PowerLine -> Additional Oddities Start to Emerge About Las Vegas Shooter – Trump is not the problem in Puerto Rico

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PowerLine -> Additional Oddities Start to Emerge About Las Vegas Shooter – Trump is not the problem in Puerto Rico

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Peak Elitism at the NY Times
  • Additional Oddities Start to Emerge About Las Vegas Shooter
  • “Negawatts” Turn Out to Be Nugatory
  • Klobuchar shows her blue slip
  • Trump is not the problem in Puerto Rico
Peak Elitism at the NY Times

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 03:00 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

I think it was Charles Murray who first described the pretentious wedding announcements in the New York Times as the “mergers and acquisitions page,” and certainly the typical mix of Stanford MBA working at an investment bank marries Harvard lawyer working at Steptoe and Johnson underlines a phenomenon that Mickey Kaus flagged in his 1992 book The End of Equality, namely, that the higher rates of intermarriage of highly educated elites would widen inequality. We’ve commented on this before, noting how the Times copy editing desk (what copy editing desk?, you ask—good question) might cover a wedding in Arkansas.

The Times, which never shuts up about inequality on its editorial page, positively revels in elite nuptials on its wedding announcement page, and this week offers maybe the greatest one ever:

Grace du Pont, Conor Sutherland

Grace Hays Holcomb du Pont was married Sept. 30 to Conor Jackson Sutherland in Manhattan. The Rev. J. Donald Waring performed the ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church.

The bride and groom both graduated from Princeton, she cum laude and he magna cum laude. . .

She is a daughter of Jean Young du Pont and Pierre S. du Pont V of Tarrytown, N.Y. The bride’s father is a partner, in Manhattan, at HPM Partners, an investment and wealth management firm. . .

Mr. Sutherland, 30, helps buy, manage and sell companies in the portfolio at Apollo Global Management, an investment firm in Manhattan. . .

She is a daughter of Jean Young du Pont and Pierre S. du Pont V of Tarrytown, N.Y. The bride’s father is a partner, in Manhattan, at HPM Partners, an investment and wealth management firm. Her mother was until 2016 the president and chief executive of the Garden Conservancy, an organization in Garrison, N.Y., and is now a legal, strategic and development consultant.  . .

He is the son of Denise Jackson Sutherland of Glen Cove, N.Y., and the late Donald J. Sutherland. His mother was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in Manhattan from 1969 to 1986, and served from 1987 to 2014 as a trustee of the Professional Children’s School in New York.

Here’s the very best part though:

The couple dated at Princeton, but had met a few years earlier, in 2007, in North Haven, Me., when Ms. du Pont offered a ride to Mr. Sutherland and a friend, whom Ms. du Pont knew. The two men had just moored their sailboat and were preparing for a long row back to the dock, whereas she was piloting her family’s motorized tender. They took the ride.

This has to be the peakiest “Peak Elitism at the Times” piece ever.


Additional Oddities Start to Emerge About Las Vegas Shooter

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 12:12 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Whenever there is a mass shooting incident I tend to “go dark” and not comment here or anywhere until some verified facts emerge. One thing I’m awaiting most is whatever timeline the investigation can put together based on the video surveillance footage that the Mandalay Bay ought to have in abundance. Yesterday David French offered a cautious note about how odd and unlike most mass shootings this was.

Just now NBC News is reporting a new piece of information that looks significant: the shooter wired $100,000 to the Philippines not long ago:

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country of the Philippines in the week before he unleashed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to multiple senior law enforcement officials.

But while officials have confirmed that Marilou Danley was in the Philippines on Sunday when Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a country music festival on the Vegas Strip, it was not known whether the money was for her, her family, or another purpose. . .

Investigators believe the couple started dating in spring 2017 and lived together in Mesquite, Nevada. Danley was not believed to be involved in the shooting “at this time,” law enforcement officials told reporters on Monday.

I wonder if Danley is scheduled to return from the Philippines anytime soon. Something tells me this story has a long way to go yet. . .


“Negawatts” Turn Out to Be Nugatory

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 11:30 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

One of the favorite energy ideas of the thermageddonites is that we can meet a large portion of our energy needs through energy conservation, sometimes called “negawatts.” You don’t need to supply energy you don’t consume! In California, the shutdown of our last nuclear power plant in five years, which currently supplies more electricity than all of the solar panels in the state, will supposedly be replaced by new renewable generation and “conservation.” On the global scale, energy efficiency is expected to account for more than 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the next couple of decades.

No one is against energy efficiency, and in fact, greater energy efficiency is a long-term trend. There is some reason to doubt whether all of our policy exertions on behalf of energy efficiency have altered significantly the long-term rate of energy efficiency improvement.

Moreover, a new report from the E2e Project (PDF file) throws a lot of cold water on the thesis that conservation/efficiency delivers as promised. (The E2e Project is a consortium of the Energy Institute at Haas at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago—a heavyweight lineup.) The E2e Project has done a deep dive into the data involving energy efficiency measures in California’s public schools, and conclude that energy efficiency measures in schools have delivered only one-quarter the expected energy savings.

Here’s the succinct abstract:

In the United States, consumers invest billions of dollars annually in energy efficiency, of- ten on the assumption that these investments will pay for themselves via future energy cost reductions. We study energy efficiency upgrades in K-12 schools in California. We develop and implement a novel machine learning approach for estimating treatment effects using high- frequency panel data, and demonstrate that this method outperforms standard panel fixed effects approaches. We find that energy efficiency upgrades reduce electricity consumption by 3 percent, but that these reductions total only 24 percent of ex ante expected savings. HVAC and lighting upgrades perform better, but still deliver less than half of what was expected. Finally, beyond location, school characteristics that are readily available to policymakers do not appear to predict realization rates across schools, suggesting that improving realization rates via targeting may prove challenging.



Klobuchar shows her blue slip

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 09:57 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Minnesota Senator Al Franken has declared that he will not return his blue slip on President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. By withholding his blue slip Franken seeks to block Stras’s nomination from consideration by the Senate. Franken’s statement on the Stras nomination is posted online here.

I have been working like a beast of burden to ascertain whether Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has returned her blue slip on the nomination of Justice Stras, as her statement of many twists and turns suggested she would. Klobuchar’s statement, however, is a bit difficult to nail down. It reads like it was written by a staffer seeking to satirize her yen to have it every which way on controversial issues.

Senator Klobuchar has declined to respond to my inquiries regarding her blue slip on Justice Stras. She’s just that way.

After much digging, I can now report that Klobuchar has, in fact, returned her blue slip, formally indicating her approval of the nomination proceeding to a hearing. I have confirmed this with Senate Judiciary Committee staff. Woohoo!

This squarely raises the question whether Senator Grassley will prevent the Stras nomination from proceeding based on one home state senator’s withheld blue slip. In the concluding paragraph of her statement on the Stras nomination, Klobuchar implied that Franken had the last word. She bid Stras a cold farewell: “I have enjoyed getting to know Justice Stras throughout this process and I know he will continue to serve admirably on the Minnesota Supreme Court.”

I will have more to say about it, but I predict that under the circumstances Chairman Grassley will proceed with the Stras nomination in due course.


Trump is not the problem in Puerto Rico

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 09:35 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Steve and I have written about the efforts of Democrats and the media to convince the public that Hurricane Maria is “Trump’s Katrina.” Actually, it’s doubtful that Hurricane Katrina was “Bush’s Katrina.” In any event, there is no merit to the left’s attempt to treat President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria as wanting, much less scandalous.

Glenn Reynolds explains why in his column for USA Today. He begins with this quote from former Navy Captain and disaster-relief expert Jerry Hendrix:

Puerto Rico is an island that suffers from its position in the middle of the Caribbean and its physical separation from the U.S. Its roads were in disrepair and its electrical grid was antiquated prior to the hurricane. The island has also suffered for years from ineffective local government and rising local territorial debt.

The Navy used to operate a large Navy base there, Naval Station Roosevelt Roads. I spent six months on the island in 1993, but when the island’s population protested the presence of the training range at nearby Vieques Island, the Navy shuttered the base, taking $300 million a year out of the Puerto Rican economy.

The absence of a base from which to provide hurricane relief is the result, I assume, of Puerto Rican nationalism. It certainly is not the fault of Donald Trump.

Citing Hendrix, Reynolds goes on to describe the substantial efforts of the Trump administration to prepare for Hurricane Maria. Large ships were dispatched. They carried large amounts of water, food, and other supplies.

But because Puerto Rico is an island and because its roads are in such disrepair, there were limits to how much could be supplied quickly, especially given the damage the storm inflicted on the island’s ports and airports. The problem was compounded by the fact that most truck drivers, about 80 percent of them, were unable to get to work. Thus, there were ships full of supplies backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle in which to unload.

In addition, as Tevi Troy notes in an article for the Wall Street Journal, it was harder for the residents of Puerto Rico themselves to evacuate when planes and boats were the only means of escape. There could be no escape via long lines of cars, such as those we saw on Interstate 95 headed north from Florida before Hurricane Irma.

Reynolds also points out that Maria was the second hurricane to hit Puerto Rico and the third to hit the United States in the space of a few weeks. Therefore, many U.S. government assets were already committed elsewhere.

A final problem, not discussed by Reynolds, is the failure of San Juan’s mayor to work with FEMA. During an appearance on Fox and Friends, FEMA Deputy Administrator Dr. Daniel Kaniewski complimented Governor Ricardo Rosselló and many of Puerto Rico’s mayors. As for Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the island’s most important city, this was his comment:

I can just say that the mayor of San Juan has not participated substantially in any efforts of the joint field office. That’s where all three levels — federal, commonwealth and the locals — work together to develop plans, to execute those plans, and to deliver aid to those in need. Other mayors have been participating. They’re connected to us either by satellite phone in far-off areas all around Puerto Rico, as well as being on site. . .in San Juan where this joint field office is.

Apparently, Cruz didn’t make it to emergency planning meetings in her own city.

The mayor of a neighboring town confirmed Yulin’s non-participation. And Debra Heine of PJ Media reports that a female police officer called a New York radio station in tears last week, complaining that Yulen Cruz was not allowing anyone to distribute supplies while Puerto Ricans were “dying of hunger.”

Instead of cooperating with the relief effort, the mayor has opted to become, in the words of another mayor, “the new face of the island in the media with her sharp criticism of the administration’s efforts.” She has the American left and the mainstream media behind her, but not the facts.

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