December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!
— Ace

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?

If you like, I could throw up a New Year's Resolution Progress thread once a month, say on the last weekend of a month. That way, people might feel a little competitive/social pressure to keep them (which I assume would be a good thing, given that most Resolutions are worth keeping).

Oh, don't like sweat this too much. I realize I'm springing this on you at 11:53 Eastern. I'll put up a similar thread tomorrow.


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Overnight Open Thread (12-31-2014) - New Year's Eve Edition
— Maetenloch

Quote of the Day

A reader must be scratching his head: Why would Israel up and bomb people, leaving 2,200 dead and 11,000 injured in "seven short weeks"? Did they just wake up one morning feeling bloodthirsty? Israel must be an incredibly evil state, huh?

If Israel ever goes down - is ever destroyed by its enemies - journalists who lie about the state, or create a false impression of it, will have a share of blame. Do you know what I mean by that?

-- Jay Nordlinger

Better start drinking because sober is no way to end 2014.

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Fact-Checking the WaPo Fact-Checker

So the Washington Post's fact-checker, Michelle Ye 'Trovato' Hee Lee, has been busy checking the facts on Rudy Giuliani's statements on Face the Nation last week.

She gives Giuliani's statement that "We've had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police." a full four Pinocchios. Mainly based on the fact that Obama never explicitly said the everyone should hate the police.

But as NiceDeb points out Obama is much too clever to ever say anything so obvious as this when he can subtly say the same thing through the choice of phrases and words designed to make it clear he's on the side of the anti-police protesters while keeping it deniable if challenged.

Hello Ms Lee? Police should not "use excessive force", "should not be bullying" etc? ...Rather than encourage people to stay home and trust in the justice system,  he gave credence to the fact-challenged hysteria that followed the Michael Brown shooting.

When the Ferguson Grand Jury rendered their decision, he said that the protesters' uninformed rage was "understandable." It wasn't. The facts of the case never supported their false anti-cop narrative. Our nation's first black president had an opportunity to defend the police and the rule of law, and he didn't.

And on the next Giuliani's statement that Sharpton has been to the White House 80-85 times and is a "close advisor" to the president, Lee gives him one Pinocchio.

She admits that Sharpton visited the White House at least 82 time based on the incomplete visitor logs but then inexplicably downgrades this to a mere 72 visits over the past year. And with the following breakdown as compiled by NiceDeb:

  • One-on-one meetings: 5 (7 percent)
  • Meetings with staff members or senior advisers, with more than one guest: 20 (27 percent)
  • Events with more than 90 people: 16 (22 percent)
  • Miscellaneous meetings or events, ranging from 3 to 700 guests: 31 (43 percent)

And then despite contrary statements from those close to Obama she declares the idea that Al Sharpton is 'close advisor' to the president is just false.

And on probably unrelated note I recently found some odd sunglasses downtown by a dumpster. And when I put them on, this is what I saw as I looked around:

liesmeda

more...

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Buzzfeed: It Is Merely An "Alleged," Disputed Claim Of Uncertain Accuracy That the Crowd Chanted "Dead Cops!" in New York City
— Ace

Actually, that represents an editorial change to a "Buzzfeed reporter's" original headline, which claimed the "Dead Cops!" chant to be a, get this, "Myth."

I guess there's no real way to tell if this every happened or not. Everyone is free to believe What's In Their Heart.

Well, I mean sure, technically, as a factual matter, it happened, and there's incontrovertible audiovisual proof of this; but progressives and black activists have decided this is inconvenient to their political narrative, and thus, have created a cottage industry of "Dead Cops" Trutherism, of which Buzzfeed is now a proud provider.

Meanwhile, Twitchy is rounding up its Worst-Of lists:

The Ten Dumbest Amanda Marcotte tweets of 2014. I swear to God she's actually brain damaged.

The top ten most bizarre moments on-air moments in news. MSNBC is of course well-represented.

The voxxiest of Vox' many, many voxxed-up mistakes and misadventures.

By the way, you know how sad Vox is? Vox is so sad that Deadspin, a site primarily known for epically rimming the pooch with its "Cory Gardner Lied About Football" expose, is actually making fun of Vox, listing its 46 most voxtastically retarded errors of 2014.

Oh, and Twitchy also rounds up some good stuff, like the funniest photoshops of the year.



More: Hugh Hewitt batted the hapless hack around a bit on todesterday's show.

I really don't know what show it was. Let's say it was recent, okay?

more...

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Why Is Team Hillary Going Thug on Jim Webb So "Comically Early" in the Nomination Process?
— Ace

So asks Jim Garaghty, as Team Old Lady attacks Jim Webb.

Assume, for a moment, that U.S. News & World Report is accurately reporting this:

While they aren't acknowledging [2016 Democratic candidate Jim] Webb publicly, Clinton loyalists are keeping an eye on him privately. The week before Thanksgiving, staffers of Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime communications guru, pitched talk radio producers on the racy, sexually charged writings in Webb's novels, according to a source. Webb was forced to fend off a similar attack in 2006, when [his Virginia Senate opponent] Allen accused him of "demeaning women."

...

Why on earth would the Hillary team go after Jim Webb this early? And why recycle an attack that had absolutely no impact when it was used in the 2006 Senate race? What is this, some form of mudslinging pregame stretching?

...

The early shot across Webb’s bow is a strange response, considering how Hillary, with enormous advantages in fundraising, organizational experience, and name ID, would be much better off with multiple Democratic primary opponents instead of one.

Geraghty offers that this is driven by Hillary's paranoia, noting that she's the only presidential candidate who, rather than an enemies list, has an enemies spreadsheet, with Disloyalty Level neatly scored from 1 to 7.

Jonah Goldberg has a different theory: Hillary didn't do this at all. Rather, Hillary has crowded around her a group of vicious hounds who know that it is necessary to bloody the quarry to please the hunting-mistress.

[M]y point is that attacking Clinton's enemies is how you get noticed in her world. It's how you prove your loyalty. It's how Sidney Blumenthal slithered into Hillary's heart when he was working for her pro bono as a journalist and when he went on her payroll. Similarly, it's very unlikely Hillary Clinton pre-approves much of anything put out by Media Matters, but she doesn't need to. She’s created an infrastructure. The incentives are in place. The culture exists. It’s a bit analogous to Lois Lerner at the IRS. She didn’t need to be told by the White House to target conservative groups. She simply knew what she had to do. Clinton Inc has a corporate culture, and in that culture messengers get shot (metaphorically speaking), offense is the only defense and loyalty trumps all.

Among the many challenges for Clinton is to figure out how to rein-in the culture she spent nearly 30 years creating.

Why would she rein it in? She's a nasty old, elderly bird and she takes pleasure in seeing her "enemies" punished.

Posted by: Ace at 12:36 PM | Comments (210)
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CNN Begins Fresh Campaign to Get Policemen Race-Murdered In the Streets
— Ace

Quick, give them a Polk Award.

Incidentally, if you're planning on going out tonight, plan for inconveniences and/or racial murders.

The refusal of grand juries in Ferguson and Staten Island to indict the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner made this clear. So the powerful, beautiful and necessary outpourings that have disrupted this society's normal routine must continue and escalate on New Years Eve and into the New Year.

But in this society, cops who brutalize and murder are given the benefit of the doubt and are almost never punished in any way for their crimes. This is illegitimate and unacceptable. It must be STOPPED, and it's up to us to stop it! On New Year's Eve, we must act in many different ways to do just that.

Say in a loud, clear voice -- NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! And -- WE CAN'T BREATHE! Bring your whistles and blow them loudly. Bring your signs and banners. Bring your signs and banners too. Figure out imaginative ways to say NO MORE to all these horrors.

As Obama always reminds his pressure squads, "Power never conceded anything without some inconvenience."

Posted by: Ace at 09:44 AM | Comments (577)
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Scalise Story Shifts Again; Kenny Knight Says Scalise Didn't Attend EURO Gathering At All
— Ace

The trouble with this claim is that Kenny Knight was David Duke's campaign manager, and Steve Scalise's friend; he therefore has reason to distort the truth to Scalise's advantage.

However, his new, more detailed account denies Scalise "attended" or "spoke at" a Duke meeting at all. He seems to have scheduled a Scalise gathering in the same hotel space as a EURO meeting which was due to be held later that day.

I don't know.

I have to say I don't really care.

Posted by: Ace at 08:32 AM | Comments (289)
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Free Beacon's Man of the Year: Hillary's Elder-Care Service Dog
— Ace

Good stuff.

Actually Free Beacon seems determined to nominate virtually everyone as "Man of the Year."

Surely Batman should be on the list.

Who would you nominate? Both sarcastically and earnestly?

For Your Consideration:


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Obama: I Give Myself a Solid A+ for 2014
— Ace

The prince doth prance.

That headline is deceptive, but I'm using the deceptive headline from MarketWatch. I don't see anywhere that Obama is quoted as giving himself an A+.

But it does seem implied.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—To hear the White House tell it, the November elections never happened and 2014 was a super-duper year for President Obama.

In a "Year in Review" slideshow, the White House suggests 2014 represented a "breakthrough" for America. The Obama administration takes credit for:

• An economy growing at a record pace;

• The longest streak of private-sector job growth on record;

• The number of Americans without health insurance falling to a near record low...

Near a record low? Oh, it was lower before Obamacare. Perfect, just what you were aiming for, Captain Asshole.

I'm omitting the rest of his fantasias, which include checking Putin's overrunning of Ukraine (!!!!).

Obama does chide himself for some failures, of course. Primarily, his failure to adequately explain how awesome he's doing to the public.


"I'm obviously frustrated with the results of the midterm election," Obama told NPR in a radio interview released Monday. "I think we had a great record for members of Congress to run on. And I don't think we -- myself, and the Democratic Party -- made as good of a case as we should have."

Posted by: Ace at 06:43 AM | Comments (287)
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Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Claude Monet, "Sailboat at Le Petit-Gennevilliers" (1874)

more...

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Morning Thread (12-31-2014)
— andy

My Dawgs won last night, and I have a 12 pound brisket on the smoker. Nice way to close out the year.

Best wishes for a fantastic 2015, ya Morons. more...

Posted by: andy at 02:22 AM | Comments (124)
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December 30, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (12-30-2014)
— Maetenloch

Honoring the 2014 Person of the Year: Ben Trovato

Ben Trovato was ambitious this year and even branched into financial journalism-he's hardly a stranger to the field-where he inspired an unbelievable tale about a high-school whiz kid who made $72 million trading stocks during his lunch hour. That's "unbelievable" is in literally "not believable," and the kid later confessed to a prank that got out of hand, all the way into the pages of a prominent mainstream magazine.

The Top 10 Failed Narratives of 2014

Ben Trovato was a busy, busy man this year. I had already forgotten about his work on this one: "The NRA is making the Ebola crisis worse."

AoSHQ Rape Tuesday: The Other Fraternity Initiation Rape Story

This one happened in 2013 at UNC but involves some of the same players as well as similar tropes and similar doubts as the UVA story. The fact that the accused rapist was the long-time boyfriend of the girl adds +3 to your skepticism and an extra 2 HP against SJW attacks.

"Weeks into my undergraduate career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), a friend told me she had been raped a few days earlier as part of a fraternity 'initiation process.'"
- Annie E. Clark, Feb. 28, 2013, Huffington Post

When I saw that sentence, it struck me as weirdly similar to the story told in Rolling Stone by Sabrina Rubin Erdely:

A prestigious public university in the South.

A freshman girl raped during a fraternity initiation.

An activist's story about administrative indifference to victims.

Read the whole thing at RSM's site.

One takeaway is this: If you think you have been raped, you MUST go to the police. If you do anything else, then you should not have any expectations of justice.

Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501? 

Or was it just another victim of the Java Sea triangle?

more...

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A Sensual Painting of Such Erotic Power as to Spark a Sexual Epilepsy in the Boner Lobe of the Brain
— Ace

centaur_by_karracaz-d3cwhax.jpg
"Centaur," by Karracaz

And more tributes to Spock at Mental Floss, from all Hail Eris.

Open Thread.

Posted by: Ace at 02:22 PM | Comments (526)
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Good God: Lena Dunham's "Rape" Story Gets More Preposterous
— Ace

Gawker received a leak of Lena Dunham's book proposal a long time ago, and published it. They later took it down after legal threats.

They say the proposal makes it clear who the alleged "rapist" Barry in Lena Dunham's book is.

First things first: In the original book proposal, Lena Dunham describes the "rape," and get this, it's not rape.

I basically didn’t meet a Republican until I was nineteen, when I shared an ill-fated evening of love-making with our campus' resident conservative, who wore snakeskin boots and hosted a radio show...

Mid-intercourse on the moldy dorm rug I looked up into my roommate Sarah’s potted plant and noticed something dangling. I tried to make out its nebulous shape and then I realized--it was the condom. [He] had purposely flung the prophylactic into our tiny palm tree, thinking I was too dumb or too drunk or too eager to please to call him on it. [...] The next day, on the radiator in the art building, I told the story to my best friend Audrey who winced. Firstly because he was a Republican and secondly because, she whispered "you were raped."

Incredible. Now, what he did (assuming he did it at all) was dishonest and a violation, but rape?

Her own description suggests she was eager to have sex -- that is, consenting.

Jesus God Almighty.

In the book she calls this rape, and insinuates more than she describes here. In the book, she suggests she didn't give consent at all. But in the book proposal, it's clear she consented; she's just objecting to the fact that he decided to go Julian Assange on her.

Now if this could get any worse, which it can't, but let's just keep moving along anyway, it turns out that the "Republican" in question never belonged formally to any party, until 2012, when he registered... as a Democrat.


There is at least one discrepancy between the proposal and what we know about [Dunham's alleged assailant], however. According to public records, ["Barry"] did not affiliate with either major political party until 2012, when he formally registered as a Democrat. Unlike the character in Dunham's memoir, he does not appear to have ever been an on-the-book Republican--though it’s certainly possible he identified as one without ever filing the proper paperwork.

You can go over to Gawker to get the details about him. I'm not publishing his name because it now appears to be outright defamatory to claim this guy "Raped" Lena Dunham, and he ought to take that up with her.

Posted by: Ace at 12:40 PM | Comments (482)
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Jon "Loose Lips" Gruber, 2009: The Affordable Care Act Will Not Be Affordable Nor Will We Care Enough to Act. Discuss.
— Ace

Dude has Tourette's or something.

Patrick Howeley at the Daily Caller:

President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House...

Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC....

"The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can't mandate insurance that's not affordable. This is going to be a major issue," Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief.

"So what's different this time? Why are we closer than we've ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill's about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let's get the people covered and then let’s do cost control."

I can't wait to not read Politico's absence of a story on this.

Posted by: Ace at 10:56 AM | Comments (412)
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Garry Trudeau: Even Though The Claims Made In My Cartoon Are Plainly False, That Doesn't Detract From the Power of My Point, Whatever That Might Turn Out to Be
— Ace

Progs are chiming in in the comments, echoing the Fake But Accurate sentiment.

"We'd hoped it would be obvious that the strip was written before Rolling Stone admitted problems in its reporting," he emailed. "It's not the first time I've been overtaken by events, and it won’t be the last--the occupational hazard of a long lead time."


...

Trudeau still defends the strip's value.

"Jackie's story was not the focus, only the setup for commentary on institutional conflict of interest in adjudicating sexual assault, an issue that did not disappear with the credibility of the article," he emailed. "Not even UVA has claimed otherwise."

What? If the rape was fabricated, the issue of UVa's "conflict of interest" in adjudicating this non-existent sexual assault most emphatically did disappear.

Fake but accurate, fake but accurate.

Check out the "Top Comment." But you should expect this -- this is the amateur progressive-porn webzine Slate.

Top Comment

I'm not even a Trudeau fan, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. The idea behind the strip still holds up even if the UVA story was all BS.

You are a fan of The Narrative, though, aincha?


Posted by: Ace at 09:47 AM | Comments (341)
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2014, A Year of Lies and Panics
— Ace

The Year of the Fainting Couch, as Rich Lowry terms it.

The fainting couch doesn't have the same cachet it did in the 19th century, which is a shame, because it should be more in demand than at any time since the age of corsets and delicate sensibilities.

To put it in Victorian terms, 2014 had a case of the vapors. It was all aflutter. It needed smelling salts and a fan, and a good rest on a fainting couch to restore its bearings.

It was a year when the national pastime of taking offense and of fearing that someone might be offended reached such parodic levels that Kim Jong-un got in the act....

It was before so much time and energy were invested in taking offense and coddling the offended. It was before the nation needed a fainting couch.

Robert Traczinski calls it the year of the Narrative, which is a polite way of saying "lie."

I think you can begin to see why 2014 has been the year of Ben Trovato [a made-up name used to indicate an explanation is actually a fable]. It has been a year full of things that were non vero, but which had really good narratives. Or at least really convenient narratives.

It may not actually be true that Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying "don't shoot" when a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot him--the bulk of the eyewitness testimony and physical evidence indicates otherwise--but "hands up, don't shoot" is still a great slogan because it's such a good "metaphor" and captures a "larger truth." Ben Trovato at work.

Like Al Sharpton, Ben Trovato has frequently been invited to the White House, where he spent some time hanging out with the son Barack Obama might have had, before swinging over to the First Lady’s office, where he prompted Michelle Obama to describe how an incident at a Target store shows that she still needs to fear being mistaken for the help because she’s black. Proof of America’s persistent racism. Sure, she told the same story a few years ago with a totally opposite meaning. But you’re missing the point. The point is that the new version of the story is well constructed to convey an important narrative. It has Ben Trovato’s fingerprints all over it....

We live in the age of Ben Trovato now, and this year announced that fact loud and clear. Any time there were people with a cause in need of a narrative--and not too particular about whether it was supported by the facts--he was there. Which means that he was everywhere.

He rounds up the various lies perpetrated on us by the Clerisy. There were more of them than you know.

Posted by: Ace at 08:21 AM | Comments (356)
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Oil Prices Fall to Record Lows, Thanks to Fracking Glutting the Market;
So Of Course Obama is Rushing Out New Regulations on Energy Production

— Ace

We don't talk about it here, because it's Good News that Obama has nothing to do with, but fracking has re-made the oil markets. It's accurate to speak of a "Fracking Revolution," with far-reaching consequences due to the new technology.

One of those consequences is the price of oil at five year lows, and still falling.

Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled down $1.57 at $57.88. U.S. crude settled down $1.12 at $53.61 a barrel, following Brent downward.

The rally followed by the steep drop showed the market's fears about oversupply are not going away, said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "Every time the market tries to pick itself up, it's just another wave of selling," he said.

Saudi Arabia is refusing to cut production -- which they would ordinarily do, to prop up oil's price -- because they want to send oil prices low enough to punish American frackers, and maybe drive them from the market. (Fracked oil and gas is more expensive than easily-pumped fuel, and can only be sold at a loss at low prices.)

Another consequence: Russia, whose government's funding comes principally from oil (more than half), is expecting its first recession in five years, due to the massive cut in that country's allowance the oil glut is causing.

he Russian economy contracted by 0.5% in November, the first fall in national output - Gross Domestic Product -- since October 2009, official figures show.

The Russian government expects a 0.8% decline in GDP next year, compared with 0.6% GDP growth in 2014 as a whole.

The rouble fell to a rate of 57 to the dollar on Monday, a fall of more than 6%, after some gains last week.

(Unfortunately Putin does not have to stand for reelection until 2018.)

The fact that Americans are putting less dollars into foreign bank accounts means they have more dollars to spend on goods made in America, and that has resulted in the nation's best growth since Obama's depression.

The U.S. economy grew at its quickest pace in 11 years in the third quarter, the strongest sign yet that growth has decisively shifted into higher gear.

The Commerce Department on Tuesday revised up its estimate of gross domestic product growth to a 5.0 percent annual pace, citing stronger consumer and business spending than it had previously assumed.

So all of these goods flow from expanded American energy production -- the Russian bear hobbled, the American economy growing, Middle Eastern tyrants with less money to spend on religious terrorism.

So of course Obama, the Shit-Fingered Midas, is stepping in to put a stop to all this.

The Obama administration is planning to release in the coming months a series of regulations on the oil and natural gas industry, a response to the nation's energy boom that also is aimed at burnishing President Barack Obama's environmental legacy in his final two years.

The coming rules--at least nine in total--would include the first-ever federal standards addressing methane emissions, stricter controls on hydraulic fracturing, drilling requirements in the Arctic, new rules governing oil shipped by trains and tougher standards on offshore drilling technology.

The repercussions for the industry could be higher operating costs and fewer incentives to drill on public lands. Mr. Obama and his environmental backers say new regulations are needed to address the impacts of the surge in oil and gas drilling and production.

Get this: Obama has blocked the Keystone XL pipleline for years, and this has resulted in more oil being transported by rail.

Obama's coming "solution"? Regulate the shit out of rail transport of oil and drive the price up.

And of course he's doing this without Congress.

"There's this attitude that if the people and the democratically elected institutions don’t agree, we’re going to go it alone," Mr. Gerard said in an interview. "I think that attitude is permeating some of the regulatory bodies."

So the frackers causing all these wonderful secondary effects are going to be hit by a double misfortune: The low prices they've caused will drive many of them out of business, and meanwhile a walking catastrophe named Barack Obama is going to ramp up regulatory costs on them as well.

250,000 energy workers may lose jobs because of the improved energy outlook they themselves created. And that's before Catastrophe Obama deliberately punishes them further.

It's almost as if he's working for Them, huh?

Posted by: Ace at 07:05 AM | Comments (352)
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Police Boo, Turn Backs on De Blasio at Police Academy Graduation Ceremony
— Ace

Eh. Good.

Wish we could get this sort of thing started with Princeling Obama.

more...

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