February 26, 2010
— Purple Avenger With the space shuttle fleet soon being retired and all, maybe Obama can upgrade to the shuttle crawler? Lots more room under that than a bus.
..."As we turn the corner on the first year, this is a good time for me to explore opportunities in the corporate world," Rogers told the Chicago Sun-Times, which first reported she was leaving.She's is the first of the "inner circle" White House staff appointments to get tossed under, right?
Like senior West Wing advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, Rogers is a Chicagoan in Obama's inner circle. She is particularly close to First Lady Michelle Obama...
You know what they say about close up and personal killings/firings...the first one is the hardest. It gets easier after that. Or so they say. Pretty soon its no more gut wrenching than tossing away a used Kleenex. more...
— DrewM And if you don't like it, he's got two words for you..."Tough Shit".
In an unusual display in the normally sleepy chamber, Bunning without the support of GOP leadership has blocked efforts to quickly approve a series of extensions to measures that would otherwise expire Sunday, including unemployment insurance and the Cobra program that allows people who lose their health benefits to continue getting coverage.
And that has led to a furious exchange on the floor, with Democrats attacking the senator, who has refused to relent on his objection, in unusually harsh terms.
In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.
Tough st, Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.
Bunning apparently supports the bill, he just wants this $10 billion covered by some cuts or to come out of the Congressional Slush Fund (aka TARP).
Obama signed a new Pay-Go bill not too long ago, I guess that starts later or probably never.
This is a bit of showmanship, Reid will be able to get this to the floor once they come back next week but it does show the GOP hasn't quite taken the deficit message to heart yet. I know this is a politically necessary bill but it would be nice if the Republicans made some effort to actually pay for this stuff by at least offering some areas where costs could be offset. Not so much it seems.
— DrewM Game update: Finland's coach says he sorry he started this guy in net today...
It was an interesting experiment but it didn't pan out.
Kudos to "garrett" in the comments for the scouting report on Miikka Kiprusoff.
Before getting to today's game just let me say I may, just may, have to reconsider my absolute loathing of womens 'hockey'. After the Canadian women beat the US in the gold medal games, the canuks hung around on the ice drinking beer and smoking cigars. The IOC is miffed but I'm...kind of aroused.
— Ace Seems a bit odd that the Brits would have a tea party -- the big one was something of a blow to the empire -- but...
Last night Allah linked one of the most obnoxiously condescending stories on the tea party (American division) I've ever had the misfortune to read.
The LA Times commissions a deeply snide and insulting sociological look at the Tea Partiers, reducing them, as is their wont, to little but crude and callow impulses. And who did they seek for this "analysis"? Democratic Party consultants, of course!
Note that the leftist media never bothers to wonder about what psychological inadequacies might drive all those smelly hippies and black-masked trust-fund anarchists they unfailingly refer to as "veterans, shopowners, mothers, and grandmothers, just plain folks expressing their discontent with war/capitalism/America."
Neither "average Americans," as they like to portray themselves, nor trailer-park "Deliverance" throwbacks, as their lefty detractors would have us believe, tea partyers are more highly educated and wealthier than the rest of America. Nearly 75% are college educated, and two-thirds earn more than $50,000.
More likely to be white and male than the general population, tea partyers also skew toward middle age or older. That's the tell. Most came of age in the 1960s, an era distinguished by widespread disrespect for government. In their wonder years, they learned that politics was about protesting the Establishment and shouting down the Man. No wonder they're doing that now.
Look closely at the tea partyer and what you see is a famil- iar American genus: a solidly middle-class, college-educated boomer, endowed by his creator with possessions, opinions and certain inalienable rights, the most important of which is the right to make sure you hear what he has to say.
The tea party is a harbinger of midlife crisis, not political crisis. For men of a certain age, it offers a counterculture experience familiar from adolescence -- underground radio, esoteric tracts, consciousness-raising teach-ins and rallies replete with extroverted behavior to shock the squares -- all paid for with ample cash.
The partyers are essentially replaying the '60s protest paradigm. (We're aging boomers ourselves, so we know it when we see it.) They fancy themselves the vanguard of a revolution, when in fact they are typical self-absorbed, privileged children used to having their way -- now -- and uninhibited about complaining loudly when they don't. It's the same demographic Spiro Agnew called "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals."
The tea partyers' pictures and sound bites are so good, no one cares that their math doesn't add up: Cut taxes and the deficit but keep your hands off my Medicare; do something about jobs but don't increase spending. Everyone understands it's about something deeper.
Ah, tea partyer, we know ye well. One of your signs says "Listen to ME!" That's all that's ever really mattered -- the original "me generation" grabbing the spotlight and the world's attention by whatever means necessary. The rest, whether beads, bell bottoms or birther slogans, is just a means to the same end.
Again, we never saw this sort of crude disparagement of motive directed by the media at Obama's Zombies or any of the leftwing protests.
— DrewM Perhaps they will be killed last.
Politiken issued the apology after settling with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups that complained after the cartoon was reprinted by 11 Danish papers in solidarity with the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who received death threats last year.
Outrage at the move was led by Denmarks Prime Minister and by Mr Westergaard, 74, who survived an alleged assassination attempt by an Islamic axeman at his home last month.
Politiken responded that it was apologising for the offence caused, not the decision to publish, in an attempt to reduce tensions with the Muslim world.
...In a statement, Politiken said that it recognises and deplores that Muslims were offended by the caricature. We apologise to anyone who was offended by our decision to reprint the cartoon drawing, it said.
Toeger Seidenfaden, the Politiken editor in chief, added that the paper was apologising for the offence caused by the cartoon, not the decision to reprint it. We have the right to print Kurt Westergaard's drawings, we have the right to print the original 12 drawings, we have the right to print all the caricatures in the world, he said. We apologise for the offence which the reprint has caused. That is what we apologise for.
He said that Politiken considered the statement a unique chance to foster dialogue on the issue and reduce tensions between Denmark and the Muslim world.
Yes, the chance to sell out core values to thugs is "unique" and apparently must be taken whenever one has the chance.
The other newspapers who ran the cartoons are rather pissed at Politiken for breaking ranks and selling out. It's no doubt made it much more dangerous for those defending the core principles of western civilization. The first crack is usually the hardest one to get but once it happens the rest are easier. People always remember the first to toss others under the bus but it gets easier once the precedent is set. Now the Islamists know it's not a question of whether pressure will work, just how much.
Thanks to Politiken, the pressure will no doubt be upped on the rest. But they should be fine because these things always work out well for those who sell out.
— LauraW So, we're talking about doing one. Next month. When the weather here in the Northeast will still suck mightily. It always seems to be cold when we hold these things.
Date and place yet to be determined. Some folks are talking Fairfield County? Yes? Eh?
Connecticutian Morons, please visit the yahoo forum and put us some knowledge.
We need more ideas for the party.
So far we have only one idea, but it feels like a winner. Daryl T. came up with it and he's a genius.
Content warning for language.
SIGH. We always have such a nice time at these things.
— DrewM Looks like NY's accidental Governor is going to drop his election bid, which he officially announced only last week.
Gov. David Paterson has told Democratic leaders that he won't seek election to a full term amid a roiling scandal over whether he and his troopers intimidated a woman who'd reported domestic violence against one of his top aides, The Post has learned.
Paterson communicated his intentions to top advisers and supporters, saying he'll make an announcement today, multiple sources said -- confirming a Post report.
Paterson, who took over the state's top spot when Eliot Spitzer resigned after it was disclosed that he had sex with a prostitute, is expected to say he won't resign.
Just last night Paterson said he intended to continue his campaign, which he launched this past weekend. But he also said he would talk to fellow Democrats about his future.
I guess they told him what everyone already knew...he was dead man walking before the recent scandal hit and that being caught up in allegations of intimidating a possible victim of domestic abuse wasn't exactly going to help.
My guess is he will still wind up having to resign before all is said and done.
What's this mean for Republicans? Not much in terms of the Governor's race. Andrew Cuomo, who will be investigating Paterson now, will still win the Democratic primary and Rick Lazio will still get steamrolled by him.
It might help on the margins in some suburban state Senate districts that were formally held by Republicans but lately have been going to the Democrats. Retaking the state Senate in '10 and holding it in '12 will be very important as NY goes through its redistricting process, especially since NY is likely to lose at least one House seat.
— Gabriel Malor As I walked to work yesterday, the chyron on all the TVs on the CNN building, and the giant information ticker that runs around the building, said: "Bipartisan Healthcare Negotiations." And as I watched part of the summit, I kept hearing the President and Democrats say to the Republicans, "we agree with that."
So, I was surprised to see this headline this morning which suggests that Obama isn't going to change his bill at all:
Obama To GOP: Its Over
Obama listened politely for six hours, with occasional flashes of temper, but in the end, the message was clear: Its over. Were moving forward without Republicans.
Whether Obama and Dems will succeed in passing reform on their own is anything but assured, to put it mildly. But theres virtually no doubt anymore that they are going to try starting as early as tomorrow.
That was the subtle but unmistakable message of Obamas closing argument. After hours of hearing Republicans repeat again and again that only an incremental approach to reform is acceptable to them, Obama rejected that out of hand.
How will Americans react to this farce? I'm guessing they're not going to be any happier about it today than they were on Wednesday. That is, a majority will still want either to do nothing or to start over from scratch.
— Gabriel Malor FRIDAAAAAY!!!
— Slublog Maxine Waters vs. monetary policy:
The look on Ben Bernanke's face is priceless.
h/t: Crossing Wall St.
February 25, 2010
— Purple Avenger There's some dangerous places in the world and it apparently costs a LOT to protect our devoted diplomatic corps in them.
So you're wondering where this ultra-high risk embassy would be located, but I don't want to spoil the surprise just yet.
Iraq? No. (that one only cost $700M)
Pakistan? No. (that one cost ~$850M)
Israel? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? No. No. No.
Its going to be in the most vile, ungoverned, wanton violence infested, pestilence ridden, asshole of the universe nation on the planet where Americans are being ruthlessly gunned down and blown up with car bombs daily by the dozens. A nation where the whole freaking populace is armed with AK-47's, RPG, and all manner of heavy weaponry just itching to render any American who dares poke their head up into a fine pink mist at the first opportunity.
I'm sure you've guessed it by now. Obviously, I'm describing England and our new embassy in London. The good news is -- it will have a real moat like all proper castles do! Presumably this would be a heated moat so it won't freeze and the Piranhas and Crocks don't get all lethargic and start slacking during the colder months.
Since our "special relationship" is so very special, the Brits also want to charge us an additional 17.5% VAT on that cool $1B cost as well. So far we've sac'd up and told'em to get stuffed on the VAT. I'm guessing Obama's spiffy gift DVD collection wasn't much of a bargaining chip there.
Here's an idea - hows about just building a huge poured concrete bunker with 10' thick blast proof walls or welded 12" battleship'esque armor plate?
— Maetenloch Happy Thursday M&Ms.
How to Start Up Up An F-16C
So if you're looking to boost an F-16, the good news is that there's no key. But that's also a down side since it means that you actually have to know what you're doing. So here's the minimum you need to know:
Start up of the F-16C is simple....no external APUs or other equipment is necessary. One switch turns on the battery and then another switch hits the Jet Fuel Starter. When you see the GREEN JFS light, unock the throttle and in less than a minute you're up to idle speed, and the only thing left to do is aligning the inertial navigation and perform pre-flight checks.
Full details are here.
— Ace Sorry, I have to out myself -- this show is awesome.
Chiefly because I think "Boston Rob" Mariano is awesome.
If you haven't watched Survivor in a while, check it out. Just started on CBS (Eastern) tonight, and you only missed two episodes (both available online). It's another All-Star show, with the tribes divided up according to who's supposedly a hero and who's supposedly a villain.
— Ace Wow, these guys sure do have a lot of grassroots, bottom-up, self-starting energy on their side.
The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America has quietly launched an initiative aimed at making Obama supporters' voices heard on the largely conservative airwaves.
"The fate of health reform has been a focus of debate in living rooms and offices, on TV and online and on talk radio. And since millions of folks turn to talk radio as a trusted source of news and opinions, we need to make sure OFA supporters are calling in with a pro-reform message," says the introduction to the online tool.
The online tool presents users with a radio show discussing political topics, to which supporters can listen live, and the phone number for that station, for when health care comes up. It also offers tips for callers and talking points on the issue.
Ever notice that everything they accuse us of they're actually guilty of?
Projection. It's not just a river in Egypt.
Thanks to enoxo.
— Ace Dave @ Garfield Ridge wrote to me to say Paul Ryan had given him wood earlier in the day, with his Washington doesn't have all the answers mini-speech.
I think this is better.
Look at Obama just having to sit there and take it, with that Nixonian glower. And note again he will not engage on any point he'd have to concede -- he just says he doesn't want to get "bogged down" in petty little details like whether this cuts costs as advertised, or in fact creates a perpetual multi-trillion hole in the budget.
Jay Nordlinger: Agrees Republicans won:
Let me try something out on you: This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans dont care about health care, they dont know about health care, they are the Party of No. All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.
It is not so, and it has never been so. And now everybody knows it.
— Ace But Obama and his bastards are doing this for the American people, huh?
If President Obama is unable to reach a deal with Republicans at the summit, 59 percent think he should start from scratch later. Some 34 percent think he should go ahead and try to pass the current bill without Republican support.
...For independents.... by more than two-to-one they support dropping the current bill and starting over.
Another finding: by 62% to 17%, the public says Obama is better at campaigning than governing.
"Broken Government:" I like this point by George Will:
Today's health policy "summit" comes at a moment when, as happens with metronomic regularity, Washington is reverberating with lamentations about government being "broken." Such talk occurs only when the left's agenda is stalled. Do you remember mournful editorials and somber seminars about "dysfunctional" government when liberals defeated George W. Bush's Social Security reforms?
— Ace Yuval Levin of NRO:
mornings session suggests three broad points. First, the Democrats appear to have no particular purpose in mind for this event. Theyre not driving anywhere, or making a clear individual case, while Republicans clearly want to get across the point that we should scrap the current bills and start over in pursuit of a few incremental steps. The Democrats may have thought that simply putting the spotlight on Republicans when the subject is health carewould make the GOP look bad. But Republicans so far seem prepared enough and focused enough to avoid that, and to make the Democrats look rather aimless by comparison.
Third, an important part of the Democrats problem is that Obama himself is their only star, and this format is not working for him. He certainly seems engaged and well informed (even given a few misstatements of fact, at least one of which John Kyl made very clear.) But he doesnt seem like the President of the United Statesmore like a slightly cranky committee chairman or a patronizing professor who thinks that saying something is a legitimate argument is a way to avoid having an argument. He is diminished by the circumstances, hes cranky and prickly when challenged, and hes got no one to help him. The other Democrats around the table have been worse than unimpressive. The Republicans seem genuinely well-prepared, seem to have thought through the question of who should speak about what rather carefully, and several of them have done quite a good job making their case against the Democrats approach. If we were to judge by debating points, Republicans certainly won the morning handily.
There are a lot of flaws in this health care bill, but I think one of the reasons it's polling badly - opposition between 46 and 56 percent, support between 31 and 41 - is because it represents a big and unknown change to a public that is wary, and particularly nervous about big, sweeping changes during a time of economic uncertainty. As I've noted, Obama and the Democrats made a lot of similarly grandiose promises about the stimulus that haven't panned out. Their credibility is pretty damaged right now.
The Democrats have a much, much tougher job today: They have to win over skeptics. The Republicans just have to keep pointing out all the flaws and ways it won't work cost, limitation of choice, overblown promises of cost containment, tax hikes, the likelihood of higher premiums, etc.; they haven't even gotten to abortion or illegal immigrant coverage yet and give the skeptics enough reason to say, "yeah, this just isn't going to work; big, expensive government programs never live up to their promises."
The Democrats are offering a lot of anecdotes about Baby Jesus, Steny Hoyer's answering machine, and the teeth of the dead. Obama is at his least persuasive; he keeps ruling GOP arguments out of bounds for one reason or another - don't hold up a copy of the bill, don't cite Washington because people are angry at Washington right now, don't ask for equal time, don't focus on where we disagree, don't remind me of what I said as candidate. I don't think that transforms the skeptics into supporters.
I don't trust myself to judge, really, because I thought McCain and Palin kicked ass in each of their debates with Captain Wonderful and Simple Joe; the public didn't seem to disagree. But it does seem to me the Republicans are getting the best of it, since the Democratic talking points are old and busted (the media parrots them all the time) and the Republican ideas haven't gotten nearly as much air time.
Another Positive Assessment: Phil Klein:
Having watched every minute of the health care summit, I have to disagree with my co-bloggers. I think that Republicans have been, generally speaking, handling this very well. I've been very critical of the GOP throughout the health care debate, but Republicans have consistently made fact-based arguments on why President Obama's plan will make our health care system's problems worse, presented other ideas, and made the case for scrapping the current highly unpopular bill and taking a different approach. Paul Ryan just completely eviscerated the Democratic claims that the Senate health care bill would contain costs and reduce deficits, outlining the accounting gimmicks that Democrats used, as well as the actuarial study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found the Senate bill would actually increase health care spending. Chuck Grassley, while not the whiz kid that Ryan is, followed up by noting a CBO report that found Democrats cannot double-count the savings from the Medicare cuts to claim it will both reduce deficits and extend the solvency of the program both at the same time.
NY1 Reporter: Gov. Paterson's Whereabouts Unknown, and His Aides Can't Find a Way to Contact Him
— Ace A NY1 reporter named Josh Robin tweets:
Top Paterson aides and advisors do not know where he is right now, and haven't been able to reach him.
Thanks to Slublog.
Update: Located in NYC.
I just have that image of Fred Amisen wandering around the SNL Update set.
Commemorative "Historic" victory plates that sold for $20 now $2 at Big Lots
— Purple Avenger Just got back from Big Lots while making my weekly Arugula and Wagu Beef run and they had a big stack of handsomely boxed limited run Obama commemorative plates for $2. They used to sell for $20+S&H on TV. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Even though they were placed on an endcap at the front of the store, it didn't look like they were moving.
Anyone want to wager this rather embarrassing remaindered stock vanishes very quickly due to an "anonymous" bulk buy? more...
— Ace I'm behind on my DVR. Fast-forwarding now looking for interesting bits.
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