June 30, 2011

Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Colorized History

Colorizing black-and-white historical photos shouldn't make a difference in how real they seem, but at least in these pictures it does. The man reclining next to the dog is General Custer who would be killed 14 years later at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.


Harry Potter vs. Star Wars

Well when you put it this way the parallels are obvious.



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Interview With FilmLadd on FTR Radio Tonight at 9 PM
Update: Context/Backstory Added

— Ace

I interviewed Ladd for a podcast on Tuesday, about Gangsta Moll Janice Hahn.

For those of you who didn't see the previous mention: Janice Hahn, running as the Democratic candidate for District 36 in California (for Jane Harman's vacated seat), hired a bunch of "gang intervention specialists," aka gangsters, to talk to other gangsters, and tell them gang-banging is bad.

The ad got a lot of attention, most of it bad, for being "racist" and "misogynist."

This is a real life election that's happening in three weeks and no one knows about it.

I interviewed him about the race, the controversy, and the fallout.

Also, below the fold, FoxNews 11 (in California) did a report on Hahn's "gang intervention" project. It seems... unwise. Also, the NRCC put up a website called HahnGotMeOut.com, featuring videos of gang-bangers arrested again by the police, telling the cops that Hahn placed calls to get them out of jail last time.

They're playing it on FTR Radio tonight at 9PM Eastern. I think that's 6PM Pacific, and maybe 8PM Central, and I honestly have no idea what's going on with Mountain, and I'm not good at math and you should probably do your own arithmetic on an ad hoc basis.

He tells me that reaction to his ad has been furious, even in Berlin, and even in 1945.

At the time of publication of this post, Republican challenger Craig Huey had not yet spent taxapayer money to send gangstas to waterparks.

I really would like to thank Ben Howe for taking his time to record this for me.

Oh: And lookie here, Colbert played the ad.

He made the shocking, inventive comedic observation that "it's not racist, if you look past all the racism, to see beyond to the misogyny."

Jon Stewart just emailed me to speak in a "black voice."


Posted by: Ace at 03:44 PM | Comments (103)
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Thaddeus McCotter Declares for President July 2nd
— Ace

Given Obama's weakness, why not?

McCotter caused a stir at the Ames Straw Poll campaign space auction last week when he attempted to anonymously secure a key place for the August event, according to The Iowa Republican.

His representative was eventually forced to reveal her client after the other campaigns, who thought the anonymous bidder was for an undeclared candidate such as ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin or Texas governor Rick Perry.

McCotter reportedly paid $18,000 for the prime location that ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee occupied during the 2007 Ames Straw Poll.

Old and Busted: Everyone's afraid of Obama

New Hotness: No one's afraid of Obama, not even Mark Halperin

Duh: I wrote he was declaring for Congress. No, dum-dum me, he's already in Congress. He's declaring for president.

McCotter On Red Eye: Clip below.

Pro-Union: Hailing from Michigan, he's pro-union, which I don't love.

Thanks to Allah for that. more...

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The Strange Case of Ben Stein
— rdbrewer

Yesterday, Ben Stein was on O'Reilly talking with Laura Ingraham. He was raving about the necessity of raising taxes on the wealthy. He said that they were not paying enough, that they can "afford more," and that there would be no effect on the economy. His certainty was disturbing, as well as his strident manner. He was completely unwilling to enter into anything resembling a discussion about the merits of his position. more...

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Team Obama Parses His "Corporate Jet Tax" Language...He Didn't Mean The Good Tax Break He Signed, He Meant The Bad One Reagan Signed
— DrewM

The only "adult in the room" is a churlish little prick who evades responsibility for everything he does and says (Other than getting bin Laden that is. For that he claims way too much credit).

Here's the White House spin on why Obama wasn't talking about the corporate jet tax he signed as part of the so-called "stimulus" bill.

There are two different corporate jet tax items. In the deficit talks, White House officials say, the President has proposed eliminating the preference for corporate jets allowing them to depreciate in 5 years versus 7 years for commercial aviation. This proposal is longstanding. In its current form, it has been in place since 1987. We have never supported it and obviously didn’t sign it into law. In the stimulus bill, there was a separate provision called bonus depreciation. The current round started in 2008, signed into law under President Bush, was continued in the stimulus bill. A White House official says that “bonus depreciation—and this year 100 percent expensing—allows people to write off their property faster than they would otherwise—and is a broad provision that helps millions of companies from many sectors of the economy. To be eligible, you do have to meet certain criteria. One of those criteria is the date by which your property is placed into service. And, here’s where there’s a special provision for aviation (signed by President Bush)—both commercial airlines and private jets get an additional year (beyond the normal) to place in service. This same provision also applied to other capital goods that take a long time to contract and build. In short, bonus depreciation applies very broadly; and the small special provision in that for aviation applies to both commercial and private jets as well as other capital goods that take a long time to contract and build—not preferencing one over the other (and this special provision was first signed into law by President Bush).”

First, good luck making that argument into a sound bite and convincing people the old tax cut is horrible and inhumane but the one he signed is just dandy.

Second, look at all the mentions of "corporate jet" from yesterday's temper tantrum. All SIX of them.

[1]There’s been a lot of discussion about revenues and raising taxes in recent weeks, so I want to be clear about what we’re proposing here. I spent the last two years cutting taxes for ordinary Americans, and I want to extend those middle-class tax cuts. The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners.

[2] It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit. And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship.

[3] I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.

[4] So the question is, if everybody else is willing to take on their sacred cows and do tough things in order to achieve the goal of real deficit reduction, then I think it would be hard for the Republicans to stand there and say that the tax break for corporate jets is sufficiently important that we’re not willing to come to the table and get a deal done. Or, we’re so concerned about protecting oil and gas subsidies for oil companies that are making money hand over fist -- that's the reason we’re not going to come to a deal.

[5] If you are a wealthy CEO or a health -- hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They’re lower than they’ve been since the 1950s. And you can afford it. You’ll still be able to ride on your corporate jet; you’re just going to have to pay a little more.

[6] And I’ve said to some of the Republican leaders, you go talk to your constituents, the Republican constituents, and ask them are they willing to compromise their kids’ safety so that some corporate jet owner continues to get a tax break. And I’m pretty sure what the answer would be.

What Obama engaged in yesterday was not an attack on a specific tax provision is was a general attack on "corporate jet owners" as part of his larger pool of anointed enemies for the day. Maybe what he's saying is true in terms of what's on the table in the negotiations he delegated to Joe Biden but that's not what he said yesterday.

I guess whoever keeps refusing to let Obama be clear got to him again. But hey, he said what he said, it's his fault he wasn't specific enough.

Based on the description of the 'bad' jet tax break the difference is corporate jets get written down over 5 years instead of the 7 like commercial aircraft. That's the provision Obama is trying to say is holding up a deal? A 2 year difference in a depreciation schedule? So if we go from 5 to 7 years for all aircraft then...what? No more deficits? Medicare is solved?

I'm not a tax guy but is that even a revenue enhancer for the federal government? Isn't the write down amount the same, just a company gets the full benefit sooner? Or is Obama trying to eliminate depreciation on all planes?

Meh, it doesn't really matter. Let's be honest, yesterday's performance was nothing but out and out class warfare. "Corporate jet owners" sounds a lot scarier than "the aviation industry", so facts weren't really the point to begin with.

One other thing. Where's his proof the GOP is simply standing on the sidelines over either of the jet proposals?

As far as I can tell, only one side has refused to publish a budget proposal (as they are supposed to do under law) and only one person has decided to sit out negotiations because he can't have his way.

We don't have an adult in the Oval Office, we have a petulant man-child.

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"Schoolyard Crap:" Obama's Posture of Pure Posturing Not Moving the GOP
Senator Thune: The Best Way To Get A Meeting With Obama Is To Set Up A Tee Time

— Ace

The "only adult in the room," as Obama's new campaign theme goes, wants to pretend that repealing his own tax break on a microscopic economic input like corporate jets is just what the doctor ordered to fix a $1.7 T deficit per year, and rising.

One of President Barack Obama’s 2012 themes will likely revolve around what his aides call “the contrast” — a portrayal of Obama as a responsible, moderate adult harassed by infantile Republicans who favor the wealthy.

You know what's infantile? Pretending that a budget item that's counted in the millions of dollars has a damn thing to do with a $1.7 Trillion deficit (and rising).

Obama, you know the rule when you do your <'s and >'s, right? The hungry crocodile turns towards the bigger meal.


The girls, he said at the end of an otherwise sleepy session, “generally finish their homework a day ahead of time,” unlike the grousing Hill Republicans he described as dragging their feet in striking a deal on reducing the deficit and extending the debt ceiling.

“Leaders are going to lead, … that’s why they are called leaders,” he added, making an unmistakable reference to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who withdrew from the negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden last week.

Yeah you said it buddy, leaders should lead.

Wait, you said that?!

You're leading the shit on this microscopic repeal of your own "stimulus" tax break for corporate jets, I concede.

“It’s time for the president to stop lecturing and start doing his job,” responded Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring.

Another GOP aide was more blunt. “It’s counterproductive schoolyard crap. … [It’s] awfully childish for the ‘adult in the room,’” the aide told POLITICO.

You stupid dick.

The article goes on to say that this is aimed at bringing the public around to his side in the debt ceiling brinksmanship.

He needs a lot of help-- the public is pretty firmly against any more debt. They are against him. They want spending cut.

And not just "tax expenditures" cut.

Update: Oh My. Senator Thune: Best way to meet Obama is to set up a tee time.



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For Those Of You Who Said Red Eye Would Move To Glenn Beck's 5PM Slot: You're Almost Right
— Ace

Not Red Eye, which will continue being the dream for insomniacs (where?), but Gutfeld will join a show called "The Five," which will feature Juan Williams, Monica Crowley, Dana Perino and Bob Beckel.

Update: I think Mediaite had it wrong, and I followed them in being wrong. Although there will be five yappers every day, it won't be those five yappers, but rather a revolving crew of...

reg Gutfeld, Juan Williams, Dana Perino, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Geraldo Rivera, Andrea Tantaros, Eric Bolling, Monica Crowley, Bob Beckel and Kimberly Guilfoyle. The program will also feature added guests, including politicians, celebrities, sports figures and key newsmakers.

So Gutfeld will be on now and again, but not a permanent fixture.

Oh dear. Brit Hume sure had a field day making Juan Williams his punching bag. Gutfeld must be licking his chops.

The key to Hume's success is not piling on too much because Juan Williams is a clown and it begins to look unsporting if you rough him up too much.

I suggest a lot of work with the eyes and tongue -- just glance over directly into the camera, with an innocent blink, and tongue in cheek, when Juan says something stupid, which should be every three or four minutes.

Most of the time you don't have to use the word "dumbass" to communicate the word "dumbass."


Posted by: Ace at 10:08 AM | Comments (309)
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Sixth Circuit Was More of a Split Decision Than First Advertised
— Ace

The ruling was 2-1, two upholding, one dissenting, and urging the law be struck as unconstitutional.

But within that 2, the two judges were not of the same mind. The Democrat appointed judge thought the mandate was just peachy.

The Republican appointee who joined with him in the ruling, but wrote separately in a concurrence, seems ambivalent. His own concurrence seems to say that given the current ultra-liberal, virtually-no-limits jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause, this new power grab would probably pass muster.

But, he writes: perhaps it's time for a reconsideration of that "virtually no limits" reading of it.

That brings me to the lingering intuition — shared by most Americans, I suspect — that Congress should not be able to compel citizens to buy products they do not want. If Congress can require Americans to buy medical insurance today, what of tomorrow? Could it compel individuals to buy health care itself in the form of an annual check-up or for that matter a health-club membership? Could it require computer companies to sell medical-insurance policies in the open market in order to widen the asset pool available to pay insurance claims? And if Congress can do this in the health-care field, what of other fields of commerce and other products?

I suppose this just means, as we've always known, that the Supreme Court will have to rule on this.

One thing for Justice Switch-Hitter to consider is the untrammeled breadth of the claim of federal power offered by those supporting ObamaCare.

They are offering Kennedy a stark decision: Either bless this and confess there are virtually no limits on federal power whatsoever, at least according to those who supposedly interpret the Constitution, or start imposing some limits.

More... Critical Condition has more quotes.

More from Sutton's ambivalent "concurrence."

At one level, past is precedent, and one tilts at hopeless causes in proposing new categorical limits on the commerce power. But there is another way to look at these precedents—that the Court either should stop saying that a meaningful limit on Congress’s commerce powers exists or prove that it is so. The stakes of identifying such a limit are high.

I love that. Either stop pretending there are limits, or announce the limits.

Ilya Somin calls this "an exercise in overzealous judicial deference." That is, Sutton is very nearly screaming "This makes no damn sense and is offensive to the Constitution," but then says, "But these are my marching orders, from both Congress and the muddled mess of past court decisions, so march I shall."

If it's unconstitutional a judge is supposed to say so.

Conservatives favor judicial deference, sure -- but they are not supposed to favor it when doing so would result in reading out virtually all limits on Congressional power, a posture which is clearly unconstitutional and hence owed no deference or respect.

Update: I edited out another quote by Sutton, which is a bit of a jumble. But see the link for the quote.

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DoJ: Fast & Furious Was Definitely Not About Creating A Pretext For Increasing Gun Control
Elijah Cummings: Hey, Let's Expand Fast & Furious To Consider Increasing Gun Control

— Ace

Actually, tell a lie, I don't know if DoJ has expressly denied this theory. I'm not sure anyone has actually asked.

But either way, a program that deliberately put thousands of illegal arms into the hands of Mexican bandits and did not track those weapons, except via autopsy reports, is somehow morphing into a pretext for increasing gun control.

Hey, I've got a radical new gun control law: The ATF shall not deliberately put thousands of illegal arms into the hands of Mexican bandits and then not track them whatsoever except via autopsy reports.

Anyone up for that law?

Nah. Let's restrict guns generally. Actually cracking down on the specific parties responsible for the sale of these guns -- that would be the ATF -- is too direct a solution.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the leading Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a report early Thursday titled “Outgunned,” that details how Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents say gun laws need to be tightened for them to fight organized crime along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Posted by: Ace at 09:08 AM | Comments (87)
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Official Liberal Funniness Rating: Bill Maher, Extremely Funny When He Calls Sarah Palin a C*** or a T***; Mark Halperin, Not Funny, When He Calls Obama A Dick
— Ace

Drew has covered this, but I just want to keep score of what is and what is not funny in America circa 2011.

Yes, I know that Bill Maher and Mark Halperin have different jobs. Mark Halperin's job is to comment on the news and not be funny, and Bill Maher's job is... well, he does the same thing, but on HBO.

I understand that Halperin has, or is supposed to have, reporter cred, but he's offering his assessment. He did it in a funny way.

Of course, it's not funny, not for the media. Oh how they laugh when Bill Maher drops the c-bomb on Palin. But calling Obama a dick? Why that's just out-of-bounds.

Let me quote Charles Krauthammer, who calls Obama a dick in a language called mathematics.

He himself, as we just heard, said you can’t reduce the deficit to the levels we need without raising revenues. Then he talks about the [tax break for] corporate jets, which he mentioned not once but six times.

I did the math on this. If you collect the corporate jet tax every year for the next 5,000 years, you will cover one year of the debt that Obama has run up. One year.

To put it another way, if you started collecting that tax at the time of John the Baptist and you collected it every year — first in shekels and now in dollars — you wouldn’t be halfway to covering one year of the amount of debt that Obama has run up.

As for the other one, he mentions again and again, the oil depreciation tax break — if you collect that one for 700 years, you won’t cover a year of Obama deficits.

And then here’s my favorite. I worked it out in the car on the way here. If you collect the corporate jets and the oil tax together — get all the bad guys and the fat cats at once — and you collect it for 100 years, it covers the amount of debt Obama added… in February!

And he pretends that he’s the serious adult at the table.

I noted a while ago that the press is in a fix here. On one hand, they know, to be considered "serious minded people," they have to acknowledge the size of the debt problem, and of the demographic bomb we call entitlements. They have been talking up this problem since the 80s, at least.

All serious people know this. Even the liberal twits in the media who don't really understand this have heard other serious people talking about this and so know this is the serious, thoughtful position to take.

The fix for the media, then, is that their boyfriend Obama is explicitly contradicting what serious people know about our debt crisis, and is behaving like a demagogic toddler about it.

So what are they to do? They can't call him out; he is their Precious. On the other hand, they must feel a little intellectual inconsistency, by which I mean flat-out stupidity, in failing to note how breathtakingly unserious and devoid of any intent to lead Obama is on a truly crucial issue.

Oh, they diminish things like WeinerGate as trivial. Fine. They're largely right. That sort of thing is trivial.

But this? This is not trivial, and they have 30 years of commentary on this point stating it's not trivial they have to contend with.

So in a way this is sort of personal to them. They want desperately to spin for Obama and claim he's the adult at the table, the voice of reason, but what does he give them to work with? Babyfood and partisan demagoguery.

How can they accomplish both critical objectives -- flacking for Obama and appearing to be serious-minded people themselves -- when all he offers them is bullshit and dog-ate-my-homework abdication of duty?


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Obama Spokesman: No, Obama Won't Meet With Congressional Leaders
— DrewM

Mitch McConnell invited him for a meeting and Mr. Leadership says no. He's not even voting "Present" anymore.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, while not directly saying the invitation had been rejected, said Obama did not need to hear Republicans tell him what they would not support.

That, Carney said, was "not a conversation worth having."

To quote a suddenly wise-man, Obama is being "a dick".

Yesterday Obama dickishly pointed claimed he'd worked hard on this.

I met with every single caucus for an hour to an hour and a half each -- Republican senators, Democratic senators; Republican House, Democratic House. I’ve met with the leaders multiple times. At a certain point, they need to do their job.

Oooh...he spent 4-6 hours on this. Damn, that deserves a round of golf or two. Maybe even a trip to Hawaii.

As far as who has done their job and who hasn't. Keep in mind that Obama presented a laughably out of of touch budget with so much spending even the the Democratic Senate rejected even debating by 97-0. He did give a speech about it but as the head of the CBO said, that's useless.

Republicans meanwhile have passed the Ryan budget in the House and most GOP Senators supported it when it came up for a vote in that chamber.

Where are the Democrats? The Democratically controlled Senate hasn't passed a budget in over two years. Where's Obama's actual plan, not some dickish speech?

It's almost as if Obama is not interested in doing something but would rather have
an issue to run on. Leading from behind indeed.

Obama did get one bit of action from his speech and press conference yesterday...the Senate is going to stay in session and forgo the traditional July 4th recess.

Meanwhile, August isn't exactly the drop dead date for the debt ceiling.

Posted by: DrewM at 08:39 AM | Comments (47)
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I'm Not Saying Democrats Aren't Patriotic . . . But Hahvahd Is
— Gabriel Malor

Via the always interesting Guy Benson, it seems Democrats have a patriotism problem after all. Of course, the Harvard social scientists couch it as Republicans having "appropriated" patriotic holidays, but if the Democrats were better than indifferent on the issue, I doubt that could have happened.

Democratic political candidates can skip this weekend's July 4th parades. A new Harvard University study finds that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.


"The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.

The key findings of the study are that July Fourth celebrations (1) increase the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent if attended before age 18, (2) raise the likelihood that attendees will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent; and (3) boost the likelihood an attendee will vote by about 1 percent; and (4) increase the chances an attendee will make a political contribution by 3 percent.

Those are slight differences, but every little bit counts.

LATER: Top Ten Ways Democrats Can Re-"Appropriate" July Fourth
(A couple of these blatantly stolen from commenters or Guy.)

10. Include a disclaimer on celebration notices warning that displays of patriotism might endanger children's welfare.

9. Have the EPA require that celebrations use only fireworks that are environmentally friendly and greenhouse gas neutral.

8. Include a ritual apology to Great Britain after all readings of the Declaration of Independence.

7. Have the National Endowment for the Arts fund naked interpretive dance troupes at July Fourth parades. Also, drum circles.

6. Burn slave-owning Founders in effigy.

5. Have the NLRB require that all parade volunteers be unionized.

4. Serve soy chai lattes at July Fourth parades.

3. A free bong hits booth at every parade.

2. Require that children have a permission slip to attend signed by . . . their school principal.

And the Number 1 way that Democrats could re-appropriate the Fourth of July is

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 07:23 AM | Comments (279)
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Mark Halperin On MSNBC: You Know, Obama Acted Like "A Dick" Yesterday
— DrewM

And he doesn't mean Lugar or Gephardt.

Joe Scarborough: Mark Halperin, What was the president’s strategy? We are coming up on a deadline and the president decided to please his base, push back against the Republicans.I guess the question is, we know a deal has to be done. Is this showmanship? A lot of times you go up there and both sides and they act tough so their base will be appeased, then they quietly work the deal behind the scenes.

Mark Halperin: Are we on the seven second delay?

Mika Brzezinski: Lordy.

Halperin: I wanted to characterize how the president behaved.

Scarborough: We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens.

Brzezinski: We’re behind you, you fall down and we catch you.

Halperin: I thought he was a dick yesterday.

Scarborough: Delay that. delay that. what are you doing? i can’t believe — Iwas joking. Don’t do that. Did we delay that?

Halperin: I said it. I hope it worked.

Scarborough: My mom is watching! We’ll know whether it worked or not.

The video is at the link.

If you read my post on Obama's presser yesterday, you'd know I agree with Halperin. It's just that since heis spinning madly for Obama or suggesting idiotic courses of action for conservatives that would help Obama, this is a bit out of left field.

I'm not sure what the hell Halperin was reacting to but maybe it was just the thin skinned, immature and peevish nature of Obama's grating personality was too much even for him. Whatever the reason, he's been suspended indefinitely by MSNBC and has apologized (also at the link).

Clearly he deserves to be suspended (and he said as much) but this is what "news channels" get when they try and do some sort of fusion of morning zoo radio and "news" talk programming. Every once and a while, someone is going to cross the line and take the format to its logical and absurd conclusion.

So yeah, inappropriate and unprofessional but also...accurate.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:59 AM | Comments (331)
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Top Headline Comments 6-30-11
— Gabriel Malor

The past is like an ass. Everyone has one, but you're mighty particular who you show it to.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:21 AM | Comments (294)
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June 29, 2011

Obama's Absolutely Unbelievable Press Conference
— DrewM

I meant to get to this earlier but...meh, stuff happens.

There were so many choice moments from today's presser, I wanted to highlight a couple.

First, on Libya....Obama basically questioned the patriotism of anyone who has any questions about his little adventure.

We have engaged in a limited operation to help a lot of people against one of the worst tyrants in the world -- somebody who nobody should want to defend -- and we should be sending a unified message to this guy that he should step down and give his people a fair chance to live their lives without fear. And this suddenly becomes the cause célèbre for some folks in Congress? Come on.

First...who is defending Gadaffi? No one.

Second...Remember when Obama demanded that Democrats like himself stop criticizing Bush over Iraq lest it send something other than "a unified message" to Saddam or al Qaeda in Iraq?

And finally...standing up for the constitutional role of Congress in matters of war and peace is a "cause célèbre". This is how the President of the United States views the constitutional responsibilities of a co-equal branch of government.

I bet that the day a Republican becomes President the MFM is going to rediscover their distaste for an "imperial President". Not until then though.

On the economy Obama has a sure fire way to solve the deficit...eliminate tax credits for "corporate jets". Obama used those words, "corporate jets" six times. I'm guessing that focus grouped well as the enemy du jour.

Nathan Wurtzel found a funny thing about that tax break? The Democrats and Obama put it in there so-called "stimulus".

Just a few months after lawmakers scolded auto executives for flying to Washington in private jets, Congress approved a tax break in the stimulus package to help businesses buy their own planes.

The incentive -- first used to help plane makers recover from the 2001 terror attacks -- sharply reduces the up front tax bill for companies who buy assets like business planes.

The aviation industry, which is cutting jobs as it suffers from declining shipments and canceled orders, hopes the tax break in the economic-stimulus bill just signed by President Barack Obama will persuade more companies to buy planes and snap a slump in general aviation that began last year.

Obama's tone was sharp and confrontational, espeically regarding Congress. Several times he challenged Congress to step up as he claims he has and lead.

And so there’s no point in procrastinating. There’s no point in putting it off. We’ve got to get this done. And if by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress, then I think members of Congress need to understand we are going to start having to cancel things and stay here until we get it done.

They're in one week, they're out one week. And then they're saying, Obama has got to step in. You need to be here. I’ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done.

Look, he did like 3 things, can't he finish his waffle? And just out of curiosity, how much time and effort did it take Obama to do bin Laden? It must have been the years of training to become a SEAL and weeks of mission prep plus a couple of days to fly over to Pakistan put a couple of caps in that SOB and fly back.

And he managed to fit that in between all his rounds of golf and 30 fundraisers around the country.

Here's Obama on how he demonstrates leadership (which is apparently lacking in Congress).

And I’ve got to say, I’m very amused when I start hearing comments about, well, the President needs to show more leadership on this. Let me tell you something. Right after we finished dealing with the government shutdown, averting a government shutdown, I called the leaders here together. I said we’ve got to get done -- get this done. I put Vice President Biden in charge of a process -- that, by the way, has made real progress -- but these guys have met, worked through all of these issues.

Real leadership is...putting Joe Biden in charge.

And immediately after this presser, Obama got down to the series business of...holding a Rose Garden ceremony to honor the WNBA champs.

Obama wrapped up his presser by talking about a company he recently visited in Iowa.

I was in Alcoa, in Iowa, one of our most successful companies. They took a big hit during the recession, but they still invested $90 million in new equipment in a plant that makes airplane wings and parts for automobiles. And they’ve bounced back. They’ve hired back all their people and are increasing market share because they made those investments.

Well, I hope they don't make wings for those evil corporate jets.

This was just a taste of what President Wonderful had to say today. It was his usual mix of arrogant, misleading and petulant. He can't get tossed out of the office soon enough.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:59 PM | Comments (170)
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Overnight Open Thread - Humping Day Edition
— Maetenloch

Hey at least Ace got my name right last night. So I got that going for me.

America's Best Actor is... John Ratzenberger?


Yep that's right. If you look at the RottenTomatoes scores of his movies, Cliff 'Ratzenberger' Claven has the highest cumulative average score of all American actors. Of course a lot of this comes from the fact that he's voiced a character in every Pixar movie to date. Plus he must have an awesome agent who gets him into successful films.

For comparison here's the graph of Tom Cruise versus John Ratzenberger. Tom seems to bounce around 70% while John's scores are either near zero or 100%.


And you can create your own graph here. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:08 PM | Comments (588)
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National Journal: White House Very Worried About Reelection
— Ace

Even the slowest boat eventually crosses the river.

Nerves Show on Team Obama

Recent scrambling by the president’s political advisers indicates they’re very worried about his reelection chances.

Honestly, I love the headline, but the tea-leaves offered up aren't great. This one's okay:

4. Raising the stakes in the upper South. Obama’s strategists are raising the stakes in the two battleground upper South states, North Carolina and Virginia.

They’ve never been critical cogs in a presidential strategy. If Team Obama sees them as such in 2012, it suggests the campaign is struggling in states that were comfortably on its side in 2008, particularly those in the Rust Belt.

But of course he'd go after any state he previously won. Fundraising problems aside (that's point 3), he's going to have as much money to field a campaign as anyone in history.

...except, perhaps, for his challenger.

You know who might not be hitting the kitty too hard? "New York Money Men," as General Wesley Clarke terms Jewish people.

Some of these traditional Democrats now say, to their own astonishment, that they’ll consider voting for a Republican in 2012. And many of those who continue to support Obama said they find themselves constantly on the defensive in conversations with friends.

“I’m hearing a tremendous amount of skittishness from pro-Israel voters who voted for Obama and now are questioning whether they did the right thing or not,” said Betsy Sheerr, the former head of an abortion-rights-supporting, pro-Israel PAC in Philadelphia, who said she continues to support Obama, with only mild reservations. “I’m hearing a lot of ‘Oh, if we’d only elected Hillary instead.’”

Well, every two years we hear this and every two years it's about the same 75-80% voting Democratic.

It's messhugeneh.

Posted by: Ace at 03:02 PM | Comments (118)
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Republican Senatorial Candidate In Missouri Being Pilloried For Saying Something That Seems Pretty True
— Ace

You can play with the language here to make it a little less strident, but isn't it true either way? more...

Posted by: Ace at 02:33 PM | Comments (107)
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Obama: I'm Not Angry With You. I'm Just Disappointed.
— Ace

The polls say he can't blame Bush any longer, so he's got a pair of new scapegoats:

1. Congress. Pretty good!

2. The American working public. Ummm... more...

Posted by: Ace at 12:34 PM | Comments (477)
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Oh Dear: To Catch A Predator Host Chris Hansen, He of the Hidden Camera Sex Sting, Caught... Cheating on His Wife By Hidden Cameras
— Ace

Of course, Hansen's use of the cameras was for a good purpose (well... it was for ratings, but still, it was for a good purpose as far as a secondary benefit).

And catching him cheating with an adult woman isn't the same as him catching determined pedophiles.

But there's some kind of impossible-to-miss connection here.

Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.

Last weekend he was recorded taking Miss Caddell on a romantic dinner at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, before spending the night at her Palm Beach apartment.

Hansen, who has two young sons, was caught in an undercover sting operation arranged by the National Enquirer.

Secret cameras filmed the couple as they arrived at the hotel for dinner and then drove back to her apartment - where the pair left, carrying luggage, at 8am the following day.

Hansen lives in Connecticut with his wife Mary, 53, but he has been spending more and more time in South Florida investigating the disappearance of James 'Jimmy T' Trindade - and allegedly sleeping with Miss Caddell.


Why did you bring wine? And condoms?
What did you think was going to happen here?
You thought we were going to have sex?
What gave you that idea?
Oh, I told you to bring wine and condoms.
Right, I remember now.

I really don't think this is karma, but it's either this or "Isn't It Ironic?," and I'm not linking that.

Posted by: Ace at 11:47 AM | Comments (186)
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