November 30, 2013

"We are winning. We are constantly winning" says Baghdad Bob Debbie Wasserman Schultz [OregonMuse]
— Open Blogger


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And Now, A Message From The DNC


Not only is Debbie drinking the Kool-Aid, she's snorting it dry right from the package:

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said the troubled rollout of ObamaCare's enrollment website, which has frustrated thousands trying to enter the site and bruised the administration, won't hurt Democrats in next year's midterm elections.

Her prediction?

"Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win"

So why does Debbie believe this?

"We know that women are already benefiting significantly from the part of ObamaCare that's already been implemented," she said.

Wasserman Schultz cited the ability of women to receive free birth control and preventative care under the law as examples.

So, they've got the 'promiscuous bimbo' demographic pretty much nailed down. But what about addressing problems caused by the rollout of Obamacare, such as, for example, extending the enrollment deadline because of the website difficulties? No need for any of that, Debbie says:

"We fully expect that that won't be necessary, because the kinks that have occurred through the website are being worked on and are being ironed out," she said. She pointed to the "tech surge" — the team of experts and programmers called in to fix the sites — and said it "is already showing signs of being effective."

"...already showing signs of being effective". A higher standard of proof simply cannot be imagined. Yes, all is well in Debbieland.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:38 PM | Comments (290)
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November 29, 2013

Trust us...well OK, maybe not
— Purple Avenger

sproingy eyes

[Update: Science mag runs a piece saying Academia operates like drug cartels]


BioMed Central has a stable of various "open access" journals they publish. It looks like the one on head/neck oncology had some ahhh...problems and has been completely shutdown.
While conducting an internal audit of publications between January and June 2012, BioMed Central discovered a number of apparent major irregularities in the content and editorial handling of the journal Head & Neck Oncology. In order to maintain the integrity of the BioMed Central portfolio of journals, we decided to cease publication of the journal with effect from 9th August 2012...
There's a lot more here at RetractionWatch.

The RetractionWatch breadcrumb trail put me onto another related tale of sordidness detailed in this fellow's dissection and documentation of http://www.integrity-ethics.com. They performed a RatherGate style investigative journalism document comparison of text on the PIE website and found that major portions had been stolen directly from other genuinely reputable outfits like Elsevier. "Ethical" behavior apparently involves blatant cut/past plagiarism. This is the new normal I suppose.

A whois lookup of this freshly minted "integrity" and "ethics" group, which appears to be focusing on medical/sciency stuff shows 99.999 pure reagent grade NOTHING. They've hidden all their shit behind a domain cloaking service.

There's something significantly sketchy afoot here, the nature of which isn't entirely clear at this point. Stay tuned. There's sure to be more.

"Everybody lies" -- Dr. Gregory House.

Best plagiarism quote evah:
...From Chemistry – A European Journal, “the paper was constructed by copying a number of passages from the paper entitled…The authors apologize for this approach.” As we wrote on Retraction Watch, plagiarism is an “approach” to writing the way bank robbery is an approach to banking...
***[Insert rant about lying liars who lie]
***[Insert rant about sordid history of medical frauds, ref:Lysenkoism, data fabrication, etc]
***[Conspiracy theory: is all this somehow related to Obamacare and the need to justify its "effectivness" using turfed faux-research in the years to come.]

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 06:45 AM | Comments (102)
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The Real Weak Link In ObamaCare? You And Your Stupid Brain
— DrewM

Via Byron York....America, you've let Obama down. Again. You're lucky he's still willing to lecture you about how awesome he is.

Maybe our brains just aren’t wired to use a site like HealthCare.gov, whether it works or not.

The exchanges are based on a laudable idea: that competition, transparency and consumer choice will lead to higher-quality, more affordable products. The decisions consumers make will thus have significant implications for their own personal and financial health, as well as the overall sustainability of the exchanges. But despite the good intentions behind the website, behavioral science research suggests that many consumers may be ill equipped to make good decisions in the insurance marketplaces.

Choosing health coverage is particularly challenging. Humans have difficulty making optimal choices under conditions of uncertainty, when weighing probabilities of long-term risks and benefits, and when analyzing complex products with multiple components of unclear relative values. We’re bad at assessing the likelihood of low-probability events, like winning the lottery or getting in a car accident. We overestimate our ability to repay loans and spend more with credit cards than we would with cash. We struggle with decisions about how to invest our retirement savings and are highly susceptible to the number and types of 401(k) plans we’re offered. In short, we have trouble with precisely the types of issues involved in choosing the right health coverage.

Obama trusted in you and respected you enough to give you choices and you just can't handle it.

What a bunch of stupid simpletons you are!

The only small, barely worth mentioning problem with this theory and quite frankly I'm a little embarrassed to even bring it up, is that there were MORE choices for people BEFORE ObamaCare and it's non-functioning web portal were gifted to us.

Funny how millions of people managed to organize their lives to select their own plans based on cost and coverage as well as pay for them until ObamaCare came along to make it better for them. Now they can't buy insurance and have two weeks or so to scramble to find ways to try and stay covered.

And yet the ungrateful bastards are complaining.

You can see where this is going. Or maybe you can't because your tiny brains can't process all the possible choices available so let me help you out....Single Payer.

Just shut up, pay what the government tells you to pay and let the big brains figure it out for you.

More serious added thought:

A lot of people getting insurance through the market place may be people who are getting insurance for the first time either due to medical conditions or economic circumstances. Those groups could well be ill equipped to deal with the choices, limited though they are, presented by the ACA market places. This is especially true for high subsidy recipients who are being insulated form the true economic reality of their plans. It's hard to make rational decisions when the information is so distorted and disconnected from your actual economic conditions (you might qualify for a "cheap" plan after subsidies but can't afford any of the high deductible costs of the policy you are force to buy).

This is part of the problem, though Obama would see it as a feature. The ACA is redistributing health insurance dollars from people who have them and are used to making informed decisions to people who aren't.

It's not that "people" are too stupid to make good choices (millions and millions of people have been doing it for decades), it's that many core Democrats who will be the recipients of the spreading around of this wealth are.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:45 AM | Comments (163)
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Post-Thanksgiving Morning Open Thread
— andy

Leftovers await!

Posted by: andy at 03:09 AM | Comments (163)
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November 28, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (11-28-2013) – Turkey Day
— Maetenloch

Happy Thanksgiving All!

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Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:36 PM | Comments (295)
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Thirds?
— Dave in Texas

Holy moly I did not realize there was another one tonight, NFL Thursday game I suppose.

Ok. Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

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I hope everyone had a great day, and by great day I mean pie.

Pie is life.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 04:48 PM | Comments (78)
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Forward! On to the Christmas shopping.
— Purple Avenger

The turkey thing is spent, over, kaput. By tomorrow it'll be leftovers and garbage bags. In another week it'll be scary science experiments in Tupperware shoved to the back of the fridge.

Christmas gifts are about frivolity -- stuff you don't really need. If you really truly needed something, then you'd have already obtained it previously, because you like...needed it.

If you got $70 in your pocket yearning to be spent on gifting frivolity, you might want to seriously consider this gadget.

The Egg Minder makes sure your day always starts off "sunny side up." You'll never be in a scramble for a good egg again.

Product Specifications


  • Device syncs with your smartphone to tell you how many eggs you've got at home and when they're going bad.

  • Connects to the Wink app over Wi-Fi

  • Compatibility: iOS 6 and above, iPhone 4 and above, and Android phones/tablets with OS 2.2 or higher

  • Great for families and impromptu chefs

  • LED notification of oldest egg

  • App notifications upon low egg inventory

  • Check your inventory from the store

  • Playful design–kids will love to unpack the eggs

  • Capacity: 14 eggs

  • Materials: Plastic, acrylic, LED lights, Wi-Fi chip

  • Batteries: 2 AA (included)

  • Dimensions: 14.6" long x 4.4" wide x 3.2" high

Of course you could simply examine the egg tray in the fridge and get a rough approximation of the egg count, but that kind of stone age thinking is fast falling by the wayside; only dinosaurs do that kinda shit anymore. Modern people need systems to count for them and send critical phone notifications.

As a gag gift for a Neo-Luddite, this thing would be perfect. Do it as a 2-stage gift. Give'em the gizmo first, then hand them another gift -- a hammer. Guaranteed good times and laughs for all.

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Posted by: Purple Avenger at 03:52 PM | Comments (170)
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Russians working on genetically optimized diets
— Purple Avenger

With food being on everyone's mind, this is interesting

NOVOSIBIRSK, November 26 (Itar-Tass) - Scientists in Russia’s Siberian city of Novosibirsk say they have discovered a new way to fight overweight - a diet compliant with a person’s genetic type, the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) says in a report...

...The scientists have found that some people need intensive physical exercise to maintain the optimal weight, whereas for others it would suffice to refrain from one or two types of products, for instance, coffee, beer or dates. Furthermore, depending on a genetic type, even drinking certain beverages can prevent the development of some kinds of tumors or, in contrast, increase the risk of heart disease.

Cost to do the genetic screen --~$100/per person.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 09:36 AM | Comments (199)
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Comet ISON's Moment of Truth Arrives
— CAC

The comet, now traveling at a fraction of the speed of light, will face scorching heat and extreme gravitational forces as it approaches perihelion, 1:37PM (Eastern) today.
NASA has a Google Hangout today from 1:00 to 3:30 with live updates, and a mirror for the LASCO 3 camera (the direct link keeps crashing from traffic) can be found here.


Oh and most important, this page will have "live" images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, aiming to capture the comets entry and exit.

Here's hoping ISON can bring it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Posted by: CAC at 07:30 AM | Comments (49)
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Thanksgiving, US Soldiers in Europe, 1943
— Dave in Texas

Not all wartime Thanksgiving dinner preparations were pretty. But they were all important (video of soldiers loading up the goods for the troops in Capua Italy in 1943).

God bless all those who serve and are away from their loved ones this Thanksgiving Day, and also their families who miss them. Bring them home safely.

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Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:24 AM | Comments (91)
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Thanksgiving Day Footballs Second Helping
— Dave in Texas

Oakland at Dallas. A game Dallas should win so I'll go out on a limb here and say they won't.

Is there a worse division than the NFC East? Discuss! Show your work.

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Did you enjoy your feasts morons? Is it naptime?
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Posted by: Dave in Texas at 11:28 AM | Comments (285)
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Thanksgiving Day Footballs
— Dave in Texas

First game, a classic matchup, Detroit and Green Bay. Game's on, sorry for the comet stomp, Ison post below.

Compare and contrast. Detroit Cheerleaders.

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Green Bay Cheerleaders.

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Cheese causes premature aging and beard growth.

BONUS from the sidebar: Why the NFL has games on Thanksgiving.

...

Ok that was dumber than I thought. Here's the actual why.

Happy Pie Day y'all

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 07:39 AM | Comments (129)
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A Thanksgiving Tradition: The Shat Puts Us Some Turkey Frying Knowledge
— andy

Make sure to use your dingle-dangle when you fry a turkey.

My fried turkey recipe (courtesy of Lonesome Dove Bistro in Dallas):
- Brine the bird(s) in kosher salt for 8-12 hours (3/4 cup of salt per gallon of water needed to completely cover the bird)
- Injection: 3 cups chicken broth, 8 tablespoons tabasco sauce
- Rub: 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup chili powder
- Cook the injected/rubbed bird in 375 degree peanut oil for 3 minutes per pound. When it starts floating, it's done. Internal temp should be about 180 if you're a stickler like that.

I've been using that recipe for 10 years, and it's always a hit. It has a little spice to it, and a little sweetness. Pure deliciousness.

And here's a bit of a pro tip. Use a 10-12 pound turkey for frying, max. You don't need to use as much oil with a bird this size, so the spillover when you lower it into the fryer is much more manageable. And they cook so fast that you can just add birds for volume. I always cook 2 ... one to eat and one for leftovers.

What are y'all cooking today?

Posted by: andy at 05:20 AM | Comments (102)
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Top Headline Comments (11-Gobble, gobble-2013)
— andy

Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: andy at 02:41 AM | Comments (171)
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November 27, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (11-27-2013) - Gobbler's Eve Edition
— Maetenloch

It's not phoning it in if you're typing right?

A Thanksgiving Wish For All of You....

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Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:48 PM | Comments (428)
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Happy Thanksgiving's Eve Open Thread
— Ace

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Posted by: Ace at 03:27 PM | Comments (504)
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Of Course: Obama Delivers an Obamacare Tax Break to His Union Pals, While Increasing the Tax on Those Not Excepted
— Ace

It's my nature, said the socialist cronyist Chicago pol scorpion.

From the Washington Examiner:

The shift will raise the cost of the tax for those who do pay to $44 a year. It had previously been $42. In essence, the change is forcing those who don’t get the exception to pay an extra $2 for those who do.

Obama acts quickly to spare his union buddies a $42 per year tax, but meanwhile intends the non-union middle class to pay up to $10,000 more per year for insurance. And offers them no exception at all.

Posted by: Ace at 02:46 PM | Comments (158)
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Margaret Carlson: Is the President's Intellect Finally Engaged By the Catastrophe of Obamacare?
— Ace

She begins with that Valerie Jarrett quote about Obama that I keep referencing, and then asks (rather sarcastically) if the "intellectually restless" Obama has finally found something that interests him.

Two statements explain the huge failure of Obamacare. One is by President Barack Obama, the other is about him.

The first was made in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the end of the 2008 primary campaign, when candidate Obama predicted that generations would look back and see his nomination as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Couple this with the assessment of his closest aide, Valerie Jarrett, about his exceptionalism. “He knows exactly how smart he is,” she told Obama biographer David Remnick. “And he knows that he has the ability -- the extraordinary, uncanny ability -- to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them.”

Obama “has never really been challenged intellectually,” she went on. “He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Or what an ordinary president does, for that matter. A chief executive less bored than Obama would have stayed on top of his signature legislation.

Sometimes commenters get on me about why I'm not defending this or that Republican's dumb statement. Well, because I have an ego. I do not wish to think of myself as some reflexive Talking Points Robot who is ready, willing, and eager to engage in any spin, no matter how preposterous, to protect the all-important team.

Well, other people are like that too. And the Liberal Chattering Classes are facing a question now: "Will my reputation and sense of pride survive Obama's incompetence?"

And: "How absurd am I willing to make myself in order to cover up for this arrogant buffoon's incompetence?"

Some people may begin to peel off -- not because they're not in-the-tank partisan shills, mind you, but because they're in-the-tank partisan shills who still have some functioning sense of self-respect left in them.

They are beginning to realize that loving Obama means, in the end, hating yourself. You have to sacrifice everything for him -- your honesty, your integrity, your autonomy. Your reputation, your legacy, your pride.

His incompetence and deceit are at such a level that he will not permit you to support him and retain a shred of self-respect for yourself.

Devotion to Obama requires destruction of the self. Obama is a jealous Messiah, and will not permit you to love anything else -- even yourself.

That may be too much for some worshippers to bear. Some worshippers may only be willing to worship casually -- Cafeteria Cultists, if you will -- and will not be able to muster the full commitment to the Obama Cult that the more senior acolytes demand.

And such people will then become apostates.

And the other cultists will shun them, declaring: "Obama asked nothing of you, except for one thing: that you love him and nothing else, and that you obey his every command as if it were the Voice of God Himself commanding you."


Posted by: Ace at 01:42 PM | Comments (297)
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