April 28, 2017

Poll: Americans Say Trump More Trustworthy Than The Media [Warden]
— Open Blogger

Ohhhh.... that's gotta sting.

President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump's White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.

Saying Trump is "slightly more trusted" than the media is a bit of a soft sell. Trump's trust rating represents a 27.5% increase over the media rating. If this were a political race, it'd be a landslide.

Donald Trump: 27.5% more trusted than the media. Don't let them forget this, ever. No matter what they say about President Donald Trump, Americans trust HIM more than we do THEM.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:30 AM | Comments (398)
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A Million Here, A Million There
— Open Blogger

Are you so well off that your household buys things you don't need and/or know about? It's one thing to slip that pistol home improvement tool purchase by the "Little Mrs." or "The Old Man".

It is another thing to purchase $13 Million in vehicles that you didn't know that you needed.

The GAO found that some agencies are failing to keep track of whether vehicles are used. For instance, the Customs and Border Protection agency could not determine if 81 percent of its vehicles were used in 2015. Over 1,800 CBP vehicles were driven less than 12,000 miles that year, the minimum mileage required by Homeland Security to justify purchasing a vehicle.

I know if I was going to purchase a new vehicle on someone else's dime it would have more than an AM radio and roll up windows.

The government spent over $2.5 million on upgrades that the GAO could not determine were necessary for the agency's mission, as required by federal guidelines.

Upgrades included heated or leather seats, remote keyless start, powered seats, and video entertainment systems.

"In analyzing these options, we were not able to determine if six of these types of options were related to safety, efficiency, economy, suitability, or administrative functions," the GAO said.

Government jobs. Good work if you can get it.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:00 AM | Comments (291)
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That's The Way You Do It
— Open Blogger

Remember the rioting that broke out in Washington DC during PDT's inauguration? I'll bet that most of them thought they could get away with it. And among those that were arrested, I'll bet most of them thought they'd get some not-too-large fine, or parole, or community service.

Yeah, well, maybe not:

A grand jury in the Superior Court of D.C. returned a superseding indictment in the Inauguration Day felony rioting case Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office of D.C. reports...Approximately 212 people face felony charges...Additional charges have been added to some of the defendants cases, including destruction of property involving damage to a limousine.

The way to stop rioting is by vigorous, aggressive police action. Of course, everybody knows this. The mayor of Baltimore knows this. The mayor of Ferguson knows this. Even that adipose porker who runs Berkeley knows this. But they chose to not make any attempt to restrain the rioting because, bottom line, they have more sympathy for the goals and aspirations of the circus freak show rioters than they do with law-abiding citizens, i.e. normal people of their communities. So the cities burned.

I only wish there was a way to tell the normal people, "hey, the authorities are not on your side. They will sit back and watch you and everything you've built burn if it means they can further their agenda."

You would think Berkeley would at least be receptive, but the people there keep electing the same crew year after year. And pride themselves on how progressive they are.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:30 AM | Comments (388)
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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

rose hat.jpg

Portrait of a Young Woman in a Hat
Albert Lynch

And below the fold, the suit I wore at my wedding.... more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:30 AM | Comments (542)
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The Morning Report 4/28/17
— Open Blogger


Good morning, kids. End of another week and we're really loaded for bear. The bulk of the stories seems to be the multi pronged assault from the left, some legal, much of it illegal (and even violent) against the will of the people and PDT. From securing our borders to keeping the internet free to muzzling our voices to foreign interference in our domestic affairs, we are under attack. I suppose you could spin it in a positive light that you take the most flak when you're directly over the target. Anyway, I'll be posting one or maybe two stories that go in-depth, but for now llinks from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:05 AM | Comments (381)
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April 27, 2017

Thursday's ONT is by the Book
— Open Blogger

From the AoSHQ style guide:

“The ONT is a serious responsibility for COBS at AoSHQ. It is the final thread of the day, and as such it is the thread that serves as “decompression time” for the Horde. In general, members of the Horde are a touchy bunch (some of them are downright insane), and they must be handled with kid gloves. Follow the following guidelines and you'll soon be producing safe, sane ONTs that are a credit to our Dear Leader, Ace.

#1 Always open with an amusing photo or caption.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:04 PM | Comments (584)
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ESPN Experiences Dramatic Shift In Political Affiliation Of Viewers Prior To Layoffs [Warden]
— Open Blogger

As soon as the story broke, two competing narratives emerged. The left argued that ESPNs declining viewership has nothing to do with its leftward programming shift and everything to do with cable cutting, while the right argued that ESPNs decline is due to conservative sports fans tuning them out.

Deep Root Analytics, a company specializing in analyzing local TV viewer-ship, dug into some of its numbers to see if there's any merit to the latter argument. What they found is stunning.

Specifically, in 2015, the ESPN audience on average skewed Republican across all dayparts, ranging from 12% more Republican (Early News, Late Fringe, Overnight) to 21% more Republican than Democratic (Early Morning).

In 2016, every daypart on ESPN became less conservative, with Daytime being only 2% more Republican than Democratic, while Late Fringe and Overnight programming became 10% and 12% more Democratic than Republican – a 22 and 28 point shift, respectively.

The same is true across other ESPN properties. ESPN2 skewed Republican across most dayparts in 2015; in 2016 all dayparts skewed Democratic. Every daypart also switched on ESPN News from 2015 to 2016.

That's a 22% and 28% shift in viewer political affiliation in a single year.
While it's true that cable cutting is largely to blame for ESPN's declining viewership, these numbers can't be ignored.

The left keeps arguing that it doesn't matter if conservatives tune out ESPN because they pay for it anyway as part of their cable package. Okay, fine. But one of the primary things that keeps men from cutting cable is sports programming. Piss off enough conservative sports fans with your SJW programming and many them will decide that maybe sports aren't so important after all. Then snip goes the cable.

And almost no one ever returns once they've made the decision to cut.

I have a hunch that this shift isn't just occurring within the ESPN universe, but also in sports viewership generally as the leagues themselves have also begun pushing left wing causes.

If so, this would create a secondary negative effect on ESPN. If you're not watching the games, you're certainly not tuning in for ESPNs analysis, opinion, or highlights, now are you?

Sports broadcast rights have been bid up into an unsustainable bubble over the past couple of decades and made athletes and franchise owners very, very rich.

Expect that bubble to burst as soon as ESPN's broadcast contracts begin to expire.

Update: ESPN takes down a poem published to their website that praised a cop killer.

It was part of an article titled "Five Poets of the New Feminism."

Yeah, I don't know what that has to do with sports either. It's like watching an uncle drink himself to death. One you really hate and can't wait to never see again.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:07 PM | Comments (392)
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The Daily Caller: While at State, Hillary Clinton Aides Threatened Bangleshi Prime Minister's Son With IRS Audit to Stop Investigation of Donor to Clinton Foundation
— Ace

Exclusive, and I'm sure the MSM will not be following up the Daily Caller's explosive report.

Hillary Clinton's Department of State aides allegedly threatened a South Asian prime minister's son with an IRS audit in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of a close friend and donor of Clinton's, The Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group learned.

A Bangladesh government commission was investigating multiple charges of financial mismanagement at Grameen Bank, beginning in May 2012. Muhammad Yunus, a major Clinton Foundation donor, served as managing director of the bank.

Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and permanent U.S. resident, recalled the account of the threatened IRS audit to TheDCNF. The allegations mark the first known instance in the U.S. that Clinton's Department of State used IRS power to intimidate a close relative of a friendly nation's head of state on behalf of a Clinton Foundation donor.

Can we impeach a losing presidential candidate for High Crimes and Misdemeanors?

Appoint a special prosecutor. That's what Adam Schiff always wants for this sort of thing, right? Let's have an independent commission explore these allegations while a special prosecutor investigates possible criminal charges.

Posted by: Ace at 02:00 PM | Comments (199)
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Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as "Mainstream" Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right
— Ace

This is the post I delayed because I didn't know how to write it.

I won't write it. I'll just link the stories.

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you're comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

Leftist "Anti-Fascist" Criminals Threaten to Attack and Drag Off Any Republicans in Portland's Annual Rose Parade; City Cancels Event. I don't know if they'll also be mounting a serious investigation into who made these threats and then prosecuting them to the worst the law will allow. I suspect they'll do neither.

Here's Althouse on it.

The New York Times previously blamed Milo and the rightwing for making the leftwing riot and physically attack people in Berkeley. They now do so again in the case of threats against the safety of author Ann Coulter.

Ms. Coulter, the acid-penned conservative writer, canceled a planned appearance on Thursday after the political organizations that invited her rescinded their support over fears of violence. "It's a sad day for free speech," she said.

Howard Dean and Sarah Silverman are "acid-tongued." (Not penned; they don't write.) If rightwing criminals threatend to assault them over speech, would the New York Times be searching for what they have recently called "false equivalency" between the two competing sides-- one side that says they have the right to speak without fear of assault, and another side that says if they speak they'll be physically attacked?

Jim Ruttenberg specifically called for an end of this practice of seeking "balance" were there was none -- in the New York Times itself. Of course, he meant that in the sense of not giving "balance" to conservative claims when leftist claims were so obviously the truth and All Conservatives Are Liars.

Notice they've gone back to seeking "balance" when the obvious malefactors are their fellow violent, fascist progressives.

But across the country, conservatives like her are eagerly throwing themselves into volatile situations like the one in Berkeley, emboldened by a backlash over what many Americans see as excessive political correctness, a president who has gleefully taken up their fight, and liberals they accuse of trying to censor any idea they disagree with.

The situation adds up to a striking reversal in the culture wars, with the left now often demanding that offensive content be excised from public discourse and those who promote it boycotted and shunned.

A striking reversal? "Now"?

The left has been doing this with increasing militancy since the 1980s.

How fucking old and out of touch do you have to be to call this "striking reversal" as happening "now"?

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged "responsible voices" of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

Remember the "Climate of Hate," where it was posited that somehow Sarah Palin had inspired a deranged man obsessed with the mind-control patterns of regular English grammar to shoot a Representative who didn't take his theories about grammar seriously?

If you believe in a "Climate of Hate" encouraging violence from more excitable members of a political cult, then you must also believe that the left's endless justification and excuse-making for violence -- when not openly calling for it-- creates a Climate of Hate on the left for visiting violence on the right.

You can't deny that. It's non-deniable.

What the Times and the left are doing, therefore, is simply supporting the Climate of Hate, and hoping to cause violence. So long as it's directed against the right people.

The rest of the article (so far as I could read) is less egregious than that opening -- claiming the victim provoked the attacker -- but that rhetorical excuse for political violence is quite enough.

I'm pretty sure that if Rush Limbaugh defended, justified, and make excuses for right wing gang violence the Times would not say the left "provoked" them by "throwing themselves" into "volatile situations" (like state-funded college campuses).

The mayor of Berkeley -- who liked a By Any Means Necessary Facebook posts (BAMN being one of the violent groups, as their name would imply), and who has ordered police to stand down and let BAMN and antifa attack citizens at random -- says that both antifa and the right which baits people into assaulting them are mutually to blame, and Mother Jones, naturally enough, agrees.

Keep your eye open for when Mother Jones speaks in the passive voice -- no human actor specified -- and when it gets suddenly specific about a human actor involved in an outcome.

On the eve of what was shaping up to be the latest in a string of violent clashes in Berkeley, California--

When a mugger attacks a citizen for his money, it's a "clash," but usually we do note who criminally attacked the other to start this "clash."

--between militant far-right and far-left activists,

Who's throwing M80s and bricks into crowds? Eh, doesn't matter. Niggling detail. There's a Higher Truth to be discovered.

-- Mayor Jesse Arreguin vowed that police would act aggressively to quash illegal behavior. "Berkeley is about the free exchange of ideas, but that's not what's happening," he said in an interview at City Hall late Wednesday.

Why? Who is it who is stopping the free exchange of ideas -- Ann Coulter, or the terrorists who threatened to harm her for speaking her ideas?

"So I think going forward we are going to need to have a more visible police presence at these incidents and intervene."

A confession that the standing orders have been to let Antifa attack whoever it likes, and that the only problem he sees her is that the attacked have begun counter-attacking.

Protesters who engage in violence or vandalism, Arreguin warned, will be arrested and prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."

Which ones? You only arrested one guy at the Milo riot. I have a feeling you'll be arresting more of the attacked than the attacking.

Ever since a planned speech at the University of California-Berkeley in February by far-right media provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled amid a rash of violence and property destruction,

Amidst a rash of violence and property destruction which self-generated itself with no identifiable human agents behind it.

.... Berkeley has become a prime target for right-wing groups mobilizing under the banner of "free speech" ...

Ah. The right-wing is targeting Berkeley. Under the banner of quote-unquote "free speech."

...and trolling political opponents with bigoted rhetoric.

They can't name who is committing the violence and property damage, but they're Johnny on the Spot when it comes to Naming and Shaming those guilty of "trolling."

Alt-right and other far-right demonstrators have repeatedly scuffled with antifa counterprotesters in the city, most recently on April 15, when protracted brawls led to the arrest of 20 people.

They mutually "scuffled." No one, say, began attempting to storm the state where permitted speakers were legally speaking.

They add this, after noting Ann Coulter cancelled her appearance, but "fanned the flames" of wishing to speak without being physically assaulted:

alt-right agitators have vowed to cause mayhem whether she shows or not.

Again, Mother Jones finds its voice in being able to identify the trouble-makers, a task it found strangely elusive when it came to BAMN and antifa violence earlier.

And is antifa also vowing to battle in the streets?

I guess we'll never really know. It's just these alt-righters, I guess.


Posted by: Ace at 12:30 PM | Comments (388)
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NY Times Reporter Beclowns Self
— Open Blogger

Most idiotic tweet of Apr. 27th, 2017:

That's right. All those pantyfag goons pepper-spraying people and hitting them with baseball bats? Totes Trump's fault.

Just like those Muslim refugees are provoked to rape little girls in public swimming pools in Sweden.

And speaking of clowns: more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 10:54 AM | Comments (519)
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Don't Mess With Texas: State Preparing to Levy Fines and Even Imprison Officials Who Won't Enforce State Law Against Sanctuary Cities
— Ace

God bless Texas, the Based State.

(I just found out recently that "Based" means "not caring about what others say and being proud to be defiant," or something like that. Though if I'm wrong about Teenage Internet Slang, let me know.)

Jazz Shaw digests an AP article:

. Out in the Lone Star State, Republicans are moving forward with a bill which would essentially ban sanctuary cities and impose some stiff penalties for those not in compliance. This is in keeping with statements that Governor Abbott has made in the past, so if it makes it to his desk it will likely go through. Part of it is the usual route of cutting off state funding and grants, but this one takes the additional step of holding leaders, including police chiefs and sheriffs, accountable. And that could mean fines or even jail time.

I just got an erection so full it began sprouting smaller, spikey erections. My dick now looks like a morningstar in that Frank Frazetta painting -- you know the one. And by "one," I mean all of them.

Sorry I Lied: I thought I remembered a Frazetta painting on one of those Ace fantasy books with Conan, or a Conan ripoff, smashing someone's head with a morningstar, but I can't find it, nor can I find any Frazetta paintings where the hero uses a morningstar. In some, you can see, amidst the Gigantic Pile of Slain Enemies, a morningstar sticking up from the human ruin, but I don't see any exemplars of morningstars as the hero's weapon.

A survey of Frazetta's oevure indicates that he chiefly worked in the medium of battle axes, with some sparing use of sword strokes, and occassionally just straight-up strangulation.

Posted by: Ace at 09:19 AM | Comments (454)
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Cultural Appropriation: For $425, Nordstrom's Will Sell You Distressed Jeans Splattered With Fake Washer-Safe Mud So You Can Play Dress-Up as Someone From the Outdoors-Working Class
— Ace

From Mike Rowe, who gives the post a title that really can't be improved, Jeans Made to Look Like You Work Hard So You Don't Have To.

More and more of life seems to be nothing but artifice. The carefully-curated presentation of oneself on Instagram and FaceBook and Twitter, always eating a luxe restaurants and always taking selfies at exciting places.

Rock-climbed exactly once in your entire life? Perfect-- make that your avatar on Tinder.

Why not take that Life of Illusion into meatspace and just begin playing dress-up as something you are not?

Finally -- a pair of jeans that look like they have been worn by someone with a dirty job…made for people who don’t. And you can have your very own pair for just $425.00.

Here’s the official description, from their website.

"These heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty."

On the positive side, Nordstrom's isn't purging their shelves of work-related imagery, like the owners of Monopoly did when they replaced the wheelbarrow with a rubber ducky. They seem to value icons work. What they don't value -- obviously -- is authenticity.


Not real mud. Fake mud. Something to foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. Or perhaps, for those who actually buy them, the illusion of sanity.

The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren't pants. They're not even fashion. They're a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic -- not iconic.

Rowe's write up is pretty much spot on, but I have to find something to add or disagree with, so I'll pick this nit: While I agree with him 99.9%, I'd point out that fashion has always kind of been about costuming, signalling, and aspiration. That's not new.

A lot of the "athletic clothing" purchased in America is by people who are decidedly not athletic. When a very heavy boy buys really expensive sneakers, yeah, it's dress up in a way. But it's also him putting on the mask of what he wants to be.

As Mike Rowe says, the one good thing is that hard work isn't being denigrated here, but valorized: Something worth... well not doing, but something worth dressing up as if you do.

And if I'm being honest, mudded-up jeans do look pretty good. Pretty much because whenever I see them it's a movie I'm watching and the Muscular Leading Man just managed to save a rogue cow from stampeding off a canyon edge by wrestling it by its horns into the muddy earth. (See, it's raining like hell out and there are lightning flashes because of course there must be.)

However, there used to sort of be a rule that you can't just totally play dress-up. If you bought a BUM sweatshirt, you had to go to the gym at least once or twice. You can't just wear a leather back brace around like an Olympic weightlifter for fashion if you don't ever actually lift.

Do you even mud, bro?

The falling of this rule -- that you must attempt some semblance of what you pretend to be -- is probably now permitted by endless Brand Creation that everyday people do for themselves on the internet, plus the odd and new proposition that anyone is whatever they claim to be, whatever sex they claim, whatever race.

If you can believe this -- some people on the internet will claim sometimes be 28 years old, when they're actually rather older than that. (Going on 29 pretty soon, in my case.)

But we seem to be crossing a Rubicon of Reality here where you can now play dress-up with expensively faux-muddied clothing to look like a humble cowhand.

I suppose it would be easy enough to adapt Second Skin -- make it thicker, add a yellow tint -- to begin painting on Fake Callouses every morning to Steal the Look from a real cowboy.

Anyway, this is where we are, this is who we are now.

The watchword is decadence. Fashion I don't mind, and I recognize there's an element of play and fantasy in many higher-end fashions. I always want a pea coat, partly because of its association with merchant marines, but always feel like it would be dress-up and I can't get one. Same with army-style jackets.

Yeah, I like the look, but I don't want to separate myself that far from the real world.

This complete divorce from vital, primal physical reality, and this retreat in a child's playground of Let's Pretend, seems to me to very decadence of a very advanced type.

Now I'm going to take my messenger bag and go deliver some very important military orders to my commander at Starbucks. With your kind leave, Sir.

BTW: I'm aware there's bigger and newer news. Some of it makes me so angry I really need to process it so I can express myself in something other than curses (and worse).

Posted by: Ace at 07:45 AM | Comments (600)
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The Snowflake Test
— Open Blogger

This sounds like good news:

A Connecticut-based marketing company has created a “snowflake” test to weed out entitled liberal Millennials.

The Silent Partner Marketing company has come up with a unique way to vet potential employees. The firm developed a survey for applicants asking a number of questions about themselves. Questions include “What does America mean to you?” and “How do you feel about guns?”

Kyle Reyes, CEO of Silent Partner Marketing appeared on Fox & Friends on Wednesdney, saying “I needed a filter to sort through all of that.”

What a h8r. Why whould he do such a thing?

Reyes said he’s looking for employees who don’t feel entitled or expect things to be handed to them. He insists, however, that emotional people are welcomed to apply—as long as they don’t need a safe space at the office.

“I want people who have a sense of community, who have a sense of heart, who aren’t afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves.” He explained. Then added, “But who are able to make an argument and stand by it.”

The CEO said that “Someone who’s not proud to be an American” would be automatically disqualified from a job at the firm.

And it gets even better:

Following the media interest, Reyes said, many other companies have approached him, offering “significant” amounts of money to design a similar test for them.

Unfortunately, I think this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I've on hiring and vetting committees at some of the places I've worked at. Finding good people who will fit in is dang hard. It's amazing what you can't ask in interviews and it's amazing what you can't ask the candidate's previous employers. Like, pretty much everything. All they can do is confirm dates of employment. Questions about whether the guy was a good worker, did he show up on time, did he get along with people, all of those types of questions cannot be asked. By law.

So how does the employer weed out the slackers, the surly, and the psychos?

This is why they have to do things like look for you on social media and that is why they devise snowflake tests. Pretty much all of the conventional means for assessing employee fitness have been made illegal. It's almost getting to the point where you have to make your hiring decisions by using a dartboard.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:30 AM | Comments (341)
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Mid-Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

pride of dijon.jpg

The Pride Of Dijon
William John Hennessy

In the interests of preserving the genteel and elegant theme of this week's art thread, I will not explain to you that I think that the gentleman is working very, very hard with a singular goal in mind.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:30 AM | Comments (568)
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The Morning Report 4/27/17
— Open Blogger


Good morning, kids. Loaded for bear on this gloopy Thursday here in the land of DeBolshevik. First up, it turns out that although this Judge Orrick (another Leftist named after a vacuum [at least he's not named after a prison like Soldedad O'Brian, but I digress]) was completely out of line in his ruling, some legal eagles are saying it doesn't mean much when it comes to the actual enforcement of law because the law to block funding for "sanctuary cities" was written and passed in 1996 when Bill Clinton was in office. The entire Senate met with the Trump national security team for what has been described as a very sobering briefing on the threat from Whoa Fat. Ivanka Trump is starting to annoy me, as we are now taking the "slightly pregnant" approach to the Paris Climate Accords. The House Freedom Caucus now is backing Repeal/Replace 2 but there is opposition supposedly from the moderates (whatever that term means). Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is high on the Trump Tax Reform and is hot and horny to ram it through ASAP. Rush, though had some thoughts on this, especially the false and dangerous narrative that tax cuts have to be paid for:

And remember the premise of this, folks, is that all money is Washington's, not yours. So when Washington proposes a tax cut, i.e., you get to keep more of what you earn, Washington and the media look at it as the government losing money. And that cannot happen. And so government must find a way to pay for the tax cut, because a tax cut is not you keeping more of what you earn because what you earn is not yours. What you end up with is because of what the government says you can have. This is how people look at it, media people on the left.

As we often say in the comments "THIS x infinity."

Anyway, links from around the world, across the nation and up your street. Have a better one and remain blessed.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:03 AM | Comments (426)
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April 26, 2017

Wednesday Overnight Open Thread (4/26/17) The Hump Day Edition
— Open Blogger



Quote of The Day

Quote I

The Fifth Republic is in a grim state. Dodging a bullet doesn't make much of a difference if you're riddled with disease. Mark Steyn

While we are looking at France, Let's meet one of France's presidential candidates and his lovely wife.

"That's why this latest "scandal" doesn't appear to matter at all to the French. Emmanuel Macron, who by several projections is set to win the French presidency in two weeks, was just a 15-year-old student when his 40-year-old teacher seduced him – and the two are married today.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:00 PM | Comments (586)
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On Gratitude And Humor [Warden]
— Open Blogger

I had minor surgery yesterday.* Although it wasn't high risk, being put under general anesthesia is always somewhat of a concern and the whole process from admittance through recovery is neither convenient nor cheap.

In short, surgery is a stressful experience for most people.

Matters weren't helped by a three hour delay due to my surgeon having to deal with multiple complications from the operation scheduled prior to mine--the exact same procedure I was about to undergo.

But as I sat there in pre-op waiting and holding my wife's hand, I couldn't help but feel gratitude. Prior to modern medicine, this condition would have disabled or killed me. I had insurance and enough money in our HSA to cover the deductible, so I didn't have to sweat finances. And not only did I not have to go through this alone, Mrs. Warden and I had spent our time happily chatting and cracking jokes with each other and the nursing staff as we waited--my wife at one point wryly mentioning to the male nurse who had been called in to shave my stomach that my back could probably use a little work, too.

The nursing staff was absolutely terrific, and I was genuinely appreciative for the care they provided. Every time my wife or I has ended up in the hospital, we've always received top notch care from the front line staff. There isn't any question in my mind that at least part of this is due to the fact that we always do our best to remember and use the name of everyone on staff, to stay positive, and to say please and thank you even when we're in pain or distress.

The pleases and thank yous are a habit we've built over the years with each other--one we've passed on to our children. Recently, someone complimented me on how polite my kids are. It's true that they are and I'm always proud to hear that sort of thing, but having good manners is not the primary reason I taught my children to be polite.

I taught my children to be polite as a constant reminder to be grateful for the small kindnesses that others do for you. My wife and I model this daily for them. Not only do we thank each other for routine things we do for one another like setting the table, doing the laundry or mowing the lawn, we also thank our children for behaving well, cleaning their rooms or helping with the dishes.

Expressing heartfelt gratitude has an almost miraculous effect on the people around you. It makes others take joy in doing for you, turning resentment or obligation into enthusiastic kindness, and it's as much true for a nursing staff as it is your spouse. When you practice verbal gratitude daily, it changes the very nature of your relationships.

Taking the opposite path can prove, well, disastrous. One of the things my wife talked me about as we waited on the surgery was her boss's marital problems. He's a talented and ambitious man who pulls down a salary large enough to spoil his stay-at-home wife with expensive clothes, cars, and vacations.

The vacations, rather than being a blessing, have turned into a source of bitter resentment for him because his wife refuses to go to any of his preferred destinations or participate in any of the activities he enjoys. If he pushes the issue, she retaliates by passive aggressively ruining the experience with complaints, feigned illness and drama.

He's so upset over it that they haven't been speaking. The issue, of course, isn't really about the vacations. It's about his wife making their marriage a win/lose proposition rather than a win/win one and then stacking the game in her favor. At its core it's a simple lack of appreciation and gratitude--one so deeply ingrained that experiences most married couples can only dream of affording become a source of petty squabbling.

What a shame.

As I waited for my surgery, I wondered how I'd handle something as terrifying, painful and exhausting as cancer. I vowed that if I ever found myself faced with it, I'd do my very best to model strength, courage, grace, and good humor to my kids, as it might be the last and most important lesson I ever taught them.

Lying there next to my wife, I noted that gratitude and humor are fundamental building blocks of a healthy marriage and if you can display both when you're in a trying situation, then you're probably on solid ground with your spouse.

I found myself overcome with happiness that I'd married someone who loves me so deeply and who is constantly working toward improving and strengthening our marriage. I felt like there wasn't anything we couldn't get through together.

I'm beginning to think that the gratitude and a sense of humor are linked-- not in the sense that the funniest people are the most grateful (people who aren't at all funny can still laugh uproariously at someone who is)--but that gratitude provides the necessary perspective to have a good laugh at one's own misfortune.

My father, a recovering alcoholic, told me when I was a teenager that he knew his drinking had gotten out of control after he lost his sense of humor. This simple insight always stuck with me. It's perhaps just a backwards restatement of the "laughter is the best medicine" adage, but has been of much more practical value to me as a warning sign for when my mental state has gotten off the rails.

The sicker a society is, the more complicated it makes the rules of living out a life of happiness and fulfillment. In reality, the steps are both simple and unchanging. You know what they are and so do I. It's just that simple doesn't translate to easy and so we tend to look for other, less difficult ways.

None of us are immune, but you see it much more on the left. Instead of looking inward, the left is constantly trying to fix the other guy.This is one reason I've lost interest in politics. I'm fascinated by culture and the forces that move/control it, but I know that the actual practice of politics has very little impact on our daily lives.

Temperament is at least somewhat genetic, but I think that Abraham Lincoln had it mostly right when he said that most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

I also think my old man had it right when he told me that no one decision will have more impact on your happiness than your choice of who to marry (or not). Growing older definitely has its drawbacks--your body breaking down being one of them--but one of the great joys of aging been a greater understanding of love and the role it plays in my life.

Love isn't a feeling. It's thought put into action. It's a choice. And it begins with gratitude.

*I'm still riding a Percocet high, so I apologize for the rambling nature of this post.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:30 PM | Comments (221)
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Ignore Vox Writers At Your Peril: They're Better Than The Onion
— Open Blogger


A progressive wet dream. No, not Dylan, even most leftists have better taste than that. But the collectivist drivel about single payer (disguised as "universal coverage") is the lodestone for most of them, because from that all-encompassing control comes pretty much everything else.

Please Dylan, keep hammering away with that idea. Americans are absolutely ready for confiscatory taxes on alcohol, and they are so weary of owning their own cars. It is time! Charge into the fray!

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:30 PM | Comments (401)
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Obamacare Cost-Sharing Subsidies Will Not Be Part of the Deal Republicans Make to Keep Democrats From Shutting the Government Down, Ryan Claims
— Ace

That's a deal that only a Democrat could offer to a Republican.

In exchange for you continuing funding Obamacare, we'll allow you the benefit of also being permitted to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

We are always bargaining from a position of weakness. Never strength. Just this cramped posture of a beaten boy who rolls up into a ball covering his head and crying "Uncle."

And by the way, I assume this is a negotiating position and when the Democrats shut down the government, we'll give in on some cost-sharing subsidies for Obamacare.

John Sexton explains what cost-sharing subsidies are: Direct payments to insurance companies

Cost-sharing reduction payments are separate from the subsidies used to lower the cost of insurance premiums for people buying Obamacare plans on the exchanges (those who make under 400% of the federal poverty line). CSRs are additional payments made directly to insurers to lower out-of-pocket costs including copayments and annual deductibles. However, the way the law is written means that insurers must discount those items for people at the low end of the income scale whether or not they are receiving the money to cover it from the federal government. So if the CSRs are cut off, as Democrats worry the Trump administration made decide to do, insurers will be losing, even more on the exchanges than they already are.

Insurers are mandated to offer discounts to the poor, Sexton reports, so the cost-sharing subsidies are really just a gimmicky rigged game to try to disguise the fact that yes, you are subsidizing other people for their insurance. The government taxes you, the government orders insurers to lower costs for the poor, the government taxes you more and gives some money to the insurers.

Without the subsidies, the insurance companies will lose money even faster.

Posted by: Ace at 01:34 PM | Comments (254)
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Leftwing Outrage of the Day: Obnoxious Fox Guy Jessie Watters Makes a Statement Which May Or May Not be a Lewd Sexual Remark About Ivanka Trump;
Liberal Hero "Reporter" Jake Tapper Pounces

— Ace

The Blue Checkmark Mafia takes its outrage where it can find it.

Jessie Watters, in defending Ivanka Trump from hissing German progressives (and noting that progressives believe in treating women with respect in theory so long as she's a dues-paying member of their cult), then said, with a wag of his eyebrows, "I like the way she talks into her microphone" or something like that, which many took as a reference to oral sex.

Which it could be.

He later clarified he meant that her voice was like that of a "smooth jazz DJ," which is something he could actually have possibly meant. Though I'd say more of a low-talking Public Affairs Editor on a College Radio Station. (A lot of them talk that way.)

But my money is probably on the oral sex angle.

But that's just speculation -- I'd put my money on that, if I had to bet, but I'm not so positive of it I would bet on it except with good odds.

And if that is what he meant --

1, who cares?

2, the left routinely denigrates conservative women in sexual terms. Ask Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, or Sarah Palin about it.

3, who cares? At this state of this very course culture the left has brought about, who cares about a minor league blowjob gag? (See what I did there?)

For the love of Pete, the liberals scolded us for a year that an actual blowjob, lied about in a court deposition, by a sitting president, specifically sitting in the Oval Office (I can't see the chubby Clinton standing all the way through it), was no big shakes and we were sexually repressed obsessives for saying it was.

Now a minor "Aw aren't I a little scamp?" blowjob reference from a minor correspondant is the worst thing ever?

4, the left, which plays at being daring sexual libertine who love transgression when it's not playing its other role of uptight chilly-boxed prudes who shriek "Unclean!" at everyone they don't like, is really on the edge of suggesting that straight men cannot find sexual beauty in women.

If he'd said it about Michael Sam he'd receive an early Emmy.

But if you are offended, you've got former Salon reporter and Monica Lewinsky Date-and-Teller Jake Tapper to support you in your outrage.

Now, as a bit of context which you already know, Jake Tapper just happens to work at a competitor network, and Fox just happens to have launched a show at 9pm which may or may not work in that timeslot, so CNN may or may not have a vested interest in seeing it fail so it can climb out of the ratings basement and step once again into the glorious spotlight of a Distant Second Place.

But you know, Jake Tapper's chorus of Twitter sycophants will rise nobly to his defense, all flattered and shit that he personally DMs them to yell at them if they ever criticize his coverage.

Pro-tip, fellers: He does that to everyone. Do not be flattered by his relentless personalized Brand Protection efforts. You're not special; you're just special enough to be worth being told to shut up.

Anyway, keep on vouching for the impeccable honesty and unquestionable political neutrality of this ambitious progressive reporter, conservatives.

Actually... If it was a minor blowjob joke, it does deserve some level of criticism. I wouldn't want to be sexualized that way, if I were a woman. (I do wish to be sexualized, just to say it happened once, but that's because it never happens, and plus I'm a guy, who doesn't have the baggage of being thought of in mostly those terms.)

But this ludicrous pumping it up into Rape Culture You Guys? Give me a break.

Plus, one has to be a bit hesitant in one's criticism noting that this is only one interpretation of his meaning.

Unless you're Jake Tapper. Then you know what the truth is, and you can put it in chyrons. Like this:


PS: Remember how leftists and the news media (but I repeat myself) completely abstained from lewd clucking about Michelle Bachman eating a corn-dog?

Posted by: Ace at 11:40 AM | Comments (539)
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