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July 28, 2014

Leaked Michelle Nunn Strategy Paper: One One Hand We Can Fundraise Like Crazy Off of Jews.
On The Other Hand, Michelle's Foundation Gave a Grant to an Organization Accused of Being a Hamas Conduit.

—Ace

Glass half full.

Nunn is running as the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia. Her main campaign message is that she shares an atypical amount of DNA with former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.

The campaign's finance plan draws attention to the "tremendous financial opportunity" in the Jewish community...

So you know, the good news for Nunn is that Jews are Rich.

...and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that "Michelle's position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here." That's a position she has yet to articulate, and Israel goes unmentioned on her campaign website.

So far, nothing here that would offend Jews. Just that Those People really like Money and Israel. (Left tastefully unsaid: Those People also really like Controlling the Media.)

Now here's the little snaggerooni, per Nunn's own leaked paper analyzing her position in the race.

Though the campaign plan recommends emphasizing Nunn's accomplishments at the Points of Light Foundation, which she has done on the campaign trail, her strategists express enormous concern about attacks that might arise from her work there. She has served as CEO of Points of Light since 2007 and, according to the document, it has made grants to "terrorists" and "inmates" during her tenure. The document also makes reference to a 2010 audit that concluded Points of Light’s accounting system was "not adequate to account for federal funds."

I have to say again that this document originated in her own camp.

According to the IRS Form 990s that Points of Light filed in 2008 and 2011, the organization gave a grant of over $33,000 to Islamic Relief USA.... Islamic Relief USA is part of a global network of charities that operate under the umbrella of Islamic Relief Worldwide. Islamic Relief USA says on its website that it is a legally separate entity from its parent organization, but that they share "a common vision, mission, and family identity."

Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned the charity from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas.

So Points of Light actually donated to Islamic Relief USA, which is claimed to be a separate entity from its parent/umbrella organization Islamic Relief Worldwide. And Islamic Relief Worldwide is accused of smuggling cash to Hamas.

Nunn's camp isn't troubled by that, though. The way they see it, they have a secret weapon which will protect them and give them a head's up on damaging stories.

That secret weapon is the Media.

Her strategists are optimistic that the media won’t prove much of an obstacle.

Yeah, me neither.

They write that at some point her opponent, who at the time the document was written had yet to be determined, will be "shoveling research" against her. But they say they anticipate they will often have "fair warning" about negative news stories and can work to "kill or muddy" them.

So there you go.


By the way, the Nunn paper also celebrates the rich diversity of Asian culture:

Asians are also identified as key fundraisers. The community is described as "very tight," one in which people work to "become citizens quickly."

Good at math, too. Surprised they forgot to mention that.


Posted by Ace at 04:07 PM Comments



Boko Haram Kidnaps Wife of Cameroon's Vice Prime Minister

—Ace

Good Lord.

Nigerian Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister and killed at least three people on Sunday in a cross-border attack involving more than 200 assailants in the northern town of Kolofata, Cameroon officials said.

A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, and five members of his family were also kidnapped in a separate attack on his home.

The Vice PM and his wife were apparently at a local's home to celebrate Ramadan when the attack occurred.

This was one of three attacks in Cameroon this weekend, plus at least one attack in Nigeria:

Meanwhile, a Boko Haram bomb killed five people as they left a church in Kano, Nigeria, also on Sunday.

Four countries are finally combining resources to fight Boko Haram:

According to the BBC, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger recently formed "a 2,800-strong regional force" to combat Boko Haram.

Only 2800? Commenters point out that Nigeria is a country of 170 million people. The other three states in this regional force are much smaller, but still have a good number of people: Cameroon, 22 million; Chad, almost 13 million; Niger, almost 18 million.

We're talking about combined populations easily exceeding 200 million, and all they can muster against a serious cross-border terrorist force is 2,800 men under arms?

These would not be the only units available to fight Boko Haram, but it does seem like this is supposed to represent these nation's commitment to stamping them out.

It sure seems like a puny commitment.

Posted by Ace at 03:22 PM Comments



Atheist Sam Harris: Here's Why I Don't Criticize Israel

—Ace

After establishing his secular/atheist credentials, and noting his objection go any state organized around religious identity (though he allows that if it were permissible for any state to be organized around a religious identity, that permitted state would be Israel, given the need for an Escape Hatch for the world's Jews as proven by just about all of the history of the last several thousand years), he begins explaining why he stands with Israel.

This is a long piece. I'm just excerpting parts of his best argument. I'm also cutting out a lot of his nuances, because, well, I can't just excerpt everything.

[T]his gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it.

What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want....

What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel's critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself.

...

Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we're talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be...

Now imagine reversing the roles here. Imagine how fatuous--indeed comical it would be--for the Israelis to attempt to use human shields to deter the Palestinians.... Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit.

That's a very cutting point. Try to imagine it -- you can't. It's absurd. Not because Israelis wouldn't use human shields -- they wouldn't, but that's not the most absurd part.

The absurd part is the idea that Hamas would be in any way deterred by this, rather than thinking, "F***in' awesome!"

Posted by Ace at 02:37 PM Comments

Of Course: Hollywood Now Making a Dan-Rather-Was-Right Film About Rathergate

—Ace

Starring Robert Redford as Rather and Cate Blanchette as Mary Mapes. The script will be based, however, on an impartial outside journalist's account of the affair -- by which I mean Mary Mapes' book.

Megan McArdle objects. She writes a long letter recapitulating all the facts which cast doubt on Redford's, Rather's, and Mapes' new mythology.

Her conclusion:

Mapes still insists the documents are genuine. This is even more boggling than believing Burkett in the first place. Burkett displayed the classic characteristics of unreliable sources: They tell one story, and then, when you note the inconsistencies, you suddenly hear an entirely new story that covers up those holes. The terminal story is usually impossible to check -- and also completely implausible.

Mapes is reduced to offering speculation that perhaps "Lucy Ramirez" wanted the originals destroyed to conceal any DNA evidence of her involvement. A much more plausible alternative is that the originals were destroyed to conceal their creation on a laser printer. Mapes, amazingly, acknowledges that this story seems incredible, but then she says that it's entirely plausible, because... it's Texas. "As I sat listening to Burkett’s scenario spill out, I realized how truly ridiculous this sounded from our vantage in New York. But in Texas ... a place where bull semen is worth its weight in gold (and the bizarre long ago became the mundane), I believed it was quite possible that Bill Burkett was finally telling the truth, the whole weird truth, and nothing but the truth. By God, in Texas, anything could happen." Texas is indeed weird and wonderful, but I doubt Burkett's story sounded any more plausible there than it did in New York.

...

With the time pressure she was under, it's possible to argue -- as I have -- that Mapes made a forgivable mistake.

What happened next, however, was not forgivable... [Even after all the proofs the documents were forged,] Mapes insisted that she was right about the documents, and everyone else was either the enabler or the victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy. Of course, refusing to accept that you’ve made an enormous mistake is natural behavior. But at some point, you have to be able to see the obvious.

...

It would be a pity if Hollywood made the same blind mistakes that destroyed several distinguished careers in New York. I know that the film production company for this project is called Mythology Entertainment. That said, the journalists who deserve to have their stories told are the ones who dug into the provenance of these memos and exposed them for what they actually were. If you are going to make a movie, it should honor their fine work, not the errors that made it necessary.

Sincerely, Megan

Emphases added.

Posted by Ace at 01:30 PM Comments

Open Thread

—rdbrewer


Posted by rdbrewer at 10:37 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 7-28-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday.

In case you missed it, over the weekend a federal judge in Washington, D.C. struck down that city's public handgun ban. This is the latest in the "bear arms" line of cases that is attempting, with mixed success so far, to give meaning to the full range of constitutional protections when it comes to firearms—not just to "keep" them, as D.C. allows in the home, but also to bear them.

The White House is asking Congress to give it a new war on terrorism authorization at the same time it wants Congress to rescind the Iraq AUMF. I think neither is likely to happen this year.

CNN has its monthly poll out. The portion on the 2016 GOP field shows a tightly packed group. As Doug Mataconis pointed out on Twitter, unlike recent presidential elections, there appears to be no early frontrunner yet.


As I have written before, early polls don't tell you much about the eventual outcome, but they do tell you where people—and money—are early. There are years yet for someone else to get in the race, but these are the folks who are posturing for it already. In other words, they're trying to get the early lead.

And, here's the first new Mad Max trailer.


AoSHQ Weekly Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png | Stitcher | Download | Ask The Blog | Archives

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:46 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-27-2014) – Fiddlin' While The World Burns Edition

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

Well, what's going on in the world is of very little interest to President Fundraiser. He's got other priorities, and the rest of the planet, as I believe it's marked on the State Department maps, can go take a hike. There's a vacuum of American power. And John Kerry is the physical presence of American absence. Nobody wants to see him. Nobody wants to do the handshake. Nobody wants to pose for photographs.

-- Mark Steyn in The Absence of America

White House Requests That Congress Repeal the 2002 Law Authorizing the Use of Military Force in Iraq

Despite warning about the dangerous rise of ISIS in Iraq. And members of Congress like Buck McKeon are wondering WTF Obama and Susan Rice are thinking:

When Speaker Boehner told me about Ms. Rice's letter, I thought he was joking.

Obama Administration officials are warning us daily that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is '"worse than al-Qaeda" and an extreme threat to the American people. The American people aren't worried that the President will send the military back to Iraq. They're worried about a deadly terrorist state that can hit us from Wall Street to Main Street. They're worried that this President refuses to do anything, at anytime, in any way, to stop the flood of national security crises that are popping up around the globe.

Why on earth is the President's national security adviser pleading with Congress to help build Americans' confidence that the President will not confront a clear and present danger to the United States? He needs no help there. Where is her plan to stop this looming threat? Where is her request for additional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to monitor the situation? Why isn't she over here, building support to stop a common enemy? Why is she fighting Congress instead of ISIS? Why on earth is she refighting the 2003 Iraq War in 2014?

This isn't just absurd. We're past absurd. This is dangerous. This Administration is fiddling while the world burns, and now they're demanding Congress play with them.

WRM Eviscerates 'Smart Diplomacy' and the MSM

[L]uckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP. So instead, as Libya writhes in agony, reputations and careers move on. The news is so bad, and the President's foreign policy is collapsing on so many fronts, that it is impossible to keep the story off the front pages. "Smart diplomacy" has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon. But what the press can do for the White House it still, with some honorable exceptions, labors to accomplish: it will, when it must, report the dots. But it will try not to connect them, and it will do what it can to let all the people involved in the Libya debacle move on to the next and higher stage of their careers.

As Insty says if you want a government held accountable by the press, elect Republicans.

410987-cats-kit-cat-quartet

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Posted by Maetenloch at 10:38 PM Comments

Spaced-Out Challenge: The Summer Sky for Beginners With Binoculars

—Brandon Finnigan

Welcome again to the Spaced-Out Challenge! Whether you have a question about equipment, a new astronomical discovery you want to expand on, or just want to kick back and enjoy the cosmos above, come one come all on our weekly astronomical journey.

First, apologies for not doing the weekly thread as thoroughly in the past, but the Decision Desk coverage has gobbled a lot of my time. This week, we'll review what's overhead for the total novice. Mankind has been using star patterns to predict everything from the change of the seasons to the fall of kings. Now, astronomers use them to find the numerous wonders over head. Here's a quick guide around, using patterns anyone can pull from the heavens away from city lights.

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Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 09:55 PM Comments

The New Yorker Publishes What Looks Like an Original Form of Joke

—Ace

A guy named Simon Rich tells a joke (a long one) that seems sorta original in form.

I think it's probably inspired by the age-old anti-joke (where you start with a jokey premise, but the punchline is just something normal and unfunny: A Rabbi, a Priest, and a Preacher walk into a bar. The bartender says "We don't normally get a Rabbi, a Priest, and a Preacher in here." The Rabbi says, "We're an interfaith committee for the prevention of alcoholism." The bartender nods, with a quiet shame.) and an absurd sequence in the recent Paul Rudd/Amy Poehler romcom parody They Came Together, also set in a bar.*


But it's kinda original. I don't think many people have taken an anti-joke this far before, at least.

Eh, give it a read, see what you think. It'll take ya five minutes.

Thanks to @comradearthur.

* Oh, it's also a Brick Joke.

Hm. I guess it's not really that original (in basic format) after all.


Posted by Ace at 07:20 PM Comments

Bonus Gaming Thread: Review of Boardgame "Pandemic"

—Ace

I heard about this game via Wil Wheaton's "Table Top" series. He really sold the game there.

It's a cooperative boardgame for 2-4 players (a fifth player can be added, if you get the expansion, Pandemic: On the Brink.) "Cooperative" means all players play together as a single team, coordinating strategy, handing important cards to each other, discussing each other's possible moves.

The opponent is the game itself, or more specifically, a deck of cards representing all the bad things which can happen during an epidemic, which the team has to respond to.

The theme of the game is disease control -- the premise is that there has been an outbreak of four deadly diseases, one chiefly affecting America and Europe, another infecting South America and Africa, another infecting the Middle East, Northern Africa, and India, and one infecting the Far East and Australia. The game is played on a world map containing 48 cities (or 48 possible hot zones).

PANDEMICGAMEBOARD.jpg

Players are members of the Center for Disease Control, and start the game in Atlanta. Each player has a "role," which is just a special power the player uses to bend the rules to the players' advantage. For example, while every other player needs five cards of the same color (for example, five blue cards to "cure" the blue disease infecting America and Europe), the "Scientist" role only requires four.

rolecard.jpg

To win the game, the players have to cure all four diseases.

Players lose the game when one of three things happen: Eight outbreaks of disease occur (too many outbreaks-- the plagues run rampant over the world), the deck of cards tells the players to add disease cubes to a city but there are no disease cubes left (representing too many casualties, and thus failure), or a player is required to draw from the player deck but there are no cards left. As there is only a limited number of player cards, this imposes a time limit on the game-- and players lose if they don't satisfy their victory conditions (four cures) in time.

This last Loss Condition is a hard-coded time limit on the game. It's a bit artificial, but it does mean the game will definitely end after (depending on the initial set-up) 25 or so total player turns (not turns per player, but total turns of all players).

The game box says that games take 45 minutes, which sounds about right -- for experienced players, who know the rules. When you first play and you're doing a lot of rules-consulting as you play (learning the game by playing the game), you can expect it to take an hour and a half.

The fact that the game will definitely end after an hour or so is selling point-- more games of Risk or Diplomacy have been started than actually finished, after all. It's a useful thing to know exactly what kind of a time commitment you're agreeing to when you sit down to play the game.

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Posted by Ace at 05:31 PM Comments

Food Thread: Turkey Bacon Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Turkey Bacon.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 04:20 PM Comments

Gaming Thread: Interview Edition 7/27/2014

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

This week I have a special treat, an interview with fellow moron, Adam Pratt. He's the owner of The Game Grid, an arcade in the Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City Utah.

He also owns and writes for the awesome ArcadeHeroes website which is a great little site that keeps up with the arcade industry.

And he wrote a book

Just gotta throw the hands up in the air on why someone would okay an interview with me

Continue reading


Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 03:07 PM Comments

Gun Thread (7-27-2014)

—Andy

DC Carry Ban Overturned ...

In case you missed it, Washington DC's ban on carrying handguns was overturned yesterday.

“We won,” Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News in a phone interview. “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right."

Gura said he expects the District to appeal this decision but added, “We’ll be happy to keep the fight going.”

The decision leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights.

Gura and the plaintiffs won this victory the old fashioned way, by crafting well-supported arguments and doggedly pursuing them through the courts. Attention whoring stunts were not a factor.


... But There's Lots Of Work To Do Elsewhere

Boston's top cop hasn't gotten the message from Heller, McDonald and Peruta. Maybe Palmer v. DC will break through?

In an interview Boston Public Radio, [Boston Police Commissioner Bill] Evans stated:
For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun, nobody needs a rifle, and I don’t know a lot of people who are into hunting who, being lifelong residents, would actually want that who lives in the city, but, especially here in the city I want to have discretion over who’s getting any type of gun because public safety is my main concern and as you know it’s an uphill battle taking as many guns off the street right now without pumping more into the system.

What nobody needs, Mr. Evans, is petty bureaucrats like you arbitrarily deciding which of our civil rights we can exercise.

There's a court case in MA, Davis v. Grimes, that seeks to overturn the current system of arbitrary restrictions on licenses to carry.

Now that the right to carry has been affirmed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we need to redouble our efforts to make it clear that any associated licensing regime must be "shall issue" to pass constitutional muster.


Gun Of The Week

gotw20140727.jpg

(answer below)

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Posted by Andy at 02:10 PM Comments

AOSHQDD: NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll (A biggie)

—Brandon Finnigan

There has been a serious lull in non-partisan polling across a mass of competitive races this year, and it looks like the folks at The Upshot/NYT have been determined to remedy this. They, CBS, and YouGov teamed up to do a massive survey of tens of thousands of voters, covering every Senatorial, Gubernatorial, and Congressional race.
/
Per YouGov/CBS/NYT, here is a rundown of races we have been watching:
[State(current party holding) Candidate LEADS Candidate %-%]
SD(D)-Rounds (R) leads Weiland (D) 61%-34%
MT(D)-Daines (R) leads The Plagiarist (D) 56%-40%
MS(R)-Cochran (r) leads Childers (D) 47%-33%
WV(D)-Capito (R) leads Tennant (D) 51%-43%
GA(R)-Perdue (R) leads Nunn (D) 50%-44%
KY(R)-McConnell (R) leads Grimes (D) 50%-46%
AR(D)-Cotton (R) leads Pryor (D) 50%-46%
MI(D)- Land (R) leads Peters (D) 48%-47%
LA(D)- Cassidy (R) leads Landrieu (D) 47%-46%
IA(D)- Ernst (R) leads Braley (D) 48%-47%
NC(D)- Tillis (R) leads Hagan (D) 48%-47%
AK(D)- competitive R primary, two tests
---Begich (D) leads Treadwell (R) 47%-45%, leads Sullivan(R) 49%-37%
CO(D)- Udall (D) leads Gardner (R) 51%-47%
NM (D)- Udall (D) leads Weh (R) 52%-44%
VA (D)- Warner (D) leads Gillespie (R) 53%-43%
NH (D)- Shaheen (D) leads Brown (R) 52%-42%
MN (D)- Franken (D) leads McFadden (R) 55%-41%
OR (D)- Merkley (D) leads Wehby (R) 55%-41%

Overall Senate: 53-47 R
/
I will be posting the rest of the numbers for the hot ones when the full data dump is released, but Nate Cohn ran down the critical ones in the Senate, along with a general House snapshot and the state of the governor races:

The panel also asked respondents about their preferences in House races, and Republicans seem overwhelmingly likely to retain control. The YouGov data suggests that Republicans have leads in 240 House races; they currently hold 234 House seats. Republicans lead by at least 8 points in 220 seats, more than the 218 needed for a majority.

The panel also offers bleak news for Democrats in the competitive gubernatorial races, where Democrats are tied in Colorado and trail by at least two points in Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia and Arkansas.

The gubernatorial numbers are the ones I'm most looking forward to.

Updated
Governor numbers per Cohn:


The biggest upside to these surveys: these voters will be contacted again and again through the cycle, so we can have an apples-to-apples comparison of the vote.

Update again
Full survey results for gubernatorial and senatorial races can be found here (opens as a spreadsheet).

Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 01:17 PM Comments

Perfection In Design [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Ace was talking on Friday about the new iPhone 6 that has a cool new screen material. I am not an Apple fanboi, but they are indisputably elegantly designed machines.

And commenter EC wrote, "What other product has lasted so long with its first, original design that has been enormously popular and respected the world over?"

Form and function must meet, and where on earth is there a better example than the John Browning designed Model 1911A1.

Colt 1911.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:15 PM Comments

Open Thread: There Are No Words [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Lifted straight from Twitchy we have this gem:

Fname,

Did you abandon the Republican Party?

Go to Twitchy to read the whole sorry thing.

How about a poll?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:15 PM Comments

Sunday Travel Thread [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Greetings, morons and moronettes! Welcome to the Sunday Travel thread brought to you by Beaver, Utah:

BeaverUtah.jpg

Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign slogan: "I ♥ Beaver."

Mr. Y-not and I just returned from a short jaunt to Las Vegas, where we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary (a bit early). A summary of our trip below the fold:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:09 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 07-27-2014: Pain and Pleasure [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


Pain3.jpg


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately and prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.

All non-book discussion should go into NDH's Open Thread below, thanks.


I Feel Your Pain

Well, actually, I don't. But I can at least read about it in The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers by Joanna Burke. This is a book that

tells the story of pain since the eighteenth century, addressing fundamental questions about the experience and nature of suffering over the last three centuries. How have those in pain interpreted their suffering - and how have these interpretations changed over time? How have people learnt to conduct themselves when suffering? How do friends and family react? And what about medical professionals: should they immerse themselves in the suffering person or is the best response a kind of professional detachment?

What continually amazes me is the amount of pain I see many people enduring and yet remaining sane and even functional. Me, I'm such a big crybaby, I can't stand even a sore tooth without making a huge deal over it, like it's the end of the world.

On the one hand, pain relief is good, and alleviating the suffering of others is unquestionably virtuous. Nobody wants to experience pain. But on the other hand, "for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Heb 12:6). So sometimes pain is a good thing. And this is another thing that amazes me, the innocent, ordinary people who are wrenched from their homes, locked away in some hellish prison, humiliated, tortured, raped, starved, brutalized, day after day for months and even years, and at the end of it, after all the pain they've endured, they enthusiastically and without a hint of irony say bless you, prison.


But Enough About Pain...

The music performer who goes by the name of Marilyn Manson supposedly once said "it's up to the parents to raise their children, if they don't, I will." That's kind of the idea behind Michael Rittenhouse's new book Sex: What Your Parents Didn't Tell You. The author's parents didn't discuss sexual matters with him, and also he discovered that his friends' parents didn't discuss sex with them, either. So they had to get their information from somewhere else, and in those days, it was mainly each other, so they were, and remained, a bunch of clueless boneheads. Of course nowadays, we have the the internet, which means that a child's first exposure to hardcore porn occurs around age 10(!).

If parents don't discuss sexuality with their children, the internet will do it for them.

So Rittenhouse's book is meant to help tongue-tied parents fill that gap, and provide good information to their children. He explains it a lot better here.

I suspect the gender warriors on the progressive side of the aisle will hate this book. Look at the cover. It has a man, a woman, and a baby on it. This implies that normal sex involves (a) a man, (b) a woman, and which may result in (c) a baby. Got that? I can already hear the shrieking.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 10:05 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning.


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:35 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (26 Jul 2014)

—CDR M

My apologies for being late but my internet decided to take a break for a few hours. I just got it back.

How about a little doom to kick off the ONT. 15 reasons why the party on Wall St. is about to end in tears.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:50 PM Comments

Washington DC Handgun Carry Ban Struck Down

—Andy


From the opinion:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.

More here. Congratulations to Alan Gura and the plaintiffs.

h/t @Joethefatman1

Posted by Andy at 05:31 PM Comments

John Walsh: I'd Like to Clarify That When I Said I Had PTSD I Meant That I Didn't Have PTSD, and That When I Suggested That I Plagiarized Due to PTSD I Didn't Mean to Suggest PTSD Was the Cause of My Plagiarism

—Ace

Clarifications.

Posted by Ace at 04:46 PM Comments

Holy Mackerel: Creepy Dolls Case Solved -- It Was In Fact a Well-Meaning Would-Be Santa Whose Intentions Were Misunderstood

—Ace

Wouldn't it be odd, some wondered, if the Creepy Suspected Pedophile Doll-Man turned out to be a well-meaning person who just wanted to give out some nice dolls to some nice neighborhood girls?

Well, that turns out to have been the case, police say.

A well-meaning woman who knows the families and attends church with them thought leaving the dolls would be a kind gesture of friendship.

In a statement Thursday, Hallock added, "Investigators have concluded that [the neighbor's] motivation was out of goodwill and that she intended it as a kind gesture."

He added: "There will be no further investigation of this case."

Awww. Well, you know, this was her problem: She forgot that dolls are inherently creepy.

I honestly do not know why we give them to children. They're nightmare vectors.

I was going to link a video about "female doll masks" there, to prove this, but I decided I didn't want to freak you out too much. If you don't believe me, feel free, search "female doll mask" in videos.

Posted by Ace at 03:00 PM Comments

Saturday Garden Blog: Pioneer Day Edition [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I was away for a couple of days celebrating Pioneer Day the way any good Utahn does --- by going to Vegas!

VegasSign.jpg

In any event, my mid-week getaway made it seem like a great time to have another Moron and Moronette Garden Show and Tell, so without further ado, here are your contributions:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:00 PM Comments

Great Moments In Leftist Logic

—Andy

Courtesy of Amateur Webzine Slate's Jamelle Bouie.

Watch as a "right-wing meme" ...


... magically becomes the conventional wisdom.


Score another win for Jeff Bezos, who bought the Washington Post but wisely left Slate with its prior owner.

Posted by Andy at 11:23 AM Comments

OT Thread-Emotions in Motion Edition [Weird Dave]

—Open Blogger

Last week, at the very end of the Freemen vs Serfs thread, phaedrus made a few posts musing about the "unbridgeable divide" between Progs and Conservatives when discussing issues. He attributed it to differing types of logic-their position is logical to them, my opposing position is logical to mestalemate.He's not wrong, but I think he's missing the forest for the trees here. It's much simpler than that, and understanding what's going on requires going right back to basics.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:00 AM Comments

Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

—Open Blogger

Good morning, and SMILE!


Remember that no matter how bad your day....

No matter how bad your week...

It will never be as bad as this:


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:54 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (25 Jul 2014)

—CDR M

Get ready for the New England power shortage.

In a hell-bent campaign to rid itself of any form of dirty, messy “non-renewable” energy, New England has been closing down coal and oil plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s 3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Meanwhile, natural gas — the fuel that everybody loves until you have to drill for it — has risen from 15 percent to a starkly vulnerable 52 percent, just behind California.

There’s only one problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines to bring in the gas. Nor is anyone going to allowed to build it, either.


Not good when it is starting to look like this winter might be similar to the '09/'10 winter. Cold and snowy.

According to NOAA, 28,504 Low Max records have been set in the last 365 days.

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Posted by CDR M at 10:03 PM Comments

Fifty Shades... of Hollywood Magic!!!

—Ace

So they "dropped" the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer.

All I can say is: Fifty shades of awesome.

Or maybe: Fifty shades of yummy!!!

I'm just kidding, of course. It looks about as silly as you imagined it would. The dialogue is crazydumb.

The reason I'm pretending to think it looks Awesomely SuperHot!!! is because apparently that's what you're supposed to do in the media.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer hits all the right spots

Jamie Dornan’s brooding mystique as Christian Grey seems to be calculatedly cool. Dakota Johnson’s mousy look as Anastasia Steele recalls Maggie Gyllenhaal’s early scenes in the similarly-themed 'Secretary.' What we see of the bedroom scenes seems ripped from bodice-rippers.

Yes, that's right, this talented individual at the New York Daily News is reviewing a trailer for a movie intended only for women.

...

We hear a pounding drum -- or is that, gasp, the beat of a heart? -- as a tinkly piano segues to Beyonce’s "Crazy in Love."

That's right, we're doing a beat-by-beat explanation of this bitch.

We hear mousy journalist Steele's impressions of Grey -- "Polite, intense, smart and really intimidating.' Their actual banter is more personal: "There's not much to know about me. Look at me," she says. "I am," he replies. Sure enough, we see Dornan looking, intensely, at her.

Grey owes his success to "exercising control in all things," he says, as we see him piloting an airplane, thrusting a kiss on Johnson in an empty elevator and palming her thigh under a dinner table. The online trailer shows him taking out a blindfold from a nightstand -- presumably not to get some sleep.

They dance. He's "incapable of leaving her alone." He pushes someone away from her.

Eh, you know when a Marvel movie is coming out? Reviewers are sort of afraid to give them a bad review, because the fanboyz are known to go apeshit on anyone who says that Thor 2 is anything less than Hollywood Valhalla!!!

So, since this piece of shit sold 50 million copies, and a lot of women have years' worth of sexual release riding on this goof, I guess we have to pretend this looks like a good movie.

So I'll say: This hits all the right notes. The images were just like those conjured in my mind by master storyteller E.L. James. The main characters, "Christian Grey" and "Anastasia Steele," seem every bit as real as they did in the text, and by the way those names sound totally plausible and not just abruptly made up in order to change them from "Bella" and "Edward" as they were in the original Twilight fan fiction.

Content warning -- the trailer is for a mainstream movie which I imagine will get an R rating, and the trailer is (get this) "intended for general audiences," but the movie's about S&M, and the trailer is not completely subtle about getting that across.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 06:57 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast Sextacular: Guests, Mark & Mollie Hemingway

—Andy

Our favorite husband & wife guests, Mark & Mollie Hemingway, join Ace, Gabe and Drew to laugh and laugh at VoxDotCom, talk about this week's Obamacare developments, compare sex-tracking spreadsheets and plagiarize some stuff.

Intro/Outro: The Rockford Files/Salt-N-Pepa ~ Let's Talk About Sex

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
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Browse (and even search!) the archives

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Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.

Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 04:50 PM Comments

iPhone 6 Will Feature Sapphire Screen -- And "Sapphire" Isn't a Brand Name. I Mean Actual Sapphire.

—Ace

Apple charges a hefty premium for its tech -- you can get equivalent (or better) non-Apple tech for less money. But Apple can put bigger-than-industry-standard profit margins on its tech because it has had devoted fans who think that it's just that good.

Maintaining this cultish devotion is difficult. When they put out, say, an iPhone 5, nice but not featuring any new technological breakthroughs, people kind of get annoyed at them for merely putting out a good (if overpriced) product.

Their fans want wizardry. It's what they demand. It's what they're paying for.

So for the iPhone 6, apparently they are going to offer something inarguably neat. The screen will be made of "corundum," which is the crystal aluminum oxide of sapphire, artificially created. (It won't be bluish -- sapphires are blue due to (pretty) imperfections and chemical adulterants in the crystal matrix.)

Why? Because it's very hard to break, and it's nearly impossible to scratch. Diamond has a hardness of 10, but sapphire checks in at a pretty respectable 9.

But I don't think that's the real reason for it-- I think the real reason is that Apple needs a wow factor for its new phone, and, even though I'm an Apple skeptic, I have to concede that a screen made of synthetic sapphire is at least a lower-level "Wow." At the very least it's a Gee-Whiz.*

Apple needs this phone to be a huge seller, too, because something like two thirds of current iPhone owners have a phone that's three or more years old. That is, they're due for an update, and they just need an excuse to buy a new phone. (They're putting in a big, big order from their mostly Chinese suppliers for this roll-out.)

Eh, pretty neat, I think. I appreciate all the advances in computer technology and so forth, but I always wonder: Where are the more tangible sci-fi advances, like in material science?

* The Forbes article notes that one can make a "sapphire" screen cheaper by actually producing some kind of mix of actual sapphire and much-less-exciting hard glass. I don't know if Apple will be offering a true all-sapphire screen, or some kind of mix, to save on costs.


Posted by Ace at 04:14 PM Comments

Jon Gruber, Asked About His Second Statement That Only State Exchanges Are Eligible For Subsidies: "Same Answer" (That Is, The Second Time Was Also a "Speak-O")

—Ace


That comes from Suderman's update (near the bottom):

A second recording has surfaced showing Gruber making similar statements about subsidies not being available on federally run exchanges. Asked over email whether those remarks were a mistake, too, Gruber wrote back, "same answer."

MorgenR finds it odd that an off-the-cuff speak-o should appear in a speaker's prepared remarks.


Definitely a weird thing that happened!

Posted by Ace at 03:30 PM Comments

One Man Dreamed, "Why Shouldn't a Chair Have the Feel and Smell of an Obese Man's Flubbery Leathery Belly?"
His Dream Is Now Our Reality.

—Ace

The dream made flesh.

Gigi Barker, a London-based designer, has designed a leather chair with a pheromone-impregnated silicone base that makes it feel (and smell!) like you’re lounging in the fleshy, comforting folds of a man’s belly. Barker spent two years perfecting the disturbingly realistic texture and color, which is pink and lightly mottled. The scent comes from the aftershave of the anonymous man whose form the chair is modeled on.


skinchair.jpg

Someone check if Gigi Barker is an anagram of H.R. Geiger.

Okay, giving it "the ol' once-over," it appears to be not be an anagram of H.R. Geiger.

Posted by Ace at 02:08 PM Comments

Again: In Another Briefing in 2012, Jonathan Gruber Committed the Same "Speak-O" and Said that States Which Refuse to Set Up Obamacare Exchanges Would Lose "Hundreds of Millions in Tax Credits" (Federal Subsidies)

—Ace

Video at John Sexton's post at Breitbart.

MorgenR and @verumserum combine for another scoop on Obamacare. Seems like old times.

More: Via @johnekdahl, a "weird thing that happened."


Picture 20140725124258.png

Hey man sorry about that weird thing that happened in your mouth.

Flashback: Senator Max Baucus: Hey, you know tax credits for Obamacare are only available on state exchanges.

Posted by Ace at 01:03 PM Comments

Jonathan Gruber: Hey Man I Have No Idea Why I Said Federal Subsidies Weren't Available Except to State Exchanges. It Was a Mistake.
You Know, a Verbal Typo.

—Ace

I don't remember, I can't recall.

[T]here's a video from 2012 in which one of the law's best known advocates and architects--MIT economist Jonathan Gruber--makes the same basic argument that the lawsuit does.

Among those who say they are surprised by the statement is Gruber himself, whom I was able to reach by phone. "I honestly don't remember why I said that," he said, attempting to reconstruct what he might have been thinking at the time. "I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."

Incidentally, there's an update on John Walsh's plagiarized paper. Regarding page 13 being entirely lifted from a Carnegie Institute paper, he now says "I honestly don't remember why I said that. I was speaking off the cuff. It was just a mistake."

Update: I didn't read through the piece.

When I wrote in the headline that Gruber was claiming he had made a "verbal typo," that was intended as a joke.

When JeffB. tweeted at me that Gruber was claiming he made a verbal typo, a "speak-o," I ignored JeffB., because I thought that too was a joke, and not even an original one.

Nope.

He fucking said it.

At this time, there was also substantial uncertainty about whether the federal backstop would be ready on time for 2014. I might have been thinking that if the federal backstop wasn't ready by 2014, and states hadn't set up their own exchange, there was a risk that citizens couldn't get the tax credits right away. ...

But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o -- you know, like a typo.

Posted by Ace at 12:03 PM Comments

America Has A Fever And The Only Cure Is…Welfare Reform?

—DrewM.

“Reform conservatism” is all the rage in the GOP these days. From middle class plans in “Room to Grow” to anti-poverty reform ideas from Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, many on the right are rushing to prove they can “govern” (you know, use the levers of big government not actually shrink the government).

Ryan unveiled his plan yesterday in a presentation at AEI. The centerpiece of his idea is “the opportunity grant”.

In participating states, the federal government would consolidate a number of means-tested programs into a new Opportunity Grant (OG) program. The largest contributions would come from SNAP, TANF, child-care, and housing-assistance programs, and the funding would be deficit-neutral relative to current law.

First of all, “deficit-neutral” means we’re not cutting any money or programs here, we just spending it differently.

So now that saving money is off the table, what’s so great about how this money will now be spent?

Participating states would have to offer at least one alternative benefit provider other than the state.

In the envisioned scenario providers would work with families to design a customized life plan to provide a structured roadmap out of poverty. When crafting a life plan, they would include, at a minimum:

• A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success

• A timeline for meeting these benchmarks

• Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract

• Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract

• Time limits for remaining on cash assistance


The OG program will also be more responsive to different needs. For example, it makes little sense to provide a household with a consistent stream of SNAP benefits when what the household may need most is reliable transportation to and from work. Giving providers this kind of flexibility will allow them to intervene early on with targeted benefits in cases where short-term assistance can prevent someone from falling into deeper poverty

Some of this is silly but all of it is unrelated to government as it actually works in the real world.

Does anyone think an army of federally subsidized state worker or charity based life coaches are going to effectively sit down with millions of people on public assistance to create a personal “roadmap out of poverty” complete with a timeline of milestones to be met? Is the problem of poverty (at least the deep inter-generational kind) that people don’t have a game plan? The real problems of poverty are often poor life choices, terrible luck in being born into some horrific circumstances, finding yourself locked not into an education system but a union pay and pension racket and on and on. No amount of positive affirmations and tricks from the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People are going to undo that.

And why will know this new and exciting approach is working better than the old way? We’ll do studies!

Similarly, states should rigorously test the results via randomized controlled trials when possible. The federal government should partner with states and contract with independent evaluators in order to find out what works. States must work with the third-party evaluator to evaluate any benefits or problems with a new program. With a number of different approaches, we can find how best to expand opportunity.

Although the state will help design the new assistance programs, the service provider must show results. To the extent that the state allows non-profits or for-profits to use new techniques, then they need to be held accountable. The state should work with evaluators to ensure that they can measure the performance of all service providers.

This is where Ryan’s faith in the nimbleness and accountability of government is naïve at best. We have studies that show two of the shining lights of the welfare state, Medicaid and Headstart, don’t deliver but they live on.. Forever. Promises that “it will be different this time!” ring hollow compared to decades of evidence.

Ryan also has a faith that government or its approved private sector charities will be responsive to individual needs is again counter to all experience.

Continue reading


Posted by DrewM. at 10:34 AM Comments

ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber, 2012: Hey, You Know, It's a Key Point of Obamacare that Only State Exchanges Get Federal Subsidies. This Is Intended to Induce/Compel All States Into Compliance.

—Ace

Well lookie here.

What's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits--but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you're essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. [emphasis added]

He says this at around 31:45. Hit the link above for background, and evidence of how central this cat was to Obamacare.

By the way, when these challenges started working their way through the courts, Gruber changed his tune:

In early 2013, Gruber told the liberal magazine Mother Jones that the theory advanced by the challengers in this case was "nutty." Gruber also signed an amicus brief in defense of the administration and the IRS rule. But judging by the video it is quite clear that in 2012 he accepted the theory advanced by the challengers.


I wonder if anyone's ever been prosecuted for making false claims on a federal brief.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 09:50 AM Comments



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Top Headlines
Some more news you can't get from the domestic media - Tyler Durden (via Financial Times): Putin aide not worried about 50 bn Yukos ruling. "There is a war coming in Europe. Do you really think this [ruling] matters?" [krak/t]

Jonathan Adler: The case for (and against) congressional standing to sue the president
"What is potentially different here is that the House is seeking to challenge executive action as an institution. The interesting legal question is whether this is enough to make a difference. I’m skeptical, but it will be interesting to watch." [rdbrewer]


Richard Fisher: The Danger of Too Loose, Too Long
"I have grown increasingly concerned about the risks posed by current monetary policy. First, we are experiencing financial excess that is of our own making.... Second, I believe we are at risk of doing what the Fed has too often done: overstaying our welcome by staying too loose, too long." [rdbrewer]


Byron York: The Democrats' impeachment fundraising extravaganza
"In the past 48 hours, first lady Michelle Obama, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, White House spokesman Josh Earnest, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and others have raised the specter of an Obama impeachment." That's because the idiots who support them are easily persuaded. [rdbrewer]

Variety: Sarah Palin Launches Her Own Channel Online
"'I want to talk directly to you on our channel, on my terms — and no need to please the powers that be,' Palin, who is also a Fox News contributor, said in a video announcing the channel. 'Together, we’ll go beyond the sound bites and cut through the media’s politically correct filter.'" [rdbrewer]


Kevin Williamson: Halbig and Hammurabi
"The disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive managerial imagination: The law, in their view, is not something that limits the ambitions of princes, but something that empowers them to do what they see fit." [rdbrewer]

USA Today: Study: Fist bumps are less germy than handshakes
Someone studied that? Someone got money to study that? [rdbrewer]


Think Progress falls for fake story from parody website
About a Michelle Bachmann proposal for Americanization camps for illegal aliens. [rdbrewer]

Jonathan Turley: German Doctor Drugs, Rapes, and Kills Teenager in France Before Fleeing Country . . . Father Arranges Doctor To Be Kidnapped and Dumped in Front of French Courthouse
Germany wouldn't extradite. [rdbrewer]


P.J. O'Rourke: Why I Hate the Beach
"The water is freezing, the people are fat, and the sun will kill you. It’s time we were honest with ourselves about the horror of beach vacations." [rdbrewer]


Toby Harnden: Laura Ingraham, Tea Party Giant Killer, Eyes Her Next Scalp
"Her most withering contempt was aimed at her own party’s estab­lish­ment — the 'good old boys' and 'go along to get along Republican politicians doing backroom backslapping' with Democrats, being as eff­ective as 'beige wallpaper.'" [rdbrewer]


First look at Simpsons, Family Guy crossover from Comic Con [rdbrewer]
AoSHQ Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png

This week's guests: Mark and Mollie Hemingway

Stream | MP3 Download | Ask The Blog | Archives
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: Why Is the World Becoming Such a Nasty Place?
"We utter 'the children,' and discussion about proper culpability, cynical manipulation, and disinformation ends. In such a fantasy world, parents don’t manipulate 'the children' as pawns; countries don’t try to export what they see as their surplus population; Mexico doesn’t stir the pot; and liberal activists don’t cynically calculate electoral advantage. There are children in need at the border — but there is a great deal more as well." Via @EdDriscoll. [rdbrewer]


British inventor creates giant buttocks to 'fart on France'
Via @Instapundit. Added: Related news. [rdbrewer]

Batman v Superman, official first-look teaser trailer [rdbrewer]

CSM: Obama plans significant executive action on immigration
Every Democrat in a tough race just shit their pants. [rdbrewer]

Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest: As Libya Implodes, 'Smart Diplomacy' Becoming a Punch Line
"Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz.... But since both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have their fingerprints all over Libya, there isn’t a lot of press hunger for a detailed, unsparing autopsy into this stinking corpse of policy flub." Thanks to Monty. [rdbrewer]

MRC: Benjamin Netanyahu Confronts NBC’s David Gregory Over Claim That Israel Targeted a U.N. School
Press the Meat with anyone else (except Chuck Todd) will be so much better. [rdbrewer]

Bill Whittle, Truth Revolt: The Case for Israel
A must-watch video. Via @DoreenHDickson. [rdbrewer]


Top House Dem: Obama’s Immigration Orders are More Important than Vulnerable Dems
"Representative Raul Grijalva (D., Ariz.) thinks that President Obama should pursue his immigration goals unilaterally, even if it hurts vulnerable Democrats in the 2014 midterms." Nothing is more important than getting more voters, including the fact the US is already hurting and kids are dying on their way here. Louis Gutierrez (D, Illl.) said, unironically: "'When public policy is defined through electoral goals and the goals of a party, then human rights and civil rights always suffer.'" Like when kids are raped on the Death Train to America? [rdbrewer]

Soopermexican: Wow! HUGE protest against illegal immigration in Massachusetts!
Think about that, Democrats and establishment Republicans. They're even protesting in Massachusetts. People don't like it. Get that through your heads. [rdbrewer]

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone escaped patient dies
"Since February, more than 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa - the world's deadliest outbreak to date." [rdbrewer]

Real Science: Coolest Summer On Record In The US
Maybe climate assholes should go back to warning about a new ice age. [rdbrewer]


‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
"[A] 'pocket-sized aerial surveillance device' for soldiers assigned to small units in dangerous environments." [rdbrewer]


Lawmakers complain Obama too aloof with Congress
Why would a person who considers himself a superior being sully himself with phone calls to members of Congress? [rdbrewer]
Miami Herald: Piece of metal may offer clue to disappearance of Amelia Earhart’s plane
A month old. "There on the fuselage, about two-thirds of the way from the plane’s nose to its tail, is a rectangular patch that shines a peculiar silver on the aircraft’s dusky skin." [rdbrewer]

PC Tools Registry Mechanic
PC Tools was bought out by Symantec, and then it was closed down. Their best product was Registry Mechanic. Thing is, they left a download link open. You can have their last version for free. It's for Win 7, XP, and Vista. Let me know how it works out. [@rdbrewer4]
160 children died in Gaza's tunnels
"During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials."[CBD]

Senate Hearing: Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only. Senator Baucus explains how The Affordable Care Act sets conditions where Tax Credits are available for State Exchanges Only.
BUSTED! AGAIN! [rdbrewer]

TMZ: Joan Rivers GOES OFF on Epic Israel/Palestine Rant
"If New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe them out." Listen to the whole thing. Awesome. [rdbrewer]


Leon Wolf: Salon Attempts to Paint Avowed Communist Lee Harvey Oswald as a 'Right-Winger'
How ugly does a person have to be to try something like this? Someone is missing an ethical core. [rdbrewer]


Study: Climate Models Overestimated Global Warming For The Last 55 Years
"'Over the 55-years from 1958 to 2012, climate models not only significantly over-predict observed warming in the tropical troposphere, but they represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed....'" Via @JohnEkdahl. [rdbrewer]

John Sexton, Breitbart: Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Once Again Ties Subsidies to State-Based Exchanges
"Did Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber make the same mistake twice? A new audio clip finds him once again explaining that Obamacare subsidies are tied to state health exchanges." [rdbrewer]



Cover of this month's 'Chipmunk Vogue'

Gizmodo: The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever
"The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that dwarf the current state-of-the-art instruments." Exiting times for astronomy buffs. Via @JohnEkdahl. [rdbrewer]
Fight heats up over EPA sabotage of Alaska gold mine [dri]
WaPo Editorial: The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire
"The distinguishing feature of the latest war between Israel and Hamas is 'offensive tunnels,' as the Israeli army calls them. As of early Wednesday, 28 had been uncovered in Gaza, and nearly half extend into Israel, according to Israeli officials." [rdbrewer]

Charles Krauthammer: The Vacant Presidency
"The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached." It's the empathy deficit. [rdbrewer]


John Fund: The Moment of Truth on Corporate Welfare
"By choosing to end the Export-Import Bank, the GOP can zero out a destructive government program." [rdbrewer]

Michael Oren, WaPo: Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas [rdbrewer]

Eli Lake: Europe's Jews Blamed For Israel's War
"Since the beginning of the current war between Israel and Hamas, eight synagogues in France have been attacked.... [T]he foreign ministers of France, Italy, and Germany on Tuesday issued a rare joint statement condemning anti-Semitism at pro-Palestinian demonstrations." [rdbrewer]


Israeli Security Sources Confirm Hamas Intended to Use Tunnels For Major Rosh HaShanah Massacre
"Hamas had a plan to attack kibbutzim near the Hamas tunnel exits this coming Rosh Hashanah in a coordinated attack with an invasion force of over 200 terrorists and an objective to kill or kidnap as many Israelis as possible. The information comes from captured prisoners...." [rdbrewer]

Press Release: Sen. Paul Introduces the FAIR Act
"The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property.... Finally, the legislation would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund." Slam dunk. Great opportunity for bipartisanship. Added: More from Washington Post. [rdbrewer]

Megan McArdle, Bloomberg: Questions for Obamacare Now
"As I’ve written before, Democrats and insurers are now locked in a sort of prisoner’s dilemma, where the benefits of staying together are probably high, but the temptation to defect may be even higher. Once one stampedes, both will head for the doors very quickly." [rdbrewer]
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