use an official e-mail is to hide something. And guess what, campers? That shows a bad intent. In the legal world we call that mens rea. But even if you don't even address the legal issues, from a political perspective this looks like a disaster.

The other thing is that it's not even really hiding something. Even a rookie con-man knows that if you want to keep a secret, you have a false front. Why not have an official government e-mail for the official stuff that is day-to-day, and then have your super-secret, black-site e-mail address for all your nefarious work that you don't want to disclose?

How about don't e-mail at all? Don Corleone managed to run a pretty sizable group of folks and he didn't have to send out family-wide e-mails all the time. But this just having an off-the-book email is such a flagrant disregard for everything, I don't even know where to start.

It seems like Hillary is either really dumb or she doesn't think that the rules apply to her and no one will care if she's found out. I don't think she's dumb.

Embrace Your Inner Don Draper

In the cross-promotion that is standard for Caskey Worldwide Enterprises™, you can find my blog post about men's haircuts over at FigColumbia.