April 30, 2013

Breaking: American Press to Find New and Inventive Ways to Ignore Major National Security Story
— JohnE.

So, this just happened.

BOMBSHELL: Saudi Arabia warned the United States IN WRITING about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2012, and rejected his application for an entry visa to visit Mecca in 2011

• Saudis developed intelligence separately from Russia, which also warned the U.S. about the accused Boston bomber

• A letter to the Department of Homeland Security named Tsarnaev and three Pakistanis as potential jihadis worthy of U.S. investigation

• Red flags from Saudi Arabia included Tsarnaev's name and information about a planned explosive attack on a major U.S. city

• Saudi foreign minister, national security chief both met with Obama in the oval office in early 2013

For what it's worth, the Department of Homeland Security and the White House are denying this report.

Regardless, this is now out there. One wonders, what exactly, it would take at this point for our media to actually fall back in love with the once celebrated exercise of truth-gathering and shoe leather reporting. Yet again, this comes from the foreign press.

I find it quite remarkable that in the short span of 5 years we have evolved as a country from the era of presidents steering hurricanes to minority neighborhoods with Halliburton-controlled weather machines to the highest office in the land just being too darn complex for any one man to influence inconsequential subtleties like national security and intelligence gathering.

Yet here we are. Even if this ends up proven incorrect, it warrants some initial inquiry by our press, right?

The lead story on NBC News right now is "Poll: Many Americans uninformed about health care overhaul", by the way. more...

Posted by: JohnE. at 08:26 PM | Comments (87)
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Overnight Open Thread (4-30-2013)
— Maetenloch

I'm back my babies. Let me quell your pain.

Memo to the South: Go Ahead, Secede Already!

A screed by Lee Siegel. But first a little context on Siegel:

Disgraced ex-sock puppeteer Lee Siegel, whose cranky-old-man cultural criticism and woe-is-me whining have led to a fruitful career writing for every single liberal publication you've ever heard of, has landed, like these people do, at The Daily Beast, where he has just coughed up one of the lamest hairballs of a political semi-humor column you will ever read: "Memo to the South: Go Ahead, Secede Already!"

According to Siegel America would be idyllic nay almost utopian if only those icky Southerners could be somehow be gotten rid of.

A solid block of Southern states continues to refuse to expand Medicaid, thus squashing one of the linchpins of the president's health-care reform. The South will likely be the last and most stubborn battleground in the fight for gay marriage. Gun control? The more the two sides seem to get cozier with each other, the faster gun-control legislation gets watered down-and more and more red states are passing laws making it legal to carry a concealed weapon. As for immigration, the red states seem to be relaxing their anti-immigrant fervor, but nothing approaching new legislation is even on the horizon.

...Just think what America would look like without its mostly Southern states. (We could retain "America": they could call themselves "Smith & Wesson" or "Coca-Cola" or something like that.) Universal health care. No guns. Strong unions. A humane minimum wage. A humane immigration policy. High revenues from a fair tax structure. A massive public-works program. Legal gay marriage. A ban on carbon emissions. Electric cars. Stronger workplace protections. Extended family leave from work in case of pregnancy or illness. Longer unemployment benefits. In short, a society on a par with most of the rest of the industrialized world-a place whose politics have finally caught up with its social and economic realities.

So much stupid in such a few lines.

On the left paradise is somehow always just one more purge away. Siegel semi-jokingly advocates for secession but I don't doubt he'd be down just as much with disenfranchisement and internment camps if he actually had the power.

MasonDixon

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Evening Open Thread + Goofing on LATimes Staffers and Their Empty Threat To Quit
— Ace

It occurred to me -- what exactly is the job market like for a Los Angeles crime beat reporter outside of the city of Los Angeles? One can change cities, of course, and reporters do, but they'd be leaving a lot of their rolodex behind.

Anyway, it just seems like Alec Baldwin's famous and multiple threats to leave the United States for France.

Oh, and here's something. Now out-and-proud Jason Collins was engaged to a woman until 2009.

She says she had "no idea" he was gay.

Even worse -- like the rest of America, she had no idea he was a professional basketball player.

Posted by: Ace at 02:38 PM | Comments (402)
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Redskins Star QB RGIII: "In a land of freedom we are being held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness"
— Ace

"Cornball Brother" Status: Confirmed.

The left is freaking out. Some are threatening to stop watching the Redskins. Others, strangely enough, are threatening to quit the Los Angeles Times, despite not even working there. I guess it's #AThing now.

Posted by: Ace at 12:17 PM | Comments (230)
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Love It: Half of LA Times Staff May Quit if Koch Brothers Buy the Failed & Undistinguished Newspaper
— Ace

At the Huffington Post:

At a Los Angeles Times in-house awards ceremony a week ago, columnist Steve Lopez addressed the elephant in the room.

Speaking to the entire staff, he said, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Austin Beutner's group." No one raised their hands.

"Raise you hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by Rupert Murdoch." A few people raised their hands.

Facing the elephant trunk-on, "Raise your hand if you would quit if the paper was bought by the Koch brothers." About half the staff raised their hands.

Prediction: About five of these guys would quit.

As Peter Venkman said to Janine when she threatened to quit Ghostbusters, Inc., I'm sure people of your caliber would have no problem finding gainful employment in either the food preparation or household cleanliness industries.

In case these guy's haven't noticed, the economy's in rather bad shape. Especially in journalism.

But I do encourage all of these people to join the Obama Economy they've been such enormous fans of, from afar. I do invite them to engage with it.

There's another great reason these undistinguished reporters at a failed newspaper should quit: The LATimes itself coined the term "funemployment," extolling the liberation of not having a job in Obama's America.

I would dearly love to see them enjoy the fruits of this funemployment they were previously such boosters of.

Thanks to Andy, @theh2.

Music to Koch Ears? Ken in NH writes:

Such a straw poll will just make the purchasing the paper more attractive. Just think of all the money saved on severance benefits since the Kochs will probably have to fire most of the journalists in any case.

Win-effin'-Win, baby.

Posted by: Ace at 11:21 AM | Comments (329)
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Shock: Rubio's Claim that Amnestied Illegals Won't Be Eligible for Welfare is, How You Say?, A Complete Fiction
— Ace

Via Twitchy.

Expanding legal immigration will push up spending on food stamps, Head Start, housing subsidies, and other benefits legal immigrants are eligible for upon arrival. Though Section 212(a)(4) of the U.S. Code says no immigrant who’s at risk of becoming a “public charge” can get a green card, it is never enforced. Half of green card holders have household incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line, and they’re also largely uninsured.

Insuring these legal newcomers will add $100 billion over the next decade to the ever rising cost of Obamacare. The health law makes legal immigrants eligible for subsidized private health insurance as soon as they arrive. Half of these newcomers will qualify for maximum assistance, costing $9,000 per enrollee, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

And:

“The Gang of Eight made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised.”

Well since we have so much extra money we hardly know what to do with it, putting 10-30 million new citizens or green card holders on the dole would kill two birds with one stone, no?

Finally we'd have something to do with all those extra hundreds of billions of dollars weighing down our pockets.

Posted by: Ace at 10:41 AM | Comments (295)
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Horrifying 747 Crash in Baghram Caught by Dashcam Video
— Ace

From the sidebar, a horrific crash of a chartered cargo plane.

Although the plane usually only has two pilots as crew, this flight had an additional five people aboard. All are sadly dead. more...

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May 01, 2013

The FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List [CBD]
— Open Blogger

[I'm posting this because Ben's post has run its course. Enjoy. -- Gabe]

Interesting that with all of the obfuscation about domestic terrorism and Christian terrorism and Jewish and Lutheran and Episcopalian and Amish terrorism, 30 of 31 on the list are Muslim.

It's easy to stand in front of a malleable press corps and claim that terrorism is not the exclusive domain of Islam, but when it comes to actual facts, they haven't arrived at manufacturing charges....yet.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:27 AM | Comments (148)
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April 30, 2013

Benghazi Witness: We Had a Rapid-Reaction Force That Could Have Been Sent to Benghazi, But Was Never Ordered to Aid our Consulate
— Ace

What difference does it make?

A special operations member who witnessed the attack on the U.S. Mission unfold in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 last year, as well as debriefed those who took part in the response, spoke with Fox News' Adam Housley on Monday night and revealed information that directly contradicts the administration's insistence that there was not enough time nor resources to send to Benghazi to help State Department employees, contractors, and intel operatives who were under a terrorist attack. FNC kept their source's identity hidden, as witnesses to the Benghazi attack have reportedly been intimidated by the administration into silence. The assault left four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.

"I know for a fact that C110 was doing a training exercise not in the region of northern Africa but in Europe and they have the ability to react and respond," the special ops member told FNC.

The C110 is a 40-man special operations commanders and extremists force. They are capable of rapid response and deployment and are specifically trained for Benghazi attack-like incidents. The night of the attack, according to the special op, they were training 3 & 1/2 hours away in Croatia.

Video at the link, but it's auto-play, so click only when you actually want to watch it.

In the meantime, no one except Fox has any interest at all in multiple charges by witnesses and whistleblowers that they're being threatened into silence.


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"Leviathan Warships" Advertisement is a Winner
— Ace

"The best trailer for a videogame I've seen, period." I agree.

And when you're done partaking of the awesome, please enjoy some ill-advised pregnancy photos.

No, not that one.

These ones. "Boy."

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Ted Cruz Offers Fellow GOP Senators Some Advice: You Could Try To Not Be Such "Squishes"
— Ace

Ted Cruz has revealed that he's been yelled at by his fellow GOP senators. He hasn't named names (he ought to-- accusations should come with names attached).

Here's the shouted complaint, according to Cruz:

The Wall Street Journal attacked the group for letting President Obama blame Republicans for blocking gun control instead of moderate Democrats. Cruz said senators made a similar argument: “They said, ‘Listen, before you did this, the politics of it were great. The [Democrats] were the bad guys, the Republicans were the good guys. Now we all look like a bunch of squishes.’”

That sounds almost unbelievable -- almost too perfect for a red-meat crowd-- except we know that GOP senators do think that way. Mitch McConnell, for example, is a big fan of the strategy of losing -- he's forever talking up taking tactical losses, losing on this law or that, losing this freedom or that one, and then counting himself lucky because now we win the political issue at the strategic level.

There are two problems with this sort of thinking:

1. It's no comfort that we might gain some political traction if we're losing on the issues we care about.

2. We never actually do win on the political level, either. There is never any Silver Lining in losing. Perhaps it's possible for some deft politicians to rescue a strategic victory out of a tactical defeat, but the crop of guys we have have proven repeatedly they're not up to it.

Returning to the complaint about Cruz making the squishes look bad, and made life for them politically difficult: He offered them some advice.

’Well, there is an alternative. You could just not be a bunch of squishes.’”

What an evil, to put a senator in the position of having to choose between his supposed constituents, the voters, and his actual constituents, the media and the Sunday morning shows that no one watches anymore.


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Posted by: Ace at 08:35 AM | Comments (181)
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Russian Climate Scientists: Are You Ready For Global Cooling?
— Ace

On one hand, it could be quite cold and dreary, and food would be more expensive.

On the other hand, some of us will be warmed by gloating, and we'll all get into tremendous shape doing victory dances once a day.

Solar activity follows different cycles, including an 11-year cycle, a 90-year cycle and a 200-year cycle. Yuri Nagovitsyn comments.

“Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. The impact of the 200-year cycle is greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years. The period of low solar activity could start in 2030-2040 but it won’t be as pervasive as in the late 17th century”.

Best comment ever:

If only there was some natural source for variations in the earth's temperature. The source of such variation would have to be large, though: on an order of magnitude of our own Sun.

Posted by: Ace at 08:09 AM | Comments (226)
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No
— Ace

I refuse to accept it.

No.

Posted by: Ace at 12:52 PM | Comments (215)
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The Amazing Texas Energy Turnaround
— Dave in Texas

Lots of numbers and a nice chart. Bottom line - Texas has wiped out a two-decade decline in crude oil output, and that within just the last 3 years. It is the largest oil producing state in the US, pumping out 32% of all domestic crude. If it were a nation, it would rank 13th in the world.

Texas oil output in February, at an average of 2.295 million bpd, was 25.3% greater than the combined 1.83 million bpd of US oil imports that month from all of the Persian Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar). In fact, Texas oil output has exceeded Persian Gulf imports in each of the last seven months starting last August, something that has never happened before in the history of monthly EIA data for Persian Gulf imports going back to January 1993.

The south Texas Eagle Ford field is now the largest oil and gas production field in the world. 6 years ago it was barely a blip.

This massive growth in energy production has helped fuel job growth. In the prior 12 months through March payrolls grew in Texas by 329,500 jobs (17% of all US jobs).

Black gold. Texas tea.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 07:46 AM | Comments (139)
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Welfare Princelings: Tsarnaev Family Received $100,000 on the Dole
— Ace

It would be hard to believe, except it's not at all.

The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.

“The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,” said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today…

The Herald notes, and AllahPundit underlines, that even Democrats are vowing to be in the forefront of the inquiry to find out how much money went into terrorist pockets.

He also links this old Kausfiles piece about the linkage of welfare and terrorism.

After noting that many 9/11 terrorists enjoyed the generosity of the West's welfare states...

The point isn't simply that many terrorists take advantage of Western welfare states, the same way they take advantage of Western freedoms and Western technology. The point is that extreme anti-social terrorist ideologies (radical Islam, in particular) seem to breed in "oppositional" cultures supported by various government welfare benefits.

...

In fact, there's a good argument that "welfare benefits + ethnic antagonism" is the universal recipe for an underclass with an angry, oppositional culture. The social logic is simple: Ethnic differences make it easy for those outside of, for example, French Arab neighborhoods to discriminate against those inside, and easy for those inside to resent the mainstream culture around them. Meanwhile, relatively generous welfare benefits enable those in the ethnic ghetto to stay there, stay unemployed, and seethe. Without government subsidies, they would have to overcome the prejudice against them and integrate into the mainstream working culture. Work, in this sense, is anti-terrorist medicine. (And if you work all day, there's less time to dream up ways and reasons to kill infidels.)

I think there's a sociological reason at play too. People will find something in their lives that gives them meaning.

For many people, work does give their lives meaning. Few like work, but most understand the accomplishment of standing on one's own feet and providing for oneself (and one's family).

The welfare state may put food in one's mouth, but it does so at the expense at stripping a sense of accomplishment, belonging, and meaning from the recipient. And that void will be filled by something else. While people do not require meaning, as a strict biological matter, as they require food, water, air, and shelter, they do crave it-- it's probably on the level, as far as centrality to one's being, as sex.

Posted by: Ace at 06:51 AM | Comments (301)
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Top Headline Comments 4-30-13
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Tuesday.

The Boston Herald is reporting that the Tsarnaev family received over $100,000 in taxpayer-funded benefits from 2002 through 2012.

We're 100 days into President Obama's second term and he has yet to move any piece of his legislative agenda.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:44 AM | Comments (438)
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What Connection Does Obama's New Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Have to the Secret Society Known as "Skull and Bones"?
— JohnE.

Probably none. He went to Davidson College.

Posted by: JohnE. at 01:35 PM | Comments (223)
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April 29, 2013

Female DNA Found on Boston Marathon Bomb Components
— Ace

There could be other explanations apart from the obvious one, of course.

Female DNA was found bomb components used in the attack this month on the Boston Marathon, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to Fox News, though the source cautioned that it is too early to draw hard conclusions from that evidence.

"No one should expect that the investigation is over," the source told Fox News in confirming the development first reported by the Wall Street Journal, adding that it is just one piece of evidence that investigators are looking at.

Posted by: Ace at 03:33 PM | Comments (199)
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— rdbrewer

Death Valley Dreamlapse 2
Beautiful time-lapse photography. [rdbrewer]

Posted by: rdbrewer at 03:20 PM | Add Comment
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