March 30, 2010

Grade Schoolers Perform... Scarface?!?!
— Ace

I don't know if I buy this. Sure, it looks like maybe it's a school play, but it could just be some weisenheimers who staged it to look that way. You really don't see the full auditorium or anything.

So I'm calling tentative Shenanigans on this. And, believing it to be Shenanigans, I think it's somewhat funny.

If it's genuine, well, it's not really in good taste.

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" alt="Scarface School Play Funny Videos">
Scarface School Play - Watch more Funny Videos

Thanks to JasonF., via Instapundit.

Posted by: Ace at 10:37 AM | Comments (212)
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CNN's Main Anchors Lose Half Their Audience Over Past Year; Joy Frickin' Behar Beat Larry King 21 Times In Last Quarter
— Ace

Noted imbecile and C-List actor Matthew Modine just asked why we can't just sit down with Osama bin Ladin and ask him why he hates us.

MATTHEW MODINE: The play that I'm in right now, making my Broadway debut, "The Miracle Worker," is very much a story about communication. At first, you might think it's a story about a student and a teacher, Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. In a bigger sense, the story is about all of us being deaf and blind. [rambling retarded blather omitted.] But we have to do that all the time in different ways with our children or with people who see things differently than us. Imagine if somebody were to really sit down with Osama Bin Ladin and say, "Listen man, what is it that you're so angry at me about that you're willing to have people strap bombs to themselves, or get inside of airplanes and fly them into buildings?" That would be the miracle if we can get, sit down and talk to our enemies and have a fine way for them to hear us.

Hey, man, why don't you stop butchering people? It's a buzzkill, man.

You know, guys like Matthew Modine are so charming and empathetic and stuff that if only they'd had the chance to sit down with Adolf Hitler and have a real good (air quotes) "rap session," why...

I'm quoting that because the liberal media never pauses for a moment to ask the pertinent question, "Why does the American public hate us, and what can we do to appease them?"

CNN continued what has become a precipitous decline in ratings for its prime-time programs in the first quarter of 2010, with its main hosts losing almost half their viewers in a year.


The trend in news ratings for the first three months of this year is all up for one network, the Fox News Channel, which enjoyed its best quarter ever in ratings, and down for both MSNBC and CNN.

About the only break from the bad news for CNN was that March was not as bad as February, when the network had its worst single month in its recent history, finishing behind not only Fox News and MSNBC, but also its sister network HLN — and even CNBC, which had Olympics programming that month.


But the numbers are stark: For the network’s longest-running host, Larry King, who has always been regarded at CNN as the centerpiece of prime time because he drew the biggest audiences at 9 p.m., the quarter was his worst ever.

Meanwhile, FoxNews quadruples CNN's audience, and gained 25-50% in primetime, depending on host.

Despite? Headline: Despite Olbermann Being Out, March is Best Month for 'Countdown' This Quarter.

Again: Despite?

Coming soon, a Countdown Special Commentary: The Fight Against Irrelevance.

Thanks to DrewM.

Posted by: Ace at 09:47 AM | Comments (231)
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Matt Lauer Asks the Tough Questions: Mr. President, How Can You Be So Awesome In the Face of Such Racist Hatred?
— Ace

People say that Obama did really well during the campaign.

Bear in mind, this was the sort of question he was asked by the media. It's sort of hard to blow a question about how awesome you are.

auer also asked Obama how he will be able to overcome the Republicans to get anything done: "The vitriol, the rhetoric, the sniping, the threats, how are you possibly going to continue with any kind of legislative agenda when your opponents have said to you, 'I'm not gonna cooperate with this president, with these Democrats, unless it's a matter of national security.' How do you move on?"

The interview wasn't a total waste -- Lauer came away with a minor scoop: Obama's ass tastes like boisenberries.

Posted by: Ace at 09:35 AM | Comments (106)
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Palin: Let's Elect Veterans to Congress
— Ace

Great idea. The Democrats put up several veterans in 2006 and won.

Including Eric Massa, for God's sakes. That shows you how powerful a biographical datum military service is.

And that's just looking at it in political terms. In less-crass terms, these guys deserve to lead the country. When they say "I'll fight for you," they're coming from a position of experience actually, genuinely fighting for you.

Why the Republican Party doesn't do more of this is a mystery to me, but my guess is that the party is Stuck on Stupid and wants to nominate people whose "turn" it's supposed to be. Even if the candidate in question is sort of minor elected official without any real qualifications for Congress, other than having run for minor office in the past.

That said, there are a lot of candidates worthy of our support.

Palin spotlights three, for the moment:

The first is Major Vaughn Ward, a fourth-generation Idaho native who grew up on his family’s farm in Shoshone and is running in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. Coming from a family with a proud military tradition, Vaughn joined the Marine Corps after college and was finishing up his service when the September 11th attacks occurred. He put his life on hold and heeded his country’s call – serving first as a CIA Operations Officer and later volunteering with the Marine Corps for a combat tour in Iraq, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V. After returning from Iraq, Vaughn went to work for the McCain/Palin campaign. I was grateful for his support then, and I’m happy to support him now because I know that he believes in the same commonsense conservative ideals that we cherish. Vaughn knows that real job growth comes from the private sector, not government. He believes in free market reforms, tax relief for families and small businesses, and a return to a constitutionally limited government that lives within its means. He’ll carry the conservative banner to Washington and will rein in the reckless growth of government to get it back on our side. And remember, a vote for Vaughn is a vote to remove the gavel from Nancy Pelosi’s grip....

The second veteran is Captain Adam Kinzinger, a decorated special-operations pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Adam is running for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District against a freshman incumbent congresswoman who seemed to pull a bait and switch on voters to get elected. She sounded like a blue dog on the campaign trail, but didn’t vote like one in Washington. Instead, she voted in lockstep with the Pelosi agenda – on Obamacare, the stimulus, cap-and-tax – and the list goes on. She’s part of the reason for Congress’ 11% approval rating. Adam is a strong fiscal conservative with a proven track record as a reformer from his years serving on his local county board. Adam started out in local office, and, like many of us, believes in making government more accountable to the people. When you serve in local office, your constituents truly are your neighbors. Adam understands this, and I know that he will listen to his constituents and work for us, not against us, in Washington....

The third veteran is Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, a decorated war hero who’s served with distinction in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of you may have heard of Allen from a speech he gave last year that became a viral video on YouTube with over 2 million viewers. Allen’s personal story is a testament to the commonsense conservative belief that our nation’s greatness is rooted in freedom, because with freedom comes equal opportunity, and that, coupled with hard work, leads to success. Allen is a small government fiscal conservative running against a leftwing ideologue who’s marched to the beat of Nancy Pelosi on every issue from cap-and-tax to the stimulus, TARP, and, of course, Obamacare. It’s time to send Allen to Washington in his place.

The last link in each leads to the respective candidate's website, where you can donate. I've omitted the Facebook and Twitter links, but you can find them at Palin's post.

Another Vet: This one running for Gillibrand's own seat. Scott Murphy, who holds the seat now for the Democrats, posed as being anti-ObamaCare until Nancy Pelosi informed him he could no longer maintain that pretense, directing him to dutifully vote yes.

Chris Gibson, hero, and next Congressman from the 20th District of New York.

Posted by: Ace at 08:36 AM | Comments (196)
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On the art of political strategy provided by political strategists for free in the comments section, as played out in a haiku that is way too inside baseball and will undoubtedly give rise to complaints, but which makes the co-bloggers laugh so I'll share
— Jack M.

"Punching down" sounds like
"Punching the clown." Is that a
coincidence? Nah.

Posted by: Jack M. at 07:21 AM | Comments (268)
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Brit Hume: Value Added Tax May Be Coming in Lame-Duck Session, Assuming Democrats Lose
— Ace

Sounds like the sort of thing they'd do.

Posted by: Ace at 06:51 AM | Comments (169)
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USAToday Poll: Obama Disapproval Hits 50% For First Time; 66% of Public Think ObamaCare Too Expensive and Too Expansive
— Ace

Another poll of adults, the most Democratic-skewing sample.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation's health care system overall.

Supporters "are not only going to have to focus on implementing this kind of major reform," says Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard. "They're going to have to spend substantial time convincing people of the concrete benefits of this legislation."

Obama's approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.

In the survey:

• A plurality predicts the law will improve health care coverage generally and the overall health of Americans. But a majority says it also will drive up overall costs and worsen the federal budget deficit.

• When it comes to their families, they see less gain and more pain: Pluralities say it will make coverage and quality of care worse for them. By 50%-21%, they predict it will make their costs higher.

Opponents of the health care bill are a bit more likely than supporters to say the vote will have a major impact on their vote for Congress in the fall. Three in 10 are much more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the bill. One in four are much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports it.

Byron York has more on the WaPo poll that found similar bad news for Democrats.

The public is more united when it comes to the possible effects of the new law: Most people don’t believe the claims from President Obama and the Democratic leadership.

For example, will the law really allow people who have coverage to keep it without changes? Overall, 60 percent of the public says no. Breaking that number down a bit, 84 percent of Republicans say no, and 59 percent of independents agree. Even 44 percent of Democrats say they don’t believe what was the president’s number-one talking point as he tried to convince Americans to support his health care proposal.

Another example: Will the law reduce the deficit, as Democrats claimed during the health care debate? Sixty-five percent of the people polled by the Post say no — they say that it will, in fact, increase the deficit. Eighty-five percent of Republicans say it will increase the deficit, and 67 percent of independents agree. Even 47 percent of Democrats say it will increase the nation’s red ink.

So is the nation really deeply divided over Obamacare? The headline result — 50 to 46 — says yes. But inside the numbers there are ominous signs for Obama and the Democrats in Congress who voted for the bill.

And Republicans find themselves in the odd position of leading on Gallup's generic ballot. Usually, when Republicans win elections, they're behind on that, but only by a little. "Behind by a little" means "ahead by a little" on Gallup's generic.

But we're ahead, 47-44. So what does that mean? Allah figures that if Democrats really got 44% of the national vote share, it would mean 60 seats flipping in the House.

Posted by: Ace at 06:02 AM | Comments (151)
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Stupak and 11 Abortion-Foe-Turned-Abortion-Supporting Democrats Put In For $3.4 Billion In Earmarks
— Ace

Stupak says there's "no connection" between his vote-switch and his request for Obama's Billions.

In related news, there's "no connection" between my defending "lesbian bondage" club Voyeur and my accidentally linking lesbian bonding porn.

Posted by: Ace at 05:43 AM | Comments (64)
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Worst Story of the Day: Father of Slain Marine Ordered to Pay Over $16,000 to Westboro "God Hates Fags" Freaks "Protesting" His Son's Funeral
— Ace

Ordered to pay the costs of their legal appeal (over what, the article doesn't say, in an order which does not include reasoning or rationale.

- The father of a Marine killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from Kansas was ordered to pay the protesters' appeal costs, his lawyers said Monday.

On Friday, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder to pay $16,510 to Fred Phelps. Phelps is the leader of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral in 2006.

The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

Attorneys also said Snyder is struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The decision adds "insult to injury," said Sean Summers, one of Snyder's lawyers.

The high court agreed to consider whether the protesters' message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.

Maybe Gabe can explain this. My guess is that there is some law requiring challengers to someone's free speech to pay court costs, or else court costs alone could keep people from speaking freely.

But the father of a slain soldier shouldn't be bankrupted trying to vindicate his son's right to be buried with respect.

To that end -- He's accepting online donations to press his case, and maybe hopefully get a ruling against these bastards from the Supreme Court.

Thanks to kawfytawk.

Posted by: Ace at 05:17 AM | Comments (117)
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RNC Fires "Voyeur" Staffer
— Ace


A Republican National Committee staffer who accompanied a group of young donors to a bondage-themed West Hollywood club and then expensed the nearly $2,000 tab has been fired by the committee, POLITICO has learned.

RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay announced the firing in an internal committee email obtained by POLITICO.

“This was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event,” McKay wrote of the February outing to Voyeur, a West Hollywood club modeled after the risqué Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman movie “Eyes Wide Shut.”

The late-night excursion followed an official RNC event in Los Angeles for donors in its “Young Eagles” program, McKay wrote, stressing that neither Chairman Michael Steele nor any senior staff were aware of either the outing or the committee’s reimbursement of the cost.

McKay wrote that the fired staffer, who is not named in the email, “was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject. Accordingly, that staff person has been terminated.”

Everyone keeps calling it a "bondage-themed club," implying it's a go-go or sex club or S&M club.

I'm looking at the website. The decor is apparently modeled after Eyes Wide Shut, a sex-themed movie notable for the fact that the main character never has any sex in the entire film. Which underscores that "sex-themed" does not equal sex.

And looking at the website (sort of halfway safe/halfway unsafe for work), it looks like a genuine bona-fide upscale nightclub where you get drinks and appetizers. Just with a noirish, underground, fin de siecle sort of vibe.

Hollywood’s after-dark landscape will unveil a new dimension this fall with the debut of VOYEUR, an intimate lounge that will draw guests into a provocative enclave where art, festivities, and entertainment converge in a sophisticated setting unlike any other. VOYEUR brings to mind an elite, private gathering place of days past, where an exclusive mix of clientele will enjoy premium cocktails, food and revelry set against a stunning backdrop featuring live art installations, risqué photography and film elements, with impromptu performances.

Young entrepreneurs David Koral and Matt Bendik of Chosen Hospitality Group and nightlife veterans, Art and Allan Davis, will debut VOYEUR in the legendary space, formerly Peanuts, which housed one of the city’s most legendary nightlife parties of the 90’s, “Grandville”. Now, this team seeks to re-introduce and elicit a similar avant-garde concept by taking this seemingly innocent space and ambiance to the edge of corruption with elegance and eroticism.

“Launching Voyeur in one of the LA’s most famed venues brings a historical element that we wanted to translate aesthetically,” said Koral. “We’ve created a timeless design with an alluring, yet tasteful experience that will stimulate the senses.”

Koral and Bendik (former VP of The Light Group in Las Vegas) and The Davis Brothers (who launched The Gate, Chi, Dragonfly, The Lounge, and AD, etc.) have partnered with a team of seasoned nightlife professionals to oversee the success of VOYEUR. Nick Montealegre, one of Hollywood’s foremost impresarios, whose successful promotional background includes venues such as Teddy’s, Lobby, Les Deux, Crimson, and Hyde, will head VOYEUR’s marketing and promotions, while General Manager Michael Kassar, formerly of Spago Beverly Hills, plans to infuse a culture of impeccable service and operations.

VOYEUR’s signature cocktail menu includes sugar–free, all organic creations including watermelon jalapeno, blueberry mint and cucumber olive shots. Guests will enjoy simple, small-bite hors d'oeuvres from Chef Micah Wexler (formerly from Craft), including smoked salmon and cucumber tea sandwiches, prime beef sliders and a signature crispy shrimp cocktail.

VOYEUR designed by award-wining, architect and designer Mark Zeff (Hard Rock Hotel &Casino - Las Vegas, Sense, A Rosewood Spa at the Carlyle Hotel – New York), takes inspiration from the legendary lounge, Annabelle’s of London and the visually mesmerizing world created in Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed movie Eyes Wide Shut. Upon arrival, guests will immediately feel as if they’ve entered an underground sanctuary, with a noir backdrop and an understated atmosphere. Once through the exposed brick entrance hallway they will encounter massive metal sphere chandeliers with spiked lighting, black leather drapery with brass rings, green leather chesterfield sofas and reupholstered antique chairs with brass and bronze accents. Lining the inner walls are 1920’s glass casement windows from the old New York Times building on West 43rd Street, photography filmstrips from an erotic photo shoot are exposed as wallpaper in one room, while an old-fashioned photo booth allows uninhibited guests to create their own stills.

And yeah, there are a couple of pictures of throwback stag-film blindfolded naked women. Black and white, kind of semi-arty.

The club's description tells you all about its vintage Chesterfield green leather sofas. I don't see anything about lesbian bondage parties.

Actually, maybe it's a bit too much and too on-the-nose, but it looks kind of cool.

I'm supposed to be upset because the furniture has a Swedish Nudist Movie vibe to it?

This whole thing seems even stupider to me now than it did before, when I thought the place was some kind of bad-lesbian-punishment dungeon. In fact, it looks like it's just a somewhat-pretentious cocktail joint. I have an email out about to them now, but right now it looks like this place has as much to do with an actual sex club as "Jekyll & Hyde's" in New York has to do with transforming into a monster.

A themed club is like a movie set. It's not reality. Is this really the worst thing in the world, taking someone to a bar with decor inspired by a Kubrick movie?

By the Way: I saw a lot of the pictures the media used to illustrate this story were taken from gay porn websites which happened to include the word "Voyeur" in the name. Instead of, you know, actual shots from the place's website.

Hmmm... Looks like the "live show" aspect includes a bit of tasteful naughtiness:

Behind dank casement windows salvaged from the original New York Times building, there awaits a dark lounge filled with corset-backed chairs and antique sofas made from bounced-against headboards. Lithe women fuss with their lingerie behind glass, maybe, or they really enjoy the sax from the stage. (You might also see a beauty doing stretches on the trapeze net above you—she must be hitting the gym later.)

Still seems like it's "arty" type stuff, and not actual go-go or sex stuff.

About The Girls Behind Glass... Gabe points this out from a Yelp review:

There are topless "dancers" acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages, there's a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case.

Ah... Okay, I seem to be wrong. I still think this is arty-dirty rather than really dirty, but it's dirty either way.

Still, it's a real nightclub, where, like, women go and people hang out and drink, not some sex club, as the media is definitely implying.

Either way, the story is oveblown and the media is struggling to turn a sex-themed nightclub into an actual sex club.

I don't really care, and will in fact go to this place the next time I'm in LA just to make sure there's no genuine funny business going on here.

Posted by: Ace at 04:21 AM | Comments (188)
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Insurers Announce Agreement on Child Coverage
— Gabriel Malor

Democrats and the legacy media are crowing that Obama has done it again and vanquished his foes in the evil insurance industry. Gibbsy tweets:

Kids 1, insurance 0 as companies agree to comply with new regs so kids with pre-existing conditions can get health ins.

It was a losing issue for insurance companies and they needed to get it off the table quickly. So why not send out their chief lobbyist to announce they're playing nice-nice?

"Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition," Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a letter to Sebelius. Ignagni said that the industry will "fully comply" with the regulations, expected within weeks.

Of course, you'd have to be as foolish as Gibbs to believe that when the lawsuits get filed, the actual text of the ObamaCare law, which doesn't require insurers to cover children with preexisting conditions, will be given less attention that the letter of a lobbyist and inconsistent regulations from HHS.

Insurers want to change the subject. Dems want to show the President winning. They've agreed to their own private reality.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:20 AM | Comments (25)
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Top Headline Comments 3-30-10
— Gabriel Malor

Ugh. Monday.

Later: Crap. I mean Tuesday. *yawn*

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 03:58 AM | Comments (71)
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March 29, 2010

The Narrative Continues
— Dave in Texas

Here's something I know about calling people racists and hatemongers when they aren't racists or hatemongers.

It pisses them off. As well it should. But that's the narrative now, Americans who are rightly furious with the Administration and Congress at forcing through the largest vote-buying act in history don't have reasons, they just have hate.

Ed "the Round Mound of Sound"* Schultz gets lazy with the Heritage Foundation's Ernest Istook and cannot seal the deal.

Ed gets his own funny ha-ha words about Dick Cheney (they oughta rip out the heart of Dick Cheney) fed back to him with a side of "physician heal thyself" and fumbles the rest of the interview.

Talking points are not really effective show prep Ed.

video tip via Rosetta.

* yeah, it's a cheap shot. I liked it.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 05:27 PM | Comments (808)
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Popularity Contests and Link Bait
— Gabriel Malor

Allah teases John Hawkins for laying traffic bait in his latest blogger poll, which asked us to give up or down votes to 35 right-wing figures.

At least among bloggers, Allah collects a cool 84% approval. David Frum, Kathleen Parker, and Ron Paul did not get such high marks.

Then Allah throws down some link bait of his own:

Thanks to those who voted for being so nice; I fully expected to finish underwater. Hawkins was thoughtful enough to name all of the bloggers who responded, too, so now I get to guess who the 12 “dislikes” were. (Hmmmmm.)

Hey, Allah, I'll never tell.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:41 PM | Comments (59)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Welcome to the Monday.

Another Improv Everywhere production - Giving 'Ted' the best night of his life

In case you haven't heard of them Improv Everywhere is a New York-based group of pranksters who give people happy surprise experiences instead of trying to embarrass or humiliate them. Here they pick a random guy at a bar and decide to give him a birthday party complete with a cake, gifts, free drinks, and even ex-girlfriends who want to get back together. He's confused but rolls with it and has a great time. If you liked this, be sure and check out their Foodcourt Musical mission.


Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:36 PM | Comments (1019)
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Happy Pesach To Our Jewish Readers
— Gabriel Malor

Sundown is sometime around now, depending on where you are in the U.S. Passover greetings to our Jewish friends.

This is an open thread, so knock yourselves out.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 03:20 PM | Comments (202)
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Get In Their Faces: Administration Lashes Out at John Deere, Caterpillar For Accurately Reporting Their Finances
— Ace

If John Deere and Caterpillar are to be screamed at for accurately noting their balance sheets post-ObamaCare, what is the president's preferred action? Falsifying their books?

The White House political and legislative operations were said to be livid with the announcement by several large U.S. companies that they were taking multi-million or as much as a billion dollar charges because of the new health-care law, the issue was front-and-center with key lawmakers. By last Friday, AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., and AK Steel Holding Corp. had all announced that they were taking the one-time charges on their first-quarter balance sheets. More companies were expected to make similar announcements this week.

"These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general," says a White House legislative affairs staffer. "Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative websites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It's BS."

In what way is it BS?

On Friday White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett were calling the CEOs and Washington office heads of the companies that took the financial hits and attacked them for doing so. One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude."

Obama's also hopping mad that insurance companies have the audacity to note he sloppily drafted his Multi-Trillion-Dollar Abortion and that kids with pre-existing conditions are not, in fact, required to be insured.

Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.

William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.”

Congressional Democrats were furious when they learned that some insurers disagreed with their interpretation of the law.

A year ago, Obama threatened to call out executives who kicked up a fuss over his policies. But he had a hell of a lot more political juice, then. I don't think CEOs are particularly frightened now at being called out by an unpopular president.

Posted by: Ace at 12:37 PM | Comments (728)
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Shocker: Premiums Expected to Rise 17% for Young Adults in First Year of Mandate
— Gabriel Malor

Figure that: if you make it illegal not to buy something, it gets more expensive.

Health insurance premiums for young adults are expected to rise about 17 percent once they're required to buy insurance four years from now. That estimate is from an analysis by Rand Health.

Young people will need to carry more of the burden of health care under the new health overhaul law. The new law limits an industry practice of charging older customers more.

Of course, this is only the hopeandchange to premiums for young adults. The young adults who would have chosen to forgo health insurance because they're young, healthy, and stupid (like I did), are now forced to participate in the whole scheme. The higher rates are just icing.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 12:16 PM | Comments (93)
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Iraq De-Baathification Commission Moves to Strike Three Winning Candidates from Allawi's Coalition, Erasing Allawi's Slim Lead Over Maliki
— Ace

This could get ugly -- but hopefully comity will prevail.

Six winning candidates in Iraq's parliamentary elections will be stripped of their votes and lose their seats — which would cost secular politician Ayad Allawi's bloc its narrow victory — if a federal court upholds a broad purge of candidates who are suspected of past involvement with the late dictator Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party, Iraqi officials said Monday.

The six winners are among 52 candidates who were disqualified just before the March 7 elections by Iraq's Accountability and Justice Commission, the controversial government body charged with "de-Baathification" efforts. Iraq's election commission allowed them to run, choosing to shelve the divisive matter rather than delay the elections. An Iraqi court will have at least two weeks to rule on the challenge.

If it succeeds, the effort to deny Allawi his bloc's slim victory could threaten hopes that the elections would pave the way to a new unity government, ease secular and ethnic tensions and open the way for the Obama administration to speed the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq as it sends more to Afghanistan.

The latest push to disqualify the candidates comes after Allawi's Iraqiya bloc won a narrow victory over incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's State of Law coalition. At least three of the winning candidates are on Allawi's slate, so Iraqiya would lose its two-seat lead over Maliki's bloc if a federal court sided with the Accountability and Justice Commission to strike the votes rather than removing the candidates and allowing substitutes from the same bloc to take the seats.

The most important thing here, to me, is that Maliki passes power peacefully over to Alawi. Nothing else is more important in a democracy than the confidence that votes matter and power can and should change hands.

Posted by: Ace at 11:56 AM | Comments (56)
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RETRACTED: "HELP--COLD:" Global Warming Activist Freezes to Death in Antarctica
— Ace

Whoops: The source appears to be a parody site, not a news site.

God looks out for drunks and fools, but not, apparently, retards.

Famed global warming activist James Schneider and a journalist friend were both found frozen to death on Saturday, about 90 miles from South Pole Station, by the pilot of a ski plane practicing emergency evacuation procedures.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing", recounted the pilot, Jimmy Dolittle. "There were two snowmobiles with cargo sleds, a tent, and a bright orange rope that had been laid out on the ice, forming the words, 'HELP-COLD'".

One friend of Prof. Schneider told ecoEnquirer that he had been planning a trip to an ice sheet to film the devastation brought on by global warming.

Guess he got what he came for, in a way.

Whoops: The source appears to be a parody site, not a news site.

Posted by: Ace at 11:04 AM | Comments (164)
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