February 27, 2015
— andy Amazing. Amazing.
— Open Blogger
- This Is CNN Part 1
- No Let-up In Putin's Hybrid War
- This Is CNN Part 2
- Lois Lerner Missing E-mails Now The Subject Of A Criminal Probe
- How To Tackle Your Garden Variety Political Correctness
- Toothy Tyranny
- Greece Struggles To Get Citizens To Pay Their Taxes
- Hillary Clinton Is No Feminist Champion
- Al Jazeera Journalists Arrested For Flying Drones In Paris
- Japan's Robot Babies
- First Human Head Transplant Could Happen In Two Years
- Walker Does Well At CPAC
- The Hollywood Left Loves Paying Taxes
- Leading Republican Candidate For Gov In Missouri Kills Himself
— Monty This is usually Andy's gig, but he's busy muling Robitussin over the border or something. Consider this a little DOOM hors d'oeuvre to tide you over until Monday.
I invite you to consider this latest entry in the "Saving is bad, mmm'kay?" genre. It's a good rule of thumb that if you read a piece that lauds Teh Krugman, you're about to read something really stupid, and that rule holds here. The line about all wealth being generated collectively was good for a horselaugh, too, but what can you do? Socialists gonna be Socialist.
Anyway, have a groovy day, babies.
February 26, 2015
Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist. He was at some environmental forum, and he said, "How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?" Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, "Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?" Nothing. Again: "Is there any evidence I could give you - anything at all - that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?" Not a stir. Simon then said, "Well, excuse me, I'm not dressed for church."
I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.
1. Should Joe Biden stop touching women without consent?
2. Is Elizabeth Warren Native American?3. Is it okay that Bill Clinton participated in vacations with a pedophile?
That sounds pretty sketchy, but at least the foundation didn't accept any foreign donations while Hillary was secretary of state. Right?
Not exactly. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in foreign government donations while Hillary was serving in the State Department. Most of those donations were technically allowed due to the many exemptions included in the so-called "ban." However, at least one of those donations-$500,000 from the Algerian government-violated the ban, and was not reported to the State Department's ethics office.
Oh, that sounds pretty bad.Yeah.
Wow. The Clintons have been in politics their entire lives. They must know how bad all this looks.more...
Maybe they just don't care?
Has Hillary even tried to defend herself?
Nope. Her aides have repeatedly declined to comment.
Is anyone else defending her?Not really.
— Ace I'm not sure at which Eldercare Group Home this happened, but somewhere a lonely old woman was performing some kind of Satanic-themed cabaret and she took a nasty tumble.
Andrew Stiles thinks this is a bad sign for Hillary Clinton, for reasons which should be obvious.
He also explains the Hillary Clinton Fundraising Scandal.
From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility. These revelations and others are disclosed by a trove of e-mails and other documents pried from the State Department by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
— Ace Random property damage.
They destroyed a library containing 112,000 rare volumes, then went on to a museum to destroy antiquities.
A Bangladeshi-American writer who endured threats from Islamists over his secular views was hacked to death in Dhaka late Thursday, reports say.
Avijit Roy, 42, was a naturalized American living in Georgia. He was a frequent critic of radical Islamic doctrine. At least two attackers descended on Roy and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonna, near Dhaka University. She was hospitalized with several stab wounds and a severed finger.
No arrests have been made and no suspects identified. But police reportedly found two machetes and a finger at the scene. The couple was in Dhaka to attend an annual national book fair where two of Roy's works were being promoted.
Crusades. So get off your high horses.
— Ace Scott Walker gave a bad answer.
Asked about ISIS, Walker responded, "If i can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe."
It's a dumb answer for the reasons Geraghty elucidates, though I don't know if I'd call it a "terrible" answer. I'd say Obama's, Earnest's, and Psaki's calculated and coordinated statements that Adaly Coulibaly gunned down five Jews "randomly" was a terrible answer. This one is just dopey.
I'm not really bothered by the dopiness of the answer -- I say dopey things too, and so do you, and so does President 57 Corpse-Mens.
It's more that I'm bothered at the opportunity lost. Every time one opens his mouth, one can say something interesting, insightful, stirring, or politically shrewd, or one can say something dopey, forgettable, or pointless.
It's not that I'm bothered that this statement is in the latter category so much as I'm bothered it's not in the first category.
As a one-time Rick Perry super-fan, I am of a mind that a candidate only gets a couple of chances to make a First impression. And failing to impress is failing.
— Ace Jamie Kirchick writes on a bunch of topics related to identity politics in this long piece; worth reading. He examines the Rock-Paper-Scissors hierarchy of victims; Muslims are now at the top of the Victim Period, and at the very bottom, of course, are Jews, who really aren't even considered by the left to be victims at all, even when they're murdered. Even as they lay dying on the street, they're Oppressors.
He ponders why it is that President High Horse will never acknowledge that Jews or Christians can be victims.
I do not buy the argument that the administration's downplaying the anti-Semitic nature of the crime was the result of a stubborn refusal to admit an incident of presidential inarticulateness. As I've written elsewhere, more likely is it that the president and his administration are reluctant to draw much attention to anti-Semitism for the same reason they are reluctant to speak plainly about militant Islamism: They seek an accommodation with the Muslim world, where bigoted views about Jews are prevalent if not mainstream, and harping about anti-Semitism gets in the way of that all-consuming aspiration. The same goes for anti-Christian animus; see, for instance, the White Houses anodyne condemnation of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya last week, which made no mention of the reason why they were killed. As such, the president cannot let a discussion go by of the Islamic State (which, he insists, is "not Islamic") without a reference to the Christian Crusades ("committed in the name of Christ") of five centuries ago.
So, true to form, after this month's Copenhagen attack, a National Security Council statement made no mention of the fact that a Jewish institution had been targeted. Likewise, the New York Times article reporting on the events, while not mentioning the word "anti-Semitism" at all, was sure to note that "Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment is rising in Europe, and although there was no indication who was responsible for the shootings in Copenhagen, Twitter was ablaze with anti-Muslim indictments." A follow-up story in the Times carried this preposterous headline, "Anger of suspect in Danish killings is seen as only loosely tied to Islam."
Consider the administrations initial response to the murder of three Muslim-Americans in North Carolina last week, the motive for which, at the time, was unclear. The day after the incident, with the FBI inquiry into the matter having just been launched, the president himself released a statement declaring that "No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship." It stands in contrast to White House spokesman Josh Earnest's deplorable remark that the victims of the Paris attack "were killed not because of who they were but because of where they randomly happened to be."
Since the philosophy of the progressive speech police is so obviously shaping high-level US government policy, it is hard to dismiss the efficacy of their tactics. Here it is important to note that all this hypersensitive concern about "Islamophobia," and corresponding lack of ardor for combating anti-Jewish hatred, has no relation whatsoever to actual facts. The latest FBI crime statistics report six times as many hate crime incidents directed against Jews as they do against Muslims. Likewise in Europe, Jews are more likely to be victimized by hate crime than Muslims, who are themselves usually the perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks.
It's a good piece, deriding the left's vicious Jacobins. There is one bit of happiness in it: Jacobins always purge their own, eventually, and they're beginning to purge left-liberals.
All of these fanatical movements purge their least-monstrous members. In the French Revolution, the Liberals went to the guillotines first; then the Constitutionalists; then the Girondists. Each group went along with the guillotining of the next group, thinking -- or just hoping -- that if they agreed to guillotine the next batch, they themselves would be spared the National Razor.
But they weren't. Including, in the end, the Jacobins themselves, who were all fed into the guillotines in one of the most pleasant slaughters in history.
Video of the great llama chase here. Actually, it's just the lassoed llama being led through the streets, like Hector being dragged behind Achilles' chariot.
Thus all heroes.
Stuff like this always makes me worry because before 9/11 was the Great and Final Silliness called "The Summer of Sharks."
— Ace ...should the Supreme Court make it the law of the land in June, which they, you know, probably will.
So not a "moderate" Republican but a liberal one. Ah, whatever, that's fine. I suppose I should credit him, at least, for being somewhat honest about it.
Well, if the party is craving a liberal candidate, he would be a decent choice.
I'm not craving that but I'm sure the various Wall Streeters -- again, let me note they all live in New York City and that one's politics are substantially formed by the culture one lives in -- are all for a Republican Party which is liberal in every single way except corporate tax rates and top personal marginal rates.
— Ace One of the biggest problems in physics -- so I'm told; I'm not up nights crunching numbers or anything -- is the fact that two cornerstone theories, Einstein's General Relativity (the rules of large objects and long distances) and Planck's Quantum Mechanics (the rules of incredibly small things and tiny distances) cannot be reconciled and, if I have this right, are actually contradictory in places.
A pair of scientists trying to reconcile them claim they've done so, but their solution (if it is a solution) would establish a universe which has always existed and which always will exist. With no Big Bang. Expansion over the aeons yes, but no gigantic explosion out of a superdense singularity.
Two physicists are trying to revive one of the great debates of twentieth-century science, arguing that the Big Bang may never have happened. Their work presents a radically different vision of the universe from the one cosmologists now work with....
"The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there," says Dr. Ahmed Farag Ali of Benha University, Egypt...
Ali and Das are keen to point out that they were not seeking a preordained outcome, or trying to adjust their equations to remove the need for the Big Bang. Instead they sought to unite the work of David Bohm and Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri, connecting quantum mechanics with general relativity. They found that when using Bohm's work to make quantum corrections to Raychaudhuri's equation on the formation of singularities, they described a universe that was once much smaller, but never had the infinite density currently postulated.
This article is sort of the #VoxTake which tells you that everything else you've read is wrong. It claims the new paper does not claim there was no Big Bang, but only that the Big Bang did not burst out of a singularity (a superdense, microscopic dot which contains all the matter and energy of the current universe) but rather out of a cosmic egg which, while small, was not so microscopically small as to be a true singularity where the laws of physics don't operate.
Eh, so anyway, this second article claims the "Big Bang" theory involves a hot, dense state of the early universe, and the new paper still describes the young universe as hot and dense, so it's not really saying there was no Big Bang, just not the specific kind of Big Bang we've come to think of as "The Big Bang" in the past decade.
Here is the actual paper, if you want to read it.
Look, all I know is that this proves Global Warming.
— Ace You could be this specimen.
"i need feminism because women are more important than men" ok pic.twitter.com/GfgtcY5jiE— shoe (@shoe0nhead) February 25, 2015
— DrewM Executive amnesty supporting Loretta Lynch will get a floor vote to be Attorney General thanks to the GOP.
By a vote of 12 to 8, the committee approved the nomination of Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the first African-American woman to take the reins of the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced in September that he would step down as soon as the Senate approved a new nominee.
Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted with the committees nine Democrats to approve Lynchs nomination. Several Republicans on the committee, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), said they would oppose the nomination because of President Obamas executive action on immigration.
I think Tom Tills (R-NC) didn't vote. Not sure if he was stuck in the snow or was simply ducking. Either way, she could and should have been defeated in committee.
Well, the GOP majority can simply refuse to bring her to the floor for a vote, right? Yes, McConnell could do that but he's already said he will bring her nomination to the floor.
So conservatives can filibuster her and force Democrats to find 60 votes, right? Nope. Reid eliminated that last year and even though he complained about how horrible it was, McConnell didn't put it back in place. Why, it's almost as if he didn't want conservatives to be able to cause him any headaches. Almost.
Clearly there are enough sellout Republicans willing to snuggle up to Obama to get her through.
Quick question, other than getting Keystone to Obama for a veto, what difference has the GOP majority in the Senate made so far?
— DrewM State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf famously suggested the long term answer to stopping people from joining groups like ISIS is job training.
The terrorist known as "Jihadi John" who served as "host" for several brutal ISIS videos seems like a bright, though evil, guy. If a guy like him can't get a job in the racist west, surely other terrorists wannabees can't.
Investigators believe that the "Jihadi John" masked fighter who fronted Islamic State beheading videos is a British man named Mohammed Emwazi, two U.S. government sources said on Thursday.
He was born in Kuwait and comes from a prosperous family in London, where he grew up and graduated with a computer programming degree, according to the Washington Post.
The Post quoted the friends of Emwazi, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying they thought he had started to become radicalized after a planned safari in Tanzania following his graduation from the University of Westminster in London.
Sounds like a hardknock life that could drive anyone to beheading innocent aid workers, Christians and anyone who has the misfortune of being randomly in their sights.
Perhaps they need to consider beefing up their alumni job placement services.
— DrewM Everyone knows Jeb Bush is a big proponent of immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens (Well, not all of them. More on that in a bit). What's beginning to emerge though is a picture of a guy who not only thinks coming here illegally is "an act of love" but a necessary corrective for a failing society that needs to be remade in fundamental ways. Sound familiar?
That's not my spin, that's from noted Rightwing Nut Job, David Frum.
Both Jeb Bush and Barack Obama are men who have openly and publicly struggled with their ambivalence about their family inheritance. Both responded by leaving the place of their youth to create new identities for themselves: Barack Obama, as an organizer in the poor African-American neighborhoods of Chicago; Jeb Bush in Mexico, Venezuela, and at last in Cuban-influenced Miami. Both are men who have talked a great deal about the feeling of being between two worlds: Obama, in his famous autobiography; Bush, in his speeches. Both chose wives who would more deeply connect them to their new chosen identity. Both derived from their new identity a sharp critique of their nation as it is. Both have built their campaign for president upon a deep commitment to fundamental transformation of their nation into what they believe it should be.
"Theyre more entrepreneurial, they set up more business, they buy more homes, theyre more family-oriented, they work in jobs that in many cases are jobs that have gone unfilled" (at 39:40)
"I think Detroit would do real well if we started repopulating it with young, aspirational people." (45:20)
"We have people that mope around thinking 'my life is bad, my children will not have the same opportunities that I had.' What a horrible notion in America, the most optimistic of places, and I think an economically driven immigration plan . . . would lift our spirits up dramatically." (19:25)
"The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system. . . . If we do this, we will rebuild our country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we dont do it, we will be in decline, because the productivity of this country is dependent on young people that are equipped to be able to work hard... Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families and they have more intact families." (12:25)
The link goes to an NRO Corner piece quoting Frum's which I missed when it came out a few weeks ago. You can see the original here.
I'm sure if this line is pursued in the primaries it will be greeted with defensive shrieks of RACISM! and NATIVISM! from the usual suspects. But if it's fair game to go after Obama for his non-traditional American values, surely it's fair to question a Republican who seems to hold his fellow countrymen in lower esteem than he does others coming here illegally.
As for Bush's desire to give amnesty to illegals, it certainly extends to border jumpers who tend to come from Mexico and Central America. it does not however extend to all illegals.
This is a WaPo story on a speech by Jeb from January.
Here's Bush: "We need to find a way, a path to legalized status for those that have come here and have languished in the shadows. There's no way that they're going to be deported -- no one's suggesting an organized effort to do that. The cost of that would be extraordinary."
And here's Bush: "The 40 percent of the people that have come illegally came with a legal visa and overstayed their bounds. We ought to be able to find where they are and politely ask them to leave."
But, it is striking that within two minutes of saying the "politely" line, Bush is, seemingly, contradicting himself by insisting that there is no way all of the people in the country illegally are going to be deported. (He starts the "politely" line at around 23:50 and the we're-not-going-to-round-them-up riff at 25:40.)
The only possible explanation -- at least that I can think of -- is that Bush is differentiating between people who came to the country on legal visas, and then violated the law by staying once the visas ran out, vs. those who simply came to the country entirely illegally. Okay. But that's a very nuanced argument to make with what has become, politically, an absolutely black and white issue.
How can you possibly account for differences between border jumpers and visa overstays? Look at who they are.
Those working to create a path to citizenship for people here illegally often make the distinction to highlight the diverse immigration issues the U.S. faces. Little is known about the demographics of the so-called overstayer population, but some studies suggest they tend to be better educated and more fluent in English than those who crossed the border illegally. They also are more likely to hail from European, Asian and African countries. And in many cases, they used tourist visas to enter the U.S.
Madeleine Sumption, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, said that "visa overstayers would benefit more from a legalization program. They have higher levels of skills but are being held back by their legal status." They may have difficulty landing high-skilled jobs because of their illegal status and instead settle for low-skilled positions, she said.
Jeb's not a stupid man. He surely knows the difference between the people he wants to let stay here and the ones he want's to "politely ask to leave".
I've written before that I support immigration reform but not amnesty for anyone regardless of where they are from or how they came to be here illegally. As part of that support I've also been upfront that I favor higher skilled immigrants over lower skilled ones no matter where they come from and I've laid out my reasons why. Jeb is running for President and he should have to explain his apparent bias in favor of low skilled immigrants.
I generally think the notion that there aren't any differences between the two parties to be a silly one. I do however think that what differences there are are insufficient to the health of the nation. Unless Bush has a satisfactory explanation for his demographic engineering choices, a Jeb-Hillary match-up will be a major step forward in blurring what differences there are and advancing Obama's project to fundamentally change America.
— Open Blogger
- Politifact And Me
- Our Illiberal Immigration Policy Leads To Chaos
- What Happens To You Immediately After You Graduate From College
- Food-Police Fatigue
- Dana Milbank Is A Douchebag
- When Are Reporters Going To Ask Hillary Questions?
- Voters Wary Of Promises In Britain's Unpredictable Election
- Rape In The American Prison
- Don't Accept Drinks From People You Don't Know
- Old Woman Falls Down, Needs Help Getting Up
Sorry for the short list, my internet connection is garbage this morning. I need to head west, I hear tell there's some internet out thataway.
— andy What difference, at this point, does it make?!?! 2016
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February 25, 2015
Due to a confluence of events, crises, and utter lack of time this ONT will be teh Suck.
The Language Treemore...
— DrewM First, the State of Vermont stopped paying him when it came to light he held Americans in such low regard. The state's auditor has found some fishy items in Gruber's billing and has asked the state's AG to investigate the matter.
Now comes word that the new Republican Governor of Massachusetts has fired him from the state's exchange board.
Gov. Charlie Baker has demanded and received the resignations of four members of the state Health Connector board, including MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, who touched off a national uproar late last year with videotaped comments about misleading marketing of the Affordable Care Act and derogatory remarks about the intelligence of the American people.
Gruber was appointed to the board in 2006 by then Governor Mitt Romney and re-appointed by Governor Deval Patrick. The other three board members asked to resign John Bertko, Rick Jakious and George Gonser were all original Patrick appointees.
Local crime reporter Sarah Klift seems upset at the news.
Damn. MT @kelleratlarge: EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Charlie Baker has fired Jonathan Gruber from the Mass. Health Connector board, along with 3 others.— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) February 25, 2015
Consider this my gift to you after bringing so much of the GOP's garbage to the blog today. But don't get comfortable, we're back at it in the morning.
— DrewM Earlier today it looked like the Senate Democrats weren't going to let McConnell surrender on DHS/amnesty funding without having Boehner co-sign the document. Reid and the Democrats must have realized that that was a bit brazen even for them. So they let McConnell bring up the House bill with the solemn promise that he would strip out the offending amnesty provisions. McConnell promptly said the safe word ("Bourbon") and thanked the Democrats for being most generous masters.
The only votes against proceeding to the bill came from Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
"Democrats will support getting on the House Homeland Security funding bill. In exchange, the leader will provide the only amendment, [it] will be a clean Homeland Security funding substitute," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said.
Democrats had blocked the DHS bill four times before. With a shutdown of DHS set to begin on Saturday, McConnell on Tuesday agreed to split the funding and immigration fights, as Democrats have long demanded.
Reid said earlier Wednesday that the Senate could take a final vote on the DHS funding bill Thursday.
"We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues in the next 24 hours to get this done. All eyes now shift to the House of Representatives," Reid said.
Democrats had earlier worried that if they let the Republicans "get on the bill" McConnell would double cross them and make them vote on amendments. Silly Democrats, McConnell only lies to and cheats conservatives.
So how is McConnell going to keep his "clean bill" "clean"? He'll "fill the amendment tree". You may remember this tactic from the Harry Reid days. It essentially ensures the Majority Leader blocks anyone he doesn't want to offer an amendment from offering it. This way his amendment, the one stripping the anti-amnesty language out will be the only amendment that will be considered.
Now if you have a memory better than say a fruit-fly you'll recall that McConnell argued that "filling the tree" was a dirty trick that he would do away with if the GOP got control of the Senate. In fact, he gave a big speech about it upon becoming Majority Leader (when Reid let's him play the part), just TWO months ago.
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