July 30, 2012
The very fact that you're reading this means that you probably check out Ebay, Hulu, LinkedIn far more often than say reddit, Etsy, or Spottify. And note that users of Twitter, Amazon and Farmville are more GOP-leaning than you'd expect.
Meanwhile Buzzfeed Politics has veered so far left that we're gonna need a bigger chart and a third dimension to fully capture their dishonest hackery.
As examples they use Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, who used myspace instead of facebook (or as they put it, "largely invisible on the web", haha @ myspace), and the newer Aurora shooter who used adultfriendfinder instead of facebook. So being social on any other website isn't good enough, it has to be specifically facebook that people are using.more...
— andy Not content to let the rest of their acronymically-labeled colleagues grab the spotlight for boneheaded actions, the Drug Enforcement Administration got into the act in grand style:
The phone rang before sunrise. It woke Craig Patty, owner of a tiny North Texas trucking company, to vexing news about Truck 793 - a big red semi supposedly getting repairs in Houston.
"Your driver was shot in your truck," said the caller, a business colleague. "Your truck was loaded with marijuana. He was shot eight times while sitting in the cab. Do you know anything about your driver hauling marijuana?"
"What did you say?" Patty recalled asking. "Could you please repeat that?"
The truck, it turned out, had been everywhere but in the repair shop.
Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty's knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.
Read the whole thing.
The driver was killed, and the truck suffered massive damage. This has pushed the small businessman who owns it to the edge of bankruptcy as Leviathan in DC stonewalls him.
The problem clearly is that Mr. Patty thinks he built that business, but he didn't. His truck moves on roads paid for by The Government, and by God when they need to use it in the War On Drugs™, who is he to think they should get permission or take responsibility for damage they caused?
And that dead driver? Well, as we all know from Fast & Furious, if you want to make an omelette, you have to break some eggs.
(h/t Purple Avenger)
— Ace Strangely enough, of course, a Romney Rally coming before the election can work to improve Obama's standing, and then, of course, result in an Obama victory, thus demolishing the very reason for the Romney Rally.
With just 100 days left until the U.S. presidential election, investors are beginning to make bigger bets on which candidate will carry the day.
One analysis concludes that last week's sharp three-day market surge can only mean that Wall Street is banking on a victory from Republican Mitt Romney.
That's the logical interpretation one can draw from a rally amid conditions that otherwise would demand a selloff, Morgan Stanley chief U.S. equity strategist Adam S. Parker said in an analysis that asserts there is no other reason now to like stocks than a Romney win.
That said, note the item in the sidebar about Obama overperforming in swing states, and on FoxNews, Rove just said three states (Nevada, Ohio, and Colorado) shifted from "Toss Up" to "Lean Obama."
Ohio looks worse for us every cycle. This may be a cycle where we do in fact lose it, and will need one of the emerging red states to overcome that big blow.
Plus: Drew's Twitter Argument With Palestinian Activists
— Ace As Legal Insurrection notes: Didn't Obama speak more disparagingly of Pennsylvanians?
But so apparently this is a thing.
At a fundraiser in Israel (presumably among Americans), Romney noted a great income disparity between Israelis and Palestinians.
Romney said some economic histories have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."
"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.
I can't believe someone didn't say this was racist.
Oh, here we go.
"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," Erekat added. "He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority."
Nah but they think it really hard.
Well, look at Romney. He's got a senior aide to the Palestinian president saying nice things about Israel.
Let us now begin taking bets: How long until someone makes the connection to the NAACP speech, states that Romney is deliberately "provoking" "minorities" to win white (or Jewish) votes, and further speculates that the Israel comments are actually also designed to insult black Americans (in as much as they might identify with the Palestinians in their struggle against a Racist Overgroup)?
Bonus: Who is the first left-wing writer to float it?
Also: Drew expressed his belief that the Palestinians shouldn't be at the Olympics because they actually attacked the Olympics and murdered Jewish activists (and the IOC continues to refuse to even have a moment of silence to observe the 40th anniversary of the murders -- it's "too political," it turns out).
Drew got bushwacked, but he fought 'em off. He offers a more detailed argument than Twitter permits at his blog.
Brilliant: I predicted a zig when the left already zagged.
See, they're claiming Romney's statement is also... anti-semitic.
It's true that Israel has logged tremendous achievements, said Abraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Inter-Disciplinary Center outside of Tel Aviv. But "you can understand this remark in several ways," he added. "You can say it's anti-Semitic. 'Jews and money.'
@johnekdahl tipped me to that.
Note: I changed the headline. I was trying to push the "Pennsylvanians" idea, but it wound up just looking like a typo (which it actually wasn't). So, since it's confusing, I changed it.
— Ace Shhhh. We just have a presidential election coming up. We wouldn't want the media broadcasting state secrets about the most relevant and pressing problem we face at the moment.
In its latest update, Obamas Office of Management and Budget slashed its GDP forecast for 2012, to 2.3% from 2.7%, and for 2013, to 2.7% from 3.0%. Pretty tepid growth.
In the near-term, where we have the greatest knowledge (still sketchy, but the greatest knowledge, since we can just ballpark guess it will be something like current situations), he revises his forecasts downward.
But then, two to five years from now, when our knowledge becomes almost nonexistent, he confidently projects a big bouncing baby boy boomtime recovery, weighing in at a respectable 4.1% in hazy 2015.
How does the White House's "projections" match up against organizations not directly involved in seeking the reelection of their boss?
The correlation is poor.
[T]he IMF recently put out its extended forecast for the U.S economy, and its sees markedly slower growth than the White House: 2.0% in 2012, 2.3% in 2013, 2.8% in 2014, 3.3% in 2015, 3.4% in 2016, and 3.3% in 2017. In total, the White House sees the U.S. economy generating about $1.5 trillion more in real GDP growth during the next six years than the IMF does.
And certainly there are mainstream economists out there more gloomy than the IMF. The economic team at JPMorgan, for instance, sees the economy growing at just 1.9% this year and next.
And, as Pethokoukis points out, those projections are all already biased to the optimistic side of things, assuming that this is in fact a real but weak "recovery" which will continue for a long time, rather than, say, bouncing along the bottom in a protracted depression.
— Ace Funny. more...
— Ace As Instapundit says, did we exit the first one? (Answer: No, because we're in a depression. The Great Depression featured periods of weak growth, followed by fresh contractions, too.)
The slowdown announced Friday on top of another slowdown in the first quarter is further proof that the presidents class-warfare economic rhetoric and policies are pushing the country perilously close to a double-dip recession.
The numbers are pretty stark: Growth of 2 percent for the first quarter was already scary, down from around 4 percent at the end of last year. A few years out of a stiff recession like the one we had, the economys normally roaring, not sagging back down.
So the drop to a 1.5 percent growth rate for the second quarter is really quite staggering. At this rate, we could be in double-dip territory even by Election Day, as consumers continue to slash their spending and businesses their investments.
And make no mistake: A double-dip recession would be pretty bad stuff.
Read on. It could be quite bad. Upside: Easy election win; downside: a horrendously deep contraction with unemployment in the upper teens.
— Ace I couldn't resist. You can get a sample for free off Kindle. I didn't make it all the way through.
Anyone else try this? I was thinking of reviewing it but I completely forgot what the hell I read about 20 minutes after I read it.
It was uh... seriously amateurish, which is weird, because the woman works in television, so you'd think she'd at least have a clue.
Here's something weird. She lives in London. I mean, for real. Now, London is one of the world's capitals. It's an intriguing city. People would consider buying this book just for its setting. And, living in London, she'd be an natural expert in the city -- or at least it would be easy for her to do some scouting and reading and make herself an expert. If she wants to know, say, precisely what the interior of the upper rooms of the Hippodrome look like (that's London, right?), all she has to do is take a 90 minute trip to scout it. 90 minutes, there and back, plus an hour's worth of notes.
Plus, London works really well for the concept of a sexually bent, controlling man and innocent virginal girl. London has all that Dracula atmosphere, it's a world economic capital of a country that once ruled the seas, and frankly I think all English men are kind of sexually twisted anyhow. (I blame Jeremy Irons for this prejudice. Not the roles he plays in movies -- he once tried to play footsie with me at a gala.)
And even for the innocent angle-- even though all London women are clearly whores (I've seen clips of Ladettes to Ladies), I'm sure there are still middle-class suburbs a few miles out where you can find women who haven't seen more cock than a Perdue distribution center.
So, you get it. It would be both very easy and commercially advantageous for her to set it in London.
Instead, she sets it in Seattle, a city she clearly has no concept of (she spends a paragraph describing the sweeping view from Dr. Moneycock's office, but never says what can be seen in this view, because, I think, she's never seen the city and has no idea if, say, you should be able to see the ocean or mountains from it).
The only reason she sets it in Seattle, I guess, is because that's where it was set when it was a Twilight slash-fic, and she's lazy. And oh god, is she a terribly lazy writer. But she's also dumb, because it should have been easy to switch to London, rather than describe western Washington state so vaguely as a bit of highway, a city, some more highway, and then a beach.
And maybe she kept Seattle to really push the idea that this is really about Bella and Edward (and also Jacob, who I'm told makes an appearance as a budding rapist later).
I could talk about how awful a writer she is, but I won't. I'll just mention that simple-to-fix thing.
— Ace Yes, we call those people socialists, and we call the "capitalism" they favor "socialism."
So, this is New Stupid.
Every now and again, I meet with someone whos been very successful on Wall Street, who says, I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism. I believe in capitalism, and I understand there have to be rules. And they have to be consistently enforced. Thats what I think is at stake in this election.
Thats a hefty assignment, the salvation of capitalism, but Democratic strategists, while cringing at the grandiosity of the statement, say she articulates her vision for the assignment as well as any candidate.
The Secret Life of Warren, Betty
Her advanced cyborg brain's positronic gears all go ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.
Via @wodeshed and @theh2.
— Ace One.
Polish human rights icon and former President Lech Walesa all but endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday, urging him to be successful.
I wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was heard telling Romney when the press were allowed in on the tail end of their meeting. Gov. Romney, get your success be successful!"
Apparently -- I didn't follow this at all -- Walesa is one of the many friendly leaders that Obama has gone out of his way to snub. He refused to let Walesa accept an award on behalf of a dead Pole, for example. And that was just the latest of many actions which alienated the Poles:
Obama's snubbing of Walesa follows several peculiar actions that upset the people of Poland. On September 17, 2009, he canceled plans for a joint missile defense system between the United States and Poland, one of our most dependable post-Cold War NATO allies. Obama did so for pro-Russian reasons....
Obama's snubbing of Walesa also follows his recent private assurance to Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin -- inadvertently caught on tape by an open mic -- that, in regard to missile defense and nuclear issues, he would "have more flexibility" "after my election." In other words, more pro-Russia steps at Poland's expense.
Obama's snubbing of Walesa also came alongside a terrible gaffe about "Polish death camps."
The Hill piece notes that Walesa had in turn snubbed Obama, stating "I won't meet with him. It doesn't suit me."
I wish this meant more, but now that I look at the history here, I have to think that Polish-Americans who keep ties with the old country (and that country's politics) already are well inclined to vote against Obama.
— Ace I'm sure this has been covered, but Dan Pfeiffer's lie punked the NYT blogger covering the matter too, who reported his falsehood as true.
But then he was apprised of the facts, and winds up calling Pfeiffer a liar. Or at least a writer of falsehoods.
Below, an unrelated ad, but a good one.
— Ace You know what the really good thing about The Hobbit was? It moved. Fast. It was punchy and quick and fun and adventuresome.
But someone wants to make $50 million more so they're going to gamble away the strength of the book in favor of making it slow and plodding and filled with endless backstory.
We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of The Hobbit films, Id like to announce that two films will become three.
I want to watch dwarves singing for a total run time of 6 3/4 hours. Because I've got that kind of time allotted to singing dwarves.
Let me explain to you why you shouldn't turn a lively adventure story into a bloated, self-important prequel about the formative years of the villain of the previous trilogy: here.
— Ace JohnE. just did this.
I'll ask him if he'll do more of them.
— Ace First, from Moonbattery, via the very clean LauraW, comes this picture of the Wimp Factor:
By the way, I guess this is second: Like three weeks ago Laura Ingraham was all like "Get off the Jet-Ski, Romney! The American people don't want to see you on a Jet-Ski! With your wife. On vacation."
I ignored this because, well, people paid to talk are going to talk. Manufactured content. Whatever.
But I really thought this was dumb. Are the American people really dazzled by the ultra-exclusive technology of the Seadoo? Is this something that the average person thinks, "Gee, it's too bad I'm only in the middle class, because I could never possibly go to a lake and rent a Seadoo for a couple of hours"?
It's a freakin' Jet-ski. People have seen them. Many have actually ridden them. It's not a personal spaceship, you know. It's not made of gold.
Next thing they'll be saying "Don't you dare to go to beautiful Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos, Mitt Romney. You don't want to flaunt your wealth by getting exclusive tickets to the beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, also known as the Millionaire's Playground, also known as 'the place where they laugh at the Bildersbergers.' Why, the average person watching an ad for the beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, at 10:30 in the morning, at home, on a weekday, during a rerun of Jeanie, could never dream of actually booking a room there, nor bathing in its heart-shaped tubs."
And then God Forbid he goes to a Lazer Tag arena. Talk about exclusive.
What the hell was I talking about? Oh right.
One of my favorite moments from the new book The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery:
Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect's, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. "I don't get it," he'd say. "We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?" But the numbers rarely budged.
This Is a Good Pic Too: Via Lauren.
— Ace So, what else we got?
Newsweek seems to define Romneys alleged wimpiness as a sort of wide-ranging insecurity that forces the Republican presidential candidate into a series of gaffes like the ones he committed in London late last week.
Writes Newsweeks Michael Tomasky:
Hes kind of lame, and hes really ... annoying. He keeps saying these ... things, these incredibly off-key things. Then he apologizes immediatelywith all the sincerity of a hostage. Or maybe he doesnt: sometimes he whines about the subsequent attacks on him. But the one thing he never does? Man up, double down, take his lumps.
First up: Gotta love the smashing prose of Michael Tomasky. "He's kind of lame, and he's really... annoying." Ernest Hemmingway just emailed me to say "Keep an eye on this one."
Okay, back to the Washington Post. I do have a point here.
That seems overly harsh, but you get the idea. Americans want strong leaders telling them hard truths, Tomasky argues, and Romney isnt it.
There is some polling evidence that suggests that Romney has not yet passed the commander-in-chief test, which, of course, isnt a test at all, but rather a sort of perception hurdle about whether the former Massachusetts governor looks like he is up to the task of representing America on the world stage.
In an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released last week, 45 percent of respondents said President Obama would make the better commander in chief, while 35 percent said Romney would. Forty-eight percent said Obama was knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency, while 32 percent said that phrase better described Romney.
It is now 42 months into Obama's presidency, and only 48% of the public think he's "knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency"? Only 48% think he's knowledgeable enough and experienced enough to handle the job he's currently performing?
Doesn't that mean a majority of 52% either doesn't believe or doesn't know he has such knowledge and experience? Even after four years?
Chris Cilizza doesn't even pause to consider this. He just chalks it up as a big fat win.
— Ace This was old last week when I didn't post it (wondering if it was too old to post).
If you haven't seen this, but you're a male heterosexual, here you go.
The costs of not seeing it are too great to run that risk. more...
— Ace Jimmy Carter, of course, was such a disaster that he led to 12 years of Republican rule, and the Democrats had to create a new party-within-the-party, the DLC, to make a new, plausible pitch to the public.
Obviously, Im not a big fan of President Obama, said Cheney in an excerpt from an interview with ABC News aired Monday on Good Morning America. I think hes been one of our weakest presidents. I fundamentally disagree with him philosophically, be hard put to find any Democratic president I disagree with more.
Asked by ABCs Jonathan Karl if Obama was worse than Jimmy Carter in your perspective, Cheney responded yes.
I'd like to see polls asking people if Carter or Obama was a better president. People tend to be most negative on the current SCOAMF and let the previous one -- the one no longer doing any harm -- off easy. So, that sort of a poll could be good propaganda against the Lightworker.
Another poll I'd like to see is "Who would you rather have a beer with, President Obama, or this bowl of hot shit?" Just sayin', the bowl of hot shit? Doesn't keep saying "You didn't build that."
Bowl of Hot Shit 2012
He knows he's crap and he's not trying to convince you otherwise.
— Ace Gabe posted this earlier (and hello again, everyone), but I wanted to post it again, to say "See look how smart I am" and also because I don't know what's actually new news at this point. I haven't followed the news and in fact have barely been on the current events section of the internet.
Mitt Romney holds thin advantages over President Obama on leadership, personal values and honesty, according to a new poll for The Hill.
It found 48 percent of voters consider Romney the stronger leader, compared to 44 percent who favored Obama.
Similarly, 47 percent of likely voters also said Romney most shares their values while 44 percent picked Obama.
When asked which candidate voters considered more honest and trustworthy, 46 percent said Romney and 44 percent said Obama a result within the polls 3 percentage point margin of error.
Obama has generally fared better than Romney throughout the campaign in polls assessing the candidates personal qualities.
In June, a USA Today/Gallup poll found 60 percent of voters considered Obama honest and trustworthy, compared to 50 percent for Romney. The Gallup survey also showed more people believed Obama shared their values (53 percent) than Romney (45 percent).
Obamas biggest personal strength has been likability.
Anyway, for the past month I've written several times that when voters make their decision -- whether they announce it or still claim to be "waiting for all the facts" -- they begin saying the candidate they favor is better in all ways, even ones you wouldn't expect. Like when Obama was beating McCain, the public was saying Obama would be better on the deficit (!), terrorism (!!), and even taxes (!!!).
Consistent with the main line of my argument -- the election is almost over -- the public does seem to be breaking to Romney now on all these secondary questions. He's better for this, he's better at that.
Compare to this report from July 23rd:
Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washingtons fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.
It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.
I imagine the psychology is buyer's optimism-- when you research a new HDTV for three months and just decide to buy one already, you maybe convince yourself it's better (or at least pretty good) even in the few areas that it was bothering you.
I thought this would happen, and it is happening, which makes me firmer in my belief that the texture of the election campaign will make Romney the favorite. Barring any black swan that hurts Romney (after giving that kid the Gay Haircut, Romney blew him!) or helps Obama, his position will only strengthen, out to a persistent 5-8 point lead in the polls.
— Gabriel Malor Week three of the Romney camp focusing on Obama's "you didn't build that" remark kicks off with a new ad:
The campaign will continue the "We Did Build This" events with small business owners across twelve states today.
This is what the campaign should be about. Obama's failures as a leader, his disastrous financial ideas, his empty promises, and his fundamentally hostile attitude to the people that make the U.S. econimy tick.
The more the Obamatons bleat that this is unfair, "out of context," the better off the campaign is going for Romney. Pile it on 'em.
— Gabriel Malor Happy Monday.
Walter Russell Mead has a must-read post on the energy revolution and environmentalists. It is, as typical for Mead, brilliant.
The NYTimes' Andrew Rosenthal is not amused by the White House's clumsy attempt to put to rest the story of the Churchill bust: "I got some facts wrong, because I made the mistake of relying on a White House blog post by the communications director Dan Pfeiffer. . . . The White Houses handling of the issue was bumbling and amateurish. In other words, business as usual." Charles Krauthammer thinks an apology would be appropriate.
Some good poll results for Romney. After a month of Obama ads trashing him for Bain and after six months of media fixation on clown questions, e.g., Shamus, bullying, Mormonism: 48 percent of voters consider Romney the stronger leader, compared to 44 percent who favored Obama. Similarly, 47 percent of likely voters also said Romney most shares their values while 44 percent picked Obama. When asked which candidate voters considered more honest and trustworthy, 46 percent said Romney and 44 percent said Obama. The crosstabs are interesting (PDF).
According to the Daily Caller, a new book on the Obama Administration scheduled for release in August claims that Obama cancelled the UBL raid three times on the advice of Valerie Jarrett before finally making the gutsy call.
A new Gallup poll finds that voters' absolutely lowest priorities are taxing the wealthy and dealing with environmental problems. Voters want good job creation the most.
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