October 31, 2012

Outsourcing: Dominican Hookers Say Bob Menendez Stiffed Them On Payment for Sex
— Ace

Two Dominican hookers have come forward, represented by a lawyer, to say that Senator Bob Menendez paid them for sex. However, he only paid them $100 for sex acts after promising $500.

Senator Menendez is known to travel frequently to the Dominican Republic.

The sex acts, they say, happened around Easter of this year.

On at least one occasion, according to a news account, Menendez has been a guest at the Casa de Campo home of a friend and campaign donor named Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist and owner of an eye clinic in Florida.

...

Melgen also appears to have lent Menendez the use of his plane on several occasions.

Menendez’s 2012 public schedule shows no events listed for Easter or the following three days. On Easter Sunday this year, aircraft records obtained by TheDC show that Melgen’s plane left Florida the morning of Easter Sunday, stopped at the Teterboro private airport near Menendez’s home in New Jersey, and flew on to the Dominican Republic.

Easter sex. Nice.

Via Twitter: "So he taxed them at 80%. What's the big deal?!"

"If the facts are true, they should all be fired... They represent the United States of America..."

Video via @johnekdahl and @moelane.

"Fighting Back For Women:" He sure is. He sure is.


Posted by: Ace at 08:54 PM | Comments (352)
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Overnight Open Thread (10-31-2012) - Hallows Eve Edition
— Maetenloch

Happy Halloween all.

Drunk and on a sugar high is no way to go through life - but it is fun for a few nights a year though.

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Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:34 PM | Comments (737)
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What I'm Hearing About The Sex Scandal
— Ace

I've heard the story, but I don't want to say what it is because, well, I have no idea if it's true.

But in the interests of sparing you 1 heart attacks and 2 overly optimistic guesses: What it's about, rumors say, is a Senator.

I have no idea if this is true, though. But that's the chatter.

It really bothers me that that that Drudgetaposition is so bang-on. Not only does he have a picture of Obama, but specifically a picture of Obama with his wedding ring in forefront of the picture.

One of the cobs pointed that out. Man, is that a sweet hint.

But, alas, the hint is inaccurate, if what I've been tipped is true.

Well... As Drudge is now saying it's a Senator, I feel that my rumors might be more than rumors.

Here's what I'm hearing. And bear in mind, I'm merely hearing it.

The story involves a Senator flying down to a big donor's place in the Caribbean for orgies. Hookers are involved.

The One Big Snag in the story is that the story comes from hookers -- a couple of them, I hear -- and their credibility is, well. They're hookers. It's not Gold Standard.

Well, I guess I shouldn't call them "hookers." Let's say "escorts."

Escorts, for your penis.

They're miffed because they didn't get fully paid for services rendered.

Always pay your foreign hookers for services rendered at big donor sex orgies.

Always pay your foreign hookers for services rendered at big donor sex orgies.

Don't they teach nobody nothin' no more?

Posted by: Ace at 04:24 PM | Comments (618)
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Redistributing Children's Halloween Candy: A Case Study in Coerced "Fairness"
— Ace

The kids don't seem to agree with the principle.

They use blunt language about it: They call it stealing. more...

Posted by: Ace at 03:43 PM | Comments (137)
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Here We Go Again: Drudge Teases a "Sex Scandal" to Hit an Unnamed "Campaign"
— Ace

There is no additional information. Drudge doesn't specify what campaign, on what level, so it could be any of 400 people.

(Although: Drudge has a picture of Obama below the slugline, for no good reason. The story below the Scandal slug is about Gallup beginning polling again tomorrow. Given Drudge's Photo Placement gags...)

Update [JohnE.]: As Ace noted, Drudge does like to play around with image placements as hints and the Gallup story doesn't quite fit with an Obama picture, really. But note what's front and center in the picture he chose: Obama's wedding ring.

He's probably just having fun with us. Good troll if it's something relatively minor, which I suspect is the case. more...

Posted by: Ace at 02:54 PM | Comments (486)
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Former Attorney General Mukasey: Obama Knows What Happened In Benghazi, And He Owes The American People The Truth
— Ace

Before the election.

There are three parts to this scandal: Before, During, and After.

Before, Stevens and others were begging for more security. Three weeks before the attack, Stevens warned that an attack was coming from the groups which did wind up attacking the base and killing him.

During, two brave former SEALs went to the consulate's rescue and begged for air support to help them disperse attackers. Who would have run like cockroaches had a single jet fighter roared at them.

The Administration ordered possible rescuers to stand down.

After, the Administration lied repeatedly about every element of the attack. Obama's current stance is that he cannot answer questions about what he himself knew and what he himself ordered until an "investigation" is concluded.

He needs an investigation into his own actions and knowledge? I think Steve Hayes put it like this: Obama is currently claiming he won't know he knew until he finds an email telling him what he knew.

Obama knows what happened. He doesn't need an investigation to determine what he ordered or what he knew.

He only needs an investigation to discover what he can be proven to have ordered or known.

Right now, he's just not answering questions. Someone with the Truth on his side does not have to avoid answers.

People who refuse the answers only do so because they know the true answers are harmful, and they're wondering if false answers -- which would be more helpful -- can be disproven.

He's trying to find out what his alibi can be.

"Nonsense on stilts," Mukasey says about Obama's nonanswers.

It's worse than that. It's a guilty man waiting for "all the evidence" to find out exactly what the cops -- the American people -- know and what they don't know before venturing a false story.

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Posted by: Ace at 02:26 PM | Comments (177)
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Music By WITCH to Trick or Treat
— Jack M.

A little insight into the creative process here: think of the following as liner notes from me to you. (I'm actually not old enough to remember liner notes, but Dave in Texas tells me they used to appear on the inside of sleeves containing black vinyl discs called "records." I'm thinking he's bull-shitting me tho.)

I originally wrote: "Music to Trick or Treat By." But that damn preposition bugged me. Knowing that y'all expect full value for your money on posts here at the HQ, I then switched it to "Music By Which To Trick or Treat."

Then I realized I could substitute "WITCH". It's that kind of value that I bring to this blog, and it's why Ace still hasn't eliminated my privileges despite my not having contributed a meaningful post in 7 and a half years. Or ever.

Anyway, now that we've dispensed with the studio chatter, let's check out some Halloween-appropriate tunes that y'all should listen to as you ensure that the neighborhood children get their fair share of candy, and that they remain safely outside of 500 feet from Greg's house.

Your "Trick or Tracks"/"Tracks or Treats" (see...more of that cleverly phrased added value thing) await you beneath the jump.

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Posted by: Jack M. at 01:42 PM | Comments (79)
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Toure: "This Is The Most Incredible Sandy Pic I've Seen Yet. A Scuba Diver In The Subway."
— Ace

Via @nkronos, a gem.

Well, I guess the strict definition of "incredible" is "not credible." Maybe that's what he meant.

I don't think he was using the strict definition, though.

Drew notes that, in addition to being absurd, the lights are on in the subway, despite it being flooded to the ceiling.

Maybe someone should throw in a giant squid and really pop open Toure's eyes.

Posted by: Ace at 01:40 PM | Comments (239)
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Democratic Denver Mayor Hancock: Let's Face It, We're Losing Wisconsin Right Now
— Ace

What?

Did you say you were losing Wisconsin? Because I thought you said something insane like "We're losing Wisconsin." No non-lunatic Obama surrogate would go out and tell a rally and then a newspaper that Obama is losing a must-have state.

But he did.

He says that, as of right now, Republicans are winning the state in early voting, and Democrats just aren't turning out.

Hancock even broke news on that Wisconsin trip, telling voters if the election were to be held right now the president would lose Wisconsin and its coveted 10 electoral votes.

...

“We have not turned out the vote early,” Hancock told the newspaper. “The suburbs and rural parts of Wisconsin – the Republican base – are voting. President Obama’s base has yet to go vote. We’ve got to get our people to go vote.”

The Obama campaign rushed out to say that while they appreciated Hancock's urgency about getting out the vote, his numbers were wrong.

Eh. Maybe. Or maybe he saw some inside information that Team Obama didn't approve for publication.

Meanwhile, Obama is giving away election night tickets to Illinois residents... but only if they do Get Out the Vote work in Wisconsin.


Posted by: Ace at 12:35 PM | Comments (363)
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Irreconcilable Differences: Either The State Polls Are Divorced From Reality, Or the National Polls Are
— Ace

Posted at Hot Air, Sean Trende crunches some numbers in an attempt to determine if the state polls and the national polls could both be right.

His conclusion: They can't both be right. One series of data must be wrong. (Or, actually: At least one series of data must be wrong. They could both be wrong.)

He attempts to discover if it's possible -- as some liberals analysts suggest -- that Romney might actually be ahead in national polls owing to overperformance in non-swing-states, lightly polled states, both Blue and Red. This theory postulates that Romney could be closing the gap in Blue states where he'll lose anyway, and running up the score in Red states where he'll win away, but is still stubbornly behind in swing states. Thus, his national poll lead, while nice, is owed to good performance in states where it really doesn't matter. Where it does matter -- the highly polled swing states -- he's behind.

But he crunches numbers to see if that sort of scenario is likely. His finding is that it just isn't likely that Romney could plausibly have high enough margins in noncompetitive states to give him the national vote lead while simultaneously losing the competitive ones.

Trouble is, he's not able to say which data set is more reliable. Though he does knock Nate Silver (not by name, but it's implicit) for the unwarranted assumption that of course the state polls, mostly conducted by firms that haven't been around all that long so we have little idea of their accuracy, must be right.

So this is what it is, ultimately: Both sides have reason to think they're ahead. Both sides, it seems, really do think they're ahead. Neither side is actually blowing smoke (as a losing campaign like McCain's did in 200 .

One side is going to be crushingly disappointed on Election Night.

Something just terrible is about to happen to somebody. I sure hope it's not us.

Now, I would take solace for my preferred take on things from the fact that everyone is now going to Wisconsin.

And when I say "everyone," you know who I mean?

I mean EV-ER-Y-ONE.

Ryan Stumps in Wisconsin; Clinton, Biden, Romney and Obama Follow Suit

That's kind of a good sign, but then, if Obama thought he was ahead in Ohio, and Wisconsin became Romney's only possible hope, it would make perfect sense for him to go up there to make sure Romney didn't create a new avenue of victory.

So that doesn't really clarify things.

From the beginning of this campaign, I've been thinking it comes down to one thing: 5% of the voters defecting from Obama, to either flip to Romney or, at least, simply not vote (or vote for a third party candidate).

Obama got 53% of the vote. If 5% of the voters -- about 10% of his total voter pile -- flip to the challenger or stay home, Romney should win.

Since the polls are conflicting on this point, let's look at newspaper endorsements.

Today came another flip: The Nashua (NH) Telegraph flipped from its 2008 endorsement of Obama to endorsing his challenger Romney in 2012. From that endorsement:

Four years ago, with little hesitation, we endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama to become the 44th president of the United States, saying it was a time for “new leadership, a new approach to governing, a new way of conducting the people’s business.”

So the basic question facing The Telegraph editorial board when it met last week came down to this: Did the former Illinois senator do enough to live up to those admittedly high expectations to warrant a second term?

After several hours of spirited debate, not unlike conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America, we reached a consensus that he had not. Perhaps more importantly, when we identified the key challenges facing the nation – jobs, the economy and the national debt – we concluded he was not the best candidate to meet them.

That person is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and we hereby endorse him to become the 45th president of the United States.

I've written earlier that these flips in newspaper endorsements are somewhat helpful for Romney, as a direct matter, as they will tend to sway some undecided voters.

But they're also important indirectly as proxies for, as the Telegraph says, the "conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America." Editorial staffs aren't kitchens and living rooms, of course-- but they're actually more liberal, and more likely to buy into Obama's brand of progressivism than most families talking about the question.

Now, looking at newspaper endorsements, has Obama lost that game-changing 10% of his 2008 support?

Actually, looking just at newspaper endorsements, it's closer to twenty percent. Almost one in five of the major metro dailies which endorsed Obama -- most with a long, long history of endorsing Democrats for President -- have now flipped to support Mitt Romney.

I don't know what that says, exactly. Obviously I'm casting about for confirmatory data.

Still. If you've lost 20% of the liberal-leaning newspapers which enthusiastically supported you in 2008, and which endorse Democrats almost as a reflex, then you just can't be doing all that well with the voters.

Posted by: Ace at 11:59 AM | Comments (257)
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Michigan: 2 Point Seven Damn Points
— Ace

As I do a lot, I'm taking a lot from @benk84's early headlines post.

2.7% Obama lead in Michigan, 47.7% to 45%.

The Obama campaign Tuesday announced its first network TV ads will begin airing this week in Michigan. Neither candidate had bought airtime here, but earlier Tuesday, Romney's super PAC launched a $2.2 million advertising final blitz in Michigan.

That brings Restore Our Future's investment in Michigan post-primary up to nearly $10 million, according to the PAC — which until now had been unanswered by the Obama campaign.

By the way, I just read an article -- not sure which; I closed it -- noting that Romney had plenty of money to spend and couldn't really spend it all by election day if he just concentrated on the swing states. So if you're worried that this is wasted money, well, thanks to those who donated to Romney (you know who you are, clap yourselves on the back) he's really not forced into difficult decisions. He can spend in Ohio and play in some speculative states too.

This is problematic for Romney:

lso new in this poll, Romney now has a more favorable impression than unfavorable among likely voters at 44.7 percent favorable. Obama's favorable rating is 47.8 percent.

If you assume (again, as I'm doing lately) that your favorable rating represents your upper bound of support, then Romney needs to move his favorable up to 51% or so.

Which he can do. He does have some positive ads which test well. That ad of him just addressing the camera is rated highly by undecided voters. Plus, there's that heart-string pulling ad about him helping the dying boy write his will. And all those ads cut from his great moments at the debates.

Romney does have an advantage here that Obama doesn't: After four years of campaigning, mixed in with golf, and an occasional foray into governance, Obama is very well known to people and his numbers are mostly inelastic. Romney's image has more elasticity, more upside. It can be more readily changed than Obama's.

And, as usual, Romney is tantalizingly close in Pennsylvania. Still behind, but just close enough to get hopes up. 49-45, within margin of error.

Posted by: Ace at 11:19 AM | Comments (260)
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ADP Changes Methodology of Job-Counting;
One Analyst Thinks The Change Suggests That Friday's Revisions "Will Be a Disaster"

— Ace

Assuming the BLS even releases data on Friday, which they're still hedging about. Update: Just heard on Fox the BLS is saying they will deliver the report on time.

ADP is a big payroll-service firm which releases its own assessment of job growth (or job losses), based partly on its own data.

Their new methodology occasioned a revision to their already-reported September figures.

ADP's new calculations put the monthly job creation [in September] at just 88,200, down from the 162,000 the firm originally reported earlier this month.

...


The soft ADP count could add credence to those who believe the pace of job creation is slower than the government's numbers indicate.

"It's huge, no doubt about it," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at the BlackBay Group in New York. "Their changing the methodology tells me that if the number is cut in half with that revision, then the revision we're going to see Friday is going to be a disaster."

I kind of hate posting expectations-game things like this. If a guy says it might be a disaster, then any non-disaster figure becomes a "win" for Obama.

Still, it's so grabby a quote I have to publish it.

But let's all remember the sudden appearance of almost a million new jobs last month, indicating a torrid pace of jobs growth that somehow managed to not show up anywhere else in America besides BLS' poll.

Update: Just heard on Fox that the "consensus" estimate from Wall Street analysts is an uptick in the unemployment rate.

Then again, who knows? Maybe another 1,000,000 phantom jobs will suddenly appear.

Posted by: Ace at 10:30 AM | Comments (227)
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Important Point From NumberMuncher
— Ace

NumberMuncher made a good point on Twitter, a general "I Call Bullshit" statement on the various polls showing Obama with big leads in Ohio, Virginia, and even North Carolina (!!!).

It's very simple: Swing states are swing states because neither party has much of a lead in the states. The outcome of any election, then, depends heavily on which way Independents vote.

A swing state is a swing state, basically, because the parties are tied there (basically, within a few points), and the Independents play tiebreaker.

Any state in which Obama loses Independents by six, eight, or ten points but somehow -- as these polls claims -- wins the state anyway are not "swing states," almost by definition.

We have a name for this category of states: We call them Safe Democratic states, where it really doesn't matter what Independents think because the Democratic majority is strong enough to carry the state in virtually any situation.

The welter of sillyass polls from Quinnippiac, CBS and the laughable PPP keep finding that Obama loses Independents, usually by six points or more, and yet Obama nevertheless triumphs.

I mean, for God's sake, this CBS/Qunnippiac poll has Romney up 21 points with Independents in Virginia but still has Obama winning!

Again, if this were the case, then they're not really swing states.

Sure, if Obama loses Independents by 21 points in Virginia he can win the state... if Virginia is Delaware.

But Virginia is not Delaware, and Ohio isn't Maryland, either.

Independents also provide an indirect but real indication of where soft Democrats and soft Republicans are leaning. When Independents side with Romney, you can be reasonably sure that soft Republicans (more inclined to vote for Romney than Independents) are also voting for Romney, and you can also hazard a guess that some soft Democrats are voting for Romney too.

Two vids swiped from Breitbart TV. First, Mark Halperin makes this point, and then Halperin asks David Axelrod if he thinks Obama's ahead with Independents, and asks him to explain why polls say Obama is behind.

Axelrod seems flummoxed.


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Posted by: Ace at 09:51 AM | Comments (270)
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Romney Bringing Out Welfare Attack on Obama As Game-Clincher?
— Ace

Romney's welfare ad -- which accused of Obama of gutting the strict requirements for work, because, you see, he did -- was detested by the media, especially those pretending to be neutral fact-checkers, because they felt it was race-baiting.

Even if it was accurate, it was race-baiting, so they made the extraordinary claim that it wasn't accurate.

It's accurate. It's always been accurate. Previously, the law was firm that those on welfare must seek and find work. Now states may waive that requirement, so long as they submit a "plan" to reduce welfare caseloads.

Not that they actually do reduce welfare caseloads-- so long as the file a "plan" to do so.

As the best method of getting people off welfare is getting them on work, any plan that reduced the requirement to work is automatically not a plan to reduce welfare caseloads.

The welfare attack disappeared from the airwaves for a while.

Kaus says it's back.

I was worried the welfare issue hadn’t tested well for Mitt Romney–it disappeared from his ads for a while and he didn’t bring it up in the debates. But it now looks like he was just saving it for the endgame in Ohio, Colorado and Iowa–where Obama’s controversial welfare “waiver” policy has again been raised in a Romney TV ad.

Posted by: Ace at 09:27 AM | Comments (145)
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GOP Routing Democrats in Pennsylvania Absentee-Ballot Returns, 55%-36%
— Ace

As far as history: the GOP edged the Democrats in absentee balloting in 2008, but only by 2%, in a 10% loss to Obama.

Absentee voting is a small slice of the voting pie, and not on the same scale as early voting. For example, in 2008, there were just shy of 300,000 absentee votes cast. So far in this cycle, 115,000 total absentee ballots have been returned.

I assume more ballots will be returned in the coming days.

Compared to 2008, Republicans have already cast ballots equal to about 1/2 of their 2008 level. Democrats, on the other hand, have cast 1/3rd of their 2008 level.

If Democrats are fired up in this election, why are they dallying about sending in their ballots?

It seems an indicator of both ground game and party enthusiasm.

Posted by: Ace at 09:06 AM | Comments (145)
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NYT, 1992: Bush's 2.7% GDP Growth Is a "Gross National Letdown"
NYT 2012: Obama's 2.0% Growth Is "Steady Improvement"

— Ace

The way they... surround a story, as an old ad said.

Same situation in 1992 as in 2012: An incumbent president is bedeviled by a recession. Late in the cycle, there is a slight improvement. Although in Bush's case, it was a lot more than slight improvement -- we passed from recession to recovery before the election; the economy was already growing when Clinton took office.

If that's not the way you remember it, that's because the media didn't want you to know that.

Flash forward to today. Now, the economy grows by a pittance -- much less than Bush's weak 2.7% growth -- and the NYT hails it a "slow but steady growth" which proves the efficacy of his plan.

Posted by: Ace at 08:50 AM | Comments (88)
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Biden: Transgendered Discrimination is "The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time"
Update: Biden Vows "I'm Going To Give You The Whole Load Today"

— Ace

Okay.

Some additional Biden Cringe Factor here: Biden said he called on the questioner (the mother of a transgendered beauty pageant winner) because her beautiful eyes caught his attention.

Does anyone in the media worry that the currently-serving Vice President isn't mentally all there? We had a National Panic about this when Sarah Palin was running for the post. Not a week goes by that Joe Biden doesn't have a senior moment, but apparently it's now okay that the Vice President might be ever so slightly mentally checked out.

Oh My: Biden vows "I'm going to give you the whole load today."

Is anyone else scared to death about this mental incompetent actually becoming president? And representing us in foreign affairs?
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Posted by: Ace at 08:12 AM | Comments (345)
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Leno: Obama's Policy on Libya Is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
— Ace

And some other Obama jokes, too.

Hannity says the audio tapes of Tyrone Woods pleading with his "superiors" (irony of the term intended) are "pretty damning." But will they be leaked?

Update: Newt Gingrich claims that "at least two networks" already have leaked emails from the National Security Adviser's office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down and take no action to save lives. Their rationale was apparently because this wasn't "terrorist action."

Posted by: Ace at 07:22 AM | Comments (224)
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Open Thread
— Pixy Misa

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:51 AM | Comments (325)
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