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October 21, 2014

Top Headline Comments 10-21-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Tuesday.

President Obama gives Republicans another gift. This guy just can't help himself.


Oh, hey, the dude who cracked the Jack the Ripper case made a serious error, say other dudes. So, yay (?), that mystery remains a mystery.


And, in case you missed it, Brandon could use some more volunteers at the Decision Desk to help out on Election Night. All you need is a phone and a computer.


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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:48 AM Comments



Overnight Open Thread (10-20-2014)

—Maetenloch

2001 Holiday Inn Commercial Accurately Predicted Our Current Ebola Czar*

* Note that there's no evidence that Rob Klain ever stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. He did work for Al Gore once though.

Related: CBS Employee Snarkily Wonders When Rand Paul Became 'Doctor' Rand Paul, Deletes Tweet When Someone Puts Some Knowledge to Her

Is a 21 Day Ebola Quarantine Long Enough?

Maybe not. Still any period of quarantine is better than none but 21 days shouldn't be taken as gospel either.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year also found that 5 per cent of patients who contracted Ebola in West Africa in the first months of the epidemic had an incubation period longer than the recommended 21 days.

The CDC's website puts the incubation period of the virus at 2-21 days.

Ben Affleck, Bill Maher, and Brad Pitt All Own Guns to Protect Their Homes and Families

Maher then used Affleck's comments as a springboard to launch into a short discussion on self-defense and the rights a private citizen has to defend himself and his property. He said: "In California, anyway, you can shoot an intruder in your home."

Maher then looked at Affleck and said, "I mean, you have guns." To which Affleck responded, "I do." The audience grew quiet for a second and then roused up when Maher said, "So do I, and for that exact reason."

Maher added: "I'm not disarming unilaterally."
According Fox News, Pitt told Radio Times "there's a rite of passage where [he] grew up of inheriting your ancestors' weapons." Subsequently, his brother inherited their father's weapons, while Pitt says of himself, "I got my grandfather's shotgun when I was in kindergarten," which was age six.

He said his father "instilled [in him] a profound and deep respect for the weapon."

Two years later, at age eight, Pitt fired his first handgun. He said he does not "feel that his family is safe unless there is a gun in the home."

In September 2012, Outdoor Life reported that Pitt gave Angelina Jolie a "$400,000 shooting range as wedding gift."

And I'm guessing that only one of these three would unreservedly support your right to have a gun for self-defense.

brad-pitt-jane-mom

Continue reading


Posted by Maetenloch at 09:49 PM Comments



MNF Thread

—Dave In Texas

A very exciting game tonight, the 3-3 Texans take on the 3-3 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ah well. It's a game.

Have a pleasant evening y'all.

MNF 10 20.jpg

She seems nice.


OH! Please also notice Brandon's post calling for Decision Desk volunteers which I just pushed down like a fat kid at recess.

Thank you.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 08:29 PM Comments

AOSHQDD Needs You

—Brandon Finnigan

It has been a crazy year at the Decision Desk.

I could talk about our calls and press but screw that. This is a humble request to the tens of thousands of loyal readers: we need you on Election Night.

Lurkers, regulars, miscreants, if you've enjoyed our coverage and want to be part of our drive to provide a fast and reliable call on election night- with the goal of besting the bigwigs who have had a forty-year head start- I implore you to email us.

Training is simple, the task, even simpler. From the moment you sign up, a link pops in place that will guide you through the whole process.

As a volunteer, you will be plopped into a spreadsheet, assigned counties next to your name, with contacts for obtaining results for your assigned counties/municipalities. For some of you, it will be as simple as refreshing an inbox. For others, opening a PDF. For those with great phone plans, contacting frazzled clerks from Bangor to San Diego. Numbers in hand, you input. That's it. You input until all of your precincts have reported.

The genius behind this project is the lack of it: it doesn't take brains to construct a spreadsheet. To hit CTRL-C and CTRL-V. To read up on past returns and early voting trends. It simply takes a mass of dedicated people.

No.

A mass of morons.

Join us.

PS- if you live in New Hamsphire, we have a special assignment for you. We are still looking for on-the-scene reporters for Rochester, Laconia, Milford, Hampton, and, why not. Dixville Notch.

Posted by Brandon Finnigan at 08:08 PM Comments

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Votes to Suspend One Of Its Own Members In Bitter, Crazy Pornographic Email Tiff

—Ace

There seems to have been bad blood boiling on the court for years.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice exposed as having sent and received pornographic emails, and who is accused of then trying to coerce a fellow justice, is temporarily barred from "any further judicial or administrative action whatsoever" in the court.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts announced the decision Monday night against Justice Seamus McCaffery.

McCaffery will continue to be paid during the suspension, the order says. That could change in the event formal misconduct charges are filed by the state Judicial Conduct Board following a review slated to take 30 days.

...


"The most recent misconduct of Justice McCaffery — forwarding sexually explicit pornographic emails to employees of the Attorney General's Office (and, in one instance, an email depicting a naked 100-year-old woman as the target of a sexually explicit joke and a video of a woman in sexual congress with a snake that is clearly obscene and may violate the Crimes Code Section on Obscenity) — has caused the Supreme Court to be held up to public ridicule," Castille wrote. "This conduct deserves the immediate action as implemented by this court today."

...

[Another Justice, Eakin,] on Friday said McCaffery tried to coerce him into taking his side against Castille, saying he "was not going down alone."

I don't know how some dirty emails get trumped up into a reason to suspend a state Supreme Court justice, but if you read the order by the Chief Justice (Castille), you'll see that they've apparently been snapping at each other for years.

On page 5, Castille says that based on his knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses, he feels that McCaffrey's personality type is best described as "sociolpath."

So yeah, it's like that.

I have no idea what the hell's going on here but Castille's order borders on hysterical so I have my doubts about his claims.

McCaffrey's Response... Actually, McCaffrey issued this response based on Castille's latest round of accusations, prior to the issuance of the order of suspension.

But so this is what he said four days ago.

Ron Castille's statement yesterday, issued on AOPC letterhead and purporting to represent the position of the entire Supreme Court, was a lie. In fact, members of the Supreme Court did not even know about the statement until they read the publication. And it is only the latest lie in the Chief Justice’s egomaniacal mission to 'get me.' His mission began when he reported me to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over my wife’s legitimate receipt of referral fees, and that didn’t work. He has done everything possible within our Court to undermine me with my colleagues, and that didn’t work. Now, with only two months left in the hourglass of his tenure on our Court, he is trying to finish what he has been trying to do for so many years. He has been on this mission because I had the guts to challenge him on the Family Court fiasco and on what the citizens of Pennsylvania got for the more than $3 million of First Judicial District funds that were funneled to one of his closest friends. And I had the guts to challenge him on his disastrous handling of Pennsylvania's worst judicial scandal and a tragic injustice that will forever be known as the 'Kids for Cash' disaster.

Ron Castille is a Republican, and McCaffery is a Democrat.

Per this article, McCaffrey seems to have engaged in some sleazy string-pulling behavior earlier.

But for Castille, the conduct board's work has been disappointingly slow so far.

Along with McCaffery's sexually explicit e-mail traffic, the board is investigating his role in two other matters.

The first stemmed from a 2012 report Castille commissioned that found McCaffery had met with a top administrator at Philadelphia Traffic Court while his wife and judicial aide, Lise Rapaport, contested a traffic citation inside. She was acquitted.

The second arose from stories last year in The Inquirer raising questions about fees Rapaport received for referring cases to law firms while she worked in her husband's judicial office.

McCaffery has denied any impropriety in either instance, and, in his statement on the porn e-mails last week, blamed Castille for exaggerating the circumstances of both.

"He has done everything possible within our court to undermine me with my colleagues," McCaffery said.

(McCaffery has also sued The Inquirer, saying the articles about the referral fees painted him and his wife in a false light.)

Yeah, It's Not Just About the Dirty Emails: Castille seems to suspect McCaffery of a lot more than crude language.


At the end of last year, in a report Castille commissioned about Philadelphia’s corrupt Traffic Court, McCaffery was accused of using his power in an unseemly and perhaps illegal way: He had driven his wife, Lise Rapaport, to Traffic Court on Spring Garden Street for a hearing on a ticket and, while the hearing took place, summoned a top court administrator out to his car for a conversation. Rapaport was found not guilty.

With Ron Castille’s blessing, the Traffic Court report was given to the Inquirer, which did a series of front-page stories on it. Naturally, that didn’t sit well with Seamus McCaffery, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Then a second matter came up. The Inquirer wrote about fees that Rapaport, a Harvard-trained lawyer, received for referring cases to law firms while she was employed by McCaffery as his chief Supreme Court aide. Eleven of the law firms that paid Rapaport--one referral fee was $821,000--have argued cases before the Supreme Court while McCaffery has been on the bench.

When that story broke, Castille--who was first elected to the court in 1993 and has been chief justice since 2008--told reporters he was worried about "conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety." His opinion wasn’t shocking, but it was an unusual slapdown; chief justices of a Supreme Court almost never publicly rebuke a fellow robesman....

In mid-June, McCaffery’s trouble seemed to grow worse. The Inquirer reported that the FBI had opened an investigation into those referral fees his wife received. Meanwhile, the Legal Intelligencer wrote that McCaffery had contacted a high-level Philadelphia Common Pleas administrator last year about civil cases---and that in two of the cases, a law firm that had paid a referral fee to Lise Rapaport was involved. McCaffery's lawyer says there is no FBI investigation, but Ron Castille told WHYY that he has "no reason to believe the allegations of an FBI investigation against Justice McCaffery are not true." He added, "So I think if I was Justice McCaffery, I’d start rethinking my position on the Supreme Court."

Philadelphia Magazine says the war is partly about the power to supervise all of Pennsylvania's state courts -- power Castille doesn't trust McCaffery with.

Posted by Ace at 07:37 PM Comments

Senator Kay Hagan Recommends a Judge for Federal Service; Just Nine Days Later, That Same Judge Ruled in Favor of a Company Partially Owned by Her Husband

—Ace

Juice.

Just a week after Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) recommended a North Carolina judge to President Barack Obama for a seat in the U.S. District Court, the judge ruled in favor of a company partially owned by Hagan’s husband.

...

The case concerned a lawsuit by Hydrodyne against a local water authority. Hydrodyne claimed the water authority unlawfully siphoned water from a source and thus damaged Hydrodyne, which generates hydroelectric power. I guess: Less water, less power.

...

Superior Court Judge Calvin E. Murphy ruled the case in favor of Hydrodyne, setting the table for the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to pay millions in damages to companies including Hydrodyne.

Murphy’s ruling was made on Oct. 23, 2009, just nine days after Sen. Hagan sent his name to Obama to be nominated for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina.

Hagan withdrew her recommendation to Obama after North Carolina’s News and Record contacted her office about the apparent conflict of interest, telling the paper that she "was not aware that Judge Murphy was hearing a case in which my husband had an interest."

Uh-huh.

The water authority is appealing the decision based upon the connections between the Hagans and Judge Murphy.

This isn't the first time the Hagans have been accused of benefiting themselves financially using Senator Hagan's political juice.

The Kochs are running ads about that particular sketchy transaction in the state this week.

Posted by Ace at 06:34 PM Comments

Shocker: New York Times Reports That Obama Is Once Again Conspicuously "Seething" Over the Poor Performance of His Government

—Ace

He's pulled this move so many times before that people shorthand it as the "Limbaugh Theorem." The idea is that Obama's political tactic for his many, many failures is to run against his own government, as if he were an outsider, and external critic, rather than the man who is in charge of each and every bureaucracy.

And now he's doing that with the CDC's response to ebola, Tom McGuire notes.

Here's the New York Times, carrying, get this, Obama's water:

Beneath the calming reassurance that President Obamahas repeatedly offered during the Ebola crisis, there is a deepening frustration, even anger, with how the government has handled key elements of the response.

Those frustrations spilled over when Mr. Obama convened his top aides in the Cabinet room after canceling his schedule on Wednesday. Medical officials were providing information that later turned out to be wrong. Guidance to local health teams was not adequate. It was unclear which Ebola patients belonged in which threat categories.

"It's not tight," a visibly angry Mr. Obama said of the response, according to people briefed on the meeting. He told aides they needed to get ahead of events and demanded a more hands-on approach, particularly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "He was not satisfied with the response," a senior official said.

MacGuire says he can't even remember all the scandals about which Obama has claimed to be "mad as hell" about.

Nice Deb quoted John Hayward, noting out the many, many things Obama has been claimed to be madder than hell about and linked this GOP video:



The Gateway Pundit writes more, and includes a definition of "The Limbaugh Theorem."

Posted by Ace at 04:57 PM Comments

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Runs Ad Promising That "Common Core Scores" Won't Be Implemented For At Least Five Years

—Ace

He's up for reelection. He'll say anything.

But this is a remarkable about-face on Common Core.

Among [Cuomo's] education pledges is a solemn one "not to use Common Core scores for at least five years, and then only if our children are ready."

This isn't a repeal of Common Core. Rather, it's Cuomo struggling to reassure parents that the scores from Common Core won't be used for any purpose, such as deciding which schools to shut down, or which students are deemed "proficient" in subject areas.

There's been some controversy about those scores.

State officials touted increases in scores on tough Common Core exams this year but failed to reveal that they had lowered the number of right answers needed to pass half the exams.

The state Education Department dropped the number of raw points needed to hit proficiency levels in six of the 12 English and math exams given to students in grades 3 to 8, officials acknowledged.

"The reason that occurs is because the tests are slightly harder," Deputy Education Commissioner Ken Wagner told The Post.

Student scores plunged on last year’s statewide 3-8 tests -- the first based on the new Common Core standards. Before the 2013 exams, a panel of 95 educators decided how many points, or correct answers, students had to get to demonstrate proficiency.

But the point cutoffs were tweaked after this year's tests....

Score manipulation has erupted in scandal before. Between 2006 and 2009, the state reduced the number of raw points students needed to pass. Then-state Education Commissioner Richard Mills insisted the questions got harder, justifying the lower passing scores. But experts found the test items got easier, inflating scores hailed by then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg, among others, as proof of great progress.

Continue reading


Posted by Ace at 03:55 PM Comments

Wendy Davis: Greg Abbott Won't Answer the Question of Whether He'd Ban Interracial Marriage

—Ace


Given that Abbott is married to a Mexican-American woman, I kinda think he's already weighed in on this important issue.

Posted by Ace at 02:32 PM Comments

Obama Super-Fan Tina Brown: This President Makes Women Feel "Unsafe"

—Ace

Not just women, Tina.

"They've got themselves a little better disciplined. But, you know, the fact is that Obama's down with everybody, let's face it, there's a reason,” Brown said. "And I think that particularly for women. I don't think it makes them feel safe. I think they're feeling unsafe. Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they're feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they're beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who's too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn't put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he's blaming everybody. So there's a slight sense of that."

They're beginning to feel slightly like that?

Via @instapundit, contrast Tina Brown's 2008-era opinion of Obama.

This has been an election full of magic. White Magic that only the black man from everywhere and nowhere could perform. Even his adored grandmother dying on the eve of the victory had a mythic feeling of completion to it in a candidacy full of signs and symbols. Remember the three-point basketball shot when he played with the soldiers in Kuwait? It’s as if Obama is the prince who lifts the curse in a fairy story, a curse that began eight years ago with an election wrenched away from the rightful winner and begetting as a consequence the wrathful visitation of tragedy and wars and hurricanes and economic collapse.

There's more at Ed Driscoll's link. Brown is actually just getting rolling with embarrassing herself there.

Another Super-Fan, the New York Times' Frank Bruni, is also slightly beginning to feel like that.

[O]ne dimension of the disease's toll is clear. It’s ravaging Americans' already tenuous faith in the competence of our government and its bureaucracies.

Before President Obama’s election, we had Iraq, Katrina and the meltdown of banks supposedly under Washington’s watch. Since he came along to tidy things up, we’ve had the staggeringly messy rollout of Obamacare, the damnable negligence of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the baffling somnambulism of the Secret Service.

Now this...

Ebola is his presidency in a petri dish. It’s an example already of his tendency to talk too loosely at the outset of things, so that his words come back to haunt him. There was the doctor you could keep under his health plan until, well, you couldn't. There was the red line for Syria that he didn’t have to draw and later erased.

With Ebola, he said almost two weeks ago that "we're doing everything that we can" with an "all-hands-on-deck approach." But on Wednesday and Thursday he announced that there were additional hands to be put on deck and that we could and would do more. The shift fit his pattern: not getting worked up in the early stages, rallying in the later ones.

...

"If you were his parent, you'd want to shake him," said one Democratic strategist, who questioned where Obama's passion was and whether, even this deep into his presidency, he appreciated one of the office's most vital functions: deploying language, bearing, symbols and ceremony to endow Americans with confidence in who's leading them and in how they’re being led.

Right now in this country there's a crisis of confidence, and of competence...

Well, there's not a really a crisis of confidence per se. Bruni seems to acknowledge this, by adding in "and of competence," but it's really just a crisis of competence, and of leadership.

The lack of confidence is not a freestanding crisis. It's a direct and rational response to the lack of leadership and competence.

Tina Brown link via @instapundit, who also talks about New York State's war on online bed-and-breakfasts. The problem: Some people may be dodging the state's regulation and taxation.

The Frank Bruni link is via @hotair, and the very good Quotes of the Day from last night, which are largely about questions about Obama's competency.

More: Last week, Megyn Kelly mentioned a FoxNews poll in which 58% of respondents agreed the country was "going to hell in a handbasket." That was the actual poll question, not Megyn Kelly's paraphrase of it.

There's a Politico poll noting that basic sense of it all coming apart.

Despite the fact that 61 percent expressed some or a lot of confidence in the federal government to be able to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in the United States, there is an air of crisis that has voters concerned. 64 percent told Politico pollsters that "things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control right now." Only 36 percent expressed some faith in American institutions to be able to meet the myriad economic and national security challenges they face.

When asked who they believe was a better manager of the federal government, George W. Bush or Barack Obama, only 35 percent backed the president. 38 percent said they thought Bush had more control over the reins of government


Posted by Ace at 01:47 PM Comments

Maryland Dems Walk Out on Obama Speech, Just Ten Minutes In

—Ace

From @Benk84's morning newspile, Obama just doesn't seem to have any kind of hold on even his party faithful.

Allah notes that maybe even more stunning than Democrats filing out "by the dozen" during Obama's droning monotone is the fact that liberal outlets, including Politico and Reuters, actually reported it.

Posted by Ace at 12:39 PM Comments

Marvel's Civil War Storyline Is Not About Gun Control

—Gabriel Malor

Comics and film geeks, this one's for you. Everyone else, meh. As you may know, it appears that the MCU films will attempt to bring Marvel's Civil War storyline to the big screen. This story, published in 2006 and 2007, pitted hero against hero with, most notably for our purposes here, Captain America becoming a libertarian opponent of hero registration and Iron Man championing the pro-registration side of things. The writer of this series describes it as a reaction to the post-9/11 security apparatus, including the Patriot Act.

The news that this story is coming to theaters near you, put one liberal writer in a tizzy. He thinks this storyline is about a "far right paranoid fantasy" and he's worried that he might have to watch it. There are many things wrong with Bouie's piece, but I only have a few minutes to spare this morning, so here are the major problems.

First, Bouie's suggestion that Marvel did something "paranoid," "messy," and "slanted" by treating the Super Human Registration Act as a draft rather than as mere government list-making is ignorant at the outset. The purpose of the Civil War storyline, in addition to clearing up Marvel's back catalog, was to write a compelling story that would set hero against hero in a frantic, no-holds-barred, nation-breaking fight. An, er, Civil War, if you will.

Bouie might as well suggest that it is silly or messy for Magneto to keep inciting the U.S. government to hunt him, since he doesn't want to be hunted. Well, yes, but then there would be no story. Bouie might think it is "paranoid" for the Wolverine to keep acting out of irrational fear that people are out to get him all the time, but, again, then there would be no story. For the Civil War storyline, maybe the SHRA could have been mere list-making and not a draft, but then there would be no story.

Moreover, contra Bouie, treating super registration as a draft is not new to the Civil War storyline or even new to Marvel. Most comics that do super registration stories (which is approximately all of them) treat it as a draft, not mere list-making. That includes X-Men's well-regarded Mutant Registration Act stories, which are viewed by critics and liberal arts students as a thinly-veiled allegory for anti-gay bigotry. DC Comics has this story too, as the Justice League was forced to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee to be unmasked. Alan Moore's DC imprint Watchmen also used the draft version rather than the list-making version in the form of the Keene Act. Even the Harry Potter series used the draft version, with supernatural individuals forced to register and turn out to work for the Ministry of Magic or die.

Second, Bouie's real problem is that, he says, Marvel's Civil War "draft" registration does not work as a gun control allegory. This gun control allegory shtick is entirely Bouie's gloss. Nobody seemed to think the X-Men's MRA was a gun control allegory, nor are gun control schemes often compared with the Ministry of Magic's Muggle-Born Registration Commission because such a comparison is absurd on its face.

Bouie claims that Marvel poorly handled super registration because it gave too much credit to the anti-registration side. But, again, that's Bouie's invented problem. He says the story is supposed to be an allegory for gun control and that, as such, it is unreasonable for the heroes to resist registration since it, like gun control, is reasonable.

In other words, having prescribed an allegory that does not fit the Civil War storyline, Bouie proceeds to dispatch the Civil War storyline for not reasonably describing the allegory. This kind of sophistry is nice work if you can get it.

The issue, then, for Bouie is simply that Marvel set out to engage in story-telling outside of the same old "heroes versus government registration." What if, the Civil War storyline posited, in a rather fresh change, some heroes supported super registration, including a draft? It's compelling. But it's not about gun control, no matter how many words Bouie has been forced to turn out by his liberal magazine.

PS: In regards to Bouie's insistence that registration of people would be reasonable, if only Marvel had written that story, he should review the Supreme Court's decisions in NAACP v. Alabama, which concerned an exercise in government list-making here in our own world that provides a far better allegory to super registration than any gun control yarn he could possibly spin.

Posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:33 AM Comments

Top Headline Comments 10-20-14

—Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday.

Overbroad public accommodation laws strike again. A couple operating a wedding chapel in Idaho have sued to enjoin their city's public accommodation non-discrimination law as applied to their business, which a city ordinance defines as a public accommodation. The city has said it could fine them (and escalate to jail time) if the couple refuses to allow same-sex weddings at the chapel.

At present, 21 states have public accommodations laws that prohibit anti-gay discrimination, in addition to the more typical prohibitions of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and national origin. Additionally, many cities in states without such broad public accommodations have adopted their own ordinances, which seems to be the case here (Idaho does not cover anti-gay discrimination in its public accommodation law).

In each of those states and cities, folks operating businesses covered by public accommodations laws, which includes pretty much every business not specifically exempted, including wedding chapels, could face the threat of fines or, as in this case, jail time from overzealous city and state attorneys.

Is that legal or constitutional? In the case of wedding chapels, no, it is not. Click there for the explanation, since Eugene Volokh has done the legwork.


Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech on behalf of Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown. And the crowd started leaving early.

This was a bewildering state of affairs--to the press. As our own Lauraw noted, however, these journalists just couldn't figure out how to figure out what was going on:



We may never know why people started bailing early on the president. I wish there were a group of people whose purpose was to find that sort of thing out and then tell the rest of us about it.


The family of Thomas Eric Duncan will be released from quarantine today. No virus.


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Posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:51 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (10-19-2014)

—Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

With productivity continuing to rise, the United States has a chance to become the single biggest producer of crude oil sometime in the near future. If you had said that a decade ago, you would've been laughed at and called a fool. What a difference fracking makes.

Ah RIP Peak Oil - we barely knew ye.

Bobby Jindal Has Got Obama's Number

And now we're clearly in stage 2 of Obama's well known crisis management by-running-out-the-clock-while-doing-fuck-all style.

obamamanagementstyle

Ten Things the Ebola Crisis Tells Us About the Obola Administration

The announcement of Ron Klain as the new Ebola "czar" checks all the boxes: Harvard Law, longtime Democrat party op, veteran of the Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry campaigns. The problem is, it checks all the wrong boxes. The Progressive myth is that we ought to have a government of experts - top men! - to handle the nation's problems in a calm, deliberative manner. The reality is that we have a nation of unscrupulous lawyers, amoral apparatchiks and political hacks whose only area of expertise is manipulating the electoral and governmental systems and getting rich by doing so.

So don't worry - the Obama administrator has got Top. Fixers. on the problem so they can move on to stage 3 and 4 faster.

klain20130603230406001_hd

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Posted by Maetenloch at 10:08 PM Comments

So How About That Bobby Jindal Fella? [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Bobby Jindal has been on a tear lately.

A couple of days ago, he ripped Fearless Reader a new one over Ebola:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has said he's considering making a run for president in 2016, criticized the government's response to the Ebola epidemic at an appearance in New York City on Thursday.

"Time and time again, the CDC and the administration in general have told us things that turned out not to be true," Jindal said. "They first said – the president said it was unlikely the virus was going to get here. It did get here, it turns out it did get here. Then he said it was unlikely it was going to spread and it did spread."

And ICYMI, there's this gem:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 08:20 PM Comments

Sunday Evening Open Thread: Happiest Years of Our Lives [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

How about a change of pace from the 24/7 cycle of lousy news?

According to a study by the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics that was reported last year, most of us can expect to experience two periods of peak happiness in our lives, at age 23 and age 69:

What goes up must come down: after our early twenties, happiness declines on the way to our mid-fifties; then, after cycling back up through our late sixties, it falls again once we reach 75. If you're having a midlife crisis -- brooding over life choices and unfulfilled ambitions -- buck up, better days are coming: the turnaround point is 55, according to the study, at which point happiness starts climbing once more (though that second harder turnaround after 75 sounds a little ominous).

Their findings were based on a survey of over 23,000 people.

An earlier study by a British social networking site, Friends United, found this:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 06:20 PM Comments

Gaming Thread 10/19/2014

—Gang of Gaming Morons!

Sorry for the delay in posting this, with the League of Legends World Championship (which continued the tradition of being extremely boring) this morning and the Packer game, I just didn't get it done in time


Next weekend in the annual 24 hour gaming marathon for Extra Life, a drive to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network

Starts Saturday morning at 8 AM and runs till Sunday (though for the most part everyone starts on Friday and goes till late Sunday night). It's always fun to watch the streams and donate. it's a fun to be had for all.

The Site is here if you want to read up on them

Continue reading


Posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 05:00 PM Comments

Food Thread: Don't Get Your Guests Sick Edition [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Ah....the joys of gastrointestinal disturbances. Everybody has had the unfortunate and distressing experience of food-borne illness. Most of them resolve in several hours, and they are rarely life threatening, although they do seem existentially awful.

toilet.jpg

Luckily our food production and logistics systems are extremely good at minimizing the risk of food poisoning from commercially produced food, although the hysterical over-reporting of the occasional large outbreaks might make it seem as if we are living in some third-world backwater with no clean water and fields fertilized with human waste.

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM Comments

Gun Thread: 10-19-2014 [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Y-not:
WeirdDave pointed this Gun Thread at me and requested demanded I format it and post it for him.
I tried peeing on myself to make this scary Gun Thread go away, but that didn't work!
Neither did "sheltering in place" until the Gun Thread lost interest and wandered off.
So here it is...

Gun of the Week

WDoct19Fig1.jpg

Defensive Gun Use of the Week

Democratic State Lawmaker Opens Fire on Suspected Armed Robbers in the Streets of Harrisburg
The linked article notes that in this incident, nobody was shot, and these types of situations don't get reported as a "defensive gun use." They do tend to get reported if the victim is not armed, however they are usually reported under a different category: murder.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:12 PM Comments

Sunday Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

You know what to do.

10 19.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 12:12 PM Comments

Weekend Open Thread: Amazing Animal Anecdotes [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

I need a break from DOOM. How about you? We have a lot of animal lovers in the Moron Horde, so here's a thread about amazing animals and how they communicate with us.

Do you guys know about "Alex" the African Grey Parrot?

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Posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM Comments

Sunday Morning Book Thread 10-19-2014: Doom and Gloom [OregonMuse]

—Open Blogger


dystopia 4.jpg

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Kilts are OK, too. But not tutus.


Heh.

I had last week's book thread up on my work computer last week, the one with the photo of the 3 ugly cavemen, and one of the managers happened to walk by and see it, and remarked, "Oh, I didn't know Grand Funk Railroad was doing a reunion tour."


Deriding Dreary Dystopias of Dreck

Author/editor Kathryn Cramer over at the HuffPo wants you to know that she's had it with dystopian sci-fi:

As our world became more complicated and our shiny futuristic infrastructure began to age and fail, dystopias emerged as a subgenre of science fiction...In 2011, following the Fukushima disaster, Neal Stephenson came to the realization that much of our crucial infrastructure is aging, and we are dependent upon infrastructure built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He wrote about this in an essay called Innovation Starvation. He gave a speech on this subject at GoogleX conference. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University challenged him, saying that we had stopped getting big stuff done because science fiction writers like Stephenson had stopped envisioning it.

Well, that's certainly an interesting perspective, but I doubt that it's true. I think the real reason we're no longer getting "big stuff" done is that it just costs too damn much. Combine this with the fact that, most, if not all, of the governments of the world are run by idiots who have absolutely no clue how wealth is created, and who are only interested in taking it from people they don't like and giving it to those they do, and you get a sure-fire recipe for a bleak dystopian future full of poverty, want, and hard times.

One of the purposes of this article is for Ms. Cramer to promote her own, recently published anthology, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, which is fine. It's a compendium of "techno-optimistic" stories by writers such as Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson. But this revolt against the smothering, ubiquitous presence of dystopian-themed fiction is being introduced as if it's some Big New Thing.

However, if Ms. Cramer was familiar with the indie sci-fi writers, or even had been reading the stately and prestigious AoSHQ book thread, she would have known that we had this covered a year ago. 'Human Wave' science fiction has been around for awhile. In fact, Sarah Hoyt wrote her HW manifesto back in 2012. I kind of like her guidelines for writing. For example:

5 -- You shall not commit grey goo. Grey goo, in which characters of indeterminate moral status move in a landscape of indeterminate importance towards goals that will leave no one better or worse off is not entertaining...

6 -- Unless absolutely necessary you will have a positive feeling to your story. By this we don't mean it will have a happy ending or that we expect pollyanish sentiments out of you. Your novel and setting can be as dystopic as you want it. In fact, your character can die at the end. Just make sure he goes down fighting and dies for something, so the reader doesn't feel cheated.

For some examples of this, we can start with Ms. Hoyt's own works, such as Darkship Thieves, the first of her Darkship trilogy, followed up by Darkship Renegades, and then A Few Good Men.

There are more human wave authors listed at this old post at Sabrina Chase's blog, with the caveat that the prices she quotes no longer apply.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 09:31 AM Comments

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

—Open Blogger

Good morning.


A short, fascinating clip about the discovery of the Ebola virus:




Alas, that ain't nothing! Check this out:


Funny. He still manages to look somewhat normal. What I find most endearing is, of course, his staged and indignant laughter.

This dude votes. And, the sidebar at You Tube is filled with this nonsense.


Although he doesn't do it here, folks such as he will argue that there's no such thing as God or Satan while simultaneously holding the belief that humans are capable of inflicting such horror upon other humans.

But wait! He uses the word "pray" towards the end of the vid.


Yep. He's just as normal as you and me.


Oh hell, let's go for broke! These people are truly insane.

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Posted by Open Blogger at 07:27 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (18 Oct 2014)

—CDR M

iL8lcat8-1.jpg

The President teases what is to come after the midterms. Laws are for little people. Obama quietly begins unilateral immigration reform by inviting in 100,000 Haitians to be your new neighbors.

Doom! A year of living on the brink.

The U.S. and Europe have paid a high price for six years of stimulus that didn't stimulate, programmed consumption that fell short, regulatory expansion that froze private producers, and high tax-rate regimes that benefited the public-spending class and beggared everyone else, especially young people and the working poor scrambling for jobs.

No one should underestimate the political dangers of persisting with a Keynesian economic model that looks depleted.


Hopefully the young people and the working poor most hurt by these policies wise up by 2016. They'll have no one else to blame but themselves.

Top image part of the well rounded cat meme.

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Posted by CDR M at 09:36 PM Comments

How A President Should Behave [CBD]

—Open Blogger

This is independent of his politics, which may be awful beyond compare (Wilson, Johnson, Carter, Obama) or marvelous in the main* (Washington, Coolidge, Reagan), or a mixture (almost all of them).

But there must be a visceral, heartfelt connection to this country and what makes it great. And that connection seems best exposed by the way the president treats the armed forces......

Bush 1.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 05:00 PM Comments

Weekend Open Thread: Best Music Era [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

*Reposted because of enstompening.*

So I was poking around on You Tube and stumbled onto a real gem of a movie: "Rhythm and Blues Revue."

MOVIEPOSTER.jpg

I'm going to put the link to the full movie below the fold...

OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION!

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Posted by Open Blogger at 03:30 PM Comments

Senator Mark Udall Crashes and Burns in Local TV Interview

—JohnE.

I'm not quite sure what's going on with Udall here. He seems pretty distracted and out of it.

At one point, he was asked if Common Core was good or bad for Colorado students and he replied "yes".

Towards the middle of the interview, he was asked to name the three most influencial books in his life. He stumbled through one, asked for a do-over, then called himself braindead.

Overall, a pretty disastrous appearance.

Related: Check out Matthew Continetti's latest over at Free Beacon, "The Macaca Democrats".

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Posted by JohnE. at 02:38 PM Comments

Fundamental Concepts: The Tragedy of the Commons [WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

This one is not going to be very long, because it's an easy one. Tragedy of the Commons is the name given to a theory that if a group of people share a resource, it will eventually be plundered and rendered useless. Overfishing of the Grand Banks is a commonly cited example. Selfish people will overuse the resource, ruining it for everybody. This concept is the basis for a good deal of leftist political thought, it is the reason that they want to put government in charge of everything. They are right, up to a point, but as usual they miss the mark completely in an attempt to bring everything under the thumb of government.

Let's start with an example:

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Posted by Open Blogger at 01:10 PM Comments

Saturday Gardening Thread: TIMBER! [Y-not and WeirdDave]

—Open Blogger

Greetings gardeners! Welcome to you Saturday Gardening Thread. This week's thread is brought to you by the aspen:

AspensUtah3D.jpg

Follow this link for a 3D interactive display of autumn aspens in Alta, Utah.


Take it away, WeirdDave:

So, everything seems to be done for the year. It's time to sit back, relax, and plan for next year.

Or is it?

Corn Maze

There are still garden related things that can be done, although many of these are the milieu of the professional farmer rather than the green thumbed amateur. For example, there's a place in Dixon, Ca. That claims to have the World's Largest Corn Maze. Now, a Google search shows that lots of places claim this honor, but this story had pictures (of corn. With a path between rows. Not exactly visually exciting journalism). It covers 40 acres, and I think that'll do until a larger maze comes along.

Pumpkins!

Fall also means pumpkins. Here are some pictures of pumpkins, in case you don't know what they are (are you out of your gourd?).

Most of us think of pumpkins like this:

WDFall1.jpg

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Posted by Open Blogger at 12:40 PM Comments

College Football Thread

—Dave In Texas

This is the place to discuss the football things.

Top ten action this week, all times EDT:

Mississippi State (1), idle
Baylor (4) at West Virginia, noon
Auburn (6), idle
Texas A&M (21) at Alabama (7), 3:30pm
Michigan State (8) at Indiana, 3:30pm
Georgia (10) at Arkansas, 4pm
Tennessee at Ole Miss (3), 7pm
Washington at Oregon (9), 8pm
Notre Dame (5) at Florida State (1), 8pm

Have a great weekend morons.

miami.jpg

Posted by Dave In Texas at 11:53 AM Comments

Saturday Politics Thread: Candidates on the Issues [Y-not]

—Open Blogger

Welcome to a somewhat abbreviated version of your Saturday Politics Thread. We've be spending the past several weeks reviewing and discussing some prospective candidates for the 2016 election. Although there are probably others we may want to cover at some point, for example Governor Pence in Indiana is starting to garner attention, I'd like to start burrowing in on the top candidates' (as judged by the esteemed Horde) positions on issues that matter most.

The goal of this is not to persuade you. I have my favorites at the moment, but I really am not wedded to anyone yet. The goal is really to just try to be as rational as we can about deciding who each of us might want to support early in the primary (and pre-primary) process. I think we can all agree that it would behoove conservatives to weed out non-starters as early in the process as possible to avoid some of the foolishness we saw in the 2012 primary.

Of course, a lot of us rely on our guts to choose a candidate and, frankly, I'm ok with that. I don't think there's any way to be 100% "rational" about this sort of decision. But if we can identify fatal flaws with candidates, or find that we've misjudged other GOP prospects based on sketchy information, I think it'll help us have a good pool of acceptable candidates from which to work.

If there is one thing I do want to persuade you of, it's that this potential field of candidates is much better than the last one. There's no reason for conservatives to give up and assume that Jeb Bush or Name-Your-RINO-Here has to be the nominee.

So with that in mind, these were the top issues identified by the horde two weeks ago as being important to them in choosing a Presidential candidate:

Reducing the size of the Federal bureaucracy and regulation 16.1% (1,295 votes)
Reining in Federal spending 14.13% (1,137 votes)
Repealing Obamacare 12.01% (966 votes)
Solving the illegal immigration problem 11.41% (918 votes)
Strengthening national security and global alliances 8.09% (651 votes)
Reforming or eliminating entitlement programs 5.79% (466 votes)
Addressing problems with the Federal tax code 5.64% (454 votes)
Promoting energy independence 5.62% (452 votes)
Protecting the U.S. from terrorism 5.57% (448 votes)

I've started to research the candidates, but before rolling out the first installment in this series I thought I'd solicit some input from the Horde on what things to factor into my research.

Most of the candidates we'll be examining in depth are governors, so how do we assess a how a candidate would behave if s/he was elected President? For example, if someone is governor of a blue (or purple) state, how do we assess if that person would govern as a conservative President? Likewise, if a governor is from a red state, how much "credit" do we give him or her for conservative policies enacted there?

I'd like to hear from you on how you make this "calculation" when assessing candidates. I'll try to incorporate some of the suggestions you make into future posts.


Finally, these are the candidates I plan to evaluate in upcoming weeks, based on the moron poll results and, in one case, my own personal interest:

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 10:20 AM Comments

Yes, We Have Lost Our Collective Minds [CBD]

—Open Blogger

Crayon guns: the new weapon of choice for suicide in five year old girls

"When I was in middle-school, Mortal Kombat was released on home video game consoles. Because my friends and I loved the game so much, we used to draw pictures of the characters doing seriously horrible things to one another. As in, rectal-based spine-retrieval type of stuff. It was fun and it was funny...and if we did that today, I have to assume we all would have ended up arrested and in some kind of psychiatric facility. "
Hat-tip: @DoreenHDickson
Posted by Open Blogger at 09:00 AM Comments

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

—Open Blogger

Good morning.


Here, the state of the nation, in one easy-to-read chart:




That wacky internet!




No privacy for you!

Continue reading


Posted by Open Blogger at 07:21 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (17 Oct 2014)

—CDR M

Well, we all have front row seats for the ongoing mess. Liberalism just not up to the task anymore.

Greg Gutfeld made a salient observation the other day. He pointed out that liberalism thrives in times in which there are no crises. In times such as those, liberalism raises lightweight issues and gives them gravitas. School lunch programs, child obesity, the size of soda drinks, gay rights, free contraception, are their rallying "causes celeb".

However, when crisis presents itself, we reap the consequences of liberalism in governmental leadership. More frequent now are the vapid responses to crisis led by the conveniently appointed, those "politically correctly" installed into position of power. The responses tend to be inept and politically expedient. Imagery, polls and elections are the focus rather than the required action and solution. Is seems to be contrary to their DNA to depart from the warm and fuzzy to the tactful, strategic and necessary.

Continue reading


Posted by CDR M at 09:53 PM Comments

Bizarre: Insiders Claim That Man Most Responsible for Administration Silence About the Discovery of Saddam Hussein's Chemical Weapons Stockpiles Was... Karl Rove?

—Ace

You'll have to explain this logic to me.

Then you'll have to explain it to me five or six more times, because this makes no sense.

Eli Lake:

There’s one man, some Republicans say, who kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around the Iraqi battlefield. He was Bush's most important political adviser.

Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to 'let these sleeping dogs lie.'

The issue of Iraq's WMD remnant was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops' chemically-induced wounds.

To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and without, the blame for the cover up falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove’s.

...

One might think a politically vulnerable Bush White House would’ve seized on Santorum’s discovery. After all, Bush and his subordinates famously accused Iraq of having active weapons of mass destruction programs.

But at least in 2005 and 2006 the Bush White House wasn’t interested. "We don't want to look back," [then-senator Rick] Santorum recalled Rove as saying (though Santorum stressed he was not quoting verbatim conversations he had more than eight years ago). "I will say that the gist of the comments from the president’s senior people was 'we don’t want to look back, we want to look forward.'"

Others remember Rove telling them something similar.

This was (is) a source of tremendous frustration. As American troops secured Iraqi territory after Baghdad fell, there were actually reports in the media of troops discovering mustard gas and other chemical weapons.

But for some reason the Bush Administration never discussed this.

The Democrats then denied it had happened, and the Bush Administration continued refusing to note that chemical weapons were in fact discovered by US troops, and this wasn't even a secret, given that AP ran stories about the caches.

I have no explanation for this, other than some highly speculative conjecture that maybe Bush struck a deal with some other party (like, who knows, Russia) that he'd keep that other party's complicity quiet in exchange for something else.

Anyone have any better conjecture?

We need some explanation. When Obama doesn't tell you the Obamacare rate increases, we know the explanation: He's hiding that information because it would hurt him. Not exactly rocket science.

But when someone covers up a fact that helps him, then one scratches his head to speculate a reason for such a bizarre deception against one's own interest.

Flashback: This old 2004 post from the site (do not comment on old posts! the system will ban you as a spammer!) notes UN Weapon Inspector Charles Duelfer finding 35 mustard gas and sarin shells at the time of the post, and he wasn't done yet.

By the way, the Administration didn't really "cover this up" as the Times claims. They just didn't talk about it.

For example, in May 2004, the media itself reported that US troops had been exposed to mustard gas in Iraq. (Note the links no longer work; but that link had gone to the Yahoo News Site, which usually just publishes AP stories.)

This transcript of a Hardball episode features Chris Matthews and Tony Blankley discussing the discovery of sarin shells.

Posted by Ace at 06:05 PM Comments

AoSHQ Podcast: Guests, Mollie Hemingway and Nathan Wurtzel

—Andy

Mollie Hemingway drops by to put us some f'n knowledge on the Ebola czar and Nathan Wurtzel joins in for election and politics talk.

Intro/Outro: Come As You Are-Nirvana/Fever-Peggy Lee

Mentioned:

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
Subscribe: rss.pngRSS | itunes_modern.pngiTunes

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter

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

Open thread in the comments

Posted by Andy at 04:05 PM Comments

Proof That New York Times Reporters Live in a Left-Liberal Cocoon

—Ace

You are what you eat, and if you're a writer, you are what you read.

I've been saying this for a while: The press claims to be nonpartisan and to only be interested in "good stories," no matter which party they might damage.

They can't really make these claims in the age of Twitter. Because their reading list -- the Twitter accounts they follow daily -- is public information.

You'd think these guys would at least try to "make it look good" by adding in a few of the more credible, less strident twitter accounts of right-leaning writers. But no -- no one bothers even to follow University of Tennessee Law School Professor Glenn Reynolds.

On the other hand, many follow the over-the-top hard-left rantings of Jay Rosen of NYU University, a media critic who frequently declares that the media must drop even the pretense of impartiality and embrace a resolutely left-liberal advocacy position, because there is no "balance" possible between Truth and Lies.

Many others follow the leftwing sites of Gawker.

Note that many of these accounts are used for both personal and professional functions.

If they had separate accounts for their personal reading pleasure, and only chose to follow leftwing writers, I would have less of a point. I would still have one, mind you. But I would only be able to prove that they're stridently leftwing as a personal matter, almost to a man.

However, it's the dual use of these accounts for both public and professional functions that makes these alleged reporters' flat refusal to read anything written by right-leaning writers that damns them as professionals:

Do they not want to know about stories gaining traction on the right? Stories overlooked by the mainstream media? Stories broken by the right leaning media, like MZ Hemingway's scoop that we already have an ebola czar, and she is apparently being deliberately sidelined because of her involvement in a very unhelpful controversy?

The answer is, of course: No.

They don't want to know these things.

And yes, that then proves that they view their jobs as ones of partisan advocacy, not straight reportage of newsworthy stories.

They want the stories Gawker finds interesting, or that Steven Colbert thinks is important, or that Jay Rosen thinks should get more play.

The stories that anyone on the right thinks are being overlooked?

Nope. Not interested. Won't even pretend to be interested.*

Thanks to @rdbrewer4.


* Note there's an easy way to just pretend to have a balanced twitter-follow list; one can nominally follow an account, use software to screen it out so it's never seen. For example, one could, if one wanted to at least pretend, create a balanced list of accounts, but then create a smaller list of left-wing writers, and then only check the tweets from that sub-list.

But they don't even bother with that pretense.

They pretty much want you to know that they only find left-wing writers interesting or worthy.


Posted by Ace at 03:26 PM Comments

White House Appoints Ebola Czar.
Shocker: Ron Klain is a Political Hack With No Medical, Epidemiological, or Military Experience.

—Ace

In the face of an epidemic they themselves have called potentially catastrophic, the White House has searched far and wide for an "Ebola Czar," and chose someone, get this, whose political loyalty is unquestionable, but whose actual qualifications are nonexistent.

I had my own suggestion for an Ebola Czar: David Petraeus. Petraeus is not an epidemiologist, but he is a military man, and we need that skill-set for defeating ebola. (What does a general due all day? He reviews where the enemy has penetrated our defenses and he deploys resources there to counter it.) In addition, we can assume he's competent at statistical analysis (or at least understanding briefings relying on statistical analysis) due both his rank as a general and his service as head of the CIA.

What most recommended Petraeus, however, was the fact that he had the stature to ignore Obama's demands for political PR responses to a real-life plague.

You'll note that this Democrat Party Gollum, Ron Klain, is precisely the opposite of all that.

He has nothing to recommend him at all -- except Obama knows he won't contradict him, stand up to him, disagree with him, or in any way interfere with Obama's political response to the ebola threat.

The Federalist's Sean Davis makes this point:

That Obama would appoint a long-time Democratic operative with zero public health or federal administrative experience tells us everything we need to know about how Obama views the Ebola panic: Ebola is a political problem for the White House, not a public health problem for the nation.

You don’t pick a former White House staffer to run a massive public health effort if you think you have a public health problem. You pick a former White House staffer if you view this as a political problem to be managed for the remaining weeks heading into the election.

We should actually be somewhat thankful for this move from the White House, because it tells us everything we need to know about how the Obama White House views the current landscape. Obama apparently believes that Ebola is a political problem to be swept under the rug, not a public health epidemic that needs to be eradicated as quickly as possible.

Incidentally, if you haven't read it yet, M.Z. Hemingway has reported that we already have an Ebola Czar, but apparently Obama doesn't want anyone to know that because he either fears she's not competent or he doesn't want people to hear about the scandal that seems to have made her allergic to television cameras.

Dr. Nicole Lurie is one of only eight assistant secretaries at HHS. That means she is a senior, senior official, just below cabinet-level. Her ambit at HHS is "Preparedness and Response" to Pandemics and All-Hazards (the latter a catch-all including natural disasters).

As Hemingway notes, before the crisis hit, the press was willing to gush about how gosh-darn important she was, as the National Journal did:

[A]s National Journal rather glowingly puts it, "Lurie's job is to plan for the unthinkable. A global flu pandemic? She has a plan. A bioterror attack? She’s on it. Massive earthquake? Yep. Her responsibilities as assistant secretary span public health, global health, and homeland security."

But since the crisis hit, not only has Lurie absented herself from the national stage, but the White House has barely mentioned her, and the press has not troubled itself to discover what the actual Pandemic and All-Hazard Czar is doing about a potential pandemic.

The National Journal seems to have completely forgotten about the woman it once gushed "has a plan" for "a global flu pandemic" or "bioterror attack."

"She's on it," the National Journal declared, but as ebola infects America, she seems to be the first American placed in Total Ebola Quarantine.

Read Hemingway's column for the details of the scandal that might have caused Obama to sideline her.

Basically, a billionaire Democratic donor, Ron Perelman, was a controlling shareholder of a firm called Siga.

Siga was under scrutiny even back in October 2010 when The Huffington Post reported that it had named labor leader Andy Stern to its board and "compensated him with stock options that would become dramatically more valuable if the company managed to win the contract it sought with HHS--an agency where Stern has deep connections, having helped lead the year-plus fight for health care reform as then head of the Service Employees International Union."

The award was controversial from almost every angle...

...

The company that most fought the peculiar sole-source contract award to Siga was Chimerix, which argued that its drug had far more promise than Siga’s. And, in fact, Chimerix’s Brincidofovir is an antiviral medication being developed for treatment of smallpox but also Ebola and adenovirus. In animal trials, it’s shown some success against adenoviruses, smallpox, and herpes--and preliminary tests show some promise against Ebola. On Oct. 6, the FDA authorized its use for some Ebola patients.

And yeah, read to the end: The company who Lurie didn't favor makes a drug being used to treat ebola. Duncan was treated with it unsuccessfully, but other people were treated with it and lived.

Instead of funding an ebola cure, Lurie shepherded a flock of federal cash to a billionaire Democrat donor for a smallpox vaccine that "has not really panned out," as Hemingway reports.

Our Hyperpartisan New "Ebola Czar:" No qualifications except for political zealotry.

Apparently he's a fan of Ezra Klein.

Doomed.

That tip thanks to the Great White Snark.

Posted by Ace at 02:09 PM Comments

CDC: Oh, By The Way, Small Update, Amber Joy Vinsen Was Actually Symptomatic During Her Flight From Cleveland to Dallas, And May Have Been Symptomatic On Her Flight From Dallas to Cleveland, Too

—Ace

No biggie. We're just telling you this now out of an abundance of caution.

We could have told you this earlier -- because it was pretty obvious -- but we didn't want to act out of a total serious abundance of caution. Just the regular level of abundance of caution.

So even though we're contradicting our earlier claims, again, and we sorta seem deliberately dishonest in doing so, trust us.

A nurse with Ebola may have shown symptoms of the virus as many as four days before authorities once indicated, meaning that she might have been contagious while flying on not just one, but two commercial flights, officials said Thursday.

...

Authorities indicated Vinson had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which was below the fever threshold for Ebola, but didn't show any symptoms of the disease while on her Monday flight. This is significant because a person isn't contagious with Ebola, which spreads through the transmission of bodily fluids, until he or she has symptoms of the disease.

But on Thursday, Dr. Chris Braden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters in Ohio that "we have started to look at the possibility that she had symptoms going back as far as Saturday. ... We can't rule out (that) she might have had the start of her illness on Friday."

"So this new information now is saying we need to go back now to the flight that she took on Friday the 10th and include them in our investigation of contacts," said Braden.

Notice they continue claiming that a fever is not a "symptom" of ebola. Symptoms of ebola, you see, are not symptomatic of ebola.

Oh, and the soldiers going to West Africa to try to save the world -- while putting their own lives in greater peril than they'd see in combat -- are getting a full four hours of instruction on ebola protocols.

So there's that.

Posted by Ace at 01:20 PM Comments



The AoSHQ Amazon Store


Top Headlines

Surveillance Video Apparently Catches Guy Doing Something at the Ballot Box That Left Republican Monitor Stunned
"An Arizona county party official said he saw a man stuffing 'hundreds' of ballots into the ballot box and later told a local news outlet the entire incident was caught on surveillance video." [rdbrewer]

Mediaite: O’Reilly: The Only Reason Any Americans Vote for Democrats Is ‘Emotion’ [rdbrewer]


Mary Katharine Ham: Obama: Hey, all these red-state Democrats running away from me are strong supporters who vote with me!
"President Barack Obama appeared on Al Sharpton’s radio show today to send a campaign message.... ' The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress.'" Heheh. [rdbrewer]
Dude Plays Star Spangled Banner With Gun
He's got 10 or so metal targets, each which play a different note when hit with a .22 rifle round... it's pretty cool

The new T-Rex scale of relative size
Dark Matter... detected?!?!
It's Axiomatic that proof of Dark Matter requires Axions. [ArthurK]
OC Register: Joel Kotkin: Thunder on the Left
Via RCP. "Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats. While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as 'wingnuts,' it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner." [rdbrewer]

USA Today: Video of police officer shooting dog sparks investigation
"So she requested the video from the lapel camera worn by the officer. What she saw horrified her. 'Never once did Max stop wagging his tail. Never once do you hear a growl, an aggressive anything,' Henderson said." Sick cops dying for a reason to discharge their weapons. Stories like this are so numerous, states need to start passing laws restricting law enforcement gun use. If postal workers and meter readers can avoid killing dogs, so can cops. [rdbrewer]

Breitbart: Politico Poll: 64% Believe America Is 'Out of Control'
"57% of Americans believe their health care costs will increase, and just 7% believe that Obamacare will do as President Barack Obama claimed and reduce personal costs. Politico's poll also found Obama slightly trailing former President George W. Bush on managerial effectiveness." [rdbrewer]


Republican Strategist: GOP Midterm Win Coming Thanks To ‘Conga Line Of Screw-ups’ By Obama
Heheh. [rdbrewer]


Eric Owens: Women’s Studies Professors Pitch Tantrum Over George Will Appearance
"The faculty meltdown over Will’s speech is a response to his June column in the Washington Post about sexual assault on college campuses. The professors are calling the column 'hate speech'...." It's not hate speech. They just don't want him to talk. What is it with progs and speech they don't agree with? [rdbrewer]


Erick Erickson: In Idaho, Christian Pastors Ordered to Perform Gay Marriages. You Will Be Made to Care.
More from TheDC. [rdbrewer]
Internet Aristocrat: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism
Video. The Aristocrat talks with a couple of guests about how feminists have appropriated --or tried to-- several popular movements. [rdbrewer]
AoSHQ Podcast rss.png itunes_modern.png

This week's guest: Nathan Wurtzel, with a special report by Ebola correspondent Mollie Hemingway

MP3 Download | Stream | Ask The Blog | Archives

And Again: Another Lumber Business Was Shaken Down for $55 Million by Eric Holder’s Justice Department [rdbrewer]


Bob McManus: Tantrum-throwing babies are in charge of New York
"'I am the government,' Cuomo once announced.... For the mayor, there are no plain-vanilla policies. They are all 'transcendent!' That is, when they are not 'transformative!' Or 'profound!' Or 'momentous!'" Maybe we should elect politicians without personality disorders, huh? [rdbrewer]

New York Observer: Fed Up With Govt Misconduct, Federal Judge Takes Nuclear Option
"The entire original prosecution against Sierra Pacific appears to have been driven by the Department of Justice’s interest in hitting a 'deep pocket' for millions of dollars of revenue." Holder is running the DOJ like a plaintiff's law firm. Via @ComradeArthur. [rdbrewer]

Ajit Pai: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter
"If you take to Twitter to express your views on a hot-button issue, does the government have an interest in deciding whether you are spreading 'misinformation'? If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your 'partisanship'?" More from The Hill. [rdbrewer]


Valles Marineris
Times Dispatch: Police investigating Graham's disappearance find apparent human remains [rdbrewer]


Vulture: Peter Weller on Sons of Anarchy’s Final Days, the Cult of Buckaroo Banzai, and His Ph.D.
From last month. He got his Ph.D. Fitting, because he's the best lecturer on TV. And now, how about that sequel? Added: Kevin Smith on Buckaroo Banzai. Talks to Weller and Lithgow. Also: 1984 review by Siskel & Ebert. Siskel called it: "It could achieve cult status." [rdbrewer]


EBOLA CZAR PREDICTED in 2001 commercial.
It even looks like Klain. [rdbrewer]
Boko Haram, Nigeria Agree on Cease-Fire; the 200 Kidnapped Girls Are Supposedly to be Released
But as some African tweeters note, those 200 girls were only the latest of Boko Haram's many child-kidnap victims
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