March 30, 2012
— Open Blogger Earlier this week, outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev laid the verbal smack down in a typically Russian way on Mitt Romney.
"Regarding ideological clichés, every time this or that side uses phrases like 'enemy number one', this always alarms me, this smells of Hollywood and certain times (of the past)," Medvedev said at the end of a nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital.
"I would recommend all U.S. presidential candidates ... to do two things. First, when phrasing their position one needs to use one's head, one's good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate.
"Also, (one needs to) look at his watch: we are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s."
Does this not sound like a Bond villain? I don't think we can give him any flexibility on whether or not he might have a rooting interest in the results of the next election.
This was in response to Romney on Monday, doing his best impression of a child-sized container of vanilla ice milk in short sleeves:
"...President Obama signaled that hes going to cave to Russia on missile defense, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be flexible in a second term," Romney said in a statement Monday.
— Gabriel Malor Happy Friday.
This was fairly interesting. I wonder how much it cost.
Everybody have a safe weekend.
March 29, 2012
Because the bloom is coming off the Global
Warming Climate Change Uncertainty rose and the entire environmental movement in general:
A new Gallup poll reports that Americans are still broadly skeptical of the Green agenda, currently putting economic growth ahead of the environment by 49 percent to 41 percent. And moderates are increasingly joining conservatives in the opinion that economic growth should be a priority even if it incurs some environmental damage.
It turns out that Green policies are luxuries that people will indulge in during boom times but not so much in a prolonged recession. Even the young seem to be losing their enthusiasm for environmentalism - well other than as a status symbol signaling refined tastes:
[Jean] Twenge found that today's high school seniors and college freshmen make far less effort to help the environment than baby boomers did at that age. Compared with boomers and Generation X-ers, Gen Y-ers are the least willing to cut down on driving and electricity use. "There was a lot more questioning of materialism in the 1970s. Now it's just like, Let's all live like the Kardashians," she said. . .
We do stuff not to save the planet as much as to look as if we're saving the planet. That means I need to spend a lot more on my food, clothing and appliances and let everyone know about it.
In fact it looks like we already passed Peak AGW concern a few years ago. But don't worry - there'll be a new world-wide environmental crisis coming along any second now.
Oh and don't forget that this Saturday evening will be Human Achievement Hour so get those naughty incandescent bulbs aglowin' and tires aburnin'.more...
— Ace Um.
If you had added in "sexual orientation" to that list (he actually overlooked it -- how heteronormative), you might have had a clue that Rachel Maddow does indeed know at least one, and probably several, women who don't use birth control.
— Ace Paging Pauline Kael.
Karl at the Green Room has a good primer on the number of prominent liberals living wholly in The Cocoon.
If liberals not in the media choose to live in The Cocoon, that's their right. But shouldn't media-types who are supposed to inform the public have a passing acquaintance with the arguments of the right?
How can you keep your audience informed if you yourself are deliberately misinformed, by voluntary personal choice?
John Podhoretz writes about the psychic shock when The Cocoon falls apart.
Theyre so convinced of their own correctness and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.
Thats what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administrations advocates and the liberal members of the court.
This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.
Jeffrey Toobin's job is not, supposedly, to offer his own opinions. It's to offer analysis of the court's actual jurisprudence (not just the Jurisprudence of the Left-- that is, Constitutional law in which only liberal opinions are recognized or considered law) and grounded speculation/prediction about the behavior of the court.
For the former, you need to read conservative legal opinions, and not just ignore them as Uncouth. For the latter, you also need to read these opinions, plus briefs in an upcoming case, and make unbiased judgments about what the court will do.
Not what you, as a Man of the Left, wish it to do. But what it probably will do.
But that was too much for Jeffrey Toobin, and Linda Greenhouse, and Dahlia Lithwick, and the rest of the People of Cocoon, so they just spun a cozy home of silk and dreams.
They were surprised by these arguments. Podhoretz says They should not have been surprised.
No one was hiding these arguments. They have been readily-available in court records for two years.
Nor was anyone hiding the two courts' decisions agreeing with these arguments.
Liberals just chose to ignore relevant information about the world they live in, and then call themselves sophisticated for having chosen to be stupider than God made them.
Their arguments were featured in briefs already submitted to the court and available for general inspection. And theyd already been given weight by the two judicial opinions against the constitutionality of ObamaCare issued by federal district court judges one by Henry Hudson in Virginia in December 2010, the other by Roger Vinson in Florida in January 2011.
The briefs exist. The decisions exist. You can Google them. They are strong, fluent, well-reasoned and legitimate. They take ObamaCare seriously, and they argue against it at the highest possible level.
Thus, the strength of the conservative arguments only came as a surprise to Toobin, Greenhouse and others because they evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, La la la, Im not listening whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.
And they're "experts," of course.
Experts who refuse to do their actual job, choosing instead to be merely cheerleaders for the leftist ideology.
You can ask me two different questions. Who do I want to win in 2012, and who do I expect to win in 2012.
These are entirely different questions. The first one is easy. The second is hard and I change my mind on it every week.
If I, a non-"expert" like these Sages of the Press, can readily recognize that these are two different questions, and that only a Tiny Little Baby imagines "what do I want" and "what I think will happen" are the exact same question, why cannot they manage to do the same?
You know what this week was for liberals?
Yeah you do.
ADVISORY: CHANGE IN SHIT JUST GOT REAL STATUS
NEW STATUS: R E A L
— Ace What could they have to discuss?
But Romney played down the importance of the meeting between the himself and Gingrich, who earlier this week scaled back his campaign and laid off staffers.
Were pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt, Romney told Sean Hannity in a radio interview. Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open.
Romney goes on like that, saying it's a normal matter to meet with Santorum and Gingrich (and guessing that Santorum and Gingrich meet too), and Gingrich's spokesman says so too.
Everyone involved agrees this is perfectly routine and not a story at all.
So why don't I believe any of them?
— Ace "Fully resolved."
Spike Lee has reached an agreement with the Florida couple forced to flee their home...
The McClains claim is fully resolved, Matt Morgan, their attorney, said in an email. Mr. Lee personally called them to give a very heartfelt apology. Further, he agreed to compensate them for their loss and the disruption to their lives.
The new information threatens to heighten tensions in the emotionally charged case. Sanford's Mayor Jeff Triplett told ABC News that "the city today is a tinder box."
"This city is a glass house, and making matters worse the civic center has a lot of glass," he said referring to a town hall meeting slated for 5 p.m. where family and residents will be airing grievances about the Martin shooting.
In addition, the Rev. Al Sharpton said today that he and other protesters intend to "occupy" Sanford on Easter weekend and pray that the city arrests Zimmerman.
The "new information" comes from both Zimmerman's side and allies (exposing Martin's troubled career) and from Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with Martin during the period in question too.
Her testimony does not seem to push the string in one direction or the other, at least as reported here.
Martin's girlfriend had said in a recording obtained exclusively by ABC News that she heard Martin ask Zimmerman "why are your following me, and then the man asked, what are you doing around here." She then heard a scuffle break out and the line went dead.
Phone records obtained by ABC News show that the girl, who is 16 and asked to remain anonymous, called Martin at 7:12 p.m., five minutes before police arrived, and remained on the phone with Martin until moments before he was shot.
Well, that exchange could have been guessed. It doesn't shed too much light on two key questions:
1) Did Zimmerman continue following Martin, or did Martin start following Zimmerman when he (as he claims) headed back to his truck?
2) Who actually started the confrontation? Don't tell me, as many in the media seem to suggest, that merely following someone suddenly gives them all the legal right he needs to beat the shit out of you.
If Martin actually began the violence (and we do not know that; we don't know either way) it's going to be hard to argue he was acting lawfully in beating up a guy, just because he felt harassed.
There's a legal method to handle harassment-- calling the cops.
Anyway, a 13-year-old witness says he saw Zimmerman "moaning" on the ground before the shot. Well, if he was moaning, that's evidence that he was dizzy and hurt, and hence not only having some justification for thinking his life was in danger, but also having some kind of a diminished capacity claim -- if you're semi-conscious due to a beating, it's hard to blame you for poor decision-making ensuing from that beating.
We still don't know enough here to be confident of knowing anything.
What we do know is that Community Organizers have ratcheted up a Get Zimmerman campaign without knowing anything, and the media, of course, gleefully assisted.
The proper authorities should be permitted to come to a reasoned, evidenced decision, get this, without the threat of riots should they not decide as the Mob may prefer.
Obama ran partly on the idea that he was some kind of racial healer.
If he doesn't defuse this situation, and this city riots -- so much for that, eh?
Where's Obama's supposedly vaunted temperament and reason now? When reason and restraint are called for, he pitches emotion -- the last thing an already hyper-emotional case needs.
— Ace A lot of accidental bannings, again. I haven't gotten to most of them yet.
Please let me know if you've been inadvertently banned with a subject line "BANNED." Oh and please include the message you get, with your IP in it. If there's no such message, you weren't banned.
Also, I'm going to be using this video to mark the point in stories' trajectories when Shit Just Got Real. Like a Drudge siren, sort of. Except it's more for the evolution of stories, especially vis a vis the moment when Shit Just Got Real.
I formally announce that AoSHQ will, going forward, be the Internet's main decision-making bureau as to when or if Shit Just Got Real.
— Ace Toure is not what you'd call, what's the word, at average or near-average intelligence level.
He's dumb. Extremely dumb.
Update: Many people are asking "Who the eff is 'Toure'?"
Good question. Honestly, he's nobody. He appears on MSNBC and stuff as an Expert on Being Black. He's an idiot. I've goofed on him before.
Back to post:
Because some people chose to buy Skittles as some sort of dumb tribute to Trayvon Martin, Toure is now agitating that The Community or whatever should get a share of their profits.
This is obviously not the central issue but Skittles' profiteering thanks to us buying it bc of Trayvon obviates some financial donation.
He means "suggests" or "demands" -- that this situation necessitates that Skittles pay The Community or whatever some blood money.
Obviates means the exact opposite of that. "Z obviates Y" means that x makes y unnecessary or forestalls it or prevents it.
Dictionaries, how do they work?
Obligates? A commenter suggests that's what he meant, but suggests that "auto-correct' made the change.
Is "obviates" really high in a computer dictionary's list of active vocabulary words?
Skillets? Trayvon was armed with skillets?
You could ring someone's bell with a skillet. If you have a whole bunch of skillets, you could throw them like, um, Throwing Skillets.
— Ace Among the suggestions? Alter the human genome to give all human beings an intolerance to red meat. So we'll be vegans, which reduces the carbon dioxide output of food production.
There may be another route to avoid the potentially disastrous effects of climate change: We can deliberately alter ourselves, three researchers suggest.
Human engineering, as they call it, poses less danger than altering our planet through geoengineering, and it could augment changes to personal behavior or policies to mitigate climate change, they write in an article to be published in the journal Ethics, Policy and the Environment.
"We are serious philosophers, but we might not be entirely serious that people should be doing this," said Anders Sandberg, one of the authors and an ethicist at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. "What we are arguing is we should be taking a look at this, at the very least."
Other possibilities? Inflict humans with an engineered dwarfism to make us smaller and hence less hungry.
And dosing us with hormones.
-Make humans smaller to reduce the amount of energy we each need to consume. This could be done by selecting smaller embryos through preimplantation genetic diagnosis, a technique already in use to screen for genetic diseases. "Human engineering could therefore give people the choice between having a greater number of smaller children or a smaller number of larger children," they write.
-Reduce birthrates by making people smarter, since higher cognitive ability appears linked to lower birthrates. This could be achieved through a variety of means, including better schooling, electrical stimulation of the brain and drugs designed to improve cognitive ability, they propose.
-Treat people with hormones, such as oxytocin, to make us more altruistic and empathetic. As a result, people would be more willing to act as a group and more sensitive to the suffering of animals and other people caused by climate change.
— Ace The ten Republicans voting Nay: Amash, Barton, Duncan (TN), Gibson, Huelskamp, Jones, McKinley, Platts, Rehberg, Whitfield. (via @bdomenech)
This story from a couple of hours ago, before the vote.
"We have one of the most predictable economic crises in this country coming. It's a debt-driven crisis. And so we have an obligation -- not just a legal obligation but a moral obligation -- to do something about it," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said Thursday morning. GOP leaders "think the key components are to get spending under control, reform our entitlement programs" and help stimulate economic growth.
He's making the appeal he made before in his video (second video posted below) -- What if Congress knew about the coming financial meltdown of 2008 for ten or fifteen or twenty or thirty years, and took no action to stop it?
Well, that's what the entitlement crisis is. They've known, conclusively, about this approaching problem since at least the mid-80s. They pegged the crisis to the year. We know exactly what happens when the massive cohort of Baby Boomers begins drawing on monies that don't exist.
— Ace The music. It's so precious.
The breathy college-radio voices.
The houses which are absurdly small.
With grand designs on minimizing their housing footprint, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller have spent the last 10 months building the tiny home of their dreams.
"It's 19 feet long wall to wall, Smith said. The interior square-footage is about 125 square feet.
The interior layout consists of a sitting area, kitchen and bathroom. A vaulted ceiling makes room for a sleeping loft that can accommodate a queen-size mattress.
The interior looks a lot bigger than the exterior, Mueller said.
A house with 125 square feet.
This isn't a lifestyle; it's a hobby. You can own a Chevy Volt... if you're rich enough to have a couple of other cars. Sure, you can then designate the Volt as the Car For Quick Jaunts To The Post Office.
Other people, who don't view cars as toys or luxury goods, will need more robust cars.
And that's what I suspect with these guys. It's a cute stunt, trying to outdo each other's fashion choices -- your house is 125 square feet? I'll make mine 89 square feet! I win! -- but I strongly suspect these guys have a lot of money, and do not need to fear a large chunk of their net wealth being tied up in a silly property that they might have to unload in a hurry if they realize they can't live in 89 square feet.
By the way, I note these guys don't seem to have children.
Thanks to krakatoa.
— Ace Guy has two modes. Higher Taxes Mode, and Higher Spending Mode.
President Barrack Obama used the Rose Garden today to make a poll-tested demand for higher tax payments from oil companies, to repeat controversial claims about U.S. oil reserves and to urge more spending on green-tech companies and on biofuels, such as algae.
Obama campaign-style appearance was intended to highlight a move by Senate Democrats to exempt oil companies from routine investment tax credits.
The biggest oil companies are raking in record profits [theyre] also getting billions, billions, a year in taxpayer subsidies Its like hitting the American people twice, he declared from a podium.
We should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising. Investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; in fuel-efficient cars and trucks and homes and buildings.
We've gotta get him out. I can't take it.
Strictly as a matter of mental health for myself, I need him out.
— DrewM While the media focuses on the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, it is worth remembering that he is the overwhelming exception.
Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard is far more representative of the selfless sacrifice and honor exhibited by the US military during 2 wars and over 10 years of fighting. But even within the ranks of heroic actions, Spc. Weichel's sacrifice stands out.
The official Pentagon news release says he died "from injuries suffered in a noncombat related incident." But there is much more to the story. Weichel, 29, of Providence, died saving the life of a little girl.
According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan. Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel and other troops got out to move them out of the way.
Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that. But a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward her, according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.
MRAPs, as they are known, usually weigh more than 16 tons.
Weichel saw the massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the armored truck ran him over, Riel said.
The little girl is fine. Weichel died a short time later of his injuries.
Specialist Weichel leaves behind his fiance and three children.
Far more Iraqis and Afghans have been saved by men and women like Spc. Weichel than killed in cold blood by rogue soldiers. Some want "crazy, murderous vets" be the narrative of the War on Terror. We owe to those who served honorably and sacrificed so much, to make sure the truth wins out in the end.
Oh God...I was looking for a photo of Spc. Weichel and found this story of him surprising his kids this Christmas.
— Gabriel Malor Happy Thursday.
March 28, 2012
CALLING ALL TROLLS
Come to me my babies - let me quell your pain.
Tonight is your night, this love is your love. You are part of us now.
Let this troll chow and kool-aid beverage of your choice signify a new reconciliation.
Lay down that burden and forget the old ways, brothers, and all the old hatreds.
Just close your glazzies and awake to a world of no more pain.more...
— Dave in Texas So what if Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer fumbled today on the question of federal coercion, and the "Administrative Procedure Act."
Well, that conservative justice Antonin Scalia made a joke about the "Cornhusker Kickback" and that isn't even in the law anymore!
they got ben
save 20 percent of your body
temp and live
I miss AlGore
— Ace will it be
none can say
the anser is YES
— Ace Jose Canseco has a twitter feed now. Isn't that marvelous?
Well, he was babbling nonsensically today. But then I realized he was actually writing some sort of postmodernist poem.
I've added some formatting -- I've made it a "concrete" poem, as I think it should be, by adding white space and a visual motif to it. I added some punctuation and italics and boldface. All the correct punctuation is mind; the lack of punctuation, and the Section 8 period use, is per Canseco's original.
Otherwise, this is work of poetry is entirely Jose Canseco.
It's called "how do we stop global warming"
how do we stop global warming
class in session
i complete you
of to practice for my playboy celebrity golf tournament
1 more stop
global warming tip
.turn your home heat all
off at nite .
saves $ an energy
and lowers your body temp
u will L I V E
flanel pajamas morons
share body heat
like the pioneers did
(even in snow...)
used to sleep
in one big bed
and produce no waste
how did we go from their
to killing polar bears
al gore was
a head of his time .
i miss him
rest in peace buddy
-- Jose Canseco, 2012
— Ace I haven't seen anyone call this out. It's surprising, because Breyer is of course an all-out Obamabot liberal, and has been carrying the administration's water in this case for three days running.
But here, he learns that one of his assumptions -- what he'd already decided he'd base his decision to uphold ObamaCare -- is in fact false. He sounds kind of angry to find out he's wrong.
Here's the context: The argument concerns whether the Secretary of Health may cut off all Medicaid funds if states do not follow the federal government's order to greatly expand Medicaid to cover the young and able-bodied.
Because the Secretary could cut off all funds -- billions and billions -- if its orders were not followed, the challengers of the law say it's "coercive," as a legal matter, and hence unconstitutional because the federal government coercing the state governments is incompatible with the idea of federalism, independent state governments, and state sovereignty.
Now, Breyer assumes two things:
1, that the Administrative Procedure Act (the APA) would forbid a Secretary from actually doing this, as he feels that act contains a requirement of reasonableness in the Secretary's actions, and,
2, that no Secretary has ever actually threatened a state with this, or ever would. That is, that while this is hypothetically something the Secretary could do, no Secretary ever has or ever will. So it's all just silly.
Now what happens is that a letter is presented by Clement, written by the Secretary of Health (I think) to the state of Arizona, threatening a total cut-off of funds. (I think -- maybe the letter was about the immigration law. Point is, it threatened a cutoff of funds.)
Later, Verilli refuses to say that Obama's Secretary of Health wouldn't do the same if states refused to comply with ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.
And then Breyer sounds butthurt that this letter undermines the assumption he was trying to advance as a reason to uphold the law.
To hear the exchange, download the file. The exchange starts around 57:25. That's not Breyer at first; it's Roberts. But start there for context.
Breyer starts in with his big booming sing-song pretentious affected voice at 58:49 and continues back and forth for a couple of minutes after that, until around 1:02.00. He asks "Why are you so reluctant?" to simply state the Secretary would never take such a step. Verrilli won't guarantee that.
He also sounds like he's begging Verrilli to just say what Breyer wants him to say so he can base his decision on it.
One point that's made is that it doesn't matter if the Secretary actually has ever cut off funds; simply being able to threaten it is itself coercive.
Corrected: I originally said Verrilli admitted that the Secretary might cut off all funds, or threaten to. Actually, Clement introduced the letter mentioned. Then Verrilli was asked about it.
The Legal Framework: Let me explain this -- I just had a big refresher myself.
The government can only do some things according to the Constitution. A great many things it can't do.
And yet it does them anyway. It does so by creating a "voluntary" partnership with the states, then provides money for the states to do what the federal government says they should do.
This is how the enumerated powers idea is evaded.
It is said that Congress' spending power is plenary and unlimited (boy, is it ever!!) so it has a lot of power there. It can spend if it likes -- and if it wants to bribe states to do things, then it can do that.
A limitation on this power, however, is that Congress cannot do through the spending power what it would be forbidden to do by other parts of the Constitution. It cannot give orders to the states -- the state governments are not inferior governments, taking orders from the central one.
So if a so-called "spending" power exercise achieved via a "voluntary" partnership with the states is actually coercive -- it violates the whole idea that the federal government may get involved in state business only if the state voluntarily agrees to it.
The challengers' argument is that the Medicaid expansion -- in which the Secretary of Health may cut off all funding for states if they do not participate -- is coercive. The fig leaf of it being "voluntary" is stripped away, and it is revealed that the federal government is simply doing what it is forbidden to do -- give orders to inferior state governments.
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