December 29, 2011

A Quick Iowa Report
— Russ from Winterset

Not that I've got much to say, but I figured that I'd better weigh in because Kent Sorenson, the Bachmann Chairman for the State of Iowa who jumped ship to the Ron Paul campaign yesterday, is my State Senator.

In the process of knocking on doors last year, I handed out "Sorenson for Senate" brochures along with those for all the other candidates running. I've met him a few times at events, and he seems like a nice enough "dude next door"; however, this is the second strike against the man for me. I voted for the guy in 2010, because his opponent was an EXTREME liberal Democrat in the vein of Pelosi or Sheila Jackson Lee, and I'm all about "make sure the extreme liberal doesn't win". Not that I'm a Bachmann supporter, but even as someone who would have a hell of a time voting for Bachmann I still don't like to see him stab her in the back like this.

Back in 2010, Iowans were choosing between a "true believer" (Bob VanderPlaats, of the recent "Santorum Payola" scandal), and the "RiNO" (Terry Branstad, who previously governed the state from '82 to '98 ). Kent Sorenson VERY LOUDLY stated repeatedly that if Branstad won the nomination, he would NOT vote for the man, and would encourage all Iowa Republicans to vote 3rd party instead of falling in behind the nominee. Being the vindictive, RiNO d-bag that he is, Branstad then proceeded to totally destroy "true conservative" Sorenson and undercut his run against a very Liberal Democrat State Senator with a deep campaign chest.

Oh wait. That's not what he did. He actually campaigned for Sorenson. And Sorenson shut his piehole and took the support. Whoops. My bad. I guess wanting to help the Republican Party retake the Iowa Senate is another Godless RiNO tactic. What's the "Social Conservative" term for the concept of taqqiya?

Kent Sorenson likes to run his mouth about "righteous" candidates, but if the "wrong" candidate wins, he's got no problem with switching sides. He's also willing to take Michelle Bachmann's paychecks right up until the week before the caucus, when he pulls out his gas can & a zippo on his way out the door. I think this makes him an opportunistic politician who will sell his mother in order to get on the perceived "winning side", but it also speaks to the wisdom of Michelle Bachmann who trusted him to run her Iowa efforts. The only reason Kent Sorenson got to drop a bomb on Bachmann's campaign is because Bachmann herself GAVE him the bomb.

You remember how all the Christine O'Donnell hardliners kept telling us that it's better to lose an election than to win with the "wrong" candidate? Yeah, keep that in mind next November, especially if you're a voter in Iowa Senate District 37*.

*That's the District prior to redistricting. I'm not sure if it's keeping that number for 2012, or if it changes; however, I'm running late for work and don't have time to do the proper research right now. Anyway, you're pickin' up what I'm puttin' down, right?

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at 03:54 AM | Comments (408)
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Top Headline Comments 12-29-11
— Gabriel Malor

Good morning. To kick off the day, scroll down to the post under this one about Bachmann's Iowa campaign guy defecting to Paul, if you haven't already read it.

Also in the news, Obama's mixed-signals on immigration aren't winning over Latinos.

If, like me, you're just the teensiest sick of Iowa's BS, Jim Geraghty has an idea for a new presidential primary calendar that actually has a rhyme and reason.

If you're into talkshow podcasts, I made an unplanned appearance on Larry O'Connor's Stage Right Show last night to talk about Iowa. Streaming audio or the podcast is on the left. I was on around the 25 minute mark. I even managed to give the right URL for the HQ.

Finally, my gaming pals say I'm not doing enough to demonstrate opposition to SOPA (hence my new Twitter avatar). Here's an interactive map of congressional SOPA supporters.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:44 AM | Comments (248)
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December 28, 2011

Freakshow: Bachmann Co-Chair Endorses Ron Paul; Bachmann Cries Payoff, Bribery
— Ace

I don't know if this is just Republicans, or all partisans, but anyway, we've long tolerated freaks and hucksters and now the chickens are all coming home to roost.

But Bachmann's former co-chair at least is in great company.

I keep hearing that "all that matters is the ideology" but I know for an absolute fact this is in no way true in any aspect of my life: I might prefer a friend to share my politics, but at day's end, my fondness for him as a person trumps political considerations. I might have a tiny preference that my accountant be a Republican, but when it comes to trusting someone with my money, honesty and reputation count and ideology simply does not. And the ability to do simple arithmetic and comprehend tax laws would be a nice bonus, too.

But some just continue murmuring "ideology, ideology" as they embrace one goof or freak after the next.

This is the Stupid Party. I'm sorry, it is. And some of us are so addicted to Losing Righteously we're pretty much dead-set on doing so. So we can squawk for for years about how uncorrupted by actual political responsibility or power we are, and sing pretty speeches to each other, and applaud, applaud, applaud.

The Hell With Iowa: Sorry, fellers, we gave you the keys to the jeep, and you crashed it.

We've got one rule about crashing the jeep, which is: Don't crash the jeep.

Now we're giving the keys to someone else.

Posted by: Ace at 05:11 PM | Comments (359)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

World Giving Index 2011: U.S. Is #1 (Out of 153 Countries)

6a00d8341c4eab53ef01675f4f3425970b-550wi.jpg

That's right - the US is officially the most charitable nation in the world. Despite all the kvetching from the usual suspects that the US is a singularly selfish and greedy country - well they're wrong:

"This is the second edition of the 'World Giving Index', the largest study into charitable behaviour across the globe involving 153 countries in total. Using data from Gallup's Worldview World Poll, the report is based on three measures of giving behaviour - giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger. The results show that the USA is officially the most charitable nation in the world."
And note that this is real charity - not just voting to have the government take money from someone richer than you and give it to someone poorer which IMO doesn't count. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:00 PM | Comments (587)
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Eric Holder: Cops Are Being Killed By The Flow of Illegal Guns
— Ace

Ironist General.

The number of officers killed in the line of duty jumped 13 percent in 2011 compared with the year before — and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the increase as “a devastating and unacceptable trend” that he blamed on illegal firearms.

The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty rose to 173 this year, from 153 in 2010, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund announced Wednesday. This year’s figure is 23 percent higher than 122 killed in the line of duty in 2009.

Holder said “too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them,” in explaining the increase.

I'd like to report a crime-- people using government resources to smuggle 2000 weapons into the hands of Mexican drug bandits.

So where do I sign up to be harassed by the Administration? Is there a special Harassment Request I need to sign, or do they take care of that for me?


Posted by: Ace at 02:44 PM | Comments (54)
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Evening Open Thread
— Ace

Whoops, double-posted.

Posted by: Ace at 02:44 PM | Comments (240)
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Iran Threatens To Close Strait of Hormuz
— Ace

I often think that conservatives make too big a deal out of strategic clarity. Sometimes (sometimes) clarity isn't such a great thing.

That said, clarity is often the best policy.

Obama has presented himself to the world for three years as a weak man embarrassed and ashamed of America's might, chiefly obsessed with making apologies and insulting old (colonialist) allies, and who flinches from the hard way.

He's been clear on his policy of appeasement towards Iran, which emboldens Iran, and which may cause them to think they really can block traffic in the Strait with impunity.

There is one snag in that chain of reasoning: It's an election year, and Obama is as a weak in the polls as he is in world leadership.

We may wind up exchanging shots precisely because Obama has presented himself as so craven, and now reaches for the military option out of a different sort of craveneness.

This could all just be saber-rattling, and Obama's own rattled saber might induce the Iranians to but their own saber away.

But many times wars erupt due to miscalculation, don't they? Miscalculations about the enemies' capabilities, intentions, and likely responses to provocations.

Do the Iranians understand it's an election year and Obama desperately needs some kind of accomplishment to add to his pile of one?

I don't know.

Iran's navy chief warned Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway through which a sixth of the world's oil flows.

It was the second such warning in two days. On Tuesday, Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments.

In response, the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet's spokeswoman warned that any disruption "will not be tolerated." The spokeswoman, Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, said the U.S. Navy is "always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation."

But I do know what "peace through strength" means. It doesn't just mean winning fights -- that would be a "victory at war through strength." Peace through strength means would-be enemies do not doubt your mettle or your will to carry your national interests forward, so they don't test that mettle.

It's not just the fights you win. It's the fights you win because no one attempts to fight you at all.

Posted by: Ace at 01:32 PM | Comments (238)
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Must Read of the Day: Repo Men-- How Wall Street Bought Itself a President and Got a Cabinet Secretary For Free
— Ace

From AndyU. in the sidebar. A put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it screed. (Link fixed.)

For a few measly millions, Wall Street not only bought itself a president, but got the start-up firm of B. H. Obama & Co. LLC to throw a cabinet into the deal, too — on remarkably generous terms. President Obama, for a guy prone to delivering prim and smug little homilies denouncing greed, greed, greed — the only of the seven deadly sins that truly offends Democrats (though Mrs. Obama has done some desultory work on gluttony) — is strangely comfortable among the Gordon Gekkos of this world. Shall we have a partial roll call? Beat the drum slowly and call out the names: With unemployment still topping 9 percent, the catastatic world economy teetering on the brink of another, even larger financial catastrophe, and trillion-dollar U.S. deficits as far as the green-shaded eye can see, let’s hear it for Obama’s first National Economic Council director, Lawrence Summers (of hedge-fund giant D. E. Shaw and venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), who has had some nice paydays courtesy of Lehman Bros., JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup. Let’s hear it for Citigroup’s Michael Froman, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national-security adviser for international economic affairs, for Hartford Financial’s Neal Wolin, deputy Treasury secretary, for JPMorgan’s William Daley, Obama’s chief of staff, and for his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel of Wasserstein Perella. Let’s hear it for Fannie Mae’s Tom Donilon, national-security adviser. (No, seriously: One of the luminous interstellar geniuses who brought Fannie Mae to its current aphotic state of affairs, upside down to the tune of trillions of dollars, is running national security, and the former director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, was on the board of IndyMac when it finally went toes up — sleep tight, America!) And, lest we forget, let’s have three big, sloppy cheers for economic-transition team leaders Robert Rubin (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup) and folksy tax enthusiast/ghoulish billionaire vulture Warren Buffett.

That’s a pretty fantastic lineup, from Wall Street’s point of view, but the real bonus turned out to be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who came up through the ranks as part of the bipartisan Robert Rubin–Hank Paulson–Citigroup–Goldman Sachs cabal. Geithner, a government-and-academe man from way back, never really worked on Wall Street, though he once was offered a gig as CEO of Citigroup, which apparently thought he did an outstanding job as chairman of the New York Fed, where one of his main tasks was regulating Citigroup — until it collapsed into the yawning suckhole of its own cavernous ineptitude, at which point Geithner’s main job became shoveling tens of billions of federal dollars into Citigroup, in an ingeniously structured investment that allowed the government to buy a 27 percent share in the bank, for which it paid more than the entire market value of the bank. If you can’t figure out why you’d pay 100-plus percent of a bank’s value for 27 percent of it, then you just don’t understand high finance or high politics.

And he's just getting started.

Posted by: Ace at 01:04 PM | Comments (101)
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Girl Scouts Now Promoting Media Matters As Reliable Site To Clear Up "Misinformation"
— Ace

The long march through the institutions.

Media Matters? Honestly?

In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book called “MEdia.” The publication, designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that apparently offers insight into how young people should process and understand the media messages surrounding them.

And if you read something that strikes you as dubious, don't just accept it uncritically; make sure you check out an unbiased, straight-shooting source. From the book itself:

The Internet is a breeding ground for “urban legends,” which are false stories told as if true. Next time you receive a txt or e-mail about something that seems unbelievable, confirm it before you spread it.

The fact-checking site snopes.com investigates everything from urban legends to “news” articles and posts its findings. Media Matters for America (http://mediamatters.org/) gets the word out about media misinformation.

The Girl Scouts are aware of this odd inclusion, but are apparently re-printing the book for further distribution -- Media Matters still cited as a legitimate source.

You know, Snopes itself is biased as all get out, but at least it pretends to be non-ideological. And Snopes is mostly concerned with the stuff a kid would be interested in (urban legends, oddball "facts," etc.).

Posted by: Ace at 12:25 PM | Comments (118)
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Kinda Funny: "WTF? I Wanted An iPhone!"
— Ace

Lots of cursing in this song, but it's funny.

A comedy writer, who tweets at @fart, noticed a lot of griping on Christmas about gifts. So he collected up a lot of spolied-brat-type Tweets and wrote song about the Most Mistreated People In The History of Earth, Ever.

Also please use the thread to document your own Worst Gifts Ever. more...

Posted by: Ace at 11:33 AM | Comments (250)
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So How Did RomneyCare Work As Far As Keeping Down Costs?
— Ace

Well, Romney would probably dismiss that as irrelevant because he always stresses that he got more people on health care. That is the statistic he wants you to know.

But there's also the issue of how much health care costs.

Perry's Texas and Huntsman's Utah kept health care costs low, while they rose briskly under Romney.

Thanks to George.

Posted by: Ace at 11:27 AM | Comments (73)
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CBSNews: Some Women Own, and Even Shoot, Guns
— Ace

I don't know if I should say "Duh" or praise them for noting a trend.

Anyway, they do note it. And not in a scary, what-have-we-become way.

To those who say guns are masculine, Ellanson says, "It would depend on how you define femininity. I think a capable woman is the most feminine expression of power that there is."

So women shooters could be "girly girls"?

"Very much so," Ellanson replied.

Actually, re-reading it, it's pretty pro-gun. I imagine that's because Women's Choices Must Always Be Supported, Because, That's Why, and not because CBS is now big on the 2nd Amendment.

Posted by: Ace at 11:14 AM | Comments (77)
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Is This Something?
— Ace

A guy complained to a company about not getting an update on the delivery time of his new videogame controller. The CEO of the company* got dickish about it, and then started acting like... well, like a nerd without any social sense, who just had an intense need to Win An Internet Argument, forgetting that he sort of had a company's consumer relations to keep in mind, too.

* Correction: He wasn't the CEO of the actual company manufacturing the controller, but CEO of a company hired by the manufacturer to do PR and customer service. This seems to be a bad hire.

Then the guy forwarded to email chain to the nerds at Penny Arcade, who have a lot of sway in nerdworld, and who run an expo called PAX. The CEO didn't seem to believe he was now talking with the head of PAX, and kept insulting him in nerd-like ways.

Anyway, eventually the CEO realized he was F***in' With The Wrong Nerd and then went suddenly from Internet Tough-Guy to a "Hey Let's Be Friends" P***yboy, begging forgiveness.

But it was too late.

The whole chain, for the completists out there (overlap of "nerds" and "completists" approaches 100%) is at Penny Arcade.

Thansk to Dave @ Garfield Ridge.

Posted by: Ace at 10:22 AM | Comments (171)
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Rick Perry Attacks Obama On Failing To Honor Returning Iraq Veterans
— Ace

I didn't even say "heroes" because that upsets the liberals. And I don't even want this to be overly partisanized, because the left will of course double down.

So you hate the war. Got it. Check. But you have also long claimed you support the troops, and you've also claimed that you're terribly upset that our boys are being sent off to fight in an unnecessary and unwinnable war.

If that's the case, shouldn't they be honored for their sacrifice? If President Bush ill-served them, isn't that all the more reason to honor them for their duty and courage?

But no, there will be no fanfare. It's Vietnam II: The Chickens Come Home To Roost for the left.

“It really disturbs me that nearly after nine years of war in Iraq that this president wouldn’t welcome home our many heroes with a simple parade in their honor,” the 2012 Republican presidential candidate told nearly 100 members of the Westside Conservative Club.

“Maybe it’s because this war is unpopular with Democrats, I don’t know. But, Mr. President, our soldiers come first and it comes before party politics. We need to welcome our soldiers home – give them that parade, give them that pat on the back, tell them thank you for the freedom that we have in this country,” Perry told the suburban crowd during a stop on his central Iowa bus tour on Wednesday.

The problem is that military values -- hard and time-tested -- contradict liberal social welfare state values -- soft and new (ish).

It's not just the war. It's that the wrong people, subscribing to the wrong tradition, would be in the spotlight, and the left is quite determined that the only true heroes are politicians, reporters, actors, musicians, and college professors.


Posted by: Ace at 10:03 AM | Comments (107)
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Anthony Weiner: God I'm Hot For You. You Know What Would Make Me Even Hotter? Bringing Another Dude Into The Mix.
— Ace

Allegedly.

It has been alleged. There is such an allegation.

From that Traci Nobles sext-partner.

She says -- ahem, she alleges -- that Weiner brought up the possibility of 3-ways. Not the classic two girls one guy three-way, which is just a natural expression of the wonderment of sexuality in all its glory, but the ugly, twisted, morally-dark kind.

"I'm not really talking about other chicks... How about with another guy?" Weiner asked Nobles.

"Hmmmm, haven't done it before," Nobles said.

"It can be hot," Weiner replies.

"Are you turned on by other guys?" Nobles asked.

"Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes," Weiner divulges.

But...

"Anthony's not gay though," an insider told RadarOnline.com.

"He's just very open sexually."


"Very Open Sexually"

It's the "handicapable" of sexual self descriptors.


Or let me do a different one:

"Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes"

Not the answer your Dad was looking for.

Oh Anthony Weiner. You are a silly, silly goose.

Posted by: Ace at 09:34 AM | Comments (172)
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Hilarious: Democrats and Liberals, Who Are Of Course Definitionally Non-Racist, Are Sticking With Ron Paul's Racist Ass
— Ace

Dave Weigel.

Think about it. If Ron Paul was suffering and taking damage from the stories about his old newsletters, what sort of voters would abandon him? Who'd be offended by signed editorials about fleet-footed blacks and skeezy gay men? Well, everybody, hopefully, but you'd expect independents, Democrats and liberals, the people boosting Paul in Iowa and New Hampshire, to react the most negatively.

You know who wouldn't agree? Barack Obama, who described his party's white voters as "bitter" people "clinging to their guns and religion" who loathed people who were "different."

Slublog asks:

If his GOP numbers had gone up post-newsletter, imagine what the headlines would have been.

Hey, here's a possible alternate take, Mr. Weigel: Democrats and liberals are not nearly as anti-racist as they like to imagine themselves to be.

They are primarily anti-racist as a tactic in their primary drive of being anti-conservative, and anti-racism is only important as it contributes to the anti-conservative cause.

When a known, demonstrable, egregious, David-Duke-promoting racist is actually useful in the anti-conservative cause, how they flock to his flag.

Posted by: Ace at 09:16 AM | Comments (110)
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Mitt Romney: I Don't Want To Be The Republican Nominee In 2012
— Ace

Well, that's how I read it.

The Republican Party has two top priorities this cycle: Reduce government spending and defeat ObamaCare. ObamaCare's chief political and constitutional weakness is the individual mandate. Other parts of it are actually popular or at least not unpopular (such as letting adult children stay on policies until age 26); our best path to undoing ObamaCare is focusing on the individual mandate.

And defending the mandate as "conservative," every inch of the way, and actually showing uncharacteristic passion while doing so, is would-be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

I'm sorry. I have tried. I recognize the attractive parts of Romney. He's smart, he's put-together, he doesn't scare the moderates, he polls consistently well, he has a nice family that recommends him.

But Romney will not bend in his singleminded mission to make himself unelectable.

It's going to be hard enough to repeal ObamaCare without our own nominee flacking for it.

This is like a hardcore doctrinaire pacifist running for Congress in 2002 against the Authorization of the Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda. Even Ron Paul bowed to the political winds on that one and cast an ass-saving, career-saving vote in favor it.

I ask again of Romney supporters: What argument do you suggest we bring into 2012 on ObamaCare, when Romney keeps calling the individual mandate "fundamentally conservative"?

Oh right, we're supposed to make some dry, sterile proceduralist argument that the mandate is awesome in and of itself; it's just that the wrong tribunal imposed it.

Yay...?

I take back my previous assertions that at least Romney is smart.

He's not smart. Not where it counts. Not in the grit.

Posted by: Ace at 08:12 AM | Comments (362)
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Woke Up Sick Open Thread
— Ace

But I'll post stuff.

Posted by: Ace at 07:42 AM | Comments (113)
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Top Headline Comments 12-28-11
— Gabriel Malor

G'morning. To get you started:

Here's a primer on the Iowa caucus system. We're gonna be talking about it all next week; might as well brush up on the methods and madness of Iowa's archaic primary system.

BTW, I'm starting to hope for a Paul win in Iowa; it would almost certainly mean that the state would finally be stripped of its first-in-the-nation status. Yeah, I know. Somebody has to go first. I get that. Iowa doesn't seem like that great a great choice anymore. Let somebody else get pandered to every four years. It might do us good to send the bloated state political apparatus to the chopping block. You like to throw around the word "establishment?" That's an establishment, guys.

Several of the candidates did another pro-life forum yesterday. Gingrich said he'd write personhood legislation to exclude judicial review. Perry said he'd ignore an adverse Supreme Court decision on a personhood law. Santorum said if the court struck down personhood legislation, "you do what you do in every case when the court strikes it down: You fight." I'm not sure what that means. Bachmann didn't get to answer that question. Paul didn't go.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:52 AM | Comments (577)
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December 27, 2011

Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Time Off Around The World

holiday-around-world.jpg

The US is at the lower end but still better than Canada so we have that going for us. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:00 PM | Comments (723)
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