January 29, 2010
— Ace This ad, courtesy of AdLib, is showing up on the internet, including on right-leaning sites like BigGovernment:
It is paid for by the American Public Policy Committee. Well, according to opensecrets.org, the two donors for American Public Policy Committee this year are Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority West.
However, according to opensecrets.org, the 2nd largest contributor in 2008 to Patriot Majority was SEIU and other top Unions around America.
Lefties sure have a lot of money to squander on abject nonsense.
— Ace I sort of don't even think this is worth noting, as these stories keep popping up, and we now know that virtually everyone is related. (Well, everyone, really, if you go back far enough; but virtually everyone is related just within a thousand years.)
Genealogists said Friday the Democratic president and the newly elected Massachusetts senator, Scott Brown, are 10th cousins.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society said Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Brown's mother, Judith Ann Rugg, both descend from Richard Singletary of Haverhill, Mass.
He died in 1687 at, for the time, the unusually old age of 102.
We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed... Oh wait, we did land on Plymouth Rock.
Also related: Hillary Rodham Clinton and George Stephanopolous. The article doesn't say how closely.
In case Allah doesn't know an angle for this story, here you go: Alpha Male, Plymouth Rock Era.
Thanks to AHFF Geoff.
— DrewM On FNC now.
Right now, Obama is giving a speech but there's going to be a Q&A with House Republicans asking questions. Originally one the speech was supposed to be aired but last night the administration asked to televise the whole thing. Depending on who is asking the questions it could be interesting.
Wow, Obama just said, "I am not an ideologue" in response to why he went with big spending stimulus instead of the House across the board tax cut proposal.
No, Joe Wilson didn't shout out "You Lie!". Awesome self control in the face of that kind of provocation.
I love his "I'm not an ideologue, just a technocrat working with what the experts tell me" shtick. Such horse shit.
I have to admit this will likely play well for him, unless someone can lay a glove on him. He's walking the line between fighting back which will help with the nutroots and appearing post-partisan by showing up which some independents love (some are just fed up with him too). Conservatives obviously will loathe him because, well, it's all the same old crap.
That and the whole lying through his teeth thing as Paul Ryan just pointed out helps.
West Virgina congresswoman now going after Cap and Trade. Prepare to be dazzled by Green Jobs bullshit.
Wow...Jason Chaffetz of Colorado....You know Mr. President you lie. A lot. Done out of sadness not anger. Very well played.
— Gabriel Malor Just happened. That was a very quick jury deliberation.
The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for only 37 minutes. Roeder faces life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder.
Roeder also was convicted on two counts of aggravated assault for threatening to shoot church ushers Keith Martin and Gary Hoepner as he fled Reformation Lutheran Church after murdering Tiller.
Whether Roeder shot Tiller at point-blank range in the forehead at Tiller's church in Wichita last May was never at issue; Roeder had admitted it to reporters, in court filings and finally to a jury on Thursday. He also said he had been stalking Tiller since at least 1999.
More in a minute.
On the necessity/justification defense:
But Sedgwick County Judge Warren Wilbert said he could not claim he acted out of necessity. Abortion rights groups became alarmed when Roeder's attorneys asked the judge to allow the jury to consider convicting Roeder of voluntary manslaughter. At the end of testimony Thursday, Wilbert ruled that the jury could only consider premeditated, first-degree murder.
That's the issue that was vigorously debated in comments here. I'd like to know more about why Judge Wilbert refused to allow the manslaughter instruction.
Update: According to this report I found via Volokh.com the judge denied the manslaughter instruction for both reasons we discussed previously: the abortions weren't "imminent" and abortions are legal in Kansas.
— Gabriel Malor Proponents of gay marriage are backing the Civil Marriage Religious Freedom Act, which would add to the section of law which permits clergy to perform (civil) marriage ceremonies:
No person authorized by this subdivision shall be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. Any refusal to solemnize a marriage under this subdivision shall not affect the tax exempt status of any entity.
Gay marriage advocates are often accused of wanting to force priests and other clergy to perform gay marriages. Although that's not true and a moot point anyway since the First Amendment prevents it, it seems that since some folks are worried about it the best thing would be to clearly and unequivocally take it off the table.
The bill also changes California's marriage statutes to refer to "civil marriage" instead of just "marriage" to emphasize that the statutes apply to legally-binding, state-regulated marriages as contrasted with purely religious marriages that have no civil consequences. I'm not as crazy about this part of the bill, though I understand why people want to emphasize the difference between the two.
— DrewM Stronger than expected (economists are forever being surprised, aren't they?) and it the second straight quarter of growth signals the technical end of the recession.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, rose at a 5.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is the highest pace of growth since 2003, and it constitutes strong proof that the recession reached its end earlier in 2009. It was also a surprisingly positive result, well above the 4.6 percent rate of GDP growth forecasters had expected.
But there remained reason to doubt how strong the economic recovery will be in 2010. The biggest component of the GDP growth was a steep drop in the pace at which businesses were cutting back on their inventories. Firms reduced their inventories by $33.5 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $139 billion in the third. In the math of GDP, which attempts to capture the value of goods and services produced within U.S. borders, that added 3.4 percentage points to overall growth.
The down side is that inventories are unlikely to provide a similar boost to growth in future quarters. Now that companies are not cutting back on the goods on their warehouses and store shelves in large numbers, the way they were during the depths of the recession, inventories will not add much to growth in the coming quarters unless businesses decide they cut back too far during the downturn and decide to actively rebuild their inventories.
There was also a significant boost to growth from businesses investing again in equipment and software. They cut back dramatically on capital spending during the depths of the recession, and now such spending seems to be clawing back, rising at a 13.3 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter. That contributed 0.8 percentage points to overall growth.
First, this is good news. Tempting though it may be to down play it, it was annoying when the left did it for 8 years and I'd hate to be in the position of rooting against the country's well being.
That said, even the Washington Post is including caveats that the engine of this growth, the rebuilding of inventories, isn't likely to repeat itself. We may be looking at the front end of the double dip recession we've heard so much about.
As always, jobs is a lagging indicator and the next report on that is due out in a week.
The White House is obviously going to trumpet this number (though it is subject to revision) and they'll enjoy their day*. Still they have to walk a fine line between declaring "Mission Accomplished" (if you will) and the fact that a lot of people are still out of work and in tough shape.
The WSJ has a round up of economists reacting to the report.
From the less than excited end of the spectrum.
# GDP growth broke to a level above expectations based primarily on stronger than anticipated inventory While consumer spending, the housing markets, and export growth all played a role, the 3.4% contribution to headline growth from inventory expansions remains easily the biggest factor in todays GDP release Also note that much of the inventory improvement was limited to non-durable goods and the auto industry, the latter of which is building inventories with questionable short term sales prospects. This inventory-driven GDP number also calls into question the sustainability of this type of growththeres no reason to anticipate that inventories will continue to build aggressively with consumer spending remaining somewhat stagnant. Guy LeBas, Janney Montgomery Scott
On the more optimistic side...
The 13.3% rise in equipment investment was the best since the first quarter of 2006. Equipment investment contributed 0.8 percentage point to GDP growth in the fourth quarter (0.5 point more than we had anticipated). The other big upside surprise was in foreign trade. This reflected a much smaller advance in imports than we had expected. The combination of stronger investment and weaker imports suggests that more of the upside in investment was fueled by domestically produced goods than we had assumed. David Greenlaw, Morgan Stanley
*The White House blog is already on the case.
— Gabriel Malor FRIDAY!!!! And I have inter-tubes!!! A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!
January 28, 2010
— Open Blog Happy Thursday M&Ms. It's all downhill from here to the weekend.
The Politics on Your Face
Well given that your face tells people a lot about your age, sex, race, general health, and for men even your testosterone levels, I guess it's not completely far fetched that your political beliefs might show up as well. And according to this study people can guess whether you're a Democrat or Republican about 60% of the time just from a photograph. Which is better than chance but clearly not foolproof.
I was kind of skeptical at first and thought maybe the study was just picking up the fact that just knowing someone's age and sex can let you make a pretty good guess where they fall politically. But it looks like the researchers accounted for that and still found a correlation. So I guess people are really picking up on something. So be careful all you closeted morons in the blue states, your face could be the one betraying you.
— DrewM It's based on the Brit model (the early walk and talk is more of Brit thing than the tradition middle of the package US stand up) but it's pretty much spot on for what you see on most news casts, local and national.
Thanks to "Ace of Spades" for the link (and "Dario" who apparently sent it to him).
— DrewM Via Drudge.
And a top item on the Obama agenda goes down...
White House officials have told the Justice Department to consider other venues for the 9/11 terror trial that was to be held in lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned.
It's not a done deal yet and this clowns could double down on stupid but this isn't exactly how the day after the State of the Union was supposed to go.
If they are looking for suggestions, might I suggest this naval base we have in Cuba? I hear it's lovely there this time of year.
Seriously, what city is going to take this after NY says no and succeeds in standing up to Obama? They are going to have to move it out a regular federal court house and onto a military base or something.
Bold prediction: Everyone stays at Gitmo and no one is tried during Obama's term. When a sensible President is elected, it's back to military courts. Or they all die of old age before anyone really deals with it.
— DrewM Well, Obama may well have found a way to unite Democrats and Republicans after all.
The Obama administration stunned New York's delegation Thursday, dropping the bombshell news that it does not support funding the 9/11 health bill.
The state's two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.
So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.
"I was stunned and very disappointed," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who like most of the other legislators had expected more of a discussion on how to more forward.
..."She made it clear that the administration does not support any kind of funding mechanism that goes into the bill," said Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel. "I think it's fiscal restraint but you know what? They find money for everything else, they need to find money for this," Engel said.
And how much do these greedy bastards want anyway? 11 Billion dollars! Not all at once mind you but spread out over the next 30 years. $366 million, give or take, a year.
For the people who tried to rescue survivors of the attack and then cleaned out the site Obama says...no. Money to defend terrorists in court? Sure, he's all for that.
This reminds me of the idea the jackass floated about charging the private insurance companies of veterans for service related injuries. Eventually that was dropped, just as this will be funded, but it's pretty clear who Obama stands with and who he doesn't.
Added (as my anger builds) You know what? I bet we've already spent more than one year's worth of this money on Haiti (probably more than the whole 11 billion) so here's my idea...no more money for Haiti until we take care of our people.
Now, I think we can and should do both but if it's a choice, I say help Americans. What does Barack Obama say?
— Ace He'll take a seat. Not the one he should have.
Thanks to EdwardR.
— Ace Blame Bush!
Because Obama thinks of himself as a blameless victim for everything he did.
[O]n March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying "Yes."
When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.
This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with "Yeas" coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.
How is this possibly something that happened before Obama "walked in the door" when his Party ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval -- save Bush's signature, of course -- and the highest members of the current Administration -- including the president himself!!! -- supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?
Sadly, Obama-loving media care not to address this inconvenient truth.
But that's just the beginning, for on October 1, 2008, Obama, Biden, and Clinton voted in favor of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program designed to prevent teetering financial institutions from completely destroying the economy. Couldn't Obama only disavow responsibility for this if he had voted no along with the other 25 Senators disapproving the measure?
And what about the $787 billion stimulus bill that passed in February 2009 with just three Republican votes? Wouldn't Obama only be blameless if he vetoed it and was later overridden?
Of course, he didn't, and, instead signed it into law on February 17. Nor did he veto the $410 billion of additional spending Congress sent to his desk three weeks later.
Add it all up, and Obama approved every penny spent in fiscal 2009 either via his votes in the Senate or his signature as President.
Thanks to AHFF Geoff.
— DrewM First the Himalayan glaciers and now this.
Which is less credible...Obama's new found desire to restrain spending or the IPCC's scare mongering?
In the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), issued in 2007 by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists wrote that 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest in South America was endangered by global warming.
But that assertion was discredited this week when it emerged that the findings were based on numbers from a study by the World Wildlife Federation that had nothing to do with the issue of global warming -- and that was written by a freelance journalist and green activist.
The IPCC report states that "up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation" -- highlighting the threat climate change poses to the Earth. The report goes on to say that "it is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems ... such as tropical savannas."
But it has now been revealed that the claim was based on a WWF study titled "Global Review of Forest Fires," a paper barely related to the Amazon rainforest that was written "to secure essential policy reform at national and international level to provide a legislative and economic base for controlling harmful anthropogenic forest fires."
EUReferendum, a blog skeptical of global warming, uncovered the WWF association. It noted that the original "40 percent" figure came from a letter published in the journal Nature that discussed harmful logging activities -- and again had nothing to do with global warming.
Well, forest fires are hot so that's close enough to man made warming, right? And as for it being a letter and not an actual scientific study, that's just details.
Besides according to the UN Climate gang, this is kind of endearing, right?
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice chairman of the IPCC, was quoted in the European press as saying, "I would like to submit that this could increase the credibility of the IPCC, not decrease it. Aren't mistakes human? Even the IPCC is a human institution."
Look Frenchie (technically he's Belgian, whatever), you can submit anything you want but we don't have to pretend it's anything other that pure BS. I mean, it's not like we were previously under the impression all of this stuff was coming from robots. We know you are human and as such are prone to, how to put this? Making shit up if it gets you what you want (which is usually research grants and power).
But of course, the science is settled and poling holes into the UN report is really not sportsman like or something. Allow me to take a minute to preview how Gaia worshipers will calmly and in scientifically explain this, um, unfortunate incident...."Shut Up!".
— Ace Breitbart goes right after him. There seems to be more to this clip, but we begin with Breitbart, as usual, going after a liberal like Michael Moore after a Krispy Kreme donut-tasting class. Correction: The clip actually begins just after Shuster introduces him, as I see now from the full MSNBC clip. It's just a two-second edit to jump into the action.
Doesn't it sort of take a partisan to get into a shouting fight with a partisan?
On Twitter, I just observed that David Shuster is the real sin at MSNBC. Olbermann and Maddow and Matthews are jokes, but they are commentators, and all commentators have an agenda.
Shuster, however, continues posing as a "reporter." A reporter? The asshole who grinned his stupid ass off as he made 30 rude references in a row regarding the word "tea bagger"?
Olbermann and Matthews are entitled to their opinions -- this is the paradigm of cable news.
But what the hell is this "reporter" doing airing them all of the time?
He's not a reporter. He's a small-market shock jock they send to cover hurricanes and car-chases.
He should be taken off the reporter beat immediately and made a guest commentator. Lord knows he could never carry his own show.
Shuster Flat-Out Lied to Book Me As a Guest: "No horse in this race," he wrote to Breitbart.
His tweets, collected up here, say otherwise.
— Ace Actually, it's his response to a Bush SOTU, but do enjoy the symphony-like irony.
— Ace He moved to an even more isolated patch of Vermont.
— Ace Any chance he'll take it?
Sen Feinstein agrees with Mayor Bloomberg- KSM should not be tried in NYC.says situation changed after xmas day bomber. obama should change
That's smart, because when you reverse yourself, you can't admit you were wrong. (Well, normal people can, but not politicians, and especially not malignant narcissists like Obama.)
You need to say you were right before, but are right now, too, even as you do the exact opposite thing you did before.
You need to ascribe this to a change of circumstance, or a new experience previously denied you. George Bush the Elder did this in his abortion-switch, offering up a child's adopted baby (I think: the "little brown ones" or something) as having opened his eyes to the pro-life POV.
No one really bought it, but, you know: Cosmetic.
So, anyway, there's Captain Wonderful's out.
He won't take it, though.
It might hint that maybe he was wrong, which he never is.
Just ask him.
The press is against him, you know.
— Ace Obama's not the only one doubling down on stupid.
Did I ever tell you the slogan on the masthead -- the Mencken quote -- I got from the quote-page (you know, the epigram, or whatever, that novels start with) from the Christopher Buckley book Wet Work?
Did I also tell you the book sucked and I never picked up another Buckley book again? And when, for example, a girlfriend tried to get me to see Thank You For Smoking, I refused, knowing it would be a precious, fey pile of repressed-cum-wannabe-lurid crap like Wet Work was?
Yeah. He sucks. He's always sucked.
He continues sucking.
One can do the whole verb-inflection exercise for the verb "to suck" with Christopher Buckley.
Obama didnt deliver a speech so much as a symphony...
Well that's not trite in the least. This rara avis just dropped a completely novel metaphor on you. A speech like a symphony.
Who but Buckley could make such an unexpected connection.
Good Lord, if I could just see inside his head, to watch the fireworks of creative foment burst and dazzle and sizzle into water...
You know what that would be like, if I could see that?
A fucking symphony, that's what.
It is hard, indeed almost impossible, not to like Mr. Obama.
Oh, you'd be surprised, Chris.
But a lot of things surprise you, don't they?
That's the advantage of being a fucking retard. The constant surprise and amazement at the unexpected glory of life.
And Nilla wafers. Retards love Nilla wafers.
In recent weeks, Ive triedtried my best.
To hate him, he means.
But Wednesday night he made it virtually impossible. Even discounting the perhaps 40 percent of the speech that consisted of the usual bromides and platitudes, even the most hardened skeptic must admitthe son of gun gives one hell of a speech.
Bromides and platitudes? My quibble here is that, once again, he resorts to the stock phraseology of writing about this crap.
What about nostrums, Rara Avis? At least toss me a good "nostrum." Nostrum only gets used in 40% of columns about speeches, as opposed to bromides and platitudes, which get used in 94%.
Wet Work really sucked. I need you to understand this. At no point was I entertained, nor did I believe the book at all. It was about some kind of rich fat fuck (that part I believed: Write what you know) going all Rambo and shit on some drug smugglers or some other trite villain.
He got cutesy a lot, not funny but cutesy, which is like, oh, wow, the perfect tone for what is supposed to be a lurid revenge fantasy.
He was never funny and I never bought his Airwolf-level of action/military realism for a red hot second. Basically it was like Tom Clancy, minus the research, plus a cloying attempt to make his shitty style the main character, plus some queerbait punning.
When I say I put it down like six times before powering through this slight, annoying, noxious little fart of a book, I need you to understand: I finished American Psycho after putting it down only four times.
Just saying, Gee, it's not like he got his book deal based on his connection to his father or anything.
It's just he's a real fucking talent and shit.
You know what his books are like?
Symphonies, that's what
Tonight Mr. Obama provedonce againthat he hears the American music and can play it like a maestro.
Christ In Heaven, here we are with the music metaphor again.
Gee, when you came up with "symphony" (nice on that, by the way), how long did it take you to come up with the metaphor-extending notion of a "maestro"? Did you, like, sweat that one, Chris? When it finally came to you, after 0.22 seconds, were you like, "Zut alors! Le bon mot!"
How, Rara Avis, do you do it? You're like playing four-dimensional chess with the written word. You're like playing chess like... well, like it's a fucking symphony, and you're a maestro, except not a real maestro, but a maestro who moves chess pieces in between writing crappy lurid wannabe potboilers that only got reviewed well because all your former conservative supporters were so desperate for you to make it your own.
As well as Ronald Reagan.
"The Great Maestro," we used to call him. He cut taxes like a fucking symphony.
Both presidents hadhavehave music in their souls.
If this fat nepot says crescendo I shall scream.
You do realize we are only like one step away from "soulpatterns" and "mindthoughts" here, right? "Soulmusic" and "mindsymphonies."
The other people in the room where I watched the speech were in tears by the endthe kind that stream down the face.
He just outed his wife and friends as mentally unstable emotionally-fragile neurotics.
This is like a symphony of tasteless personal disclosures. And Chris Buckley is like a... hmm... I'm on this symphony kick... who would be naturally associated with a symphony....? I know I had this question on the SATs...
MAESTRO: SYMPHONY ::
Chris Buckley: Fat Talentless Nepot Who Writes Shitty Unconvincing Books About Fat Talentless Nepots Who Go on Kill-Crazy Commando Raids In Between Homoerotic Flirtations With Their Regatta-Schedulers
I managed to hold those back.
Others cried, Chris Buckley did not. He was like a maestro of self-control.
But I could not hold back my admiration at the performance, in particular of Mr. Obamas deep humanity, as evinced by his profound, almost Lincolnesque humor. Oh dear, are tears streaming down my face, one way or the other?
My best guess? Gun to my head?
Sure, is my answer, if I'm forced to go with one. I'd have to go with "Yes, Oh dear, those are tears streaming down your fat nepot face."
Your eyes are like making a symphony of joy or something. Like -- Oh! The Ode to Joy! That like works on two levels!
You're like a maestro of the bitch-swoon.
Thank you, Mr. President.
An electrifying evening, all in all. Well done. And yes, God bless the United States of America.
Phew. He didn't say "crescendo."
If he had, I would have had tears streaming down my face, too.
You stupid fat fuck.
Thanks to AHFF Geoff.
Hat-Tip: I have hat-tipped this a bunch of times, so I didn't think a fresh one was due, but "beating my dick like it owes me money" is a commenter's invention, said during the Palin speech at the RNC, I believe by Warden.
I have tried to top that, riffing on it and extending it, like "beating my dick like it's Tina Turner and I just caught her on the phone with Berry Gordy," but there's no way to top that.
— Ace When you're on a sinking ship, you know how to find the higher ground?
Rats are stupid vermin, but they are survivors.
The Obama administration on Wednesday lost its most prominent backer of the plan to try the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the trial should not be held in New York City.
The mayors reversal was a political blow to the White Houses efforts to resolve a landmark terror case a few blocks from where Al Qaeda hijackers rammed planes into the World Trade Center, a trial that the president saw as an important demonstration of American justice.
Mr. Bloomberg said that a more secure location, like a military base, would be less disruptive and less costly. His remarks echoed growing opposition from Wall Street executives, the real estate industry and neighborhood groups, who have questioned the burdens that such a trial would bring to a heavily trafficked area of the city.
Its going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people, Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference in Brooklyn. My hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind.
Administration officials expressed chagrin at the mayors statements, which appeared to come as a surprise. But there was no immediate talk of revising the decision to hold criminal trials for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his co-defendants in New York.
Of course there was no talk of revising the decision. The Great Oz never errs. Just ask him.
Not to belabor this point, but that is, after all, what I do here: Belabor points.
So, not to belabor this point, but Obama continues doubling down not just on his policies but on the PR tactic of selling himself as inevitable and invincible.
Reminds me of the Untouchables -- I want to write "Evitable" and "Vincible" on the wall.
(Not in blood, of course. I disown that part of the analogy. But yeah -- Evitable, and Vincible, you jackass. Peddle your Irresistible Force fantasy to your cultists.)
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