November 19, 2019

Tuesday Overnight Open Thread (11/19/19)

—Misanthropic Humanitarian




Quote I

"You know, sometimes politicians who are stuck in Washington, and don't take the time to get out, don't get out to where real people live and play and work, they lose touch with the reality of where the heartbeat of our country is," she told a crowd at a recent campaign rally. "The heartbeat of our country, it's certainly not in Washington, D.C. The heartbeat of our country is in rooms like this. In communities like yours all across this country, standing up and saying it is time now for our voices to be heard." Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Quote II

People are excited about Buttigieg. He's fresh, he's new. He's gay. He's a serviceman. He served in Afghanistan. He's married, and a very, I mean unless you are a homophobe, he's married in a very traditional marriage, you know? Totally monogamous, and that should appeal to the silent majority, whoever they are. Joy Behar

Quote III

For generations, our community has been fed empty promises by Democratic candidates who pledged to fight for minorities and help the African-American community, only to ignore us after rising to power. Herman Cain

Quote IV

If a gay man doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a vagina and a lesbian doesn’t want to have sex with someone who has a dick, they are not being transphobic. They’re being — how shall I put this? — gay. Andrew Sullivan

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 09:57 PM Comments

Little Brian Stelter: Say, Now That Our Newest Coup Attempts Are Failing, Maybe It's Time to Dust Off Our First Coup Plan, Invoking the 25th Amendment

—Ace of Spades

You're not supposed to bat around the whole lineup if you keep striking out.

Yesterday, CNN announced that, with Russia Hoax 2.0 failing, they were going back to Russia Hoax 1.0-- claiming that Trump lied to Mueller or something.

Something Mueller himself was unable to establish.

Now they're going back ever further into the lineup.

Now they're trotting out the 25th Amendment coup plan again.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 08:15 PM Comments

AP Publishes Story Noting That 100,000 Migrant Children are In Detention, Pinning This on Trump;
Then They "Retract" The Story When They Learn This Figure is from 2015, and Therefore Not "News" Because It's Not Helpful to Democrats

—Ace of Spades

Brave firefighters who need to be spat on in public.

The story's still true -- they're just retracting it because it fails to advance the political interests they're in the business of advancing.

Wouldn't want any context about Obama's detention policies cluttering up the narrative, huh, AP?

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:55 PM Comments

DOJ Releases More Information About Strzok in Motion to Dismiss His Lawsuit Against Them

—Ace of Spades

Strzok filed suit, laughably, challenging the DOJ's determination that he should be fired.

The Department of Justice released documents Monday outlining a slew of "security violations" and flagrantly "unprofessional conduct" by anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok -- including his alleged practice of keeping sensitive FBI documents on his unsecured personal electronic devices, even as his wife gained access to his cellphone and discovered evidence that he was having an affair with former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

The DOJ was seeking to dismiss Strzok's lawsuit claiming he was unfairly fired and deserves to be reinstated as chief of the counterespionage division at the FBI. In its filing, the DOJ included an August 2018 letter to Strzok from the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which said in part that Strzok had engaged in a "dereliction of supervisory responsibility" by failing to investigate the potentially classified Hillary Clinton emails that had turned up on an unsecured laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner as the 2016 election approached.

The situation became so dire, OPR said, that a case agent in New York told federal prosecutors there that he was "scared" and "paranoid" that "somebody was not acting appropriately" and that "somebody was trying to bury this."


Additionally, DOJ and OPR noted that although Strzok claimed to have "double deleted" sensitive FBI materials from his personal devices, his wife nonetheless apparently found evidence of his affair on his cellphone -- including photographs and a hotel reservation "ostensibly" used for a "romantic encounter." Strzok didn't consent to turning over the devices for review, according to OPR, even as he acknowledged using Apple's iMessage service for some FBI work.

"[My wife] has my phone. Read an angry note I wrote but didn't send you. That is her calling from my phone. She says she wants to talk to [you]. Said we were close friends nothing more," one of Strzok's text to Page read, according to the filing.


Strzok's wife allegedly threatened to send Page's husband some of the photographs from Strzok's phone.

One quick vocabularly point: I've never trusted myself to use the word "ostensibly" because I wasn't sure if it meant apparently or supposedly/purportedly.

And that's a big difference; it's it's "apparently," that means it's your own take on the evidence; if it's "supposedly," that's someone else trying to push their take on you.

Turns out, it means both -- either apparently or supposedly, but not necessarily actually.

Here's the etymology, which suggests it started out as mostly meaning "purportedly:"

1730, "capable of being shown, that can be shown or seen, presentable," from French ostensible, from Latin ostens-, past-participle stem of ostendere "to show, expose to view; to stretch out, spread before; exhibit, display," from assimilated form of ob "in front of" (see ob-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Meaning "apparent, professed, put forth or held out as real" is from 1771.

So if that one's been bothering you, you're welcome.

Below, some tweets containing screenshots of the filing.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:00 PM Comments

RUSSIAN Propaganda Site Daily Caller Releases "Doctored Video" of Impeachment Hero Eric Swallwell, and Must Be Deplatformed Immediately
Plus: More Bearclaw!

—Ace of Spades

This guy's underwear is working harder than Ana Navarro's spanx.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 05:04 PM Comments

Doc_Zero/John Hayward: The Takeaway from Impeachment Theater Is That The Unelected Permanent Government Has Lost Confidence In the Voters

—Ace of Spades

Would it not be simpler to dissolve the people, and install another?

The big takeaway from Impeachment Theater is that American voters have influence over a much smaller portion of the federal government than they believed. Washington is a feudal bureaucratic empire with a small suggestion box.

Last week American voters were introduced to the idea that the elected President of the United States can be accused of "undermining" foreign policy determined by the permanent bureaucracy, which spends billions of our tax dollars but is not even slightly interested in our input.

We've been told top bureaucrats who supposedly serve at the pleasure of the president are actually entitled to their jobs and firing them is a crime, with the president presumed guilty unless he can prove he had an acceptable reason for terminating or reassigning them.

We've learned that Made Men of the bureaucratic empire and its political wing, the Democrat Party, cannot be investigated for corruption unless the most exquisite preliminary rituals are followed and the investigators can demonstrate the absolute purity of their intentions.

Outside of Impeachment Theater, we've been told it's heroic for the bureaucracy to organize "resistance" against the elected president and congressional representatives, if the Washington empire disapproves of the voters' choices.

We've discovered obscure lower-court judges can hijack entire segments of national policy on a whim. Some of these imperial proclamations have been expressly premised on the notion that American citizens have less to say about their own government than foreign nationals do.

We've learned a president the imperial bureaucracy likes can issue executive orders that cannot be reversed by presidents it disapproves of. The people are belatedly informed that some matters are settled forever on the "one man, one vote, one time" principle.

The essence of self-government, the true right that matters above all others, is the right to say "no." We've learned over the past three years that the American people no longer have that right in most cases, but their nominal employees in the federal government do.

If the imperial bureaucracy makes a demand of you, good luck with trying to work up a "resistance" movement. Good luck getting any favorable attention from the media that has fused with that bureaucracy and enjoys a revolving door of employment with it.

But if you, the Little People, cast votes the imperial bureaucracy doesn't like... well, watch out. They'll fight you every step of the way and spend untold millions of YOUR dollars against you. Then they'll get in front of cameras and expect you to applaud them as heroes.

It was always a swindle to convince the American people that democracy serves as a failsafe check against authoritarian power. We were fooled into thinking our government could never become dictatorial, no matter how much power it claims, because we can always vote the bums out.

Guess what, kids? "Voting the bums out" turns out to be nearly impossible in any significant sense, because they can use their vast resources of money, power, and media to create defensive phalanxes of rock-solid voters. They can give you billions of reasons not to vote them out.

And as we've seen since 2017, even if you DO manage to vote the bums out, or vote in an administration that disagrees with the imperial consensus, you learn that most of the power and money is controlled by people you never get to vote against.

You learn that the people you don't vote for are very capable of defending their privileges against the people who DO have to face the voters. And you learn that far more issues than you ever suspected are considered "settled" so you'll never get to vote on them again. /end

Posted by Ace of Spades at 03:40 PM Comments

Oh: Mr. Bearclaw -- I'm Sorry, Lieutenant Colonel Bearclaw -- Admits That Ukraine Asked Him to... Be Their Defense Minister

—Ace of Spades

Apparently the Ukranians had absolutely no questions about Vindman's national loyalties. They offered him one of the highest-ranking positions in government -- three times.

White House official Lt. Col. [Big Boy Bearclaw] testified Tuesday as part of the House impeachment inquiry that he was asked to serve as Ukraine’s defense minister -- but repeatedly denied the offers -- when he traveled to Kiev for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Minority counsel Steve Castor asked Vindman about the offer made by Ukraine's Defense Council Oleksandr Danylyuk earlier this year.

[Lt. Col. Bearclaw] testified Tuesday that Danylyuk offered him the position "three times."

"Every single time, I dismissed it," [Bearclaw] said. "Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this offer."

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 02:42 PM Comments

Senator Kennedy of Louisiana: Epstein Did Not Kill Himself

—Ace of Spades

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating Epstein's suicide death as a possible "criminal enterprise."

Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer revealed during testimony to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday that the FBI is investigating whether a "criminal enterprise" played a role in the death of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, asked Sawyer: "With a case this high profile, there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or criminal enterprise at foot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both, is the FBI looking at both?"

Sawyer responded: "The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes."

Jeffrey Epstein

As guilty of sex trafficking as he is innocent of suicide.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 01:44 PM Comments

C*ck-Fil-A? Chick-Fil-A Will No Longer Donate to Organizations Gay Pressure Groups Claim Are "Anti-Gay"

—Ace of Spades

You know -- alt-right organizations like the Salvation Army.

Chick-fil-A said Monday that it has stopped donations to several Christian organizations after receiving backlash from LGBT rights activists over the last several weeks.

The U.S. fast food chain said that as it expands, it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which opposes same-sex marriage. The company’s charity, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, has donated millions of dollars to the two organizations.

"We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018," a representative for Chick-fil-A said, saying the chain will now focus its charitable donations on "education, homelessness and hunger."

Nevergiveup says that Chick-Fil-A did not admit they were bowing to PC pressure, but... well, if they're focusing on "homelessness and hunger," why would they stop donating to the Salvation Army, except for the pressure from gay groups?

And of course they would not admit that.

But I can't make sense of claiming you're redirecting your donations to help with "homelessness and hunger," and then say, "And that means no more donations to the Salvation Army."

Chick-Fil-A disputes that this represents a "cave" to gay gestapo groups, but it seems to be that, at least to me.

Gay groups have been directing hateful protests at the organization for weeks.

Below, video of some of the protesters, including many, many drag queens.

David French rates this "a blessing of liberty," I presume.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 12:45 PM Comments

Eric Swallowall Drops a Raucously Loud Fart on Live TV

—Ace of Spades

Well that's one way to get some Twitter buzz.

I know this is old but it's too good.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 11:52 AM Comments

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition



Socialism inevitably leads to totalitarian governments.
Socialism inevitably leads to police states.
Socialism inevitably leads to death.

And that is what is coming to Hong Kong.

I can game out lots of scenarios that lead to a relaxation of Chinese control over Hong Kong, but they are long shots. The smart money is betting the over on number of deaths, and the under on the whole "Protesters Win!"

Police surround last holdouts at Hong Kong university

About 100 anti-government protesters remained holed up at a Hong Kong university Tuesday, unsure what to do next as food supplies dwindled and a police siege of the campus entered its third day.

Police played a waiting game after 10 days of some of the most intense protests the city has seen in more than five months of often violent unrest.

The government has stood firm, rejecting most of the protesters’ demands, even as they shut down major roads and trains during rush hour every day last week, turned several university campuses into fortresses and blocked a major road tunnel, which remained shut Tuesday.

In Beijing, the National People’s Congress criticized the high court in Hong Kong for striking down a ban on wearing face masks at the protests. China has taken a tough line on the protests and said that restoring order is the city’s highest priority.

Ah yes...restoring order. Sounds like hooliganism or usurious Jews or teaching reading to girls is running rampant.

See, it's all the same, all over the world and all through history. When government is powerful it violates the natural rights of its citizens. That is immutable. So any time some liberal virtue-signalling asshat wants to know why we need guns, point at Hong Kong.

The only reason the ChiComs haven't rolled the tanks is because Hong Kong is visible to the world. So they have to tread lightly or even LeBron James might say something unflattering about the largest and most pervasive police state in history.

They will start the killing soon, if they haven't already. And whatever you might see or read in the media, it is worse on the ground. The Chinese government cannot lose this battle, or the same thing will eventually happen in hundreds of cities across China. And that will mean death and destruction that will rival the cultural revolution or Pol Pot.

We are indeed living in interesting times.

Posted by CBD at 11:00 AM Comments

Mid-Morning Art Thread


Stuart Chevalier.jpg

Chevalier D'Eon
Thomas Stuart

In this case you are correct. Just read about...uh...xer?

Posted by CBD at 09:30 AM Comments

The Morning Report - 11/19/19

—J.J. Sefton


Good morning kids. Another day and another star witness who's going to blow this thing wide open and nail Trump. This time it's some career foreign service tool named David Holmes, the political officer at the US embassy in Ukraine who claimed to have overheard a phone call between Trump and ambassador Gordon Sondland the day after the crucial conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelensky that's at the heart of the drive to impeach. Aside from the fact that Holmes is yet another bureaucratic cog in the Deep State tyrannical machine, that he hates Trump and his foreign policy, and that his so-called damning evidence is based on copious notes he took of his colleagues remarks about the Presidents' call, he himself did not hear the call and in fact had been drinking when he heard the conversation between Trump and Sondland. Considering the fact that he offers nothing new, had been drinking and that the transcript of the call that got all this crap going has been released and is indeed "a perfect call," there is no there there.

But still they persist. Nancy Palsi, Schiff-for-Brains and the entire Democrat-Left-Media Complex is going to go full steam ahead for the next 51 weeks, despite the fact that it will absolutely destroy whatever illusion of a functioning political process America once might have had and permanently damage any chance of uniting what is now a deeply divided citizenry. No matter what the media claims, this is not playing at all well in Peoria. So tone deaf in their arrogance and haughtiness are the Dems that they think the American people are just too fucking stupid and inbred to understand quid pro quo, and are using focus groups to try and come up with simpler words for us filthy knuckle-dragging rubes to comprehend, like bribery and abuse of power. It doesn't matter what they call it; the American people by and large are not only not buying it but are coming to the conclusion that this entire thing is engineered as a means to persecute and illegally oust Trump. Some have even said, look, we're less than a year out from the election, so why not just let the people decide. This is where Palsi let's the strings holding up her face slip where she reveals much not only about how they feel about this election but how the Globalist so-called "elite" look upon their entitlement to power. We cannot take a chance on ignorant masses going against us like they did in 2016 (and '80 and '84 for that matter). It also not so subtly confirms what we have long suspected, insofar as elections, at least on a national level and sometimes at a state level are and have been a rigged game.

Other than that, the other major development is that Trump is hinting that he might agree to testify in the investigation. Like so many times before, I think he is calculating yet again to maneuver the Dems into another trap. Stay tuned.

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in some links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at if you want to continue the conversation all day.

Follow us on Twitter: @CutJibNews

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:11 AM Comments

Monday Overnight Open Thread (11/18/19)

—Misanthropic Humanitarian




Quote I

Now that I’m all healed from the surgeries, I regret them. The result of the bottom surgery looks like a Frankenstein hack job at best, and that got me thinking critically about myself. I had turned myself into a plastic-surgery facsimile of a woman, but I knew I still wasn’t one. I became (and to an extent, still feel) deeply depressed. Nathaniel (Last Name Withheld)

Quote II

“The industry as a whole is focused on creating a menu of CUAS sensor options that can be adapted to different use cases and price points,” “As the threat outpaces government responsiveness and legislative decision making, drone threats and less conventional countermeasures will continue to be an issue.”Christopher Williams, CEO of Citadel Defense Company

Quote III

“It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

“But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.”Prince Andrew

Quote IV

“When there is a tension, we want to make sure we’re being clear. We think this is going to be helpful,” Tassopoulos said of the company’s decision to pull its support from the charities. “It’s just the right thing to do: to be clear, caring, and supportive and do it in the community.” Tim Tassopoulos

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:00 PM Comments

Grassley Schedules Hearings with IG Horowitz on FISA Abuses for December 11, 2019

—Ace of Spades

Does this mean the long, long delayed report is going to be released within days?

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 08:10 PM Comments

Mass Protests Break Out in Iran to Protest Government's Increase in Fuel Prices

—Ace of Spades


"Some people are no doubt worried by this decision ... but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people," the Iranian Supreme Leader said in a live speech on state TV.

Riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in Tehran and dozens of other cities on Saturday, Iranian news agencies and social media said, a day after the government increased the price of gasoline.

"The counter-revolution and Iran's enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so," Khamenei said. "Unfortunately some problems were caused, a number of people lost their lives and some centres were destroyed."

They shut down -- or "curbed" - - the internet.

Iranian internet access was curbed this week on the orders of a state security council, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported, a move apparently aimed at preventing protesters from communicating with each other and sharing video on social media.

An Iranian dissident says that the Iranian government is afraid.

The protests began last Friday, and before the weekend was over, the Islamic Republic of Iran was in a state of insurrection. Major disturbances have been reported in more than 100 towns and cities across Iran, from Ardabil in the north, on the Caspian Sea, to Bandar Abbas in the south, on the Persian Gulf.


Shouting "death to the dictator," hundreds of thousands of protesters have been streaming through the streets of Tehran and Mashad, Tabriz and Shiraz. Billboards and posters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have been put to the torch.

"I'm getting first-hand information from people in the streets in different cities. They're mostly young people, and they’re crying, but they're full of hope. People are very angry," the prominent women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad told me on Sunday. "These people have nothing to lose. They’re fearless now. It is the government that is full of fear."


Although the gas price hikes triggered the protests that began last Friday, the popular demands explicitly call for regime change. Unlike 2009, the current protests are leaderless and organic, and thus more difficult to decapitate. "People are angrier and getting angry faster. The regime is already using live bullets, firing into crowds."

"This is the first time the government is afraid of the people right away. They shut down the internet right away. Straight away the government is full of fear. A leaderless movement is more dangerous. If the movement had a leader, they would go and arrest them. Now everyone is a leader."

She claims the Iranian thugs have already killed more than 40 people, but they're covering that up, the same as they covered up the actual death toll during the 2009 Green Uprising.

I've seen commenters mention a central bank in Iran being set fire to, or even "burned down," and have seen some references to that on some less-than-authoritative websites. If any of you have a good cite for that, please let me know.

Khamanei himself mentioned "arson," but did not specify what had been set ablaze.

Below is a tweet showing a building pouring out smoke, but, you know, we don't know what building this is, or what year it's from, or what country it's from. A lot of photos and videos get repurposed in the Middle East.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:20 PM Comments

Prince Andrew: I Have the Perfect Alibi to Claims I Had Sex with Underage Childslave Virginia Giuffre.
See, I Was At a... Pizza Restaurant.

—Ace of Spades

This claim is so odd that people speculate that the English royal family has decided to be tricky and try to get the media to protect Andrew by stirring up #PizzaGate conspiracy theories -- given how scandalized the leftwing media was over PizzaGate, maybe they'll rush to Andrew's defense if enough people say "Pizza party? PizzaGate!"

That sounds a little too cute to me, but what do I know -- I used to think the people running things were halfway intelligent, but it turns out they're largely morons. Maybe they're stupid enough to try this too-clever-by-half play.

An article in The Atlantic pointed out that his "I couldn't have been at that party with her, I remember having gone to a pizza restaurant in Wolking" makes no sense and is no alibi, because that restaurant is less than an hour from the site of the party -- he could have gone to the pizza restaurant before or after the party, and his story would be true... but irrelevant. Same as claiming your alibi is that you were in a different city the day before a murder happened.

Thanks for the detail, but... that's not an alibi.

Andrew offered the following additional proofs of innocence:

Regarding the picture showing him with his arm around the waist of an underage Virginia Giuffree, nee Roberts, Andrew claims, "No one has yet proved whether that photo is genuine or has been doctored."

So... no one says it was doctored, and you claim no one has proven it is real or fake?

A strange proof that the photo is not real is that he asserts that when in London (the photo, I guess, was taken in London), he wears a "suit and tie," and this photo shows him wearing what he calls his "travelling clothes," therefore... um.... this could not possibly be him.

His proof of innocence is that he literally never takes off his suit jacket and wears a button-down dress shirt while in London. Only when travelling abroad does he wear such rugged, rude peasant garb.


But his proofs go further. As to Giuffre's claim that he "sweated profusely" when dancing with her at a club, he says that that couldn't be true, because... at the time, but not now, he had a strange condition that caused him not to sweat at all.

He is very stuttery and stumbly about when this alleged condition afflicted him. He seems to emphasize that he did not sweat at that time. I imagine he says this because he sweats now, and he doesn't want his offer of proof rejected upon anyone seeing him sweat.

The New York Post dubbed him "His Royal Dryness."

He also claimed he would never "really party" nor engage in PDAs as seen in the photo.

And yet, Daily Mail points out video from 2007 showing him partying with young women on the French Riviera, engaging in some light PDA, and looking a bit... sweaty.

Oh, and one PDA? A young woman is photographed licking his face, which I think counts as a PDA.

Newly-revealed video shows Prince Andrew at raucous pool party on the French Riviera in July 2008

Pictures from other events also show him enjoying attention of beautiful women including one licking his face

Andrew's public role in danger after 'car crash' BBC interview where he discussed relationship with Epstein

Denied he met Virginia Roberts - let alone had sex with her - and hinted photo of them together could be fake

Duke said he 'never really partied', avoided 'public affection' and Falklands battles left him unable to sweat

But photos and video from French parties show him gripping several women and looking decidedly sweaty

2.5m people watched BBC interview described as 'Not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash'

When asked why he stayed in Jeffrey Epstein's place even after Epstein had copped a plea in a sex-slave case, he says he went there to tell Epstein that he could no longer be pals with him. I guess he stayed at his place to... I don't know, give Epstein some final Friendship Time?

When asked what caused him to associate himself with such a seedy individual as Epstein -- guilty of corrupting underage girls, and innocent of suicide -- Andrew stated that he was "too honourable." That's his flaw -- he was too honourable. I imagine he means he was too honourable to even suspect such tawdry, lower-class-type crimes were going on all around him.

The press reaction was generally bad though I'm sure the press will start defending him once the royal family threatens to withhold interviews with Megan Markle.

Some video below.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 06:16 PM Comments

Tom Morrison Questioned Alex Vindman's "Judgement;" Paul Sperry Reports On Complaints That Vindman Leaked and Was So Distrusted He Was Excluded from Some Trips and Discussions

—Ace of Spades

Byron York reports that Democrats and lawyers repeatedly stopped any questioning of Tom Morrison and Vindman about who else they had talked to.

On Saturday, Democrats released the transcript of the Oct. 31 deposition of Tim Morrison, who until recently was the top National Security Council official in charge of Russia and Europe. At the deposition, Republicans asked Morrison about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served under Morrison in charge of Ukraine. Morrison testified that he had questions about Vindman's judgment. Specifically, Morrison told the committee, "I had concerns that he did not exercise appropriate judgment as to whom he would say what."


GOP lawyer Steve Castor asked Morrison in a general sense who Vindman might have discussed the Trump-Zelensky call with. "What types of officials in the course of his duties would he be responsible for providing readouts to?"

The transcript indicates that an off-the-record discussion took place. Then Morrison said, "He -- he may have felt it appropriate to speak to other departments and agencies if they had questions about the call."

"Do you know if he did?" asked Castor.

"Yes," said Morrison.

"And who--— do you know who he spoke to?"

At that moment, Morrison's lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, intervened. "I'm not going to allow him to answer that, it is beyond the scope of this inquiry," she said.

Castor protested that he was not asking Morrison to testify beyond his knowledge of events. Van Gelder then read what appeared to be a prepared statement.


More arguing ensued, but Morrison did not answer the question.

At another moment, Morrison described the time Vindman came to him to express concerns about the Trump-Zelensky call. "Did you have any other communications with [Vindman] about the call?" asked Castor.

"Yes," said Morrison.

"And what were those?"

"You're not going to talk about that," interjected Van Gelder.

Vindman himself testified two days earlier, on Oct. 29. In that session, Schiff again decreed that the witness could not discuss some of the people he might have discussed the Trump call with. In fact, Schiff ordered a blackout on discussion of anyone even associated with the intelligence community. (The whistleblower has been reported to be a CIA analyst.) "Can I just caution again," Schiff said, "Not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way."

Vindman said he had discussed the call, in a limited way, with State Department official George Kent. When asked who beyond Kent he might have discussed the call with, Vindman's lawyer Michael Volkov intervened.

"What I'm telling you right now is we're not going to answer that question," Volkov said. "If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting the whistleblower, God be with you ... If you want to ask, you can ask -- you can ask questions about his conversation with Mr. Kent. That's it. We're not answering any others."

"The only conversation that we can speak to Col. Vindman about is his conversation with Ambassador Kent?" asked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

"Correct," said Volkov, "and you've already asked him questions about it."

Volkov, like Van Gelder later, was simply following Schiff's directive. The chairman ruled out any talk about the call.

I'd like to thank each of these Democrat Operatives for their service.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 04:48 PM Comments

Leaked Cache of Diplomatic Cables Proves How Thoroughly Iran Has Corrupted and Co-Opted the Iraqi Government

—Ace of Spades

Iraq is essentially a client state of Iran.

Now leaked Iranian documents offer a detailed portrait of just how aggressively Tehran has worked to embed itself into Iraqi affairs, and of the unique role of [Iranian Quds Force leader General Qassim] Suleimani. The documents are contained in an archive of secret Iranian intelligence cables obtained by The Intercept and shared with the New York Times for this article, which is being published simultaneously by both news organizations.

The unprecedented leak exposes Tehran's vast influence in Iraq, detailing years of painstaking work by Iranian spies to co-opt the country’s leaders, pay Iraqi agents working for the Americans to switch sides, and infiltrate every aspect of Iraq's political, economic, and religious life.


According to one of the leaked Iranian intelligence cables, [Iraq's current prime minister] Abdul-Mahdi, who in exile worked closely with Iran while Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, had a "special relationship with the IRI" -- the Islamic Republic of Iran -- when he was Iraq's oil minister in 2014. The exact nature of that relationship is not detailed in the cable, and, as one former senior U.S. official cautioned, a "special relationship could mean a lot of things -- it doesn't mean he is an agent of the Iranian government." But no Iraqi politician can become prime minister without Iran's blessing, and Abdul-Mahdi, when he secured the premiership in 2018, was seen as a compromise candidate acceptable to both Iran and the United States.


Cultivating Iraqi officials was a key part of [Iran's intelligence services and Revolutionary Guards'] job, and it was made easier by the alliances many Iraqi leaders forged with Iran when they belonged to opposition groups fighting Saddam. Many of Iraq's foremost political, military, and security officials have had secret relationships with Tehran, according to the documents. The same 2014 cable that described Abdul-Mahdi's "special relationship" also named several other key members of the cabinet of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as having close ties with Iran.

A political analyst and adviser on Iraq to Iran’s government, Gheis Ghoreishi, confirmed that Iran has focused on cultivating high-level officials in Iraq. "We have a good number of allies among Iraqi leaders who we can trust with our eyes closed," he said.

Bush's failure to anticipate Iran joining the fight in Iraq, and his attempt to downplay the extent to which Iran was actively killing US soldiers, led to Iran becoming more brazen and more powerful in Iraq.

I have trouble envisioning how the "verdict of history" will ever conclude that this war benefited the US. Iran seems to be the winner, and all it cost them was some IEDs and bribe-money.

Video report here, which says that none of this is exactly a shock, but the cables do confirm what we expected, and suggest that maybe it's worse than we imagined. Skip to 2:50 to see some footage of the protests in Iraq against the government, over rising fuel costs. (France 24 blames this on Trump's sanctions against Iran because of course.)

Posted by Ace of Spades at 03:42 PM Comments

Study: Starbucks Foot Traffic Down 6.8% After "All Homeless Bums Are Welcome to Shoot Up In Our Bathrooms" Policy

—Ace of Spades

Woke/broke: The cycle accelerates.

Foot traffic was most reduced at Starbucks located close to a homeless shelter, and less reduced the further the store was placed from a homeless shelter.

Academics from the University of Texas at Dallas Jindal School of Management and Boston College Carroll School of Management, in collaboration with SafeGraph, released a comprehensive research study that revealed Starbucks visits declined 6.8%, relative to nearby restaurants and cafes, after the company changed to an open bathroom policy.


Key Findings from the study:

The decline was 84% larger for stores near homeless shelters

The policy also led to fewer citations for public urination nearby store locations, but had no effect on other similar public order crimes

Individuals visiting a Starbucks reduced the amount of time they spent in the store by 4.2%

More affluent customers reduced their visits more, but black and white customers were equally deterred

The study indicates the potential loss in sales when a store goes from providing for customers only, to credible potential customers, to those with no prospect of being customers. More importantly, allocating these resources to non-paying members of the public can have outsized effects on sales by deterring paying customers. The cost is actually lost sales, not just the possible additional staffing costs to keep the bathrooms clean.

Comics Matter had an interesting point, comparing the loss of business at Starbucks and the flops of Terminator and Charlie's Angels: #Woke companies keep chasing "phantom customers" while alienating actual customers.

In the case of Starbucks, they're letting homeless bums sit in the limited number of chairs and thus deterring paying customers from entering.

In Hollywood, and at #Woke Marvel Comics, they're alienating the audience they actually have but which they openly despise -- older men with traditional notions of "male gender roles," often white -- in order to market all of their books to the audience they wish they could have, non-white girls and women and members of the LGBT alphabet soup.

Did the makers of Terminator: Dark Fate think that the usual audience for a Terminator movie would enjoy a heavy-handed racial revenge murder fantasy featuring a Hispanic Terminator killing scores of ICE agents and Border Patrol officers?

They couldn't have though that -- but they thought the phantom audience of #Woke young minorities would love it.

And most girls and women and most members of the LGBT alphabet soup do not like stories which are mostly about combat.

They're intentionally trolling and outright insulting the actual customer base, in order to curry favor with a broke-ass sad-losers-on-Twitter phantom customer base.

A phantom customer base that never becomes real.

The actual audience for this fare departs, and the phantom audience never comes to replace it.

But they do get Retweets from #Woke racists and sexists on Twitter -- which, unfortunately, are not a valuable commodity which can be exchanged for cash.

But they continue to prioritize their businesses towards accumulating huge piles of meaningless Twitter "You Go Girl" affirmations while deprioritizing actual sales to actual customers.

And then they wonder why they're losing money and market share.

But hey -- one day, those Twitter retweets are going to be worth their weight in gold.

(Spoiler: electronic messages have no weight at all, or a subatomic weight if you count electrons, and therefore their weight in gold is either zero or practically zero. I mean, electrons have so little mass that they're routinely assumed to be zero even when calculating the weight of mere protons and neutrons in a single atomic nucleus. But enjoy your hoard of Twitter Affirmation Wealth, gals!)

Posted by Ace of Spades at 02:48 PM Comments

White House Aide Sues Politico for Defamation, Citing Story Written by "Fusion Nat" Bertrand

—Ace of Spades

Get 'em.

A White House official on Monday sued Politico and one of its reporters over stories and tweets that he says falsely accuse him of “lying, deceit and unethical conduct.”

Kash Patel, the National Security Council's senior counterterrorism director, is seeking more than $25 million in damages in the suit filed in Virginia....

The lawsuit also names Natasha Bertrand, a Politico reporter and MSNBC contributor, as well as Politico owner Robert Allbritton.


While Politico is the nominal target of the suit, it represents an aggressive attempt by a presidential aide to put Adam Schiff's handling of the impeachment inquiry itself on trial. Describing the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as "a demagogue with an axe to grind against the president," Patel portrays Schiff as running roughshod over rules and interviewing witnesses "to create click-bait headlines and soundbites to feed to his co-conspirators and media sympathizers."

It's time to open up the libel laws, as a prescient man once said.

Posted by Ace of Spades at 01:36 PM Comments

Charlie's Angels Is The Newest #Woke Box Office Catastrophe, Failing to Even Break the $8.7 Million Mark in North American Opening

—Ace of Spades

They can't go bankrupt fast enough.

But they're trying. Oh, is Hollywood trying!

In the wake of Terminator: Dark Fate's failure at the B.O..., we have the further breakdown of cinema IP in Sony’s Charlie's Angels reboot, which is tanking with a God-awful $8.6M domestic opening, $27.9M worldwide (from 26 markets), 3 Stars on Screen Engine-Comscore’s PostTrak, and a B+ Cinemascore.

The Elizabeth Banks-directed-written and produced pic is also opening in 27 offshore markets, China being one where it’s also bombing, with a $7.8M 3-day take in third place behind No. 1 local title Somewhere Winter ($13.1M). All of this is primed to further spur a WTF reaction and anxiety among film development executives in town in regards to what the hell exactly works in this have-and-have-not era of the theatrical marketplace.


Says RelishMix, which also foresaw this disaster approaching on social media chatter, "Angels is the latest example in a 'woke' effort to reboot a franchise that many were not all that interested in to start with. In fact, many references to the 2000 version get a call-out as a reason this one doesn’t seem to compare -- whether it’s the cast or the action teased from the film. And, as observed with other recent films, some action/adventure, unfortunately fans say they’re steering clear of this one because of its 'girl power' messaging."

Full-time feminist and occasional director Elizabeth Banks tried the usual "dark marketing" tactic of insulting men to get the women (and liberal soy-based men) who despise men to support her movie, making "Gender Aggrievement" the central marketing pitch for a popcorn movie:

In the age of reboots, revivals, and sequels, Elizabeth Banks wants to know why people are criticizing her for creating another chapter in the Charlie’s Angels franchise.

In a recent profile in WSJ Magazine, the Charlie’s Angels writer/director/star responded to the criticism she's been facing for rebooting the franchise with Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott. "You've had 37 Spider-Man movies and you’re not complaining!" Banks says. "I think women are allowed to have one or two action franchises every 17 years -- I feel totally fine with that."

In this interview, she announces that almost every story in history is told from a "cisgendered white male perspective" and that any woke story is therefore "fresher."

Audiences don't seem to agree, especially because almost every movie is now #Woke gender-swapped trash. How is this "fresh" given that eight thousand other movies in the past five years do it?

"Fresh" would be a movie about men doing masculine-type things. People would be shocked at that bizarre, unexpected gender twist.

She also declares that men have a responsibility to see women's movies, and I guess particularly those women's movies which intentionally demean and scapegoat men.

She also made sure that audiences knew this movie wasn't only for women -- it was also for the other 50% of the country, Teh Gays.

Elizabeth Banks, writer, director, producer, and costar of the new Charlie’s Angels from Sony, has delivered an action-packed popcorn flick that's fun, feminist, and queer.

One of the sociologically relevant pieces of Charlie’s Angels is a scene in which a female informant exchanges information, not for money but for menstrual products and birth control in order to help women in her native Turkey. Regarding that plot point in the movie, Banks says:

"One of the great tropes of all spy movies is the informant and the payment to the informant. I was really interested in stories from women around the globe who are less interested in receiving money for information because money can be taken from them by the men in their lives. And they actually need menstrual products and birth control and Pampers and Advil. I was so moved by the idea that there is a network of women around the world that are helping each other get things."

While Charlie's Angels has always been inherently campy, it's never been overtly queer -- that is, until Banks and Stewart chose to include a nod to Sabina’s queerness. Banks has also incorporated a few other nods and cameos that are sure to please LGBTQ viewers.

Oh, she worked in tampons, too. I was afraid the movie would completely overlook the classic action movie trope of Tampon Lecturing. This is really a four-quadrant play!

Banks just couldn't stop being annoying AF:

'Charlie's Angels' Director Elizabeth Banks Challenges Trolls: Action Movies Are My Realm

The film even opens with Stewart’s character commenting to a meaty male mark that she thinks "women can do anything." It's tongue-in-cheek, but it's also a fast summation of the messages Banks wanted her second feature to impart. "I wanted it to be a celebration of women," Banks said. "I wanted it to remind people that women are everywhere, that you can’t ignore us and that when you underestimate us, you give us a superpower[."]


Finally, as for anyone who might sneer at a woman claiming feminist space in the action realm (see: the recent reintroduction of Linda Hamilton, plus two other new female characters in "Terminator: Dark Fate," which emboldened scads of online trolls), Banks offered these thoughts.

"I will say that I think they’re apples and oranges, because 'Charlie's Angels' has always been about women, and the DNA of it is about women working together on this team," she said. "We are not treading in a male space. I think that's one of the big differences between these two things. I don’t know, I'm less concerned about that. Of course, those trolls are horrifying, but you know, I challenge them to get up and make a fucking movie action movie. I welcome any of them into my realm."

Elizabeth Banks must have know her Gay Tampon Propaganda was going to tank, because, just on the eve of the movie's release, she started making excuses for its impending failure.

Get ready for a shock: She blamed men and their sexism.

The filmmaker, who also wrote and produced “Charlie’s Angels” and stars in the movie as Bosley, called out a potential box office bomb as being sexist. "Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money," she said. "If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don't go see women do action movies."

Although it is true that people -- not just men-- are reluctant to see action movies starring women -- for one simple reason, because it's dumb and silly -- it's not true that they won't see such movies.

John Nolte points out that men turned out for two Charlie's Angels movies in 2000 and 2003, despite the latter one being terrible.

[T]his has nothing to do with gender, and I can prove it... Here are two numbers that are not adjusted for nearly two decades of inflation: $40 million and $37.6 million.

All the way back in 2000, a movie based on the television show Charlie’s Angels and called Charlie’s Angels opened to $40 million. It would eventually gross $139 million domestic and $264 million worldwide (back when the international market was nowhere near as open as it is today).

All the way back in 2003, the sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, opened to $37.6 million. It would eventually gross $101 million domestic and $260 million worldwide.

But here’s the difference...

The 2000 version of Charlie's Angels somehow managed to drive home its empowerment and sisterhood message without dumpster-diving into misandry. And unlike this current trio of generic, androgynous, mall-girl angels, the 2000 version featured three sexy women: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, who didn’t apologize for being sexy, who used that power to convince us guys the movie was worth our time, and they delivered.


And so, Charlie's Angels (2019) is the fifth franchise the man-hating woketards have destroyed, the fifth golden goose strangled by these joyless and the artless harpies.

Is there any hot new take -- besides Tampon Lecturing -- in this movie?

No. As this critic points out, they're still doing the same 90s era You Go Girl shallow empowerment sloganeering they did in the first Charlie's Angels movie, 25 years ago.

Drew Barrymore and McG came along with a take that knowingly winked at its own history of sexploitation while playing into a very 1990s "you go girl" concept.


What is most surprising about the latest "Charlie's Angels," which was written and directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also plays the part of Bosley, is how little the "go girl" feminism of the 2000 film has evolved in nearly 20 years.

That doesn't surprise me. It's always been a shallow, glib bumper-sticker. It's a marching chant, not a philosophy.

By the way, the big reveal at the end of this movie is that the mysterious "Charlie" who's been giving these assignments to women for 50 years now... has been A Strong Empowered Woman all along, using a voice-changer to disguise her voice.

You go girl.

No, seriously: You go girl. You go NOW.

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Posted by Ace of Spades at 12:31 PM Comments

The Morning Rant


talking ape.jpg
"So, the other day, CNN trotted out Watergate bungler John Dean, who has spent his post-Watergate years building up his brand being an anti-Republican squawk-box, who said, quote, I think this president should have been impeached from day one, unquote.

"I guess nobody told him that, in order to be impeached, a president has to actually do something that's impeachable, so he can't be impeached "from day one." Impeachment is a last resort, not the first line of defense against executive branch corruption.

"But I don't care about anything Dean has to say. The point is, if CNN were a serious news organization, that comment should've gotten John Dean booted off permanently. It is not any kind of sober political analysis, it is just a childish hurled by a partisan hack. Note to CNN: this is why we don't take you seriously. They don't do actual news any more. They just bring out one guy who says 'Orange Man bad', followed by another guy who says 'Orange Man bad' followed by a woman who says, 'Orange Man bad'. This is the sum total of their news coverage

"You know, if Saturday Night Live is looking for 'edgy' material, they can always grab that old 'Death to America' skit from Mad TV and update it to 'Orange Man Bad' as a way to poke satirical fun at the incompetent clown show CNN has become. There is a gold mine of material for comedy here, for anyone to pick up and use. It would be hip, edgy, and subversive of the dominant 'Orange Man Bad' paradigm in our culture. Isn't this precisely the sort of thing that progressives say they like?"

Serious Journalisming:

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Posted by OregonMuse at 11:25 AM Comments

Mid-Morning Art Thread


Romney Johnstone.jpg>

Mrs. Johnstone And Her Son
George Romney

Posted by CBD at 09:30 AM Comments

The Morning Report - 11/18/19

—J.J. Sefton


Good morning kids. Start of a brand new week and the same old Schiff. Friday's hearing involving the much-ballyhooed testimony of ex-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch sure was blockbuster; she essentially put the final nail into the coffin of whatever case was being attempted to hang President Trump. When finally asked salient questions instead of probing her feelings, she stated unequivocally she never met Trump, had no first-hand knowledge of the actual phone conversation between him and Ukie prexy Zelensky, could not name one high crime or misdemeanor involving the latter and even admitted that it was the Obama administration that had withheld the vital military aid which might have prevented Russia from invading and annexing the Crimea. You know, Russia. The country that supposedly colluded with Trump or used him as a puppet to steal the 2016 election from Hillary? The woman who as Secretary of State engineered the sale of 20% of America's strategic uranium stockpiles to Russia? But, let's not let these minor details get in the way of a good story.

The other aspect of Friday's national embarrassment was the rude and shabby treatment that Adam Schiff-for-Brains meted out to fellow committee member Elise Stefanik. One reason was that Stefanik's backbench status in the lower chamber belies her smarts but the other and frankly more disgusting reason was the political calculus that having a woman grill Yovanovitch takes away the look-at-the-evil-misogynist-Republicans-making-a-woman-cry meme that the Dems always use as a ploy to misdirect the public via creating a sympathetic witness. That failed, especially when Stefanik finally was able to interrogate her. The reaction from the Dems was not only to give Yovanovitch, whose actions in her official capacity were tantamount to insubordination and worse when the administration wanted to legally and legitimately question Ukrainian officials about the Bidens and Burisma, a standing ovation but some fool PhotoShopped Stefanik flipping the bird to her as she exited the hearing. And, of course the media pounced.

Look, in every real sense, the Democrats have nothing, never had anything and will never get anything even remotely resembling a legitimate high crime of misdemeanor on this President that warrants impeachment. But, they will persist because a) they're completely out of their minds (with the possible exception of that Democrat Congressman Jeff Van Drew who sees this as a looming disaster) with hatred, b) they're candidates and platform for 2020 is terrifying and repulsive even to those marginally interested in politics and c) the Deep State globalists in and outside government will not abide by having their grand strategy to control the destiny of this nation and its people taken from them.

To that point, even Nancy Palsi's botox-addled mind moves her pie hole to utter words that are quite revelatory. President Trump must disprove the charges against him. So much for due process but if she and her cohorts are hell bent for leather on this, the words of John Wayne in The Green Berets may come back to haunt her: "Out here, due process is a bullet." For those keeping score, the first shots were already fired by James Hodgkinson, for which Dick Durbin has yet to answer for vis a vis his close association with the would-be mass assassin. At this stage we are a nation divided and because of the Left's position that America as founded and everything it stands for is either inherently evil or illegitimate, there is no common ground with which to even attempt some sort of rapprochement. G-d help us.

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in some links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at if you want to continue the conversation all day.

Follow us on Twitter: @CutJibNews

Posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:44 AM Comments

Sunday Overnight Open Thread (11/17/19)

—Misanthropic Humanitarian




Quote I

Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

Quote II

As of September of this year, the Senate had been forced to invoke cloture on 236 Trump nominees — each of those representing its own massive consumption of legislative time meant only to delay an inevitable confirmation. How many times was cloture invoked on nominees during President Obama’s first term? 17 times. The Second President Bush’s first term? Four times. It is reasonable to wonder whether a future President will actually be able to form a functioning administration if his or her party does not hold the Senate. Attorney General William Barr

Quote III

“Respect is a cardinal value in our society. As public officials, we must be exemplary.”French Cultural Minister, Franck Riester

Quote IV

We all talk about Trump as an “existential threat” but his side sees Democratic control of government the exact same way. And when both sides believe the other guy taking over means the end of the world, yes, you can have a civil war. Trump rallies are filled with words like “enemies of the people,” “human scum.” They talk of people to be locked up. Well, you can’t lock all us up. Liberals are described as weak, lame, coddling, oversensitive, and limp-dicked.

Which are strong words for a bunch of mouth-breathers, shit kickers, knuckle draggers,bible thumpers, sister-fuckers and rubes Bill Maher

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 09:50 PM Comments

Gun Thread: Mail Call!! [Weasel]

—Open Blogger

lonelymailbox scaled.jpg

Dayum! You people really hit the ol' Gun Thread mailbox hard this week! So much so, you all have pretty well written the thread your own bad selves! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! And this means I get to use the lonely mailbox picture again! Life is bueno, amigos and amigettes. Without further introductory blabbering on my part, lets get right to it, shall we?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:00 PM Comments

Food Thread:The Belly Of The (Tasty) Beast, Sex In The City And Russian Layer Cake?



I recently had a marvelous dish, but I can't find a photograph of anything similar, and I was too frantically stuffing it into my mouth to push myself away from the plate long enough to take a photograph. Above is a porchetta from New Orleans, and it looks similar enough, although the spicing would, I guess, be radically different.

What was it? Well, as far as I can tell it was a trimmed pork loin wrapped with pork belly, then slow roasted for awhile, then finished in a very hot oven to crisp the skin. It was served in three-inch slices, and every bite was wonderfully moist meat coupled with the fat of the pork belly and the intense crispiness of the skin. It was served with a Yorkshire pudding and sage gravy, with apple sauce (thankfully on the side, because apple sauce is disgusting).

Many pork belly recipes call for aggressive spices and herbs, but this one was pretty simple: salt and pepper and maybe a bit of thyme. Nothing else except for that luscious pork and pork fat...

This is excellent cooking. It wasn't chef food, it was more like the stuff great cooks make when they want something simple and wonderful. Start with good quality pork, pay attention to time and temperature, and you will be good to go. That's the kind of cooking most of us love, and actively seek out, whether it's coming out of a local restaurant or an aunt's kitchen.

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Posted by CBD at 04:00 PM Comments

The Arc Of Turkey's Descent Into Islamic, Third-World Madness


Daniel Pipes has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Arab and Muslim world, so his short histories of issues are always a worthwhile read.

His political analysis however tends to be slipshod, as he is overly fond of his own basic premise that militant Islam can be moderated and, as he demonstrates here, glossies over some really big events. Oh, and he is part of the moderate wing of the NeverTrumpers, although he hides it well.

Erdoğan's Turkish Delight: The Dangerous Reign of Ankara's Corrupt President

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rule over Turkey began in March 2003 and divides precisely into two eras.

In the first half, which lasted 8 years and 4 months, he was brilliant. He oversaw unprecedented economic growth and regional influence. He tackled long-festering problems, such as the Kurdish issue, while discreetly handling his military overlords. His string of successes culminated in July 2011 with an assertion of control of the military, an accomplishment that had eluded all of his predecessors.

And then he reverted to type...The type that has dominated the Muslim world since...oh...Mohamed. The egomaniacal despot who is obsessed with his own position on the world stage.

But what Pipes minimizes is a profound change in Turkey, and that is the destruction of the checks and balances that its modern founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk created; a strong, secular military establishment to prevent the worst excesses of Islamism. Erdoğan managed to destroy that balance, and set the table for Turkey's return to Islamic dictatorship.

Regardless, it is an interesting article that describes the path from popularly elected leader to dictator. Turkey is a regional power, and one that is currently our de facto enemy. It is an excellent example of the failure of NATO, and the fecklessness of European leadership.

Posted by CBD at 02:30 PM Comments

The Evolution Of Falciparum Malaria (the nastiest kind)


Nature, to the extent it cares at all, likes to kill us.

And of course it doesn't care one way or the other, because "Nature" isn't a sentient being. It is a numberless collection of processes and equilibria and feedback loops and all sorts of fascinating stuff.

50,000-year-old gene reveals how deadliest malaria parasite jumped from gorillas to humans

Malaria causes 435,000 deaths per year on average, with ~61% occurring in children <5 years of age. P. falciparum is the of seven species of parasite that can cause malaria in a family known as the Laverania and causes the deadliest form of the infectious disease; in 2017, this parasite accounted for 99.7% of cases in Africa.

The Laverania parasites originated in African great apes; however, they are now restricted to their own specific host species. Three parasite species are confined to chimpanzees, and three are combined to gorillas. What about the seventh, you ask?

Too bad one of the greatest mass murderers in history (Rachel Carson) was able to fool the world into thinking that the life of the malaria mosquito is more important than the lives of millions and millions of people.

Regardless, this is an interesting progression of the disease...

Posted by CBD at 12:15 PM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-17-2019


Biblioteca Vasconcelos Mexico City 01 small.jpg
Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City, Mexico

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules), conspiracy theorists, unindicted co-conspirators and unimpeachable quid-pro-quoers. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, snark, witty repartee, hilarious bon mots, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, spending way too much money on books, writing books, and publishing books by escaped oafs and oafettes who follow words with their fingers and whose lips move as they read. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, for which I thank my lucky stars that they're more of a turquoise color, and not lime green, or burnt orange.

Pic Note:

Yeah, I know this one is not going to be to everyone's taste, and I generally don't like the aesthetics of modern libraries, but I kind of like this one. I had to laugh at its construction history, though:

Then President of Mexico Vicente Fox inaugurated the library on 16 May 2006, and stated that this was one of the most advanced constructions of the 21st century, and that it would be spoken of throughout the world. This inauguration took place a week before the deadline the president had to promote his accomplishments before the 2006 presidential election.

The library had to close in March 2007 due to construction defects...

AHAHAHA!!!!! Stop laughing, you racists!

The Superior Auditor of the Federation detected 36 construction irregularities and issued 13 motions of responsibility for public servants of the federal government. Among the irregularities found was the misplacement of marble blocks at a cost of 15 million pesos (roughly 1.4 million dollars).

During Calderón's administration, efforts to restore it continued with a further investment of 32 million pesos (roughly US$3 million).

It was reopened to the public in November 2008 after 22 months.

So, from this account, the library was built broken and then had to be fixed. And you have to wonder how many pesos went to graft, kickbacks, or simply disappeared into the pockets of the well-connected.

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

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Posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM Comments

EMT 11/17/19


11 shopping days until Thanksgiving.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

Saturday Overnight Open Thread (11/16/19)

—Misanthropic Humanitarian



The Saturday Night Joke

A Southern lady was visiting an acquaintance, and the acquaintance was taking great delight in showing off her many treasures.

“Why, this grand house was given to me by my husband as a wedding gift.”

Lady: “How nice.”

“And that Mercedes out front, that was an anniversary gift from my husband.”

Lady: “How nice.”

“And this 5-carat diamond ring, that was given to me by my husband when our first child was born.”

Lady: “How nice.”

“And these emerald and diamond earrings were a gift from my husband when our second child was born.”

Lady: “How nice.”

“And what did your husband give you?”

Lady: “Why, he gave me etiquette lessons, so I could learn to say ‘how nice,’ instead of ‘fuck you’.”H/T Legally Sufficient

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 10:00 PM Comments

The Occasional Fishing, Hunting, Rugged Outdoors Thread, Prometheus Edition [Bandersnatch]



No, not that Prometheus, that’s the obsession of another deranged and deluded occasional Saturday evening host who is deranged and delusional. I’m talking about fire. We’re going to sit around this campfire and talk about campfires. And fishing and hunting and camping and such.
Welcome Piscators and Piscatrixes, Nimrods and Nimrettes, and pyromaniacs of all genders to the current installment of the occasional fishing and hunting and other wholesome outdoorsness thread.

This started a few weeks ago when I was having beers with a guy at a place that had comfy benches and a fire pit out back. The proprietor was just throwing lumber in the pit and dousing it with lighter fluid – which is morally and aesthetically wrong – but it was a fire on a Fall afternoon and fires are conducive to talking. So we talked about fires and their proper construction and maintenance. “How many pieces of newspaper do you use for tinder?”. “Well, assuming we’re using matches you are one-match-only, right?”. “One match? One point of ignition”. So I had met a fellow fanatic and we agreed that something as important as fire was worth arguing about and maybe even a post.

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Posted by CBD at 09:00 PM Comments

Saturday Afternoon Chess Thread 11-16-2019


WIM Melissa Castrillon 01.jpg
WIM Melissa Castrillon Gomez (COL)

We will have a fishing thread later. As always, the chess/dress pr0n thread is an open thread, so there is no such thing as an off-topic comment.

Beginner Problem - White To Play (1070)

Goal: White can force mate in 3 moves
Hint: Use a deflection sacrifice on h8

20191116 - Problem 1.jpg
6k1/4q1b1/p2p3R/3PpB2/2p5/6RK/8/8 w - - 0 1

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Posted by OregonMuse at 05:23 PM Comments

Ace of Spades Pet Thread

—Misanthropic Humanitarian

i1116ptmage001 (1).jpg
H/T Legally Sufficient


Good afternoon Morons, Lurkers and Pets. Thank you for cruising to the almost world famous Ace of Spades Pet Thread. Kick back for a couple of hours and enjoy the world of pets.

The Ace of Spades Pet Thread attempts to stay away from current events and politics. However once in awhile a funny meme finds it way here. Thanks to Bitter Clinger for the following:


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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 03:00 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread, International Edition [KT]

—Open Blogger


Greetings to our gardeners, putterers and those who admire their handiwork! Today we are focusing on submissions from out of the country.

Toucan Sam sent in the beautiful photo above and writes:

Meanwhile in Costa Rica, we are transitioning from wet season to dry season here - beginning early December we will probably will on have few rain showers until probably May. Here are a few pics of my gardens and some of my friends that stop by to visit. I really enjoy your posts as I've become more interested in plants and animals since I've moved down here. Pura Vida

Want to take stab at identifying any of the flora or fauna here? Ever had one of these show up in your yard?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:35 PM Comments

To the Democrats Marie, Not Elise, was yesterday's star [KT]

—Open Blogger


Good morning! I ran across some additional takes to add to Ace's posts from yesterday, regarding how these two women were treated at yesterday's hearing. The hearing was an amazing political exercise. Not in a good way.

Ace sets the stage:

Schiff has made up New Rules -- unilaterally -- that the only Republicans permitted to ask questions are Devin Nunes and a staffer who I think is named Castor. A source says Castor is a good lawyer, but people are telling me he's coming off as a real blank on TV.

And Schiff made up a rule saying that he would be one of the only two people to question "Masha" Yavonovich, the former Obama-holdover ambassador to Ukraine fired by Trump. . .

When Nunes moved to yield his time to Ellie Stafanovic, Adam Schiff and his Ten Inch Neck started banging the gavel to shut her up.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:45 AM Comments

Saturday Morning Coffee Break

—Misanthropic Humanitarian



Saturday morning. That can only mean at least one thing. Some items that didn't get their fair share of attention here at the AoSHQ this past week.

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Posted by Misanthropic Humanitarian at 08:30 AM Comments

EMT 11/16/19


I'm old enough to remember when diplomatic quid pro quo was preferable to open hostilities. Indeed, quid pro quo was the sin qua non of diplomacy.

But then, diplomats never were honest folk to begin with, so I guess it shouldn't really surprise me to find that even the rationalisation for their own necessity was a lie.

Posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM Comments

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