December 31, 2010

21 dead in Alexandria Egypt car bomb attack on Christian church during new year service
— Purple Avenger

Turning the other cheek appears to have fallen out of favor...

...After the explosion, enraged Christians emerging from the church clashed with police and stormed a nearby mosque, prompting fights and volleys of stone throwing with Muslims - a sign of the sectarian anger that has been arising with greater frequency in Egypt...

Meet the new year, same as the old year.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 11:46 PM | Comments (46)
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Overnight Open Thread - New Year's Eve Edition
— Maetenloch

Happy New Year All!

jayne-mansfield.png

New Year's Eve 1965-Style

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December 31, 1944
— Dave in Texas

Allied forces in Europe are recovering, pressing back against the last great battle Germany brought to the conflict. From this moment until May 1945 the Allied armies continue to press toward their inevitable victory.

750px-45th_Division_roadblock,_Battle_of_the_Bulge.jpg

Most of the 101st had been on the line since D-Day, seven months of hard fighting. Away from home for two years. They held onto Bastogne until Patton's D Company, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment of the 4th Armored Division, reached Bastogne, and ended their siege on 26 Dec.

The Screaming Eagles never laid down, and never said "we needed 'rescuing'". They were airborne, they were used to being surrounded.

20,000 Americans lost their lives in this fight, the most costly battle for American forces in the war. But on this day, 66 years ago, the tide had turned their way, and they won the last major battle in Europe.

This New Year's Eve, 66 years later, over 120,000 Americans are deployed in the Middle East. The finest men and women this country has to offer. They aren't starved for supplies. They have ammunition, food, and vital equipment. But they are away from their families, their loved ones. Doing the job we sent them to do.

This New Year's Eve, remember them.

Happy New Year you morons. God keep you all. And here's to 2011.

Dave


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:13 PM | Comments (282)
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Alaska Senate Update: End Game, For Realsie Reals
— Gabriel Malor

I lied. One last law-related post before the year is done.

Joe Miller has decided not to appeal the federal district court decision dismissing his claims. It's over.

Now that that's done maybe I'll get around to figuring out who officially won our election contests. I've still got those neat bobble-head dolls to send to the winners. I'll probably get to it in the new year. Swear.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:12 PM | Comments (117)
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Court Temporarily Blocks EPA's Texas Power Grab
— Gabriel Malor

One last bit of news in the old year, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the EPA from taking over Texas' emissions regime, at least temporarily.

Texas filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington yesterday, saying the EPA didn’t give adequate notice or allow for comments on a proposed federal takeover of the state’s air permitting program on Jan. 2. Last night, the court ordered the agency to hold off on its plan while the court considers whether to delay the move until the case is resolved.

The appeals court ordered the EPA to respond to Texas’s motion by Jan. 6. Challenges to federal rules are brought directly to appeals courts.

This is simply an administrative stay for the court to consider Texas' motion to preliminarily enjoin the EPA until the litigation is resolved, which is why I say it's only temporary.

There's plenty of background on the Texas takeover at this HotAir post from Monday. The short version is that the EPA says Texas isn't doing enough to regulate emissions, particularly carbon, with its state-level programs, so instead it gets to feel the boot of the federal government on its neck.

On Monday, Ed noted the odd timing of EPA's decision. It was announced just two days before Christmas, with implementation to take place on January 2. I've written at length and several times over the past year about the Obama Administration's startlingly frequent disregard for federal law when it comes to regulatory decisions.

Obama and his fellow bureaucrats are right that Congress has ceded a great deal of authority to the Executive Branch to do pretty much whatever it wants in certain areas. But a significant limit on governance by executive fiat exists both under the Due Process clause and the Administrative Procedure Act. Before the President can just order the Environmental Prosecution Agency to tie lead weights to Texas' economy, he must give Texas notice and an opportunity to respond.

This same restriction tripped up the Obama Administration in the Gulf and at Yucca Mountain this year, where courts deemed lawless various attempts by the Interior Department to arbitrarily favor economy-killing liberal policies over other alternatives. I expect 2011 will be much the same.

Thanks to @irishspy.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:04 PM | Comments (77)
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Some Funny Posts From 2010
— Ace

Not a lot of funny stuff this year. Again. But here are three.

A Top Ten on Michelle Obama's claim that she had to depart the US on her husband's birthday to go celebrate in a glamorous Spanish Riviera resort with her gal-pals, because, see, one of her friends' dad had just died. She had to go party it up out of respect for the dead.

On Christopher Buckely -- who'd termed Obama a "rara avis" (rare bird), one of those few politicians to write his own books, and write them incredibly well -- gushing over a nothing of a fart of an Obama speech.

On Keith Olbermann claiming resistance to the Ground Zero Mosque is the first step of a new Holocaust.

Posted by: Ace at 11:31 AM | Comments (236)
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Uh-Oh: Think Progress Frets "Proposed House GOP Rules Give Rep. Ryan ‘Stunning And Unprecedented’ Power To Shape Budget"
— Ace

Obviously what they fear we welcome.

I guess this might be "stunning and unprecedented." It's not as much as you or I might want, but it does seem that Ryan is going to have some serious power here.

The incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives has laid out a series of changes it would like to make to the House rules, including replacing the current “pay-go” rules — which require all spending increases to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases — with a rule called “cut-go,” which requires that new spending programs — but not new tax cuts — be offset with spending cuts. The GOP has also proposed a new rule requiring that each piece of new legislation include a statement justifying the legislation’s constitutionality.

That’s not all, however. As National Journal reported today, “a little-noticed detail in the new rules proposed by House GOP leaders would greatly increase the power of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee.” Indeed, under the proposed rules, if the House and Senate do not agree on a budget resolution (a distinct possibility with a divided Congress), Ryan will be able to unilaterally set spending levels that are binding on the House, and any attempt to lessen the impact of these cuts can be ruled out of order.

Posted by: Ace at 09:23 AM | Comments (147)
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Floyd Abrams: WikiLeaks Cables Are No Pentagon Papers, and Julian Assange Is No Daniel Ellsburg
— Ace

Floyd Abrams is on the left, so he holds Ellsburg in higher regard than most conservatives. But more importantly, he holds Julian Assange in low regard.

I didn't know the part about Ellsburg holding back volumes of the Pentagon Papers that referred to current events, current officials, and current diplomatic efforts in Vietnam. It's an interesting contrast, as Ellsburg was at least selective in his leaking, and did not leak purely out of a childish urge to burn the house down.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg decided to make available to the New York Times (and then to other newspapers) 43 volumes of the Pentagon Papers, the top- secret study prepared for the Department of Defense examining how and why the United States had become embroiled in the Vietnam conflict. But he made another critical decision as well. That was to keep confidential the remaining four volumes of the study describing the diplomatic efforts of the United States to resolve the war.

Not at all coincidentally, those were the volumes that the government most feared would be disclosed. In a secret brief filed with the Supreme Court, the U.S. government described the diplomatic volumes as including information about negotiations secretly conducted on its behalf by foreign nations including Canada, Poland, Italy and Norway. Included as well, according to the government, were "derogatory comments about the perfidiousness of specific persons involved, and statements which might be offensive to nations or governments."

The diplomatic volumes were not published, even in part, for another dozen years. Mr. Ellsberg later explained his decision to keep them secret, according to Sanford Ungar's 1972 book "The Papers & The Papers," by saying, "I didn't want to get in the way of the diplomacy."

Julian Assange sure does. Can anyone doubt that he would have made those four volumes public on WikiLeaks regardless of their sensitivity? Or that he would have paid not even the slightest heed to the possibility that they might seriously compromise efforts to bring a speedier end to the war?

...

WikiLeaks offers no articles of its own, no context of any of the materials it discloses, and no analysis of them other than assertions in press releases or their equivalent. As Princeton historian Sean Wilentz told the Associated Press earlier this month, WikiLeaks seems rooted in a "simpleminded idea of secrecy and transparency," one that is "simply offended by any actions that are cloaked."

He then discusses whether Assange can be prosecuted under the notably-broad Espionage Act. He concludes he can be, if it can be established that Assange engaged in these actions with the intent to harm the national interests of the United States -- and given Assange's grandstanding, juvenile-nihilist public statements, that probably can be established.

Posted by: Ace at 08:32 AM | Comments (60)
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Dude Tops Leoniadas With 21st Century Molon Labe
— Ace

Like the Terminator, he just won't stop.

Thanks to SJ.

Good One-Liners: I was trying to figure out how to say "Come and suck it" in Greek but gave up. But, I struck up this Wikipedia page of "Laconic phrases," short sardonic James Bond-like threats and the like.

This was my favorite:

In the Korean War, after U.N. forces under American command were attacked by Chinese forces in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, U.S. commander Chesty Puller made the remark, "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things."[34] He also reportedly said, "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time".

Posted by: Ace at 07:03 AM | Comments (156)
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Red Letter Media's Star Wars Episode III Review is Up
— Gabriel Malor

My friends, it is a great day. That clever fellow who made the pretty darn decent reviews of just how wrong George Lucas went with the Star Wars prequels released his review of the third movie.

Go here. See ya later.

The other Star Wars reviews (as well as a great deal of other movie commentary) are available on YouTube. If you've got an afternoon to kill, or just want to know more about movie making than George Lucas, definitely worth a look.

Thanks to @JohnJ2427.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 05:01 AM | Comments (75)
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Top 10 Christiane in Twenty Ten
— Dave in Texas

She's the Jim Carrey of Sunday morning network anchors. Without the intellectual heft.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:51 AM | Comments (87)
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New Years Eve 3d Livestreaming
— Genghis

This is way way early in the day and it'll get bumped and/or folded into tonight's ONT, but if you have the urge to watch what's being called The World's First 3d Webcast then you'll want to have all your ducks in a row.

I'm not even entirely clear how it works and whether or not you have to have a 3d TV, or you can view online in 3d-ishness, or whether there are even 3 dimensions in our universe to begin with. (Personally I believe there are only 1.73 dimensions.)

But the site helpfully provides instructions (or links to instructions) on how to make your own 3d glasses Kind of like an arts and crafts project. Sadly there's no Elmer's Glue called for but why let that stop you from buying a bottle and keeping it on the side as an occasional snack?

Artist's depiction of the source of Elmer's Glue and/or Surf n' Turf

Posted by: Genghis at 03:32 AM | Comments (19)
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Top Headline Comments 12-31-10
— Gabriel Malor

E pur si muove.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:16 AM | Comments (98)
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December 30, 2010

Hawaii $1.5M-O
— Slublog

How much does Obama's vacation cost?

Short answer - a lot.

Just consider these estimates on part of the costs of the latest Obama Hawaii trip:

* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

* Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

TOTAL COST: $1,474,200

The guys at HillBuzz show just how unprecedented this vacation is, compared to where other recent presidents spent their Christmas vacations. Most presidents chose to spend Christmas either at the White House or at Camp David, which is 70 miles away from D.C. Obama's choice of vacation spot is about 4,800 miles from Washington and his decision forces security and other staff to miss Christmas with their families. Other recent presidents showed more consideration for the needs of those who work for them. The Obamas...have not.

Their decision really should not be that surprising, since they haven't shown much consideration for how their vacations impact citizens in the past. Sure, millions of Americans may be out of work, and the economy is in the crapper, but this president won't allow such distractions to get in the way of his desire to spend time basking in the Hawaiian sun.

The worst aspect of this story? The same media that freaked out over a Republican president spending time at a ranch he owned free and clear are writing puff pieces about the current president's indulgences on our dime.

So, fellow wingnuts...how's the cake? Mine is a bit dry. more...

Posted by: Slublog at 06:08 PM | Comments (122)
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Overnight Thread-The I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Edition [CDR M]
— Open Blogger

What’s up Moron Nation and Happy Eve before New Year’s Eve! Back at the helm as Maet is out and about looking for the perfect hobo to capture and feed his family during these hard, hard times. Remember earlier this year the uproar over vuvuzela’s? Well, it takes a real man’s sport to properly use this noisy contraption properly.


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Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:30 PM | Comments (660)
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Co-Author of Original Cloward-Piven Strategy Calls For Mass Protests, Disruptions
— Ace

Frances Fox Piven doesn't seem to advance a sneaky new strategy here as she did so long ago. Mostly it's just calling for typical leftist roil. But Ron Radosh went behind the firewall at The Nation to read her new aggrievements, and here's what she'd like to see:

What is needed, she suggests, are “mass protests” that might influence Obama and press “him hard from his base.” To do that, however, she notes that they have to get past the many obstructions to mobilize the unemployed. This is especially the case that the unions today “do little for their unemployed,” who don’t pay dues and “are likely to be malcontents.”

Piven argues that their task is harder than it was in the past, because the unemployed are diverse, are not in one area of the country and have no common institutional setting. It is hard to bring people together, even in welfare and unemployment centers, she complains, since often administrators try to avoid long lines and crowded waiting areas, where organizers could proselytize and inflame the dissatisfied applicants.

But most important, she writes, “they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant (Radosh's emphasis) …Losing a job is bruising; even when many other people are out of work, most people are still working. So, a kind of psychological transformation has to take place; the out-of-work have to stop blaming themselves for their hard times and turn their anger on the bosses, the bureaucrats or the politicians who are in fact responsible.”

They also need targets, which she sees as “the most difficult of the strategy problems.” Since she knows well that “local and state governments are strapped for funds,” the poor and the unemployed must demand “federal action.” It is, in other words, another “fiscal crisis of the state” that, as in the past, can be used to advance the radical goal. There first have to be local protests that have to “accumulate and spread,” then “become more disruptive” (Radosh's emphasis) in order to pressure our national political leaders. What does Piven mean when she calls for disruption? She is clear and up front about her intent:

An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees. (Radosh's emphasis)

What she is calling for is nothing less than the chaos and violence engulfing Europe. Disgruntled leftist unionists, students who expect an education without cost, and citizens of social-democratic states cannot accept that the old terms of the social contract they thought would last forever have worn out their welcome. The European welfare-state governments can no longer function with the kind of social programs that now far exceed their nation’s budgets and hence are moving their countries to the precipice of total collapse.

It's going to be a rocky two years. They won't quit fighting until they know, really know in their bones, they've been beaten, and they're pretty oblivious as a general matter, so it's going to take a serious pounding to get through.

Posted by: Ace at 03:04 PM | Comments (267)
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Oh My, Chairman Of GOProud Beclowns Idiot Host On MSNBC
— DrewM

Via Allah and The Right Scoop, it's a bit slow to get going but well worth it.

(I'm having trouble loading the video, if you are too, head over to The Right Scoop to watch it)

My favorite part? The idiot subbing for Ed Schultz mocks GOProud for only being at CPAC for two years, to which the guy from GOProud says, "we've only been around for two years".

Liberal genius!

I wish more members of Congress could handle lefty TV idiots as well as this guy did. more...

Posted by: DrewM at 02:30 PM | Comments (80)
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Murkanskey Certified Winner of Alaska Senate Race
— Dave in Texas

Bacon wins in Alaska. Damn shame.

Here's a graphic which really doesn't have anything to do with this post, just puttin it out there and all. It reminded me of something, don't know why.


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Posted by: Dave in Texas at 01:45 PM | Comments (63)
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Hot Tamales: Man Arrested For Masturbating On Flight; Claims He Was Just Trying to Relieve Burning from Spilled Tabasco
— Ace

In flight entertainment.

Arrested this week for allegedly masturbating while seated next to a teenage girl on an airplane flight, the 50-year-old suspect told police that he was actually massaging and itching himself because he had spilled Tabasco sauce on his penis.

The girl, 17, saw him doing the deed under the fold-down tray, in the, uhh, upright and locked position, IYKWIMAITYD.

There's a time for that, and that time, of course, is overnight flights.

Posted by: Ace at 12:38 PM | Comments (264)
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Iowahawk Spoofs Ezra Klein's High School Essay, "The Constitution Is Like Super-Old 'n Stuff"
— Ace

Funny!

According to Wikipedia1, the Constitution was discovered over 100 years ago, but is still going strong today. It was discovered by the "Founding Fathers" such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and so forth. Although we often call them the "Founding Fathers" there were many women who were also important in this process who have been far too overlooked. Although these people are now mostly passed away, we still remember them for their importance.

It is important to remember that there are three main parts to the Constitution. First there is the first part. Then comes the middle part of the Constitution. Finally, there is the last part. In the first part of the Constitution we are introduced to the colorful characters, who can often be juxtaposed. This first part helps to, i.e., set up the "tone" for the rest of the Constitution.

I asked Iowahawk what source material he uses as a template/inspiration for his T-Cod pieces. I think he answered vaguely that he didn't know. I know what the template was for this piece, though.

Thanks for that last link to rdbrewer.

Posted by: Ace at 12:00 PM | Comments (109)
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