May 30, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow: When Me and My Famous Friends are Trolled By Internet Troublemakers, It's Like Suffering the Stress and Wounds of Soldiers at War
— Ace

Gwyneth Paltrow just doesn't understand why people don't like her.

s and, you know, for good reason: We're annoying," she told the crowd. "Some of us look okay, we look like we have money, our lives seem great. That may or may not be the case ... Nevertheless, we get it. Or, at the very least, we expect that it's part and parcel to what we do. Anyone in any field who has their head rise above a poppy in the field, they get their heads chopped off. It's our human nature to feel that way, and to do it. ... Everybody takes s--t, it's just the way it is."

So far so good, I guess. A bit self-pitying, but nothing too objectionable.

But she's just getting started.

"You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it's a very dehumanizing thing. It's almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it," she said. "My hope is, as we get out of it, we'll reach the next level of conscience."

Mmm-hm. Almost just like exactly that.

Posted by: Ace at 10:55 AM | Comments (398)
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Tsarnaev Friend Arrested for Obstructing Justice, Aiding the Bombers After the Fact
— Ace

Remember the Left's preferred narrative that somehow the people of Boston had caused the bombing themselves by being insufficiently welcoming of their new Islamist Immigrant neighbors?

I guess the people of Boston failed to incorporate another guy into their social circles.

A friend of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings was charged Friday with obstructing the investigation into the deadly attack.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, of Quincy, was arrested at his apartment shortly after 5 a.m. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston on Friday afternoon.

Matanov, a legal resident of the U.S. originally from Kyrgyzstan, destroyed, altered and falsified records in a federal investigation, and made false statements in a federal investigation, according to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office.

....

He realized the FBI would want to talk with him because he shared their "philosophical justification for violence," federal prosecutors said.

The brothers Tsarnaev had dinner with this guy just 40 minutes after the bombing. Apparently he told them (per a witness) that he could support the maiming of 260 people, so long as they had "a reason" -- like killing in the name of a murder-cult.

The rap against this guy doesn't seem particularly strong at the moment. He deleted a lot of internet searches for information on violent jihad, and asked a friend to destroy his cell phones, I guess to conceal information about communications between them. (The friend refused.)

He took a hiking trip with the Tsarnaevs in which he discussed religion and praised the mujahideen.

He seems like a very bad actor and I support the FBI charging him for whatever they can convict him on, even if the stuff they're charging him with seems to be of the Asshole Tax variety. (That is, going hard after someone on every technical violation you can think of just because he's an asshole.)

And it might turn out he helped in the bombings before the fact, too.

Posted by: Ace at 09:42 AM | Comments (294)
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Tsarnaev Friend Arrested for Obstructing Justice, Aiding the Bombers After the Fact
— Ace

Remember the Left's preferred narrative that somehow the people of Boston had caused the bombing themselves by being insufficiently welcoming of their new Islamist Immigrant neighbors?

I guess the people of Boston failed to incorporate another guy into their social circles.

A friend of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings was charged Friday with obstructing the investigation into the deadly attack.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, of Quincy, was arrested at his apartment shortly after 5 a.m. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston on Friday afternoon.

Matanov, a legal resident of the U.S. originally from Kyrgyzstan, destroyed, altered and falsified records in a federal investigation, and made false statements in a federal investigation, according to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office.

....

He realized the FBI would want to talk with him because he shared their "philosophical justification for violence," federal prosecutors said.

The brothers Tsarnaev had dinner with this guy just 40 minutes after the bombing. Apparently he told them (per a witness) that he could support the maiming of 260 people, so long as they had "a reason" -- like killing in the name of a murder-cult.

The rap against this guy doesn't seem particularly strong at the moment. He deleted a lot of internet searches for information on violent jihad, and asked a friend to destroy his cell phones, I guess to conceal information about communications between them. (The friend refused.)

He took a hiking trip with the Tsarnaevs in which he discussed religion and praised the mujahideen.

He seems like a very bad actor and I support the FBI charging him for whatever they can convict him on, even if the stuff they're charging him with seems to be of the Asshole Tax variety. (That is, going hard after someone on every technical violation you can think of just because he's an asshole.)

And it might turn out he helped in the bombings before the fact, too.

Posted by: Ace at 09:42 AM | Comments (294)
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Are You Ready for Christopher Lee's Metal Album?
— Ace

No, you say?

You're not ready for Christopher Lee embracing the heavy metal genre?

That's okay, neither is Christopher Lee.

I like this actor a lot, and God love a 92 year old releasing an album called "Metal Knight," but this is not Metal.

This wouldn't be metal even back in 1986.

His album contains a couple of standards from Man of La Mancha (he calls Don Quixote "the most metal fictional character I know") and Paul Anka's My Way.

He says that's metal too -- the brazen nature of the singer's declaration that he has not a damn thing to apologize for.

He's previously released some "heavy metal" Christmas albums. (What?)

Okay I think this is all pretty silly but he's a cool guy and if he wants to call this "metal" I guess I'll Let him:

During the Second World War, Sir Christopher served with the Special Operations Executive, set up to conduct espionage and sabotage in occupied Europe. However, he has never talked about his role.

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2011, he said: “I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden — former, present, or future — to discuss any specific operations.

"Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”

Now that's metal.

Posted by: Ace at 08:38 AM | Comments (406)
Post contains 244 words, total size 2 kb.

Are You Ready for Christopher Lee's Metal Album?
— Ace

No, you say?

You're not ready for Christopher Lee embracing the heavy metal genre?

That's okay, neither is Christopher Lee.

I like this actor a lot, and God love a 92 year old releasing an album called "Metal Knight," but this is not Metal.

This wouldn't be metal even back in 1986.

His album contains a couple of standards from Man of La Mancha (he calls Don Quixote "the most metal fictional character I know") and Paul Anka's My Way.

He says that's metal too -- the brazen nature of the singer's declaration that he has not a damn thing to apologize for.

He's previously released some "heavy metal" Christmas albums. (What?)

Okay I think this is all pretty silly but he's a cool guy and if he wants to call this "metal" I guess I'll Let him:

During the Second World War, Sir Christopher served with the Special Operations Executive, set up to conduct espionage and sabotage in occupied Europe. However, he has never talked about his role.

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2011, he said: “I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden — former, present, or future — to discuss any specific operations.

"Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”

Now that's metal.

Posted by: Ace at 08:38 AM | Comments (406)
Post contains 244 words, total size 2 kb.

Nancy Pelosi, Ten Years Apart
— JohnE.

Interesting comparison of Pelosi's reaction to two different scandals, only one of which actually has a body count.

Nancy Pelosi on May 4, 2004:

“The revelation of grotesque behavior by soldiers in Iraq is not only disgraceful and damaging to the interests of the United States, it also endangers our men and women in uniform, the vast majority of whom are courageously performing their duties. The shameful mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq is unacceptable and must be investigated thoroughly.

“Among the questions that must be answered are: Was this an isolated incident? Were personnel trained adequately to do the jobs to which they were assigned? When did senior leadership of the Department of Defense learn of these allegations? Was their response timely and did it reflect the seriousness of this situation?

“We must have a full investigation to get to the bottom of this outrage.”

Nancy Pelosi on May 28, 2014:
Well, I think any time that our men and women in uniform are not served in the manner in which they deserve, you could perhaps call it a scandal because it's scandalous that they're not. Whether it is a scandal with intention and the rest of that, the evidence remains to be seen. But the fact is that they haven't been served worthy of their sacrifice or their role in our country.
Just lovely.

Posted by: JohnE. at 07:17 AM | Comments (698)
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Obama To Speak On VA
Shinseki Resigns

— DrewM

Update: Obama says he's reluctantly accepting Shinseki's resignation. Also notes that the problems aren't limited to Phoenix.

Original Post:
11:15 eastern or whenever he feels like it.

He just wrapped up a meeting with Veterans Affairs Secratery Erick Shinseki so the betting is he's going to announce Shinseki's resignation.

A number of Democrats in Congress have called for the resignation, including Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a wounded vet who once worked for Shinseki.

I'm indifferent to whether or not Shinseki stays or goes. Yes, he's been grossly incompetent but on the other hand getting rid of him will enable Obama and the Democrats to say, "we've done something, give the new guy a chance to settle in and we'll see what happens". Then everyone will say "Mission Accomplished" and nothing will change.

Related: Megan McCardle has a piece on why Obama can't fix the VA.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:10 AM | Comments (682)
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Top Headline Comments 5-30-14
— Gabriel Malor

FRIDAY!

The actor who plays young Professor X, James McAvoy, does impressions for the actor who plays old Professor X, Patrick Stewart. Hilarity ensues.

There's a tumblr comparing Google street views in Detroit from 2009 with 2013. It's pretty amazing.

Lawgeeks, David Kopel of Volokh Conspiracy coauthored an amicus brief about the history of gun magazines, with emphasis on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. This is in a challenge to a Calfornia city's law banning possession of such magazines.

MGM and Warner Bros. are rebooting the Stargate IP with a film trilogy.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:51 AM | Comments (556)
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May 29, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (5-29-2014) – Meet Me By the Third Pyramid Edition
— Maetenloch

Frank J. Fleming: Why I Support the Mutant Registration Act

Look not to get all pedantic but the very first word of "human rights" makes it quite clear who actually gets them.

I know everyone is going to call me a bigot and say I'm on the wrong side of history, but it still needs to be said: the Mutant Registration Act just makes sense.

I know the left are always going on about how mutants are being discriminated against and questioning them at all makes us basically evil racists, but the left's position on this issue makes absolutely no sense. Right now, if a kid in school so much as draws a picture of a gun, the cops get called. But if there is a kid in class with mutant exploding powers who could easily kill everyone in the classroom - either maliciously or accidentally - then we're all Nazis for saying, "Hey, maybe we should reevaluate whether that kid should be in the same class as everyone else." Not only that, we're bigots for wanting to even know about that kid. How does this make any sense? I guess dead school children is better than "discrimination."

And it's not like these mutant powers are the same as someone walking around with a concealed gun like millions of Americans do and not necessarily harming anyone; no, they're actively using them. Many of the mutants are in this paramilitary organization - the X-Men - and flying around in military-grade hardware to "fight evil." Some of us think that maybe - just maybe - the government should watch these people. And of course we get called racists for this basic common sense.

And it really seems like we're not being told the truth about these mutants. When we ask how they got these fantastical powers, we're basically told they were just born with them and to shut up. I mean, what is the official explanation of mutants? Evolution. Really? I guess it makes a little sense for that one mutant from Canada to have to evolve self-healing powers in response to socialized medicine, but how does evolution explain being able to shoot lasers out your eyes or to be able to control the weather? Do they think we haven't had high school biology and don't know how natural selection works? You don't just suddenly go in one generation from normal human to blue guy who can teleport himself. Demon possession is closer to being a scientific explanation of their powers than evolution is.

Now Canada thinks they're too goody-good to allow the registration of clearly dangerous mutants but they seem to have no problems at all with setting up a registry of people who didn't get vaccinated.

"A national vaccination registry would identify which Canadians have been fully vaccinated, those who have received less than a full dose of shots, and those who have not been vaccinated at all. Having a vaccine registry in place in the event of an outbreak of measles, whooping cough, and diseases like these would enable public health officials to identify the children and adults who need vaccinations. Getting them the shots they need would reduce the risk of anyone on the list getting sick, and would also reduce the threat of an outbreak in the community in which they live or travel to [and] from."

Look getting whooping cough is no fun at all - but on the other I have yet to ever see someone with it ever accidentally fry innocent bystanders alive with their un-obscured vision. Let's get our risk priorities straight here.

I mean WTF Canada - do you really want this traipsing around the prairies without any kind of tracking at all?

2378cad0-8919-49bf-9c79-834d5885310d_x-men-5

Quote of the Day

"The reason the first three Star Wars movies were so terrific, and the second three sucked so bad, is actually very simple. The first three were about rebels, shooting guns and driving fast, and speaking with American accents. The second three were about politicians, discussing treaties and holding court, and speaking with British accents.

  -- Bill Whittle
more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:46 PM | Comments (826)
Post contains 1759 words, total size 17 kb.

Overnight Open Thread (5-29-2014) – Meet Me By the Third Pyramid Edition
— Maetenloch

Frank J. Fleming: Why I Support the Mutant Registration Act

Look not to get all pedantic but the very first word of "human rights" makes it quite clear who actually gets them.

I know everyone is going to call me a bigot and say I'm on the wrong side of history, but it still needs to be said: the Mutant Registration Act just makes sense.

I know the left are always going on about how mutants are being discriminated against and questioning them at all makes us basically evil racists, but the left's position on this issue makes absolutely no sense. Right now, if a kid in school so much as draws a picture of a gun, the cops get called. But if there is a kid in class with mutant exploding powers who could easily kill everyone in the classroom - either maliciously or accidentally - then we're all Nazis for saying, "Hey, maybe we should reevaluate whether that kid should be in the same class as everyone else." Not only that, we're bigots for wanting to even know about that kid. How does this make any sense? I guess dead school children is better than "discrimination."

And it's not like these mutant powers are the same as someone walking around with a concealed gun like millions of Americans do and not necessarily harming anyone; no, they're actively using them. Many of the mutants are in this paramilitary organization - the X-Men - and flying around in military-grade hardware to "fight evil." Some of us think that maybe - just maybe - the government should watch these people. And of course we get called racists for this basic common sense.

And it really seems like we're not being told the truth about these mutants. When we ask how they got these fantastical powers, we're basically told they were just born with them and to shut up. I mean, what is the official explanation of mutants? Evolution. Really? I guess it makes a little sense for that one mutant from Canada to have to evolve self-healing powers in response to socialized medicine, but how does evolution explain being able to shoot lasers out your eyes or to be able to control the weather? Do they think we haven't had high school biology and don't know how natural selection works? You don't just suddenly go in one generation from normal human to blue guy who can teleport himself. Demon possession is closer to being a scientific explanation of their powers than evolution is.

Now Canada thinks they're too goody-good to allow the registration of clearly dangerous mutants but they seem to have no problems at all with setting up a registry of people who didn't get vaccinated.

"A national vaccination registry would identify which Canadians have been fully vaccinated, those who have received less than a full dose of shots, and those who have not been vaccinated at all. Having a vaccine registry in place in the event of an outbreak of measles, whooping cough, and diseases like these would enable public health officials to identify the children and adults who need vaccinations. Getting them the shots they need would reduce the risk of anyone on the list getting sick, and would also reduce the threat of an outbreak in the community in which they live or travel to [and] from."

Look getting whooping cough is no fun at all - but on the other I have yet to ever see someone with it ever accidentally fry innocent bystanders alive with their un-obscured vision. Let's get our risk priorities straight here.

I mean WTF Canada - do you really want this traipsing around the prairies without any kind of tracking at all?

2378cad0-8919-49bf-9c79-834d5885310d_x-men-5

Quote of the Day

"The reason the first three Star Wars movies were so terrific, and the second three sucked so bad, is actually very simple. The first three were about rebels, shooting guns and driving fast, and speaking with American accents. The second three were about politicians, discussing treaties and holding court, and speaking with British accents.

  -- Bill Whittle
more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:46 PM | Comments (826)
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State Spokeswretch Jen Psaki: You Know, Obama Just Doesn't Give Himself Credit
Incredulous Reporters Openly Laugh at Claim: Credit for What?

— Ace

If I were to compile a Billboard-style list of Obama's top 40 faults, "doesn't give himself enough credit" would fail to track.

JEN PSAKI: I would argue the president doesn't give himself enough credit for what he's done around the world. And that's how the secretary feels too. We would not be engaged in comprehensive negotiations with Iran, which is where the program is stalled, and is rolling back, if it were not for the role of the United States, along with the P-5 +1 partners certainly. In Ukraine, we've been engaged more or as much as any other country in the world in supporting the elections process, supporting the government, and supporting efforts moving forward. Yes, there's more work that needs to be done, the point is we need to continue to stay at it.

REPORTER: Is this a potential mission accomplished statement?

PSAKI: Absolutely not.

MATT LEE: You would argue the president doesn't give himself enough credit, how much credit would you give him?

PSAKI: I would give him more than he has given himself. So would the secretary.

LEE: Like 200 percent credit? For what? Iran negotiations?

PSAKI: I mean...

REPORTER: What specifically are you saying he doesn't get enough credit for?

PSAKI: For engagement in issues like Iran, what we've done on Ukraine. Efforts to dive in and engage in the world.

REPORTER: Russia has still annexed Crimea. Iran, there are ongoing negotiations, but is that the success here that your talking?

PSAKI: We're talking about engagement in the world and taking on tough issues that present themselves, and the United States continues to play a prominent role doing that.

more...

Posted by: Ace at 04:09 PM | Comments (714)
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Obama Flack: Hey, You Know Obama Can't Fire Shinseki, Because He Would Face Political Difficulties In Getting a New Secretary;
Even Chris Matthews Blasts Administration for Putting Politics First

— Ace

The Obama Administration -- proceeding from Obama himself -- has long been so arrogant that they are overly honest about their cynical, self-interested calculations.

Obama did not see any problem when he declared that he was just a blank screen upon which people were invited to project their hopes, for example.

This gang's narcissism, arrogance, and brutal cynicism has long been the subtext of everything they say.

But frequently they're so egotistical that they straight-up announce the subtext as text.

Obviously Obama cares a great deal more about minor political hassles (My God, that could require some work) than about whether veterans are dying in a government queue.

We all know this.

But it's probably not a good idea for an Administration flack to announce, "Yeah, you know, Obama cares more about some minor political hassle (My God, that could require some work) than about whether veterans are dying in a government queue."

And yet this is what Bill Burton said:

“Just imagine, Jake, it’s not like Senate Republicans are going to let you put some new head of the V.A. in to deal with the problem. They are going to, you know, extract their pound of flesh and make it as difficult as possible for him,” he said.

My God, the opposition party is actually going to rightfully criticize the Administration's performance. Anything but that.

Chris Matthews is his usual restrained self in criticizing Sherrod Brown for joining Obama in his Just Don't Acknowledge the Corpses defense.

Even Jay Carney is obfuscating on whether Obama still stands behind Shinseki.

(Wait, did I just say that even Jay Carney is obfuscating? WTF?)

It would take a Miracle to help Obama out of this jam.

Gentlemen, I give you the F.B.I.

Or, I mean, John Boehner.

more...

Posted by: Ace at 03:32 PM | Comments (207)
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Obama Flack: Hey, You Know Obama Can't Fire Shinseki, Because He Would Face Political Difficulties In Getting a New Secretary;
Even Chris Matthews Blasts Administration for Putting Politics First

— Ace

The Obama Administration -- proceeding from Obama himself -- has long been so arrogant that they are overly honest about their cynical, self-interested calculations.

Obama did not see any problem when he declared that he was just a blank screen upon which people were invited to project their hopes, for example.

This gang's narcissism, arrogance, and brutal cynicism has long been the subtext of everything they say.

But frequently they're so egotistical that they straight-up announce the subtext as text.

Obviously Obama cares a great deal more about minor political hassles (My God, that could require some work) than about whether veterans are dying in a government queue.

We all know this.

But it's probably not a good idea for an Administration flack to announce, "Yeah, you know, Obama cares more about some minor political hassle (My God, that could require some work) than about whether veterans are dying in a government queue."

And yet this is what Bill Burton said:

“Just imagine, Jake, it’s not like Senate Republicans are going to let you put some new head of the V.A. in to deal with the problem. They are going to, you know, extract their pound of flesh and make it as difficult as possible for him,” he said.

My God, the opposition party is actually going to rightfully criticize the Administration's performance. Anything but that.

Chris Matthews is his usual restrained self in criticizing Sherrod Brown for joining Obama in his Just Don't Acknowledge the Corpses defense.

Even Jay Carney is obfuscating on whether Obama still stands behind Shinseki.

(Wait, did I just say that even Jay Carney is obfuscating? WTF?)

It would take a Miracle to help Obama out of this jam.

Gentlemen, I give you the F.B.I.

Or, I mean, John Boehner.

more...

Posted by: Ace at 03:32 PM | Comments (203)
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Leftwing Has Gotten So Obnoxious About Thought-Policing That Even Mike Bloomberg Rips It At Harvard Commencement
— Ace

And I do mean he rips it.

Hit that link for quotes; below is the video. He starts on this line of thought at 6:15.

One thing: Mike Bloomberg seems to be incapable of reading a speech he presumably wrote (or at least edited). Still, worth it.

Oh, at 19:00, he starts talking Gun Control, and Congress' blocking of the CDC and NIH from doing studies on gun violence. He's attempting to use this as an example of Thought Policing, to make it plain to the alleged "liberals" the dangers of Thought Policing.

Frankly... uh, this seems like a good idea to me. The CDC and NIH are charged with patrolling disease. I know progressives love directing every single bureaucracy to pursue their political agenda, and they love their Words-Mean-Anything-We're-Clever-Enough-To-Claim-They-Mean semantic games, but guns are not diseases.

Why not task NASA with tracking gun violence? After all, every bullet in flight is, temporarily at least, a tiny satellite of the earth.

Hey, it's Science, baby.

Let's Use All the Bureaucracy to push the left's social agenda.

No but seriously: The Left wants to use every gear and cog in the machinery of power to advance its agenda. "Permitting" the CDC and NIH to divert disease-tracking resources to doing politicized gun-violence surveys will result, in just a couple of years, in the CDC and NIH being mandated to do such studies, with ever-greater fractions of the their budget devoted not to tracking disease but to Opposition Research for the DNC.

Within five years we'll have insufficient funding to track the Heartland Virus because those funds have been allocated to studying the health effects of Guns With The Thing That Goes Down.

Does Bloomberg really believe there are insufficient studies on this topic, already being funded by the US Government?

Here's Mike Bloomberg's -- and any other committed progressive's -- proposed reorganization of the government of the United States:


Department of Gender Justice
Department of State and Islamic Outreach
Department of Defense and Queer Critical Defense Theory
Department of Energy and Things That Don't Produce Energy Like Solar Panels
Department of Health and Why Guns Are Bad
Department of Interior and Climate Change
Federal Bureau of Land Management and Climate Change
Federal Bureau of Investigating Climate Change (FBICC)
National Aeronautics and Climate Change Administration (NACCA)
National Food Security Agency (NFSA)
Central Intelligence on Income Inequality Agency (CIIIA)
Department of the Treasury and Loyalty Enforcement
United States Air Quality Force
United States Post Office and Censorship Board
Life Panels (were: Death Panels)


more...

Posted by: Ace at 01:22 PM | Comments (950)
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Great: Former Republican Senators Endorsing Democrat Senate Candidates
— Ace

The argument went like this:

Tea Party: You guys are essentially Democrats. There is no ideological difference between you and the statist progressives; your idea of "political battle" is simply to see which team wins in any election, to divvy up the choicest offices and biggest staff budgets. And not to actually challenge the assumptions of the progressive social welfare/social control state.

Establishment Republicans: Nonsense, we're committed to all that... stuff you're so rabidly frothing about. You're just "extremists." You're crazypeople.

So, who was right?

Well, the Tea Party was.

With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs this November, a single seat may determine who has the majority. That’s why Republicans should find it disconcerting that two of their establishment lions have broken ranks and are backing Democratic candidates in competitive races.

The latest apostate is former senator John Warner of Virginia, who announced this week he is backing incumbent Democratic senator Mark Warner for reelection. He is thus giving the back of his hand to former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, a former George W. Bush adviser, who has a decent shot at winning and is no wild-eyed radical. Last year, Warner also endorsed the Georgia candidacy of Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, who is the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, with whom Warner served in the Senate. He even attended a fundraiser on her behalf. Georgia Republicans who find themselves defending an open Senate seat in Georgia are furious since the Warner support allows Nunn to position herself as a bipartisan moderate.

Posted by: Ace at 12:17 PM | Comments (648)
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Shinseki: All Right, Now I'll Start Actually Doing My Job
— Ace

Update: VA knew of wait-time-related deaths since 2013.

Before getting to that, @JohnEkdahl looked into Shinseki's prior vows as regards his management of the DVA, when he was confirmed in 2009.

What did he promise? Quality, consistency, and timeliness of medical care.

But he wasn't done yet. He then went on to vow "transparency" in meeting those objectives and standards.

So, Shinseki is the prototypical Obama-Type Politician. The Obama Method proceeds in three steps:

1. Give a speech making lofty promises about meeting specific Good Government Goals

2. Fail abjectly in meeting any of those Good Government Goals, Because Fundraising, Golf, and A Special Performance By Sir Paul McCartney

3. Give another speech re-making those promises and kinda-sorta pretending you just got the job so you can't be blamed for shit you didn't do the past five years

Shinseki just delivered a speech -- well, an Op Ed in USAToday -- delivering on Step Three of the Obama Method.

The findings of the interim report of VA's Office of Inspector General on the Phoenix VA Health Care System are reprehensible to me and to this department, and we are not waiting to set things straight.

Except for, you know, the five years you spent waiting to deliver on your 2009 promises.

I immediately directed...

"Immediately" now means "five years after I said I would."

The Obama Method. It's just fantastic, serious you guys.

... the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to contact each of the 1,700 veterans in Phoenix waiting for primary care appointments in order to bring them the care they need and deserve.

I had previously directed an independent site team to comprehensively assess scheduling and administrative practices in Phoenix. This team began its work in April, and we are already taking action consistent with the recommendations of the interim inspector general's report. We will fully implement his remaining recommendations.

Note all the bureaucratic, CorporoSpeak Action Words this thing is studded with: "Immediately." "Comprehensively." "Independent." "Fully."

Again, this has been going on for five years, and this guy specifically vowed to fix the problems five years ago.

The Fierce Urgency of Whenever, Man.

Earlier this month, I had also ordered Veterans Health Administration to conduct a nationwide audit of all other major VA health care facilities to ensure understanding of, and compliance with, our appointment policy. More than 200 senior staff are conducting that audit now, and we expect to announce the initial results of that audit in the coming days.

Outstanding. The bureaucrats who oversaw the last cover-up have been assigned to conduct the new cover-up.

At least they know what they're doing, I guess.

The Washington Post says we have an Obama Problem:

AT THE Department of Veterans Affairs, the federal government’s largest employer (the Army ranks second), only 56.9 percent of employees believe they can disclose a suspected violation of law or regulation without fear of reprisal. Even fewer — 46.1 percent — feel “a high level of respect” for their senior leaders. Fewer still — 37 percent — are satisfied with the policies and practices of those leaders.

Quite an indictment, you may say, one that confirms congressional demands for the summary firing of Eric K. Shinseki, the Cabinet secretary in charge of the VA. But the numbers for the government as a whole are barely more encouraging than for Mr. Shinseki’s domain: 58.4 percent, 49 percent and 38.8 percent, respectively.

We don’t have a Shinseki problem, in other words. We have a President Obama problem.

Actually they go on to claim we have a "Congress problem" too, and a "civil service in crisis," but I'm focusing on the President Obama Problem.

All of Obama's instincts are to cover-up, stonewall, and minimize problems. This flows from his self conception as "No Drama Obama." He wants every problem to seem trivial. He does not want to make dramatic moves.

This is how he defines "No Drama." It's also how he avoids taking responsibility for failure. He guesses, correctly in the case of a progressive black president, that if he himself refuses to give an issue oxygen, the press will almost always follow his lead.

Thus, by avoiding dramatic moves, Obama is actually just serving his PR requirements -- he's keeping major issues and outright crises off the front pages by Pretending them away.

The press, of course, has been all to eager to join in the No Drama Obama Public Relations campaign.

But sometimes there's too much to cover up, too much to pretend away.

Obama's Keep Everything Out of the Headlines by Pretending There's No Problem At All has predictable consequences: Major problems only get solved by Major Focus and major heat. Dramatic problems only get solved by dramatic moves.

Otherwise, the bureaucracy will quickly work to pick a scapegoat, cover things up, and go back to doing things almost exactly as they'd done them before.

Because the bureaucracy's main goal is, as Peter Gibbons observed, just to avoid hassle from their bosses.

Of course, in this case, it's the bosses who were actually giving the orders to fake the wait time data.

But without dramatic moves, those bosses will remain in the exact positions they currently occupy.

Obama's No Drama style of politics is designed to benefit himself at the expense of the nation.

Sometimes -- often, actually -- you need some drama, some sense of genuine urgency, some sense of genuine consequences, to get things done.

But Obama would rather keep the population in its Sleep Mode than get things done. Putting too bright a spotlight on a problem creates a Widely Known Standard for judging his performance -- Did he actually fix the problem or not?

And Obama is not one to embrace Standards by which he can be objectively judged on his performance.

Must be time for another Obama Method speech from Obama himself, too: more...

Posted by: Ace at 10:05 AM | Comments (1088)
Post contains 1284 words, total size 9 kb.

First Quarter GDP Adjusted All the Way Down from +0.1% to -1.0%
Real CNN Headline: U.S. economy shrinks, but it's not a big deal

— Ace

Obama told the media to portray this as a minor speedbump, and lo and behold the media are treating it as a minor speedbump.

This is a major contraction in the economy. This is a sign of a new recession. Were there to be two running quarters of negative growth, we'd officially be in a recession.

So it's deliriously spinny for CNN to Voxsplain it thus:

U.S. economy shrinks, but it's not a big deal

Brace yourself. The U.S. economy looks like it went on a roller-coaster ride at the start of the year.

Revised numbers released Thursday show the economy shrank in the first quarter, marking the first downturn since early 2011. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic growth, fell at a 1% annual pace, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

A slump was entirely expected, and economists aren't too worried. They forecast a bounce back in the spring.

Take for example Joseph Lavorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. He predicts the economy will rev up, growing at more than a 4% pace in April through June. In a note to clients this week, he cautioned investors not to worry if the first quarter numbers were lousy.

CNN goes on to chipperly burble that this is all expected Because Snow.

...

"The first quarter was disappointing, but rather than view that as an omen of a recession or the first of a down leg in the economy, I see the seeds of a big bounce back in spring," Hoffman said.

Green Shoots, baby.

Now CNN spins that this number isn't final. Yes, the first number (released weeks ago) wasn't final, and neither is this one.

I didn't see this kind of Don't Trust the Numbers disclaimer when the GDP numbers came in over 4%:

It's important to remember that the first quarter GDP numbers aren't final. They will be revised by the government at least two more times over the next couple of months. The government initially said first quarter GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. Today's figure is a revision.

Incredible.

Political operatives with bylines, as Instapundit says.

Part of this, I think, is that reporters just aren't that smart, and don't know anything about anything. Therefore, all of their reportage relies entirely upon the alleged experts they talk to.

And if Obama-supporting experts are who they have on speed dial (or even -- who the Obama Administration has suggested they talk to), this is what you get.

Coming Soon from CNN:

Good news! Your chocolate ration has been increased from 20 grams per month to 15 grams per month.

From Alberta Oil Peon.

CNN

Something unexpectedly happened in Your Mouth, but Obama-partisan economists say it's no big deal.

It was Because Snow.

Posted by: Ace at 08:30 AM | Comments (990)
Post contains 508 words, total size 3 kb.

Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Posted by: rdbrewer at 07:10 AM | Comments (692)
Post contains 4 words, total size 1 kb.

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