April 28, 2009

Palate Cleanser: Megan Fox Not a Tea Party Babe, But Still Pretty Hot
— Ace

Fox on the set of western comic-book movie Jonah Hex.

Knees? Sharp.

In more-political Hollywood news, my favorite actor Michael Caine doesn't like high taxes.

“The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America,” he said at the weekend. “We’ve got 3.5 million layabouts on benefits, and I’m 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them. Let’s get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it up.”

Fluffy stuff, yes. I'm a little devastated by this Arlen Specter jump Oh, not losing him, of course. Just the whole 60-vote fillibuster-proof majority thing.

Posted by: Ace at 08:00 AM | Comments (103)
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Specter To Become A Democrat (Officially)
— DrewM


Human Events broke it.

Now FNC confirms.

Thank God Bush, Santorum and the GOP spent so much money getting him reelected in 2004. Heck of a job guys.

Here's Pat Toomey's website. Just saying.

Specter emails to say: "Hey John Cornyn...How's my ass taste?"

David Frum emails to say: "This just proves real conservatism is dead within the GOP".

Let's not forget something very important....Arlen Specter is a hack. Not because he's not conservative enough for me, that's his choice. It's that he claims to be a paragon of virtue, the man who will do the right thing ideology be damned. Well, at the first chance he might lose his precious Senate seat he bolts to save his wrinkly old ass.

Specter is simply a morally bankrupt and cowardly man.

If you want to switch parties, that's fine but there's an honorable way to do that. Phil Gramm did it in the early 80's when he resigned so he could run as a Republican.

If Specter can't stand the idea of being a Republican, why not resign and let Rendell reappoint him? Or simply run for the seat against whoever did get the appointment?

Obviously the idea of not being a Senator is a fate worse than death for this coward. No matter how Specter tries to spin this, it's simply an ass saving and cowardly maneuver.

Here's his statement. As far as I can tell it says something like, "blah...blah...blah...moral coward...blah...Specter uber alles...blah...fuck the GOP..."

He says he will still oppose card check but who believes a word this honorless coward says? A PA Democrat opposing union's #1 priority? I don't think so.

Steele's Statement [ace]:

Some in the Republican Party are happy about this. I am not. Let’s be honest-Senator Specter didn’t leave the GOP based on principles of any kind. He left to further his personal political interests because he knew that he was going to lose a Republican primary due to his left-wing voting record. Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don’t do it first.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:06 AM | Comments (381)
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It's Not Easy Bein' Green
— Slublog

Compare, contrast:

The talk:

Prince Charles warned that the world risked plunging into a "new Dark Age" unless urgent action was taken on climate change, during his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
The walk:
Each member of Charles's party will leave a carbon footprint of 4.41 tons - 13 times more than if they had used a scheduled flight on the same type of plane, which can carry up to 156 passengers.
Like Instapundit says, "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

Obligatory motivational poster below: more...

Posted by: Slublog at 05:36 AM | Comments (42)
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New Conservative NY Times Columnist, Wishes We Could Have Stuck A Fork In Conservatism After The Last Election
— DrewM

Ross Douthat makes his debut on the Times' Op-ed page today and shockingly, the new 'conservative' member of the team immediately takes after...wait for it...conservatives. That mean, grumpy Dick Cheney to be precise.

The hook of the column is that if Dick Cheney had run instead of John McCain, conservatives would have been defeated at the polls and realized it wasn't moderates that killed the party but Cheneyesque conservatism.

At the very least, a Cheney-Obama contest would have clarified conservatism’s present political predicament. In the wake of two straight drubbings at the polls, much of the American right has comforted itself with the idea that conservatives lost the country primarily because the Bush-era Republican Party spent too much money on social programs. And John McCain’s defeat has been taken as the vindication of this premise.

We tried running the maverick reformer, the argument goes, and look what it got us. What Americans want is real conservatism, not some crypto-liberal imitation.

“Real conservatism,” in this narrative, means a particular strain of right-wingery: a conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions, uninterested in social policy and dismissive of libertarian qualms about the national-security state. And Dick Cheney happens to be its diamond-hard distillation. The former vice-president kept his distance from the Bush administration’s attempts at domestic reform, and he had little time for the idealistic, religiously infused side of his boss’s policy agenda. He was for tax cuts at home and pre-emptive warfare overseas; anything else he seemed to disdain as sentimentalism.

This is precisely the sort of conservatism that’s ascendant in today’s much-reduced Republican Party, from the talk radio dials to the party’s grassroots. And a Cheney-for-President campaign would have been an instructive test of its political viability.

I eagerly await further columns from Douthat so we can learn what 'real conservatism' is. Something tells me it will all sorts of nifty new social programs and spending. Awesome!

As for this column, well there's nothing like 'conservatives' who describe fellow conservatives in cartoonish terms. With friends like these....

Second, would Cheney have lost? Probably but you know what? Enhanced interrogation techniques are more popular with voters than they are with the chattering classes.

I hate to break it to Ross but the Democrats don't do well historically when running as weak on national security (see Carter, Jimmy, Dukakis, Michael, Kerry, John F.). Robustly defending the policies that keep this country safe for 7+ years might have been a little more popular than Democrats and easily spooked conservatives thought.

More importantly, the election turned on the economy and the financial meltdown, not Iraq and not Gitmo. Small government, tax cuts and reduced spending might not have looked good in November '08 to many (though again, no one was making the case for them) especially after 8 years of Republican running up the tab. I guarantee you though, they will look pretty damn sweet in 2010 and 2012 when the cost of electing Obama becomes clear.

It's funny how Cheney became such the boogeyman during the last 8 years. I remember when he was the supposed grown up who was going to keep the gravitas lacking W. in check. Funny how the self-selected deciders turn. Personally, I would have preferred Cheney in 2000 but that's just me.

The thing is, the left is going to demonize anyone with and R after their name (hell they made Bush and McCain out to be rightwing ideologues), so shouldn't we at least have the real thing?

What we are going to need in 2012 is a governor with a track record of getting things done within a conservative framework. No more Senators who think doing 'something' by consensus is the end all and be all but an actual leader who can define the terms of the debate and has a record to back it up.

It's a long way out but there are obvious candidates. One or two of them will have a record that will be damn impressive giving the tough times we are going through. That's going to be the future of conservatism, not people constantly reacting to the last election.

Either way, American politics are cyclic. They move back and forth (though always more to the left on balance). In 4 or 8 years the country will want small government (well, small government talk at least) not Liberalism-lite. People who chase trends at the expense of principle will always be a day late, though they will always have a spot on the NY Times Op-ed page.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:36 AM | Comments (166)
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Top Headline Comments 04-28-09
— Gabriel Malor

♪ My life goes on in endless song, above Earth's lamentations. ♪
♪ I hear the real though far off hymn, that hails a new creation. ♪

Yes, it's one of those days. I'm inna obnoxiously good mood. Fear it.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 03:03 AM | Comments (125)
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April 27, 2009

Overnight Open Thread (genghis)
— Open Blog

Tonight’s overnight thread is sponsored by the Emperor Tamarin.

The John Bolton of the primate world.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

Posted by: Open Blog at 06:41 PM | Comments (140)
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Quote of the Day
— Ace

Isn't it fabulous how Obama has reconciled with our enemies and put fear into the hearts of Americans? Does any image illustrate so neatly the wrongheadedness of the Obama administration than Americans scrambling in terror from Air Force One?

-- From Tantor.

Posted by: Ace at 02:39 PM | Comments (178)
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Obama's First 100 Days
— Ace

More here.

Posted by: Ace at 12:55 PM | Comments (101)
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"Government-Sponsored Photo Op"
— Ace

The first report was that NYC was terrified for a photo op. Over at Hot Air, I read the word was being put out that it was some kind of "readiness" exercise -- which is cute spin, implying that people were at least terrified over something useful.

Nope, it's a frigging photo op:

It wasn't an attack, or even a drill -- it was a government sponsored photo op.
The Pentagon did tell local authorities about the startling fly-over that sent a Boeing 747 and a F-16 fighter screaming over New York's scarred skyline, but officials said they couldn't share the information with the public. They couldn't even share the information with the mayor.

Mayor Bloomberg said he was "furious" and criticized both the feds and his own administration for failing to issue a simple warning to the public in a city that is still somewhat traumatized by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"The good news is it was nothing more than an inconsiderate, badly conceived and insensitive photo op with the taxpayers' money," Bloomberg said.

"It's completely asinine after 9/11 to do that," said Keith Mercantine, who witnessed the chaos in Jersey City. "I saw ambulances out here with pregnant women."

An Air Force One lookalike and F-16 buzzed the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor in the morning, halting work on nearby construction sites, causing resident and office workers to flee their high-rises and giving thousands of people in downtown Manhattan and New Jersey a major fright.

The Statue of Liberty is a nice touch, for extra drama and terror. Know how to make people really scared? Put a 747 on an intercept course with a major element of the New York skyline.

The F-16 chasing it, almost as if it's about to shoot it down and rain steel and jet fuel over the city, demonstrates Obama's attention to detail.

WSJ says it was a photo op, too.

Well. Obama got his photo op, didn't he? The screaming, running, terrified Manhattanites makes for a great picture.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff and Locus.

More: WH Wanted to Update Its File Photo of Air Force One Buzzing the Statue of Liberty: Update it. As in, they already have several. But those were from the nasty Bush Administration (or, more likely, before; I doubt Bush got the chance before 9/11).

So the NOTUS (Narcissist of the United States) decided it was about time he buzzed NYC, so he could have his pretty picture.

Posted by: Ace at 12:36 PM | Comments (188)
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Speaking of Funny Stuff...
— Ace

Joe Biden eats ice cream like a retard eating his own elbow.

He's going down on that cone like Perez Hilton on a media booker.

A python just wrote to tell me he admires Biden's distended jaw action.

Good quote from the Hillary-supporters at Hillbuzz:

Nobody knows what Dick Cheney did all day — but whatever it was, it was certainly important. Whenever the government said the Vice President was in a secure, undisclosed location, we pictured Cheney racing through the tunnels under the Greenbrier resort, through the supposedly decommissioned fallout shelter and secret command center entombed beneathe that isolated swath of West Virginia, plotting and scheming and keeping terrorists awake at night, wondering when Darth Cheney would strike and how many of them would live to tell their tales the next day.

Dick Cheney, as Vice President, was the twisted, relentless, ruthless love child Batman and the Penguin biologically could never have. He may even be a robot sent from the future to keep us all from harm. He was, without question, the exact Vice President needed at just the right moment in history. Who knows what he was up to, but we’re certain, 100%, that it helped keep this nation safe for the last eight years.

It’s probably what he’s still working on now, from somewhere secure and undisclosed as you read this.

And Cheney never needed to be babysat....

We don’t know what Joe Biden does all day, but the amount of breakfasts he is required to have with Hillary Clinton each month seem to indicate Biden needs to be babysat by grown-ups. On days Clinton’s not watching him, we’re not sure who has that duty, but “breakfast with the Vice President” sure seems like “it’s your turn to keep him from embarrassing himself for part of the day”.

Maybe Obama appointed Joe Biden "The Sheriff of Terrifying NYC Flybys," just as he earlier appointed him "The Sheriff" of making sure the government wasn't wasting your money.

Posted by: Ace at 12:20 PM | Comments (50)
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Quick, Let's Run Videos of Sarah Palin Talking at a Turkey Farm Sixty Bazillion Times
— Ace

You guys remember that? How stupid of her!

Now that warrants 24/7 coverage.

This weak shit? None at all.

Sorry... The weak shit I mean is the 747 terrifying New York City video.

I just meant this to be a post addressing how colossally stupid that was. And how the MSM, so eager to call Palin dim for speaking at a turkey farm, will cover for Obama. They won't play this up, late night comics won't mention it, and the Pentagon will be blamed.

The stink of rotting stupidity will be kept far away from Mr. So Brilliant He Won't Release His Grades Bammy.

Obama "Furious" to Hear of Incident His Own White House Approved: He's so, so angry.

And, as with everything else, he really wants you to know that he's not responsible for his responsibilities. Stuff just happens. Bein' president is hard.

He wants you to know that, just as was the case when his White House approved AIG retention bonuses, he's every big as angry about this as you are. Even angrier, probably, because he did it. (Although, remember, it's not his fault.)

Our laid-back, disconnected president is really fucking cool, though. He's like the cool kids at school who never did any work and just sat around bein' all popular.

Hakuna matada. Shit happens.

Geraldo Rivera Reporting: A funny parody in the comments:

Geraldo Rivere here reporting live in Manhattan. This morning was a cool, clear, sunny day much like the morning of September the eleventh. People walking on the busy sidewalks, just hours after they arose from their slumber, in their beds, next to their sexual partners, many of whom probably had morning sex, quickly walking to destinations.

And just like on September the eleventh, the roar of jet engines eerily fill the air, the noise bounces off the tall buildings like a scrotum bouncing off the bttuocks of a naked woman during sex. These average Americans, New Yorkers, once again had their worday interrupted by a frightening scene of a low-flying commercial airliner.

As the crowd looked up, their first thought was to run. I saw one well-endowed woman running, her large breasts bouncing, and all I could think was what a shame if I'm the last to see those beautiful orbs of flesh.

In seconds it was a mob, like an orgy, erupting in fear. Young supple bodies undualting, and writhing in panic like a teenager's first time with a hooker. Legs pumping and chests heaving, the people wasted no time in getting away from the thunder of the jet engines and the eerie shadow of a airplane on the streets of Manhattan.

Posted by: Ace at 11:41 AM | Comments (76)
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Barack "Maverick" Obama Buzzes the Tower
— Ace

I'm replacing the first vid I stole from Allah with this one. Good. God. All. Mighty.

More videos and some spleen from Allah.

In related news, Obama intends to let people know he's finally reversing Republican economic mismanagement, by sending them envelopes filled with unidentified white powder, intended to symbolize the 80s coke & junk bonds economy.

Because, you know, he's so darned smart 'n shit.

In other related news, White House spokesman David Gibbs asked rhetorically, "Why are people getting so freaked that a man raised in Indonesia sent a 747 buzzing some New York towers?"

Hmmm... I guess Obama wanted to remind us all that terrorism is a real and present danger.

How thoughtful. George Bush didn't have the balls to panic New Yorkers just to remind them of 9/11.

Like Christopher Buckley, I'm really starting to admire the cut of this man's jib!

White House Approved: Same link to Hot Air. Wow.

White House Military Office director Louis Caldera issued a brief statement.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” he said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, its clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”…

Hm. So the smart guy's White House approved this, and the retarded hillybilly's White House somehow managed to avoid such nap-of-the-earth canyon runs, huh?

Posted by: Ace at 11:13 AM | Comments (156)
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Fox Network to Obama: You suck too much for sweeps
— Jack M.

OK..maybe they didn't exactly put it that way.

Still, it's the thought that counts. And you know the bean-counters were thinking it.

The Fox network is sticking with its regular schedule over President Barack Obama this week.

The network is turning down the president's request to show his prime-time news conference on Wednesday.

I know a woman in Northern Alabama who is going to be very happy about this turn of events.

Hmmm... [ace]

Instead of the president, Fox viewers will see an episode of the Tim Roth drama "Lie to Me."

How is that any different from Obama's press conference?

Kudos to Fox for standing up to the Narcissistic One.

More: Obama Gets More Press, and Better Press, Than Clinton and Bush Combined [ace]: Really? I had no idea.

Posted by: Jack M. at 10:54 AM | Comments (84)
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Obama the Peace-Bringer
— Ace

Obama has brought peace to the world.

At least according to the media.

They don't say that, exactly. But note how their coverage has shifted. Under Bush, we were not only fighting two wars, we were losing them both, supposedly. The coverage drove home the notion that we were a nation at war.

And losing.

And now? By not mentioning the two wars we're in, the media gives the impression that we are in fact no longer at war at all. The deadliest string of bombings in a year in Iraq gets a short mention, but no prominent play, and certainly no questioning about whether Obama's strateries are helping or hurting.

Twin suicide bombers struck outside the gates of the holiest Shiite site in Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 60 people and wounding scores more, according to preliminary reports from police officials.

The blasts came a day after the single deadliest day in Iraq in more than a year, and punctuated a deadly outburst of violence in recent weeks.

On Thursday three suicide bombings — one in Baghdad and two in Diyala, the restive province northeast of the capital — killed more than 80 people. In barely 24 hours, five bombings have killed at least 140 people and wounded 240.

Thursday’s deadliest bombing destroyed a restaurant in the city of Muqdadiya, killing at least 47 people, most of them Iranians traveling in buses. On Friday, a morgue official said the toll had risen to 56 killed, Agence France-Presse reported from Diyala’s capital, Baquba.

While violence overall remains far below the worst years of the war here, a string of attacks so far this month has raised concern that insurgents, terrorists and other fighters have regrouped themselves with the intention of inflaming sectarian tensions and weakening Iraq’s government and security forces as the Americans reduce their military presence on the ground in advance of a full withdrawal at the end of 2011.

It should be noted, of course, that the media lost interest in Iraq as The Surge won that war, for all intents and purposes, and that curious loss of interest occurred when Bush was President.

But even as the media refused to report on the success in Iraq, they would rouse themselves to push stories about bombings in Iraq. And of course the less they covered Iraq, the more they covered Afghanistan, which they assured us was all but lost. Because, of course, Bush had "taken his eye off the ball."

Did we suddenly win in Afghanistan? Is there some reason the media is no longer warning us about the imminent threat of the Taliban winning?

Odd, seems to me that the real risk is no longer the Taliban winning in Afghanistan, but winning in nuclear-armed Pakistan:

A resurgent Taliban in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley on Monday vowed to enforce Islamic laws across the country while ruling out

the possibility of laying down arms following the implementation of Sharia in the region. ( Watch )

The Sharia or Islamic law regime approved recently by President Asif Ali Zardari will not be confined to Malakand division, which includes Swat, and the Taliban wants the system to be enforced in other parts of Pakistan, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said today.

"(Sharia) is not only for Malakand division, it is for all humanity, for all Muslims. So we will go more for implementation of Quran, Shariah-e-Muhammadi, not only in Malakand division (but) other parts of Pakistan also," Khan told Dawn News channel in an interview.


Asked about Sufi Muhammad's assurance that the Taliban in Swat would surrender their weapons once Sharia is enforced in the region, Khan replied: "We don't know about that because we are Pashtuns and any Pashtun has a gun".

He indicated that Taliban would lay down arms only if the Islamic courts in Swat asked them to do so. "If the Sharia regulation will call (on) us that Taliban you keep your arms, we will keep (them). If the order from Qazi courts is no, we will say no," Khan, who spoke in broken English, said.

The Taliban spokesman questioned why no one was asking for the disarming of "US forces" who were allegedly in Pakistan and killing Muslims.

"We are Muslims. If somebody is coming to kill my brother, we will stay... in Afghanistan and the Pashtun areas. You are asking me to lay down my arms and nobody (is) asking the Americans. Why?" he asked.

Supposedly the US has a plan to "enter" (whether by invitation or by invasion) Pakistan to capture the nukes should Al Qaeda and the Taliban take over, but I doubt the leftist Obama would approve of such a thing. And further, I don't know if it's even achievable. Pakistan has 170 million people, after all.

And yet, looking at the stories pushed by the media, it seems to me that our only current concerns are economic and domestic. Somehow, by the simple act of becoming president, Obama ended two wars, apparently in full victory.

It's not as if there are no mentions of war in the media. But when Bush was president, the war dominated the coverage. War was omnipresent. Even if you wanted to tune out, the media wouldn't let you. Every week brought some new horror, a horror that actually occurred or one that was likely coming just around the bend.

And now? Unless you look for the coverage, you don't find it. The media is quite willing to allow you to believe we're at peace now, if that's your inclination.

Obviously the vast majority of Americans are not first-hand witnesses in either theater and rely upon the media to inform them of what's happening there. But the media has decided to opt out of that responsibility, because informing the public would require them to ask difficult questions of Teleprompter Jesus, questions he might not know the answers to.

It's just easier, all around, to follow "No Drama Obama's" lead and pretend that we're not in the middle of two shooting wars, with Pakistan possibly on the brink of full and complete Talibanization.

If the worst happens, I'm sure the media will cover it. After the fact. And they'll ask lots of difficult questions of President Prissypants, like "How do you feel about the unfairness of President Bush leaving you in a no-win situation?"

But for now -- don't worry, be happy. The world is at peace, at least until it's not, and you can praise Obama for that.

Dissent No Longer the Highest Form of Patriotism, Part 6,388: Jonathan Alter, who for years allowed his shiny dome to be used as a nest for a family of ferrets, declares it's "not patriotic" for Cheney to call Obama "weak" on national security.

Funny, I seem to remember it having been a moral imperative, which only True Patriots (TM) undertook, to criticize Bush relentlessly for making this country more unsafe.

And now? "Not very patriotic."

He was on Olbermann, of course. Note how Alter has to walk back the unhinged Olbermann from suggesting Dick Cheney actively desires a new 9/11. [Nope: Ed tells me that's not fair, that Olby was trying to clean up Alter's loose language. And, reading it again, I agree.]

ALTER: Because what he is betting on – and this is the sick thing to me, Keith – is that if there’s another attack that he will then be back as a huge and important figure who predicted that this would happen if we stopped torturing. And this is his bid for historical resurrection.

OLBERMANN: Well, I, I`m, I hope that`s not the case. Even with my attitude towards these people, I hope that can`t possibly be the case, that he would want to see that happen for justification-

ALTER: No, no, he doesn`t want to see, he doesn’t want to see an attack. Don`t misunderstand me. If there is an attack. Of course, not. But what he`s positioning for, himself for, by calling the President weak, for a former Vice President to say that, that`s not a very patriotic thing to do. He is positioning himself to say "I told you so" should we be attacked again.

Hmmm... positioning himself to say "I told you so."

What a novel idea. Strange it hasn't been tried over the course of the last eight fucking years.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff and JackStraw.

Posted by: Ace at 10:08 AM | Comments (85)
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Obama Stages Photo-Op, Scares the Bejebus Out of Lower Manhattan
— Gabriel Malor

Another example of Obama's extreme childishness and lack of regard for anyone other than his own self:

A Boeing 747 used by the president was escorted over lower Manhattan by an Air Force fighter jet Monday as part of a government photo opportunity and training mission, causing a brief panic among office workers near where hijacked passenger jets crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Workers from several office buildings poured out onto the streets before they learned that the flights were harmless.

John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran out of the building around 10 a.m. after seeing the planes whiz by their building, near the World Trade Center site.


Another reader who responded to msnbc.com's request for photos said: "Video? Picture? Who the heck had time for that?!?!?! We were all too busy getting the heck out of the building!

"A coworker, whose desk faces the window, all of a sudden had this huge jumbo jet in his face," wrote Jenny Espinosa. "This poor kid freaked. One woman who works in our building, and is pregnant, had a panic attack and almost collapsed."

I would have probably panicked as well. We occasionally have low flying planes pass over downtown L.A. It raises my blood pressure every time. Of course, when it happens in L.A. the plane doesn't turn around and come back like this morning in Manhattan:

Among the workers who left their buildings were some at The Wall Street Journal.

Kathleen Seagriff, a staff assistant in the news rooms, said workers heard the roar of the planes and then saw them from their windows.

"They went down the Hudson, turned around and came back by the building," she said. "It was a scary scene, especially for those of us who were there on 9/11."

What jerks. Whoever approved this nonsense owes New York and New Jersey an apology.

Haven't You Heard? [ace]: It's just a "bright, sunny safe day in April 2009." We hardly need worry about people getting all verklempt about 747s buzzing skyscrapers in NYC.

Belated Hat-tip: Thanks to Mike S.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 09:17 AM | Comments (186)
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Melissa and Joan Rivers Freak Out on the Apprentice
— Ace

Still under the weather. But indulge me with this easy, silly post.

If you want backstory: Basically Melissa and Joan Rivers have been spinning bizarre conspiracy theories about the people they don't like on the show conspiring against them. Even though this is a game show, and people are supposed to conspire against them. And even though evidence for such conspiracies has been almost nonexistent.

For bizarre reasons, the two have decided that Annie Duke, the poker player, is "Hitler," even though her worst traits seem to be that she's unduly taken with herself, too bossy, and annoying. Apparently those were Hitler's primary sins.

"Poker player" became the worst invective Joan Rivers could imagine like three weeks ago. The list of worst people on earth seems to go, in ascending order from least worst to worst worst: Nazi concentration camp guard, child killer, poker player.


Posted by: Ace at 08:29 AM | Comments (69)
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What Went Wrong In NY-20?
— DrewM

Slublog sends along this WSJ editorial that sums up nicely what I was going to say.

New York's 20th Congressional district is precisely the kind the GOP will have to win if it wants to regain a majority. It is one of the few Northeast districts where Republicans retain a party registration advantage, and Republican John Sweeney had held it for four terms before Democrat (and recently appointed Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand won in 2006. George W. Bush carried it twice.

...At one point, Mr. Tedisco had a 20-point lead but squandered it by waffling on the Obama stimulus plan, running anti-Wall Street ads that confused the Republican base, and waiting until the last few days to criticize pro-union "card check" legislation. In other words, Mr. Tedisco betrayed that he wasn't all that different than the other politicians who have made Albany the tax and spend center of America..

Former Assemblyman John Faso wanted the nomination and he was my choice to run for the seat. Naturally, he was less than complimentary about Tedisco and his campaign.

"Attacking Scott Murphy for being a private-sector businessman was not a logical approach," said John Faso of Kinderhook, a former Republican assemblyman who has run for comptroller and governor. He also expressed early interest in being his party's candidate in the House special election.

"Not taking a position on the (federal) stimulus was incomprehensible," Faso said of the issue that seemed to hang Tedisco up for more than half of the race's two-month span. "The bill is bad policy for the country. The economy needed a stimulus, but what came out of Congress — much of the spending will not benefit the economy, and it's all going to be paid for by our children and grandchildren."

Opposing the federal bill was the right position, Faso said, and it was one a Republican should have taken early and vocally.

"You can't learn what your philosophy is from a poll," said Faso, who is a lawyer and a lobbyist.

Republicans, led by Saratoga County chairman "Jasper" Nolan, nominated a good old, go along, get along pol and got their ass kicked.

You can say that the district had leaned Democrat for two cycles but so what? Gillibrand won it in '06 because the incumbent, John Sweeny, was caught up in a domestic violence incident. She won again in '08 for a number of reasons including the overwhelming advantages of incumbency and the fact she ran against another party hack (Sandy Tredwell) who ran essentially the same campaign Tedisco did.

Republicans do better when they nominate candidates who articulate their core beliefs well. Faso would have done that and Tedisco didn't.

If Republicans want to get back into the majority in Congress they are going to have to win back seats in the NE they have been losing lately. NY, CT, NJ may not send the most conservatives Republicans to D.C. but you need to build up the numbers somewhere.

This was a winnable seat for a reasonably conservative candidate and the Republicans muffed it by nominating a hack.

Well played!

Posted by: DrewM at 08:18 AM | Comments (52)
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Dems Blame GOP for Keeping Pandemic Peparedness Funding Out of Spendulus
— Gabriel Malor

It's in the Nation today (link is to Don Surber), which means it will be in the N.Y. Times tomorrow and parroted on the evening news programs tomorrow night.

Susan Collins, the Judas who made the spendulus possible, apparently blocked $900 million in pandemic preparation money from the Senate version of the bill (but see here for Chuck Schumer crowing about cutting "porky things" like the flu preparedness money).

This is stupid for a couple reasons. First, pandemic preparedness would not have stimulated the economy. Remember the alleged purpose of the emergency "OMG, pass it, pass it now" stimulus package?

Second, there is nothing standing in the way of Congress if it wanted to pass a pandemic appropriation either after the spendulus or even today. It's a little silly of Democrats, who control both houses of Congress and the White House, to point at Republicans and claim that they'd have had the appropriation if it weren't for Susan Collins.

If we put that little claim through the AOSHQ translation module, this comes out: "We are weepy, scared, impotent, and--above all--have no idea what we're doing. Please don't be mean; Harry and Nancy bruise easy."

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 05:49 AM | Comments (267)
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Anatomy of a firefight
— Uncle Jimbo

2nd of the 503rd 173rd Airborne spent 15 months in Afghanistan and engaged in approx. 1200 firefights. Their combat tour has yielded more purple hearts and valor awards per person than any I am aware of. I know many of these men and honor both them and their friends who did not make it back. The video I made below shows a fight where they were attacked from multiple directions for an hour or so boiled down to 4 and half minutes. They averaged at least two engagements every day. They were The ROCK. more...

Posted by: Uncle Jimbo at 05:25 AM | Comments (58)
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Greatest Presidential Orator Ever Out Of Synch With His TelePrompter
— DrewM

I'm sure Cicero had similar problems back in the day.

And how does one get to be such a great orator? According to the recently released epilogue of Harry Reid's book, Obama knows exactly why he is just so fantastically awesome.

Reid, D-Nev., writes: "'That speech was phenomenal, Barack,' I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: 'I have a gift, Harry.'"

Obama and no "braggadocio or conceit"? I never knew Harry Reid was so sublimely sardonic.

h/t to Allah's Twitter feed for the Reid quote.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:23 AM | Comments (91)
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