February 01, 2014

The Senate Races & Immigration

Sean Trende took a cue from AmishDude, and considered the concept that the GOP is outright terrified of winning big. Ok he didn't consider it, he ran with it:

The idea is twofold. First, a landslide would present as much of a problem as it does an opportunity for those who might want to revisit the issue in 2015, especially if the GOP establishment (or its donors) believes this is a must-do before the 2016 elections. The base would be even more agitated after a big victory, and appalled at any compromise on this issue if the GOP picks it up in 2015. In addition, absent a majority, Democrats wouldn’t have the same incentive to support a bill that contained further compromises, especially since they already view the bill as a compromise in the first place. They’d be better off watching Republicans flail and fail to pass a bill as their own base abandons them; this is roughly what happened in the mid-2000s.

This makes sense of the timing issue. Perhaps the GOP really did plan on letting the issue die last summer, when taking the Senate looked like a 50-50 shot, and breaking even in the House seemed like the order of the day. But then the Obamacare rollout hit, and suddenly Republicans looked like they might enjoy a 2010 redux.

If that’s the setup, then Beutler’s observation in No. 3 also makes sense. If a fight is inevitable, have it now rather than a much messier one in 2015. Maybe the Senate Democrats won’t be able to swallow a bill with tougher enforcement provisions and without a path to citizenship, and they will own part of the death of immigration reform. Or maybe they’ll pass it, and the issue will be partly cleared off the table for an election year. For an establishment Republican, that’s win-win.

But I think it there’s another, broader factor involved. When you get past the top tier of recruits -- the Mike Rounds and Shelley Capitos of the world -- and get into the more marginal seats that could fall for Democrats in a wave election, you start to get into candidates like Ken Buck. People have almost written Buck off, but I haven’t; while I think there are smarter choices for the Colorado GOP, he barely lost in 2010, and conditions for Democrats are no better right now than they were in 2010. There’s a similar crop of candidates in second-tier House races. The last thing the leadership wants is another crop of Ted Cruzes and Rand Pauls in the Senate, nor does it want another dozen Tea Partiers in the House.

This isn’t to suggest that the GOP leadership is affirmatively doing this to minimize Republican gains. What I am saying is that they are closer to neutral about big gains than we might think, given the problems that the surge in base enthusiasm caused for them after the 2010 elections. So if they check agenda items like this off the list now and still get a landslide, great. But if they end up cooling off the base’s enthusiasm and get a narrow, establishment-based Senate majority and keep the House, well, that’s not the end of the world either. In fact, it would mean a more docile caucus in both Houses, which is good for those who run those Houses.

This hypothesis makes sense to me as well, because I can actually see a very, very large gain for the Republicans if conditions as they stand continued or even worsened for the Democrats over Obamacare. One of the core assumptions of this theory- that the GOP is facing big gains- absolutely holds water.

Posted by: CAC at 05:04 AM | Comments (359)
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January 31, 2014

MKH: The Idiot's Guide to What's Going On In The Ukraine
— Ace

Honestly, I didn't know a thing about it. Now I know slightly more than nothing-- the basics, at least.

If you've been seeing headlines like "The Good Guys Have a Real Chance in Ukraine," and then wondering who the good guys are and what exactly they have a chance at, then MKH's brief primer will be useful to you.

So now that I know the very basics, I can actually cover it, I guess.

Here's a digest of the digest: Essentially the country is split approximately in two by rival sympathies. One faction has more support in the East-- and is more influenced by, and feels more connection with, Russia. The other faction feels closer to the EU.

The Western-oriented faction would like to join the EU, and reap the benefits from that association (which benefits they see in neighboring Poland). The Eastern-oriented faction wants to take Russia's deal -- by which Russia buys a lot of credits in their economy, and thus injects a lot of needed capital into the Ukraine -- and part of that deal is, I guess, not joining the EU.

The Russia-leaning faction actually controls the country and has imposed -- get this -- tyrannical clampdowns on dissent and protest (passed into law by a... secret vote) and protesters are being killed by police brutality but of course that's embargoed on Ukraine TV and all they show are penguins. Oh wait, that's what they showed during Turkey's brutal crackdown on protesters. In the Ukraine they're showing delighted citizens delivering cookies and cake to smiling State Policemen.

Oh and check out the Podcast thread below.

Posted by: Ace at 03:02 PM | Comments (343)
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— andy

Crap! I got so busy at work I forgot to do the podcast post. The actual audio portion of the post has been available for 12 hours or so in the sidebar and via the iTunes/RSS/Stitcher subscription options, though, so there's that.


Townhall.com editor and Fox News contributor Guy Benson joins Ace, Gabe, Drew and John to talk about how the 2016 GOP field is shaping up, the Democrats' disaster prep. for 2014 and other fun topics.

Ace also treats you to an impersonation or two.

Questions & comments here: Ask the Blog

[MP3 Download] | Subscribe: rss.png[RSS] | itunes_modern.png[iTunes]

Follow on Twitter:
AoSHQ Podcast (@AoSHQPodcast)
Ace (@AceofSpadesHQ)
Drew M. (@DrewMTips)
Gabriel Malor (@GabrielMalor)
John E. (@JohnEkdahl)
Andy (@TheH2 and @AndyM1911)

Open thread in the comments.

Posted by: andy at 02:18 PM | Comments (43)
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The Upbeat Thread
— Ace

I'm looking for fun, happy things and I'm not finding them. So let me know.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the depression that comes with the fading sun. I would again encourage everyone to find something new that interests them, whatever it is, and pursue that hobby, or that interest, whether it's starting to build model planes again (one guy I know is having a second childhood with models, and is enjoying it) or becoming an expert on the Revolutionary War.

I believe the human animal thrives on achievement -- I think we have a deep-seated internal imperative towards creating, learning, advancing, and competing -- and the animal also becomes depressed from stasis.

This may seem obvious, but people who are actually doing something, whether walking every other day (and walking a little faster and farther each time), or writing that damned book they always have known was in them, or learning a new language, or deciding to learn how to rebuild a car, or making an effort to trace one's ancestors or reconnect with distant family feel a sense of accomplishment.

There is something inherently happy about forward motion, and something inherently depressing about standing still.

People are bewildered at why I decided to learn French. Well, for one reason: Look, I do this same thing every day. That doesn't mean I don't like blogging, and it doesn't mean I'm not grateful for the wonderful position I'm in, being able to just do this job I invented for myself and feed myself by doing so. (Though I should be more grateful.)

Nevertheless, let's face it, the parameters of this particular job have not changed in ten years. I have not really gotten a promotion; I haven't learned some new skill, like video or photo manipulation (though, Good Lord, I really ought to, huh?).

I do the same thing, pretty much, day in, day out. Most of you -- even those of you who would think of themselves as kind of doing the same thing every day -- would be shocked at how far one can take the concept of just, literally doing the same thing everyday.

I'm in the same position every day (on the couch), the same hours, looking at the same sites for news, making -- ummmm... let me confess, making pretty much the same jokes and the same observations I've been making for ten years.

The other day someone, Jack Straw I think, said he liked my joke about "abusing myself with the repetitive mechanical fury of a misfiring industrial robot."

Yeah, let me let you in on a little secret, Jack: That joke is literally ten years old. I wrote that in 2004. It is a verbatim lift. It just popped back into my head, and first I wrote a bad (new) version of it, but then I used my memory, and I reconstructed the exact line I wrote ten years ago.

Now I don't think it's too shabby of me to wait ten years before recycling a joke. But I am stressing the stasis I'm in. The holding pattern. The Same Day No Different Than The Next syndrome.

So I'm trying to do some things I didn't used to do. I feel my brain has gotten lazy and has diminished. My brain does the same light trotting every day around the same well-worn track in the pen. Like a caged farm animal, it just sort of gets fat and lethargic.

So I decided, a year back, I was going to start exercising it more, and exercising it in different ways. I have no talent for languages -- none. I always hated languages. They were the one subject I felt absolutely no inherent talent at.

But I always thought it was cool when James Bond gave a quick greeting in Italian or French, so. I decided to do that.

I started reading again. I had not read for pleasure in... ten years? Fifteen? More like twenty. Sure I'd read something every once in a while, but only very once in a while.

And I try to read some things I never read about before.

Has any of this worked?

I think so. Not a lot, but I do feel that I've accomplished something in now being able to translate a French newspaper article without reaching for the dictionary. (Well, I have to reach, but only once or twice per article.)

I do feel like a better, happier, more interesting person now that I've been reading again, and putting new thoughts into my brain. The old thoughts -- the ones that had been in there for 30 years -- were getting a little stale.

I was going to say "I don't know if any of this advice will help anyone out there," but that's not true. I do know it will help you. How could it not? How could learning something new, or making yourself better and more interesting and more alert to the wonder of the world, not help someone?

So, as I asked a few weeks back: What interesting stuff are you working on, or, what interesting stuff do you think you'll give a try?

Posted by: Ace at 01:04 PM | Comments (694)
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Claim: Chris Christie Knew About Lane Closings
— Ace

Before getting to the New York Times article, we should note who this man is-- something the New York Times forgets to remind you of until the article's end.

In the beginning of the article, they tell you he's an old Christie friend and a former official at the Port Authority.

But it's only at the end of the article they remember to tell you: David Wildstein, the man making this claim, is one of the two people Christie fired in the matter. (Well, Kelley woman was fired; Wildstein was asked to resign.)

That doesn't make what he's saying untrue. It does seem to be worth a mention before reporting his allegations.

The article is here (but you'll have to google the headline to view it without a subscription).

Christie Knew About Lane Closings, Ex-Port Authority Official Says

by Kate Zernike

Does that name sound familiar? It should. She's a frequent offender as regards egregious partisan Democratic bias. For example, she made the claim that when Jason Matera spoke in his normal voice -- a voice I've heard a dozen times -- it was a racist parody of a black person or something.

In fact it's just a Queens accent, and his normal way of speaking. I've never heard him not speak with a Queens accent.* (Sorry, Jason.)

But yes, she is the New York Times' go-to gal when they want a silly attack made on conservatives or the Tea Party. So it doesn't surprise me she fails to mention Wildstein's possible emotional investment (and his possible legal investment) in this until her final sentence.

The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had the evidence to prove it.

In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.

Whatever the truth of the claim, we now know that Christie's version of events will be challenged by at least one of the other players. (And Bridget Kelley also seemed to signal her desire to fight back, as her friends told the New York Times (IIRC) that she was a "team player" and wouldn't exercise her own judgment because, you know, she's Catholic.)

Thanks to @DrewMTips.

* I'm not sure about this, because I'm not as race-obsessed as Kate Zernike or MSNBC, but I think Jason Matera is actually Puerto Rican by descent.**

Which makes White Whitey-White Kate Zernike's immediate thought -- he's not speaking with the upper-class Non-Regional Diction that all my white Manhattan friends use, and therefore, his Distastefully Ethnic accent must be a grotesque parody of minority -- sort of racist in and of itself, doesn't it?

** This is why I'm afraid of him like I'm afraid of Cheerios. But I guess that's obvious.

Ummmm... Kate Zernike strikes again.

My Own Correction: I misread the tweet and thought he said a correction had been confessed.

But this is the New York Times. They make a fetish out of "admitting" corrections on tiny things (misspelled names, transposed digits in a date) so that you think they must also correct the big things.

In fact, the bigger the mistake is, the less likely it is that the New York Times will acknowledge it.

But if they inadvertently report that David Wildstein lives in, say, Rumson, when he was actually born there but lives in Fairlawn, oh, they'll make a big deal about correcting that.

So Zernike's claim that Wildstein has, himself, "evidence" of Christie's alleged lie has been deleted, but the New York Times does not acknowelge the correction.

I also erred in originally stating the headline had been changed. It wasn't the headline that was changed, but the lede sentence.

Posted by: Ace at 11:03 AM | Comments (638)
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Skydiver Knocked Unconscious By Accidental Blow to the Head Is Rescued in Freefall by Fellow Divers... The Drama All Captured by Helmet-Camera
— Ace

Sometimes I ask, "Is this something?"

I'm not asking that now. This is something.

One diver, named James Lee, was knocked out by a collision with another diver. His chute had to be deployed by hand (pull the ripcord, you know), so with Lee unconscious, that chute wasn't a life-saver. It was just deadweight on his back.

The other divers realize something's gone very wrong and free-glide over to him, to pull his ripcord themselves.

The video isn't really more than you might imagine-- the other divers glide over to him to pull his parachute. Yet, still compelling, as they hand-signal each other to coordinate the rescue. Apparently they had to get his body into safe orientation for deployment of the parachute (head up, feet down) and then pull the cord.

The most important thing that happened can't be captured by video: the other divers' internal realization that their unconscious friend was falling like a rag doll, not like a conscious man.

And the rescue maneuver was itself dangerous: as the knockout demonstrates, you don't want to collide with heavy bodies in freefall.

The unconscious diver did wake up from his knockout... as he approached the earth, parachute deployed.


In many ways, this is the story of Obama.


Posted by: Ace at 09:35 AM | Comments (645)
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Overnight Open Thread (31 Jan 2014)

I still can't believe the GOP is actually trying to come up with an immigration deal (which does not make any sense) when they should be focusing on jobs which would win votes, at least from current U.S. citizens.

Whatever. It's Friday. Get a drink and dive right in to the ONT. more...

Posted by: CDR M at 04:50 PM | Comments (722)
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Volokh Conspiracy: Hey, Going By the Actual Data, It Turns Out Conservatives Are More Likely to be Part of a Mixed Race Family
— Ace

Now, let me clarify on that: The difference is statistically insignificant. 10% of liberals hail from mixed race families, and 11% of conservatives. You can't make anything of that difference (though MSNBC would, were the numbers to run in the opposite direction).

So let's take the percentages as equal. (Except, not really.) Does MSNBC care about the facts, or just spouting off ignorantly with some make-'em-up blogger provocation?

Spoiler Alert: It's the last one.

Not surprisingly, there is no statistically significant left-right political differences in the proportion of adopted or step-families that are in mixed race households. Indeed, among families with step-children or adopted children, 11 percent of conservatives were living in mixed race households compared to 10 percent of liberals living in mixed-race households.

Similarly, 9.4 percent of Republicans living in step- or adopted families were in mixed-race households, compared to only 8.8 percent of Democrats in such families. (Again, this small advantage for Republicans is not large enough to be statistically significant).
If one breaks things down further by both party and political orientation, only 7.7 percent of liberal Democrats and 3.6 percent of moderate Democrats lived in mixed-race adopted or step-households, compared to an insignificantly different 10.6 percent of conservative Republicans.

Volokh also links the rightwing gun nuts at Reason, specifically Matt Welch, who asks the question: Is it not bigoted to constantly claim a deep moral fault among a large swath of people based only upon their race?

Spoiler alert: Yes.

But making broad and essentially pejorative generalizations about giant swaths of non-Democrats is hardly the exclusive domain of the racist-chasers at MSNBC and Salon.com. Journalistic outlets at the highest levels have been making non-jokey versions of the same accusation throughout the Obama presidency, ever since the twin ascension in 2009 of the Tea Party and opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

For an example, check out this passage in New Yorker Editor David Remnick's extraordinarily long and often insightful recent profile of the president.

In the electoral realm, ironically, the country may be more racially divided than it has been in a generation. Obama lost among white voters in 2012 by a margin greater than any victor in American history. The popular opposition to the Administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country. Obama's drop in the polls in 2013 was especially grave among white voters.

Where's that confounded bridge? Italics mine [bolding mine-- ace], to underscore what one of the nation's most decorated journalists felt zero need to substantiate in a 16,000-word article. Do older white voters really feel more "threatened" and "disdained" by a "globalized economy" and "increasingly diverse country" than other age and ethnic/pigmentation cohorts? I'm sure there's plenty of interesting poll data out there, but Remnick (a 55-year-old white guy, FWIW) doesn't need to cite any: He knows it's true, his readers know it's true, and the only real question is how much you can respectably pin opposition to this twice-elected black president on racism.

Imagine the MSM describing any non-white population as chiefly animated by fear and other insalubrious traits.

Here's how bigotry works: You don't know many (or any) members of a group you have antipathy towards. Because you know nothing about them, you view them as The Other, and, untainted by fact or personal experience, you can imagine them as wholly alien, foreign, and, of course, evil and inhuman.

The left understands this -- they often discuss "Otherizing" a group -- and yet they do not apply this to their own thinking. In their minds, only The Other can be guilty of viewing others as The Other. The left, with all their ignorance, hatred, and stupid crude bigotries, cannot be so guilty.

The left generally exercises their imagination to find new ways of demonizing those who do not like socialism and communism. Every once in a while, their fevered minds come up with some interesting insight into human behavior and psychology (such as the tendency of people to view those unlike them as "The Other").

But because the entire point of this exertion of mind was simply to come up with exciting new ways to demonize one's political opponents, they fail utterly to take the insight seriously and examine their own thinking for defects.

And so the stumble on, crude-minded, without self awareness or self examination, bitter, hateful, and unredeemed.

Posted by: Ace at 08:38 AM | Comments (315)
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Obama: Those Principles On Immigration Boehner Announced Sound Ok To Me
— DrewM


House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and GOP leaders on Thursday released a set of "principles" that included a path to legal status -- but not citizenship -- for the more than 10 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Immigration reform advocates expressed optimism about the move, and Obama's words Friday seem to further improve chances for a deal.

"If the speaker proposes something that says, right away, folks aren't being deported, families aren't being separated, we're able to attract top young students to provide the skills or start businesses here and then there's a regular process of citizenship, I'm not sure how wide the divide ends up being," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.

Obama echoed immigrant advocacy groups that gave the GOP's so-called "principles" a vote of confidence. These groups in recent days have expressed more openness to something that stops shy of a path to citizenship.

"I am encouraged by what Speaker Boehner has said," Obama said. "Obviously, I was encouraged by the bipartisan bill that passed out of the Senate. I genuinely believe that Speaker Boehner and a number of House Republicans, folks like Paul Ryan, really do want to get a serious immigration reform bill done."

The only upside to the GOP giving conservatives the shaft on immigration, again, is when Team GOP says, "by holding Republicans accountable for their liberal votes you are only helping to elect Democrats" we can point out that they are the ones who are throwing Obama a legislative lifeline. We just spent 2 days talking about how the State of the Union proved Obama's agenda was dead and he was reduced to "a pen and a phone" gestures. And yet the Republicans have decided this is the perfect time to offer him a way forward on one to the Democrats top 3 legislative priorities.

A couple of reminders from the archives...

Yes, it's amnesty because there are penalties on the books now for being here illegally that will be ignored.

Amnesty is immoral.

Being anti-amnesty isn't the same as being anti-immigration or anti-immigrant.

In case you missed it last night, watch the video in this post of people learning what ObamaCare is going to do to them and their families. Then explain to me why the GOP wants to waste one second helping people who are breaking our laws that could be used to help these people who just want to raise their family and not get hurt by their government.

And to add insult to injury, not only will Republicans spend time not helping these people, they will be working to make sure people who came here illegally can now compete with them for their jobs.

There's your GOP. But sure, keep telling me why it's terrible I won't blindly vote for anyone with an "R" after their name.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:25 AM | Comments (322)
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Top Headline Comments 1-31-14
— Gabriel Malor


This Politico magazine piece, "Confessions From A Former TSA-Agent," is interesting reading.

More on the Halbig case -- the Obamacare subsidies challenge.

The RNC continues to expand its digital and data operation.

I was on Bruce Caroll's Match Game podcast last night, along with conservative blogosphere notables Ed Morrissey, John Brodigan, Amy Miller, Sarah Desprat, and Mary Chastain.

Our weekly podcast will be up today with guest Guy Benson. more...

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:52 AM | Comments (257)
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If You Thought Trolls Thought Rep. Huelskamp Was Racist Before He Posted a Picture of His Family, Wait 'Till You See Them Wig Out After
— Ace

Rep. Huelskamp is a racist. I know this for two reasons:

1, he's a Republican

2, MSNBC declared he must be really bothered at the thought of biracial families.

So, granted: Rep. Huelskamp is a terrible racist.

But being a Racist was just Count One of the Racist Indictment against him. He produced even more evidence of his racism when he posted a picture of family.

Well, My God. Most of us are just normal Racists, but this guy is an Eternal Jade Ninja of Racism. He's so racist, he adopted a bunch of black kids just so he could keep being racist and then when people called him a racist he could show this picture of his family and thereby advance the cause of his racism under the guise of not being racist.

Think about how horribly racist that is. That shows commitment.

And speaking of commitment...

Note he put this picture up to rebut @MSNBC's claim that "the right wing" would be upset to see pictures of a biracial family.

Well, says one Twitter user -- How dare you. The insult we lodged against you wasn't really about you.

Psst: I think he was trying to prove that "the right wing" was not freaked out by biracial families. I know his logic is kookoobananas, but I think that's what he was thinking.

Posted by: Ace at 07:22 AM | Comments (485)
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January 30, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (1-30-2014)
— Maetenloch

I'm Ashamed My Son Likes Football

Peter Beinart is a bad, bad father. Because he allowed his son to watch and enjoy a football game. Which apparently is only slightly less shameful than taking his son to a back-alley cockfight and handing him a starter-flask of Thunderbird.

Last Saturday night, he [Beinart's 8-year-old son] proudly dug out a long-unused Patriots jersey and joined me on the couch late into the night as the Patriots dispatched the Indianapolis Colts.

It was wonderful. And it made me a little sick.

It made me sick because I could see the game through his eyes. And it wasn't pretty. My son, unfamiliar with the NFL's pieties, assumed that hurting the other team's players was the goal. To his untutored eye, the violence that guilt-ridden fans like myself decry was a feature, not a bug. He didn't cheer the injuries; he's too sweet for that. But despite my insistence to the contrary, I suspect the message he took from the experience was: The only thing you need to know about the large man writhing in agony on the screen is whether he's on our team.

Bad British NFL Commentary

On The Intelligence of Football Players 

At five-eight, a hundred and eighty-eight pounds, the Bills safety Jim Leonhard, a nine-year veteran, is among the smallest and also the slowest starting defensive backs in the game. And yet, watching him on film, he appears to teleport to the ball. Leonhard's name seems to enter any conversation about football intelligence; he knows every teammate's responsibilities in every call, and understands the game as twenty-two intersecting vectors. "He'd walk off the bus and you'd think he was the equipment manager," Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "He's still in the league because he's the quarterback of the defense."

Obama: I Would Never Let My Imaginary Trayvon-like Son Play Football

But note that Obama still enjoys watching football. Because he can handle it while you can't.

NY Pols Propose Law to Ban Youth Football

So football now seems to have quickly joined smoking and junk food as one of those uncool, distasteful activities that only the underclass publicly indulge in. The next stage will be regulation and legal harassment which are waypoints on the path to eventual effective banning. For the children.

So if all goes according to plan this is the football your kids will be watching:


Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:42 PM | Comments (439)
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Oh, My: Pittsburg News Station Broadcasts Workers' Live Reactions to Changes to Their Insurance Policies Under Obamacare
— Ace

What a stunt. What an idea.

Let it be copied a thousand times.

Will it be? Well, dramatizing the news is generally a TV news imperative. They like moving pictures, don't they? But I don't know if too many people in the news business want to dramatize (and thereby increase interest in) the effect of Obamacare on the typical American worker.

Here's hoping, though.

This is a really amazing report.

MSNBC just tweeted that racists would "bust nut" while watching this, then they apologized and said the responsible party had been fired and also promoted to host of their new weekend show. more...

Posted by: Ace at 03:53 PM | Comments (385)
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January 31, 2014

January 30, 2014

MSNBC and Its Subsidiary NBCNews Fall to Bottom of Poll on Public Trust in News Organizations
— Ace

Per PPP, who are pretty low in the trust rankings for pollsters, but what the heck.

MSNBC and its subsidiary NBCNews have earned every inch of their low regard.

By the way: NBCNews is dead last. The joke channel MSNBC ties Comedy Central for second-to-last-place.

NBC News and sister cable network MSNBC rank at the bottom of media outlets Americans trust most for news, with Fox News leading the way, according to a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

In its fifth trust poll, 35 percent said they trusted Fox news more than any other outlet, followed by PBS at 14 percent, ABC at 11 percent, CNN at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, 6 percent for MSNBC and Comedy Central, and just 3 percent for NBC.

The next time someone on MSNBC or its kid brother NBCNews makes a crack about low Congressional approval ratings, someone should respond by citing NBC's 3% public trust rating.

Regarding MSNBC's latest foray into race-conscious juvenile razzing, the staffer "responsible" for the tweet-- whatever that means -- has been fired.

Responsible? Did this person write it?

And this is not a problem with a particular staffer. This is an MSNBC problem, and an NBCNews problem more generally. This is a... how do I put it? A Culture of Corruption.

Firing a staffer does not fix this when MSNBC's "stars," and I do use that term with reservation, say the exact same things night after night after night.

Will Queen Maddow be cautioned, I wonder? How about spittle-spraying fat drunk Chris Matthews? What about red-faced raging imbecile Ed Schultz?

Will these people be informed that daily provocations and crudities do "not represent the values of msbnc," as MSNBC President Phil Griffinclaimed?

The problem, obviously, is not that such statements don't represent the values of MSNBC. The problem is that they do.

Supposedly he's getting angry at having to drop everything twice a week to check out what the goons at Faber College's Animal House have done this time.

And it has, according to two sources at the network. Griffin, says one of the sources, is as “angry” as his colleagues have seen him. In a meeting, he warned of serious and immediate repercussions and ripped the staff about the recent bout of stupid actions, according to the sources.

But previous reports say he's a milquetoast who has no interest in news, only ratings, and just defers to Queen Rachel.

So we'll see if Queen Rachel is interested in cleaning up Delta House.

Posted by: Ace at 02:35 PM | Comments (248)
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In France, a "Day of Rage" Protest On the Eve of the Holocaust Remembrance Day, Features Ugly, Loud Anti-Semitism
— Ace


In the video below, "Juif" -- their favorite word -- means Jew, of course. The first thing said is Juif, casse-toi, La France n'est pas à toi!

This means something like: "Jew, get the hell out, France is not for you."

I didn't know what "casser" meant in this context. It usually means "break." It can also mean "get the hell out of here" when used as a command.

But it also, wonderfully enough, turns out to to have a vile double meaning:

(familiar)to kill (esp. if motivated by prejudice)

Because of the grammar of it, I think they mean the "get the hell out" meaning, but it also seems to me they don't mind this other meaning being suggested.

This "Jour de Colère," or Day of Rage, was called for by supporters of that idiot anti-semitic comedian Dieudonné.

Many protestors did the "quenelle," the inverted Nazi salute which they claim is not a Nazi salute. However, if you watch the video, you can see some of his supporters making explicit that it is a Nazi salute-- because they don't bother doing the Double Secret Nazi Salute of the quenelle, but instead do the full, real, Hitler Nazi salute.

It was part of a "Day of Anger" called by extremists in support of Dieudonne last Sunday. French police estimated that around 17,000 people had attended the march, and said that 150 had been arrested. Police told AFP news agency that 19 police officers were injured in clashes with demonstrators, one seriously.

Despite claims by Dieudonne and some of his supporters that it is simply an innocent "up yours" or "anti-establishment" gesture, [the quenelle] has been adopted by a vast range of anti-Semites, from the far-right to Muslim extremists, many of whom post online pictures of themselves making the salute in front of sensitive sites such as Holocaust memorials, synagogues, and even the school in Toulouse at which an Islamist gunman murdered a rabbi and three Jewish children.

That last incident happened just in 2012.

What is there even to say?

Oh, and let me just bookmark this post for the next time Bill Maher blabbles on about how enlightened the Europeans are.

Oh: They shout about "LICRA," too. That's the League Against (Contre) Racism and Antisemtism.

It's amazing to me that people claiming there is no anti-semitism would simultaneously walk down the streets demanding that Jews get out of the country and making Nazi salutes. Or that they would claim "The gas chambers are a lie (bullshit)," even as they're demonstrating exactly how gas chambers come into being.


Posted by: Ace at 01:46 PM | Comments (290)
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GOP Announces Declaration of Principles For Why You Should Vote Third Party
— Ace

And they're compelling reasons, too.

This is part of the reason I gave up on politics and stopped identifying as a Republican. There is no point supporting a Team of Losers who furthermore don't even actually have the same goals in mind I do. Not that that would make a big difference, as they are Losers, and cannot advance their goals.

Posted by: Ace at 12:18 PM | Comments (604)
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Italian Court Finds Amanda Knox and Rafael Solecitto Guilty, Again
— Ace

Amanda Knox is in America and she's not going back to Italy.

However, Rafael Solecitto -- every bit as innocent -- is an Italian citizen, and they're determined to jail Amanda Knox, but they can't, so they'll jail the guy no one cares about, Rafael.

The Italian judicial system has a quirk unlike ours. When a trial court pronounces you culpable, you're not actually convicted of the crime -- not yet. The actual conviction only occurs when a court, sitting in review, confirms the conviction.

I believe I read that Italy considers this trial finding of culpability less seriously than our own countrymen would find a jury verdict, because it's not actually yet a verdict.

Thus, Rafael is in this odd twilight, again, where he stands to be convicted of murder, and yet is not actually convicted of murderer, while the actual murderer, a drifter and repeat burglar named Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found all over the crime scene (and yet none of Rafael's or Amanda's-- the prosecutors wisely explained that they had cleaned the crime scene of their own DNA, while managing to leave behind a great deal of Guede's; the prosecutors have never explained what type of bleach could permit this selective removal of genetic material), remains in jail, but with a reduced sentence in exchange for implicating Knox and Solecitto, because all he did was burglarize, sexually violate, and then slaughter Meredith Kercher, whereas Rafael Solecitto and especially Amanda Knox provided the inspiration and stage direction for this crime, even though they weren't even there, but who cares, it's Italy, and she's a Foreign Whore, and Foreign Whores must pay.

Oh by the way: Rudy Guede fled the country the day after the murder, and he had committed a series of burglaries, armed with a knife of the exact same size as used to slaughter Meredith Kercher, with which he threatened one victim. Because he burglarized the home when the occupant was in residence. Because he was a stupid, low-impulse control, rapist, burglar, and idiot thug.

The fact that he did the same thing to another victim (without proceeding to the sexual violation and rage slaughter phase) just a month before he murdered Meredith Kercher is taken as some kind odd, but ultimately unimportant, coincidence by Perugia's All Star Prosecution Squad.

Anyone Interested in a Great True Crime Book About Italy's Own Jack the Ripper... ... should read Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezzi.

There is a strong connection to Amanda Knox, though the book is not about her.

If you want to read about this case specifically, the Hellman-Zanetti Report (the official report of the court of appeals that freed Knox and Solecitto) is great. But it is a court document, not a novelistic narrative.

But it is great reading.

Posted by: Ace at 11:03 AM | Comments (583)
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Henry Waxman To Retire, Saying He Wants to Spend More Time With Children, Frightening Them With His Monster-Face
— Ace

We discussed this dynamic on the podcast last night, not knowing another pig-faced shoe was about to drop. It's no fun to serve in the minority -- small staff, smaller offices, small influence -- and when it becomes clear that a party will not be capturing a house of Congress, some Congressmen decide to retire. Conversely, older Congressmen in a party in-power are more likely to stay on.

Politico reported late yesterday that Democrats had decided on a triage strategy-- they would abandon their quixotic efforts to seize control of the House in order to direct all resources to attempting to hold the Senate.

Democrats: Cede the House to save the Senate

With Democrats’ grasp on the Senate increasingly tenuous — and the House all but beyond reach — some top party donors and strategists are moving to do something in the midterm election as painful as it is coldblooded: Admit the House can’t be won and go all in to save the Senate.

Their calculation is uncomplicated. With only so much money to go around in an election year that is tilting the GOP’s way, Democrats need to concentrate resources on preserving the chamber they have now. Losing the Senate, they know, could doom whatever hopes Barack Obama has of salvaging the final years of his presidency.

The triage idea is taking hold in phone conversations among donors and in strategy sessions between party operatives. Even some of the people who have invested the most to get House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s chair are moving in that direction.

“There is no question that Democratic donors are shifting towards the Senate in 2014. They will continue to support Nancy, but everyone agrees that the emphasis is going to be on the Senate,” said Joe Cotchett, a prominent San Francisco trial attorney and friend of Pelosi’s who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic Party candidates and causes. “When you see people like [longtime California Democratic Rep.] George Miller announcing that they are not running again, you know where the money will be going.”

And now the swinish brute Henry Waxman decides that after decades of doing his best to destroy American democracy, he too wants to spend more time with his K Street lobbyists.

“I just think it’s time to move on,” Waxman [said].

He specifically denies that he's dropping out of congress after nearly thirty years of, um, "service" due to the fact that Democrats have no chance of taking the House.

“I don’t accept the idea that Democrats won’t get the House back,” Waxman said. “I think that the Republicans have nothing to offer. They’re against everything. They’re against everything Obama wanted. They have no alternatives on health care policy. They have nothing to say, they have nothing to offer.”

But I can tell he's lying because he has a "tell." That tell is that he's Henry Waxman, three-decades-long Democratic Congressman from California.

More: @JohnEkdahl notices Freddoso's Conservative Intel noticing something.

On a related note, Waxman holds a D+11 district. But Waxman still had a rough time of it last cycle — practically nobody noticed, but he almost lost his seat. A wealthy candidate named Bill Bloomfield (a longtime-moderate-Republican-donor-turned-unaffiliated-voter) put $7.6 of his own money into an independent bid against Waxman and held him under 54 percent in the general election. Bloomfield has actually raised $75,000 already this cycle, but he might just be paying himself back some of the loans he made his campaign.

Posted by: Ace at 08:53 AM | Comments (365)
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Of Handguns and Chcolate - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]
— Open Blogger

ICYMI, State Senator Nathan Dahm, appeared on Piers Morgan's show a few nights ago. Dahm, as you may recall, has sponsored the Piers Morgan Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms Without Infringement Act bill in his home state of Oklahoma.

Catchy title, eh?

Well, Piers being Piers, he set out to make Dahm look the fool and Dahm, somehow, managed to make it through the interview without bursting into hysterical laughter or ever raising his voice. The majority of the interview can be found at You Tube but the real gem can be found in the video clip below wherein Piers attempts to analogize gun control to Kinder Eggs. It goes about as well as you might imagine.

I think Piers is trying to argue that if even a chocolate egg can be deemed hazardous to society, why aren't guns. Again, I think that's what he's trying to say but, frankly, it was such a convoluted piece of word-vomit I'm not really sure at all. No matter his point, he seems clearly okay with the idea that the federal government should be in the business of protecting us from ourselves.

My guess: He'd be happy banning the toys in Cracker Jacks and cereal boxes as well.

So.... Dahm. What are your thoughts about that guy?

Also, open thread.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:05 AM | Comments (279)
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