Thank you, Washington Post, for providing a much needed diversion from the heavy news of this past week. Last year I put up a post regarding A Day in Bias at the Washington Post. I took one of their daily news letter digests and broke down the sillier points in each one. I haven’t seen one that packed so much stupid in a while, but on Thursday they served up a nice plate of idiocy that makes for a good palate cleanser to a week of some of the heaviest subject matter we’ve had to deal with in a while. And I’m not addressing every story, as there were a bunch. So in the name of continuing to provide alternative reading to last week’s horrible events, let’s jump into the stupid!
The first two stories pertain to “Trump’s openness to changing gun laws” and how “Republicans join Obama in rebuking Trump”. While I’m no fan of Trump, I’m no fan of WaPo and take the second assertion with a grain of sand. The next two are about how the “Wife is said to have warned gunman not to carry out attack” and that “For Orlando homicide detective, a mass shooting turns personal”. Did anyone notice what’s missing here? We’ve only just had the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11 and our nation’s capitol’s biggest news paper is completely uninterested in the president who allowed this to happen, the failures of the FBI to identify and stop these murderers, and more importantly, the directives given to law enforcement that allowed this to happen. Look everybody, Trump said something that will make a great headline! Next up we learn that “Russia denies DNC hack and says maybe someone ‘forgot the password’:
“Usually these kinds of leaks take place not because hackers broke in, but, as any professional will tell you, because someone simply forgot the password or set the simple password 123456,” German Klimenko, Putin’s top Internet adviser, said in remarks carried by the RIA Novosti state news agency. “Well, it’s always simpler to explain this away as the intrigues of enemies, rather than one’s own incompetence.”
Wait a minute, foreign hackers stealing secure information that involves some Democrats’ ineptitude at handling sensitive data? This almost reminds me of another story that’s been in the news, but but i can’t seem to remember it. The Post couldn’t, either.
Next up we have some hand wringing over the fact that the “Kansas State Board of Education votes to ignore Obama’s transgender bathroom directive” The article actually does a pretty good job until around the halfway mark:
Not everyone agrees that Kansas schools are effectively serving transgender children.
Stephanie Mott, executive director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, said she regularly receives phone calls, emails and text messages from students who don’t feel comfortable in school because their teachers insist on calling them by the wrong name or won’t allow them to use the restroom that matches their identity.
Yes, because giving kids the power to disrupt class by forcing teachers to remember whatever name they’re identifying themselves as today has no downside! Not to mention giving creeps access to where girls are getting undressed by simply calling themselves girls – what could possibly go wrong?
Mott and other activists say that Republican state lawmakers are turning transgender children into a bargaining chip in a long-running fight over school funding, threatening to introduce legislation that would force children to use bathrooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates unless Democrats fall into line with the Republican majority.
I had to re-read that sentence two or three times to get a grip on Mott’s twisted logic. Wanting to keep bathrooms and locker rooms as safe spaces for girls to get undressed has made them the aggressors in a fight over funding? Next WaPo drops one of the least surprising headlines of the year, “Consumers could be facing biggest increase in ACA health premiums next year”:
Premiums for health plans sold through the federal insurance exchange could jump substantially next year, perhaps more than at any point since the Affordable Care Act marketplaces began in 2013.
An early analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that proposed rates for benchmark silver plans — the plans in that popular tier of coverage that determine enrollees’ tax subsidies — are projected to go up an average of 10 percent across 14 major metropolitan areas.
“How could this be happening?” you may be wondering. You might distinctly recall being promised $2500 per year savings for your family of four! WaPo has some ideas:
Insurers blame enrollees, saying they are sicker than companies had expected they would be when setting rates in the health-care law’s first two years.
“The biggest things going on here are that insurers initially guessed wrong,” Levitt said. “They had to guess how many people [would enroll] and how much health care they would use. And insurers mostly guessed wrong, and now insurers are playing catch-up.
Another factor is the winding down of a government program that helped insurers cover the cost of very expensive patients. It will end in December.
A statement from the DC Health Benefit Exchange also stressed that the premiums put forward so far have a long way to go to approval. “We advocate for the lowest possible rates, and our independent actuaries are reviewing,” the statement said. “We will be providing our analysis advocating for lower rates to the [D.C.] insurance department.”
Of course, nowhere in here does the law that was passed that led to this cluster foxtrot bears any of the blame for what’s happening. Glad we cleared that up! The next story’s headline is one I can agree with – “Hundreds of colleges had zero rape reports in 2014. And that could be worrisome.” Actually that IS worrisome – human nature tells us that some rapes will happen, And the universities are either not reporting, covering up stories, or maybe rape victims are worried that unless they can present an airtight case, thanks to the rape hoax trend any potentially disputable point in a story can turn her into the next “Mattress Girl”. So I walked into this story with an open mind, when the article only made it through three paragraphs before it s*** the bed:
The numbers underscore what is often a huge gulf between the estimated prevalence of sexual violence on campus and the actual number of reports schools receive. A Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll last year found that one in five young women who attended college in a four-year span said they had been sexually assaulted during that time — a finding echoed in other surveys. But a far smaller share said they reported such incidents to school authorities.
We’ve found our stupid, and it is raging stupid! No need to read this one any futher, on to “A new federal report discusses an unexpected theory for why murders are rising in U.S. cities”. And this article actually starts by dropping some common sense:
The theory — one of several that criminologist Richard Rosenfeld presents in the paper — suggests that, after a number of widely discussed law-enforcement killings of young black men during the past couple of years, residents of predominately black and disadvantaged urban neighborhoods further lost confidence in the police.
A loss of trust could have made residents of those places less likely to share information with law enforcement about dangerous criminals. With a newfound sense of impunity, these criminals might have begun committing even more crimes. And threatened by the violence, neighbors might have armed themselves instead of going to the police for protection, the theory suggests.
Wait a minute – residents in neighborhoods where there is less police presence might be more likely to be crime victims? And unable to trust the government to protect them, residents are taking their own self defense upon themselves? Who would have thought? This article actually does a fair job of presenting alternate theories, but one theme the keeps coming back runs along the lines of:
“When people do not perceive the police to be legitimate in their practices and actions, crime rates tend to increase,” Rosenfeld said. “They don’t believe the police are there to protect them, and that leads to increases in retaliatory killings.”
One point that this article neglects to mention is that maybe bloodthirsty members of the press and the parasites of the Permanent Victimhood cottage industry (such as Black Lives Matter) using false narratives (“Hands up don’t shoot!”) to stir up riots might play a role in publicizing an anti-law enforcement narrative and might affect public opinion? Next up we learn of “9 things Michelle Obama and Oprah shared last night”. I couldn’t get past #1, and I will caution readers to not have any food or beverage in your mouth as you read this:
1. Obama introduced a new word into the lexicon of first ladies.
“He’s got the swag,” Winfrey noted of the commander in chief. “Did he always have that swag? Or has he gotten swaggier?”
“No, he was very swagalicious,” Obama replied. “Look, I told people this from the very start, when I started running, Barack Obama is exactly who he says he is. We both are. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people. Ain’t no surprises.”
Swagalicious. You were warned. And I’ve saved the best for last, the kind of hand-wringing pseudo-intellectualism that only a leftist mind could brew, “Poor people pay for parking even when they can’t afford a car”. As you’ve already figured out from the title, this is another great example of Radical Leftist hand wringing and creating a crisis where none exists.
One analysis in Seattle found, for instance, that overbuilt parking at apartment buildings can drive up rents by nearly $250 a month. In Chicago, a similar recent study concluded that on average a third of costly parking at apartment buildings sits empty overnight. In Los Angeles, Shoup calculates, the mandate to provide minimum parking effectively reduces the number of units in a new apartment by 13 percent. And it can nearly double the cost there of constructing a shopping center if we’re talking underground lots.
These requirements are often arbitrary (planning for parking, Shoup writes, “is more a political activity than a professional skill”). And they fall particularly heavily on the poor, the group least likely to have access to cars.
Although it’s tempting to do some rough calculation as to how much a parking space costs relative to all of the other expenses over the life of the building that a Supermarket incurs, this level of idiocy doesn’t even warrant a few minutes of rough analysis. Instead I’ll focus on the closing argument:
Regulations that require developers to bake those costs into shopping centers, offices or apartment buildings — whether people intend to drive there or not — are a matter of inequality, Shoup argues. They force people who don’t drive to subsidize those who do. They assume everyone does drive when many people can’t. And they make it more expensive to build affordable housing, which means we get less of it.
“In a misguided attempt to provide free parking for everyone,” Shoup writes, “cities have created a serious economic injustice by forcing developers to build parking spaces that many people can ill afford.”
In other words, overzealous, “well-meaning” government officials created a problem where none existed. Sadly, the only lesson any Leftist will take from this is, “MOAR Government!!!” I’ll leave you with a few of the better reader comments
if there is no parking, the rich drivers will have to drive around, increasing air pollution. That impacts the poor, more than the rich, since the poor live in the denser more polluted urban areas. Without parking, the poor would die sooner.
Who wants wealthy people to come to the downtown and spend and dine? I mean, really, the nerve of this idea.
Let’s eliminate parking in the name of social justice! Woo Hoo!
The prices of housing along transit lines (assuming our sense of justice permits transit) will surely plummet!
And to the writers at the Washington Post, “Stay stupid, my friends.”
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog