Early Morning Thread 11/23/14: Something Borrowed, Something Blue edition [krakatoa]
Happy Sunday, gentle morons.
We'll get back to this:
Parents of Pro Hockey Defenseman Jack Johnson have borrowed their way into strong consideration for Worst Parents of the Year. Johnson was forced to file for bankruptcy after his loving folks borrowed 15 million dollars against his future earnings from "nonconventional" lenders. My folks were bad with money, but I like to think that if I'd hit on some real income, they'd have had better judgement than to go to a guy named Nicky "Kneecaps" Graziani for a payday loan.
Emperor Qin Shi Huang did it in two dimensions. Or at least his artists did. Han Purple (the color at the top of the post) has some really fascinating traits under 4 degrees Kelvin.
Hope the rest of your day is better than Jack's and warmer than a terracotta warrior in a science lab.
Overnight Open Thread, 11-22-2014 -- My Hometown Edition
—Damn Dirty RINO
Hello there, fellow Morons. It's been a while since our paths crossed. Once again, your regular contributor to this space has drummed up some cockamamie excuse to shirk his duties and left the heavy lifting to the resident RINO so he can gallivant with drunkards and whores. But, that's OK. It's Saturday night. And, if I weren't doing this, I'd just be sitting around the house wishing I could be out gallivanting with drunkards and whores.
So, knowing I had to come up with something to fill this space in his absence, I decided to get out and do something that could plausibly be described as productive. As anyone who knows me will readily attest, that's a big breakthrough for me when it comes to my typical weekend activities. You see, I'm an irredeemable layabout by nature. Today, though, I thought I'd get out and take a few photos by way of introduction to the little corner of the world I inhabit.
As some of you may know, I live in the far reaches of western Kentucky, not far from the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio River. It's a largely rural area populated by mostly friendly folk, albeit sparsely -- the sort of place where people wave or raise an acknowledging finger as you pass them while driving down the road. And when those people speak of going to "town", they're talking about Paducah.
You may not have heard of this bustling metropolis of 25,000 (give or take) or know how to pronounce it (puh-DOO-kuh) -- and that's just fine. The people of Paducah are perfectly content with their anonymity. In fact, the biggest annual event that draws attention from far-flung corners of the earth -- the annual American Quilters Society convention -- strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of the local population. It seems the town will never quite come to terms with the yearly onslaught of marauding, blue-haired, wrong-way drivers clogging the local highways and byways. But, once that week passes and people settle back into their normal routines, they luxuriate in the relative bliss of obscurity.
Of course, that doesn't mean Paducahans are unwelcoming of visitors. Quite the contrary, in fact. They're actually quite friendly to those who hail from the hinterlands, provided they don't arrive in throngs. And, if you should find yourself traveling through the area on I-24, feel free to stop in for a bit and have a bite to eat. While it may not be the go-to city for five-star dining, for a town its size, Paducah is overflowing with culinary options. But, if you're looking for a memorable culinary experience, don't limit yourself to the chain restaurants and franchises that line the main thoroughfares just off the interstate. You'd be cheating yourself badly.
Every part of the country thinks it has a lock on the "Best Burger Anywhere" title. But, unless that part of the country includes Paducah, Kentucky -- well, they're wrong. Because, you see, that title goes to Just Hamburgers. I've had In-N-Out. I've had Five Guys. And, while I admittedly have yet to try a Whataburger, I don't need to. I've had Just Hamburgers, and they can't be beat. Below, you'll see the Buffalo Burger. Normally it would be adorned with bleu cheese crumbles, but they'd run out of it today, so I substituted it with gouda. It was so good that when I finished it, I felt compelled to compromise my virtue.
Not only are their burgers the best in the galaxy, their t-shirts are the coolest you'll find anywhere. Robert Waller is the most recent of three generations of owner-operators, and he's made his own unique mark on the business while maintaining the high standards of the previous generations, including fresh-grinding the beef in-house daily -- twice if needed -- and sticking to the same fifty-year-old family secret mix of spices. Do yourself a favor: Go there. Do that. Buy the t-shirt.
Say you find yourself in Paducah with a hankerin' for epicurean debauchery, but it's too early for burgers. Perhaps you're looking for a Krispy Kreme franchise. Sorry. You're out of luck in this town. There ain't one. But, at the same time, you're in luck. Because, you just happen to be in the town where the recipe for Krispy Kreme originated, and the home of the donut shop that perfected it: Red's Donuts.
Once you've tried the real thing, you will throw rocks at the North Carolina-based pretenders. Behold the sinful delicacy that has become the institution for fried pastries in Paducah and set the standard for sugar-glazed, fat-laden, yeast-based, deep-fried dough.
The University of North Carolina Library Archives says "Vernon Rudolph opened his first doughnut shop in 1933 in the town of Paducah, Kentucky, with a recipe his uncle had purchased from a chef in New Orleans. Within a few years, he had moved his business to several other Southern cities, and was focused on selling his doughnuts wholesale to local grocery stores. He still had not found the perfect location to establish his business. It wasn't until the summer of 1937 that Rudolph set off for Winston-Salem, NC, with little more than twenty dollars in his pocket, two friends, and the intention of opening a new doughnut shop."
And then there's barbeque. Just about every state in the union claims to be the home of "the real thing" when it comes to the stuff. Each has its own unique characteristics, whether it's in the sauce, the rub, or the cooking technique. But, you can go wherever you want and you'll not find better pork ribs than the ones you'll find at Backwoods BBQ. These aren't the honey-based sauce-slathered ribs your uncle incinerates over fluid-soaked charcoal every year in his Kiss the Cook apron. No, these are a whole different game. You won't find yourself gesticulating toward your cousin in a plea for the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the fist-sized globule of fat from your windpipe. These are the falling-off-the-bone, no-sauce-needed, slow-smoked-the-way-God-intended ribs you can only get at Backwoods.
And while you're there, you might as well enjoy a cold mug from their small, but excellent, selection of beers to wash it down. If you drop in, be sure to tell them Walt sent you. Hell, I may even be there, myself.
So, there you have it. If you find yourself in Paducah, Kentucky in search of good eats, you have no excuse for not finding any. And if you leave without trying at least one of them -- well, you've screwed up and sentenced yourself to a lifetime of second-tier burgers, donuts and barbequed pork ribs. But, hey -- if you can live with it, so be it.
Tonight's ONT brought to you by Paducah native and Benny Hill soundtrack creator, Boots Randolph.
Close it up
Shut Up....It Works! [CBD}
Anyone who guesses what was playing when I took the photo wins a Platinum membership with the profanity generator and RINO-Be-Gone.
And Open Thread.....
And the answer is........
Close it up
Saturday Gardening Thread: Seeing Red [Y-not, WeirdDave and KT]
Earlier this week when I was drafting my portion of the Gardening Thread, I was inspired by this:
Mister Y-not and I had dinner at some friends' house and, unable to bring them a bottle of wine, I brought a spectacular Christmas cactus as our thank you gift. As you probably know, Christmas cacti come in all sorts of colors, but this red one was particularly striking. So my "theme" was going to be red "holiday" plants and favorite plant gifts.
Then I saw that one of my partners in crime, KT, was working on a cranberry post, so all was well. We had quite a good little theme going.
But after Thursday night, I am seeing red for an entirely different reason:
President Obama's primetime speech Thursday night caused feelings of anger for many, and not only because he granted de-facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
During the speech the president referred to illegals as "workers who pick our fruit and make our beds." Astounding when you consider this was a prepared speech written, read and edited by a team of professionals who somehow allowed that line to get through.
He also mentioned a young woman named Astrid Silva, who was brought to America by her parents at the age of four, became a great student and is working on her third degree from college.
"Her father worked in landscaping. Her mom cleaned other people's homes," he said in describing her parents.
That was enough to set the Twittersphere on fire with at least one person referring to it as the most racist speech since Woodrow Wilson.
And that, dear friends, is why there was no Politics Thread today. As Steyn pointed out Elections Matter... except when they don't. My heart just wasn't in it after Obama flipped the entire nation the bird, so we'll pick up the review of 2016 candidates next week. (Probably.)
Now on to nicer things...
Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus are possibly the second most common plants (after poinsettia) enjoyed in North American households in December, but they had their origins in the tropics. They are from the plant family Cactaceae, or cactus, and the Genus is now known as Schlumbergera, but older works may refer to the prior name of Zygocactus.
These are succulent perennials which lack spines and are native to the South American tropics of Brazil, high in the Organ Mountains north of Rio de Janeiro. Like many tropical cacti, these holiday favorites are epiphytes, which means they live on other plants, using the other plant as substrate, or a place to live. (As opposed to a parasitic plant, which uses its host for nutrients.)
It turns out the plant I gave my friend was probably a Thanksgiving cactus based on what I learned in this article.
My mother-in-law has a great green thumb and always has a wonderful collection of Holiday cacti in her sunny sitting room. If you know what you're doing, I gather these plants can become real family heirlooms, passed on from generation to generation. (My friend reported inheriting one from her grandmother and estimated that it was at least 50 years old, possibly much older.)
As for their connection to winter holidays, I found this:
A young boy who lived in the Amazon jungle had asked God to give him a small Christmas sign in his hot and oppressive world. On Christmas morning, he awakened to the realization that the jungle had filled with flowers in the course of the night. The cactuses which grew on the branches of the ambient trees had all started to flourish at once.
As much as I enjoy the poinsettia displays that are common at this time of year, as a single plant, these holiday cacti are hard to beat. What are some of your favorite holiday plants?
And now, take it away, KT!
CRANBERRY CORNERS, USA
Considering that they're not very tasty out-of-hand, cranberries are remarkably popular in the USA. Of course, they do play a part in American history and culture. Would you like to grow your own cranberries? You might appreciate these plants as a small-scale evergreen ground cover, in hanging baskets or as a specimen planting if you live in the North. There are some stand-ins that work in other climates and situations, too.
In the USA, the only true cranberry most people know about is Vaccinium macrocarpum, the Large Cranberry or American Cranberry. Cranberries traditionally cultivated in Europe are small, pale pink and grow in acid peat bogs. What farmers here mean when they say "cranberry bog" is something very different: a carefully engineered (and expensive) field that can be flooded (for harvest, weather protection in winter and weed or pest control) then drained during the growing season. How about a little wakeboarding during harvest?
Of course, if you are going to flood cranberry bogs, you need a river, reservoir or lake to supply the water. Better stay on the good side of the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA. If you do not want to tangle too much with regulatory authorities, you can still set up a serious cranberry bed in full sun without even a mud puddle, if you're really into cranberries and your soil and climate are compatible. The plants need ample water, so they are a good choice if your water table is on the high side. But you will have to use a dry-harvesting technique.
Jonathan Eastman Johnson
Lingonberries, as featured by IKEA, are related to cranberries, but are a little taller and grow in part shade or shade. AKA Foxberry or Cowberry. They are nice in woodland settings with organically-enriched soil. Avoid phosphate fertilizers. They need ample water, especially if grown in the sun (in cool-summer climates). Some commercial European selections produce two crops a year. The little American Lingonberry is hardy into arctic regions and can be grown in containers.
Raintree is one reliable source for unusual garden fruits. Note the berry rake. It is useful for harvesting either lingonberries or cranberries. Raintree also sells more conventional fruiting trees, shrubs and perennials, especially those adapted to the Pacific Northwest.
Another stand-in for true cranberries in the North is the Highbush Cranberry, usually sold as Viburnum trilobum. It has a single heart-shaped seed in each fruit instead of the tiny seeds in cranberries. Therefore, its most common use in the kitchen is for jelly.
A selection with large berries and red fall color is "Wentworth". When picked after a couple of light frosts, it is "easily adaptable to recipes for low bush cranberries". "Hahs American" also has large fruit. Along with Redwing ("J.N. Select"), it is shorter than Wentworth - 6 to 8 feet. You will have a better fruit display if two different cultivars of the same species are planted within 100 feet of each other.
You might want to avoid the similar European Cranberry Bush (V. opulus), which is invasive, has very tart, astringent berries and is more susceptible to aphids. It has escaped into the wild in North America, and is sometimes mistakenly sold as a native plant.
FLORIDA CRANBERRY, OCTOBER HIBISCUS, ROSELLE
The calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa can be used like cranberries in sauces and such. But they are most commonly used to make fruity drinks like Agua Fresca (Agua de Jamaica), Margueritas or herbal teas. Grow like tomatoes, spacing 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart for a temporary hedge. Otherwise, plant 3 feet apart or in a container or border. This hibiscus flowers as the days shorten, and the calyces may not ripen if there is an early frost. Great reference here at Dave's Garden.
The Cranberry Hibiscus, H. acetosella, is often confused with Florida Cranberry. It generally has striking red leaves. The young leaves are eaten like sorrel and have a tart, lemony flavor. The flowers are used in drinks to provide color rather than flavor. If you've ever wondered what's in the purple lemonade in Central America, now you know.
Some people grow this plant as an annual ornamental, even in Wisconsin. It is resistant to root knot nematodes. There is a selection called Haight Ashbury with sort of tie-dyed leaves. Those were the days. Heh.
In the USA's mildest climates, Natal Plum grows into an attractive, usually thorny bush with flowers that smell like Star Jasmine. It tolerates salt spray. When fully ripe, the fruit is much larger and tastier than a raw cranberry - slightly sweet. Before it is fully ripe, you will see white latex when you break or cut a fruit. It's not nearly as flavorful at that stage, and the latex is a bit unpleasant. When I lived in So. Cal., I learned to judge when they were fully ripe.
If you want to grow this plant for the berries, choose the upright cultivar "Fancy" for large fruit or compact 'Tuttle' for prolific flowers and fruit. The latter is probably better for firescaping.
Wow! That was awesome, KT!
Finally, here's WeirdDave!
So, I've been in the market for an old pickup truck for a while now. It's not a need, it's a want. It's nice to have a truck around, just for those times you need to haul something. Strange to think of a beater truck as a luxury, but in my case it is. I used to have an old '78 f-150 with a stake bed that was a tank. I loved that truck, but 7-8 years ago I thought "I never use this", so I sold it. Ever since then I've thought "why did I sell that truck?"
So I've been looking, primarily on Craigslist. Late 80s to early 90s is the sweet spot. In Maryland, anything 20 years or more old can be tagged historic, no inspection necessary. I'm not averse to something newer, but inspection adds a whole additional layer to the calculation. I almost bought a '98 Dodge Ram, but the seller got hinky on some claims he had made WRT inspections. There was a long bed Chevy with an extended cab that seemed just the ticket...but it had a BIG rust through on one quarter panel. And so on. The watchword has been patience. Good deals are to be found for the patient.
Anyhow, this week has been nuts. Sister in law's husband was killed in a snowmobile accident in the NWT and so wife is crazy running around packing for an emergency trip to the arctic. Work is busy with open enrollment. I'm looking at two weeks of being a single parent, so I have to make sure I know school schedules, etc.
Yesterday I see an ad for a '94 Ford Ranger XLT. Looks pretty good, good price, 83K miles. I squeeze in looking at it this morning. It's pretty clean, runs well, good acceleration, no wobbles, no real rust. It needs new shoes, but I got a guy. Drivers door has to be slammed, but I can see where it was sideswiped (small dent), so understandable. Seller tells me that the door hinge bolt is loose and can just be tightened. (P.T. Barnum smiles).
So I buy it. Title & tags, drive it to an appointment and then home, total of about 50 miles. I realize that ergonomically, it's not comfortable (big guy in a little truck!), and that had not been obvious on the test drive. Second, I look closer at the door and realize that the left front quarter panel has been replaced, and that door frame is creased, and that's not a simple fix, there was a significant accident. That's body and a little doorframe damage, but mechanically the truck is sound. I can live with it. I'll slam the door. $1500 for a serviceable truck isn't so bad. I ended up with what I set out to get, a beater truck that I'll use occasionally.
Still....I'm disgusted with myself for getting impatient. In the whirlwind stress of the week, I forgot the watchword. Looking back I'd rather have the Chevy with the rusted quarter panel. That I could fix, and it had an 8', not a 6' bed. I spent all this time determined to do this right, and in the end I did it wrong. It's fine. I just wanted to do so much better. Ahh well, such is life.
So now I have a farm truck. All I need is a farm.
To close things up, how about a song? This one seems to fit our theme:
Close it up
College Football Thread
—Dave In Texas
The most important thing about a blog post here at the HQ is the title, according to the AoSHQ style guide which is mostly written on the bathroom wall. It should be informative and pithy.
Today's top ten games all times Eastern:
Charleston Southern (who?) at Georgia (10), noon
Indiana at Ohio State (6), noon
Ole Miss (8) at Arkansas, 3:30pm
Boston College at Florida State (3), 3:30pm
West Carolina at Alabama (1), 4pm
Colorado at Oregon (2), 4:30pm
Oklahoma State at Baylor (7), 7:30pm
Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (4), 7:30pm
USC (19) at UCLA (9), 8pm
TCU (5) idle
If you're making picks or placing bets always remember - if you don't think too good, don't think too long.
Weekend Headlines [CBD]
photo courtesy of our very own Anna Puma.
Why gendercide is the real 'war on women'
Alternate Headline: Abortion Is Evil, but Only When Girls Are Aborted
Eva Shockey responds to critics of bear hunt
"Apparently hunting a bear, eating/donating all of the meat, and putting money towards conservation is a bad thing, but killing my puppy is OK."
Fundamental Concepts-Ends and Means [WeirdDave]
[So, this actually happened, but I'm writing this here instead of risking a cherished friendship. Oh, I'll make the same points to her, but subtly, over time.]
Dear Gay Friend,
I talked to you today after the president's amnesty announcement. You were upset about him assuming dictatorial powers and bitched about trampling the Constitution. You made some good points, about how our American system of government is a historical anomaly, for most of history all of mankind has been ruled by one form of oligarchy or another, and that this portends the US regressing to the mean. You talked about concentration of power to the few at the expense of the many, and you astutely recognized the giant F.U. Amnesty is to the black community in America. You were smart, profane, witty, spot on, and you understand so much, but here's the thing:
In my mind, you don't have the right to say anything.
I've known you for more than 20 years now. I know that you're a self styled libertarian atheist, and I know why you adopted that philosophy. You're black, gay and the rest of your family is highly religious. I understand how their condemnation of your sexual identity led you to reject their values (I also remember when you came out to them and they did NOT disown you even though you expected that they would). In some ways this is good, they're dyed in the wool Obamaphiles and your libertarian streak inoculated you from that madness. In others though, I think your wholesale, almost frenzied rejection of Christianity leaves you without spiritual grounding and with a curious blind spot towards Christians, whatever you believe Christianity says about your sexuality, Westboro is an extreme aberration, not the norm. In short, you're human, as flawed and as wonderful as any of us, and I love you.
When you bitched and ranted about presidential usurpation of legislative prerogatives, however, I find it hard to take you seriously. It's not that you're wrong, gods no, it's just that I remember you crowing about judicial usurpation of legislative authority on the issue of gay marriage. "We've got 35 states now!" you said triumphantly a few weeks back when the latest ruling was issued. When you talk about how laws must be followed, I remember you cheering when OJ was acquitted, even though you told me privately that you thought he was guilty. "As a woman I should be horrified, but I'm just glad the system didn't take down another black man " was how I believe you put it. "The system" didn't take down OJ, he did it himself, and when that didn't take he had to go and do it again years later. (Personally I thought that the OJ trial was a miscarriage of justice, but also a vindication of the law, the prosecution didn't make their case)
See, your libertarian tendencies, while very real, are frequently superfluous when it's your ox being gored. That's not an accusation, far from it, it's the most human of tendencies. As a conservative, however, my philosophy is rooted in the belief that what makes the US system work is the adherence to the rule of law in all cases. The civil rights movement came about to force southern culture and social mores to conform with the law. You like to claim that gay marriage is a new civil rights movement, but it's not. The civil rights movement was a force to uphold the law, the gay marriage movement seeks to overturn by fiat laws that it doesn't like. It's OK that you don't like the law, and it's fine that you seek to change it. There are democratic methods (referendums) and legislative methods (laws) to do that. What isn't fine is to impose your will on everyone else just because they disagree with you. There are processes to be followed, when those processes are shortcutted, the entire system of rule of law is undermined. This is a perfect contrast. You can't be enthusiastic about fiat rulings when they benefit you and aghast when they harm you. That attitude is what will destroy the entire system. Adherence to the rule of law is the only thing standing between us and anarchy, and anarchy always evolves into totalitarianism. You're on the right track with regards to your political philosophy, but you really need to think it through. I'll leave you with one final thought. All of this should be important to you, personally, because you are a black lesbian. If blind pursuit of short term goals achieves them at the cost of destroying the larger societal structure, and we fall into totalitarianism, what then? Can you name one totalitarian regime in history that has been kind to minorities or homosexuals? I can't think of any. Can you?
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EMT: 11/22/14, Something Old, Something New. [krakatoa]
Welcome to probably the most needed weekend in recent history.
Niedermeyer's Dead Horse has had to take a leave of absence, as, for lack of anything specific to report, Life has intervened.
So I'll be your new Early Morning Thread host for the foreseeable future, and I promise, hand to Obama, to faithfully execute those duties.*
That's the new.
A little old to start your day, this, the 2nd day of our Lord, Obama the Foist.
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.
H. L. Mencken
* I'm not going to lie to you. I hit "post" and went back to bed. Saturday is the one day a week I get to sleep late on.
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ONT 11/21/14 - On the Bright Side Edition [krakatoa]
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Horde. Here, in the dark days of our discontent under the surly rule of His Skittleship, Obama I, I'd like to remind you that all is not lost, and now, yes even now, there are things to be thankful for.
I took a moment to jot down a quick list of silver linings in these troubled clouds.
- We easily have 3, maybe 4 months of shiny happy-times on the immigration issue, where the MSM will spend almost no time agitating for the inalienable rights of people in the shadows, and instead will be singing the praises of Obama and our newly refreshed culture.
- Our medical facilities will be full of new and interesting people to meet. Granted, you won't be able to speak a common language with most, but at least you will be able to share a lovely conversation with journalists in to see about that thing that has lasted longer than 4 hours.
- All you people who have been unable to find jobs? GOOD NEWS! You can expect no sudden changes in your lifestyle.
- Like most of you, this past 6 years have been conspicuous in no small part for the absence of the promised Skittle-Shitting Unicorns (SSUs). According to an analysis by Jonathon Gruber, the SSU shortfall is mostly attributable to the fact that most Americans do not want to do the hard work of mucking out SSU stalls. This shameful hole in our workforce has now been rectified.
- More new citizens means more new hobos. Hobos that can't read the sign that says "No Loitering", and are likely in a weakened state due to whatever 3rd-world creeping crud they brought with them. I can't be the only one excited to be adding some NBC gear to my trusty hobo-gig and Chinese finger puzzles.
These were just off the top of my head. Please do chime in with your own rays of sunshine, that those amongst us considering cashing in everything on a glorious blaze of SOTB, er, glory, may reconsider.
Gun Question: I've got one or two things that go bang.* I recently picked up a Taurus TCP that is surprisingly nice, but I'll be handing that over to the wife for a purse-piece.
For my own carry, I'm looking into either the Kel-tec PF9, or the Taurus 709 slim. The Keltec is lighter, but DA only, and seems to be a bit snappy. The Taurus is heavier, has a few more snaggy bits, but is DA/SA and reportedly is a really smooth shooter. I don't worry too much about the snaggy bits, as it will be going in an IWB holster.
Anyone here have much experience w/ either of these?
Forget everything you thought you knew! The KKK is now accepting Blacks & Jews. And that study doesn't actually show that Mary Jane shrinks Brain. His Most Honorableness Choomnenkamen will have to find another excuse once his college transcripts finally find the light of day.
I'd be more worried if the perps weren't Guinea bandits.
You know, if they were really serious about securing this stuff, they'd follow Silicon Valley's lead. Although, I'd suggest a slightly more robust model.
National Security is obviously the purview of the Pentagon. So it should be a relief to us all that they are on the cutting edge of preparedness and... oh for Pete's sake. Never go full Michelle Obama.
Good News? NASA sets new distance record in the teleportation of quantum matter.
Friday Night, Post-Election News Dump. 30 thousand Lois Lerner emails found. Who would have thunk the wildly improbable option of looking for stuff would actually find stuff? That's just crazy enough to work.
In honor of our gallumphing statism, tonight's ONT brought to you by MWNDs.
* or maybe slightly more than one or two.
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New Yorker Magazine Really Proud of Its "Bold" Thanksgiving Cover
Your Regularly-Scheduled Post-Election Friday Document Dump: IRS Discovers 30,000 "Lost" Lois Lerner Emails
Remember the disaster-recovery tapes, upon which a record of all emails was inscribed, which the IRS previously refused to search?
Well, with federal judges scrutinizing their efforts, they've finally bothered to search those tapes, and found 30,000 of the missing emails.
Though I strongly suspect that the most incriminating ones will themselves be missing from the found emails.
Up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever.
The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday that the emails were found among hundreds of “disaster recovery tapes” that were used to back up the IRS email system.
"They just said it took them several weeks and some forensic effort to get these emails off these tapes," a congressional aide told the Washington Examiner.
...and to shred the worst ones.
AoSHQ Podcast: Guest, @ExJon
Note: We moved the podcast to a new URL this week, and everything worked right for me except for the iPhone podcast app. If that's where you listen and you don't see this week's episode with ExJon in the episode list, unsubscribing and then re-subscribing should do the trick.
Intro: War - Low Rider
Outro: James Taylor - Mexico
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Don't forget to submit your Ask the Blog questions for next week's episode.
Open thread in the comments
More Americans Than Ever Don't Believe Health Care is a Government Responsibility
Before he took up the cause of health care reform, most Americans thought it was a government responsibility to guarantee it for all Americans; since he incompetently involved his lying mouth, they no longer do.
Jonah Goldberg writes about the Gruberization of the Left and the media:
I've been thinking about this:
Most of us are down. But why?
We should naturally be down if Obama were perverting the American constitutional system and profiting from it. We should be down if Obama enacted a welter of socialist policies and the economy boomed anyway, thus suggesting to voters that socialism "works."
We should be down if Obama imposed a socialist health care system on the country and our countrymen enjoyed the tyranny.
But they don't.
At every single pass -- the economy, Iran, IS, Obamacare, immigration -- Obama and the left are being discredited, and not just slightly discredited, but discredited to a Carter-like degree.
Possibly discredited for 20 or 30 years.
We should not be so down.
We do not like what this monster is doing to America, of course.
But he is not succeeding. He is failing, and failing hard.
And he will bring the Democrat Party and the media with him as he falls.
Top Obama Bundler & Air Force One Cabin-Mate Accused of Raping Child
The media will, get this, embargo the story.
Remember: Making sure you know what they want you to know is job #2 for them; making sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know is job #1.
Grubez "Invited" To Testify Before Issa's Committee on Transparency
Awesome. If Grubez refuses the invitation, he might get a subpoena instead.
Van Gogh, "Landscape in Stormy Weather" (1885)
Responding To Obama's Executive Amnesty: Let Obama Give The State Of The Union Somewhere Else
With the die officially cast on Obama's executive amnesty, attention now turns to the response from congressional leaders. Not only is this a fight about Obama's policies but something far more important, a unilateral power grab from the legislative branch of government. Boehner and McConnell may not want to want to take Obama on over immigration but they should be heavily invested in protecting the power of the legislature to make laws.
Yesterday we saw a number of ideas floated about how to respond....rescission, lawsuits, de-funding and withholding votes on nominees to name a few on the table. There's one idea I'd like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.
The Constitution simply requires that "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson.
And Presidents don't simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That's where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature...simply don't invite him.
Yesterday, Boehner said, "The president had said before that he's not king and he's not an emperor," Boehner says. "But he's sure acting like one."
Why would the Speaker invite such a man to address "the people's house"? All Obama would do would use the time to lecture members of a co-equal branch on what they must do and what he deems acceptable work product for them. Members of the United States Congress are under no obligation to sit mutely while the President brow beats them.
Obama has said he doesn't feel compelled to listen to the voters who showed up to the polls a little over two weeks ago. The Representatives elected by those people should make it clear they are simply acting in kind, they will not listen to him.
Yes the media will be apoplectic about this. Good, that's the point. This is a serious moment in our nation's history. I've not seen a single Republican, even ones who strongly support legislative amnesty, support the President on this. The outrage caused by what is an extreme step will help to focus the nation on the threat to our constitutional order.
The President and his supporters have repeatedly said the "prosecutorial discretion" he claims is well within in the law and his power. Well, not inviting the President to speak to the assembled members of Congress is well within the discretion and power of the Speaker of the House.
[Note: This is meant as an addition to the de-funding and nomination blocking ideas, not instead of them]
The Day After Open Thread
Go forth ye readers, and seek out other news aggregating websites this early morn.
Morning Thread (11-21-2014)
Podcast note: We moved the podcast to a new URL this week, and everything worked right for me except for the iPhone podcast app. If that's where you listen and you don't see this week's episode with ExJon in the episode list, unsubscribing and then re-subscribing should do the trick.
AoSHQ Weekly Podcast | Stitcher | Download | Ask The Blog | Archives
Overnight Open Thread (11-20-2014)
So I'm now in Day 4 of the most stressful week at work I've had in the past year or two. Which means I got almost nothing - except for these cast offs from lesser failed ONTs.
"Wer spricht von Siegen? Überstehen ist alles" - "Who speaks of victory? Endurance is everything"
-- Rainer Maria Rilke
If you liked the hubris, you're going to love the nemesis.
Barack Obama certainly gave the impression that he would. Noting in 2008 that he "taught constitutional law for ten years," and in consequence took "the Constitution very seriously," Obama determined that "the biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all." "That," the candidate assured his audience, is "what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States of America."
You may recall one of my persistent gripes is the media's insistence that we treat Chelsea Clinton as if she's some sort of extraordinary achiever, when in fact she's "a young woman whose adult life consists mostly of stepping through doors opened by her parents' power and meandering through the highest levels of high society without actually doing much."
...This week Chelsea Clinton honored as one of Glamour magazine's "Women of the Year," and Katie Couric decreed, "I think it's safe to say, probably a 'Mom of the Year.'" As Carmine Sabia notes, she's been a mom for six weeks.
Older lefties can still just about pay lip-service to that apocryphal bit of Voltaire about disagreeing with what you say but fighting to the death for your right to say it - a line that used to appeal to the progressive's sense of self-inflating heroism. As I say in the book, nobody needs you to "fight to the death" for it: a mildly supportive Tweet every now and again would do. But among the leaders of tomorrow even these rote nods toward the "principle" of free speech ask too much.
...You'd be surprised how non-deeply-held most cultural norms are once push comes to shove. This Zach Traynor chappie seems entirely unmoored from any himself. But perhaps I underestimate "the power of social media". After all, it seems to be doing a grand job in persuading Canadians and Americans and Aussies and Frenchmen to take up head-hacking for the Islamic State.
Jihad, hate, and Red Bull apparently.
Science! as used by most of its fans today is really a way to avoid thinking about a topic and just skip right to the appeal to authority.
For progressivism, "science" has become a safety blanket in which its adherents can swaddle themselves to avoid confronting alternative beliefs. It is a refuge from having to think too critically, either about your opponent's political convictions or the gaping holes in your own.
Just like measuring the true length of a coast line it's trickier than you'd think.
Or maybe just time travelers from the distant future when the Earth's rotation has slowed down quite a bit.
Eskimos May Have 40 Words for Snow but the Swedish Don't Have Even One for Female Masturbation
Well on the positive side no one got burned or shot although the blues brothers did manage to escape in the confusion.
Yahoo group. That is all.
Come on be a smartie and join the yahoo group party! For the children.
And my lo-fi Twitter spew.
Tonight's post brought to you by me too:
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Close it up
Some Thoughts Upon This Last Day of the American Republic
Who can forget the Obama acceptance speech in 2008 on a football field in Denver, the nominee standing amid Greek columns and scrolling through a long list of goals to 84,000 Democrats? That was the high. Six years later, the Democrats get the hangover. On Thursday, Mr. Obama will announce his presidency's only declaration of war--against the Republicans. After describing how he will redesign the U.S. immigration system on his own authority, he'll fly Friday to Las Vegas.
The remaining two years will be irregular warfare, with Mr. Obama deploying his weapon of choice, the executive order. This essentially turns the presidency into a cruise missile: The president tells the country what to do, and the country does it.
Before the U.S. political system goes to the mattresses, I’d like to spend a moment discussing Jonathan Gruber, ObamaCare and the American people.
Jon Gruber’s remarks matter not for what they say about the Democratic Party's modus operandi but because of the truths he revealed about the Democratic Party's reason for being. The Gruber threat to the Democrats isn’t reputational; it's existential.
The problem is not one MIT economist's arrogance. The problem is that the technocracy itself has become a political problem for the Democratic Party.
For some 80 years, that technocracy has been the life force of the Democratic Party. Now it's a kind of noxious green sludge consuming the party.
The original Democratic idea was at least benign. In the hands of the Obama-Gruber coalition, it has finally degraded into something else. It has become malign, a politics that has to be faked or crammed down.
The best and brightest of the Democratic left will now fashion legal arguments defending national government by executive order. Too late. It looks like the stupid people are wising up.
The last 400 years of Anglo-American political history can be read as a successful effort to establish and maintain a system tethering the executive to the law. What President Obama is contemplating will undermine that achievement, both through his own lawlessness and the precedent he will create for subsequent presidents to operate by extra-legal fiat.
No matter how much the president’s defenders stretch for a legal justification and for a precedent, the conclusion is unavoidable that no one has done this before. President Obama is said to want to build his legacy, and he will--as a man who is shamefully careless of his oaths and constitutional obligations.
And yet, just one short year after he had told students that he was hamstrung by the rules, the president did precisely what he said he could not, refusing to "enforce and implement" those "very clear" laws and abdicating disgracefully his "appropriate role as president."
Evidently, the new approach suited the president. Soon thereafter, he began to make extra-legislative changes to Obamacare, without offering any earnest legal justifications whatsoever; he responded to Congress’s refusal to raise the minimum wage by rewriting the Service Contract Act of 1965; and, as a matter of routine, he took to threatening, cajoling, and mocking Congress, and to informing the country's lawmakers that by declining to consent to his will they were refusing to do "their jobs." In Obama's post-2011 world, it seems, legislators are not free agents but parliamentary subordinates possessed of two choices: either they do what he wants, or they watch him do what he wants. Refusing assent seems to be regarded as an entirely illegitimate option. This, it should be perfectly obvious, is the attitude not of the statesman, but of the mugger. "Give me your wallet," the ruffian says, "or I will take it by force." That progressives who once championed the man for his calm and his virtue have taken to twisting themselves into knots in his defense should tell us all we need to know about their broader sincerity -- and his.
Today, the transformation of Barack Obama from wide-eyed idealist to bitter imperator will finally be completed. Amid the glitz and the artifice of Las Vegas, the last vestiges of the one we were waiting for will be swept ignominiously away, leaving only power, cynicism, and partisanship in their stead. There was a time when our 44th president claimed to stand for transparency, modesty, moderation, tolerance, humility, reason, and calm. Today, just feet from Caesars Palace, he will don the robes of the emperor and spin minor discretion into gargantuan usurpation, all norms and touchstones be damned. However convincing are the promises of the ambitious, Lord Acton always has the last laugh.
Update: The center cannot hold.
Open Thread for Obama's official declaration of assumption of the powers of Emperor.
Whoopsie Daisy: Obama Makes "Mistake" In Reporting 2013 Obamacare Enrollments, Falsely Claiming It Hit 7 Million Sign-Ups Threshold By "Mistakenly" Including Dental Plans Along With Health Care Plans
The Administration had set 7 million as its goal. It was very important, politically, that they be able to claim that had met it.
Alas, only 6.97 million people signed up for Obamacare.
So you know what time it is.
It's time for an Obama "mistake" that just coincidentally enough happens to aid him politically -- the Administration made a whoopsie-daisy and "accidentally" included almost 400,000 dental plan sign-ups in the health care figures, thus meeting its 7 million sign-up goals.
Well not really but they were able to claim such for close to a year.
Lower, Actually: Actually, enrollments are under 6.9 or so million, more like 6.7 million.
Those false 380,000 dental sign-ups put Obama just barely over.
Yeah So, Establishment Republican Appropriators Are Now, Get This, Lying to You Like Jon Gruber
You're all dangerous like wild animals and you need to be sedated with a constant drip of deceit.
Revealed: The New York Times Had Two Different Articles About the Keystone Vote Pre-Written, Each Poised to Praise Mary Landrieu, Whether She Was Successful or Not
Similarly, the New York Times has already written an editorial praising Obama on the wisdom of his executive action -- despite not knowing what that action is yet.
Yes, Congress Can Defund Amnesty
A follow up to my post on ways the GOP can fight Obama's amnesty.
Earlier a staffer with the House Appropriations committee said that they couldn't defund amnesty because Customs and Immigration Services isn't funded by the annual appropriations bill.
Sean Davis of the Federalist and former congressional staffer tweeted to me this was wrong. He's now written a post calling BS on the claim that Congress doesn't actually have "the power of the purse" over amnesty.
They’re correct that USCIS spending is funded primarily by fees collected by the agency, and that the spending is mandatory, rather than discretionary. That means that USCIS does not need annual authorizations to use those fees to offset expenses. This is actually written into the 1882 law establishing the fees and the authority of the federal government to spend them:
[Follow link to see excerpt from the law]
The only thing that differentiates mandatory and discretionary spending is how often each must be re-authorized. Every single dollar spent by the federal government must be first appropriated by Congress. Just because some spending is not subject to annual appropriation doesn’t mean it’s not subject to appropriation at all. Congress can’t block Obama’s executive order by shutting down the government, but it most certainly can defund it by law.
So yeah, don't buy the "we can't do anything about it BS".
Sorry for the earlier confusion.
Don Lemon to Bill Cosby Accuser: Why Didn't You Just Bite His Penis?
"Can I ask you this -- and please, I don't mean to be crude," Lemon began, setting up his state of non-responsibility for the question to come.
"You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you don't want to do it," he said.
Tarshis, clearly surprised by the obvious implication of Lemon's coy comment, explained defensively that she was stoned at the time of the alleged incident, which she says happened when she was 19, adding "quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have."
"Meaning the using of the teeth, right?" Lemon persisted, for viewers at home.
"Yes, that’s what I’m thinking you're --" Tarshis began.
"As a weapon," Lemon continued.
"I didn't even think of it," Tarshis reiterated.
"Biting," Lemon explained, for good measure.
"Ouch," she said, weakly, completing the TV tableau of a woman being asked by a TV news star on his CNN program to explain to viewers at home she had not taken this basic step to prevent her alleged attacker from raping her.
"I had to ask," Lemon said, putting back on his I'm Not Responsible, Just Doing My Job hat.
It's kind of a dumb, weird question. But that's okay; we are allowed to ask dumb, weird questions.
Or we used to be, anyway. Because of course Lemon is now getting it from the Feminist Left for the crime of How Dare You Subject Anyone Making a Serious Criminal Accusation to Any Skepticism Whatsoever.
In addition to being cravenly insensitive, Lemon's line of questioning shows a remarkable ignorance to how trauma affects people, as well as to how journalists should speak to survivors of sexual assault.
"Telling a survivor of any crime that it could have been avoided is not only disrespectful, it's offensive," Katherine Hull Fliflet, the VP of Communications for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), told VICE. "It's really disheartening to see an interview like this."
Meantime, people are now parodying Lemon:
Let's hear the dude out pic.twitter.com/0NP2ANiQe9— Patricia Lockwood (@TriciaLockwood) November 19, 2014
After Barack I Issues His Amnesty Decree, The Ball Is In The GOP's Court
As usual the fight before the fight is to force the GOP to fight. So what's the state of play in terms of the GOP's response to His Imperial Majesty's forthcoming proclamation?
The first fight is over the upcoming Continuing Resolution. Right now the government is funded through the middle of December. The first choice is to pass a new CR that funds the government through September of next year or a shorter term one that would give the new GOP controlled Congress far more sway over it (question- even without an amnesty fight, why would the GOP let Harry Reid have so much control of the spending for the rest of the fiscal year?).
Naturally the GOP establishment, led by Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers wants to let the Democrats have as much say as possible and is advocating for a full year CR in December.
The bottom line from the election is this: The American people want a government that works for them. They want action on the issues that are meaningful and important to the country and to their daily lives. They do not want, nor will tolerate any longer, the circular and corrosive politicking that has infected our system and that is designed for quick cable TV news bites and little else. The best way for Congress to fulfill this mandate is to bring no-nonsense governing and regularity to the federal funding process. At the core, this means “regular order” for appropriations bills — enacting funding bills on time, and in a responsible, transparent and pragmatic way, without the specter of government shutdowns or the lurching, wasteful and unproductive budgeting caused by temporary stopgap measures.
The day-to-day work of the appropriations process isn’t always headline-grabbing, but it is essential to the basic functioning of our government. It is the head-down, nose-to-the-grindstone legislation that Congress can and should enact, but that has been stymied in the past few years by internal political battles, and, frankly, a Senate that largely refused to participate in the process.
However, to get back to this regular order in the new Congress, we have to first clear the decks on the leftover, current-year appropriations work. We are now months behind in completing these annual bills, and the current temporary measure keeping the lights on in our government will expire on Dec. 11.
But of course Rogers wants you to know he's super serious about fighting Obama's amnesty so he has a plan...pass the Harry Reid approved CR now and pull the money out of the budget for it during the year using a process called "rescission".
There's one problem, rescission is a scam and Rogers and his ilk know it.
(*See note/correction below)
Officials of the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee have concluded that the government agency most responsible for implementing any new executive order — Citizenship and Immigration Services — would not be hindered if government funds are cut off; it operates entirely on revenue it generates through immigration applications.(*See note/correction below)
In short, lawmakers have no fiscal leverage over the agency, which could keep operating even if the rest of the government was shut down.
“Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the E-verify program,” the committee said in a statement. “Therefore the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘de-fund’ the agency.”
They are trying to scam you with this, pass the CR now and we'll fight later bit. As Jon Gruber might say, they are relying on the stupidity of the American voter. Don't be Gruber bait.
So what can be done? Sorry Team GOP but Ted Cruz has the answer.
When the president usurps the legislative power and defies the limits of his authority, it becomes all the more imperative for Congress to act. And Congress should use those powers given to it by the Constitution to counter a lawless executive branch—or it will lose its authority.
If the president announces executive amnesty, the new Senate majority leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.
This is a potent tool given to Congress by the Constitution explicitly to act as a check on executive power. It is a constitutional power of the majority leader alone, and it would serve as a significant deterrent to a lawless president.
Additionally, the new Congress should exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty.
President Obama will no doubt threaten a shutdown—that seems to be the one card he repeatedly plays—but Congress can authorize funding for agencies of government one at a time. If the President is unwilling to accept funding for, say, the Department of Homeland Security without his being able to unilaterally defy the law, he alone will be responsible for the consequences.
A presidential temper tantrum is not an acceptable means of discourse.
In order for the Congress to exercise the "power of the purse" it first must not give up that power.
But shutdowns are terrible Team GOP will cry! First, they clearly aren't. You need look no further than the results of two weeks ago for proof of that. But no one is talking about a shutdown. Everything would be funded, there would just be language that says the policy of the US government is not to give out work permits to these illegal aliens.
What's different this time is the GOP would no doubt pick up some red state Democrat votes and they'd be fighting Obama over something that's deeply unpopular. Even retiring Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin says there's nothing extreme in this approach.
And finally, a good rundown on the case for fighting Obama on this (read it all)
A short-term hit in the polls in an off year is less consequential to Republican electoral prospects than the wrath of conservatives at a GOP – given a congressional majority barely two weeks ago to, in part, thwart the lunacy emanating from the White House — that caves in its very first fight with a deeply unpopular president.
Media opprobrium in January 2015 is less consequential to Republican electoral prospects than millions of disgusted Republican voters staying at home in November 2016.
The amnesty-by-executive order, as reported, is an affront to the American voter, the American worker, the Constitution, and the American civic ethos.
Media will continue to trash Republicans (and fawn over Hillary in 2016) regardless of what Republicans do about amnesty.
Republicans can’t out-pander Democrats for Hispanic votes.
Country trumps individual political ambition.
Country trumps party.
Defund the damn order.
*I'm told by Sean Davis of The Federalist I've got this wrong but so does the staffer who said this. Sean, who worked on the Hill, says that statement isn't about rescission but the appropriations process in general. He says the idea the people claiming this can't be defunded are "wrong about that, and laughably so."
"Notwithstanding any provision of law, no funds may be appropriated/otherwise made available for X" are the most powerful words in U.S. law.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 20, 2014
So there's that.
Close it up
Thursday Morning News Dump
- Cheating Aids The Ratchet
- No, Reagan Did Not Offer An Amnesty By Lawless Executive Order
- Shirtgate And Common Decency
- Buzzfeed's Executive Chairman Is Invested In Uber's Competition
- Good News, Jim Webb Launches Presidential Bid
- Obama Is About To Commit An Act Of Constitutional Infamy
- Tuition Showdown
- Man Who Unearthed Gruber Videos Worried About Media Backlash Against Him
- Meet The Snobocrats
- Why Is Putin Buying So Much Gold
- Remember When NIH Said They Didn't Have Enough Money To Fight Ebola
- Your Betters At The NYT
- Russian Bombers Threaten Guam
- Al Sharpton Not Happy About The NYT's Story On His Unpaid Taxes
- Trey Gowdy On Gruber: "Let Him Keep Talking"
Morning Thread (11-20-2014)
"A Republic*, if you can keep it." ~ Benjamin Franklin
* "I didn't mean a banana Republic, you dolts" ~ Zombie Ben Franklin
Overnight Open Thread (11-19-2014)
"If you want to stretch the powers of the presidency beyond all recognition, to insist "prosecutorial discretion" now means not enforcing the law for millions of people who violated the law by entering the country illegally, and to claim unilateral power to change the makeup of American society in the face of stiff public and Congressional opposition...at least wear a suit jacket, right? This is a special occasion."
-- Jim Geraghty
"Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense."
-- Alan Dershowitz
If you're named Duane, Brent, Darrell or Randy, you're probably a Republican. And if you're a Jasmine, Caitlin, Abigail, or Erica, you probably think Obama is dreamy and guys like Duane, Brent, and Vernon are racist haters.
There's an slow motion racial Cultural Revolution going on at UCLA. And the administration is backing the student Red Guards. Read the whole thing and weep over the madness.
Finally, on November 14, 2013, the class's five "students of color," accompanied by "students of color" from elsewhere at UCLA, as well as by reporters and photographers from the campus newspaper, made their surprise entrance into Rust's class as a "collective statement of Resistance by Graduate Students of Color." The protesters formed a circle around Rust and the remaining five students (one American, two Europeans, and two Asian nationals) and read aloud their "Day of Action Statement." That statement suggests that Rust's modest efforts to help students with their writing faced obstacles too great to overcome.
Roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots qualify for the "rainwater remediation fee" to "protect the Chesapeake Bay."
Though the O'Malley administration calls it a "fee," it is commonly called the "rain tax" throughout the state. It is wildly unpopular and the promise to fight to repeal the tax was a large factor in Maryland electing Republican Larry Hogan governor this month.
Now Prince George's Country is offering a way for churches to avoid paying the tax, which is estimated to be an average of $744 per year for them - preach "green" to their parishioners.So far 30 pastors have agreed to begin "'green' ministries to maintain the improvements at their churches, and to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations" to avoid being hit with the tax, The Washington Post reports.
Shamelessness, thy name is Dianne Feinstein.
I view the report as not only a political document - the latest salvo in the war between Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA.
In my view, the war stems from the fact that leading congressional Democrats who were briefed on what the CIA was doing to fight terrorism signed off more or less unquestioningly. But later, when the political climate changed, these politicians tried to claim ignorance.The CIA, understandably, was unwilling to let them off the hook. Now the Dems will have their revenge. (Republicans on the Committee honorably refused to participate in the farce.)
Best quote from the thread: "If what you claim is true, we would just build skyscrapers out of chicken wire and concrete pavers..."
You can blame Jimmy Carter in large part for North Korea's acquiring nuclear weapons, but of course James Earl blames you for making them do it.
Then, last year, North Korea tested a nuclear bomb. Pyongyang had always insisted, including in its talks with Carter, that it sought nuclear energy only for the purpose of generating electricity. Now it changed its tune, asserting that it was entitled to new deference as a member of the "nuclear club." And Carter, too, changed his tune. No longer blaming both sides impartially, he now put the blame squarely on the U.S. and specifically on President Bush. "Beginning in 2002," he wrote in an essay for the New York Times,
"the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil, threatened military action, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants, and refused to consider further bilateral talks. In their discussions with me at this time, North Korean spokesmen seemed convinced that the American positions posed a serious danger to their country and to its political regime."He did not mention North Korea's secret nuclear program, to which each of the American actions he decried was in whole or part a response.
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."
And their sheer ignorance.
"Your ad was rejected because it violates the Ad Guidelines. Ads may not promote firearms, ammunition or weapons (ex: paintball guns, BB guns, knives, etc). This decision is final. Please consider this the end of our correspondence about your ad."
Pancakes are about to be made here.
The Group knows what you did.
Tonight's post brought to you by jet fighters over Giza, 1983:
According to the article - from left to right, top to bottom: F-4 Phantom, Mirage (III?), MiG-19, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-14 Tomcat, A-6 Intruder, MiG-21, and A-7 Corsair.
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Close it up
Vermont Halts Payment to Jon Gruber
Vermont had been paying Gruber major bank to advise them on how to
implement deceive their citizens into implementing a single payer health care system.
The videos of Gruber's boastful mendacity have made these payments a hot potato of a political issue -- and now Vermont is stopping further payments.
On Wednesday, Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform for the Gov. Peter Shumlin administration, announced that Vermont would stop payment of Gruber’s $400,000 contract with the state.
As of this week, Vermont has paid Gruber $160,000 on a contract that began July 21 and was expected to continue until Feb. 15.
Networks Aren't Covering Obama's Imperial Immigration Decree -- Except for Univision
And, one wonders, if that isn't precisely how Obama wanted it.
Perhaps he didn't bother making an issue of it with the networks. He has previously complained a lot when networks declined to give him free time.
By the way -- this announcement will be made on the night of the Latin Grammies. The show will be delayed 15 minutes for Obama's announcement.
No, I'm not kidding.
Recommendation: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking
So day 10 or something of the Flu That Won't Leave.
I'm hopeful that tomorrow I'll be mostly recovered. Today I feel like crap, as usual, but the two main symptoms -- a crippling migraine headache (with photophobia) and a hacking cough that goes on for five minutes and makes internal organs ache -- are mostly abated. Now I'm left with headache and coughing, but not so bad they're worth complaining about. Plus general flu symptoms.
I'm really annoyed because I started doing all these healthy things, and stopping doing a bunch of unhealthy ones, and so I was all ready to start Feeling Awesome when I caught this flu.
Speaking of that, I picked up a book a couple of weeks ago called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, by Alan Carr.
I had quit smoking a while ago, going on to the e-cig, but I remained addicted to nicotine, and in fact could not imagine really ever going off nicotine.
Someone recommended this Easy Way book to me and I read it because I didn't have anything else going on.
It's actually pretty darn good, as this reconsideration of the book acknowledges.
I don't read many -- any -- Self-Help books so maybe this book had a bunch of tricks to play on me for which I had no defenses. Maybe I'm an easy score, given that I'm unfamiliar with self-help books' techniques generally.
And maybe I found it easy to quit smoking this time because I was especially motivated.
Basically I was feeling like crap every single day of my life and decided that I would not go on like that any longer -- it was time for some changes.
But even so, I think the book is pretty good. It's very repetitive, but in that repetition, it drills into you an important message:
You don't need to smoke. You didn't "need" to smoke before you started smoking. And you don't even really like smoking, do you? Think about it: Do you really like feeling hot smoke moving through your sinuses and lungs? Do you really like that feeling nicotine dependency gives you, of constantly being in mild drug withdrawal, with those withdraw symptoms only really absent from your life for the duration of the cigarette you're currently smoking? (The withdrawal symptoms, the craving, begins anew about 10 minutes after you finish your cigarette, and become urgent 45 minutes to an hour afterwards.)
The book addresses the psychological roots of nicotine addiction. The actual biological hook of nicotine addiction isn't really all that powerful, compared to truly addicting drugs like heroin, coke, or alcohol. No, it's really the psychological story that you the addict are telling yourself about the cigarette, and why you need it so much, and why smoking that next cigarette will make you Feel Good and why you Deserve That Cigarette, after all.
Reading the book, I eventually became not just convinced of the need to break the nicotine dependency, but actually enthusiastic about doing so. Just like Carr said I would.
It's now been about a month since I kicked smoking. I did not follow Carr's advice completely -- I didn't go cold turkey as he insists, but instead used the patch, nicorette gum, and an e-cig as nicotine replacement therapy to get me off actual cigarettes.
And I'm still not completely off nicotine, but I'm almost all the way off of it. I'm not on the patch anymore, I don't use the e-cig anymore, and I chew one or two pieces of Step 2 nicorette when I really have the urge per day. (Some days, being sick, I've forgotten to have any nicotine at all.)
But a month on and I'm not smoking and only having one or two mild doses of nicotine per day, if that. So, I'm not quite free of nicotine yet, but I'm not really addicted anymore, either.
I'd really recommend the book. I don't know what it is about it.
I guess that most of what it says is obvious, if you bothered to think about it,, but as an addict, you are deliberately avoiding thinking about the basis of your addiction, so it's helpful to have someone else state the obvious to your face.
The book, by the way, stays away from the scary stuff about smoking, almost entirely. There are no pictures of diseased lungs or gums or that sort of thing. The author's notion is that making someone nervous immediately makes them reach for a cigarette so discussing the dire health effects of smoking is actually counterproductive.
Instead he sticks to a softer approach -- won't you be happier when you don't have to to worry about only having three cigarettes left?
Obvious stuff, but I found it helpful. If you're still smoking, or you know a smoker, I'd spend the $7 to $10 for the book.
Obama: I Will Formally End The American Constitutional System This Thursday Night in Las Vegas, and Install a Third-World Junta System In Its Place
So there is no public will at work here. There is only the will to power of this White House.
Which is why the thinking liberal’s move, if this action goes forward, will be to invoke structural forces, flaws inherent in our constitutional order, to justify Obama’s unilateralism. This won’t be a completely fallacious argument: Presidential systems like ours have a long record, especially in Latin America, of producing standoffs between executive and legislative branches, which tends to make executive power grabs more likely. In the United States this tendency has been less dangerous -- our imperial presidency has grown on us gradually; the worst overreaches have often been rolled back. But we do seem to be in an era whose various forces -- our open-ended post-9/11 wars, the ideological uniformity of the parties -- are making a kind of creeping caudillismo more likely.
But if that evil must come, woe to the president who chooses it. And make no mistake, the president is free to choose. No immediate crisis forces his hand; no doom awaits the country if he waits. He once campaigned on constitutionalism and executive restraint; he once abjured exactly this power. There is still time for him to respect the limits of his office, the lines of authority established by the Constitution, the outcome of the last election.
Or he can choose the power grab, and the accompanying disgrace.
King Obama Moves Forward On Immigration
CNN BREAKING: President Obama will make executive action announcement in prime time address tomorrow— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) November 19, 2014
[Update - Andy]
Hello, old friend. pic.twitter.com/d2d38Yx2wj— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) November 19, 2014
Jake Tapper Explains #GruberGate to Viewers Just Hearing About the Story
Maximilien Luce, "Paris, the Boulevards, Night" (1893)
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- What Ever Happened To The Pursuit Of Truth And Intellectual Inquiry?
- Landrieu Fails To Get Keystone Passed
- The First Rule Of Amnesty Fight Club
- Whence Keystone Comes
- Major Media Mostly Ignoring Gruber Videos
- Polling Postmortem
- Top Obamacare Official Used Threats To Push Website Launch Despite Concerns
- The GOP Plan To Fight Executive Orders Is Coming Together
- Let's Face It, The Two State Solution Is Dead
- Former WH Advisor: Gruber Was 'The Man' On Obamacare
- The Triumph Of Hope Over Experience
- Victor Davis Hanson Lost His Daughter This Past Week
- Saudi Oil Policy Uncertainty Unleashes Conspiracy Theorists
- Why Elon Musk Is Afraid Of Artificial Intelligence
- Buffalo Might Get Hit With 5-6 Feet Of Snow