September 29, 2007

Hillary! Economic Genius [AndrewsDad]
— Open Blog

Hillary Clinton suggests $5,000 savings bond for every U.S. baby

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

...

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that down payment on their first home," she said.

...

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who attended the event and has already endorsed Clinton. "Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their 18?"

Hell, why not give each kid an additional $27,000 on top of the $5,000 when they are born and then they will not owe anything.

A few minor issues I have with this idea after the jump

Personal Bleg:
I will now violate the first rule of blogging, know your audience.
If anyone has any personal experiance dealing with issues associated with gifted children, I would love to hear.
andrews-dad AT hotmail DOT com more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 09:24 AM | Comments (50)
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Flying lutefisk, ho! [McGurk]
— Open Blog

Scandi hooker blows lutefisk all over the stage. Lol.

Can we get an official translation? I think it goes something like this:
*ring*
"Yes, hello?"
"Hello."
"How are you?
"Meatloaf."
"DId you see the Democratic debate?"
"Yes, I thought Edwards looked presidential."
*BLEARGH*

Posted by: Open Blog at 08:56 AM | Comments (18)
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Conservative Alumni Have Had Enough
— LauraW.

At the University of Illinois.

“Capitalism and limited government at a public university? How can that be?“
asked Robert Novak, conservative commentator and University of Illinois graduate.

A conservative group of alumni has decided that if the University won't pay for courses about such core American and conservative principles, they would do it themselves.

Funny thing, higher education: there's all this money floating around to hire some hippy-dippy professor to teach young people about the social impact of The Muppet Show, but nobody could scrape up a few shekels to teach kids about capitalism?

How it actually works, I mean. Not how it destroys native villages in the Andes.

Be sure to click the link to the article over at Innocent Bystanders. It's unintentionally hilarious.

Posted by: LauraW. at 07:45 AM | Comments (21)
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Jets Season Ticket Holder Sues Patriots, Belichick
— Dave In Texas

for videotaping defensive signals in the 38-14 season opener.

$184MM.


Heh.

Indeed.

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 05:31 AM | Comments (30)
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Murtha Must Testify in Defamation Case
— Dave In Texas

A federal judge refused to dismiss the case against the congressman, brought by a Marine Corps Sergeant, over his despicable and uninformed remarks about the Haditha case.

Most of us have seen the video, where he was confronted by Jason Mattera on his way to the elevator and asked if he would apologize for those remarks now that charges against two Marines were dropped. The jackass mumbled "the trial is still going on".

He was dead wrong, ignorant of the facts, and still wouldn't budge. Bryan Preston asks the question, if most Americans can't get away with slander, why should he?

He shouldn't, and I'm glad to see the judge agreed.

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 04:06 AM | Comments (32)
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September 28, 2007

Fore!
— DrewM.

Golfer Woody Austin, playing for the US in the President’s Cup (a poor man's Ryder Cup) went for an unexpected dip during his round on Friday.

Posted by: DrewM. at 07:07 PM | Comments (11)
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Supreme Court Stays Executions
— Gabriel Malor

On Tuesday I noted (external link) that the Supreme Court has accepted a lethal injection case for its coming term.

It looks like the Court will be putting a halt to all lethal injection executions until that case is resolved. A Texas inmate set to be executed last night asked for a stay until the Kentucky lethal injection case is resolved. The Court, by at least five members, agreed.

Although the court gave no reason for its decision, the inmate, Carlton Turner Jr., had appealed to the court after it agreed on Tuesday to consider the constitutionality of lethal injection, the most commonly used method of execution in the United States. The decision suggests that until it issues a ruling on lethal injection, the court may be receptive to requests to delay such executions, at least for defendants whose cases raise no procedural issues.

Expect all death penalty inmates who have exhausted their appeals to petition the Court for stays. This won't be a setback for many states who already have placed moratoriums on capital punishment until the courts have resolved the question. But Texas had intended to go on with its scheduled executions.

One interesting thing I hadn't heard before was that states are finally getting creative with plans to continue with capital punishment:

In Alabama, where politicians rarely challenge the death penalty, the state is developing a “consciousness awareness test” for inmates being executed, but state officials maintained that the action was unconnected to the Supreme Court decision.

“Somebody would come in and do something to assess consciousness, after the anesthesia is delivered,” Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said. For now, he said, "the consciousness-awareness is being done visually by the warden.”

The idea is that an inmate who is unconscious cannot suffer a terrifying, excruciating death.

As ever, I remain opposed to the use of capital punishment in this country at this time, but not for what are almost certainly bogus "cruel and unusual punishment" reasons.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 06:00 PM | Comments (97)
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anyone using Excel 2007?
— Purple Avenger

You might want to consider using an abacus for a while until Microsoft gets this bug fixed...

...Yesterday evening we were alerted to an issue in Excel 2007 (and Excel Services 2007) involving calculation of numbers around 65,535. The first example that we heard about was =77.1*850, but it became clear from our testing as well as additional reports that this was just one instance where Excel 2007 would return a value of 100,000 instead of 65,535...
65,535 100,000 pretty much the same in galactic terms I guess. Microsoft - "we enable your failure"

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 04:37 PM | Comments (53)
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Big: Old FISA Law Delayed Hunt For Kidnappers Of American Soldiers
Update: Video Report Added

— Ace

Video: Now at Hot Air.

I'll just bulletpoint:

Last May, Iraqi terrorists kidnapped three American soldiers.

American intelligence officials searched for cyber-signals about the kidnapping... and actually found them. They found the kidnappers talking to each other on-line.

However, they had to stop listening because the signals were passing through an American-based server and under the law that meant there could be no eavesdropping without a warrant.

So they stopped listening in on foreign terrorists holding kidnapped American soldiers.

For ten hours, officials worked to get "emergency authorization" to resume eavesdropping.

This then required the personal okay of AG Gonzales, who couldn't be reached for two hours.

So a 12 hour gap after the kidnappers had been discovered.

The law has been changed to expressly permit eavesdropping in this situation, and some Democrats such as Rep. Reyes (D) are arguing for a rollback to the previous rule.

One of those kidnapped soldiers, I'm told, was later found dead and mutilated. Whether the gap in eavesdropping may have averted this I don't know, and perhaps no one will ever know.

Two of the kidnapped soldiers, Larwyn tells me, are still unaccounted for. Again: What might have been said in that 12 hour gap that could have tipped off US forces to their location? We don't know.

Confronted with the bad outcomes caused by their ridiculous laws, Democrats always seem to argue, basically, that people should ignore the law when necessary. They insinuated that when the DoJ determined it did not have legal cause to examine Zaccharias Moussaui's laptop without a warrant, for example: They should have just had the foresight to know they should ignore the law and search for 9/11 plots on that laptop.

This is not a tolerable view of the law nor how the law should function. True enough, there will be cases where any sane man will ignore the law when life hangs in the balance. But the Democrats just continue to pander to their paranoid BDS MoveOn voters with very restrictive and impractical laws, and then just parry criticisms of these laws away with vague insinuations that soldiers and CIA operatives ought to be brave enough to risk their careers in ignoring the laws they've made when "appropriate." "Appropriate" being defined as when it turns out, in the perfect clarity of hindsight, that their laws cost human lives.

Perhaps they should strive to craft more realistic laws that don't rely on benign lawbreaking to make them function properly.

More: From Powerline.

Seattle Slough claims that FISA allows eavesdropping to happen with a warrant applied for 72 hours later. So that should take care of it, then, he asserts.

Wrong. And when I say wrong, understand I am not 100% sure of this, but I'm pretty sure he's wrong. The old law permits the AG and the AG only (well, I guess the President too) to authorize this "emergency authorization" to permit eavedropping without court-issued warrant. However, the law requires the eavesdropping stop until this emergency authorization is approved, and furthermore, the law requires those seeking the authorization to determine all necessary facts to the extent possible (that these are foreigners not entitled to full Constitutional protections, that time is of the essence, etc.) and make a detailed case with a fully supported paper trail for later review.

So no, Seattle, I don't think it's the case you can just continue eavesdropping and take all the time you like to apply for that warrant 72 hours later. I believe the law requires extensive and time-consuming pseudo-warrant-applications just to get the emergency authorization in order to continue the eavesdropping until the warrant is actually secured.

If I'm wrong, I'll eat it with an admission, as I usually do. But I don't think I am.

Correction: They didn't start eavesdropping and then stop; they never started at all while they filled out the paperwork for an "emergency authorization."

If something is of an "emergency" nature, is paperwork really what you want people doing?

Another print story from USAToday.

It took time (to begin the tap)," McConnell said, because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required intelligence agents to first demonstrate to the U.S. attorney general that the target was likely an agent of a foreign power.

Surveillance of foreigners overseas does not always require such an assurance. However, many foreign calls pass through U.S. telecommunications networks, requiring the attorney general's approval.

McConnell called the requirement, which has been temporarily eliminated, "burdensome."

Thanks to Drew for putting me some fucking information.

Posted by: Ace at 04:27 PM | Comments (99)
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Some Good News…Outrageous Murder Charges Against Army Snipers Dropped
— DrewM.

That’s the scoop from BlackFive.

For the full story, see Purple Avenger's post.

The short version is two Army snipers offed a terrorist in Afghanistan and an initial investigation showed they acted within the rules of engagement. But further up the chain of command, a Marine General and a Navy Lt. Commander got an Army Sergeant, who had no independent knowledge of the case, to press murder charges against the snipers.

Now that these two brave Special Ops Soldiers have been cleared, it’s time to go after the lawyers who wanted to hang murder charges on them.

Posted by: DrewM. at 03:51 PM | Comments (13)
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Some Good News…Outrageous Murder Charges Against Army Snipers Dropped
— DrewM

That’s the scoop from BlackFive.

For the full story, see Purple Avenger's post.

The short version is two Army snipers offed a terrorist in Afghanistan and an initial investigation showed they acted within the rules of engagement. But further up the chain of command, a Marine General and a Navy Lt. Commander got an Army Sergeant, who had no independent knowledge of the case, to press murder charges against the snipers.

Now that these two brave Special Ops Soldiers have been cleared, it’s time to go after the lawyers who wanted to hang murder charges on them.

Posted by: DrewM at 03:51 PM | Comments (13)
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The Airstrike That Got The "Emir of Terrorism"
— Ace

Thanks to larwyn. My Pet Jawa has more details.

Posted by: Ace at 03:02 PM | Comments (33)
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Attention Whore
— Ace

I'm surprised there aren't more stairs-running Rosie Ruiz's like her.

Posted by: Ace at 02:38 PM | Comments (11)
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And Now... Lizard Cheesecake!
— Ace

Because the Dog Cheesecake was so popular.

lizardlean.jpg

Over on this site the guy pinkie-swears this is real; the "artist" just has little couches and poses the lizards as he likes, and they stay in that pose for a while.

Thanks to Anwyn, with a hopeful post about some Oregon counties finally checking drunk-driving arrestees for legal status -- and reporting those who are here illegally to ICE.

Posted by: Ace at 12:54 PM | Comments (25)
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NRO's Trek Weekend
— Ace

Some good stuff if you're a fan.

Here's a good one.


Posted by: Ace at 12:18 PM | Comments (9)
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Do Not Watch: "The Death of Superman"
— Ace

A.K.A. "Superman: Doomsday."

I got excited when I saw this cartoon advertised during an Arrested Development re-run. It seems to be by the people responsible for the very good Justice League -- Bruce Timm's involved, and the animation is similar -- but it's crap.

The only good thing is that Adam Baldwin ("Jayne Cobb" from Firefly) voices Superman.
more...

Posted by: Ace at 11:38 AM | Comments (79)
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Multiple Layers Of Fact Checking Blahdeddy-Blah-Blah
— Ace

This is funny, but it's funny in a dark way. You have to watch the first video first to get the context -- it involves seriously-injured possibly-paralyzed Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett.

The joke isn't about him, it's about stupid reporters. But I have to kind of warn you that you have to sort of put Everett's bad situation out of mind to find this funny.

Is Channel 12 racist?

Posted by: Ace at 11:04 AM | Comments (26)
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Stupid University Tricks: How Columbia Routinely Chills Speech It Doesn't Like
— Ace

John Leo counts the ways.

Several people, myself included, suggested that if Bollinger is as interested in free speech as he keeps saying he is, then he should reschedule the Minutemen and introduce them himself, with enough security around to discourage the reappearance of last year's stormtroopers in training.

A few weeks ago, it looked as though Columbia was about to make a rare lurch in the direction of free speech. Students re-invited the two Minutemen, but after these proposed speakers bought plane tickets, Columbia's pro-censorship DNA re-asserted itself and the two men were once again disinvited. Not a peep out of Bollinger.

One of Columbia's favorite tricks is to cancel a speaker, or reduce the size of the audience, on grounds that violence might break out. Last fall most of a large crowd that gathered to hear former PLO terrorist-turned-anti-Jihadist Walid Shoebat was turned away over securities worries. Only Columbia students and 20 guests got in. The same thing happened to Dinesh D'Souza, myself and several other speakers in 1999. A large crowd, including many from other New York campuses, had tickets, but the administration (this was a pre-Bollinger year) ruled that only Columbia students could attend. This was not the deal that had been agreed on, but Columbia was adamant. Rather than speak to a tiny remnant on campus, the speakers withdrew to a park nearby. As I spoke, one student shouted "Ha-ha. We're inside. You're out here," an excellent six-word explanation of how Columbia's robust free-speech tradition actually works.

Instapudit piths:

Yes, and this hypocrisy is a problem with higher education more generally, alas. It's why people don't take claims that "we're just opening up a debate" seriously -- because, you know, they're basically lies.

I've said this before, but add another trick to their arsenal: Claims of an absolutist commitment to hearing from speakers of all sorts, no matter how repulsive, in the interest of free speech for free speech's sake. Whenever these bastards are asked to defend their decisions, they claim they made no decisions at all, because their commitment to free exchange of ideas is so perfectly absolute as to admit of no decision-making, and no boundary-drawing, and no judgment calls, whatsoever.

So they avoid the question. Ask them to defend inviting a terrorist thug like Ahmadinejad on moral or national-interest grounds and they claim such grounds are wholly irrelevant.

Of course this is all a lie and a dodge. They are not free-speech absolutists; far from it. They exercise their judgment and own sense of propriety in these matters all the time; they just don't want to admit they do, because that would then invite questions about precisely what their judgment and sense of propriety, are, precisely, and they wish to lie to the public on such matters.

A commitment to free speech would begin nicely be actually speaking the truth and admitting one's true criteria for such invitations and permissions to speak at the university. Then there could actually be robust debate -- debate! what they always claim to be in favor of! -- of those criteria.

But they don't want debate over their criteria, because they don't want any chance they might have to abandon them. So they continue making their decisions and exercising their bias in the darkness of lies.

Commitment to debate and free speech? Uh-huh. Just like Joe Stalin was. Big fan of fair debate and vigorous dissent was Uncle Joe.

Posted by: Ace at 10:48 AM | Comments (20)
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No Electoral Change Coming in California
— Gabriel Malor

Back in August I wrote (external link) about the recent effort by some California Republicans to switch from the current winner-take-all electoral system to a proportional award of votes. In that post, I explained why I thought it was a bad idea.

So I'm pleased to note that the attempt to change California's electoral system has flopped.

There remained a chance that the measure could be revived, but only if a major donor were to come forward to fund the petition drive. However, time is short to gather the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed by the end of November. And backers said Thursday that they believed the measure was all but dead, at least for the 2008 election.

" 'Shambles' is the wrong word," said strategist Marty Wilson, who curtailed his fundraising efforts weeks ago. "The campaign never got off the ground."

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 10:21 AM | Comments (18)
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Claim: Tom Cruise Spending $10 Million To Build Bunker To Protect Against Intergalactic Attack By Vengeance-Seeking Xenu
— Ace

Further proof Tom Cruise is a fucking retard, RobG sluglines his email, and I can't do any better than that.

Hollywood star Tom Cruise is planning to build a bunker at his Colorado home to protect his family in the event of an intergalactic alien attack, according to new reports.

The Mission Impossible actor, who is a dedicated follower of Scientology, is reportedly fearful that deposed galactic ruler 'Xenu' is plotting an evil revenge attack on Earth.

According to American magazine Star, a source said: "Tom is planning to build a US$10 million bunker under his Telluride estate."

"It's a self-contained underground shelter with a high tech air purifying shelter."

The facility is said to have enough room for ten people - including wife Katie Holmes, 17-month-old daughter Suri and his adopted children Isabella, 14, and Connor, 12.

Now that that's out of the way, his spokesman denies the story, stating Cruise isn't building anything at all beneath the property, and I have to say I believe the spokesman.

Mostly.

Posted by: Ace at 10:04 AM | Comments (71)
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