October 01, 2013

An Infomercial That Raises More Questions Than Answers.

A slight change of pace.


TV personality/author/convicted felon Martha Stewart inspects the Phototron

Infomercials fascinate me. Gone are the days of Billy Mays, but in his absence we've seen the rise of Vince from ShamWow and the two-minute commercial featuring some housewife usually dramatizing her plight with household cleaners or cooking utensils; or beaming a smile about a great new product she just has to share with you. I guess this odd ad fits in the latter category. more...

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September 30, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (9-30-2013)
— Maetenloch

Extremely Extreme Extremists and Why Government Budgeting is So Fucked Up

So why are we lurching from continuing resolution to continuing resolution with the occasional temporary government shutdown in between?

Well Stacy McCain explains that it's pretty much all the fault of Harry Reid and President Obama and their decision to abdicate one of their primary constitutional duties for short-term political gain:

The answer is that the budgeting process has completely broken down in recent years, and the two men most responsible for that breakdown are President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. For three consecutive years - 2010, 2011, and 2012 - the Democrat-controlled Senate did not pass a budget bill because Reid knew that it would be a political liability to do so. Passing a budget that detailed the Democrats' plans for spending and revenue as official policy would have exposed the "something for nothing" swindle that Reid and his colleagues are perpetrating on the American people. Republican challengers campaigning against Democrat senators could have cited their votes for the budget bill, saying that the incumbent voted for this, that, or the other unpopular component of the measure.

Reid and the Democrats knew this. They knew very well that the federal deficit was spiraling out of control, that there was not enough tax revenue to pay the mushrooming cost of entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment, et cetera), and certainly there wasn't enough revenue to pay for all the boondoggles and giveaways the Democrats voted for in the name of "stimulus." Adding to this, there was not enough revenue to pay the cost of Obamacare, which Democrats rammed through Congress in March 2010 on a party-line vote. Passing an actual budget would have made clear the unsustainable fiscal nightmare into which Democrat policies have plunged the nation during the Obama Age, and so Harry Reid simply didn't pass a budget for three years.

Inevitably, there will be serious fiscal and economic consequences for what has been done in Washington since 2009. Democrats, however, cared less about such real-world matters than they did about the short-term political gain to be had by promoting the pleasant fiction that liberal "generosity" with taxpayer money (including trillions of dollars in deficit spending) had no real cost.

To actually pass a budget would be to admit and own what they've done. So they finance the beast through crisis instead.

And count on Ezra Klein to boil the budgeting crisis down to a single sentence of stupidity and utter un-self-awareness:

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics - it is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Yet somehow as a political 'outlier' the GOP still manages to control the House, hold a 46% minority in the Senate, and got 47% of the national vote in the 2012 presidential election. So yeah they're like totally freaky-deaky crazy-time political outliers.


Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:10 PM | Comments (1171)
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MNF Thread
— Dave in Texas

Saints, Dolphins.

Protected elbows.

MNF Sept 30.jpg

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:45 PM | Comments (226)
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MIT's Lindzen: IPCC Report "Hilariously Flawed"
— Ace

Indeed. Bear in mind, the IPCC is claiming that they are more sure than ever that warming is driven by carbon... despite the fact that there's a 17 year pause in warming and yet ever-increasing carbon.

And despite the fact all their models called for continued straight-line (mostly) warming.

So, having failed to predict anything, they claim they're more confident of their predictions than ever.

MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen told Climate Depot on September 27, 2013:

I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.

Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans. However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability. Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified.

Bear in mind this business about the deep oceans sequestering all that Global Warming!!! where we conveniently can't measure it is what we call a Pure Speculation.

There's no evidence for this. It's in the category of "Things Which Possibly Could Be True But We Have No Real Reason to Think Are True."

Thus, the Science Is Settled this-is-a-fact-not-a-hypothesis theory now relies, crucially, on Something They Just Made Up a Year Ago.

@comradearthur asks, "If the ocean sequesters heat (through processes we don't understand), could it be that at other times, it releases heat (through processes we also don't understand), thus accounting for 1975-1998's warming?"

Sure could be the case. When you're down to mere speculation, many things could be true.

But the Warmists insist that of all the out-of-your-ass speculations that you could make, only their preferred out-of-your-ass speculations -- the ones that don't directly rubbish their claims -- are "Science."

Um, no. This is all pure speculation. This is step one of the scientific process -- these are guesses.

Talk to me when you've gotten some evidence for your speculation. Let's at least get to Step 2 here.

More: ICYMI, Ga. Tech's Judith Curry has a great post on how the IPCC gets to "95%". [Andy]

And, Open Thread.

Posted by: Ace at 03:07 PM | Comments (144)
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#SMOD Tomorrow! #SMOD Tomorrow!*


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"I'm Sorry, But We Must Talk About the Barbarism of Modern Islamic Terrorism"
— Ace

The FBI defines serial homicides which have a heavy ritualistic/fetishistic component -- arranging bodies, playing with organs, torture, etc. -- as "Sexual Homicides," whether or not there's a normal sexual element to them.

We do have to acknowledge we have a culture that's pumping out Sexual Homicide Serial Killers, and then worshipping them.

Not all of Islam, mind you. Recall the protesters in Turkey who just wanted to have a beer at night and not be harassed by the Morality Police. Recall the protesters in Egypt, who chafed under Rule by Sharia.

But there is a psychopathic, misdirected-sexual-impulse Death Cult cadre of Islam.

And it's really time we stopped pretending about it. I don't know if talking about this fact "helps" or not. I have no idea if it helps -- or how it would help.

But whether it helps or not, speaking the Truth about things should not be impermissible in society. The truth should not be deemed polite.

And the truth should not be required to produce tangible secondary benefits.

Many PC idiots will say things like, "Well, how does it actually help matters to speak the truth about things?"


It's the truth. By its nature it "helps matters." One shouldn't have to be required to prove a bonanza of indirect benefits of speaking the truth to speak it.

Islamic terrorism is not, at its core, political, no more than Jeffrey Dahmer's homosexual yearnings channeled into cannibalism were political.

It is a subculture that praises, and deliberately breeds, serial killers.

Posted by: Ace at 01:35 PM | Comments (185)
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Barbara Boxer: Government Shutdown Is Just One More Front In the War on Women
— Ace

Republicans are trying to stop "guaranteed affordable birth control" and such things as screening for diabetes in pregnant women.

She didn't mentioned taxpayer-paid abortions, oddly enough.

Must've slipped her mind.

Meanwhile, one of the only three objective reporters I can name off the top of my head, Jonathan Karl, asks Carney a tough question, so Carney just makes a scoffing noise.


Posted by: Ace at 01:02 PM | Comments (107)
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Open Thread: Let Obama Put His Partisan Droning in You
— Ace

He's got a press conference scheduled for 4:40 PM, or, as Obama calls it, "Five-ish."

Live Feed here, at Fox. But I think it might be the White House's feed.

Posted by: Ace at 11:39 AM | Comments (375)
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New Poll Suggests People Hate Republicans
— Ace

But wait! Doesn't that same poll show that only 34% approve of the Democrats? A mere 8% difference in the approval ratings for both parties?

Don't worry; Chris Cilizza, Objective News Reporter for the Washington Post, has an answer for that. For while the public is sick of Republicans because of Republicans, the public is sick of Democrats... because of generalized annoyance with "Government" (which means: More Republicans).

Now don't think the means something like "people are increasingly dissatisfied with the Super Size US Government." No, he means like this:

People hate the Republicans because of what Republicans do;

but people dislike the Democrats Because of Society In General.

His attack on Republicans is quite specific as to their faults which supposedly drive public disapproval; but when it comes to the Democrats' own horrific numbers, he just sort of says "that's the state of play, man."

And when he says people don't like "government," he means squabbling in government, which itself is all due to the GOP.

But note that the Wily Reid, The Rock, isn't squabbling. No, he's taking a manly stand on principle.

I really can't tell which side the media favors with all the nuance of a rabid fanboi.

Posted by: Ace at 11:14 AM | Comments (141)
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How to Nap
— Ace

From Instapundit, how to pick the correct length of a nap for best brain rebooting.

Which is entirely useless to most people, who have zero opportunity to nap.

Personally, I cannot nap (even when I'm tired), but I'm interested in learning how. It's an interesting skill. People who nap don't realize it's a useful skill until they meet people like me who can't nap, and who have to remain awake for almost the entire duration of a six hour plane ride.

Anyway, I searched for "How to Nap" and found this from the Boston Globe. Kind of seems obvious. Maybe I'll try it sometime.

Posted by: Ace at 10:38 AM | Comments (197)
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Harry Reid, Leader of the "No Compromise" Caucus
— Ace

At Politico.

It's, yes, all about politics.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been the most ardent proponent of President Barack Obama taking a hard line with House Republicans in the latest fiscal crisis engulfing Washington.

And so far, Reid is getting his way.

When the president considered sitting down with the four congressional leaders in the White House ahead of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Reid privately urged Obama to call off the meeting, according to several people familiar with the situation. Reid believed that it would amount to nothing more than a photo-op that would give the false impression that a serious negotiation was occurring, even warning he wouldn’t attend such a session. Obama scrapped it.

As Washington barrels forward to the first government shutdown in 17 years on Tuesday, the wily Reid has taken the lead role in pushing a hardball Democratic legislative strategy that can be summed up like this: Make the Republicans cave.

“He’s been the rock … and he’s had our whole caucus behind him,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a close Reid ally who spoke with the majority leader nine times on Saturday afternoon.

Note that despite conceding the obvious -- that Reid, proudly, refuses to compromise, and that he does so for a partisan purpose -- Politico reports on this quite neutrally, apart from the times it's outright praising Reid for his "wiliness."

I've written a lot about supposedly Neutral Story Lines. These are storylines which have the superficial appearance of ideological neutrality -- "compromise" does not have a particular ideological bent -- and yet are deployed in a strictly partisan fashion by the media.

Yes, praising compromise and attacking those who refuse to is, on the surface, a non-ideological take.

But let's look beyond the surface. Let's look when the "Compromise Is Bad" storyline is deployed -- It is only deployed when conservatives are standing firm.

Meanwhile, Reid's partisan hardline stance is called "wily" and another Democrat is quoted to call him "our rock."

On its face the storyline is Neutral. But only on its face. Because the media that attacks Cruz for his "purism" and "unwillingness to compromise" will turn around the very next day and laud Harry Reid for exactly the same thing.

It should be noted this distinction is familiar to any lawyer or jurist. A law may be facially neutral vis-a-vis things it is required to be neutral about (race, political speech), but if it can be struck down as discriminatory as applied.

Almost all of the media's beloved Neutral Story Lines are in this second category -- facially neutral, discriminatory as applied. A court would strike down the media's "Neutral Story Lines" as odious and a fraud on the public, were it empowered to rule on such matters.

I repeat my eternal question: Why is the first, second, and last utterance of an industry supposedly devoted to The Truth always a noxious lie?

Posted by: Ace at 09:43 AM | Comments (310)
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Al-Qaeda goes dark after administration leaks and blunders
— Purple Avenger

Bumped due to previous inadvertent Stompenating.

Smart power baby. Top Men.

You may recall that back in August, the United States temporarily closed most of its embassies in the Middle East (and issued global travel warnings), due to an unspecified threat that appeared to be emanating from Yemen. A couple days later, it was reported that the warnings came about because al-Qaeda was believed to be in the final stages of planning a major attack (that was now apparently averted.)
I'd previously speculated in comments how the embassy shutdown debacle a couple of months ago may have been a hasty reaction to an Al-Qaeda comms security TEST, rather than a response to genuine threat.

We have no idea if the supposed planned attack was real or fake since nothing happened.

What we do know is, our response to this "intel" WAS REAL and READILY OBSERVABLE.


Posted by: Purple Avenger at 12:30 PM | Comments (110)
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AP Fact Check: Yeah, Obama's Lied About "If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor"
— Ace

And sundry other things as well.

REP. KEVIN McCARTHY, R-Calif.: "When we started this health care debate, the president led with a very big promise to the American people: If you like the health care that you have, that you currently have, you can keep it." — At a Sept. 20 House Republican rally after passage of the bill that would finance the government on condition the health care law is starved of money.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: "The big employers are already in the market. Their plans won't change, and actually that's one thing that we need to remind everybody. If you have insurance with your employer that you like, if it works for you, if your employer is a state or city government, a large employer, if you're in Medicare, if you have veteran's benefits, your patient protections are already in place. Nothing changes in this new market." — CNN, Thursday.

THE FACTS: McCarthy is correct, Obama said exactly that. It was an empty promise, made repeatedly. Sebelius picks her words more carefully but still offers misleading assurances.

Nothing in the health care law guarantees that people can keep the health insurance they already have. Costs can rise, benefits can change and employers can drop coverage.

Insurance policies that are offered must now meet minimum standards, covering more preventive services, for example, and larger employers that don't offer insurance to workers will face penalties when that provision of the law, delayed by Obama, comes into effect. But that doesn't mean the status quo goes on for those who like what they've got now.

Some larger companies are already curtailing their coverage to avoid taxes that start in 2018 on high-value plans, those worth $10,200 or more for individual coverage and $27,500 for family policies. The AFL-CIO, whose member unions had supported the law, now says it is being implemented in a way that is "highly disruptive" to some union health plans, driving up costs for these plans to a point that workers and companies must abandon them.

Continuing a long-term trend, many companies are shifting more costs to employees through higher premiums, deductibles and copayments.

Sebelius is on firm ground in stating that "your patient protections are already in place" because the law contains a range of new protections against lifetime caps on benefits, overly discriminatory pricing and more. But "nothing changes" for those with good insurance? Not so. The landscape is already shifting.

And Guy Benson highlights a Boehner ad attacking Nancy Pelosi's shifting claims on whether or not ObamaCare would lower your insurance premium.


Posted by: Ace at 08:44 AM | Comments (304)
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CNN Poll: Republicans Would Get Blamed More For a Shutdown Than Democrats... But Not By All That Much
— Ace

Eh. I wouldn't take this as vindication for the Death or Glory position, but I think it provides some reason to doubt the perfectly-confident predictions of GOP doom.

Unlike people in Washington, DC, I can say without embarrassment that I cannot see the future clearly.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult.

“Spoiled children”? Yes, that’s actually a quote from the poll itself, which is asked about both Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress.

Mm. Real Reporters.

And actually, the results from the three questions where this is asked isn’t as bright-line bad for Republicans as CNN reports. Barack Obama, for instance, only barely gets an edge as a “responsible adult” over “spoiled child” by 49/47, hardly an endorsement of his leadership. Among independents, that drops to 39/53. Republicans score worst in the comparison with a 25/69, but Democrats don’t do much better at 35/58, with independents scoring them 24/67, almost identical to the GOP’s 23/69.

A better look at the temperature of the electorate comes on a question about the object of the fight itself. ObamaCare gets a 38/57 approval rating, and majorities in most demos oppose it.

On the other hand, Jon Podhoretz explains why some in the Establishment are so wigged out over this -- because they expected they'd prosper from the 1995-96 shutdown and actually lost ground politically.

The political and social impact of the government shutdown was completely the reverse of what I had expected. For it was not Bill Clinton and the Democrats who were blamed for the shuttering of the government, but Newt Gingrich and the Republicans. Americans wanted the federal government up and running, and they didn't like the image (admittedly fed to them by the liberal media) of a petulant GOP having a temper tantrum because it couldn't get its way.

I learned one key political lesson from the calamitous confrontation in the fall of 1995, which is this: There is a huge divide in this country between people who follow politics closely, either as an avocation or a career, and the vast majority of Americans who don't.

That's certainly true, but I still don't know if one can make firm predictions about the whims of people who aren't very informed. I don't know if one can confidently say they'll make the same choice twice. And I further don't know if conservatives should preemptively cede the ground and assume they'll fail, rather than making a Best Efforts case to succeed.

But if you want to know why "RINOs" are so freaked out, that's it-- because it was tried before and, at least in the popular imagination, it backfired.

Posted by: Ace at 08:05 AM | Comments (223)
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Five British Universities Vote To Censor, Ban "Blurred Lines"
— Ace

I told you there was actually a political angle here. And you guys thought that all I was doing was linking a video with lots of bewbz.

By the way that's "lad chatter." That's also been banned.

Once upon a time, students’ political leaders kicked against authoritarianism; now they enforce it.

In the space of a generation, they’ve gone from demanding the right of young adults on campus to listen to, dance to, read and watch what they want, to placing a paternalistic hand over students’ ears and eyes lest they hear something a bit raunchy.

Blurred Lines, a massive global hit sung by Thicke with Pharrell Williams and the rapper T.I., has been the subject of controversy since it was released in March. The modern breed of sexless, censorious feminist has been particularly vocal in slamming both the song and its accompanying video, which features the three singers, fully clothed, cavorting with some very attractive models wearing only flesh-colored thongs. Blurred Lines is “creepy” and “a bit rapey,” says one observer.

Now, British student unions have taken this shrill reaction to what is just a pretty good and perfectly harmless pop song to its logical conclusion. The student union at Edinburgh kicked things off on 12 September by banning Blurred Lines from every student building. It did this as part of its policy to “End Rape Culture and Lad Banter” on campus.

End "Rape Culture and Lad Banter"? WTF is lad banter?

Well it turns out that "lad banter" is the sort of folk wisdom that lads pass around as to how to seal the deal with a girl. Apparently they don't like the prominence of such chatter in the "lad magazines," such as Maxim. So, they seek to ban it.

The instinct behind the Edinburgh union’s banning of Blurred Lines is the same one that has motored every act of censorship in history: a paternalistic urge to keep the little people’s base motives in check by protecting them from sexy, blasphemous, or shocking imagery.


We seem to have nurtured a spectacularly narcissistic generation, many of whom seem truly to believe that it is perfectly natural and reasonable to demand the squishing of anything that offends them. This is the grisly end product of the self-esteem culture: having educated young people to believe that their self-esteem is sacrosanct, and that anything which dents it is evil, we cannot now be surprised that they believe they have the right to erect a moral, censorship-powered forcefield around themselves and their peers in order to ward off any idea or image or song that makes them feel bad.

What's especially risible about such types is the idea that the censors here are "Big People" with Big Brains who must protect the Little People with Little Brains.

In fact, the sort of person who pushes these idiotic bans are Little People with Little Brains. They think they're at the top of societal evolution, and therefore have the right and duty to patrol others for unclean thoughts; in fact, they're rather at the bottom of that evolution, and really should just fuck off in silence.

Posted by: Ace at 07:11 AM | Comments (262)
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Bring Back "Let It Burn"
— DrewM

Allah asked me a couple of week's ago why I was so invested in the ObamaCare fight when I was in the "Let It Burn" camp. After all, letting ObamaCare happen would be like pouring gas on the fire.

It was a fair question and I had to consider it for a bit.

For me it comes down to if you're going to do commentary on stuff simply saying the same slogan over and over again is useless and worse, boring. It's an easy issue to get worked up over and there are plenty of bad guys to go after.

Also the reality is "Let it burn" is happening whether or not you want it to and whether or not anything comes of the CR/Debt Ceiling fights. Our financial and political DOOM is on auto-pilot at this point. Taking sides on an issue here or there doesn't change that.

And then something comes along that makes you want to pour as much gasoline on the fire as possible. Something like this for example...

3) Finally, DeSantis/Vitter [forcing staffers onto the exchanges] could result in an up to $80,000 retirement windfall for some staff. Some offices have said publicly (and I suspect more would do it quietly) that if the bill goes through they're going to increase their staffs' salaries to "make them whole." Under DeSantis/Vitter, this money would have to come as wages, as opposed to tax-free employer provided premium assistance. (see above) For staff with either a spouse or kids the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO right now costs the gov't $920 a month. A Legislative Assistant who was making $75,000 per year with wife and kids now has to be paid $86,040 per year (actually probably more because now that this money is wages he's going to get hit by FICA, Fed & State taxes) but let say $87,000 to keep the math simple.

These staffers are all enrolled in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). As I mention above, his salary – which is what's used to calculate his "high 3" – is up by $12,000. (His “high 3” is the average that is used to calculate his annual annuity in retirement.) Assuming that he puts in 20 years before he retires at 60, that means that FERS calculates his annuity at $12,000 higher than it would have otherwise. Retiring with 20 years of service he gets 34% of his salary for the rest of his life. That's an additional roughly $4000 per year - and assuming he's of average health and dies in 20 years, Uncle Sam has just kicked in an additional $80,000 to his retirement. That doesn't include COLAs. It also doesn't take into account the benefits that will accrue to his TSP, including mandatory agency match that all federal employees receive.

That's via Brian Faughnan.

So even if the Vitter amendment passes and congressional staffers are forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, the self-dealing bastards in DC will find away to protect themselves while costing taxpayers more money. Swell.

Now that might not happen. The political risks might be too high for some, if not most, members but I don't think I'd bet on that.

The deck is simply stacked against the American people (and too many of them are willing accomplices so long as they get their 30 pieces of silver from their representatives).

It's a potent reminder that while the fight we we're watching is between Democrats and Republicans and Republicans against Republicans, the real battle is between the permanent political class and the people who create the wealth these leaches confiscate it from.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:12 AM | Comments (239)
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All DOOM, all the time
— Monty


The US House of Representatives votes to delay ObamaCare for a year as a precondition of a new budget; Senate Democrats vow to vote it down, and His Majesty the King promises a veto in the unlikely event the bill makes it past the Senate. We all know how this story ends, but it's been nice seeing the GOP show some spine for a change. It will be interesting to see if the public blames the GOP or the Democrats for the shutdown -- the GOP is notoriously bad at messaging, and it remains to be seen if they can lay the mantle of blame where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of His Majesty the King.

George Will: the Fed has become a creature of politics. George gets his tenses wrong: the Fed did not become anything. The Fed has always, from its inception, been a creature of politics.

In my ancestral lands, we had a saying for a situation like this: "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt?" more...

Posted by: Monty at 03:30 AM | Comments (173)
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Top Headline Comments 9-30-13
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Monday.

Byron York on Ted Cruz: "Cruz and Lee painted differences in tactics as a lack of principle — or a sign of secret liberalism."

GOP Senators on Senate Conservatives Fund: “They are spending most of their money going after Republicans and making it harder for us to nominate and elect Republicans and regain the majority.”

Richard Lindzen on global warming: "I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence."

The AP on the shutdown: "Congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president’s health care law."

Poll on the shutdown: "46% say they would blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible."

AoSHQ Weekly Podcast: [rss.png RSS] [itunes_modern.pngiTunes] [Download Latest Episode]
Now on Stitcher

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:45 AM | Comments (213)
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September 29, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (9-29-2013)
— Maetenloch

New York City: Going Back to the Bad Old Days

Well they're on their way to electing the city's first Sandinista mayor, Bill de Blasio.

Earlier Tuesday, de Blasio defended his support of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas by comparing himself to FDR.

"I'm a progressive and I'm a Democrat and I'm very much in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt," de Blasio said on WPIX TV, explaining why he traveled to Nicaragua more than two decades ago to support a government the U.S. was trying to topple.

And this was no youthful infatuation - he really really supported the Sandinistas:

He helped raise funds for the Sandinistas in New York and subscribed to the party's newspaper, Barricada, or Barricade. When he was asked at a meeting in 1990 about his goals for society, he said he was an advocate of "democratic socialism.".

...Mr. de Blasio remained supportive of the Sandinistas, often referred to by their acronym, F.S.L.N., even after they lost power. "People who had shallow party sympathies with the F.S.L.N. pretty much dropped everything when they lost," said Jane Guskin, a fellow activist in the solidarity group. "Bill wasn't like that.

And Ed Driscoll points out that NYC may see the return of 'no radio' and 'no cash' signs along with the reasons for them:

And everything Giuliani and Bloomberg have done is reversible. None of their gains is permanent. The barbarians are always at the gate. They are never vanquished, permanently. They may be kept at bay for a while - but they wait to be allowed back in.

...There was once a common sign in New York. People put it in their cars, when they left them on the street: "No Radio." It was a sign of helplessness and hopelessness. As Commissioner Kelly remarked, it said, Don't break into my car. The one behind me, maybe, or the one in front of me. But not mine, pretty please.

How pathetic. And how utterly accepted it was. I have never seen, personally, a "No Radio" sign. Ever. I moved here in 1998, remember - well into the Giuliani renaissance. Will that sign come back? (I don't know if cars have radios anymore - as they did pre-Giuliani. But they must have something.)



Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:56 PM | Comments (526)
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