October 31, 2009
— Gabriel Malor Probably should have mentioned it before pretty much everyone went to bed, but tonight's the night to set your clocks back. If you forget, you're gonna end up at church an hour early tomorrow...
— Open Blog Welcome to Saturday evening all.
Be sure and save up all that anger and hate for our currently scheduled Flame Night on Wednesday. For now let's try and maintain the tissue-thin facade of moron fellowship and respect. Just a few more days...
The Awesomeness of Wilford Brimley
Before he wanted to talk with us about di-a-beetus for Liberty Medical, he was a Marine, a blacksmith, a bodyguard for Howard Hughes, a stuntman, and then finally an actor.
And yeah back in his prime, he probably could have taken Dennehy.
Megan Fox and Her Flawed Body: Club Thumbs
And Kate Hudson and Halle Berry are said to have six toes. Really?
— Ace I feel bad for her. Not a bad person, but the wrong person for the job. She's obviously upset about this.
The question here, which Allah keeps asking, is "Does this prompt a spate of third-party conservative challengers who wind up drawing just enough support from GOP candidates to give the House to the Democrats?"
The answer: There's a good chance of that. This was the danger, and this was what Newt Gingrinch was worried about.
As Allah also pointed out, there are two conflicting camps here: The Rush Limbaugh camp, which recognizes this danger and doesn't seek to encourage it -- not enough to harm our chances, anyway -- and the Glenn Beck camp, which seems to, at least rhetorically, call for near-complete purity, or else, the thinking goes, there is no difference between Republican and Democratic candidate, and we might as well drive Republicans to defeat until they "listen."
I hope the Limbaugh view prevails. Limbaugh will, I am pretty sure, not publicize detrimental third-party spoiler challengers, and will seek, more often than not, to urge his listeners to vote for the candidate who can actually win or who was fairly victorious in a primary. And much of the conservative blogosphere will also take this view, and not push spoiler candidates, or no-chance-to-win-but-only-to-take-away-15%-of-the-vote candidates, and support instead duly-nominated Republican opponents.
That camp will seek to limit this sort of thing, to the extent they (by which I mean "we") can.
What made Hoffman the right choice here? 1, Dede Scozzafava was not merely a wobbly Republican, she was a not-very-wobbly-at-all Democrat; 2, there had been no primary, no true testing of the caucus' wishes, and the whole deal seemed like a directed-from-above decision, almost a sham, and a tactically-poor one at that, 3, Hoffman could actually win, even from the outset; he seemed viable, if unlikely; and 4, because Scozzafava was so out of sync with mainstream Republicans (and obviously conservatives) this really was a case of "it doesn't matter if the Democrat or Republican wins." In this case, it really was the case that the Democrat was arguably more conservative than the Republican. (Indeed, Markos made this very case, before un-endorsing the more-"progressive" candidate Scozzafava.)
But if Glenn Beck is serious and not merely engaging in bluffing rhetoric, he really does believe that the only way to get back to a "Constitutionalist Majority" is to have a series of punishing losses, and full Democratic control of the government, for 5, 10, 15, maybe 20 years or so, unless the GOP "learns its lesson."
The trouble with that is this: There is hardly any guarantee whatsoever that this very-purified new party will be able to win elections and have any power, either. It is a fact that conservatives sometimes like to dismiss, but a good 40% of the country is liberal (I know they don't call themselves that; but many people who claim to be "moderate" are in fact liberal -- you know that from reporters telling you so, and the thousand liberals you've encountered online purporting to be "moderate") and another 20% is not politically principled and simply votes for whatever guy seem to be offering the most stuff at any time.
The other 40%? Conservative, yes. In this landscape, it is doubtful that true, absolute conservatives could win many elections. Some here and there. But how many? Not nearly a working majority, I don't think.
Hey-- ask all those midwest and mountain state conservatives if they want to give up farm subsidies in the interest of True Conservatism. Answer: No, they most emphatically do not, even if they agree with your statement of True Conservatism in principle. They would immediately lose their seats if they voted this way; which means, well, more votes for liberal Supreme Court justices.
I don't know if Beck is bluffing in order to drive the party to the right. If he is, that's not a bad exercise; Kos and his nutroots did that to the Democratic Party in 2004-2006, and that worked out all right for them.
But if he really does mean it? If it's not just rhetoric? If he really would rather see the more conservative party lose, and the more liberal party win, for a generation because the more conservative party still isn't conservative enough?
That would be bad, and I'm not sure what would happen. Beck could provide his slate of protest candidates with enough free media to get money and then get 20% of the vote... which would be doomsday for conservatism, at least before this 20 year project comes to fruition.
I hope that's not where we're heading.
I really hope Rush Limbaugh's jaded pragmatism wins out over Glenn Beck's revolutionary idealism.
That word "idealistic." I have never really understood why people believe that to be a positive thing, or call themselves that as if it's a compliment. I've always thought it was a cop-out.
— Dave in Texas Seems to be a lot of this going on lately.
In a dispatch from Kabul posted on its website, the newspaper quoted Western diplomats and people close to Abdullah as saying the former foreign minister would announce his decision on Sunday.
The decision, if confirmed, would effectively give Karzai a second five-year term.
In the battle of different takes on the story, a different Reuter's post calls it a "boycott" rather than stepping aside, and a negotiating tactic (for a power sharing deal?)
TOMORROW'S BREAKING HEADLINE? Newt Gingrich endorses Karzai, declares the importance of outsiders to defer to the locals in these affairs.
— DrewM To govern is to make choices and under the administration of Barack Obama, the choice is in favor of detained terrorists over the Americans those terrorists would like to kill.
Are the people who make this kind of decision the ones you making health care decisions for hundreds of millions of Americans?
Congressmen Mike Pence (R-IN) and Bart Stupack (D-MI) aren't amused.
"As long as Americans must wait to receive the vaccine, the detainees in Guantanamo Bay should not be given preferential treatment to receive the H1N1 vaccination," Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) wrote in a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh on Friday.
Pence, too, shared Stupak's concerns, but he also used his interview Friday to take a shot at Democrats -- and their handling of other healthcare crises -- in particular.
"I think this is exactly the kind of misadministration of healthcare, this and other aspects of the way this government is responding to the H1N1 virus, that ought to give the American people great pause about this massive government-run insurance plan that's been unveiled this week by House Democrats," Pence said.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this get mention two or three thousand times in the upcoming debate in the House and Senate. It should make for a wonderful TV commercial as well.
Fortunately for the Gitmo detainees they are protected from doctors who can only look longingly at their tonsils and feet. If not for the armed guards you just know those greedy MDs would be hacking away at them for the money and the fun of it.
— DrewM College football, Halloween stories or whatever else you got.
Also, you may want to consider droping a few bucks in the Valour-IT fundraising bucket.
I linked to the Navy team because a bunch of HS friends went Navy, so that's a little thank you to them. Whatever team you donate through the money goes to a great cause.
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Technology supplied includes:
-Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.
-Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).
- Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.
This is the first I've heard about adding the Wii and GPS items to the effort. I think it's great that the folks at Soldiers' Angels are continuing to adapt the meet the needs of these American heroes.
A new Sienna Poll (pdf) says Hoffman has 35% and Ownes is at 36%. Hoffman already had 50% of Republicans and plurality of independents.
Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign for the 23rd Congressional District and releasing all her supporters.
The state Assemblywoman has not thrown her support to either Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, or Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate.
"Today, I again seek to act for the good of our community," Ms. Scozzafava wrote in a letter to friends and supporters. "It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations."
Via The Corner
— Open Blog I think Ace has some 'splaining to do...
October 30, 2009
— Purple Avenger Remember all the fanfare that went with the supposed credit card reform legislation? Well, congress in its infinite
...It's hardly surprising that banks and other credit-card issuers would use a grace period afforded to them by Congress to their advantage.
The changes required under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or CARD Act, could go a long way to stop deceptive practices in the card industry. But before that happens, card issuers are grabbing what they can from the millions of Americans who are their customers...
The card companies lobbied Congress hard for the delay. They argued they needed the time to overhaul their computer systems, craft new sales' pitches and rewrite disclosure documents to be sent to customers.
While all that may be true, the facts indicate that they are using the time for something else.
"We worked long and hard to enact the safeguards included in the Credit CARD Act," Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut who had introduced the bill in 2004, 2005 and 2008 before successfully passing last spring, said in a statement. "But as soon as it was signed into law, credit card companies were looking for ways to get around the protections this Congress and the American people demanded."Note to self: NEVER EVER play a game of 3D Chess with Chris Dodd, the guy is way too freaking scary smart and will kick your ass six ways from Sunday.
His spokesman declined further comment about why Congress is being so aggressive with its actions now. Too bad they couldn't see this coming a lot earlier.
— Open Blog Welcome to Friday all. Finally.
And like other failed states Cleveland now has pirates.
— Gabriel Malor And so it continues. This week's crisis? It's on the label: Water.
Character development will continue until morale improves...
NOT RELATED AT ALL: Drunk Ewoks disrupt NBC's Today show (video).
Ace was at the Today Show this morning?
— Ace Allegedly, the GOP has bailed on her, in the sense that they'll no longer be pumping money to her candidacy, and since that word has gone out to GOP-connected blogs like Red State, it seems they want it to be generally know.
Well... allegedly bailed, so far.
— Ace I am always perplexed by the notion that death is never an appropriate sentence.
That it's a sign of a lack of civilization.
A Knox County jury this afternoon sentenced convicted torture-slaying ringleader Lemaricus Davidson to death for the January 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
The jury of five women and seven men deliberated about four hours before returning its decision to a packed courtroom.
The punishment is death, the jury foreman said.
The victims' families gasped at the verdict, but Davidson showed no reaction. Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner admonished those in the courtroom to control any outbursts.
The murder was especially heinous, atrocious and cruel, the foreman said, reading from the verdict form for Newsom.
But don't worry. He'll become a poet on death row and soon Paris will declare him an honorary citizen.
Thanks to Larissa.
— DrewM Eh, settle down. As Andy Levey notes, this transparency thing is about as helpful as the no fly list.
The White House says some of these are "false positives"
A lot of people visit the White House, up to 100,000 each month, with many of those folks coming to tour the buildings. Given this large amount of data, the records we are publishing today include a few false positives names that make you think of a well-known person, but are actually someone else. In September, requests were submitted for the names of some famous or controversial figures (for example Michael Jordan, William Ayers, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Kelly ("R. Kelly"), and Malik Shabazz). The well-known individuals with those names never actually came to the White House. Nevertheless, we were asked for those names and so we have included records for those individuals who were here and share the same names.
Still looks like George Soros is legit, so there's that.
Sorry about jumping on that too soon gang.
Original posts below the fold. more...
— DrewM Looks like there will be a temporary power sharing agreement that lets Zelaya back in but with some limitations on his power.
The deal, struck late on Thursday, will allow the country's Congress to vote on whether Mr. Zelaya, forced out of power at gunpoint on June 28, can return to oversee the country's national elections scheduled for November 29 and serve out his term, which ends in January.
...U.S. officials and many analysts were confident the deal would hold. Among other things, it calls for a government of national unity and for all sides to recognize the result of the November election. It also would restrict Mr. Zelaya's power if he does return through several means, including handing power of the armed forces temporarily to the top electoral body.
It's not a done deal yet as many in the Honduran Congress aren't thrilled with letting this little Chavez wanna be anywhere near the levers of power.
Here are the bits that bother me.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a visit to Islamabad, called it "an historic agreement," saying it was the first time that a Latin American country had suffered a break in the constitutional order that had been normalized through talks and non-violence.
...If the deal holds, it will go down as a foreign policy victory for Obama administration, which sent a high-level diplomatic mission to Honduras earlier this week to secure a deal after five months of one of Latin America's biggest political crisis in years.
Screw them. The Obama administration has bungled this from the start. What the Honduran's did was well within their legal framework and we should have supported them as they worked through this crisis.
The fact that the United States took the side of two-bit thug and punished a small country for having the temerity to chose the rule of law over tyranny. The fact that we were on the wrong side of this fight from the get go is not a victory but a mark of shame we will carry for a long while.
Good luck to the Honduran people and please know that what Obama did was Not In My Name.
— Purple Avenger Methane! - "new and improved", now with 30% more evil!!.
...When this indirect effect of the potent greenhouse gas is included one tonne of methane has about 33 times as much effect on the climate over 100 years as a tonne of carbon dioxide, rather than 25 times as in standard estimates...But wait, there's more!
...Sulphate molecules, produced when sulphur dioxide is oxidised in the atmosphere, have a cooling effect on the climate as they reflect heat but, while their direct effects are included in climate models, their indirect effects in combination with methane and other gases are not.All that "low sulfur" diesel we PAY EXTRA to refine and produce is actually hurting the effort to combat global warming, by reducing available sulfur dioxides for sulphate reaction.
Methane and carbon monoxide reduce levels of sulphate aerosols, because they use up oxidants such as hydroxyl in the atmosphere. Fewer oxidant molecules are thus available to oxidise sulphur dioxide to produce sulphate...
I ask you -- is there anywhere else on the planet other than the USA where there are rocket scientist politicians who allow you to pay extra for the privilege of hurting the planet and being a dupe of the dark lord global warming all in one shot? I think not. Only in America baby, only in America.
— Ace Whatever her name is.
Former NY Governor George Pataki has long had hopes of running for the presidency, but the knock on him was always that he was too moderate -- or liberal -- for the national GOP. So what's this?
As someone personally engaged in the way of life in the Adirondacks and Northern New York, Im deeply concerned about the course of our nation and the outcome of the election in the 23rd Congressional District.
Simply put, we cannot afford to give another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid we cannot afford another vote for higher taxes, we cannot afford another vote for government run health care and we absolutely cannot afford another vote to take away from hard working men and women the right to secret ballot.
That is why tonight, Im proud to endorse Doug Hoffman, a Republican, running on the Conservative line for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District.
Doug Hoffman will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He will fight for all the residents of northern New York. He will fight for our proud servicemen and women at Fort Drum, our dairy farmers in Lowville and our manufacturers in Plattsburgh.
As a businessman, and as a life-long resident of the North Country Doug Hoffman understands the need to lower taxes on working families, the need to stand tall against terror and he wont back phony stimulus programs that fail to create the jobs we need and leaves a mountain of debt to our children.
When elected to Congress Doug will work to reduce our taxes, he will stand tall against those who despise our freedoms and he will be a vigilant stalwart against those who would substitute government programs for individual initiative.
And Doug Hoffman can win.
I urge all the voters of the 23rd Congressional District Republican Democrat, Independent and Conservative to come out and vote for Doug Hoffman for Congress.
Politico notes that old Pataki aides are helping out Scozzofava -- so he must be pretty sold on Hoffman, or know that Scozzofava has no chance. Or both.
Newt Gingrich just emailed me to say that George Pataki should leave New York state politics to New Yorkers, such as himself.
Meanwhile, Markos Zippittydoodah or whatever his name is (damn these inconveniently named ethnic-types) is walking back his endorsement of Scozzofava.
The reason seems to be his cute endorsement has backfired, and he's being blamed for the rise of Hoffman.
Previously, after detailing the various reasons why Scozzofunstuff would be a superior Representative to Democrat Owens, Kos wrote:
...So it's official, I'm rooting for the Republican to win.
Which he now says was not, in fact, an endorsement:
I have no love for the Democrat, Owens, and I clearly have no love for Scozzafava in that post, so only an idiot would construe that as an "endorsement". An endorsement implies love for the candidate being endorsed. I wish nothing but ill will for all candidates in this race. But the GOP is full of idiots, and they've run strong with it, making my "endorsement" part of their anti-Scozzafava narrative. And now we're in a situation in which the conservative candidate Doug Hoffman has a real chance of performing better than the Republican.
When that fails to convince:
So I'm no longer rooting for a Scozzafava victory. That gets us nothing. And I'm not rooting for a Hoffman victory, and I'm certainly not rooting for Owens because I'm over Lieberdems.
I'll leave it to others to try and squeeze out my "endorsement" from that steaming pile of dog s--t.
But I'm rather pleased I've been used to attack Scozzafava by the likes of Club for Growth and Glenn Beck. Such mischief is almost Rovian!
Well, Rove's last bit of mischief was to lose the 2006 midterms.
Is that the "Rovian mischief" Kos has in mind here?
Ah: Pataki well-covered last night by Slublog.
This is not a repost. This is a recontextualization.
— Ace Rasmussen: 46 Christie 43 Corzine (who seems kind of fat himself) and Dagget 8.
Meanwhile, a pollster AHFF Geoff tells me is a "GOP Pollster" says Christie has a plumper lead of 7 points, 42-35.
Vote. It's important.
Thank to AHFF Geoff and Gabriel Malor.
Two big points I want to make:
First of all, that Florida day care center that claimed Spendulus money "saved or created" 129 jobs when in fact the money they got was simply used to give all existing employees raises?
That's not a "mistake."
When the WH demanded that those who received Spendulus money "report" back on how many jobs were "saved or created," they insisted upon a nonsensical rule: If a single dollar of Spendulus was spent on an employee's salary, whether that employee was a new employee or an old one, that gets counted as a job "saved or created." If he's a new employee, that job was created. If he's an existing employee, that job was saved.
Yes, $1. Because the nonsensical rules the White House told these people to count "saved or created" jobs by simply stated: If any employee's salary is paid, in whole or in part (any part!), count that as a job "saved or created" by the spending.
And then report that number back to us.
Note that the White House's rules do not seek to discover which jobs really were "saved or created." To come to that conclusion, one would need a set of more rigorous rules -- which excluded some jobs from the "saved or created" category, rather than attempting to include them all under that rubric.
For example, you'd need a rule like: "If the funding pays more than 10% of an employee's salary, and the management feels the employee would not have been hired, or would have been fired, but for that spending, then this job should be counted as 'saved or created. "
They didn't do that. They didn't set a 10% threshold, or even a 1% threshold. A single dollar counts as saving or creating a job.
Further, they never asked if the employee would be out of a job but for that spending.
Because they didn't want to actually find out which jobs were saved or created. They just wanted as large a number as possible, even if it made no sense, and had nothing at all to do with jobs really affected by the spending.
So, if a factory gets $5000, and divides that, $50 a worker, among 100 workers, you know how many jobs were "saved or created" according to Obama?
100. Even though $5000 obviously doesn't cover a single part-time salary, let alone 100 full-time salaries.
If a factory gets $5000, and divides that, $1 a worker, among 5000 workers, Obama's rules say 5000 jobs were saved or created.
And note that in neither case does the employee have to be a new one. It could be a guy working there for 30 years, whom the company would never even consider firing. Per the rules, if he gets 50 bucks, or even a single dollar, his job was right there "saved" by Bonny Prince Barack.
So the Florida day-care center that gave themselves all a small raise didn't make a "mistake." They reported the numbers precisely as Obama -- who is signing their checks, after all -- dictated.
The problem is not a "mistake" in implementation. The problem is that rules are sham from the start, contrived to force an absurd conclusion.
The second point is this: At no point in all of American history has the metric ever been what jobs a president has "saved or created." The metric has always been the concrete, easier-to-determine number of how many jobs were lost and how many were gained. There has never before been a "saved" category, ever, and yes, all other presidents in an ailing economy would of course like to shift focus from the jobs lost to those they can claim were "saved."
It is only Obama -- special rules for special people! -- who has ever been so shameless as to attempt to shift the terms of debate to something so favorable to him (and so hard to determine), and it is only in Obama's case has the media been so compliant they went along with the charade.
The media should ask themselves why Bush never sought credit for what jobs he had supposedly "saved" -- surely he "saved" some, eh? He could not have gone 8 years with multiple tax cuts and multiple stimulus packages without ever once "saving" a job that would have otherwise have been lost -- and what their reaction would have been if Bush, rather than President Prissypants, had demanded they respect this brand-new, politically-helpful metric of "jobs saved."
— Ace Allah, the Eeyore of the Conservative Movement, says he agrees with with Cavuto, but Cavuto actually thinks this one funny, charming appearance on Imus is enough to turn the election around. Does the pessimistic Allah agree with that?
There is no doubt this helps, but I wonder how much. I have to be honest with you: This is the first time I've actually heard Christie speak. My knowledge of him is all based on ads and blog-posts.
So, while I was surprised to find a nicely human guy here -- and one with a humorous dexterity -- I have to imagine that this is not news for many in New Jersey. Most people must have seen him before, right? Or am I overestimating once again the American public's interest in governing themselves?
So I wonder if the reaction here -- happy surprise -- is really the same reaction that NJ voters would have. I don't know how surprised they'd b. I mean, this guy didn't just roll out of bed yesterday morning and suddenly discover the ability for winning self-deprecation.
He also hits the right tone in criticizing Corzine for the fat jokes -- he's not outraged, just saying "Come on" and "Be a man, stand behind your insults, you effete loser." In so many words. Not outraged. Just kinda noting Corzine is passive-aggressive coward. And a dick.
Anyway, whether it's important or not, it sure is a pleasure to see some humanity in politics.
The Power of Pictures: Confession I don't like to make. Of bigotry.
Look, I realize now that Corzine ad affected me more than I realized. The slow-motion shot of his fat moving around beneath his shirt put it in my head, subliminally, that his brain was also fat. And slow. And sluggish. And lethargic.
And that comes from a guy who himself runs to the chubby. I have internalized society's hatred of me.
So I was more surprised than I otherwise would have been to see here a mind that's quick, fast, and kinda charming. Not a Fathead, but kind of an Athletic Head.
Now, my reaction was dumb -- this guy was a big-time prosecutor. How dumb and slow-witted could he possibly be?
And yet that's the impression I had of him, based on Corzine's ad.
Which re-makes my point about the media's delight in running the Prosperity Montage -- but only for Democratic presidents.
Bush had a 7.2% (advance) GDP quarterly growth rate in 2003 or 2004. Lost 165,000 jobs per the latest reading, but that's an eye-popping figure. His unemployment rate was at the time somewhere around 6%. And falling, as it had been for some time.
Obama manages a 3.5% one-quarter wonder, where the latest reading is that he lost over 550,000 jobs in the past month. And the same basic figure every month of his presidency, more or less. Millions and millions of jobs lost and a 9.8% unemployment rate. Which is rising, and predicted to rise by the White House, as a matter of fact.
He gets the montage.
The media simply runs campaign material for Democratic presidents every opportunity it gets.
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