July 31, 2009

Top Headline Comments 07-31-09
— Gabriel Malor

FRIDAY!

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:17 AM | Comments (2)
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July 30, 2009

Overnight Open Thread (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

Genghis is out and about and asked me to fill in for him. He mentioned something about "going to Tukwila" but I didn't want to ask what that meant.

Anyway here are a few items for your enjoyment:

Item #1: 10 Odd Things You Can Buy From Amazon
Most of these are kinda pricy - about all I can afford is the wolf urine or maybe the uranium.

Item #2: Wendy's "Grill Skills"
This is a Wendy's training video from 1989. It's kind of boring and cheesy like most training films are but at around the 3:40 mark it takes a distinct turn to the weird. On the plus side after watching it even I can now make a Wendy's hamburger. So I guess it works.

Tonight's post brought to you by the early pre-blog years of AoSHQ:

ace_magazine.jpg

Posted by: Open Blog at 06:01 PM | Add Comment
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Bar Patrons
— Uncle Jimbo

BeerBash.jpg

( Clockwise fm bottom left) A loud-mouthed clueless moron, a left-wing butthead racist academic, a cop, and an egomaniac who thinks he should rule the world. Yeah, I've been to that bar.

Posted by: Uncle Jimbo at 03:40 PM | Comments (6)
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Stabilization Bill Provides Some Stimulus After All
— Dave in Texas

$80 million dollars, including $50,000 to create or save important jobs in the totally hot gorilla porn industry.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:12 PM | Comments (1)
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Ask Not What Ace Of Spades Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Ace Of Spades (No, It’s Not About Money)
— DrewM

Our friend Ace gives and gives and gives but he almost never asks for anything. Hell, it took an open bloger and some of the co-bloggers to hit you up for money.

But late last night/early this morning Mr. O’Spades made a request. A simple request really…


58 Can I ask everyone a favor?
Please?

Can everyone call Palin Steele only either "Dummy" or "Dum-Dum" from now on?

Say it respectfully, as if it's a genuine name. But always Dummy or Dum-Dum.

Please. I want this. For *me.*
Posted by: ace at July 30, 2009 01:07 AM (JQ+0C)

Are you bastards so cold-hearted that you would deny Ace this?

Below the fold are some of Dum-Dum’s greatest hits. The kind of things that struck one or more of the co-bloggers as so stupid we actually emailed them around.

barackamericawithshield.jpg
Dum-Dum, Real Man of Genius. we salute you!

Take a look at them and I think you'll agree that they are just, well, dumb. And embarrassing. But mostly dumb.
more...

Posted by: DrewM at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)
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Obama Gives Presidential Medals of Freedom to Disgraceful Race-hater, Killer
— Gabriel Malor

The post-racial president continues his practice of giving lip service to "racial healing" while supporting some of the country's most notorious racialists. Today he named Rev. Joseph Lowery to be one of sixteen people to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor. You all remember Rev. Joe's disgraceful benediction from the inauguration (YouTube link, sorry, embedding disabled):

'Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when

Black will not be asked to get in back;
When Brown can stick around;
When Yellow will be mellow;
When the Red Man can get ahead, man;
And when White will embrace what is right.

That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen...

The theme (WTF?) of this years list according to the White House is "Agents of change. . . . They have blazed trails and broken down barriers." So, of course, they had to include Ted Kennedy, famous for breaking glass and climbing to safety.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:31 PM | Comments (3)
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AOSHQ Liquor Summit
— Gabriel Malor

James Joyner writes about summertime drinking.

Sure, you could always emulate President Obama and have a Bud Light. But if you want a beer that’s both light going down and yet actually tastes good, nothing beats wheat. I’m particularly partial to Ayinger, Magic Hat’s Circus Boy, and Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat. But there are plenty of good ones out there. Shock Top, distributed by the makers of Michelob, is widely available. Widmer’s and Sam Adams hefeweizen. Or, in a pinch, you can go with Blue Moon, a favorite of Obama’s drinking buddy, Sergeant James Crowley.

I prefer the Paulaner Hefe myself, but tastes differ.

Now, we're talking summertime social drinking here, people, so forget about the Val-U-Rite you keep to help you sleep at night. Go read the whole thing, then come back here and tell me what you think.

Mojitos? Are they too trendy right now? (Although Lauraw brought mint from her own garden to the last Moron Meetup!)
Rieslings? Too sweet?
Martinis? Too BondJamesBond? (Although noted martini snob Judge Bork calls them "a distinctly American invention.")

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:28 PM | Comments (3)
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In memory of Ernest (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

varneyface1_small.JPG

Rather than do another post on the birthers I thought I'd rather take a moment to remember Jim Varney who's best known as Ernest P. Worrell. If you lived in the South anytime during the 80's, you're familiar with the various commercials he did for local products. He also appeared in commercials in the Midwest as well as California which made him a national celebrity. Later he appeared in a series of movies which remain guilty pleasures for many including myself. For an obnoxious redneck Ernest was a lovable and familiar character. I think almost everyone has a family member or neighbor who unknowingly manages to channels their inner Ernest. Sadly Jim Varney died in 2000 from lung cancer at the age of 50.

While Varney is best known as Ernest one thing that most people do not know about him is that he was a trained Shakespearean actor and classic theater remained a love of his throughout life. He did a lot of standup, appearing on The Tonight Show and was a close friend of Robin Williams from their touring days. People that knew him say that unlike the characters he played he was extremely smart with a near photographic memory. He also gave a lot of money to youth drama programs, financed a Shakespeare theater in Tennessee, and was very active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visiting several hundred terminally ill children as 'Ernest'. By all accounts he was a decent, humble man who was happy with the success that he eventually found.

And here is a clip from a 1984 NBC Nightly News report when Varney was just getting popular. Be sure and watch it until the end.

Posted by: Open Blog at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)
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Heartache: T-Paw Makes Nicey-Nice With The Other Side
— Gabriel Malor

At the RNC gathering in San Diego, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty--one of McCain's potential VP candidates before Palin stole the scene and a likely presidential contender for 2012--talks about broadening the base:

The governor told members of the Republican National Committee that the party must not turn off voters who might disagree with the GOP on some issues.

Pawlenty says the party "needs room" for conservative Democrats and independents, as in the days of Ronald Reagan.

There's much more on Pawlenty's message at the RNC and his "blue state appeal" here.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)
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Obama: It's Not A Beer Summit
— Gabriel Malor

And he's still feigning amazement that people care what he says or what he's up to:

Obama says this is not a "beer summit" - "It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys."

He said he is "fascinated with the fascination about this evening."

Instead, it's three folks "having a drink at the end of the day," and giving themselves a chance to "listen to each other." The goal is to lower the temperature on an event that has become "so hyped and so symbolic." Try to reduce the "anger and hyperbole," and promote "self-reflection."

If he wanted to lower the temperature on this, he probably shouldn't have said the police acted stupidly about five seconds after saying he didn't know the facts. And if he didn't want it to be called a Beer Summit he probably shouldn't have had Gibbsy get all cutesy with the "Red, Light, and Blue" shtick.

This isn't the first time he's responded to unwanted attention with the excuse: "I didn't think people would be paying such close attention to what I said." It seems to come up a lot when the Great Orator sticks his foot in his mouth, though.

Right now, we're twenty minutes away from the Not-A-Beer-Summit Beer Summit. Somebody better tip the DC police to avoid suspected DUI stops this evening.

And imported from the Top Headlines Sidebar: MSNBC has a countdown clock, of course! Thanks to LaceyUnderalls?

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 12:42 PM | Comments (1)
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My Head Says No, But My Heart Says Post It: Roseanne Barr Nazi Joke Gone Very Wrong
— Gabriel Malor

A desperate cry for attention:

Her most-recent tailspin into the gutter involved a photo shoot with Heeb magazine wherein she is seen wearing an Adolf Hitler moustache and swastika as she takes burnt gingerbread "Jew Cookies" out of an oven (pictured right).

Thanks to many commenters for pointing out this story. I think. Click through for the pictures in all their anti-Semitic glory.

Do me a favor, parents: Teach your kids that it's never okay to wear a swastika. No one, but no one is gonna "bring it back."

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)
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Pelosi Unloads On "Immoral" Insurance Companies
— DrewM

I love Thursdays because that means it is time for Speaker Botox's weekly press conference! Anytime she is the plastic and expressionless face of an issue, good things happen.

"The public option -- that's where the insurance companies are making their attacks -- it's almost immoral what they are doing, " said Pelosi, addressing reporters outside of her office a few minutes ago.

"Of course, they've been immoral all along," she added. "They are the villains in this, they have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening and the public has to know.. They have had a good thing going for a long time at the expense of the American people and the health of our country."

"This is the fight of our lives," she added.

Yeah, people bitch out their health insurance and the health care system but most don't want the government to mess with what they have.

"Something needs to be done, especially to help the kids and the elderly," said Williams, 48, who works for the school district in Forsyth County, Ga. "But if the reforms affect the insurance I have now, I would have a deep issue with it."

Proposals to change the system must allay concerns like Williams's, which seem to have increased since the debate began.

"It's a huge barrier," said Robert J. Blendon, a professor of health-care policy and political analysis at Harvard University. He cited a Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,001 adults in June that found that 83 percent were either "somewhat" or "very" satisfied with the care they receive and 81 percent felt the same way about their insurance. "These people have something to lose. If they think reform is going to actually make it worse for them, they get really scared."

So by all means Democrats, keeping putting one of the most unpopular figures in US politics out there bashing something most Americans like. That's an awesome plan!

And oh yeah, please keep Barney Frank availible to pimp the 'public option' as a backdoor to a single payer system.

Video shamelessly swiped from NRO.

Posted by: DrewM at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)
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Red on Red! House "Progressive" Caucus Threatens Dems Over Healthcare
— Gabriel Malor

Remember when you were a kid and you thought a game was too hard? You changed the rules.

Enter the Progressive Caucus. The Far Left is getting a bit pissed at the Medium-Far Left for trying to get Republican cover on the healthcare boondoggle. Now they want to change the rules:

[Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max] Baucus, who is more conservative than most of the Democratic Conference, has frustrated many of his liberal colleagues by negotiating for weeks with Republicans over healthcare reform without producing a bill or even much detail about the policies he is considering.

“Every two years the caucus could have a secret ballot on whether a chairman should continue, yes or no,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “If the ‘no’s win, [the chairman’s] out.

“I’ve heard it talked about before,” he added.

Harkin did not mention Baucus, but his suggestion would likely resonate with the senior Montana Democrat, who has often clashed with his colleagues over important bills.

Liberals are also upset by reports that Baucus and other members of the Finance panel have tossed aside the proposal to create a robust government-run insurance program.

This is just an extension of the chaos on Capitol Hill we've been talking about for the past month.

Get your popcorn. This is getting good.

Oh, very good update: Commenter t-bird notes a bit of hypocrisy from the progressives:

Now, why would you want a secret ballot?

Why indeed? We're all friends here, right?

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 09:19 AM | Comments (1)
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Video: Obama Claims Porkulus is Porkless [Cuffy Meigs]
— Open Blog

More wacky TOTUS hijinx ... or choking on a whopper? Quick video below the fold: more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 09:02 AM | Comments (2)
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Tide Shifts on Illegal Immigration
— Gabriel Malor

Via the Corner, the Center for Immigration Studies confirms what people have been observing in the last few months: they're leaving. From the précis:

The evidence indicates that the illegal population declined after July 2007 and then rebounded somewhat in the summer of 2008 before resuming its decline in the fall of 2008 and into the first quarter of 2009. Both increased immigration enforcement and the recession seem to explain this decline. There is evidence that the decline was caused by both fewer illegal immigrants coming and an increase in the number returning home. However, this pattern does not apply to the legal immigrant population, which has not fallen significantly.

One more time let's give props to Oklahoma and Arizona for cracking down on illegal employers. I can tell you from my own experiences in Oklahoma that it works. Amusingly, Napolitano's DHS is doing a better job than Chertoff's did.

The first two steps to resolving the damage caused by a large, unregistered and unpoliced illegal population are border control and employer control. Remove the common method of breaking immigration laws and the incentive to do so at the same time. The recession is helping to make clear the idea that incentives matter. There's no reason we shouldn't take a lesson from this. (And beat the libtards over the head with it.)

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)
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Obama's DOJ Meddles in State Affairs
— Gabriel Malor

In this case, my home state of Oklahoma isn't going to take it lying down:

In a stern letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the lawmakers - six Republicans and one Democrat - said Justice officials were meddling in Oklahoma affairs when they issued a pre-emptive April warning letter, well before any potential violation of law would take place.

"The Civil Rights Division letter was dubiously timed at the peak of legislative debate rather than in response to a particular state action," the delegation wrote to Mr. Holder on Tuesday, questioning whether Oklahoma was being singled out and asking what funds would be jeopardized.

The lawmakers questioned why Oklahoma received a warning when other states have similar language requirements. State Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican and sponsor of the referendum, said the letter was an effort to "blackmail" the state.

"The DOJ's argument is legally unsound and tries to equate English-language laws with national-origin discrimination. No court in the country has ever issued a ruling that supports the DOJ's specious legal claims," he said.

The Oklahoma legislature is putting an English-only ballot prop on next year's ballot. I think that's silly; what we need is an English+ policy which requires government proceedings and papers to be in English plus whatever other languages are appropriate. But it is absolutely Oklahoma's right to put the question to the voters. The national government should stay out of it.

On English+ Policy: It's like this. Bottom line: we absolutely need at a minimum for contact between people and government to be available in English at all times. That goes for all government proceedings, government documents, and government-public interactions (like 911 calls, town hall meetings, etc.). But there is no good reason those things should be provided only and exclusively in English.

No one here is going to argue that, for example, Spanish-only speakers shouldn't bother to call 911 or walk into the SSA office for help. (And don't accuse me of arguing straw men, I just wrote that's not their argument.) Spanish speaking Americans are entitled to those services just like everyone else and there are very good policy reasons for ensuring that they get them. So it wouldn't be a bad idea to provide them in Spanish, a fairly common language in this country.

By extension, the same goes for government proceedings and documents. It's fairly important that communication between the public and the government be straightforward and free from misunderstanding, considering how many papers have to be signed these days under penalty of perjury. It's not out of all reason to suggest that the government provide those documents in languages commonly spoken in the United States, once we've set the English-first baseline.

Now there's no reason to provide translation for every language under the sun. It's too expensive and largely unnecessary. It also depends on where you are in the U.S. The common languages vary considerably by region. The states are free to decide for themselves which are appropriate.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 07:59 AM | Comments (1)
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Iranian Protests Erupt Again
— DrewM

It's been 40 days since the violent clashes killed untold numbers of Iranians including Neda. This anniversary is a traditional day of mourning in Iranian culture and today's clashes centered around the cemetery where she is buried.

More than 1,000 opposition demonstrators clashed with riot police at Tehran's main cemetery Thursday as opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi tried to commemorate those killed in protests last month, including the 27-year-old Neda Agha Soltan, whose final moments were filmed and broadcast around the world.

Gunshots were reported around Vozara and Takth-e Tavous streets, Tehran's business district, with a witness reporting that at least one member of the Basij, Iran's voluntary militia, was firing into the air with a revolver. Riot police had cordoned off Agha Soltan's grave, which has become a point of pilgrimage for Mousavi supporters, who have formed a movement calling for the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won that election in a landslide, according to official results, but opposition candidates say the vote was rigged.

When Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, another defeated candidate, arrived near the grave at Tehran's vast Behest-e Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran, hundreds of supporters swarmed their white sport-utility vehicle, witnesses reported.

Authorities had banned memorial services and apparently threatened Neda's family.

Bastards.

Sorry, does that constitute 'meddling' Mr. President?

More:

It’s NUTS! I’ve never seen it like this before! It’s still going on, 9 pm now — raging! As I said, its more like a riot, totally out of control.

Earlier: This appeared to be the most successful protests since the crackdown began. It was more akin to a riot… The forces were decidedly not in control of the situation. The protests were too widespread and numerous, up and down Valiasr; and east and west, around the Mosala area entire main roads chock full — even stretching into side streets such as Yousef Abad (central
Tehran).

Posted by: DrewM at 07:42 AM | Comments (1)
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The President, He Done Got a House Dropped On Him
— Gabriel Malor

Latest from Rasmussen: he's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 28% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -12. That’s the lowest rating yet recorded for President Obama (see trends).

He's losing liberals out of the "Strongly Approve" group. They thought they had a mandate and majorities in the House and Senate. Oh wait, they kinda did. It's just that Obama is such a bumbler they haven't been able to make anything out of it.

Card-check? Checked out.
Cap-and-tax? Stalled.
Healthcare? Stalled.
DADT & DOMA? Still the law of the land.
Guantanamo Bay? Still open for business.

For the Left, "Obama" is synonymous with "failure." And for the Right, his name is synonymous with "socialist." That's not a recipe for electoral success.

Remember, the President will never again have the support, the opportunity that he had during these six months past. This was his chance. He blew it. When he realises it, he's going to recalibrate his goals and his message. We've got to be ready for him.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 07:13 AM | Comments (1)
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IBD: Hey Obama, Stop Blaming "Big Tonsil" And Look At The Lawyers If You Want To Cut Health Care Costs
— DrewM

If you want the big medical dollars you have to go to law school, not medical school.

Earlier this year the Los Angeles Times reported the somewhat surprising statistic that the most performed operation in America is the cesarean section, where a baby is delivered through an incision in the mother's belly and uterus. C-sections are now performed in 31% of births, up from 4.5% in 1965.

They have not increased because they're more expensive than routine deliveries.

It's because of lawsuits.

Trial lawyers helped create a medical crisis through malpractice suits that raise costs while driving doctors from their practices.

Old Democratic presidential aspirant John Edwards won $175 million in judgments over a 12-year period suing doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, everyone but the candy stripers, over infant cerebral palsy cases allegedly caused by mishandled deliveries.

As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted in a study in 2003, cerebral palsy could not be blamed in the "vast majority" of cases on delivery trouble. Edwards enriched himself by using bad science to bankrupt innocent physicians.

The New York Times has reported that as a result of such lawsuits, "doctors have responded by changing the way they deliver babies, often seeing a relatively minor anomaly on a fetal heart monitor as justification for an immediate cesarean."

But "tort reform" are the two words that may not be spoken during this debate. Gee I wonder if this might have something to do with it?

Amaya Smith, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers' trade group, declined to comment. The association's political action committee has given 95 percent of its donations in the 2008 campaign to Democrats.

Now I don't think donations usually affect votes as a quid pro quo but interest groups donate money to politicians who share their beliefs. We all know Democrats have an interest in screwing insurance companies and making people dependent on the government (you know, like all health care professionals are in places like the UK).

So no, you may not have tort reform but "Doctor" Obama will keep telling you how mean your family physician is. After all, he's seen the chart....

tonsilgold.jpg

Thanks to Slu for the Slushop and "Andy" in the comments last night for the IBD tip.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:10 AM | Add Comment
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Ah, the Beer Summit, A Milestone for Race Relations or a Farce?
— Gabriel Malor

The post-racial President is going to have his hands full this evening when he shares a beer with Skip Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. The President says the contents of the meeting will not be made public, but I wonder if he'll be able to keep Gates from talking about it.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today the president is not going to talk to reporters during the photo-op. "There is no formal agenda, there is no legislative agenda," Gibbs said, adding that the sit-down is "not an after action report," and he does not expect they will go over the details of what happened at Gates' house.

Gibbs, instead, called it an opportunity to foster a dialogue. When told that Gates wants an apology, Gibbs said, "We're not here to mediate apologies."

The president will drink Bud Light, while the Harvard scholar has expressed his preference for Red Stripe. The sergeant mentioned to Obama that he likes Blue Moon. Thus the drinks will be red, light and blue.

God willing, the three will make inane small talk for half an hour and that will be the end of it. Not the end that I would have preferred, mind you (Gates should be apologizing), but at least an end that doesn't include another Presidential lecture on race which the media can call "Lincoln-esque."

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 06:56 AM | Comments (1)
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