On Detroit, bankruptcy, and President Obama

An October 2012 tweet from our celebrity President:

The story on what happened today, via Fox News:

Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history Thursday after steep population and tax base declines sent it tumbling toward insolvency.

The filing by a state-appointed emergency manager means that if the bankruptcy filing is approved, city assets could be liquidated to satisfy demands for payment.

Kevin Orr, a bankruptcy expert, was hired by the state in March to lead Detroit out of a fiscal free-fall, and made the filing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court.

“Only one feasible path offers a way out,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a letter to Orr and state Treasurer Andy Dillon approving the bankruptcy. The letter was attached to the bankruptcy filing.

“The citizens of Detroit need and deserve a clear road out of the cycle of ever-decreasing services,” Snyder wrote. “The city’s creditors, as well as its many dedicated public servants, deserve to know what promises the city can and will keep. The only way to do those things is to radically restructure the city and allow it to reinvent itself without the burden of impossible obligations.”

Snyder had determined earlier this year that Detroit was in a financial emergency and without a plan to improve things. Snyder hired Orr in March, and he released a plan to restructure the city’s debt and obligations that would leave many creditors with much less than they are owed.

Detroit isn’t the only city in Michigan in financial dire straits, but it’s the biggest.

Sadly, Detroit isn’t the only liberal city run into the ground by Democrats that faces this situation. Baltimore may be next. From a February Huffington Post piece:

WASHINGTON — The Baltimore city government is on a path to financial ruin and must enact major reforms to stave off bankruptcy, according to a 10-year forecast the city commissioned from an outside firm.

The forecast, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release to the public and the City Council on Wednesday, shows that the city will accumulate $745 million in budget deficits over the next decade because of a widening gap between projected revenues and expenditures.

If the city’s infrastructure needs and its liability for retiree health care benefits are included, the total shortfall reaches $2 billion over 10 years, the report found. Baltimore’s annual operating budget is $2.2 billion.

The report was prepared by Philadelphia-based Public Financial Management Inc., a consulting firm that has prepared similar forecasts for Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the District of Columbia. Baltimore’s decision to commission the forecast differs from those cities because each of them had already ceded financial oversight to the state, or in the district’s case, the federal government.

The forecast will provide the basis for financial reforms that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to propose next week. The city has dealt with budget deficits for the past several years, closing a $121 million gap in 2010. But those deficits have been addressed with one-time fixes that haven’t addressed the long-term structural imbalance.

“When you have budget after budget and you know that there are systemic problems, I felt an obligation to do more than what we have done in the past,” Rawlings-Blake told the AP. The forecast, she said, shows that the city needs to address its financial woes “before it’s too late, and somebody is coming in and making these choices for us.”

That’s what happened to the District of Columbia, 38 miles to the south, in 1995 after the city reported a budget deficit of $700 million. Congress created a financial control board that instituted tight spending controls and ultimately took over all hiring and firing in nine city agencies. The spending cuts, combined with a robust regional and national economy, drove the nation’s capital back into the black.

Are y’all detecting the same pattern I am?

They said if I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, that Detroit would end up having to file bankruptcy. And they were right.

Obama speaks in Detroit

How many failures can you spot in this picture?
(Photo via MarketWatch)

Perhaps the most important piece you’ll ever read on President Obama

The various scandals we see the Obama administration currently immersed in were entirely predictable, as were the socialistic policies he’s advocated since his very first day in office, as was the continued state of economic stagnation our country still faces as a result of those very policies.  What’s may not be widely known – or a better word for it might be “understood” – even amongst many a political junkie is a very successful tactic employed by Obama and his team of Chicago political thugs that utterly neutralizes their political opposition to the point that even “mainstream” GOP ideas that you’d think most people could agree on are laughed off as “extreme” or “fringe.”  Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard wrote a fantastic piece about this political strategy that should be considered a must-read by all  (bolded emphasis added by me):

In a May 3 Q&A with the New York Times’s John Harwood, former Obama strategist David Axelrod put a demographic spin on the president’s analysis. When Harwood asked why gun background checks failed in the Senate, Axelrod responded, “The Republican Party today is, at its core, a mostly Southern, white, old, evangelical party.”

This is, at its core, false. A majority of Romney voters were from outside the Old Confederacy, under 65 years old, and not evangelical. But truth is not the point, nor is the purpose of Obama’s “permission structure” analysis merely to explain why his legislative program has stalled. Instead, it is to define the president’s conservative opposition as out of the mainstream of American society. Obama’s opponents, so the logic goes, are so out to lunch that their opinions should not be taken seriously.

The Obama team employed this approach successfully in 2012. Mitt Romney may have been a family man who gave nearly $2 million to his church in 2010, but by the time Team Obama finished defining him, he was a heartless plutocrat. It worked: The exit polls showed an electorate either split or tilted to the right on the top issues, with Obama defeating Romney because the latter simply was distrusted.

Social scientists call this the mobilization of bias. Marxists refer to it as the establishment of cultural hegemony. More plainly, it is a common trick pulled by Team Obama any time they are in a jam: Define your opponents in such a way that their views are not really taken seriously.

Of course, politicians are always trying this stunt. It makes sense to convince fickle swing voters that the opposition is just no good. Yet Obama’s attempts to mobilize bias stand out, for two reasons.

First is the total commitment to the strategy. Listen to any Obama flack long enough (usually just a matter of minutes), and he or she will reference how extreme the opposition is. Last month when discussing entitlements, Jay Carney said the president was looking for the “common-sense caucus.” And, of course, the media echo this: Last week Politico repeated the “common-sense caucus” phrase to report on the president’s golf game with Republican senators. The result is to paint conservatives as so far outside the mainstream that there is nothing that this president can do with them.

Second is the hypocrisy behind the tactic. This, after all, is the president elected because he promised to bring fundamental change to Washington. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama goes on at length about respecting the views of those who disagree with him, especially on abortion. Instead, we have sustained partisan warfare and a first-ever presidential address to Planned Parenthood, in which the president proclaims that the people whose views he once professed to respect are trying to return America to the 1950s.

His disclaimers lauding sensible centrism aside, Barack Obama is the most partisan president since at least Richard Nixon, and maybe even since Harry Truman. He seems to have a visceral dislike of his opponents, deep in his bones, and his political strategy since the spring of 2008 has been to win by disqualifying them altogether.

Indeed. We’ve all seen how petulant he is when he doesn’t get his way. His embarrassingly unpresidential reaction to his loss on the gun control bill is a very recent example. He’s a guy who doesn’t like to lose, who has mastered the game of appearing to be the type to “reach across the aisle” although in reality he only “reaches” as far as he needs to to advance his far left wing policy objectives. Sadly, “moderates” in both the House and Senate are all too often willing to oblige in the name of “harmony” and “bipartisanship.”  Barack Obama had it so easy his entire political career, with his first few elections almost literally handed to him,  not to mention how Democrats have treated him like the second coming of Jesus Christ.  After a while, all that fawning and gushing and praise and adoration received can make a person really feel like the are above reproach, that they shouldn’t be questioned, and how dare you oppose him my fellow extremist right wing malcontents!

This is the type of cold, callous, calculated political opposition we’ll have for the foreseeable future. Couple that with a complicit MSM and you see the massive hurdles “our side” has to deal with in order to try and get the message out.  Our politicos on the right should never forget that (but they often do) when they’re tempted to extend an olive branch to entrenched elected partisan Democrats. Some are worth breaking bread with, while others (most) only do it to advance their own agendas and careers – at the expense of GOP politicos, who they will stab in the back at the first opportunity, and will in fact USE those good-faith attempts at shaking hands with the political opposition against them in some way shape or form later on.  It’s a soberingly cynical way to look at things, but this is modern-day  politics, peeps – and it’s not going to change, especially not under this Chicago Way-style administration.

It’s never a bad idea to remind like-minded people as to who and what we are up against, as well as the obstacles we’re looking at going forward.   Let this post serve as my official reminder to you (for those of you who need it, anyway).  In the infamous words of our VP: “Gird your loins.” The future’s going to be a brutal ride indeed.  But so very much worth it.

Friends in low places

He’s got friends in low places.
(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Corker: Watt heading Federal Housing Finance Agency = “fox guarding the hen house”

As you’ve probably already heard, in the latest example of this administration’s naked cronyism (THIS WEEK), President Obama has nominated my Congressman in Name Only – Mel Watt – to oversee the Federal Housing Finance Agency.   The nomination has already sparked controversy, and for good reasons:

President Barack Obama nominated Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Wednesday, but the president’s pick could face strong headwinds in his confirmation hearings as policymakers continue to bicker over the future of government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


The Obama administration has struggled to find a replacement for Ed DeMarco who has served as the agency’s acting director since 2009. Obama previously nominated North Carolina Commissioner of Banks Joseph Smith for the post in 2011, but Smith later withdrew his bid after running into strong resistance from Republicans.

Watt has been in Congress for 20 years and is a longtime member of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees housing issues. According to multiple sources, Watt was tapped to the FHFA’s next director because of his experience on the committee as well as his role in brokering the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

“Mel has led efforts to rein in unscrupulous mortgage lenders and he’s fought to give more Americans in lower income neighborhoods access to affordable housing,” Obama said in press conference announcing Watt’s nomination Wednesday. “He knows better than anyone else what started the housing crisis and he knows what it’s going to take for responsible homeowners to fully recover.”

Uh, he most certainly does NOT “know better than anyone else” what started the housing crisis. Watt was part of the Democrat demagogue brigade during the Bush admin who pushed BACK on efforts to REFORM the oversight for Fannie and Freddie:

But Watt’s road to confirmation won’t be a smooth one. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., released a statement Wednesday objecting to the nomination arguing that a new director should not be considered until there’s a clearer picture of the future of Fannie and Freddie, entities which have been under federal conservatorship since 2008 and now play an outsized role in the housing market, according to some critics.

“I could not be more disappointed in this nomination. This gives new meaning to the adage that the fox is guarding the hen house,” he said. “The debate around his nomination will illuminate for all Americans why Fannie and Freddie failed so miserably.”

Anthony Sanders, professor of real estate finance at George Mason University, similarly characterized the appointment calling it akin to having the cookie monster in charge of keeping Congress out of the proverbial cookie jar.

“Watt is part of the Congressional Black Caucus, which has been very active in promoting principal reduction and the easing or mortgage standards, basically recreating the same disaster we had last decade,” Sanders says. “This is a political appointment for a person who wants to put the foot on the gas again.”

Sanders also points out that some of Watt’s biggest donors are also some of the nation’s biggest banking interests, a factor that could trip him up at his confirmation hearings. According to OpenSecrets.org, among Watt’s top five contributors between 1992 and 2012, three (Bank of America, the American Bankers’ Association, and Wachovia) were in the banking industry.

Oops …

But hey, Watt’s black (a bonus when it comes to the admin’s “diversity issues”), and he’s from a state the Democrats would like to win back in 2016, so what they hey … why not nominate him to help oversee the industry he and his fellow liberals pushed to give home loans to risky people? #HeadDesk

Study: #BigGulp bans would likely INCREASE soda consumption, obesity

Paging Mayor Bloomberg and other elitist nanny-state types:

Attempts to outlaw mega-sized sugary drinks, like New York’s controversial soda ban, could have the unintended consequence of increasing soft drink consumption and obesity, research suggests.

In a study published in the April issue of PLoS One, researchers examined whether price trumps portion size when it comes to consumer soda buying habits.

The behavioral simulation study found that people purchased more soda when offered deals on multiple smaller-sized drinks, suggesting that a ban on container size will not work if businesses have an economic incentive to offer ‘bundled’ drinks at reduced prices.

A New York State Supreme Court Judge struck down NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on extra-large sugary drinks last month, a day before the law was to go into effect. The city is appealing the judge’s ruling.

The law would have prohibited the sale of many sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces at businesses regulated by the city health department, including national restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. But businesses not regulated by the health department, like grocery and convenience stores, would be exempt from the ban.

In striking down the law Judge Milton Tingling called the proposed regulations “arbitrary and capricious.”

Critics agree, and one major concern is that businesses selling sugary sodas will find ways around the ban because the drinks are so profitable.


New York University professor of nutrition and author Marion Nestle, PhD, who supports the soda ban, concedes the point. But she said the study does little to convince her that people will buy two or three sodas instead of one just because they get a better price.

“Sure, some businesses will do everything they can to increase sales,” she told MedPage Today.“Sodas are cheap and they make huge profits on them. But I’d like to see the portion-size cap tried at least. Let’s give it a chance before dreaming up reasons why it won’t work.”

It’s an absolute no-brainer that businesses can and would easily find ways around the Big Gulp ban by offering deals on 16 ounce sodas, including lower prices, free refills, etc – and they would be stupid not to, especially considering how hard it already is for people to make ends meet in this wreckovering economy, families in particular.

But, hey, as Professor Nestle inadvertently reminds us in the quote above: Don’t let the facts [the study results mentioned in the piece, which you should read in full] stand in the way of a professional liberal who knows better how to control your portion sizes than you do.  Just shut up and obey, dammit!

My body, my choice

Heh! Photo via Stan Brooks/1010 WINS, as seen on CBS NY’s website.

NYT op/ed writer: Quit yer b*tchin’, and embrace the nanny state!

The writer of this opinion piece – author and Bowdoin College assistant philosophy professor Sarah Conly – is not an official member of the NYT’s editorial board, but her drool-fest over Bloomberg’s nanny-state power grabs make her a strong contender should an opening become available (bolded emphasis added by me):

WHY has there been so much fuss about New York City’s attempt to impose a soda ban, or more precisely, a ban on large-size “sugary drinks”? After all, people can still get as much soda as they want. This isn’t Prohibition. It’s just that getting it would take slightly more effort. So, why is this such a big deal?

Obviously, it’s not about soda. It’s because such a ban suggests that sometimes we need to be stopped from doing foolish stuff, and this has become, in contemporary American politics, highly controversial, no matter how trivial the particular issue. (Large cups of soda as symbols of human dignity? Really?)


We have a vision of ourselves as free, rational beings who are totally capable of making all the decisions we need to in order to create a good life. Give us complete liberty, and, barring natural disasters, we’ll end up where we want to be. It’s a nice vision, one that makes us feel proud of ourselves. But it’s false.


A lot of times we have a good idea of where we want to go, but a really terrible idea of how to get there. It’s well established by now that we often don’t think very clearly when it comes to choosing the best means to attain our ends. We make errors. This has been the object of an enormous amount of study over the past few decades, and what has been discovered is that we are all prone to identifiable and predictable miscalculations.


We also suffer from a status quo bias, which makes us value what we’ve already got over the alternatives, just because we’ve already got it — which might, of course, make us react badly to new laws, even when they are really an improvement over what we’ve got. And there are more.

The crucial point is that in some situations it’s just difficult for us to take in the relevant information and choose accordingly. It’s not quite the simple ignorance [John Stuart] Mill was talking about, but it turns out that our minds are more complicated than Mill imagined. Like the guy about to step through the hole in the bridge, we need help.


Do we care so much about our health that we want to be forced to go to aerobics every day and give up all meat, sugar and salt? No. But in this case, it’s some extra soda. Banning a law on the grounds that it might lead to worse laws would mean we could have no laws whatsoever.

In the old days we used to blame people for acting imprudently, and say that since their bad choices were their own fault, they deserved to suffer the consequences. Now we see that these errors aren’t a function of bad character, but of our shared cognitive inheritance. The proper reaction is not blame, but an impulse to help one another.

That’s what the government is supposed to do, help us get where we want to go. It’s not always worth it to intervene, but sometimes, where the costs are small and the benefit is large, it is. That’s why we have prescriptions for medicine. And that’s why, as irritating as it may initially feel, the soda regulation is a good idea. It’s hard to give up the idea of ourselves as completely rational. We feel as if we lose some dignity. But that’s the way it is, and there’s no dignity in clinging to an illusion.

Let me repeat that: “but sometimes, where the costs are small and the benefit is large, it is.”  Even if the “small cost” is giving up your individual liberties bit by precious bit until none are left? Oh hell no, lady. I don’t think so!

This is the mind of the typical leftist: There is no such thing as personal responsibility – because you’re too stupid to take care of yourself and therefore Uncle Sam has to step in to “help” you control your diet, and anything else they decide is beyond your scope of being able to manage.  Anne Sorock at Legal Insurrection adds:

If Conly’s “Three Cheers for the Nanny State” is the best retort to New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling’s take down of the Bloomberg ban, which the Justice referred to as “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences” and an “administrative leviathan” that would “eviscerate” separation of powers, then it is time to rejoice and give three cheers for Conly’s reveal of the left’s mental state.


Conly, educated at the bastions of high thinking Princeton (BA), Cornell (MA), and Cornell (MA), may be as fine an advertisement against the left’s thinking (as well as an Ivy League education) as any messaging campaign the RNC would hope to undertake.

Indeed.  Beware.

Hat tip: Mememorandum

NY State Supreme Court judge ices Bloomberg’s #BigGulp ban


A state judge today stopped City Hall from banning New York City restaurants and other venues from selling large sugary drinks — a bubble-bursting defeat for Mayor Bloomberg who has made public health a cornerstone of his tenure.

Before the earth-shaking ruling by New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, convenience stores and other places regulated by the city’s health department would have been prohibited — starting tomorrow — from selling sugary drinks of more than 16 ounces.

Tingling permanently stopped the city from enforcing the ban.

“[The city] is enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled.

The judge said Bloomberg and the Board of Health overstepped their bounds, to enforce rules that should be established by the legislative bodies.

“The rule would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it,” Tingling wrote. “Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened drinks.”


“It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule, including but not limited to no limitations on refills, defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule,” Tingling wrote.

The Mayor’s office will, of course, appeal the decision.  Will be interesting to see how far this goes – and ultimately what the outcome will be. In the meantime, those 17-ounce “inspection cups” that “health inspectors” were to be using to make sure restaurants weren’t cheating will remain – for now –  on the shelf.

As they say, stay tuned …

My body, my choice

Ha! Photo via Stan Brooks/1010 WINS, as seen on CBS NY’s website.

Update – 6:18 PM: Tweet of the Day:


Quote of the Day on the “Chris Christie was snubbed by CPAC” controversy

In response to the dust-up and infighting amongst conservatives and Republicans over CPAC’s decision not to invite New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to their annual gathering next month, Florida-based GOP media guru Rick Wilson had the best reaction: (via @DinaFraioli)

“The essential element that’s missing in the Acela corridor kerfuffle on Christie not being invited to CPAC is the ‘C’ in CPAC stands for ‘Conservative,’” said Florida-based operative Rick Wilson.

“You have a guy who stung the base very badly in the closing days of the 2012 election and who last week says he agrees with Cuomo 98 percent of the time. He’s done some fine work in New Jersey, but he’s also handled relationships with the base with what a lot of conservatives view as contempt. On guns, global warming and a host of other issues, he’s not exactly asking for an invitation to the dance. “

I’ll admit, I’m irked over the continued insistence of CPAC to disallow the gay conservative group GOProud  from active participation at CPAC, considering their goals pretty much line up with straight Republicans and conservatives, but the decision not to invite Christie didn’t bother me one bit.  What he’s done the last several months, in my opinion, is nothing more than election year posturing, which is something all politicos do – but Christie was supposed to be different.  In reality, he’s not.  It’s great he supposedly “doesn’t give a damn” about what either party thinks of him, but when he conveniently starts p*ssing on conservatives on a regular basis – the cave on ObamaCare was the last straw, IMO – well, then I say enough is enough.

Your thoughts?

What to look for when Nanny Bloomberg’s large soda ban goes into effect

The New York Post provides a rundown– complete with a humorous graphic of Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “Mayor Poppins” – of how Nanny Bloomberg’s large soda ban, which goes into effect on March 12, will impact not just businesses and consumers:

Nanny Bloomberg unleashes his ban on large sodas on March 12 — and there are some nasty surprises lurking for hardworking families.

Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub.

They’d violate Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

Bloomberg’s soda smackdown follows his attacks on salt, sugar, trans fat, smoking and even baby formula.

The city Health Department last week began sending brochures to businesses that would be affected by the latest ban, including restaurants, bars and any “food service” establishment subject to letter grades.

And merchants were shocked to see the broad sweep of the new rules.

“It’s not fair. If you’re gonna tell me what to do, it’s no good,” said Steve DiMaggio of Caruso’s in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. “It’s gonna cost a lot more.”

And consumers, especially families, will soon see how the rules will affect their wallets — forcing them to pay higher unit prices for smaller bottles.

Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda.

“I really feel bad for the customers,” said Lupe Balbuena of World Pie in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Domino’s on First Avenue and 74th Street on the Upper East Side is doing away with its most popular drink sizes: the 20-ounce and 2-liter bottles.

“We’re getting in 16-ounce bottles — and that’s all we’re going to sell,” a worker said.

He said the smaller bottles will generate more revenue for the restaurant but cost consumers more.

It will also trash more plastic into the environment.

So, I guess when it comes right down to it, it’s more important for BloombergCo. to force consumers to live by government-mandated “health rules” than it is to reduce the city’s carbon footprint or something. #Priorities

Basically what it sounds like is that if you’re “eating in” at a restaurant – whether it’s a fast food place or a “fine dining establishment”, even though you have to buy a smaller sized drink you can still get your refills and not be out any extra money. But if you order out – whether you’re picking up or having it delivered, it’s a different story and, frankly, that sucks, especially in an economy where everyone’s pinching their pennies.

This is nanny state liberalism for you, though. What sounds good in theory (“it will help the people, especially the cheeeldren!”) in actuality is not, especially if you are truly a believer in personal responsibility and individual liberty. Then again, this IS NYC we’re talking about here, one of the nation’s leading bastions of far left liberalism (right next to San Francisco), so no one should be surprised at all by the actions of the Mayor nor the seeming acquiescence of its people when it comes to slippery slope actions by those in positions of power.

Presented for your approval: Marco Rubio and Rand Paul school Barack Obama

**Posted by Phineas

So, last night was the State of the Union address. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t watch. First off, Obama’s a tedious, hackneyed speaker, and listening to him for an hour would be painful. If you did, you’re made of sterner stuff than I.

Second, we know what he’s going to say. As I posted on Twitter yesterday morning:

And, from what I can see in the transcript, he mostly lived down to my expectations. (1)

But I was interested in the Republican response. For one, prior response speeches have ranged from indifferent to outright flops, but, as this was the first speech of Obama’s second term, there was a chance to begin anew and to lay the first paving stones on the road to 2014 and 2016. Also, the speakers were two men whose careers I’ve followed with interest: Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and Rand Paul (R-Ky). Both, I think, gave very good responses, concentrating on philosophy over wonky policy details and providing an excellent contrast between our vision of limited government, liberty, and free markets, on the one hand, and Obama’s progressive dream of limitless government, statism, and dependency on the other.

First, Marco Rubio (2):

And then Rand Paul:

While I have points of disagreement with both men, I could comfortably, happily vote for either for president. Along with Governor Jindal of Louisiana, I think we have at least three strong candidates for 2016, and a great improvement over the last group.

(1) About that proposed $9 per hour minimum wage, indexed to inflation. I suggest anyone who thinks that’s a good idea look up the words “inflationary spiral.” Government should have no role in setting prices or wages, period. It’s just bad policy.
(2) You probably noticed the awkward moment when Rubio reached for a bottle of water. According to actor Adam Baldwin on Twitter last night, that was a sign that the producers screwed up and left the room too warm, which, when combined with the hot lights, left Rubio dying of thirst. He handled it well that night and this morning, though, making jokes about it and disarming the inevitable “OMG!! He drank water!” attacks from the Left. (Really, guys. Is that the best you’ve got?)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)