February 29, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (2-29-2012)
— Maetenloch

The Incredible Shrinking Papers

The death spiral of newspapers continues:

The decline in newspaper ad revenues to a 60-year low is amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is pretty stunning. Last year's ad revenues of about $21 billion were less than half of the $46 billion spent just four years ago in 2007, and less than one-third of the $64 billion spent in 2000.

newspaper

Given this many papers have grasped at online readership as way to save themselves but have managed to screw that up as well.

One of the few papers that's succeeding online is the UK's Daily Mail who seem to have found  a winning formula: Giving readers the kinds of stories they actually want to read - celebrity and crime news, stories about health and bikinis, and some sports and politics - along with lots of pictures and punchy titles. Basically everything that makes J-school graduates weep.

And not only are papers' revenues and readerships shrinking - but the papers themselves are getting physically smaller too. Here you can see a 2011 issue of the Los Angeles Times compared with the same paper in 1966.

2011_1024old_newspapers00021

 

 

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Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:42 PM | Comments (746)
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The Skeptics' Case Against Global Warming
— Ace

Rebutting all the climate alarmists' theories and computer models, a skeptic presents his own theories and computer models.

Wait, did I say he presents theories and computer models. My mistake, I thought he was practicing the "New Science." Actually he presents the "Old Science" to make his case -- namely, actual observed data.

One of the better posts on this subject I've read, and very brief. Read the whole thing, and don't be put off by the graphs -- they're pretty simple.

And read the point about the conjectured hotspot in the troposphere, something that must exist if global warming alarmism is correct.

It doesn't exist. At all.

But so what, they say, rubbishing steps four and five of the scientific process (check theory against observed evidence, refine theory to better fit observed evidence).


So What?

Nyah nyah, we still control the major journals.

thanks to @comradearthur.


Posted by: Ace at 04:09 PM | Comments (174)
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Avengers Trailer, and Something Cute
— Ace

Something to cleanse the palate. more...

Posted by: Ace at 02:13 PM | Comments (227)
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Romney Talks to Howie Carr About the Blunt Amedment
— Ace

I thought he was asking about some state law which "bans providing contraception," he says in paraphrase.

Which was, actually, what the question said. Not a mention of ObamaCare, or health care, or insurance. Just about "ban providing female contraception," which, if you think that's a crazy question so he never should have imagined he was being asked about such a crazy thing, remember, he was asked pretty much that a month ago, by George Stephanolopolous.

He goes on to discuss, as he always does, his support of the religious exemption generally, and how even Ted Kennedy supported such mandates.

He has talked and talked about this. If he were doing a major reversal, he would have had a big explanation ready explaining why, while he supports the generals of the exemption, he finds this particular one overbroad or whatever. He wouldn't have just blown it off with some anodyne comments about not interfering with a husband's and wife's birth control decisions.

Anyway, I'm sure some will disagree, but I'm now personally designating this as Officially Silly.

Posted by: Ace at 01:22 PM | Comments (179)
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Defintion of Blunt-Rubio Posed to Romney: It Would Allow Employers to Ban Birth Control
Update: Romney Supports Blunt, Campaign Spox Says; Question Was Confusing

— Ace

Watch the video, see how this bill is "defined" for Romeny.

It's confusing, but the definition this genius settles on, in posing the question, is that it "allows employers to ban providing female contraception" based on religious scruples.

That sounds like a bill that would permit employers to, um, "ban providing female contraception," whatever that means, but it sounds like an employer gets to include "We will fire you if we find out you're using birth control."

So, 24 hour rule, huh? The definition did not mention this was about insurance, or about the HHS Mandate that Romney has specifically opposed.

I'll wait to see what Romney says. Sounds to me he didn't know what he was being asked about, and the questioner asked him he'd be in favor of employers "banning providing female contraception."


Update: Romney supports Blunt.

Yeah, if you've listened to the debates, one of the areas in which Romney has sounded particularly conservative and on Team Red was in discussing this very thing, and talking up his resistance to such attempts to bigfoot religious conscience by the state.

It really made no sense that he was reversing himself on a very defensible, popular, and clearly-expressed position.

Posted by: Ace at 12:20 PM | Comments (237)
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Romney: I'm Not In Favor of the Blunt-Rubio Amendment
— Ace

That's the one that would block the HHS birth control mandate.


And that's bad.

But it sounds like he doesn't know what the bill is:

I’m not for the bill. But, look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there.

It sounds like (and I hope) that it's a case of him not knowing what the amendment is.

If he actually knows what it is and is taking a position against it anyway, then I think I might actually just write him off, and write off the whole election as well.

The reason I have doubts that he understands what he's being asked about is that he has been conservative on this whole question of mandates and religious exceptions for conscience -- again and again in debates has has attacked Obama for this very thing.

It seems strange that he'd reverse all that.

If this is his next flip-flop... that's the last flip-flop for me.

Meanwhile... ABC News now projects that Michigan is a tie on delegates. Split down the middle.

Posted by: Ace at 11:47 AM | Comments (202)
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Harry Reid To Israel Supporters: Drop Dead
— Ace

Alan Dershowitz pledged to oppose anyone who cooperated with Media Matters.

Harry Reid says he's gonna get out there and promote their book.

Posted by: Ace at 11:36 AM | Comments (39)
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Charlie Cooke: Why, Despite The Assertions of the Left, I Was Able To Gather A Veritable Cornucopia of Free Contraception Within Blocks of My Office
— Ace

Really!

I'm beginning to suspect that sometimes The Left resorts to saying things that aren't quite true to win a cheap Culture War point.

Installing a free app -- "NYC Condom" -- on to his smartphone, he located 309 free or taxpayer-supporter contraception centers within 5 miles of his office.

Kenneth Cole, the designer-clothes store, was the most bizarre of my visits. I had expected at least to have to sidle up to an assistant and ask sotto voce if they had “something for the weekend” behind the store counter; but evidently one need not even go to the trouble of speaking to a staff member, for, on each of the tables — which sit out in the open, next to the racks of clothes, in case, perhaps, one be put in the mood by buying a couple of shirts — are large glass bowls full of the branded “NYC Condoms.” The branch I went to was at Grand Central Terminal; let it never be said again that visitors coming into the city by train have restricted access to contraception during their inaugural moments in New York.

...


Such facts, however, do not really matter. As H. L. Mencken acerbically noted, “the whole purpose of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed . . . by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” To listen to the president and the various women’s groups who have so enjoyed throwing around the absurd “anti-women” hyperbole over the last month, one would think that Americans were still required to ape the cloak-and-dagger subterfuge of a drug deal in order to get their hands on contraception, and that they were paying a hefty premium into the bargain. This could not be further from the truth. In my foray, remember, I looked solely for “free” contraceptives. But — quelle horreur! — it is still possible, even normal, to buy contraceptives in every drugstore in the country. Indeed, so ample and various is the supply that it comes in a startling array of flavors, methods, and combinations. No questions are asked. Nobody is excluded.

Meanwhile, in pricey DC (the only city flourishing in this Great Recession), Target will sell you birth control pills for nine bucks per month.

But Fluke's testimony was very misleading. Birth control pills can be purchased for as low as $9 per month at a pharmacy near Georgetown's campus. According to an employee at the pharmacy in Washington, D.C.'s Target store, the pharmacy sells birth control pills--the generic versions of Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Ortho-Cyclen--for $9 per month. "That's the price without insurance," the Target employee said. Nine dollars is less than the price of two beers at a Georgetown bar.

You know that chick who claimed that, while she was well-off, she had lots of friends who (not under oath) swore to her they were unable to front the high costs of birth control?

There's a Target less than three miles from her campus:


View Larger Map

Does she want me to pay for her new Vespa too? Because I'm guessing her next testimony will be that she has lots of poor friends who have Strange Diseases which will cause their feet to fucking explode!!!11!!11 if they are required to walk such an impossible distance.

Oh they have a Metro in DC? Well, I'm sure her friends also suffer from debilitating subway claustrophobia.

I have my own policy: If you're too fucking stupid, cheap, lazy, entitled or infantilized to buy a pack of rubbers at CVS, I will in fact pay for free contraception for you.

That contraception is permanent sterilization. I will pay for this, and I will not call it charity or welfare; I will file it under National Defense.

Posted by: Ace at 11:03 AM | Comments (253)
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Stephen Chu Confesses: No, It's Not A Goal of Mine To Get Gas Prices Down
— Ace

He's previously stated that the ideal price of gas would be $8-$9.

He doesn't back down when queried by Congressmen.

“But is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down, asked Nunnelee.

“No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” Chu replied. “We think that if you consider all these energy policies, including energy efficiency, we think that we can go a long way to becoming less dependent on oil and [diversifying] our supply and we’ll help the American economy and the American consumers.”

Democrats' response is, as ever, to put a quick political band-aid on the problem: As usual, they want to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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Posted by: Ace at 10:01 AM | Comments (248)
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All It Requires To Get David Shuster To Accurately Report the Facts Is A Libel Lawsuit
— Ace

Shuster claimed, for the sixty bazillionth time, that James O'Keefe was a "convicted felon."

No. Misdemeanor. It was a prank, dude. And the judge threw the book at him, because, conservative.

But that book was still only a misdemeanor. That was the most this out-for-blood judge could get him for.

O'Keefe slapped him with a libel suit.

Resulting in Shuster claiming he "misspoke."

Correction; when reporting on James Okeefe's arrest, I misspoke and said OKeefe is a convicted felon. He's not. I apologize for the error.

That's on Twitter. We'll see if he corrects on Olbermann's show, where he's guest hosting, and where he made his libelous remark.

Shuster, of course, has been claiming this for years. No matter how many times people informed him he was factually inaccurate, he kept on claiming it.

Because he's not a journalist, and realizes his reputation is too stinky to ever work in that field again. He's now just a rabble-rouser in a suit.


The Leftist Media

We'll report the truth. If under court order.

Posted by: Ace at 09:29 AM | Comments (107)
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Interesting: Study Suggests That Liberals Tend To Avoid Thinking About The Negative, While Conservatives Focus on It
— Ace

The finding isn't screamingly biased, at least not to me, because here, I don't see that denialism is the "better" response when seeing something terrible.

But that seems to be the liberal psychology. Conservatives, if we have a flaw, and we don't, tend to dwell on the negative.


Winter's coming, you say? Bah.
Just more of your Jesus-talk.

Conducted by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and published in the February 16 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, the study monitored the eye movements and skin conductance of participants from both sides of the political spectrum when shown the same series of images. Some of the images were benign, others less so. According to a press release from the university:

While liberals’ gazes tended to fall upon the pleasant images, such as a beach ball or a bunny rabbit, conservatives clearly focused on the negative images—of an open wound, a crashed car or a dirty toilet, for example.

This does seem to explain a large swath of conservative and liberal behavior. If a liberal proposes something dumb, like a guaranteed minimum income, conservatives immediately see that not only is that money being forcibly extracted from someone else (negative implication one), but that removing someone's motivation to be industrious at all will have pernicious effects down the line and lead to increased sloth, increased numbers of people getting handouts, increased need for wealth-extraction from the productive class, and ultimately a collapse of the whole system as the producers decide they'll stop producing, too, and just take their Government Check for Breathing (negative implication two).

Liberals seem to only get that one part about people having free money. You literally cannot get them to focus on the other things. They just glibly dismiss inevitable secondary effects ("You don't know that! You're not psychic!") and appeal to emotion ("I don't want to live in a world where a poor child doesn't have Starz On Demand").

This does reinforce some stereotypes, that conservatives tend to be worriers and planners and vigilance committee patrol people, whereas liberals tend to be Good Time Charlies. The old, "Who's gonna man that wall? You, Lieutenant Weinstein?"

Posted by: Ace at 08:36 AM | Comments (313)
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Liberals Really Think This Way
— DrewM

Hey, let's just put everyone on the government payroll and our unemployment problem is solved!

He's leaning so far forward his head is up his ass.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:31 AM | Comments (408)
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Michigan Exit Polls
— Gabriel Malor

There are some interesting numbers in the exit polls out of Michigan, where Mitt Romney narrowly beat Rick Santorum yesterday. (Here are Fox's and CBS').

Nine percent of GOP primary voters were Democrats and they went for Santorum by 51%. So the robocalls had some effect. Romney and Paul each picked up 17% of that group. But the presence of that many Democrats makes it hard to draw conclusions from some of the poll data. Twelve percent of GOP primary voters said they "Strongly Oppose" the Tea Party and that group also went for Santorum (45%) over Romney (29%). That's gotta be those Democratic voters in large part, right? Santorum also got 45% of those who "Strongly Support" the Tea Party. Same problem with the union membership question.

On the other hand, some of the results are noteworthy. Of the voters who decided which candidate they would vote for on the day of the primary, Romney beat Santorum 38%-31%. That's a reversal from what polling before the vote was saying and is probably due to backlash over the robocalls and Santorum's JFK gaffe, which he said he regretted yesterday.

Other notable numbers: of self-identified conservative voters, Romney beats Santorum 43%-41%. Romney also beat Santorum among those who self-identify as Republican 48%-37%. But when those who say they're "Very Conservative" (about a third of the voters) are separated out, they went for Santorum (50%) over Romney (36%).

Fifty-three percent of voters believed Romney is the most likely candidate to beat President Obama. Only 73% of that group actually voted for Romney, though.

Thirty-one percent of voters believed working in government is the best experience for a president. That group went for Santorum (52%) over Romney (20%). The reverse was true for those who believed working is business is the best experience for a president.

Romney voters were indeed the most resolute: of the 62% of GOP primary voters who said they will definitely vote for the GOP candidate in November, 50% went for Romney; only 36% picked Santorum. The Ronulans, of course, carried away the category "Only If My Candidate Wins the Nomination."

One last surprise in the CBS exits: Romney beat Santorum among Catholics 44%-37%.

In short, in Michigan, Romney carried conservatives, Republicans, Catholics, those who believe working in business is better prep for the presidency than working in government, and those who are most dedicated to voting against President Obama.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:32 AM | Comments (416)
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Top Headline Comments 2-What Day??-12
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Wednesday.

Salt Lake Trib: Sen. Snowe's retirement is a blow to Sen. Hatch's reelection strategy.

NASA is cannibalizing its budget to fund a Mars mission.

INTERPOL arrested 25 Anonymous hackers in Europe and South America yesterday. Anonymous responded by knocking out the Interpol and Spanish police websites for an hour or so. That'll show 'em.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:53 AM | Comments (109)
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February 28, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (2-28-2012)
— Maetenloch

The Changing Face of Plastic Surgery

Well nose jobs and eyelid surgeries are down over the last ten years but the good news is that tummy tucks and boob jobs are way up.

paris_hilton_three_nose_job.preview.jpg

So we have that going for us.

plastics-bars.jpg

more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:34 PM | Comments (858)
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Grandma's Boy Star and Sandler Henchman Allen Covert on the Ben Howe Show at 11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific
— Ace

I think the "Listen" button at upper right will bring you the show when it starts.

Allen has kids now, so not everything is Karate Monkeys and h-jays from Mrs. Partridge. He's putting out a line of patriotically-, traditionalist-themed children's books, available for digital download on to iPhones, iPads, and Kindle Fires. (Pretty much any color media platform. Computer, too.)

Some people haven't seen Grandma's Boy. It's seriously funny, as a cult-comedy thing. Gonzo type stuff. Nothing off-limits.

Posted by: Ace at 05:24 PM | Comments (74)
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The River on ABC, 9:00 Eastern
— rdbrewer

Have you guys seen this show? It's a paranormal thriller from Oren Peli, the guy behind Paranormal Activity. It's also a Steven Spielberg project. Good show. I saw the premiere. Bruce Greenwood--Captain Pike from the last Trek movie--plays a wildlife show host and father, Dr. Emmet Cole, who has disappeared in the jungle while filming his show. His family and some videographers set out to find him. The thing is, while searching for Dr. Cole, they're also filming a new show.

Dr. Cole left behind clues in the form of raw video that his family found on his boat after a long search in the premiere.

It's cool. Paranormal stuff. Monsters. Ghosts. Lots of tension and scary moments. Cool characters. Smart writing. Can't ask for much more than that.

Follow me on Twitter.

Posted by: rdbrewer at 03:47 PM | Comments (131)
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Michigan and Arizona Results
— andy

Polls close at 9pm Eastern in both primaries.

Fox News coverage starts at 8:45. As a reminder, Michigan's delegates are awarded by congressional district, while Arizona is winner-take-all.

Michigan results

Arizona results

SMOD isn't on the ballot, but last time he ran in Arizona, he crushed it.

Posted by: andy at 03:27 PM | Comments (638)
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Was It Over When The Japs Bombed Santa Barbara?
— Maetenloch

Hell no - not by a long shot.

CDR M covered this last week but in case you missed it last Thursday was the 70th anniversary of the first Japanese attack on the US mainland.

On February 23rd, 1942 a Japanese submarine shelled the Ellwood oil refinery, just north of Santa Barbara, for 20 minutes from off-shore. Despite firing 25 shells it only did minimal damage to the refinery and the nearby pier. However panic ensued and the reports of another sub off the coast the next night resulted in the infamous battle of Los Angeles which was the basis of the movie, 1941.

There were other submarine-based attacks on the American mainland during the war but luckily they had little impact.

The Japanese submarines assigned to duty off North America continued to operate against allied shipping; in addition, they bombarded Fort Stevens along the Columbia River and attacked a Canadian lighthouse on Vancouver Island. Despite being ordered to attack capital ships whenever possible, the submarines ultimately engaged only in attacks against merchant vessels and minor bombardments of targets ashore. Also, two air raids were launched via submarine, in a failed attempt to start a forest fire in southwest Oregon.

It's always interesting to go back and read contemporary accounts of a historical event since there are often nuances and details to the story that have been lost in the intervening years. Plus we have the luxury of knowing how things turned out.

So here is the story as it appeared in a Los Angeles paper a day after the attack. Bonus points if you can name FDR's 'surprise' for the Japanese off the top of your head.

image156

sbattack

Posted by: Maetenloch at 02:57 PM | Comments (97)
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Obama Administration: No, We Are NOT Working To Lower Oil Prices
— DrewM

Can't blame them, they are all in on algae.

“But is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down, asked [Mississippi Republican Congressman Alan] Nunnelee.

“No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” [Energy Secretary Steven] Chu replied. “We think that if you consider all these energy policies, including energy efficiency, we think that we can go a long way to becoming less dependent on oil and [diversifying] our supply and we’ll help the American economy and the American consumers.”

Welcome to every GOP ad from now until November Mr. Secretary.

But they are working hard on improving battery power for cars. So, if you can just put up with$5-10/gallon gas for a couple of decades Obama will have it all worked out soon.

Fun bit, notice the headline on the Politico piece at the link, "Chu: DOE works to wean U.S. off oil". Yeah, that's the big news in the story.

Posted by: DrewM at 02:09 PM | Comments (197)
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