July 31, 2010
— Maetenloch Hey How About Some Things Getting Destroyed in Slo-Mo?
Beautiful and mesmerizing to watch - it's like a ballet of slow destruction.
— DrewM Phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg is the only reason people still have a vague sense the Washington Nationals are actually a major league team. The games he starts routinely triple or quadruple the Nats regular attendance. So when he was replaced on Tuesday without any warning because of shoulder stiffness his replacement Miguel Batista was booed by his home team 'fans' before he even threw a single pitch.
Batista wound up pitching the well and the Nats won the game but afterward he said he understood the reaction of the fans.
"Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos," Batista said.
And apt comparison and kind of funny. Until Batista started getting questions about it and realized he may have insulted her. That's where the super genius part comes in.
The Washington Post's Nationals beat reporter Adam Kilgore caught up with Batista on Wednesday and asked him if he'd ever seen a picture of Miss Iowa.
"You mean Katherine Connors?" Batista told Kilgore. "Yeah, she's gorgeous. Gorgeous.
"People started booing me, and they hadn't seen me throw a pitch yet. It's like you hear Miss Iowa, and you say, 'Iowa?' And then you see her up close and you say, 'Wow, she's gorgeous.' "
To make sure he earns Miss Connors' forgiveness, Batista also sent her flowers and said he hopes they arrive on Wednesday.
See that? Insult a beauty queen and use that as an in to meet her.
The Nats had Connors come to DC last night to throw out the first pitch and Batista has been invited to be a judge at the next Miss Iowa pageant.
Let me just say, I know a lot of you realized there was a new post here at the HQ and expected it to be from Ace (don't laugh (yet), I'm doing a bit here). When you found out it was me, you were no doubt disappointed. It's like winning a contest where you're told you'll meet Megyn Kelly (wearing the hot librarian glasses) and it turns out they subbed in Judy Greer.
Wait, that's insulting to Judy Greer. Can someone get me an address so I can send her flowers and a phone number so I can call an apologize?
Oh and the obligatory Miss Iowa photo.... more...
— Gabriel Malor Weeks after word came that the black box data has cleared Toyota in all but a single "sudden acceleration" claim, a retiring NHTSA official says that the agency is sitting on investigation results that would put the hoax claims to rest.
But the Democratic inquisition of GM's competitors continues anyway.
A new report in the WSJ quotes a retiring NHTSA official as saying higher-ups are refusing to release the results of the agencys staff investigation into charges of Toyota sudden acceleration, because those findings are not unfavorable enough toward the automaker. Ive got more detail in a new post at Cato at Liberty, and Ted covers the story at PoL.
Meanwhile, proponents of a sweeping expansion of federal auto safety law, one that would thrust Washington much more deeply into the operations of the automotive industry, are really in a hurry a quick, urgent, must-do-now hurry to pass it, even though many of its provisions have not had much airing in public debate. An editorial today in the New York Times a newspaper that almost comically underplayed the revelations earlier this month about the NHTSA probes pro-Toyota results flatly asserts that the Japanese automakers vehicles suffer persistent problems of uncontrolled acceleration, and demands that the sweeping new legislation be passed into law without delay. Its almost as if they are afraid of what might happen if lawmakers pause to take a closer look.
Word is that the report is completed, but being blocked by Transportation Secretary LaHood's office. LaHood's spokesman says "The review remains ongoing." Uh huh.
— Dave in Texas 220, 221, whatever it takes.
DHS is scrambling over a leaked internal memo, the kind you write up after assembling a team of bureaucrats to assess a problem and come up with a list of "Things We Could Do If Congress Won't Take On Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants".
Not things they'd actually do. Noooo. Just possibilities, they were just spitballin.
Among the things they wouldn't actually do:
USCIS could grant parole-in-place, which comes with a work permit and the ability to obtain a green card, to certain classes of aliens who entered the country illegally. Such classes would include those who entered as minors and those who have lived for many years in the U.S. A nice reward for those who have successfully violated the law for the longest period of time.
For those who overstay their visas, the memo recommends granting deferred action, which means that deportation is deferred indefinitely and the illegal alien can apply for a work permit. The memo suggests two particular categories of illegal aliens for deferred action: those who might benefit if Congress were to pass the DREAM Act amnesty (of which there are 2.1 million, according to the Migration Policy Institute) and those who have resided in the U.S. since 1996 (or as of a different date designed to move forward the Registry provision now limited to entries before January 1, 1972). The Registry provision referred to is an actual federal law, not that it matters to the memos authors.
To make sure no illegal alien is left behind, the memo suggests that DHS could simply stop issuing Notices to Appear (the document that starts the removal process for illegal aliens) unless the alien has a significant negative immigration or criminal history. Apparently, violating immigration law once or twice is acceptable. These folks wouldnt be able to apply for a work permit, but since the Obama administration isnt conducting worksite enforcement against illegal aliens much anymore, that shouldnt matter.
The official response to the memo is "we don't comment on internal memos.. blah blah fidgety blah. Bitches." So I'm reassured in that regard.
In other news about the most ethical Congress evah, Maxine Turnipface Waters may face ethics charges, likely punished with another tappy tap of love on the wrist.
amnesty memo tip via Andy
July 30, 2010
— Ace Sorry I blew off the blog the whole week.
Last week I was asked to write something, time-sensitive. (I'll tell you about it when/if I can.) It was due this week. I thought I could finish it last week, just working after work, but that didn't happen -- I just didn't have the juice for it.
Anyway, having blown a self-imposed deadline of last Sunday, I had to really burn at it to finish.
I kind of felt like Mozart writing the Requiem at the end of the movie. I was writing all day and night.
So, I'm sorry, it's just something I really had to do, and wouldn't get the opportunity to do again. And there was a deadline.
But I'm done. I'll blog more this weekend to make up for the lost week.
— Maetenloch Sarah Palin - Political Kingmaker
Sarah Palin seems to have the magic touch when it comes to her endorsements. According to the NYT her record so far is 24-5 which is an amazing achievement. Part of this is that she seems to have a good instinct for insurgent candidates that can win, but her official backing also carries a lot of weight with Republican voters. Her endorsement alone seems enough to get people to take a second look at candidates and reconsider their votes. So she's building up a lot of good will and political IOUs - all of which would be very helpful for a 2012 run.
Are You a Black Farmer or Ever Pretended You Were?
Then you can still get in on the class action lawsuit that payed off so well for Shirley Sherrod. Just contact the firm
Dewy, Screwum, and Howe Pogust, Braslow & Millrood and have them collect damages for the losses that you could have had. All they ask is 33.33% of your free government money.
— Ace Wow. Am I the only one blindsided by this?
The House ethics investigatory subcommittee recommended that Rep. Charlie Rangel be reprimanded, which is the least severe punishment, according to a new report.
The disclosure was made today by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), who is the panel's chairman.
A reprimand falls below expulsion and censure on the list of available punishments.
Note that there was talk of Rangel making a deal, but if the worst he can face (after trial in the House) is basically one step above a Formal Snubbing, I'd say the man might as well roll the dice, eh?
Except, of course, the Republicans who will control the House might not be willing to leave it at this level, should his case not be resolved by then.
— Ace Come on-- give it up for Mark Kirk. He's not that much of a RINO; he supported up some global warming nonsense (as did Newt Gingrich, and as do almost all Republicans) but the guy's walked away from that.
He's from Illinois. Like the fourth or fifth bluest state. Running for President Present's old seat/presidential launching pad. Has to be a little give there, right?
Illinois voters will cast two votes for U.S. Senate on Nov. 2 one for a senator who will serve 60 days and the other for one who will serve a six-year term under an order issued Thursday by Gov. Pat Quinn as required by the federal courts.
Yet to be finalized is who the candidates will be for the short-term vacancy that falls between Nov. 3, the day after the election, and Jan. 3, when the new Congress is inaugurated. However, a federal judge overseeing the matter indicated Thursday that appointed U.S. Sen. Roland Burris wont be eligible for the special election to finish out the term of the seat once held by President Barack Obama.
U.S. District Judge John F. Grady said he is prepared to issue a formal ruling in the next few days that would automatically place on the ballot major party contenders who won nomination in the Feb. 2 primary as candidates for the short-term vacancy. That means Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones would appear twice for election.
Given that there are rumblings that the Democrats will attempt to ram through a host of very unpopular, very liberal laws through the lame-duck session -- with their last breath, they spit at thee; from Hell's heart, they stab at thee -- it would be nice to have one more Republican in the Senate for this dangerous period.
By the way, the big scandal with Kirk is that he claimed that he had been awarded the honor of intelligence officer of the year for his work in Kosovo. The actual fact is that his unit had been awarded unit of the year, so, like, supposedly, he's a big fat liar like Blumenthal of Connecticut. He did get the award, but so did the other members of his team.
Really? Sure, a little extra shine on the resume, but seems to me to be a pretty small exaggeration, and really just a simplified way of saying "I got the award." He did. So did some other guys, but he got it too.
— Ace They don't say "unexpectedly" here, but I guess it's implied by now.
The recovery lost momentum in the spring as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment.
Consumers spent less, companies slowed their restocking of shelves and the nation's trade deficit dragged more on the economy in the April-to-June quarter. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said the recession was deeper than previously estimated.
Together, the reports raise doubts about whether employers will hire enough and consumers will spend enough to invigorate the economy.
On the upside -- I guess -- the first quarter growth was revised up a full point to 3.7% from 2.7%. That would be nice, except for the fact it makes the last quarter's drop all the bigger.
Helpfully for Obama, it turns out it's all Bush's fault.
Well, again, they don't say that, but that will be the Narrative.
The recession was deeper than the government previously thought.
The Commerce Department, in revisions issued Friday, estimates the economy shrank 2.6 percent last year -- the steepest drop since 1946. That's worse than the 2.4 percent decline originally estimated.
The economy's plunge underscores why the unemployment rate surged to 10.1 percent in October, a 26-year high.
The revisions in gross domestic product, or GDP, now show zero growth in 2008. That compares with a 0.4 percent gain previously estimated.The economy also grew less in 2007 (1.9 percent) than earlier thought (2.1 percent).
For all three years, consumers spent less and home builders cut more deeply than had been thought. Those factors help explain the downward revisions on the economy.
Sure would be nice to have had that trillion in "stimulus" spent on actual stimulus. Or not spent at all.
— LauraW Desperation Never Reeked So Sweetly
Steny talks tough to defend Americans from those wicked tax lovin' Republicans:
We have no intention of allowing the Republican tax increase that their policies would lead to to go into effect for working Americans. Period, he said. Were going to act and make sure that the Republican phase out and increase in taxes does not end as they provided for in the laws they passed.
Catch that, puddin' slurping rethuglikkkan scum? Your evil plan to increase taxes will not succeed as long as Steny 'Fiscal Hawk' Hoyer is standing in your way.
Yes, they really think you are this stupid.
UPDATE FROM COMMENTS:
53 I think NOW would be a good time to remind people that the ONLY reason those tax cuts are sunsetting is because Democrats filibustered making them permanent in the first place.
Republicans had to pass the tax cuts through reconciliation as a budget measure which means that they had to sunset per the rules of reconciliation because Democrats refused to even make them IN THE FIRST PLACE.
So yeah, let's TALK about the sunsetting of those tax cuts. I, for one, WELCOME, the discussion.
Posted by: Jim B at July 30, 2010 11:49 AM (6pO2h)
Also, Steny Hoyer, just last month:
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that tax increases will eventually be necessary to address the nation's mounting debt, [emph. me, -ed.] raising a difficult election-year issue as Democrats fight retain control of Congress.
In the shorter term, Hoyer raised the possibility that Congress will only temporarily extend middle-class tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. He pointedly suggested that making them permanent would be too costly.
Thanks to Kratos.
— Gabriel Malor Bleargh.
July 29, 2010
— Russ from Winterset (* I may have bamboozled you just a smidge on that headline)
I don't ask for much competence from the media. All I ask is that once they finish writing a story, they look it over one last time and ask themselves "Does this seem like bullshit?"
With those low expectations, you'd think that I wouldn't be showered with ignorance every damn time I opened a paper, watched TV, or even logged onto Hot Air......but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Even the blogosphere is full of drooling fanboys, eager to believe the fairy tales they're being told. Case in Point: Anna Fermanova, Double-Nought Bimbo.
What's my beef with this story? Wait a minute honey, gonna add it up... more...
— Ace There's a lot of thinks and believes and may bes in this article.
Let's hope it's not true.
In the wake of handsome Levi Johnston's announcement that he's engaged to Palin's oldest daughter Bristol, one of his old girlfriends is about to give birth to a child she believes may be Levi's!
Levi Johnston doesn't have sperm; he has microscopic Tribbles.
If this is even possibly true -- that is, if there is reason for him to be worried about it... Kid, they're called rubbers, and they even come ribbed (for her pleasure).
Thanks to rdbrewer.
— Maetenloch Happy Thursday all.
More Needless Movie Remakes and Sequels
So Hollywood has been on a tear the last few years remaking or rebooting every hit movie it can get the rights to. Of course most of these were great the first time so the odds of a remake improving on it are pretty low but that won't stop the industry from trying. Here's a list of 75 remakes/reboots that are currently in production. And recently the hot thing seems to be re-doing actions hits from the 80's which is why remakes for Robocop, Total Recall, and Conan are being considered. Only the impending MGM bankruptcy has stopped the new Robocop - for now at least.
But finally there's a sequel coming out that you never would have suspected possible - Titantic 2. It's so unexpected that it's creative in its own way. It comes from The Asylum, a low budget production company that specializes in direct to DVD movies, but it actually looks semi-entertaining and contains 100% less Leonardo. So there's that. Now if they could only combine this with Sharktopus they could have a true hit.
— DrewM Republican challenger Mike Grimm had a good fundraising quarter, so the campaign of Democratic Congressman Mike McMahon decided to highlight how much came in from out of the district.
Seems simple enough, right? Sometimes it's the easy stuff that trips you up.
But in an effort to show that Grimm lacks support among voters in the district, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, the McMahon campaign compiled a list of Jewish donors to Grimm and provided it to The Politicker.
The file, labeled "Grimm Jewish Money Q2," for the second quarter fundraising period, shows a list of over 80 names, a half-dozen of which in fact do hail from Staten Island, and a handful of others that list Brooklyn as home.
"Where is Grimm's money coming from," said Jennifer Nelson, McMahon's campaign spokesman. "There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees."
Yeah, that didn't go well.
The McMahon campaign fired the aide and wants people to know the Congressman is sorry. They'd also like everyone to know that his donor list is Judenfrei.
I may have made that second part up. Who is to say?
McMahon by the way is the guy who replaced long time Congressman Vito Fossella when the latter was charged with DUI. Oh and for having a girlfriend and child in DC. The main problem with the girlfriend and child was he had a wife and kids back on Staten Island.
For awhile this seat was pretty much the only inroad the GOP had at the federal level in NYC. Looks like there's a good shot of them getting it back this year.
Via Jim Geraghty.
— Ace Worth it! more...
— Ace Ten percent here, ten percent there, and pretty soon you're talking about a real mandate.
Support for the building of a fence along the Mexican border has reached a new high, and voters are more confident than ever that illegal immigration can be stopped.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 68% of U.S. voters now believe the United States should continue to build a fence on the Mexican border. Thats up nine points from March when the Obama administration halted funding for the fence and the highest level of support ever.
Just 21% oppose the continued building of the border fence.
Support for the fence is strong across all demographic groups. But while 76% of Mainstream voters think the United States should continue to build the fence, 67% of the Political Class are opposed to it.
I always enjoy how twits speak of the symbolism of a thing.
That's why the "Political Class" -- the Gee Aren't I Terribly Enlightened? crowd -- opposes this. They talk about that a lot -- the symbolism of the thing.
How about discussing the reality of it? It's a fence. Its real purpose -- in real-world, real-time reality -- is to halt people from crossing a border. A real border, mind you, although on that point I concede a border is a more abstract concept than, say, a shoe.
It doesn't symbolically represent a division between the countries. It actually is a division between the countries.
And what is wrong with that?
I'm noting this because a few weeks ago I saw a guy at the riots in Toronto who complained that the police barricades were a symbol representing a division between the protesters and the G-20 representatives.
And I thought, "Gee, no, actually it's not a symbol of a division; it really is, in fact, a physical division." Because, see, you're rioting. (And not symbolically in riot, either.) You can tell it's a real-world division because now you can't get to the G-20 conference center and throw rock-metaphors through the window-symbols.
I think there is a type of person -- well-represented in the "Political Class" and in progressive politics -- that has learned, from college, that the Abstract is everything, that Real Smart People are always focused on the Abstract, on metaphors, on symbols.
And they seem to disregard the concrete, the real, almost as a dirty thing, something of concern to the plebians, who cannot of course grasp the subtleties of high representational thinking like they can. You know, with their "symbolic" barricades and all.
They spoke of the Gaza Wall the same way -- that it symbolized the separation of the peoples. When it fact it did rather more than that. It actually separated them. Because one of those peoples was murdering and butchering the other. (And, again, I stress: They did so in a non-metaphoric manner.)
I don't think this is an important point in terms of a slogan or a manifesto or that sort of thing. I don't think you can build a politics around the Concrete. (What would that bumper sticker look like?)
It's just an observation of a type of intellectually-insecure individual who parrots the pattern of thinking of his professors (who once represented intellectual authority to them -- Symbolically, of course) and elevates, always, the Abstract above the Real.
I just tend to distrust this sort of divorced-from-tangible-reality worship of the abstract. Obviously -- duh -- abstract thinking is important. It is, in certain ways, I suppose, a higher form of thinking than thinking of the concrete.
But not when it is shorn of all rootings to the actual world.
This is how evil happens. You can abstract any evil you choose into some esoteric "greater good."
— Purple Avenger Time is one of the big dogs. A playah with clout. Its in doctors and dentists waiting rooms ferchrisakes. Even though it sucks, Time gets major eyeball exposure.
It sounds like this piece (which Drudge also linked) has them pretty much saying - repeatedly - that Ogabe's rhetoric over the BP spill has proven vastly overblown.
To make matters worse, Time also mentions that Limbaugh has been scoffing at the Ogabe rhetoric (para 1) and now "has a point" (para 2), then the piece goes on to detail, in many paragraphs, how the spill reality isn't living up to its planet killing billing.
Did I wake up this morning and fail to notice that gravity has stopped working? That hydrogen now has 5 protons rather than 1? Seriously, WTF? Where does some punkass fish wrapper rag like Time get off daring to even suggest that the ascended Messiah was wrong? Nerve? these peasants got it in spades I tell you!
— DrewM There were reports that he cut a deal but based on the statements made so far at the House Ethics Sub-committee meeting, it doesn't sound like it.
Hearing is just getting under way.
13 charges in total broken down into 4 categories:
- Solicitation of donation for "Rangel Center" from individuals and organizations
with business in front of Ways and Means Committee while he was the
- Errors and omissions on financial statements to the House.
- Use of rent controlled apartment.
- Not reporting condo on income taxes.
Look, the dude just wrote the rules and tax laws, no one said anything about actually following them.
Republican on investigating sub-committee says Rangel was given more than one chance to settle the case and Rangel declined.
Rangel isn't going to appear today, it's an organizational meeting not the 'trial' phase.
Meeting just wrapped up after the two Congressmen who conducted the investigation gave their statements and formally filled the charges.
Chairwoman of committee says the documents are on the committee's website.
Most ethical Congress EVAH!
When it looked like there was a deal, I commented on Twitter that part of the deal would be for Rangel to permanently give up the Ways and Means Chairmanship...you know the one that he's going to lose in 5 months anyway.
If it goes all the way through the process that's a possibility but based on the charges it sounds like he'd either have to resign/promise not to run this year or really face expulsion (still hard to believe it would get there).
The last Congressman to make it this far was James Traficant (another Democrat) and he was tossed out and wound up spending about 5 years in federal prison.
On the political front...an ethics trial of one of the most senior Democrats in the House in the run up to this year's elections? Thank you Charlie Rangel!
— Ace There is some question over whether this would require a Constitutional amendment, or whether it's a matter of interpretation such that legislation could change it. Conservatives often argue the latter, but I sort of think the Constitution says what it seems to say and so it would require a full amendment.
I may introduce a constitutional amendment that changes the rules if you have a child here, Graham said during an interview with Fox News Greta Van Susteren. Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake ... We should change our Constitution and say if you come here illegally and you have a child, that child's automatically not a citizen.
People come here to have babies, he said. They come here to drop a child. It's called "drop and leave." To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child's automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.
I'm a practical guy, but when you go forward, I don't want 20 million more 20 years from now, he said. I want to be fair. I want to be humane. We need immigration policy, but it should be on our terms, not someone else's. I don't know how to fix it all. But I do know what makes people mad, that 12 million people came here, and there seems to be no system to deal with stopping 20 million 20 years from now.
Graham, I'm guessing, sees this as a piece of a larger deal, a deal to get him the large-scale amnesty he wants.
But it's significant that he's thinking about conceding such a large piece to that end.
If there were serious enforcement (demonstrated over five years) plus this amendment, I could see myself persuaded to support some kind of large (but not blanket) amnesty for, say, half of the illegals here, those with the longest stays and strongest ties to the country, and say a five year special visa for the rest. But five years and that's that.
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